Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers was finally awarded the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s outstanding goalie for the 2011-’12 season. Lundqvist capped his seventh pro season by winning the accolade on his fourth nomination.
It’s hard to express how proud I am of Hank, who was like a brick wall in backstopping the Rangers to their best finish since the 1993-’94 season, when they won it all. In my book, he should have won the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP, because the Blueshirts would have gone nowhere without the King between the pipes, let posting the best record in the Eastern Conference (and second in the league) and surviving deep into the conference finals.
Hank posted a career-high 39 wins and a .930 save percentage. He pitched 8 shutouts on his way to a career-best 1.97 goals against average. The King ranked third in the NHL in victories, tied for third in GAA and shutouts, and tied for fourth in save percentage. He received 17 of the 30 first-place votes to best the Stanley Cup-winning L.A. Kings netminder Jonathan Quick and the Nashville Predators’ Pekka Rinne.
And he’s a great guy off the ice, as well: King Henrik is also active in the community, contributing to the Rangers’ charity efforts to help sick children. And he’s generous to fans with his time, always willing to pose for a photo. He’s a complete player.
And now he is Henrik, King of the Goalkeepers!