MONTREAL, QC. — Imagine if you were asked to put together a hockey team comprised entirely of goalies, to compete in a pick up game of hockey. Who would you name to your all-goalie team?
When Rick Stephens put me up to the challenge, it at first sounded like a fun and easy task to take on. Fun it was, easy however, not one bit. There have been lot of great goaltenders who have played and continue to play in this NHL, and already, we can argue and debate over who has been better than who, in the goaltending position.
To figure out who would be your starting first-line centre however is a whole other story. Are you up to the challenge?
What I decided to do was put together a team of 12 players, comprised entirely of goalies as follows:
- Two goalies
- Six forwards
- Four defensemen,
Goaltenders: Patrick Roy, Terry Sawchuk
- Arguably two of the best, if not the two best goaltenders to ever play in the NHL.
- They’ve combined for eight Stanley Cup titles, four each.
- Sawchuk won the Calder Memorial Trophy following his rookie season, and the Vezina Trophy four times during his career.
- Patrick Roy on the other hand won the Vezina three times, the William M. Jennings Trophy five times, and the Conn Smythe Trophy three times.
- Only Martin Brodeur has more NHL games to his record than either of them.
Forwards (First-Line): Glenn Hall, Martin Brodeur, Dominik Hasek
- In the case of Glenn Hall, he only picked up one Stanley Cup over his career, but he is a top-ten in career games played and wins. He also has a few Vezina trophies to his record. He most notably here for his never-to-be-broken record of 502 consecutive games played. (And people complain when Carey Price plays ten straight)
- Martin Brodeur is one of the best puck-handling goalies to ever play in the NHL and has two goals to his record. He can score and be the play-maker so this one was a no-brainer. His three Stanley Cups and numerous career achievements had nothing to do with this decision.
- For Dominik Hasek, although his NHL career was shorter than most, his name definitely belongs in the conversation of best all-time NHL goaltenders. As for what he bring on the offensive side, I would have him here because he’s spectacular and unpredictable.
Forwards (Second-Line): Billy Smith, Tom Barrasso, Ron Hextall
- We’ve got grit on the wings starting with Billy Smith. Renowned for “sticking-it” to opposing forwards in front of his net, and on occasion dropping the gloves and fighting, he also picked up four straight Stanley Cups in the eighties playing with Bossy, Potvin and Trottier.
- At centre we have Tom Barrasso, who holds the NHL record for most points in a career by a goaltender, with 48. He should prove to be a great setup guy on the second line.
- On the other wing we have Ron Hextall. Again, we have grit, and Hextall’s stick handling abilities and two NHL career goals should provide some offence on both lines.
Defence: Sam LoPresti, Ron Tugnutt, Georges Vezina, George Hainsworth
- Sam LoPresi and Run Tugnutt would be on defense for one reason alone, their shot-blocking abilities, both having faced the highest number of shots in a single NHL game.
- LoPresti holds the record for highest shots and saves, stopping 80 of 83 shots on March 4th, all the way back in 1941.
- I have a soft spot for Ron Tugnutt, because I was watching this game live when it happened. He comes in second behind LoPresti, he [Tugnutt] who stopped 70 of 73 shots, on March 21st 1991. He was then playing for the Nordiques, and after the game ended in a 3-3 tie, several Boston Bruins’ players skated across the ice to congratulate him on his performance.
- Why wouldn’t you want George Hainsworth on defence? Although he played all the way back in the 1920′s, his statistics are mind-boggling. Not only does he hold the record for most shutouts in a season, with 22 in a 44 game season, his 1.93 career GAA is the second lowest in NHL history, and his 94 career shutouts put him third all-time behind only Brodeur, and Sawchuk.
- Finally, we have George Vezina. The Vezina trophy was named after him, need I say more?
I asked the following question tonight on twitter:
Here are some of the responses that were received:
Were any goalies missed, leave your thoughts below.