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12-28-2012, 10:54 PM
  #412
Mike Farkas
Hockey's Future Staff
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So, I took some time to try to really figure this out today and I'm not sure where I'm at any more...I think I looked at it too long and it fried my brain...

I think my top-4 will contain: Fuhr and Rayner
My unranked will definitely contain: Thomas and Cheevers

The rest are in a "middle group" I think that I'm trying to group or cluster in some way...

I think I'm ok with Vachon, Holmes and Connell being towards the bottom of that middle cluster.

I'm having trouble getting a good read on Gump and Lumley still. And I'm having trouble with Vanbiesbrouck, Barrasso and CuJo.

I didn't see Barrasso with Buffalo, I saw him with Pittsburgh and he was pretty up and down after the Cup wins. So, that's what I remember from him. And I'm a Pens fan. I just feel that most of his resume is in a time that I'm not really aware of and it's distorting things for me...

Beezer I didn't see before Florida really, so I can't speak that well to his early days either.

Just at random I texted a fellow coach (high school level, not NHL or anything), who is a Rangers fan, but at least saw these guys full careers...I said, "Rank these goalies as you remember them" and he says, "Barrasso, CuJo, Beezer" when I thought I was ready to commit to the opposite. So that kind of threw me off...

Here's what the league's GM's thought of them...

John Vanbiesbrouck - 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 6th, 6th, 6th, 7th, 7th* [17 seasons]
Curtis Joseph - 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 10th*, 11th* [16 seasons]
Tom Barrasso - 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 7th*, 9th* [15 seasons]

* - one vote
[season = 25+ games]

On that metric alone, it's a pretty decisive win for Beezer. Being a goalie in the top-third of the league (at least) for nearly half of a long career, transitioning between eras, ending up on an expansion team, having playoff success with some pretty iffy teams. Could Beezer have done more for the teams that he was on in the postseason? I'm not really sure he could have, any thoughts there? Both times Beezer went on a Cinderella run, it was ended by Patrick Roy too ('86 and '96).

I think Beezer beats Barrasso for international resume. Beezer was better statistically on the '83 World Junior team, he played on '87 and '91 Canada Cup teams while Barrasso didn't (well, one game in '87, he wasn't chosen in '91). Barrasso got the '84 CC, but Beezer was still working his way up through the minors at that time, so he wasn't a realistic choice - it's a pro for Barrasso but not a negative to Vanbiesbrouck.

CuJo was very good on some poor teams, but I'm a little put off that the GMs didn't support him more... early on he was on defensive teams (St. Louis under Brian Sutter and Bob Berry) and the GMs seemed to punish him a bit for that. Example: 91-92, he was 2nd in save pct. but didn't receive any Vezina votes. Strangely, the media didn't even really get too sucked in on that one. The media seemed prepared to vote him 6th, but some idiot gave Beaupre a single first place vote, so Joseph finished t-7th, but it was still a fringe candidation.

Even in '93, when Joseph led the league in save pct. and finished 4th in GAA, he was a distant 3rd in Vezina voting (Belfour and Barrasso). The next year, another top-6 finish in save pct., he put up the same basic numbers for three straight years and again the GMs yawned...a 4th place finish that pitted him closer to Arturs Irbe and Mike Richter as opposed to Dominik Hasek and Patrick Roy.

That seems to be a statement on the Blues style of play at the time. One line team (Hull and friends) that played defensively all the rest of the time.

When Joseph moves to the more offensive-minded Oilers (under Ron Low) he still doesn't get a ton of love and his modest numbers in the regular season probably weren't enough to sway the voters to give him any handouts over Roy, Brodeur, Hasek, Belfour, etc.

When he moved to the offensive-minded Leafs under Pat Quinn, he still wasn't lighting the statistical world on fire (3-year stretch saw no top-10 GAA finishes and only one top-10 save pct. finish (7th in 2000 - which was a goal away from being not top-10 either)) but he did garner a lot of Vezina support for his efforts behind the Leafs defense that featured Bryan Berard, Alexander Karpotsev and later Bryan McCabe as major minute-getters. Joseph got a close 2nd (more 1st place votes than Hasek), a 3rd and an 8th place finish in that stretch.

Obviously, the media didn't pay him as much mind on All-Star teams because he didn't have the stats to back it up: going 4th, 5th and N/A in the same stretch from the fickle media.

Any last minute thoughts on any of the disjointed blathering above?

EDIT: I forgot to mention. I've done some research on Giacomin, I don't think he can get too far away from Barrasso to be honest...below him if you value playoff performance, naturally...

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