1. MARTIN BRODEUR, DEVILS
He has adapted to New Jersey's evolution from timid trappers to up-tempo powerhouse over the past two seasons. A two-time Cup winner, Brodeur (right) is durable, unflappable, positionally sound, superb with his stick and possesses none of the personality hiccups of the other elite goalies.
2. DOMINIK HASEK, SABRES
He's back after a slow start, leading the NHL with 11 shutouts and a 2.11 goals-against average. When the Dominator is at his snow-angel, paddle-on-the-ice best, he gets into the heads of even the top scorers, seducing them into being too fine with their shots.
3. ED BELFOUR, STARS.
He has rebounded after his indifferent play in the first half and looks like the goalie who outplayed Roy in the playoffs the past two springs. Belfour is moody and self-absorbed—the Stars had to rearrange practice times to suit him earlier this season—but also capable of sustained periods of excellence.
4. PATRICK ROY, AVALANCHE
He worked hard to earn his reputation as St. Patrick of the Playoffs, but he has dropped his last three Game 7s. Roy, 35, has played consistently well this season, and while he might not be able to win a Cup by himself as he did in Montreal (10 straight overtime victories in 1993), he can triumph with a talented team in front of him.
5. CURTIS JOSEPH, MAPLE LEAFS
Along with Hasek, he can win a series by himself—a must for Toronto given how it stumbled into the playoffs. Joseph is the most acrobatic of the top goalies, but then some of those spectacular saves are necessitated by his faulty positioning or shots off bad rebounds.
6. OLAF KOLZIG, CAPITALS
Washington is as dependent on Kolzig as Buffalo is on Hasek and Toronto on Joseph. He makes good use of his height (6'3") and lateral movement, but since the Capitals reached the 1998 Cup finals, Kolzig has had playoff implosions, most notably in the opening 7-0 loss to the Penguins in the first round last year.
7. ROMAN CECHMANEK, FLYERS
The 30-year-old first-year player, whom at the start of this season former coach Craig Ramsay wasn't sure he wanted even as a backup, could be this year's postseason surprise.
8. TOMMY SALO, OILERS
He still plays impossibly deep in the crease but is more confident and consistent than ever with an ability to shrug off bad goals. Red flag: Salo is 1-8 with a 2.53 goals-against average in playoff games with Edmonton.
9. CHRIS OSGOOD, RED WINGS
Favorite whipping boy in Detroit, he started to turn his season around in late December. He still allows the occasional long-range goal, but he was the starter in Detroit's 1998 Cup run and played solidly in last year's playoffs (1.97 goals-against average), though the Wings lost in the second round. Manny Legace, the backup, could start some games.
10. FELIX POTVIN, KINGS
Will we see the goaltender who played like a colander in Vancouver or the one who played like a steel door in Los Angeles? The deep-in-the-crease Potvin has stopped almost everything that matters since being traded to the Kings in February, but the L.A. defense has been so improved it has needed him to steal only a few wins.