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NHL Awards

Vezina Trophy winner to be announced

Fleury, Grubauer, Vasilevskiy up for award given to top goalie in NHL

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

2020-21 Vezina Trophy Finalists

Vezina Trophy Finalists announced

Marc-Andre Fleury, Philipp Grubauer and Andrei Vasilevskiy have been named finalists for the Vezina Trophy

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Winners of the 2021 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone will be announced throughout the Stanley Cup Semifinals and Stanley Cup Final.

The winner of the Vezina Trophy will be announced Tuesday during a 30-minute show (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS) in which the five remaining regular-season trophies will be awarded.

Here is a look at the three finalists:

Marc-Andre Fleury, Philipp Grubauer and Andrei Vasilevskiy were named finalists for the Vezina Trophy.

The award is given annually to the goalie voted the best at his position by NHL general managers.

Fleury was 26-10-0 for the Vegas Golden Knights, finished third in the NHL in wins and shutouts (six), and was third in goals-against average (1.98) and save percentage (.928) among goalies to play at least 20 games. He started the season 5-0-0 and ended with wins in each of his final nine starts. Fleury helped Vegas (40-14-2) finish second in the Honda West Division and qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the fourth straight season.

"It's pretty cool," Fleury said. "I never go into a season thinking I want to be a finalist for the Vezina. I think my thought is always winning games and winning in the playoffs. That's always my mindset. I'm not looking for individual awards but it's definitely very flattering and I'm honored to be among with these guys."

Fleury allowed two goals or fewer in 25 of 36 starts and with Robin Lehner helped Vegas win the Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest goals during the regular season (124). A first-time Vezina finalist, Fleury ranks third in NHL history with 492 wins behind Patrick Roy (551) and Martin Brodeur (691). He would be the first Golden Knights goalie to win the award.

"He had an incredible year," Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said. "We wouldn't have had the record we had, we wouldn't be here without the year he had. You have to take your hat off to him. He faced some adversity there last year (losing playing time after Lehner was acquired in a trade). Instead of laying down, he showed up in camp and fought and battled. Turned it into what I think should be a Vezina Trophy. In typical Marc-Andre fashion, I congratulated him today and he immediately talked about it being a team award and how well the team played in front of him but you can't overlook his contributions to what we're doing and the season he had."

Grubauer was 30-9-1 in 40 games (39 starts) for the Colorado Avalanche to finish second in wins (30), one behind Vasilevskiy, and tied Semyon Varlamov of the New York Islanders for the NHL lead with seven shutouts. He was second in GAA (1.95) and eighth in save percentage (.922).

"I never thought in my life I'd be a part of that group, sitting on that table with 'Vasy' and 'Flower', so it's a huge honor," Grubauer said. "It's not only an honor for myself, but I think it represents the organization. It's an honor for the coaching staff, for (goalie coach) Jussi (Parkkila), for everybody who's put in the time and effort into it behind the scenes. … It's important to get those two points and get the win. That's what we focus on and that's what I'm personally focused on. I don't generally don't pay too much attention to the standings and stats, to be honest."

Grubauer allowed two goals or fewer in 28 of his appearances, did not lose back-to-back games in regulation and helped Colorado (39-13-4) finish first in the West and win the Presidents' Trophy for having the best record in the NHL. A first-time finalist, he would be the first Avalanche goalie to win the award.

Grubauer and the Avalanche lost to Fleury and the Golden Knights in six games in the Stanley Cup Second Round.

"I don't think it happens too many times (Vezina finalists playing one another) and I'm really looking forward to it, and it's been a battle all season long with him," Grubauer said before the series. "He's an unbelievable goalie. I watched him when I came over and played in the Canadian Hockey League. I always watched Flower, so obviously it's kind of fun for me to think of him down at the other end and seeing him there."

Vasilevskiy was 31-10-1 for the Tampa Bay Lightning and led the NHL in wins for the fourth straight season. He ranked eighth in GAA (2.21), sixth in save percentage (.925) and fourth in shutouts (five). He allowed two goals or fewer in 24 of 42 games and set a Lightning record with a shutout streak of 228:09, including three straight shutouts from Feb. 24-March 2.

"Obviously, big honor to be one of the nominees, but it's all a team effort so can't really say more," Vasilevskiy said. "I just want to thank my team for that."

Vasilevskiy is a finalist for the fourth straight season and won the award in 2018-19. He helped Tampa Bay (36-17-3) finish third in the Discover Central Division and qualify for the playoffs for the fourth straight season. The Lightning won the Stanley Cup last season with Vasilevskiy playing every minute in the playoffs.

"'Vasy' is a world-class goalie, don't get me wrong," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "When he's in the zone, I don't know if there is anybody better. He prepares himself for games. It's a luxury to have him back there. … It does make you sit an inch taller on the bench when you've got him back there." senior writer Dan Rosen and independent correspondents Rick Sadowski and Danny Webster contributed to this report

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