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02-08-2012, 03:14 PM
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BraveCanadian
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With our 8th round pick (225), the Guelph Platers select one of the great money goaltenders of all time, who happens to be a perfect fit for our team:

Grant Fuhr



"Grant Fuhr was the best goalie in the world in the second half of the 1980's"
-- Joe Pelletier, Greatest Hockey Legends


Career Highlights:
5 time Stanley Cup Champion 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990 (although he did not play)
Canada Cup Champion 1984, 1987.
1987-88 Vezina Trophy Winner
1993-94 Jennings Trophy Winner (with Hasek)
1981-82 Post Season All Star (2nd)
1987-88 Post Season All Star (1st)
1987 Canada Cup All Star
Played the NHL All Star Game 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989.
Ranked #70 THN's The Top 100 NHL players of All-Time
Hockey Hall of Fame Member (2003)



Vitals:
Born: September 28, 1962
Position: G
Height: 5-10
Weight: 200 lbs


Regular Season:

At the height of their powers, the dynasty Oilers' were well known for coasting during the regular season and not playing very tight defensively - both because of their ability to simply outscore the opposition, and because most teams made the playoffs in the 21 team format.

TCG takes a look at the effect this may have had on Fuhr's regular season stats on his blog here: http://brodeurisafraud.blogspot.com/...nd-effort.html

He summarized Fuhr's seasons between 83-84 and 87-88. (and we can see how much both he and the Oilers' ratcheted up their play in the playoffs):

MonthsShotsSV%
Oct-Jan4876.887
Feb-Apr2518.875
Playoffs2268.899


As it was, Fuhr was a very successful regular season goaltender, racking up 403 career wins in total - good for 9th all time - and setting single season marks for games played (79) and consecutive starts (76).


Regular Season Voting Record

Hart Voting Record: 2nd (to Mario Lemieux in 1987-88) and 6th (1st among goaltenders 1995-96)

Vezina Voting Record: 1, 2, 3, 3, 5, 6, 6, 6




Playoffs:

The Playoffs are where Grant Fuhr created his legacy. He is widely known as a big game goaltender. More on this in the quotations.

For now, here is a player poll conducted by The Pittsburgh Press January 21, 1990 with 123 NHL players responding:

Question: Who would you want as your goalie to stop an opponent's breakaway with 30 seconds left and the score tied in the seventh game of the Stanley Cup final?

NameTeamVotes
Grant FuhrOilers40
Patrick RoyCanadiens17
Darren PuppaSabres11
Mike VernonFlames11
Mike Liut/John Vanbiesbrouck 8

This coming after Patrick Roy had already won a Stanley Cup, and when he was coming off two consecutive post season allstars as well as a Vezina - and in the midst of a third straight post season all star and second straight Vezina season!


Fuhr had a sterling 92W-50L record of decisions in the playoffs while raising his individual play from a save percentage average of .887 in the regular season to .900 in the playoffs. The 92 wins are good for 3rd all time.

To put Fuhr's playoff performances in a more modern perspective, I'll borrow from TCG again since he crunched the numbers to adjust Stanley Cup winning performances to current levels (ie. take with grain of salt but it gives us an idea):

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Contrarian Goaltender, "Good Enough To Win", Dec 31 2011

Here are the save percentages for each Cup-winning goalie in the save percentage era, adjusted to league average and normalized to the current average save level (.911):

1984: Grant Fuhr, .933
1985: Grant Fuhr, .925
1987: Grant Fuhr, .932
1988: Grant Fuhr, 913


Quotations and Perspective:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Puck Stops Here, Ralph Wiley, SI, Jan 11, 1988

Grant Fuhr has been called hockey's premier goalie - and he had better be if Edmonton is to win another Cup.

