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Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price and Winnipeg Jets forward Devin Setoguchi.
Price slides into the No. 4 spot with his great play through eight games played. His 4-4 record might not do his overall body of work justice, but his .932 save percentage does.
While his numbers through eight games last year were nothing at which to scoff (6-2, 15 goals against on 218 shots for a .931 save percentage) either, his play infamously dropped off down the stretch. As a result, his play so far this season can only be considered an incredible improvement overall.
In fact, it was, coincidentally, his ninth game, a 6-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on February 8, that his numbers first started to average out.
What’s even more of a coincidence is that it was his final eight games of the season, during which he went 2-6 and had an .856 save percentage, that ultimately defined his mediocre season despite the great start.
Admittedly, there’s little guarantee that Price remains consistently incredible throughout this current campaign. New goaltending coach Stephane Waite may help in that regard, as should the motivation to perform well ahead of the Olympics.
His play currently, however, with two regular defensemen (Douglas Murray and Alexei Emelin) out of the lineup, should be the biggest reason for optimism.
That final, horrible stretch of his 2012-13 season actually coincided perfectly with the loss of defenseman Alexei Emelin to a knee injury. That Emelin is still out of the lineup currently points, at least superficially, to this year turning out differently.