Commentary, opinion and news on the world of hockey.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

The Best Goalie....

One day after the World Junior Championships have wrapped up, I find myself returning to a cold winter with no NHL hockey. Surprisingly enough, I don't really miss it all that much. Nonetheless, I still get a little crabby when I don't get my hockey fix. My comfort has come in the form of the WHL.

So, with a small amount of time on my hands and no NHL news to snipe about, I shall continue with my opinions on the game's best players of all time. In case you missed the first installment - The Best Skater can be found here. This week - the goalies.

The best goalie of the modern area really came down to two choices for me: Patrick Roy and Dominik Hasek. I found it very hard to actually pick a winner in this category.

Here's the case for Hasek:

It's the Dominator. Love him or hate him (an overwhelming vote for hate, I'm sure) he has the tools, awards and talent to back it all up.

Hasek won a mind boggling 6 Vezina trophies (Best goaltender) - with a Buffalo team that was mostly mediocre - 2 Lester B. Pearson awards (NHL's outstanding player as selected by the members of the NHLPA), and 2 Hart trophies (League MVP).

Compared to Patrick Roy, who has 0 Hart's, 0 Pearson's, and 3 Vezina's, Hasek wins. Hasek also has 63 career shutouts. That's only 3 less than Roy in 435 fewer games played.

Granted that Roy has won 4 Stanley Cups and Hasek has just the 1, but keep in mind that Hasek was not a starter in the NHL until he was 28 years old. If Hasek would have had 6 or 7 more years overall (and a few more in his prime), there's no telling what he could have accomplished. Combined with his International resume and his unmatched natural ability and reflexes, Hasek was just as dominating as his nickname suggests.

The case for Patrick Roy:

You don't really have to convince many that Patrick Roy should be crowned as the best of all time. After all, he won 3 Conn Smythe Trophies as the best player in the playoffs (one came in his rookie season), holds the NHL record for most wins (551), most regular season games played for a goaltender (1,029), most playoff games played for a goaltender (247), most playoff wins (151), most playoff shutouts (23), and boasts 4 Stanley Cup rings.

During the 1993 Cup run in Montreal, Roy won an amazing 11 straight playoff games. If you pro-rate Hasek's stats over the length of Roy's career, Hasek wins in several categories. However, Roy's longevity and all time records must weigh heavily over Hasek's unfortunately abbreviated career.

So who wins? Well, for me it comes down to the clutch playoff performances by Roy. His playoff stats and all time records speak for themselves. Both goaltenders possess impressive records and skill, but I asked myself one question: "If you ran an NHL franchise and had to pick one of these goalies in their prime to be your netminder, who would it be?"

The answer is Patrick Roy.

53 Comments:

  • At 7:42 PM, Blogger James Mirtle said…

    You do get crabby.

    No contest... Roy is the greatest. After all, how can the best goaltender of all time not even be a starter until he well into middle age!

     
  • At 9:20 AM, Blogger Christy Hammond said…

    I'm not arguing with your points and I guess I'd have to agree that he's the best. I just can't stand Roy. haha. But then most Wings' fans can't stand Roy and Lemieux especially. We're kind of on a sour note with Hasek too. Yeah he helped us get a Stanley Cup, but when he came back after retirement- the drama was not needed and that soured the Hasek/Detroit relationship.

    Manny Legace- best backup goalie!

     
  • At 11:13 AM, Blogger Brett Mirtle said…

    It will be interesting to re-visit this when Martin Brodeur's fine career is finished. I think that if there's one goalie who could knock Roy off the pedestal, it would most certainly be him.

     
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