NHL Goalie Report – 3/1/14

Bet at 5dimesYou’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 was dealt a bad card in his last outing as his team committed a ton of penalties giving the Nashville Predators power play after power play and they were able to score three goals with the man-advantage to beat him 3-2 after the Lightning had led by two goals. The power play has been about the only way to beat Bishop this season as he has four shutouts to this point. His 2.0 GAA to go with a .932 save percentage makes him the top active goalie right now as Josh Harding continues a battle with MS. Teams really struggle against Bishop as he has held opponents to three goals or less in eight of his L/10 starts. At 28-9-4 in his starts this season, we recommend backing Bishop any chance you get as a bettor. He is extremely solid, especially when his team keeps things at even strength.

3: Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins – Fleury had one of his worst starts of the season as he gave up five goals in a 6-5 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens. Even in his bad outing, the offense that plays in front of him managed to get the game into overtime. That plays a great role in his ability to get victories even when he is a little bit off on any given night. Fleury has lost his last two starts in shootouts, but was solid in the two games prior holding the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators to one goal each. A solid 2.29 GAA and .917 save percentage keep Fleury near the top of this list. He has the most wins in the NHL with a record of 31-13-3 in his starts. As the Penguins continue to run away with the Metropolitan Division, Fleury is the man bettors will back more than any other net minder in the league.

4: Brian Elliott, St. Louis Blues – Elliott continues to have the best season of any back-up goaltender in the league, but he has yet to start a game since the break. He won his last two starts before the break the first of which he stopped 28 shots in a 4-3 shootout win over the Nashville Predators. In the second he again stopped 28 shots in a 4-3 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets. Elliott is 15-4-2 this season which gives him just as many as some starters. Playing behind starter G Jaroslav Halak, Elliott continues to give coach Ken Hitchcock one of the best problems to have in all of the league. The Blues are armed with the NHL’s second highest offense scoring 3.3 goals per game that would make any net minder look good. As we head down the stretch, it will be interesting to see if Elliott earns some more starting nods from Hitchcock as the games get more meaningful for this team that is trying to hold off the Chicago Blackhawks for the Central Division title.

5: Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins – Rask is having a career year for the Bruins as they put a little distance between themselves and the Lightning in the Atlantic Division standings just before the break. He played for Finland during the Olympics and he had a rocky start giving up four goals on 20 shots, but his team won the game 8-4 over Austria. Rask was solid in his last outing with the Bruins as he stopped 24 shots in a 3-2 loss to the potent St. Louis Blues in overtime. His GAA of 2.11 ranks him No. 5 in the league in that category and a .928 save percentage has him fourth. Playing behind an offense that scores 3.1 goals per game, Rask gets all the support that he needs to win most of his starts. He has yet to start a game since the break, but we expect to see Rask back in net this weekend.

6: Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings – Quick got his post-break action off to a great start on Thursday as he shutout the Calgary Flames in a 2-0 win on the road. He was part of Team USA in the Olympics where he did a great job before his team was ousted from Gold Medal contention in a 1-0 loss to Team Canada. Quick has a 2.11 GAA and a .914 save percentage for the Kings who are in contention for a Pacific Division title. We expect Quick to be a big part of a turnaround second half for this team as they struggled before going on break. The Kings still have the NHL’s best defense as they give up just 2.1 goals per game. If the Kings can continue to score goals as they have these last couple of games, Quick is going to be nearly unbeatable as the chase for the playoffs rolls on.

7: Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens – We actually have some bad news about Price, he aggravated a lower-body injury in practice on Wednesday and is not expected to play this weekend. As for his play, Price has been absolutely on fire as he led Team Canada to the Gold Medal in the Sochi Olympics. He was a winner in his L/3 starts before the break as Price gave up just three goals total in those games. He has a solid 2.33 GAA and a .925 save percentage as he leads the Canadiens who are currently second place in the Atlantic Division. Keep your eye on the injury report as the days go on for Price to make a return to the net for Montreal. With a 26-17-5 record in his starts, Price is a solid option to get the job done. Hopefully, he will be back just in time to help the Canadiens catch the Boston Bruins down the stretch.

8: Jonas Hiller, Anaheim Ducks – By no fault of Hiller’s he has lost three of his L/4 starts, but has only given up nine goals in those games while his team was shutout twice. Hiller won his last start before the break by saving 36 shots in a 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators. Anaheim’s offense scores 3.2 goals per game this season, but has slowed down of late scoring just 2.4 goals per contest in the L/10. Hiller is having a great season he has a 2.34 GAA and a .917 save percentage on the year. We expect to see the Ducks offense rev it back up after the break and help Hiller add to his 25 win total. The Ducks net minder must also bring his best to keep his team atop the Pacific Division where they hold a sizeable lead over the San Jose Sharks. He has yet to start a game since the break, but Hiller will be in the spotlight as the Ducks head to the playoffs.

9: Ben Scrivens, Edmonton Oilers – Scrivens really gets absolutely no help in his new home as he put up a respectable game saving 18 of 21 shots, but lost 3-0 to the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday. As he continues to try and make the best of a trade that sent him from the best defensive team (Los Angeles Kings) to the worst, Scrivens is a solid net minder on an otherwise bad hockey team. In his last start before the break, Scrivens gave up just one goal in a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers. His 2.02 GAA speaks for itself as we’ve had moments where we felt he was too low on this list. There’s no doubt he is one of the best goaltender’s in the game, but there is plenty of doubt about the guys that play in front of him. Only time will tell if the Oilers can get any better, but Scrivens will remain a solid option between the pipes for us.

10: Eddie Lack, Vancouver Canucks – Lack finally got the help he needed from the Vancouver offense in a 1-0 shutout win on Wednesday night. He saved all 20 shots he saw to break a streak where he had lost his L/5 starts. He lost three of those starts when his team got shutout and he never gave up more than two goals in any of those games. Lack is the back-up to G Roberto Luongo with the Canucks and even without much support has a record of 9-8-3 in his starts. He has a 2.11 GAA and a .924 save percentage on the year, but he will need a lot more from his offense if his record is going to get any better. We hope to see Lack get some more starts as the playoff chase continues as we think he may be the Canucks best option between the pipes.

Cole Ryan

Cole Ryan

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.