Goaltenders Ready to Become Starters in the 2014-15 NHL Season

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Goaltenders Ready to Become Starters in the 2014-15 NHL Season
Karl B DeBlaker/Associated Press

No single player has as much influence over a team's fate than the starting goalie, and no one's performance is more unpredictable either. A team that finds itself a capable low-cost option in nets creates a huge competitive advantage, much as Tampa Bay enjoyed with Ben Bishop last year. Who could be ready to step up in 2014-15?

A wide range of analytics was applied to every active goalie who has never been an NHL team's No. 1 goalie in order to answer that question. Technically that includes anyone who hasn't started at least 41 games in a season, which rules out goalies like Ray Emery. I used my judgment to rule out those right on the line since it's arguable that Karri Ramo and Eddie Lack are already starters.

Don't look for goalies like Cam Talbot, Alex Stalock and Philipp Grubauer, because there just isn't quite enough data for those tough cuts. Other goalies, like Justin Peters and Al Montoya, just haven't shown enough potential to crack into such a small collection of 10 goalies. Josh Harding was also left off because he's already a starter whenever he's capable of competing.

Remember that this is a top 10 list of who may be capable of being a starting goalie, not who actually will be. Some of these goalies find themselves behind a star goalie on the depth chart and are unlikely to get the opportunity, barring an injury or a trade. A great example is the very first goalie on this list, so let's begin.

 

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

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