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10-26-2012, 08:44 PM
Big Phil
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Originally Posted by leeaf83 View Post
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.
As strange as it may sound now, but Canada (and the NHL) was sort of in a transition mode for goalies at that time. Not that there weren't any great ones available but rather the old guard was gone. Hall had retired. Plante was old. Sawchuk was dead. Parent hadn't hit his stride yet, Vachon had gotten bumped for Dryden and probably wasn't considered to be a worthy starter at the time.

That left just two long term veterans - Cheevers and Giacomin - available. Cheevers was in the WHA and Giacomin was hurt. Both had played in the 1972 Stanley Cup final. This left Canada with Dryden, fresh off a Calder trophy win and Esposito with just three full NHL seasons under his belt. In reality, the Canadian goalies didn't have a whole lot of experience between each other. Eddie Johnston was old at that time and a Cup winner, but certainly not at the same level as the other two.

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