By amuir29
October 23, 2013

By Allan Muir

Each week, we'll rank the top contenders to man the pipes for Team USA and Team Canada in Sochi based on their play to date. (All stats current as of Wed. Oct. 23)

Team USA

1. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

His up-and-down season continued with a soft third period against the Flames on Monday, but at least he has his shootout mojo going for him. After shutting down Nashville on Thursday, he's 3-0 in the skills competition, and hasn't allowed a goal on the eight shots he's faced. (Last week: 1)

2. Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres

With trade rumors swirling and the Sabres already circling the drain, it'd be easy for Miller to punch out and start planning for free agency. You can see his frustration mounting, but he's not quitting, despite a near total lack of support. Buffalo has scored only 12 goals (next to last in the NHL) and Miller has posted a .928 save pct. and 2.73 GAA while facing 257 shots. Still, the American brass has to wonder where he'll be mentally, considering all that he's going through. (Last week: 2)

3. Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings

Howard looked sharp through two periods of his return against Phoenix after missing a week with a bruised hand, but was victimized by the soft play of his teammates in a four-goal third. He bounced back nicely against the Sharks, shutting them out through overtime before being beaten on a sweet move by Logan Couture in the shootout. (Last week: 3)

4. Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators

Anderson stopped 39 shots in Ottawa’s home opening win over New Jersey on Oct. 17, including a pair of circus-quality saves on Ryan Carter and Jaromir Jagr (above) that'll look great on his personal highlight reel. His compete level could be a difference maker. (Last week: 4)

5. Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils

He came up big in an emotional contest against the Rangers, shutting out the Blueshirts while leading the Devils to their first win of the season, but he didn't look sharp in the follow-up versus Columbus. He badly misread the play on James Wisniewski's game-changing goal, hinting that he doesn't have a lot of faith in the ability of his D-men to take care of business in front. (Last week: 5)

Team Canada

1. Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens

No, he wasn't good on Tuesday night against the Oilers -- he had to do a better job of tracking the puck on Ryan Jones's game winner -- but Price did put together a couple of brilliant efforts last week, including a 36-save shutout of the Jets, and 35 saves in a loss to the Preds, to solidify his position as Canada's best option. (Last week: 1)

2. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks

After shutting down Jonathan Huberdeau's penalty shot attempt on Tuesday night, Crawford is now six-for-six in his career. The kid knows how to handle the big moments. (Last week: 2)

3. Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes

Hey, if Steve Yzerman is worried about Canada's ability to generate offense on the big ice, he might want to check out Smith's stat line. He's done a nice job of stopping the puck, too, allowing just two goals in each of his last three starts while facing 96 shots. He can also put the puck in the net. (Last week: 4)

4. Josh Harding, Minnesota Wild

A non-factor when the season started, Harding has emerged as the best Canadian-born goaltender in the league. He's started six games for the Wild and has allowed as many as two goals only once, leaving him with a GAA of 0.96 and a save percentage of .953. His near-absence of international experience is an issue, but with numbers like those, how do you keep him out of the conversation? (Last week: NR)

5. Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins

(Last week: 3)

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