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01-30-2012, 10:18 PM
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Clint Malarchuk, G

When people think of Malarchuk, they think of the skate in the throat incident that nearly took his life. But for a while, (particularly the 1986-1989 seasons) Malarchuk was a very above-average goalie.
- 338 games, 5 sv% points above average in career
- in the 1986-1989 seasons, Malarchuk finished 4th, 10th, 12th, 12th in minutes
- was 3rd in 1986 sv% and above average in the other three seasons
- averaged 7 sv% points over average during this time, and still 2 points over in his "off peak years".
- Finished 4th in Vezina and all-star voting in 1986
- Finished 4th in All-star and 10th in Vezina voting in 1988

Quebec Goalies, 1984-1987:
Malarchuk: 123 GP, .885
Rest: 223 GP, .876

Washington Goalies, 1988-1989:
Malarchuk: 96 GP, .881
Rest: 80 GP, .894

Buffalo Goalies, 1989-1992:
Malarchuk: 102 GP, .894
Rest: 262 GP, .885

Malarchuk's playoff resume was awful, though. He only played 13 games worth of minutes, but in those games, he averaged 36 sv% points below the league average. Keep in mind this is an awfully small sample size. Dan Cloutier averaged 47 sv% points below average, over double the games!

And that is the end of my extensive goalie search. I was able to find just three who posted above average save percentages on a regular basis while playing decent minutes, enjoyed decently long careers and earned some norris/all-star recognition. I can't imagine who else I would even select from the NHL. (Greg Millen, the runaway leader in available goalie GP, would be one option, but he had just three good seasons - 1984, 1986, 1989 - and was comfortably below average the rest of his career, just not below average enough to drop him out of the league or even to backup status for very long)

Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
In two seasons with the Nords he impressed the NHL enough to be named as Grant Fuhr's backup in Rendez-Vous '87 as the NHL All Stars competed in a 2 game series against the Soviet Red Army team.

The Nordiques were in a transitional phase in 1989 and made a big trade involving their goaltender. Malarchuk was then moved to Washington with Dale Hunter for Gaetan Duchesne, Alan Haworth and a 1st round pick (who turned out to be Joe Sakic). The deal is one of the most famous deals in hockey, and is often considered to be the downward turning point of the fate of the Quebec Nordiques.

In two seasons in the nation's capital Malarchuk had his ups and downs. While he shared the league lead in shutouts in 1987-88, he lost his starting goalies job by the end of 1988-89. The scrappy goalie was trade to Buffalo with Grant Ledyard and a draft pick (Brian Holzinger) for Calle Johansson and a draft choice (which turned out to be goaltender Byron Dafoe).

Malarchuk enjoyed three very solid seasons in Buffalo. He played primarily a mentor and backup role to a young Darren Puppa.

Unfortunately Malarchuk is best remembered for one of the most horrific injuries in all of hockey. Tragedy first struck on March 22, 1989 when his jugular vein was cut by a skate. A goal mouth collision involving St. Louis Blues winger Steve Tuttle and Buffalo defenseman Uwe Krupp saw Tuttle's skate slice Malarchuk's neck. Malarchuk clutched at his bloody neck as doctors were rushed on to the ice to save his life. As it turned out he spent only one night in the hospital and competed in the NHL only a couple of weeks later. But it could have been so much worse - perhaps even fatal.

Despite his solid play Malarchuk found himself out of the NHL by 1992. One of the major reasons for his disappearance was his battle with some personal demons. The Grande Prairie Alberta native was diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. His life became consumed with supposedly trivial worries which wouldn't allow him to function normally, never mind play hockey effectively. After much work with top doctors, proper medication was found and he is now over that battle too.
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook Of Pro Hockey 1987
came to 1985 training camp as the 4th goalie on the Nordiques' depth chart, proceeded to earn role as team's top goalie... played well in playoffs despite sweep by Hartford... calmer now than in his earlier stint... does less wandering from the crease and more patient in waiting for shooter to make his move...

Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1990-91
Malarchuk is a good angle goaltender, but he is strong on the reflex side as well. He has very fast hands and feet and his improved angle play has helped him to subdue his stickside weakness, though he is still weak there. Top of the net glove shots will elude him, and he generally foes not control pucks he stops with his glove.. on the whole he does not control any rebounds well, and that is where his reflexes serve him best... Clint is a good skater and likes to leave the net to handle the puck, but is not a great puckhandler... his fast hands and feet make him very effective in scrambles near the net... mentally tough and will fight you for the next goal after giving up a bad one - most of the time. He does have a tendency to give up goals in bunches, but is able to pull himself together... Clint has good anticipation and concentration, another reason why he is so effective around the net.... just getting back in the barrel after his neck injury indicates great courage...

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