The Montreal Canadiens are a storied franchise. When you’ve been around for over 100 years now, there are a lot of good players that are going to pass your way. Take goalies for example. The Canadiens, at some points in their history, had the best goalies in the world playing on their team. There was Ken Dryden, perhaps the biggest name of all. George Vezina, another legend, Patrick Roy, who won two cups in his first seven years with the Canadiens before heading to Colorado and winning two more. Or what about Carey Price, who’s in the middle of writing his own legend.
It’s incredible, looking at a franchise's history, and seeing how many goalies actually had a chance to represent the bleu-blanc-rouge, even if it was only one game, coming on as a back-up, and letting in five goals in a 10-1 loss, and then never wearing the uniform again (sorry Charlie Sands). The Canadiens, for example, have had 80 goalies wear the uniform throughout their history. A big reason why the Canadiens have 24 Stanley Cups is because they always seemed to have one of, if not the best goalie in the game at the time. If they were to win their 25th Stanley Cup in the next few years, it would again be due to the heroics of Carey Price.
And as much as there are legends in that list, there are other whose names are best left forgotten, just like their performances. And although these names will never go down in Montreal Canadiens history, they’ll always be there for us to look back on and share a chuckle or two. Here are the top 15 worst goalies in Montreal Canadiens history.
15 15. Jocelyn Thibault
I warn you all from now, a lot of the goalies mentioned will be from the Patrick Roy era, where some of the worst goaltending decisions were made in those years. I feel bad for Jocelyn Thibault because he shouldn’t have been playing with the Montreal Canadiens in the first place. He was involved in the deal that will probably go down in history as the stupidest deal the Montreal Canadiens franchise ever made; the one that sent arguably the best goalie of all time, four-time Stanley Cup winner Patrick Roy to the Colorado Avalanche.
14 14. Andy Moog
13 13. Doug Soetaert
12 12. Wilf Cude
11 11. Andre Racicot
10 10. Steve Penney
Steve Penney spent three seasons with the Canadiens, never being overly impressive in that stretch. He did technically win the cup in 1986 with the Canadiens, although his name was left off the Cup because he was out injured most of the season. In the 18 games he did play, he allowed 72 goals, averaging out to a less than stellar 4.36 goals per game. It was perhaps meant to be that his name did not end up being included on the Stanley Cup, although Penney did receive a ring and was included in the team picture.
9 9. Dustin Tokarski
Poor Tokarski. I could never think about Dustin Tokarski without feeling a little bad for him. He came out on the minors in the Eastern Conference Finals in Game 2 against a tough New York Rangers team in 2014. Although the Canadiens ended up losing the series in six games, Tokarski held his own against Henrik Lundqvist, and earned himself a spot as Carey Price’s backup the following year. Despite his successes in the conference final, the winds took a turn for the horrible next season, finishing with six wins in 12 games and a .910 save percentage.
8 8. Pat Jablonski
American Pat Jablonski had a stint with the Montreal Canadiens in his nine years in the NHL. He was drafted 139th overall by the St. Louis Blues in 1985 and played in the NHL between 1989 and 1998. One of the five teams he played with was the Montreal Canadiens, and they were not his most glorious years. He came to Montreal in November, a month before franchise keeper Patrick Roy was traded to the Colorado Avalanche. Needless to say a tumultuous time in the city.
7 7. Ron Tugnutt
6 6. Jean-Claude Bergeron
5 5. Claude Bourque
4 4. Bert Gardiner
3 3. Jose Theodore
A lot of Montreal Canadiens fans have a bit of a love-hate type relationship with Jose Theodore. The Laval native was drafted 44th overall in the 1994 draft and played eight full seasons with the Canadiens before being traded to the Colorado Avalanche. His best year was by far in 2001-02, where he took home the Vezina and Hart Trophy, finishing the year with a .931 save percentage. That was by far his best season, with his numbers falling drastically next year.
2 2. Peter Budaj
1 1. Charlie Sands
You’ll probably remember me mentioning Charlie Sands in the introduction. Here’s his story. Charlie Sands played 12 seasons in the NHL between the Leafs, Bruins, Rangers and Habs, and even won a Stanley Cup with Boston in 1939. The thing is, Sands was a right winger, and he played every singe game of his career as a forward. All except one. In a time in the NHL when a player was assigned to replace an injured goalie, Sands replaced injured Wilf Crude (also on the list) with 25 minutes left in the game, allowing five goals in a 10-1 loss, and going down in history with 12.00 GAA. Technically he shouldn’t be included on this list, but that 12.00 GAA is official so I had no choice.
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