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11-13-2012, 08:31 PM
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1927-28 to 1933-34 NHL

Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Charlie Gardiner and Bill Durnan

Both played 7 seasons in the NHL

Durnan = 6 1st Team All Stars, but 2 of them were over competition that was probably worse than AHL quality and a 3rd was over competition that was still recoving from the war

Gardiner = 3 1st Teams, 1 2nd Team, plus a 4th likely 1st Team in 1929-30.

I don't see any advantage for Durnan in the regular season.

Advantages for Gardiner:

1) He generally exceeded expections in the playoffs. Durnan did not.

2) Gardiner's career was cut short by his sudden death due to illenss. Durnan's career was cut short after he pulled himself in the middle of the playoffs and retired because he couldn't mentally handle playing in the NHL anymore.

Conclusion: These two great short-career goalies are close, but Charlie Gardiner should be ranked a little bit higher.
Closer look at the NHL shows that between 1927-28 and 1930-31 the league featured 1or 2 each season teams that finished with a .136 to .273 winning percentage. It was only after contracting from 10 to 8 teams after the 1930-31 season that the league became competitive from top to bottom. Charlie Gardiner during his first two seasons was part of the bottom two teams then benefited from playing against two weak teams for two seasons.

Conversely during Durnan's first three seasons the NHL featured greater parity. 1943-44 Rangers were the only team with a sub .300 winning percentage (.170) during the 1943-44 thru 1945-46 seasons. Durnan's dominance during these regular season speaks for itself.

Durnan's playoff retirement is portrayed as a negative but did it hurt his team?

No it did not as Gerry McNeil was ready and played better.

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