In the first edition of theScore's 2021 Vezina Trophy Power Rankings, we get an early look at which netminders have been the toughest to beat so far this season.
Since the sample sizes are still quite small, goaltenders must have made a minimum of four starts to be considered. Here are the five puck-stoppers who've stood out the most through the opening two weeks.
GAA = Goals against average
xGA/60 = Expected goals against per 60 minutes
SV% = Save percentage
HDSV% = High-danger save percentage
GSAA = Goals saved above average
Vanecek's emergence has been a welcome revelation for the Capitals with regular starter Ilya Samsonov on the COVID-19 protocol list. The 25-year-old has faced over 30 shots in four of his first five NHL starts, and he's yet to drop a game in regulation. He also ranks seventh in minutes played among goalies, and Vanecek has done an excellent job helping the Capitals stay steady during what could have been a rocky start.
Korpisalo has quietly been one of the league's most reliable goaltenders so far. The 26-year-old has outperformed his expected goals-against average by a decent margin, and he ranks fifth in goals saved above average among all goalies. Those metrics show his elite play despite only earning one win.
The Avalanche haven't been as dominant as many expected to start, but that's not Grubauer's fault. The German allowed two goals or fewer in four of his first five starts, and he's tied for the league lead in wins.
It's a shame Grubauer was injured during the club's postseason run in the bubble, but the 29-year-old continues to prove he's more than capable of being the starter for a top team after spending much of his career as a backup.
It took opponents 142:10 of action to finally beat Varlamov this season, as the Islanders puck-stopper appears to have carried over his form after an incredible playoff run last summer. The Capitals finally got to Varlamov for three goals on Tuesday, but the 32-year-old has still allowed only four goals over four games, and he boasts the best save percentage and second-best goals saved above average among all netminders.
Gibson is off to yet another red-hot start. The Ducks goaltender has been sensational while also managing one of the largest workloads thus far, ranking second in shots against and fifth in minutes played among all goalies. Anaheim owns the league's worst offense and has scored just 10 goals with Gibson in net, and he's still won half of his starts.
Maintaining his top-tier numbers behind the rebuilding Ducks will be a tall task, but Gibson possesses the ability to single-handedly keep the club in the postseason race.