Round 2, Vote 3 (HOH Top Goaltenders)
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11-13-2012, 08:04 PM
Hockey's Future Staff
Join Date: Jun 2006
Can I just kind of talk outloud for the sake of generating further conversation as we near the bell? If not, just ignore me, I won't be offended...
Instead of figuring out what's right, it might be easier to eliminate what's wrong...like Parent can't be #1 this round...Brimsek can't be below #6...Esposito has to be an odd number or else Belfour has to be on a multiple of 3 which would throw off...etc. whatever.
So, what are we sure of here, anything? Vezina was better than Benedict, it seems, right? I'm having trouble put spacers between the 40's goalies (Brimsek, Durnan, Broda), so I gotta believe they travel pretty close together don't they? Does one have an unanswerable drawback?
Concern: Brimsek looks kinda weak after the war.
Answer: Brimsek had a sloth-like defense that really struggled for him on the road. Comparatively, at home, he seemd to hang with the crowd despite probably having the weakest team of the 3.
Concern: Durnan only played 7 NHL seasons.
Answer: But he won the Vezina 6 times.
Concern: Broda's regular season.
Answer: Still 3x 1st or 2nd teamer, 5 Cups in 7 years, clutch.
So, was Durnan the Dryden of the 40's? I know we keep talking about these three guys to the point that you wonder if anyone else is up for vote but we keep getting to "yeah, but" scenarios. Dryden was punished for lack of longevity and being on a really strong team. So, let's punish Durnan too. He was smart, he was probably a bit ahead of his time, his head and/or heart was/were not exactly in it, he won an obscene amount of stuff.
Broda was iffy in the regular season and didn't take a lot of acclaim it seems, relatively, to being on the fringes of a top-10 candidate of all-time, but was a monster in the postseason. A better version of Billy Smith/Grant Fuhr? I don't think we're prepared to let someone "get away" with having a few more two-week hot streaks (8 to win in his day) than his nearest competitors. That's disturbingly obtuse and simplistic. It's not like Durnan didn't win any (won 2 in 7), it's like Brimsek didn't win any (won 2 before the War). All that and it's unclear if Broda was the against-all-odds difference maker. Probably a definite help, big help, but could Brimsek have filled in and won there also? It seems pretty likely. So, since I don't see any Fuhr's or Smith's up here, let's knock Broda down a bit.
So the 40's would be Brimsek then Broda/Durnan or Durnan/Broda. I'm inclined to go to Broda probably, because Durnan only really supplied us with 3 post-war years. 43-44, 44-45 and for much of 45-46, we were still very much in the "war zone" The only time Durnan started to crack even a little (only non-Vezina season, W/L record wasn't obscene, didn't win either of his Cups) were in those last 3 seasons when the talent started to even out.
So, I'm going to go with Brimsek, Broda, Durnan for the 40's. You might be able to slip a goalie between Brimsek and Broda...maybe one or two between Broda and Durnan I guess. So, maybe they aren't joined at the hip after all...
So, I'm guessing it's Vezina that gets one of those [spacer] spots there. Even though I'm not terribly comfortable with a pre-forward pass goalie there, I can't sit there and nitpick every thing and ever come to a conclusion. Vezina did what he did with the environment he was given and by all accounts was awesome at it...I think there's some sort of goalie prize named after him or something...or so I've heard...
So, if we open the door for pre-forward pass goalies like Vezina, we have to open the door for Benedict. Even though a small sample size indicates that he
have struggled with the adjustment...but he was also 38 at the time.
Is there a verdict on Benedict vs. Gardiner? For some reason in my head I confuse the two and never remember about them.
Personally, I'm not really sold that Parent was better than Esposito. In fact, I can't figure a way to make that so.
We seem pretty content on backburnering Belfour and Bower for now...I think I'm ok with that too.
EDIT: Ya know, maybe I'm confused, I don't think I know that much about Bower relative to the other guys...he couldn't hack it in the NHL for a decade, we know that backstory, and that's a drawback for me...but I have some serious reservations about Parent, the more and more I look it into it - and I've said this already 999 times, so just one short of cliche levels - the more I sour on his resume. Bower wasn't better was he? Maybe? Does his '64 even remotely answer Parent's '74? Does it even work like that? I get that Parent's 2-year peak is up there with or even ahead of Hasek's best, it's a terrific peak. How much weight is that gonna carry here...right now, it's lugging him up into the far reaches of this thing...but honestly, is he even top 15? Can we draw any comparisons to the defensemen list in terms of players that were like him?
Last edited by Mike Farkas: 11-13-2012 at
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