The Boston Bruins had a regular season for the ages and goaltender Linus Ullmark was a big reason for that success. On Monday, Ullmark won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender, beating out other finalists Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets and Ilya Sorokin of the New York Islanders.
Ullmark is the fifth goaltender in Bruins history to win the Vezina Trophy and the first since 2014, when Tuukka Rask won the award. Pete Peeters became the first Boston goaltender to win the award in 1983, while Tim Thomas earned the honor in both 2009 and 2011.
Ullmark had a phenomenal regular season:
- He tied the Bruins’ single-season wins record (40) while also posting a league-leading 1.89 goals-against-average and .938 save percentage in 49 games (48 starts).
- The Bruins netminder also had a pair of shutouts throughout the year, as he helped lead the Bruins to an NHL record 135 points alongside fellow goaltender Jeremy Swayman.
- Ullmark, 29, yielded just two or fewer goals in 36 of his 49 games throughout the 2022-23 season. In his 49th game of the season, Ullmark became the fastest goaltender in NHL history to reach the 40-win mark. It also tied him for the franchise wins record in a single season with Pete Peeters, who accomplished the feat in 63 games during the 1982-83 season.
According to MoneyPuck, Ullmark produced a league-best .966 save percentage when facing unblocked shots during the regular season. Ullmark also led the NHL with a 0.883 goals saved above expected per 60 minutes and a 0.88 goals-against-average better than expected.
On top of that, Ullmark even made some wild history as he became just the 13th goaltender in NHL history to score a regular-season goal. He scored in the Bruins’ 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks on February 25.
This was just Ullmark’s second season with the Bruins after signing a four-year, $20 million deal in the 2021 offseason. He had spent the first six seasons of his NHL career with the Buffalo Sabres after the team selected him in the sixth round of the 2012 NHL Draft.