Henrik Lundqvist was awarded the 2011-2012 Vezina Trophy on Wednesday evening, taking home the title of the NHL's best goaltender for the season. For Lundqvist, who had a career-best year and put the New York Rangers on his back all season long, it was a well deserved win.
For fans watching the awards ceremony at home, Lundqvist also offered a special surprise, an F-Bomb dropped on live television. While going through his thank yous, the always smooth Lundqvist lost his words, and then muttered a four letter word, before laughing at himself to hearty applause after the inadvertent slip up.
Apparently, this is an NHL goalie trend, as Jonathan Quick of the Stanley Cup winning Los Angeles Kings dropped three F-Bombs on live television as the team celebrated its Stanley Cup win with a ceremony after its victory parade.
More intriguing than dueling television mishaps though, was the goaltender duel between Quick and Lundqvist for the right to win the Vezina Trophy.
During the regular season, Lundqvist finished with 39 wins (3rd) in 62 games, a 1.97 GAA (4th), .930 Save Percentage (t-3rd) and 8 shutouts (t-3rd). Meanwhile, Quick was equally superb, notching 35 wins (t-5th) in 69 games, a 1.95 GAA (2nd), .929 Save Percentage (5th) and 10 shutouts (1st).
What likely gave Lundqvist the edge with those largely identical numbers was his team's record - the Rangers garnered the number 1 seed in the Eastern Conference - as well as potentially his superior performance compared to Quick in shootouts and overtime games, and an overall higher winning percentage.
Of course, I'm sure Lundqvist and Rangers fans everywhere would much rather trade King Henrik's Vezina for Quick's Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup. However, hopefully there's still time for that in years to come, and it's great to see Lundqvist being recognized for his stellar work between the pipes for the Blueshirts.
Lundqvist was also nominated for the Hart Trophy, awarded to the league's MVP. Goalies have only won the award on a handful of occasions, and it was no surprise when Evgeni Malkin's name was called as the Hart Trophy winner. Malkin certainly deserved that honor as well.
Sources: NHL.com, Rangers.NHL.com, NHL Awards Broadcast
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