Preds have unmatched stability in goal

Sunday night, Predators back-up goalie Carter Hutton backstopped Nashville to a 3-1 win in Winnipeg.

Doing so, he became just the seventh goalie to record a win for Nashville since the franchise's inception in 1998, joining Mike Dunham, Tomas Vokoun, Chris Mason, Dan Ellis, Pekka Rinne and Anders Lindback (altogether, 13 men have appeared in goal for Nashville).

Stories about the Predators frequently note how stable the franchise has been — coached by Barry Trotz and managed by GM David Poile since Day One (Wikipedia's pages for "List of Nashville Predators' head coaches" and "List of Nashville Predators' general managers" are unintentionally hilarious).

The team's first ever draft pick, David Legwand, is still on the team.

What's rarely mentioned is how consistent the team has been in goal, though "building from the goalie out" has been a benchmark of the franchise from the beginning. Even long-time fans of the team are startled at the low number of people who have picked up wins in a sabre-tooth sweater.

Using Hockey Reference's historical data, here's a ranking of every NHL team by the number of goalies who have recorded a win for them since the Predators joined the league for the 1998-99 season (three teams — the Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild and Winnipeg Jets/Atlanta Thrashers joined the league after the Predators). The average number of winning goalies per team in the NHL since 1998-99 is 16.47 (16.8 for the 29 non-Nashville teams).

Also included is the season in which the seventh goalie earned his win during that period.

1.     Tampa Bay Lightning    28   1999-00
2.     New York Islanders      24    2000-01
3.     St. Louis Blues            22   2001-02
T4.   Phoenix Coyotes          21   2001-02
T4.   Toronto Maple Leafs     21   2002-03
T6.   Edmonton Oilers          19   2000-01
T6.   Florida Panthers           19   2000-01
T8.   Calgary Flames            18   2001-02
T8.   Chicago Blackhawks     18   2002-03
T8.   Los Angeles Kings        18   2002-03
T8.   Ottawa Senators          18   2002-03
T8.   Pittsburgh Penguins      18   2000-01
T8.   Vancouver Canucks      18    2000-01
T14. Boston Bruins              17    2002-03
T14. Columbus Blue Jackets 17    2006-07
T14. Winnipeg Jets              17    2001-02
T17. Carolina Hurricanes      16   2002-03
T17. Dallas Stars                 16   2005-06
T17. Washington Capitals     16   2003-04
T20. Anaheim Ducks            15   2006-07
T20. Colorado Avalanche      15   2003-04
T22. New York Rangers        14   2003-04
T22. Philadelphia Flyers       14   2003-04
24.   Detroit Red Wings        13   2002-03
25.   Montreal Canadiens      12  2005-06
T26. Minnesota Wild             11  2009-10
T26. New Jersey Devils        11  2007-08
29.   Buffalo Sabres             10  2007-08
30.   Nashville Predators        7  2013-14

A couple of observations:

* For the St. Louis Blues, seven goalies notched a win in one season (2002-03)

* Predictably, the New Jersey Devils rank low on the list. Martin Brodeur has been (but for injury) the No. 1 starter for the Devils for twenty years.

* The three teams that were part of the Predators cohort during expansion — the Blue Jackets, Wild and Jets (nee Thrashers) — averaged 15 different goalies with wins, despite all three entering the league after the Preds (the Jets/Thrashers the next year, the Wild and Jackets two years later).