ESPNNNNNNN’s Greg Wyshynski spoke with TSN Edmonton this week about the Pacific Division and Jon Gibson’s eight-year extension goaltender with the Anaheim Ducks.

He’s a solid goalie. He’s a workhorse, it’s a position you don’t have to worry about. They’re a contender. Gibson is going to give them a chance and make them a contender for a bit. -Greg Wyshynski, ESPN

Just like Vegas, the Ducks re-upped their goalie but have many questions elsewhere on the ice. While Gibson may help Anaheim compete, at this moment Fleury is in a better spot to win.

So, with that in mind, let’s rank the goaltenders 1-8 in the Pacific Division. We charted top centers earlier this week, so let’s do the same with the PAC-8’s goaltenders.

The Elite

Jonathan Quick
2017–18: 33-28-3 Record, 5 Shutouts, 2.44 GAA, .921 Save %, 37 Quality Starts
Career: 293-195-56 Record, 49 Shutouts, 2.28 GAA, .916 Save %, 305 Quality Starts

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In six separate seasons, Quick finished in the top ten for most wins and goals against average, including last season. LA’s goaltender was ninth with 33 wins, and tenth posting a 2.40 GAA. The 2012 Conn Smythe award winner’s 49 career shutouts are fourth among active goaltenders, one ahead of Marc-Andre Fleury. Quick steps his game up in the playoffs posting a 2.23 career postseason GAA and a .922 career postseason save percentage. The Golden Knights swept the Kings in the first round but LA couldn’t put the blame on their goaltender, who posted four consecutive quality starts. Without Quick in net, the series would’ve been a two-game mercy rule.

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Marc-Andre Fleury
2017–18: 29-13-5 Record, 4 Shutouts, 2.24 GAA, .927 Save %, 31 Quality Starts
Career: 404-229-72 Record, 48 Shutouts, 2.56 GAA, .913 Save %, 319 Quality Starts

What more could I possibly say about Fleury? Golden Knights fans witnessed a star reborn and lead their team to the Stanley Cup finals. Fleury amazed start after start… remember he started 20 out of 21 games down the stretch? Fleury had a renaissance season becoming an All-Star for the first time since 2015, finishing fifth in the Vezina award voting, and passing 400 career wins. To top off a near-perfect season, the 33-year-old morphed into a flying brick wall in the postseason. In 20 playoff games, Fleury allowed just 47 goals, and registered 12 quality starts. Sure, I gave Quick the slight edge, but it’s clear which goalie Vegas fans would rather in net.

John Gibson
2017–18: 31-18-7 Record, 4 Shutouts, 2.43 GAA, .926 Save %, 39 Quality Starts
Career: 93-55-20 Record, 16 Shutouts, 2.56 GAA, .913 Save %, 104 Quality Starts

The 25-year-old passed on being a potential 2020 UFA and signed an eight-year, $51M contract. Smart move by the Ducks, who are clearly running out of time. Not too mention, at $6.4M AAV, it will end up being a cost friendly extension. In five years, Gibson has statistically (GP, Sv%, QS) progressed every season. What’s keeping the 24-year-old below Quick and Fleury is his lack of success in the playoffs. Aside from Anaheim’s 2017 Western Conference final run, Gibson is 2-6 in the postseason, and has a high 2.80 GAA. Whyshynski was right, Gibson will keep the Ducks in the hunt, but he’ll need help from a slumping, older core.

The Good Not Great

Martin Jones
2017–18: 30-22-6 Record, 4 Shutouts, 2.55 GAA, .915 Save %, 36 Quality Starts
Career: 93-55-20 Record, 16 Shutouts, 2.56 GAA, .913 Save %, 104 Quality Starts

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Another young, steady goaltender that pestered the Golden Knights for six games in the second round of the playoffs. The 28-year-old Sharks goalie posted his third straight 30+ win season. He is right on the cusp of the elite, and is probably overlooked by most, but we just can’t put him in a category with Fleury, Gibson, and Quick… yet.

The Questionable

Mike Smith
2017–18: 31-18-7 Record, 4 Shutouts, 2.43 GAA, .926 Save %, 39 Quality Starts
Career: 93-55-20 Record, 16 Shutouts, 2.56 GAA, .913 Save %, 104 Quality Starts

The 36-year-old wiry veteran played 55 games last year for the fifth place Flames. Smith won 25 games, but lost seven of his last ten starts. Can he start that many contests and successfully help Calgary fight for a playoff spot? That’s a tough task.

Cam Talbot
2017–18: 31-31-3 Record, 1 Shutout, 3.02 GAA, .908 Save %, 32 Quality Starts
Career: 127-95-21 Record, 19 Shutouts, 2.50 GAA, .918 Save %, 134 Quality Starts

In late January when the struggling Oilers were ten points back, Talbot boldly guaranteed a playoff push. It was a pipe dream but the Edmonton goaltender was trying to motivate his teammates. In 2017-18, Talbot had his worst season statistically but still started 32 quality games on a team that finished 17 points out of the playoffs. In 2016-17, Edmonton’s goalie led the league with 42 wins, 73 Games Played, and 4294 Minutes Played. If the Oilers get back to the postseason, Talbot will be a big reason for their success.

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Antti Raanta
2017–18: 21-17-6 Record, 3 Shutouts, 2.24 GAA, .930 Save %, 32 Quality Starts
Career: 68-40-15 Record, 11 Shutouts, 2.29 GAA, .920 Save %, 82 Quality Starts

It’s amazing that Raanta won 21 of his team’s 29 victories. If you dig into his numbers, statistically he wasn’t the problem in Arizona. In 2017-18, Raanta only started 46 games. There’s a good chance he gets 60 or more starts this year.

Should Be the Backup But Isn’t

Jacob Markstrom
2017–18: 23-26-7 Record, 2 Shutouts, 2.71 GAA, .912 Save %, 29 Quality Starts
Career: 59-79-19 Record, 2 Shutouts, 2.83 GAA, .908 Save %, 74 Quality Starts

Vancouver’s coaches and scouts should speak with Alex Tuch. It’s about time the Canucks committed to Tuch’s former Boston College roommate Thatcher Demko. We hear the Californian is one hell of a gamer too.

***

We’re expecting a more competitive Pacific Division in 2018-19. Teams like Calgary and Edmonton are under pressure to make the playoffs, but goaltending must be a big factor in their success. Whereas, the more talented teams in the Pacific already have elite and reliable goaltenders. Getting by the cream of the crop will be a difficult task for the bottom feeders.

Be thankful Golden Knights fans, as long as Fleury is around, Vegas will be a threat in the Pacific.