Boston Bruins Ullmark Named Vezina Trophy Finalist
Boston Bruins netminder Linus Ullmark surely felt he’d be a lot busier when he got the good news that he’d been named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy this spring. Instead, the 29-year-old B’s goaltender was idle somewhere as Ullmark was named a Vezina Trophy finalist on Thursday along with Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck and New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin.
Ullmark led the NHL in wins (40), goals-against average (1.89) and save percentage (.938), becoming the eighth goaltender in NHL history to lead the league in all three categories, and the first since Montreal’s Carey Price in 2014-15, in essentially capturing the triple crown for goaltenders. Ullmark also teamed with Jeremy Swayman to allow the fewest goals in the NHL this season and won the Jennings Trophy as the league’s best goaltending tandem.
Unfortunately, it all came crashing down for both Ullmark and Swayman in the playoff as they teamed for an unsightly .893 save percentage, and Ullmark battled injury and mounting pressure to post an .896 save percentage and a 3.34 goals against average. Critics felt that Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery didn’t make the move to switch goalies early enough in the series, and he admitted culpability with the media at the B’s end-of-season press conference earlier this week.
“It’s pretty evident that I didn’t play the way that I wanted to. It wasn’t as good as I wanted to be, unfortunately at the worst time possible,” said Ullmark, during last week’s breakup day at Warrior Ice Arena. “That’s something I have to live with, and I am just so grateful for all the guys in this room, in the medical room, in this organization.
“This is the most fun time to play hockey, is in the playoffs. You want to feel at your best when push comes to shove. When you’re not, you just got to deal with it. That’s the hand you’ve been dealt. You got to own up to it. Try to learn from it for next time and try to enjoy it as much as possible.”
The winner, as voted on by the NHL’s general managers, will be revealed live during the 2023 NHL Awards at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Monday, June 26 ahead of the NHL Player Draft to be held in Music City later that week.