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01-27-2013, 12:32 PM
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With their third round pick (81) in the 2013 ATD, the Guelph Platers have selected: Vladislav Tretiak, G

Career Highlights:

1972 Summit Series Player -- significantly outplaying his Canadian counterparts
1974 Summit Series
1975 New Years Eve Game
1976 Super Series
1979 NHL Challenge Cup Winner
1981 Canada Cup Champion

3 Time Olympic Gold Medalist, 1 Time Olympic Silver Medalist
10 Time World Championships Gold Medal Winner (Also 2 Silver, 1 Bronze)
Selected to the IIHF Centennial All-Star Team

Golden Stick Winner (1981, 1982, 1984)
IIHF Best Goaltender (1974, 1979, 1981, 1984)
IIHF All-Star (1975, 1979, 1985)
Izvestia Cup Best Goaltender (1978, 1980)

Canada Cup MVP (1981)
Canada Cup All-Star (1981)

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame 1989 (The first player who never played in the NHL to be so honoured).

Born: April 25, 1952
Position: G
Height: 6-0
Weight: 200 lbs

Regular Season (Soviet League):

Soviet League Champion (1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984)

5 x Soviet League MVP (1974, 1975, 1976, 1981, 1983)
14 x Soviet League All-Star (1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984)

Soviet League MVP – 1st(1974), 1st(1975), 1st(1976), 1st(1981), 1st(1983), 2nd(1978), 2nd(1984), 3rd(1973), 3rd(1977), 3rd(1982), 4th(1972), 5th(1971)


As alluded to above, he significantly outplayed his counterparts in the 1972 Summit Series:

Originally Posted by After 1972 Summit Series, Vladislav Tretiak keeps Montreal Close to his heart, Dave Stubbs, National Post Sept 2, 2012
Canada ultimately would prevail, if only by the thickness of the friction tape on Paul Henderson’s stick, in this landmark eight-game Summit Series.

But in their mismatched equipment and decade-old skates, the Soviets gave the Canadians all they could handle — and much more — in a series that forever would change hockey’s global landscape.

The backbone of the U.S.S.R. squad that romped in Montreal was an unheralded young goaltender who had been dismissed as his team’s weakest link.

But by the end of September, Canadians knew a great deal about 20-year-old Vladislav Tretiak. The netminder from Dmitrovo stoned Team Canada shooters on Sept. 2 and in the seven games that followed.

Tretiak made many miraculous saves on the 267 total shots he would face, his .884 save percentage superior to the combined .859 on 227 Soviet shots fired at Ken Dryden and Tony Esposito.


Tretiak's impressive Olympic resume (outside Lake Placid where I think he was mediocre) can be found here:

Originally Posted by TheContrarianGoaltender
I'm struggling with Vladislav Tretiak. Part of me thinks he's getting underrated by our NHL-centric worldview and deserves to go near the top of this round. The other part of me is always skeptical of goalies with accolades on great teams, particularly against mostly weaker competition, and wants to leave him where he fell on my original list (which was ahead of only Benedict and Durnan, who I think has nearly as many questions about quality of competition and strength of team defence as Tretiak does).

I spent a fair amount of time researching international goalies for this list. The concerns about quality of competition for goalies in weaker leagues are fair, although just throwing out their results entirely based on whatever league they played in is certainly not. It's all a matter of context. It is fair to demand that a goalie dominates a weaker league. The flipside is that when the goalie does dominate a league by winning MVPs and championships and being widely seen as the best goalie, then that should be given at least some credit. Otherwise you're just penalizing the goalie because of circumstance.

What you ideally want to see out of a goalie in a weaker league is all the signs that they were a rare talent. Them being a prodigy, breaking into the top level at an early age is usually a sign (many of the goalies who went on to North American success were cleaning up their domestic leagues in their early 20s). Winning a pile of domestic awards and putting up strong stats relative to other goalies is also fairly crucial, even though there are certainly limitations to the value of awards voting. And finally you want to see evidence that the goalie could compete at the highest level on the international stage, and that includes things like NHL interest, starting for their country a long time, etc., not just how many best goalie awards they win.

As far as I can tell, the only two goalies who really fill in all the checkmarks when you look at their international careers are Vladislav Tretiak and Dominik Hasek. The more I look at Holecek, the more I think that he's getting too much credit for a few comments made around the 1976 Canada Cup, and because members of the media directorate were hesitant to vote for world championship goalies on dominant teams. I really don't know why results from the mid-'70s are so crucial for evaluating Tretiak, particularly relative to Holecek, since Tretiak was only 24 at the 1976 Canada Cup and his best hockey really came later. Maybe Holecek was better than Tretiak for a few seasons in the mid-'70s, but maybe Tretiak was the best goalie in the world in the early 1980s. Compare them head-to-head at the same ages and I think Tretiak has a clear advantage career-wise, even just on the international stage, and any weighting at all given to domestic results further tilts the advantage decisively to Tretiak.

