When I was asked to do column twice a month ranking the top ten goalies in both conferences I initially thought, no problem.
Now I'm sitting here writing only my third article of the year and I'm finding it incredibly difficult to rank the goalies because it's an ever changing landscape. What seems reasonable today might be completely off in three or four days. Oh well, I'll give it my best shot.
NHL Eastern Conference
|1. TUUKKA RASK (6-4-0, 1.71)|
Rask is still on the top of my list, which I'm pretty sure won't be a surprise to anyone.
|2. JONATHAN BERNIER (6-4-0, 2.31)|
Bernier and James Reimer both continue to steal points for the Leafs. Toronto knows they have to improve defensively but until they do that their goalies have been brilliant.
|3. CAREY PRICE (6-5-0, 2.02)|
Price and Peter Budaj continue to be a great 1-2 punch for the Canadiens. Budaj was perfect in his start in MSG, while Price followed that with a 26 save win the following night.
|4. CAM TALBOT (2-1-0, 1.96)|
Talbot filled in extremely well for the injured Henrik Lundqvist. It's never an easy task playing your first NHL game, made even tougher when the team is struggling.
|5. STEVE MASON (3-6-0, 2.25)|
Mason looks to have his career heading back in the right direction. Playing in 9 of the team's first 11 games is a clear indication the Flyers feel he's making lots of progress.
|6. BEN BISHOP (7-2-0, 2.41)|
Bishop is one of the key reasons the Lighting are off to a strong start. I'm sure most people didn't expect to see the Bolts in 3rd place in the East at this point.
|7. MARC-ANDRE FLEURY (8-2-0, 1.79)|
Fleury rebounded nicely from a couple of loses to make 20 saves vs Carolina. Wednesday's game vs the Bruins will be a major test. (This article was submitted before the game.)
|8. RYAN MILLER (1-9-0, 3.13)|
Miller and Jhonas Enroth have been superb even with only 2 wins in the season for the Sabres.
|9. CRAIG ANDERSON (4-4-2, 3.16)|
Anderson hasn't had an easy start to the season. The Senators need to start playing better in their own zone. Once that happens Anderson's numbers will improve.
|10. BRADEN HOLTBY (4-5-0, 3.07)|
Despite being pulled in the first period vs Calgary had been playing unbelievably well on the Western road swing. The Capitals were awful in front Holtby against Calgary.
NHL Western Conference
|1. SEMYON VARLAMOV (7-1-0, 1.76)|
First place remains the same in the West again as Varlamov and J.S. Giguere continue cover up for any of the mistakes the Avs happen to make in their end.
|2. ANTTI NIEMI (9-1-2, 1.72)|
Niemi loves to play a ton and it really showed on the extended eight-game road trip the Sharks are finishing in LA. He's been spectacular!
|3. KARI LEHTONEN (4-2-1, 1.66)|
Lehtonen has been nothing short of brilliant in the four games since returning from an injury. He gives them a chance to win every night which says it all.
|4. FREDERIK ANDERSEN (3-0-0, 1.50)|
Andersen should get some credit for his three consecutive wins, one of those wins filling in after Jonas Hiller was pulled after just one period.
|5. JAROSLAV HALAK (7-1-1, 2.16)|
Halak is exactly what the Blues need, just a steady calming influence in the net. Make a few big saves and chalk up another win.
|6. JONATHAN QUICK (8-4-0, 2.56)|
It was only a matter of time until Quick found his stride. If he's not the best in the biz he's right at the top of the list.
|7. COREY CRAWFORD (7-2-2, 2.24)|
Crawford can win any kind of game his team throws his way. Whether it's a low scoring game or a wide open thriller.
|8. ROBERTO LUONGO (7-4-1, 2.46)|
Without the big stops by Luongo at the right times the Canucks wouldn't have such a successful road trip.
|9. MIKE SMITH (7-2-2, 2.97)|
Smith makes the list again because I'm giving him an "A" for effort. He remains one of the hardest working goalies in the game.
|10. CARTER HUTTON (2-1-0, 2.42)|
Hutton had a tough night vs the Blues but other than that the 27 year old from Thunder Bay has performed above expectations.
Follow Kelly Hrudey on Twitter @KellyHrudey
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