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Mike Richter or Mike Vernon?

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Old
07-24-2012, 07:42 PM
  #1
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Mike Richter or Mike Vernon?

Who was better, both had great careers with Vernon probably the edge. But in their prime I might say Richter.

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07-24-2012, 08:54 PM
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Vernon - 2 cups, 1 Smythe

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07-25-2012, 09:39 AM
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I am a big Wings homer, but this isn't even a question. Richter, easily. That Conn Smythe was a very bizarre choice indeed (although at the time I was so happy about the Cup victory, I didn't mind). Don't forget Richter's stellar international play.

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07-25-2012, 10:08 AM
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seventieslord
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It is a lot closer than most people would think - and I am assuming "most people" would instantly say vernon, thanks to the 2 cups, smythe, and coming closer to a Vezina than Richter ever did.

Vernon's lows were much lower though.

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07-25-2012, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
... Richter, easily. That Conn Smythe was a very bizarre choice ...
Indeed.

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07-25-2012, 12:09 PM
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On my preliminary list for the upcoming HOH Top 60 Goalies project, I have Richter at #33 and Vernon at #37; so that's an indication of how narrow I view the gap between them.

Vernon has those two Cups, and he was outstanding in both those playoff runs, but he's also been on the losing end of many playoff upsets. Richter had many good years, but never had a stellar year that most great goalies have on their resume. But his play in the '96 World Cup was incredible. He might be the best on breakaways of his era. He'd be very valuable in today's NHL with the shootouts.

I'm a bit surprised neither of them have been called to the HHOF yet.

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07-25-2012, 03:23 PM
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He might be the best on breakaways of his era.
Tell that to Hasek

Vernon wasn't "incredible" in the 97 Cup run. He was good, but stole only one game. I also maintain that he was in large part to blame for the 96 collapse. To lose in PO after a 62 win season...

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07-25-2012, 03:30 PM
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I would take Richter

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07-25-2012, 03:45 PM
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Vernon sure gets a lot of mileage out of being a starter on some really good teams and having one excellent playoff run (and a few good ones). For most of his career he was ordinary at best, in Calgary he had some really bad years.

He certainly wasn't a guaranteed money goaltender in the playoffs either. On several occasions his awful play ended his teams' seasons early.

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07-25-2012, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
Tell that to Hasek

Vernon wasn't "incredible" in the 97 Cup run. He was good, but stole only one game. I also maintain that he was in large part to blame for the 96 collapse. To lose in PO after a 62 win season...
Osgood played in 15/19 games for the Wings in the 1996 playoffs. It was really weird how the Wings did it back then. Vernon was the man in 1995, Osgood in 1996, Vernon in 1997 and then Vernon gets traded to San Jose and its Osgood.

Personally for this thread, I think I take Vernon, not by a whole lot, but when you look at it, Richter had some poor staying power. Vernon has his bi polar resume, but he at least has more high peaks than Richter. Richter basically has 1994 and the 1996 World Cup. There isn't a whole lot else about him that screams HHOF.

Vernon has more longevity, more Cups, more finals appearances,two Smythe worthy runs (honestly he was better in 1989 than 1997 when he actually won it) and 84 more career wins.

Vernon's lows were worse than Richter's I will give him that. But as good as Richter was in 1994 I don't think he can be rated any higher than Vernon in 1989. No better than a tie for those years.

Overall, I pick Vernon. He made you nervous but let's not pretend there weren't some vapour locks in Richter's career as well.

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07-25-2012, 04:27 PM
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My pick has to be Vernie and while I agree it's close - one can't argue with results and Vernon certainly got them. Easily the most polarizing goaltender the Flames have ever had. When he was good he was SOOO good but when he was bad... Yowza!

Their NHL careers stats-wise are really quite similar. Vernie's career was a little longer and he managed 100+ more regular season and 60+ more playoff games than Richter and, in both instances, his W% was better as well. However, that's about it...

