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Most and Least Profitable NHL Goalies

A solid goaltender is one of the most important pieces in a successful NHL team. It’s also pretty important to consider what goalies are playing when placing a hockey bet as they can make or break your bankroll.

Below is a list of the five goalies who have been leading their teams to glory and the five who have resembled something close to Swiss cheese over the course of their last 10 starts.

Most Profitable Goalies

After a nightmarish start to their season, Brian Elliott and the Calgary Flames have managed to turn the ship around and after a 10-game win streak, they now have a chance to take the highly competitive Pacific Division. As for Elliott, he’s gone 13-1-0 in his last 14 starts with that only blemish coming against the league-leading Washington Capitals. He hasn’t posted a save percentage under .900 in a game since February 21 and looks locked in for the rest of the season and for a playoff series or two.

It would be very easy to justify Elliott’s insane turnaround on having to adjust to playing with a new team but I don’t think it’s that simple. Glen Gulutzan is a rookie coach and it took him a while to get a young team pointed in the right direction but when you look at a player like 23-year-old Dougie Hamilton, and his 57.5 Corsi for percentage this year, it’s easy to see why Gulutzan is being considered for the Jack Adams Award.

He's done a spectacular job with one of the youngest teams in the league and as one of the hottest squads in the show, they could definitely make a run in the postseason.

The Flames will be a good bet down the stretch when Elliott gets the nod as he continues a month that’s seen him post a .941 save percentage.

Most Profitable Goalies in the NHL
PlayerSU RecordOVER/UNDERMoney WonGAA
Jonathan Bernier8-24-6618.031.8
Brian Elliott9-15-2-3581.491.8
Carey Price8-22-4-4512.991.7
Jake Allen8-22-7-1446.721.4
Craig Anderson7-34-5-1441.082.3

Least Profitable Goalies

The Minnesota Wild are broken and Devan Dubnyk is down and out. Losers of eight of their last nine games, the Wild are picking the worst possible time of the season to have a slump and I don’t know what they’re going to do to snap out of it. During March, Dubnyk has posted a save percentage of under .900, gone 3-8-1 and likely knocked himself out of the Vezina Trophy conversation.

Before this awful stretch, Dubnyk had been one of the top three profit-earning goalies for bettors all season. Over the course of his last 10 starts, however, he’s lost Wild backers a total of $632.65 while posting a bloated 3.3 goals-against average. It’s tough to pinpoint exactly what’s going wrong for the Wild. They’re outshooting their opponents by an average of six in their 14 games this month yet they’ve allowed more goals per game in March than 24 other teams.

If I were to guess, I’d say Dubnyk is starting to get fatigued. His team has asked him to stand on his head all season long and as soon as his stats fell off a little, so did the Wild. Bruce Boudreau would be wise to give Darcy Kuemper some extra starts down the stretch and let his all-star netminder, who’s started 128 games the last two seasons, get some much-needed R and R.

Note: Prior to being traded to the Wild, Dubnyk had never started more than 47 games in a season.

Least Profitable Goalies in the NHL
PlayerSU RecordOVER/UNDERMoney LostGAA
Cory Schneider1-92-4-4-765.02.9
Devan Dubnyk2-83-6-1-632.653.3
Mike Smith2-82-8-628.743.1
Jeremy Smith1-64-2-1-487.04.29
Tuukka Rask4-65-4-1-433.853.2

This article was published on Tuesday, March 28, 2017*

Archived Articles

Most Profitable Goalies

Once the massive leader in profit earned by goaltenders, Sergei Bobrovsky – along with his team – has fallen back down to earth. Since the all-star break, the former Vezina-winning goalie has posted a 3-4-1 record along with a below-average .909 save percentage. He’s gone 5-8 since our last update in early January and looks like he could be a good fade from here on.

Devan Dubnyk, the former journeyman, has found a good home in Minnesota and it looks like he’s two short months away from capping off a career year with a Vezina Trophy. The Canadian netminder has gone 9-3 straight up since our last update and has managed to keep his goals-against average down despite an uptick in scoring since the break. Duby and the Wild continue to be one of the best bets in hockey and should be backed whenever possible.

A player who deserves some attention for the remainder of the season and into the playoffs is Craig Anderson. He’s made three starts since returning from personal leave this month and is 2-1 in that span. The Senators have been one of the premier defensive teams since the all-star break and that trend should only continue with their No. 1 goalie back between the pipes.

Most Profitable Goalies in the NHL
PlayerSU RecordOVER/UNDERMoney WonGAA
Sergei Bobrovsky31-1618-25-41300.762.28
Devan Dubnyk32-1320-18-71179.592.02
Craig Anderson14-87-14-1705.482.45
Antti Raanta11-59-6-1616.52.69
Tuukka Rask28-1721-21-3612.322.36

Least Profitable Goalies

Oh boy, what is going on in Dallas. The Stars have allowed 3.67 goals per game in February and their goalies have combined to earn a league-worst .879 save percentage. One of the main contributors to that epidemic is Kari (let-it-in) Lehtonen. The Finn is having the worst year of his career at the age of 33 and is the only active goalie to have lost bettors over $1000. Dallas’ defensive problems only seem to be worsening so making a value play on the Stars when Lehtonen gets the call could feel a little like beating your head against a wall.

Andrei Vasilevskiy was expected to have a breakout year this year but as the success of his team indicates, that has not really happened. The Russian backstop has shown flashes of brilliance but the inconsistency of his team has not been conducive to goaltender growth. That said, the Lightning have been improving since the break and have allowed just 2.14 goals per game in the month of February. If Ben Bishop is shipped out of town before the deadline, expect Andrei to thrive as the clear-cut No. 1 for the Bolts.

Least Profitable Goalies in the NHL
PlayerSU RecordOVER/UNDERMoney LostGAA
Kari Lehtonen13-2421-16-1190.093.38
Michael Hutchinson4-138-6-3-816.03.53
Andrei Vasilevskiy11-1714-12-2-804.932.93
Steve Mason17-2317-17-6-751.93.17
Jeff Zatkoff2-84-5-1-652.433.5

This article was published on Tuesday, February 21, 2017*

Archived Articles

Most Profitable Goalies

Once again, Sergei Bobrovsky sits on top of the profit list for NHL goaltenders and the margin between him and the guy in second place is massive. Bob is the only netminder to have earned over $1000 for $100 bettors and he’s earned almost double what Devan Dubnyk has. With 26 wins, Officer Bobrovsky leads the NHL and other than in his five-goal gaffe in the Blue Jackets’ loss to the Capitals, he's looked basically unbeatable. The 28-year-old Russian just missed three games due to illness but expect him to fill the Columbus net going forward and expect him to continue his Vezina Trophy-caliber season.

Having possibly the best season of any goaltender, Dubnyk has a 23-10 straight-up record and leads the league in save percentage, goals-against average and, up until Braden Holtby’s shutout on Friday, Duby also had a share of the shutout lead. His team is tied with the Capitals for the best goal differential per game and with their win over the Blackhawks on Sunday, the Wild took the outright lead in the Central Division. They have one of the best defenses in the NHL so Dubnyk’s success is very sustainable. Keep backing Minnesota when Duby is backstopping for the Wild.

Not making an appearance on the list for the first time this season is Canadiens No. 1 netminder Carey Price. He is having an awful two months and has posted a miserable .877 save percentage in January. The positive here is that the Canadiens have an excellent goal differential so they are still scoring enough to get the job done. A big reason for the letdown in Price’s numbers is the Canadiens’ last month that’s seen them play nine of their last 11 games on the road. No. 31 has always played much better at the Bell Centre and his numbers this season agree with that. Despite his slump, the Habs are a must-play whenever Price starts for them in Montreal.  

Note: Senators goalie Craig Anderson also made the list but due to his indefinite leave from hockey, he was not included in this article.

