Let’s face it, the state of goaltenders in the NHL isn’t what it used to be.
During the 2000s, it was pretty clear that Martin Brodeur was the best goalie in the league. Winning four Vezina Trophies between 2000-2009, no other netminder in that timeframe recorded more than one.
That’s pretty dominant.
However, among the NHL’s puckstoppers during the 2010s, the discussion as to who’s No. 1 seems to fluctuate on a year-to-year basis. But, there are three who over this past decade have firmly put themselves in the discussion to be the best.
Price has the pedigree and he plays for the most storied franchise in the NHL. The Canadiens netminder presents as strong of a case as any to be considered the greatest of the time.
Being a highly-touted first-round pick, going fifth overall in the 2005 NHL Draft, it’s hard to say Price hasn’t lived up to his billing.
His 2014-15 campaign was simply incredible. He finished the year with a 1.96 GAA to go along with a stellar .933 SV%. That season, he also took home the Vezina and became the first goaltender to win the Hart Memorial Trophy since Jose Theodore accomplished the feat in 2001-02.
Price is also the winningest goalie in Canadiens history, but he does lack the post-season success of other Habs greats, which of course, isn’t entirely his fault.
Injuries have also affected the seven-time All-Star’s overall performance, but there’s no question his name is in the mix.
Since 2010-11, he’s tied for the third best SV% (.920) and the sixth best GAA (2.40).
Few hockey players have been made for the New York Rangers quite like Henrik Lundqvist.
‘Hank’ has the look, and he also has the skills to back it up in a sports market that demands nothing but the best from their hockey club.
Unlike Price, Lundqvist wasn’t a top draft selection. He was taken by the Blueshirts in the seventh round of the 2000 NHL Draft, making him one of the better steals in draft history.
Since the start of the decade, ‘King Henrik’ has been chosen for four all-star games. During the 2011-12 season, he notched career-bests with a 1.97 GAA and a sensational .930 SV%, earning his first and only Vezina Trophy. He’d come close to winning it again the following season, but finished second in the voting.
Lundqvist has had some success in the post-season, making it to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. The Rangers, however, lost the series in five games to the Los Angeles Kings.
The 37-year-old is also the winningest goalie in Blueshirts history, accumulating 148 more wins than second-place Mike Richter.
Perhaps the biggest dark horse in the conversation for best goalie of the decade, Sergei Bobrovsky has certainly put up numbers worthy of being in contention.
Starting his career with the Philadelphia Flyers, his ascension to stardom didn’t begin until he was dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2012.
His impact in Ohio was felt immediately. During a shortened 2012-13 campaign due to the lockout, Bobrovsky was nearly unbeatable. He finished the season with a .932 SV% and a GAA of 2.00, a performance which led to his first Vezina Trophy in just his third season between the pipes in the NHL.
Unlike any other goalie during the 2010s, Bobrovsky has won two Vezina Trophies, as he achieved the distinction once again in 2016-17. This time, he won the award during a full-length season, posting a SV% of .931 and a 2.06 GAA.
The bulk of his post-season appearances have occurred with Columbus. This past year, he backstopped the club to it’s first-ever series win, sweeping the heavily favoured Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round. He has never made it past the second round of the NHL playoffs, though.
Being the only active two-time winner of the Vezina Trophy makes Bobrovsky worthy of being in the best-of-the-decade discussion.
While there may not be a definitive top goaltender from the 2010s, there’s no denying these three puckstoppers have put themselves above the rest.
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