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Round 2, Vote 4 (HOH Top Goaltenders)

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Old
11-19-2012, 10:43 PM
  #151
SaintPatrick33
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Jesus. He killed Flipper?
They call him flipper, flipper.....

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11-20-2012, 08:42 AM
  #152
Dennis Bonvie
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I had Tiny Thompson above Billy Smith on my original list. Don't think I've seen anything to change that quite yet.

(Then again though, I also stupidly had Thompson ahead of Esposito for some reason that I have no idea why.)
Not only did I have him ahead of Smith, but Benedict, Bower and Vezina also.

Basically lumped together at 20, 21, 23, 25, 26.

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11-20-2012, 10:58 AM
  #153
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I don't. I wouldn't put Smith ahead of him.
I'm also in the group that had Thompson ahead of Smith on their original list.

The only thing about that ranking, though, is that in my playoff series wins vs. expected list, Smith is the biggest overachiever ever at 11.2 playoff series wins above expected, while Thompson is the biggest underachiever of anyone I've looked at so far with 4.6 series below expected. I think looking at their respective team situations and playoff results would be interesting, but that's probably more of a discussion point for next round I would think.

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11-20-2012, 12:38 PM
  #154
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Does anybody have Roy Worters anywhere near their top four this round? I'm really intrigued by him, and am considering majorly moving him up my list.

TDMM's earlier post on All-Star teams suggests that Worters had 4 1AST, 2 2AST and 3 3 AST in a 10 year stretch (with no records for the 10th year), although some of those are speculated based off of Hart Trophy voting. Worters was also behind Gardiner five times, and without Gardiner and with full voting throughout his career Worters might have had as many as 6 1AST and 4 2AST. Worters also won the 1929 Hart Trophy, in the same year that George Hainsworth posted his ridiculous shutout numbers. That's probably the best awards record of any goalie in this round, accumulated mostly while playing on weak teams in a 10 team league. I'm not big on All-Star Teams, but I do pay attention when goalies on non-great defensive teams get a lot of votes because that generally means something.

As suggested by the awards voting, Worters is a goalie that seems to have been viewed very highly by his contemporaries but not nearly as well in retrospect. Given that he retired at the time when the 1AST goalie was always the Vezina winner, I think it is almost certain that he was very underrated in retrospect mainly because he didn't win as many Stanley Cups as other goalies.

Associated Press, 1928

Quote:
"The possibility that Roy Worters, crack Pittsburgh goalie and the outstanding net keeper of the National Hockey League, will be sold to the New York Americans before or soon after the opening of the season Thursday, interested sport fans about the circuit today."
Conn Smythe (after a playoff game in 1936):

Quote:
"I never saw anything like Worters in that third period. He was wonderful."
Sportswriter Ralph Wilson, 1937:

Quote:
"Roy Worters, New York Americans' midget goalkeeper, may be through for keeps...Which means that another of the great goal-tenders of modern hockey has made his exit...For Roy was one of the best...During his N.H.L. career he performed with cellar clubs, Pittsburg and Americans...Yet for his own ability he was recognized as one of the top ranking netminders of the league...His exit will be a severe loss to the ice sport."
Wilf Cude, 1955:

Quote:
"Roy Worters was a good goalkeeper, but he played for teams that never gave him much protection. That was Roy's bad luck."
Sweeney Schriner, 1969:

Quote:
"You know when I was reading about Roy, my first thought was why did they wait for so long to put him in the Hall of Fame? I felt he should have been in before me, because he was older. He was one of the greatest of goaltenders. He could knock off shots with ease. He was also very good with his feet, the little stinker. I always maintained he was one of the greatest goaltenders hockey has ever known."
Game reports from Worters' career generally talk about the other team getting lots of scoring chances and imply that Worters was being heavily relied on to keep his team in the game.

On the topic of Worter's lack of team success, it should be noted that he won two USAHA championships with the Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets before jumping to the NHL, and reports give him a lot of credit for his play ("The Yellow Jackets won three games and tied one against the Hornets thanks in part to solid goaltending from Roy Worters)". The Yellow Jackets went from amateur hockey in 1924-25 to a 3rd place finish in the NHL in 1925-26, which I guess says something about how there wasn't that much of a difference between the minors and the pros back then. Given that Worters had a strong first year as a pro and led NHL goalies in Hart voting in 1926, that also means he very probably had two more NHL starter-calibre years with the Yellow Jackets in 1924 and 1925.

