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Round 2, Vote 5 (HOH Top Goaltenders)

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Old
11-30-2012, 06:09 PM
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Isn't this true of Dryden, Tretiak, Brodeur, Plante, Durnan and Sawchuk also?
It's also true that at some point, those guys were viewed as the best in the world by at least some people, even if it wasn't always everyone. As far as I can tell Hainsworth was never viewed as the best in the world by a significant number of people. Thompson was probably the best in the world for a few years after Charlie Gardiner died, but that is largely due to lack of competition. For anyone who calls the 1980s the "dark ages of goaltending," look at the names in the league (other than Thompson) in the years between Charlie Gardiner's death and Frank Brimsek's rookie season.

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12-01-2012, 09:06 AM
  #77
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
It's also true that at some point, those guys were viewed as the best in the world by at least some people, even if it wasn't always everyone. As far as I can tell Hainsworth was never viewed as the best in the world by a significant number of people. Thompson was probably the best in the world for a few years after Charlie Gardiner died, but that is largely due to lack of competition. For anyone who calls the 1980s the "dark ages of goaltending," look at the names in the league (other than Thompson) in the years between Charlie Gardiner's death and Frank Brimsek's rookie season.

I'm sure there were at least some people that felt Hainesworth was the best at some point in his career.

Who was Brodeur's competition when he was considered the best?

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12-01-2012, 09:47 AM
  #78
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I'll try to answer this. First off, I think Hainsworth and Thompson both have a chance of getting my top 4 votes NEXT round, so it's not like I'm calling them crap goalies.

And I do agree that voters seemed more willing to give goalies on weaker teams recognition in the 20s and early 30s than any time afterwards. But even so, the evidence that Hainsworth and Thompson's numbers were partly the product of their teams is pretty strong.

Hainsworth

Keep in mind the the unofficial All-Star Teams of the late 20s were voted on by NHL GMs (like the modern Vezina), so they represent the opinions of the men who were paid to be the ultimate judge of talent in the era.

Look at the full voting results for the 1927-8 All Star team:

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

There were 10 GMs and they couldn't vote for their own player. Only 1 opposing GM felt Hainsworth was the best goalie in the league and 4 thought he was second best - only 1 more than thought Alec Connell was 2nd best.

1927-28 was Hainsworth's 2nd Vezina in a row (for lowest GAA in the league), setting an NHL record with 1.05. Yet, he barely edged out Alec Connell for 2nd in the perception of the league's GMs.

We don't have full voting results for 1928-29, but it appears Worters was again voted the best goalie in the league, even as Hainsworth broke his own record with a 0.92 GAA in the final season before the forward pass was allowed.

Or you might want to look at Hainsworth's lack of Hart voting in the 3 seasons he led the league in GAA:

1926-27: We have the top 10 in Hart votes and it doesn't include Hainsworth. His teammate, defensive defenseman Herb Gardiner won the Hart. Howie Morenz was 8th.

1927-28: We have the top 6 in Hart voting and it doesn't include Hainsworth (but we do have GM-voted All Star voting this season, see above). Hainsworth's teammate Howie Morenz won the Hart.

1928-29: We have the top 7 in Hart voting and it doesn't include Hainsworth. Hainsworth's teammate, defensive defenseman Sylvio Mantha finished 4th in Hart voting.

Hainsworth was important to his team's GAA. Montreal's GAA went to hell in 1925-26 after Georges Vezina was forced to retire due to illness and recovered as soon as they got Hainsworth for 1926-27. But it appears that people who watched him play didn't consider him the most important part.

Tiny Thompson

1st in GAA and Vezina Trophy but 4th in All Star voting in 1932 is unheard of in the early years. He was a 1st Team All Star twice, but both were in the late 30s when he led the league in GAA over a group of goalies that didn't include a single other Hall of Famer.

And I just can't get over the fact that as soon as Boston replaced Thompson with Brimsek, they immediately went on to win 2 out of 3 Cups.

