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Who makes up the Blackhawks all-decade team of the 2000s?

Chicago Blackhawks, Adam Munro (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Blackhawks, Adam Munro (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Jocelyn Thibault
Jocelyn Thibault, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo By Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images/NHLI) /

There were a number of good ‘Hawks goalies during the 2000s, and this was undoubtedly the hardest spot for me to choose. However, when all things are considered, Jocelyn Thibault comes out on top as the best choice in the net.

To be completely honest, this choice was extremely difficult, and I was between Thibault and Nikolai Khabibulin. But, looking at the statistics would seem to make it clear that Thibault was the best goalie of this Blackhawks era.

Thibault arrived in Chicago for the 1998-1999 season after stints with other NHL teams, including the Quebec Nordiques and Montreal Canadiens. He immediately continued the solid play that he’d had during his previous seasons, posting save percentages of .905 and .906 during his first two seasons with the Blackhawks.

While the league average for save percentages today is around .910, Thibault’s percentages were actually above the league average for most of his career. He posted a .915 save percentage in 2003, his best with the Blackhawks. He also had a GAA below 2.80 in four of his six seasons in Chicago.

It should also be remembered that the Blackhawks teams of this time were generally quite bad, and the fact that Thibault was able to post these numbers with the team that he had in front of him is impressive, to say the least. That’s not to say that he didn’t put up these kinds of numbers on the other teams he played for, but it is an achievement nonetheless.

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The Blackhawks have always had anywhere from decent to great goalies, depending on the era. Jocelyn Thibault is one of those netminders that tends to get overlooked on the list, but he is a strong starter with decent numbers and the ability to make athletic saves. I believe he would be the best choice to start in net on the all-decade team.

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