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12-16-2012, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyborg LeClair View Post
can't it be both? Rinne has had the benefit of Suter+Weber tandem in front of him for the past few years and has been a Vezina finalist as well, but anyone who watches wouldn't question whether he's deserving of the accolades.
Say this hypothetically happened.

Suter is retained.
Rinne has a career ending injury during the lockout.
Chris Mason takes over the team with which he's previously posted a .925 s% in 40 games.
One or two seasons later, Nashville almost wins the Cup with Mason winning both the Vezina AND the Smythe.

Is there a general consensus that Rinne would have somehow put the team over that year the way there is with Lindbergh?

Hextall's 1986-87 season was (statistically) in a different stratosphere from Lindbergh. It was comparable to Froese's career season the previous year (both led the league in sv% and wins, Froese also led in GAA and SO) but well above anything Lindbergh did. Finally, during their time together, Lindbergh's statistics were far worse than Froese's both on the individual season basis and the overall basis (I don't have sv% data for 82-83 or 83-84, but the GAA difference is so extreme that it can be assumed that Froese beat Lindbergh given that they were teammates playing behind the same defense).

Froese suffered a knee injury early into the 1984 season and didn't come back until much later in the season. IMO Lindbergh's Vezina and his high Hart voting are artifacts both of playing behind a trong defense at its peak, as well as a Lindbergh having had to suddenly take on 20-25 extra games of work that would normally have gone to Froese. I find it odd, though, that the same Vezina and Hart consideration was not given to Froese after Lindbergh's accident; Froese dominated every important goalie statistic; he posted a 31-10-3 record (backup Darren Jensen was 15-9-1, Lindbergh was 6-2 before the accident, and Glenn Resch was 1-2). He put up a .909 sv%, far better than anything Lindbergh did and better than Hextall's Vezina season (.908) and led the league with a 2.55 GAA - which would have been close to the league lead in the early/mid 90's and the mid 00's. Unlike his former and future teammates, respectively, he won the Jennings (shared with Jensen, who had .884, 3.68 - no help there!) and had at least as strong a case for the Vezina as Lindbergh did. How Vanbiesbrouck won it I'll never know (I rank Froese first and Vanbiesbrouck fifth).

All of this said, I do consider Lindbergh to have been the top goalie in 1984-85. I jut think the "Lindbergh aura" is nuts, and as evidenced by the 1985-86 season, Froese was as good or better than Lindbergh. People like to bash Froese because of the Flyers' 1986 playoff bail. But Froese held the Rangers to one goal twice (G2 and G4) in a playoff series where Philly scored two goals in four of five games. The other three games? The Rangers scored 6, 5, and 5. Amusing trivia from that series? Backup Glenn Resch played seven minutes, faced one shot, and made zero saves.

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