You’re always going to want to make sure that you have a team on your side that is going to have a goalie you can trust. These are some of the best goalies in our estimation that you are going to want to be on the lookout for in NHL betting action this year!
1: Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins – We’re moving Rask up to #1 right now even though he doesn’t have the best numbers in the league. It’s really tough to argue with him even though he is only 4-2 in his six starts. He does have a 1.51 GAA, ranking fourth in the league, and he has only allowed more than two goals in a game once, that coming against the Detroit Red Wings, which is far from a disqualifier by any stretch of the imagination. It’s not a matter of what Rask did this week to really help us out, it’s what others didn’t do to keep their spots at the top.
2: Antti Niemi, San Jose Sharks – There are two goalies in the league that have six wins coming into play on Friday, and Niemi is the one of the two that has earned the most in the way of accolades. His 1.70 GAA isn’t the best in the league, nor is a .930 save percentage, but he went on the road and beat the Blues earlier this week on national television. If you beat a great team like that on the road, you deserve a bump up in your rankings for sure.
3: Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins – Fleury is the other net minder that has six wins on the season, but he has had a lot more help. It really helps when you have C Sidney Crosby scoring 14 points in seven games for you. Fleury also hasn’t faced more than 27 shots in a game all season long, but he is continuing to do his job and stop what comes his way. With one bad game out of six, that’s nothing to be concerned about. Fleury is getting his wins and will continue to do so. 40 isn’t out of the question this year.
4: Josh Harding, Minnesota Wild – Maybe there’s some growing goalie controversy here in Minnesota? Even now that G Niklas Backstrom is healthy, the team made a real statement by leaving Harding in the pipes against the Lightning on Thursday night. Harding held up his end of the bargain, stopping 27 of the 29 shots that he faced, but the team just hasn’t been able to pick him up. Backstrom was bad in his first game on Tuesday, and that’s causing this issue. These numbers don’t lie. Harding has a 1.15 GAA and a .946 save percentage, and those numbers are just insane.
5: Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche – Varlamov is one of the very few goalies in the game that rank in the Top 10 in wins (5), the Top 10 in save percentage (.950), and the Top 10 in goals against average (1.68). Unfortunately for him, he did lead the Avs to their first loss of the season on Thursday against the Red Wings, though that’s not a horrid loss by any standards. This kid has been lights out, and allowing three goals on 82 shots against the Stars and Caps in the other two games this past week was definitely good enough to keep Colorado’s net minder in the Top 5.
6: Jonas Hiller, Anaheim Ducks – Hiller is moving up this week as well. The Ducks still really don’t have any sense to their goalie rotation, but the way that things have gone, Head Coach Bruce Boudreau should be abandoning this whole dual-starter thing. Hiller has killed it in his last three starts, allowing just four goals in total in spite of the fact that he has faced at least 31 shots in each of those games. The team isn’t doing Hiller any favorites, but he still has the best save percentage in hockey at .959, and he is a man to back right now, especially knowing that he has only been -139, -128, and +131, very modest prices for a good goalie on a good team.
7: Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning – You can’t beat the Bishop! Literally! No one has beaten Bishop this year, and we have no idea why the Bolts didn’t just start Bishop in net on the first night of the season. All this kid has done is allow no more than two goals in any start in spite of the fact that he has been peppered with shots from all over the place, and he has six straight wins dating back to last season. Bishop has a 1.57 GAA and a .943 save percentage early on in the year, and he has proven that he can win at home (Minnesota, LA, and Florida), and on the road (Buffalo and Chicago in a shootout).
8: Jonathan Bernier, Toronto Maple Leafs – Bernier doesn’t deserve to fall out of the Top 10 yet this year, but he is still proving that he the better of these two Toronto net minders. Bernier has a .940 save percentage and a 1.98 GAA, but in these last two starts, he has allowed a total of eight goals. Granted, he did face 68 points in those games, marking the fifth straight start this season in which he has had to take on at least 30 shots on goal, but that’s still too many lights to be lit behind you.
9: Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens – We were really wondering if Price was going to figure out how to get back on his feet after the embarrassment that he suffered last season in the playoffs against Ottawa. So far, so good. It was a bit of a shaky start to the campaign, but Price has fired back with three straight wins, stopping 30, 36, and 39 shots to beat the Blue Jackets, Jets, and Canucks, two games of which came on the road. We’d like to see just a bit more consistency out of Price, but we would be nitpicking at that point this early in the season.
10: Jaroslav Halak, St. Louis Blues – If the standard of this measure is wins and losses, Halak is a man that deserves his spot in the Top 10. However, the Blues have done a horrid job on the penalty kill over the course of the last week, and in the end, there are too many goals being scored. Some have been soft. Some have been bad defense. That’s why Halak is dropping. However, he has to stay in the Top 10 due to the fact that he does have a 5-1 record with a shutout on a good team, and if he wasn’t on the list, he would be the only man with at least five wins not to be on here.
Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.