Best Goaltenders In The NHL: Post-Lockout Qualifying Seasons

When I ran this list last season, it showed that there were no final four goaltenders in the top ten.  This season Jaroslav Halak and Ryan Miller spoil the party.  Halak's strong season puts him squarely in second place and Ryan Miller's Vezina-winning season elevated him from 18th to 10th, a feat made more impressive by Halak and Hiller debuting inside the top ten.

The top of the list is populated by the titans of NHL goaltending and Ty Conklin.  The bottom of the list is populated by backups, journeymen, and guys at the end of their careers.

The number at the left is the individual save percentage rank in the NHL since the lockout season for qualifying goalies with two seasons or more since 2005.  In this case a "qualifying season" is one in which the goaltender played in 25 regular season games or more. I'm using a minimum of two qualifying seasons to try and filter out short-term effects as much as possible.

In 05-06 there were 47 qualifying goalies, in 06-07 there were 44, in 07-08 there were 44, in 08-09 there were 56 and the number of qualifiers in 09-10 was 47.  SV% is the goaltender's save percentage in those qualifying seasons only.  The number to the far right is the individual save percentage rank in the NHL since the lockout based on qualified goalies with more than a single season. There are 61 such goalies since 05-06.

Rank Player Seasons SV% Prev.
1 Tomas Vokoun  5 0.922 2
2 Jaroslav Halak  2 0.92 NR
3 Jonas Hiller  2 0.918 NR
4 Niklas Backstrom  4 0.918 1
5 Tim Thomas  5 0.918 4
6 Henrik Lundqvist  5 0.918 7
7 Ty Conklin  3 0.917 8
8 Martin Brodeur  5 0.917 6
9 Roberto Luongo  5 0.917 5
10 Ryan Miller  5 0.916 18
11 Manny Fernandez  3 0.915 10
12 Dominik Hasek  3 0.914 11
13 Cristobal Huet  5 0.914 3
14 Ilya Bryzgalov  5 0.914 19
15 Pekka Rinne  2 0.914 NR
16 Miikka Kiprusoff  5 0.914 15
17 Chris Mason  4 0.913 13
18 Craig Anderson  3 0.913 24
19 Jean-Sebastien Giguere  5 0.913 12
20 Carey Price  3 0.912 17
21 Dan Ellis  3 0.912 14
22 Kari Lehtonen  4 0.911 20
23 Evgeni Nabokov  5 0.91 29
24 Martin Biron  5 0.91 26
25 Jonathan Quick  2 0.909 NR
26 Dwayne Roloson  5 0.909 22
27 Steve Mason  2 0.908 NR
28 Pascal Leclaire  3 0.908 9
29 Marc-Andre Fleury  5 0.907 23
30 Manny Legace  5 0.907 26
31 Rick DiPietro  3 0.907 28
32 Ray Emery  4 0.907 27
33 Martin Gerber  4 0.907 25
34 Josh Harding  2 0.907 NR
35 Brian Elliott  2 0.906 NR
36 Mike Smith  3 0.906 21
37 Cam Ward  5 0.905 35
38 Marty Turco  5 0.905 32
39 Jason LaBarbera  3 0.905 30
40 Nikolai Khabibulin  4 0.904 31
41 Mathieu Garon  4 0.903 33
42 Alex Auld  4 0.903 34
43 Antero Niittymaki  5 0.902 39
44 Peter Budaj  4 0.902 36
45 Fredrik Norrena  2 0.901 37
46 Olie Kolzig  3 0.9 40
47 Johan Hedberg  3 0.9 52
48 Jose Theodore  5 0.9 46
49 Curtis Sanford  2 0.899 41
50 David Aebischer  2 0.899 42
51 Chris Osgood  3 0.898 43
52 Vesa Toskala  5 0.898 38
53 Curtis Joseph  2 0.898 44
54 Ed Belfour  2 0.897 45
55 Brent Johnson  2 0.897 NR
56 Marc Denis  2 0.893 47
57 John Grahame  2 0.892 48
58 Johan Holmqvist  2 0.891 49
59 Andrew Raycroft  3 0.89 50
60 Mikael Tellqvist  2 0.89 NR
61 Patrick Lalime  2 0.889 51

 

  • Tomas Vokoun remains the gold standard of goalies over the last five seasons.  He's likely one goalie that will find money in unrestricted free agency, but he's already 34.  How many seasons does he have left?  Also, will anyone give up value for Vokoun at the deadline?
  • Jonas Hiller, on the other hand is just 28.  He's under contract for the next four seasons in Anaheim at only (compared to to other sizable goalie contracts) $4,500,000.  If I had to bet on any of these guys to maintain their numbers in the short term, it would be him, even behind that awful defense in Anaheim.
  • The Predators have four goaltenders on the list, Vokoun, Chris Mason, Pekka Rinne, and Dan Ellis.  Those four make up all of Nashville's qualifying seasons since the lockout and none of them are ranked lower than 21st.  Vokoun (1), Rinne (15), Mason (17), and Ellis (21) have delivered superb goaltending to the Preds over the last five seasons with zero playoff success to show for it.  The stellar play by that group rivals Backstrom and Fernandez from the Wild.
  • The common theme for the bottom ten?  The Toronto Maple Leafs.  Toskala, Joseph, Belfour, Raycroft and Tellqvist were all Leafs at one point or another since the lockout,.  Half of the bottom ten were Leafs.
  • Speaking of Raycroft, why in the world did Dallas sign him?  There were plenty of goaltenders available with better a better chance of breaking .900, yet they signed Raycroft to play behind one of the most oft-injured goalies in the league.  Are the dollars that tight for the Stars?
  • The Thrashers may have landed nice value in Chris Mason for the season.  He's getting older, but he's been consistent over the last four years for the Predators and Blues.
  • The Flyers revolving goaltending is on display in this list.  They've had 10 qualifying seasons in the last five seasons, four from Nittymaki, two from Biron and one each from Boucher, Emery, Esche and Leighton.
  • And finally, Khabibulin - 40th.  And aging. 
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