The Fairest of Them All

If Henrik Lundqvist does not win the Vezina Trophy this year, I will scream.

Every year, Lundqvist should be up for a Vezina. This is a man who carries his team to the playoffs every year and plays the most games of all NHL goalies. But every year, there is always that one person who just has the season of their life and Hank misses out.

But not this year. This year is Lundqvist’s time to shine and not only welcome a child, but his first Vezina too.

Rangers fans can be critical all they want, but no matter what Lundqvist always has a good season. Every season he’s won 30+ games and has a GAA of less than 3.0 (so far, his 2011-12 GAA is 1.84). That’s pretty remarkable for someone who was drafted as the 205th pick during the eighth round of the 2000 Draft.

It would have been nice if the amount of games a goalie plays in a season were a factor in the final Vezina choice. This will probably be the first season where Lundqvist does not play the most games of all goalies. Now that Biron is here and healthy, Tortorella and the rest of the Rangers coaching staff have been firm in telling him he needs to relax. Biron has turned in some bad performances as of late, but he’s still talented enough to let Lundqvist take a break.

But what really gets me going is how Tim Thomas could possibly win the Vezina again. That is not acceptable this year.

I’ll be honest, part of this week’s column is to talk about how fed up I’ve been with Tim Thomas this season (You know, as opposed to the other seasons where I disliked him too). I’ve always been skeptical of a man who plays about 55 games a season, flops around like a fish and doesn’t have the best glove. It’s always really bothered me how much people love and adore him because, yeah, he may be good, but he isn’t the second coming.

But this season he brought the selfish attitude forth and believe me when I tell you the storm has been brewing for a while when it comes to this man. The beast is coming forth.

When it was announced that Tim Thomas was not going to the White House with the rest of the Boston Bruins, I immediately thought he must have been sick or some dire family emergency was going on. I never thought I’d see the day where someone was so “very conservative” that they couldn’t stand to exchange pleasantries with the president of their country for maybe two hours. Ken Campbell said it was admirable for him to stick up for what he believed in.

Forget that. Don’t tell me that in the long history of Stanley Cup champions going to the White House, not one of them disagreed, disliked or hated the man in office. You’re not going there as an individual, you’re going as a team and no one is above another person on a team. Respect the tradition, respect your team and respect your country. It’s that simple.

But the real kicker came this weekend when Thomas decided that instead of taking the defeat like an adult, he would instead blame the lights in Madison Square Garden for his play.

Yes, the lights in Madison Square Garden had that much of an affect.

Thomas has played in that building enough times now to know the lighting isn’t the problem. Quite simply, the Rangers match up well against Boston and know how to beat them. Thomas complaining about this literally makes me seethe.

Lunqvist always has strong seasons, but this season has shown a completely new animal. I can’t bare to think of him not getting what he deserves. If he loses it to Thomas, I will toss in every last shred of hope I had for this league.

I mean it.