NHL Playoffs 2012: Goalies Who Will Carry Their Team to a Stanley Cup

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVApril 8, 2012

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 10:  Drew Miller #20 of the Detroit Red Wings fires a shot for a goal against Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on March 10, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

With the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs set to begin, and nearly all of the most explosive offensive stars emerging on hockey's biggest stage, great goaltending is at even more of a premium.

This year's playoff field is littered with top-notch goaltenders who can carry their team toward a Stanley Cup.

Let's take a look at the best goalies in the playoffs who could win a Stanley Cup for their respective team.


Pekka Rinne - Nashville Predators

Rinne's season has been overshadowed by some goaltenders with career seasons, but he's been more productive than ever for Nashville and isn't talked about enough for their success.

The talk of the Predators this year has been centered around the uncertainty in the future of Ryan Suter and Shea Weber, as well as building the team for more offensive production, but Rinne is the rock in between the pipes that has kept them contending this year.

His 73 games played are the most in the NHL among goaltenders.

Rinne leads the league in wins with 43 and has made more saves than any goalie in the league, which notes his consistent play and ability to stop onslaught after onslaught of shots, something he'll face against Detroit in the first round.

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 01:  Chris Kelly #23 of the Boston Bruins shoots against Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers and Mike Rupp #71 of the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on April 1, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty
Chris Trotman/Getty Images


Henrik Lundqvist - New York Rangers

The Rangers wouldn't be close to the top of the NHL without stud Swedish goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

This season, Lundqvist became the first goalie to win at least 30 games in each of his first seven seasons. His consistency and unbelievable play will take the Rangers deep in the playoffs. 

His ridiculous 1.97 goals allowed average is second among goalies who have played 60 or more games. 


Jonathan Quick - Los Angeles Kings

It's hard to understand how a team who finishes 14th in the Western Conference in goals scored can make the playoffs.

That is, until you look at their goalie. 

Jonathan Quick has had an unbelievable year and seems to be leading the Vezina Trophy race. His 1.95 goals allowed average is best in the league and he follows that up with a .929 save percentage.

No team will rely on their goalie more than the Kings will lean on Quick in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs.