The top ten Goaltenders in the league today
I'm a goaltender at heart and just love goalie discussions. I know that this will be subjective to everyone around here, but I feel that there can be some agreements. This list I am making is for this season who is the best goaltenders in the league. So just because they have had amazing seasons in the past or their career is better doesn't mean they will be high on this list, or listed at all. If I miss anybody or you disagree please comment and we can discuss why you believe what you do
#10 Cam Ward
Ward has had many up and down seasons since winning the cup and Conn Smyth trophy for the Hurricanes. This season however Ward is in the top ten for stats in almost every single category on a team sitting only a couple of points out of a playoff spot. I am sure if you ask most Canes fans they would say that Ward is keeping them in the playoff hunt in the East.
#9 Thomas Vokoun
Vokoun has been one unlucky goaltender. Pretty much his whole career, Vokoun has been stuck on less than mediocre teams. None the less, he has always been consistent and great on teams that are pretty bad. This year isn't any different as Vokoun has had a great year on one of the worst teams in the East. Having a .922 save percentage on a team playing so bad is quite a feat. Hopefully Vokoun gets his chance to play for a good team by the trade deadline as his name has come up in many rumors.
#8 Jonas Hiller
Hiller has been a great goaltender for the Ducks his whole career. His crazy to think he is just coming into his goaltending prime and should be one of the best for years to come. The Ducks are doing pretty good with him in the nets as Hiller is tied for the league lead in wins. We will see if Hiller can keep it up for the rest of the season.
#7 Carey Price
Price is having one of his best statistical seasons for the Canadiens this season. Definitely causing Habs fans to forget who Halak was. I am happy for Price, whose young career almost ended as quick as it started int he last few years. Playing goaltender in Montreal is probably the hardest job in the league with all the pressures that come with it. Do I think he would be one of the top goalies in the league if he wasn't playing in Montreal? Heck yes I do! But the young Price is showing he can handle the pressure so far. We will see if things go south for the team and Price how long it takes Montreal fans to be calling for his head again. For his sake, I hope it doesn't.
#6 Marc-Andre Fleury
Fleury is always at the top of the league when it comes to goaltending and this year is no different. Albeit, it does help having Crosby and Malkin on the team to do the scoring. Fleury is having a good year and could even raise his stock the rest of the year if the Pens continue to be a dominant force in the East. Fleury is right in the middle of the top ten in every single category and just goes to show his overall consistency.
#5 Ondrej Pavelec
Pavelec has been a goaltender of consistency since breaking into the league. Although some of his stats look bad due to the fact that he plays for Atlanta. But the addition of Dustin Byfuglien has really helped the team and Pavelec. He is second in Save % and top 10 in goals against and his Thrashers are currently in a playoff spot. This is huge after the team was supposed to be terrible this year. It definitely helps when you have the likes of Pavalec and Buff teaming up in the back end of things.
#4 Pekke Rinne
This one was a tough one for me, but the stats can't lie for a goaltender. On a surprising Nashville team, Rinne has been one of the biggest bright spots. Rinne is top 3 in save % and GAA for a Nashville team sitting fourth place in the conference. It has been pretty tough in the win column for Rinne, and you have to say this team needs to find a way to win with Rinne in nets because his stats are off the charts for only 13 wins. I believe Rinne is a great goaltender and if he were playing for a team, say the Avalanche or San Jose he might be considered the top goaltender this year.
#3 Henrik Lundqvist
Lundqvist and his Rangers are sitting pretty in the middle of a playoff spot currently, and one has to wonder if they would be without King Henrik in between the pipes. Lundqvist is having a good year for a Rangers team that can't catch a break with the injuries. Things have gotten so bad that they even had to trade for underachieving Wojtek Wolski from Phoenix. But injuries and jokes aside, Lundqvist is having a great year racking up 5 shutouts and being near the top in almost every other statistical category. The guy is a great goaltender that knows how to use his size for his benefit. The Rangers should easily be a playoff team and with a roster that should only get healthier as the playoffs near, they will be a force to compete with.
#2 Roberto Luongo
Lu has been quite the goaltender since he joined the Canucks and always seems to be at the top of the league when it comes to goaltending. This year of course is no different since he is number 2 on my list. He is near the top in almost every single category for goaltending and he also always seems to steal games for the Canucks. As an Avs fan I am used to seeing Luongo on a regular basis and have shouted a few curse words in his direction during those games. Lu only has 8 losses this season and when he is in between the pipes, the Canucks are almost always going to be a tough opponent (plus having Corey Schnider as a backup makes the Canucks hard to beat every night!).
#1 Tim Thomas
Well what can you say about Thomas? The guy continues to surprise everyone! Going from Vezina winner, to backup, to starter, to best goalie in the league again. The guy just won't quit. It is surprising to think at the beginning of the year everyone thought he might be traded. Wow someone would have gotten a steal. Thomas right now leads in save %, GAA, and shutouts with 6! He is also top 5 in wins as he has lead his Bruins team to 19 wins and the number 3 spot in the Eastern Conference. The guy may be unorthodox in his methods, but plain and simple, Thomas gets the job done. There is no denying that Thomas is a man possessed right now and the easy front runner for another Vezina. Now let's just see if he can keep it going into the playoffs, because I would hate to have to face him in the first round, second round, third round, heck any round!
Well there you have it, this was a tough list to make, and I am sure I forgot someone or put someone in the wrong place. However, I do know I got the number one pick correct. Flame away everyone!