Today’s Puckdoku Profiles focus in on some 90’s and early 2000’s Chicago Blackhawks goalies that are likely to still be remembered. Though the success wasn’t there in the latter half of the 90’s and especially in the 2000’s, each still held their own and also played for a number of teams–advantageous for Puckdoku.
Here’s a look at those three netminders.
Ed Belfour – 1988-1997
The backbone of Blackhawks who stole more games than can be counted, Belfour backstopped the Blackhawks to two conference finals (contributing to a third as well) and a Stanley Cup Final. He carried the team during the ’95 Western Conference Final, stoning a loaded Detroit Red Wings throughout the series. Though they lost in five, Belfour likely helped prevent a four-game sweep with his heroics.
Belfour collected four Jennings Trophies, two Vezinas, and the Calder. He finally won a Stanley Cup in 1999 with the Dallas Stars and made three All-Star game appearances.
Other Teams: San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers
Nikolai Khabibulin – 2005 – 2009; 2013-14
He tended the net for a rebuilding team, and when it came time for the team to raise the Stanley Cup, he was a season short. Khabibulan came to fame with the then Winnipeg Jets when he too, did his best Belfour impression against the Red Wings in the 1996 Stanley Cup playoffs. He then went to Tampa Bay where he won a Stanley Cup in 2004 before signing with Chicago. A four-year stint in Edmonton was followed by four games with the Blackhawks before retiring.
Other Teams: Winnipeg Jets (Arizona now), Tampa Bay Lightning, Edmonton Oilers
Jocelyn Thibault – 1998 – 2004
Thibault likely would have seen greater success had the team in front of him been better but he presided over a stretch where the Blackhawks were selling pieces off and stuck in a hockey purgatory. His lone playoff appearance was in 2001-02, and in the six seasons he was patrolled the crease, he posted a 137-142-37 record. Not bad for a team that had all but one losing season in that six year span.
Other Teams: Quebec (Now Colorado), Montreal, Pittsburgh, Buffalo
Previous Puckdoku Profiles: July 13 (Denis DeJordy; Sergei Krivokrasov; Paul Coffey) | July 14 (Eddie Olczyk, Marc Bergevin, Bob Sauvé) | July 15 – The Blackhawks Nemeses: Ciccarelli and Torres | July 16 – Blackhawks Record Holders | July 17 – 4 Blasts from the Past