Vernon GAA: 2.98 (considering this includes 5 years in the 80s facing the Oilers 8 times a year - this is actually really good)
Richter GAA: 2.89

Vernon S%: 0.890
Richter S%: 0.904

Vernon Wins/W%: 385/0.493
Richter Wins/W%: 301/0.452

Vernon PO GAA: 2.68
Richter PO GAA: 2.68

Vernon PO S%: 0.896
Richter PO S%: 0.909

Vernon Wins/W%: 77/0.558
Richter Wins/W%: 41/0.539

So, based on stats alone - it's a toss up in my opinion. Maybe a slight edge to Richter by basis of save percentage? But, that's a pretty fine line. I think, in the end it has to come down to big moments, NHL accolades and what they did outside the NHL in their respective careers.

The '89 and '97 Cup runs and the Conn Smythe with the Wings in '97 have been mentioned but don't forget the two other Cup runs - especially in 1986 when the Flames took on the Oilers in that classic Smythe Division final. Vernon was outstanding in that series - allowing 2 goals or less in each Flames win vs. the mighty Oiler machine. He played like a seasoned veteran despite his 21 games of NHL regular season experience to that point. In 1989, most people forget that Al MacInnis was somewhat of a surprise pick for MVP as many felt it was Vernon's to lose. Had Chopper not dominated Roy so badly in the final, Vernon likely would have won it easily.

Outside the NHL, both players couldn't have been any different. Richter took the college/national team route to the NHL where he was given a chance to play in many big tournaments before turning pro with the IHL where he was kind of "average" before getting his start with New York. Vernon on the other hand was a junior stand-out with the Wranglers, winning goaltender of the year twice, first-team all-star twice and MVP twice. Twice he was added to the Portland Winter Hawks roster for the Memorial Cup, winning it in 1983 and adding tournament MVP too. Interestingly, Vernon took the Wranglers to the WHL final in his first season only to come up on the short end of a 4-3 7 game loss to none other than Grant Fuhr and the Victoria Cougars. Vernon officially turned pro the next season and ended up a second team all-star with the Flames Central Hockey League team in Colorado.

As mentioned above, it's internationally where Richter shines - winning the '96 World Cup and being named MVP as well as a Silver medal in 2002 at the Olympics. In addition to those wins - he played for the U.S. on countless occasions ('85 & '86 World Juniors, '86 & '87 World Championships, '88 Olympics and '91 Canada Cup). Vernon played internationally for Canada only twice, winning a bronze medal at the 1983 World Junior tournament and a silver medal at the 1991 World Championships. In fairness to Vernon, he didn't have the same opportunity to play in the Olympics like Richter did. By the time the NHL participated in '98, Vernon was outside his prime. In addition to this, the competition to even be named the third string goalie for Canada throughout the late 80s and 90s was incredible.

As some have mentioned, Vernon being in the nets for some major NHL upsets is true - however I'd say only the loss to the Kings in 1990 could be somewhat attributed to him. Watching him helplessly flail his glove in the air as the winning goal floated over him in OT of Game 6 is a memory that will not die. However, both '93 to the Kings and '94 to the Canucks can't be on Vernon's shoulders entirely. The Flames as a whole have to take those ones on the chin. Even the '92 Presidents Trophy winning Rangers lost out in round two after barely surviving the first round against the Devils, then promptly fell off the planet in 1993 to miss the playoffs entirely. However, I do admit - Beezer is far more likely to take the hit for '92 than Richter.

The only thing left to compare are NHL awards, award voting and leader-boards:

NHL Awards:

Vernon: 2x Stanley Cup (1989, 1997), 1x 2nd Team All-Star (1989), 1x Jennings Trophy (1996), 1x Conn Smythe Trophy (1997), 5 NHL All-Star Games (1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993)

Richter: 1x Stanley Cup (1994), 3 NHL All-Star Games (1992, 1994, 2000)

Leader-Board: Top 10 League Finishes

Vernon: Wins (8), S% (2), GAA (5), SO (5)
Richter: Wins (3), S% (5), GAA (3), SO (5)

Both finished first overall in wins once in their career.

