Henrik Lundqvist might be the best goaltender of his generation, carrying the New York Rangers on his back for over a decade. He made the Stanley Cup Finals only once in that span, losing to the invincible Los Angeles Kings of 2014. King Henrik still has a chance to earn a ring, unlike the following three netminders, who are the best three NHL goalies to never win a Stanley Cup.
296 Wins, 2.98 GAA, .895 SV percent
Ron emerged out of nowhere to win the Vezina Trophy during his rookie campaign in the 1986-87 season. He also won the Conn Smythe during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, standing on his head to help the Philadelphia Flyers force a deciding game seven.
Hextall and the flyers lost to the Edmonton Oilers, lead by Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier. One win away from winning the Stanley Cup in his rookie campaign, he would never make the finals again. He was one of the finest goaltenders of his era, and the first NHL goalie to score by shooting the puck directly into the opposing team’s net. Instead, many remember his physical play, including the infamous two-handed slash on Kent Nilsson.
319 Wins, 2.49 GAA, .912 SV percent
The finest goalie of the mid-2000s, Miikka Kiprusoff had the misfortune of losing a year of his prime to the lockout. Before the 2004-05 work stoppage, Miikka suddenly ascended to the elite of goaltending ranks. He carried the Calgary Flames to their first Stanley Cup Final since Lanny McDonald in 1989. Despite Miikka’s sublime play, the Flames lost in seven games against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
After the lockout, he enjoyed his finest year, earning the Vezina and Jennings awards with 10 shutouts, a 2.07 GAA and .923 SV percent over a 74-game workload. Unfortunately, similar to Ron Hextall, Kiprusoff would never get another shot at the final. His first chance to win the Stanley Cup was his last.
454 Wins, 2.79 GAA, .906 SV percent
When locked in, there were few goalies better than Curtis Joseph. Unfortunately, he ended up developing a reputation for an inability to win the big game. Statistically, he was better in the playoffs than the regular season. Despite solid post-season play with Detroit, St. Louis, Toronto and Edmonton, he never made the Stanley Cup Finals.
The 2001-2002 Maple Leaf squad was his best chance to make the cup finals, but the team lost in the conference finals because of injury problems. Joseph joined the Red Wings the year after, but they ran into Anaheim Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
Giguere delivered one of the best playoff performances in the history of the NHL, upsetting Detroit in a first-round sweep. Many believed that Joseph would finally win a ring with the 2002-2003 Red Wings, adding salt to the wound of losing to the underdog Ducks.
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