A hot goalie can lead a team on a bull-rush through the playoffs. Just look at Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who caused the Ducks' stock to soar into the Stanley Cup final last year. Here's what the squawk box tells us about this year's 'tenders:
MARTIN BRODEUR, DEVILS: He's the champ until someone takes the Stanley Cup away.
JOSE THEODORE, CANADIENS: You dare doubt a French-Canadian playing for Montreal? Enters playoffs with 11 wins in past 12 starts. MARTY TURCO, STARS: Allowed four goals in winning four in a row before four-game suspension.
RICK DIPIETRO, ISLANDERS: In fairness, produced big numbers down the stretch, but a playoff neophyte at age 22.
MANNY LEGACE, RED WINGS: Looked good until thumped by Ducks, Sharks last week.
DAVID AEBISCHER, AVALANCHE: Proved susceptible on road down the stretch.
DAN CLOUTIER, CANUCKS: Has 3.43 goals-against average in 22 playoff games.
MIIKA KIPRUSOFF, FLAMES: Struggled in final weeks; played in just four postseason games.
MARKET IN FLUX
ANDREW RAYCROFT, BRUINS: Rookie showed poise in beating playoff-bound Lightning, Leafs and Senators in final weeks.
ROBERT ESCHE, FLYERS: Big against big teams, but playoffs a different matter.
EVGENI NABOKOV, SHARKS: Former Calder recipient won five of final six.
ED BELFOUR, MAPLE LEAFS: Won a Vezina, won a Cup, counted on to push Leafs to next level.
NIKOLAI KHABIBULIN, LIGHTNING: The occasional softie could cost his job.
TY CONKLIN, OILERS: Rookie another facet of Edmonton's gritty run.
PATRICK LALIME, SENATORS: Balky knee not an asset under playoff grind.
CHRIS OSGOOD, BLUES: Playoff-tested, but out early out since '97-98 Cup win.