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11-13-2012, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
This is more valuable than meets-the-eye, I think Broda was a hefty step up on Fuhr and Smith. Fuhr - even when adjusting for the teams that he played for - doesn't have a strong regular season showing. Never top-5 in save pct., once top-5 in GAA, scant top-10 performances. I mean, it wasn't exactly pretty. He's going to get by on playoffs, and that's for another time. Billy Smith only played more games than his backup(s) three times in his entire career...Smith is all playoffs.
Now, I'm not going to lobby for a mercurial raising of Fuhr here, but I think his regular season performance goes extremely under-rated. The period for which he gets the least credit has to be the high-flying Gretzky days. I only have SV% numbers from '83/84 onward to work with (hockeyreference), but if you look at the aggregate SV% between '83/84 and '87/88, Fuhr only lags behind the "best" starter you can find on the list by about 0.010 tied with Beezer and Smith). We all know that his GAA was higher than most, and some of that is attributable to their offensive focus/style, but he has a reputation for making all the saves he had to, and the numbers bear out that he was competitive in terms of how often he had to make them.

Also, Grant Fuhr is in the 400 win club, but I think less than 200 of those wins came during the Gretzky era (of course, that means more than 200 losses after Gretzky, lol). Something else to consider. He was also one of the rare 60+ game starters (dating back to at least the 60s, and lasting until the 90s, there tended to be only 1-3 60+ game goalies per season) with a track record of playing the same consistent level; no matter what time of the season it was. That becomes a pretty considerable asset over that number of starts.

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