Agreed. I just hope he realizes these are the worst of times, and good times are ahead. I hope he sticks around long-term to help bring those good time to fruition and to enjoy them with us.
I do too, but I have a feeling it will all come down to the Avs front office and how much external boss management control they employ during the next round of team/player evaluation compensation conversations.
Quite the list here, not sure I agree with a whole lot of it to be honest. Lehtonen gets pretty underrated, Anderson, Brodeur and Smith overrated. I've decided upon 31 goaltenders being worthy of being ranked, sorry Columbus, neither of yours count.
I'm not too fond on definitive rankings myself, generally prefer to cluster players, so I'll do it a bit like that.
1. Lundqvist, indisputable #1.
2-4. Quick, forget his numbers this season... LAK as a whole have been playing hungover. He was incredibly underrated heading into last year.
2-4. Rinne, I often feel he is overrated and on another team he wouldn't do so well. But there isn't a comparable combination of size, athleticism and positioning in the NHL.
2-4. Price, has found a good level of consistency and can take over a game when he's playing at his best.
5. Lehtonen, narrowly outside the top 4, Lehtonen has shown why he was such a sought after prospect. His athleticism is outstanding and he is calm in the net, any game he starts in Dallas has a chance to win regardless of their offensive success.
6. Luongo, whether you love or hate the guy, you can't knock performance. Season in and season out he has put up solid to great numbers on poor and good teams. His playoff success will always hold him back from being considered a great one in the future.
7-8. Ward, he redefines consistency by always having inconsistent months thrown into his play. If the guy could have a whole season at 95% he'd be a Vezina finalist.
7-8. Miller, a smaller goalie that may never repeat his Vezina and Silver Medal performances, he's still excellent at his position and capable of winning (or losing) you games.
9-11. Varlamov, homer perhaps, but he has all the tools of the best goaltenders in the league (thanks Giggy) and is still developing. Once he finds his next gear consistency-wise, he'll be in Vezina contention for at least a few years. We've seen him play great this season, so perhaps this is his turning point.
9-11. Anderson, for a few years now he has put in some top level outstanding performances on poor teams. This season is no exception to that, but he's still relatively unproven in the playoffs (even compared to a young guy like Varly) and has that blemish on his career giving up in Colorado.
9-11. Halak, when he's healthy he's one of the best in the league. His health and question-marks related to just who is pulling the weight in St. Louis drops him down a bit. Wouldn't be surprised to see him climb if he's healthy for a STL playoff run.
12. Rask, still young and looks great frequently, but I'm not ready to anoint him the king yet until he puts up some wins in the postseason behind a strong Boston team.
13-18. Howard, workhorse in net for Detroit and he can put up great performances. But with Detroit's lost defensive poise and the uncertainty behind their future on defense, I expect his numbers to decrease to middle of the league.
13-18. Smith, putting up good numbers on a team that elevates goalies dramatically. I don't think he's as good as he appears and everytime I watch him I am reminded of that by the poor angle goals he lets in. A big body with good positioning and puck handling, not even top 10 in the league.
13-18. Hiller, before getting Vertigo he was higher on this list. I still see him as a great goalie, perhaps not Anaheim's in the future.
13-18. Kipper, past his prime but still competitive... was a long time workhorse that could still carry a team for another year or two. But as we've seen from this season, he's slowing down finally.
13-18. Backstrom, while seemingly unbeatable against the Avs, Backstrom hasn't played like he did when he entered the league thanks to the loss of Martin. Behind a great defense he can carry a team, but he's weak to strong passing team.
19-24. Fleury, inconsistent as all hell. Stanley Cup or no cup, he's unable to stay in his crease long enough to beat out Vokoun for a starting spot.
19-24. Brodeur, washed up but not forgotten... a great playoff run keeps him in the top 25. But his seasonal play is slipping despite his great career.
19-24. Schneider, he's probably at the top of this range. But he needs to beat out Lou before he goes any higher despite his impressive potential. Looks like a future top 20 goalie regularly if he could become a starter.
19-24. Niemi, often he will play great, but often he will play poorly. Sharks fans almost ran him out of town after his extension. Good enough to take a great team far, but bad enough to make a good team sink.
19-24. Pavelec, I'm harder on the guy than I might need to be, but his potential is still a top 15 goalie in the league behind a better team.
19-24. Vokoun, still good but not the guy he used to be. He's hardly athletic anymore and it exposes him unfortunately.
25-31. Theodore, Lindback, Holtby, Bryz, Nabokov, Reimer, Crawford, Dubnyk in some order... ran out of lunch time.
I can live with this list but I think Luongo's inconsistency and bad play when under pressure hurts his rank.
Also think you need to give Brodeur some credit (Higher rank) for being consistently good. He has dropped off or he would be #1-3 on the list. Smith's play in the playoffs is what does it for me... That is one area where Bryz never seemed to succeed, even behind their system.
Putting Hiller & Miller as high as you are and then having Brodeur & Smith that low seems wrong. (Miller has just been bad, he does not have vertigo as an excuse.)
How long should we keep Giggy around to mentor him before we bring up one of our prospects as a backup tendy?
I'd keep Giggy until he either plays himself off the roster or one of the young kids takes the job from him in camp. There's nothing wrong with Giggy's play right now and I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with any of the prospects playing regularly in the NHL now either. If the AVs were to keep an open spot as a backup for one of them, I think they'd have to be comfortable with them starting a good chunk of games with the way the team allows forwards to crash the net and take 60 shots a game. (Just joking about the 60 shots thing...sort of.)
Varly top 20 for me, imo top 15. Easily has potential to be a top 5 goalie, but he is still inconsistent and lets in some weak goals, and I wouldn't say his rebound control is the greatest. He's the best of the relatively unproven goalies, but I can't rank him in the top 10. I'd say Varly is near Smith and Ward.