The Boston Bruins fortunes in the Atlantic Division this season rest squarely with them.
So far, the Boston Bruins have managed to ascend to the top of the division and have remained there ever since, despite some iffy streaks along the way.
Of course, they have been lucky in that the Toronto Maple Leafs struggled enough that they eventually sacked their so-called saviour, Mike Babcock. The Buffalo Sabres, for all the off-season talk of turning things around, look to be very much the same team.
Over in Florida, the off-season arrivals of a big-name coach and big-name goalie with a contract to match have not quite led to the results we would have expected. They have improved, no doubt, but still seem more wild-card contender than true Stanley Cup challenger.
Perhaps most surprisingly, at least early in the season, was the fact that last year’s dominance by the Tampa Bay Lightning didn’t carry over. Of course, in recent times, they look much more deadly but the slow start means they are still playing catch up to the Bruins.
Now as we near the final run-in, playing strong defense and having a goaltender that can steal you a game suddenly becomes crucial.
Over the next thirty games, things tend to tighten up and one-goal leads replace the four or five-goal blowouts you tend to see earlier in the year.
For the Boston Bruins to maintain top spot in the Atlantic and a wild-card opponent in the first round of the play-offs, there’s a few goalies that stand out more than others as potential roadblocks, starting with the obvious trio: