Besides all of the recent trades between the two teams, the NHL’s newfangled Metropolitan Division rivalry of Columbus and the New York Rangers bears the intrigue of multiple showdowns between the last two Vezina Trophy winners.
Sergei Bobrovsky of the Blue Jackets succeeded Henrik Lundqvist of the Blueshirts as the top goaltender this past spring. Shortly thereafter, the new victor made an assertive proclamation as he told the Associated Press: “This is not my final stage…I can be better and I will be better.”
How much truth that proclamation holds and how soon it comes to fruition will be measured, in part, by where Bobrovsky’s 2013-14 run ranks with that of his competitors. Some NHL netminders submitted less-than-stellar performances last season, but have flaunted enough flair in other years to sustain the trust of their teams going forward.
Others have not incurred much of a blemish lately, but are nonetheless on a trajectory to make 2013-14 a better year than any of its predecessors. They are either blossoming in their mid-20s or stepping into a situation that promises to help them unveil the best of their game a little more.
Here is the forecast for the NHL’s top seven stoppers in the coming campaign.
Unless otherwise indicated, all statistics for this slideshow were found via nhl.com