Wednesday, February 4, 2009

First-Half Phenoms Part III: The Goalies

{...Continued from Feb 2nd & 3rd posts}

Again, some of these are guys were highly touted coming into the season, but not quite rated elite yet. They have arrived and they are the guys that make the difference in fantasy leagues and hockey pools alike.

The Hockey Spy's Top 5 Key Goalies:

Tim Thomas: After a very solid '07-08 campaign, "Tank" has been lights out this year. His stats are outstanding and the late-blooming netminder is a leading candidate for the Vezina Trophy.

Steve Mason (pictured above): "Stevie Franchise", as coined by fellow rookie phenom Nikita Filatov, has burst on to the NHL scene to almost single-handedly make the Blue Jackets playoff contenders. Leading the lead in GAA and near the top in save percentage, Mason is one of the few goalies in the world who can make an impact at age 20. He's just another example of how head-scratching it is even for the most astout hockey scout to judge goalie prospects. Mason was a 3rd rnd steal in 2006 and now is not only the clear-cut leading candidate for the Calder Trophy, but a strong contender for the Vezina.

Nikolai Khabibulin: "The Bulin Wall" was thought to be the odd man out in Chicago, with the offseason signing of Cristobel Huet. Instead, he has solidified himself as 1A goalie, posting better numbers than Huet.

Jonas Hiller: Although likely to have a bigger impact in the latter half of the season, Hiller has posted great 1st half stats. Only recently though, have Ducks top brass gone as far as to say he has surpassed "Jiggy" JS Giguere as the #1 'tender in Anaheim. Of course, Giguere will be quick to step in if the Swiss netminder falters.

Pekka Rinne: Like Hiller above "Peks" has recently been appointed the #1 goalie for his franchise, supplanting Dan Ellis. Again, like Hiller, more likely to have an impact in the stretch run, Rinne has already posted impressive stats. He currently is 7th in GAA (2.33) and 10th in save %-age (0.9127), to go with 4 shutouts in just 24 games played.

Rock N Roll.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Elite Prospects - Rumours

The Goalie Guild

Elite Prospects - Confirmed Transfers

Elliotte Friedman - CBC/HNIC

  © Distributed by Blogger Templates. Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP