The Buffalo Sabres are considered a club on an upward trajectory with their young and talented group growing and improving, but the question is how good are they and how do they stack up against their rivals inside the Atlantic Division, who they will be battling with for one of the top three automatic playoff slots or for a wildcard.
Today we look at the goalie rankings in the Atlantic Division:
1. Tampa Bay – In spite of their early exit at the hands of the Leafs, the Lightning still boasts one of the best goalies in the league in Andrei Vasilevskiy. The 29-year-old is a workhorse and will once again have to play 60+ games with a significant downgrade in his backup from veteran journeyman Brian Elliott to Jonas Johanson.
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) September 4, 2022
2. Boston – The tandem of Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman was the best in the league last season, winning both the Jennings and Vezina Trophies, but the retirement of Patrice Bergeron and a club with more holes in front of them will put more pressure on them to be just as good.
3. Florida – Sergei Bobrovsky was given a lion’s share of the credit for the Panthers run to the Stanley Cup Final, and all indications are that Spencer Knight will return from off-the-ice issues last season, but GM Bill Zito gave himself a Plan B if Knight encounters issues again, signing former Flyer Anthony Stolarz.
4. Toronto – The Matt Murray experiment did not work in Toronto, but Ilya Samsonov stepped in and played at a high level for most of the season. Rookie Joseph Woll had an excellent year in the AHL and NHL and the 24-year-0ld could move into a more prominent role next season.
5. Ottawa – The Sens made the biggest goalie splash with the free agent signing of Joonas Korpisalo to a five-year, $20 million deal to solve their goaltending issues. Korpisalo has been excellent since recovering from hip surgery, but there are concerns about whether he can handle the workload of being a go-to starter.
Joonas Korpisalo made an NHL-record 85 saves in Monday night's epic 5-overtime thriller. Here's a sampling of the best ones. pic.twitter.com/tiY0tmu9ZI
— NBC Sports Hockey (@NBCSportsHockey) August 12, 2020
6. Buffalo – Devon Levi has a ton of talent, but the question is whether it is too much too soon for the 21-year-old to be an NHL starting goalie. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was wildly inconsistent and it appears there is no plan of adding a veteran goalie before the season.
7. Detroit – After putting up great numbers with St. Louis, Ville Husso came back to earth last season, with a save percentage under .900 and a goals-against over 3 in 56 games. Sebastian Cossa is a couple of years away and Husso did not get much help with GM Steve Yzerman’s signing of James Reimer as a backup.
8. Montreal – Jake Allen is at best a tandem goalie and Samuel Montembeault seems to be a placeholder until Cayden Primeau is ready to move to the NHL permanently.