OKBET Sports Featured | List of the Top 5 Ice Hockey Goalies of All Time
The Greatest Goalies in the history of Ice Hockey
Even more so than a fight or an amazing move by an opposing team’s forward or defenseman, a spectacular save by a goalie can be one of the most exciting plays in ice hockey.
Goaltenders at the highest levels need lightning-fast reflexes and agility to stop the puck from entering the net or keep it out of the net altogether.
Five of the best goalies in ice hockey history are among the players we’ll be discussing today from the National Hockey League.
Martin Brodeur, who played almost exclusively for the New Jersey Devils and had a great supporting cast, has the most wins of any goalie in NHL history with 691 wins and only 397 losses.
In 2014–2015, he was the goaltender for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the last team he ever played for.
Brodeur was not a man of many complexities; on the contrary, he was known for his simplicity.
Although most famous athletes have moniker, Brodeur’s was easy to figure out even before his success on the field. For lack of a better term, it was Marty.
Aside from his impressive win total, he also set records for games played (1,266), saves (28,298), and shutouts (132). (125).
Though Brodeur amassed a number of career records, not everyone was impressed by his play.
NBC analyst Mike Milbury had this to say about him when he was profiled in Sports Illustrated back in 1997:
I’m not shocked [by the low GAA] because this guy plays for a team that really shuts down the other team’s offense.
What really impresses me about him as a goaltender is how well he blocks shots when he needs to. I like him because he’s chill. He feels no discomfort from the intense pressure.
Night after night, he’s in close contests (sometimes only one goal separates the teams) and the pressure never seems to get to him.
This Canadiens goaltender had an unusual habit of chatting it up with the goal posts back in his playing days.
Two of Patrick Roy’s Stanley Cup victories came with the Canadiens, in 1986 and 1993; the other came with the Colorado Avalanche, in 1996. Roy was also named to the all-star team six times during his career.
It was his butterfly-like goaltending style that allowed him to accomplish all of this.
Butterfly style goaltending, for those unfamiliar, is the practice of trying to keep the puck in the middle of your body while making saves.
When the puck gets close to your stick, you should tuck in your pads and try to shield it with your glove.
Some people consider Johnny Bower to be the first goalie on this list to play “real” ice hockey.
The use of helmets as protection against head trauma was obviously not commonplace at the time.
Bower was known as the Great Wall of China by a Cleveland sports writer who covered minor league ice hockey because it was so difficult to get a puck past him and he was so old in hockey years before he made it to the NHL.
The exact age of the four-time Stanley Cup winner during his playing years is unknown, but he was likely still in his mid-40s.
Ken Dryden was consistently tested by the Montreal Canadiens, for whom he played from 1971 to 1979.
The Boston Bruins were his team’s biggest rival, and whenever they played, he had to go up against a line consisting of Gordie Howe, Phil Esposito, and Bobby Orr.
These three Bruins routinely topped 100 points, and many consider Orr to be the best player in ice hockey history.
Dryden once held the Bruins scoreless for 90 minutes during the 1971 playoffs.
Dryden played for the NHL for only 8 seasons, but he was able to win 6 Stanley Cups and 5 Vezina trophies (awarded to the league’s best goaltender).
In addition to being named the league’s top rookie, he went on to win the Conn Smythe trophy.
The fact that “the dominator” Dominik Hasek played for four different teams sets him apart from the other goalies on this list.
In spite of this, he spent the majority (9 of 13) of his career with the Buffalo Sabres.
In addition to the Blackhawks, Hasek’s career included stints with the Red Wings and the Senators and the Red Wings.
Many hockey fans consider him, Patrick Roy, and Martin Brodeur to be the three best goalies of their generation.
Hasek’s tenure with the Buffalo Sabres was the longest among these four teams, spanning the 1992–1993 and 2000–2001 seasons.
Over the course of 13 seasons, Hasek won two Stanley Cups, appeared in six all-star games, was awarded three Jennings trophies, two Pearson trophies, two Hart trophies, and six Vezina trophies.
The five goalies discussed in this article, brought to you by OKBET Sports Betting, have left an indelible mark on the sport of ice hockey. From Martin Brodeur’s record-setting wins to Dominik Hasek’s multiple trophies, these players have achieved greatness and inspired generations of young goaltenders. As fans of the sport, we can only hope that future generations will produce players who can match the skill and passion of these all-time greats.