Edit: Jack Adams was a fan of Thompson, but that quote comes from 1936 and I'm not sure what the competition was then.



This is my current line of thinking.

Were Thompson's teams really that good?

31/32 - 15-21-12 4th in Division
33/34 - 18-25-5 4th in Division
35/36 - 22-20-6 2nd in Division
36/37 - 23-18-7 2nd in Division

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12-01-2012, 10:34 AM
  #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Were Thompson's teams really that good?

31/32 - 15-21-12 4th in Division
33/34 - 18-25-5 4th in Division
35/36 - 22-20-6 2nd in Division
36/37 - 23-18-7 2nd in Division
They had quite a few Top-150 players, or guys like played like ones (mainly George Owen).

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12-01-2012, 11:11 AM
  #80
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Good vs Bad Teams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Were Thompson's teams really that good?

31/32 - 15-21-12 4th in Division
33/34 - 18-25-5 4th in Division
35/36 - 22-20-6 2nd in Division
36/37 - 23-18-7 2nd in Division
Question could be asked - "Were Roy Worters' teams that bad?".

Better question would be do we have viable criteria that determines whether teams are Good/Average/Bad that actually goes beyond rhetoric? Short answer is a definitive No!.

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12-01-2012, 02:54 PM
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
I'm sure there were at least some people that felt Hainesworth was the best at some point in his career.
Yes, 1 of 9 opposing GMs thought he was the best goalie in the league a season he broke the GAA record. Versus 7 of 9 for Worters.

I mean, if your point is to call me out for saying that nobody thought Hainsworth was the best goalie, fine you're right, but it definitely seems like a minority.

Quote:
Who was Brodeur's competition when he was considered the best?
You can just look at the Vezina voting records from 2003-2008 when Brodeur won 4 of 5 Vezinas and was 2nd for the 5th.

Certainly a deeper pool than Hainsworth had, although the standouts haven't done enough in their careers yet to be ranked yet.


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12-01-2012, 03:07 PM
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Were Thompson's teams really that good?

31/32 - 15-21-12 4th in Division
33/34 - 18-25-5 4th in Division
35/36 - 22-20-6 2nd in Division
36/37 - 23-18-7 2nd in Division
These were the Eddie Shore/Dit Clapper Bruins who finished 1st overall 4 times in 9 years in the 1930s without winning the Cup. They were definitely hurt by the goofy playoff structure at the time (6 teams make the playoffs, the 2 division winners play in the first round for the right to advance to the finals, the next 4 best teams play a minitournament for the other spot in the finals, so 1 of the 2 division winners is guaranteed a 1st round loss). But still, 1st overall 4 times and no Cups after 1929.

Not sure what happened in 1932. 1934 is the year Eddie Shore was injured and missed a good portion of the year and the Bruins missed the playoffs. It was brought up in the defenseman project in the case for Eddie Shore.

Here are the top 5 finishes in Hart voting for Bruins during Thompson's time there

1929: Eddie Shore (3rd)
1930: Lionel Hitchman (2nd), Cooney Weiland (3rd)
1931: Eddie Shore (2nd)
1932: none
1933: Eddie Shore (1st)
1934: none
1935: Eddie Shore (1st)
1936: Eddie Shore (1st)
1937: Tiny Thompson (4th)
1938: Eddie Shore (1st)

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12-01-2012, 03:32 PM
  #83
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Not sure what happened in 1932. 1934 is the year Eddie Shore was injured and missed a good portion of the year and the Bruins missed the playoffs. It was brought up in the defenseman project in the case for Eddie Shore.

Here are the top 5 finishes in Hart voting for Bruins during Thompson's time there

)

1932


That season seems very odd. Bruins have positive goal differential (+5) but their W-L differential is -6. They play in the "defensive division" and end up surrendering the most goals in their D. Chicago and Detroit goal differential is -16 and -13, respectively, yet both teams finish ahead of Boston (by 5 and 4 points, respectively). George Owen and Lionel Hitchman are still playing for the B's at that moment.

