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Round 2, Vote 4 (HOH Top Goaltenders)

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Old
11-15-2012, 11:00 AM
  #26
Hawkey Town 18
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Some opening thoughts for me...

I'm interested to see who comes out as the best of the 70's trio of Esposito, Holecek, and Parent. Whoever it is will get a place in my top 4, but not sure where.

Right now my other 3 would be Belfour, Broda, and Durnan, but not set on the order of them yet either.

I'm going to make an effort to give Bower a better look this round as I didn't pay much attention to him last round. As of now I have him in the 5-7 range, but that could change.

For me, Smith, Thompson, and Worters are the bottom 3 right now

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11-15-2012, 11:25 AM
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
Do you think he's getting penalized for playing during the war, or not having enough on his resume outside of the war (on both ends of the age spectrum)? I think it's more the latter.
I believe it to be a combination of the two. Are we really to believe those years are totally worthless? At WORST, Bill Durnan was a top 3 goaltender in the world at that time. How do we know this? Because he was a top 3 goaltender (four times possibly the best) for each of the next five seasons. To call those war years worthless is, honestly a joke. He was still playing those years. You can't hold it against him for playing.

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I'm critical of Bower's high placement on past top 100 lists on this board too, but I think this is too far. He was a 3 time MVP of the AHL in an era where his only chance to play in the NHL was to beat out Toronto's existing starter in a 6 team league.

And when he platooned with post-prime Sawchuk, Bower usually badly outperformed Terry in both GAA and reconstructed save %

I did ask in a previous round what makes Bower's NHL career much better than Billy Smith's, though. I do think Bower's AHL dominance in the Original 6 adds to his resume, but how much?
I think I hit the wrong thing, but yes I would agree that below Gardiner makes sense. I'm still not sold on him being below Benedict or Vezina though. At all.

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11-15-2012, 11:33 AM
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vecens24 View Post
I believe it to be a combination of the two. Are we really to believe those years are totally worthless? At WORST, Bill Durnan was a top 3 goaltender in the world at that time. How do we know this? Because he was a top 3 goaltender (four times possibly the best) for each of the next five seasons. To call those war years worthless is, honestly a joke. He was still playing those years. You can't hold it against him for playing.
We just don't know. Durnan's 1943-44 and 1944-45 were his first years in the NHL and most goalies have a development curve where they don't just join the NHL at the top of their games. And considering Durnan apparently wasn't a standout in the minors before getting his chance during the war, I do think it's very valid just to question how good he was in 1943-44 and 1944-45.

To clarify, I don't think his 2 war seasons are worthless - I think Durnan clearly showed that he was NHL-calibre those seasons (perhaps the only NHL-calibre goalie in the league at the time). But I think the All Star nods themselves are pretty worthless. We have no idea if Durnan would have been a 1st Team All Star those years or if he wouldn't have received a single vote against normal NHL competition, since literally every other player who competed for the All Star teams both before and after the war was out of the league in 1943-44 and 1944-45.

I would never pretend Durnan only had a 5 year career. He had a 7 year career as an NHL-calibre goalie. I just think it's a serious question as to how good he was the first 2 of those 7 years. He could have been great. Or he could have been still developing into the great goalie he later was, but still looked better than the AHL fodder he was competing again.

Quote:
I think I hit the wrong thing, but yes I would agree that below Gardiner makes sense. I'm still not sold on him being below Benedict or Vezina though. At all.
Kind of off topic, since those two are already added, but its a combo of Benedict/Vezina each being a star NHL goalie for at least twice as long as Durnan, having more playoff success relative to expectations, and being part of a generation of talent that was probably deeper.

I do think Durnan has a case over Benedict/Vezina if you are just looking at peak.

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11-15-2012, 11:35 AM
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vecens24 View Post
I believe it to be a combination of the two. Are we really to believe those years are totally worthless? At WORST, Bill Durnan was a top 3 goaltender in the world at that time. How do we know this? Because he was a top 3 goaltender (four times possibly the best) for each of the next five seasons. To call those war years worthless is, honestly a joke. He was still playing those years. You can't hold it against him for playing.
Why are you going full exaggeration with "worthless", though, when quite obviously it's more a case of "not worth enough" in the eyes of those whose opinion(s) you criticize? Simply put, not a lot of stock seems to be put on leading statistical tables during war-torn seasons, and while we can argue the degree to which understanding this "should" manifest itself in voting, I see absolutely no problem with it.

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11-15-2012, 11:44 AM
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
Why are you going full exaggeration with "worthless", though, when quite obviously it's more a case of "not worth enough" in the eyes of those whose opinion(s) you criticize? Simply put, not a lot of stock seems to be put on leading statistical tables during war-torn seasons, and while we can argue the degree to which understanding this "should" manifest itself in voting, I see absolutely no problem with it.
I called Durnan's 1st Team All Stars in 1944 and 1945 "worthless" in the last thread and I stand by that. I really do believe that we have absolutely no idea how he stacked up versus NHL-calibre competition those two years. It would be different if he was an All-Star before everyone else left for war, but he wasn't even in the NHL at the time.

