They say better late than never and I'm hoping that still applies here. I know we're already almost two weeks into December, but with so much going in in real life and so many bad teams in Fantasy Hockey life, I guess I got sidetracked. These stats take into account only October and November.
Follow me after the jump to find out which goaltenders have been the best of the best through November. You'll also find a list of the top 5 November goalies.
#10 - Pekka Rinne, Predators (previously #6)
Pekka barely hung on and made this list. His .927 sv% and 2.40 gaa look better than his 10-8-3 overall record, but he's also tied for second in the league with 3 shutouts. He really closed out November the wrong way going 0-4-1. Should just be a blip on the radar for Rinne as I expect he'll slowly climb this list in the future.
#9 - Nikolai Khabibulin, Oilers (perviously #3)
Well he's not at .960 and 1.12 anymore, but his numbers are still pretty damn good at .935 and 1.88. Also 9-5-0 with 2 shutouts ain't too shabby for Khabby. Something tells me, however, that he's not long for this list as he only won 4 of his 10 November games. Say your goodbyes now, Oiler fans.
#8 - Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers (previously N/A)
You and I both knew that Lundqvist would make it to this list. He isn't a top 3 goalie of the last 6 or 7 years for nothing. At 10-4-1 with a .933 sv% and a 2.10 gaa, the king has really found a groove. He won 8 of his 9 November starts and is a big part of why the Rangers are where they are. Going forward I can't think of too many other goalies I'd rather own.
#7 - Kari Lehtonen, Stars (previously #2)
His November was cut short by a groin issue that's likely going to keep him out over two months. So disappointing when you look at how good the kid has been on the heels of a breakout season. We can still celebrate his 13-4-0 record and pretty peripherals (.926 sv% and 2.34 gaa). He did let in 6 goals twice in November and he never did manage to get a shutout all season long. Still, every time you look at Andrew Raycroft in net, you'll miss Lehtonen that much more.
#6 - Marc-Andre Fleury, Penguins (previously #4)
The Flower is still blooming at .922 sv% and 2.17 gaa, but November didn't treat him as well as October. He only allowed under 3 goals a measly 3 times out of 10 games. Still, he's tied for 2nd in the league at 13 wins and he's playing for one of the top teams in the NHL. I'd imagine he stays on this list all season.
#5 - Mike Smith, Coyotes (previously # 8)
Smith is moving on up this month, and he's gotta be the 2nd biggest goaltending surprise of the season. It really speaks to Tippett's defensive system. Finishing the last two seasons with save percentages of .899 and .900, who was really pegging this guy to be at .935 this season? At 12-4-1 with two shutouts, he's also getting it done for his team. Enjoy the ride and thank your lucky stars if you snagged this guy at the tail end of a draft.
#4 - Jonathan Quick, Kings (previously #1)
A bit of a slide for Quick, but his numbers are still staggeringly pretty. Leading the league in shutouts with 4, rocking a .933 sv% and a 2.02 gaa. He falls a bit short at 10-6-2, especially when you consider he was at 6-1-2 when I put out Volume 1. Still, you gotta love a goalie who's a threat to pitch a shutout on any night he takes the ice.
#3 - Brian Elliott, Blues (previously #10)
Lead the league in save percentage (.951) and goals against (1.31). Oh, and he went 10-1 with 3 shutouts. He was flourishing before Hitchcock arrived and he's only gotten better since then. Imagine if Halak wasn't in the way? Or maybe that's the secret. You can't overwork the kid. I keep saying that he's going to come back to earth and he really has to. Those numbers are unsustainable. Perhaps, however, Elliott could finally be realizing his talent and become a top tier goaltender. Stranger things have happened.
#2 - Tim Thomas, Bruins (previously N/A)
The fact that he didn't even make this list from October speaks to what a crazy month he's put together, winning all 9 of his starts. A .936 save percentage and 1.93 gaa look sparkling right next to his 12-4-0 record with 3 shutouts. Tuukka who?
#1 - Jimmy Howard, Red Wings (previously #9)
The stats speak for themselves: 14-5-1, .929 sv%, 1.87 gaa, and 3 shutouts. The most wins in the NHL, the 2nd best goals against average, and tied for the 2nd most shutouts. Pay no attention to his sub-par numbers last season, it was obviously an anomaly.
And here's your list of the top 5 November Goalies:
#1 November Goalie: Tim Thomas (9-0-0, .941 sv%, 1.76 gaa, 3 shutouts)
#2 November Goalie: Jimmy Howard (10-3-1, .930 sv%, 1.89 gaa, 2 shutouts)
#3 November Goalie: Mike Smith (8-2-1, .945 sv%, 1.80 gaa, 2 shutouts)
#4 November Goalie: Henrik Lundqvist (8-1-0, .937 sv%, 1.88 gaa, 1 shutout)
#5 November Goalie: Brian Elliott (6-0-0, .961 sv%, 0.99 gaa, 2 shutouts)