Top 10 Goaltenders in Boston Bruins History 10-6
Who are the Top 10 backstops in Boston Bruins history? Some of the names you know and some may not be as familiar to you unless you were born in 1924. Sit back, put on your pads, waffle, favorite mask, grab your stick, and journey with me through Bruins days past and present.
These are the Top 10 Goaltenders in Boston Bruins History.
Honorable Mention – Byron Dafoe– Byron Dafoe or “Lord Byron” as his fans know him, was traded from LA to Boston during the ’97-’98 season. He made an instant impact with his new club. During his first full season, Dafoe posted 30 wins with a GAA of 2.24 leading the Bruins to the post season.
Dafoe outdid himself the next season. He won 32 games with a microscope 1.99 GAA. He led the Bruins to the post season again and backstopped Boston to a first round series win over Carolina (this was the Bruins last series win before they defeated Montreal in the ’08-’09 playoffs). Lord Byron was recognized for his stellar play and finished third in Vezina Trophy voting.
Dafoe and the Bruins would have a subpar season in ’09-’00. They missed the playoffs and Dafoe held out due to his contract and just earned 13 wins in 41 games.
His next season was marred by injuries, but he rebounded in ’01-’02 with 35 wins. The Bruins reached the playoffs but had a quick exit in the first round.
Dafoe would leave Boston to sign with Atlanta after the season. Dafoe ranks seventh in Bruins history with 132 wins.
10. Pete Peeters – Peeters joined the Bruins in the ’82-’83 season after being traded from the Philadelphia Flyers. He paid instant dividends in his first season with Boston. Peeters posted 40 wins (8 shutouts) with a GAA of 2.36 and won the Vezina Trophy.
He would play 2 more seasons with Boston before being dealt to with Washington during the ’85-’86 campaign. Peter Peeters ranks 11th on the Bruins All Time list with regular 91 regular season wins. He also earned nine wins in the playoffs.
9. Tuukka Rask – The Bruins front office should have been charged with robbery after acquiring Finnish goalie Tuukka Rask for Andrew Raycroft back in June 2006 from the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was later revealed that Boston was going to release Raycroft (poor Leafs).
Rask recorded his first NHL victory in 2007-2008 where posted a 2-1 record in spot duty. He posted another win the following season before being called up to the parent club for good as the back-up to Tim Thomas for the 2009-2010 season. Tuukka Rask had his coming out party, taking over for an injured Thomas, as he posted a 22-12-5 record with a .931 save percentage (best in the NHL) and 1.97 GAA (also best in the NHL). Unfortunately, the post-season turned out to be a nightmare for the young Rask. As the Bruins blew a 3-0 series lead to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Rask would resume his back up role during the 2010-2011 campaign as Tim Thomas backstopped the Bruins to their first Stanley Cup since 1972. After the 2011-2012 season, Thomas decided to take a year off and the starting job became Rask’s by default and he took full advantage.
In his first season (shortened due to the lockout) as Bruins starter, Rask posted a 19-10-5 record with a .927 save percentage and 2.00 GAA. However, Tuukka saved his best for the post-season as he led the Bruins to their second Stanley Cup Final in three years. All Rask did was record 14 wins (3 shutouts) with a riduclous .940 save percentage and microscopic 1.88 GAA. Unfortunately, Rask stellar performance was not enough at the Bruins fell to Chicago 4 games to 2 in the Stanley Cup Final.
The Bruins signed Rask to a 8 year contract extension worth $56 million in the summer of 2013 locking up their netminder for years to come.
8. Reggie Lemelin – After losing his starting job in Calgary to Mike Vernon, Rejean “Reggie” Lemelin joined the Bruins during the ’87-’88 where he shared goaltending duties with Andy Moog.
During his first full season with the B’s, Lemelin posted 24 wins with a GAA of 2.93, helping Boston to the Stanley Cup Finals against Edmonton. During that playoff run, he won 11 games and had a better GAA (2.64) than he did during the regular season. The Bruins rode Lemelin as Moog struggled in the post season.
The Bruins made a return trip to the Finals in ’89-’90 season. Lemelin was yet again an integral part of the team’s success. He won 22 games with a 2.80 GAA. Moog and Lemelin captured the Jennings trophy for fewest goals allowed in the NHL.
The Bruins rode Moog’s hot hand in the playoffs that year. However, they would fall to the Oilers yet again in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Lemelin would play with the Bruins until the ’92-’93 season. He was limited in his last two seasons, posting just 18 wins. Lemelin currently ranks tenth on the Bruins all time regular season list with 92 wins.
7. Gilles Gilbert – Gilles Gilbert came to Boston via Minnesota to replace legend, Gerry Cheevers. Cheevers bolted for the fledgling WHA and Gilbert became the Bruins primary goalie during the ’73-’74 season.No one replaces Cheevers, but Gilbert made Bruins fans forget him a little. Gilles won 34 games and led the Bruins to Stanley Cup Finals that year. He won ten playoff games, but Boston lost to Philadelphia, four games to two.
During the ’75-’76 season, Gilbert set a record which still stands for most consecutive wins with 17. He would finish the season with 33 wins and a GAA of 2.90.
Gerry Cheevers returned to the NHL and the Bruins during the ’76-’77 season. Gilbert and Cheevers would share goal tending duties for the next four seasons. Who knows what numbers Gilbert would have put up if he was the primary goalie?
Both goalies had career years in the ’79-’80 campaign where they both finished as runner ups for the Vezina trophy.
Gilbert would be shipped to Detroit following the season. Gilbert had 155 regular season wins (fifth all time) and 17 playoff victories (fourth all time) in his career with the Boston Bruins.
6. Andy Moog – The Bruins traded goalie, Bill Ranford to the Oilers for Moog at the ’87-’88 trading deadline. Moog would only play in six games at the end of the regular season and played seven games(1-4-1) in the playoffs before making way to the hot goaltender, Reggie Lemelin(11-6 in 17 games).
Moog along with Lemelin would capture the President’s trophy for least goals allowed during the ’90 season.
Both goaltenders were playing on a high level that season. Moog won 24 games with a 2.89 GAA.
Andy Moog would be the better goalie during the ’89-’90 playoffs. His record was 13-7 with a GAA of 2.21 as the Bruins had a return trip to Stanley Cup Finals for a rematch against the Oilers. Boston would fall short yet again, losing in five games.
Moog would gain a reputation as a “Hab” killer for his play against long time rival Montreal. He beat them in the ’91 and ’92 playoffs leading the Bruins to the Conference Finals both those years. The Bruins would succumb to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion, Pittsburgh Penguins.
Moog was traded to then Minnesota North Stars following the ’92-’93 season. During his playing time in Boston, Moog won 136 regular season good for sixth on the Bruins All Time wins list. He was also an integral part of two Stanley Cup Finals berths. Moog finished his Bruins career with 36 playoff wins which is the second most in team history.
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Let the debate begin!