Patrick Roy is the True Great
Of all the great net minders one reigns supreme
Among hockey fans there is perhaps no more hotly debated subject than who the greatest goalie of all time is. Some say it’s Martin Broduer, some say it’s Dominic Hasek, some even say it might be Chris Osgood, the people who say these things are wrong. The only answer is Patrick Roy, as you dear reader will understand at the end of this post.
Marty Broduer owns all the shallow records, most wins, most shutouts, most games played, oh wait, that’s only three records and the third forces a significant asterisk onto the other two. To put those records into the proper context, understand that they mean basically nothing. A win is a team statistic and should not be credited to the player, even if they are a goaltender. A shutout says almost nothing about the game in question, sure the goaltender stopped every shot, but how many shots were there? How difficult were they to handle? Shutouts really don’t tell much of a story. The only significant area where Broduer has a leg up on Roy is in career Save percentage where his .912 bests Roy’s .910. This slight gap can be accounted for by the reduction in scoring between the players eras. Roy led the NHL in save % three years in a row between 1988 and 1990 then for a fourth time in 1992. Broduer never led the NHL in that category. Comparing each by how they rank against their peers makes it quite obvious that Roy is the better puck stopper.
Of all the incorrect options Hasek is the most respectable. His career .922 save percentage is eye popping and good for 3rd all time, the two above him being Tuukka Rask, and Corey Schneider players that combined have appeared in 664 games, or 71 fewer than Hasek’s 735. He was good in his time as well leading the league in SV% 6 years straight between ‘94 and ’99. Hasek appears to be the perfect choice until you realize that he only won 2 Cups to Roy’s 4. You might say that that is a team accomplishment but to paraphrase Roy “I can’t really hear what you say because I have those two extra Stanley Cup rings plugging my ears”.
I have to admit when fellow Unbalanced writer Allison Barbersek put forward Osgood as a possible alternative I spit out my coffee, not literally, it was actually tea (I’m watching my health).
The guy really isn’t anything special. A .902 SV% places him at the bottom of this list, needless to say he never posted the highest mark in a season. Osgood was fortunate enough to win three Stanley Cups but he never won the Conn Smythe (Playoff MVP, an honor Roy earned a record 3 times). He’s most likely best known for dropping gloves with the GOAT in one of their many playoff match ups, a incident that Roy clearly emerged from the victor.
If you haven’t already guessed this article is being written with tongue firmly planted within cheek. Each of these guys are legendary goaltenders, all but Osgood have found a place within the Hall of Fame. It really doesn’t matter which one you choose as the very best, as long as it’s Patrick Roy.