Roberto Luongo, Tim Thomas, Pekka Rinne Named 2011 Vezina Trophy Finalists

These year-end NHL awards usually don't yield many surprises in terms of the three finalists, and in the case of the 2011 Vezina Trophy, it's about the same.

Roberto Luongo of the Canucks, Pekka Rinne of the Predators and Tim Thomas of the Bruins are your three extremely deserving finalists for the award that will be presented in Las Vegas on June 22.

Sure, there are some snubs, like perhaps Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and Canadiens netminder Carey Price, but the truth is that there are only three spots for finalists, and ultimately only one winner anyway. Not everybody can finish in the top-3 of the voting.

It's probably a bad afternoon for Luongo to earn the nod, after the whole collapse in Game 5 against the Blackhawks on Thursday night. But for starters, it's a regular season award, and the Jennings Trophy winner is a big reason why the Canucks were President's Trophy winners this season. He had, quite simply, the best year of his NHL career this year and is deserving of the nomination, although he likely won't go home with the hardware in June.

That honor instead will likely go to one of the other two netminders up for the award: Thomas or Rinne.

Thomas, who won the Vezina two years ago before falling off the proverbial cliff one year ago, has returned to form over the course of this past season. He's frankly been the front-runner for the award all year long, and without his stellar play in the beginning of the season for the Bruins, it's not likely that they win the Northeast Division.

Rinne is considered the darkhorse here, but that's not really a fair assessment of his play. If you're in Nashville, you know just how good this guy is, and really, he's been his team's MVP this season. The number of close victories the Preds pulled out in the final weeks of the season after 35 and 40 save efforts by Rinne is just remarkable. He played in 29 of the team's 30 final games. If you don't know who Rinne is, you need to watch more Predators hockey.

Latest News

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.