The rise of the strong backup goaltender in recent years has allowed NHL coaches to toy with giving their No. 1 goaltenders extra days of rest. Gone are the days of Dominik Hasek and Martin Brodeur starting 70-plus games; today, second-stringers are tasked with a healthy slate of 20 to 30 starts per season.
The difference between working a franchise goalie too hard and resting a bell cow too much can be a fine line. Teams have shied away from back-to-back starts with the availability of more effective backups. A goaltender has started a game on zero days of rest 40 times this season league-wide. The call to keep the Henrik Lundqvist's, Cory Schneider's and Tuukka Rask's fresh through the grueling NHL schedule keeps starters on the bench for one game of a back-to-back set more often than not; that's especially true this season with the compressed schedule thanks to the World Cup.
The truth is, how much rest is the "best" amount of rest is dependent on the goaltender. Since the start of the 2014-15 season, goalies have posted a .916 save percentage in games coming off of one day of rest, two days of rest and three days of rest. That number drops slightly to .914 in games with no rest (but it sits at .928 in 40 such starts this season). In games with at least four days of rest, goalies have recorded a save percentage of just .911 (.910 this season), due in part to backup goalies typically going into their called-upon start cold and skewing the numbers.
Some goalies need the net every night, while others perform their best when they get some time off. Let's look at the goalies who are best suited for long rest, and those who are built for short rest.