- Reigning Vezina Trophy winner Andrei Vasileskiy playing behind a historically good team
- Frederik Andersen will get the lion’s share of start in Toronto without a consistently reliable backup
- Get the odds, analysis on the contenders and our pick for what goalie will lead the NHL in wins
Andrei Vasilevskiy and Frederik Andersen both lead the way in the 2020 Vezina Trophy odds, so it’s little surprise to see them heading the pack of the goaltenders favored to lead the NHL in wins.
Both are workhorses and both man the pipes for successful, playoff-bound teams. But which NHL goaltender offers the best value in the wins department?
2019-20 NHL Goaltender Most Win Odds
|Which Goaltender will Lead the NHL in Wins this Season?||Odds at Bovada|
*Odds taken on 09/28/19
The Case for Vasilevskiy
With 83 wins over the last two seasons – five more than the next-highest goaltender – it’s hardly surprising that the reigning Vezina Trophy winner is the favorite to lead the NHL in wins once again.
With 39 wins in just 53 starts last season, Vasilevskiy won a staggering 73.6% of the games in which he started between the pipes.
Andrei Vasilevskiy. That is all. pic.twitter.com/VLuCXjnIY2
— NHL (@NHL) December 23, 2018
Of course, when you have a team in front of you that won games at a clip that hasn’t been seen in 23 years, matching the record 62 wins put up by the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings, it makes things that much easier.
#FHB Safe-Bet: Andrei Vasilevskiy. Vasilevskiy had an outstanding .925 SV% and 2.40 GAA last year. Despite a slight injury concern, he is arguably the best goalie on the best team in the #NHL and should be the first net-minder off the board on draft day. #Bolts #FantasyHockey pic.twitter.com/oezsBuaLCR
— Fantasy Hockey Bros (@FntsyHockeyBros) September 26, 2019
However, while his .925 save percentage and 2.40 goals-against average are almost beyond reproach, certain doubts might be lingering around the Russian goaltender after his playoff implosion. The 25-year-old posted an .856 save percentage in the playoffs that was part of the reason the Lightning became the first Presidents’ Trophy winner to be swept in the opening round.
Considering most of his rivals for the Vezina Trophy all played 60-plus games, Tampa will likely monitor the workload of its star netminder to ensure he is fresh for the postseason. But if he can again come close to winning at a 73.6% clip, he should again approach a 40-win season.
The Case for Frederik Andersen
While much of the off-season in Toronto has been squarely focused on the drawn-out contract saga that surrounded star forward Mitch Marner, the Maple Leafs once again forgot to find a reliable backup goaltender.
So with the Leafs about to break camp with Michael Hutchinson as the backup to Frederik Andersen, it seems like the Danish netminder is in for another tough year between the pipes.
In three seasons in Toronto, Andersen has never played less than 60 games in a season, with two straight campaigns of 66 starts before last year’s midseason injury dropped him to 60.
Frederik Andersen is the eighth goaltender to record 100+ regular-season wins with the @MapleLeafs franchise and required the fewest appearances to do so. #NHLStats #BUFvsTOR pic.twitter.com/NZwYMM3Q1y
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 26, 2019
But over that time, he’s been piling up the wins at a record rate, becoming the fastest Toronto goaltender to reach 100 wins for the historic franchise, and has 107 wins in his three years is the third most in the NHL over that span.
Andersen also looks like he’s in fine form to begin the season, stopping 62 of 63 shots that he’s faced in seven periods of preseason action for a .984 save percentage.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) September 17, 2019
The Case for the Rest
While you never want to overlook Carey Price, tied for the fifth-best odds to lead the league in wins at +1200, the other two contenders are Martin Jones in San Jose and Sergei Bobrosvky, who is now a Florida Panther.
At +600, Jones’ odds aren’t that far off those of Andersen, and with good reason – his 36 wins last season tied Andersen for third in the NHL. However, one of the biggest reasons for that was the play of the Sharks in front of him, as individually, Jones had one of his worst seasons.
His .896 regular-season save percentage was the first time in his career that stat had dipped below .900, and it didn’t improve much in the playoffs, rising to .898. Unless he trends back towards his career mark of .912, it’s unlikely his win total goes up dramatically this year.
With a young and hungry team in front of him, Bobrovsky could well see his 37 wins from last season increase this year. He made 61 starts for the Blue Jackets last term, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t approach that again.
Barring injury, goalie Sergei Bobrovsky will get the vast majority of starts for the Panthers this season. And backup Sam Montembeault — a 22-year-old who was playing junior hockey just three years ago — "couldn’t be happier." Story by @GeorgeRichards.https://t.co/9ozlZgqHJE pic.twitter.com/qUayYkd7iE
— Jorge Rojas (@rojassports) September 28, 2019
The former Vezina Trophy winner led the league with nine shutouts a year ago. While his .913 save percentage and 2.58 GAA were both off his career averages, there’s no reason to think those numbers will adversely affect his ability to pile up wins.
Prediction: Vasileskiy rightly favored, but workhorse Andersen represents very decent value to lead the NHL in wins
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