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05-19-2013, 12:39 PM
I voted for Kodos
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: West Egg, New York
Country: Ukraine
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In terms of "units" on the ice, the clearest advantage that emerges in this series in a head-to-head comparison is in goal, where Georges Vezina is far ahead of Chuck Rayner. It is fairly well established by now that Vezina was the greatest goalie of his generation. In spite of Clint Benedict's better GAA numbers playing behind the Ottawa defense, there are at this point a large number of contemporary articles (including many from before his death) describing Vezina as the greatest goalie of his era. Too many to be ignored. There may not have been a big gap between Vezina and Benedict, but there seems to have been a clear enough gap between them that Vezina was considered almost unanimously better.

Chuck Rayner was a very good goalie in his own right. At 32 teams, there simply aren't any sorry goalies. Nevertheless, Rayner is at best the fourth best goalie of his era, behind Brimsek, Durnan and Broda, and quite possibly the 5th best, depending on how one views Harry Lumley. He's essentially a "hall of very good" player, unlikely to cost his team a game or series by screwing up, but almost certain not to steal one, either.

Georges Vezina is good enough to steal you a game, to pitch a shutout or deflate the opponent with a show-stopping save at a crucial moment. In a matchup as tight as this one looks to be among the skaters, the difference in goal here looms large. Georges Vezina could easily end up being the most valuable player of this series.

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