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Ranking The Starting Goalies

There is an old saying that goes something like this, "The team with the better goalie will win the playoff series."

I am not sure if the saying still holds true these days, but I will rank the starting goalies left in the playoffs and then wait and see how their team does in the semi-finals.

  1. Henrik Lundqvist - New York Rangers
  2. Craig Anderson - Ottawa Senators
  3. Corey Crawford - Chicago Blackhawks
  4. Jonathan Quick - Los Angeles Kings
  5. Antti Niemi - San Jose Sharks
  6. Jimmy Howard - Detroit Red Wings
  7. Tuukka Rask - Boston Bruins
  8. Tomas Voukon - Pittsburgh Penguins

Your thoughts?

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink


NHLJeff's avatar

Paul, that’s a very solid list. I’d probably have Crawford a bit lower and Rask a bit higher. With Vokoun, I think people forget how dominant he was in the league for so long. Yes, he’s older, and some of that can be contributed to the teams’ defensive systems, but he always looked good. I know he hasn’t been that same goalie when he played for the Pens this regular season, but maybe he can return to that form for the playoffs. If so, we can move him to the top half of that list.

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Denver on 05/14/13 at 11:26 AM ET

topshelf14's avatar

1 Lundqvist
2 Anderson
3 Quick
4 Rask
5 Niemi
6 Crawford
7 Howard
8 Vokoun

unfortunately Jimmy is pretty low on my list compared to these other guys. He just hasn’t proven he can steal games yet. Again I think he and the wings need to play a near perfect series to get past chi.

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 05/14/13 at 11:46 AM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Take the team’s defense (or lackthereof in certain cases) out of the way and go on pure talent alone:

1 Lundqvist
2 Anderson
3 Quick
4 Niemi
5 Vokoun
6 Rask
7 Howard
8 Crawford

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 05/14/13 at 11:59 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

I guess I’m just completely different…

Henrik Lundqvist - New York Rangers
Jonathan Quick - Los Angeles Kings
Craig Anderson - Ottawa Senators
Tuukka Rask - Boston Bruins
Jimmy Howard - Detroit Red Wings
Antti Niemi - San Jose Sharks
Corey Crawford - Chicago Blackhawks
Tomas Voukon - Pittsburgh Penguins

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 05/14/13 at 12:12 PM ET


You have two Vezina finalists on the list and they are #1 and #5. If that seems good to you than great. Seems to stand out significantly to me.

Posted by jpsf on 05/14/13 at 12:15 PM ET

Chris from NOHS's avatar

Nathan, as a goalie, I would agree with yours almost exactly, switching Niemi and Crawford and Quick and Lundqvist. 

Jonathan Quick - Los Angeles Kings
Henrik Lundqvist - New York Rangers
Craig Anderson - Ottawa Senators
Tuukka Rask - Boston Bruins
Jimmy Howard - Detroit Red Wings
Corey Crawford - Chicago Blackhawks
Antti Niemi - San Jose Sharks
Tomas Voukon - Pittsburgh Penguins

If they wore equipment that fit them, Niemi and Crawford wouldn’t even be on the list, because they wouldn’t be in the NHL.

Posted by Chris from NOHS from Columbus, OH/Grand Rapids, MI on 05/14/13 at 12:51 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Posted by Chris from NOHS from Columbus, OH/Grand Rapids, MI on 05/14/13 at 01:51 PM ET

Yeah, I felt like I was splitting hairs between Quick and King Henrik, but felt that despite Quick’s Cup, Lundqvist still has a longer track record of being a no-doubt top-tier NHL goalie, so he deserves the nod. But I can’t fault anyone for picking Quick. I put Anderson third for exactly that reason—he’s had some incredibly stretches in his career, but his track record isn’t as long and consistent as Lundqvist, and not as consistent as Quick’s.

I agree that Crawford and Niemi are close and about a coin flip. Really, it could be a crapshoot between both of them and Howard. I gave Howard the slight nod because I’m somewhat biased as a Wings fan, and I think that compared to Crawford, Howie has a better track record, and compared to Niemi, the overall picture is about identical, but Howard has been just a bit better the last two seasons.

Putting Vokoun last isn’t really a knock on Vokoun either, I think it’s just more of a statement about where he’s at in his career compared to 7 other goalies that are really in their primes. Vokoun should be plenty good enough to get the Pens to the Cup final, provided the skaters don’t half-ass it in front of him any more.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 05/14/13 at 01:05 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal ranked the goalies too..

If I was handicapping them, I’d go Quick, Lundqvist, Anderson, Niemi, Crawford, Rask, Howard and the Penguins duo. They’ll likely open with Vokoun, who won the last two games of the New York Islanders’ series, against Anderson Tuesday night.


Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 05/14/13 at 03:58 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

I’m surprised how many folks put Howard below Crawford especially, but also Niemi. Niemi and Howard have essentially the exact same career numbers thus far, and not just that, but year-over-year have been remarkably similar. Niemi is given way too much credit for the Cup that his TEAM (him included) won. This isn’t like Quick, who was clearly the main reason the Kings won their Cup.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 05/15/13 at 08:29 AM ET

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