NHL Goalie Report Update 4/25/2014
- Updated: April 26, 2014
You’re always going to want to make sure that you have a team on your side that is going to have a goalie you can trust. These are some of the best goalies in our estimation that you are going to want to be on the lookout for in NHL betting action this year during the playoffs!
1: Darcy Kuemper, Minnesota Wild – Kuemper is enjoying an emergence during these playoffs as he has gone 2-1 in his starts against the high scoring Colorado Avalanche. He just joined the team as their best goalie Josh Harding was ruled out for the playoffs as he is still out with MS. With an impressive 0.40 GAA and a .979 save percentage, Kuemper is the best statistical net minder in the playoffs. He shutout Colorado in a 1-0 overtime win in Game 3 as he stopped all 22 shots he faced to get his team on the board. In Game 4 the Avs were only able to get off 12 shots and Kuemper stopped 11 of them for a 2-1 win to even up the series. The 23 year old goalie will celebrate his 24th birthday on May 5th and he has been sharing time in net with Ilya Bryzgalov who has struggled in two losses. It appears that Kuemper is the hot goalie on this team and has won the job for the remainder of the playoffs.
2: Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets – Bobrovsky isn’t necessarily here for great statistics as much as he has done an excellent job holding down a powerful Pittsburgh Penguins offense to get his team in a position to win the series. He has a respectable 3.22 GAA and a .900 save percentage when you consider his competition. There’s absolutely no way he will completely shut down this Pittsburgh squad that scored 3.0 goals per game during the regular season. Bobrovsky has led his team to matching 4-3 wins over the Penguins as he has gone 2-2 in an even series where all of the games have been decided by one goal. In such a tight series Bobrovsky is doing his best to keep up his end of the bargain and help the Blue Jackets pull what would be the biggest upset of the playoffs. Whether or not he gets the job done, Columbus has announced that its future is bright with a solid performance thus far.
3: Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins – Fleury has done exactly the same as his counterpart with a matching 2-2 record during this playoff series with the Blue Jackets. Every game has ended with a matching 4-3 score with the teams flip flopping victories. Fleury has a 3.18 GAA and a .903 save percentage in his four starts. He made a huge mistake at the end of regulation in Game 4 as he went behind his net and misplayed a puck that allowed the Blue Jackets to send the game in overtime where they quickly scored the game winner on him. Fleury’s team is a heavy ‘favorite’ in Game 5 and still ‘favored’ to win the series, but if the Penguins go far it will be up to their goalie to tighten up his game. If Fleury can put up a big game on Friday as we expect him to do it will go a long way in winning the series for his team.
4: Ryan Miller, St. Louis Blues – Miller is doing well as he tries to keep one of the league’s top offensive units from the Chicago Blackhawks down. He is 2-1-1 in his four starts as the deck is stacked against him and we expect this series to go the distance. Miller was put to the test in the first two games of this series where he faced a total of 70 shots from the Blackhawks and he stopped 64 of them to secure matching 4-3 overtime victories. Three of the four games have gone into overtime in what will be a highly contested series right down to the end. He has a 2.24 GAA and a .914 save percentage thus far. If Miller can continue holding this Chicago team at bay his Blues will have an excellent chance at knocking off the defending Stanley Cup Champions in the first round.
5: Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins – Rask has been one of the best goalies in the playoffs thus far as he has led his Bruins to a 3-1 series lead over the Detroit Red Wings. In four games he has a 0.95 GAA and a .966 save percentage as he has been outstanding. In Detroit’s chance to take control of the series Rask had his best outing as he saved all 23 shots he saw in a 3-0 win in Game 3. He followed that up by stopping 35 shots in a 3-2 overtime win in Game 4 that helped lead Boston to the cusp of the second round. If Rask stays as hot as he has been this Bruins team will be nearly impossible to knock out of the playoffs as they came in the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Rask will be at home for Game 5 where he allowed Detroit to score just one goal in each of the first two games and we expect to see his team close out the series.
6: Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings – Quick has been largely disappointing in these playoffs as he lost his first three starts with two of them horrible outings on his part. We are just as surprised as the rest of you that Quick has a 5.05 GAA and an .871 save percentage through four games. He had a much better night in Game 4 as he stopped 36 shots in a 6-3 win that brought the series to 3-1. Quick will have a lot more improving to do to get his team back in contention to beat the San Jose Sharks. As the Kings travel to San Jose for Game 5 it will be up to Quick to get himself back to the dominant goalie he is capable of being when he’s on. If Quick can get back to the man that had a 2.07 GAA during the regular season his offense has proven they can score goals to give him some support.
7: Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens – Price was dominant in Montreal’s four game sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning. On Tuesday night he stopped 20 shots in a 4-3 win that closed out the Lightning and moved the Canadiens onto the second round of the playoffs. He is currently getting quite the rest as every other series appears to be much more competitive. While Tampa Bay was missing their top goalie Ben Bishop, Montreal took advantage scoring no less than three goals in every game of the series. Price had himself an outstanding series that saw him put up a 2.33 GAA and a .904 save percentage. He will be tested in the next round as it seems the Boston Bruins will advance and they score around 3.5 goals per game. If Price can stay solid his Canadiens will have a chance to reach the conference finals and go onto win a Stanley Cup with their strong offensive unit.
8: Jonas Hiller, Anaheim Ducks – Hiller has seen his ice time diminish during the playoffs as Frederik Andersen has gotten a bulk of the playing time. The only time Hiller has seen thus far is mop up duty after Andersen gave up four goals on Wednesday night. It has yet to be seen if Hiller will get more time in net in this series, but he absolutely should after the regular season he put up. He was 29-13-7 in his 49 starts this season with a 2.48 GAA and a .911 save percentage. If the Ducks decide that Hiller is their man they may be better off to dance with the man that brought them to the Western Conference’s top seed. As it is they are flirting with being upset by the Minnesota Wild who have scored 3.17 goals per game against Andersen. No matter what they decide we expect to see Hiller ready to go when his name is called.
9: Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks – Crawford’s only losses during this series with the St. Louis Blues have come in overtime as he has otherwise been pretty solid. He scored a shutout in Game 3 where his team won 2-0 to bring the series to 2-1. On Wednesday he made 30 saves in a 4-3 overtime win that tied things up. During this series he has put up a 2.22 GAA and a .927 save percentage. Things should really heat up as pivotal Game 5 is on the way in St. Louis where Crawford will be faced with a stiff challenge from the high scoring Blues offense. We feel this is Chicago’s only chance to win this series in six games is if they pull off a victory on the road in Game 5 and of course finish it off at home in Game 6. Either way it goes, Crawford’s play will be important to keep the defending champs rolling along.
10: Antti Niemi, San Jose Sharks – Niemi hasn’t had to be perfect in these playoffs as his team is scoring over five goals per game thus far against the Los Angeles Kings. He has a 3.45 GAA and a .889 save percentage while playing against one of the league’s worst offensive units. His best outing came in Game 2 when he helped his team to a 7-2 win over the Kings as he made 24 saves in the contest. He has clearly outplayed Kings G Jonathan Quick in this series and if he continues to do so the Sharks will have an easy time moving onto the second round. With neither goalie playing at the top of their game the ‘over’ has been reached in every game thus far. San Jose will have the home ice advantage up 3-1 against the Kings and we expect them to move on with a win.