Today’s edition of Goalie News will look at some of the hottest goalies on the planet right now, including the up-and-coming Thatcher Demko and the well-established Carey Price.
Price is Right
Many consider Price the greatest goalie in the league today, and there’s plenty of reason to agree. The 2005 fifth overall pick is one of only seven different goaltenders to win the Hart Memorial Trophy, and the only one to do it since the lockout-canceled 2004-05 season. Though salary isn’t everything, he is also the highest-paid goalie in the NHL, although there are those who think Price’s contract is one of the worst in the league, of course.
The Montreal Canadiens leader in wins and games played as a goalie added another to each category on Thursday. But he went even further, shutting out the visiting Minnesota Wild in a 4-0 win.
It wasn’t the hardest shutout Price will ever have. He only had to turn aside 17 shots from the Wild, facing only five in the third period. But it was a shutout nonetheless, and he’s one shy of tying Ken Dryden for third on the Canadiens’ franchise leaderboard.
That’s rarified air, but it’s the kind of air Price is used to breathing wearing the historic Canadiens’ sweater. He looks determined to prove his doubters wrong, and with Thursday’s shutout, he righted a run of poor play to start the season. It may not be his hardest night of the season, but it was still an important win for Price and the Canadiens.
Showdown in St. Louis
While Price was more than a match for his opponent on Thursday, there were some goalie matchups that were far from a blowout. In St. Louis, two of the hottest young goalies in the league faced off. Jordan Binnington of the St. Louis Blues squared off with Thatcher Demko of the Vancouver Canucks, and the pair matched save for save deep into a shootout.
Binnington and Demko both lived up to the hype of their young profile. Regulation ended in a 3-3 tie after both goalies faced 30-plus shots. Each netminder saved two more in overtime, before entering the shootout. Yet again, they went save-for-save until Vancouver’s Josh Leivo snuck one past Binnington in the sixth round.
It was Demko’s second win in three nights in relief of Jacob Markstrom, whom the Canucks granted a leave of absence. Facing the Blues and the Detroit Red Wings, he stopped 60 of 64 shots. Markstrom is expected to return this weekend, but in his short run, Demko validated all the hype that made him one of the top goalie prospects in the league.
Louisiana’s Greatest Goalie
You may not know it, but 2017 Buffalo Bills first-round pick Tre’Davious White is the greatest goalie to ever come out of the state of Louisiana. Or at least that’s what he’d like you to believe.
The NFL cornerback moved far from home when the Bills drafted him out of Louisiana State University, but he quickly embraced the hockey-crazed culture of the city and dubbed himself his home state’s best goalie. Since much of Louisiana is a swamp and White is an elite professional athlete, it’s not outside the realm of possibility.
The Bills and Sabres realized the amazing gift they had on their hands last year and produced a commercial for the Tre’Davious White Goalie Academy of Louisiana at Buffalo. But you can’t carry a good joke too far, and yesterday, White interrogated his teammates in the locker room wearing a trapper with a built-in microphone and holding a goalie stick.
It’s a ton of fun, but asking a newcomer to explain icing is just cruel! If White’s football career doesn’t pan out, perhaps he’ll find a future in broadcasting or comedy. In net or not, it’s been hard to sneak anything past him in 2019. White already has two interceptions in five games this season.
Stephen Ground is an author with The Hockey Writers and is co-host of the Two Guys No Cup Podcast. He enjoys studying the numbers and providing fresh looks at various stories.