It is funny what a difference 12 months can make. Last summer, Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray was fresh off his second Stanley Cup while maintaining his rookie status. Conversely, Murray’s former mentor, Marc-Andre Fleury was left exposed in the expansion draft. Fleury had a remarkable year in Vegas which ended with a Stanley Cup Final loss and is again considered one of the best goalies in the game, while Murray needs a rebound year.
Fleury made the new NHL Network Top 10 Goalies list, while Murray did not.
Montreal Canadiens netminder Carey Price, who finished third in 2017 Vezina trophy voting just two years after winning the league’s award for best goaltender, also did not make the list.
Despite a 27-16-3 record, Murray slumped to a .907 save percentage and 2.92 goals against average. Interestingly, Murray’s immediate backups on the 2016 Team North America World Cup squad both made the NHL Network list. Anaheim Ducks backstop John Gibson anchored the list at No. 10, and the cast at NHL Network rewarded Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck for his dominant year with a fourth-place ranking.
Gibson and Hellebuyck were the second and third goalies for Team North America until Murray suffered a broken hand.
Fleury made the list and higher than the reigning Vezina winner, Pekka Rinne. Rinne was seventh, but Fleury was ranked sixth as he surprised everyone with a 2.24 goals against average and .927 save percentage behind the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.
Fleury was also the top-rated goalie in the fan poll.
The NHL Network named Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky as their top goaltender. Bobrovsky posted a .921 save percentage and a 2.42 goals against, as Columbus again made the playoffs but squandered a 2-0 Round One series lead to Washington.
The Top 10
- Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus
- Braden Holtby, Washington
- Andre Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay
- Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg
- Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles
- Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas
- Pekka Rinne, Nashville
- Tuukka Rask, Boston
- Frederik Anderson, Toronto
- John Gibson, Anaheim