#2: Patrick Roy
So this will probably be the most controversial ranking I’ve done.
Many of you are probably asking, how could I rank Patrick Roy over Montreal Canadiens legends such as Jean Beliveau and Guy Lafleur.
Those players are all great, but you have to look at the teams they were on. Beliveau, for example, played with many other Hall of Famers. In one season, 1959-60 for example, he played with Henri Richard, Maurice Richard, Doug Harvey, Jacques Plante, Bernie Geoffrion, Dickie Moore and J.C. Tremblay (and that’s not including players such as Jean-Guy Talbot, Ralph Backstrom, Tom Johnson, Phil Goyette and Don Marshall). And that’s just one season!
Patrick Roy never had that type of help. When the Habs won the Stanley Cup in 1993, he had defenceman in front of him such as Kevin Haller, Rob Ramage, J.J. Daigneault, Sean Hill and Donald Dufresne. He had pressure to always be on top of his game, because he had Andre “Red Light” Racicot backing him up. The forwards featured players such as Gilbert Dionne, Todd Ewan, Benoit Brunet and Gary Leeman. He didn’t have the opportunity to play with so many hall of famers with Montreal.
When Montreal won Stanley Cups in the 50s, 60s and 70s, it’s because they had a team of all-stars. But with Patrick Roy, he was the sole reason the Habs would win. You can’t say that about the other legends.
Roy was drafted by the Canadiens in 1984, and two years later, as a rookie, led the team to the Stanley Cup. He won the Conn Smythe trophy that year as the league’s most valuable player in the playoffs.
In the next seven years, Roy won three Vezina trophies as the league’s best goalie and four Jennings trophies for having the lowest goals against average.
In 1993, Roy again led the Habs to a Stanley Cup, and again, he won the Conn Smythe trophy. That year, the team tied a NHL record with 11 straight wins, and set a new record with 10 straight overtime wins.
Roy was a fierce competitor with the Habs. In the 1994 playoffs, he was diagnosed with appendicitis. He missed one game, and then took shots so he could keep playing (he won his first game back). When the Habs were eliminated, he had his appendix removed.
He also changed the way the game was played. He perfected the butterfly style, which many goalies emulated once they saw how successful was by using it. He started to wear larger equipment to make it harder for other teams to score.
He has many NHL records, and was elected to the hall of fame in 2006. The Habs retired his number in 2008.
For more on Patrick Roy: