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12-20-2012, 05:14 PM
Mike Farkas
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I'll say this, I have a hunch that Alec Connell was probably better than we give him credit for. I'm not sure why I feel that way, or how, but I have a weird feeling that he's undersold.

With that said, this is another great example of "not creating a narrative to back the numbers" - what happened, happened. We'll have to do our best to uncover what was known and said about Connell at the time.

Just on what I can find quickly...
1932 - 9 goalies with 10 games or more. Connell is 1st in GP, t-4th in Wins, 2nd in GAA, t-3rd in shutouts. When All-Star Voting came around, he was essentially the 7th best goalie if you go strictly by the vote.

1935 - 10 goalies with more than 10 games. Connell is t-1st in GP, 4th in wins, 2nd in GAA, 1st in shutouts. When All-Star Voting came around he was at best 2nd (funky voting measures) maybe 3rd or 4th.

1928 - 11 goalies with 15 or more games. Connell is t-1st in GP, 3rd in wins, 2nd in GAA, t-1st in shutouts. If I remember right from that 1928 managers vote, Connell was 3rd.

And it's believed that in 1926, Connell, who led the league in GP, wins, GAA and shutouts, was no better than the 3rd best goalie in the circuit. With Worters and C.Stewart ahead of him.

I mean, really, what more can we do? We can make up a story about him, maybe he was the Tom Barrasso of his time and nobody liked him so they punished him by not voting him for the Hart? Maybe "fireman" had a different connotation back then and he was actually an arsonist...maybe he made the ATM withdrawal that crashed the stock market...

Who knows...but in an age where the writers actually knew the game and there was less talent to evaluate and keep track of (for both writers and managers), they just didn't feel strongly that he was the best goalie in the game regularly despite his shiny statistics...and we should go back 75 years after the fact and go, "nah, he led the league in GAA once, so, uh, he was the bee's knees, ankles and feet...they got it wrong..."

In a different era, I might be with ya...10 years ago, 5 years ago, 5 minutes ago, when you got a bunch of Johnny Clockpunchers filing hockey "stories" before a deadline and a bunch of blank stares at an All-Star Team voting ballot...sure, I'll work with it...but there wasn't even 100 players in the league at some points back then (Connell's time) AND they had to know the game because there was no way for anyone to watch it other than attendance, so they had to be able to accurately portray what they I gotta trust their judgment, if not fully, then largely...

So instead of making up a story that tells how Connell was better than the managers and writers thought at the time based on 75-year-old stats...let's either: A) dig deeper and find something about him [and his dual-firstnamemanship] or B) make up a sob story about how he was held down and vote him next to Barrasso and call it a day...

But I mean, if we're going to decide this purely on numbers and assume that they're telling the story, let's scrap the project and get our best math guys on it...let's get Czech Your Math, Taco MacArthur, pnep, overpass, bm67, whoever...let's get these on the case, post haste, and let's make some adjusted, percentage, triangulated, glaven/gliven category, sort by it and marvel...


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