Bobrovsky claims title as NHL’s best goalie

Drew Taylor

Drew Taylor

For the past few years, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price has been universally considered the best goalie in the sport. In the early years of his career, Price struggled to find his game. He was even booed by his own Canadiens fans during a playoff loss.

However, he found his stride after this, becoming an elite goaltender.

In 2015, it resulted in becoming only the third goalie of the last 50 years to win the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s MVP. Despite the accomplishments of Price, recent developments have passed the title of “World’s Best” to Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

The Russian-born Bobrovsky has dealt with some recurring injuries the past couple of seasons. However, when healthy, he’s one of the best goalies of his generation.

Bobrovsky is a two-time winner of the Vezina Trophy, the award for goaltender of the year. This includes last season, with a .931 save percentage and 2.06 goals against average, both of which led all NHL goalies. His 41 wins were good for third in the league as well, leading the Blue Jackets to their most successful season in franchise history.

This year, Bobrovsky has again gotten off to a terrific start. He is currently leading the league in save percentage and goals against average. As the backbone of the team, the Blue Jackets have gotten off to a very good start in the league standings.

On the other hand, Price has struggled immensely. His statistics are near the bottom of the league for all goalies. On top of that, the Canadiens had one of the worst starts in the history of their storied franchise. Montreal has rebounded some since then, however, and injury has caused Price to miss most of the team’s climb back.

It also doen’t help that Price signed an eight-year contract, making him the second-highest paid player in the league this past offseason. The contract is worth almost 15 percent of the team’s entire cap space.

Due to this, many in hockey circles wonder if the Canadiens will try to find a trade partner willing to take the contract and rebuild the team from scratch.

Meanwhile, Bobrovsky’s more reasonable contract and high level of play gained him more respect over the last two seasons. It is why I think he has solidified himself as not just an elite goalie, but as the best goaltender in hockey.

I do not expect Price to continue to slump, but Bobrovsky has made his mark in the league. Continued success will put him in the conversation as one of the best to ever put on the pads.

Drew Taylor is a columnist. Contact him at [email protected]