How would Marc Tardif have fared in the 1976 Canada Cup?
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09-01-2013, 12:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Originally Posted by
The only myth here is the perpetuation of Dryden being something beyond infallible doubleson. He stunk against the Soviets. Couldnt, wouldnt adapt. I had a real hard time watching it as I admired Dryden based on his 71 performance against the Hawks. Could not understand "what happened"? How could so much brilliance just evaporate, disappear? So then I started taking his game apart. Special project. Clearly at that time, circa 71 he had it all: best glove, best positioning on shots: excellent on the scramble in deep. Yet, he lost it against the USSR, and in spectacular fashion. It was like a different person in the crease. He battled, fought himself, and as did he, so did Team Canada from the crease out. I watched Game One & Four, all of it. He stunk. Plain n' simple.
Correct. His confidence had been shattered in dealing with the Soviets early. He played like a Jr.B Goalie at 2pm when his alarm clock doesnt even go off until 8pm. I had zero confidence in that "guy" after game one. Ya, spectacular NHL career. All time great. But "All Time Best Greatest"? You kiddin me? Dissect his style, how he sits on the crease, lateral movement, skating & puckhandling skills, rebound control, total package. Built for North America. That just wasnt good enough in my book. He was far too "predictable". Over-thought himself while thinking too much (goaltending in 95% mental) and I believe to some no small extent caused wide spread breakdown & loss of confidence amongst Team Canada. Like a virus.
Nowhere did I say Ken Dryden was beyond infallible. Did I call him the "All-Time Best Greatest?" He was lousy in Game 1 of the Summit, as I stated, but to blame him for Team Canada's mental state in the series is just bloody daft. Was his game built for North America? Well, yeah, that's stating the obvious. You want to dissect something, dissect the goals he surrenders in Game 4 and on New Year's and tell me which ones were bad goals. I'm curious to hear about all the softies he was letting in.
Look he wasn't stand on his head great, I'll give you that. But the goals he let's in are quality scores. Everyone gets caught up in 3 goals on 13 shots, but each of those goals are off of primo scoring plays. Frankly I find much of the argument insulting, not to Dryden, but to the Russians. They get the Canadians running around in their own end repeatedly because of their passing, or backing in too deep because of their skating, set up high percentage shots and score some beautiful goals, but it's all because Dryden was "bad against the Russians."
I'm aware of Dryden's own criticism of his play. He wanted to be better. Good for him. He was used to dominating and against the Russians he didn't. So he demands more of himself. Again, he was a winner (Plus you're talking about maybe the most self-reflective player with a penchant for over-analysis ever).
I brought up Grant Fuhr because he did play outstanding when it was all on the line, and yet he was still getting shelled. Playing against a team of superstars, that'll happen. It's not necessarily due to lousy goaltending. Bad goaltending is Liut giving up unscreened wrist shots from the top of the circles, not Dryden failing to stop Mikhailov scoring redirections on the power play or an undefended Vikulov standing on the edge of the crease converting a cross ice feed.
Only three Canadian goalies played in Moscow in a best on best series against the USSR. Dryden is the only one of the three that didn't lose a game in Russia. With Team Canada on the brink he outplayed Tretiak and won. He should get far more credit for that than he does. I'll leave it at that.
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