Pictured: Mediocrity

Pictured: Mediocrity

Before the season, on this thing called the Backhand Shelf Podcast (which you should totally listen to because we’re awesome), I predicted that Al Montoya would be the Winnipeg Jets starting goaltender by the end of the season because I needed something random and arbitrary and I think Ondrej Pavelec is terrible. On Saturday, Montoya got a shutout. On Monday, amongst Montoya discussion, our little podcast gang determined that Montoya was the definition of an “average” goaltender and, thus, the Montoya Line was born. Basically, if Montoya is the standard for being average, a goalie can rank above or below the Montoya Line. It’s a complicated system.

Today I had the thought Bourne told me to rank all the goalies in the NHL on the Montoya Line. I created a three-point system on either side. Basically, a goalie can rank anywhere from 1 to 3 points either below or above the line. Sometimes higher, though. And sometimes I just ranked goalies wherever I felt like it. Keep in mind this is entirely my opinion based on a rating system that I made up. YOLO, etc.

Note: Two goalies ranked at the same spot on the Montoya Line does not mean that those two goalies are equal in skill.

Note 2: This is not a real, valid, correct, or relevant ranking system. I feel the need to reiterate that.

Anaheim Ducks

Viktor Fasth – 1? 3? 12? Man, I shouldn’t have started with the Ducks. I haven’t really seen enough of Fasth to make a real judgement. The way he’s playing right now, he’s the next Patrick Roy. So let’s call it 2 points above the Montoya Line.

Jonas Hiller – What happened, man? I have no idea what to make of Hiller. I feel like he should be way above but he’s just…eh. 1 point above the Montoya Line.

Boston Bruins

Tuukka Rask – This one hurts. You know why. He’s really good. 2.5 points above the Montoya Line.

Anton Khudobin – Apparently good? 1 point above the Montoya Line.

Buffalo Sabres

Ryan Miller – Been anywhere from 1 to 3 points above over the last few years. I’m just going to go to the middle. 2 points above the Montoya Line.

Jhonas Enroth – What I like to call “Hedberg’d” as he basically never plays because he’s stuck behind a goalie who plays almost every game. So it’s hard to judge. 1 point below the Montoya Line because I don’t like how he spells his first name. What’s that ‘h’ doing there?

Calgary Flames

Miikka Kiprusoff – Should be way above the line but kind of isn’t anymore. 1.5 points above the Montoya Line but I’m not comfortable with it.

Leland Irving – Great name. That’s all I got. 1 point below the Montoya Line.

Carolina Hurricanes

Cam Ward – Love Cam Ward. He’s great. If you think he’s not, you’re wrong. I picked him to win the Vezina this year (I’m wrong). 2.5 points above the Montoya Line.

Dan Ellis – Totally Hedberg’d but not that awful. 0.5 points above the Montoya Line.

Chicago Blackhawks

Corey Crawford – Hard to put him in perspective with the year that the Hawks are having. He’s been great but I’m not convinced he’s that good. But he has been really good, so…2 points above the Montoya Line.

Ray Emery – I’m afraid to rank him low because he might punch me in the face. 1 point above the Montoya Line for self preservation.

Colorado Avalanche

Semyon Varlamov – 0.5 points above the Montoya Line.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere – Play him more. 1 point above the Montoya Line.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Steve Mason/Sergei BobrovskyOh man. This isn’t going to be pretty. Collectively 1 point below the Montoya Line.

Dallas Stars

Kari Lehtonen – Playing really well. See Corey Crawford. 1.5 points above the Montoya Line.

Richard Bachman – Who? 1 point below the Montoya Line for obscurity.

Cristopher Nilstorp – Double who? 1 point above the Montoya Line for having an awesome name. Actually, 0.5 points above the Montoya Line because that’s not how you spell Christopher.

Detroit Red Wings

Jimmy Howard – Maybe the most underrated starting goalie in the league. Yeah, I said it. 2 points above the Montoya Line.

Petr Mrazek – 2 points below the Montoya Line for that stupid mask.

Jonas Gustavsson – Hahahahahahaha. 3 points below the Montoya Line just cause.

Edmonton Oilers

Devan Dubnyk – I just really don`t think he’s very good. 0.5 points below the Montoya Line.

Yann Danis – Inconclusive but he’s not Dubnyk so play him.  Directly on the Montoya Line because he’s not Dubnyk.

Nikolai Khabibulin – Jokes. 2 points below the Montoya Line.

Florida Panthers

Jose Theordore – Really? I have to write about Jose Theodore? Directly on the Montoya Line.

Scott Clemmenssen - Man, I just find the Panthers so average. Be more interesting, Florida. Directly on the Montoya Line.

