Versus feature on Flyers goaltending
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01-13-2011, 04:14 PM
We don't need one!
Join Date: May 2010
Originally Posted by
Hexy was almost two different players over the course of his career. In many ways, his reputation was built on that beyond-belief rookie season. After that, he struggled with chronic groin pulls and that robbed him of some of the lateral mobility and recovery ability he showed in his Vezina/Conn Smythe season. He was pretty inconsistent after his rookie year. Over the latter part of his career, he was more of a flopper.
Hextall only had that one truly outstanding season, a very good one in 1995-96 and a couple other decent ones. The fact that the team experienced so much success upon his return to the Flyers -- Conference Finals first year, top seed in the East his second year, Stanley Cup Finals the third year -- definitely helped build his legacy in Philly.
Of course, the other two parts of Hexy's legacy that can't be overlooked are the way that he revolutionized the way goaltenders handle the puck and the intimidation/craziness factor (mainly early in his career) that he brought.
Def Hextall was two different players after the chronic groin injuries as I noted earlier as well. However, although we technically had number 1 goalies during the regular season, the problem with our goaltending from what I recall is that it didn't really carry over into the playoffs in the sense that they performed like number 1's consistently. Players like Esche and Boosh caught lightening in a bottle but they never panned out into legit number 1's thereafter..hence the knock. We've had a carousel of goalie tryouts and some have worked up to a certain point. I agree Chechmanek was probably the most consistent number 1 we've had but he did have his meltdowns in the postseason. Hextall's run in 95-96 was an anomaly of sorts...his save percentage both in the regular season and playoffs was under 90% like we had with Leighton in the finals..another anomaly. Beezer's run in the playoffs was marred by short side goals vs Toronto..he didn't play as a number 1 in his "stint" during the playoffs and that's because his game had waned with age. As usual we got him a bit late. I guess that is really the issue...we never have gotten that goalie with a more proven and seasoned pedigree come the playoffs. This is why I wish the Flyers this offseason had made a pitch for Thomas rather than squandering all that cash on Leighton, Shelley, Walker and now Zherdev who I think is not playoff material..
Again Bob has made things somewhat not as bad going into the playoff's this year and maybe Boosh has turned a corner and with the D we may be able to go pretty far again with this tandem...but we still don't really know what we have in some ways. Again, if they run into a team that dominates them on faceoffs and controls the play..it throws off Laviolette's puck possession and attack game. We saw it with Chicago last year. In those cases you need a goalie that can stem the tide and win games on their own like Halak did for Montreal last year. If Halak was on the Flyers we would have won the cup in my mind but Holmgren passed on Halak that year when he was available for various reasons and some reasons that remain unclear. I'm still not sure we have that kind of goalie that can do it for 4 rounds ..although it's possible they can platoon and accomplish it like Laviolette did it with Ward and Gerber and what happened last year with Boosh and Leighton until Leighton squandered his chance in the finals.
Having said this ...I think we have a better chance this year platooning with Bob and Boosh who are more mentally sound and better technically but...
Last edited by FreshPerspective: 01-13-2011 at
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