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12-19-2012, 09:58 PM
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Three Differences

Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
I'll certainly re-visit my opinion of Gump. I came to this thinking that he was just a "likable loser" - not that he lost a lot, but that he wasn't an elite guy but very likable, a guy you could have a beer with. In fact, from the looks of Gump - described sometimes as a "bloated fire hydrant" - he may have a couple beer head start.

Is there any significant difference - perceived, I suppose - between say early-mid 1950's hockey and the hockey right before the league expanded (late 50's through mid-60's) in terms of talent level?
Quality? The effects from the War were probably wearing off or almost completely worn off by the time the early 1950's rolled around. Is there any further talent bulge right before expansion that made the fans/league/players/coaches/any combination of the sort to believe that they had the pool to expand now (1966/1967 area)?

My question obviously directly relates to the goaltenders of the times in question. But not so much for the competition against other goalies (while relevant), but the defenders defending them, the shooters shooting on them.
Three differences.

The players that had developed before the introduction of the Red Line were long gone.

The overall talent pool was deeper especially the top 9 forwards and top 4 defensemen on the playoff teams.

Collectively, the goaltending was better with the introduction of the two-goalie system. Goalies no longer played games nursing minor injuries or post injury - Plante mask game would never happen. Also the blowouts in season - teams playing three games in four nights or four in five would get smoked by a rested home team at the end of such a stretch were reduced.

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