Hockey News

Top 3 Bruins Goalies of All Time – Hockey Writers – Bruins Goaltending

The Boston Bruins have a rich history in the world of hockey as an Original Six franchise, but their boxing history has not always been so strong.

In the 100-year history of Bruins hockey, 111 players have worn a Bruins uniform and played at different levels in Boston. Some of these goalkeepers proved to be the best in history while others failed to stand out for better or for worse.

While the latter may not be the most interesting, the former is certainly something that will always be a worthy topic of conversation. For this reason, it makes sense to look at history and determine which Bruins netminders were the best.

In order for a goaltender to qualify for this list, he had to play 100 games for the Bruins and all stats mentioned are from the player's time with the Bruins.

#3: Frank Brimsek

Record: 230-144-70

GAA: 2.58

Opening: 35

Coming in at No. 3 on the Bruins' all-time hitter list is the man who guarded the pipes from 1938 to 1949, Frank Brimsek.

Although Brimsek would start under unfavorable conditions for the Bruins to relieve the injured Cecil Thompson, at the beginning of the 1938-39 season, he would prove his worth to the team from the beginning of his tenure in Boston. . Even though he shouldn't have played in net permanently, he played so well that he kept his starting job for the whole season.

Frank Brimsek
Hockey Hall of Famer and Boston Bruins Frank Brimsek.

The decision to roll with Brimsek proved to be a good one as he went on to collect the Vezina Trophy, Calder Award and Stanley Cup in his rookie campaign. Brimsek played a total of nine seasons with the Bruins, winning two Stanley Cup championships (1939 and 1941) and two Vezina trophies along the way.

He wouldn't just be celebrated for his physical accolades, however, as he led the NHL in wins and shutouts twice and has been one of the league's best goaltenders throughout his career. Brimsek's 230 wins rank third in franchise history, and his 35 shutouts rank third.

When the United States joined the European effort in World War II, Brimsek left the Bruins to join the United States Coast Guard for two years. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as part of the class of 1966, becoming the first American-born goaltender to be elected to the Hall of Fame.

#2: Tuukka Rask

Record: 308-165-66

GAA: 2.28

Exit: 52

If the Bruins play another 100 seasons, it's still a safe bet to assume there won't be a more divisive netminder in team history than Tuukka Rask.

While Rask has had his fair share of love from fans and the media, he's also received equal amounts of hate and disrespect at the same time. Despite this, Rask continued to play quality hockey for the Bruins and was considered by many to be one of the best goaltenders in the NHL.

You may also like:

Rask played for the Bruins starting in the 2007-08 season, but took a prominent role with the team starting in 2009-10 when he earned the starting job and posted impressive results, including 22-12-5. record, a .931 save percentage, a 1.97 goals against average and a 24.34 GSAA.

Tim Thomas earned the starting job at running back for the next few seasons before Rask regained the distinction and hasn't lost it since.

In 15 seasons, Rask went 308-165-66 with the Bruins and posted a .921 save percentage and 2.28 goals against average. He ranks first in franchise history in wins (308), save percentage among professional goaltenders (.921) and second in goals against average (2.28) and shutouts (52).

Related: Bruins' top 10 games to watch in 2021-22

Rask is also a career Vezina Trophy winner and Stanley Cup champion, though he earned that ring while playing as Thomas' backup in what appears to be a historic scoring streak. Rask also won the Jennings Award alongside Jaroslav Halak during their stellar 2019-20 season sharing the crease in Boston.

Love him or hate him, Rask will always be among the best goaltenders in Bruins history.

#1: Cecil “Tiny” Thompson

Record: 252-153-63

GAA: 1.99

Exit: 74

It is difficult to assess and compare talent across generations. For this reason, it's hard to truly appreciate some of the first goal scorers in Bruins history as much as they probably deserve. However, if you look at Cecil “Tiny” Thompson's resume, it would be impossible not to have him at the top of this list.

Thompson would own the crease in Boston for a total of 11 seasons between 1929 and 1939 and ten of them were complete seasons. If you look at the stats, it shouldn't take long to realize that Thompson owns the Bruins' record book and will probably do so throughout history.

He ranks No. 2 in wins (252) and games played (468) and No. 1 by closing (74). That's not a typo or misprint, he actually recorded 74 shutouts during his time in Boston and 81 in his NHL career with seven coming during his time with the Detroit Red Wings. That's a number that doesn't seem to be affected in modern times and much of that has to do with the fact that he would play in all but five games for the Bruins from the 1928-29 through 1937-38 seasons in all five. in those games coming in the 1931-32 season.

Throughout his 11 seasons in a Bruins uniform, he led the NHL in wins five times and shutouts four times. For his efforts, he received the Vezina Trophy four times. Although he only won the Stanley Cup once (1929), it was the franchise's first championship victory.

Adding to his history, he will change the way he makes saves as he became one of the first goaltenders to handle the puck well as a stop. He was also the first goaltender to record an assist in a game and often handled the puck, which was a new concept at the time. In 1959 he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Honorable Mentions

Gerry Cheevers

Record: 229-101-74

GAA: 2.89

Opening: 26

One of the most iconic names in Bruins history at any position, Gerry Cheevers ranks 3rd on the Bruins' all-time goaltending list. He spent 10 seasons with the team between 1966 and 1980, leaving to play in the WHA for about four seasons in between.

For many, Cheevers will be the first goalie that comes to mind when discussing the Bruins. He was part of some of the best seasons in Bruins history, including two Stanley Cup winning seasons in 1970 and 1972, and that alone will forever keep him listed as one of the best in the eyes of fans.

Goalkeeper Gerry Cheevers
NEW YORK, NY – 1974: Goalie Gerry Cheevers #30 of the Boston Bruins defends the net during an NHL game against the New York Rangers in 1974 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. (Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images)

Although Cheevers was never named a Vezina Trophy winner, that doesn't mean he wasn't one of the best at his position throughout his career. He was often ranked in the top 10 in wins, shutouts, and goals against average. Within the Bruins organization, he ranks fourth in wins and sixth in shutouts.

In 1985, Cheevers was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Tim Thomas

Record: 196-121-45

GAA: 2.48

Exit: 31

While Tim Thomas may hold a place in the hearts of Bruins fans, there's no denying the anger the entire team feels every time he makes even a routine save.

Thomas' style wasn't unusual, but it did the trick in making him one of the best goaltenders in the NHL during his time with the Bruins. He would win two Vezina trophies, a Conn Smythe and a Stanley Cup while in Boston and will always be remembered as one of the greats.

Fans will forever remember his insanity during the 2011 playoffs when he posted a record 1.98 GAA and .940 save percentage. During his time with the Bruins, Thomas recorded 196 wins, a 2.48 GAA and a .921 save percentage. He was certainly one of the most exciting goalkeepers to wear for the Bruins.

He was inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame in 2019.

* originally written in March 2017

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button