2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs logo2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs

2011 NHL Playoffs Goalie Report Card: Who's Shining and Who's Leaking?

April WeinerCorrespondent IApril 28, 2011

2011 NHL Playoffs Goalie Report Card: Who's Shining and Who's Leaking?

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 27:  Dwayne Roloson #35 of the Tampa Bay Lightning protects the net against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on April 27,
    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    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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    LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 21:  Antti Niemi #31 of the San Jose Sharks lays on the ice after allowing a goal by the Los Angeles Kings in the second period of game four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staple
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Antti Niemi and the San Jose Sharks are advancing to the next round.

    However, Niemi’s performance was average. He posted an .863 save percentage and a 3.99 goals-against average.

    The Sharks will need a better performance if they hope to defeat the Detroit Red Wings.

    Grade: C

Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators

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    ANAHEIM - APRIL 22:  Goalie Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators makes a save against the Anaheim Ducks in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center on April 22, 2011 in Anaheim, Calif
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    The Nashville Predators may have been the biggest surprise of the playoffs to this point, defeating the Anaheim Ducks for their first series win in the postseason.  

    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.

    Grade: C+

Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings

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    GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 20:  Brian Rafalski #28 of the Detroit Red Wings clears the puck past goaltender Jimmy Howard #35 while pressed from Lauri Korpikoski #28 of the Phoenix Coyotes in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    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.

    Grade: B-

Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins

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    MONTREAL, CANADA - APRIL 26:  Tim Thomas #30 of the Boston Bruins stretches during a TV timeout in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Montreal Canadiens during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre on April 26, 201
    Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images

    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.

    Grade: B

Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks

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    VANCOUVER, CANADA - APRIL 26: Goalie Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks catches the puck after amking a save against the Chicago Blackhawks during the third period in Game Seven of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley C
    Rich Lam/Getty Images

    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.

    Grade: A-

Brian Boucher, Philadelphia Flyers

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    BUFFALO, NY - APRIL 20: Brian Boucher #33 of the Philadelphia Flyers makes a save against the Buffalo Sabres  in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HSBC Arena at HSBC Arena on April 20, 2011 in Bu
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    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.

    Grade: A-

Michal Neuvirth, Washington Capitals

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    WASHINGTON , DC - APRIL 23:  Michal Neuvirth #30 of the Washington Capitals celebrates being named the first star of the game against the New York Rangers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the
    Len Redkoles/Getty Images

    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.

    Grade: A+

Dwayne Roloson, Tampa Bay Lightning

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 27:  Dwayne Roloson #35 of the Tampa Bay Lightning makes a save against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on April 27, 2011
    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    The Pittsburgh Penguins had a 3-1 series lead against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    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.

    Grade: A+

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