AP Photo/Mark Humphrey
Goaltending is the most important position in the NHL. When a club has great goaltending, it can keep it afloat in the playoff picture. The top contending teams usually have the best goalie tandems that can endure the grind of a long 82-game schedule.
The Capitals certainly have a formidable goaltending duo with Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer. With Holtby struggling in the second half of this season, some are still concerned if he will be able to fully regroup when the playoffs begin next week.
With the playoffs getting close, let’s dive into the NHL’s top goaltending tandems. Which goalie tandems will be hard to beat in the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
One quick note: The starting netminders have at least 40 starts, and the backup netminders have at least 15 starts.
STARTER: PEKKA RINNE
BACKUP: JUUSE SAROS
The Predators have been hot the last few weeks, and they have hurdled to the top of the competitive Central Division.
Rinne is having an outstanding season, and will probably be one of the favorites to win the Vezina Trophy. He has recorded 41 wins in 57 starts, a 2.33 goals against average, and .927 save percentage. Rinne has also clinched 8 shutouts. Saros, 22, is a bit smaller in size than his Finnish counterpart, but he has put up very good numbers this year. In 22 starts, he has recorded 10 wins, a 2.41 goals against average, and .926 save percentage. In his 10 wins, 3 of them have been shutouts.
Between the two goaltenders, they have surrendered a combined 188 goals in 79 combined starts. The Predators currently sit at the top of the Central Division, and could possibly win the Presidents’ Trophy.
STARTER: TUUKKA RASK
BACKUP: ANTON KHUDOBIN
The Bruins have a good pair of netminders. Rask is having an outstanding year, as he has recorded 34 wins in 51 games played. He has a 2.28 goals against average and .919 save percentage. Khudobin, 31, has recorded 15 wins in his 28 starts. He has put up a respectable 2.58 goals against average and .913 save percentage.
Between the two goaltenders, they have given up a combined 188 goals in 78 combined starts. The Bruins currently lead the Atlantic Division race, and lead all NHL teams with a combined +60 team goal differential.
ST. LOUIS BLUES
STARTER: JAKE ALLEN
BACKUP: CARTER HUTTON
While the Blues currently sit outside the playoff picture, they are still very much alive. Jake Allen has had an up and down season, but Carter Hutton has kept the Blues alive with his stellar play.
In 53 starts, Allen has recorded 27 wins, a 2.71 goals against average, and .906 save percentage. In 25 starts, Hutton has recorded 16 wins, a 2.13 goals against average, and .930 save percentage.
While Hutton has not been given Allen’s load of the schedule, Hutton has made the most of his opportunity of his backup role. Between the two goaltenders, they have surrendered 197 goals in 78 combined starts.
STARTER: JOHN GIBSON
BACKUP: RYAN MILLER
The Ducks have a formidable duo with John Gibson and Ryan Miller, and it has kept them hanging around in the Pacific Division race.
In 60 starts, John Gibson has recorded 31 wins, a 2.43 goals against average, and .926 save percentage. In 18 starts, Ryan Miller has recorded 9 wins, a 2.51 goals against average, and .925 save percentage.
In 78 combined starts, the Ducks goaltenders have surrendered a combined 188 goals. Both goaltenders have combined for 7 shutouts. The Ducks currently sit in third in the Pacific Division, and are still fighting to clinch a playoff spot.
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
STARTER: MARC-ANDRE FLEURY
BACKUP: MALCOLM SUBBAN
Despite multiple injuries to their goaltenders this year, the Golden Knights have had tremendous goaltending in their inaugural season.
In 45 starts, Marc-Andre Fleury has been rock solid for the Golden Knights. He has recorded 29 wins, a 2.14 goals against average, and .931 save percentage. In 17 starts for the Golden Knights, Malcolm Subban has recorded 12 wins, a 2.54 goals against average, and .915 save percentage.
Between the two netminders, they have surrendered a combined 140 goals in 62 combined starts. This combined number for the Golden Knights is lower than other clubs because of the multitude of injuries they have had at this position this year.
By: George Foussekis