Metropolitan Division Goaltending Rankings For 2017-18 Season

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The Metropolitan Division was a very competitive division in the NHL in 2016-17.  Washington, Pittsburgh, New York Rangers, and Columbus were among the league’s elite teams a season ago, and the division is shaping up to be very competitive again next season.

With elite teams comes elite goaltending.  From top to bottom, the Metropolitan Division has some of the NHL’s best goaltenders.  How will the goaltending in the Metropolitan Division shake out in 2017-18?  Let’s look at each team’s tandem for the upcoming season:

RANKINGS LIST

1. Washington Capitals
2. Columbus Blue Jackets
3. Pittsburgh Penguins
4. New York Rangers
5. Philadelphia Flyers
6. New York Islanders
7. Carolina Hurricanes
8. New Jersey Devils

WASHINGTON CAPITALS

Starter: Braden Holtby
Backup: Philipp Grubauer

Analysis: The Capitals had the top goaltending tandem in the entire NHL last season.  Braden Holtby was a Vezina Trophy finalist and took home the William Jennings Trophy over the summer.  Holtby and Grubauer will both be back with the Capitals in 2017-18, and both should put up excellent numbers again as the Capitals contend for another Metropolitan Division title.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS

Starter: Sergei Bobrovsky
Backup: Joonas Korpisalo

Analysis: Bobrovsky was a major reason the Jackets ended up in the postseason last year.  The two-time Vezina Trophy winner recorded 41 wins, 2.06 goals against average, .931 save percentage, and 7 shutouts.  Korpisalo did not see the net much last season, but the 23-year old Finn still has plenty of upside in his game.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

Starter: Matt Murray
Backup: Antti Niemi

Analysis: With Marc-Andre Fleury now in Las Vegas, the Penguins young goaltender Matt Murray is ready to lead the Penguins well into the future.  In 2016-17, Murray recorded 32 wins, 2.41 goals against average, and .923 save percentage.  The Penguins brought in Antti Niemi over the summer.  The 33-year old Finn spent the last two seasons with the Dallas Stars.

NEW YORK RANGERS

Starter: Henrik Lundqvist
Backup: Ondrej Pavelec

Analysis: Lundqvist is still the Rangers workhorse, even at the age of 35.  Lundqvist had a below average season last year, but Antti Raanta stepped in and performed admirably for the Rangers.  With Raanta now in Arizona, the Rangers will need Lundqvist to have a rebound year.  The Rangers will need to get some quality starts from their new backup Ondrej Pavelec.  Pavelec has spent most his career in the Winnipeg Jets/Atlanta Thrashers organization.

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

Starter: Brian Elliott
Backup: Michal Neuvirth

Analysis: The Flyers changed up their goaltending over the summer.  The Flyers let Steve Mason walk in free agency, and they brought in former Flames starter Brian Elliott.  Elliott, 32, has bounced around the NHL, but he has shown the flashes of being a quality #1 goaltender.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Starter: Thomas Greiss
Backup: Jaroslav Halak

Analysis: The Islanders have been searching for a #1 goaltender for a few years.  Thomas Greiss took most the starts for the Islanders last year.  He recorded 26 wins, a 2.69 goals against average, and .913 save percentage.  The Islanders will need a little bit more consistency from their veteran goaltending tandem if they want to contend for a playoff spot.

CAROLINA HURRICANES

Starter: Scott Darling
Backup: Cam Ward

Analysis: After spending the last 3 years with the Chicago Blackhawks, Scott Darling is ready to take the #1 goaltending spot in Carolina.  Darling, 28, has taken the long road to the NHL, but he played well for the Blackhawks in his limited starts.  Darling recorded 18 wins in 32 appearances, and Hurricanes GM Ron Francis is confident that he is ready to take on a heavier work load.

NEW JERSEY DEVILS

Starter: Cory Schneider
Backup: Keith Kinkaid

Analysis: Cory Schneider did not have the best season last year, but the Devils did not give Schneider a lot of goal support.  Schneider only recorded 20 wins and he had a 2.82 goals against average.  Schneider’s goals against average and save percentage numbers were some of the lowest he has ever recorded in his career.  Schneider will look to get back on track in 2017-18, and will have more firepower with the addition of #1 overall pick Nico Hischier.

By: George Foussekis

About George Foussekis

I am a sports fanatic. I love hockey and football, and I enjoy writing about my two favorite sports. I am a proud Old Dominion University alum.
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5 Responses to Metropolitan Division Goaltending Rankings For 2017-18 Season

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

    This could be one area the Capitals actually gained ground on Metro teams.

    Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    Caps goalies are only regular season players. Last two years Holtby was outplayed in both rounds. His uninspired and heartless play cost the Caps against the Pens for two years when they went all in to win. Hard to root for a guy that did that to a franchise that has waited over 43 years. Time to move on…#Holtleast ….

    Like

  3. Anonymous says:

    The Devils belong right behind the Rangera here. Corey Schneider is an amazing netminder

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Advantage: Washington

    Like

  5. Pingback: A Look Ahead to the 2017-18 Season: Which Metropolitan Division Players Will Be the Most Productive? | NoVa Caps

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