He’s the winningest goalie in New York Islanders history with 304. Billy Smith on that merit alone deserves to be on top of this ranking. But as we all know, he did more than that.
In the playoffs, Smith dominates the rest of the field with 88 wins. With that, he also had a 2.72GAA and a 0.905SV% in 132 playoff games. Remember, the era that Billy Smith played in those were great numbers.
It’s crazy to think that Billy Smith wasn’t as part of an NHL entry draft, he wasn’t acquired in a trade, and he wasn’t brought in through free agency. Billy Smith a future Hall of Fame player, was acquired through the 1972 expansion that created the Islanders.
And it’s not like he was an established goalie at that point either. Smith made his NHL debut the year before he drafted by the New York Islanders in the expansion draft. And if not for Gerry Desjardins going to the WHA who knows if we ever would have seen Billy Smith be the Islanders starter.
Aside from five games with the Los Angeles Kings in 1971-72, Billy Smith spent his entire career with the New York Islanders. Between 1972 and 1989 Smith played 304 games with a 3.16GAA and a 0.895GAA.
Above that, he helped the Islanders win four Stanley Cups in a row. He was largely to thank for the Isles 1983 cup with a 2.69GAA and a 0.913SV%.
Battling Billy was simply the greatest goaltender to play for the New York Islanders. There’s absolutely no question of this.