A last point for Worters is that his move from Pittsburgh to New York in 1928 had a huge impact on both teams, suggesting Worters was a real difference-maker:

YearTeamStarting GoalieWLTGFGALgAvgAdj GAA*
1927PITWorters152631.802.452.002.45
1928PITWorters191781.521.731.901.82
1929PITMiller92781.041.821.462.49
1930PITMiller53632.324.202.962.84
          
1927NYAForbes172521.832.012.002.01
1928NYAMiller/Forbes112761.392.821.902.97
1929NYAWorters1913121.171.151.461.58
1930NYAWorters142552.393.502.962.36

(*-Adj GAA is GAA adjusted to an average league GAA of 2.00)

The only thing to note is that Joe Miller did not have a long NHL career, and might not have been that great of a goaltender. But it's still pretty obvious why Worters won the 1929 Hart Trophy.

Worters had great longevity (retired #2 in career games played, despite playing in the USAHA at age 23 and 24), All-Stars and a Hart Trophy, and was considered great by his contemporaries. Pretty much the only thing he didn't have was Cups and playoff team success. Seems to me there are some obvious parallels to Tony Esposito, and to me if Worters is on Espo's level then he should probably be a candidate for the top 4 or 5 this round.


Last edited by ContrarianGoaltender: 11-20-2012 at 12:57 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old
11-20-2012, 01:02 PM
  #155
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Glad to see someone make a case for Worters. I honestly have no idea what to do with him this round. I like him better than Smith or Thompson, but that's a wide range.

Worters has the best Hart record of any available goalie by far, but all of it was in a 4 year period.

4th in 1926
10th in 1927
2nd in 1928 (to Howie Morenz)
1st in 1929

5th in 1934

What a stretch of 4 years! He stopped getting Hart consideration as soon as the forward pass was allowed. Not sure what to make of that. According to the All-Star voting, he was probably the 2nd best goalie after Charlie Gardiner even after 1930, so it's not like he didn't adjust. He actually received more Hart votes in 1934 than the 1st Team All Star Charlie Gardiner, possibly because by 1934, Gardiner's team was actually pretty good.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 11-20-2012 at 04:04 PM. Reason: added 1934
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Old
11-20-2012, 01:22 PM
  #156
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Glad to see someone make a case for Worters. I honestly have no idea what to do with him this round. I like him better than Smith or Thompson, but that's a wide range.
Agreed that he should be easily above those two guys, but I do think they make for a pretty obvious bottom two this round. There are a few goalies who haven't come up yet that I would take over either Smith or Thompson.

This round seems to be unusually wide open, as Holecek and Worters are both real wild cards, Broda and Durnan had some majorly polarized voting last round, Parent is tough to figure out and seems to be dropping in the rankings, and Belfour, Esposito and Bower all seem to have their doubters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
What a stretch of 4 years! He stopped getting Hart consideration as soon as the forward pass was allowed, however. Not sure what to make of that. According to the All-Star voting, he was probably the 2nd best goalie after Charlie Gardiner even after 1930, so it's not like he didn't adjust.
Yes, and it should perhaps be noted as well that Worters led the league in GAA in 1930-31 but didn't get named to an All-Star Team, probably because the Americans didn't make the playoffs. Gardiner and Worters were neck-and-neck for the Vezina, but Thompson was at 1.98 on the best team in the league and was the 2AST ahead of Worters who was at 1.61 on the 8th best team? Seems highly unlikely the voters got that one right.

