When its comes to NHL records, there’s no doubt the offensive records are held in higher regard than the defensive ones. There are more fans that like shots going in the net, rather than being saved. It is amazing to see all the records that Wayne Gretzky set, that still stand today and will most likely never be broken. The records that Martin Brodeur set, are amazing in their own right. Yes, it did take more of team effort for him set certain records than it did for Gretzky, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t earn them.
The big difference about player and goalie records is the fact that there are no real “worst” records you can set as players. When a player has a bad game or season, it really just means that they were invisible on the ice. When a goalie has a bad game or season, they are front and center. Every time a goalie makes a mistake and the pucks gets by them, they are reminded by the red light and the cheering/booing fans. If you are a young unproven goalie, one horrible game can ruin you. Well, at least it might be better to remembered for being historically bad, than to be not remembered at all.
Some of the best and worst NHL goalies of all-time are on this list. Martin Brodeur is one of the greatest goalies to ever play the game, so he naturally makes a few different appearances on this list as he holds some of the best NHL goalie records. He also surprisingly holds one of the worst goalie records.
Without further ado, here is the 10 best and 10 worst NHL goalie records. Some of these records will eventually be broken, but most will probably stand the test of time.
Best: Most Points by a Goaltender in a Season
Grant Fuhr had a Hall of Fame career, as he won over 400 games, a Vezina Trophy, and five Stanley Cups. His best years came when he played for the offensive powered Edmonton Oilers of the 1980s and the offense seemed to rub off on Fuhr, as he registered 36 points with Oilers. His best season points wise, was in 1983-84 when he notched 14 assists in 45 games. To put that in perspective, he had a higher points per game average than future NHL Hall of Famer Chris Chelios.
Worst: Most Goals Allowed Against Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky scored a record 894 goals during his NHL career. In total, he scored at least one goal against 155 different goaltenders. The honour of being beat by “The Great One” the most goes to Richard Brodeur, as Gretzky scored on Brodeur a total of 29 times. All those goals came while Brodeur played for the Vancouver Canucks, who just so happened to be in the same division as Gretzky’s Oilers. Brodeur played nearly 400 NHL games, but will be unfortunately be remembered as Gretzky’s greatest victim.
Best: Most Wins By a Goaltender in One Season
Of all the records on this list, this is the most recent one. Martin Brodeur originally held this record all by himself, when he won 48 games with the New Jersey Devils back in the 2006-07 season. Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals recently joined Brodeur when he recorded his 48th win of the 2015-16 season. Holtby may have put himself in the same company as Brodeur in terms of a one time season performance, but he has a lot of work ahead of him if he wants to have a Hall of Fame calibre career like Martin Brodeur.
Worst: Fewest Goals Allowed in a Loss
This record is a bit of a strange one. You might not think it’s possible to allow zero goals and still receive an “L” on the stat sheet, but it happened. Mike Murphy owns a record of 0-1 without ever letting in a goal. With Murphy’s Hurricanes down 6-3 to the Flames, he came off the bench in relief. The Hurricanes scored a goal to make it 6-4, but Calgary replied by scoring an empty net goal to make it 7-4. The Hurricanes weren’t done just yet, as they scored two quick goals to make it 7-6. Since Murphy was technically still in the net when Calgary scored the seventh goal, Murphy was stuck with the loss even though he never let a puck past him.
Best: Most Saves by a Goaltender in a Regular Season Game
Sam LoPresti only played two seasons in the NHL, both for the Chicago Blackhawks. However, that’s all he needed to make his mark on the NHL records books. In a game against Boston in 1941, LoPresti had the busiest night of any goaltender in NHL history. The Bruins peppered LoPresti, finishing with a staggering 83 shots on net. The Blackhawks ended up losing to the Bruins by a final score of 3-2 with LoPresti making a record 80 saves.
Worst: Most Goals Allowed to an Opposing Goaltender
In the history of the NHL, eleven different goaltenders have been credited with a goal. Only one of those netminders scored a goal on an opposing goalie. On March 21st, 2013, Hurricanes goalie Dan Ellis was leaving the ice for an extra attacker on a delayed penatly, when the Hurricanes accidental sent the puck into their own net. Martin Brodeur of the Devils was the last one to touch the puck, so he was credited with the goal. Ellis was not able to get off the ice by the time the puck went into the net and thus became the only goalie to technically allow a goal against an opposing goalie.
Best: Lowest Goals Against Average in a Season
George Hainsworth was one of the greatest goalies in the NHL during the 1920s and 30s. He played eleven NHL seasons with the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs. where he complied a career goals against average of 1.93. The 1928-29 season definitely helped his career GAA, as Hainsworth only allowed 43 goals in 44 games played, for an NHL record 0.92 goals against average.
Worst: Most Career Games Played Without Recording a Shutout
Eldon “Pokey” Reddick had a decent NHL career for someone who was never drafted. He played 132 career games with the Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers, and Florida Panthers. He compiled a record of 46-58-16 with a 3.71 goals against average. The one stat missing from there is shutouts, because in his 132 games he never had one. That’s an NHL record for career games without putting a goose egg on the stat sheet. The next closest to the record is Jim Hrivnak, who played 85 games without getting a shutout.
Best: Longest Shutout Streak in Modern History
Brian Boucher had a very respectable NHL career. He played over 300 regular season games for seven different teams. He also was able to play an impressive 43 playoff games throughout his career. Despite all that, Boucher will always be remembered for the unforgettable stretch of games he played during the 2003-04 season, while with the Phoenix Coyotes. Boucher recorded five consecutive shutouts and his shutout streak lasted a total time of 332:01. Boucher’s shutout record is going to be a tough one to beat.
Worst: Most Career Losses
Martin Brodeur holds many individual goaltending records, as he is among the greatest goalies to play the game. One of those records he holds is the most career NHL games played. You’ve probably heard of the saying ” You can’t win them all.” Well, that saying rings true for Brodeur. He lost a NHL record 397 games during his career. In hindsight, Brodeur will not be remembered for such a record but it’s worth mentioning as an interesting stat from such a great career.
Best: Most Consecutive Complete Games by a Goaltender
Glenn Hall was given the nickname “Mr. Goalie” and he really deserved it. He won over 400 games in his career and won multiple individual awards, including the Vezina (three times) and the Conn Smythe. However, his biggest accomplishment might be his consecutive games record. In total, Hall would play a staggering 502 straight games, battling through numerous injuries. Hall’s streak lasted all the way from 1955 to 1962. Sadly, his streak ended when he pulled a muscle in his back while getting dressed for a game.
Worst: Highest Goals Against Average in Playoffs
Murray Bannerman played all but one of his 289 regular season games with the Chicago Blackhawks. He also managed to play forty playoff games with Chicago. The 1984-85 playoff season was a rough one for Bannerman. Chicago actually made it to the third round of the playoffs, no thanks in part to Bannerman. In 15 games, he surrendered a whopping 72 goals, which included allowing 44 goals against the high powered Oilers. Bannerman finished with playoff record worst (min 10 games) 4.77 goals against average.
Best: Most Shutouts in a Season
This is George Hainsworth’s second appearance on this list. His 1928-29 season with the Montreal Canadiens will go down as arguably the greatest season by a goaltender in NHL history. Hainsworth compiled a record of 22-7-15 with a 0.92 goals against average to go along with an NHL record 22 shutouts. Both goals against and shutout records have stood the test of time.
Worst: Most Losses in One Season
In 1970-71, the California Golden Seals finished dead last in the NHL with a record of 20-53-5. Of those 53 losses, goaltender Gary Smith accounted for a record 48 of them. Luckily for Smith, he was traded a season later from the struggling Seals to the powerhouse Chicago Blackhawks, where he spent time as a backup to Tony Esposito. Unfortunately for Smith, this is certainly not a record a goaltender wants to own.
Best: Most Career Regular Season Games
Martin Brodeur had a very long NHL career. Throughout his 22 NHL seasons, he played a record 1,266 career games. He had twelve seasons where he played 70 games or more, including a career high 78 games during the 2006-07 season. Roberto Luongo is giving Brodeur a run for his money as the thirty-seven year old is the active leader for games played by a goalie with 926. If he’s healthy for the next 3-4 seasons, this record might be broken.
Worst: Most Goals Allowed in a Season
During the 1943-44 NHL season, the New York Rangers roster was completely butchered due to World War II. The Rangers were desperately in need of finding a goalie, so they ended up finding Ken McAuley, who was only playing senior hockey at the time. It turned out to be an ugly season for the Rangers and McAuley alike. McAuley appeared in all 50 of New York’s games, compiling an abysmal record of 6-39-5. He allowed a record 310 goals, the most scored ever against one NHL team.
Best: Most Shutouts in a Regular Season Career
Terry Sawchuk originally held the record for nearly 40 years before Martin Brodeur broke the record when he recorded his 104th career shutout in 2009 and ended up with 125 in his career. Sawchuck last recorded a shutout with the New York Rangers all the way back in 1970. The current active shutout leader is Roberto Luongo, who has 72 shutouts. It is going to be real hard for him or any other goalie to pass Brodeur.
Worst: Highest Goals Against Average in a Season
During the 1919-20 season, the Quebec Bulldogs had a terrible year, compiling a record of 4-20. Their starting goaltender for that year, Frank Brophy, is definitely deserving of a fair share of the blame, as Brophy was absolutely abysmal in his only NHL season of his career. He had an terrible record of 3-18 to go along with record worst (min 20 games) 7.11 goals against average.
Best: Most Career Wins
This record is the greatest goalie record that one can accomlish. Achieving this record required playing on a good team, but it also took skill and great conditioning, year after year, to win the NHL record 691 games that Martin Brodeur did. Brodeur led the league in wins a total of nine times and seven of those times he had at least forty wins. By setting this record, Brodeur secured his place as arguably the great goalie of all-time.
Worst: Most Goals Allowed in One Game
This is Frank’s Brophy’s second appearance on this list. On March 3rd, 1920. the Montreal Canadiens scored a record sixteen goals against the Quebec Bulldogs and Brophy was in for all sixteen goals. Brophy’s one and only NHL season in 1919-20,will go down as one of he worst seasons for a goaltender in NHL history. For Brophy, his short NHL career was anything but flattering.
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