Many hockey experts, fans and historians have agreed that the key to success is having exceptional goaltending.
If you look at the New York Islanders of the 1980s, Billy Smith was a part of the backbone that carried the Islanders through the Stanley Cup playoffs. His clutch and able goaltending helped the Islanders win four consecutive Stanley Cup Championships.
In this day and age, goaltending is still very vital to teams as they attempt to have their regular season success translate into postseason glory.
In the Atlantic Division, Ilya Bryzgalov, Martin Brodeur, Marc Andre Fleury, Henrik Lundqvist and Al Montoya are the starting goaltenders for their respective clubs.
Going into the 2011-12 season, who will be the best goaltender in the Atlantic Division? Puck Daddy recently ranked the top 25 goalies in the league and I will touch upon some of those rankings.
Who is in the prime of their career, who is coming off a great season and who is ready to steal the show in an attempt to capture a Vezina Trophy?
These rankings will be based off a certain criteria. This includes the future potential of each goaltender, the age of the goaltender, their injury proneness and how they performed last season.