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The Real Top NHL Goalies


Last week, NHL.com created a list of their top 10 goalies in the NHL right now. That list was an absolute joke. So, I decided to make a list of my own. After careful consideration, here ARE my choices for the top goalies in the NHL:

Top 10 Starting Goalies

1. Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens

GP W L OTL SA SV GA SV% GAA TOI SO

62 37 20 5 1794 1656 138 .923 2.23 3708:08 3

It’s quite obvious the Carey Price is the best goaltender in the world. Not many come close to his level of talent. His composure, ability to play the puck, and the way he reads the game makes him the goalie equivalent of a triple threat. The only reason he isn’t a Stanley Cup winner yet is because he is on a team that lacks any offense, and he had his knee blown into a million pieces by Chris Kreider. Granted, I don’t think the Habs would have beat the Kings that year, but they would have fared much better than the Rangers did.

2. Braden Holtby – Washington Capitals

GP W L OTL SA SV GA SV% GAA TOI SO

63 42 13 6 1690 1563 127 .925 2.07 3680:10 9

The “Holtbeast” has been giving Carey Price a run for his money for this past few seasons as the best goalie in the league. Coached by the legend Mitch Korn (coached Hasek, Fuhr, Rinne), Holtby’s game has ascended to an All-World level. Hopefully the Capitals can overcome their demons and beat the Peguins in the Semi’s so the world can see what Braden Holtby is capable of.

3. Sergei Bobrovsky – Columbus Blue Jackets

GP W L OTL SA SV GA SV% GAA TOI SO

63 41 17 5 1854 1727 127 .931 2.06 3707:04 7

Bob certainly is back on the case. After a few seasons filled with injuries and a tiny mix of less than stellar play, Bob has regained top form. Like the Montreal Canadiens are with Carey Price, the Columbus Blue Jackets are nothing without Sergei Bobrovsky. Second in the league in wins this year on a Columbus team who, on paper, are no real offensive threat puts Bob high on this list. However, like the two before him, Bob has to figure out how to get his team to actually do something when the time counts.

4. Matt Murray – Pittsburgh Penguins

GP W L OTL SA SV GA SV% GAA TOI SO

49 32 10 4 1450 1339 111 .923 2.41 2765:48 4

Two seasons in the NHL. Two Stanley Cups. And was still technically a rookie last season. And he now has the opportunity to take the reigns as a starting goaltender for the first time in his NHL career. I am interested to see how he handles the workload of his first full season as #1. If he plays anywhere near where he left off in the playoffs, the Pens have a shot at a threepeat…..unfortunately.

5. Corey Crawford – Chicago Blackhawks

GP W L OTL SA SV GA SV% GAA TOI SO

55 32 18 4 1691 1553 138 .918 2.55 3246:52 2

Corey Crawford is a two time Cup champion, two time All-Star, two time Jennings Award winner, six time 30 game winner, and STILL is not recognized as a top goaltender in the league. Crawford is maddeningly consistent every year. He starts out hot, gets hurt around November/December, doesn’t regain his form until late February/March, and is an absolute stone wall for the remainder of the season. Always wracks up 30 wins, has a GAA around the 2.20-2.40 mark, and a SV% of 9.20 or above. He was one of the very, VERY few bright spots the Blackhawks had in the postseason last year. With an extremely weak D-core this year, expect Corey Crawford to be much busier this year which may mean some inflated numbers, and yet he undoubtedly will still get the Hawks to the playoffs.

6. Andrei Vasilevskiy – Tampa Bay Lightning

GP W L OTL SA SV GA SV% GAA TOI SO

50 23 17 7 1480 1357 123 .917 2.61 2831:16 2

We first really took notice of Vasilevskiy in the 2015 Final when he took over for Ben Bishop who was trying to find his groin back in Tampa. He made a name for himself the next year in the playoffs when Bishop got injured again (notice a trend?), and he kept the Lightning above water vs the Penguins longer than they should have been. This year he was virtually the Lightning starter because why??? BEN BISHOP GOT HURT AGAIN. Also Bishop kind of sucked too but that’s besides the point. Tampa figured their shit out and Bishop was shipped off to LA for reasons still unbeknownst to us all, and finally Vasilevskiy was given the #1 job and he hasn’t looked back since. With phenomenal flexibility and an unrelenting compete level, Vasilevskiy will be a top five goaltender by years end.

7. Cam Talbot - Edmonton Oilers

GP W L OTL SA SV GA SV% GAA TOI SO

73 42 22 8 2117 1946 171 .919 2.39 4294:00 7

This former backup showed the hockey world that he has left that life back in New York. Absolutely stellar numbers on a team that focuses more on the offensive side of the game, along with a total of only nine games missed this year put Cam Talbot on my list. This workhorse helped the Edmonton McDavids get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2006. They weren’t supposed to make it past the first round, but Talbot and the Oilers battled their way to a Game 7 vs Anaheim. Expect to see this group make the Finals in the very near future.

8. Martin Jones – San Jose Sharks

GP W L OTL SA SV GA SV% GAA TOI SO

65 35 23 6 1725 1573 152 .912 2.40 3800:21 2

THIS former backup has made all 12 fans of the San Jose Sharks forget about how they thought Antti Niemi was going to be their goalie to get them a Cup (Sad!). Although Jones hasn’t done that either, he got the Sharks to the Final for the first time in franchise history. Jones is the only guy in the league who is as composed as Carey Price. It’s actually almost too composed. He’s like a goalie monk. I don’t doubt that he’ll make his way back to the Final again for another shot at the Holy Grail. But will it be with San Jose?

