Awwwwwwwwwwwww yeah, LET’S ARGUE.
You know the drill by now. NHL Network. Lists. Words on the Internet. Let’s get to it.
The NHL Network released its latest “let’s generate controversy on purpose” list yesterday, this time ranking the ten best goalies in the league.
And wouldn’t you know it, everyone’ favorite “the Bruins would be better off without him” goalie, Tuukka Rask, took the second spot!
Real infuriating day for your neighbor who has been watching the Bruins since 1972 and just knows that Rask doesn’t have it.
Let’s take a look at the full list.
The best goalies in the NHL
- Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning
- Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins
- Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets
- Ben Bishop, Dallas Stars
- Jordan Binnington, St. Louis Blues
- Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
- Darcy Kuemper, Arizona Coyotes
- Robin Lehner, Vegas Golden Knights
- Jacob Markstrom, Calgary Flames
- Anton Khudobin, Dallas Stars
It’s important to note that the NHL Network specifies that this is a “...best RIGHT NOW” list, so presumably, recency bias plays a big role here.
Overall, it’s a wild list.
Somehow, the Vezina Trophy winner is third. Binnington, who is not good and will be out of the league soon, is fifth. Anton Khudobin, who I love and who is a treasure, is a top-10 goalie in the league after years of not even being considered once.
Interestingly, as part of the NHL Network’s release, they had a quote from Darren Pang on what he likes about Rask (emphasis mine).
“Tuukka Rask does everything in a simplified manner,” he said. “I think when we look at all the saves of these goaltenders are making, more often than not Tuukka Rask is in the middle of the net, in really good position and if he makes a big save, he doesn’t throw a whole lot a mustard on the hotdog. I think that’s why there are maybe times that he gets criticized because it doesn’t look like he’s working really hard.”
Pang crystallizes what I’ve long theorized about Rask: many Bruins fans think he doesn’t make enough “big saves” because he’s where he needs to be to prevent a save from being “big.”
Unlike Tim Thomas, who made plenty of spectacular saves due to being wildly out of position on a regular basis, Rask stays home and doesn’t need to make those highlight-reel saves as often.
Anyways, let’s argue!
Is Rask the second-best goalie in the league? I think it’s a fair spot for him, though I have my doubts about other aspects of the list.