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11-20-2012, 01:28 PM
  #157
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Some more on Worters:

He was voted the best goalie in the league by the league GMs in 1927-28 by a wide margin. Considering he was runner up for the Hart Trophy that year, it shouldn't be a surprise:

Goal: Roy Worters, Pit (7-1), George Hainsworth, Mon (1-4), Alec Connell, Ott (1-3), John Ross Roach, Tor (1-1)

Link via overpass: http://fultonhistory.com/newspaper%2...20-%202255.pdf

Again via overpass, an article from 1927-28 talks about Worters' weak defense

Quote:
Voted the best goalie by the managers in 1926-27, Roy Waters (sic) again outclassed his rival net-minders. Alex Connell and Hal Winkler had better records in respect to the number of times they whitewashed opposing teams, but those excellent goalies had much sturdier back line duos helping them. Worters is cool, agile, a quick man on his skates, and a highly capable man at clearing enemy shots. Connell, placed on the second team, was a greatly-improved goalie this season and gets my choice for the second all-choice.
Saturday, March 24, 1928 edition (pdf).

Also, more confirmation that Worters was voted the best in the league by the GMs in 1926-27.


I never saw anyone ever pick Worters as the best goalie ever (seems like it was either Benedict or Vezina, then skip ahead towards Gardiner). But in 1928, HHOF builder Tommy Gorman selected Worters as the best goalie of all time:

The New York Sun, Dec 22, 1928 (warning, long PDF)

Gorman was Worters' coach at the time, so I would take it with a huge grain of salt.

___________________

As of 1936, Jack Adams liked Tiny Thompson better than Roy Worters. Keep in mind that Worters was all but finished at this point:

Quote:
Did Adams consider Worters the best of the current crop of goaltenders?

"Almost every year I see that the experts rank him #1," said the boss of the Wings. "I think they overrate him. After all, he has been playing with a team noted for their defensive hockey and hasn't had so many hard shots as many of the others.

If I were making a deal, I'd be willing to pay $10,000 more for Thompson than for Worters. That's how far I think Tiny is ahead of him."
The Sunday Sun, Feb 1, 1936

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11-20-2012, 01:42 PM
  #158
Rob Scuderi
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I was looking around for info on Worters as well because he's tough to place. Here's a bit more that wasn't already posted or in the bios.

The Meriden Daily Journal - Jan, 1934
Quote:
If you took a little gamecock weighing a scant 130 pounds sopping wet, put about 40 pounds of hockey paraphernalia and impedimenta on his spare frame, and then saw him turn into the outstanding goaltender in the National Hockey League, you'd be surprised. That's just why little Roy Worters, the New York Americans' goalie and king of the loop's puck stoppers is such a surprising little fellow.

"Shrimp," as the boys affectionately call the 5-foot-3-inch wonder, has been hailed as head man since the unfortunate death of Charley Gadiner, goaltender of the Champion Chicago Blackhawks last season. Two of hockey's outstanding figures have spouted to great length on the attributes of the mite and they aren't his bosses, either.

One is the gray-thatched Les Patrick, manager and coach of the New York Rangers, rival big league hockey outfit...The perfect goalie, Les arises to remark, "must have a perfect pair of eyes, a fine sense of timing, must be quick, agile, and alert, a fine skater, and must have a great pair of hands. Roy Worters has all these attributes, and that's the reason he's the standout goalie in the league.

Col. John S. Hammon, president of the New York Rangers, is another who is on Worter's side of the fence. "Give us Roy, and we would be leading the league," he recently remarked. "He is the best goaltender in the business, and with him in the net we wouldn't have half as many goals scored against us."
A fan of the Pirates describing his team - Jan, '28
Quote:
"The secret of their success in checking their opponents lies in the fine defensive work of their forward line, combined with the clever puck blocking of Roy Worters, best of all goalies," says Pat Robinson. "The Pirate attack is a joke.."
Montreal Gazette - March, '41
Quote:
Bastien made some pretty neat saves on the few occasions Royals had him under pressure...and revealing at least a faint hint of the old art of which Roy Worters was a master: angling rebounds off to the sides in safety.
The Montreal Gazette - April, '58
Quote:
the late George Hainsworth often had trouble navigating because the pads were almost as big as he was...the late Roy Worters was so small he could hide his chin in the leg mattresses

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11-20-2012, 01:44 PM
  #159
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When we talked about Hainsworth vs Worters in the pre-1950 research thread, the consensus was that in 1929 Worters carried the Americans in a way that Hainsworth and Connell never had to do for their teams. The latter two goalies set legendary statistical records, but Worters got the awards recognition that year.