Los Angeles Kings

Jonathan Quick – Don’t even care about this season. 3 points above the Montoya Line.

Jonathan Bernier – Docked for having the same first name as his competition. Probably really good. Would be easier to define if he was a starter somewhere. 1.5 points above the Montoya Line.

Minnesota Wild

Nicklas Backstrom – 1.5 points above the Montoya Line.

Josh Harding – 1 point above the Montoya Line.

Darcy Kuemper – Who? 1.5 points below the Montoya Line for obscurity just ’cause.

Montreal Canadiens

Carey Price – He’s amazing despite playing on the Canadiens. 3 points above the Montoya Line.

Peter Budaj – He’s less than amazing. Kind of Hedberg’d. Also, not that good. 1 point below the Montoya Line.

Nashville Predators

Pekka Rinne – Should probably be 3 points above the line. For some reason I have a hard time putting him that high. 2.5 points above the Montoya Line.

Chris Mason – Hedberg’d. 0.5 points above the Montoya Line.

New Jersey Devils

Martin Brodeur – Basically grandfathered in at 3 points above the Line. Probably closer to a 1.5 or a 2 now. Or is he? 2.5 points above the Montoya Line.

Johan Hedberg – The ultimate Hedberg’d. He is the Hedberg’d. Hedberg’d.

New York Islanders

Evgeni Nabokov – Oh, man. I wish I could just say “Nabokov’d.” 1 point above the Montoya Line, I guess?

Rick DiPietro – ???????

New York Rangers

Henrik Lundqvist – 3 points above the Montoya Line. Bonus points awarded because he’s awesome.

Martin Biron – Hedberg’d. Directly on The Montoya Line.

Ottawa Senators

Craig Anderson – Enigma. 1.5 points above the Montoya Line.

Ben Bishop – I’m not exactly sure. He’s definitely taller than the Line. 0.5 points above the Montoya Line.

Philadelphia Flyers

Ilya Bryzgalov – He’s actually been pretty good this year. His team just hasn’t been. Insert 24/7 quote joke here. 1.5 points above the Montoya Line.

Brian Boucher – Hedberg’d. Not that good anyway. 0.5 points below the Montoya Line.

Michael Leighton – Miss you. 1 point below the Montoya Line.

Phoenix Coyotes

Mike Smith – He’s Mike Smith. You try to figure him out. He’s really good, maybe? Probably? 2 points above the Montoya Line but could be +.5 either way.

Chad Johnson – I have no idea. 0.5 points above the Montoya Line because he got a shutout that one time.

Jason LaBarbera – Directly on the Montoya Line.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Marc-Andre Fleury – 1 point above the Montoya Line though everybody thinks he’s a 2.

Tomas Vokoun – Play him more. 1.5 points above the Montoya Line.

San Jose Sharks

Antti Niemi – Not as good as people think. Neither is his team. 1 point above the Montoya Line.

Thomas Greiss – Directly on the Montoya Line.

St. Louis Blues

Jaroslav Halak – 2.5 points above the Montoya Line when healthy.

Brian Elliott – Am I the only person who thinks that Brian Elliott is becoming Brian Elliott again and last year was a fluke? Probably, right? 0.5 points above the Montoya Line, controversially.

Jake Allen – Hedberg’d. Injury replacement. Directly on the Montoya Line.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Anders Lindback – Watched him play for the first time yesterday so I’m probably wrong on this one. Looked really good. 1 point above the Montoya Line.

Mathieu Garon – 1 point below the Montoya Line.

Toronto Maple Leafs

James Reimer – Comes with the massive caveat of being healthy. Also with the caveat that I love him. 2 points above the Montoya Line when healthy. 12 points above the Montoya Line in my mind.

Ben Scrivens – Gave us “Scribbles.” Probably not as good as I think he is. 0.5 points above the Montoya Line. Love you.

Vancouver Canucks

Roberto Luongo – Elite goalie no matter what people say. 3 points above the Montoya Line.

Cory Schneider – Canucks goalies are scary good. 2 points above the Montoya Line.

Washington Capitals

Braden Holtby – If it was the 2012 playoffs all the time, he’d probably be ranked higher. But it’s not and he’s not very good, so…Directly on the Montoya Line.

Michal Neuvirth – 1.5 points below the Montoya Line just because I don’t like him for some reason.

Winnipeg Jets

Ondrej Pavelec - I legitimately think he’s the worst goaltender in the league. At least amongst guys who play regularly. 2 points below the Montoya Line.

Al Montoya – He is the line. Come at the king, you best not miss. Directly on the Montoya Line, obviously.