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Top 10 Goalies of the Season Volume 1

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Hello fantasy puckheads. I'll be doing a monthly list of the top 10 best goalies in the league. This is NOT a projected ranking going forward, but rather a list of who's been the best goalies of the season. In the future, I'll list the top 5 goalie performances of the month, but since we only have October to go by, that list is self explanatory.

Click the link below to critique my rankings. Please be easy on me, though. I'm Fragile.

#10: Brian Elliott, Blues

Yes, I know Elliott has only started 5 games on the season. Still, you have to respect that he's 4-1-0 with 1 shutout, a .947 sv% and a 1.67 gaa. Throw in the fact that he's basically unseated Halak as the starter (started 4 of the last 5 games) and it has been an impressive month for a guy who's done nothing but fail at the NHL level.

#9: Jimmy Howard, Red Wings

He's started only 7 games so it's easy to miss the fact that he's 4-2-1 with a .928 sv% and a 1.84 gaa. He hasn't allowed more than 3 goals in any game this season. That's the type of consistency that you want in a goalie. He is, however, on a 3 game winless streak currently.

#8: Mike Smith, Coyotes

I'll be the first to admit that I was not high on Smith coming into the season. I did draft him in a couple of leagues as a backup plan in the late rounds, however, and he's really paying off. When he gave up 6 goals on opening night, I cringed but he did make 46 saves in that game. Due to the high volume of shots he's posted a .927 sv% and he's even managed to bring his gaa down to 2.40. If your league rewards saves, you've really been rewarded as he's 4th in the league. The record isn't too shabby either at 5-2-2.

#7: Cam Ward, Hurricanes

When you consider he got shelled for 5 goals on opening day, his .929 sv% and 2.30 gaa look even better. At 5-2-2 on the season, you want more wins, but he's actually right on pace with his career numbers (180 wins in 347 starts). He'll never be a Vezina candidate, but he'll almost always land somewhere in the top 10.

#6: Pekka Rinne, Predators

Rinne is the only goalie to start every one of his team's games. That's right, Rinne has started all 11 games for Nashville this season. His record leaves something to be desired at 5-4-2 but throw in 2 Shutouts, .922 sv% and a 2.50 gaa and you've got a top 10 goalie. Rinne owners have to be tickled pink with all the starts he's getting. His career high is 64 so he looks like a good bet to shatter that. 

#5: Tomas Vokoun, Capitals

Let's face it, the team is really helping him achieve this high of a ranking. No shot he's 7-1-0 if he still had a big cat on his chest. Still, he's overcome some early season pressure put on by Michal Neuvirth to put forth a .920 sv% and 2.36 gaa to go with his high win total. I'd like to think of him as the east coast version of Luongo. Solid veteran goalie, but owes a lot of his success to the team he plays for.

#4: Marc-Andre Fleury, Penguins

Fleury is doing his best to prove that he's not just an average goalie on a good team. We all expected the wins as he's 7-2-0 in his nine starts but the sparkling peripherals (.934 sv%, 1.86 gaa) have been icing on the MAF cake. Obviously, he's not finishing the season with a sub 2.00 gaa, but he'll definitely be a top 10 option all season.

#3: Nikolai Khabibulin, Oilers

When looking at the 38 year old's stats, I have to make sure that my vision is not going. Is that a .960 sv% I see? Check. Is he leading the league with a 1.12 gaa? Yup. Is he really undefeated in regulation at 5-0-2? You bet. Well, this certainly can't keep up but it's not like the Bulin wall has been a bad goalie his entire career. But his 08-09 season was his only good one post-lockout. Goalies are funny like that. You never know when they're going to surprise the world and have a great season.

#2: Kari Lehtonen, Stars

Kari now scoffs at the nickname "Let-them-in". Leading the league in wins at 8-1-0 and sporting a .947 sv% and 1.75 gaa this Finnish goaltender has undoubtedly turned skeptics into believers. The Stars lost Brad Richards and James Neal. How will they ever win any games? On the back of Lehtonen, that's how. If he keeps this up, can he challenge for a Vezina? Imagine that!

#1: Jonathan Quick, Kings

The American born goalie silenced critics who pointed out that he faded down the stretch last season and could possibly be on the way to giving up his starting job to Jonathan Bernier. With a sexy line of 6-1-2, 3 Shutouts, .947 sv% and 1.52 gaa he undoubtedly has his owners grateful that they drafted him. I say keep riding the wave then look to trade him in December or January.

Knocking down the doors to get into the top 10: Corey Crawford, Blackhawks...Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers...Ryan Miller, Sabres...Semyon Varlamov, Avalanche