Was hockey better in the 80s?
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11-18-2012, 02:00 AM
Conn Smythe Winner
Join Date: Aug 2012
Originally Posted by
Cant say I agree with a number of your assertions here RS, and I played goal through the 60's & early 70's, had I stuck it out pro from the mid 70's through 80's soooo.... For starters, Goalie Coaches have been around since, like, forever, though at the amateur levels sure enough, wasnt until the mid-60's that decent organizations & coaches starting using them. Usually the Uncle/Brother/Father or whatever of one of the players on your team who played Jr. or Pro helping out.... sortof like what Rhiessan does in Guelph Id imagine. At the Jr. levels, goaltenders received extensive coaching from the late 60's on; at the pro levels, from at least the early 70's onward, Bower for example in Toronto retained as a consultant amongst the many pretty much league wide. Hall worked with Esposito; Plante with Parent and so on. Was it as "intensive" as todays coaching? No, certainly not, as back then we didnt feel it was necessary to micromanage and frankly "over-coach" players.
Goalies (not all, but the elite) did indeed "challenge properly" through the 70's & 80's, to suggest otherwise is absurd. Thats what standups all about. What happened was that after the 72 Summit Series and much handwringing, the game changed from one of set patterns & lanes to one of constant cycling combined with equipment advances, skating skills, attention paid to off-ice conditioning & nutrition etc. The cycle game forced goaltenders back into their creases, relying more & more upon the Butterfly, used previously primarily on dekes, scrambles, screens. Goalies didnt "become smarter", they simply "adapted", and it wasnt until the mid to late 80's that the equipment they used altered much. Palmateer introduced the "cheater" to his catcher, an extra 3" pad & web jobby, many followed, but that was about it for several years.
What ceases to amaze (and disappoint) me about todays goalies is their inability to control rebounds, their propensity to drop early and on every shot, and most frustratingly of all, an inability to skate with any modicum of proficiency. I mean, why bother with skates at all? Its a joke, and a bad one. They cant play North South, just "slide" East West on their knee's. Not all of them, guys like Thomas, certainly Smith down in Phoenix, there are some terrific Goaltenders out there no mistake, but on the whole? Pretty lousy. They dont make "saves", they "block" the net, and again, beg to differ, size matters. Equipments gotten a tad smaller since 03'ish sure, but hey, youve gotta be 6'0"+++ to even be out there anymore, and I for one dont enjoy watching a whole lot of it. Trappers are grossly oversized; pads were insane but have begun to resemble what they were designed for in the first place instead of the inflatable landing pads passengers might like to land on when evacuating an airplane; your chest protectors / shoulder pads gotta be cut down to size; get rid of the curved goalie sticks (bad rebound control) and ya, start holding out that catcher like a "pizza box" (as you put it) again, and
the shooter to beat you on the glovehand.... instead, their down on their knees more often than a streetwalker working the Mont Parnesse.
Game, set, and match
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