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"Grant reads the game as well as any goalie that has ever played," Ron Low, coach of the Nova Scotia Oilers, Edmonton's farm team, and formerly Fuhr's roommate on Oilers road trips, has said. "His goals-against average will never be the best. He'll give up the occasional soft goal. But in the big moment, for the big save, he's 95 percent unbeatable. Under pressure, there is none finer. He proved in the Canada Cup that he is the finest goaltender in the world."
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"Bar none, Grant Fuhr is the best goalie in the league," Pederson will say later. "He has the fastest reflexes. Sometimes his concentration might drift during inconsequential games. But in the big-money games Fuhr is the best. He's the Cup goalie. It's sure not by luck."
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Oilers triumping over the Isles in the opener for their first Cup
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oilers Shut out Islanders in Opener, AP, The Palm Beach Post, May 11, 1984
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Edmonton's victory was built around a surprisingly staunch defense and the sensational goal-tending of Fuhr, who outperformed his more celebrated counterpart in the Islanders' net, Billy Smith. Fuhr - who did not play against the Islanders in New York's sweep of last year's finals - orchestrated the victory with catlike quickness...
when suspended for drug abuse..
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuhr Suspension may be shortened, AP, Record-Journal, Sep 29, 1990
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A former all-star who was often called the best goaltender in the world during the mid-1980s...
Returning from the five-month suspension
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuhr returns in style, AP, The Victoria Advocate, Feb 20, 1991

Grant Fuhr came back from a five-month suspension for substance abuse intent on proving he was still one of the NHL's top goaltenders.

He accomplished that Monday night in a 4-0 shutout of the New Jersey Devils in his first NHL game in almost 11 months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NHL Roundup, Los Angeles Times, Jan 19, 1989

Grant Fuhr, generally recognized as the game's best goaltender, was injured in a second-period collision and was carried off the ice on a stretcher..
Quote:
Originally Posted by NHL:Oilers' Fuhr saves his best for the pressure of playoffs, USA Today, Apr 11, 1989

...this is the time of year when Grant Fuhr flourishes. He loves the pressure. That's why he's the best playoff goaltender in the league.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuhr Launches CPGA tour bid, Don Harrison, The Toronto Star, May 12, 1992

The best goaltender in pro hockey for a decade, [Grant Fuhr] spent the past winter toiling with little glory as the Leafs completed another NHL season without seeing the playoffs. But when Fuhr was the backbone of the Edmonton Oilers dynasty he was also busy honing his skills in the favorite pastime of idle hockey players - golf.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuhr's Play Inspires Pros and Conns, Philadelphia Daily News, May 30, 1985

Opposing goaltenders often feel outnumbered when confronted by the Edmonton Oilers, the NHL's most prolific goal-scoring team. Because of his team's frenetic offensive style, Edmonton goalie Grant Fuhr knows the same sense of anxiety. In any given game Fuhr must anticipate occasions when he will be a lonely sentry against attacking hordes. ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oilers Get Quality, Quantity From Fuhr; Capitals Face Iron-Man Goaltender Tonight, The Washington Post, Dec 1, 1987

Although most people give superstars Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri and Glenn Anderson most of the credit for the Oilers' remarkable success, they have the security that, if they do mess up, Fuhr probably will save them any embarrassment.

"Grant Fuhr is the best goaltender who ever played the game, there's no question of that," Gretzky said. "Don't forget, the shots are harder and faster now, and Grant makes saves on reflexes that no other goaltender could make."

Beaten by Lemieux 3 times..
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemieux is Lemieux, Tom McMillan, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Oct 4, 1988

Beaten for three spectacular goals on the slushy ice of Reunion Arena in Dallas, Grant Fuhr of the Edmonton Oilers - he being the world's best goaltender - minced no words.

"I didn't see anything unusual about Lemieux tonight," Fuhr said after the Penguins drubbed the Stanley Cup champions, 6-2, last Tuesday, thanks to a hat trick and four points and a half-dozen paralyzing passes from Mario Lemieux.

Oh?

"Lemieux is Lemieux."
Steretypical Edmonton game from the 80s, a "blowout" where they give up 44 shots!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuhr also gets to take a bow, CP-AP, The Calgary Herald, Feb 27, 1986

Edmonton Mark Messier scored three consecutive goals, Wayne Gretzky contributed two and chipped in with four assists, but it was the outstanding goaltending of Grant Fuhr that dominated as the Oilers crushed the Winnipeg Jets 8-2 Wednesday night in a National Hockey League game.

Fuhr, who faced 21 first-period shots, showed the Winnipeg Arena crowd of 14,047 why he is widely considered the best goaltender in the league.

The 23-year-old goaltender finished with 44 saved to improve his record to 21-7-0.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OILERS: Pushing Bruins a little too far, Jeff Jacobs, Anchorage Daily News, May 23, 1988
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Beyond discipline, the Oilers are playing great defense. They've got the best goaltender in the world in Grant Fuhr. They get the goals when they need them. They can play any way you want. Adaptability...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretzky familiar with Fuhr, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Apr 22, 1991

Wayne Gretzky wasn't surprised in the least when Grant Fuhr came up with one great save after another to rescue Edmonton.