From watching Tretiak play, I think it's possible he was the best in the world and a guy who was capable of being an NHL star. However, I also put a lot of stock in numbers for evaluating goalies.

There is one big concern with Tretiak's statistical record, and that is according to Chidlovski Tretiak's career international GAA is higher than every other goalie who played at least 20 games for CCCP. Tretiak had 2.28, every other Soviet goalie combined for 2.07. In the early years Puckov and Konovalenko probably had much weaker competition, and since Tretiak dominated the net for so long it's possible that all the other guys were mainly playing against Poland and East Germany whenever they did get the odd start, but that is at least questionable for Tretiak.

Same thing with shutout rate: Tretiak had 29 in 291 games (10.0%), all others had 105 in 725 (14.5%). Tretiak was worse than every other Soviet goalie with at least 25 games played, with the exception of Alexander Sidelnikov.

On the other hand, his Olympic numbers are excellent even on a dominant team, with the noticeable exception of Lake Placid:

1972 Sapporo (19 yrs old): 116 saves, .928
1976 Innsbruck (23 yrs old): 181 saves, .943
1980 Lake Placid (27 yrs old): 42 saves, .840
1984 Sarajevo (31 yrs old): 112 saves, .966

And Tretiak's numbers relative to his backups in CSKA Moscow seem to be clearly better than Ken Dryden's relative to his backups in Montreal, although I'm not positive that the data I have is accurate (sources are HockeyDB and Elite Prospects). I'm assuming there was no overtime skewing the minutes played numbers and that Tretiak's games played numbers were from the regular season only and didn't include any other games (which was an issue with Hasek's numbers in the last thread):

1971: Tretiak 40 GP, 2.03; CSKA Moscow 40 GP, 95 GA, 2.38
1972: Tretiak 30 GP, 2.60; CSKA Moscow 32 GP, 94 GA, 2.94
1973: Tretiak 30 GP, 2.67; CSKA Moscow 32 GP, 102 GA, 3.19
1974: Tretiak 27 GP, 3.48; No team data
1975: Tretiak 35 GP, 2.97; CSKA Moscow 36 GP, 122 GA, 3.39
1976: Tretiak 33 GP, 3.03; CSKA Moscow 36 GP, 122 GA, 3.39
1977: Tretiak 35 GP, 2.80; CSKA Moscow 36 GP, 113 GA, 3.14
1978: Tretiak 29 GP, 2.48; No team data
1979: Tretiak 40 GP, 2.78; CSKA Moscow 44 GP, 131 GA, 2.98
1980: Tretiak 36 GP, 2.36; CSKA Moscow 44 GP, 118 GA, 2.68
1981: Tretiak 18 GP, 1.78; CSKA Moscow 49 GP, 113 GA, 2.31
1982: Tretiak 41 GP, 1.70; CSKA Moscow 47 GP, 91 GA, 1.94
1983: Tretiak 29 GP, 1.46; CSKA Moscow 44 GP, 73 GA, 1.66
1984: Tretiak 22 GP, 1.89; CSKA Moscow 44 GP, 80 GA, 1.82

1972: Dryden 64 GP, 2.24; Montreal 2.60
1973: Dryden 54 GP, 2.26; Montreal 2.33
1975: Dryden 56 GP, 2.69; Montreal 2.79
1976: Dryden 62 GP, 2.03; Montreal 2.14
1977: Dryden 56 GP, 2.14; Montreal 2.12
1978: Dryden 52 GP, 2.05; Montreal 2.27
1979: Dryden 47 GP, 2.30; Montreal 2.52

In all, I think I need to move Tretiak up some but I haven't decided yet how much. I'd be very interested to hear more from European posters who might have access to better Russian league stats or more info on how Tretiak was rated in Europe relative to his NHL contemporaries.

Quotations and Perspective:

Originally Posted by overpass
Darren Eliot made a case for Tretiak as the greatest of all time in SI.

The offense-happy 80's took its toll on goalies, increasingly incorporating side-to-side plays and drop passes to defensemen who were jumping up and joining the attack. Goaltending techniques remained divided and still mostly self-taught, with strict stand-up practitioners like Greg Millen adhering to Plante's teachings and drop-down advocates being represented best by the economical Mike Liut and the athletic and agile Grant Fuhr. These guys provided the bridge to the fully adjusted netminders of today -- the generation sacrificed to arrive at what Russian great Tretiak already knew.

Tretiak brought both styles together -- playing big with his upper body, while protecting the low corners with his pads forming a V. He also introduced a change in priorities -- the need to consider the offensive player on the weak side, rather than zeroing in solely on the puck carrier. Tretiak's controlled butterfly style -- playing a little deeper in the crease to protect against the cross-ice pass -- is now the norm in the NHL, adopted by virtually everyone and turned into an art form by Roy, who further refined Tretiak's mechanics on plays in tight by playing neither the shot nor the pass. Roy chose to play percentages only by spreading out and taking away as much net as possible.

If imitation is truly the highest form of flattery, then Tretiak's role in redefining the position -- particularly when considering how the North American game was evolving to add more European influences on the attack -- makes him the greatest goaltender of all time.
Eliot puts a lot of emphasis on innovation when defining the greatest goaltender of all time. Maybe more than anyone here would. But there's probably some validity to that. Goalie statistics can be difficult to evaluate separately from a team context. If a goalie is really a difference-maker, one should also be able to answer the subjective question: how did he do it? Innovators are more likely to be able to add value as they can gain an edge over their peers.

Among those goaltenders already added to the list, Roy was a pioneer of the modern butterfly position. Hasek's unique sprawling style, which some may be able to explain as "a superior understanding of vertical angles" but which looked like black magic to most of us. Plante was an innovator in playing the puck. Hall played an early version of the butterfly style.

Other goalies up for voting in this round had their own stylistic edges. Brodeur's puck handling and integration of such with his team defence. Benedict's pushing the boundaries of the rule book by dropping to his knees. Durnan's ambidextrous play (not an innovation that stuck, but possibly an advantage over his peers.)

E.M. Swift of SI had another take on what made Tretiak great. Skating technique and attitude.

Technically, what sets Tretiak apart from other goalies is his skating ability—the single most important facet to goaltending. He flows about the crease seamlessly. "A goalie must be a virtuoso on skates," Tretiak wrote in his autobiography. The Hockey I Love. "He does not stand in the crease, he plays in the crease." Tretiak's superior skating enables him to cut down angles a fraction more quickly, to set himself for a rebound the moment the first shot is stopped. And when he does leave his feet, Tretiak recovers almost instantaneously. He never seems out of control. It is not, however, technical matters that define greatness in goaltending—it's the intangibles Tretiak has a sort of genius for his position a love of the game an unwillingness to fail and the absolute conviction that he is a better man than the shooter he is facing There is something almost regal about great goalies on great teams—Dryden comes to mind—an air of dominion that starts at the crease and emanates outward.

Swift was the SI writer who rated Tretiak as the best goalie of all time in 1992.

Skill, flair, fire in the belly—these are the traits I've looked for in the players on my alltime hockey Dream Team. No one said anything about passports. So in goal, I'll start Tretiak. Big, quick and fundamentally flawless, he dazzled hockey's cognoscenti from 1972, when he starred for the Soviets against Team Canada, until his retirement in '84. I'll back him up with seven-time Vezina Trophy winner Plante, whose minuscule 2.17 goals-against average in 112 playoff games helped his teams win six Stanley Cups. To those who would name Montreal's Ken Dryden and Detroit's Terry Sawchuk to the team, I say this: Those four were the best ever, but there are only two seats on the starship.

For MXD - while Eliot and Swift may be Sports Illustrated writers, they are both former goaltenders, so they have some credibility in this discussion. Eliot was an NHL backup for a few years in the 80s. Swift played goal for Princeton in the early 70s (coached by Bill Quackenbush.) Not that all goaltenders are perfect evaluators, or that only goaltenders can rate other goaltenders, but it's something. (Actually, it would be interesting to know how many project participants are or have been goaltenders themselves.)

Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
Team Canada's players fully believed their scouts' observations early in game one in Montreal. Tretiak allowed a goal just 30 seconds into the game, and before the 7 minute mark it was 2-0 Canada.

But from that point on Tretiak shut the door. Tretiak emerged seemingly from nowhere to rob and frustrate Canadian shooters who peppered him relentlessly.
Originally Posted by September to Remember
Canada outshot the Soviets in 6 of the 8 Summit Series games including game 4 when Tretiak stopped 21 third period shots in a 5-3 Soviet win. And while Tretiak's save percentage of .884 isn't spectacular by today's standards, his play was spectacular by any era's standards.
Originally Posted by Pat McLean
Tretiak's positioning was excellent and the reality is that he makes very few fivebell saves. The puck just hits him. He looks the modern goaltender. All angles covered and no holes.

* some of this lifted from Dreakmur's profile as well as the HOH top goaltenders project

Last edited by BraveCanadian: 01-27-2013 at 05:37 PM.
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