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World Cup of Hockey 2016: Get to know Team Europe’s Goaltenders

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Team Europe boasts a sneaky-good goaltending group. Get to know the men who could man the crease.

Washington Capitals v New York Islanders Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Only three teams in the World Cup of Hockey feature a goaltender among last season’s top 10 (minimum 1000 minutes) in even strength save percentage. Two teams boast two goalies in the top 20. Who’s the only team that does both?

That would be Team Europe. Thomas Greiss (10th) and Frederik Andersen (20th), alongside Jaroslav Halak (31st) form a deceptively deep goaltending group that could allow Europe to make some noise in Group A.

Team Europe Goaltenders

Frederik Andersen, Toronto Maple Leafs (Denmark)

The Leafs paid a big price for the big goaltender this offseason, who’s been right around league average in his three years in the NHL. Given the presence of Canada and the U.S. in this group, Europe will need to steal a game or two if they are to advance to the semi-finals, and Andersen has proven himself capable of doing just that. He posted a .947 SV% this postseason for the Ducks this postseason.

Thomas Greiss, New York Islanders (Germany)

A name Sharks fans are very familiar with, Greiss started a career-high 41 games this season for the Islanders. He became the go-to-goalie in Jaroslav Halak’s injury-shortened season, and posted the highest save percentage and lowest goals against average of his career. He was just as good in the playoffs, and had the best season of Europe’s three goaltenders this year. Greiss is also a fairly experienced international goalie, and has represented his native Germany twice at the Olympics.

Jaroslav Halak, New York Islanders (Slovakia)

Halak’s easily the most experienced goaltender of this group. He’s played more games in the NHL, World Championships, and Olympics than Andersen and Greiss combined. Yet, based on last season, he’s also the group’s biggest question mark. Halak posted solid numbers for the Islanders, but a groin injury on March 8th cut his season short. He’ll be fully recovered from that injury and offseason core surgery by the time the tournament starts, and he’s singlehandedly stolen playoff series in the past (just ask Alexander Ovechkin), so it’d be hard to begrudge Team Europe from naming Halak their number 1 netminder based on his experience.

Group: A

First Game: Sept. 17 vs. Team USA, 12:30 p.m. PT, ESPN2.