PHT is spending Christmas listing the best teams, the most disappointing teams, and making our mid-season awards picks. Because what better day than Christmas to infuriate readers with our opinions!
Mike Halford: Braden Holtby checks all the boxes. Workhorse? Yep, having started 27 of Washington’s 33 games. High save percentage? Yep, .931. And even though Brough thinks wins and goals-against average are about as useful as plus-minus, Holtby leads the league in both (with 21 victories and a 1.96 GAA). Nicklas Backstrom said he’s never seen Holtby play better than he has this year, and a Vezina win should make the 26-year-old a lock for Team Canada at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Jason Brough: There isn’t much separating the top guys this year, so I’m going to choose Jake Allen. The 25-year-old is 16-8-2 with a .928 save percentage and is tied with Corey Crawford for the most shutouts in the league (5). We all know how it’s gone with goalies in St. Louis, which is why I went with Allen over the rest. How he performs down the stretch and into the playoffs — assuming Hitch doesn’t have another last-minute change of heart and go with Brian Elliott — will be fascinating to watch.