Award Voting: Only Top 5 Positions Noted

Vezina:

86-87, Vernon - 01 Points (0-0-1)
87-88, Vernon - 14 Points (0-4-2) 5th Overall, 64 points behind winner Grant Fuhr and 8 points behind second place Tom Barrasso
88-89, Vernon - 54 Points (5-9-2) 2nd Overall, 33 points behind winner Patrick Roy
89-90, Richter - 01 Points (0-0-1) Received one third place vote despite playing only 23 games. Nice.
90-91, Vernon - 01 Points (0-0-1)
90-91, Richter - 12 Points (1-1-4) 3rd Overall, 89 points behind winner Ed Belfour and 32 points behind second place Patrick Roy
91-92, Richter - 01 Points (0-0-1)
93-94, Richter - 08 Points (0-1-5)
94-95, Vernon - 21 Points (3-1-3) 3rd Overall, 83 points behind winner Dominik Hasek and 4 points behind second place Ed Belfour
96-97, Richter - 02 Points (0-0-2)
97-98, Vernon - 01 points (0-0-1)

All-Star Teams:

86-87, Vernon - 04 Points (0-0-4)
87-88, Vernon - 23 Points (0-6-5) 5th Overall, 274 points behind winner Grant Fuhr and 41 points behind second place Patrick Roy
88-89, Vernon - 193 Points (9-48-4) 2nd Overall, 98 points behind winner Patrick Roy
89-90, Vernon - 03 Points (0-1-0)
90-91, Vernon - 03 Points (0-1-0)
90-91, Richter - 19 Points (0-4-7) 5th Overall, 309 points behind winner Ed Belfour and 125 points behind second place Patrick Roy
91-92, Richter - 03 Points (0-1-0)
93-94, Richter - 42 Points (0-12-6) 4th Overall, 182 points behind winner Dominik Hasek and 62 points behind second place John Vanbiesbrouck
94-95, Vernon - 03 Points (0-1-0) 5th Overall, 70 points behind winner Dominik Hasek and 29 points behind second place Ed Belfour
96-97, Richter - 01 Points (0-0-1)

Hart:

93-94, Richter - 03 Points (0-1-0)
96-97, Richter - 01 Points (0-0-0-0-1)

Calder:

89-90, Richter - 23 Points (1-1-15) 4th Overall, 290 points behind winner Ed Belfour

Lady Byng:

91-92, Richter - 01 Points (0-0-1)

I think, based on all of that content above, the better goalie has to be Mike Vernon. Three top-5 finishes in Vezina voting to Richter's one and hree top-5 finishes in All-Star voting to Richter's two, not to mention being second overall in 1989.

Alright, there's my epic take on the whole matter. That was fun.

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07-25-2012, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DT77 View Post
My pick has to be Vernie and while I agree it's close - one can't argue with results and Vernon certainly got them. Easily the most polarizing goaltender the Flames have ever had. When he was good he was SOOO good but when he was bad... Yowza!

Their NHL careers stats-wise are really quite similar. Vernie's career was a little longer and he managed 100+ more regular season and 60+ more playoff games than Richter and, in both instances, his W% was better as well. However, that's about it...

Vernon GAA: 2.98 (considering this includes 5 years in the 80s facing the Oilers 8 times a year - this is actually really good)
Richter GAA: 2.89

Vernon S%: 0.890
Richter S%: 0.904

Vernon Wins/W%: 385/0.493
Richter Wins/W%: 301/0.452

Vernon PO GAA: 2.68
Richter PO GAA: 2.68

Vernon PO S%: 0.896
Richter PO S%: 0.909

Vernon Wins/W%: 77/0.558
Richter Wins/W%: 41/0.539

So, based on stats alone - it's a toss up in my opinion. Maybe a slight edge to Richter by basis of save percentage? .
I would not say that .904 over .890 and .909 over .896 represent slight edges. Those are pretty substantial. However, they are era-dependant too, so they favour Richter somewhat.

In an attempt to add a little more context

Vernon averaged 2 sv% points below the league average throughout his career, when weighted by minutes played. If you isolate 1987-2000 as his "prime" and cut off some mediocrity, his average is 1 sv% point below average. If you cherrypick his six best regular seasons (which are actually the only six he was above the league sv% average), he averaged 7 sv% points above league average.

Richter averaged 5 sv% points above the league average in his career. isolate his 1990-2000 prime, and he's a +7. Cherrypick his best 6 seasons, and he's a +15 throughout them.

I think it is clear that the day-to-day level of play Richter played at in the regular season was much better than that of Vernon.

