Race For The Vezina

In previous NHL seasons the formidable quest for the Vezina has been one of the most honorable and prestigious awards to receive. The winner of this will forever be marked as an elite goaltender and will forever be considered to be one of the best. As we approach the halfway point of the 2002/2003 campaign it is a race between four goalies, Belfour, Brodeur, Thibault

and Turco. The outcome still uncertain, it is anyone’s hand.

Eddie Belfour already was an established netminder till last season, where he was considered to be old, washed up, and long over due for an retirement. He was kindly pushed aside, and beat out for his job in Dallas, by fellow Vezina contender Marty Turco. Eddie came into Toronto, and lets just say he did not get off on the right foot. His team and him struggled, being defeated in many games, at one point they dove down to second last in the Eastern Conference. But a turn of events and Crazy Eddies determination to reestablish himself as one of the elite. This resulted in him single handedly turning Toronto around and allowing them to develop into a contender. Of these four goalies he ranks 3rd in Goals Against Average with 1.98, and 2nd in Save Percentage with and outstanding .930. Cannot forget is five shutouts either. Already obtaining the Vezina twice, and third time will certainly be nice.

Off to Dallas, Turco much like Legace was always seen to be a sure started in the NHL, during his stretch as a backup. As this upcoming season came, little knew of him, and those who did were confident he would be an elite goaltender. Despite having a strong team ahead of him he still remains the reason for the success for the Stars. Spectacular saves, you continuously see him on the highlight reel. Aside the fact .933 SV% and 1.72gaa are better than these other three goalies, he is still much an unknown. The Vezina would surely establish himself as top goaltender and a Stanley Cup would make him an elite.

Martin Broduer, what more to say?. Already an accomplished goaltender, has two Stanley Cup rings, gold medal, but does not have a Vezina to his name. In GAA and SV% he ranks behind the other three goalies, and his .913% is not among the best at all. So what makes him appropriate for this award? Much like Belfour he has single handedly carried his team. The Devils cannot score which puts the pressure on Brodeur not to allow more than two goals per game. New Jersey only 77 goals against and 89 goals for, spells the story for Martin. They are on top of their division and second in the East, without Brodeur safe to say New Jersey would be a non playoff team.

In Chicago, much like Brodeur, Thibault is surrounded by a team who struggles to score and rely on him to be solid. But unlike Martin, Jocelyn’s numbers are among the best. .927sv% and 1.97gaa. Thibault has yet to establish him self as one of today’s finest, a Vezina will certainly be a nice step in the door.

There are still more surprises this year to come, other netminders like Lalime and Cloutier are certainly making their mark. Tough year to pick the receiver of this reward, with so many dominating goaltenders to choose from.


59 Responses to Race For The Vezina

  1. Rushing says:

    You’re just stuck on yourself evidently. Just because a team has a great defense, it shouldn’t be held against the goalie. Just look at Turco’s last two years(prior to this year). His stats are tremendous. Last year the team sucked with Belfour yet Turco was outstanding. Last year Belfour had a “LOSING” record yet Turco was 15-6-2. That proves to you that it was Belfour and not the team itself. Turco’s record in 2000-01 was 13-6-1. He just has continued his outstanding performance on into this year. So you can’t sit there and tell me that it’s the defense helping him with his record here.

  2. Robert says:

    Am i saying Turco hasn’t helped one bit, please pay attention. I wrote in article, and put him down as an contender. All I am saying Belfour is a more likely winner then him.Turco is amazing, but Eddie has done more for the Leafs, than Turco has done for Dallas. Look at Theodore last year, much the situation of Belfour this year. There is no point in arguing anymore, you are on your side, I am on mine.

  3. Robert says:

    Look at how many goals the Devils score, close to one a game…now your telling me Brodeur has nothing to do with their success? You must be midly retarded. I don’t believe you have wacthed a Leaf game, or you would see the magic belfour pulls, Turco is outstanding don’t get me wrong, But anyone other than you, would say the better team minus the goaltenders, I would say 90% say Dallas.

    Here is how most people are saying it will go. Not just my opinion here.

    1. Brodeur/Belfour

    2. Turco

    3. Thisbault

    4. Cloutier/LaLime

    A good line I heard before to describe Turco, was a good goalie, with a team to makes him excellent. I think we can give Turco more credit than that, buts thats the jift of it.

    Lets end this, blocks of wood are hard to get through to.

  4. Rushing says:

    I guess that why Turco was “outstanding” in college also? Again, I guess that’s why he was outstanding last year while Belfour wasn’t when the team didn’t even make the playoffs?

    So, when a team is outstanding, that should always be held against the goalie? Interesting thing you hold against a goalie. I see they don’t hold that against pitchers in the MLB.

  5. OldTimeHockey_28 says:

    Dude relax. You’ve been running your mouth on every post that doesn’t pick Turco to win. People have opinions. I’m a leaf fan and right now I’d give it too Thibault. Second would be Belfour. Then Brodeur. Then Turco.(just put him last to piss ya off!)

    My point being you’ve gotta sit back and realize these are opinions of people. Turco’s awesome! We all know that. What these people are saying is Belfour is more deservant because he has been the MVP of this team. He has gotten them out of the cellar and carried them almost to the peak.

    Above you run your mouth about Theodore’s stats. Remember, he did all that with a crap team in front of him. Kind of what Belfour is doing with the leafs in front of him this year.

    Oh and for your info, the voters don’t give a flying f*ck about last year and your record and all that crap. It’s what you do this year. What you do for your team.

    Sorry for pissin in your cornflakes but your posts have been the same thing. …”hey what about Turco”….”Turco for president”…..”Turco is so hot”…..” I want Turco”….it’s annoying. Say it once. If you want to disagree with everyone just reply on the main post to all the doubters…….

    Turco may get the Vezina. He may not. It’s great you support the guy. And you obviously have a beef with Belfour. But honestly. The Vezina will be decided in the next 2.5 months. Let’s sit back and watch some great tending and enjoy the hockey!

  6. OldTimeHockey_28 says:

    Dude relax. You’ve been running your mouth on every post that doesn’t pick Turco to win. People have opinions. I’m a leaf fan and right now I’d give it too Thibault. Second would be Belfour. Then Brodeur. Then Turco.(just put him last to piss ya off!)

    My point being you’ve gotta sit back and realize these are opinions of people. Turco’s awesome! We all know that. What these people are saying is Belfour is more deservant because he has been the MVP of this team. He has gotten them out of the cellar and carried them almost to the peak.

    Above you run your mouth about Theodore’s stats. Remember, he did all that with a crap team in front of him. Kind of what Belfour is doing with the leafs in front of him this year.

    Oh and for your info, the voters don’t give a flying f*ck about last year and your record and all that crap. It’s what you do this year. What you do for your team.

    Sorry for pissin in your cornflakes but your posts have been the same thing. …”hey what about Turco”….”Turco for president”…..”Turco is so hot”…..” I want Turco”….it’s annoying. Say it once. If you want to disagree with everyone just reply on the main post to all the doubters…….

    Turco may get the Vezina. He may not. It’s great you support the guy. And you obviously have a beef with Belfour. But honestly. The Vezina will be decided in the next 2.5 months. Let’s sit back and watch some great tending and enjoy the hockey!

  7. puckedinthehead says:

    Dan “Freakin'” Cloutier!!!

  8. Robert says:

    I AM SAYING BELFOUR HAS DONE MORE! GEESE!

    And now you comparing Picthers to Goaltenders…wow…are you sure your talking about the right sports?

  9. Robert says:

    if you take october out, Belfour would be ahead of Turco in all numbers, except for shut outs.

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