I’ve been an goaltender my entire life and I’m somewhat addicted to studying the art, progression and change of styles over the years of professional goalies. It’s what I do. If you agree or disagree with some or all of these rankings? Please let us know so we can discuss.

Let’s take a look at the top 35 current NHL goaltenders.

Enjoy!

 1) Henrik Lundqvist

 

There’s no doubt who the top dog is in the NHL today and that is, of course, King Henrik. The 31 year old goalie from Sweden is a lock for 65+ games per season and always boasts terrific numbers. He’s basically a shoe in for a Vezina nomination each and every year. Henrik is the only goaltender in NHL history to win 30 games in each of his first seven season and is currently the all-time leader in shutouts in the regular season and playoffs combined in NYR history. Lundqvist won the Vezina trophy in 2012 and was nominated  in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013. Henrik received a nomination for the Hart trophy as the league’s mVP in 2012 and the Ted Lindsay award in 2012.

2) Jonathan Quick

Quick has already won a Stanley Cup with the Los Angeles Kings in the 2011/2012 season and took home the Conn Smythe Trophy while he was at it. Jonathan has this incredible style of completely taking away the bottom half of the net with his lightning fast legs and crease movement along with having incredibly fast reflexes with his glove and blocker. Quick was the third goaltender on team USA’s Olympic team but he’s pretty much a shoe in for the starter for the upcoming Olympics in Sochi. Jonathan had back surgery in 2012 and while being a bit off when he came back to the NHL from the AHL he quickly regained his form heading into the 2012/2013 NHL playoffs where he and the Kings fell short to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. Quick was quite the steal being selected 72nd overall in the 2005 NHL entry draft.

3) Carey Price

Carey Price is a young goaltender with tremendous potential and has already solidified himself among the NHL’s elite. Price was selected 5th overall in the first round of the 2005 NHL entry draft and has so far proven that was not a mistake by the Montreal Canadiens. Carey Price has shown he can battle back after a struggle and proved just that after losing his starting job to then back up, Jaroslav Halak in 2009/2010. Halak was then dealt to the St. Louis Blues as Montreal knew what type of goalie they had in Price. Carey has been known to be somewhat injury prone throughout his short career and one of those injuries just so happened to be a concussion. His stellar play with an above average Canadiens team the over the last 5 years just goes to show you how good this guy really is. His mobility in the crease and composure is among the elite in the NHL today.

4) Corey Crawford

 

I’m sure there will be some slack received on this but Corey Crawford has proven he can play in big games,  not panic under pressure, ability to rebound after a poor performance and most importantly…win. Crawford now sports a Stanley Cup ring on his finger and shares the William Jennings Trophy with former Blackhawk, Ray Emery. Crawford has excellent mobility from side to side in his crease, takes away the bottom half of the net with his flawless butterfly style and has a lightning fast glove hand. Yes, lightning fast glove. Much was made by the media about a poor glove hand on Crawford because of one “off” game in the Stanley Cup Final vs the Boston Bruins. We all know that’s what media does though, they like to pick on something and most people feed off of that and make it a topic of conversation that is not true. Blackhawks fans who have watched Crawford throughout his career have seen an excellent glove side throughout. Media do not like to be proven wrong but Corey Crawford has done that to them and all of the naysayers. Expect Crawford to have a legit chance to start for Team Canada in the 2014 Sochi Olympics and will battle that out with Roberto Luongo and Carey Price.

5) Pekka Rinne

 

Many will say “well Pekka has been on a defensive team his entire career”. True, however, Rinne has proven time and time again that he can make huge saves when the team needs them and the Predators may be a defensive team they have not always been a good team.  Rinne has been nominated for the Vezina in 2011 and 2012 but yet to win it. Pekka has a career .920 save percentage and a 2.36 goals against average. Combine a massive 6’5″ frame and lightning fast reflexes and you get an elite goaltender in Rinne. Nashville is set for years in goal with this stud.

