2020-21 NHL Season Midway Rankings: Vezina Trophy Finalists

Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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Andrei Vasilevskiy (88)
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88). Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Andrei Vasilevskiy – Tampa Bay Lightning

Over the years, there have been critics of Andrei Vasilevskiy’s who believe the goaltender’s personal success has more to do with the team in front of him rather than his own abilities. While playing for a team as good as the Tampa Bay Lightning would certainly be beneficial to any goalie, it is still pretty clear that the 26-year-old is in a class of his own when it comes to NHL netminders.

The Lightning are non-surprisingly leading the entire league in points through 33 games played with 50, and Vasilevskiy is a huge reason for that. He owns a ridiculous record which includes a league best 21 wins to go with just five losses, while also sporting a 1.91 Goals Against Average and a league-leading stellar .932 Save Percentage. Given that he has been the NHL’s best for a number of years now, we shouldn’t expect those numbers, as ridiculous as they are, to regress a whole lot.

At this point, Vasilevskiy is the favorite to win the Vezina, which would mark the second time he has won the award, having won it back in 2018-19. One pretty telling stat that proves playing for the Lightning isn’t the only reason for his outstanding numbers is the play of his backup, Curtis McElhinney, who in eight games has a cringeworthy 3.16 GAA and a .880 SV%. Make no mistake, Vasilevskiy is the best goalie in the world right now and is playing like it so far this season.

Next. Maple Leafs need to figure out goaltending. dark

Exciting Race

As mentioned above, there is still plenty of the season left to go, meaning any of the three listed above could fall off the list entirely by the time the year is over, and a new candidate(s) could emerge. The one thing this has shown is that you never know what can happen in the NHL, as many would have given you a pretty odd look if you had mentioned prior to the season that Marc-Andre Fleury and Philipp Grubauer would be in the Vezina Trophy hunt at the midway point of the season.

Honorable Mentions: Mike Smith (EDM), Semyon Varlamov (NYI), Calvin Petersen (LAK)