Most Profitable Goalies in the NHL
PlayerSU RecordOVER/UNDERMoney WonGAA
Sergei Bobrovsky (CBJ)26-813-17-41754.412.09
Devan Dubnyk (MIN)23-1011-15-7931.071.85
Tuukka Rask (BOS)22-1214-17-3628.672.12
Antti Raanta (NYR)10-48-5-1591.52.5
Chad Johnson (CGY)15-116-15-5520.012.38

Least Profitable Goalies

Making his second straight appearance at the top of this list – or bottom, depending on how you look at it – is Semyon Varlamov. Varly has been on the list all three times we’ve updated these tables this season and it doesn’t look like things are going to improve any time soon. He’s lost 16 of his 22 starts this year and his team sits in dead last and is five points clear of the next worst team. Unless you’re a nihilist, betting on the Avalanche right now is a self-destructive practice. This team is in the toilet and if you’ve been backing them, so is your bankroll.

Cory Schneider man, what happened. You’ve gone from being one of the best goalies in the league, posting Vezina Trophy-worthy numbers year after year, to being the second-worst profit-earning netminder in the NHL. Your save percentage is down to .910 from your career mark of .923 and up until your team’s win against the lowly Canucks, you had lost four consecutive starts. The numbers you’ve posted in your last four starts, however, are very encouraging and I have hope for you.

In the month of January, Ginger Jesus has posted a save percentage of .940 and has allowed one or no goals in four of his last seven starts. Things are turning up for Cory so you might want to start tailing the Devils while their betting value is maxed.

After a very positive 10-game winning streak, the Philadelphia Flyers have won just three of their last 14 games and are dropping in their division race like a cement block in water. One of the key contributors to the Flyers’ downfall is Steve Mason as he’s rocking an asinine .897 save percentage. If you’re looking to target the Flyers because of their value, I would wait until they’re at home – Mason is 10-5-3 at the Wells Fargo Center but 4-10-3 on the road.

This article was published on Monday, January 16, 2017*

Least Profitable Goalies in the NHL
PlayerSU RecordOVER/UNDERMoney LostGAA
Semyon Varlamov (COL)6-167-12-3-889.633.18
Cory Schneider (NJD)13-2112-13-9-846.672.85
Steve Mason (PHI)15-2116-14-6-770.623.25
Michael Hutchinson (WPG)4-127-6-3-716.03.44
Robin Lehner (BUF)9-179-13-4-651.242.81


Archived Articles

Most Profitable Goalies

To most people’s surprise, Sergei Bobrovsky leads the way in profit earned by goalies this season. Bob has always had the raw talent but until now, it hadn’t really translated to the show for the 28-year-old as a full-time starter. Right now, he’s 14-5-2 with a .930 save percentage and three shutouts. The Blue Jackets’ success this year can largely be attributed to the Russian netminder as they’ve won just one game that he hasn’t started. You're back on the case, Officer Bobrovsky.

An even more ludicrous name to make this list is Chad “Not Ocho Cinco” Johnson. The man who was supposed to be a stopgap backup goalie for a terrible Calgary Flames team has stepped up for the struggling Brian Elliott and has been incredible. He has a .931 save percentage so far this year and he’s posted three shutouts. The Flames had planned on signing Elliott at the end of the season but now with the emergence of Johnson, they may not have to.

To level things out a bit, look down to the third and fifth spots on the list to find Tuukka Rask and Carey Price – two of the best three goalies in the league. These guys are expected to win and they’re doing it. Price is not dominating like he was at the very beginning of the season but when he’s on, he’s unbeatable. Backing the Habs or B’s in any game when these guys are the starters is never a bad bet.

