Winning all 11 games in February has Mike Smith vaulting up this list.
This is a top 10 list based on stats compiled on the season. It is not a projection of the top goalies going forward.
Welcome to the fourth installment of Top 10 Goalies of the Season. You can see the other three here: Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3. By the way, I hate the title I've chosen for this. Next season I will change it. If you've got any ideas for what I can call it, tweet it at me @MBenedicks.
Join me after the jump to see the top 10 list as well as a top 5 list for the month of February.
The Kipper is still getting it done. It's hard to believe that he's now one of the most underrated goalies in the league. With 54 games started on the season, he should hit the 70 mark, like he does every season. He's steady, if not spectacular and can still anchor any fantasy squad.
Jaro has been getting the majority of the starts for the Blues recently. He's moved up to fourth in goals against average with 1.94. His 6 shutouts is tied for third in the league. He basically seems to win anytime he's thrown out there of late. His .925 save% is miles better than the .910 he posted last season. He's really thriving under Hitchcock. There's really only one thing standing in his way...
#8 - Brian Elliott, Blues (previously #9)
I'm giving Elliott the slight edge on Halak just based on their peripherals. Halak is the better goalie to own going forward, but so far they've compiled around the same amount of games and wins, but Elliott has better save% and gaa. His overall record looks sparkling with 20-8-2 despite the fact that he's lost three in a row. He still leads the league in gaa with 1.63 while falling to second in save% with .937. It's tough to say if he would be able to do this over an entire season while starting 60+ games. It might take a Halak injury next season to figure it out. For now, if you own both of these guys, you're golden.
Bobby Lu keeps chugging along and getting better as the season gets older. At 27-11-7, .922 save% and 2.29 gaa he's finally justifying that early round draft pick you used on him. I just wish he had more shutouts. He's one of the only guys who could keep Cory Schneider at bay.
Thomas has been pretty average of late. In his last 20 games he has 11 wins, 2.63 gaa, .912 save%, and no shutouts. He's still hanging onto placement on this list based solely on a great month and a half from November to mid-December. If it wasn't for the fact that Tuukka Rask has been so dreadful recently, Thomas would have be looking at relinquishing the nets a lot more often.
Howard's spot on this list really took a hit when he injured his finger and missed almost 3 weeks of action. Since coming back he's lost all three games he's started while allowing 9 goals. This put his gaa up over 2 (2.09) for the first time in what feels like all season. His save percentage is "down" to .923 as well. That being said, he's still third in the league in wins with 32 and I expect him to shake this rust off and be good to carry your team into and through the playoffs.
Mike Smith won EVERY GAME he played in February. That's right. He was a clean 11-0-0. It was the type of run that helps a first place fantasy team really separate themselves from the pack. At .927 save% and 2.25 gaa Mike Smith has found himself into the conversation of top tier NHL goalies. Dave Tippett may be in the midst of making another goalie a very rich man.
Rinne is the league leader in wins (35) and saves (1599). Starting 57 of your team's 64 games definitely helps (only Jonas Hiller with 58 has started more games) but Rinne isn't just helped by the large workload. He was the runner up in the Vezina voting last season and the way he's trending, he may just end up being your runner up this season. He actually took a seat last game for the first time in about a month. The Preds lost that game 5-2. With home ice advantage in the first round being a real possibility, I'd bet Rinne starts 16 of the remaining 18 games. Head-to-head leaguers, take note.
Quick secures the second spot on this list even after he's only won twice in his last nine starts. His peripherals are stellar at 1.95 gaa and .932 save% (third in the league in both) even if his record leaves something to be desired at 25-18-11. It's hard to believe that he's losing more games than he's winning with stats like that. He's even second in the NHL in shutouts. The fact that the Kings are DEAD LAST in goals for tells you all you need to know about this situation. No wonder why they traded for Jeff Carter.
This has been the King's year. He went ALL of February without allowing more than two goals in a game. He leads the NHL in save percentage (.940) and shutouts (8). He's second in goals against average (1.75) and fourth in wins (30). He's only given up more than 3 goals in a game THREE TIMES this season and each time it was just 4 goals. Historically, Lundqvist has started about 70 games per season. He's on pace for right around 60 games this season. The emergence of Marty Biron as a reliable backup has afforded Lundqvist the rest he needed to put together his finest season. I hope he's figured out a safe, bright spot to put that Vezina trophy.
Knocking down the doors to get into the top 10: Ryan Miller, Marc-Andre Fleury
And here's your list of the top 5 goalies for February:
#1 February Goalie - Mike Smith (11-0-0, .952 save%, 1.42 gaa, 2 SO)
#2 February Goalie - Henrik Lundqvist (8-2-0, .951 save%, 1.29 gaa, 3 SO)
#3 February Goalie - Ryan Miller (7-2-1, .938 save%, 1.85 gaa, 3 SO)
#4 February Goalie - Jaroslav Halak (6-2-0, .942 save%, 1.62 gaa, 2 SO)
#5 February Goalie - Joey MacDonald (7-1-0, .934 save%, 1.70 gaa, 0 SO)