Ranking Every NHL Team's Top Goaltender

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Ranking Every NHL Team's Top Goaltender
Derek Leung/Getty Images

Which team has the best starting goalie? Henrik Lundqvist and Tuukka Rask are just two of many netminders who are frequently referred to as the league's best. Can analytics help shed some light on where each team currently ranks?

To answer this we'll need to avoid two common mistakes when evaluating goalies while using hockey analytics. The first is to avoid using only a single evaluation metric, and second is to use a large enough sample size.

Goalies have a true talent level, and statistics can only be used to try to estimate what that level is. The more data we have and the more types of data we use, the more accurate that estimate becomes.

That's why we're using the last five years of data for these rankings, from 2009-10 up until this past week-end. That's also why we're looking at save percentage in a variety of different ways, but at even strength only. Wins and shutouts are being ignored to instead focus on how frequently each goalie is posting quality starts (games where they stop at least a league-average number of shots).

Given the five-year spread of data being used, an indication of which way each goalie is trending is being included as well. For example, Steve Mason is currently much better than his numbers over the past few years would suggest, just like Tim Thomas is currently a little worse.

The end result isn't meant as a definitive ordering, but instead as merely the best estimate possible using the available data. Click "next" to begin.

 

All advanced statistics are via writer's own original research unless otherwise noted.

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