As the NHL 2009-10 season marches toward its final weeks before the most exciting playoffs in sports begins, it becomes readily important for teams to score goals and get the lead early.
But it also is crucial that their goaltenders step up, lead their team through the pressure, and make the difference between being upset in the first round or finishing strong all the way through the Stanley Cup Finals.
However, when there's 16 teams that will eventually make the playoffs and still 27 of the 30 NHL squads within 10 points in the standings away from their conference's playoff cut-off line, not every goalie can make this difference and lead his team to glory.
Out of the mess, only the best of the best are solid enough to handle the pressure of playoff hockey.
And so we've come up with six netminders to watch heading toward the NHL postseason this March and April.
Some may be poised to take control of their teams' hopes for a league title, while others need to "up" their game, or perhaps become the next Cam Ward and come out of nowhere to take control in net.