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09-01-2009, 04:35 PM
  #102
Hockey Outsider
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Seventies! I thought we were supposed to co-ordinate better this time!

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The comments about Benedict border on historical revisionism. Calling Benedict "inconsistent" means that one is either ignorant of the (widely available) historical facts, or one is intentionally picking a very small sample of games to "prove" a point. But don't take my word for it - let's look at the evidence.

NHL PLAYOFFS

1919: 5.20 GAA in two playoff games.
1921: 0.00 GAA in two playoff games. No, that's not a typo.
1922: 2.50 GAA in two playoff games.
1923: 1.00 GAA in two playoff games.
1924: 2.50 GAA in two playoff games.
1926: 1.25 GAA in four playoff games.
1927: 0.91 GAA in two playoff games.
1928: 0.86 GAA in nine playoff games.

Benedict played in the NHL playoffs eight times. He had a GAA of 1.50 (or better) five times in eight years! He had a GAA of 2.50 (or better) seven times in eight years which, as I show below, is better than anything Plante, Roy, Sawchuk or Dryden ever achieved. I fully concede he was bad in 1919, but how is this evidence of inconsistency?

OTHER PLAYOFFS

1915 NHA: 1.00 GAA in two playoff games.
1915 Stanley Cup: 8.67 GAA in three playoff games.
1917 NHA: 3.50 GAA in two playoff games.
1920 Stanley Cup: 2.20 GAA in five playoff games.
1921 Stanley Cup: 2.40 GAA in five playoff games.
1923 Stanley Cup: 1.33 GAA in six playoff games.
1926 Stanley Cup: 0.75 GAA in four playoff games.

Benedict played in seven non-NHL playoff series. Three times he had GAA of 1.50 (or better) and five times he had a GAA of 2.50 (or better).

TOTALS
Number of series with a sub 1.50 GAA: 8
Number of series with a sub 2.50 GAA: 12
Total number of series: 15

Keep in mind that Benedict played in a high-scoring era. Despite that, he was able to post a sub-2.50 GAA 80% of the time. If we restrict to playoff years when Benedict played at least four games (the minimum possible length for a series in the modern NHL), Benedict never posted worse than a 2.40 GAA (in six series).

To put that into perspective, Roy had 8 (of 17) playoffs with a GAA about 2.50. Plante had 6 (of 16) playoffs over 2.50. Sawchuk had 10 (of 15!) playoffs over 2.50. Dryden had 4 of 8 over 2.50. (Just count up the playoff years on hockey-reference.com). To be clear, I'm not saying that Roy, Plante, etc are inconsistent. I recognize that there will be some minor variations in goalie performance over time.

To be fair, we should probably do some type of era adjustment. Still, Benedict's career spanned a very high scoring (1910s and early 1920s) and a very low scoring era (mid to late 1920s) so I don't think the adjustment would affect him much. (It probably would affect Roy and, to a lesser extent, Dryden).

I can't make it any clearer. You're picking on two (admittedly) weak playoff performances but are ignoring Benedict's otherwise flawless and highly consistent playoff record. The data presented clearly indicates that Benedict was at least as consistent as Plante, Roy, Sawchuk and Dryden, although this is before a consideration of any era-related effects.
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I've already given sources (in my previous post) clearly documenting Benedict's enormous contributions to the development of professional goaltending. You can call it "cheating" if you want, but it doesn't change the fact that the NHL changed its rules to recognize Benedict's more modern & advanced style of play.


Last edited by Hockey Outsider: 09-01-2009 at 05:06 PM.
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