They probably deserved to finish 2nd but ended up finishing 4th. I don't know what it says about Thompson, but whatever it is, it's certainly NOT good. Boston had a guy named Percy Johnson playing a few games, and he had a totally neutral effect on their results (or probably a small positive effect -- totally negligible).

I guess one could say that Thompson was outplayed not only by Gardiner, but also by Roach and Connell, two guys who aren't in the list yet, but will PROBABLY end up being on it.


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12-01-2012, 03:43 PM
  #84
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1934

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
These were the Eddie Shore/Dit Clapper Bruins who finished 1st overall 4 times in 9 years in the 1930s without winning the Cup. They were definitely hurt by the goofy playoff structure at the time (6 teams make the playoffs, the 2 division winners play in the first round for the right to advance to the finals, the next 4 best teams play a minitournament for the other spot in the finals, so 1 of the 2 division winners is guaranteed a 1st round loss). But still, 1st overall 4 times and no Cups after 1929.

Not sure what happened in 1932. 1934 is the year Eddie Shore was injured and missed a good portion of the year and the Bruins missed the playoffs. It was brought up in the defenseman project in the case for Eddie Shore.

Here are the top 5 finishes in Hart voting for Bruins during Thompson's time there

1929: Eddie Shore (3rd)
1930: Lionel Hitchman (2nd), Cooney Weiland (3rd)
1931: Eddie Shore (2nd)
1932: none
1933: Eddie Shore (1st)
1934: none
1935: Eddie Shore (1st)
1936: Eddie Shore (1st)
1937: Tiny Thompson (4th)
1938: Eddie Shore (1st)
1934 was the Ace Bailey incident with Shore who was suspended.. Believe 1937 was the year Shore missed time to injury.

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12-01-2012, 03:56 PM
  #85
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
1934 was the Ace Bailey incident with Shore who was suspended.. Believe 1937 was the year Shore missed time to injury.
Ah right, brainfart on my part. I remembered Shore missed about 1/3 of the season in 1934; didn't put two and two together and remember why.

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12-01-2012, 05:40 PM
  #86
Dennis Bonvie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Yes, 1 of 9 opposing GMs thought he was the best goalie in the league a season he broke the GAA record. Versus 7 of 9 for Worters.

I mean, if your point is to call me out for saying that nobody thought Hainsworth was the best goalie, fine you're right, but it definitely seems like a minority.



You can just look at the Vezina voting records from 2003-2008 when Brodeur won 4 of 5 Vezinas and was 2nd for the 5th.

Certainly a deeper pool than Hainsworth had, although the standouts haven't done enough in their careers yet to be ranked yet.
Please, I'm not "calling you out".

There's a big difference between "some people" (as you stated) and the 10 GMs (which you didn't mention).

Clearly the GMs of the 2000s valued the goalies that put up wins. The GMs of the 30s seemed to base their voting on what goalie did the most. I'd suspect the GMs of the 30s would not have voted Brodeur 4 Vezinas, if any. And the Gms of the 2000s would have award Thompson a number of 1st team all-stars.

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12-01-2012, 06:17 PM
  #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Please, I'm not "calling you out".

There's a big difference between "some people" (as you stated) and the 10 GMs (which you didn't mention).

Clearly the GMs of the 2000s valued the goalies that put up wins. The GMs of the 30s seemed to base their voting on what goalie did the most. I'd suspect the GMs of the 30s would not have voted Brodeur 4 Vezinas, if any. And the Gms of the 2000s would have award Thompson a number of 1st team all-stars.
Brodeur led the NHL in wins 9 times, won 3 Vezinas while leading the NHL in wins, won 1 Vezina while finishing 2nd in wins. I don't think the correlation is strong enough to just assume Tiny Thompson would win a number of 1st Team All Stars today. Though you're right in that GMs (and media) in modern times do value wins more than in the past, when GAA seemed to be, by far, the most important stat.

