It's the constant debate; Who is the best goaltender in the NHL? The answer changes every season and if you lined up 100 people you're likely to get 100 different lists. The lockout-shortened season gave fans the opportunity to watch some fantastic hockey right through to the final buzzer. There were some tremendous goaltending performances and a lot of goaltenders really started to turn heads. Here's my list of the top 10 goaltenders from the lockout-shortened NHL season.
10. Braden Hotlby
Braden Holtby edged out Carey Price for the 10th spot in the countdown based on his numbers and Alex Ovechkin's resurgence. Holtby won 23 of his 35 starts posting a .920 Save Percentage and 2.58 Goals Against Average. Braden Holtby is a goaltender on the rise; he's earned the rights to the Capitals crease and shows no signs of giving it up. If he continues improving he'll climb up the NHL netminder ranks in no time.
playoff success. Holtby had a great season between the pipes for the Capitals and helped keep the team afloat before
9. Jimmy Howard
Jimmy Howard had a tremendous season between the pipes for the Detroit Red Wings and he had to do so without Nicklas Lidstrom on defence. Howard passed the test and made the Red Wings blue line look better than it was. Howard has really elevated himself to the front line of NHL goaltenders. He should battle for a spot to represent team USA at the 2014 Olympics.
8. Corey Crawford
It's tough to put a goaltender who backstopped his team to a Stanley Cup Championship so low on this list, but no one is sure which Corey Crawford is the real one as of yet. He split time this season with Ray Emery and if the veteran Emery hadn't gotten injured there's no guarantee Crawford would have started the playoffs. Once in the playoffs Crawford elevated his game and out-duelled some of the best goalies in the game today; the spotlight is now on Crawford, will he deliver again next season?
7. Craig Anderson
If not for an ankle injury which derailed his season, Anderson would have likely skated away with the Vezina after posting a 1.69 Goals Against Average and .941 Save Percentage after 24 games. Anderson was lights out during the regular season and helped backstop the Senators to the playoffs. At times last season Anderson looked Hasek-esque.
6. Sergei Bobrovsky
After last season how badly are the Philadelphia Flyers kicking themselves for getting rid of Bobrovsky? Bobrovsky had a career year, which earned him the Vezina and made him a finalist for the Hart trophy. But the biggest question is whether he'll be able to perform at that elite level again. Despite his career year, Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets fell just short of the playoff; Is Bobrovsky bound to be another great goalie on a non-playoff team?
5. Tuukka Rask
Tim Thomas return to Boston. Rask is a goalie who's knocking on the door of the NHL elite and if he can have another solid season or lead the Bruins to a Stanley Cup he may just step right through that door.
and a pretty good one at that. After another solid season between the Bruins pipes, leading the team to the Stanley Cup Finals, Rask appears to have wiped away any thoughts of a
4. Pekka Rinne
Pekka Rinne has established himself as an elite goaltender in the NHL. He had a tough 2012-2013 season but his team didn't help him with their goal scoring or lack there of. With the acquisition of Seth Jones, the Predators blue line should be fine for years to come which should help get Rinne back to the top 3.
3. Antti Niemi
Everyone remembers Niemi as the goalie who stumbled his way through the playoffs with the Chicago Blackhawks and won a Stanley Cup before promptly heading to San Jose. But since leaving Chicago, Niemi has quietly become one of the top goalies in the NHL. He put up solid numbers through the regular season playing 43 games and improved his game in the playoffs posting a 1.87 GAA. Has Niemi finally arrived or is he finally earning the respect he deserves?
2. Jonathan Quick
Since bursting onto the NHL scene and winning the Stanley Cup last season, Quick has quickly become one of the best puckstoppers in the NHL. Quick and Lundqvist are the two best goaltenders in the NHL and differentiating between who's better is like asking a parent which of their children are cuter. Quick has a bright future between the pipes and will look to lead team USA in 2014.
1. Henrik Lundqvist
As evenly matched as Quick and Henrik Lundqvist are, the King was slightly better through the
Here's my list, who's in your top 10? Let me know who I missed!