There’s a lot of little bits and pieces of news here and there in the Rangers world. First, there are some Swedish reports saying that Mats Zuccarello fractured his hand while playing in the CT Whale’s playoff game last night (stick-tap to Nick Montemagno of Rangers Tribune for breaking this). Zuccarello will miss the remainder of the season with the injury. I asked Brian Ring (covers the CT Whale) about the injury, and while he could not directly answer, he did say that he did not expect Zuccarello to return this season.
Second, at practice today, Andrew Gross is reporting that the Rangers have new lines (again) heading into Game 5. Vinny Prospal is dropped to the fourth line, and Wojtek Wolski has been moved up to the third line:
Ruslan Fedotenko-Brandon Dubinsky-Marian Gaborik
Sean Avery-Brian Boyle-Brandon Prust
Wojtek Wolski-Artem Anisimov-Derek Stepan
Vinny Prospal-Erik Christensen-Chris Drury
Finally, Henrik Lundqvist was not named as a finalist for the Vezina trophy this season. Lundqvist had another great year –which seems to be the norm for him– posting a 36-27-5 record with a 2.28 GAA and a .920 SV%. Lundqvist also led the league in with 1 1 shutouts. The three finalists are (likely winner) Tim Thomas of Boston, Pekka Rinne of Nashville, and Roberto Luongo of Vancouver. Thomas’ numbers dictate that he will win the award, despite his mediocre second half of the season, as he posted a 35-11-9 record with a 2.00 GAA, a .938 SV%, and 9 shutouts. Rinne had a stellar year as well, posting a 33-22-9 record, with a 2.12 GAA, a .930 SV%, and 6 shutouts. Luongo had a great year with the President’s Trophy winning Canucks, posting a 38-15-7 record, with a 2.11 GAA and a .928 SV%. Luongo only had 4 shutouts.
It’s a bit surprising to see that Lundqvist isn’t a finalist for the Vezina, but all three goalies who finished ahead of him had better numbers. Voters are very number happy, and numbers means awards. Unfortunately for Lundqvist, his consistency kills him, as the Vezina doesn’t award consistency, just single season dominance. I would expect the voting to have Thomas winning, with Rinne finishing second and Luongo finishing third.