Fuhr stopped 46 shots, including a few from close range by Gretzky, as the Oilers beat the Los Angeles Kings, 4-3, Saturday night in double overtime to even their best-of-seven Smythe Division semifinal series at one game a piece.

Gretzky and Fuhr teamed up to bring four Stanley Cup championships to Edmonton. Now, Gretzky is trying to help the kings win their first.

With Fuhr on his game, that won't be easy.

"Grant hasn't lost anything," Gretzky said. "He's one of the best goaltenders ever to play the game."
...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oilers winning without vaunted offense, CP, The Phoenix, May 11, 1987
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Like Sather, Demers isn't concerned about his club's lack of offence. He believes his troops are getting enough chances to score three of four goals a game.

The difference, he says, is the play of Fuhr.

"We've always said that Grant Fuhr is the best goaltender in the NHL and he proved it again last night," said Demers. "He always seems to come up with the key saves that seems to get the team up. The other night he made three big saves, outstanding saves."

"In the big games, the low-scoring games, 1-0, 2-1, that's when he's at his best."

....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuhr stops Flyers in Oiler win, Gettysburg Times, Mar 3, 1986

With $200,000 at stake for the best record in the NHL as well as home-ice advantage all through the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Edmonton Oilers got a money performance out of Grant Fuhr.

"Goaltending was the difference," said Philadelphia Coach Mike Keenan following Sunday night's 2-1 overtime loss to the Oilers in a meeting of last year's Stanley Cup finalists. "The man again was Fuhr. He stopped two breakaways, made the key saves in the first period to keep them in it."
...
1984 Playoffs
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuhr outshines the master, Eric Duhatschek, The Calgary Herald May 11, 1984
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As for Fuhr, he became an instant Conn Smythe candidate with the cool he displayed under the Islanders' fire.

1985 Playoffs
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Gretzky's greatness mystery even to mates", Ian MacDonald, Montreal Gazette June 1, 1985
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Gretzky and Oilers coach Glen Sather said all the right things after the star had been named winner of the Conn Smythe trophy as the outstanding playoff performer.
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Going into Thursday night's game, the only realistic candidates for the Smythe honor were three Oilers - superb rushing defenseman Paul Coffey, clutch goaltender Grant Fuhr and Gretzky.

Fuhr ended up not winning after all, and this writer thinks anyone not Gretzky winning is voter fatigue - but he does say that Fuhr winning a Smythe would not be a surprise...
1987 Playoffs
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Grant Fuhr, not Gretzky, likely MVP", Jim Proudfoot, Toronto Star May 26, 1987
Yet the panel, in opting for [Grant Fuhr], falls prey to an odd malady. Gretzky has won so much there's a weird reluctance to give him his due as if to do so would be embarrassing somehow. It's lovely to see Fuhr, Messier and all the rest receive some recognition, and Gretzky would certainly approve, but the fact is that the Great One, except for an occasional match, is the least dispensable Oiler by many miles - and easily the top performer in the 1987 playoffs.

No fault will be found with Fuhr's coronation. It's his turn, after all. Mark Messier was MVP in 1984, the first year the Oilers were National Hockey League titlists. Wayne Gretzky was singled out the following May. These guys are pretty well interchangeable, really. You could have picked Paul Coffey either of those times, without igniting much controversy. Jari Kurri and Glenn Anderson definitely qualify now along with Fuhr, Messier - and Gretzky, of course.
1988 Playoffs
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Slick Oilers don't let Cup slip away", Ken Rappoport, The Spokesman-Review, May 27, 1988
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Gretzky, who set a playoff record with 31 assists, also joined Bernie Parent and Bobby Orr as the only two-time winners of the Conn Smythe Trophy, given to the playoff MVP.

"Three or four guys could have won that award," Gretzky said. "Mark Messier played great. Grant Fuhr played great."
And before you say that is just Gretzky being Gretzky:
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Gretzky leads sweep as Oilers capture 4th Cup in five years", Jay Greenberg, Beaver County Times, May 26, 1988
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Gretzky and Messier time and again came up with clutch goals against the Flames, who defrocked the Oilers from the Smythe Division title during the regular season. Grant Fuhr, the best goalie in the game, delivered the key saves. Then, with the stunned Flames out of the way, Detroit and Boston mostly were a matter of course.


Last edited by BraveCanadian: 02-16-2012 at 03:28 PM.
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