To win a Stanley Cup, a team must possess impeccable quality throughout all parts of their team.
But no matter how much offensive firepower and defensive impenetrability a club boasts, they aren't going to be able to walk away with the prize without a world-class goaltender.
After all, goalie is unquestionably the most important position on the ice.
When you really think about it, there are only three men in each arena that single-handedly control one-half of the scoreboard. One of those is the scorekeeper; the other two, however, are those valiantly defending their respective creases and holding the weight of their teams' hopes on their shoulders.
With the 2012 NHL Playoffs packed full of both flawless netminders and high-stakes series, the value of the ultimate goalie will be more evident than ever this spring.
As all eight closely-matched series fly towards the finish line, even the slightest goaltending edge could very likely decide who moves on and who goes home.
How do all 16 postseason goaltending units stack up against each other when the pressure is on? We'll rank each and every team, based on their overall netminding strength, experience and track record, in the coming slides.