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11-12-2012, 06:54 PM
Rob Scuderi
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G Daren Puppa

Vezina: 2 ('90), 3 ('96)
AST: 2 ('90), 4 ('96)
Hart: 14 ('96)

Top 10 GAA: 5 ('90), 7 ('96), 8 ('94), 9 ('93)
Top 10 SV%: 2 ('96), 3 ('90), 6 ('93)

YearGPPuppa's SV %League Average SV %

Originally Posted by The Strangest One of Alll
After waiting, Puppa was thrown into a partial starter's role in the NHL with the departure of Tom Barrasso to Pittsburgh in the 1988-89 season. And while he played in 37 games for the season and did hold his own going 17-10-6, Puppa's season ended abruptly in January when he broke his right arm (his catching arm) and it ended his season. Yet, the 1989-90 campaign was one to remember for Puppa as he reached many milestones for his career. Not only was Puppa put into the NHL All-Star Game (and getting the victory), but he was second behind Patrick Roy in Vezina Trophy voting after a 31-16-6 season.

However, the higher they raise, the harder they crash-- because that's how physics works. The 1990-91 season saw the start of his back problems, as Puppa missed nine games in November to a back injury. Also, Puppa was lost to a groin pull in February of 1991. In that season, Puppa only got 38 games in and finished with a 15-11-6 record. The 1991-92 season saw more injury woes as Puppa fractured his arm and missed 16 games in November and for the season, Puppa went 11-14-4 for the Sabres and 0-2-1 for Rochester when he went there to rehab. While the 1992-93 season saw a bounce-back by Puppa, he had been usurped by Dominik Hasek and even with a 11-5-4 record, Puppa was expendable.

In February of 1993, Puppa was traded with Dave Andreychuk and a first round pick to Toronto for Grant Fuhr. Puppa played eight games for the Leafs and went 6-2-0 with a 3.58 GAA for his tenure there. His stay in Toronto was short-lived as he was left unprotected for the Expansion Draft.

It was an interest Expansion Draft for Puppa, as he was picked by the Florida Panthers in the Phase I of Draft, but then was unprotected again and was then picked up by the Tampa Bay Lightning during Phase II of the Draft. He went to Florida either way, at least.

In a new town, new franchise-- Puppa was the starter for the Bolts and kept them in it for the most part. Though in his 63 games, Puppa went 22-33-6, his GAA of 2.71 showed it wasn't on him for losing the games that they did. The shortened-season in 1994-95 got Puppa closer to making the Bolts a contender with a 14-19-2 record and 2.68 GAA and in the 1995-96 season, Puppa's efforts were rewards. That season, Puppa was able to get the Bolts in the playoffs with his play, even with the injuries he had during the season (sprained wrist, knee surgery, back issues). The record of 29-16-9 aided the Bolts to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. However, Puppa's role was diminished in the playoffs thanks to back spasms at the end of the season and often would come in relief of Jeff Reese for three games. However, this was the beginning of the end of Puppa's strong reign.

The 1996-97 campaign was a huge wash for Puppa as he underwent back surgery in November and missed the majority of the season. He played in only six games, going 1-1-2 with a stellar 2.58 GAA. The 1997-98 season started off well enough health-wise, with Puppa playing 26 games, but going 5-14-6 for the season; yet his back issues flared up and caused him to miss the season of the season from December onward. The 1998-99 season saw only get 13 games (5-6-1) in before a groin injury put him out for the rest of the year in November of 1998. The final straw was when Puppa had another early season injury in November of 1999 after playing only five games (1-2-0) and forced Puppa to retire.

Originally Posted by The New York Times - Jan, 17, 1998
Tampa Bay recruited him from Detroit last season in hopes of becoming a legitimate playoff contender. Instead, repeated injuries to the star goaltender Daren Puppa derailed those plans and cost Coach Terry Crisp his job.

Originally Posted by Eugene Register-Guard - Oct 6, 1997
Tampa Bay's Daren Puppa and Buffalo's Dominik Hasek put on goaltending clinics as Tampa Bay and Buffalo played to a 1-1 tie Sunday night.

Puppa, who stopped Randy Burridge from just outside the crease in the final minute of overtime, stopped 36 Buffalo shots, Hasek made 30 saves. ...Puppa matched Hasek, stopping Brian Holzinger twice from in close and then withstanding a final-minute barrage that included point-blank chances by Matthew Barnaby and Derek Plante.,1575340

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