Ranking the best goalies from Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs
With the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the books, theScore counts down the top five players of the postseason so far in all three positional groups. Players on eliminated teams are eligible for this list, as these rankings are explicitly based on performances in Round 1.
5. Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas Golden Knights
The Golden Knights unsurprisingly went with Fleury to begin the postseason after he put together one of his best career campaigns. The 36-year-old was equally impressive against the stingy Minnesota Wild, with his only real blemish coming in Game 5 when he allowed three goals on 13 shots in a loss. Still, Fleury's first-round production was stellar, and he's a big reason why Vegas advanced.
4. Ilya Sorokin, New York Islanders
The Islanders turned to Semyon Varlamov for the second and third games of Round 1 despite a great outing from Sorokin in Game 1. After New York dropped both contests with Varlamov in net, the team tabbed Sorokin for Game 4 and didn't lose again while advancing to Round 2. The rookie looked like a seasoned veteran, and he's living up to the hype surrounding him.
3. Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins
Rask and the Bruins took care of the Washington Capitals with ease, rattling off four straight wins after dropping Game 1. The veteran was tested all series long while facing an average of 33.8 shots per game. He rose to the occasion and shut the door to ensure his club booked a ticket to Round 2.
2. Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
The story has been the same in Montreal for years now - the Canadiens will only go as far in the playoffs as Price can take them. The former Hart Trophy winner played perhaps some of the best hockey of his career in Round 1, helping the Canadiens rally from a 3-1 series deficit against the top-seeded Toronto Maple Leafs. Price made numerous stunning highlight-reel saves throughout the series, including on 55 high-danger chances, and he's the main reason the underdog Habs advanced to Round 2.
1. Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets
Few predicted the Jets would sweep the Edmonton Oilers in the first round. However, it was clear that for Winnipeg to advance, Hellebuyck would need to be at the top of his game. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner elevated his performance, helping to stifle Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl while repeatedly making key stops, and standing on his head during the five overtime periods.