summit series goaltending
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10-26-2012, 01:40 AM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Originally Posted by
To this day the goaltending situation puzzles me. We didn't know it at the time but Dryden's one knock on his career was that he had a heck of a time figuring out the Russians. He was big and tall and if you caught Dryden going from post to post - which the Russians did the way they passed - you could beat him.
Phil Esposito has always joked that Harry Sinden said that while Dryden would start Game 8 he would pull him if he got in trouble. Well, 5 goals later, he still didn't pull him.
I've always maintained that Tony O was the best of the three goalies who played. He outplayed Tretiak and Dryden for sure. Tretiak was great in the first 4 games and then bad in the last 4. Dryden was awful in the first two games and then sort of redeemed himself in Game 6 and 8. If you watch Game 8 even in the 3rd period you can see Dryden make a few crucial saves, so he bounced back.
But Esposito never really had a bad game. Game 5 wasn't very good but he was in full control until that collapse at the end. Other than that he was solid and the most trustworthy of the three goalies.
Since the games in Moscow were basically do or die for Canada I don't understand either why Sinden rotated the goalies despite each of them having a good game. That rarely works having two number 1 goalies but it did.
If you ignore the games in sweden and the czechs, the only time they went with the same goalie 2 games in a row was games 2 and 3 (Tony).
I guess picture this more contemporary scenario; You're running team USA in an 8 game series against Canada and your goalies are Jonathan Quick and Craig Anderson (lets pretend Ryan Miller is hurt for arguments sake) Pre series your plan is probably give Quick 6, 7, or maybe even all 8 starts (there's also games against sweden and finland in there where you're initial plan is probably to use Anderson there); Quick plays god awful in game 1 so you go to Anderson who plays excellent in game 2. You'll ride the hot guy at the start but as it gets deeper into the series, you'd have to have in the back of your mind that Quick is the guy you'd be more comfortable with if it gets down to a deciding game. And the reason I picked those 2 to compare to was that Quick IS the guy the states would go with now in such a tourney if Millers not available (and rule out Tim Thomas as well); he's won a cup, Anderson hasn't (same deal with Dryden/Espo at the time).
I guess really the only start truly puzzling is why they went with Espo in game 7 with Dryden playing so well in game 6.
Interesting you bring up the 'pulling Dryden' scenario; I wonder why they didnt try that in game 1? My best guess is they knew in game they'd go with Espo the next game so didn't bother sending him in for mop up minutes. Or it was overconfidence, thinking they would come back. Eddie Johnson was the backup for games 2 through 4, as far as I know Dryden did not dress as backup in any games except possibly sweden. Espo was on the bench for game 8 so seems they kept that card in their pocket. I have no idea if this actually happened but in the CBC dramatization of the series, when it was announced game 8 would be happening (remember it was in jeopardy due tot he officiating scandal), Sinden comes out and says "Kenny you're starting.. and finishing"
I agree on your assessment of the netminding; Espo was excellent in games 2 and 7 and so so in games 3 and 5. Canada shut down in game 5, Espo just couldnt bail them out. I'm inclined to call Dryden the worst goalie of the series, 1 great games and 3 bad ones. Tretiak wasn't that great; games 1 and 4 the russians won by a solid margin and game 5 they did fall behind 4-1, in fact he let in 3 or more goals in every game in the series.
To kind of answer my earlier question, maybe canada wasn't pulling the goaltenders either? In the exhibition game against the czechs, they tied 3-3 with canada scoring in the dying seconds but the goalie (Dryden) was in goal still.
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