With many goalies either moving teams or deciding to call it a career the dynamics of the NHL have changed, and the power of each goalie tandem has largely shifted. Here is a look at some of the best goalie tandems ahead of the 2021-2022 NHL season, with a special focus on teams with a new tandem as they have strengthened the most important position in the sport by a lot.
New York Islanders
The two goalies have had stellar performances since they began playing together and look to continue in the same fashion. Ilya Sorokin played his first full season in the NHL last season and looks as if he had been playing in the league for multiple seasons already. He played 22 games in the regular season and maintained a save percentage of .918, a figure that is enviable by the majority of goalies in the league. During the playoffs, the tandem helped make sure that the New York Islanders made it deep, only getting knocked out by the eventual Stanley Cup-winning Tampa Bay Lightning. Semyon Varlamov will likely split time with Sorokin as he is continuing to recover from a hip injury.
Tampa Bay Lightning
With the addition of Brian Elliott, Tampa Bay gets some new veteran blood into their goalie tandem. Overall, the two look to be in a strong position going into a season in which the team hopes to put up the first three-peat since the New York Islanders from 1980-1983. Overall, Elliott and Andrei Vasilevskiy seem to have stayed about as strong as last season, despite the loss of Curtis McElhinney to retirement, overall the tandem still looks rather strong. Vasilevskiy is rated as one of the best in the NHL, and overall he looks to continue on his pace to place into the hockey hall of fame at the end of his career.
Vegas Golden Knights
Even after losing the former Vezina trophy winner of Marc-Andre Fleury, the Vegas Golden Knights still has one of the strongest pairs of goalies in the league based on their past performances. Robin Lehner is an overall strong goalie who has played an amazing game since coming into the league. He looks to make a strong starting goalie with a good chance of being able to backstop his team through the majority of games. Laurent Brossoit comes in from the Winnipeg Jets with a strong history as a backup goalie and looks to continue on this track as a backup for one of the best in the business.
The newest franchise in the NHL Seattle Kraken has picked up two goalies that both played as starters in their old teams, and look strong enough that they could certainly continue to be starters at the majority of teams in the NHL. Both goalies have a fairly good record and save percentage, and the tandem could prove to be one of the strongest in the NHL, as the two goalies seem almost interchangeable for the starting position, and could see the Kraken be backstopped to a number of victories throughout the season. Philipp Grubauer will be the starter after leaving the Colorado Avalanche but Chris Driedger is certainly a capable backup.
Spencer Knight is by far one of the best young goalies in the league and at just 20-years-old looks ready to take on a starting position in the league. Sergei Bobrovsky has been known for being a solid goalie throughout his career and is still looking strong into his senior years. Although Bobrovsky is likely to take on the starting position, fans of the Florida Panthers will be wanting to see more of Knight as he had some incredible performances in the league last season before picking up an injury and will look to continue that trend going forward.
Connor Hellebuyck has been one of the strongest goalies in the league and has happened to make some amazing saves that make the highlight reels shine whenever he shows up in them. Overall, the goalie has a strong save percentage and shows why he deserves the starting position with the Winnipeg Jets. When it comes time for all-star selection, Hellebuyck is a shoo-in for one of the goalie positions. Eric Comrie has done well in the AHL, but when tested in the NHL, he hasn’t quite performed in a manner that would befit him a starting position. However, the goalie can prove his worth in net, which may see him take on a few more games in net for the Jets.
Marc-Andre Fleury has been one of the best in the business for many years and looks to continue this form in a team that looks to bounce back in form and come back into playoff contention. Fleury has multiple accolades to his name and has looked strong when he has moved to new teams, such as the Vegas Golden Knights. The goalie has backstopped many victories, and even in his veteran years he still looks to be one of the best in the business for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Kevin Lankinen only played his first game in the NHL last season, and while he wasn’t all together amazing, he has shown that he has some potential, with the right coaching and help in training from his veteran partner, there is a real chance that this player could take up a starting position in the coming seasons. While each team in the NHL certainly has its merits for consideration of a top goalie pairing, these teams most certainly have a high likelihood of being some of the best in their entire league. Only time will tell if the pairings hold up to expectations based on their past performances, but these goalie tandems really look ready to put up numbers that could top the league.
Main image credit