If you are a die-hard Toronto Maple Leafs’ fan, why not take a test to see how much you know about the team? I’ve gone into the Maple Leafs’ past to pull out some interesting information about some of the great goalies who have played for this historic franchise.
Question One: Three times during the 1950s, goalies played every minute of every game in a season. What two goalies pulled off that amazing statistic?
Answer: Times have surely changed in the NHL. Although it’s hard to believe now, it used to be that backup goalies were not as important as they are today. Obviously, some simply got no work at all – for an entire season.
During the 1952-53 season, Harry Lumley played every single minute of the season and had a record of 27-30-13. During the 1956-57 season and the 1957-58 season, Ed Chadwick was in the nets for every minute of every game. In 1956-57 his record was 21-34-15 and 1957-58 his record was 21-38-11.
Question Two: Which Maple Leafs’ goalie is sixth in games played over the entire history of the team?
Answer: I was surprised that the answer is Frederik Andersen. Who knew the Great Danish goalie had played long enough to have his games in the Maple Leafs’ net even be in the team’s top 10 all-time? However, there he is at #6 having logged 268 games. In fact, had he not been injured this season, he would have passed Curtis Joseph (Cujo), who played 270 games and perhaps even Mike Palmateer who played 296 games in net.
The goalie who played more games in Maple Leafs’ uniform was “Turk” Broda, who played 629 games. Johnny Bower was second with 475 games; and, Felix Potvin was third with 369 games played.
Question Three: Speaking of Frederik Andersen, during his first season with the team (2016-17), he played a whopping 66 games. But the Maple Leafs also played three other goalies that season as well. Which of the following four goalies (Curtis McElhinney, Garret Sparks, Jhonas Enroth, or Antoine Bibeau) was NOT one of those three goalies.
Answer: The answer is Garret Sparks. Although Sparks played with the Maple Leafs during the 2015-16 season, he didn’t play again until the 2018-19 season. During Andersen’s first season, McElhinney played 14 games; Enroth added six games, and Bibeau played two games.
Related: Curtis McElhinney: The Journey To Becoming a Champion
Question Four: During the decade of the 1950s, the Maple Leafs only played seven goalies. Reaching way back, if you can name five of these goalies you get the question right. Who were those seven goalies of the 1950s?
Answer: Again, I was taken by how much the position of goalie has changed over time. During the decade of the 1950 to 1960, the Maple Leafs played seven goalies during those entire ten seasons. In their order of playing, these seven goalies were Al Rollins, Turk Broda, Harry Lumley, Gilles Mayer, Ed Chadwick, Ross Wilson, and Johnny Bower.
Specifically, Al Rollins, Turk Broda played from 1950-52; Harry Lumley came in 1952-53 season; Gilles Mayer came during the 1953-54 season; Ed Chadwick and Ross Wilson played in 1955-56; and, Johnny Bower came in 1958-59. This was a bit of a trick question, because I gave you two answers in Question One. I also hoped you’d pick Broda and Bower, but if you recalled any of the others, you are a truly informed Maple Leafs fan.
Question Five: Who owns the best save percentage in Maple Leafs’ goalie history?
Answer: Two Maple Leafs’ goalies share the lead in all-time save percentage. However, neither of these save percentage leaders spent that long with the Maple Leafs. The two goalies tied for the lead in all-time Maple Leafs’ save percentage are Jacques Plante, who played 106 games over three seasons with the team from 1970-73, and Curtis McElhinney, who played during 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. Each posted a save percentage of 0.925 in 32 games. McElhinney is currently back-up goalie with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The great Johnny Bower came in third place with a save percentage of 0.922 in 435 games. As well, although his body of work is small, Jack Campbell has the fourth-best save percentage in Maple Leafs’ goalie history. That suggests how good Campbell’s 2020-21 season was. Campbell has posted a record of 20-5-2 and, over his career his save percentage with the team is 0.920.
The Old Prof (Jim Parsons, Sr.) taught for more than 40 years in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. He’s a Canadian boy, who has two degrees from the University of Kentucky and a doctorate from the University of Texas. He is now retired on Vancouver Island, where he lives with his family. His hobbies include playing with his hockey cards and simply being a sports fan – hockey, the Toronto Raptors, and CFL football (thinks Ricky Ray personifies how a professional athlete should act).
If you wonder why he doesn’t use his real name, it’s because his son – who’s also Jim Parsons – wrote for The Hockey Writers first and asked Jim Sr. to use another name so readers wouldn’t confuse their work.
Because Jim Sr. had worked in China, he adopted the Mandarin word for teacher (老師). The first character lǎo (老) means “old,” and the second character shī (師) means “teacher.” The literal translation of lǎoshī is “old teacher.” That became his pen name. Today, other than writing for The Hockey Writers, he teaches graduate students research design at several Canadian universities.
He looks forward to sharing his insights about the Toronto Maple Leafs and about how sports engages life more fully. His Twitter address is https://twitter.com/TheOldProf