9. Jon Gibson – Anaheim Ducks

GP W L OTL SA SV GA SV% GAA TOI SO

52 25 16 9 1437 1328 109 .924 2.22 2950:21 6

Jonas Hiller who? Freddy Andersen who? Jon Gibson is no longer the 1A of the Anaheim Ducks. He is rightfully the starting goaltender and will be a force to be reckoned with this year. Last season he backed North America to an improbable run in the World Cup and helped the Ducks to the Conference Final where he unfortunately suffered an injury to end his season. Even more unfortunate is the fact that we all had to watch Jonathan Bernier try to goalie and fail pathetically. But the good news is that I hate the Ducks so that was funny.

10. Craig Anderson – Ottawa Senators

GP W L OTL SA SV GA SV% GAA TOI SO

40 25 11 4 1247 1155 92 .926 2.28 2421:14 5

Imagine it: It’s 2003 and Jocelyn Thibault (heart eyes) has just suffered a season ending injury. Because the Blackhawks are an atrocity, they have to rely on a 22 year old hometown kid who is nowhere near ready to play a game in the NHL. That kid is Craig Anderson. Somehow that horrendous experience did not ruin Craig Anderson. Somehow he got good. Like really good. And he still plays the stand up style game and gets away with it. This season, Anderson had to go through what no one ever should have to go through: watching a loved one battle cancer. The Senators gave him time off when he needed to be with his wife, and each time he returned, he pitched a shutout. Watching him play this year with such passion and drive to win for his wife was truly inspirational. Watching his reaction as Chris Kunitz’ shot beat Anderson in OT eliminating the Senators was heart breaking. His wife has since won her battle with cancer, which is much more important than hockey.

In contention:

Pekka Rinne (NSH), Marc-Andre Fleury (VGK), Henrik Lundqvist (NYR)

Top 5 Backup Goalies

  1. Peter Budaj – Tampa Bay Lightning

GP W L OTL SA SV GA SV% GAA TOI SO

60 30 21 3 1414 1294 120 .915 2.18 3308:16 7

The once forgotten Peter Budaj became “Lord and Savior Peter Budaj” to the Los Angeles faithful this past season. Jonathan Quick suffered an injury in their very first game and Budaj saved the day for the Kings. He kept LA in contention while posting a career high 7 shutouts. Budaj ended up being shipped off to Tampa to back up Andrei Vasilevskiy, and will do the same for the next two seasons. Although he is getting up there in age (34), clearly he is on top of his game for the time being and will be reliable for Tampa when called upon.

2. Michael Condon – Ottawa Senators

GP W L OTL SA SV GA SV% GAA TOI SO

41 19 14 6 1122 1026 96 .914 2.48 2324:25 5

For two years in a row, Michael Condon has been deemed the backup of a team, only to become their starting goaltender. Two years ago, Carey Price missed almost an entire season with an injury and Condon did an admirable job for a kid in his first NHL season. Last year, he stepped into the #1 role when Craig Anderson was on leave to be with his wife. And he was rock solid for Ottawa. If it was not for Condon, Ottawa may not have been able to quietly make their way to the playoffs. Surely, Condon will be on his toes this year to take the reins at any time.

3. Philipp Grubauer – Washington Capitals

GP W L OTL SA SV GA SV% GAA TOI SO

24 13 6 2 585 542 43 .926 2.04 1264:34 3

Grubauer, while sounding like a “Die Hard” or “James Bond” villain, is one hell of a goaltender. Following is the footsteps of Braden Holtby can’t be easy, yet Grubauer casually posts Holtby-esque numbers. He’s one of those goaltenders who goes to the splits to make a save and then I try the same thing and end up in the hospital. It’s not human what this guy’s muscles can do. Grubauer has starting goaltender potential, just not with Washington.

4. Anton Forsberg – Chicago Blackhawks

GP W L OTL SA SV GA SV% GAA TOI SO

51 27 17 6 1526 1413 113 .926 2.28 2977 4

Anton Forsberg has been the #1 goaltender for the Columbus Blue Jackets farm team, Cleveland Monsters, for the past three seasons backstopping them to the Calder Cup in 2015-2016. Forsberg was originally thought to be the goaltender to take over for Bobrovsky in Columbus. However, a trade this summer that sent Artemi Panarin and Tyler Motte to the Blue Jackets brought Forsberg and former Blackhawk Brandon Saad to Chicago. With only ten total NHL games played, Forsberg will have to adjust to a lighter workload (hopefully) and a higher level of play than he’s used to. That said, ones he transitions, he will be an extremely important asset and eventually the man that will take over for Corey Crawford.

5. Aaron Dell – San Jose Sharks

GP W L OTL SA SV GA SV% GAA TOI SO

20 11 6 1 533 496 37 .930 2.00 1110:33 1

I’m not surprised if you haven’t heard his name. Not many have. But this guy is an absolute animal. San Jose has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to goaltending. With Jones as the starter and Dell as the backup, the Sharks shouldn’t have any trouble keeping the puck out of the net. Dell is a battler if I ever saw one. Never counts himself out of the play which leads to some miraculous stops. His numbers do all the talking for him. I am excited to see where his career takes him. No doubt he’ll find himself a starting job somewhere down the line.

In Contention:

Juuse Saros (NSH), Carter Hutton (STL), Keith Kinkaid (NJD)


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