If you look at the NHL position where you need a sterling performance each and every time, the goalie has to be it. It doesn't matter how many goals are being scored at the other end, if you don't have someone capable of protecting the goal on your side, it's all for nothing.
Ranking NHL goaltenders is less than easy. That's because there are so many factors that go into making a great. Some just have sheer determination whereas others seem to have a gift that makes them pretty much unbeatable. While it's less than easy, we're going to give it a go and share our take on the top three goalkeepers of all time.
What goes into making an NHL great?
There have been numerous attempts to compile lists of NHL greats, and the truth is that every list has its own criteria and its own slant. No matter what position you’re looking at, there are different qualities that some people rate, that others may well ignore.
When looking at NHL odds, you want your money on the team that’s brimming with the best talent. When NHL legend Brett Hull was recently asked to build his perfect player, he consider the likes of skating ability, shooting, handling and hockey IQ. When it came to the latter, this is what he had to say: “Sidney Crosby. There’s no one else. He’s the best all-around player in the game”.
With some of the qualities that make a great player in mind, let’s look at the best goalies ever.
Top three NHL goalkeepers
Here’s our take on the best keepers ever to grace the ice:
If you want proof of Roy’s worth, you only need to consider his trophy case. You’ll find that it’s stocked with an impressive four Stanley Cups, three Vezina trophies and three Con Smythe trophies too. It’s not just about trophies though. What Roy did was to have a lasting change on the game as a whole with his unique style being adopted by many other goaltenders who have come since. His butterfly style has now been mimicked by players throughout the league thanks to the great success that he enjoyed with it.
From a young age, Hasek was considered something a little special. Doctors had noted that he could move his body in ways that no one else could. When this was combined with his avid concentration, no one came close to how he could perform on the ice. His skill was matched only by his determination, and that’s what makes him one of the greats.
Two Olympic Golds, a Calder Trophy and four Vezinas. That pretty much says it all. Famed for his cool demeanour, nothing could phase him during the course of a game. That’s what led to him claiming numerous NHL records, many of which are unlikely to be ever beaten. With 691 wins, 125 career shutouts and 508 career saves. Brodeur has certainly earned his place on this list.