The Globe and Mail's James Mirtle discussed the Vezina selection here, and pointed to this quality of shot statistical breakdown from San Francisco's Gabe Desjardin. Very interesting, although I think you have to weigh entire season including the stretch run in order to draw any conclusions.
Nabokov's pre-Christmas save percentage: .916
After Christmas: .903
The average save percentage among goalies that played 27 games or more was .909 this season, almost on par with Nabokov's. The average save percentage among goalies with 30 wins or more was .913.
Brodeur's was .920.
Good on GMs for picking the right winner.
P.J. from Sharkspage's interpretation differs from mine:
Brodeur is a legend who registered a stellar performance, but the strength of conference/division, and the consistent dominance Evgeni Nabokov displayed throughout the year should have put him on another level. Reputation, a lack of exposure, and the paucity of media coverage on the West Coast had as much to do with the Vezina Trophy voting this season as wins, GAA, and save percentage.
The East is the higher scoring conference, Brodeur faced far more shots and made more saves. His save percentage was better enough that, if both he and Nabokov faced 2,000 shots this season, Brodeur would have allowed 20 fewer goals.
He had one of the best seasons of his career behind a blueline corps that may have been New Jersey's weakest during his tenure.