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11-20-2012, 04:18 PM
Mike Farkas
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
But would the Islanders still use Smith as a "tandem goalie" during his five-straight trips to the Stanley Cup Finals if that was not the trend of the era? There weren't too many high-GP goaltenders after Esposito retired (maybe Liut for a while), but no team could justify giving their goaltender some extra days off more than the one going deep in the playoffs routinely.

Smith may not have been an iron man, but in the year coming off of his Conn Smythe Trophy, the league leader in GP appeared in only 75% of his team's games. That might be good for around 13th by 2012 standards. The expectations for GP were different in the 1980s, and it wasn't a crime to be part of a two-goalie system.

Which goaltenders do we remember most fondly from the NHL in the 1980s? Roy, Smith, and Fuhr: All three were part of a two-goalie system, because that was the trend for most teams at the time.
Fair. Now, can we say that he was demonstrably better (we have the aid of video in this instance and numbers if we need them) than his tandem partner Chico Resch on the same teams? If they appear close, then we can't let Resch get too far from Billy Smith, right?

Or he had Rollie Melanson, what do we feel the quality of Melanson was, and then what does it say about Smith's performance vs. that of Melanson on the same teams? Interestingly enough, as the NHL tells it, Melanson was the first ever leader in save pct. for a season at .903 - the only goalie over .900. Smith was second.


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