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11-08-2012, 12:12 AM
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Red Line Evidence

Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I really don't understand why you guys are even talking about the addition of the Red Line. This is what happened in 1943-44:

How exactly is this relevant to goaltenders? Defensemen had their role changed - breakout passes became more important and skating less important. Also, they had to learn to defend against the puck moving forward between zones. But goalies? How did their role change? I saw the claim that goalies started handling the puck more after the Red Line was put in place. But I'm pretty sure that's not true. Jacques Plante gets massive credit as an innovator for being the first goalie to go out of his way to play the puck, when everyone else stayed in their crease. And Plante came on the scene more than a decade after the Red Line was introduced.

For the 1943-44 rule change to be relevant here, two things must be true:

1) The rule change must have changed the way goalies have played
2) Changes in goaltending technique actually matter when we are ranking goalies.

So far, no evidence has been provided as to why the Red Line matters when talking about goalies. Sure, GAAs went up - for everyone! If you're ranking these guys against their peers, the Red Line is irrelevant.

And that's not even getting into the fact that as late as 1947-48, Brimsek and Durnan were basically considered co-best goalies in the league. So even if evidence was provided that the Red Line changed the way goalies played, it's pretty clear that the goalies we are discussing here adjusted just fine.
The Red Line changed the mobility factor, especially the lateral mobility and movement north/south to cut-off angles. Skating for defensemen never became less important. The opposite is true, especially backward skating. The 1945-46 Leafs did not make the playoffs, liquidated most of their old defence, came back with a younger, faster defence and won three consecutive SCs.

Because you have a faster game with faster forwards and defensemen plus the Red Line defining icing and offsides, the horizontal attacking angles to the net change, the passing angles to the net change. This forces goalies to adapt. A premium is placed on their lateral movement across the crease area and their north/south movement within the crease area.

Your two conditions have been met.

Well before Plante goalies used to rush with the puck. Some even scored goals, pre NHA, Rayner used to rush at times. Somewhat of a novelty. Plante was an innovator because he would go out of his net and play the role of a third defenseman, countering the dump and chase, cleared pucks during PP situations, etc.

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