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12-25-2012, 02:18 PM
Rob Scuderi
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Originally Posted by The Toronto World - 1/7/1913
Jack Marshall of the Torontos thinks a lot of Harry Holmes, the parkdale boy, as a goaltender, and says that with some coaching will be as good as an net guardian in the NHA.

Originally Posted by The Toronto World - 2/17/1913
Holmes, in goal, was very good, and he clears faster now and uses his head to good advantage.
Two articles I posted last thread. Holmes comes into the NHA with a lot of potential and made noticeable improvements in his first season. Toronto finished third overall in the league and it was their first season in the NHA. By 1914 Toronto tied the Vezina-led Canadiens for first in the NHA, while allowing the fewest goals in the league. To resolve the tie, Toronto beat the Habs 6-2 in a two-game total goals series where Holmes pitched a shutout in the second contest. 1914 ends with Toronto lifting the Stanley Cup over Victoria in the first PCHA-NHA clash. Holmes certainly made Jack Marshall look prophetic.

Originally Posted by The Spokesman-Review - 1/9/1917
Sharing the honors with Foyston and Patrick were the rival goalies. "Happy" Holmes was at his best, his work inside the cage saving more than one goal, while Fowler upheld his reputation in the rival cage as a goaltender of no mean ability.

Originally Posted by The Toronto World - 10/22/1918
Harry Holmes, the sterling goaler, is still in Toronto and will be found between the posts when the season opens.
After two seasons in Seattle and another Stanley Cup Holmes returns to Toronto. He actually signed with the Montreal Wanderers, but he was loaned to Toronto for the year. (Same season the Wanderers folded due to the fire destroying their arena)

Originally Posted by The Morning Leader - 3/22/1919
Outplaying their opponents by a margin not so very wide, the Flying Frechmen showed Seattle fans how hockey is played in the east. A whirlwind but futile defence was put by Seattle against a whirlwind and successful attack by Montreal.

Lalonde was the star of both teams, scoring all four of the visitors points and playing well on defence and offence...He beat Rickey and Rowe time and again around the Seattle nets and his shooting was deadly in its accuracy.
After a poor showing in the first two games of the 1919 Stanley Cup, the Canadiens give Holmes and Seattle a tough time. The article seems to pin the blame more on Seattle's skaters, specifically their defenders Rowe and Rickey, than Holmes.

Originally Posted by The Toronto World - 3/20/1920
Three old-time favorites with local fans were the stars for the winners. "Happy" Harry Holmes, goalie without a peer, was his old self. His saving was of the finished order, and he kept the score down.

Holmes came out to save when Denneny was within scoring distance. Holmes pulled off a rather spectacular save a few minutes later when Denneny duplicated his performance.

Ottawa were all over Seattle for awhile and peppered Holmes with dangerous shots. The former Toronto goalie, however, proved equal to the occasion and turned all and sundry away with regularity.

To open the third Holmes again proved the saving grace when Cleghorn shot low from close range.
Expanding an article I posted last thread as well. It seems worth noting the Toronto papers would describe Holmes as looking like his old self. Obviously he impressed observers in his previous stints with the Blueshirts.

Originally Posted by The Morning Leader - 2/14/1925
Although Vancouver had nothing to gain by a win they played hard hockey and only the sensational and sometimes lucky saves of Happy Holmes in the Victoria's net prevented a different tale.

The breaks were with the winning team and had Lehman been given any kind of a defence in front of his well-nigh perfect work, the Cougars might have been travelling on very thin ice just now.

Moran...stickhandled his way through the whole team for the prettiest effort of the night. From then, on Holmes stopped dozens of shots from all angles and "Lady Luck" was perched on the top of his net.

Originally Posted by The Morning Leader - 3/11/1925
Holmes Is At His Best
Holding a two-goal leader, the Cougars elected to play a strong defensive game and due to the smooth work of Halderson, Fraser and Loughlin, the Sheiks were given a rough ride in trying to get through on Happy Holmes. The Victoria goalie has never played a better game than he did here tonight. He had lots of luck also, a whole lot of shots he turned aside never being seen. The Sheiks rained in shots on a ratio of three to one against the Cougars' efforts at Hainsworth but Holmes never had a lapse except on Denneny's goal which came from outside the defense and went through Holmes's legs.

Originally Posted by The Morning Leader - 3/28/1925
Morenz, with his terrific shot, was blazing away at Holmes an the "Happy one" had to pull phenomenal stuff in order to keep them from scoring.

