Throughout NHL history, goaltenders have been the catalyst for a team’s success and failures.
Some of the best in NHL history are decorated with various trophies, league records and numerous honors.
Sometimes the goalie is the reagent for a team. The Conn Smythe Trophy, presented to the MVP of the playoffs, has been awarded to a member of the losing team five times—four of which were goalies.
Goaltending has been a “Jekyll and Hyde” position for the Detroit Red Wings. The organization has won 11 Stanley Cups with seven different starting goaltenders in its 88 years in the NHL.
While it may not be the Wings' most valued position, it has always been one of the most scrutinized.
Detroit has sported some Hall of Fame lineups in the past, providing solid play in front of its netminders. However, a capable goalie was necessary to stop the puck and secure its history among the NHL’s best.
A clutch performance is always one for the ages. Whether an individual moment, a daunting task or a single game, a player’s ability to make plays when it matters most can be the difference between unbridled joy and agonizing defeat.
Some Detroit goaltenders have elite numbers while others possess the intangibles that can’t be measured on the scoresheet. These are the five most clutch goaltenders in Red Wings history.