This year, one of my duties is to write a blog every two weeks about the 10 best goalies from each conference in the NHL at the current time.
The rankings will be ever changing because of the highs and lows of playing the most difficult position in all of pro sports.
You may agree with some of my choices. But if you don't, I certainly take no offence because that's what a great discussion involves -- differing viewpoints on a fun topic.
This list was compiled using the NHL list of opening day rosters which including all injury reports.
Enjoy the upcoming articles!
NHL Eastern Conference
|1. HENRIK LUNDQVIST (0-0-0, 0.00)|
Lundqvist, for obvious reasons. He would be the No. 1 choice in the East for most people around the league and I don't see any reason he won't get off to another great start.
|2. TUUKA RASK (0-0-0, 0.00)|
Rask is poised to be a superstar goalie for perhaps the next eight to 10 years.
|3.CRAIG ANDERSON (0-0-0, 0.00)|
Anderson will be trying to repeat the season he had most of last season until suffering a major injury to his ankle.
|4. CORY SCHNEIDER (0-0-0, 0.00)|
Schneider is my one early controversial choice, considering I have no idea how many games he will play, considering his playing partner (Martin Brodeur) is a hockey legend.
|5. SERGEI BOBROVSKY (0-0-0, 0.00)|
Bobrovsky won the Vezina Trophy last season, so should be an easy choice. But it wasn't for me because his body of work is only 38 great games in a lockout-shortened season. We'll see if he is for real.
|6. JIMMY HOWARD (1-0-0, 1.00)|
Howard is an underrated star in Detroit. He is as competitive as any goalie in the league and will shine once again this year.
|7. BRADEN HOLTBY (0-1-0, 5.08)|
Holtby has done nothing but excel since joining the Washington Capitals. I see a career that will continue to grow at a very rapid pace.
|8. CAREY PRICE (0-1-0, 4.07)|
Price plays in most likely the toughest market and yet he seems to perform easily without letting the pressure overwhelm him. The final weeks of last season didn't go as planned. But he is so tough mentally, he should be fine.
|9. RYAN MILLER (0-1-0, 2.03)|
Miller isn't far removed from dominating in the NHL. This is a huge year for Miller to regain what he once had... the Vezina.
|10. CAM WARD (0-0-0, 0.00)|
Ward is often overlooked because of the market he plays in. But nobody can deny he is a world-class goalie.
NHL Western Conference
|1. JONATHAN QUICK (0-0-0, 0.00)|
Quick is the best goalie in the game right now. He battled through some lingering health issues last season and wasn't able to be the same goalie that won the Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP the season before. Bet he will be great this year.
|2. ANTTI NIEMI (0-0-0, 0.00)|
Niemi was my choice for the Vezina last year, that's how well he played. In fact, the San Jose Sharks might have missed the playoffs if not for his brilliant play.
|3.COREY CRAWFORD (1-0-0, 4.00)|
Crawford is sneaky good with an ultra-competitive streak. I love the way he can be defiant in the face of criticism.
|4. MIKE SMITH (0-0-0, 0.00)|
Smith will be his usual great self this season. He is the backbone of the Phoenix Coyotes. I see them getting off to a quick start because of the confidence he gives them in the net.
|5. ROBERTO LUONGO (0-0-0, 0.00)|
Luongo is still an incredible goalie with tremendous focus. He has been nothing short of a winning machine during his time with the Vancouver Canucks.
|6. PEKKA RINNE (0-0-0, 0.00)|
Rinne suffered through an average season by his lofty standards last year. But don't expect this amazing goalie to be ordinary two seasons in a row.
|7. KARI LEHTONEN (0-0-0, 0.00)|
Lehtonen is one of my favorite goalies to watch because of his sheer athleticism. He can dominate during stretches and I believe his start will be excellent.
|8. NIKLAS BACKSTROM (0-0-0, 0.00)|
Backstrom is the oldest of the goalies I've chosen. But that doesn't mean he can't play at an elite level still this season.
|9. ONDREJ PAVELEC (1-0-0, 4.00)|
Pavelec has the potential to be a star in the NHL. The only thing lacking is consistency and, at age 26, that's when most goalies start to play their best hockey.
|10. DEVAN DUBNYK (0-1-0, 5.17)|
Dubnyk does not get the credit he deserves and his excellent season last year was overlooked simply because the Oilers failed to make the post-season. His game is still on the rise.
Follow Kelly Hrudey on Twitter @KellyHrudey
Do you have improvements to suggest for this page?