As the NHL season approaches its final week of the regular season, the modified 56 game schedule worked well. With 26 less games in this regular season, it is easier for a team’s starting goalie who might be depended on a lot.
Leading the league in games played this year is Connor Hellebuyck with 42 games played and Andrei Vasilevskiy with 40. Each of them playing over 70% of their teams’ games.
Close behind them are Jacob Markstrom, Jordan Binnington, Tristan Jarry, and Phillip Grubauer, all with games played in the upper 30s right now.
Many teams in the National hockey league are moving towards a ‘tandem’ instead of a true starter and a backup who plays less than 20 games per year. Because of this those who actually play an overwhelming majority of games should be better appreciated due to the physical and mental load.
In terms of Vezina voting, would the decision be subjectively weighted toward those who played more games? Or would it come down to whomever performed the best despite having played less games?
Marc-Andre Fleury for example played 24 games so far this year. That puts him 10th in the NHL in that category. However, Fleury is 3rd in the league for wins which makes him suddenly more noticeable.
The Vezina trophy voting is based only on the regular season. It is voted by the general managers of the NHL. Various factors like wins, save percentages, and overall performance go into their voting decision.