The NHL announced the three finalists for the Vezina Trophy today, and Mike Smith wasn’t one of them.
Marc-Andre Fleury, Phillipp Grubauer, and Andrei Vasilevskiy were named as the top three in the league for this past season.
Vasilevskiy won the award in 2018-19 when he posted a .925 save percentage in 53 games, a number he replicated this season in just 42 games. He also led the league in wins this year with 31.
Fleury, meanwhile, has never won a Vezina. He posted a .928 save percentage this year — the best of his career — and won the Golden Knights 26 games.
Grubauer had a great season in his own right winning 30 games and posting a .922 save percentage.
Was Smith snubbed this year? There’s an argument to have been made for him making it as a top-three finalist. He posted a 21-6-2 record and a .923 save percentage. He won the eighth-most games in the league and posted the fifth-best save percentage among goalies who played 30+ games.
His save percentage wasn’t far behind either Vasilevskiy or Fleury, and the only thing keeping him from being higher in wins was the fact he missed the first month of the season. But with that being said, Smith came back and was a huge part of the Oilers success.
His save percentage was the second-best in his career (behind 2011-12, .930), as was his 13.9 goals save above average (behind 2011-12, 34.6). It’s not common to see a 38-year-old goalie play at the level he did for a full season, and it’s a big reason why I thought he would get a nod.
Nonetheless, it’ll be interesting to see how voting plays out and where he comes out in the voting race. I’d expect him to garner enough votes to be in the top five this year.
What do you think? Did Mike Smith get snubbed?