NHL Network featured who they believed are their top 10 goalies currently. Our guys, Connor and Austin list who they think the top 10 goalies are currently in the league.
Connor’s Top 10 NHL Goalies
- Carey Price – I don’t think Price coming in at number one on my list is going to surprise anybody. Price has proved year in and year out that he is the best in the league by carrying an average team further than they should go each year. If it was not for Carey Price the Canadiens would be a bottom team in the Eastern Conference. Although he may only have a .922 save percentage, the fact that has to be taken in is how much the team in front of him relies on him to carry their them.
- Braden Holtby – This past season, Holtby again showed why he is a top three goalie and, in my opinion, an easy choice for the second best goalie in the NHL. Holtby turned in an impressive .925 save percentage this year. Now even though Holtby has arguably the best team in the NHL in front of him that does not negate his preformance. Holtby is one of the reasons his team is so good and seems to make hard saves look effortless in a similar way that Price does.
- Matt Murray – This choice to put Murray this high on the list may create some controversy among non-Penguins fans and Fleury fans. However, with all bias aside including mine, Murray is easily a top 3 goaltender. Although he is yet to play a full season he has accomplished more at the age of 23 than most goalies ever have. Even with a team like Pittsburgh in front of him Murray still made a statement these playoffs. He was leaned on heavily by the Penguins during some games in the regular season and during the playoffs. He turns in an impressive .923 save percentage and like Price and Holtby, he makes most saves seem effortless due to his size and positioning.
- Sergei Bobrovsky – It may come as a shock to most people that the Vezina winning goaltender of the 2016-2017 season is placed in the fourth spot. Bobrovsky turned in the best save percentage with a .932 this past year. But stats are not everything. Bobrovsky’s play was very inconsistent and so was his teams. When the team in front of him played well, so did he and vice versa. And the thing that usually separates the top three goalies from the rest is consistency. Because most goalies in the NHL look just as good as each other when they play at their best, but the best goalies can play at their best consistently.
- Henrik Lundqvist– At number five I placed Lundqvist, a wylie veteran who recently proved he can still compete with the best of them. Early in the year Lundqvist struggled mightily and lost the starter job. He eventually got it back and played the end of the year like he was out of his mind…in a good way. He seemed to go back to vintage 2012 Lundqvist and backstop his team to the second round, where they ended up losing to the Senators boring, yet efficient, trap game. Lundqvist may be on his way out in the near future, but he is proving that he can still compete with the best of them.
- Pekka Rinne – At number six, I put the Finnish wonder Pekka Rinne, and yes I did say wonder. When Pekka Rinne is on his game he is virtually a brick wall, but the thing that puts him at number six is his wildly inconsistent play. Rinne has proved that he has trouble playing in away arenas in big games this past year as he also proved last year against the Sharks. A factor that almost counteracts his negative of inconsistency is his ability to handle the puck with the best of them. Rinne is similar to Martin Brodeur to where he is basically a third defenseman for his team and can play the puck with a ease and a level headedness.
- John Gibson – Placing John Gibson at number seven on the list may surprise many people. Gibson plays a very acrobatic and flashy style, which is almost obsolete in today’s game with the exception of Jonathan Quick. Gibson turned in a top 5 save percentage with a .924, however he did have one of the better D-cores in the league in front of him. That being said, Gibson is a huge reason why the Ducks made it so far in the playoffs. He came up huge when they needed him, and when he unfortunately got hurt it was clear that he was a key piece for their team. It won’t be long until he cracks the top five for this list in the coming years.
- Devan Dubnyk – At number eight I placed Devan Dubnyk of the Wild. Dubnyk plays a somewhat calm game and turned in a .924 save percentage this year. Dubnyk has one of the better D-cores in front of him as well, but when they needed him to step up he fell short in the playoffs. Here we see the factor of consistency affecting a goalie’s rating on this list.
- Cam Talbot – Coming in at number nine we have Cam Talbot, who had a breakout year with the Oilers. This year Talbot really solidified himself as one of the better goalies in the league. Talbot turned in a .919 save percentage and backstopped the Oilers to the second round where John Gibson and the Ducks knocked them out of the playoffs. Talbot’s statement was only enough to land him the ninth spot however due to the fact of some inconsistency as well as him showing characteristics of something known as the avalanche effect. For goalies this is where when one goal goes in, others tend to follow suit and quite quickly.
- Marc-Andre Fleury – Coming in at number ten, I have the new face of the Las Vegas Golden Knights. Fleury, better known as “Flower”, had an interesting year. He was going to start the year as a backup, but when Murray got injured Fleury stepped in as the starter. However, when Murray came back he quickly regained the starter role and showed that he is an elite goalie on the rise. As this happened Fleury struggled quite a bit, his save percentage was even below .900 at one point. However when Murray went down with another injury at the start of the playoffs Fleury took the reigns and was a key part of the Penguins cup run. Some people may be puzzled as to why Fleury is even on this list, and some may be puzzled at why he isn’t higher, and the answer is quite simple. Fleury has something in common with a lot of the other goalies on the tail end of this list. He is inconsistent, but not in the way that you may think. When Fleury is the clear choice as the starter for a team he plays at his best, but when there is competition his game tends to take a hit as we have seen.