6) Antti Niemi

Antti Niemi is similar to how Corey Crawford was/is perceived. Media had little confidence in either goalie but both have proven they can be winners and both have a Stanley Cup ring to wave in front of non believers faces. Niemi is probably the most unorthodox goalie in the NHL at this time and I personally compared him to a style of the great Dominik Hasek but at this time I’d compare him to a style of Tim Thomas, a pure battlefly goaltender. Niemi is very good in the shootout as well and was awarded the THN best shootout goalie along with a Vezina nomination in 2013.  Funny how Chicago has never been known to be a hockey hotbed for goaltenders yet they have had 2 Stanley Cup winning goalies in the last 4 years and Crawford and Niemi have risen to the top.

7) Tuukka Rask

Tuukka Rask had admirably taken over for Tim Thomas in goal for the Boston Bruins. Rask was on top of his game in 2013 helping the Bruins get to the Stanley Cup Finals only to bow down to the Chicago Blackhawks. Although Rask was outplayed by counterpart Corey Crawford, he stood on his head at times with the onslaught of Chicago’s offense. Rask keeps calm in goal and is always in position and square to the puck. Much alike Rinne, he takes away the bottom of the net perfectly and has extremely fast reflexes. There still is some question on Rask as he has only had one season as a starting goaltender and it was a half season at that. Bruins feel he has the potential to be great and awarded him with a whopping 7 million per year contract through 2020.

8) Roberto Luongo

Roberto Luongo is one of the more interesting goalies in the NHL. Years ago he was deemed the best goalie in the NHL but since his arrival in Vancouver he has had his ups and downs. He’s helped the Canucks achieve a President’s Trophy and a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals where he and the Canucks fell short to the Boston Bruins but in Luongo’s defense, he was brilliant in those particular playoffs. The Canucks struggled to get by nemesis rivals the Chicago Blackhawks but were able to defeat them and get the monkey off his/their back on route to the Cup final in 2010/2011. Luongo has a career 2.52 goals against average and a solid .919 save percentage. Luongo also has a lot of International play and has won awards such as the World Junior best goalie and an All-Star in that same tournament in 1999, IIHF gold medalist in 2003 and 2004, World Cup gold medal in 2004 and his most impressive backstopping Canada to a Gold medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Luongo is a four time all-star and shares a William Jennings Trophy in 2011 with ex-Canuck Cory Schneider. Luongo is also a butterfly specialist and when on top of his game is next to unbeatable. Expect Luongo to thrive as the clear cut #1 goalie in Vancouver in 2013 and at this point the favorite to be the #1 goalie for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

9) Jimmy Howard

Jimmy Howard has had a very similar career as Corey Crawford’s. Spent their time in the AHL and finally were able to get a crack in the NHL and eventually became the starting goaltender for their respective teams. Like Crawford, Howard has had his doubters heavily criticising him but has since become a very reliable goalie who has the ability to steal games for his team and mentally very tough. Howard stole the back up job to one time Red Wing Chris Osgood from Ty Conklin and since Osgood’s retirement Jimmy has taken the reigns over. Jimmy Howard has a very respectable NHL lifetime Goals against average of 2.29 and a solid .920 save percentage.

10) Craig Anderson

It seems all it took for Craig Anderson to excel in the NHL was to get out of Colorado and into an Ottawa Senators uniform. Desperate for a goalie at the time Andy came over in a deal with the Avs, the Sens have had nothing but solid goaltending and with Robin Lehner waiting in the wings to be the inevitable starter for Ottawa in the near future, the Sens are set in goal for a very long time. Craig Anderson is another example of a great American born goalie who has cracked the top 10 for best NHL goalies. Anderson’s lifetime NHL statistics are a 2.71 Goals against average and a .915 save percentage. Expect those numbers to get even better.

