Goalie Heat Index: Ben Bishop has the hot hand heading into the playoffs

Ben Bishop enters the playoffs as the hottest goaltender among the 16 teams vying for the Stanley Cup. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

At the top of every coach's wish list heading into the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs is quality goaltending.

With top-notch play between the pipes, teams are capable of playing at their highest confidence level and sometimes achieve far more than they ever believed possible.

But predicting which teams will receive hot goaltending is challenging. Last year Braden Holtby struggled so much down the stretch that he didn't start in Washington's opening game of the postseason. He ultimately took the job back, posted a .922 save percentage and raised the Stanley Cup. His competitor in the Cup Final, Marc-Andre Fleury, was long-known for playoff meltdowns, yet he managed an incredible .927 save percentage in 20 playoff starts.

So how can we predict what's to come for the goalies in this year's playoffs? We can look at which goalies have been on a roll heading into the postseason and whether history suggests they will keep it up or fade under the brightest lights.


1. Ben Bishop
Dallas Stars

2018-19 stat line: 46-27-15, .934 save percentage
Since March 1: .972 save percentage
Career Playoffs: .927 save percentage

For years the Stars struggled in net, especially in the playoffs. This time around, they enter as the team most confident in its netminder. Not only has Bishop taken a team to the Stanley Cup Final before, he did so with outstanding play. In 2013-14 with Tampa Bay he put together 17 quality starts (per Hockey Reference) in 25 outings with a .921 save percentage. Before being slowed by injury he was even better in 2015-16, posting a .939 save percentage. During the regular season in Dallas, Bishop led the NHL in save percentage (.934) and produced the ninth highest single-season save percentage in NHL history.