Predators' Pekka Rinne wins the Vezina Trophy

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Pekka Rinne is the 2017-18 Vezina Trophy winner. (Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Pekka Rinne is the 2017-18 Vezina Trophy winner. (Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

For the first time in his 12-year career, and with his third nomination, Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators has won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender.

He edged out Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets and Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the honour.

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Starting in over 50 games for the fourth straight season and eighth time in his career, the Nashville netminder won 42 games while posting a 2.31 goals against average and a .927 save percentage. He finished the season with a better GAA and SV% than the two other candidates, and also sat tied with Vasilevskiy for the league lead in shutouts with eight.

Rinne was integral in back-stopping the Predators to their best regular season in franchise history.  The team set franchise records with 53 wins and 117 points.

The Finnish goaltender’s postseason, however, did not match his regular year. The 35-year-old posted career playoff worsts with a 3.04 GAA and a .904 save percentage. The Vezina is, of course, handed out to the best regular season performance, which Rinne unquestionably had.

He becomes the seventh different goalie to win the award in the last eight years.

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