The NHL playoffs begin tonight, and that means 16 teams are prepping to make a deep postseason run.
Once the games begin, the shooters will start scoring, the defenders will start hitting and the goalies will start being spectacular.
After all, the playoffs do seem to bring out the best in goalies. Awe-inspiring performances have been put on—some by goalies on this list.
Offense can take a team very far, but in the end, a team can't lose if it doesn't give up a goal. Goalkeepers are often the backbones of Stanley Cup teams, and there's no reason to think this year will be any different.
Each of the goalies on this list was good enough to anchor a playoff team, which is impressive enough. But between this past season's play and playoff performances of the past, it's easy to see some goalies are a safer bet in the playoffs.
A note: These rankings do not predict how each team will do, nor do they represent each goalie's skill. This is about what each goalie is capable of doing, what can be reliably expected of him and how good a chance he gives his team of winning a game.
Rankings were based on 2011-12 season performance and career playoff performance.
All numbers obtained via Hockey Reference, NHL.com and ESPN.com