Its a goaltenders league

We all know the tired saying, “your team will only go as far as your goaltender”. Well its true and I think just about all of us can agree on that. But which team has the best? Which team has the worst? I have taken the liberty of ranking all 30 teams based on goaltending from best to worst. In this article I look at teams #1-15 with article #16-30 to follow up later in the week. Backups do play into some ratings but obviously some teams like Vancouver and New Jersey need not worry of such things.
1 Vancouver- #1 Loungo, #2 Curtis Sanford
– Roberto is the man. Pure and simple. He carried the offensively challenged Canucks into the playoffs and stood on his head against the Stars out dueling another #1 who was playing out of his mind. He even gave the Ducks a scare by stealing a few games against the eventual Stanley Cup Champs. Getting Curtis Sanford may take 2 to 4 games off Roberto’s load this year but this is definitely the Loungo show. In the words of that horrible Canucks broadcaster. Bingo, Bango, Bongo…what a save by Roberto Loungo. *shivers*

2 New Jersey- #1 Brodeur, #2 Weekes
– I only rank Marty behind Roberto simply because Marty has looked a little tired over the last few years in the playoffs. He hasn’t lost a step in the regular reason but playing 70+ games year in and year out is starting to catch up with him come playoff time. He has won everything and hopefully Weekes can rest him 20 games this year (extremely doubtful) so Marty can be fully rested come playoff time.

3 New York Rangers- #1 Lundqvist, #2 Valiquette
– He got off to a horrible start last year and I know because he was killing my fantasy team. But finally he turned it around and simply became lights out. Now having Valiquette as the current backup is quite scary but at least this gives Henrik to finally take the reigns of #1 and run with it as opposed to previous years when Weekes would play right after Henrik had a bad game. Hopefully Montaya can step up his game and have a good enough camp to get some NHL consideration.

4 Calgary- #1 Kiprusoff, #2 I’m guessing Brent Krahn?
– Yeah I personally have no clue who is backing up Kipper this year but does it really matter? He had his worse year of a starter last year but that reflects the Flames defense as much as it reflects him. Calgary better lock this guy up because he his so valuable to his team.

5 Anaheim- #1 Giguere, #2 Bryzgalov
– This is when the backup plays a factor into my rankings somewhat. I think a few goalies in the league are better then Giggy but given that he is a top 10 goalie along with the fact that Ilya is among the leagues best backups this is why Anaheim gets this slot.

6 San Jose- #1 Nabokov, #2 ????
– Well I think #2 may be Nolan Sheaffer? Either way Nabokov gets them here based on his play from the 2nd half of last year. I’m probably going to get some heat putting him this high but he is as solid as they come and although he can be streaky when he is on his game he is as good as anyone and can string shutouts together like nobodies business.

7 Detroit- #1 Hasek, #2 Osgood
– Well I hate Hasek. Plain and simple but the guy can still play. I think Detroit goaltenders pay be pressed into facing more quality shots this year but I think Hasek is up to the challenge although he definitely isn’t as dominant as he once was. Osgood is a capable backup who is probably going to play 25 games or so.

8 Buffalo- #1 Miller, #2 Thibault
– Now some may say that this is too low for Ryan Miller but I think he needs to work on not allowing that soft goal. There were too many times this year where he would get tagged by a soft shot from the point. Thibault really got hot for Pittsburgh later in the season and should be a good tutor for Miller.

9 Dallas- #1 Turco, #2 Smith
– I’m still not fully sold on Turco because of his playoff failures before this year but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Smith is a up and comer who played quite a few games last year due to Turco’s midseason struggles to find his game.

10 Atlanta- #1 Lehtonen, #2 Hedberg
– Teams 10-15 there isn’t going to be much separation. Lehtonen has more potential then anybody and gets put here based on that. Atlanta is going to need him to be great ALL year and I think he is more then capable based on his size and reflexes. In Hedberg the Thrash has a stable backup who has seen playoff action.

11 Minnesota- #1 Backstrom, #2 Harding
– I personally think Minny is taking a big risk with such a inexperienced tandem this year. If Backstrom can duplicate last year into this year then this ranking goes a lot higher but I’ll believe it when I see it. Harding is young and has some potential but I don’t see him being a future #1.

12 New York Islanders- #1 DiPietro, #2 Dubielewicz
– Say what you will about the crazy contract he got but Wang and Snow look like geniuses now. DiPietro had a great year and carried the Isles into the playoffs with help from Wade the final few games. I think DiPietro may have finally arrived and it should be interesting to see who ends up being America’s #1 in Vancouver. Miller or DiPietro?

