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Tommy Salo: Fan Perception and Home Truths

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Old
03-24-2005, 03:34 PM
  #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copperandblue
I don't get the Fuhr/Roy comparison on a couple fronts.

First off Roy is the best modern day goaltender and one of the best all time as well as a lock to be a hall of famer.

Is it fair to use him as an argument to show that Fuhr is/was over rated?

Second, Roy revolutionized the way goaltending was played. Did he do it for giggles or because it proved effective? It should come as no surprise then that Roy's numbers lead the pack for the time period that is being discussed.

Does any of this take away from the fact that for a time, in the '80's, with the style of play on the ice and the style of play in the net, Fuhr was regarded as one of, if not the best goaltender in the league? I don't think so.

Stats can be used for generalizations but they don't paint the whole picture. As a guy that used to look at Save % as the most telling stat for how good a goalie is, I can now say that Igor has convinced me otherwise.
Thats the whole point of this though C&B. Im saying that the fact that Fuhrs %'s increased at the same rate as Roys is just an indication that Fuhr faced an inordinate amount of high quality scoring chances playing behind the Oilers in the 80's.

Based on the logic that, Fuhr wasnt the goaltender he was in the 80s ability wise, he was older and fighting his cocaine addictions etc, natural decline, yet he saw an increase in stats. It leave sthe possibility that his stats were deflated by being a part of the dynasty teams. I'm just saying its a valid point to consider... not that Roy and Fuhr are comparable. That isnt even a consideration, St. Patrick is the legend of our time as far as goaltenders go.

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03-24-2005, 03:52 PM
  #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dynastydays
Thats the whole point of this though C&B. Im saying that the fact that Fuhrs %'s increased at the same rate as Roys is just an indication that Fuhr faced an inordinate amount of high quality scoring chances playing behind the Oilers in the 80's.
In general I fall more in line with your reasoning in this debate.

I have pretty much lost track on where this argument is at right now, other than Roy's king - Fuhr's overrated, so I don't have a whole pile to offer.

As a guy that wasn't even a Fuhr fan during the glory days (Moog was the guy I was pulling for), I can't argue about his place in the league during his reign.

Looking at his whole career, I thought his play got better as he got older, I think his first two years in St Louis was some of his best hockey ... right up until Kypreos ran him in the playoffs and Fuhr blew his knee out. Although I attribute this more to a change in style moreso than Fuhr's ability increasing.

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03-24-2005, 06:43 PM
  #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copperandblue
In general I fall more in line with your reasoning in this debate.

I have pretty much lost track on where this argument is at right now, other than Roy's king - Fuhr's overrated, so I don't have a whole pile to offer.

As a guy that wasn't even a Fuhr fan during the glory days (Moog was the guy I was pulling for), I can't argue about his place in the league during his reign.

Looking at his whole career, I thought his play got better as he got older, I think his first two years in St Louis was some of his best hockey ... right up until Kypreos ran him in the playoffs and Fuhr blew his knee out. Although I attribute this more to a change in style moreso than Fuhr's ability increasing.
No offense C&B. And no surprises. :-)

You agree with me 100% of the time when my point supports the Oilers mgmt or players.

You disagree with me 100% of the time when my point does not support the Oilers mgmt or players.

That makes it about a 50/50 split. Not bad.

You make some interesting, fuzzy sort of comments on a lot of things though. I still respond to your posts, and you to mine. Hell today I was reading people who I generally skim through (tonne of work to do ... just burnt out, but the weekend just about here :-) )

Have a good Easter.

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Old
03-24-2005, 06:59 PM
  #129
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Originally Posted by igor
You disagree with me 100% of the time when my point does not support the Oilers mgmt or players.
You would probably be surprised at how much I agree with you on. Even the critical stuff.

It's just the extremes you take it to that make me argue.

In this case, looking back 20 years at sv % is a pointless imo. It doesn't show situational play within the game and with the way the game is played today I think it warps our expectations in looking back.

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Old
03-24-2005, 07:42 PM
  #130
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We'll kicked this around awhile, but I doubt anyone has changed their minds (except igor). As I said in an earlier post, had we had the tools available then we do now, questions some had (many Oiler fans wondered why Moog wasn't the starter) may have found some traction with the SP statistic.

But it wasn't in the Hockey News I bought in the 80s, and so we were left with our eyes and the game we knew as we saw it at that time.

Statistics have aided all sports and hindsight tells us that Fuhr's place among goalies of his era may not have been as strong as once thought. What do we do with that knowledge?

