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07-25-2013, 01:02 PM
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[News Archives] Super Savers

In an article from Sports Illustrated titled Super Savers dated Dec 3 1990, writer Jay Greenberg talks about the budding success that veteran John Vanbiesbrouck and rookie Mike Richter shared together.

This is a funny quote looking back:

Like most teams, the Rangers could use another scorer, but general manager Neil Smith says he will not deal either Vanbiesbrouck or Richter for help at another position. "I drafted goalies for years in Detroit [as the Red Wings' director of scouting] and came up with only one NHLer, Tim Cheveldae," says Smith. "Good goalies are just too valuable."

On similarities and differences in playing style:

Reflexes, of course, are still a job requisite. Vanbiesbrouck has outstanding quickness, and Richter may be even quicker. From the dropped-down, split-legged "butterfly" position used to protect the bottom half of the net while looking through screens and scrambles, Richter is able to spring back to his skates with astonishing speed. His short, swift but not-really-fluid movements suggest a toy goalie with a key in his back.

Richter does only the most perfunctory puckhandling around the goal. Vanbiesbrouck, though, likes to roam. "I'm more likely to beat myself trying to poke-check somebody on a breakaway than Mike would be," Vanbiesbrouck says.

On Vanbiesbrouck's love/hate relationship with the organization:

"There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of being on the Ranger team that finally ends the 1940 stuff," he says. But since establishing himself as a top-notch goaltender in '84-85, Vanbiesbrouck has been frustrated by two general manager changes and resulting turnovers in personnel. In the past, he has criticized teammates privately, questioned the organization publicly and seethed during the '86-87 season when Phil Esposito, the general manager then, traded defenseman Kjell Samuelsson and a second-round draft choice to Philadelphia for Froese. Vanbiesbrouck was coming off a season in which he had gone 31-21-5 with a 3.32 goals-against average, had backstopped a pedestrian New York team to consecutive playoff upsets of powerful Philadelphia and Washington clubs and had won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's best goalie.

Even if Vanbiesbrouck could have accepted the notion that continuing the 61-game workload of the previous season would eventually be counterproductive to the Rangers' and his own good, he could not buy the idea that New York needed a former member of the hated Flyers to share starts and locker-room chitchat. "We have a big rivalry with Philly," he says. "It didn't sit well with me."
Full Article Here

Richter is my favorite Ranger of all time. But I still maintain that he is also one of the more overrated. And Beezer one of the more underrated.

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