- Honorable Mention
Jonathan Quick- Some people may wonder why Quick was left off of this list and for good reason. Quick suffered a major injury this year and missed a good part of the season, when he came back to play he jumped right back into his flashy style. But this did not translate to much success for him at all. He had an adequate .917 save percentage this year. But in the larger picture Quick has not put up a save percentage over .920 since 2012-2013 when he has his best season of his career. Quick has been given the benefit of the doubt by most analysts in a similar way that Lundqvist was where they keep saying he will return to his form. Lundqvist has done that, Quick has not. Quick is slowly on his way out of the conversation for the best goalies in the league and it does not seem like it will turn around anytime soon.
Austin’s Top 10 NHL Goalies
- Carey Price– I highly doubt that anyone in the hockey community would argue this one. Recently signing an 8 year extension worth $84 million, I believe Price is worth every penny. In 2015 Price took home a number of awards, including the leagues MVP. Posting a .923 SV% last season, Price is the the back bone of the Montreal Canadians.
- Matt Murray- Putting Murray so high on this list may cause some controversy, but how can you argue with back to back Stanley Cups in his first two years as a NHL pro? Yes, Murray’s career is very short lived, but with a 41-12-5 career record it’s hard not to put him so high on the list. Murray brings a very calm element to his game, very similar to Carey Price where he does not panic and gives his team a chance to win every game he plays. The kid is 23 with 2 Stanley Cups! I am very excited to see Murray as a full time starter this coming season, and have full confidence he will lead the Pens to yet another deep playoff run. (I truly believe that 2-4 can be interchangeable on this list)
- Braden Holtby- Holtby cracks my top 3 for top goalies in the league. The argument could be made that he is playing in front of the best team in the league, and yes this may be true, but look at the pure amount of shots Holtby sees. Ever since becoming a full time starter in 2013 he has been steady on the back end for the Caps. Not to mention he has a Vezina to add to his resume.
- Sergei Bobrovsky- Boy, do the Flyers wish they still had this guy, eh? Bobs posted insane numbers last season with a .931 SV% and a 2.06 GAA on a Columbus team that took the hockey world by storm. Winning 16 games in a row this year, Bobs was a huge peace to that amazing streak. CBJ finished 3rd in the Metro with a whopping 108 points, but fell short in the playoffs to eventual the champions, Pittsburgh Penguins. Bobrovsky also has two Vezina’s to his name and honestly could add more in years to come.
- Pekka Rinne- Rinne lead his team to the Stanley Cup Finals this past season with a .930 SV% and a 1.96 GAA during their run. (not to mention 3 assists) Rinne has been consistent for Nashville over the years, and is just now starting to get the credit that I truly think he deserves. His puck handling skills are some of the best in the league, and his ability to make huge saves when needed make him an elite goalie. Rinne has been a Vezina finalist 3 times in his career, but has never won the trophy. I expect Rinne to start the season on a high horse, very similar to his playoff run last season.
- Jonathan Quick- Some may think that Quick has fallen off a bit since LA’s last Cup in 2013-14, but I would disagree. Recently, his career has been plagued with injuries , but when healthy Quick is among the best. Only playing 17 games this past season, it is hard to judge his play with such limited time spent, but bringing in a Ben Bishop at the end of the season may of fueled the fire for Quick, and I expect him to be back on top of the league next season.
- Cam Talbot- Talbot came on the NHL radar during the 2014-15 season when he stepped in for Lundvqist during his injury. The following season he became a full time NHL starter for the Edmonton Oilers, and this past season has taken his game to another level. Talbot finished the season tied with Holtby for most wins with 42. As an Oilers fan, I’ve seen time and time again Talbot steal wins for the Oilers. Posting a .919% SV% and a 2.39 GAA is not to shabby for the 30 year old tendy.
- Henrik Lundqvist- The King comes in at number eight on my list. Lundvqist has posted 30+ wins in every NHL season he has been healthy. Many can argue that the King has it easy in New York, playing in front of one of the best defense core in recent NHL memory. the main reason why I have Lundqvist at eight and not higher is because he has yet to take that next step in his career. Yes, he has a Vezina, but he has yet to win the trophy that everyone cares about.
- Devan Dubnyk- Ever since being traded to the Wild in 2014, Dubnyk has turned his career completely around. The 1st round, 14th overall pick of the 2004 draft was one more bad season away from being run out of the NHL. In the 3 years spent in Minnesota he has had a .936, .918, .923 SV% years. Those numbers are among the best in the league and he’s even been in Vezina talk in recent years. Needless to say Dubnyk has completely revamped his career and is proving to be the goalie the Wild needed.
- Cory Schneider- Schneider rounds out my top 10 list. He some what goes under the radar playing in NJ with no real superstars, or playoff success in recent years. But Schneider has played consistently well since being traded from Vancouver in 2013. His save percentage has been above .920 in every year since 2011, except this past season. (.908) NJ had a bad season this year but that is not to blame Schneider, he goes unrecognized around the NHL, but has been solid for regressing NJ team.
- Honorable Mention -Martin Jones- Jones led the Sharks to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015-16 , and was a key factor to their success. Posting a .925% that playoff run is a positive for San Jose moving forward to a new era in SoCal. Jones recently signed a 6 year extension with a cap hit of $5.75 per year. Sharks fans, you have your goalie for the future.