NHL Eastern Conference
|1. RYAN MILLER (3-11-0, 3.28)|
Miller is worth watching virtually every single night. Can you imagine making the top of the list with a record of 3-11 and a GAA of 3.28? But here is a prime example of how stats can be misleading.
|2. TUUKKA RASK (10-4-1, 1.52)|
Rask just never seems to throw an average game into the mix. He's a coach's dream because of his consistency.
|3. CAREY PRICE (7-7-2, 2.12)|
Price is certainly making a very strong case to play for the Canadian Olympic Team in February. He looks like he's a little quieter in the crease which usually comes with experience.
|4. BEN BISHOP (12-2-0, 2.02)|
Bishop has given the Lightning some confidence to play the game they want because he's been able to make the big save when it's needed the most.
|5. JAMES REIMER (4-2-0, 2.30)|
Reimer and Jonathan Bernier's strong play have masked a lot of the sloppines in front of them and they have both stolen games when they didn't deserve to earn points.
|6. JIMMY HOWARD (5-5-5, 2.67)|
Howard is the facing something he's never encountered before in Detroit and that's playing behind a group that gives up a lot of chances. Howard is fighting hard giving his team a chance to sort things through.
|7. MARTIN BRODEUR (5-3-2, 2.08)|
Yup! Brodeur has climbed back from a difficult start to be the goalie that dominated the NHL for years. Great to see Marty playing so well again.
|8. HENRIK LUNDQVIST (6-7-0, 2.51)|
Henrik Lundqvist deserves a mention for a couple of reasons, his steady play that has the Rangers back to .500 after a slow start. Plus he deserves credit for playing through a nagging shoulder injury that might need surgery at some point.
|9. MARC-ANDRE FLEURY (10-4-0, 2.07)|
Fleury is a more focused player on game days when you talk to people in the organization. Always a happy-go-lucky kind of personality that's easy to like and root for.
|10. JUSTIN PETERS (2-3-2, 2.81)|
I'm changing things up for this one, two goalies from different teams because they deserve a mention. Justin Peters has been brilliant his last 4 games and now with Cam Ward returning shortly this gives the Canes a nice 1-2 punch. Braden Holtby plays on a team that from time to time doesn't like defending very well but he's progressing steadily for the Caps.
NHL Western Conference
|1. JOSH HARDING (9-2-2, 1.22)|
Simply because he's playing the best and not because he's doing so while battling MS. Having said that, count me as one of the many people that greatly admire Josh for battling so hard while dealing with his severe health issue.
|2. SEMYON VARLAMOV (9-2-2, 1.22)|
Arguably the best tandem in the world right now, Seymon Varlamov and J-S Giguere have played so well the entire season. The Avalanche are the surprise team of the league and show no signs of slowing down.
|3. KARI LEHTONEN (7-3-2, 2.18)|
Lehtonen is by far the team MVP in Dallas. His team is dangerous to play against because he gives them a chance every night.
|4. FREDERIK ANDERSEN (6-1-0, 1.66)|
I know what you're saying. How dare I include him on the list now that he has finally lost a game? Joking aside, Andersen looks to be the real deal in Anaheim.
|5. COREY CRAWFORD (11-2-3, 2.22)|
Crawford looks like he's headed for his third 30 plus win season in the last 4 years and only the lockout prevented it being 4 consecutive seasons with more than 30 wins.
|6. MIKE SMITH (11-3-2, 2.81)|
Smith is seeing lots of rubber the early part of this season and has thrived with the number of shots and the work load. He's bounced back from an okay year in 2013.
|7. ANTTI NIEMI (9-2-5, 2.21)|
Niemi will most likely be on the list every time because he's one of the most determined goalies in the game today. He loves playing and winning, a pretty good combo!
|8. JONATHAN QUICK (10-5-0, 2.35)|
Quick and Ben Scrivens have made a great pair even though Quick's numbers aren't what you would expect from the former Conn Smythe winner. But don't be fooled; If Darryl Sutter tells you that's he's been really good, you pay attention. If you don't know this, Sutter doesn't go out of his way to praise his players.
|9. ONDREJ PAVELEC (7-7-2, 2.85)|
Pavelec is on a roll, he turned in 3 fabulous performances allowing his Jets to go on a three game winning streak.
|10. ROBERTO LUONGO (9-5-2, 2.41)|
Luongo and Eddie Lack give Vancouver the steady net minding every team desires. I was impressed with Lack when he finished the last half of the game vs LA. He made a number of great saves in relief.
Honourable Mention:This is also a first, but I thought Jaroslav Halak should receive some credit. He plays on a team (St. Louis) that doesn't give up a lot of shots and that's not always easy to stay in the game mentally. Brian Elliott is unbeaten in the four games he's played, so he's finding a way to contribute too.
Follow Kelly Hrudey on Twitter @KellyHrudey
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