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12-20-2012, 01:57 AM
Czech Your Math
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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
Thanks for the informative responses re: talent in the 50's and 60's, gents.

Re: Barrasso. I'm not sure if he was "on his way out" especially when the name Wendell Young is brought into play.

He had Bowman as a coach in that time, and he liked to manage goalies in such a way. So that's why his first order of business when taking over in Pittsburgh was acquiring Ken Wregget at the deadline. A goalie who tended to falter down the stretch when given too many games. Hockey's Mr. October before Brian Savage (who is on this board, as coincidence would have it - Savage, that is).

Barrasso missed the lockout shortened season because of a wrist injury. Then I think it was a shoulder that cost him the '97 campaign. Now, Kevin Constantine is at the helm, a guy who was known to ride his goalies as hard as he'd ride his players - see: his use of Arturs Irbe on the early expansion Sharks. Barrasso was back in action in a big way.

Finally, he was booted when he basically refused to help mentor a young goalie (J.S. Aubin), instead electing to throw chairs at him...

But I don't think it's fair to say that Barrasso was on his way out the door, or whatever, (unless I'm misreading you, then I apologize) - he was the go-to guy every step of the way for the Pens in the 90's...rain or shine. As per the '96 playoffs...Wregget lost game 1 to Florida in the EC Finals, and they immediately jumped back to Barrasso before it got "out of control" - they got Wregget to back up Barrasso, period.

Also, regarding the USA thing. Barrasso, for the '96 World Cup and the '98 Olympics, was coming off season-costing injuries. And even with that, I still don't recall it being universal that Richter would be in there over Barrasso. I think it was a last minute decision because Richter was no prize pig himself and that's with the '96 World Cup performance still fresh in the USA's mind. They probably in all good conscious couldn't say no to Richter after that. Beezer had been better more recently than Barrasso when these teams were selected. Beezer was all-star caliber on an expansion team, Barrasso was injured on a team that showed very little substance behind a glossy surface...
It makes me chuckle to think that to prevent things from getting "out of control"... they turned to Barrasso. I just think when a goalie goes 7-1 entering the ECF, you should probably stick with him at least two games. After '93, I always felt more comfortable with Wregget for some reason. In game 6 in '96 he lets in the opening goal by clearing it off his d-man's leg into his own net, after a penalty was called. In game 7 it's tied 1-1 in the third period and he lets in a slapper from inside the blue line. In the second round in '99, he twice let in OT goals off rebounds in the opening couple minutes of OT. He had a winning record in the playoffs 4 times ('89, '91-'93) and a losing record in his other 9 playoffs. The Pens did flirt with more defensive systems (in '93 & '98, e.g.), but I don't think they could rely on Barrasso to carry the day, even as well as he played during their two Cups. It seemed like Wregget could bounce back from letting in a bad goal early more often than Barrasso, but that may be selective memory.

Last edited by Czech Your Math: 12-20-2012 at 02:03 AM.
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