Henrik Lundqvist capped his brilliant 2011-12 season on Wednesday night when he was selected as the 2012 Vezina Trophy winner at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas. Lundqvist is the first Rangers goaltender to be so honored since John Vanbiesbrouck won the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender back in 1986.
In his seventh NHL season, Lundqvist led the Rangers to the best record in the Eastern Conference this past season, and guided them just two wins shy of reaching the Stanley Cup Finals. He established career-highs with 39 wins and a .930 save percentage. Lundqvist also posted 8 shutouts and a career-best 1.97 goals against average.
Among NHL goalies, Lundqvist ranked third in victories, tied for third in goals against average and shutouts, and tied for fourth in save percentage. He received 17 of the 30 first-place votes in beating out the Kings Jonathan Quick and Nashville's Pekka Rinne. It was the fourth time Lundqvist had been nominated for the Vezina in his career, and the first time he won the prestigious award.
Lundqvist did not win the Hart Trophy, however. Though he was a finalist for the award, Lundqvist finished in third place behind Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin, the 2012 Hart Trophy winner, and Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos, who finished in second place. Malkin also won the Ted Lindsay Award, besting Lundqvist and Stamkos again, as voted on by the NHLPA.
Rangers head coach John Tortorella was beaten out by St. Louis head coach Ken Hitchcock for the Jack Adams Award. Tortorella finished in third place as coach of the year despite leading the Rangers to their best season since 1993-94.
Glen Sather finished in fourth place for General Manager of the Year, with St. Louis' Doug Armstrong winning the award this year.
In his first year as captain of the Rangers, Ryan Callahan was a finalist for the Mark Messier Leadership Award, which was presented to Phoenix captain Shane Doan, and finished fourth for the Selke Award as the NHL's top defensive forward.
Rookie forward Carl Hagelin placed fifth for the Calder Trophy, with Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog capturning rookie-of-the-year honors. And Dan Girardi finished sixth in the voting for the Norris Trophy, with Ottawa's Erik Karlsson named as the league's top defenseman.
Lundqvist headed the NHL's First Team All Star Team, joining defensemen Shea Weber and Karlsson, and forwards James Neal, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Malkin. Lundqvist's teammate Marian Gaborik, who scored 41 goals this season, was selected to the NHL's Second Team.
Share your thoughts below. on Lundqvist's Vezina Trophy selection, as well as all of the other NHL Awards handed out on Wednesday night.