NHL player poll says Rinne, Lundqvist toughest shootout goalies

6 Comments

According to the 186 participants in Sports Illustrated’s NHL Player Poll, Nashville’s Pekka Rinne and New York’s Henrik Lundqvist are the toughest goalies to beat in a shootout.

Rinne and Lundqvist topped the list, each receiving 28 percent of votes cast. They were followed by Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury (eight percent), Buffalo’s Ryan Miller (seven percent) and Boston’s Tim Thomas (five percent.)

It’s no surprise Rinne’s viewed as one of the most difficult goalies to beat. He’s only allowed four goals on 19 attempts this year and, last night against Vancouver, had his streak of 13 consecutive saves broken in the third round of an eventual loss. Rinne also holds the highest career shootout save percentage (.779) of any goalie that’s faced more than 15 attempts.

It’s also no surprise to see Lunqvist near the top. He’s the NHL’s active leader in shootout wins — 40, one more than New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur — and has faced more shootout attempts than anybody in history (259). His finest season might’ve come in 2008-09 when he led the NHL with a 9-4 record in the shootout, allowing just 10 goals on 40 shots.

As far as snubs go, Brodeur’s a pretty interesting omission. He trails only Lunqvist for career shootout wins and has been lights-out this season, posting a 4-1 record while allowing just two goals on 13 shots.