Ranking the NHL goalies under most pressure this season

Much less stress and much more fitness and nutrition, means Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen is in great shape and ready to take on a larger workload in 2017-18.

Former NHL goaltender Corey Hirsch ranks the league’s goalies in terms of pressure this season.

Western Conference

15. Colorado – Semyon Varlamov

Plays behind one of the most challenged defensive corps in the NHL. Any chance of this team even being respectable lies on Varlamov’s shoulders.

14. Arizona – Antti Raanta

Never been a No. 1. Coyotes have one of the best defences in the NHL that other goalies would salivate to play behind.

13. Vegas – Marc-Andre Fleury

Fleury is the star on a team that otherwise has no stars. He will need to be super human some nights to keep this team from getting embarrassed.

12. LA Kings – Jonathan Quick

This team is only as good as Quick. It’s a big weight to carry on a guy that missed almost all of last season.

11. Vancouver – Jacob Markstrom

First opportunity to be a No. 1 goalie in the NHL. Fail and he’s labeled a career backup.

10. Winnipeg – Steve Mason

Can’t seem to stick in any market he’s been in. Has to prove Winnipeg didn’t throw a dart hoping he can be its saviour.

9. San Jose – Martin Jones

Big Joe isn’t getting any younger. Don’t be the reason a legend never wins a Cup.

8. Nashville – Pekka Rinne

Can he perform the same magic two seasons in a row?

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7. St. Louis – Jake Allen

Got sent home at one point to clear his head, but was incredible in the playoffs. Which goalie shows up?

6. Minnesota – Devan Dubnyk

Vezina candidate for three quarters of the year last season. Down the stretch not so much. Needs a complete season start to finish.

5. Anaheim – John Gibson

Hasn’t been able to get through the Conference Finals. His pressure won’t come until the playoffs.

4. Chicago – Corey Crawford

A first round sweep with that lineup can’t happen again.

3. Dallas – Ben Bishop

Dallas has some serious firepower and goaltending let them down last year. Bishop is expected to be the savior.

2. Calgary – Mike Smith

Smith wanted to go somewhere with a chance to win. Needs to prove he’s not just a good goalie on bad teams.

1. Edmonton – Cam Talbot

Oilers have the best player in the world and a legitimate chance to win the Cup. Snubbed of a Vezina nod, Talbot needs prove last year wasn’t a fluke.

Eastern Conference

16. Carolina – Scott Darling

Was incredible at times in Chicago, but now doesn’t have an all-star defence in front of him.

15. Ottawa – Craig Anderson

Anderson has arguably the best defenceman in the NHL on his team. Needs to follow up on last season’s playoff performance.

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14. Florida – Roberto Luongo

At 38 years old, needs to prove that his best years aren’t over or he’ll be on the end of the bench.

13. Boston – Tuukka Rask

Boston has underachieved the last few seasons. Rask is 30 years old, time is running out.

12. Pittsburgh – Matt Murray

Already won two Cups and has Crosby on his team looking for a three peat.

11. Buffalo – Robin Lehner

Buffalo changed its whole front office staff. Lehner was a Tim Murray trade. His safety blanket is gone.

10. New Jersey – Cory Schneider

Nico Hischier gives them a chance to be playoff contenders. Can Schneider provide the rest?

9. Tampa Bay – Andrei Vasilevskiy

Tampa traded Ben Bishop so he could be the No 1.

8. New York Islanders – Jaroslav Halak/Thomas Greiss

Halak got sent to the minors with a $4 million salary. If that doesn’t say shape up, I don’t know what does.

7. Philadelphia – Brian Elliott

Needs to shake off the inconsistency that plagues him or the Flyers faithful will run him out of town.

6. Detroit – Petr Mrazek

Detroit didn’t make the playoffs for the first time in 25 years last season. A new building and a new attitude, Red Wings fans expect more this year.

5. New York Rangers – Henrik Lundqvist

He’s 35 years old now. How long until the Rangers decide he’s not the guy that can get them a Cup anymore?

4. Columbus – Sergei Bobrovsky

See Montreal and Carey Price…they should be called the Columbus Bobrovskys. He’s the team.

3. Washington – Braden Holtby

Being the best in regular season means nothing if you can’t get it done in the playoffs.

2. Montreal – Carey Price

The Montreal Canadiens are Carey Price and Carey Price is the Montreal Canadiens. How’s that for pressure in the world’s most legendary goalie market?

1. Toronto – Frederik Andersen

Last year he had zero pressure. This year the Toronto faithful are tentatively planning a parade route.


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