Dallas Stars: Ben Bishop for Vezina is a No Brainer

DALLAS, TEXAS - DECEMBER 20: Ben Bishop #30 of the Dallas Stars reacts after giving up a goal against the Chicago Blackhawks at American Airlines Center on December 20, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TEXAS - DECEMBER 20: Ben Bishop #30 of the Dallas Stars reacts after giving up a goal against the Chicago Blackhawks at American Airlines Center on December 20, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

During The Dallas Stars Game 5 contest, it was announced that Ben Bishop, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and Robin Lehner have been selected as finalists for the 2018-2019 Vezina Trophy.

While the Dallas Stars were busy thumping Nashville on foreign ice during an all-important Game 5, the NHL unveiled their three inaugural Vezina Trophy finalists. Either one of Ben Bishop, Andrei Vasilevskiy, or Robin Lehner will collect some new, prestigious hardware during the 2019 NHL Award ceremony held on June 19th in Las Vegas.

Make no mistake – all 3 qualifying goaltenders have played their respective lights out brand of hockey fans grew accustomed to over the regular-season. Given that, however, the Vezina Trophy is awarded to the netminder “adjudged to be best at his position”, there can only be one annual throne. It’s without a shred of doubt in which I proclaim Ben Bishop should be your 2018-2019 victor – and the overall math stacks in his favor.

Let’s lay Big Ben’s regular season statistics on the table. A 45-27-15 record, with a GAA of 1.98, a SV% of .934, and 7 shutouts over the course of 2,637 minutes. An absolutely dazzling year in the crease, as both he and Anton Khudobin proved steady over many contests throughout the year. Whenever the game called upon him, Ben stayed calm, collected, and heroic – he routinely sparked the franchise time-in-and-again.

Looking at our first challenger in Andrei Vasilevskiy – we see a similarly dazzling statline. With a record of 39-10-4, a GAA of 2.40, a SV% of .925, and 6 shutouts over 3,204 minutes – there’s a reason Tampa Bay has their young netminder in contention for some new hardware. Big #88 played and won more games than Bish, yet none of his quantifiable stats touch the likes of him.

Robin Lehner’s statistics pitch a more competitive line – a record of 25-13-5, with a GAA of 2.13, a SV% of .930, and 6 shutouts over 2,616 minutes proves closest to Big Ben’s statistical prowess, yet it’s still a far cry from the numerical dominance of the Dallas Stars goalie. To put it plainly, Ben Bishop reigns supreme when we look at raw data.

Of course, a Vezina Trophy isn’t handed out with only statistics in mind – voters also must consider the overall impact each netminder made on their squads throughout the year. I don’t want to sound as if I’m critiquing the prodigy Vasilevskiy’s performance, but how much credit should he deserve starting for the Presidents Trophy recipient and record-tying Tampa Bay Lightning?

Robin Lehner makes an appealing case in this regard, as the Islanders tandem composed of he and Thomas Greiss both displayed marvelous campaigns in their own rights, leading the team to a Jennings Trophy Win – awarded to the goalies of the squad who allowed the fewest regular-season goals. Impressive for sure, but seeing that the Ben Bishop and the Dallas Stars finished second in this race proves enough to mar this argument.

A common complaint I’ve heard when discussing Bishop’s Vezina case is his lack of wins and overall minutes comparable to previous winners. After only partaking in 46 games over the 2018-2019 season, there’s concern Big Ben doesn’t deserve the award thanks to missing considerable time to various injuries. This reason reigns irrelevant, as he isn’t even last in minutes and starts among this year’s finalists anyways – Robin Lehner has opened 2 fewer games.

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As Dallas Stars fans already know, Ben Bishop has proven he was the best goaltender in the National Hockey League over the regular-season. From his jaw-dropping statistics to his overall impact on the Dallas Stars, there is not one goalie in this league who flaunts the résumé to compare with the entire prowess of #30’s 2018-2019 game.

Every true fan will also attest to the lack of national attention a Dallas Star receives in comparison to several northern clubs, so if the NHL voters decide to cast their ballot as means of measuring popularity – Bishop could be in trouble. It’s a shame that a relatively small market can mask the utter dominance of those who may deserve something most, yet the old adage that money talks seems like an unfortunately real variable across our world today.

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Here’s to hoping the NHL votes by examining every measurable with logic. Bring home your first Vezina Trophy, Ben – Dallas has your back.

  • Published on 04/22/2019 at 13:00 PM
  • Last updated at 04/22/2019 at 10:00 AM