There's a good argument to be made that Worters was the best goalie in the world for about half a decade, which is more than you can argue for most of the current candidates.

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11-20-2012, 01:55 PM
  #160
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Some more on Worters:Gorman was Worters' coach at the time, so I would take it with a huge grain of salt.

___________________

As of 1936, Jack Adams liked Tiny Thompson better than Roy Worters. Keep in mind that Worters was all but finished at this point:



The Sunday Sun, Feb 1, 1936
It's interesting he said this as Adams only paid $15,000 and Normie Smith for Thompson two years later in '38. Worters fetched $20,000 (and Joe Miller???) in '28 from Gorman's Americans while openly refusing to play in Pittsburgh.

Normie Smith sort of offsets it I guess, but he ended up refusing to report too.

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11-20-2012, 02:06 PM
  #161
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
As of 1936, Jack Adams liked Tiny Thompson better than Roy Worters. Keep in mind that Worters was all but finished at this point:
Interesting. Adams is one guy that I definitely respect when it comes to analyzing goaltending because of his success in developing goalies in Detroit. Adams' high opinion of Brimsek was what helped cement my view that Brimsek was the best of his era.

Adams' comments did come during a year when Thompson led the league in GAA and shutouts, but Adams was still probably right that Thompson was better than Worters by that point because Worters was 35 years old.

Honestly, I think it's pretty amazing and reflects very well on Worters that he was a starting goalie as long as he was considering his size. I would expect a 5'3" goalie to have an early peak and tail off by his early thirties because he would have needed to be exceptionally reliant on his athleticism and agility.

Worters may have been close to done by 1936, but even as late as 1933-34 he was probably still something of a difference-maker. Compare his play to that of his injury replacements that season:

Worters: 12-13-10, 2.01, 4 SO
Five other goalies combined: 3-10-0, 4.38, 1 SO

Other than one game of Alec Connell on loan, those guys were all minor leaguers and top amateurs, but that doesn't exactly suggest that the Americans were particularly great defensively. Worters still ended up 3rd in the league in GAA.

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11-20-2012, 02:38 PM
  #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
As of 1936, Jack Adams liked Tiny Thompson better than Roy Worters. Keep in mind that Worters was all but finished at this point:
Jack Adams also said that "Shrimp was one of the greatest netminders of all time.". Granted, that was when Worters died and thus probably somewhat sentimental, but still.

To me, Worters is right in the mix for top 4 in this round.

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11-20-2012, 03:04 PM
  #163
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What's the case for Tiny Thompson (a top-notch, or so it seems, Depression-era goalie) being behind Billy Smith (a tandem goalie that excelled in the playoffs)?
But would the Islanders still use Smith as a "tandem goalie" during his five-straight trips to the Stanley Cup Finals if that was not the trend of the era? There weren't too many high-GP goaltenders after Esposito retired (maybe Liut for a while), but no team could justify giving their goaltender some extra days off more than the one going deep in the playoffs routinely.

Smith may not have been an iron man, but in the year coming off of his Conn Smythe Trophy, the league leader in GP appeared in only 75% of his team's games. That might be good for around 13th by 2012 standards. The expectations for GP were different in the 1980s, and it wasn't a crime to be part of a two-goalie system.

Which goaltenders do we remember most fondly from the NHL in the 1980s? Roy, Smith, and Fuhr: All three were part of a two-goalie system, because that was the trend for most teams at the time.

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11-20-2012, 03:14 PM
  #164
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
But would the Islanders still use Smith as a "tandem goalie" during his five-straight trips to the Stanley Cup Finals if that was not the trend of the era? There weren't too many high-GP goaltenders after Esposito retired (maybe Liut for a while), but no team could justify giving their goaltender some extra days off more than the one going deep in the playoffs routinely.

Smith may not have been an iron man, but in the year coming off of his Conn Smythe Trophy, the league leader in GP appeared in only 75% of his team's games. That might be good for around 13th by 2012 standards. The expectations for GP were different in the 1980s, and it wasn't a crime to be part of a two-goalie system.

Which goaltenders do we remember most fondly from the NHL in the 1980s? Roy, Smith, and Fuhr: All three were part of a two-goalie system, because that was the trend for most teams at the time.
I personally don't see anything "wrong" with using goalies in tandem. To me, at least, it makes sense: You go into the playoffs with two goalies that are relatively fresh and you can go with "the hot hand" so to speak.

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11-20-2012, 03:49 PM
  #165
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Jiri Holecek

All of this has been posted elsewhere during the goalie project, but now that Holecek is up for voting, it's time to collect it all in one post. Holecek didn't do much outside the eight season stretch from 1971 to 1978, but what an eight years it was!

When Holecek was the primary starter for Czechoslovakia (1971-1978), they performed almost as well as the (on paper) superior USSR team in the World Championships

USSR: 5 golds, 2 silvers, 1 bronze
CSSR: 3 golds, 4 silvers, 1 bronze
Sweden: 0 golds, 2 silvers, 5 bronze
Canada: 0 goals, 0 silvers, 1 bronze

Canada didn't compete in the WCs for the majority of this time frame, in protest over the then-prohibition on professional players.

Holecek was the dominant Czechoslovakian goalie during this high point of Czechoslovak hockey, based on awards voting

Via Sanf, TIP magazine considered Holecek the best goalie in the domestic league for 7 of 8 years. Holecek was selected the All-Star goalie in the Extraliga in 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, and 1976. Dzurilla was selected the All-Star goalie in the Extraliga in 1969, 1970, and 1977: http://statshockey.webnode.cz/all-stars/extraliga/. All Star Teams were replaced by a "best goalie" awarded by TIP magainze after 1977. Holecek was selected best goalie in 1978, his final year on the national team. http://statshockey.webnode.cz/all-stars/top/.

Holecek led all goalies in Golden Stick voting for the best player in Czechoslovakia 6 of 8 seasons, including 1 win and 2 2nd place finishes to Vladimir Martinec, often considered the 2nd best Czech forward after Jagr. Via TheoKritos, Here are all the goalies who placed in Golden Stick voting during this time frame:
1969: 5 Dzurilla, 14 Miroslav Lacký, 15 Miroslav Termer.
1970: 4 Dzurilla, 12 Holeček, 13 Lacký, 16 Pavel Wohl.
1971: 5 Holeček, 12 Dzurilla, 15 Jiří Crha, 17 Vladimír Nadrchal, 21 Marcel Sakač.
1972: 3 Dzurilla, 5 Holeček, 25 Nadrchal, 26 Crha, 28 Jiří Kralík and Miroslav Krása, 34 Sakač, 36 Termer.
1973: 5 Holeček, 11 Crha, 22 Sakač, 29 Krása, 39 Wohl.
1974: 1 Holeček, 15 Crha, 22 Pavol Svitana, 31 Dzurilla, 33 Termer, 39 Krása, 41 Miroslav Kapoun.
1975: 2 Holeček, 14 Crha.
1976: 2 Holeček, 9 Dzurilla, 20 Svitana, 23 Crha, 30 Sakač.
1977: 6 Dzurilla, 8 Holeček, 17 Kralík, 23 Crha, 29 Sakač, 32 Svitana.
1978: 2 Holeček, 15 Dzurilla, 17 Kralík, 19 Crha, 37 Ivan Podešva, 42 Petr Ševela, 46 Milan Kolísek.

Holecek, not Tretiak, was considered the best goalie in Europe in the mid 1970s

World Championship All Star Teams

The World Championships of Ice Hockey at the time featured all the best players in Europe and were held every year. Therefore, they are the largest sample size of competition against Europe as a whole. In the 1970s, when they were both at their peak's, Jiri Holecek generally outperformed Tretiak at the World Championships

Tretiak (USSR)
•World Championships Best Goalie (1974, 1979, 1983)
•World Championships All Star (1975, 1979, 1983)

Jiri Holecek (Czech)
World Championships Best Goalie (1971, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1978)
•World Championships All Star (1971, 1972, 1973, 1976, 1978)

Tretiak and Holecek overlapped as starters for their national teams from 1972-1978. In that 7 years, Holecek was named best goalie 4 times, and Tretiak just once.

Anecdotes

Anecdotally, Holecek (not Tretiak) was considered the best goalie in Europe, heading into the 1976 Canada Cup. From wikipedia's entry on the 1976 Canada Cup (citing Joe Pelletier's book):

Quote:
The Czechoslovakian team was predicted to face Canada in the final by most experts as they brought the same team that won the 1976 World Championship a few months prior. Their goaltender, Jiří Holeček, was considered the best in the world outside the NHL
We all know Holecek didn't play well against Canada in the Canada Cup, but the point is that as Tretiak was in the midst of winning his third consecutive "Soviet Player of the Year" award (which he won in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1982, and 1983), the general feeling was that he was not the best goalie in Europe.

An IIHF biography of Tretiak celebrating his 60th birthday indicates that there was a widely held view that Holecek and even Vladimir Dzurilla were better goalies, and that Tretiak wasn't universally considered the best goalie in Europe until his dominant performance in the 1981 Canada Cup:

Quote:
The somewhat strange thing is that Tretiak was judged differently in Europe and in North America for many years of his career.

Due to his sensational performance in the 1972 Summit Series, Tretiak immediately became a super-hero in Canada and the perception of him as the superior goaltender from Europe – and thus by far the best European at that position – just grew with the 1975 New Year’s Eve game and the 1981 Canada Cup rout.

But back in Europe, during the ‘70s, the European hockey community generally considered the Czechoslovaks Vladimir Dzurilla and Jiri Holecek as stronger goaltenders than Tretiak. And quite often whenever Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union met in many of their epic World Championship games in the 1970s, the Czechoslovaks came up on top in their head-to-head games, although the Soviet team won the gold nine times out of ten.

But it was the 1981 Canada Cup final – and the sensational 8-1 score which would have been something totally different had the CCCP team had a human in net – that cemented Tretiak’s position as not only the best in Europe, but the best in the world.

Sadly, and due to the totalitarian regime of that era, Tretiak played for only three more years before he decided to quit.
http://www.iihf.com/nc/home-of-hocke...ecap/6711.html


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 11-21-2012 at 10:42 AM. Reason: removed Pavel Richter
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Old
11-20-2012, 03:52 PM
  #166
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Glad to see someone make a case for Worters. I honestly have no idea what to do with him this round. I like him better than Smith or Thompson, but that's a wide range.

Worters has the best Hart record of any available goalie by far, but all of it was in a 4 year period.

4th in 1926
10th in 1927
2nd in 1928 (to Howie Morenz)
1st in 1929

What a stretch of 4 years! He stopped getting Hart consideration as soon as the forward pass was allowed, however. Not sure what to make of that. According to the All-Star voting, he was probably the 2nd best goalie after Charlie Gardiner even after 1930, so it's not like he didn't adjust.
You missed a 5th in 1934 as well.

Worters' ASTs in those 4 years preceding the official teams are circumstantial and sort of based on that card, but we've verified that in two of those seasons it was defnitely based on the GM vote, and in the other two he was the runaway leader in goalie hart voting, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ContrarianGoaltender View Post
I'm also in the group that had Thompson ahead of Smith on their original list.

The only thing about that ranking, though, is that in my playoff series wins vs. expected list, Smith is the biggest overachiever ever at 11.2 playoff series wins above expected, while Thompson is the biggest underachiever of anyone I've looked at so far with 4.6 series below expected. I think looking at their respective team situations and playoff results would be interesting, but that's probably more of a discussion point for next round I would think.
Does it take team offense into consideration? Because the amount of playoff games Smith won by 3+ goals over those three seasons is absolutely staggering. 39 of 60! They also faced elimination only once. I talk a lot about this in this thread:

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...smith+esposito

The offensive support Smith received was mind boggling. 4.67 per game.

Looking back, it's dumbfounding how much resistance there was to the idea that Esposito was a better goalie.

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Jesus. He killed Flipper?
I believe it was a distant relative.

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11-20-2012, 04:03 PM
  #167
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You missed a 5th in 1934 as well.
Oops, I'll edit the post.

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Worters' ASTs in those 4 years preceding the official teams are circumstantial and sort of based on that card, but we've verified that in two of those seasons it was defnitely based on the GM vote, and in the other two he was the runaway leader in goalie hart voting, right?
The hockey card seems to indicate that he was voted the "best goalie" 4 years in a row, but I agree that a hockey card on its own is weak evidence. We now have evidence from newspaper articles, that the GMs voted Worters best goalie in 1926-27 and 1927-28. Worters won the Hart Trophy and no other goalie was close in 1928-29. Charlie Gardiner led all goalies in Hart voting by a comfortable margin in 1929-30. Worters, on the other hand, led all goalies in Hart voting by a comfortable margin in 1925-26. So if you believe the "four in a row," 1926 seems more likely than 1930.

I'm very comfortable considering Worters a 1st Team All Star in 1927, 1928, and 1929. And I think the evidence points towards a likely 1st Team in 1926, as well.

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11-20-2012, 04:18 PM
  #168
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But would the Islanders still use Smith as a "tandem goalie" during his five-straight trips to the Stanley Cup Finals if that was not the trend of the era? There weren't too many high-GP goaltenders after Esposito retired (maybe Liut for a while), but no team could justify giving their goaltender some extra days off more than the one going deep in the playoffs routinely.

Smith may not have been an iron man, but in the year coming off of his Conn Smythe Trophy, the league leader in GP appeared in only 75% of his team's games. That might be good for around 13th by 2012 standards. The expectations for GP were different in the 1980s, and it wasn't a crime to be part of a two-goalie system.

Which goaltenders do we remember most fondly from the NHL in the 1980s? Roy, Smith, and Fuhr: All three were part of a two-goalie system, because that was the trend for most teams at the time.
Fair. Now, can we say that he was demonstrably better (we have the aid of video in this instance and numbers if we need them) than his tandem partner Chico Resch on the same teams? If they appear close, then we can't let Resch get too far from Billy Smith, right?

Or he had Rollie Melanson, what do we feel the quality of Melanson was, and then what does it say about Smith's performance vs. that of Melanson on the same teams? Interestingly enough, as the NHL tells it, Melanson was the first ever leader in save pct. for a season at .903 - the only goalie over .900. Smith was second.

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11-20-2012, 05:06 PM
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Oops, I'll edit the post.



The hockey card seems to indicate that he was voted the "best goalie" 4 years in a row, but I agree that a hockey card on its own is weak evidence. We now have evidence from newspaper articles, that the GMs voted Worters best goalie in 1926-27 and 1927-28. Worters won the Hart Trophy and no other goalie was close in 1928-29. Charlie Gardiner led all goalies in Hart voting by a comfortable margin in 1929-30. Worters, on the other hand, led all goalies in Hart voting by a comfortable margin in 1925-26. So if you believe the "four in a row," 1926 seems more likely than 1930.

I'm very comfortable considering Worters a 1st Team All Star in 1927, 1928, and 1929. And I think the evidence points towards a likely 1st Team in 1926, as well.
OK, glad that is sorted out.

I have to say, wow, that's a really strong case. Even if we throw out 1926, that's Tony Esposito's all-star record (3-2-2)

edit: and the card was from 1929, right? so 1926-1929 were certainly the four years it was referring to.

If we count 1926 as a first AST, that's 4-2-2, without any era caveats attached (like there are with the two goalies with similar records - Durnan: 6-0-1, and Esposito: 3-2-3)


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11-20-2012, 05:21 PM
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hmm, I had Worters quite lower....
.
what do you think now?

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11-20-2012, 05:23 PM
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OK, glad that is sorted out.

I have to say, wow, that's a really strong case. Even if we throw out 1926, that's Tony Esposito's all-star record (3-2-2)
Yeah. I wasn't even trying to make a case for Worters really, but I can definitely see the Tony Esposito comparison.

On my original list, I considered Hugh Lehman basically the Tony Esposito of his era and Worters a bit behind. But I have to say, the comparison between Esposito and Worters is pretty strong too:

1) Both were consistently elite goalies for a very long time.

2) Each was overshadowed by a high-peak/short-career goalie who played right in the middle of his prime (Ken Dryden for Esposito, Charlie Gardiner for Worters).

3) Both goalies have limited success in the playoffs.

As much of Esposito's success in the playoffs is limited, he did have more than Worters. Espo lost in the finals twice (and second round a few times) before his long string of first round exits; Worters doesn't appear to have won a single playoff series.

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11-20-2012, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
Fair. Now, can we say that he was demonstrably better (we have the aid of video in this instance and numbers if we need them) than his tandem partner Chico Resch on the same teams? If they appear close, then we can't let Resch get too far from Billy Smith, right?

Or he had Rollie Melanson, what do we feel the quality of Melanson was, and then what does it say about Smith's performance vs. that of Melanson on the same teams? Interestingly enough, as the NHL tells it, Melanson was the first ever leader in save pct. for a season at .903 - the only goalie over .900. Smith was second.
In the regular season, it was always close. But Resch and Melanson played some playoff games as well, and it didn't go as well with them as it did with Smith:

1980
Smith: .903
Resch: .791

1981
Smith: .903
Melanson: .889

1982
Smith: .906
Melanson: .815

1983
Smith: .915
Melanson: .825

1984
Smith: .905
Melanson: .844

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11-20-2012, 05:38 PM
  #173
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
As much of Esposito's success in the playoffs is limited, he did have more than Worters. Espo lost in the finals twice (and second round a few times) before his long string of first round exits; Worters doesn't appear to have won a single playoff series.
Worters won a two-game, total goals series 7-5 over Chicago in 1936, the only time he really got any goal support in the playoffs. In his nine other playoff games, his team scored just 11 goals for him. That's ridiculous even for that era (and provides another parallel with Esposito, considering the Blackhawks pretty much hit the same kind of playoff scoring wall in the late '70s).

1929 pretty much sums it up: A two-game total goals series that he lost 1-0 with the Rangers scoring the winning goal in double overtime in game two.

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11-20-2012, 05:50 PM
  #174
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Does it take team offense into consideration? Because the amount of playoff games Smith won by 3+ goals over those three seasons is absolutely staggering. 39 of 60! They also faced elimination only once. I talk a lot about this in this thread:

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...smith+esposito

The offensive support Smith received was mind boggling. 4.67 per game.
It's based on regular season points, so no, it doesn't take into account playoff goal support. I also don't necessarily advocate taking results at face value from the 1980s divisional format with 16 teams making the playoffs, because there really wasn't much incentive to go 100% for all 80 games. The Islanders had a couple of 91 and 96 point regular season teams that went on to wax all comers in the postseason, and I suspect the Vegas odds before those series would have been a little more friendly to the Isles than their regular season numbers may have implied.

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Looking back, it's dumbfounding how much resistance there was to the idea that Esposito was a better goalie.
I'm not that surprised, because for a lot of people it's simply all about Stanley Cups for goalies. That's something that should be kept in mind as well when we're reading quotes about goalies from back in the day, and it's why I'm not particularly concerned that conventional wisdom has someone like Roy Worters a lot lower than I'm likely to rank him in the next vote.

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11-20-2012, 05:51 PM
  #175
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Yeah, I mean, I wouldn't think it would...Melanson didn't appear to be all that good of a goalie...except for on Long Island where he led the league in the save pct. once. I mean, look at what happened when he was back to being a tandem in LA (this time given the starting nod) - those two seasons the Kings finished 2nd worst and worst in goals against. His GAA in the playoffs with the Kings (also a small sample size, about as small as it is with the Isles) was 6.19! It was about half that with the Isles (3.24).

Hell, maybe Resch wasn't even that good. I don't have the spreadsheet up and handy but using H-R. Resch played on the Isles from 1975-1981, in that time frame, he finished top-5 in goals against average for five straight years, followed by a 9th place and a 7th place the year he got traded late to Colorado (would have been another top-5 if he had just stayed put on the Island). Additionally, Resch played from 1982-1987. He never again finished top-10 in GAA. In fact, quite the opposite, he was top-5 in pure goals against for the next four seasons after leaving the Islanders.

Though I do think Resch was a quality netminder because he played on some pretty iffy Devils teams and got some traction with them.

Why are non-dynasty years not included for Resch? Seems like he did a fair job, Smith was on those teams too.

It just seems to me that Melanson and Resch had the time of their respective lives under Arbour...they moved on and didn't do nearly as well. We'll never know with Smith because he doesn't really play anywhere else (minus a few minutes with the Kings as a rookie). If Resch isn't traded is it him that's up for vote right now?

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