Wednesday, January 20, 2010
On this date in 2003, Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche became the first goaltender in NHL history to play in 1,000 regular season games as the Avalanche tied 1-1 with the visiting Dallas Stars.
Prior to Roy, the record for the most games played by an NHL goaltender was Terry Sawchuk, who played 971 games in his 20 year career. Roy finished his career with 1,029 games played but has since been surpassed by Martin Brodeur. The remainder of the Top 10 in games played are Ed Belfour (963), Curtis Joseph (943), Glenn Hall (906), Tony Esposito (886), John Vanbiesbrouck (882), Grant Fuhr (868) and Gump Worsley (861). They are the only ones with more than 850 games played. Following Broduer, the leading active goaltender is Chris Osgood, who entered the 2009-10 season with 710.
Sawchuk, Hall and Worsley's accomplishments are particularly noteworthy, as they played the majority of their careers in a different era, when goalies played without protective masks, seldom took a night off, as teams carried only one goalie, had less protective gear and played a shorter 70 game schedule.
Hall in particular played every single game for seven consecutive seasons and it wasn't until the mid 1960's did splitting the goaltending duties become an accepted way of running a team. Having been awarded since 1927, it wasn't until 1965 that two men shared the Vezina Trophy, then awarded to the goalie who allowed the fewest goals against each season. Once it had been shared by two men, in 12 of the next 18 seasons the trophy was shared by two goalies, and even three on one occasion.
The greater number of games played since the NHL expansion of the late 1960's was offset somewhat by the concept of goaltending tandems, but modern day goalies now have longer careers due to better protection from modern pads, better training methods, not to mention the acceptance of masks! Still, some goaltenders are famous for playing as many games as possible. Fuhr holds he record for most games played in a single season with 79, and Brodeur has had 10 consecutive seasons of 70 games or more, including one of 78, an average of 3.5 more games per season during that stretch than Hall did when he played every possible game over seven seasons of 70 games.
Roy, on the other hand, shared time in goal more readily, averaging 57 games per year, and never playing 70 in any one season.
Roy retired in 2003 after 19 seasons, four Stanley Cups and three Conn Smythe Trophies.
In addition, he was named winner of the Vezina Trophy three times, in 1989, 1990 and 1992, and played in eleven NHL All-Star Games. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006 and his #33 has been retired by both the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche.
He retired as the all-time leader in wins with 551, games played by a goaltender with 1029, most playoff games by a goaltender (247), most playoff wins (151) and playoff shutouts (23). Before joining the Canadiens, he also led his team to the Calder Cup as champions of the American Hockey League in 1985. He was ranked as #35 on The Hockey News list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.
After winning two Stanley Cups in Montreal, he had a falling out with rookie coach Mario Tremblay and was traded to the Colorado Avalanche, leading them to the Stanley Cup in the Avalanche's first season in Colorado, a trade that never would have happened if the club had remained in Quebec as the Nordiques, as they were the Canadiens greatest rival at the time.
Today's featured jersey is a 2000-01 CCM Colorado Avalanche Patrick Roy jersey. This jersey features the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals patch, as worn during the Avalanche's victory over the New Jersey Devils, after which Roy was awarded his third Conn Smythe Trophy, the only man to have ever won more than two.
The Avalanche jerseys were rather unique when they were first introduced, as no team in the league was using burgundy as their primary color at the time, the closest being the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim's eggplant jerseys. In addition, their "mountainous" striping on the waist and arms was unusual as well. Only five other teams had anything other than straight stripes, and four of those were simply oriented diagonally.
Other details of the Avalanche jerseys that made them stand out were the unique, custom font for the numbers. Again, only five other teams had anything other than a basic block font at the time. The glittering silver of the trim and textured glacier twill for the names and numbers gave the jerseys an elevated attention to detail that rewards close inspection.
Today's video selections are highlights of Game 6 and Game 7 of the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals, the fourth championship of Roy's career.