I know many experts prefer to mix their goalies into their top 100 rankings, but for me, goalies are their own breed and therefore deserve their own rankings. I’ve played hockey my entire life and ran a pro-shop owned by a former NHL Defenseman for awhile, and equipping goalies is like delicately handling priceless paintings. Your individual scoring system and how many goalies your league starts will determine your rankings and where to grab these fickle creatures of habit.
1) Braden Holtby (Capitals): The top goalie spot is subjective and mostly based on personal preference, and Holtby is on the best team in the East, while starting upwards of 70 games for the Caps. I love all of my top four goalies, and could have placed any of them in the top spot, but Holts led the league in wins (48) last year and will push for that title again. Holtby was eighth in Save Percentage (.922) and fifth in GAA, and he will continue to dominate. Projection: 46 Wins, 6 Shutouts, 2.01 GAA, .925 S%
2) Carey Price (Canadians): Had Price played last season, he would have been my number one hands down. An absolute beast and the straw stirring the drink for Le Blu Blanc Rouge, Price and the Habs claim he is ready to roll, and the hockey world will get a front row seat once the World Championships begin next Saturday. If Price stays healthy, Montreal is in the playoffs hands down. If he gets hurt, it could be another long wasted season north of the border. Projection: 42 W, 9 SO, 2.03 GAA, .933 S%
3) Ben Bishop (Lightning): Health issues at season's end last year and throughout the playoffs kept Big Ben out of a possible number one ranking here. Tampa is my preseason Cup winner, and even with rumors of Bishop being the odd man out on the Lightning's contract musical chairs, and rumors about a possible trade to Dallas, Bishop is a beast. No matter where he ends up, Ben will put up top end fantasy statistics for you, the buyer. Draft him with confidence, knowing Big Ben led the NHL in GAA (2.06) last year and will again be counted on to backstop the young, talented, and Stanley Cup bound Lightning. Projection: 36 W, 7 SO, 2.08 GAA, 9.28 S%
4) Jonathan Quick (Kings): It’s hard for me to fathom that a goalie as good as Quick, on such a good team as the Kings, has never won the Vezina Trophy. But hey, Stanley Cups take all that personal pain away. Quick backstops a strong team which will again contend for the Pacific Division crown and Lord Stanley’s Cup. Projection: 38 W, 5 SO, 2.21 GAA, .920 S%
5) Martin Jones (Sharks): The former King stood on his head during the Cup Finals last year and hopes to be in the same situation again this year, but with winning results. Playing his first full season as a starting net minder, Jones came through with flying colors. Expect many more good seasons from the young Sharks goalie, and drafting him in the 3rd-6th round is a safe landing area. Projection: 38 W, 7 SO, 2.25 GAA, .919 S%
6) Jake Allen (Blues): With Brian Elliott in Calgary now, Allen takes off the training wheels and gets the lion’s share of net time. Jake put up great numbers last season and has a solid team in front of him again this year, ready to pile up the statistics. Tied for third last year in shutouts (6) in part-time duty, Jake the Snake should be drafted high this year. Projection: 37 W, 9 SO, 2.31 GAA, .917 S%
7) Corey Crawford (Blackhawks): I'm not sure how a three-time Cup Champion is underrated, but Crawford is. In leading the NHL in shutouts last season, Crawford showed his prowess with a superb team in front of him. A little older and leaner, Crawford is a sixth or seventh round pick in standard two-goalie drafts. Projection: 34 W, 6 SO, 2.27 GAA, .921 S%
8) John Gibson (Ducks): I’ve been waiting for Gibson to finally get the full slate of Ducks starts before age really hits the team's forwards. In split duty last season, the former Kitchener Ranger notched four shutouts to go along with middle of the road save and goals against numbers. With a full complement of games this year and a very good Ducks team, I’m counting on Gibby to shine. Projection: 36 W, 8 SO, 2.35 GAA, .923 S%
9) Cory Schneider (Devils): If Schneider back-stopped for the Lightning or Penguins, his name would be mentioned with some of the best, but unfortunately for his personal glory, he’s on a young rebuilding Devils squad. Cory will be the best goalie in the tri-state area and will get more leads to play with now that ultra-sniper Taylor has been added to bolster the offense. Just watch out for the losses. Projection: 29 W, 4 SO, 2.16 GAA, .920 S%
10) Tuukka Rask (Bruins): The last spot was a tough call--and many will call me insane for not including Henrik Lundqvist in my top ten, but I do not like the way the Blueshirts are headed. Boston is a playoff team if Rask plays at the top of his game. He is going to have to up his game with the Bruins fighting for playoff life this season, and Rask’s health will be key to said success. Projection: 28 W, 4 SO, 2.34 GAA, .917 S%
Just missed the cut: Pekka Rinne, Henrik Lundqvist, Roberto Luongo, Devan Dubnyk, and Brian Elliott.