directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Viva Las Vezina

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Viva Las Vezina


Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets -- The Detroit Red Wings were in steep decline, they hadn't finished better than fourth in six-straight seasons, when Roger Crozier lifted them to a first-place finish in the 1964-65 regular season.

Fast forward to Mason, just 20, who led the Columbus Blue Jackets to their first Stanley Cup Playoff berth in their eight-year history.

Seventy years ago, Brimsek debuted with a loss, then posted three-straight shutouts, en route to 10 for the season, and added a first-place regular-season finish and the Stanley Cup, the only one of the four Vezina-Calder winners to do that. Esposito posted 15 shutouts as a rookie, second only to Hainsworth's 22 in 44 games in 1928-29.

Make no mistake, Mason's accomplishments this season rival those historic seasons. He led the NHL with 10 shutouts, finished second with a 2.29 GAA, tied for 11th with a .916 save percentage, was eighth in minutes played and ninth in wins. He went 33-20-7 in 61 games. He led all rookie goalies in every category except save percentage, finishing second to the .917 posted by Nashville's Pekka Rinne.

Columbus was 4-5-2 before he went into the lineup on Nov. 5 and finished 41-31-10. He's the biggest reason the Blue Jackets made the playoffs.

Mason had a fine junior career with the London Knights and Kitchener Rangers and was the 69th pick of the 2006 Entry Draft. He won a gold-medal for Canada at the 2008 World Junior Championship.

The Calder trophy for rookie of the year I was expecting but I gotta admit I'm a bit surprised Mase got a Vezina nod as well.

Man what a honor and I'm absolutely thrilled for Mase!! Congrats!!

Unlike the Calder where I think Mase takes home the hardware I think Thomas is the favorite here. It's quite an accomplishment to get nominated though, especially for a rookie.

The Jackets are going to be well represented at this year's awards as this is the first time a Jacket has been nominated twice in the same season. In fact with these two nominations it marks only the 3rd time in Jackets history that a player has nominated for a major award (Nash was up for Calder in 2002)

The only actual hardware ever brought home was Rick Nash when he shared the Rocket Richard trophy for most goals scored in the 2003-2004 season with Jarome Iginla and Illya Kovalchuk.

The winners are announced on June 18th in Las Vegas. Now that sounds like my kind of road trip!


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