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Goalies in the Metro Division

It wasn’t too long ago that the Metropolitan Division was the toughest in hockey. During that run, the division was dominated by elite goalies. Names like Henrik Lundqvist, Marc-Andre Fleury, Braden Holtby, and Sergei Bobrovsky were dominant. From 2010-11 until 2015-16, these guys made it tough for any team to score. For reference:

  • Lundqvist had a .923sv% and a 2.27 GAA
  • Fleury had a .917sv% and a 2.34 GAA
  • Holtby had a .922sv% and a 2.31 GAA
  • Bobrovsky had a .917sv% and a 2.54 GAA

The other teams in the Metro had their goalies play as well, but they either didn’t stick around long enough or were put in a 1a / 1b situation. Jaroslav Halak had a good couple years with the Islanders. Steve Mason had a good run between Columbus and Philadelphia posting a .920sv% and a 2.44 GAA from 2012-13 to 2015-16.

We could be seeing the resurgence of goalie domination in the division.

The Russian Goalies

There are a few names that have been in the discussion for top goalie prospect for a couple of years. Depending on when you looked, or which scout you trust more, Igor Shesterkin, Ilya Samsonov, and Ilya Sorokin have all been discussed as the best goalie prospect. All three have dominated in the KHL and the international games they’ve been apart of.

  • Samsonov has seen the most NHL time, appearing in 26 games with the Washington Capitals, he posted a .913sv% and a 2.55 GAA. Not to bad for a rookie goalie.

  • Shesterkin got the call-up after his dominance of the AHL. In his 25 games in Hartford, Shesterkin had a .934sv% and 1.90 GAA. When he got to the NHL, he played in 12 games with the New York Rangers and had a .932sv% with a 2.52 GAA.

  • Sorokin just signed his ELC with the New York Islanders, and he could follow the same path that Shesterkin was on. Spend some time in Bridgeport, and when the time is right, join the NHL club. Looking at his KHL stats, 40 games played with a .935sv% and a 1.50 GAA, Sorokin should prove his worth very quickly.

Youngbloods Making an Impact

  • The Flyers have a kid named Carter Hart in goal. Ever heard of him? The former second-round pick has solidified his spot as the top goalie in Philadelphia rather quickly. In his short career, he is holding a .915sv% and 2.59 GAA on a Flyers team that is right in the mix as a top team in the Metro.

  • There place in the standings may give you hesitation, but the New Jersey Devils have a solid young goaltender as well. MacKenzie Blackwood didn’t have great numbers in the AHL, but he made his impact felt when he was called up the NHL in the 2018-19 season. Appearing in 23 games, Blackwood had a serviceable .918sv% and a 2.61 GAA. That was enough to solidify him as the backup and, after an injury to Cory Schnieder, Blackwood took over the goal. In 47 games this season, he had a .915sv% and a 2.77 GAA on a terrible defensive team.

  • Columbus surprised everyone this season. After Joonas Korpisalo went out with an injury, rookie Elvis Merzlikins stepped in and dominated. In 31 games, he had a .923sv% and a 2.35 GAA with five shutouts. All five of his shutouts came on an eight-game stretch where Merzlikins was 8-0-0 with a .967sv% and a 1.00 GAA.

Rounding Out The Division

  • Carolina will have the “elder statesman” of the goalie crop in 28-year-old Petr Mrazek. Mrazek has had a solid run in Carolina so far with a .909sv% and a 2.62 GAA over his two seasons. He has a young group of forwards and one of the best defensive crews in the NHL. This team will be scary in a couple of seasons.

  • Pittsburgh is an interesting team right now. They have two goalies, Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry, splitting time in the net. Murray is the number one, but Jarry did his best to steal it away this year. Jarry had better numbers with a .921sv% and 2.43 GAA, but Murray has the track record for success. With two Stanley Cup victories on his short resume, Murray will get every chance to keep his spot.

Six of the eight teams in the Metropolitan Division have top-rated young goalies making their presence felt in the NHL. If everything plays out right, the Metro is going to be hell for every team.

I can’t wait to watch it all unfold!

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