11) Sergei Bobrovsky

12) Jonas Hiller

13) Cory Schneider

14) Mike Smith

15) Ryan Miller

16) Cam Ward

17) Niklas Backstrom

18) Ondrej Pavelec

19) Martin Brodeur

20) Jaroslav Halak

21) Braden Holtby

22) Ray Emery

23) Marc-Andre Fleury

24) Semyon Varlamov

25) Viktor Fasth

26) James Reimer

27) Brian Elliott

28) Kari Lehtonen

29) Ben Bishop

30) Jonathan Bernier

31) Tomas Vokoun

32) Devan Dubnyk

33) Evgeni Nabokov

34) Jacob Markstrom

35) Steve Mason

Here are what some Twitter people have to say with their top 5 goaltenders and many thanks to those who took the time to enter their selections.

@CoreyRanes has Crawford, Quick, Lundqvist, Howard and Anderson.

@1TaniaSilva has Crawford, Lundqvist, Grinch?, Brodeur and Anderson.

@GoodLuckGriff has Crawford, Howard, Rask, Rinner and me @TK0N LOL. Thanks, Griff.

@atbrus has Lundqvist, Crawford, Rask, Quick and Smith.

@2mins4tweeting has Brodeur, Lundqvist, Quick, Crawford and Rinne.

@NicKKrapf has Lundqvist, Quick, Rask, Rinne and Crawford

@marcm321 has Quick, Lundqvist, Rinne, Miller and Rask.

@jmckelvie has Lundqvist, Miller, Ward, Rinne and Quick.

@TheChicagoFan has Quick, Lundqvist, Bobrovsky, Rask and Crawford.

@NJDPrime has Quick, Rinne, Howard, Lundqvist and Schneider.

@GirouxtoTango has Rask, Crawford, Quick, Rinne and Howard.

@CayseePatrick has Lundqvist, Quick, Niemi, Rinner and Rask.

@Fireball6449 has Brodeur, Quick, Halak, Crawford and Rask.

@PrazMaster has Lundqvist, Quick, Rinne, Fleury and Crawford

Click on the user names and give these hockey nuts a follow!

Thanks to Zimbio for the photos and most importantly thanks to all of your for taking the time to take a look at these ranking.

TK0N

 


 

 

 

Hello there ladies and gentlemen,

Have no fear I am back from my three week writing hiatus and have good news for all of you. In an attempt to keep me writing on a consistent basis Trent and I have decided I will pick up a few more teams to write about. So with out further ado my list of new teams and my three favorite players on the team :) <3

 

SAN JOSE SHARKS

This is only fitting because the Sharks were my number 2 team for a long time. When I was 13 I found a plaid flannel shirt with Sharks colors on it. One of the most beautiful things I own :) <3

    On to my San Jose Sharks

1. Ryan Clowe

He used to play for the Cleveland Barons (AHL) back in 2003.  I’ve always enjoyed the fact that when Clowe gets mad he really gets mad. There is no holding back. Especially if he is seeking vengeance for a hurt teammate.

2. Marc-Edouard Vlasic

As many of you know I really like Vlasic pickles. Sadly, this was the reason why I started to like Vlasic. Lucky for me he is pretty good at assisting fellow teammates.

3. TJ Galiardi

I enjoyed watching Galiardi play when he was with the Lake Erie Monsters. He is one of those understated play makers. Definitely a pleasure to watch.

 

 

 

 

WINNIPEG JETS 

I was sad when the Atlanta Blackhawks Thrashers moved out of Georgia. I had mapped out a road trip that year to see my lovely Blackhawks Thrashers. Then I was sad because that meant I would rarely see Natalie Taylor report. In the end it worked out. Natalie came to the Columbus and the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg. With the exception of the Canucks I like all Canadian teams. In fact, I’d like to see the Jets win a Stanley Cup. The cup needs to go back to Canada at least once right?

1. Jim Slater

I really loved watching Slater play in Worlds this summer. He was a nice addition to the team. Plus, I’m a huge fan of his work on “Saved By the Bell”. ;-)

2. Dustin Byfuglien

You can knock Buffy all you want for being a big dude but that doesn’t take away from his defensive skills. Buffy knows how to use his body size to his advantage. The moment you don’t take Buffy serious he will score or set up a beautiful play that leads to a score. I love Buffy so much I own a shirt that says “I LIKE BIG BUFFS”. I’m not ashamed to say I changed the words of “Baby Got Back” to “Baby Got Buff”.