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12-01-2012, 06:26 PM
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I'm wondering if someone could post a little about Harry Lumley. He's the guy here I know the least about. I'm actually surprised to see he got Hart considerations on a few occasions.

On my original list, I had him a few spots below Johnny Bower and a few spots above Gump Worsley. Is that reasonable?

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12-01-2012, 07:19 PM
  #89
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I'm wondering if someone could post a little about Harry Lumley. He's the guy here I know the least about. I'm actually surprised to see he got Hart considerations on a few occasions.

On my original list, I had him a few spots below Johnny Bower and a few spots above Gump Worsley. Is that reasonable?
I hope so. I had Lumley one spot ahead of Bower.

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12-01-2012, 07:39 PM
  #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I'm wondering if someone could post a little about Harry Lumley. He's the guy here I know the least about. I'm actually surprised to see he got Hart considerations on a few occasions.

On my original list, I had him a few spots below Johnny Bower and a few spots above Gump Worsley. Is that reasonable?
Kind of surprised to see Harry come up this soon even though I had him in this range. About 10 spots behind Bower (maybe I had Bower higher than many) and a couple of spots ahead of Worsely. I didn't realize that there were so many others that appreciated him.

He won a cup with Detroit at a young age than was banished to the wilderness that was Chicago to make room for Sawchuk. I find the two 1st As teams impressive (ahead of Sawchuk) while playing for an average Leaf team. I remember him in his last years as a Bruin and thought he was good.

He will surely make my top 8 this round and is in the running for my top 4.

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12-02-2012, 09:26 AM
  #91
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One thing that we shouldn't overlook regarding Lumley is that he wasn't regarded as being better than Durnan, Brimsek, Rayner and Broda when he was with the Wings. His numbers were certainly good, but he might have had the benefit of playing with what was possibly the best team of the league in the immediate post wwII era -- and according with what we've done so far, he played behind a great defense... I mean, Jack Stewart didn't get those AST berths for his offensive game, right?

He played with Stewart and Quackenbush for that whole period, and with Kelly for part of that period. Detroit also had the otherwise very completent Leo Reise as well.

Granted, Lumley was still young, and those weren't exactly Lumley's best years either (it was probably his Leafs stint), but if we're to be consequent with everything we've made so far, Lumley must not get that THAT MUCH consideration for the whole time he played with Detroit -- after all, we're possibly talking about the 5th best goalie in a 6-team league. His competition was kinda good, however, hence why I suggest it must not be completely disregarded.

Full disclosure : I consider Lumley a guy that could go either way of the Top-8 for this round.


Last edited by MXD: 12-02-2012 at 11:33 AM. Reason: Obvious mistake.
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12-02-2012, 11:01 AM
  #92
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Harry Lumley

Quote:
Originally Posted by MXD View Post
One thing that we shouldn't overlook regarding Lumley is that he wasn't regarded as being better than Durnan, Brimsek, Rayner and Broda when he was with the Hawks. His numbers were certainly good, but he might have had the benefit of playing with what was possibly the best team of the league in the immediate post wwII era -- and according with what we've done so far, he played behind a great defense... I mean, Jack Stewart didn't get those AST berths for his offensive game, right?

He played with Stewart and Quackenbush for that whole period, and with Kelly for part of that period. Detroit also had the otherwise very completent Leo Reise as well.

Granted, Lumley was still young, and those weren't exactly Lumley's best years either (it was probably his Leafs stint), but if we're to be consequent with everything we've made so far, Lumley must not get that THAT MUCH consideration for the whole time he played with Detroit -- after all, we're possibly talking about the 5th best goalie in a 6-team league. His competition was kinda good, however, hence why I suggest it must not be completely disregarded.

Full disclosure : I consider Lumley a guy that could go either way of the Top-8 for this round.
Lumley played for the Wings in the era referred to. Excellent defensemen but the forwards were not solid defensively. Did not have a Ted Kennedy quality defensive center.

With the Leafs he played behind a very solid defensive team and his numbers were very impressive as were his AST nominations.

