Elite goalies are tough to come by. But the Americans have been blessed with stellar goaltending in 2010 (Ryan Miller) and 2014 (Jonathan Quick). Though it didn’t translate into a gold medal, it certainly kept Team USA in the thick of things.
As we enter our second month of scouting, we’ve ranked by who we think should be starting between the pipes if the WCOH started today. Statistics and current performance trump our rankings. Past performance certainly plays a role.
Trending grades are based upon month-to-month stats.
#1: Cory Schneider
The New Jersey Devils’ netminder continues to carry the team on his back, and has been the leading reason the Devils are in a playoff hunt through the first two months of the season. Schneider built on a strong October and posted even better numbers in November.
The biggest hindrance for Schneider is Jonathan Quick’s playoff and Olympic performances. Past performance often helps when making selections like this. With Los Angeles General Manager Dean Lombardi in charge of picking the team (with the advice of others), Quick would have a slight advantage going into the #1 race.
October: 6-2-1; 2.17 GAA; .919 SV%
November: 5-4-1; 1.90 GAA; .930 SV%
5 on 5: .940 SV%; SH: .885 SV%
#2: Ben Bishop
Tampa Bay’s behemoth of a goalie, much like Quick, has been up and down during the season. Though his up, which was all of November, assisted in him leapfrogging Quick in our rankings. Bishop was outstanding in November, posting the best GAA and Save % of the three goalies listed here. Also helping his case is the stellar showing in last year’s Stanley Cup Playoff. Even with a torn groin in the Stanley Cup Final, Bishop’s efforts were still on a high level.
I know that he doesn’t have the accolades of Jonathan Quick, but if Bishop continues this trend, he’ll certainly push for the top two spots in September. Our reasoning to go with Schneider over Bishop as the #1? Schneider continued his stellar play through both months, and his defensive corps–as well as his team–is not nearly as strong as Bishop’s.
October: 5-5-1; 2.37 GAA; .916 SV%
November: 4-3-1; 1.60 GAA; .941 SV%
5 on 5: .943 SV%; SH: .840 SV%
#3: Jonathan Quick
The Los Angeles Kings’ goalie has two Stanley Cups to his name and an impressive Olympics resume, but that still isn’t enough to give him the top spot in our December rankings.
Along with his team, Quick has been up and down through the first two months of the season. Quick’s strong numbers from October fell quite a bit in November. Some of this isn’t his fault. LA has struggled mightily with only Drew Doughty anchoring a once ruthless blue line. Depth has been suspect and as such, Quick has found himself on the bad end of many games.
But in the words of our very own Jim Gatlin: “When he’s on, he’s spectacular.”
October: 6-3-0; 2.09 GAA; .925 SV%
November 5-4-1; 2.45 GAA; .909 SV%
5 on 5 – .933 SV%; SH – .848 SV%