by PuckStopsHere on 12/04/11 at 02:22 PM ET
A couple weeks ago I picked Mike Smith of the Phoenix Coyotes as the top goalie in the league so far this season. He has played a lot of games and played very well so far this season behind a team that has allowed a lot of shots. Another goalie has played a little bit better in a very heavy role with his team in Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings. I think he is current best goaltender so far this season.
There are some other goalies who are bigger names than either who have played well, but have played behind better defences and have not faced as many shots, who might be better candidates to maintain their current level of play the entire season. They are Tim Thomas of Boston and Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers. Brian Elliott of St Louis and Josh Harding of Minnesota have also posted some very good numbers, but neither have been clear cut starters so far this year.
Quick has posted a .936 saves percentage and a 1.97 GAA. He has done this playing in 21 games. He is currently fifth in shots faced in the league, with better numbers than any of those who rank above him. Los Angeles has the fourth best goals against in the league so far this season despite having allowed the 16th most shots per game. Quick is a big reason for these numbers. He has been extremely valuable to the Kings this season.
Quick was not expected to be an NHL star. He was a third round draft pick in 2005. He first played in the NHL in 2007/08 and became a regular in the next season. He has been a solid starting goalie but has never has posted numbers anywhere near as good as he is so far this season. He probably will regress as the season continues, but at age 25 he is becoming a legitimate star in the NHL. At this point he is the Vezina Trophy leader.
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