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Sergei Bobrovsky of Blue Jackets wins Vezina Trophy

Receives honor as top NHL goalie for second time in career after setting Columbus record with 41 wins

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

LAS VEGAS -- In a sport of many one-goal games, this one was a rout. 

Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets breezed to his second career Vezina Trophy on Wednesday, NHL general managers voting him the League's best goaltender for 2016-17.

Bobrovsky's victory was announced as part of the 2017 NHL Awards and NHL Expansion Draft presented by T-Mobile. 

 

[RELATED: Oilers' McDavid wins Hart Trophy]

 

Bobrovsky, 28, had 25 first-place votes and 138 points, a rink-length in front of 2016 winner Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals, who had four first-place votes and 87 points. The other finalist, 2015 Vezina recipient Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens, had 19 points. Edmonton Oilers goalie Cam Talbot, who finished fourth with 17 points, had the other first-place vote. 

Bobrovsky, the first native of Russia to be a two-time Vezina winner, said this one is considerably different than when he won in 2013. 

"The first, you're not really understanding what's happening," he said. "This one, you're older, you're more mature and you [more] appreciate those moments in your life. The goalies are getting better, there are lots of great goaltenders in this league and that fact makes it more special." 

Video: Sergei Bobrovsky is presented the Vezina Trophy

Bobrovsky led the NHL this season with a 2.06 goals-against average and .932 save percentage, and was second with a Blue Jackets-record 41 wins in 63 games. His seven shutouts were tied for third, trailing Holtby (nine) and Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins (eight). Bobrovsky's 14-game winning streak from Nov. 29-Jan. 3 is tied with six other goalies for second-longest in League history; Gilles Gilbert of the Bruins won 17 straight in 1975-76. 

Bobrovsky spread the credit liberally for his second Vezina, saying that, "to have success, so many things must come together. 

"First, you have to be healthy. Then you need a good team in front of you, because without them, it's nothing. And you need to have the right direction in your training and recovery and your thinking. I'm lucky that I have a great family, my wife and parents support me a lot, and I also have some friends in Austria and Finland who help me a lot to be in the right way and the right frame of mind." 

Bobrovsky also was a nominee for the Hart Trophy, given to the player judged to be most valuable to his team. He finished third behind Oilers center Connor McDavid and Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby. 

"It speaks for itself just to be [a finalist] with the two best players in the world," he said, capping his night by being selected to the 2016-17 NHL First All-Star Team. 

The Vezina, Bobrovsky said, "is a team award. My teammates sacrifice their bodies and block a lot of shots. They help me a lot, and that's a huge part of the reason I'm here.

"The organization has helped me a lot. I appreciate their trust in me. The last three years, I went through injuries and had many ups and downs. I appreciate that they've believed in me, and that I had the right people around me."

Pts. (1st-2nd-3rd)
1. Sergei Bobrovsky, CBJ 138 (25-4-1)
2. Braden Holtby, WSH 87 (4-21-4)
3. Carey Price, MTL 19 (0-2-13)
4. Cam Talbot, EDM 17 (1-2-6)
5. Devan Dubnyk, MIN 8 (0-1-5)
6. Martin Jones, SJS 1 (0-0-1)

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