Jim Coleman Conference 2nd round - Pittsburgh AC vs. Philadelphia Flyers
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04-28-2013, 02:27 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Philadelphia, PA
This is another advantage that Philadelphia is going to have that will play a pivotal role in the series. Grant Fuhr is as good of a playoff goaltender as there is. I don't know if there's another goalie that elevates his game more from the regular season to the playoffs than Fuhr. One thing that Grant has on Rayner is that Grant was, for a stretch of 4-5 years, the best goalie in the world. The numbers and voting may not suggest it, but there are copious amounts of articles that call him the best in the world. Rayner was never the best in the world. You could make the argument that Rayner faced tougher competition in Durnan/Broda/Brimsek, but I think goaltending in the 1980s is generally under appreciated. Furh faced Billy Smith, Patrick Roy, and Tom Barrasso.
Neither one of these goalies received much good defensive support from their teams, but it was for two very different reasons. Rayner's teams weren't good, and Fuhr's teams didn't play defense. When Rayner was in the playoffs, he was good. But, that was only for a total of two seasons. We can't punish him for playing for a bad team, but the fact is he has very little playoff experience. When he was there, he was good, but it was for a short time. Fuhr won four cups, and was known as the premier playoff goaltender of the day. Fuhr definitely has an advantage here, and he has the ability to steal games by himself in the playoffs.
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