Temujin got me thinking about this last night, as a group of us were watching the Canucks/Flames game. I don't even know how the subject came up, but we threw out our opinions on who we thought was better, The Cat or Captain Kirk. Of course, since I am a Leafs junkie, I said Potvin. Temujin took the side of McLean.
So, for your viewing pleasure, and to hopefully put the issue to rest, here are some statistics of both goaltenders.
NHL REGULAR SEASON GAMES PLAYED
Potvin: 635.......McLean: 612......Advantage: Potvin
REGULAR SEASON WINS
Potvin: 266.......McLean: 245......Advantage: Potvin
REGULAR SEASON WINNING PERCENTAGE
Potvin: .419%.....McLean: .400%....Advantage: Potvin
GOALS AGAINST AVERAGE (CAREER REG. SEASON)
Potvin: 2.76......McLean: 3.26.....Advantage: Potvin
SHOTS AGAINST PER GAME
Potvin: 28.1......McLean: 27.5
Potvin: .905%.....McLean: .887.....Advantage: Potvin
Potvin: 32........McLean: 22.......Advantage: Potvin
Potvin: 16........McLean: 23.......Advantage: McLean
And now for the playoffs...
Potvin: 72........McLean: 68.......Advantage: Potvin
WINS IN THE PLAYOFFS
Potvin: 35........McLean: 34.......Advantage: Potvin
PLAYOFF WINNING PERCENTAGE
Potvin: .486%.....McLean: .500%....Advantage: McLean
GOALS AGAINST AVERAGE IN PLAYOFF CAREER
Potvin: 2.64......McLean: 2.84.....Advantage: Potvin
SHOTS AGAINST AVERAGE PER GAME
Potvin: 30.1......McLean: 31.4
Potvin: .910......McLean: .907.....Advantage: Potvin
Potvin: 8.........McLean: 6........Advantage: Potvin
Potvin: 0.........McLean: 6........Advantage: McLean
Statistically, by my calculations, Felix Potvin owns Kirk McLean, with a score of 11-3, over the span of their careers. Not even close, folks. Yet there are so many other categories that can be used to compare them.
* Kirk McLean led the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1994. In the semis, the Nucks beat the Leafs, with yup, Felix Potvin in goal. Potvin never accomplished a Finals series. Advantage: McLean.
* In October 1993 with the Leafs, Potvin tied the NHL record for most wins in October with 9. That tied Kirk McLean's record from October 1991. That record was finally broken by Manny Legace and the Wings in 2005.
Potvin also held the record for most saves in a season (1996/97) at 2214. That record was eventually broken by Roberto Luongo in the 2003-04 season.
Kirk McLean still shares the single playoff season record for most minutes played by a goaltender with 1544, accomplised in 1994 obviously.
McLean holds 3 Canuck records for most games played by a Canuck goalie (516), Most wins by a Canuck goalie (211), and most shutouts by a Nuck backstopper (20).
For everything RECORDS, I say McLean has the advantage.
*MOST WINS IN ONE SEASON
Potvin: 34 (93/94).......McLean: 38 (91/92)......Advantage: McLean
Who was tougher? Felix Potvin. Need proof?
The best single game performance? Piece of cake. Kirk McLean in Game 1 of the 1994 Finals.
I liked Potvin's butterfly style better than McLean's stand up style. Both goalies were hacked for their respective styles. Potvin played too far back in his net, and went down all the time, making him vulnerable with high shots to the corners. McLean looked like a dying breed with his stand up style later in the 90's, as players were blowing slapshots through his legs, and beating him easily on wraparounds as well (remember Gretzky?)
Without even being biased as a Leafs fan, I think Potvin has the edge as the better goalie overall. If you disagree with me, please comment on this post and state why. Your opinions are welcome.