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Round 2, Vote 4 (HOH Top Goaltenders)

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Old
11-26-2012, 05:12 PM
  #351
Theokritos
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Do you mean with Bohumil Modry, who won a couple of tournaments in the late 40s over Canadian amateurs
One tournament: the 1949 World Championship. Czechoslovakia also won in 1947, but Canada didn't sent a team that year.

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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
from what I've seen, I'd be extremely concerned if Holecek landed in the top-20 considering that it's at least debatable if he was even the second best Czechoslovakian goaltender in history
I'm not saying he should be a lock for the top-20, but who else is in the debate for being the second best Czechoslovak goaltender? Maybe you could make a case for Dzurilla, but not without even more of the guesswork you want to avoid. Modrư? Not a chance.

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I just get the uneasy feeling that we're creating a narrative to justify some awards
Which awards do you mean?

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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
if we were all sitting in a class and we got a piece of paper that said, "I'm positive Jiri Holecek is a top-20 goaltender of all-time because: _____________________________" and then a series of lines for you to write in your answer...someone here can really fill that in without making assumptions and guesswork...and most of all, without lying?
Are you suggesting that people who make a case for Jiří Holeček are lying?

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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
Let's pretend that Holecek is 15th. Where do Vlad Dzurilla, Seth Martin, Bohumil Modry end up? They can't be too terribly far away right? Is what Holecek did and recognized for so far and away better than these players? I'm just struggling to understand (and I can't stress this enough, that this isn't argumentative, it's honest, legitimate questioning) what makes Holecek so much more special than these names.
Modrư is not even in the debate, he played in 1947-1949 when the Czechoslovak national team was on the level of a better Canadian amateur club. Dzurilla was all-star goaltender & best goaltender in the 1965 world championship and all-star goaltender in 1969. Nice, but compare Holeček: all-star goaltender & best goaltender in 1971, all-star goaltender in 1972, all-star goaltender & best goaltender in 1973, best goaltender in 1975, all-star goaltender & best goaltender in 1976, all-star goaltender & best goaltender in 1978. Over Vladislav Tretiak.
Seth Martin? A resume comparable to Holeček, but in the 1960s. We know how the 1970s Soviets and Czechoslovaks compared to NHL teams. In the 1960s the level was not that high yet.

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we've got a guy who was very, very good at that level but not just a complete and utter world beater like Vladislav Tretiak was...the reason why Tretiak made the list is because he was just lightyears ahead of the pack and is recognized for it during and after the fact...
If Tretiak was lightyears ahead of the pack that included Holeček, how come Holeček won so many awards over him?

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11-26-2012, 05:57 PM
  #352
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Ok thank you for the replies. Learned some things, looked ****-eyed at some other things.

Do want to point out that I'm not at all implying that the pro-Holecek crowd is being the least bit dishonest, not at all. I was just rambling there for the hypothetical, it wasn't based on actual events.

Ok, so Modry - who was considered an equal of Holecek's by this large panel - is a no-go even though he may have played far less competition, he dominated them so much more than Holecek. Which I can and probably do agree with. And the 70's international scene was far better than the 60's international scene, fine. I was unaware of just how big of a step it was.

Now my question (previously ones, more or less sufficiently answered) is this: what can we say about the eras that are "dogged" here...eras in question. 1940's NHL vs. 1970's Czech League vs. 1970's World Championships. That's just one example certainly. Referring to Durnan, of course. We feel pretty confident that the 1970's Czech League was better because it produced players for the 1970's World Championships that hung with the World Championships masters (USSR)? Is that the line of reasoning, I'm guessing?

I can't answer why Holecek won more awards head-to-head with Tretiak in that time. It's a fair counterpoint. The people watching those X amount of games in that time and place decided that he was the best goalie there quite a few times. I accept that, certainly. I just wonder why after his whole career is over that no one that played with him and watched him the most over his whole career thought all that much of him, relatively speaking.

The guys that watched him 6 and 8 at a time, loved him. The guys that saw him hundreds more times, didn't show the same respect. I think that's a tiny bit troubling. And maybe I'm alone there...but I just feel like there isn't enough in Holecek's resume for me to give him the benefit of the doubt. Flopped against NHL talent, wasn't far and away the best keeper in his own country. Unless I'm looking at incomplete information, he and Dzurilla were neck and neck for first goalie in Golden Stick voting from 1969-1978, Holecek with a 6-4 edge.

I don't know, maybe I'm being too picky here...

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11-26-2012, 06:47 PM
  #353
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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
Ok thank you for the replies. Learned some things, looked ****-eyed at some other things.

Do want to point out that I'm not at all implying that the pro-Holecek crowd is being the least bit dishonest, not at all. I was just rambling there for the hypothetical, it wasn't based on actual events.

Ok, so Modry - who was considered an equal of Holecek's by this large panel - is a no-go even though he may have played far less competition, he dominated them so much more than Holecek. Which I can and probably do agree with. And the 70's international scene was far better than the 60's international scene, fine. I was unaware of just how big of a step it was.
How did Modry dominates his competition more than Holecek? He won 2 World Championships by small margins, only one against Canadian amateurs.

Quote:
Now my question (previously ones, more or less sufficiently answered) is this: what can we say about the eras that are "dogged" here...eras in question. 1940's NHL vs. 1970's Czech League vs. 1970's World Championships. That's just one example certainly. Referring to Durnan, of course. We feel pretty confident that the 1970's Czech League was better because it produced players for the 1970's World Championships that hung with the World Championships masters (USSR)? Is that the line of reasoning, I'm guessing?
Durnan vs Holecek could be its own post.

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I can't answer why Holecek won more awards head-to-head with Tretiak in that time. It's a fair counterpoint. The people watching those X amount of games in that time and place decided that he was the best goalie there quite a few times. I accept that, certainly. I just wonder why after his whole career is over that no one that played with him and watched him the most over his whole career thought all that much of him, relatively speaking.
Well it is quite possible that Hasek later overshadowed him. It isn't hard to find European sources that consider Holecek better than Tretiak, even today.

And again, that list is very forward heavy. Most European sources consider Jan Suchy something of a hockey god and he's only 7th?

Quote:
The guys that watched him 6 and 8 at a time, loved him. The guys that saw him hundreds more times, didn't show the same respect. I think that's a tiny bit troubling. And maybe I'm alone there...but I just feel like there isn't enough in Holecek's resume for me to give him the benefit of the doubt. Flopped against NHL talent, wasn't far and away the best keeper in his own country.
Correction: flopped in 2 games in the 1976 Canada Cup. Shutout NHL players who didn't make the playoffs on the way to being named Best Goalie in the 1978 World Championships and played very well against the WHA Winnipeg Jets. The Jets were probably the best team in the WHA and were almost certainly better than the worst teams in Thr NHL

Quote:
Unless I'm looking at incomplete information, he and Dzurilla were neck and neck for first goalie in Golden Stick voting from 1969-1978, Holecek with a 6-4 edge.

I don't know, maybe I'm being too picky here...
Why are you looking at 1969 and 1970 when Holecek was not yet in his prime? You might as well include Tony O's 1st Team All Stars against Dryden. Holecek won the Golden Stick, along with 3 runner up finishes. Dzurilla didn't come that close to winning

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11-26-2012, 06:55 PM
  #354
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Impact of Rule Changes

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Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
.

Modrư is not even in the debate, he played in 1947-1949 when the Czechoslovak national team was on the level of a better Canadian amateur club. Dzurilla was all-star goaltender & best goaltender in the 1965 world championship and all-star goaltender in 1969. Nice, but compare Holeček: all-star goaltender & best goaltender in 1971, all-star goaltender in 1972, all-star goaltender & best goaltender in 1973, best goaltender in 1975, all-star goaltender & best goaltender in 1976, all-star goaltender & best goaltender in 1978. Over Vladislav Tretiak.
Consider the rule changes in international hockey that allowed the agressive(physical) forecheck in the fall of 1969. Blend in the early LWL employed by the Czechoslovakian National team - effectively three defensemen. You will see why the Czech went from the more mobile Dzurilla to the relatively stationary Holecek.

The Czech coaches and officials understood this very well. It was reflected in their low opinion of Jiri Holecek in the 1998 voting.

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11-26-2012, 06:58 PM
  #355
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I meant domestically for Modry, sorry, should have been more clear. "Fair enough" on the rest...and I say that respectfully, I don't have much in the way of counterpoints because I'm just looking for clarifications mostly, not really a debate. Thanks!

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11-27-2012, 12:30 AM
  #356
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Consider the rule changes in international hockey that allowed the agressive(physical) forecheck in the fall of 1969. Blend in the early LWL employed by the Czechoslovakian National team - effectively three defensemen. You will see why the Czech went from the more mobile Dzurilla to the relatively stationary Holecek.

The Czech coaches and officials understood this very well. It was reflected in their low opinion of Jiri Holecek in the 1998 voting.
Do you know of any scouts who share this opinion or is this just your personal opinion from watching him?

Because it's completely counter to Patrick Houda's description on Joe Pelletier's blog:

Quote:
But many consider him being a better goaltender than Tretiak. In his homeland (Czech Republic) Holecek was called "Kouzelnik" (The Magician), for his acrobatic style of play. He was equally good and fast with his blocker as he was with his glove hand. He also had very quick feet and tried to emulate the style of his childhood idol, Canadian Seth Martin. Another strength was that Holecek always used to be cool under pressure. Many say that if Holecek had got the same exposure as Tretiak did when he faced the NHLers then he would be regarded as the best European goalie ever.
"quick feet," "acrobatic style," does not say "stationary" to me. Unless you mean Holecek stayed in his net a lot, but as discussed, that was the preferred method of playing against the USSR

http://internationalhockeylegends.bl...lecek.html?m=1

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11-27-2012, 12:38 AM
  #357
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The case for Holecek over Bernie Parent: an elite player for longer. Holecek was an elite player for 8 years, with one possible down season in 1976-77. Parent was better than his All-Star record indicates before 1974, but he wasn't quite a standout yet.

The case for Holecek over Tony Esposito: better record in pressure situations. Each man has one famous flub: Esposito in the 1971 finals, Holecek in the 1976 Canada Cup. But Holecek has a long history of success at the World Championships (both personal and team), back when the World Championships were the premiere yearly tournament for all European players. Tony Esposito, on the other hand, has an unimpressive 45-53 record in the playoffs overall, and his regular season GAA of 2.92 ballooned to 3.07 in the playoffs.


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11-27-2012, 03:21 AM
  #358
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Stationary

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Do you know of any scouts who share this opinion or is this just your personal opinion from watching him?

Because it's completely counter to Patrick Houda's description on Joe Pelletier's blog:



"quick feet," "acrobatic style," does not say "stationary" to me. Unless you mean Holecek stayed in his net a lot, but as discussed, that was the preferred method of playing against the USSR

http://internationalhockeylegends.bl...lecek.html?m=1
Yes, stayed in his net a lot would be the description. Observe the impact of the trapezoid rule combined with the LWL and you will see the reason goalies do not have to have the mobility that roving goalies of previous generations did.

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11-27-2012, 03:51 AM
  #359
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The Record

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The case for Holecek over Bernie Parent: an elite player for longer. Holecek was an elite player for 8 years, with one possible down season in 1976-77. Parent was better than his All-Star record indicates before 1974, but he wasn't quite a standout yet.

The case for Holecek over Tony Esposito: better record in pressure situations. Each man has one famous flub: Esposito in the 1971 finals, Holecek in the 1976 Canada Cup. But Holecek has a long history of success at the World Championships (both personal and team), back when the World Championships were the premiere yearly tournament for all European players. Tony Esposito, on the other hand, has an unimpressive 45-53 record in the playoffs overall, and his regular season GAA of 2.92 ballooned to 3.07 in the playoffs.
Both Holecek and Esposito have multiple flubs. Holecek - 1972, 1976 Olympics, 1976 Canada Cup, 1978 WHC losing final at home in Prague. Esposito - 1971 and 1973 SC Finals, with 1973 being the worst SC final goalie performance in SC Final history, 5.3 GAA and a SV% around .850. 1972 Summit Series game 5. 1976 Canada Cup, Vachon, Cheevers, Resch, Bouchard were preferred to him with Dryden and Parent missing the event. 14 game playoff losing streak.

Parent compared to Esposito and Holecek. Two consecutive Conn Smythe Trophies on two consecutive SC championship teams. No goalie in the history of the award has sustained such a level of excellence over two seasons. Parent does not have a history of flubs.

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11-27-2012, 05:53 AM
  #360
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Both Holecek and Esposito have multiple flubs. Holecek - 1972, 1976 Olympics, 1976 Canada Cup, 1978 WHC losing final at home in Prague. Esposito - 1971 and 1973 SC Finals, with 1973 being the worst SC final goalie performance in SC Final history, 5.3 GAA and a SV% around .850. 1972 Summit Series game 5. 1976 Canada Cup, Vachon, Cheevers, Resch, Bouchard were preferred to him with Dryden and Parent missing the event. 14 game playoff losing streak.

Parent compared to Esposito and Holecek. Two consecutive Conn Smythe Trophies on two consecutive SC championship teams. No goalie in the history of the award has sustained such a level of excellence over two seasons. Parent does not have a history of flubs.
Holecek was named the Best Goalie of the 1978 World Championships by the Directorate and All Star Goalie by the Media covering the World Championships. I don't see how losing a close game to a better team (while being considered the best goalie of the tournament) is a "flub." Likewise, the 1976 Olympics. He lost 3-2 to the Soviets? Again, how is losing a close game to a better team a "flub?" Would you demand that Czechslovakia beat the USSR in every tournament to give Holecek credit for the ones he did win?

The 1972 Olympics and 1976 Canada Cup are the only blemishes on his resume that I can see, and as goalies go, having only 2 notable blemishes is pretty good. Bill Durnan seems to have two big playoff blemishes (1949 and 1950 quitting in the middle of the playoffs) in his shorter career.


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11-27-2012, 06:16 AM
  #361
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Holecek was named the Best Goalie of the 1978 World Championships by the Directorate and All Star Goalie by the Media covering the World Championships. I don't see how losing a close game to a better team (while being considered the best goalie of the tournament) is a "flub." Likewise, the 1976 Olympics. He lost 3-2 to the Soviets? Again, how is losing a close game to a better team a "flub?" Would you demand that Czechslovakia beat the USSR in every tournament to give Holecek credit for the ones he did win?

The 1972 Olympics and 1976 Canada Cup are the only blemishes on his resume that I can see, and as goalies go, having only 2 notable blemishes is pretty good. Bill Durnan seems to have two big playoff blemishes (1949 and 1950 quitting in the middle of the playoffs) in his shorter career.
Most of the Czechoslovakian team came down with the flu at the 1976 Olympics. Holecek was their only goalie who didn't, so they kept him separated from his teammates to keep him healthy. He wasn't quite good enough to steal the win, but it was a difficult situation.

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11-27-2012, 06:46 AM
  #362
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Esposito - 1971 and 1973 SC Finals, with 1973 being the worst SC final goalie performance in SC Final history, 5.3 GAA and a SV% around .850.
Just looked at the scores of that series and they are brutal

Game 1 April 29 Chicago Black Hawks 3 Montreal Canadiens 8
Game 2 May 1 Chicago Black Hawks 1 Montreal Canadiens 4
Game 3 May 3 Montreal Canadiens 4 Chicago Black Hawks 7
Game 4 May 6 Montreal Canadiens 4 Chicago Black Hawks 0
Game 5 May 8 Chicago Black Hawks 8 Montreal Canadiens 7
Game 6 May 10 Montreal Canadiens 6 Chicago Black Hawks 4

Montreal didn't score fewer than 4 goals in a single game in the series.

I'm probably going to rank Worters a spot or two over Esposito - I feel their regular season records are pretty comparable. And Worters lack of a positive playoff resume seems more like lack of opportunity, rather than outright blowing it like Esposito did a few times.

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11-27-2012, 07:17 AM
  #363
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1978 whc

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Holecek was named the Best Goalie of the 1978 World Championships by the Directorate and All Star Goalie by the Media covering the World Championships. I don't see how losing a close game to a better team (while being considered the best goalie of the tournament) is a "flub." Likewise, the 1976 Olympics. He lost 3-2 to the Soviets? Again, how is losing a close game to a better team a "flub?" Would you demand that Czechslovakia beat the USSR in every tournament to give Holecek credit for the ones he did win?

The 1972 Olympics and 1976 Canada Cup are the only blemishes on his resume that I can see, and as goalies go, having only 2 notable blemishes is pretty good. Bill Durnan seems to have two big playoff blemishes (1949 and 1950 quitting in the middle of the playoffs) in his shorter career.
1978 WHC with results:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1978_Wo..._Championships

Note the difference between gold and silver was in the final round. The Soviets and Tretiak NEVER gave up more than one goal in a game while playing in hostile Prague.

The Czechoslovakian team beat the Soviets in the preliminary round 6-4, not exactly a goaltending battle. However Tretiak and the Soviets bounced back in the finals taking a 3-0 lead over Holecek and the Czechs in Prague winning 3-1, the required 2 goal difference. Why Holecek won the awards and honours remains a mystery as he was not the best goalie.

1976 Olympics. The clip(up thread) of the last part of the third period clearly showed a 4-3 Soviet win. Starts tied 2-2, Czechs score to go ahead 3-2, then the Soviets score two late to win 4-3. A healthy Holecek looks weak positionally on both.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_hoc...inter_Olympics

1949 Durnan a flub? Ridiculous. Without Durnan the 3rd place Canadiens do not make the playoffs or even reach game 7 of the semis.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 11-27-2012 at 07:26 AM. Reason: addition 1976 olympics
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11-27-2012, 08:08 AM
  #364
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Ya know, it's weird, and I told C1958 this as well...isn't it interesting - if nothing else - that we aren't trying to pick apart blatant nationalism from reality WRT the Czech Experts Panel (as they largely ignored Holecek, relatively speaking) and we aren't trying to pick apart box-score-watching from reality by the WC awards (the "obvious" choice for the award would be Tretiak in 1978, for instance)...just weird how things work some times...

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11-27-2012, 08:41 AM
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blatant nationalism from reality WRT the Czech Experts Panel (as they largely ignored Holecek, relatively speaking)
I'm not following... blatant nationalism because they ignored Holocek?


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11-27-2012, 09:13 AM
  #366
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just weird how things work some times...
What are you suggesting, Mike?

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11-27-2012, 11:51 AM
  #367
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blatant nationalism
Whose nationalism?

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11-27-2012, 12:00 PM
  #368
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Stats stats Why not ask the Russian Hockey federation what they injected players with?Igor Larinov in his book which was published in Switzerland said the trainers would inject players with a substance but back then you did not ask what.Also there were rumours about fixed matches between Russia and Czecholvakia under communism?

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11-27-2012, 01:28 PM
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Also there were rumours about fixed matches between Russia and Czecholvakia under communism?
After 1968 I really doubt it. For Czechoslovak players it was more important to beat Soviets than to win gold medal.

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11-27-2012, 01:43 PM
  #370
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Voting and Recognition

[QUOTE=lamini;56069653]After 1968 I really doubt it. For Czechoslovak players it was more important to beat Soviets than to win gold medal.[/QUOTE]

Would these sentiments be reflected in the voting for Czech domestic awards and honours?

Also would these sentiments be reflected in how Czech, media and directors voted in international tournaments for awards and honours?

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11-27-2012, 03:03 PM
  #371
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After 1968 I really doubt it. For Czechoslovak players it was more important to beat Soviets than to win gold medal.
This was true in 1969 while the Soviet tanks were still in Prague, but I'm not sure if it was true afterwards.

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11-27-2012, 04:12 PM
  #372
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What are you suggesting, Mike?
Sorry, shouldn't post unclear things while being rushed out to go to work.

What I meant, and it's nothing of great value really, was that wouldn't you guess - under normal circumstances - that we would look at that Czech Panel and see Holecek ranked really high because of what he did in politically-charged tournaments vs. the Soviets and rah rah sis boom bah! And we'd have to look at that and go, 'well, this ranking is a little over the top for him because of this, this and that'

And then when the media/whoever votes for awards in the World Championships, you'd guess they would be more prone to going by the scoresheet and just taking the goalie with the lowest GAA or what have you...and we'd have to make a guess about that and what that's worth (like we did for 1st team AS goalies and the correlation with lowest GAA post-WWII).

But here, it's the opposite of what I'd expect. Holecek was ranked as like the, what, 6th most important player on these teams. Almost indifferent appeal. His own coaches, the guys that started him in these games, felt like he was a support player more than anything.

Meanwhile, the people that voted for the WCs, they ignored the obvious choice (Tretiak) and went with a different take: Holecek or even Valtonen ('72)...

Nothing more than that, nothing accusatory or anything groundbreaking...just an (un)interesting observation.

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11-27-2012, 04:35 PM
  #373
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But here, it's the opposite of what I'd expect. Holecek was ranked as like the, what, 6th most important player on these teams. Almost indifferent appeal. His own coaches, the guys that started him in these games, felt like he was a support player more than anything.
It was effectively a tie for 4th among his contemporaries

4. Vladimir Martinec 235
5. Ivan Hlinka 181
8. Jiri Holik 136
10. Vaclav Nedomansky 98
11. Jiri Holecek 97
14. Frantisek Pospisil 68

Every contemporary ahead of him was a forward. I feel like there's a tendency when making these lists to give the top spots to forwards. I know on an "all-time Sweden" list by Swedes, Forsberg and possibly even Sundin would rank over Lidstrom. Yeah, I realize Hasek finished first on this list overall, but I'm not sure that would affect the overall trend to rank forwards highly.

I also wonder if Hlinka's high spot on the list was influenced by his coaching career afterwards. THN's Top 100 list had a couple of guys who remained prominent in the NHL establishment suspiciously high.

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11-27-2012, 04:44 PM
  #374
Mike Farkas
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How many of those highly-touted forwards from that time period did not play on the left side usually? They were all centers and right wings?

EDIT: seems that way. In which case, their style of play would dictate that the center and right wing would do a ton of heavy lifting offensively. While the defensemen and the left wing would stand-out less because of the shared workload to compensate for their superior opponent - and, let's call him "different", goaltender. Three defensemen effectively on the ice at once doesn't allow a player like Posposil to stand out as much because he's not responsible for half the ice, just a third. Goaltender doesn't get recognized because he's playing behind three defensemen all the time. So, that would be my brief theory on why the voting might turn out that way. Players that stood out in their system, the one they saw and/or created. G, LD, RD, LW - all support players. C, RW - the stars.

EDIT 2: Ok, maybe Holik was a LWer...so that throws a monkey wrench in the direction of my theory, not sure if it causes significant damage or not...I guess it's not overly important.


Last edited by Mike Farkas: 11-27-2012 at 05:18 PM.
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11-27-2012, 05:02 PM
  #375
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Martinec and Nedomansky were right wings. Hlinka was a center. Jiri Holik was a left wing.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 11-27-2012 at 05:24 PM.
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