On the other hand, I do think those seasons add to Durnan's resume in the form of longevity as an NHL-capable player. I think it's very likely he was at least NHL-starter quality those seasons (unlike his competition).

It's an important distinction - I absolutely do think that 1944 and 1945 add to Durnan's career. But they don't necessarily add "All-Star worthy seasons" to his career.

Edit, that said, outside of 1944 and 1945, Durnan still has 4 1st Teams (even if 1946 was still pretty weak) and was 3rd in AS voting the one season his team didn't make the playoffs.


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Old
11-15-2012, 12:16 PM
  #31
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Facts

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
We just don't know. Durnan's 1943-44 and 1944-45 were his first years in the NHL and most goalies have a development curve where they don't just join the NHL at the top of their games. And considering Durnan apparently wasn't a standout in the minors before getting his chance during the war, I do think it's very valid just to question how good he was in 1943-44 and 1944-45.

To clarify, I don't think his 2 war seasons are worthless - I think Durnan clearly showed that he was NHL-calibre those seasons (perhaps the only NHL-calibre goalie in the league at the time). But I think the All Star nods themselves are pretty worthless. We have no idea if Durnan would have been a 1st Team All Star those years or if he wouldn't have received a single vote against normal NHL competition, since literally every other player who competed for the All Star teams both before and after the war was out of the league in 1943-44 and 1944-45.

I would never pretend Durnan only had a 5 year career. He had a 7 year career as an NHL-calibre goalie. I just think it's a serious question as to how good he was the first 2 of those 7 years. He could have been great. Or he could have been still developing into the great goalie he later was, but still looked better than the AHL fodder he was competing again.



Kind of off topic, since those two are already added, but its a combo of Benedict/Vezina each being a star NHL goalie for at least twice as long as Durnan, having more playoff success relative to expectations, and being part of a generation of talent that was probably deeper.

I do think Durnan has a case over Benedict/Vezina if you are just looking at peak.
Bolded is factually incorrect. Bill Durnan NEVER played in the minors he played Senior hockey = Allan Cup eligible. During his Senior hockey career his teams went to four Allan Cup playoffs, winning once - 1939-40 Kirkland Lake Blue Devils. It was also clearly posted that hardly any other goalies in Senior hockey had such a pedigree.

Trust that readers can differentiate between Senior and minor hockey which beyond a fledgling AHL at the time, 1930s/1940s was much weaker than than Senior hockey.

Also it is rather clear that not all read posts with attention to detail or understanding.

As for Benedict and Vezina being part of a deeper generation of talent, total misrepresentation. WWI had a much greater impact on Hockey talent than the depression and WWII combined.

George Hainsworth lost a season to WWI:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...hainsge01.html

Bill Cook lost time to WWI, Allan Scotty Davidson died. yet no one mentions the high scoring first three NHL seasons as products of WWI. So you would have to view Vezina/Benedict in the context of a WWI weakened NHA/NHL. But of course this was not done.

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Old
11-15-2012, 12:21 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Bolded is factually incorrect. Bill Durnan NEVER played in the minors he played Senior hockey = Allan Cup eligible. During his Senior hockey career his teams went to four Allan Cup playoffs, winning once - 1939-40 Kirkland Lake Blue Devils. It was also clearly posted that hardly any other goalies in Senior hockey had such a pedigree.

Trust that readers can differentiate between Senior and minor hockey which beyond a fledgling AHL at the time, 1930s/1940s was much weaker than than Senior hockey.
I was using a modern term for sub-NHL North American hockey and could have been more accurate. Agree that from what I've read, the Allan Cup was the 2nd most prestigious trophy in North America after the Stanley Cup in the 30s and 40s. I'm just not sure that winning a single Allan Cup and going to the playoffs four times as being dominant enough to translate into NHL dominance.

It's not like Johnny Bower winning AHL MVP 3 times before getting his shot in the NHL.

(I have Durnan over Bower right now, but that's based off their NHL careers).


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Old
11-15-2012, 12:38 PM
  #33
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Preference

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Originally Posted by Taco MacArthur View Post
I'm still a huge Bower fan - I had him highly rated last round.

Can someone show me the error of my ways?
Other than not expressing your viewpoint and support for Johnny Bower, there is no error in your position.

Johnny Bower was the ideal goalie for the Leafs from 1958-59 onwards.

His strength was preventing fires instead of putting them out. So there was no "Wow" factor which is needed to get attention here.

