Moments In Time: Canucks Top Goalies
Because the Vancouver Canucks have had so many great players of the years, particularly forwards, their goaltenders don’t always get enough love. In fact, none made my recent list of the top five Canucks ever.
Time to give the netminders their due.
Here are my top five Canucks goalies ever.
1. Kirk McLean
If you don’t think Kirk McLean is the best Vancouver Canucks goalie ever, you aren’t a Canucks fan or you were born in the year 2000.
The two-time All-Star backstopped the Canucks from 1987 to 1998 and was a key member of the Stanley Cup contending teams of the early to mid-1990s.
McLean is most famous for “The Save.” In Game 7 of the opening round series against Calgary in the 1993-94 playoff run, he slid across to make an amazing kick save on Robert Reichel at the goal line in overtime.
Some call it the greatest save in hockey history.
Luongo will seemingly always have his detractors but he did what McLean did, taking Vancouver to within one victory of the Stanley Cup. He’s already the franchise’s all-time leader in goals against average, save percentage and shutouts, he’s second in wins and he’s third in games played.
3. Richard Brodeur
Richard Brodeur’s name is sometimes forgotten in Canucks circles these days but this was the goalie behind Vancouver’s improbable run to the Stanley Cup in 1982. He was an All-Star in 1983.
4. Dan Cloutier
Here comes the chorus of boos! The truth is that, if you look at the Canucks’ history, there’s no way Cloutier can’t make the top five. It’s a testament to how unlucky Vancouver has been with goaltending over the years.
But Cloutier, believe it or not, is a top-three Canuck in goals against average, save percentage and shutouts.
5. Gary Smith
“Suitcase” Smith played for half a dozen NHL teams and won a Vezina Trophy with the Chicago Blackhawks before joining Vancouver in 1973-74. He won 72 games and posted 11 shutouts over three seasons with the team.