Following a statistically shaky regular season and another premature playoff exit against the Vegas Golden Knights in the second round, San Jose Sharks goalie Martin Jones has become a question mark in net for many fans and analysts around the league. After being pulled twice in San Jose’s series against Vegas and having a string of poor outings for the Sharks, it wouldn’t be completely unfair to wonder if Jones isn’t the longterm solution in goal for Peter DeBoer’s squad. However, I believe that despite all the reasons to doubt him, the Sharks have nothing to worry about in goal.
On Tuesday, Washington Capitals Head Coach Barry Trotz informed the media of his decision to go with goalie Philipp Grubauer over Braden Holtby for Game 1 of the playoffs against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Trotz said that he is comfortable with his decision for Thursday night’s game, but will evaluate it “game by game” after that. If history proves anything, this is a bad way to approach your goaltending situation going into the playoffs. Although Grubauer is fully capable of performing and winning games, this is still a mistake on the part of the Capitals’ coaching staff.
The state of California is not known for hockey. Of course, there are 3 NHL teams in the state, all with their own AHL affiliates, and hockey is undoubtedly growing, but it has a small, albeit passionate, following. Youth hockey has existed here for decades now, and to try and gain national recognition, youth hockey associations have taken it upon themselves to improve their competitiveness. In doing so, they are hurting the sport and ruining the experience for thousands of players.
The likes of players such as Carey Price are never seriously considered viable trade bait come the yearly NHL trade deadline, or at any other time of the year for that matter. However, the longtime Montreal Canadiens goaltender and stalwart as one of the world’s best could make a difference and be the final piece for a cup contender. And given the current situation in Montreal, it might be best for both the Habs and himself if he were moved now.
Calvin Pickard has played in a grand total of 86 NHL games since being drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the second-round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Of those 86 games, 74 were starts. Pickard has amassed a record of 28-44-6, with a 2.77 GAA and .914 SV%, along with 3 shutouts. How, then, with such a small body of NHL work and an admittedly dismal record, is Calvin Pickard an elite goalie?
An NHL goaltender has the weight of the world on their shoulders. A good performance from a team’s goalie has the power to make or break a game, a responsibility felt in no other position in sports. To have good games here and there is one thing, but to be consistently exceptional is another— the goalies on this list have earned their spots in the ‘Top 5’ for being among the few who impress year after year.
This year’s expansion draft forced the hands of more than a few General Managers, prompting them to make a move and shake up their depth in the crease. Rumors of Ben Bishop being one of the goalies moved had been discussed for some time, and at the trade deadline, Bishop found himself with the Los Angeles Kings. After a short stint in LA, Bishop was flipped to the Dallas Stars, who finally seized their opportunity for procuring a solid starting goalie. However, the Stars took on some risk signing Bishop, as he is not certain to be stable for long— at least not entirely.
Many NHL teams addressed the goaltending position this offseason, as was expected with the expansion draft complicating their respective situations. Some squads made predictable moves while others left us scratching our heads. Some teams decided to stay put and ride on their goalies from last season. Here are 3 goalies I think are going to “boom” in the 2017-18 season and 3 that I think are going to “bust.”