Perfect goalie for a team that was patterned on the same basic idea of efficient hockey and avoiding possible problems.

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11-15-2012, 12:49 PM
  #34
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I have Holecek, Belfour, Broda, and Durnan all high this round, but have no idea as to the order and am certainly open to arguments for others. I'm planning on posting more about Holecek and Belfour later, but that shouldn't stop anyone else.

I'm happy with Tony Esposito being a couple of spots below Belfour, but I'm open to change my mind.

Parent is very hard for me to rank. I see a legit case for him to be ranked over Belfour (which means also over Espo). But I also see a legit case for Espo over Parent.

If I got by my rankings last round, Parent would be in my top 4, but I'm not sure whether to keep him there or not.

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11-15-2012, 12:50 PM
  #35
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Criteria

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I was using a modern term for sub-NHL North American hockey and could have been more accurate. Agree that from what I've read, the Allan Cup was the 2nd most prestigious trophy in North America after the Stanley Cup in the 30s and 40s. I'm just not sure that winning a single Allan Cup and going to the playoffs four times as being dominant enough to translate into NHL dominance.

It's not like Johnny Bower winning AHL MVP 3 times before getting his shot in the NHL.

(I have Durnan over Bower right now, but that's based off their NHL careers).
Most goalies that were fast-tracked to the NHL did not dominate at the senior or minor levels. Seems like criteria pulled out of the air to punish Durnan.

Was the dominance of Plante, Hall, Sawchuk, Brodeur, and others at the junior, minor levels ever a consideration? No.

Frank Brimsek had a weak EAHL season. Should this be a factor in his consideration? Not at all.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...brimsfr01.html

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11-15-2012, 12:53 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Most goalies that were fast-tracked to the NHL did not dominate at the senior or minor levels. Seems like criteria pulled out of the air to punish Durnan.

Was the dominance of Plante, Hall, Sawchuk, Brodeur, and others at the junior, minor levels ever a consideration? No.

Frank Brimsek had a weak EAHL season. Should this be a factor in his consideration? Not at all.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...brimsfr01.html
If he dominated the minors, it would make it more likely that he actually was a star-calibre player in 1943-44 and 1944-45. Right now we have no frame of reference for Durnan's level of play in those two seasons.

Why are you bringing up Plante, Hall, Sawchuk, Brodeur, and Brimsek, all of whom were fast-tracked to the NHL as young players? Durnan was 28 years old in 1943-44, when he first played in the NHL.

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11-15-2012, 01:04 PM
  #37
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Senior/Minor Hockey

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
If he dominated the minors, it would make it more likely that he actually was a star-calibre player in 1943-44 and 1944-45. Right now we have no frame of reference for Durnan's level of play in those two seasons.

Why are you bringing up Plante, Hall, Sawchuk, Brodeur, and Brimsek, all of whom were fast-tracked to the NHL as young players? Durnan was 28 years old in 1943-44, when he first played in the NHL.
False premise is bolded. So we have isolated your false premise. No correlation has ever been established to link a minor league dominance or junior dominance with an NHL dominance.

Above is why the players were introduced.

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11-15-2012, 01:06 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Other than not expressing your viewpoint and support for Johnny Bower, there is no error in your position.

Johnny Bower was the ideal goalie for the Leafs from 1958-59 onwards.

His strength was preventing fires instead of putting them out. So there was no "Wow" factor which is needed to get attention here.

Perfect goalie for a team that was patterned on the same basic idea of efficient hockey and avoiding possible problems.
Tough question, but is there any modern day comparable (last 10, 15, 20 years) to Bower in terms of either a) what he meant to his team (in terms of his aforementioned firefighting ability) and b) in terms of skill or style. Namely, "a" but if someone rings a bell with "b" also, then by all means...

It sounds like the Leafs were a defensive team, yes? I'm assuming - pending backup quality and further research - that we're not going to find a great divide between Bower and his backups in terms of numbers...a trend on many defensive teams where individual talent is more molded into a team mechanism instead of being left to show off individually...

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11-15-2012, 01:19 PM
  #39
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Martin Brodeur

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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
Tough question, but is there any modern day comparable (last 10, 15, 20 years) to Bower in terms of either a) what he meant to his team (in terms of his aforementioned firefighting ability) and b) in terms of skill or style. Namely, "a" but if someone rings a bell with "b" also, then by all means...

It sounds like the Leafs were a defensive team, yes? I'm assuming - pending backup quality and further research - that we're not going to find a great divide between Bower and his backups in terms of numbers...a trend on many defensive teams where individual talent is more molded into a team mechanism instead of being left to show off individually...
Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils.

B) is tough since Johnny Bower came up at the end of the maskless goalie, pre slapshot, pre tandem period.

Numbers will not show the difference but results will - 1961 when the Leafs had to start the playoffs with Cesare Maniago in nets.

