For 10 straight seasons, 1947-48 through 1956-57, a Detroit Red Wings netminder led the National Hockey League in victories. This is a streak unprecedented in league history, and a testament to the consistent quality of Jack Adams’ teams of the post-World War II era.
To put this streak in some kind of perspective, note that a Detroit goalie has led the NHL in victories on only six other occasions: Normie Smith in 1935-36 and 1937-37; Johnny Mowers in 1942-43; Tim Cheveldae in 1991-92; Chris Osgood in 1995-96; and Dominik Hasek in 2001-02.
Here’s a look at the goalies who were in the crease for the Wings during that dynastic stretch, which included four Stanley Cup titles.
Season Goalie Wins 1947-48 Harry Lumley 30 1948-49 Harry Lumley 34 1949-50* Harry Lumley 33 1950-51 Terry Sawchuk 44 1951-52* Terry Sawchuk 44 1952-53 Terry Sawchuk 32 1953-54* Terry Sawchuk 35 1954-55* Terry Sawchuk 40 1955-56 Glenn Hall 30 1956-57 Glenn Hall 38
*Detroit won Stanley Cup
All three of those goalies: Lumley, Sawchuk, and Hall, are in the Hockey Hall of Fame. It’s an unprecedented string of goalie play on one team, sort of a goalie dynasty all on its own. Given free agency and the rarity of great goalie play in the league, we’ll probably never see another team dominate play in the net like the Red Wings did in that era.