Ottawa Senators Greatest Players: Number 12 – Patrick Lalime

KANATA, ON - APRIL 18: Goalie Patrick Lalime
KANATA, ON - APRIL 18: Goalie Patrick Lalime /

Too often when lists are made of teams greatest players the goaltenders are forgotten. Unless they are a player such as Brodeur with the Devils or Hasek with the Sabres they are not given the credit they deserve. Today as we shift to the 12th greatest player in Ottawa Senators history we look at the first great goaltender in their history. The workhorse of the early 2000s, Patrick Lalime.

Patrick Lalime first came to the Ottawa Senators in a trade during the summer prior to the 1999-2000 season. In his first season with the Sens Lalime split duties with goaltender Ron Tugnutt. He started his career with the Sens with a shutout over the Flyers and would continue to have a good first season. After posting a 19-14-3 record with a 2.33 GAA and 0.903 SV% he was promoted to the starting role for the next season.

Becoming The Starter

In his first season as a starter Lalime saw a huge improvement. He posted a 36-19-5 record along with a 2.35 GAA and 9.14 SV% to help the Sens win the Northeast Division. In his next season he saw a slight regression in individual stats but was still a top goaltender in the league. He was tied for second in the league with seven shutouts and set a team record shutout streak of 149:41. In the playoffs the Sens faced off against the Philadelphia Flyers where they were heavy underdogs. However, Lalime was unstoppable and carried the team with a 0.985 SV%. Despite falling in the second round to Toronto, Lalime tied a league playoff record with four shutouts.

The Presidents’ Trophy

The 2002-2003 regular season was the best ever for the Ottawa Senators. The team won the Presidents’ Trophy and Lalime led the way. Posting 39 wins with a 216 GAA and 0.911 SV% he once again was among the best goaltenders league wide. It was this year that Lalime appeared in his first all-star game. In the playoffs Lalime posted an 11-7 record before the Sens fell in the third round to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils.

Wrapping Up His Time In Ottawa

Lalime finished out his career in Ottawa in the final season before the lockout. He saw slight regression from the previous year but still had a solid season. However, the team would once again fall in the playoffs to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Following this season the Sens acquired Dominik Hasek in free agency and decided to trade away Lalime to the Blues.

Next: Ottawa Senators Greatest Players: #13 Kyle Turris

A Strong Legacy

Lalime was the first goaltender for the Sens to truly excel. Over the course of his career in Ottawa he won 146 out of 283 games. In this time he also posted a 2.32 GAA and 0.913 SV%. Additionally he won 21 out of 41 playoff games with the Sens. No other goaltender before Lalime had given the Ottawa Senators the same level of consistency that he did. To this day there is still an argument to be made that he is the best goaltender in Sens history.