2011 NHL Playoffs Goalie Report Card: Who's Shining and Who's Leaking?
It seems like it has been the year of the goalies. We have seen amazing performances from both winning and losing goaltenders of each series.
Despite those great performances, only half of the goaltenders in the playoffs can advance to the second round.
Here are the report cards for each of the remaining goaltenders.
Antti Niemi, San Jose Sharks
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Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators
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Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne may be the biggest underrated goaltender this season. During the regular season, Rinne helped the Predators into the playoffs with a .930 save percentage and 2.12 goals-against average.
His numbers haven’t been as great in the playoffs, though, posting a .876 save percentage and 3.29 GAA.
Rinne will need to step that up if the Predators hope to upset Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks.
Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings
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Jimmy Howard and the Detroit Red Wings were a perfect 4-0 in the playoffs against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Granted, most of that credit goes to Howard's teammates in front of him.
He posted a .915 save percentage and a 2.5 GAA.
Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins
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Despite dominating the goaltender standings during the regular season, Tim Thomas got off to a rough start versus the Montreal Canadiens. His counterpart on the other end of the ice shined for the first couple of games.
However, Thomas and the Bruins bounced back, defeating the Canadiens in OT in Game 7. Thomas posted a .926 save percentage and a 2.25 GAA.
He’ll need to step that up, though, in the Bruins playoff rematch versus Boucher.
Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks
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Roberto Luongo has helped Vancouver be dominant all season. He struggled a bit against the Chicago Blackhawks, though. After all, they had been eliminated by the Blackhawks the previous two seasons.
The team managed to hang on in Game 7, with Luongo posting a .969 save percentage and only allowing one goal.
He has a .903 save percentage in the whole series and a 2.97 GAA.
Brian Boucher, Philadelphia Flyers
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The Philadelphia Flyers' goaltending situation was up in the air a lot in the playoffs.
First, rookie Sergei Bobrovsky was the starter. After he struggled, Brian Boucher took over. Then, Boucher experienced his own struggles in a game and Michael Leighton was his relief.
Despite the uncertainties, Boucher was 3-1 in the playoffs, posting a .934 save percentage and 2.10 GAA.
Michal Neuvirth, Washington Capitals
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Michal Neuvirth helped the Caps defeat the New York Rangers in just five games.
Despite being a rookie, Neuvirth has played like a seasoned veteran in the playoffs.
He posted a .946 save percentage. Neuvirth also leads the league in GAA in the playoffs right now, at 1.38.
Dwayne Roloson, Tampa Bay Lightning
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However, with the help of Dwayne Roloson, the Lightning came back to defeat the Penguins in Game 7. Roloson ended this round with a perfect save percentage, stopping all 36 Pittsburgh shots.
Any questions about his age were silenced after this series. His save percentage, .949, leads the playoffs now, and his GAA, 1.77, is second-best.
The Washington Capitals-Tampa Bay Lightning series will be amazing because of the phenomenal goaltenders alone.