Do we tug away at Fuhr's legacy or perhaps give more credit to guys like Pete Peeters and Gilles Meloche? Was the .912SP of 2005 .873?

That's the question (I think) we need to answer. Along with why Fuhr's backups did better. Were they protected? Or was Fuhr? Who played against the other bigtime offensive teams of the era? Who played the Calgary games?

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03-24-2005, 08:52 PM
  #131
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I'm pretty certain that back in the 80's most teams shared the load fairly evenly between the starter and the backup. Usually Fuhr and Moog would alternate gp in the regular season and then Fuhr would take the reins during the playoffs except for '84 when he got injured in Game 3.

Then in '87-88 Moog played for the Canadian Olympic team, and the tandem was reduced to Fuhr and Warren frickin' Skorodenski. The year started with a short summer after beating the Flyers in the finals, then Fuhr was the starter for the Canada Cup, then he played 75 in the regular season and 19 more in the playoffs. This is not something that an average goalie did back in the mid-80's...maybe today, but not back then.

Now that's not a complete reason for giving the guy a Vezina, but it does show that he was a very special player IMO. Can he be considered the pioneer for the modern day #1 goalie?

BTW how many seasons did Roy only start when they were playing at the Forum? I'll try looking for a site that has number of home/road games started.

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03-25-2005, 02:34 AM
  #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowetide


Grant Fuhr played 19 seasons and by the time he had turned 30 he was going to the HOF. The reason? Well, he was actually a very good goalie by 1980's standards (read: his team won and he was in goal). And he made lots of spectacular saves and people talked about them when they were driving home at night. Plus he won a Vezina and played in the All Star game every year. He was on a famous team and played in some very famous Stanley Cup games and had a major impact on them.

If Grant Fuhr arrived as a rookie today, the scouting report would talk about him being out of position too much and having mental lapses. Looking back now that SP isn't impressive and the GAA looks shabby but in the context of place and time Fuhr's numbers rang true based on accepted hockey wisdom.

Bottom line is this: if we had used SP as THE major tool to judge goalies in the 80s it might have been different. Or MAYBE oilswell or mudcrutch or igor (or whomever) will come up with a way to rate difficulty of saves and we'll want to build a monument to Fuhr.

I don't honestly know. What I do know is that Lou Brock is a HOFer and people in St. Louis love him and the memories he gave them. And that is exactly how I feel about Grant Fuhr, and no number crunch or logical argument is going to change my mind.

Grant Fuhr was an outstanding goalie in my mind and I was very happy he made the Hall of Fame. He won some Stanleys, a Vezina, was on a first all star team and played in the all star game several times. If you go to the downtown library and look up the old newspapers you'll see some lovely writing by people like Jim Matheson about Grant Fuhr that would do far more justice than I can ever do for his memory as a player.

Most of the men he played against and the writers who saw him felt he was one of the best of his era then, and I don't see any harm in calling him that now.

If no one shares that view, I'm okay with it.
The team had a far better winning percentage with Moog in net (.707 vs .637) and Fuhr was the worst goalie in the history of the game for pimping an easy save. A puck would go straight into his trapper and he'd throw his glove hand up over his head and touch his opposite shoulder. Rod Phillips would scream like he had just saved the coookie jar from total obliteration and folks gobbled it up like a bulldog eating mayonnaise.

Andy's bad goal ratio was one tenth of what Fuhr's was but the impression of the stellar save wasn't there because he was just in position more of the time and didn't have to get crazy. The series against the Habs was the best series we ever got out of a goalie, only Ranford and Cujo ever came close to working that kind of magic between the pipes.

Sorry but Fuhr was just a near-elite goalie playing on the best offensive team of all time and if he was a Hartford Whaler noone would remember him. IMO he shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath as.

Hasek and Roy.

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Old
03-25-2005, 09:16 AM
  #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oi'll say!
Fuhr was just a near-elite goalie playing on the best offensive team of all time and he shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath as Hasek and Roy.
I have absolutely no problem with your statement. If hockey had an "inner circle" of the HOF that housed Sawchuk, Hall, Parent, Hasek and Roy and placed Fuhr inside the second tier most fans (I believe) wouldn't see that as a slight against Fuhr.

However, if we're going to nick Fuhr to the point where "if he were a Whaler no one would remember him" then every avenue has to be explored before doing it, right?

