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Michel Bunny Larocque

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05-04-2005, 08:48 PM
  #1
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Michel Bunny Larocque

There was always friction between the french media who sided with bunny against kenny. When Bunny finally looked set to get his chance after Drydens retirement, the Habs unexpectedly went out and stole Denis Herron from the Pens.

A year later Bunny was sent packing to the Leafs where he spent a couple of years before playing out the string with a couple of other teams.

It appears he played 20 minutes of playoffs between 74 and 79. Was that the 3rd period of game 1 of the 79 finals - a 6-2 loss? He was reputed to start game 2 but a Risebrough shot in warmups "dropped" and hit him in the blocker knuckle and broke it. Dryden played the last 4 games of his career winning another cup backed up by Sevigny.

Interesting sidenote: Long John Davidson's backup in that series was Doug Soetart who would be Patrick Roys backup the next time the Habs won in 86.

Anyone remember Bunny with the Leafs?

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05-04-2005, 09:01 PM
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Certain members of the Montreal media have always been trying to create the illusion of a French-English rift on the Canadiens. It was especially bad during the Pat Burns era; most of these guys were trying to promote separatist feelings amongst their readers from the sports pages instead of the political section.

As for Bunny Larocque- a good goalie, but not a great one. Herron was much better than him or Sevigny. When Dryden sat out in `73-`74 they went with Larocque in the playoffs and the Rangers handled him pretty easily. I don`t blame Bunny for any of his losses with Toronto though. They may have had the worst defence ever.

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05-04-2005, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chooch
Anyone remember Bunny with the Leafs?
Yes, I think they traded Picard the Dman for him. It might have been one of the final Imlach trades, they had some sorry goaltending when he was there the second time. I don't think they were very good, but it probably wasn't the goalie's fault.

Laroucque came in during the early 70s and honestly the first I remember him was part of a goaltending trio (Wayne Thomas, Bunny, Michel Plasse) who filled in during the season Dryden held out.

After Dryden came back there was little need for him, although he clearly was a quality NHL goalie (Wayne Thomas was too. He was completely humiliated one season during the 70s, spending the entire year on the roster and not playing a minute. In the NHL records, he is listed as "spare goatender").

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05-05-2005, 01:49 AM
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05-05-2005, 06:52 AM
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Larocque may have had a different carreer if he was drafted by a team that needed a goalie. Who knows ? I wonder if any of you stat guys who project numbers in situations can do anything with the 'good bad team goalie' that some players are known as. Denis Heron and Gilles Meloche are 2 that always come to mind. They were known as great goalies who kept their weak teams competitive and the talk was always that they were better than a guy like Dryden who had less work. Over the last 10 years, Philly always makes me think of this. Put their current org. in the 70's and they'd be acquiring the cream of this crop every year.

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05-05-2005, 07:05 AM
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I remember the night he beat the Oil 6-1, including stopping Gretzky on a penalty shot. Otherwise he was pretty mediocre...

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05-05-2005, 03:20 PM
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His numbers were pretty awful for the Leafs, but in his defense not even Jesus could have made enough saves to keep those 80s Leafs competitive.

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05-05-2005, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
Larocque may have had a different carreer if he was drafted by a team that needed a goalie. Who knows ? I wonder if any of you stat guys who project numbers in situations can do anything with the 'good bad team goalie' that some players are known as. Denis Heron and Gilles Meloche are 2 that always come to mind. They were known as great goalies who kept their weak teams competitive and the talk was always that they were better than a guy like Dryden who had less work. Over the last 10 years, Philly always makes me think of this. Put their current org. in the 70's and they'd be acquiring the cream of this crop every year.
I remember in the mid 70s everyone said Dryden wasn`t that great and faced far less shots than any other goalie etc. The NHL didn`t track save percentage back then, but in the 2001 Hockey Compendium a fan went through game summaries to do the totals for a couple of years in the 70s. It found that Dryden was an excellent goalie, even considering the defence in front of him. His save% was 5th in `75 (generally recognized as his worst year due to rust from taking the previous year off) and 1st in `76. They also did results for every playoff year and Dryden dominated there, with the best playoff save% in `76, `77 and `78. It doesn`t tell the whole story but indicates that all that "Dryden only wins because of the defence in front of him" argument was as valid as "Gretzky only scores so much because he plays in the Smythe division.

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05-05-2005, 05:57 PM
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IMO Larocque was the weakest link on the Habs teams of the late 70's. Good guy, but not that great a goalie. He had some good numbers with the Habs, but that was mainly due to the fact he played behind a great team and faced extremely weak opponents. Ken Dryden would get all the tough assignments.

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05-05-2005, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reckoning
I remember in the mid 70s everyone said Dryden wasn`t that great and faced far less shots than any other goalie etc. The NHL didn`t track save percentage back then, but in the 2001 Hockey Compendium a fan went through game summaries to do the totals for a couple of years in the 70s. It found that Dryden was an excellent goalie, even considering the defence in front of him. His save% was 5th in `75 (generally recognized as his worst year due to rust from taking the previous year off) and 1st in `76. They also did results for every playoff year and Dryden dominated there, with the best playoff save% in `76, `77 and `78. It doesn`t tell the whole story but indicates that all that "Dryden only wins because of the defence in front of him" argument was as valid as "Gretzky only scores so much because he plays in the Smythe division.
Dryden was an excellent goalie but not because the save % says so. Save % is largely a team statistic. Play on a team with great D like the 70s Habs and your save % is impressive. Play on the 80s Oilers and your save % sucks. Fuhr faced a lot more two on ones, three on ones, breakaways and point blank shots than Dryden ever faced.

