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Goalies on the bubble

Five who fell short of making NHL Network's Top 10 list

NHL.com @NHL

NHL Network knows who the best players are in the League right now. They will reveal their version in nine-episode summer series, airing weekends, starting Aug. 6. The first episode is Sunday at 7 p.m. ET and focuses on the Top 10 goaltenders.

Did your favorite goalie make the list? Tune in Sunday to find out and join the conversation with the #NHLTopPlayers hashtag. Here is a preview of the series and a look at five goalies on the bubble, who just missed the top 10:

Goaltending depth may be as strong as it has ever been in the NHL, but who are the 10 best playing right now?

That question will be answered by NHL Network on Sunday, and Kevin Weekes, a goalie who spent 11 seasons in the League from 1997-2009 and now serves as an analyst, says it is not an easy task to determine the cream of the crop.

"Each goalie has his own unique style and traits," Weekes said. "Competitiveness, consistency, dependability, durability and vision are among what makes them stand out. The players who were chosen among the top 10 had above-average talent in these areas."

The Top 10 goalies will be revealed in the show, but Weekes was willing to discuss some of the goalies on the bubble who just missed the cut among the show producers and NHL Network analysts who made up the selection panel.

Video: Biggest omissions from Top 10 Goalies Right Now list

 

11. Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils

The 31-year-old had a sub-par year for his standards. He won 20 games and had a 2.82 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage. His save percentage was down. 0.16 and his GAA was up more than half a goal (.67) from 2015-16.

"Schneider had a down season, but the Devils improved in the offseason and he can rebound. Let's not forget his .922 career save percentage ranks third all-time," Weekes said.

Video: NJD@MIN: Schneider sprawls for great series of stops

 
12. John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks

In his first season as a No. 1, Gibson, 24, had 25 wins, 2.22 GAA and .924 save percentage. He also played in the All-Star Game and helped the Ducks get to the Western Conference Final in 2015-16.

Video: ANA@NSH, Gm4: Gibson extends pad to rob Forsberg

 

13. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks

An elite goalie for the past several seasons, Crawford, 32, was his consistent self in 2016-17. He won 30-plus games for the sixth straight non-shortened season and had a .918 save percentage, which is also his career average.

"What can you say about Crawford? He's a two-time Cup winner, a proven winner," Weekes said. "He's a much bigger piece than the Blackhawks give him credit for, with all the other talent on the team.

Video: CHI@ANA: Crawford extends right pad, robs Silfverberg

 

14. Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins

Rask, 30, had a career-high 37 victories last season and was a huge reason why the Bruins were able to return to the postseason after a two-year absence. He had a 2.23 GAA, .915 save percentage and eight shutouts.

Video: OTT@BOS, Gm3: Rask robs Dzingel with sliding save

 

15: Ben Bishop, Dallas Stars

Traded to the Stars from the Los Angeles Kings on May 9 after he was traded last season from the Tampa Bay Lightning to Los Angeles on Feb. 26, Bishop, 30, appeared in 39 games. He had played more than 60 in each of the previous three seasons. His 2.54 GAA and .910 save percentage were each below expectations and career averages.

"Bishop was injured last season but had been huge for the Tampa Bay Lightning in recent years, helping them advance to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015 and the Eastern Conference Final in 2016, being name a Vezina finalist in 2014 and 2016," Weekes said.

Video: ARI@LAK: Bishop slides across for great OT save

There are also some younger, less established goalies on the cusp of joining the elite collection of goaltender.

"I really like what Frederik Andersen has done with the Toronto Maple Leafs," Weekes said. "He was excellent in Anaheim and took a huge step forward this past year being a true No. 1. He handled the scrutiny in playing in a tough market and was the backbone of that team filled with young superstars.

"Jake Allen also took over as a No. 1 with the St. Louis Blues last season and showed why they felt he was the goalie of the future, committing to him rather than Brian Elliott after the 2015-16 season."

Here is the schedule:
Aug. 6: Top 10 goalies 
Aug. 13: Top 20 wings 
Aug. 20: Top 20 centers 
Aug. 26: Top 20 defensemen 
Sept. 3: Top 50 players (50-41) 
Sept. 10: Top 50 players (40-31) 
Sept. 17: Top 50 players (30-21) 
Sept. 24: Top 50 players (20-11) 
Oct. 1: Top 50 players (10-1)

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