Sergei Bobrovsky and Brian Boucher and the 15 Best Goalie Tandems in NHL History
The Philadelphia Flyers have have been plagued by inconsistent and mediocre goaltending since the days of the "Broad Street Bullies" and Bernie Parent. For nearly 40 years they have searched for "the man" between the pipes but to no avail.
Now, they find themselves atop the Eastern Conference and ninth in the NHL with a 2.53 goals against average. However, they have still not found an elite goaltender. So, what gives?
The Flyers are employing the increasingly popular goaltender by committee system. The tandem of jump-start rookie Sergei Bobrovsky and the steady veteran Brian Boucher has anchored this team throughout the 2010-2011 NHL season and appears to have solved the Flyers' goaltending woes.
Of course, the Philadelphia is not the first team to ever utilize a combination of two goaltenders effectively.
Throughout the history of hockey, teams have made up for a lack of an elite goaltender by using a pair of net-minders.
Having two solid goalies keeps each guy fresh and allows the team to rely on the hot player.
Here are the top 20 goalie tandems in NHL history.
15. Rogie Vachon and Gump Worsley: Montreal Canadiens (1967-1969)
Following the formidable tandem of Gump Worsley and Charlie Hodge, the combination of Rogie Vachon and Gump Worsley proved to be even more effective.
Although it was short-lived, the two won a Stanley Cup and split a Vezina Trophy (given to the team with the lowest GAA in those days).
While Gump Worsley was considered the stronger of the two goaltenders, Rogie Vachon really grew during his early seasons along side "Gumper" and helped form one of the best duos of all time.
14. Pat Riggin and Al Jensen: Washington Capitals (1982-1985)
From 1982-1985, Pat Riggin and Al Jensen combined to form one of the most dominant goaltending duos in the history of the NHL.
The goalies led the Capitals to their first of 14 straight playoff berths during the '80s. In addition, Riggin and Jensen took home the 1984 William M. Jennings Trophy, awarded to the goalie(s) with the fewest goals allowed.
13. Billy Smith and Ronald Melanson: New York Islanders (1981-1985)
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Billy Smith was an all-star and a Vezina Trophy winner, so naturally he was a part of some formidable goaltending tandems.
Paired with Ronald Melenson during the early 1980s, Billy Smith and his counterpart won three Stanley Cups and a William Jennings Trophy.
Would be higher up the list if Billy Smith hadn't carried much of the weight.
12. Phil Myre and Dan Bouchard: Atlanta Flames (1972-1978)
Phil Myre and Dan Bouchard took over in goal for the expansion Atlanta Flames prior to the 1972 season and immediately made them a respectable opponent.
During the years Myre and Bouchard spent in net, the Flames never finished lower than sixth in the NHL in goals against.
The two goalies were said to be extremely competitive and the Flames fed off that competition to earn instant success in the NHL.
11. Gerry Cheevers and Eddie Johnston: Boston Bruins (Early 1970s)
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Gerry Cheevers and Eddie Johnston are two of the best goalies in the history of the Boston Bruins, and they had the luxury of playing with one another during the days of the "Big Bad Bruins."
In 1970 and 1972, Johnston and Cheevers won Stanley Cups for the Bruins.
Each had tremendous individual accomplishments that were even greater when they formed a tandem.
10. Chico Resch and Billy Smith: New York Islanders (Late 1970s, Early 1980s)
Billy Smith and Chico Resch formed one of the best goaltending tandems of the century, leading the Islanders to the best record in the 1978-1979 season and a Stanley Cup championship the following season.
Resch formed a nice bridge to the Billy Smith era which led to a handful of Stanley Cups during the 1980s.
9. Patrick Roy and Brian Hayward: Montreal Canadiens (1987-1989)
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Although Patrick Roy carried the load for this tandem, it is tough to keep a duo that won three straight William Jennings Trophies off of this list.
8. Andy Moog and Grant Fuhr: Edmonton Oilers (1982-1987)
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Andy Moog and Grant Fuhr always picked each other up when the other one was down.
In the '83 playoffs, Moog carried the Oilers to the finals only to be swept by the Islanders. The following season, Fuhr was the one shouldering the load in the postseason on the way to a Stanley Cup Finals victory.
They had a great team in front of them, which bumps them down the list. Still, they were an effective tandem nonetheless.
7. Andy Moog and Reggie Lemelin: Boston Bruins (1987-1993)
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Andy Moog was never consistent enough to be the man on his own, but he was an ideal fit for a tandem situation.
Reggie Lemelin locked things down for the Bruins during the regular season, and Andy Moog would come on strong during the postseason.
6. John Vanbiesbrouck and Mike Richter: New York Rangers (1990s)
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"Beezer" and Richter is one of the most pure tandems at the goaltender position in the history of the NHL.
They split the duties nearly 50-50, for the most part, and were both elite goaltenders throughout their careers.
They pulled the Rangers out of the cellar and into contention. New York never had the scoring necessary to take home championships, but Richter and Beezer always made them a contender.
5. Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask: Boston Bruins (2008-Present)
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Tuukka Rask and Tim Thomas play contrasting styles and each bring something to the table for this Boston Bruins team.
Just a year after Thomas won the Vezina Trophy, Tuukka Rask had a breakout season and was instrumental to Boston's playoff success.
Now, a year later Thomas is back on top of the goaltending world, and the Bruins are leading the NHL is GAA.
The Bruins are lucky to have two number one goaltenders that complement one another so well.
4. Gilles Villemure and Eddie Goacomin: New York Rangers (1970s)
Some may argue that Gilles Villemure and Eddie Goacomin's numbers were inflated due to playing on some of the best New York Rangers teams of all time. However, this goalie tandem was just as much a part of that success as the rest of the squad.
The two shared a Vezina Trophy, each won at least a hundred games, and appeared in multiple All-Star games, all while splitting time.
3. Glenn Hall and Jacques Plante: St. Louis Blues (Late 1960s)
With 10 Vezina Trophies between them, Glenn Hall and Jacques Plante made like hard on opposing offenses during the late 1960s.
While both were in the twilight of their careers, Plante and Hall were still a dominant duo for the St. Louis Blues and put them on the map.
2. Chris Osgood and Dominik Hasek: Detroit Red Wings (2000s)
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While Dominik Hasek is arguably the greatest goaltender of all time, few can match the postseason success that Chris Osgood has had throughout his storied career.
This tandem has the most impressive accolades of any on the list.
Hasek has six Vezina Trophies and the two have a combined five Stanley Cup rings. Osgood and Hasek were both productive and clutch.
1. Terry Sawchuk and Johnny Bower: Toronto Maple Leafs (Mid to Late '60s)
Terry Sawchuk was one of the most prolific goaltenders of his era. He dominated during his tenure in Detroit and then combined with Johnny Bower to bring the Maple Leafs to glory.
During the time period between 1965 and 1967, Sawchuk and Bower shared a Vezina Trophy and brought the Stanley Cup to Toronto.
Combined they won nine Stanley Cups and they were essentially the first to work in a tandem in the way they did.
They were revolutionary and that's what makes them the best goaltending tandem in the history of the NHL.