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Odds for 2019 Vezina Trophy Finalists: Vasilevskiy Listed as Favorite, Bishop Given +250 Odds

Daniel Coyle

by Daniel Coyle in NHL Hockey

May 28, 2019 · 2:57 PM PDT

Andrei Vasilevskiy Tampa Bay Lightning goalie
Andrei Vasilevskiy had a .925 save percentage in 2018-19. (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire)
  • Vasilevskiy has emerged as a heavy favorite to claim his first career Vezina Trophy after leading the NHL with 39 wins in his second full season
  • Bishop, the goaltender that Vasilevskiy replaced in Tampa Bay, proved key to the Dallas Stars’ return to the NHL playoffs, posting 27 wins and an NHL-best .934 save percentage
  • A heavy favorite to win this year’s Bill Masterton Trophy, Robin Lehner enjoyed a career resurgence with the New York Islanders

Andrei Vasilevskiy played a key role in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s rise to the top of the NHL standings during this past regular season. The 24-year-old Russian led all NHL goaltenders with 39 wins in just 53 appearances, and now sits perched as a heavy favorite to claim Vezina Trophy honors as this season’s top netminder, sporting short -333 odds.

2019 Vezina Trophy Odds

Player 2019 Vezina Trophy Odds
Andrei Vasilevskiy -333
Ben Bishop +250
Robin Lehner +1800

*Odds taken 05/28/19

Vasilevskiy Built on Last Year’s Breakthrough Campaign

Selected 19th overall by the Lightning in the 2012 NHL Draft, Vasilevskiy has quickly emerged as one of the NHL’s elite goaltenders since taking over the reins as Tampa Bay’s starter during the 2016-17 NHL season.

Vasilevskiy enjoyed a breakthrough campaign a year ago, smashing an array of team records in Tampa Bay while racking up 44 wins in 64 starts, and was a model of consistency between the pipes this season, suffering consecutive losses on just one occasion while compiling a 39-10-4 record and earning NHL All-Star honors for a second straight year.

In addition to leading the NHL in wins, Vasilevskiy also sat among the league leaders in goals against average (2.40), and save percentage (.925), while also recording four shutouts despite missing 15 games early in the campaign with a foot injury.

However, questions have been raised as to whether Vasilevskiy’s numbers are inflated as a result of backstopping a dominant squad, with the Lightning piling up a gaudy 23-6-0 record this season when their all-star netminder didn’t play.

Andrei Vasilevskiy vs Ben Bishop Statistical Comparison

53 Games 46
39 Wins 27
6 Shutouts 7
2.40 Goals Against Average 1.98
.925 Save Percentage .934

Bishop Moved the Needle in Dallas Despite Multiple Injuries

Vasilevskiy also faces stiff competition on the Vezina Trophy odds, most notably from the man he replaced in Tampa Bay, Ben Bishop, who sits second as a +250 bet to claim his first career Vezina Trophy.

Traded by the Lightning late in the 2016/2017 season to the Los Angeles Kings, who subsequently dealt him to Dallas at the end of the campaign, Bishop was spectacular for the Stars this season despite being hobbled by injury on four occasions.

The towering 32-year-old was limited to just 46 appearances this season, but made them count, amassing a 27-15-2 record while leading the NHL with a sparkling .934 save percentage and finishing second with a 1.98 goals against average.

Unlike the situation in Tampa Bay, the presence of Bishop between the pipes had a clear impact on the Stars’ fortunes during the regular season, with Dallas recording a middling 16-17-5 record without the nine-year NHL veteran in the crease.

Bishop led the NHL with a sparkling .934 save percentage and finished second with a 1.98 goals against average.

Bishop’s success helped propel the Stars back to the NHL playoffs for the first time in three years, where they fell short of their first trip to the Western Conference Finals since 2008 with a heartbreaking 2-1 double-overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues, a game in which Bishop recorded a career-high 52 saves.

Clutch performances proved to be a regular feature of Bishop’s season, with the Denver native making 30 or more saves on 18 occasions during the regular season, leading the Stars to victory in 13 of those contests, including a spectacular 41-save performance in the club’s 3-2 win over the visiting San Jose Sharks on December 7th.

Vezina Longshot Lehner Favored to Win Bill Masterton Trophy

Further down the odds to win this year’s Vezina Trophy, Robin Lehner lags as a distant +1800 longshot.

Salvaged off the scrap heap by the New York Islanders following a disastrous campaign in Buffalo in 2017-18, Lehner rediscovered the touch that had previously earned him acclaim as a goalie of the future, first with the Ottawa Senators and then with the Sabres.

After posting a dismal 14-26-9 record in Buffalo last season, the mercurial 27-year-old quickly laid claim to the starter’s job in Long Island, racking up a 25-13-5 record, while trailing only Bishop with a .934 save percentage, and sitting alongside Vasilevskiy with six shutouts.

Lehner’s resurgence played a crucial role in the Islanders’ stunning climb back into playoff contention, and will likely make him this year’s recipient of the Bill Masterton Trophy as the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.

However, with the Islanders producing steady results without the Swedish netminder between the pipes, going 23-14-2 this season, a Vezina win by Lehner would likely prove to be the biggest upset of the NHL Awards season.

Pick: Ben Bishop (+250)

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