NHL: The best goalie from each franchise’s history (Updated 2023)

NHL (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images/NHLI)
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Tampa Bay Lightning, Nikolai Khabibulin
Tampa Bay Lightning, Nikolai Khabibulin (Mandatory Credit: Dave Sandford/Getty Images/NHLI) /

Best NHL goalie from each franchise: Tampa Bay Lightning – Nikolai Khabibulin

Before their recent Stanley Cup championship win, it was goalie Nikolai Khabibulin that helped bring it first for the Tampa Bay Lightning back in 2003. The famous “Bulin Wall” led the charge with the Lightning as he totaled the best year of his career that season.

In 2003, Khabibulin was impenetrable against some of the top-scoring players in that year’s Stanley Cup playoff picture. In the postseason, he totaled 16 wins, five shutouts, and had a strong save percentage of .846.

Khabibulin was as tough as nails and made sure the opposition knew it. Even his teammates use to admit to the media that even in warmups and team practice, Khabibulin spent endless amounts of hours honing his craft before it was game time.

Besides everything he did in his NHL career on various teams, Khabibulin took his amazing goaltending abilities to the next level by representing Russia in the World Olympics. He won a Gold and Silver medal in 1992 and a decade later in 2002, respectively.