To mark the beginning of the 2019-20 regular season, NHL.com is running its first installment of the Trophy Tracker series this week. Today, we look at the race for the Vezina Trophy, the award given annually to the goalie adjudged to be the best at his position as selected by the NHL general managers..
Ben Bishop is ready to turn the page on last season and take the Dallas Stars to new heights.
"It's nice to have gotten that far, and obviously you want to go further, but it's a whole new season this year and you have to hit the reset button," Bishop said of last season, when the Stars reached the Western Conference Second Round, when they lost to the eventual Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues in the second overtime of Game 7. "I think it was good experience for the young guys. It still hurt a little bit seeing St. Louis go on to win it when we were that close, but this year is a whole new year."
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Bishop said he was honored last season to be voted a Vezina Trophy finalist for the top goalie in the NHL after he led the League with an NHL career-high .934 save percentage. But he said he had a feeling Andrei Vasilevskiy would win it, considering that he was the No. 1 goalie for a Tampa Bay Lightning team that won 62 games.
Bishop was right. Vasilevskiy received 94 percent of the votes.
"You want to win it, but Vasilevskiy is a [heck] of a goalie, so it wasn't a surprise," said Bishop, who finished second with 41 percent of the vote. "I would've liked to have won it, but I think he was more than deserving and it gives you a little bit more fuel for next year."
Video: Vasilevskiy takes No. 15 on the Top 50 Players list
This time around, Bishop is NHL.com's preseason favorite to win the Vezina.
Video: Ben Bishop lands at No. 3 on the list
Every voter on NHL.com's 20-member panel submitted a top five for the Vezina Trophy in order and a point total was assigned to each vote. Bishop received nine first-place votes and defeated Vasilevskiy by seven points in the poll. Sergei Bobrovsky, who signed a seven-year contract with the Florida Panthers, finished third.
Video: Sergei Bobrovsky checks in at No. 2 on the list
"I don't think you can sit here and say, 'I want to get another goals-against under 2.00.' It's kind of one of those things where all of the chips fall in line," Bishop said. "I felt good, and I think that's the big thing. As long as you're getting the wins and giving your team a chance to win, the numbers kind of fall into place.
"You don't really want to strive to hit those numbers and whatnot. You want to focus on getting out there, giving your team a chance to win, and then hopefully [the numbers] will follow."
Voting totals (points awarded on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis): Ben Bishop, Stars, 77 points (nine first-place votes); Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning, 70 (5); Sergei Bobrovsky, Panthers, 59 (4); Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens, 24 (1); Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas Golden Knights, 17 (1); Frederik Andersen, Toronto Maple Leafs, 12; Jordan Binnington, St. Louis Blues, 12; John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks, 11; Carter Hart, Philadelphia Flyers, 4; Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals, 3; Semyon Varlamov, New York Islanders, 3; Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators, 2; Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins, 2; Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers, 2; Antti Raanta, Arizona Coyotes, 1; Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets, 1