Montreal’s Carey Price will likely be voted in to the All-Star Game, a deserving honor for the Habs’ No. 1 netminder. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
When the NHL All-Star Game rolls into Raleigh next month, Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward could be among those chosen to man the nets for the hometown crowd. Trouble is, so could nine or 10 other netminders, too.
Montreal's Carey Price will likely hold on to the top spot in fan voting, earning a spot he deserves anyway, but the other five spots are up for grabs. If we had to decide today, here are the five other goalies I'd take to the All-Star Game.
1. Tim Thomas, Boston — Thomas has cooled since a red-hot start, but not enough to keep the Vezina winner from two years ago from being named to the team. He has a league-best .948 save percentage and 1.70 goals-against average, plus is 15-4-3 with five shutouts for the B's
2. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles — Many thought Quick would be losing his job to Jonathan Bernier this season, but he has followed up his 39-win season with a 16-7-1 record this year. His 1.94 GAA and .929 save percentage are among the league's best and have made Bernier an afterthought. But the Kings are in a tie with the Blackhawks for the eighth spot in the West, so his job isn't totally secure as long as L.A. isn't locked into the postseason. But Quick is locked in for Raleigh.3. Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh — Fleury was outplayed by backup Brent Johnson to start the year, but Fleury has won 12 of his last 13 starts in helping push the Pens into the Eastern Conference elite. He is 15-7-1 with a 2.29 goals-against average and .917 save percentage.
4. Ondrej Pavelec, Atlanta — No one had a rougher start to their season: Pavelec mysteriously collapsed just minutes into the Thrashers’ season opener Oct. 8 and didn't get back between the pipes until Oct. 30. But he's been a key part of Atlanta's success since his return. He is 12-6-3 — two wins shy of the career high he set last year — with a remarkable .943 save percantage, 1.82 goals-against average and two shutouts.
5. Cam Ward, Carolina — A homer pick? You can say so if you want, but the former Conn Smythe winner is having his best season despite playing in front of an inexperienced Hurricanes team. Ward's 14-9-3 record isn't eye-popping, but his .926 save percentage highlights how good he's been. Only Jonas Hiller and Price have made more stops this season, so Ward’s 2.54 goals-against average isn't reflective of his play.