St Louis Blues: Top 30 Goaltenders in Franchise History

27 of 31

Nov 1, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford (50) shows off a paint job on his mask that pays tribute to former goaltender Jacques Plante during a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Chicago 3-2. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

5. Jacques Plante

1968-70; 69 games, 36-21-11 record, 2.07 GAA, 10 shutouts; 16 postseason games, 12-3 record, 4 shutouts; 1969 &1970 NHL All-Star, 1968-69 Vezina Trophy Co-Winner

Plante is the most difficult goaltender to determine placement for on this list; he played just two seasons and 69 regular-season games for the St Louis Blues, splitting time with Glenn Hall and Ernie Wakely. On the other hand, the numbers that Plante put up while he was in St. Louis were pretty clearly the most dominant of any goalie in franchise history.

The Blues brought the legendary Plante, a six-time Stanley Cup champion, and six-time All-Star at that point, out of retirement at age 40 in 1968. There was some question about whether Plante was still skilled enough to be a successful NHL netminder at his advanced age, but he quickly silenced the doubters, going 18-12-6 in his first season back with an unbelievable 1.96 goals-against average.

He won the Vezina Trophy along with Hall, his platoon partner, and in 10 playoffs games, he accumulated an 8-2 record while allowing just 14 goals and recording three shutouts. Once the Blues got to the postseason, Plante helped them to consecutive series sweeps of the Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings, which propelled them to the Finals. Plante rotated with Hall during the Finals, starting Games 1 and 3, but, unfortunately, the Blues were swept by the Montreal Canadiens.

Plante’s numbers weren’t quite as dominant during his other Blues season, 1969-70, but he was still elite. Over 32 games, he went 18-9-5, recording a 2.19 GAA and five shutouts. Once the Blues reached the playoffs, Plante was again dominant, going 4-1 with a 1.48 GAA and a shutout of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the semifinals.

Sadly for the Blues, though, Plante (who had already been rotating in net with Hall and Wakely during the playoffs) was hit in the forehead by a puck in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals and did not return for the rest of the series, with the Blues being swept in four games. He was traded after the season to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Over the 85 combined regular season and playoff games Plante played for the St Louis Blues, he had 14 shutouts. That’s nearly 17 percent of his starts or a shutout roughly every six times he was between the pipes. That sheer dominance—especially during his age 40 and 41 seasons—is enough to secure Plante a top-five spot on this list.

Next: 4. Grant Fuhr