Top 5 New York Rangers Goalies Of All Time
Top 5 New York Rangers Goalies Of All Time
Over the many years of the New York Rangers’ franchise existence, the team has gone through many upon many goaltenders who have worn the red, white and blue jersey. To be exact, the Rangers have had a total of 78 goalies since the organization was created in 1926.
Out of these 78 netminders, not a whole lot can say or argue they were the best Rangers goaltender of all time. Only a very select few have this honor. Oh, and for all you fans of the late 90s and early 2000s Rangers’ teams who went seven-straight seasons without making the playoffs, I am very sad to say that Mike Dunham, Kevin Weekes and Dan Cloutier are all sadly not on this list. I know many of you are shocked by this, but do not worry as many “real” candidates for The Blueshirts’ best goaltenders are on this list. Also, please do not mind the sarcasm.
Out of these select few are five names that every Rangers fan should know, but only one of these names can truly be the best goalie in franchise history. Of course, this list is only my opinion and not the be all, end all, so there will be some arguments as to who should or should not be No. 1, but all of that is welcome. Please feel free and comment after you all finish reading all of these slides, and whether you agree or disagree with the top spot, there should be no denying that all of these goaltenders are worthy of being in the top five for the best Rangers goalies of all time.
5. John Vanbiesbrouck
John Vanbiesbrouck starts of this list at No. 5 and rightfully so. Vanbiesbrouck was the Rangers goaltender for the better part of 11 years, from 1982 to 1993, and is fifth all time in wins with the franchise. Vanbiesbrouck in all of his years with the team only missed the playoffs two times, though never capturing a Stanley Cup. He did, however, help lead the Rangers to an Eastern Conference Finals birth in the 1985-86 season, but failed to get them over the hump. Even though Vanbiesbrouck never achieved the ultimate goal with the Rangers, he was still a very good goalie and being fifth all time with the team in wins secures him the No. 5 spot on this list.
4. John Davidson
No. 4 on this list is good ole J.D., John Davidson. Not only a great color commentator for the Rangers and sidekick of Sam Rosen for decades in the booth, Davidson also had a very good career as a player. Davidson played for the Rangers for only eight seasons, but his legacy as a Ranger lives on because of the year he had in the 1978-79 season, especially in the playoffs against the Blueshirts’ biggest rival, the New York Islanders. The Islanders were favored to go to the Stanley Cup and possibly win it all that season, and without Davidson’s stellar play in net, the Rangers would have never upset the Islanders in six games to go to the Stanley Cup Finals that season. Even though the Rangers did not end up winning that cup that season, they would have never got that far without the great play of John Davidson.
3. Eddie Giacomin
Eddie Giacomin was for a long time the best Rangers goalie of all time, and was only the second Ranger ever to have his number retired by the organization. Giacomin is third all-time in wins with the franchise with 266 and won the Vezina Trophy in the 1970-71 season. Eddie virtually did everything possible for the Rangers except win a Stanley Cup. He came close a couple times, but his Rangers teams never were able to achieve their ultimate goal. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in in 1987 and will always forever be remembered as a New York Ranger. A well deserved No. 3 spot on this list.
2. Henrik Lundqvist
The King, Henrik Lundqvist makes this list at No. 2, and I expect some controversy to come along with this decision. Most fans would say Lundqvist already is the best Rangers goalie of all time, but I say not yet. Lundqvist is currently second all time in wins with the Rangers, and rising, with 276, and has a stunning 276-171 record with a GAA of only 2.25 in eight seasons. It is only a matter of time before Lundqvist is No. 1 on this list, but the only reason why I still have him at No. 2 is because of the hardware. No, I’m not talking about his Olympic Gold Medal or his Vezina Trophy, but what I am referring to is a Stanley Cup. If Lundqvist wins a Stanley Cup with the Rangers, then in my eyes he is the best Ranger goaltender of all time, but until then he is still No. 2.
1. Mike Richter
Mike Richter is currently the best Rangers goaltender of all time in my opinion. Not only is Richter the current leader in wins with the Rangers with 301, but is also the only Rangers goaltender on this list that has won a Stanley Cup with the team. His amazing play overall, especially in the 1993-94 season, will never be forgotten among Rangers fans. His brilliant goaltending in the Eastern Conference Finals in 1994 against the New Jersey Devils and in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Vancouver Canucks of that same season can never be understated. Helping to finally bringing the Cup back home to New York City after a 54-year drought is the biggest of reasons why Mike Richter is the greatest Rangers goalie of all time as of right now, but can easily change with a Lundqvist cup victory.