Some people think Glenn Hall might have been the greatest goaltender ever. He definitely was one of the best of his generation. Oddly enough, one of those that challenge him for that spot is Plante, who also suited up for the Blues.
They often say those that do it first, do it best however. That is the main reason Hall gets on this list.
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Hall had better numbers with other teams. In his Stanley Cup year with Chicago, he has a .927 save percentage and a 2.02 goals against.
When he came to St. Louis, there was a slight learning curve, but it was too talented of a team to be denied. Hall was a big part of that 1967-68 Blues team’s success.
Interestingly, Hall ended up with a sub .500 record that year. He had eight wins and 10 losses. Still, Hall picked up eight impressive wins with a team that had never been through the playoff grind as a unit.
It took seven games, but Hall defeated the Philadelphia Flyers and Minnesota North Stars en route to a Stanley Cup Final berth in the Blues very first year of existence. Some might say it is more impressive that Vegas did it in time when half the league was not expansion teams. However, you had a smaller talent pool, so more of the players were the absolute best during Hall’s time.
Hall was tested during that 1968 playoff run too. Eight games went to overtime for that Blues team.
Of those eight games, three went to double-overtime. That kept Hall on the ice for a whopping 1108 minutes, just during the playoffs. For comparison, Hall played just over 2800 minutes that regular season in 49 games.
During that first season in team history he posted a .916 save percentage and a 2.44 goals against. They may not seem like stellar numbers, but given the time period, it was good and it was good enough for that team.
If nothing else, you cannot discount the first goaltender to lead the Blues to a Stanley Cup Final. We can argue until we are blue in the face about this era vs. that era, but you are still representing as one of the top two teams in the league.
That Blues team was a little looser defensively than they would become over the next two seasons. Thus, more responsibility fell to Hall to keep the pucks out and take his team as far as they could go, which is exactly what he did.