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01-17-2013, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
I don't honestly think Liut can even come close to saying that. Unless by 1990 we're talking about an elite backup. He was flip-flopping good/bad years with Sidorkiewicz, and two disappointing seasons as Beaupre's backup from retirement, by that point. Great first half of the decade though, and definitely considered one of the best right up to the Millen trade at the very least, with '87 adding a bit of later cred.
I guess it would be possible to argue that a guy like Liut was separated from the likes of, say, Vachon and Giacomin primarily by the fact of being born a bit later and therefore not getting to have the typical slow and graceful decline that most goalies experience in their later years. Instead, Liut and the rest of his generation got only about 10 years of serious career time before they were made obsolete by the butterfly generation. In that sense, it's a bit unfair to judge Liut too harshly for his lack of strong finish -- it's not like Dryden and Esposito would have turned the corner from the 1980s to the 1990s without missing a beat. Liut and his peers were just the guys on the scene when the paradigm shift occurred.

I don't know if that theory would stand up to scrutiny. But it's a more generous view of 1980s goalies, rather than viewing them all as flashes in the pan.

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