The last name on our list, Ed Belfour, spent three of the last four years of his Hall of Fame career playing net for the Leafs. He was very good in his first two seasons with the club. His third year, during his age 40 season, wasn’t up to par, and he would only play one more season in the league after leaving Toronto following the 2005-06 season.
Seeing as Belfour spent some of the last years of his career in Toronto, his best seasons came with other teams. He won two Vezina trophies and three Jennings trophies before landing in Toronto, putting up impressive numbers during stops in both Chicago and Dallas.
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‘Eddie the Eagle’ was a different animal in the playoffs. He made it to two Stanley Cup finals with Dallas (winning one), each time sporting a goals-against average under two throughout the playoffs.
Belfour’s GAA over 23 games during the team’s Stanley Cup victory was a sparkling 1.67, outdueling fellow Hall of Famers Grant Fuhr, Patrick Roy, and Dominik Hasek along the way. His career playoff numbers are far better than his career regular season numbers.
In analyzing these five goalies, there seems to be two fairly distinct tiers. Tier two features Reimer and Toskala, the ones who manned the cage for the Leafs throughout many of their dark years.
There is a large gap between these two compared to Andresen, Joseph, and Belfour, who are certainly a tier above. An argument could even be made that, due to experience, Joseph and Belfour are on their own level, with Andersen slotting in somewhere between the two tiers.
Out of these five, my choice for Game 7 starter is Belfour. His Stanley Cup final experience is simply what separates him from Joseph. I believe prime Belfour would give the Toronto Maple Leafs the best chance to win this hypothetical scenario. Who’s your choice?