Vezina Finalists officially announced

The 2022 Vezina trophy finalists have arrived. The three finalists are Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers, Juuse Saros of the Nashville Predators, and Jacob Markstrom of the Calgary Flames. Shesterkin is the favorite to win the award, but all three goalies had stellar seasons and rightfully deserved the honor of being invited to the NHL Awards ceremony. While the three certainly deserve the recognition, Frederik Andersen of the Carolina Hurricanes and Ilya Sorokin of the New York Islanders could easily make a case. This year’s trio features goalies that have never won the coveted award before. The festivities will be a little different this year, as the show will be between games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The same team hosting games 3 and 4 will host the ceremony.

Markstrom’s massive frame (6’6) is reminiscent of former two-time runner-up Ben Bishop (6’7). Saros, the only starting goalie in the NHL listed under six feet tall at 5’11, dominates the crease with elite athleticism, positioning, and instincts in the mold of Mike Richter in his prime. Igor Shesterkin has made the extraordinary look ordinary all season long. He flirted with the All-Time NHL save percentage record for a brief moment in the middle of the season before settling in with a percentage of .935 to close out the season. Shesterkins positioning and athleticism are eerily similar to his predecessor, Henrik Lundqvist. Saros and Shesterkin have both seamlessly replaced the best netminder in the history of their respective franchises in former award winners, Pekka Rinne and Henrik Lundqvist. Ironically, both Igor and Juuse watched their mentor’s jerseys raised to the rafters this year.

All three goalies were instrumental to their team’s success this season and helped them reach the playoffs, but all three could be eliminated from the playoffs in the first round. The significance of Juuse Saros to the Nashville Predators’ success was evident during his absence from their four-game sweep at the hands of the Cup favorite, Colorado Avalanche. Markstrom, the group’s elder statesman at 32 years old, has received little to no goal support during the playoffs. While Markstrom’s done his job by posting a 1.27 GAA and a save percentage of .952, the Flames have only scored seven goals in their first four contests. Perhaps the most disappointing of the group has been the performance of Igor Shesterkin. While the Rangers’ demise can’t solely rest on his shoulders, Shesterkin’s GAA and Save Percentage have ballooned and deflated since the regular season ended. Since early in the season, Shesterkin has been the runaway favorite for the award. He posted a 2.07 GAA and a save percentage of .935. May has not been kind to the New York netminder as his GAA increased to 4.26, and his save percentage decreased to .905. The Rangers have done little to help their best player by ranking dead last out of all 16 playoff teams in Expected Goals Allowed, Scoring Chances Allowed, Slot Shots Allowed, Slot Passes Allowed, and Rush Chances Allowed.

In previous years, the date and time for the ceremony in Vegas were set in stone. However, until this year’s Cup Final is set, we’ll have to wait and see when and where the festivities will occur.

Rangers Eastern Conference bound, Kreider putting this team on his back, Shesty with huge game saving saves, need I say more?For more from us, visit Inside The RinkHow to support us and our sponsors:Columbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITRThanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at www.insidetherink.com for all your latest hockey news.
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Luca Perito

Born and raised in New York. I've lived in Arizona, Maryland, Delaware, and California. Love all sports. Twitter @elbigcalzonelp -- Instagram @thebigcalzone

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