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12-02-2012, 11:32 AM
  #93
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Lumley played for the Wings in the era referred to. Excellent defensemen but the forwards were not solid defensively. Did not have a Ted Kennedy quality defensive center.

With the Leafs he played behind a very solid defensive team and his numbers were very impressive as were his AST nominations.
Thanks for pointing out obvious typo. Correcting it right away.

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12-02-2012, 05:50 PM
  #94
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The importance of the 1970s World Championships to European Players

I was left with the impression last round that some voters had a question as to how much importance to put into the World Championships of the 1970s. When evaluating Soviet and Czech players of the 1970s (who couldn't play in the NHL because of politics), I put a lot of stock into the World Championships because the players themselves did.

Long-time fans of Soviet hockey

VMBM and Zine are both fans of Soviet hockey and both of been hfboards posters for a long time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zine View Post
Not in the slightest. It's just sports after all.

Anyhow, the 'political' aspect of the (TDMM: 1972 Summit) series is always magnified by the Canadian side.

From Soviet perspective, games against America had political implications, but even more so were games vs Czechoslovakia. Canada.....not so much.
Not that there weren't political overtones when facing Canada, but those games were more about hockey supremacy as compared to real politically heated games vs USA and especially Czechoslovakia.
http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...7&postcount=16

Quote:
Originally Posted by VMBM
As far as the Soviets go, I think Tikhonov said before, during and after the Challenge Cup things like "this is a good test for us", or "this is another important step towards the World Championships". So, at least officially, they regarded it as being important, but definitely secondary to the World Championships (which were held in Moscow BTW).
Obviously he couldn't speak for all the players (even though he probably thought so, heh), but I'd think they would've mostly agreed with that. Then again, USSR won the world championship that spring so easily that I wonder - if and when they looked back on the 1978-79 season - if they had second thoughts; i.e. winning the Challenge Cup had been more satisfying after all.
http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...3&postcount=44

Two specific examples

1969 World Championships - CSSR beat USSR twice while Soviet tanks were still in Prague, but USSR still won gold. Dzurilla was in goal for Czechoslovakia (Holecek wouldnt' become the starter until 1971), but it shows how intense the Soviet/Czech games were:

Quote:
There is absolutely no doubt that the most emotionally charged games in the history of international hockey were the two between Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union in the 1969 IIHF World Championship in Stockholm. These were two games which the Czechoslovaks simply could not lose.

“We said to ourselves, even if we have to die on the ice, we have to beat them,” said team captain Jozef Golonka in an interview many years later. “We received hundreds of telegrams from fans back home when we arrived in Stockholm. Almost all of them said: ‘Beat the Soviets. You don’t have to beat anyone else. Just beat the Soviets.’”

Canadian goaltender and future Hall of Famer Ken Dryden made his first international appearance in that championship: “Even though this was my first and only World Championships, the only thing I or anyone else remembers about them were the Soviet-Czechoslovakian games. They were fantastic.”

The 1969 tournament was originally allocated to Czechoslovakia, but the country declined to organize the event following the Soviet led Warsaw-Pact invasion of the country in August 1968.
....

Playing with unprecedented national fervour, Team CSSR outhustled the Soviets 2-0 on March 21 and 4-3 one week later in the return game. In the footage from game one, after defenceman Jan Suchy had given CSSR a 1-0-lead, one can see how Jaroslav Holik taunts Soviet goaltender Viktor Zinger after the goal, poking his stick repeatedly at Zinger’s face, calling him a “bloody communist”. Holik even put hockey tape over the Czechoslovak crest on his jersey, covering the star that symbolized the country’s allegiance to the Warsaw Pact.
http://www.iihf.com/iihf-home/the-ii.../story-18.html

1974 World Championships. Soviets show that they learned something from Canada in the 1972 Summit Series as they deliberately injure Czechslovakia's best forward (Vladimir Martinec):

