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Top 15 Goats in NHL Playoff History

There have been many heroes in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Stéphane Matteau's Game 7 overtime winning goal versus the New Jersey Devils, along with the Messier guarantee, and Brian Leetch's Conn Smythe trophy winning performance helped the 1994 New York Rangers end a 54 year Cup drought. Martin Gelinas scored three series winning goals to help the Calgary Flames reach the 2004 Stanley Cup Final. Claude Lemieux scored 80 career postseason goals while winning four Stanley Cups with three different teams and will go down in history as one of the greatest playoff performers of all time. Bobby Baun scored an overtime goal with a broken leg. The list goes on and on.

The postseason has made the careers of many, but it has also broken the careers and hearts of many more. So what about those performances on the wrong side of history? For every playoff hero there is a playoff goat. For every Ron Hextall there's a Roman Čechmánek. For every Jean-Sebastien Giguere there's a Robert Esche. For every Antti Niemi there's, well, there's an Antti Niemi.

Subpar playoff performances aren't just limited to bad players. Even the legends of the game have had their missteps. Ten years after winning the Conn Smythe trophy, Brian Leetch allowed a pass to get by him and give way to a Jeremy Roenick series winning goal. Patrick Roy had his statue of liberty goal versus the Red Wings in 2002. Martin Brodeur had his dropped stick goal against the Ducks in 2003. Any player, coach, or even official can have a bad postseason, series, game, period, shift, or singular moment. However, when your gaffe leads to a team's heartbreaking playoff exit, it's hard not to shoulder the blame.

Here are the top 15 goats in Stanley Cup Playoff history.

via si.com

13 14. Dan Cloutier

via canucks.nhl.com

12 13. Ty Conklin

via cbc.ca

11 12. Roberto Luongo

via vancouversun.com

10 11. Patrick Lalime

via tiedomi.com
via utoronto.ca

9 T10. Ilya Bryzgalov

via edmundholland.com

8 8. Daniel Alfredsson

via thestar.com

7 7. Chris Phillips

via cbc.ca

6 6. NHL Replay Room

via bleacherreport.net

5 5. Marty McSorley

via vebidoo.de

4 4. NHL Rulebook

via buffalosabresnation.com

3 3. Steve Smith

via bigmouthsports.com

2 2. Don Cherry

via greatesthockeylegends.com

1 1. Kerry Fraser

via thehockeywriters.com

In overtime of Game 6 of the 1993 Clarence Campbell Conference Final, with the Toronto Maple Leafs up 3-2 on the Los Angeles Kings, Doug Gilmour took a high stick from Wayne Gretzky that cut his chin open. Referee Kerry Fraser declined to call a penalty on the Great One and moments later Gretzky scored the game winner forcing a seventh and deciding game. Gretzky would score a hat trick in game seven to send the Kings to the Stanley Cup Final and Leaf fans have never forgiven Kerry Fraser for costing them a shot at the Cup. The fact that this call became the defining moment of Fraser's career and remains a sore spot for Leaf fans, more than 20 years after the fact, makes it the clear cut - pun intended - number one on our list.

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Top 15 Goats in NHL Playoff History