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Top 50 Montreal Canadiens Statistical Goaltending performances 20-11

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Dryden didn't take long to regain his form after his return from his one year sabbatical, but for only the second time in his career he failed to win his last game. Dryden's 1974-75 season was also the worst of his career as he finished 4th in the league in efficiency. The Canadiens could not hold off Buffalo's "French Connection" as they failed to defeat them in the regular season and went down in 6 games in the playoffs. The Canadiens record vs the Sabres in 1975: 2-8-1.

Dryden took the embarrassment of his 4th place finish by winning 4 straight Stanley Cups and 4 straight Vezina's to end his career.

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Herron enjoyed a monster 1980 season as he stole the starting job from Bunny Larocque, but once again, you can't take your regular season stats with you to the playoffs. While it took him 34 games to amass 3 losses in the regular season, Herron only required 5 in the playoffs to lose that amount. The Drive for 5 was ultimately compromised by an injury to Lafleur and an injury to 50 goal man Pierre Larouche. Outside of his mask, I will always remember Herron for the giveaway that yielded the North Stars first goal of game 7 and him lying under a heap of players after Al MacAdam put an end to the Montreal dynasty. Not a fair fate for the journeyman netminder, but the one he left upon an impressionable 7 year old.

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Roy continued to post huge numbers in 1988, but he once again trailed Hayward's performance. Roy was again handed the playoff reigns, and a shaky first round performance against the Whalers that saw Hayward have to replace him a couple of times and the first playoff loss to the Bruins in 40 years, pushed 1986 out of the minds of many.

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Four years of great stats, four years of sitting on the bench waiting for his opportunity. Larocque finished the 1979 season as the 4th best statistical goaltender in the NHL, and at 26 was the heir to the Canadiens goaltending throne.

With rumours circulating about Dryden's retirement and his shakey play in Game 1 of the 1979 Stanley Cup Finals, Larocque was tabbed with his first playoff start since Dryden's sabbatical in 1974. With 1 minute to go in the pregame warmup, Doug Risebrough fired a rising shot that cracked the plastic of Larocque's mask and crashed against the goaltender's forehead. Down went Larocque and his long awaited opportunity.

He spent less than 2 more seasons in Montreal and finished up his career bouncing around the NHL.

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It is easily forgotten when looking at Carey Price's 2009 struggles how insulated Patrick Roy was during his formative years. While Roy looked to be producing Vezina type numbers, he struggled to free himself from the platoon he shared with Brian Hayward and was extremely inconsistent. Hayward was a solid goaltender, but his numbers outside of the defensive cocoon in Montreal showed him to be average.

Hayward did a solid job during his 4 seasons in Montreal, but he was not a mentor for Roy, as he was determined to be the starter. His 1988 performance should have rewarded him with the starter's job as at that point he was a better goaltender than Roy. But Roy had the playoff pedigree, and at the age of 22, was the future of the Montreal Canadiens. I am not saying that Price is Roy and Halak is Hayward, but it is understandable why Gainey made the choices he did.

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How do you properly adjust for a goaltender not wearing a mask? When I look at the Gumper's stats without a mask, with the pressure of 8-9 teammates with Vezina clauses in their contracts counting on him, fighting off the challenge of the hungry 22 year old Vachon, yet posting the best statistical season in the league at 38, then going 11-0 in the playoffs while allowing only 3 goals in the Stanley Cup Final, I am impressed.

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Armed with a brand new $3M contract, Roy continued the momentum from the 1993 playoff run. He finished 2nd behind Dominik Hasek in efficiency, but once again the Canadiens encountered their nemesis - the Boston Bruins - in the playoffs. The Habs went into the Boston Garden and won twice (a building they had gone 2-11 over the previous 5 playoff series), with Roy missed game 3 while his appendix was removed. The resulting 6-3 loss proved to be the difference in a tight series, as the Canadiens lost in 7 games and exited the playoffs in the first round for the first time in 10 seasons.

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Roy's final season with Pat Burns earned him his 3rd Vezina in 4 seasons, but Burns' act had worn thin and the Canadiens struggled to defeat the Whalers in the first round and before being shockingly swept by the Bruins in round 2. The next  season the Canadiens hired Jacques Demers and won their 24th Stanley Cup.

Swept by the Bruins and a new coach hired by the name of Jacques who used to coach the Blues? Hmm!

Add in a Penguins championship and it sounds like this season. I know it is a stretch, but after the last 6 months, it is all I have to hold onto.

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Huet is one of the most unlikely names on this list. A throw in during the 2004 Draft Day trade that saw Radek Bonk acquired from the Kings, an early season injury left him as a non-factor during the first half of the 2006 season. Claude Julien quickly recognized that he was far superior to the artist formerly known as Jose Theodore. Unfortunately Gainey did not see as much until stepping behind the bench himself. Gainey's sudden realization lead to the dumping of Theodore, as Huet's torrid post Olympic stretch (12-4, 1.84 GAA, .937 SV% and 5 SOs) lead the Canadiens into the playoffs. Although Huet could not lead the Canadiens to post season glory, his miraculous stretch drive rewarded him with a 2 year contract extension and number 12 on this list.

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During Worsley's final full season with the Canadiens, the stress of the job and his fear of flying lead him to go see the team psychiatrist. When the shrink suggested a change of occupation and GM Sam Pollock caught wind of it, the doctor was fired immediately. Worsley was able to hold it together for one more great season and his 4th Stanley Cup, before packing it in 6 games into 1970. The close of his Montreal career coincided with the close of his career as an impact goaltender. The Gumper would re-emerge with the Minnesota North Stars and play 5 more seasons, resisting the urge to wear a mask until the last 6 games of his career.