But, with that in mind, Dryden was the better goaltender. The only way to properly evaluate goaltending is by watching a goalie play. All goaltending stats are too influenced by the team to be useful. The eyewitnesses said Dryden was the NHL's best goalie 5 times and they said he was playoff MVP in 1971. That is why Dryden was great, the people that saw him play voted him as the best.

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05-05-2005, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
Dryden was an excellent goalie but not because the save % says so. Save % is largely a team statistic. Play on a team with great D like the 70s Habs and your save % is impressive. Play on the 80s Oilers and your save % sucks. Fuhr faced a lot more two on ones, three on ones, breakaways and point blank shots than Dryden ever faced.

But, with that in mind, Dryden was the better goaltender. The only way to properly evaluate goaltending is by watching a goalie play. All goaltending stats are too influenced by the team to be useful. The eyewitnesses said Dryden was the NHL's best goalie 5 times and they said he was playoff MVP in 1971. That is why Dryden was great, the people that saw him play voted him as the best.
While I totally agree with you opinion's, you are wrong on one point. Dryden was never selected by eyewitnesses as the NHL's best goalie. At that time the Vezina was handed out to the team/goalie with the lowest G.A.A. However, if it was selected by the method that is used today, I have not doubt that Dryden would have easily won 3 or 4.

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05-05-2005, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaymzB
While I totally agree with you opinion's, you are wrong on one point. Dryden was never selected by eyewitnesses as the NHL's best goalie. At that time the Vezina was handed out to the team/goalie with the lowest G.A.A. However, if it was selected by the method that is used today, I have not doubt that Dryden would have easily won 3 or 4.
Actually, he was the 1st team all star goalie 5 times and the second team goalie once.

Those awards are picked by eyewitnesses.

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05-05-2005, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
Actually, he was the 1st team all star goalie 5 times and the second team goalie once.

Those awards are picked by eyewitnesses.
And I stand corrected. My apologies for assuming you ment Vezina's, when it is now obvious to me you knew about the old rule.

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05-05-2005, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
Dryden was an excellent goalie but not because the save % says so. Save % is largely a team statistic. Play on a team with great D like the 70s Habs and your save % is impressive. Play on the 80s Oilers and your save % sucks. Fuhr faced a lot more two on ones, three on ones, breakaways and point blank shots than Dryden ever faced.

But, with that in mind, Dryden was the better goaltender. The only way to properly evaluate goaltending is by watching a goalie play. All goaltending stats are too influenced by the team to be useful. The eyewitnesses said Dryden was the NHL's best goalie 5 times and they said he was playoff MVP in 1971. That is why Dryden was great, the people that saw him play voted him as the best.
I`m not trying to sell save percentage as the be all and end all, but it`s probably a better indicator of a goalie`s ability than wins or GAA which are more so team stats. Playing on the 70s Canadiens didn`t automatically guarantee a great save percentage, for example the two years mentioned earlier:

`75 Dryden ---.906
Larocque -.891

`76 Dryden ---.928
Larocque -.906

Quite a difference. If anything the defence played better with Larocque in nets. I remember in `78 before a big game with the Isles Bowman thought Montreal was a little lazy the previous game in a 6-3 loss so he put in Larocque. As a result they really tightened up and won 2-1. You`re right, the best way to judge is to watch, but it`s impossible to watch every game over a 80 game schedule- especially in the 70s before things like the Centre Ice Package. Sometimes you need stats.

Awards and All-Star selections have to be taken with a grain of salt. As mentioned in a previous thread, the writers don`t always make intelligent choices and politics plays a big role.

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Old
05-06-2005, 08:40 AM
  #15
mcphee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
Dryden was an excellent goalie but not because the save % says so. Save % is largely a team statistic. Play on a team with great D like the 70s Habs and your save % is impressive. Play on the 80s Oilers and your save % sucks. Fuhr faced a lot more two on ones, three on ones, breakaways and point blank shots than Dryden ever faced.

But, with that in mind, Dryden was the better goaltender. The only way to properly evaluate goaltending is by watching a goalie play. All goaltending stats are too influenced by the team to be useful. The eyewitnesses said Dryden was the NHL's best goalie 5 times and they said he was playoff MVP in 1971. That is why Dryden was great, the people that saw him play voted him as the best.
What was said about Dryden was that he would keep his team in the game early. Great team or not, they'd have games where they'd come out listless, and he'd invariably make the saves until the found their legs. You can't really measure stuff like that. He wasn't 'one of the boys', and has always done things his own way, still does, and I suspect that's always had a few hockey people a bit reluctant to give him his due.

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05-06-2005, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
What was said about Dryden was that he would keep his team in the game early. Great team or not, they'd have games where they'd come out listless, and he'd invariably make the saves until the found their legs. You can't really measure stuff like that. He wasn't 'one of the boys', and has always done things his own way, still does, and I suspect that's always had a few hockey people a bit reluctant to give him his due.
Good memory - the habs were popularly known as a "third period" hockey team back when they head lace-ups on their sweaters.

Bunny played well but they defence tightened up around him when he played versus Kenny.

remember: Plasse and the shot he took off Graves of the Seals cracked his mask and cut him badly. Bunny stepped in and fanned on a shot giving the Seals the win.

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