Ranking every NHL goalie tandem for 2023-24

      Breaking down every duo and trio – with three burning questions for each.

      Published -

      Ranking the NHL’s goalie tandems is tricky. It’s about the overall strength of the tandem, sizing up that team’s opportunity to win every game – no matter who is in the crease those 20 or 30 other nights per season while the No. 1 rests.

      We’ve taken into account athlete history, expected playing time, strength of the team in front of them, travel considerations and more. Of course, it’s all debatable and that’s the fun of it.

      This is a living, breathing list. Your favorite team’s tandem may rise or fall as the season progresses.

      Away we go, ranking the NHL’s netminding tandems from top to bottom, along with three key questions for each team.

      #1: New York Islanders: Ilya Sorokin & Semyon Varlamov

      Key questions: Can Sorokin win his first Vezina Trophy? At 35 years old, will Varlamov slow down? Does it even matter if the Islanders don’t make the Stanley Cup Playoffs?

      #2: Winnipeg Jets: Connor Hellebuyck & Laurent Brossoit

      Key questions: Will Hellebuyck remain a Jet all season? Will Brossoit be able to shoulder the load and stay healthy? Is it realistic to think Hellebuyck can carry Winnipeg to the postseason once again?

      #3: Boston Bruins: Linus Ullmark & Jeremy Swayman

      Key questions: How far will Ullmark’s numbers fall when he inevitably comes back down to earth? Will either goalie be traded? Is Swayman good enough to be a true No 1?

      #4: Nashville Predators: Juuse Saros & Kevin Lankinen

      Key questions: Can Saros be counted on to play another 60-plus games? Was last season’s strong performance the real version of Lankinen? Do people realize how good Saros actually is?

      #5: Tampa Bay Lightning: Andrei Vasilevskiy & Jonas Johansson

      Key questions: Will time away from the rink and gym help Vasilevskiy this season? Should ‘The Big Cat’ play fewer games? Is Johansson really the No. 2 netminder, or does Tampa Bay claim a goaltender off waivers at the start of the season?

      #6: Dallas Stars: Jake Oettinger & Scott Wedgewood

      Key questions: Is health becoming a concern with Oettinger? Will Wedgewood be able to match – or improve upon – his career-best 2022-23 season? Will this be the year Oettinger puts it all together and challenges for the Vezina Trophy?

      #7: New York Rangers: Igor Shesterkin & Jonathan Quick

      Key questions: Is Shesterkin expected to play 60-plus games? Will Quick – whose game has been in decline for years – cost the Rangers wins? Can Shesterkin continue to outplay the defense in front of him?

      #8: Minnesota Wild: Filip Gustavsson & Marc-Andre Fleury

      Key questions: Can Gustavsson avoid a sophomore slump with Minnesota? Will Fleury be more consistent? Can this tandem lead the Wild to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and if so, who starts Game 1?

      #9: Carolina Hurricanes: Frederik Andersen, Antti Raanta, & Pyotr Kochetkov

      Key questions: Is Kochetkov being unnecessarily held back, and will it hurt his development? Can Andersen and Raanta stay healthy? Should the Hurricanes be worried about the statistical dip from their goaltenders during the 2022-23 season?

      #10: Vegas Golden Knights: Adin Hill & Logan Thompson

      Key questions: After winning the Stanley Cup as the starting netminder last season, will Hill be the de facto No. 1? Will the Golden Knights once again employ a rotation? Is Logan Thomson trade bait?

      #11: Florida Panthers: Sergei Bobrovsky, Anthony Stolarz & Spencer Knight

      Key questions: Is having $15.6 million dollars allocated to goaltending worth it? Can Bobrovsky keep his mojo from the 2022-23 Stanley Cup Playoffs going strong? Does Knight start the season in the AHL?

      #12: Colorado Avalanche: Alexandar Georgiev & Pavel Francouz

      Key questions: Georgiev regressed over the course of three seasons with the New York Rangers: can he buck that trend with the Avalanche? If Francouz is healthy, should Georgiev play fewer than 60 games? Is prospect Justus Annunen close to being an NHL goaltender?

      #13: Toronto Maple Leafs: Ilya Samsonov, Joseph Woll & Martin Jones

      Key questions: Can Samsonov improve his technical game enough to be reliable in the postseason? Is Woll capable of stealing the net and leading the Leafs to the promised land? Will Martin Jones be a factor?

      #14: Ottawa Senators: Joonas Korpisalo & Anton Forsberg

      Key questions: Will Korpisalo finally be the answer in goal for the Sens? Can Forsberg recover from a serious injury to both knees and be the same steady netminder? Korpisalo and Forsberg won a Calder Cup in the AHL together: would tandem usage work best?

      #15: Calgary Flames: Jacob Markstrom, Dan Vladar, & Dustin Wolf

      Key questions: Will the Flames start the campaign with all three goaltenders? Can Markstrom bounce back from a frustrating 2022-23 season? Of all NHL goaltenders potentially on the trading block, does Vladar hold the most value?