Playoffs:

Vernon averaged 4 sv% points below the league playoff average during his career. It's impossible to isolate a "prime" period for a guy who had many collapses between cup wins, so let's just isolate his best (longest) playoff runs. Through 1986, 1989, 1995 and 1998 Vernon averaged 5.2 sv% over the league playoff average.

Richter averaged 4 sv% points above the league playoff average in his career. In his best (longest) four playoff runs, he averaged the same: 4 sv% points over.

Interestingly, as many might have suspected, a deeper sv% analysis indicates that the only way Mike Vernon matches Mike Richter is that his playoff peaks were as strong. He was not as strong on the aggregate in the playoffs (although he has the larger sample size to fall back on), and certainly wasn't in the regular season.

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07-25-2012, 07:18 PM
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Is Richter's play during the 1996 World Cup worth mentioning?

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07-26-2012, 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
I would not say that .904 over .890 and .909 over .896 represent slight edges. Those are pretty substantial. However, they are era-dependant too, so they favour Richter somewhat.

In an attempt to add a little more context

Vernon averaged 2 sv% points below the league average throughout his career, when weighted by minutes played. If you isolate 1987-2000 as his "prime" and cut off some mediocrity, his average is 1 sv% point below average. If you cherrypick his six best regular seasons (which are actually the only six he was above the league sv% average), he averaged 7 sv% points above league average.

Richter averaged 5 sv% points above the league average in his career. isolate his 1990-2000 prime, and he's a +7. Cherrypick his best 6 seasons, and he's a +15 throughout them.

I think it is clear that the day-to-day level of play Richter played at in the regular season was much better than that of Vernon.

Playoffs:

Vernon averaged 4 sv% points below the league playoff average during his career. It's impossible to isolate a "prime" period for a guy who had many collapses between cup wins, so let's just isolate his best (longest) playoff runs. Through 1986, 1989, 1995 and 1998 Vernon averaged 5.2 sv% over the league playoff average.

Richter averaged 4 sv% points above the league playoff average in his career. In his best (longest) four playoff runs, he averaged the same: 4 sv% points over.

Interestingly, as many might have suspected, a deeper sv% analysis indicates that the only way Mike Vernon matches Mike Richter is that his playoff peaks were as strong. He was not as strong on the aggregate in the playoffs (although he has the larger sample size to fall back on), and certainly wasn't in the regular season.
Good post.

Two guys who are IMO very over-rated - and it would be a crime if either made the HHOF - but Richter was a somewhat more consistently quality goalie.

Vernon might have had two nice playoff runs, but not many people in NHL history can say they almost single-handedly turned a dynasty-calibre team into a one-off champion. His play between 1990 and 1994 was downright awful for the most part, especially in the playoffs.

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07-26-2012, 04:50 AM
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Osgood were better than Vernon. Much more consistent and reliable. Vernons highs are very high though and about equal to Richters. But Richters Cup run and World Cup tournament was better. Vernons lows were lower than Richter.

Now a Richter vs. Osgood might be a closer one.

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07-26-2012, 09:17 PM
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Osgood were better than Vernon. Much more consistent and reliable. Vernons highs are very high though and about equal to Richters. But Richters Cup run and World Cup tournament was better. Vernons lows were lower than Richter.

Now a Richter vs. Osgood might be a closer one.
The issue I have with Osgood is that while he wasn't usually the type that outright cost you a series, he was never the type to win one either. You have to admit with Vernon that he won his share of series when he was "on". I don't see Osgood's bland career getting him into the HHOF because no one ever thought he was a barrier in order to beat the Wings.

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07-26-2012, 10:34 PM
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Is Richter's play during the 1996 World Cup worth mentioning?
Yes. It's the reason I give Richter a very narrow edge here.

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07-26-2012, 11:33 PM
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the way i see it, richter's career had two high moments. vernon's career had four.

vernon also played the equivalent of two seasons more than richter did, if you factor in the fact that vernon played more of his career before the starter/backup games ratio got really steep.

so yeah, richter was more consistent. he also had a fairly short career relative to all of his contemporaries with any kind HHOF case (hextall is the only other guy of that generation with less than 700 games played, and we're really stretching it to discuss hextall in a HHOF context). but even with the crazy lows, vernon had twice as many high moments, plus more staying power as an NHL starter-- call it luck if you want but not a lot of guys have started in stanley cup finals more than ten years apart, even if he certainly was awful at times.

which is not, by the way, to suggest that vernon should sniff the HHOF. given the high standard for goalies, he might actually be a worse induction than nieuwendyk.

