Playoff Pontification: Probable Goaltenders

As the Washington Capitals head to Toronto to play out the final stretch of the 2010-11 NHL season, all eyes are turning to the playoffs and DC’s probable first round foes. Currently sitting in second place of the Eastern Conference, the Caps would face the New York Rangers (7th place, 91 points) if the playoffs started today – a team they’ve gone 1-2-1 against this season. However, with three games remaining on the schedule for teams in playoff contention like the Buffalo Sabres (8th place, 90 points), Montreal Canadiens (6th place, 91 points), and also those still in the hunt (Carolina Hurricanes, 9th place with 87 points), it’s anyone’s guess who Washington will face- especially if they leapfrog the Philadelphia Flyers for first in the Conference.

One element the Sabres, Habs, Rags, or Canes all have in common is top notch goaltending, and as Antti Niemi proved last season a hot goaltender is hard to top in the playoffs. Taking a look at the starting netminders for each team below, who do you think the Caps would have the most success against as they start their march towards the cup?

Henrik Lundqvist

Ryan Miller Carey Price Cam Ward
Team Rangers Sabres Canadiens Hurricanes
Games Played 66 64 70 71
W-L Record 35-26-5 33-22-8 36-28-6 35-25-10
Home Record 15-13-4 17-11-4 21-11-5 15-13-5
Away Record 20-13-1 16-11-4 15-17-1 20-12-5
GAA 2.27 2.60 2.39 2.59
Sv % .923 .915 .921 .922
vs Caps (2010-11)

Games Played

3 3 4 5

W-L Record

2-1-0 1-2-0 1-3-0 1-3-1
Goals Against 4 7 10 11
GAA 1.34 2.32 2.48 2.16
Sv % .955 .924 .924 .935
Playoffs (Career)
Games Played 30 40 19 41
W-L 14-16 22-18 5-11 23-18
Goals Against 80 101 53 96
GAA 2.66 2.39 3.17 2.38
Sv % .907 .917 .894 .917
Playoffs (vs Caps)
Games Played 7 N/A 2 N/A
W-L 3-4 0-1
Goals Against 19 6
Shut Outs 1 0
GAA 3.00 3.95
Sv % .908 .898
Miscellaneous

3x Vezina Nominee

Day-to-Day as of 3/30

2007 All Star Starter

2010 Vezina Winner

2010 Winter Olympic MVP

2009 All Star Starter

2005-06 Stanley Cup Winner

2006 Conn Smythe Winner

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