MLD 2011 Bios
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07-21-2011, 08:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Philadelphia, PA
G Daren Puppa
2nd in Vezina Trophy Voting, 1990
3rd in Vezina Trophy Voting, 1996
2nd in All Star Voting, 1990
5th in All Star Voting, 1996
1x NHL All Star Game Participant
2x Top 9 Wins(1, 9)
3x Top 6 SV%(2, 3, 6)
4x Top 9 GAA(5, 7, 8, 9)
5x Top 10 Shutouts(3, 6, 9, 9, 10)
2x Tampa Bay Lightning MVP
Tampa Bay Franchise Leader in Wins
Tampa Bay Franchise Leader in Shutouts
Tampa Bay Franchise Leader in Starts
Puppa's stellar goaltending was a major factor in the Lightning earning their first playoff berth in team history
. The team took the heavily-favoured Philadelphia Flyers to six games before losing in the first round.
Puppa stepped onto the ice and established a reputation as a talented youngster known primarily only by the locals.
With the Sabres, Puppa made an instant splash in his NHL debut, shutting out Wayne Gretzky and the Oilers 1-0. But the bigger challenge he faced was to wrestle the number-one stopper's post away from incumbent Tom Barrasso. That took three years of patient waiting.
He finally got the starting job in 1989-90.
As a strong, stand-up goalie in the tradition of Ken Dryden, Puppa won 31 games and was runner-up to Patrick Roy in balloting for the Vezina Trophy.
In 1993, he was shipped to the Leafs where he played eight games before being claimed first by the Panthers and then by the Lightning in the Expansion Draft of 1993.
Puppa assumed starting duties with Tampa Bay for his first three seasons. By year three, his strong goaltending began to reflect itself in the win/loss column as he racked up 29 wins, 19 losses, and nine ties, topped off by the Lightning's first trip to the playoffs in 1996.
"No Buffalo goalie has been on a hotter spot than the rangy Puppa was in his first regular season start, facing the offensively-awesome Edmonton Oilers in their own Northlands Coliseum. Daren was more than equal to the task, shutting out the Gretzky-led Oilers with as fine a performance as was turned in during the 1985-86 schedule and earning NHL player-of-the-week honors for the whitewashing."
-1986-87 Buffalo Sabres Fact Book and Media Guide
"Puppa erased almost all concerns about his ability to come up big in big games last season, and he even won a playoff game while suffering from a severe back strain
. The Lightning could have extended the Flyers to seven games or even defeated them in their first-round series had Puppa been healthy.
He's that good, and his third-place finish in the voting for the Vezina Trophy is an indication he's finally getting the recognition he deserves.
-Sporting News Hockey Yearbook 1996-97
"On the ice, it is up to Puppa and the kids. The goalie may steer this team back to the playoffs, even as growing pains are felt."
-The Hockey News 1997-98 Yearbook
"Puppa has become the NHL's forgotten man due to his frequent bouts with persistent back troubles.
When healthy, Puppa has guided teams to great heights on the strength of his goaltending.
The veteran is big for a goaltender and covers a lot of net.
-The Sports Forecaster 1999-2000
In a new town, new franchise-- Puppa was the starter for the Bolts and kept them in it for the most part. Though in his 63 games, Puppa went 22-33-6, his GAA of 2.71 showed it wasn't on him for losing the games that they did. The shortened-season in 1994-95 got Puppa closer to making the Bolts a contender with a 14-19-2 record and 2.68 GAA and in the 1995-96 season, Puppa's efforts were rewards. That season, Puppa was able to get the Bolts in the playoffs with his play, even with the injuries he had during the season (sprained wrist, knee surgery, back issues). The record of 29-16-9 aided the Bolts to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
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