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11-15-2012, 02:32 PM
  #40
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Re: Brodeur.

Pretty high praise. Especially to someone that has watched Brodeur his whole career very, very closely. And thinks extremely highly of him. Interesting.

Much to consider in this new round.

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11-15-2012, 02:42 PM
  #41
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When it comes to games played per season, Bower couldn't be farther from Brodeur:
http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...bowerjo01.html

Did Bower need to have his minutes managed to maintain a peak performance or was it just one of Punch Imlach's unusual strategies to tandem his goalies?

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11-15-2012, 03:01 PM
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Johnny Bower - Health Issues

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When it comes to games played per season, Bower couldn't be farther from Brodeur:
http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...bowerjo01.html

Did Bower need to have his minutes managed to maintain a peak performance or was it just one of Punch Imlach's unusual strategies to tandem his goalies?
Context of the question was value to his team not games played per season.

Johnny Bower had health issues - rheumatoid arthritis:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Bower

http://mapleleafslegends.blogspot.ca...nny-bower.html

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11-15-2012, 03:01 PM
  #43
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
When it comes to games played per season, Bower couldn't be farther from Brodeur:
http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...bowerjo01.html

Did Bower need to have his minutes managed to maintain a peak performance or was it just one of Punch Imlach's unusual strategies to tandem his goalies?
I might be stating the very obvious here, but that might have something to do with the quality of the backups...

Plus his age.

Plus everything that C1957 mentionned just above.

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11-15-2012, 03:23 PM
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And obviously, the two "weaker" candidates would be Smith and Thompson... Not Espo.

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11-15-2012, 03:41 PM
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How did Smith even get up here? May be a naive question. Is he really better than Fuhr even?

I'm always open to ideas and further education, but I don't see myself picking Smith for a very long time...

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11-15-2012, 03:52 PM
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How did Smith even get up here? May be a naive question. Is he really better than Fuhr even?

I'm always open to ideas and further education, but I don't see myself picking Smith for a very long time...
On first look I'm tempted to say that Smith was the better of the two, but they really do have some good solid parallels. Both have what would look like unimpressive regular season stats but both raised their game exponentially in the playoffs. I'm still leaning Smith but it's one of those situations that I could be pushed the other direction quite easily.

That said, I don't think Smith is going to be getting a vote from me for a while yet either. He's probably the standout pick the other way on this list for me.

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11-15-2012, 03:54 PM
  #47
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On first look I'm tempted to say that Smith was the better of the two, but they really do have some good solid parallels. Both have what would look like unimpressive regular season stats but both raised their game exponentially in the playoffs. I'm still leaning Smith but it's one of those situations that I could be pushed the other direction quite easily.

That said, I don't think Smith is going to be getting a vote from me for a while yet either. He's probably the standout pick the other way on this list for me.
Smith usually had pretty good SV% later on in his career, and managed pretty good results with the Islanders -- even when they were not that much of a great team.
Downside : tandem.

However, this is kindof a situation where I would have liked to see what Arbour would have done with another team. I mean... he's pretty much the ONLY coach Smith had for the relevant part of his career (forget Ignarfield, Regan, Goyette and others...)

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11-15-2012, 04:03 PM
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Smith usually had pretty good SV% later on in his career.
Downside : tandem.
That's one of the things I took away when looking deeper at the numbers (.890 was a very good season for a goalie for a while there) and of the two Smith was over it during that time frame more often for the seasons that I have data for.

That said, as you said, he platooned, and the other thing I noted is that Fuhr was more consistently towards the .890 mark. Part of that could be that it was towards the beginning of Fuhr's career while at the end of Smith's, and with the Isles on the slid that couldn't have helped either.

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11-15-2012, 04:13 PM
  #49
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Was the dominance of Plante, Hall, Sawchuk, Brodeur, and others at the junior, minor levels ever a consideration? No.
You may recall Hasek being raked over the coals for failing to dominate in the minors. Given the final voting result, it may have cost him the #1 spot.

The difference between Hasek and Durnan (and throw Bower in there too) and the other candidates is that the former NEED some kind of validation from the minor leagues to validate their quality of play well into their 20s. The others were dominating world-class competition at the same age, so the reason for scrutinizing a candidate's lower-level performances should be obvious.

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11-15-2012, 04:14 PM
  #50
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One thing Smith has over Fuhr - his playoff GVT is much more impressive. GVT is mostly a mix of save-percentage-versus-peers and games played. It is obviously somewhat team dependent (some teams give a goalie more of a chance to shine than others), but it points a bit towards Smith being more important to the Islanders than Fuhr was to the Oilers.

That said, being slightly better than Grant Fuhr who isn't up for voting yet, isn't exactly a ringing endorsement at this point.

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