Can Blaze Riorden pass Drew Adams as the all-time saves leader?

By Hayden Lewis | Apr 8, 2024

Blaze Riorden shines as a top-tier netminder, showcasing exceptional talent between the pipes. Regarded as one of the greatest goalies of all time, Riorden has accomplished many feats. However, the all-time saves record remains, and will be the next feat that Blaze can break. 

Drew Adams, the all-time saves leader in professional field lacrosse, retired with 1,966 saves.

Riorden is in the GOAT conversation regarding goalies, and if Riorden can surpass Adams' career saves statistic, he will be the unanimous GOAT. 

Riorden has earned many goalie accolades in professional lacrosse, winning the Jim Brown Most Valuable Player award in 2021 and the Oren Lyons Goalie of the Year award four times in the five years of the PLL’s existence. 

“I use my stature to my advantage,” said Riorden. “Anyone that underestimated me would be able to learn the power of a strong mind and a competitive will.”  

Not only does Riorden’s strong mind help orchestrate a successful defense, but he is also a catalyst on offense with his ability to push the pace in transition with pinpoint outlet passes to teammates. 

Riorden’s free-flowing style of play helped lead the Chaos to a PLL Championship in 2021.

What more can Riorden do?

During his professional lacrosse career, Riorden has made 925 saves over 88 games, stopping 10.5 shots per game. Adams, the all-time saves leader, played 14 seasons of professional lacrosse, stopping 1,966 shots in 159 career games. 

Based on current stats alone, Riorden has established himself as a first-ballot Hall of Famer. 

As a starter in the PLL, Riorden has averaged 15.58 saves per game over 45 regular season games. 

If Riorden plays 71 more games to equal Adams’ 159 games played, stopping shots at the same rate as he is now, he’ll have stopped 2031 shots in his career. 2031 saves would slate Riorden first in all-time saves.

Riorden could have reached the number a little earlier in his career if he didn’t back up John Galloway at the beginning of his career. Galloway boasts the second-most saves of all time with 1735. 

Riorden stops shots at an incredible rate translating to him creeping up on the netminders in front of him faster than any other goalie in the league. 

Riorden possesses a competitive nature in his playstyle that can help lead him to hawk down the goalies ahead of him in all-time saves. However, breaking the record shouldn’t define who Riorden is as a player. 

“I think anyone that truly knows me will tell you I’m probably the most competitive person that they’ve ever met,” said Riorden.

At this rate, it will take Riorden seven full regular seasons to reach the 2,000 saves mark, at which point there will no longer be a discussion around whether or not he is the GOAT. Riorden is guaranteed three more seasons after signing with Carolina through 2026 and will have to earn the next three to four years after 2026 to have a chance. 

Blaze has yet to show any signs of slowing down, and there’s a high probability that he won’t slow down soon. 

“I’m in it for the long haul, I’m in it until I can’t and I’m pulled out of this game, I’m going to be smiling, loving the game, and competing with every ounce of my heart that I have,” said Riorden. 

Riorden is capable of eclipsing Adams’ all-time saves number. Blaze’s impact during his short career in the game of lacrosse is special, and he continues to impact the game more as he ages. 

Blaze Riorden is the greatest goaltender of his generation, and when his career is over, the title of GOAT may rest by his name, with all of the accolades he’s earned throughout the years.