Top 5 Goalies in the Eastern Conference

If you haven’t heard it by now, you’re about to. Goaltending in the Eastern Conference is absolutely absurd. Both divisions are just stacked full of netminding talent and there are some promising young goaltenders that are on the way up as well. Petr Mrazek is the first name that comes to mind when you think about who will be the best goalie in the East in the near future. He didn’t quite crack this list yet, but he is on his way up.

If you didn’t catch the Top 5 Goalies in the Western Conference, you can find that here. I’ll go ahead and explain the statistics behind the rankings below.

Every goalie in the East who has played 1500 minutes is eligible. What I have done is assigned each goalie a “score” which is based on the following:

  • High-Danger Save = 1 point
  • Medium-Danger Save = .5 points
  • Low-Danger Save = .25 points
  • High-Danger Goal Against = -2 points
  • Medium-Danger Goal Against = -4 points
  • Low-Danger Goal Against = -6 points

For those who are unfamiliar with low/medium/high-danger shots, check out this link here. All data is from as of 3:00 EST on 3/6/16.

#5 – Marc-Andre Fleury – Pittsburgh Penguins – Goalie Score: 329.5

Marc-Andre Fleury
Marc-Andre Fleury has been the best Penguin on the ice this season. (Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)

Fleury did just about everything but score goals as the Pittsburgh Penguins opened up the season with offensive-ineptitude that rivaled the Anaheim Ducks. Like Corey Crawford in Chicago, he’s the guy who doesn’t get much credit when he’s playing well and shoulders all of the blame when things go poorly. Did Fleury have his playoff struggles? Absolutely, but those seem to be in the rear-view mirror. Fleury played well last season and is easily the Penguins’ MVP so far this year. Ask just about anyone on the Penguins roster who their best player has been this season and they will almost certainly mention Fleury. Here is the breakdown of his statistics:

  • High-Danger Saves: 339
  • Medium-Danger Saves: 380
  • Low-Danger Saves: 594
  • High-Danger Goals Against: 65
  • Medium-Danger Goals Against: 32
  • Low-Danger Goals Against: 15

#4 – Ben Bishop – Tampa Bay Lightning – Goalie Score: 332.25

Maybe it is because stories involving Steven Stamkos and Jonathan Drouin have overtaken the spotlight, but I have not heard much about the stellar season that Bishop is having this season. After making saves with a torn groin in last season’s Stanley Cup Final, Bishop looks primed and ready to help the Lightning finish the job this season. There are only three goaltenders with a higher overall save-percentage than Bishop this season and two of them entered the year as backups. Bishop has just one year left on his contract after this season and will definitely be a player to watch in the next year and a half. Here is his breakdown:

  • High-Danger Saves: 330
  • Medium-Danger Saves: 315
  • Low-Danger Saves: 587
  • High-Danger Goals Against: 32
  • Medium-Danger Goals Against: 22
  • Low-Danger Goals Against: 15

#3 – Tuukka Rask – Boston Bruins – Goalie Score: 338.25

Rask is still one of the better goalies in the Eastern Conference. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
Rask is still one of the better goalies in the Eastern Conference. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He might be having a down-year by his own standards but Rask is still one of the better goalies in the NHL. The Bruins have not been the same defensive team this season as they have in years past as Rask is seeing a ton of rubber flung his way. Only four goaltenders in the entire NHL have faced more total shots than Rask so far this season. Still, he’s done an admirable job with the heavy workload. He has posted four shutouts this year and has an overall save-percentage of .919. As the Bruins trend towards being a more offensive club, Rask will have to be an incredible back-stop to keep the Stanley Cup dream alive this season. Here is Rask’s breakdown:

  • High-Danger Saves: 359
  • Medium-Danger Saves: 388
  • Low-Danger Saves: 653
  • High-Danger Goals Against: 75
  • Medium-Danger Goals Against: 33
  • Low-Danger Goals Against: 16

#2 – Cory Schneider – New Jersey Devils – Goalie Score: 340.75

Nobody has done more with less around him than Schneider has for the Devils this season. The New Jersey Devils have scored the fewest goals out of any team in the NHL and yet they still have a fighting shot at the postseason. Well, maybe not so much anymore as Schneider is reportedly out for at least two weeks with an MCL sprain. It is a shame too. If the Devils find a way to make the postseason, Schneider should be in the Hart conversation. He has been that good. Schneider has posted four shutouts this season and only Pekka Rinne has played more minutes than Schneider has this season. Here is his breakdown:

  • High-Danger Saves: 389
  • Medium-Danger Saves: 372
  • Low-Danger Saves: 647
  • High-Danger Goals Against: 59
  • Medium-Danger Goals Against: 35
  • Low-Danger Goals Against: 23

#1 – Henrik Lundqvist – New York Rangers – Goalie Score: 352

Henrik Lundqvist still reigns supreme in the East. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
Henrik Lundqvist still reigns supreme in the East. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The King reigns supreme. Long live the King. <Insert non-cliche King line here>.

Lundqvist is still quite good apparently. The Rangers team in front of him have been one of the worst possession teams in the entire NHL. Lundqvist is consistently under attack by some of the best snipers in the East and he seems to get the better of them more often than not. Only four goalies in the NHL have more shutouts than Lundqvist does so far this season. He is ninth in the NHL in overall save-percentage. He also rarely leaves the ice, as only three goaltenders in the league have played more minutes than he has. Here is Lundqvist’s breakdown:

  • High-Danger Saves: 352
  • Medium-Danger Saves: 398
  • Low-Danger Saves: 692
  • High-Danger Goals Against: 71
  • Medium-Danger Goals Against: 32
  • Low-Danger Goals Against: 17

Carey Price finished last season with a goalie score of 505.75. 

No Braden Holtby? Wondering how that is possible? Comment below or hit me up on Twitter at @jordan_dix if you’d like to know where your favorite goalie ranked. Thank you for reading.

Featured image provided by Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers