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Team USA/Team Canada Olympic Goalie Power Rankings: Week 8

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Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings is playing his way out of a possible role with Team USA at Sochi.

Out of the mix: Jimmy Howard’s woes have opened the door to a spot on Team USA. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

Each week, we’ll rank the top contenders to man the pipes for Team USA and Team Canada in Sochi based on their play to date. (All stats current as of Wed. Nov. 27)

Team USA

1. Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres

He continues to face more high-quality opportunities than any goaltender in the league. Seems like the ideal training regimen for Sochi, doesn’t it? He’s given up some goals along the way, but there aren’t many that he wants back. That ability to make the stops he has to make perfectly positions him to be the American starter. (Last week: 1)

2. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

Goaltender Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings is injured and out indefinitely.

Injury and an indefinite return jeopardize Jonathan Quick’s status as the favorite to start for the U.S. (Getty Images)

Maybe it was simply a matter of imprecisely chosen words, but when Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi told the Hockey Central boys that Quick would be out “at least another month,” he left everyone to speculate about what exactly “at least” meant. Seems unlikely now that Quick will be back in action before the roster deadline. Anything beyond that is anyone’s guess. (Last week: 2)

3. Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning

Bishop’s inability to handle a rebound with less than six seconds left in a scoreless tie with the Ducks marred an otherwise dazzling 41-save effort last Friday night. It was one of those little mistakes that might have gotten into his head earlier in his career. Now, though? He’s a much tougher cat, as he proved two nights later when he made 37 stops in a 5-0 win over the Rangers. (Last week: 3)

4. Tim Thomas, Florida Panthers

Thomas’ candidacy is polarizing. One scout told SI.com that he believes the American staff will have one eye on the future when selecting the No. 3 for their team, effectively ruling out the 39-year-old. But another said the future will take care of itself and the squad will be built to win now. Thomas, he said, is one of America’s three best stoppers. He sure looked the part in stopping 38 of 39 shots on Monday to derail the Flyers’ winning streak. (Last week: 5)

5. Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils

With Jimmy Howard playing his way out of the starter’s role in Detroit, Schneider’s consistency moves him back into serious consideration. He hasn’t seen much action lately with Martin Brodeur on a tear, but he’s been solid when called upon, allowing just one goal in each of his three appearances. The question now is, will he get enough playing time to justify being selected? (Last week: NR)

Team Canada

1. Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens

Make it five consecutive starts in which Price has allowed two goals or fewer after he held Pittsburgh’s high-flying offense to a pair on Saturday. He ranks fifth in the league in both GAA (2.05) and save percentage (.935), and seems to treat every start as a chance to make a statement. He’s all but a lock at this point. (Last week: 1)

2. Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks

Luongo has allowed more than two goals in regulation just once in his last 13 appearances, an astonishingly consistent run. Still, he’s shown a propensity for letting in a bad one at times when the Canucks are outplaying their opposition. That inability to shut the door can’t be dismissed out of hand. (Last week: 2)

3. Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes

His GAA has crept up over three as he’s allowed at least that many goals in each of his last five starts. To be fair, he’s seeing a lot of rubber, and not operating with the systemic safety net he’s had in the past, but you’d like to see him step up and dominate a couple of games in a row, right? (Last week: 4)

4. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks

Crawford needed a couple of solid starts to get his game back on track, and he got ‘em against Edmonton and Vancouver, stopping 60 of the 62 shots he faced. His combination of youth and experience in high-pressure situations could be ideal for that No. 3 role. (Last week: 5)

5. Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes

How’s this for an endorsement: “As of this week, I’d pick Cam Ward. He’s out of his mind right now — you can’t beat him.” That’s the take of prominent Canadian citizen named Brian Burke, who knows a thing or two about picking hot goalies ahead of the Games. Ward was brilliant in his return from a lower body injury last week. The trick will be maintaining that stellar level of play…and avoiding a return to the IR list. (Last week: NR)

  • Published On Nov 27, 2013
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