3. Grant Clitsome

Grant was one of the most beautiful human being to ever play for the Columbus Blue Jackets. When the Jets signed him you could hear women and gay men crying all over Columbus. Grant may not have been the best player on the Jackets but there was something fascinating about his style of play. You couldn’t take your eyes off of him. Unfortunately, neither could opposing teams.

 

NEW YORK RANGERS

I’ve spent a lot of my life flip flopping when it comes to the Rangers. I love them. I love them not. I love them. I love them not. Then I joined twitter and discovered Dave Lozo. Seriously this man never ceases to make me giggle.  (click here for an example of his awesomeness ). The point is Dave Lozo is a Rangers fan.

1. Henrik Lundqvist

Lundqvist is truly one of the best goalies to play the game during my lifetime.  That’s all that needs to be said.

2. Rick Nash

Here’s the odd thing about Nash being in my top 3 Rangers players: He was my least favorite Columbus Blue Jacket. There is a huge part of me that doesn’t want Nash to do well. At least this season. Then there is this other part of me that enjoys watching him. It seems as though Nash re-found his love for hockey in New York. Which is great. Everyone deserves to love their career.

3. Michael Del Zotto

Del Zotto is an all around good guy. On the ice. Off the ice. How can you not like him?

 

 

Well there you go guys. It’s going to be an interesting ride. :)

 

 

 

Crash the Net has compiled what we feel are the top 25 players at each position in the NHL. The rankings seen below are not necessarily based on the 2011/2012 season statistics and performances but were considered, of course.

Centers

It’s understood with the 2, 3 and 4 positions will be argued by many fans but there is no doubt who is the number one player in the NHL with that being Sidney Crosby. Toews brings the complete package with scoring, defensive play and the best face off player in the league. Malkin is an elite offensive weapon who is pretty decent in his own end as well and the similarities to retired superstar Mario Lemieux are uncanny. Stamkos is a pure sniper and no one comes close to having the shot or goal scoring prowess that he has. The final spot at the center position was between Mikhail Grabovski and Jeff Carter but we gave Grabovski a slight edge.

1)      Sidney Crosby

2)      Jonathan Toews

3)      Evgeni Malkin

4)      Steven Stamkos

5)      Pavel Datsyuk

6)      Henrik Sedin

7)      Jason Spezza

8)      John Tavares

9)      Eric Staal

10)   Nicklas Backstrom

11)   Anze Kopitar

12)   Patrice Bergeron

13)   David Backes

14)   Brad Richards

15)   Tyler Seguin

16)   Patrick Elias

17)   Ryan Getzlaf

18)   Mike Richards

19)   Ryan Kesler

20)   Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

21)   Jordan Staal

22)   Vincent Lecavalier

23)   Logan Couture

24)   Joe Thornton

25)   Mikhail Grabovski

Right Wingers

This was a tough one to choose for the top 3 in this category. Giroux has incredible offensive skill and is very good defensively as well; we believe Claude’s best is yet to come. Hossa is a great scorer and is often considered a top 3 two-way player in the league and the reigning MVP Corey Perry has turned his season around and is proving once again as one of the top players in the NHL. The Oilers Jordan Eberle edged out a tough field for fourth position, Jordan may be challenging Steven Stamkos for the Rocket Richard Trophy sooner than later.

1)      Claude Giroux

2)      Marian Hossa

3)      Corey Perry

4)      Jordan Eberle

5)      Patrick Kane

6)      Phil Kessel

7)      Marian Gaborik

8)      Jarome Iginla

9)      Teemu Selanne

10)   Ryan Callahan

11)   Jason Pominville

12)   Martin St. Louis

13)   Rick Nash

14)   Bobby Ryan

15)   Shane Doan

16)   Kris Versteeg

17)   Daniel Briere

18)   PA Parenteau

19)   Blake Wheeler

20)   Jaromir Jagr

21)   Dustin Brown

22)   Radim Vrbata

23)   Michael Ryder

24)   Teddy Purcell

25)   Joe Pavelski

Left Wingers

There’s no denying the skill of Ilya Kovalchuk but we won’t deny that we almost put Boston Bruins winger Milan Lucic in the top spot. Lucic has all the tools and not one NHL team would deny that they would love a player like Lucic on their respective team. Alexander Ovechkin usually would take top spot here but after saying in the pre-season that he was in the best shape of his life and currently having a lowly season by his standards, we have “The Great 8” ranked number 10 in the left winger top 25.

