The world of Hockey has given us some of the most incredible, quirky, rambunctious and just plain weird Goalies ever. It is the loneliest position on the ice and the one that matters the most. The Goalie is the first to be blamed for a loss and yet not always the first to be praised for a win. But one thing is certain, the Goalies are the Gatekeepers to success in the great sport of hockey, they are the Alpha and the Omega and in this Top 10 list, the Infinite Monkeys have pooled together all their savvy hockey knowledge and come up with a Top 10 List of the All-Time Greatest Goalies to have ever played the game.
You may not agree with all the selections and you may not agree with the rankings, but of course you’d be wrong because after all, how can an infinite number of Monkeys err in any way
Feel free to add your own list on the comments below or to simply say what you think. Now without further ado, here… we… GO!
Terry Gordon Sawchuk was Born on December 28th 1929 and passed away May 31st 1970. A Canadian of Ukranian decent, he played 21 season in the NHL for 5 teams, Boston, Toronto, L.A., New York but everyone will remember him best as a member of the Detroit Red Wings.
Sawchuk won 501 games (447 regular season and 54 playoff), while recording 115 shutouts (103 in the regular season and 12 in the playoffs). Winning 4 Stanley Cups in the process, along with 11 all-star game appearances, a calder trophy and a 4 time Vezina winner.
Durnan won 235 games (208 regular season and 27 playoff), while recording 36 shutouts (34 in the regular season and 2 in the playoffs). Winning 2 Stanley Cups in the process, along with 3 all-star game appearances and a amazing 6 Vezina trophies.
Anthony James Esposito was Born on April 23rd 1943. While he entered the league playing 13 games with the Montreal Canadiens, Tony “O” will always be remembered as a Chicago Blackhawk, a club for whom he played 873 games.
Esposito won 468 games (423 regular season and 45 playoff), while recording 82 shutouts (76 in the regular season and 6 in the playoffs). Winning The Calder Trophy and a Stanley Cup in 1969 in the process, along with 6 all-star game appearances and 3 Vezina trophies.
Glenn Henry Hall was Born on October 3rd 1931. A member of the Hall of Fame and argubly the pioneer of the “butterfly” style of goaltending. Along with Tony “O”, Hall pioneered the buttefly style and played 18 years in the NHL with Detroit, Chicago and St-Louis. Hall was one of the most resilient goalies in the NHL history, rarely missing a game while playing 1021 total games (906 regular season, 115 playoff).
Hall won 456 games (407 regular season and 49 playoff), while recording 90 shutouts (84 in the regular season and 6 in the playoffs). Winning The Calder Trophy and 3 Vezina Trophies in the process to go along with 13 all-star game appearances and 2 Stanley Cups (earning the Conn Smythe in one of them).
Martin Pierre Brodeur was Born on May 6th 1972. Brodeur is the only member on this list that is currently active in the NHL and in the future there is no doubt he will rise in this list he holds almsot every major Goalie record. If we looked at numbers alone, Brodeur would be unequalled. To date Brodeur has played a record 1187 regular season games.
Brodeur has won a record 724 Hockey games*(625 regular season and 99 playoff), while recording 139 shutouts (116 in the regular season and 23 in the playoffs). Winning The Calder Trophy and 3 Stanley Cups in the process to go along with 10 all-star game appearances and 4 Vezina trophies and 2 Gold Medals. And he did all of this with the SAME team.
(*As of March 28th 2012)
Joseph Jacques Omer Plante was born on January 17th, 1929 and died February 27th, 1986 at the age of 57 years old. Plante revolutionized the game of hockey for goaltenders like no other before or since. He was the first goalie to don a goaltender mask. The game of hockey would never look back.
Plante won 505 games (434 regular season and 71 playoff), while recording 96 shutouts (82 in the regular season and 14 in the playoffs). Winning 7 Vezina Trophies in the process to go along with 8 all-star game appearances and 6 Stanley Cups (5 of which came in a row!)
Dominik Hasek was born on January 29th, 1965 and entered the NHL at 25 years old in 1990. Hasek had to play back up to Eddie the Eagle Belfour in Chicago and this prompted a move to Buffalo, where the legend of the “Dominator” finally came to life.
Hasek won 455 NHL games (389 in the regular season and reg 65 in the playoffs playoffs) while recording 95 Shut outs (81 Regular season and 14 Playoff).But Hasek’s most impressive feats were his Back to Back Hart Trophy Victories (1997 & 1998) that wnet along with 4 Hart Nominations. In short, Hasek and his unorthodox style of goaltending dominated the league while he was in it, hence the name… the Dominator.
Hasek never cared much for looking sleek or swave or elegant and poised in the net, all he cared about was stopping the puck, and few have ever done it better.
Patrick Edouard Armand Roy was born on October 5th, 1965 and is perhaps the greatest “Money Goalie” of all time. A more passionate competitor you would be hard pressed to find, Roy was a cnsumate winner and Roy did it in Style.
Roy won 702 NHL games (551 in the regular season and reg 151 in the playoffs playoffs) while recording 89 Shut outs (66 Regular season and 23 Playoff) during his 19 year NHL career, a career that saw “Saint Patrick” play for tehe Montreal Canadiens and the Colorado Avalanche. Roy won 4 Stanley Cups, of which he was the MVP 3 times. He won 3 Vezina Trophies, 5 Jennings Trophies and retired as the winningest goalie in NHL History.
Vladislav Tretiak was born on April 25th, 1952 and is the the only player on this list to have never played a single game in the NHL. Widely regarded as the greatest goaltender of his era, those old enough to have watched Tretiak play, be it in the Olympics or Verus Canada in the Classic Summit series will agree… Tretiak was a Goaltending God.
Tretiak, while not decorated with NHL accolades was a richly decorated amateur athlete. 3 Olympic Gold medals (1972,1976,1984) and 10 World Championship Gold Medals (1970,1971,1973,1974,1975,1978,1979,1980,1981,1982,1983) serve to remind us of his dominance.
Ken Wayne Dryden was born on August 8th, 1947 and while he only played 8 NHL seasons, he reamains The Greatest Hockey Goalie of All-Time.
A Member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, a 6 time Stanley Cup Champion and a 5 time Vezina Winner.
Can you do the math?
6/8 = 75% Ken Dryden Won the Stanley Cup 75% of the time
5/8 = 63% Ken Dryden Won the Vezina award 63% of the time
258/315 = 82% Ken Dryden Won 82% of All Regular Season games that did not end in a tie.
80/112 = 72% Ken Dryden Won 72% of All Playoff Games.
While Dryden may have only played 8 seasons, during those 8 seasons he accomplished more than any other goalie has in their career.
THERE REALLY IS NO DEBATE, KEN DRYDEN IS THE GREATEST GOALIE IN THE HISTORY OF THE GAME OF HOCKEY.