Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com's Evan Sporer will provide you with in-depth analysis of goaltenders. From updated weekly top-30 rankings to trending players and more, Sporer will be your go-to guy for advice on fantasy goalies all season long.
UPDATED TOP 30 GOALIE RANKINGS
It wasn't just the individual records. It wasn't just the Stanley Cups. It wasn't just the international accolades, the sprawling saves in the crease or his ability to handle the puck outside of the blue paint.
Part of what made Martin Brodeur so great was that he was great consistently. From his rookie season, which he capped by winning the Calder Trophy in 1994, to around 2010, you knew what you were going to get from Brodeur: consistent excellence.
It's not easy to do, and repeatability is hard to predict with goalies. There are so many variables that affect what a goaltender is capable of doing. And on top of all of that, Brodeur did all his heavy lifting for one franchise.
When it comes to consistency at the position, it's unfair to outright compare anyone to Brodeur. But in terms of occupying that mantle, here are a few players with a chance to cement themselves as "the most consistent" of their respective eras.
THE CURRENT WAVE
Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens -- It helps to be on a good team, and Montreal is assembling that and then some around Price. With P.K. Subban patrolling the ice in front of him, Price has his own Scott Stevens. Price has been a dominant goalie since the 2010-11 season; he's been in the top 10 in the League in wins three of the past four seasons, and is fourth with 25 in 2014-15. Price is tied for the sixth-highest save percentage in the League among goalies to play more than 150 games since the 2010-11 season and is tied for fourth in shutouts with 23, according to Hockey-Reference.com's play index. And he's only getting better.
Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins -- The interesting thing about Rask is that he was knocking on the door of greatness even as a backup. His numbers dating to the 2009-10 season are tops in the League, yet he's truly been the Bruins starter since 2012. But Rask's body of work in that time is undeniable: Among goalies to play in at least 150 games, his .927 save percentage is the best, and he's tied for eighth with 24 shutouts, according to Hockey-Reference.com's play index. Rask has finished in the top three in the League in save percentage in the previous two seasons. Rask is 27, and will play years past when Bruins captain and defensive cornerstone Zdeno Chara retires. How the Bruins make that transition from a team perspective is in question, but Rask likely still will be a top goalie when that occurs.
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers --
STATS PRIOR TO JAN. 29 GAMES
GAA: 2.30 | SVP: .920
It's only fitting to include Brodeur's last true rival in anything that even dares to offer a loose Brodeur comparison. Since becoming the Rangers starter in 2005, Lundqvist and Brodeur met 41 times in the regular season, with Lundqvist going 26-10-5. He has been good when he wasn't facing his regional counterpart, as Lundqvist .920 save percentage is third among goalies to play 200 games since 2005. The two goalies ahead of him, Rask and Tomas Vokoun
, have played 375 and 189 fewer games, respectively, than Lundqvist's 610 during that stretch. Add to that no goalie has won more games than Lundqvist over that stretch (332), and that he hasn't finished outside of the top 10 among League leaders in wins since 2006 (he's sixth this season), and it's hard to argue many have been better or more consistent than Lundqvist.
THE NEXT WAVE
John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks -- Gibson made a big debut, shutting out the Vancouver Canucks in his first career start. He then had a shutout in his first career Stanley Cup Playoff start, against the eventual-champion Los Angeles Kings. Gibson has enjoyed some international success already, leading the United States to gold medals at the 2011 IIHF World Under-18 Championship and the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. The Ducks selected Gibson in the second round of the 2011 NHL Draft (No. 39); while he's spent most of the season in the American Hockey League after an early groin injury, he's considered a future franchise goalie.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning --
STATS PRIOR TO JAN. 29 GAMES
GAA: 1.76 | SVP: .937
When Ben Bishop
was injured earlier this season, it was the 20-year-old Vasilevskiy who got the call. In four games with Tampa Bay this season Vasilevskiy is 3-1-0 with a 1.76 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage. With Bishop playing well, Vasilevskiy can continue to gain experience in the AHL. However, the time will soon come when Vasilevskiy, the 19th pick of the 2012 draft, will be an NHL starter.
Jack Campbell, Dallas Stars -- Before Gibson emerged as the top United States-born goalie, there was Campbell. As an 18-year-old Campbell led the U.S. to gold at the 2010 World Junior Championship and to gold medals at the 2009 and 2010 World Under-18 tournaments. The Stars are a team with a bright outlook with the likes of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn leading the way offensively. Campbell made his NHL debut in 2013 against the Anaheim Ducks, but has spent the rest of his time in the AHL. At 23 years old Campbell is a bit older but also more battle-tested.
KEEP AN EYE ON
Curtis McElhinney, Columbus Blue Jackets -- If you're in need of a goalie it's worth adding McElhinney right now. Sergei Bobrovsky will miss four to six weeks, and despite where they are in the standings the Columbus Blue Jackets will be a competitive team down the stretch. McElhinney won his first start since Bobrovsky's injury Tuesday against the Washington Capitals and likely will see the bulk of the minutes for the Blue Jackets the rest of the way.
TOP 30 FANTASY GOALIES
These modified re-rankings are a projection of a goalie's fantasy output for the entire season. Our ranks are based on volume categories like games played, wins, saves, goals-against average (GAA) and save percentage (SV%). The plus or minus for each player is movement based on our most recent rankings from last week (NR means not ranked in previous rankings). It is important to note that our rankings reflect sheer fantasy value, not talent. A less-talented goalie could be ranked higher due to their team's strong defense and offense.
||Carey Price, MTL (+1)
||Ryan Miller, VAN (+1)
||Henrik Lundqvist, NYR (-1)
||Antti Niemi, SJS (+1)
||Brian Elliott, STL (SAME)
||Kari Lehtonen, DAL (+1)
||Marc-Andre Fleury, PIT (SAME)
||Jonathan Bernier, TOR (+1)
||Corey Crawford, CHI (SAME)
||Cory Schneider, NJD (+1)
||Roberto Luongo, FLA (SAME)
||Petr Mrazek, DET (+1)
||Frederik Andersen, ANA (SAME)
||Devan Dubnyk, MIN (+1)
||Ben Bishop, TBL (SAME)
||Joni Ortio, CGY (+1)
||Jaroslav Halak, NYI (SAME)
||Antti Raanta, CHI (+1)
||Braden Holtby, WSH (SAME)
||Cam Talbot, NYR (+1)
||Tuukka Rask, BOS (SAME)
||Jake Allen, STL (+1)
||Michael Hutchinson, WPG (SAME)
||Alex Stalock, SJS (+1)
||Jonathan Quick, LAK (SAME)
||Carter Hutton, NSH (+1)
||Craig Anderson, OTT (SAME)
||Curtis McElhinney, CBJ (NEW)
||Semyon Varlamov, COL (SAME)
||Anton Khudobin, CAR (SAME)
Key injuries: Pekka Rinne, Sergei Bobrovsky, Jimmy Howard, Martin Jones, Jonas Gustavsson, Karri Ramo, Michal Neuvirth