Top Five Goalies in Playoff History

Top Five Goalies in Playoff History

With this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs showcasing several outstanding performances by some goalies, and several not-so-outstanding performances by other goalies, a list of the top five goalies in playoff history felt appropriate.

Although there are so many different cases to be argued among the all-time greats, here are how I feel the top five goalies in playoffs would fall.

5. Tim Thomas

Some stats for Thomas’ playoff career include: 51 games, 29 wins, 6 shutouts, a save percentage of .933, and a goals against average of 2.08.

Thomas also was a four time All-Star, won the Vezina Trophy in 2009, and 2011, along with the Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe in 2011.

He became the first player to win the Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe, and Vezina in the same season since Bernie Parent in 1975.

The fact that Thomas had such a short time span of winning, and having arguably the greatest playoff run in NHL history is the reason I put him at 5 and not lower on this list.

Had Thomas had two or three more seasons like his 2009, and 2011 seasons he would have a stronger case.

4. Ken Dryden

dryden save.jpg

Ken Dryden was the greatest goalie of his time, and he holds a tremendous amount of accomplishments, however his individual stats in the playoffs does not quite match the rest of the goalies on this list.

Here are a few stats of Dryden’s worth noting.

He played in 112 games, had 80 wins, 10 shutouts, a save percentage of .915, and a goals against average of 2.41.

Dryden also was awarded the Conn Smythe in 1971, the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1972, the Vezina in 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979, was a 5 time All-Star, and won the Stanley Cup in 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979.

Now, reading this you have to think how is this guy not recognized as the greatest?

Dryden was on the Montreal Canadiens in the 1970s.

I do not think I need to say much more; with Guy Lafleur, and Steve Shutt, along with Scotty Bowman as the Head Coach, it is hard to say that without Dryden those teams would not have won those Stanley Cups.

canadiens cup.jpg

3. Dominik Hasek

Dominik Hasek was a goalie that had a style like no other.

To put it simply it was stop the puck. Period.

hasek save.jpg

Hasek played in 119 games, had 65 wins, 14 shutouts, a save percentage of .925, and a goals against average of 2.02.

Some awards that Hasek won are the Hart Memorial Trophy for league MVP in 1997, and 1998, the Vezina in 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2001, and most importantly Stanley Cups with the Red Wings in 2002, and 2008.

Hasek also played in 6 All-Star Games.

hasek cup.jpg

In the mid to late 1990s, Dominik Hasek dominated the NHL, however he was unable to win a Stanley Cup until he got the Detroit Red Wings.

Had Hasek won a Stanley Cup or two in that unbelievable stretch he had in the 1990s, and if he had more games under his belt, maybe this list has a different order.

2. Patrick Roy

Patrick Roy is different from the rest of the goalies on this list; he has Stanley Cups with two different teams.

Roy played 247 games, recorded 151 wins, 23 shutouts, a save percentage of .918, and a goals against average of 2.30.

He won Stanley Cups in 1986, and 1993 with the Montreal Canadiens, and then again in 1996, and 2001 with the Colorado Avalanche.

Even more impressive, Roy was awarded the Conn Smythe in 1986, 1993, and 2001, along with the Vezina in 1989, 1990, and 1992, and while we are at it throw in 11 All-Star Games.

This looks like a resume anyone aspiring to be an NHL Goalie would die to have, however in both 1996 and 2001 although Roy did have incredible years, the Avalanche offense scored more than 50 goals above the league average.

No one was keeping that Stanley Cup from Ray Bourque, and the Colorado Avalanche in 2001.

1. Martin Brodeur

Martin Brodeur in my opinion is the greatest playoff goalie in NHL history.

Brodeur played in 205 games, recorded 113 wins, 24 shutouts, a save percentage of .919, and a goals against average of 2.02

Along with Stanley Cups in 1995, 2000, and 2003 with the New Jersey Devils, Brodeur also was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1994, the Vezina Trophy in 2003, 2004, 2007, and 2008, and played in 9 All-Star Games.

Also impressive, Brodeur is only 1 of 2 goalies to have a goal in both the Regular Season, and Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Although the Devils were unstoppable in 2000, I have to believe that without Brodeur, New Jersey would not have won the Stanley Cup in 1995, or 2003.

Brodeur absolutely stood on his head in both years.

brodeur jump.jpg

The other reason I give Brodeur the edge is the fact that he played in 40 less games than Roy, and recorded 1 more shutout; I would have loved to see what the stats would be had Roy and Brodeur both played the same amount of games.

Photo Source:

Tim Thomas Conn Smythe/ Vezina:

Tim Thomas Stanley Cup:

Patrick Roy Canadiens:

Patrick Roy Avalanche:

Martin Brodeur Awards:

Martin Brodeur Stanley Cup:

Martin Brodeur Jump:

Dominik Hasek:

Dominik Hasek Save:

Ken Dryden:

Montreal Canadiens 1970s:


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