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11-14-2012, 01:34 PM
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Tony Esposito

Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post

What’s your point? George Hainsworth wasn’t a ‘great’ player like the ones we’re talking about now.

Was Gardiner the only goalie in the league benefitting from playing against two weak teams?
I’m surprised no one asked you this yet…[/B

Belfour has the better resume, yes, but Espo’s best playoff – 1971– is the second best playoff either of them posted statistically:

1995: 23.3 sv% points above league average
1999: 12.2 sv% points above
2000: 12.6 sv% points above

Espo, 1971: 21.9 sv% points above league average

Single plays don’t define a player. This goes back to what Nalyd said: “You are bringing up an outlier and acting like he provides definition”. Esposito’s sv% indicates he was possibly the best player in the 1971 playoffs until one single play that has dogged and defined him forever.

I’m not saying that play should be meaningless but everyone – especially you – should be careful just how much weight it really carries in defining the career of a goalie who played almost 1000 combined games.
Point was that 1927-28 thru the 11930-31 contraction the NHL featured two teams that were for all intents and purposes minor league quality. Readers got this point.

Back to Esposito. The point was about the 1971 and 1973 Finals not one goal in game 7 which is your interpretation.

1971 Finals. Hawks go into Montreal leading 2-0 in games. Esposito goes into the tank. Stops 75 of 88 shots,.852 SV% in Montreal, 12 of 16 in game 6,blowing a 2 goal lead, forcing a game 7 where he blows another 2 goal lead. Reasonable goaltending and game 7 does not happen. Saying he was possibly the best player in the 1971 playoffs is inaccurate.

1973 Finals. Probably the worst goaltending performance in the SC Finals since 1967 amidst worst 3 all time. Esposito played 6 games giving up 33 goals = 5.6 GAA on just 190 shots = .826 SV%. Twice he blew 2-0 leads in games, once he allowed a 4-0 lead to reach 5-4 before the Hawks won 7-4.

Again, not just one goal but two very bad series.

As for outliers, the project is all about outliers. 40 goalies from 100+ years of hockey.

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