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Islanders Semyon Varlamov snubbed in Vezina Trophy vote

BUFFALO, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on February 15, 2021 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on February 15, 2021 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
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Today, the NHL announced that the three finalists for the Vezina Trophy. None were New York Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov. And that’s absolutely ridiculous. Varlamov not only deserved to be a finalist but to win the award outright.

The three finalists for the award are Marc-Andre Fleury (Vegas Golden Knights), Andrei Vasilevskiy (Tampa Bay Lightning), and Philipp Grubauer (Colorado Avalanche).

All are good goalies, but Varlamov was better.

New York Islanders Semyon Varlamov snubbed for Vezina

It’s easy to see how GM’s voted for this award. Wins. The three finalists finished first (Vasilevskiy), second (Grubauer), and third (Fleury) for victories this year. And that’s probably the worst possible reasoning for how to give out this award.

Sure, goalies are out there for the full game, but a win isn’t an individual stat it’s a team stat. Why should a team metric have any bearing on an individual award? It makes absolutely no sense at all. Why not judge the Norris Trophy based on how many wins the team has? It makes about as much sense.

Outside of wins, Varlamov holds the second-best save percentage and goals-saved above average, the fourth-best goals-against average and is tied with Grubauer for the most shutout in the league.

Varlamov is easily a Vezina favorite when you just compare him to the guys who were the finalists for the award.

*SV%, GAA, SO from NHL.com and for goalies with at least 20 games played
**GSAA from NaturalStatTrick and at 5on5

Look, all of these goalies were good this year. It will be interesting to see how the vote shakes out and where Varlamov ends up in the final tally. We already know that he’s not in the final three and that’s an absolute snub. Hopefully, he’ll finish no lower than fourth place.

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