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12-17-2012, 02:16 PM
Hawkey Town 18
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Barrasso in the Playoffs

Here's some info on Tom Barrasso in the playoffs. He seems to clearly be the second most important player (behind Mario) to Pittsburgh's back-to-back Cups. There's also some info on the 93 and 94 playoffs...

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - May 27, 1991 (after the first Cup victory)
Barrasso played Game 6 against the Minnesota North Stars Saturday night as if it were his last game. He took one for the team - a shot of pain-killer to the groin - then stood up to the North Stars' Neal Broten, who ran him in the opening seconds, stood up to 39 shots, stood up to his critics who long tormented him by saying he can't win the big games.

For a guy who was a questionable starter - the missed the final two periods of Game 5 Thursday night with a pulled groin muscle - Barrasso was at the top of the Penguins' long list of heroes in their 8-0 Cup-clinching victory.

"There was no question in my mind I wasn't going to miss this game," Barrasso said. "I was here to play. I had Dr. [Chip] Burke give me a shot to numb up my groin. I felt nothing the entire game. I've got the whole summer to recuperate."
Barrasso had an answer for everything the North Stars tried.
"The shutout is really irrelevant," Barrasso said. "The Cup is all that matters."
The shutout, the first in the finals since 1986, was fairly indicative of Barrasso's play in the postseason. He finishes with a 12-7 record and had the best goals-against average (2.60) and save percentage (.919) of the playoff goaltenders. He easily could have won the Conn Smythe MVP award if Mario Lemieux had not played so spectacularly in the final three games against Minnesota.
Barrasso certainly has Samuelsson's endorsement. "With this team, you start with Mario Lemieux. He's half of the team. Then, you add Tom Barrasso. After that, anybody could go out there and win."

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - June 3, 1992

CHICAGO - Pittsburgh star Mario Lemieux gazed at the Conn Smythe Trophy sitting on a table beside him Monday night at Chicago Stadium and wondered whether he deserved it.

He already had one ''Connie Smythe,'' as he called it, in his trophy case at home. He felt that Penguins goalie Tom Barrasso might have been a better choice this year for the award given to the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup playoffs. ''I thought it was Tommy all the way,'' Lemieux said. ''He was superb the last three games of the Washington series, when we came back from a 3-1 deficit. ''He played unbelievable when we swept Boston. This should have gone to him, that's for sure.''

Instead, the big guy, Super Mario, collected his second successive Conn Smythe to go with the Penguins' second successive Stanley Cup. Pittsburgh wrapped up their Cup defense Monday night with a 6-5 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks to complete a four-game sweep. Barrasso, 27, finished a distant second in the MVP voting, but he said he didn't feel the least bit slighted. To him, it was a team accomplishment.
There was a time a couple of years ago when I claimed Scotty Bowman's time as the premiere coach in hockey was at an end because of the way he single-handedly crushed the Penguins' hopes at three-peating as Stanley Cup Champs. Amongst the rationales I had for this somewhat unorthodox claim was the way he ran goaltender Tom Barrasso into the ground by having him start the last third of the season in quest of a relatively meaningless unbeaten streak record. Sure enough, Barrasso went cold in the second round as the Penguins lost to the lowly Islanders, and Bowman had allowed Ken Wregget to practically atrophy by not playing him.

[long list of Penguins who played poorly in the Washington series]...

As shown above, a lot of changes have to be made if the Penguins want to get back to the playoffs and be effective. General Manager Craig Patrick has a big task ahead of him. He has to find a way to replace an aging defensive corp to help out Tom Barrasso (who had an excellent playoff series) in net and create a balanced offense that can be more efficient in the playoffs. Good luck, Mr. Patrick. You're going to need it.

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