This week, I'm once again going to choose some goalies that aren't exactly household names but deserve some credit, even though they wouldn't even be the No. 1 goalie on the roster.
Some of the guys I'm including have played extremely well lately but have also had a recent blowup, proving that even the best of the best can have a rough outing occasionally.
Remember, these rankings are not based on play from the beginning of the season but rather just their most recent work. The first two goalies in the Eastern Conference will be ranked as 1A and 1B, for obvious reasons.
Enjoy and discuss where you think your favorite goalie should rank.
NHL Eastern Conference
|1A. JAMES REIMER (7-4-1, 2.63)|
Both Toronto Maple Leafs goalies have been under siege lately, so I'm going to honour them as the top two choices, starting with Reimer.
|1B. JONATHAN BERNIER (9-9-2, 2.52)|
Bernier has been equally as good as Reimer this season. The Leafs would be in big trouble if not for the spectacular play of their goalies.
|3. TUUKKA RASK (16-7-2, 1.87)|
Rask might just be on his way to his first Vezina Trophy. He's clearly established himself as one of the best in the game.
|4. CAREY PRICE (14-9-2, 2.08)|
Tuesday's 6-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings aside, Price is on fire because he has adjusted quickly to the subtle changes goaltending coach Stephane Waite has made to his game.
|5. JONAS GUSTAVSSON (8-1-1, 2.03)|
Gustavsson is playing so well because he's back to being an athletic goalie instead of a shot-blocking netminder.
|6. BEN BISHOP (15-5-2, 2.11)|
Bishop continues to play very well. He's really the single reason the Lightning are fifth in the conference.
|7. STEVE MASON (10-9-3, 2.35)|
Mason has learned to forget about the goals he's given up, especially early on, and stay focused by breaking the game down into seven-minute segments loosely structured around the TV timeouts.
|8. MARC-ANDRE FLEURY (17-8-1, 2.01)|
Fleury has fought awfully hard to regain his spot as one of the top goalies in the game. He deserves a lot of credit for putting in the work to make that happen.
|9. JUSTIN PETERS (6-8-1, 2.26)|
Peters has had a great month, allowing only four goals in his three December starts.
|10. RYAN MILLER (6-16-0, 2.95)|
Miller should probably be ranked higher because he's been amazing even with a 6-16 record, which goes to prove stats can be very misleading.
NHL Western Conference
|1. JOSH HARDING (16-5-3, 1.52)|
Harding is making a case for some consideration for a spot on Canada's Olympic team. Great to see the determination and perseverance.
|2. MARTIN JONES (4-0-0, 0.74)|
Jones most likely won't be on the Kings roster in a couple of weeks, but he's turned in three great games to start his NHL career.
|3. BEN SCRIVENS (7-2-4, 1.56)|
Scrivens is playing the best hockey of his career because he was willing to make some changes in order to rid himself of a few sloppy habits.
|4. JONAS HILLER (12-4-4, 2.49)|
Hiller is making a statement that he's going to be a highly sought unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.
|5. KARI LEHTONEN (11-6-5, 2.39)|
Lethonen is entering the prime of his career at 30 years old. The Stars know how fortunate they are to have one of the best on their team.
|6. ROBERTO LUONGO (14-8-5, 2.28)|
Luongo has been a winning machine since coming to Vancouver in 2006. He's also overcome an extremely awkward situation by being the consummate professional.
|7. ONDREJ PAVELEC (10-12-3, 2.73)|
Pavelec continues to work on his consistency, which has been terrific the last three weeks.
|8. MIKE SMITH (13-6-5, 3.01)|
Smith's numbers aren't great, but he's also seeing more rubber this year, otherwise his goals-against average would be more in line with what it was the last two years.
|9. AL MONTOYA (4-2-1, 2.23)|
I thought I would throw Montoya in the mix, too. He doesn't get to play very often, but has chipped in with some excellent games recently.
|10. ANTTI RAANTA (5-0-1, 2.12)|
Raanta has been given a unique opportunity in Chicago and he's playing as well or better than most people would have expected.
Follow Kelly Hrudey on Twitter @KellyHrudey
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