Former Boston Bruins goalie and hall of famer Gerry Cheevers was never one to pull punches and when asked Thursday in another 19 to give his opinion on the best goalies in the NHL today and the overall state of goaltending, the 79-year-old didn’t mince words. Speaking in another 1970 Bruins season ticket holder virtual town hall Wednesday, Cheevers said Martin Brodeur is the best goalie ever and he also didn’t pass up a chance to stir the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry, intimating that Carey Price is overrated.
“Marin Brodeur, in my opinion, in my era or before my era, I’d pick [Terry] Sawchuk and [Jacques] Plante but I think Martin Brodeur, putting everything together, might have been the best goaltender ever,” Cheevers said. “He didn’t drop; stood up and handled the puck better than anyone ever will.
Now when we get to today’s goalies, I mean “I love Tuukka. He’s big, he fills the net. I would say he’s in the Top 2 or 3 in the league right now. I think about Price and I’m not a big Price fan. Price hasn’t won and he loses certain games that he shouldn’t lose.”
Ironically, Cheevers critique on Price is the exact knock Rask gets from his detractors but not surprisingly Bruins great who backstopped the Bruins to the 1970 and 1972 Stanley Cups chose the Bruins’ starter since the 2013 season over Price, who has been the full-time starter in Montreal since the 2010-11 season.
Neither goalie has won a Stanley Cup as a starter but Rask did backup Tim Thomas with the 2011 Bruins that won the franchises first Stanley Cup since Cheevers and the 1972 Bruins. Rask has led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Final twice, losing in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013 and to the St. Louis Blues in seven games in 2019. Price backed up current Bruins goalie Jaro Halak in the Habs’ run to the Eastern Conference Final in 2010 and then led the Canadiens past the Bruins in a thrilling seven-game Eastern Conference semifinals in 2014 before getting injured in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final that the Canadiens lost in six games to the New York Rangers.
Both Price (fifth overall) and Rask (21st overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs) were drafted in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. In 536 games, Rask is 291-158-64 with a 2.26 GAA, .922 save percentage and 50 shutouts. Price is 348-250-74 with a 2.49 GAA, .917 save percentage, and 48 shutouts in 682 games. Price has won the Vezina, Hart, Jennings, and Ted Lindsay trophies in 2015, and Rask won the Vezina in 2014.