Of the 57 times that the Conn Smythe Trophy has been awarded to the playoff MVP, a goalie has won nearly one-third of the time. A goaltender on a hot streak can make their team unstoppable, whereas a goalie who just can’t make the big save will sink the best teams. Last week, we considered the goaltending situation in the Central Division. This week we will look at the best and worst goalie tandems in the Pacific Division so far this season.
The Best and Worst Goalie Tandems in the Pacific Division so Far This Season
Best: Vegas Golden Knights
Logan Thompson: 9-3-0; 0.925 SV%; 2.27 GAA; 2 SO
Adin Hill: 5-1-0; 0.920 SV%; 2.32 GAA
4 goalies at Crypto. com Arena for #VGKvsLAK
Vegas Golden Knights: Adin Hill, Logan Thompson
Los Angeles Kings: Cal Petersen, Jonathan Quick
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— Dr. Dinur Blum (Rabbi D, Ph.D.) (@rabbi_d) October 12, 2022
The 2021-22 season was the first time that the Vegas Golden Knights missed the playoffs in their (admittedly short) history. After trading away Marc-Andre Fleury and announcing that Robin Lehner was going to miss the whole 2022-23 season after hip surgery, things were looking dire for the team. I will admit that I was one of the people predicting that it was going to be a rough season for Vegas. The decision to go with a tandem who had under 40 career wins combined was a gutsy one.
But all Logan Thompson and Adin Hill have done since the start of the season is win. The have led the Golden Knights to first place in the Pacific Division as well as first place in the Western Conference. Out of all of the goalie tandems in the Pacific division, they have the lowest combined goals-against average (2.28) and the highest combined save percentage (0.923). Behind these goalies, Vegas is well situated to return once again to post-season play.
Honorable Mention: Seattle Kraken (Martin Jones and Philipp Grubauer)
Worst: Vancouver Canucks
Thatcher Demko: 2-8-2; 0.884 SV%; 3.77 GAA
Spencer Martin: 4-1-1; 0.898 SV%; 3.49 GAA
The Vancouver Canucks had a poor start to the 2021-22 season, but things seemed to turn around when Bruce Boudreau took over as head coach on December 5th. Both Thatcher Demko and Spencer Martin played well last year under Boudreau (Demko: 25-11-6 and Martin: 3-0-3), and the anticipation was that this would be a bounce-back year for the club. Unfortunately, things have not gone according to plan. The Canucks are currently sitting 6th in the Pacific Division and 13th in the Western Conference.
Martin has had the better results of the two goalies, but neither has even been league-average when it comes to their statistics. Their combined save percentage is currently 0.889 and their combined goals-against average is 3.67. Their advanced stats have been arguably even worse. Their combined GSAx is a combined -9.6 (7th in the division), and their GSAx/60 is a combined -0.534 (8th in the division). If Demko and Martin can’t re-find their form, the Canucks are going to find themselves favourites to draft Connor Bedard at the next draft.
Dishonorable Mention: Los Angeles Kings (Jonathan Quick and Cal Petersen)
Fun Fact: The record for most wins in a season (48) is shared between Martin Brodeur (2006-07) and Braden Holtby (2015-16). Brodeur played 78 games the year he won 48 games; Holtby played 66 games the year he won 48.