Was hockey better in the 80s?
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11-15-2012, 11:39 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: St. Louis
Originally Posted by
Science big time yes, skill no.
It's easier to play goal now than it ever was in the 80's.
It's more about letting the %'s stop the puck than using skill to do it.
It doesn't take skill to drop into a butterfly, just practice.
Don't confuse skill with talent and anticipation.
Originally Posted by
I was wearing that equipment in the mid 80's while playing Junior B/C and in Senior A in the late 80's.
When I got my first set of synthetic equipment in the early 90's, it was a vast and incredible difference. It changed my entire style overnight, from standup to hybrid.
I could open my legs more because i could shut the 5-hole so much faster and more completely. I could cheat blocker side on lefties because my glove hand, which was already my biggest weapon, was suddenly 1/3 of the weight and even faster. I could go down and recover in half the time and 1/4 of the energy.
Sliding across the ice didn't become an adventure depending on how much water/how wet my pads held/were.
Seriosuly, just too many things to list.
I respect what you're saying and the experiences you've had, and I can certainly see where the advances in equipment would exponentially benefit goaltenders. But very few goalies have played the game flopping around and making an effort to cover the low part of the net with their bodies before the late 80's-early 90's. From what I've watched, goaltenders (rightfully so) were very aggressive and played at the top of their crease, often coming out to challenge shooters and cut down the angle. And their ability to move laterally may have been hindered by the equipment they wore, but many times they were ineffective at matching the oppositions speed to mount an effective challenge. So many goals were scored by stutter stepping to the side because the goalie was caught too far out and couldn't adjust to the speed. Certain goaltenders may have developed incredible glove hands, but many players (Gretzky many times over) simply shot the puck low. I'd agree equipment advances allowed the position to more effectively evolve but the evolution was spurned by it being a weak position with a few notable (and extremely notable) exceptions.
Solidifying a system where in goaltenders can exploit all their advantages (of which are few) seems to be the best possible route for any team or player to take. You can't really draft a player hoping he's the next Roy or Brodeur, because these guys are singular talents. I get that teaching the game has meant removing some of the creativity, but now more than ever, a goaltenders job is to simply stop the puck. The team will be doing everything possible to prevent the shot from even getting to them. With the game in its present state, I feel like the goaltending position is the last one a team would like to take a risk on. In a tight scoring era where players (nearly every player) can put the puck anywhere they want from the blueline in, teams that have weak goaltending better have a great defense or a great offense. 09-10 was all about being able to make it to the cup with an average goaltender (dumb) but the years since then have shown, at least to me, that the opposite is true. Say what you will about the smythe, but that's 2 goaltending winners in a row, one of which wouldn't have been in the post season if he didn't COMPLETELY carry his team there.
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