Capped: First-Quarter Goalie Thoughts

Logan Doyle


We're about a quarter of the way into the season. Yep, that's right, almost twenty-five percent of games have been played. I thought it was a good time to look at some of the goalies across the league and see how values have been affected through the first quarter. So, without further ado…

Jack Campbell – Toronto Maple Leafs $1.65M (UFA)

Last year he put up numbers comparable to Vezina finalists while playing in the Northern Division. Yes, that same division experts and pundits ripped for being the worst in the league defensively and responsible for artificially inflating point totals.  The thing that kept him out of any Vezina discussion was a lack of starts.   

Then we hit the playoffs and he  ends up with a better save percentage and goals against average than Carey Price in the first round. The Leafs lost so we gloss over that fact.  

This year, he just happens to lead the league in Goals Against Average, Save Percentage, and is second in Wins and Shutouts. Jake Muzzin and Justin Holl have mightily struggled at times in front of him, as has TJ Brodie. Yet, the Leafs find themselves with the third best goals against per game in the NHL. Yes, they're third! Campbell is for real.

One word sums up his first quarter – Vezina! At a fraction of the cost of Jacob Markstrom, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Sergei Bobrovsky, there simply is no better value goalie in the NHL this year, period.

Jacob Markstrom – Calgary Flames $6M (4 Years)

Everyone seems to be a benefactor of Darryl Sutter's system in Calgary, none more than Markstrom. Every third start he tosses a shut out and sits second just behind Campbell in Save Percentage and Goals Against Average.

In a league filled with five- and six-million-dollar goalies, Markstrom is standing ahead of them all.

There is sustainable value here. He won't run out 20 shutouts. but he should maintain solid stats across the board.  He's a plug and play for the year regardless of opponent.

John Gibson – Anaheim Ducks $6.4M (5 Years)

It feels like an eternity since we have been able to say Gibson is having a good year. The talent has never been the issue, neither has his performance. The team in front of Gibson over the years has been the issue. More than once Gibson stood on his head only to lose 1-0.

All of a sudden, the Ducks can score at will and Gibson is finding the win column. This is one team I am not ready to fully believe in yet. I'm expecting a second half drop in the standings. This will affect his win totals but he should continue to deliver strong goals against average and save percentage.

There are a lot of good things taking place on the Ducks. If you are a team looking toward next year, Gibson is a goalie to target. The Ducks are quickly improving. At age 28, he has a lot of gas left in the tank.

Cal Petersen