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08-30-2013, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by cam042686 View Post
I said that about Lafleur, not because he was a total "dog" like Frank Mahovlich was against the Soviets in 1972 and 1974. It was just you expected more. He was never awful like Mahovlich was - but he was never great like Phil Esposito, Bobby Hull, Ralph Backstrom, etc were against the Soviets. He was okay and at times very good. But for someone of his stature - didn't we expect a performance like Wayne Gretzky gave in Game 2 of the 1987 Canada Cup, or Backstrom in Game 7 of the 1974 Summit, or Esposito through most of the 72 Summit, as well as future games against the Soviets?

As for Dryden - well he got pasted by the Soviets in 1969, (he gave up 9 goals playing for the Nats against the Soviets) and the first 2 games of the 72 Summit. He was a fumbling, bumbling mess. He was very good in Game 6 , and well in Game 8 I guess we can say Canada survived him. (Remember Phil Esposito saved a 6th goal from going in during the 2nd period.) He was horrible in the 1975 New Years Game - my god he stunk! He played okay splitting a game against a weak Spartak team in 1977-78. He did play well in Game 1 of the Challenge Cup and had a weak game in Game 2.

So in 9 games versus the Soviets he was horrible in 4 of them (1969, Games 1, 4 of 72 and 1975 New Years Eve), below average in one (Game 2 of Challenge Cup), okay in 2 (Game 8 of 72 and Spartak),and played well in 2 (Game 6 of 72 and Game 1 of Challenge Cup.) Now is that a stellar record of a goalie who raised his game to a higher level? Two good games out of 9?

To be fair Ken Dryden didn't tend to have great success against team who had great lateral speed - who could really get him going "back and forth." The early 70's Rangers and the Sabres of the mid 70's had success against him and of course the Soviets.

Craig Wallace
I've written this elsewhere, but I've always had a hard time seeing how Dryden was "horrible" in game 4 of the Summit or New Year's '75. Maybe it's the former goalie in me, but being scored on by world-class players off of prime scoring chances isn't being a "fumbling, stumbling mess."

Game 4's goals are two power play deflections, both the result of Goldsworthy being an idiot; a two on one after Stapleton coughs it up at the opposite blue-line; a one-timer off a cross-ice pass while his teammates are running around in the defensive zone (or in Esposito's case had completely abandoned it); and the final goal Dryden makes the initial save, but Shadrin, who's left completely uncovered in front, knocks in the rebound. Blaming the goalie for the whole team in front of him for sucking royally is simply looking for a scapegoat.

New Year's isn't quite the same beast, as the Canadiens outplayed CSKA for most of the game, but none of the Russian goals are bad goals. Mikhailov is allowed to skate in too deep on the first goal and has a full view of the net and roofs his shot over Dryden's glove; the 2nd Kharlamov is sprung off a nifty pass by Petrov and is in all alone on Dryden; the third is a two on one after Awrey is caught up ice. People judge Dryden vs. Tretiak's performance in that one and look at the shot differential, but all three goals are excellent scoring opportunities, cashed in by some of the best players in the world. It's not like Dryden is allowing unscreened slow rollers from the blueline, or giving up juicy rebounds for gimme goals, or kicking the puck into his own net.

As for the rest of your game's analysis, well if you're gonna say that Team Canada survived him in game 8 you might also point out that Dryden had to survive them (and the officiating) early on, as three of the five goals are on power plays, including a 5 on 3. Shadrin's goal is also a total fluke that bounces off the screen behind the goal from Yakushev's shot straight out in front and onto the Shadrin's stick. Again I don't see how any of the five are "horrible" goals.

Agree with VBMB that Dryden outperforms Tretiak in game 2 of the Challenge Cup. He's not great, but he isnt awful either, but the team in front of him stops skating after the first period and the game's only close because of some big saves by Dryden and because Tretiak is that bad.
I can't comment on the games with the Nats, as I didn't see them, beyond pointing out that Father Bauer himself said that Nats team was very inexperienced and were outclassed by a good Soviet team. The game against Spartak was a one sided affair and Dryden got to sit before it was over.
In the 8 games that Dryden played against the Soviets as a pro he was 4-3-1, with only game 1 of the Summit Series a truly poor performance, and he was of course not the lone Canadian to be wretchingly bad that day. A breakdown of Tretiak's performance head to head might reveal more sterling performances, certainly New Year's, but also some just plain bad goals surrendered, such as Henderson's winner in game 6.

I'd agree that a big goalie often has difficulty moving side to side and the Soviet game was predicated on lateral puck movement. But then most goalies have difficulties from good puck movement by championship calibre teams. Dryden struggled at times, but at no time did he ever, even in game 1 in '72, look as bad as Cheevers in the Challenge Cup final, or Liut in '81. Even Grant Fuhr, as big as he is remembered against the Soviets, gave up 27 goals in six games against between Rendezvous '87 and the '87 Canada Cup.

I guess you could say the Rangers and Sabres had success against Dryden since they each did beat him in a playoff round in the 70s too. So what. Those two series have no bearing on his play against the Soviets and little impact on his legacy in the NHL. He was a winner, even against the Russians, and outside of a single game as a pro in International play, his first, he was never "horrible." It's a myth

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