Round 2, Vote 4 (HOH Top Goaltenders)
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11-15-2012, 10:36 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Originally Posted by
I'm critical of Bower's high placement on past top 100 lists on this board too, but I think this is too far. He was a
3 time MVP of the AHL
in an era where his only chance to play in the NHL was to beat out Toronto's existing starter in a 6 team league.
And when he platooned with post-prime Sawchuk, Bower usually badly outperformed Terry in both GAA and reconstructed save %
I did ask in a previous round what makes Bower's NHL career much better than Billy Smith's, though.
I do think Bower's AHL dominance in the Original 6 adds to his resume, but how much?
It's important, of course, to realize that goalies in the day were certainly competing for limited spots compared to today. But I've never seen any argument formed that would convince me that any award at the AHL level should have much weight at all (even back then), given the "talent" in the league (based on gleaming rosters, top scoring lists, and goaltending competition over those years).
Treated like any other comparison that we do, who was his competition for those MVPs in the AHL? What was the quality of shooter/opponent/team? All of a sudden I have to ask, how long until we "find out" that Bower's individual career doesn't even match up to that of Tim Thomas, since we have to be fair and point out that he received similar awards in multiple pro leagues (Eliteserien, SM-Liiga) and was an AHL standout before getting his chance?
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