1)      Ilya Kovalchuk

2)      Milan Lucic

3)      Daniel Sedin

4)      Zach Parise

5)      Scott Hartnell

6)      Patrick Sharp

7)      James Neal

8)      Jamie Benn

9)      Thomas Vanek

10)   Alexander Ovechkin

11)   Gabriel Landeskog

12)   Taylor Hall

13)   Matt Moulson

14)   Loui Eriksson

15)   Ray Whitney

16)   Henrik Zetterberg

17)   Joffrey Lupul

18)   Evander Kane

19)   Max Pacioretty

20)   Brad Marchand

21)   Alexandre Burrows

22)   Dany Heatley

23)   Milan Michalek

24)   Andrew Ladd

25)   Erik Cole

Defenseman

This was an extremely tough top 25 to compile because many wonder if players like Weber/Suter and Keith/Seabrook would be as good as they are without their partner. Perhaps next year we will see if Nashville is unable to sign pending free agent Ryan Suter. For now, how can you not put Karlsson as the number 1 choice? Erik is on a torrid scoring pace and has the ability to change the game flow on his own, his skills are incredible and one can’t be happier for the Ottawa Senators having a player like this to build their team around.

1)      Erik Karlsson

2)      Zdeno Chara

3)      Shea Weber

4)      Ryan Suter

5)      Nicklas Lidstrom

6)      Kris Letang

7)      Keith Yandle

8)      Duncan Keith

9)      Drew Doughty

10)   Alexander Edler

11)   Alex Pietrangelo

12)   Dion Phaneuf

13)   Brent Seabrook

14)   Brent Burns

15)   Dustin Byfuglien

16)   Brian Campbell

17)   Dan Boyle

18)   Dennis Wideman

19)   Niklas Kronwall

20)   Mark Streit

21)   Matt Carle

22)   Kevin Bieksa

23)   Kimmo Timonen

24)   Kevin Shattenkirk

25)   Christian Ehrhoff

Goaltenders

“King Henrik” got the edge here but to be honest it really was a toss-up between Lundqvist and Rinne, both of their respective clubs are very good defensively and both goaltenders are absolutely above the rest of the pack. It would be fair for this to be a 1A and 1B ranking or even better yet, a tie for the first overall ranking. Many will wonder why we have a goalie like Brian Elliott ranked low when he has been arguably one of the best goaltenders this season and our reason is because prior to this year, he’s hardly been a legit NHL goaltender and he now plays for the number 1 ranked defensive team in the NHL. Not taking anything away from him because he has been fantastic but we’d like to see another season with him as a starter and not on a split squad goaltending duo like he is now.

1)      Henrik Lundqvist

2)      Pekka Rinne

3)      Marc-Andre Fleury

4)      Jonathan Quick

5)      Carey Price

6)      Mikka Kiprusoff

7)      Tim Thomas

8)      Jimmy Howard

9)      Ryan Miller

10)   Mike Smith

11)   Ilya Bryzgalov

12)   Jaroslav Halak

13)   Cam Ward

14)   Corey Schneider

15)   Roberto Luongo

16)   Kari Lehtonen

17)   Jonas Hiller

18)   Antti Niemi

19)   Brian Elliott

20)   Corey Crawford

21)   Martin Brodeur

22)   Semyon Varlamov

23)   Craig Anderson

24)   Evgeni Nabokov

25)   Jose Theodore

That is our list, we hope you enjoyed our rankings and would like to know if you agree or disagree and why?

Kudos to zimbio.com for the use of the photos

Thanks for reading,

TK0N

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