It’s difficult to predict who will be in the running for the Vezina from one year to the next. Who thought Tim Thomas would win the 2009 Vezina? And who thought he’d be topping the list again in 2011 after such a bad 2010? When Jaroslav Halak was traded to St. Louis after a surprise playoff run with Montreal, who thought Carey Price would be the more serious goalie of the year candidate? After Ondrej Pavelec collapsed on the ice at the start of the season, who could have foreseen his ascension? And who would have thought Ryan Miller, after such a strong 2009-10, wouldn’t be in the discussion less than a year later? So while it continues to look as though no one will catch Tim Thomas this season, remember you’re talking about the most volatile position in the game. And also remember Tuukka Rask is starting to get more time. — Rory Boylen, The Hockey News
Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks
Finally settling into a groove for the top team in the West, allowing more than two goals only twice in his past 11 appearances.
NHLI via Getty ImagesJeff Vinnick
Jonas Hiller, Anaheim Ducks
The only team that allows more shots than the Ducks are the Thrashers, yet both sit in playoff spots. Hiller is quietly putting up the best season of his career and has recorded back-to-back shutouts.
Tomas Vokoun, Florida Panthers
One behind the league leaders in shutouts despite being behind one of the worst defense corps in the NHL. Will be a hot commodity come Feb. 28.
NHLI via Getty ImagesEliot J. Schechter
Washington Capitals v Pittsburgh Penguins
Through Nov. 6, Fleury had an .853 SP and 3.54 GAA in eight games. Needless to say, this Stanley Cup champion is back on track with a .919 SP and 2.30 GAA.
Getty ImagesJamie Sabau
Ondrej Pavelec, Atlanta Thrashers
Even with Norris candidate Dustin Byfuglien and his responsible partner Tobias Enstrom on the blueline, Atlanta allows the most shots against per game. A a bit of a cold stretch aside, Pavelec is holding Atlanta in the East’s top eight.
NHLI via Getty ImagesScott Cunningham
Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings
His 2.15 GAA is one of the best in the league, but it’s aided by a strong team defense. Quick has been cold of late. How he rebounds will play a large part in his Vezina case.
NHLI via Getty ImagesNoah Graham
Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators
Injuries have held his games-played down, but Rinne is still among the leaders in shutouts with three. His 2.15 GAA is one of the best as well and he seems to be hitting his stride for the hard-charging Preds. Nashville is fifth in the West despite having the NHL’s 24th-best offense.
Getty ImagesJeff Gross
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Rangers are middle-of-the-pack in shots against and have endured a number of injuries to key defensive players this season. The reason why? The NHL’s shutout leader (tied with Tim Thomas), of course.
Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
Everyone eventually hits a cold streak, but the Vezina contenders are separated by their ability to find their magic again, just as Price has done recently.
Getty ImagesRichard Wolowicz
Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins
Still way ahead in GAA and SP, despite a recent three-game winless streak.