For instance, Moog's GAA and Winning % is better than Fuhr's, so we need to ask some questions. Why would they trade Moog and keep Fuhr? Did the league play a balanced sked or was Calgary playing Edmonton more often? Who played those games against the big scoring teams (LA, Flames) in our division? Was it even?

Why did Slats go with Fuhr in the playoffs everytime after the deep run of 1983?

After that, we need to fan out. We need to ask if the goalies who had the heart of their careers in the 80s are unfairly overlooked due to playing in a terrible offensive era. Is this group under represented as I suggested might be the case in an earlier thread? Are the goalies of the 90s the Colorado Rockie pitchers of today? If I say a goalie has a SP of .912 today, that tells us something. What was the equivalent number in the mid-80s? Was Fuhr below that number?

Your arguments suggests that Grant Fuhr was a fairly marginal goalie. Greg Stefan, that kind of guy ("if he were a Whaler no one would remember him").

Don't you think we have to dig a little deeper before we say that?

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03-25-2005, 11:27 AM
  #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowetide
I have absolutely no problem with your statement. If hockey had an "inner circle" of the HOF that housed Sawchuk, Hall, Parent, Hasek and Roy and placed Fuhr inside the second tier most fans (I believe) wouldn't see that as a slight against Fuhr.

However, if we're going to nick Fuhr to the point where "if he were a Whaler no one would remember him" then every avenue has to be explored before doing it, right?

For instance, Moog's GAA and Winning % is better than Fuhr's, so we need to ask some questions. Why would they trade Moog and keep Fuhr? Did the league play a balanced sked or was Calgary playing Edmonton more often? Who played those games against the big scoring teams (LA, Flames) in our division? Was it even?

Why did Slats go with Fuhr in the playoffs everytime after the deep run of 1983?

After that, we need to fan out. We need to ask if the goalies who had the heart of their careers in the 80s are unfairly overlooked due to playing in a terrible offensive era. Is this group under represented as I suggested might be the case in an earlier thread? Are the goalies of the 90s the Colorado Rockie pitchers of today? If I say a goalie has a SP of .912 today, that tells us something. What was the equivalent number in the mid-80s? Was Fuhr below that number?

Your arguments suggests that Grant Fuhr was a fairly marginal goalie. Greg Stefan, that kind of guy ("if he were a Whaler no one would remember him").

Don't you think we have to dig a little deeper before we say that?
Good post. And though it's addressed to Oi'll Say I'll throw in some comments anyways. :-)

IIRC there is a website that lists just that. Save% relative to league average for the year ... IIRC someone here has provided a link here before. And I would imagine that Fuhr was a bit better than league average over his mid/late-twenties range ... though I don't know. Relatively speaking ... about the same as Cujo, and a shade better than Salo in this regard.

If fewer goalies from that era go into the hall of fame ... partly it is because of the numbers which won't compare favourably to other eras, and partly because perhaps fewer deserve to.

I think that by 'Oi'll Say'calling Fuhr near-elite ... that seems to mesh pretty well with the numbers over the years. In itself it seems to be a pretty balanced statement IMHO.

.

Just scanning through some of this stuff though (all in one CSV file since 1987, so it's easy) ... can't help but wonder why more European goalies haven't played in the NHL earlier.

I mean Hasek never really got a chance to play much until he was 29 or so. Cechmanek came over pretty late. The other Euros; Nabokov, Aebischer, Prusek, Markannen, Toskala, Kiprusoff, Gerber, Khabibulin, Cechmanek ... really aside from Nurminen, Hurme, Lindqvist ... they're a bunch that put up damn good EVsave% numbers as a group. This list is just from my memory, I'm sure I'm missing a few.

Makes you wonder if there hasn't been a bias against European goalies in the past. Also makes you wonder if there aren't several guys in Europe right now that could be better than average NHL goalies and lower cost. I don't know, just wondering out loud.

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Old
03-25-2005, 02:20 PM
  #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor
I think that by 'Oi'll Say'calling Fuhr near-elite ... that seems to mesh pretty well with the numbers over the years. In itself it seems to be a pretty balanced statement IMHO.
I didn't really get "near elite" out of "if he'd been a Whaler no one would have heard of him." Oi'll Say is making a strong argument (as always) and I think it's important to have balance.

