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: Josh Harding, Minnesota Wild – We get it, Harding still hasn’t played a single game since New Year’s Eve, but that doesn’t mean we think he still isn’t the best goalie to back in the league. He didn’t finish up 2013 with all that good of a run, allowing seven goals in two games against the New York Islanders and the St. Louis Blues. However, with the best GAA in hockey at 1.66 and the second best save percentage at .933 to go with three shutouts, we have little doubt that Harding is still the man we want on our side when push comes to shove in the second season. Though he has been able to practice lately, it’s anyone’s guess when Harding is really going to be right again with his battle with MS. If he can get over it, he has proven to be one of the deadliest net minders in the game.
2: Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning – Bishop answered our claim that he had hit a wall in the season by shutting out the New Jersey Devils back on March 15th. In fact, he has won five of his L/6 starts overall and is benefitting from a strong offensive effort in Tampa Bay. The Lightning are scoring 4.0 goals per game in their L/7 games with Bishop between the pipes. Almost any net minder could win with that much support, but Bishop is making it even more difficult for opponents to beat the Lightning. His GAA has climbed to 2.17 and his save percentage is down to .926, but Tampa Bay isn’t going to fix what’s not broken. Even though Bishop’s GAA in those seven games is 2.71, he is still a solid option to back anytime he takes the ice because of the offensive production the Lightning provides. As the starter on a playoff team, Bishop’s game will still need to tighten up some down the stretch.
3: Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins – Fleury has been stuck at 34 victories for two weeks, but it seems as if that isn’t his fault as the Penguins offense appears to have been shut down of late. We think that Pittsburgh is perhaps in cruise control waiting to play some games that matter once the playoffs begin. Fleury’s team is ahead by so much in the Metropolitan Division that just maybe some complacency has crept into the ranks. Even though things don’t look so good for Fleury of late, it can be expected that he and his team will flip the switch to get things going in the right direction in the playoffs. It’s still pretty impressive that Fleury’s GAA is 2.37 and he has a .915 save percentage on the year. We know that in the grand scheme of things the Penguins will get back on track and be one of the contenders for the Stanley Cup. Fleury’s efforts will be a big part of that as he tries to rebound from a not so stellar playoff season last year.
4: Brian Elliott, St. Louis Blues – Elliott continues to be the best reserve goaltender in the NHL these days. He recently shut out Marc-Andre Fleury’s Pittsburgh Penguins in a 1-0 win back on March 23rd. Again, this is a back-up goalie that has four shutouts on the season to this point. Elliott has been awesome this year putting up a 1.97 GAA and a .921 save percentage. He plays behind G Ryan Miller who is already a solid option anytime, but to have a complement like Elliott on the odd nights it makes the Blues one of the best teams in the league. St. Louis is 17-5-2 when Elliott gets the start and that has to be something that comforts coach Ken Hitchcock who has the best problem any coach could ask for every night. The Blues have one of the best offensive attacks in the league scoring 3.2 goals per game, that should keep them winning on a very consistent basis. As a bettor, you’re always looking for sure things and in most cases St. Louis will deliver behind no matter who’s in goal.
5: Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins – Rask is the goaltender on one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now. He is a winner in eight of his L/10 starts to get within one win of league leader Marc-Andre Fleury. Rask earned his 33rd win of the season in fine fashion on Thursday night as he shut out the league’s No. 1 offensive unit the Chicago Blackhawks 3-0 at home. It was the seventh shutout of the season for Rask, he leads the league by two in that category. Winning has become almost routine for the Bruins when they put Rask between the pipes. He has a 2.01 GAA and a .931 save percentage thus far. Rask’s team is running away with the Atlantic Division title and they will be serious contenders when the second season starts. In his L/10 starts Rask has been masterful putting up a 1.60 GAA and a ridiculous .943 save percentage over that stretch. If you’re a smart bettor, you keep Rask in net as much as possible.
6: Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings – Quick has won his L/4 starts as he is continuing a stellar season between the pipes in Los Angeles. On Monday he really had to earn a win over the Washington Capitals as they gave him all he could handle before the Kings got the 5-4 overtime win. Quick recorded his fifth shutout of the season on March 22nd as the Kings defeated the Florida Panthers 4-0 on their home ice. Los Angeles is all but assured a playoff spot as it sits comfortably in third place of the Pacific Division. The biggest reason for their success is the play of Quick and a defense that ranks tops in the league. Quick has been great between the pipes of late as he has a 1.90 GAA and a .923 save percentage over his L/10 starts. If Quick can keep this going his team will be one of the contenders in the Western Conference playoffs.
7: Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens – Price returned from a groin injury back on March 15th and he got a win for the Canadiens 5-4 in a shootout over the Ottawa Senators. On March 25th he recorded his fifth shutout of the season in a 2-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres. It was a timely return for Montreal as it fights with the Tampa Bay Lightning for second place in the Atlantic Division standings. Price has been outstanding in his L/10 starts as he has won eight of them. He has a 2.20 GAA and a .933 save percentage in that stretch. If Price can stay as hot as he has been between the pipes there’s no reason Montreal can’t give a team like the Pittsburgh Penguins all it can handle in a playoff series.
8: Jonas Hiller, Anaheim Ducks – Hiller has slowed a little of late and so have his Ducks that were once in command of the Pacific Division, but now find themselves looking up at the San Jose Sharks. He has been clutch in his last two starts getting wins over the Calgary Flames and the Florida Panthers. His 2.38 GAA and .915 save percentage ranks him right up there with the best net minders in the league. Hiller’s play will dictate whether or not this team can have a shot at the Stanley Cup. The Ducks have the league’s No. 2 ranked offense that scores 3.2 goals per game, but they have been a little erratic of late and that has cost them some victories. That can’t happen in the postseason and it really depends on Hiller to get the job done between the pipes every night.
9: Ben Scrivens, Edmonton Oilers – Scrivens is a great goalie that has fallen victim to a trade that sent him to a team that simply doesn’t support its net minders and definitely fails to play any defense. Earlier in the season he stopped an NHL record 59 shots to record a shutout win over the San Jose Sharks. The Oilers score a meager 2.4 goals a game in front of their goaltenders and that just simply isn’t enough even for the best guys in the league to get a win on a regular basis. When Scrivens left the Kings he had a 1.97 GAA with the best defense in the league. Since he joined Edmonton his GAA has skyrocketed to 2.83 for the season. It will be an uphill climb for Scrivens to get his GAA down again this season, but hopefully they are able to help land him some goal scorers and solid defensemen before next season.
10: Eddie Lack, Vancouver Canucks – Lack is 4-2 in his L/6 starts and has been a bright spot for this team that has gone in the wrong direction. He won three games in a row with victories over the Minnesota Wild, Buffalo Sabres, and Nashville Predators last week. Lack registered his fourth shutout of the year in a 2-0 win over the Predators on March 19th. His 2.34 GAA and .915 save percentage makes him one of the top net minders in the league. Before just recently he was the back-up for the Canucks, but now he is a full-time starter. His record is just 15-14-5 on the season, but that really isn’t all his fault as the Canucks score just 2.4 goals per game. Even with that fact, Lack still does enough to get a lot of wins and he is hot right now. The offense makes Lack a bettor beware pick to back, but he will get the win more often than not.
Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.