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Frederik Andersen’s 2020 Vezina Odds Sink After 7-Goal Game vs Tampa

Frederik Andersen's Vezina odds have plummeted at the start of the NHL season. Photo by David ([Wikipedia]) [CC License].
  • Frederik Andersen has started more games than any other NHL goalie in the past three seasons
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs have allowed the second-most goals in the league
  • Check our analysis of the Leafs’ Vezina odds, and who you should be targeting

Tuesday was a rude awakening for the Toronto Maple Leafs of just how lethal their Atlantic Division foes, the Tampa Bay Lightning, can be with the puck. Tampa Bay poured seven goals into the Maple Leafs’ net — all against starter Frederik Andersen — in a blowout that Toronto fans had to witness on home ice.

The individual meltdown was enough to sink Andersen’s 2020 Vezina odds, which are now set at +800. Back in March, those odds were all the way down at +300.

2020 NHL Vezina Odds

Player Odds at MyBookie*
Andrei Vasilevskiy (Lightning) +500
Ben Bishop (Stars) +750
Frederik Andersen (Maple Leafs) +800
Sergei Bobrovsky (Panthers) +800
John Gibson (Ducks) +900
Carey Price (Canadiens) +1000
Marc-Andre Fleury (Golden Knights) +1400
Jordan Binnington (Blues) +1600
Devan Dubnyk (Wild) +1600
Braden Holtby (Capitals) +1600
Tuukka Rask (Bruins) -125
Martin Jones (Sharks) +2000
Matt Murray (Penguins) +2500
Connor Hellebuyck (Jets) +2200

* Odds taken 10/12/19

Andersen’s Anticipated Load Management

No one has started more games the past three seasons than Andersen (192). The Maple Leafs have also lost in the first round of the playoffs each of those years. No one really knows if Andersen was fatigued or not in those instances, but the team appears to be taking a measure to ease his workload this year anyway.

In the first 10 days of the season, that hasn’t really been the case — Andersen has started four of Toronto’s five games. And in order to play Andersen less than in the past, the Maple Leafs must believe they have a viable backup to take his place. So Andersen’s potential load management is likely very situational.

In terms of his Vezina prospects, a high volume of starts is a good thing because it improves his chances of leading the league in wins (something three of the past five winners have done). Three of the past five winners started at least 60 games, too.

Maple Leafs’ Electric Offense Hurts Andersen

To the extent that it exists in the NHL, the Maple Leafs play a run-and-gun type of offense. They fight fire with fire, taking a “best defense is a good offense” type of approach.

That’s how it’s been early this season, in which Toronto has allowed the second-most goals in the NHL (19) and the second-most shots against (160). Andersen has simply been tested too much in the early going.

Of course, overcoming that kind of onslaught would make Andersen quite the Vezina candidate.

Decision Time

Andersen has finished as high as fourth in Vezina voting in his career (back in 2017-18, when he faced the most shots in the NHL and made the most saves), but he has never had Vezina-caliber numbers. As a starter, he has hovered around a 2.60 goals against average and .917 save percentage, while Vezina winners are typically in the range of a 2.20 GAA and .925 save percentage.

With that said, he shouldn’t be your Vezina pick even as the value of his odds has grown more lucrative. If load management does come into play, that will hurt him. His team’s sub-standard defense is already hurting him.

A better buy-low candidate is Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy (+500). He probably doesn’t seem like a buy-low candidate, since he’s still the frontrunner. But his odds have taken quite a hit due to a slow start (3.04 GAA, .903 save percentage). Bet on the reigning Vezina winner to bounce back.

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