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Ryan Miller wins his first Vezina Trophy

Ryan Miller

Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller makes a save against the Boston Bruins during the second period of a first-round NHL playoff hockey game in Buffalo, N.Y., Friday, April 23, 2010. (AP Photo/ David Duprey)

David Duprey

One of the more intriguing awards of the night to be given out tonight was the Vezina Trophy for league’s best goaltender. With three worthy finalists in Buffalo’s Ryan Miller, Phoenix’s Ilya Bryzgalov and award stalwart Martin Brodeur from New Jersey it was curious to see how the voters would go on this one. All three goalies proved to beyond important for their teams and all three were beyond stellar in goal.

In the end, it would be a runaway victory for Ryan Miller taking home his first Vezina Trophy. After such a great season both for Buffalo and for Team USA in the Olympics it was tough to ignore what Miller did in goal this year. The votes reflected that this really was a three-horse race this year and after all of that, it was just one horse that ran away with it all.

Pts. 1st-2nd-3rd
1. Ryan Miller, BUF 126 (23-3-2)
2. Ilya Bryzgalov, PHX 79 (5-16-6)
3. Martin Brodeur, N.J. 32 (1-6-9)
4. Evgeni Nabokov, S.J. 9 (1-1-1)
5. Craig Anderson, COL 9 (0-2-3)
6. Henrik Lundqvist, NYR 6 (0-1-3)
7. Tuukka Rask, BOS 3 (0-1-0)
8. Jimmy Howard, DET 2 (0-0-2)
Miikka Kiprusoff, CGY 2 (0-0-2)
10. Jaroslav Halak, MTL 1 (0-0-1)
Roberto Luongo, VAN 1 (0-0-1)

That’s a pretty definitive vote for Miller taking down 23 out of 30 first place votes and for Bryzgalov to be as distant of a second place as he was speaks even louder for how folks felt about Ryan Miller’s season compared to Bryzgalov. Even more interesting to note is just how much of a non-factor both San Jose’s Evgeni Nabokov and Colorado’s Craig Anderson were in the vote, with Nabokov showing up on just three ballots.

For Miller, this could be the start of a string of Vezina’s for the East Lansing, Michigan native and former Hobey Baker Award winner at Michigan State.