The FHS Fantasy Awards are back. Last time, we awarded our trophy for Best Fantasy Coach and Brent Sutter shocked the fantasy world by taking home the prize.
Today we'll look between the pipes and hand out the hardware to the tenders. Goalies are the most important position in many leagues so the players that jumped on these guys early had a good chance of bringing home the glory. Our Vezina Trophy is presented to the fantasy breakout goalie of the year.
The nominees are...
Carey Price - 38 wins, 2.35 gaa and a .923 sv%
You could make an argument that Price's breakout happened in his rookie season in 2007-08 (24 wins, 2.56 and .920) but he's been so brutal since we thought it would only be fitting he gets a born-again breakout. After two seasons with part time duty and some average numbers Montreal handed the 23-year-old the reigns and he ran with it. Many were predicting Price to finish middle of the pack in fantasy goalies (or even meltdown) but he ended up right at the top (2nd in wins, 10th in gaa and 7th in sv%) of the list.
Pekka Rinne - 33 wins, 2.12 gaa and a .930 sv%
Rinne would have ranked the highest of the goalies on this list in the pre-season but that shouldn't sullen his superstar breakout campaign. He set career highs in wins, gaa (3rd in league) and sv% (2nd in league) and makes a very strong case for the best fantasy tender this year.
Corey Crawford - 33 wins, 2.30 gaa and a .917%
Crawford had only eight games of NHL experience prior to this year and with the signing of Marty Turco a season of around 10-20 games looked likely. Turco was awful and Crawford was fantastic and eventually they traded jobs. Crawford ended up with 57 GP and started the final 27 games for the Hawks. Great numbers + tons of games played = fantasy goalie gold.
Sergei Bobrovsky - 28 wins, 2.59 gaa and a .915 sv%
Bobs gets a few extra points because he came out of nowhere this year. At the beginning of the season Bobrovsky was so far down the depth charts he was two feet underground. Injuries to Michael Leighton and Brian Boucher opened the door for the young Russian and he never looked back.
Michal Neuvirth - 27 wins, 2.45 gaa and a .914 sv%
Neuvirth only had 22 games of NHL experience before this season so it's easy to understand why many (including us) were tabbing him for the backup job in the Capital. An injury paved the way for his breakout season (as often happens) and Neuvirth took full advantage.
James Reimer - 20 wins, 2.60 gaa and a .921 sv%
Only playing part a season hurts his value in his race but we had to work the surprising Reimer into our nominations. He, nearly singlehandedly, turned the Leafs' season around and picked up a surprising 20 wins along the way.
And the winner is...
To me this is an easy choice. Price makes it close but I can't ignore the fact the winner started as free agent add and ended the year as a Top 10 goalie. The Vezina goes to...
Hit us up with a vote in the poll and/or a comment on your fantasy goalie related thoughts.