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03-23-2009, 09:28 AM
Hope for better 2015
VanIslander's Avatar
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The last Sparta Praha of opening day is another diamond in the rough, Patrick Roy's boyhood idol

Dan Bouchard, longstanding solid NHL goalie

- 286 NHL wins puts him NHL top-30 all time (more than any goalie who went in AAA10)
- 27 career shutouts, nine times top-10 in NHL shutouts
- Seven times top-10 in NHL wins:

1973-74 NHL 19 (9)
1977-78 NHL 25 (9)
1978-79 NHL 32 (1)
1979-80 NHL 23 (8)
1980-81 NHL 23 (6)
1981-82 NHL 27 (4)
1983-84 NHL 29 (2)

...did you ever wonder who served as Patrick Roy's idol?

The answer would be Dan Bouchard, a fiery goaltender out of Val d'Or, Quebec best remembered for playing with the Atlanta Flames and later the Quebec Nordiques. Interestingly Roy's first ever NHL shutout came with Bouchard playing at the other end of the ice.

Dan first caught NHL attention as a junior. In 1968-69 he captured the Jacques Plante trophy for lowest GAA while leading the QMJHL's Sorel Black Hawks to a Memorial Cup experience. He would switch to London of the Ontario League the following year before being drafted by the Boston Bruins drafted him 27th overall in 1970.

The next two years Bouchard spent apprenticing in the minor leagues. The Bruins were deep in nets with the likes of Gerry Cheevers and Eddie Johnstone, so they allowed Bouchard proper time to hone his craft. But Bouchard was in a hurry, and set the league on its head while leading the league in wins and shutouts and leading the Boston Braves to a regular season title in 1971-72.

Bouchard would never get a chance to play in Boston. The NHL expanded and in the summer of 1972 the Atlanta Flames were quick to select the hot goalie prospect in the 1972 NHL Expansion Draft. He would go on to become synonymous with Atlanta hockey, and one of their key players.

Bouchard very well may have been the most important player in the short history of the Atlanta Flames. With his effective butterfly stance he was able to post very respectable numbers during the regular season, including a league best 32 wins in 1978-79, but the team was never able to garner any post season success. That fact probably will forever separate Dan Bouchard from the other elite goalies of his era. He holds practically every significant goaltender record in Atlanta Flames history.

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