By amuir29
November 13, 2013

Josh Harding's play in Minnesota ought to be turning heads on Team Canada's selection committee. (Alex Brandon/AP)Josh Harding's play in Minnesota ought to be turning heads on Team Canada's selection committee. (Alex Brandon/AP)

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. Nov. 13)

Team USA

1. Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres

As Mike Harrington wrote in the Buffalo News this morning, Miller has to be having the greatest season in NHL history for a guy with a 3.28 GAA. The Sabres may have collapsed around him, but he's back in 2010 Superman mode. The rest of the world should be very worried. (Last week: 1)

2. Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings

His boxcar numbers look terrible -- he ranks 24th in goals-against and 27th in save percentage -- but the lede to nearly every Detroit game story of late includes some variation on "the Red Wings wasted another outstanding effort from Jimmy Howard." Like Miller, he's doing his part despite difficult circumstances. (Last week: 2)

3. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

He put together a couple of strong games against the Sabres and Canucks last week, stopping 44 of 45, but left Tuesday night's contest in Buffalo with a potential groin injury. "We're not going to know until the MRI," general manager Dean Lombardi said. "Obviously, it didn’t look good." (Last week: 3)

4. Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning

It's time to remove the dark horse label from Bishop. He's allowed just seven goals while running his winning streak to five games, a stretch that's caught the eye of Team USA GM David Poile. "He's played terrific. He's definitely on our radar. We need guys who are playing well this year...that favors somebody like Ben with how he's playing." (Last week: 4)

5. Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators

Maybe it was just one bad game, but his return after a week on IR couldn't have gone much worse. Anderson allowed five goals on just 31 shots to the Flyers, the NHL's worst offensive team. That's the third time in his last four starts that he's allowed at least five goals. At this point, Ray LeBlanc looks like a better option. (Last week: 5)

Team Canada

1. Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens

One long-time observer of the Canadiens called Price's 44-save performance against the Lightning on Tuesday the best game of his career. Hyperbole? Maybe. But this was exactly the sort of effort that Canada will need in Sochi. And it was nice timing on his part to deliver it when Canadian -- and Lightning -- GM Steve Yzerman was sure to be watching. (Last week: 1)

2. Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks

A rough night against L.A. (four goals on just 18 shots) ended with him being pulled for the first time this season and snapped a string of six quality starts for Bobby Lu. Nothing to worry about. (Last week: 4)

3. Josh Harding, Minnesota Wild

The numbers tell the story: a league-leading 1.22 GAA and a save percentage of .947 that ranks second overall. Harding has been the best Canadian-born goalie this season, something Mike Yeo, his coach with the Wild, hopes is not going unnoticed. "You look at numbers, you look at stats, you look at wins," Yeo said. "He's certainly made a case for himself, and that's what you want." At this point, maybe all Harding needs is a strong advocate in Canada's management group. Will anyone step up for him? (Last week: NR)

4. Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes

Smith continues to face a lot of rubber -- he leads the league in both shots faced (555) and saves (509) -- but it's the quality, not quantity, of his stops that's really eye-catching. He was the difference, again, in an OT win over the red-hot Blues on Tuesday. His glove save on Derek Roy with the game on the line was a beauty. (Last week: 3)

5. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks

(Last week: 4)

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