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New York Islanders Robin Lehner Not Favored to Win Vezina Trophy

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 18: Robin Lehner #40 of the New York Islanders makes the second period blocker save against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Barclays Center on September 18, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 18: Robin Lehner #40 of the New York Islanders makes the second period blocker save against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Barclays Center on September 18, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The New York Islanders have a finalist for the Vezina Trophy this year. The Vezina Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding goalie, as voted by the general managers of the NHL.

After only receiving a contract offer from the New York Islanders, goalie Robin Lehner is now one of three finalists for the Vezina Trophy.

Basically every team, but the New York Islanders were not interested in the 6-foot-4, 27-year old goalie after he had a subpar last season with the Buffalo Sabres (.908 SV% and 3.01 GAA). And then he came out about his battles with bipolar disorder and alcoholism.

Even with all the doubters, Lehner bounced back this season, to have a career year. This season, Lehner finished with a .930 SV%, 2.13 GAA, and a career-bests 25 wins and six shutouts.

Lehner’s efforts would also help himself and

Thomas Greiss

take home the

Jennings Trophy

, awarded to the goalie(s) that allow(s) the fewest goals against in the NHL.

The Other Finalists

Although Lehner’s stats were phenomenal this season, he has some steep competition in the other two Vezina finalists: Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy and Dallas Stars goalie Ben Bishop.

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Vasilevskiy’s SV% and GAA were worse than Lehner’s at .925% and 2.40. However, Vasilevskiy started 53 games, compared to Lehner’s 43. Being on the NHL’s best team, Vasilevskiy topped the league in wins with 39.

Although Vasilevskiy started in ten more games than Lehner, they both had six shutouts.

Ben Bishop

Bishop had the best overall stats out of all three finalists. His GAA was an amazing 1.98 and his SV% was an outstanding .934%, which was the best in the NHL. Bishop finished the season with seven shutouts, good enough for third in the NHL.

Bishop started two more games (45) than Lehner and finished the season with two more wins (27), as well.

The Odds

According to OddsShark.com, Vasilevskiy has the best odds to win the Vezina. At -333, his odds are much better than Bishop’s (+250) and Lehner’s (+1,800).

Vasilevskiy is the favorite to win the award because he lead the league in wins. However, I think the stat of wins is overrated in the NHL. Vasilevskiy had the best team in the NHL during the regular season and his number of wins do not accurately represent his level of play.

Also, Vasilevskiy played the most games of the three goalies, which also contributes to his drastic lead in wins over Lehner and Bishop.

If I were a general manager in the NHL, my vote would go to Ben Bishop.

Although he started in eight fewer games than Vasilevskiy, his GAA and SV% were both significantly better than Vasilevskiy’s and slightly better than Lehner’s.

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Looking at a slightly more advanced stat, Bishop also had the best quality start percentage (QS%) at .689%, followed by Vasilevskiy at .642%, then Lehner at .605%.

Looking over the three goalies’ stats, my order would be 1) Ben Bishop (as stated above), 2) Andrei Vasilevskiy, and 3) Robin Lehner.

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