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2022-23 NHL betting preview: Two longshot bets to win the Vezina Trophy – The Philadelphia Inquirer


In some NHL awards markets, just like the Norris Trophy or the Rocket Richard Trophy, it’s arduous to make a case to go in opposition to the chalk. However in others, like betting who will win the Vezina Trophy because the league’s finest goaltender, it is smart to utterly bypass the highest of the board and throw some beer cash on a few longshots.

That’s as a result of goaltending is fickle and extremely powerful to venture. Whereas we are able to fairly safely assume that elite netminders like Andrei Vasilevskiy, Igor Shesterkin and Juuse Saros will as soon as once more be among the many finest of their class this season, it’s not a lock. We’ve seen prime goaltenders like John Gibson and Sergei Bobrovsky go from prime of the ladder one season to beneath common the subsequent.

Actually, you solely want to return to final yr when two of the highest three goalies within the Vezina voting from the earlier season, winner Marc-Andre Fleury and third-place finisher Philipp Grubauer, fell off. Fleury completed 2021-22 with a .908 save share and a -11.3 Targets Saved Above Anticipated in 45 video games in 2021-22, whereas Grubauer was maybe the worst goalie within the league with an .891 save share and -31.5 GSAx in 55 contests.

That sort of variance implies that bettors ought to try to keep away from betting the favorites within the Vezina market, even when proper now it seems to be like a two-horse race between Shesterkin (+300) and Vasilevskiy (+400) at BetMGM.

With that in thoughts, listed below are two longshots value a wager to win the Vezina in 2022-23:

It’s been a bizarre begin to life within the NHL for Spencer Knight. The Panthers drafted Knight with the No. 15 choose within the 2019 Draft, however then signed Bobrovsky to a monster contract two weeks later. Though his path to the beginning gig was seemingly blocked, the Panthers made room for Knight behind Bobrovsky and wished him to develop in a No. 2 function for the start of his profession. That appeared like a bizarre plan, but it surely did begin to pay some dividends as Knight bounced again from a tough first half with a stellar second half in 2021-22.

The Darien, Conn. native posted a .917 SV% and +5.62 GSAx over his final 15 appearances for the Panthers final season and if he can carry over that type to 2022-23, he ought to have the ability to wrestle the beginning gig from Bobrovsky, particularly because the Panthers signed Knight to a three-year extension this offseason.

The Panthers have their flaws, however they’re projected as one of many Stanley Cup favorites, so if Knight is the beginning netminder on a very good workforce, there’s a path to achievement right here at an enormous quantity.

One other younger goalie who seems to be primed to make a leap is Jeremy Swayman of the Boston Bruins.

As a rookie, Swayman posted a .914 save share and a +4.4 GSAx in 41 video games. These aren’t eye-popping metrics, however they’re fairly encouraging for a first-year goaltender on a powerful workforce.

Whereas goaltending performances from season to season are not often linear, Swayman does look like he has the make-up and skillset to develop into a professional No. 1 goaltender as quickly as subsequent season.

It additionally helps that Swayman performs behind a terrific protection that has spent the final half-decade mastering the artwork of constructing life straightforward on its goaltender.

The Inquirer will not be a web based playing operator, or a playing website. We offer this details about sports activities betting for leisure functions solely.


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