13 Ottawa- #1 Emery, #2 Gerber
– Again I’m not completely sold on Emery. He had a great playoff but he still doesn’t strike me as a guy who can carry a team on his shoulders. Which Ottawa really doesn’t need. He gives up WAY too many rebounds and really need to work on that. Gerber is a solid backup who can start for most teams. People in Ottawa were far too tough on him to start the season and he really never had a chance to recover.

14 Toronto- #1 Toskala, #2 Raycroft
– Some people will think this is too low, most people will probably think this is too high. Toskala WILL be good. I don’t think there is too much to worry for leaf fans on that front. Raycroft, although not a very good #1 is probably too good to be a backup. The Leafs get a higher ranking then a few teams based on the strength of the tandem and the ability of each goalie to push each other.

15 Montreal- #1 Huet, #2 Halak/Price
– I’m not sold on Huet and never will be. Montreal has hyped into a better goaltender then he truly is. Halak and Price however have a future. Price is going to be the better of the two and if he has a good camp I think he can crack the squad. He played out of his mind in the World Junior and proved he could play with the big boys by wining the Calder Cup all on his own.

I will list teams 16-30 in a article later this week. I look forward to all the disagreements.

59 Responses to Its a goaltenders league

  1. I_hate_LA says:

    Top Goaltenders
    1. Roberto Luongo
    2. Martin Brodeur
    3. Mikka Kriprusoff
    4. Henrik Lundqvist
    5. Jean-Sebastian Giguere
    6. Ryan Miller
    7. Dominik Hasek
    8. Marty Turco 
    9. Dwayne Roloson
    10. Rick DiPietro

    And in regard to the best defenseman, we're not talking about who's the best defensemen in the past. We're talking about who's the best right now. And as of right now, Niedermayer and Lidstrom are about even because one's slightly better defensively and one's slightly better offensively. However, Pronger is the total package right now considering that he would have outperformed both Lidstrom and even Niedermayer. Pronger was on pace for 70 pts or even more considering that he played only 66 games during the past regular season. These are his stats…

    GP   G    A    P   +/-
    66   13  46  59   27

    And in the playoffs he had 15 points good for 2nd behind Lidstrom's 18 points, but Pronger led all defensemen in +/- with a +10 in 19 games. He's clearly underrated by many people.

  2. I_hate_LA says:

    You're right in regards to SJ's defense and how Nabokov always manages to give them a chance to win night in and night out. However, he doesn't do so well in the playoffs.

    I'm pretty sure with a stronger defense, Nabby will be better. But for now, he is not better than Miller or Giguere

  3. KingCanada says:

    thanks man, as for hoping a team in the East gives him a offer sheet i doubt it, most of the good goalies are in the East and most eastern teams are already set with the exception of TB.

    Teams in the west that dont have good goaltending inclue Phoenix, LA, Colombus, St Louis and Colorado.  Altho i doubt LA or Colorado would do it becose their starters Cloutier (3.1) and Theodore (5.3) already make enough money, no use in having 7+ million tied up on more then one goaltender.

  4. rtpuckhog says:

    Add Hedberg to the list of goalies developed in the Sharks system. They traded him to Pittsburgh about 4-5 years ago and although he hasn't proven to be a starter he has still played well when called upon.

    Warren Strelow (R.I.P.) is the reason why the Sharks have always had depth in net. A goaltending guru, he was at practises for them even when his own two legs couldn't carry him anymore and would take post-game phone calls (while in bed fighting multiple illnesses) from all these guys regardless of the time. He is and will be missed profoundly.

  5. Neely4Life says:

    I think u miss understood what i was sayin.  If Emery signs an offer sheet with LA for example, Ottawa gets 3 first rounders.  IF im say the Leafs, and i see Ottawa gettin that much for a marginal goalie, to go along with their 3 picks already, and a stacked young team as is, im scared.   YOu have the best team in the east, being HANDED 3 top first round pics, because LA and Phenoix arnt going anywhere in the Division.  Thats why if im Philly, or Toronto, they hope Emery signs with Ottawa.

  6. KingCanada says:

    yes hopefully Emery signs with Ottawa cose then Ottawa can keep their marginal goalie lol and ur team doesnt get 2 first rounders every year.

    I was wondering tho, how does the compensation work… say a team signs Emery to an offer sheet does Ottawa get THAT teams first rounders or does Ottawa get like compensated with say a first round pick at the end of the first round, like awarded the 31st pick or sumthing?

  7. ericthered1961 says:

    He's proven himself last season and anyone who can't see that simply wasn't watching……oh yeah…he's a fighter too… the guy.

  8. Glucker says:

    you're funny… you have gotta be a Sens fan…
    your top forwards are so screwed up… and Hasek is 15th? come on…

    Spezza at 2nd? ahead of Thornton and Ovechkin? I wouldn't put him ahead of Sundin… who's not even on the list..


  9. El1te says:

    How the hell is lundqvist ranked 4th? He did not carry the leafs.

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