When the Montreal Canadiens or the Colorado Avalanche had Patrick Roy as there starting goalie they knew they had one the best masked man in the game of hockey.
They knew that when they needed strong performance to win that elusive game that would get there team in the playoff, Patrick would stand tall and be the difference maker on any given night.
Can your man between the pipes do the same thing for your team this year?
Let's take a look at it, and I will tell you if your team has a man who can carry them to the big dance.
Currently third in the Eastern Conference and holding a small seven-point lead over 10th place Buffalo the Philadelphia Flyers are wondering if Martin Biron (picture) will play like the man they acquired from Buffalo.
Sharing duty with Antero Niitymaki for most of the season Biron must rise to the occasion and prove that he can be an elite goaltender.
If he can't, Niitymaki will have a chance to show what he can do and I am not sure it is enough.
Flyers will make the playoffs cause I believe Biron will be "The Man" for the Flyers.
In their 100th season, the Montreal Canadiens gave the No. 1 job to 21-year-old Carey Price, and it has not been easy so far.
It is a lot of pressure to be a number goaltender in the NHL and even more in Montreal where goaltenders are seen as gods, young Carey Price has had a so so season.
A weak glove hand, the fact that he has not stolen a game for his team this season are things that are making me question the decision to entrust the young man with such a task that is leading the Canadiens to the promise land and winning a Stanley Cup.
Price has been playing better in his last five games but, he only has a 2-2-1 records during those five games.
At the end of the day, your goalie has to win some games for you, something that Jaroslav Halak was doing before he was sidelined with a flu.
Sorry Montreal, I do not see playoffs in this historical season unless No. 31 plays to the level of the hype that the media have built for him.
Playing in the Igloo in Pittsburgh is Marc-Andre Fleury who is finally starting to play like he did last season when he lead his team to the Stanley Cup final.
Fleury has been stellar in the last 10 games for the Pens and helping them to a 8-1-1 record in those games.
Penguins fan, feel good about this!!! The Pens will be in the playoffs and you will thank Fleury for that.
King Henrik will once again be himself and the New York rangers will make it in the playoffs...Not much to question on this guy!
Lundqvist has been steady as a rock all season long, and I don't see that changing much.
Sitting in eight position in the east with a huge one-point lead on the Florida Panthers, the Hurricanes have a young goaltender who has been having a good season but not a spectacular one.
Cam Ward Has been playing much better lately giving up only nine goals in his last five games. If he can get back any where close to his Stanley cup form the Hurricanes have a strong chance of playing more than 82 games.
The Florida Panthers are down only by one point to the Hurricanes with two games in hand!!!
If they make the playoffs they will owe Thomas Vokoun a few round of drinks!
With a 2.49 Goals against average and a ,925 save percentage he is one of the best goaltender of the NHL this season and he his doing his large part to help this team get to the promise land...
Now it's up to the players to score more goals for him.
Panthers will be either eighth or ninth....
With 14 games left to play the Buffalo Sabres biggest challenge will be to make the playoffs without star goalie Ryan Miller who is out for the season.
Patrick Lalime will do his best to get back to the form he had with the Ottawa Senators of few years ago. So far he has done ok, posting a record of 3-2-0 in his last five starts along with a GAA of 2,73 and a save % of ,921 during that stretch.
Not bad at all, but he his not Ryan Miller....Sorry Sabres Fan...it will be heart breaking but it will be tough to make it....
Teams that are already pretty much assure of a playoff spots are:
The Boston Bruins: With the unbreakable man Tim Thomas in front of the net, Bruins fans have nothing to worry about.
The New Jersey Devils: Martin Brodeur.....enough said.
The Washington Capitals: Josee Theodore, sometimes great sometimes mediocre he still has a 2,79 GAA and a ,902 save %....Good enough to make the playoffs with a team loaded in skills like the Caps...
There you go, now let's take a look at the Western conference teams!
In fourth place of the Western Conference, the Vancouver Canucks have the best goaltender in the conference: Roberto Luongo.
With a record of 3-1-1 in his last five starts Luongo has shown that he has recovered from his injury and his poised to lead the Canucks to the post-season.
Vancouver is 7-2-1 in here last 10 games....Welcome to the playoffs, Van-city!
The Blue Jackets are the only active NHL team to never play a single game past the regular season......
Well, it's all going to change this season because of a 20-year-old goaltender named Steve Mason who is posting a 28-16-3 record to go with a stellar GAA of 2.20 and a save % of .920....
A candidate for Rookie of the year, MVP and for the Vezina trophy (best goaltender) Mason will lead the Jackets to there first ever playoff berth.
Sitting seventh in the Western Conference is not bad, right? Usually not, but with only one point between them and the Ducks that are 12th is not that much fun!!!
Thirty-nine-years old Dwayne Roloson has been struggling as of late and it might not be the right time to show a record of 1-1-3 in his last five games to along with a terrible 3.71 GAA and a save % of .890.
Sorry Edmonton, only Calgary will make it for the province of Alberta this season.
Dallas is sitting in eight position because they had a bad start to their season, just like their goalie, Marty Turco.
Turco has been player better lately, but I do not believe it will be enough to lead them to the postseason.
Just outside of the playoff and peeking over the fence are the Minnesota Wild who just extended the contract of there No. 1 man Nicklas Backstrom.
With the performance of one of the best in the league the Wild will be in the playoffs this season.
Talk about time sharing!!!
In Nashville, it was all about splitting duty between Dan Ellis and Pekka Rinne until the day Rinne took the number one spot and never giving it back!
The 26 years old Finnish goaltender has stolen the top job in Nashville and has posted solid numbers.
Now can his team give him some goal support? That remains to be seen...no Spring hockey in Nashville...sorry!!
With the solid performances of Chris Mason, the St. Louis Blues will sneak, barely, into the playoffs and they will thank No. 50 for that!!!!
J-S Giguere is having an horrible season and that is why Jonas Hiller and him have been sharing the net.
Not an ideal situation for a team just two points out....
Will a No. 1 goalie please stand up!!!
Now for the teams that are sure shots for the playoffs:
Detroit Red Wings: The only problem they have is good goaltending, neither Osgood or Conklin seemed to be poised to take that lead role.
San Jose Sharks: Evegeni Nabokov is like he has always been, that would be solid! Add Brian Boucher as the backup and you got a good recipe.
Calgary Flames; Miikka Kiprusoff will steal you all the games you need but hope he doesn't get hurt cause backup Curtis McElhinney doesn't have much experience in the NHL.
Chicago Blackhawks: Montreal let go Huet last year to Washington and now the Hawks are benefiting of this Montreal mistake. The French goalie is ready to play...Oui oui!!
Developing a good young goaltender takes time and patience so for all the other teams in the NHL that will not make the post season this year, stay the course with your young goalie!!!
Give them a chance to grow and learn the pro game and they will be just fine.....Just like Jonathan Bernier of the Los Angeles Kings....
Let the playoff race begin....