Anxious to avoid three straight defeats, the Canadiens came on with the greatest display they have given during the series. They crowded the play in front of the Victoria net and eventually Holmes was forced to concede a goal by Joliat, who slammed in a fast pass from Boucher.

Less than two minutes later Morenz flashed through the Victoria defense like a buzz saw an had Holmes handcuffed with his bullet drive that nearly went through the net.

Originally Posted by The Calgary Daily Herald - 12/26/1925
Victoria showed a defense that surprised the most seasoned critics. Still minus Halderson and Fraser, they went in there and tossed off the power of the Tiger drives with surprising strength. It was in the last eight or ten minutes that the Tigers ripped in savagely and broke through repeatedly, but Happy Holmes never showed better stuff. He was in wonderful form, stopping seventeen shots in the closing stretch. Briden and Oliver were through on him regularly, but he handled their delivery with an ease that was exasperating to the Bengal snipers, and his form was but the finishing touch to a show by Victoria that convinced Calgarians that the world's champions are a game set

Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette - 1/5/1927
The St. Pats seemed able to penetrate the Detroit defense at will and only magnificent work by Holmes, Cougars' goalie, kept the score down.

McCaffrey slammed the puck at Holmes from ten feet out and followed it, but to no avail...Twice Carson stole the puck from the Cougary offence in mid-ice, and went down, once to be aided by Day in giving Holmes a busy two minutes...Carson slid through the Detroit team early in the second period and forced Holmes to make a magnificent save...Day nearly made a third score as the period opened, taking a pass from Carson and giving Holmes opportunity to add another scintillating save to his already long string.

Originally Posted by The Montreal Gazette - 5/16/1927
Happy Holmes, goalkeeper; Loughlin, defence, and Sheppard, forward, are the only three of the team which finished for the Cougars in the past season who are likely to be retained.
Jack Adams began managing Detroit following his retirement at the end of the 26-27 season. He decided to retain only three players including Holmes.

Originally Posted by The Border Cities Star - 1/4/1928
Rangers had the lead twice...but wild New York shooting...together with sensational goalkeeping by Happy Holmes, were factors in Detroit's victory.

Originally Posted by Edmonton Journal - 2/27/1928
"Happy" Holmes, Detroit goal-keeper, was credited with preventing Ranger scoring. The drive of Ching Johnson and Taffy Abel, was topped by the Detroit defencemen.

Was Holmes "boring" like Hainsworth?
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Holmes played a stand-up style, and relied on proper positioning to stop the puck. Holmes' play was consistent, and he was relaxed and nonchalant in the nets, leading some to describe his play as almost lazy.
Wikipedia is certainly weak, but this is cited from Without Fear pg 100.

Charles Coleman's take
Originally Posted by Trail of the Stanley Cup, Vol 1
Happy Holmes was an exceptional goaler who played in both the east and west, compiling an average that is second only to that of Clint Benedict when weighted with the length of his career. He was on seven championship teams, four of which won the Stanley Cup.

This great goalkeeper seemed taken for granted and little reference was made of the extraordinary record that he was compiling. The eccentricities of other goalers kept many of them in the news but Holmes, if mentioned, was usually reported as playing a steady game. This he maintained throughout his career.
I don't see what makes Connell similar to Holmes aside from being in the Hall of Fame. Yes he didn't win the All-Star awards over Lehman, but he still got his fair share of praise despite the "boring" concerns mentioned in Without Fear and Trail of the Stanley Cup. He also won an all-star spot over Hainsworth in the WCHL so there was more to him than just a Jennings Trophy champion.

We don't really expect him to show up in the Hart voting in his final two years as a pro, right? In '27 no one from Detroit showed up in the top 10 listed, this was the offseason Adams came in with the intent to purge Detroit of all but Holmes and two others. George Hay finished 4th in '28 as he finished with 15 more points than his second closest teammate, and doubled the third place total.

For the crowd who cared about Broda v Durnan head-to-head, Holmes went 4-0 (2-0 in Stanley Cup finals with 1919 being canceled) against Vezina. He went 2-3 against Lehman in the playoffs, but beat him for the Stanley Cup in 1918 the only time they met there. He went 0-2 against Benedict in the '20 and '21 Stanley Cups against strong Ottawa clubs. He also knocked Hainsworth's teams out of the playoffs both times they met in the WCHL.

Considering longevity and the praise he received at every stop in his career I'm probably going to have Holmes in one of my 2-5 spots with Lumley, Rayner, and Worsley. Though Cs58's preference for Barrasso and Joseph over Worsley really interests me.

Last edited by Rob Scuderi: 12-25-2012 at 02:25 PM.
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