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07-27-2012, 03:51 AM
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The issue I have with Osgood is that while he wasn't usually the type that outright cost you a series, he was never the type to win one either. You have to admit with Vernon that he won his share of series when he was "on". I don't see Osgood's bland career getting him into the HHOF because no one ever thought he was a barrier in order to beat the Wings.
I don't think Osgood is a HoFer but he's better than Vernon. He was also a big reason Detroit won in '08.

I simply don't like goaltenders with consistency issues. I drafted Vernon in the 2011 ATD so I have nothing against him on his highs but his lows are simply just too awful to ignore. Same with Richter.

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07-27-2012, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
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The issue I have with Osgood is that while he wasn't usually the type that outright cost you a series, he was never the type to win one either. You have to admit with Vernon that he won his share of series when he was "on". I don't see Osgood's bland career getting him into the HHOF because no one ever thought he was a barrier in order to beat the Wings.
After the lockout (and reinventing his game), Osgood went from being "good enough" to being a vital cog in 08 and 09.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrx
I simply don't like goaltenders with consistency issues. I drafted Vernon in the 2011 ATD so I have nothing against him on his highs but his lows are simply just too awful to ignore. Same with Richter.
I agree with you. I'm having a tough time deciding between these two because while they were spectactular when they were on it was always in fits and spurts.

Richter was a major piece of the 94 Rangers and basically the reason why the US won the World Cup but outside of that.. meh.

Vernon was a strong #1 on two Cup winning runs, including his Conn Smythe, but outside that and a couple other deep runs.. meh.

I could practically cointoss to pick between them.

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07-27-2012, 05:56 PM
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After the lockout (and reinventing his game), Osgood went from being "good enough" to being a vital cog in 08 and 09.
Against the Pens in 2008 he was not all that impressive. He won, but the Pens got outplayed by the Wings, especially in the first two games. I never thought, watching that final that Osgood was the reason the Wings won. I always thought the tandem of Datsyuk and Zetterberg sealed the deal. In 2009 he did play better I will admit in a losing cause.

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07-29-2012, 08:55 AM
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I like both, both guys are under-rated IMO as all-time goalies. Going with Vernon here but you can't go wrong with either.

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07-29-2012, 10:10 AM
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Against the Pens in 2008 he was not all that impressive. He won, but the Pens got outplayed by the Wings, especially in the first two games. I never thought, watching that final that Osgood was the reason the Wings won. I always thought the tandem of Datsyuk and Zetterberg sealed the deal. In 2009 he did play better I will admit in a losing cause.
Osgood was pretty average in the finals with a few flashes of brilliance, it was the rounds before the finals that he was a conn smythe goalie. When Osgood is on his low he is still higher than Richter and Vernons lows as his low (not counting the last seasons where he was finished) was about an average goalie.

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07-29-2012, 10:16 AM
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Their peaks are about the same, so basically it comes down to amount of peaks vs consistency. If I want a goalie that will give me the best chance to win even when they're not at their best I go with Richter. And that's saying something as Richter never really stuck me as the most consistent goalie out there. I can see these two being really close when I compile my list but probably Richter overall by a hair.

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07-29-2012, 10:29 AM
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Osgood was pretty average in the finals with a few flashes of brilliance, it was the rounds before the finals that he was a conn smythe goalie. When Osgood is on his low he is still higher than Richter and Vernons lows as his low (not counting the last seasons where he was finished) was about an average goalie.
I can agree with that, Osgood's lows were not as low as Vernon or Richter. However, Osgood usually stays pretty even keel. That's not a bad thing, but it isn't a good thing considering he wasn't the type to carry a team. If you wanted a goalie that was likely to NOT screw up, he was your man. If you wanted a goalie that would elevate the team above their standard and come through in the clutch with some legendary saves you wouldn't pick him. You would pick Richter or Vernon because they both had the ability to shine very bright.

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