Most Profitable Goalies in the NHL
PlayerSU RecordOVER/UNDERMoney WonGAA
Sergei Bobrovsky (CBJ)14-77-12-2+895.032.03
Chad Johnson (CGY)11-54-9-3+823.522.04
Tuukka Rask (BOS)14-56-10-3+713.421.79
Craig Anderson (OTT)12-76-12-1+604.482.46
Carey Price (MTL)14-46-9-3+545.541.82

Least Profitable Goalies

A theme of this feature since I started it last month has been having two goalies from the same team on different lists. Last month it was Calvin Pickard and Semyon Varlamov – Varly is still on the bad list – and this month it’s Chad Johnson and Brian Elliott. The man the Flames signed in free agency hoping he could take over starting duties for the foreseeable future is the second-least profitable goalie in the NHL right now. He also has the second-worst goals-against average among qualified starters and has a horrific winning percentage. Elliott is a solid netminder and is likely to regain his form at some point this season. Until he does that, though, he makes the Flames an automatic fade when he starts.

None of the other names on this list are very surprising and they absolutely deserve to be on this tablet of shame. Remember their names and never, ever bet on their teams when they get the call.

Least Profitable Goalies in the NHL
PlayerSU RecordOVER/UNDERMoney LostGAA
Kari Lehtonen (DAL)5-118-8-532.982.97
Robin Lehner (BUF)5-124-10-3-540.352.41
Jaroslav Halak (NYI)5-117-8-1-576.342.88
Brian Elliott (CGY)3-107-6-585.353.31
Semyon Varlamov (COL)5-126-9-2-625.633.08

This article was written on Thursday, December 8th, 2016*


Most Profitable Goalies

Tuukka Rask has been by far the most profitable goalie in the league this year, lining $100 bettors’ pockets with $633.97 if they had backed the Bruins in all of Rask’s starts. Boston has not won a game this year when their No. 1 has not started so if you’ve backed the Bruins in every game so far, you’re not quite as rich.

The second man on the money-earning list is Carey Price, a man who has led his team to seven wins and zero losses in games he’s started. Montreal moneylines are pretty stingy when Price starts and he’s earned backers an average of just $66.77 per game. Price and Rask will actually meet tonight and the Canadiens are tabbed as -193 favorites. If No. 31 keeps winning, these prices will just get more expensive – take advantage while you still can.

You will notice that two tendies from the Colorado Avalanche appear in this article, the difference being that they are on completely different ends of the profit spectrum. Calvin Pickard is on the good end as he’s won all three of his starts this year, earning his bettors $360.13 so far. The Avalanche are barely in the black for the season as they’ve made a paltry $32 for $100 bettors that have backed them every game. If Pickard ever gets starts going forward, give him and the ‘Lanche a look.

Most Profitable Goalies in the NHL
PlayerSU RecordOVER/UNDERMoney WonGAA
Tuukka Rask (BOS)7-13-5+633.971.74
Carey Price (MTL)7-03-4+467.441.58
Cam Talbot (EDM)8-45-7+414.252.36
Calvin Pickard (COL)3-01-2+360.131.50
Craig Anderson (OTT)6-23-5+334.842.21

Least Profitable Goalies

Pekka Rinne and Ryan Miller are the culprits for being the goalies that have been the hardest on the pocketbooks this year. They’ve combined to lose bettors over a grand so far but they haven’t even been that bad. They both have goals-against averages under three but play for teams that can’t score. Although I don’t expect that trend to change for Vancouver – keep fading them – I do for the Predators. Nashville is a well-constructed team that will eventually get better. That said, Rinne is an aging netminder who has the propensity to give up awful goals. Pick your spots and when you find some value on a Preds’ line, hammer it.

Semyon Varlamov is he who should not be named in Colorado right now. He has one of the worst goals-against averages of any No. 1 goalie in the league and has won just two of his eight starts. Varly’s potential has never translated to the NHL and I think it’s time to pull the plug. My final advice? Fade Varly and back Pickard.

Least Profitable Goalies in the NHL
PlayerSU RecordOVER/UNDERMoney LostGAA
Pekka Rinne (NSH)2-73-5-1-526.032.63
Ryan Miller (VAN)1-62-4-511.52.75
Kari Lehtonen (DAL)1-53-3-364.02.86
Steve Mason (PHI)2-55-1-1-354.73.46
Semyon Varlamov (COL)2-64-4-328.03.67

This article was written on Tuesday, November 8th, 2016*