Friday, April 27, 2012
Lundqvist named Hart Trophy finalist
By Katie Strang
Another day, another nomination for star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.
Less than a day after leading his first-place Rangers team past the eighth-seeded Senators in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, the 30-year-old netminder was named as one of three finalists for the NHL's Hart Trophy. The trophy, voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association, is awarded to the player deemed "most valuable" to his team.
Lundqvist joins fellow Hart candidates Evgeni Malkin (PIT) and Steven Stamkos (TBL), but is the only nominee with his team still standing in the playoffs. The Rangers take on the Capitals in the Eastern Conference semifinals beginning Saturday.
"I'm really happy and honored and proud to be in that selection," Lundqvist said after Friday's practice.
Heralding what has been a career season for the steady Swede, Lundqvist was also nominated for the NHL's Vezina Trophy earlier this week. He set career-highs in wins (39), save percentage (.930) and goals against average (1.97), and was among the tops in the league in all three categories. Lundqvist also had eight shutouts while leading his Rangers squad to capture both the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division title.
"It's fantastic. You don't see that often, a goaltender int hat position," coach John Tortorella said of the Hart nomination. "I'm not too interested in talking a lot about awards and stuff like that, but for this guy here and what he has done for the hockey club, he belongs there. "
Both the Hart and Vezina Trophies will be announced at the NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas in June.