Vezina Trophy Power Rankings: Saros sparks postseason push
In the fourth edition of theScore's 2021 Vezina Trophy Power Rankings, we take a look at which netminders lead the race as we near the end of the season.
This edition dates back to March 24.
GAA = Goals against average
xGA/60 = Expected goals against per 60 minutes
SV% = Save percentage
HDSV% = High-danger save percentage
GSAA = Goals saved above average
5. Philipp Grubauer, Avalanche
Previous ranking: 2
It's been a tough stretch for Grubauer, but his body of work on the campaign keeps him in the hunt for the hardware. The Avalanche goaltender has been on the COVID-19 list since April 12 and had a few shaky starts before then, which includes allowing seven goals on 18 shots in a loss against the Minnesota Wild.
However, Grubauer has been integral to Colorado's success, and he's endured one of the league's largest workloads this season. The German puck-stopper still ranks second in wins and fifth in both minutes played and starts despite being out for over two weeks. Grubauer also owns the league's best high-danger save percentage and co-leads with five shutouts.
4. Semyon Varlamov, Islanders
Previous ranking: 5
A model of consistency for the Islanders, Varlamov is the only netminder to appear on all four installments of our rankings so far. The native Russian owns a .940 save percentage in April and hasn't seen that number dip below .917 in any month during this campaign.
The 6-foot-2 puck-stopper has allowed just 17 goals over nine starts in the last month but has just four wins to show for it, thanks to a lack of goal support. Varlamov also ranks third in goals saved above average and is one of three goalies, along with Grubauer and Marc-Andre Fleury, with an NHL-best five shutouts.
3. Marc-Andre Fleury, Golden Knights
Previous ranking: 3
Robin Lehner's return to the crease has likely thwarted Fleury's chances at going on a run for the hardware to end the season. The 36-year-old has made only six starts in April but has bounced back after a shaky stretch, winning each of his last four starts while allowing only six goals in that span.
Fleury's also dealt with a high volume of high-danger shots this year (236) and has faced the second-most rush attempts (50) among all goaltenders, proving his numbers between the pipes aren't just benefiting from playing behind a juggernaut Golden Knights club.
2. Juuse Saros, Predators
Previous ranking: Not ranked
The Predators' red-hot netminder has collected a league-high 12 wins since the last edition of our rankings and is the main reason Nashville is back in playoff contention after a miserable start.
Saros has finally developed into the No. 1 goalie that the club believed would succeed longtime puck-stopper Pekka Rinne. The 26-year-old has allowed two or fewer tallies in 20 of his previous 24 outings and owns an absurd .944 save percentage over that span. Saros ranks seventh in shots faced and 11th in minutes, proving he can produce while burdened by a large workload.
He may have been shelled for a season-high six goals by the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, but Saros was peppered with 55 shots while being in net for the second straight night.
1. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning
Previous ranking: 1
The hardware appears to be Vasilevskiy's to lose at this point. The Lightning's stingy goalkeeper leads the league in save percentage (min 22 games), wins, minutes played, goals saved above average, and ranks second in high-danger save percentage. The 26-year-old has also made the second-most high-danger saves, further proving that his numbers are for real.
Tampa Bay would be wise to give Vasilevskiy a bit more time off down the stretch, but even if the team does, we don't foresee anyone stopping the Russian netminder from claiming his second career Vezina Trophy.