New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist towers above his peers. Nobody in the NHL can match his durability and consistently high performance.
These composite rankings include projection rankings from ESPN and Canada’s TSN network along with rankings by NHL.com and Dobber Hockey. Not surprisingly, Lundqvist was a unanimous No. 1.
Here is how they stack up:
1) Henrik Lundqvist, GT, New York Rangers
NHL-1, ESPN-1, TSN-1, Dobber-1
King Henrik is royalty indeed. Since 2010-11, Lundqvist has the best goals-against average (2.11) among regular goaltenders, the best even-strength save percentage (.932) and the most shutouts (21). He also has the second-most victories (99) and third-most appearances (173). In 11 overtime games last season he stopped all 30 shots he faced.
2) Tuukka Rask, GT, Boston Bruins
NHL-3, ESPN-2, TSN-2, Dobber-8
Rask answered all the skeptics last season after replacing Tim Thomas and going 19-10-5 with a 2.00 GAA, a .929 save percentage and five shutouts. He was brilliant in the playoffs, posting great ratios (1.88, .940) and earning three shutouts in 22 playoff games. His career save percentage is .927.
3) Jonathan Quick, GT, Los Angeles Kings
NHL-4, ESPN-7, TSN-3, Dobber-2
He has been much better in the playoffs (.940 save percentage) than the regular season (.915) the last two seasons. His overall ratios (2.45, .902) last season were dramatically worse than the season before (1.95, .929). But by April he looked like his old self, going 6-3-1 with a 2.25 GAA and a .917 save percentage. And playoff ratios were stellar: .934 and 1.86. His 2010-11 is a realistic indicator: 35 victories, 2.24 GAA, .918 save percentage and six shutouts.
4) Pekka Rinne, GT, Nashville Predators
NHL-9, ESPN-4, TSN-7, Dobber-5
His nagging hip injury and the massive team collapse dropped him into the statistical pack last season with a 2.43 GAA and .910 save percentage – well below his career ratios of 2.36 and .919. He started 42 games last season, third most in the NHL, and posted a .950 save percentage or higher 16 times.
5) Jimmy Howard, GT, Detroit Red Wings
NHL-6, ESPN-11, TSN-4, Dobber-6
In three of the last four campaigns he has posted at least a .920 save percentage. He had the sixth most saves last season. Howard had very little variance with his ratios the last two seasons -- 2.13 and .920 two years ago and 2.13 and .923 last season. In Games 3 and 4 of Detroit's Western Conference semifinal series against Chicago, he stopped 67 of 68 shots. In Game 7 he stopped 33 of 35 shots.
6) Corey Crawford, GT, Chicago Blackhawks
NHL-5, ESPN-10, TSN-8, Dobber-4
Two years ago his GAA soared from 2.30 to 2.72. His save percentage shrunk from .917 to .903. Come playoff time, he posted a dismal .893 save percentage in six games as Chicago caught an early cab. He entered last season sharing his duty with Ray Emery. Then he went 19-5-5 with a 1.94 GAA and a .926 save percentage. He led the NHL with 1.84 GAA in the postseason. In 51 regular season and playoff starts last year his ratios were 1.89 and .929.
7) Antti Niemi, GT, San Jose Sharks
NHL-2, ESPN-14, TSN-5, Dobber-9
He is coming off a career year: 24 victories, four shutouts, a career-best GAA (2.26) and career-high save percentage (.924.) His even-strength save percentage was .930 on 1,012 shots. His playoff ratios were even better – 1.97 and .930. But this was just his second season with a save percentage better than .920 and his career save percentage is just .917. He was 6-1-1 after a loss in which he allowed three or more goals, with a .928 save percentage He was 16-2-4 at home with a .934 save percentage.
8) Carey Price, GT, Montreal Canadiens
NHL-10, ESPN-8, TSN-14, Dobber-3
His peak season was 2010-11, when he led the league with 38 victories and ranked sixth with a .923 save percentage. His GAA has climbed from 2.35 to 2.43 and 2.59 the last three seasons. His save percentage has slipped from .923 to .916 and .905, which ranked 35th in the league among regular goaltenders. He lost seven of his last 10 games during the regular season. He posted an .856 save percentage in his last eight starts, He had awful ratios on the playoffs (3.36, .894) before getting hurt. His career percentage is just .915.
9) Roberto Luongo, GT, Vancouver Canucks
NHL-8, ESPN-5, TSN-13, Dobber-7
Among goaltenders with at least 10,000 even-strength minutes since 2007-08, only Tim Thomas (.935) has a better save percentage than Luongo (.930) that scenario. Among goalies with at least 100 starts during the last three seasons, Luongo's 2.29 GAA ranks fifth, his .922 save percentage ranks fourth and his 11 shutouts rank 13th. In last season’s time share he was 9-6-3 with a .907 save percentage in 20 appearances in 2013. He should be the workhorse, but hasn’t started more than 60 games since 2009-10.
10) Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Columbus Blue Jackets
NHL-12, ESPN-6, TSN-12, Dobber-12
He finished fast last season, going 8-1-0 in his last nine starts while allowing just 15 goals. He finished 21-11-6 with a 2.00 GAA and a .932 save percentage. He was tied with 16 games with a .950 save percentage or better. But can he do it again?
11) Craig Anderson, GT, Ottawa Senators
NHL-11, ESPN-3, TSN-6, Dobber-16
He was brilliant last season in a small sample size, leading the league in save percentage (.941) and GAA (1.69) in 24 games. Starred in the first round of the playoffs by stopping 171 of 180 shots (.950 save percentage). His ratios the season before were pedestrian: 2.83 and .914. In 2010-11, he starred in 18 games for Ottawa (11-5-1, 2.05, .939) but struggled for Colorado (13-15-3, 3.28, .897).
12) Marc-Andre Fleury, GT, Pittsburgh Penguins
NHL-16, ESPN-9, TSN-18, Dobber-10
His regular season ratios have been stellar the last three seasons: GAAs of 2.32, 2.36 and 2.39 and save percentages of .918, .913 and .916. But his playoff save percentage since 2009 is sub-.900, including .834 two years ago and .883 in five games last spring. He has won 249 games at the age of 28. A new goaltending coach and a bolstered team defense give him a chance to improve.
13) Mike Smith, GT, Phoenix Coyotes
NHL-7, ESPN-15, TSN-10, Dobber-26
After a breakout season in 2011-12 (39-18-10, 2.22 GAA, .930 save percentage) he returned to earth last season -- finishing 15-12-5 with a 2.58 GAA and a .910 save percentage. His career ratios (2.57, .913) over seven seasons are pedestrian.
14) Braden Holtby, GT, Washington Capitals
NHL-17, ESPN-16, TSN-11, Dobber-14
He earned his chance to start last season during the previous playoffs, when he posted brilliant ratios (1.95, .935) in 14 postseason games. Holtby was 23-12-1 last season with a 2.58 GAA and a .920 save percentage. He appeared in 75 percent of the games last season, something that hadn't happened for a goalie in Washington since 2003-04. As Washington finally grasped Adam Oates system, Holtby starred in March 8-4-1, 2.29, .925 and April (9-1-0, 2.16, .937)
15) Kari Lehtonen, GT, Dallas Stars
NHL-13, ESPN-20, TSN-15, Dobber-23
He mostly was healthy last season, starting 35 games. But his GAA soared from 2.33 to 2.66. His save percentage slipped from .922 to .916. He won 66 games the previous two seasons as a workhorse. Stars ranked 22nd in shots allowed last season and posted a minus-13 goal differential.
16) Cam Ward, GT, Carolina Hurricanes
NHL-18, ESPN-17, TSN-22, Dobber-11
He has won 30 or more games five times since 2006-07. He played at least 68 games in four of five seasons prior to the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign. He made fourth-most saves (4,585) in the NHL over the past three seasons, trailing only Pekka Rinne, Carey Price and Ryan Miller. But his career ratios (2.74, .910) are well below average.
17) Ryan Miller, G, Buffalo Sabres
NHL-14, ESPN-25, TSN-16, Dobber-18
Miller has had one outstanding season in the NHL -- in 2009-10, when he won 41 times with a 2.22 GAA, a .929 save percentage and five shutouts. Other than that, Miller has never had a GAA better than 2.53 or a save percentage better than .918. Last season he was 17-7-5, 2.81 GAA and a .915 save percentage. But he is in the walk year of his contract and hoping to extend his career.
18) Cory Schneider, GT, New Jersey Devils
NHL-19, ESPN-12, TSN-9, Dobber-19
He brings great career ratios (2.10, .927) to New Jersey. But in parts of five NHL seasons he has started just 86 games and he seems destined to split time with franchise legend Martin Brodeur this season.
19) Niklas Backstrom, GT, Minnesota Wild
NHL-15, ESPN-23, TSN-24, Dobber-27
He took charge down the stretch last season, starting 27 of the final 28 games. He went 11-2-0 in March with a 2.48 GAA and a .915 save percentage. He finished 24-15-3 with a 2.48 GAA and a .909 save percentage. He is coming back from sports hernia surgery. Back in 2007-08 he was 37-24-8 with a 2.33 GAA and a .923 save percentage.
20) Jonas Hiller, G, Anaheim Ducks
NHL-21, ESPN-13, TSN-30, Dobber-25
Back in 2011-12 he started a league-high 73 games in 2011-12. Last season he split time and finished 15-6-4 with a .913 save percentage. He posted GAAs of 1.95 and 1.94 during the last two months of last season. He was the playoff starter and posted .917 save percentage. His career ratios are 2.51 and .917.