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article imageOp-Ed: Montreal's George Hainsworth: The forgotten great

By Ben Morris     Oct 9, 2014 in Sports
Montreal - He played for a franchise that arguably has the greatest goaltending in the history of the NHL. While legends like Roy, Dryden, and Plante get the glory, one old time Montreal Canadien gets little to no recognition.
He was just 5'6" and 150 lbs, but he could stop the puck, at a level very few have matched, but when commentators and other experts talk about who is on the list of the greatest goalies of all time, he is not mentioned. That man is George Hainsworth.
Hainsworth's greatness was on display in just his third season where he set a record for goals against average in a season. In 1928-29 he played in every single one of Montreal's 44 games and recorded an insane goals against of 0.92, meaning he let in less than one goal a game. He even had a shutout in four consecutive games, a streak that sits at number 2 all time. In that season he recorded 22 shutouts, giving up two or less goals in 37 of those 44 games, setting a single season shutout record that still stands.
Hainsworth has numbers you will only ever see in your PS4. No one will ever post 22 shutouts in a season again. No one will ever have a G.A.A under 1.00, yet Hainsworth is never mentioned as one of the best goalies in history. His career 1.93 average is just behind Alec Connell (who played for the original Ottawa Senators), yet his average is lower than great goalies like Hasek, or Roy who are consistently mentioned as the greatest in the game.
The lack of knowledge of Hainsworth numbers is shown by Bleacher Report who did not have Hainsworth on their list of the top 15 goalies of all time. Even more laughable, on a list of the 59 greatest goalies of all time, Hainsworth isn't even in the top 59. A user on Ranker listed players like Glenn Healy, Kevin Weekes and Arturs Irbe as better goalies than Hainsworth. Although Sports Break has him at number ten, his career G.A.A is 0.46 points lower than Jacques Plante, and 0.56 lower than Glenn Hall, two players ahead of him on that list. Even more astonishing his 94 career shutouts sits third all time, almost 80 years after he retired.
The debate on who is the best goalie of all time is one full of intense discussion, and includes many variables, including the era the goalie played in, Stanley Cups and the number of wins a player had in his career, but you can't ignore two Stanley Cups won by Hainsworth, or the fact he won the first three Vezina trophey's awarded by the NHL. He may not be considered as great as Roy, Sawchuck or Hasek, but Hainsworth should not be forgotten by history and definitely deserves a lot of respect for holding two goaltending records that will never be broken.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about goalie records nhl, Montreal canadiens, NHL, george hainsworth
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