When they played together, sorry for not specifying.
Had some trouble deciding if prime Rob Blake was better than twilight Ray Bourque. Ultimately went with Bourque.
In that case it's easily Howe/Kelly/Sawchuk. Beliveau/Harvey/Plante is the only group really close:
Every other group has some kind of weakness; Oilers Fuhr, Pens Barrasso, and Wings Hasek were all well below the level of Plante or Sawchuk. Furthermore, Oilers and Pens Coffey is well behind Wings Kelly, or Habs Harvey. And Yzerman played two partial seasons with Hasek on the team, and one full season at the age of 38. 2001-02 Yzerman, exclusively, might be a good fit, as he scored 48 in 52 RS and then 23 in 23 PO. But that's still not on the level of Howe or Beliveau. And Gretzky and Lemieux weren't "better enough" than Beliveau or Howe to make up the difference.
Outside of those groups - 02 Wings, 50s Wings, 80s Oilers, 90s Pens, 60s Habs, it goes down like this.
70 Bruins: Cheevers is a huge weak link; the other top groups are much better in net. Orr is a nice piece to have, but let's compare to the Oilers. Orr and Gretzky, we'll say they cancel. Which leaves Fuhr>Cheevers. How does Coffey compare to Esposito? Both were arguably the #2 player in the world for a period of about 5 years. The big difference is, Coffey had to compete with a prime Bourque, while Esposito did NOT have to compete with a prime Bobby Hull - arguably the best forward in the world at the time.
01 Avs: Roy was a great goalie, but at his best he's not Plante at his best and certainly not at the end of his career. Bourque was at the end of his career, and was still very good, but no longer "Ray Bourque". Sakic had a great year, but he's still not Beliveau or Howe. And his peak year doesn't outweigh all of the weaknesses in the other two.
Homer voted and went for Sakic/Bourque/Roy. When they played together there was a Hart, a Conn Smythe and a Cup to go with the best goalie ever, a top 3 D all time and Sakic. Could easily give it to the Habs trio that's winning or the Yzerman Wings combo.
__________________ ďItís embarrassing. Iím embarrassed to be here right now. Itís not even funny. And itís just embarrassing, the way we, you know, the energy we have in the room and the way we approach practices and the way we approach this game. Itís not how youíre going to win any games in this league." - Jean-Sebastien Giguere, April 8 2013
I would argue it's the most balanced of the group with a super-elite talent at all 3 positions, it had all 3 of them in their prime and together for a long time, and most importantly, all 3 of them were the best at their respective positions (F, D, G) on the 1976-77 Habs, which for my money is the greatest team in NHL history.