Whenever we look back and apply what we know now to the past (SP was not a universal stat used freely as it is now when the Oilers chose Fuhr over Moog as a for instance), I think we also have to weigh heavily what level said player reached in his own time. Fuhr did a lot of things a goalie like Stefan didn't do:

*Made the 2nd All Star Team as a rookie.
*played in what by any stretch would have to be considered an historic game in this franchise's history, the Islander shutout.
*Made the 1st All Star Team.
*Won a Vezina Trophy.
*Was a part of one of the most famous team's in NHL history.

If we had the Edmonton Journal archives on the internet we could go back and see that in fact Fuhr was regarded as one of the very best goalies of his era. Injuries, immaturity and wel documented drug troubles were included in what was a fairly eventful decade for Fuhr.

But as we approach the middle part of the 00's, how many HOF goalies who played the heart of their careers in the 1980s belong to the Hall?

60s-Johnny Bower, Ed Giacomin, Glenn Hall, Gump Worsley
70s-Gerry Cheevers, Ken Dryden, Tony Esposito, Bernie Parent
80s-Billy Smith, Grant Fuhr

Roy would have be considered a 90s goalie, right? Hasek is the 90s G who will go in. Of those G's not in the HOF (and eligible) I would think Rogie Vachon would probably be most often mentioned.

If I've done my math correctly, we've got 4 G's from the 60s in (in what was mostly a 6 team era), 4 from the 70s (in what began as a 12 team league and ended as a
21 team league), 2 from the 80s (began as a 21 team league and ended as a 21 team league).

Billy Smith and Grant Fuhr. Smith was drafted in 1970 and although he certainly built his HOF resume in the 80s with the Cup teams, much of his career 3.17 GAA was picked up in the mid to late 1970's. His 1980's GAA are plenty nice, but strangely a hair inferior to his backups (Rollie Melanson and Kelly Hrudey). Damned if he didn't have the same problem in the 70s with Chico Resch.

Who were the other good goalies of the 80s? The Vezina Winners changed almost by season. The eastern clubs always seemed to win the award during the 80s. If it wasn't Boston it was Montreal and if it wasn't Buffalo it was Philadelphia. Of the ten Vezina's in the decade, 9 stayed out east in the Adams (5) or the Patrick (4).

One came west. Grant Fuhr. Does that have any weight?

I'm prepared to give you say uncle in terms of the inner circle. But before we agree that if Grant Fuhr "had been a Whaler no one would have heard of him" I think we have to listen to the men who played the game, commentated on it, wrote about it and voted on it.

They liked Grant Fuhr plenty. Are we really prepared to flush all of that information because our current level of knowledge implies otherwise?

Shouldn't we respect what was "prevailing wisdom" at the time until we can be absolutely sure? If we're going to call out Grant Fuhr as hockey's "lively ball" HOF fraud, shouldn't we delve a little deeper?

I sure hope so.

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03-25-2005, 03:34 PM
  #136
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowetide
Your arguments suggests that Grant Fuhr was a fairly marginal goalie. Greg Stefan, that kind of guy ("if he were a Whaler no one would remember him").

Don't you think we have to dig a little deeper before we say that?
Sorry if that was a bit abrasive but it's the way that I've always felt when I watched the Oilers play.

You have your Reggie Jackson type - the guy who put his team over the top, and you have your Mark Bellhorn type - a good player who is worthy of being on a good major league team but isn't the kind of guy who makes a team elite, or special. He just contributes at a slightly above average level.

By being named to the hall Fuhr seems to be getting near Reggie type status when imo the Oilers would have won cups back then if they had Moog, Vernon, Hextall, Beaupre, or any other "good" goalie in net. The biggest difference between Fuhr and a guy like Beaupre was that Gretzky was scoring more points than Don's top 3 teammates combined in most seasons in the '80's. No Oiler fans under the age of 28 would even know who Don is or what team he was on even though he did have a very lengthy and successful career in his own right.

My lasting impression of Fuhr's tenure in net was the feeling that any shot could go in at any time, big game or not. If he played on an offensively challenged team like the Oilers of the past few seasons where the 2-0 goal was "the one that killed you" would he even have lasted? In Grant's first playoff series, the one that included the Miracle on Manchester game, the Oilers scored 17 goals in the 3 games they lost. The Kings scored 23 times in those games.

Salo let in 22 goals in his first 8 games against Dallas. He lost 2-1 in his first game then he held them in that series until the 57 minute mark of overtime in game 4. Is that not clutch? In 15 games against Dal he let in 4 goals three times (only twice if you don't count ot) and that's the max. He lost by more than one goal twice (once when the Oilers were shutout 3-0, once in a 3-1 game). He set the Oilers team record for fewest ga in a season (182). But he's wearing goat horns while Fuhr gets a robe and crown?