Quote:
Furious at their fiasco in the first encounter, players of the Soviet team deliberately injured ace Czechoslovak player Vladimir Martinec with sticks 2 minutes after the match began.
People’s Republic of China, Issues 63-84 (via HawkeyTown18)

Quote:
In 1974, the competition was much closer as USSR need to beat Czechoslovakia in the final game to win the gold. USSR was behind 0:1 after the first period. During the intermission a top official from the Russian hockey federation entered the locker room. Bobrov coldly asked him to close the door. From the outside. The official turned red and left the room in anger. In the 2nd period, USSR intimidated the Czechs by playing incredibly hard. The Soviet players had completely abandoned their old hockey style, and the rink was literally scattered with blood. The biggest Czech star, Vladimir Martinec was injured and USSR quickly scored four unanswered goals to win the gold.
http://forums.internationalhockey.ne...Russian-Hockey

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Originally Posted by Marcus-74 View Post
Need to go through this all over again?

The Russians really shouldn´t get too high and mighty as the Soviet team did similar things on the ice. I "remember" Vladimir Martinec being brutally taken out (by defenseman Tsygankov) in the key Czechoslovakia game in the ´74 World Championships; and that really wasn´t the only time...
http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...24&postcount=7

Jiri Holecek
The point of this is to explain why my post on Jiri Holecek pulls so heavily from the World Championships. Anyway, others might not agree, but it's clear to me that Holecek was considered the best goalie in Europe for most of the 1970s by European observers, even if Tretiak possibly (probably?) passed him by the early 1980s.

Here's my long post on Holecek from last round:
http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...&postcount=165

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12-04-2012, 09:14 AM
  #95
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Worters and Lehman seem to have very similar credentials to me. Anyone have any insight into how to seperate them?

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12-04-2012, 11:43 AM
  #96
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Worters and Lehman seem to have very similar credentials to me. Anyone have any insight into how to seperate them?
Games played. I know it sounds too ridiculously simple, but if the guys really have resumes that seem so similar, I give the nod to the guy doing it over 40+ game NHL seasons - not the guy playing 20 (or less) in the PCHA. I suppose on top of that, I'd give higher weight to 40+ game seasons in the forward passing era than ~20 games/year playing by whatever rules the PCHA had going on previously.

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12-04-2012, 12:09 PM
  #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Worters and Lehman seem to have very similar credentials to me. Anyone have any insight into how to seperate them?
Three things that jump out as separating factors:

- Lehman has a big edge in outright longevity. His final full season was at age 41, though I don't have a sense of how well he performed at that age. Worters retired at 36, playing only half of that season. So we could call it a 5 1/2 season longevity gap.

- During Worters' career, there were between 8 and 10 active major league teams per season. During Lehman's Lehman's career, there were between 7 and 10 active teams per season.

^ That superficially looks like equal competition, but I really believe there was a significant difference in the talent supply between the 1910s and early 20s, and the late 20s and 1930s. I'm inclined to have a little more respect for the competition that took place in the consolidated NHL a full generation farther into the future, especially during the Depression when the league contracted slightly.

- We've already inducted two goalies, Vezina and Benedict, who were direct generational competition to Lehman. He would be the clear-cut third of his generation according to our list. Meanwhile we have inducted one guy who I see as Worters' generational peer (Gardiner) and a couple of guys who have some partial overlap (Benedict and Broda). So Worters would also be considered the third-greatest goalie in any given season of his career. Which again sounds equal, except I really do think the increase in player quality was significant between these generations, and in theory our list would reflect that increase proportionally. But that is only an ideal, not a necessity, so I guess it's not the strongest of points. But something to at least have in mind.

Frankly I don't think any of these points are conclusive, which is par for the course in this project. For those who heavily value longevity and quality of competition, each goalie might score some points in this post.

