Top Sens #5: Patrick Lalime

Most people look at the Ottawa Senators goalie history, and see it as being unlucky when it comes to the position.

Patrick Lalime has been the best goalie in the history of the Sens' franchise.

But when you look at it, Sens fans were pretty lucky to have Patrick Lalime backstop their team.

Easily the team’s best goalie of the past 20 years, Lalime is now much-maligned because of the way his career finished in the nation’s capital.

For the last few months of the 2003-04 season, he was starting to let in soft goals. He was costing them games. He wasn’t as good as what he should have been.

And then it all fell apart in the playoffs. In the first round, the Senators played against the hated Toronto Maple Leafs. In game seven, he let in two weak goals to Joe Nieuwendyk, and was pulled after the first period. The Sens lost the game and the series. Lalime became the scapegoat, and that’s what many remember of him.

But that’s a disservice to the man with the mask of Marvin the Martian.

In the 2002 playoffs, for example, he had a goals against average of 1.39 (second best all-time for any playoff season with at least 10 games played) and a save percentage of .946 (best all-time for a playoff season with at least 10 games played).

For all goalies who has played at least 25 playoff games in a career, Lalime is third all-time in save percentage and third all-time in goals against.

In the 2002 playoffs, he was amazing in the first round against the Philadelphia Flyers. He lost game one 1-0 in overtime, then record three straight shutouts. He then allowed only one goal in the fifth game, a 2-1 win in overtime. His GAA for the series was 0.40, and he had a .985 save percentage.

When Lalime shut out the Leafs in game one of the second round, he tied an league record with four shutouts in one playoff season.

And then in the 2002-03 season, Lalime was second in the NHL in wins, second in shutouts and fifth in GAA.

Right now, he owns the club records for wins, GAA (minimum 50 games played), shutouts and strangely enough, penalty minutes by a goalie.

His first ever Senators game was a shutout.

Easily the Senators all-time goalie. And an easy choice for #4 of the all-time Sens. Anyone arguing differently is thinking too much of how his tenure with the team ended, instead of looking at all the good he did in his five seasons with the team.


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