      #16: Vancouver Canucks: Thatcher Demko, Arturs Silovs, & Spencer Martin

      Key questions: If this season goes poorly for Vancouver, will Demko request a trade? Is he expected to play 60-plus games despite recent injury concerns? Is Silovs capable of being an NHL backup after just one full season of AHL hockey?

      #17: Pittsburgh Penguins: Tristan Jarry & Alex Nedeljkovic

      Key questions: Was sticking with Jarry the right thing to do this past offseason? Will he be healthy when needed most? Can Nedeljkovic jumpstart his career after a tough season in Detroit?

      #18: Washington Capitals: Darcy Kuemper & Charlie Lindgren

      Key Questions: Is this tandem capable of stealing games? Can Kuemper improve his overall consistency and performance in overtime? Is Lindgren as good as the Capitals thought when they signed him in 2022?

      #19: Philadelphia Flyers: Carter Hart, Cal Petersen, & Samuel Ersson

      Key questions: Is Hart’s immense talent being wasted in Philly? Has Petersen’s game been rehabilitated? Are the Flyers just throwing darts at the board hoping for a homegrown goalie in the post-Hart era?

      #20: Los Angeles Kings: Cam Talbot & Pheonix Copley

      Key questions: Talbot has been a tandem goaltender since 2018: is he capable of grabbing the reins at 36 years old? Was Copley a fluke last season? Will going cheap in goal come back to haunt the Kings?

      #21: St. Louis Blues: Jordan Binnington & Joel Hofer

      Key questions: Binnington’s numbers have been in decline for five consecutive seasons: is he still a No. 1 goaltender? Is Hofer good enough to steal the crease? Will Binnington be remembered for saves rather than outbursts this year?

      #22: Arizona Coyotes: Karel Vejmelka & Connor Ingram

      Key questions: Is this the most underrated tandem in the NHL? Can Vejmelka continue to improve, or has he plateaued? What does Ingram do in his second full NHL season?

      #23: New Jersey Devils: Vitek Vanecek & Akira Schmid

      Key questions: Does Schmid start the season in the NHL? Is Vanecek more than a good No. 2? When does Hellebuyck become a Devil?

      #24: Edmonton Oilers: Stuart Skinner & Jack Campbell

      Key questions: Has Skinner found a new level of explosiveness that he can tap into during the Stanley Cup Playoffs? Is Campbell capable of being consistent? Does the regular season even matter for this tandem?

      #25: Montreal Canadiens: Samuel Montembeault, Jake Allen & Casey DeSmith

      Key questions: If the Habs can’t move a goaltender before the season begins, what happens? Is Montembeault capable of being a true No.1? If Allen stays healthy, does he regain the net?

      #26: Detroit Red Wings: Ville Husso, James Reimer, & Alex Lyon

      Key questions: Are the Red Wings going nowhere fast with this trio? Can Husso regain the form he previously showed with the St. Louis Blues? What if Lyon is one of the top two netminders, but he gets buried in the minors?

      #27: Buffalo Sabres: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Eric Comrie, & Devon Levi

      Key questions: Will Levi spend the entire season in the NHL, unlike any other goaltender fresh out of NCAA hockey? Can Comrie rebound from a tough first season in Buffalo? Is it time to move on from Luukkonen?

      #28: Seattle Kraken: Philipp Grubauer, Joey Daccord, & Chris Driedger

      Key questions: Grubauer started to look like the best version of himself during the second half of the 2022-23 season: has he turned the corner? After four seasons in the minors, is Daccord ready to challenge for the No. 1 job? Is goaltending still the Achilles heel of the Kraken?

      #29: Anaheim Ducks: John Gibson, Lucas Dostal, & Alex Stalock

      Key questions: Has Gibson done anything to update his game during the offseason? Will Dostal be rewarded if he outplays his goalie partner? Will the Ducks be able to trade Gibson?

      #30: San Jose Sharks: Kaapo Kahkonen & Mackenzie Blackwood

      Key questions: Is it a good idea to have two goaltending reclamation projects? Can Kahkonen’s technical changes pay off? Is Blackwood capable of staying healthy and proving he can still make a positive difference at the NHL level?

      #31: Chicago Blackhawks: Petr Mrazek & Arvid Soderblom

      Key questions: Can Mrazek play well enough this season to extend his NHL career? Is Soderblom just a layover until top prospect Drew Commesso is ready? How mad would the Blackhawks be if their goalies started stealing games?

      #32: Columbus Blue Jackets: Elvis Merzlikins & Danill Tarasov

      Key questions: How will Merzlikins get along with new head coach Mike Babcock? Can Merzlikins stay closer to home and let the game come to him, instead of forcing everything? Is Tarasov an NHL goalie?



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