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12-04-2012, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Three things that jump out as separating factors:

- Lehman has a big edge in outright longevity. His final full season was at age 41, though I don't have a sense of how well he performed at that age. Worters retired at 36, playing only half of that season. So we could call it a 5 1/2 season longevity gap.
Lehman was 38 years old as a 1st Team All Star in the last year of the PCHA's existence. Pelletier seems to indicate that he declined after that season, however.

Still, being a fulltime starter at 41 (even if he wasn't as good anymore) is pretty impressive.

Quote:
- During Worters' career, there were between 8 and 10 active major league teams per season. During Lehman's Lehman's career, there were between 7 and 10 active teams per season.

^ That superficially looks like equal competition, but I really believe there was a significant difference in the talent supply between the 1910s and early 20s, and the late 20s and 1930s. I'm inclined to have a little more respect for the competition that took place in the consolidated NHL a full generation farther into the future, especially during the Depression when the league contracted slightly.

- We've already inducted two goalies, Vezina and Benedict, who were direct generational competition to Lehman. He would be the clear-cut third of his generation according to our list. Meanwhile we have inducted one guy who I see as Worters' generational peer (Gardiner) and a couple of guys who have some partial overlap (Benedict and Broda). So Worters would also be considered the third-greatest goalie in any given season of his career. Which again sounds equal, except I really do think the increase in player quality was significant between these generations, and in theory our list would reflect that increase proportionally. But that is only an ideal, not a necessity, so I guess it's not the strongest of points. But something to at least have in mind.

Frankly I don't think any of these points are conclusive, which is par for the course in this project. For those who heavily value longevity and quality of competition, each goalie might score some points in this post.

Interesting point. What do you think of Nalyd Psycho's contention that the fact that Vezina, Benedict, and Lehman all had excellent longevity is evidence that it was a strong generation - meaning that the younger generation (Worters' generation) wasn't producing players who surpassed them?

For what it's worth, Lehman's career is listed from 1908-1928 and Worters is listed from 1925-1937.

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12-04-2012, 01:23 PM
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Was Lehman ever considered the best/most valuable player in PCHA?

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12-04-2012, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Interesting point. What do you think of Nalyd Psycho's contention that the fact that Vezina, Benedict, and Lehman all had excellent longevity is evidence that it was a strong generation - meaning that the younger generation (Worters' generation) wasn't producing players who surpassed them?
That's quite possible, and it's exactly the reason I didn't want to oversell that particular point. Even if the general talent level increased, that doesn't lead us to automatic conclusions about the top-3 goaltenders in each era.

The goalies that I consider direct generational peers with Worters are:

Chabot (b 1900)
Connell (b 1902)
Gardiner (b 1904)
Roach (b 1900)
Thompson (b 1903)
Worters (b 1900)

And Lehman's peers are:

Holmes (b 1888)
Lehman (b 1885)
Vezina (b 1887)
If you want to be overly thorough, maybe you could throw in Bert Lindsay (1881)


Ok, to this point it's pretty much a matter of Vezina being the first great goalie but otherwise the later generation having a clearly greater pool of talent. Not that all of them are superstars, but there are certainly more viable long-term professionals in the later group.


But here's what I find weird. The notable goalies in the intermediary period, born between about 1888 and 1900 are:

Benedict (b 1892)
Hainsworth (b 1895)
Winkler (b 1892)
I guess you could toss in Jake Forbes (1897) if you stretch the definition of noteworthy.

It just seems kind of odd to me that we had three great early goalies born in a 4-year period, then this huge 12-year gap with only three guys really worth talking about, then 6 all-timers born in a 5-year period. Something seems off about that. Either we are underrating the 1888-1900 cohort... and I can't really see how we are... or there was a really hard-to-explain deficit of quality goaltending for a long time after the Vezina generation passed over. The opportunity was certainly there for guys like Benedict, Hainsworth and Lehman to pretty much play as long as they wanted due to a serious talent shortage.

I'm not sure what to make of any of this. Were average goalies just recyclable commodities? Were there on- or off-ice reasons not to want to stick with the position during this period? Was it a lack of specialized training and institutional knowledge about how to tend goal?

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