I'm not pointing the finger at you but overall the fans here are extremely fickle and naive sometimes. Just because Moog, Ranford and Cujo managed to steal entire series' for the Oilers all of our goalies are held to that same standard except, of course, Grant, who won the Cup playing on the only team in nhl history to score 400+ goals in a season.

For the record, Salo's trophy case isn't empty as someone else mentioned. He won an Olympic gold.

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03-25-2005, 04:07 PM
  #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor
IIRC there is a website that lists just that. Save% relative to league average for the year ... IIRC someone here has provided a link here before. And I would imagine that Fuhr was a bit better than league average over his mid/late-twenties range ... though I don't know. Relatively speaking ... about the same as Cujo, and a shade better than Salo in this regard.
If there is a website, and someone has the link, please share. I've had to calculate all this stuff myself.

Code:
	Fuhr	Salo	Moog	Joseph
23	n/a	n/a	n/a	1014
24	n/a	n/a	n/a	1025
25	1001	999	n/a	1029
26	996	1000	n/a	1017
27	986	995	998	1001
28	n/a	1010	1014	986
29	992	1000	1011	1002
30	1009	1006	998	998
31	987	990	990	1003
32	969	985	999	1011
33	1005	n/a	1016	1012
34	995	n/a	1001	998
35	991	n/a	1009	1003
36	983	n/a	999	997
37	947	n/a	n/a	n/a

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Old
03-25-2005, 04:10 PM
  #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oi'll say!
Sorry if that was a bit abrasive but it's the way that I've always felt when I watched the Oilers play.
I wasn't offended, but it was too good a line not to throw back at you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oi'll say!
imo the Oilers would have won cups back then if they had Moog, Vernon, Hextall, Beaupre, or any other "good" goalie in net.
I agree. I think an interesting thread on the history board would be "who is the best goalie from the 80s no one mentions anymore". Beaupre would be a terrific candidate for that title.

However, do you think Grant Fuhr's GAA and SP would have improved if he had been in Philadelphia? Montreal?

And while it's interesting to say what if don't we also have to give credit to Fuhr for winning the goaltending battle? Sather was the coach and he chose Fuhr. What does that tell us about Sather?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oi'll say!
In Grant's first playoff series, the one that included the Miracle on Manchester game, the Oilers scored 17 goals in the 3 games they lost. The Kings scored 23 times in those games.
Of course he was 19 at the time, so I think we can cut him some slack. Oilers might have been better served giving Fuhr some time to develop but they thought he was their best option.

A scant two years later he was killing the Islanders in one of the best games I've ever seen from a goalie. Many (not me, but many) point to that game as the most important in the series which brought Stanley to Edmonton.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oi'll say!
Salo let in 22 goals in his first 8 games against Dallas. He lost 2-1 in his first game then he held them in that series until the 57 minute mark of overtime in game 4. Is that not clutch? In 15 games against Dal he let in 4 goals three times (only twice if you don't count ot) and that's the max. He lost by more than one goal twice (once when the Oilers were shutout 3-0, once in a 3-1 game). He set the Oilers team record for fewest ga in a season (182). But he's wearing goat horns while Fuhr gets a robe and crown?
I was a Tommy supporter right up to the goal 8 seconds into the final Dallas game. I always thought he would turn it around (ask mudcrutch, I think it still irks him guys like me couldn't see it until the end. I saw it, just felt he'd find another pitch) and add a little coda to his career that would make us warm and fuzzy. Didn't happen. Doesn't have anything to do with Fuhr, they both played the cards dealt them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oi'll say!
I'm not pointing the finger at you but overall the fans here are extremely fickle and naive sometimes. Just because Moog, Ranford and Cujo managed to steal entire series' for the Oilers all of our goalies are held to that same standard except, of course, Grant, who won the Cup playing on the only team in nhl history to score 400+ goals in a season.

For the record, Salo's trophy case isn't empty as someone else mentioned. He won an Olympic gold.
You're going to have to give me some time on Tommy. A long time. Maybe a decade.

As for the fickle and naive fanbase, I'm not so sure. I see lots of posts like "when will these guys learn" or "even though it was obvious the HF Oil rolled merrily along" but seems to me there are enough folks dropping by the board to question everything or endorse everything and we as a group read what we want and react to the rest.

I know that's what I do.

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