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10-12-2012, 02:41 PM
  #125
ContrarianGoaltender
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
He also had a particularly slow start to the season in 1997-98.

Through 20 games: 6-10-3, 3.12 GAA, .898 SPCT, 1 SO, 8-12 (40%) Quality Games

It's one of those seasons where the results of the trophy voting would have been interesting in a 1st-Half, 2nd-Half context. It's a decent amount of baggage for two Hart trophy seasons.
If a slow start was baggage for Hasek, then he had baggage virtually every season of his career. The only thing that differed in '97-98 was that it took him about 10 games longer than usual to play out of it, but he pretty much always came out of the gate slowly.

Here's an amazing stat: Hasek's career save percentage was .904 in October, and .925 from November 1 onwards including playoffs. His second-worst month was .919, and his save percentage was higher from Nov-June than October in 15 of the 16 years of his career.

1991-92: 2-1-0, 4.50, .857 in Oct, 8-3-1, 2.14, .906 rest
1992-93: 2-2-0, 3.92, .851 in Oct, 9-8-4, 3.03, .902 rest
1993-94: 0-3-0, 3.14, .896 in Oct, 30-17-6, 1.88, .932 rest
1994-95: No games played in Oct
1995-96: 3-6-0, 2.92, .913 in Oct, 19-24-6, 2.81, .921 rest
1996-97: 5-5-0, 2.71, .910 in Oct, 32-15-10, 2.20, .933 rest
1997-98: 3-6-2, 3.33, .894 in Oct, 30-17-11, 1.87, .939 rest
1998-99: 4-3-2, 2.08, .931 in Oct, 26-15-12, 1.84, .938 rest
1999-00: 1-4-1, 3.03, .901 in Oct, 14-7-5, 1.96, .925 rest
2000-01: 3-4-1, 2.53, .906 in Oct, 34-20-3, 2.04, .923 rest
2001-02: 7-2-0, 2.46, .913 in Oct, 34-13-8, 2.12, .916 rest
2003-04: 4-3-0, 2.43, .901 in Oct, 4-0-2, 1.94, .915 rest
2005-06: 6-2-0, 2.09, .927 in Oct, 22-8-4, 2.09, .925 rest
2006-07: 4-3-1, 2.24, .892 in Oct, 34-8-5, 2.02, .916 rest
2007-08: 4-2-1, 2.68, .877 in Oct, 23-8-2, 2.03, .907 rest

I think this is one of the main reasons that Hasek took some time to establish himself as an NHL goalie (of course on top of his unorthodox style, the goalie glut in Chicago, the Hawks' inability to evaluate talent, and the injury in January 1993 that derailed Hasek just as he was establishing himself as a starter in Buffalo). Hasek's two awful Octobers (and the presumably relatively mediocre training camps that likely preceded them) probably played a big role in how both the Hawks and Sabres rated him, even though his November-June numbers were great (.905 career save percentage after Nov. 1 through the end of the '93 playoffs).

I don't know if Hasek spent his summers sitting on a couch in the Czech Republic and figured he would just play himself into shape in training camp, but I wouldn't be at all surprised. In addition to the things mentioned by TDMM, Hasek also had a DUI in '95, he had a contract holdout and he had a famous off-ice altercation in the Czech Republic. Hasek was a jerk, he wasn't nice to the fans and he wasn't a great teammate. It would have been better if he wasn't all of those things, but maybe it was just part of the eccentric genius package that enabled him to become a star. If I thought he was close enough with anyone else then I can see how those things might become a tiebreaking factor, but right now I don't think anyone else comes close enough for that to matter, unless someone here is able to bring something up to seriously undermine his numbers.

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