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Round 2, Vote 2 (HOH Top Goaltenders)

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Old
10-26-2012, 08:47 PM
  #26
TheDevilMadeMe
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The case for Brodeur over Sawchuk (summary from last thread):

The case for Brodeur over Terry Sawchuk basically comes down to preferring Brodeur's 15+ seasons of very good play over Sawchuk's 5 seasons of dominant play plus 10+ seasons of up and down play.

The case for Brodeur (links)
IT IS SIGNIFICANTLY MORE DIFFICULT TO REPEAT AS THE TOP GOALIE IN THE LEAGUE IN THE MODERN LEAGUE THAN IN THE ORIGINAL 6
Brodeur's awards recognition in a hypothetical league without Europeans
Brodeur's road save percentages in his Vezina years

Sawchuk's dynasty years (1950-51 to 1954-55) vs the rest of his career(click for the link)

Conclusions:
  • His 5 year regular season peak seems as good as advertised, though may have been inflated slightly by the fact that he was the only goalie in hockey who didn't have to face the Production Line for 20% of his games.
  • Outside of his peak, Sawchuk's career is more impressive for its longevity than for a consistently high level level of play - he had his ups and his downs after leaving Detroit for the first time.
  • He was up-and-down in the playoffs even during his peak. His 1952 playoffs are arguably the most impressive single season playoff run of all time (8-0, 0.62 GAA, 4 shutouts). He was strong in 1954 and 1955 - and the HHOF research committee gave him a second retro Smythe. But his weaker playoffs in 1951 and 1953 are part of the reason that the Wings lost two Cups they probably should have won.
  • Sawchuk had one great last hurrah in the playoffs in 1967 (playing the majority of games over Johnny Bower as Toronto won a surprise Cup), but his overall playoff record after 1955 isn't as impressive.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 10-26-2012 at 09:40 PM.
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10-26-2012, 09:07 PM
  #27
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Terry Sawchuk - Post 1957

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The case for Brodeur over Sawchuk (summary from last thread):

The case for Brodeur over Terry Sawchuk basically comes down to preferring Brodeur's 15+ seasons of very good play over Sawchuk's 5 seasons of dominant play plus 10+ seasons of up and down play.

The case for Brodeur (links)
IT IS SIGNIFICANTLY MORE DIFFICULT TO REPEAT AS THE TOP GOALIE IN THE LEAGUE IN THE MODERN LEAGUE THAN IN THE ORIGINAL 6
Brodeur's awards recognition in a league without Europeans
Brodeur's road save percentages in his Vezina years

Sawchuk's dynasty years (1950-51 to 1954-55) vs the rest of his career(click for the link)

Conclusions:
  • His 5 year regular season peak seems as good as advertised, though may have been inflated slightly by the fact that he was the only goalie in hockey who didn't have to face the Production Line for 20% of his games.
  • Outside of his peak, Sawchuk's career is more impressive for its longevity than for a consistently high level level of play - he had his ups and his downs after leaving Detroit for the first time.
  • He was up-and-down in the playoffs even during his peak. His 1952 playoffs are arguably the most impressive single season playoff run of all time (8-0, 0.62 GAA, 4 shutouts). But his weaker playoffs in 1951 and 1953 are part of the reason that the Wings lost two Cups they probably should have won (they were the regular season).
  • Sawchuk had one great last hurrah in the playoffs in 1967 (playing the majority of games over Johnny Bower as Toronto won a surprise Cup), but his overall playoff record after 1955 isn't as impressive.
One problem with that position. From 1957 - 58 thru 1963-64 how many times do the Red Wings make the playoffs with Hank Bassen, Dennis Riggin, Bob Perreault, Gilles Boivert? More or less than the Devils with Scott Clemmenson?

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10-26-2012, 09:13 PM
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
One problem with that position. From 1957 - 58 thru 1963-64 how many times do the Red Wings make the playoffs with Hank Bassen, Dennis Riggin, Bob Perreault, Gilles Boivert? More or less than the Devils with Scott Clemmenson?
I'm not sure what you are asking. Sawchuk was their starting goaltender during this time. So to the extent that he kept a job as a starter in a 6 team league, his longevity definitely isn't a write-off. But he was definitely up and down during that time compared to other goalies of this calibre.

I do have Sawchuk a solid 2nd this round behind Brodeur and I do think it's very close between the two of them. I'm open to arguments for Dryden over Sawchuk, but I'm not sure there is anything to be said that wasn't said last round.'

Edit: I'm also open to arguments for Sawchuk over Brodeur (I do think they are very close), but again, not sure if anything is to be said that wasn't said last round.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 10-26-2012 at 09:21 PM.
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10-26-2012, 09:21 PM
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I'm not sure what you are asking. Sawchuk was their starting goaltender during this time. So to the extent that he kept a job as a starter in a 6 team league, his longevity definitely isn't a write-off. But he was definitely up and down during that time compared to other goalies of this calibre.

I do have Sawchuk a solid 2nd this round behind Brodeur. I'm open to arguments for Dryden over Sawchuk, but I'm not sure there is anything to be said that wasn't said last round.
Perhaps the fact that Sawchuk saw far more excellent scoring chances on a nightly basis than Brodeur throughout their careers.

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10-26-2012, 09:22 PM
  #30
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Sawchuk's regular season and playoff peak is still considerable enough, and his career strong enough, to not get beaten down further. Contemporaries have him as the greatest of all-time at least until Roy, and he is already behind two in his own time. I do not see Brodeur as having the peak to overtake him nor Dryden having the career.

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10-26-2012, 09:30 PM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
Sawchuk's regular season and playoff peak is still considerable enough, and his career strong enough, to not get beaten down further. Contemporaries have him as the greatest of all-time at least until Roy, and he is already behind two in his own time. I do not see Brodeur as having the peak to overtake him nor Dryden having the career.
I'm curious as to the extent contemporaries had him as the best of all time before Roy. I have seen people who saw all three prefer Sawchuk, I have seen them prefer Hall, and I have seen them prefer Plante. But I've never seen anything comprehensive done on it. When Sawchuk was close to retirement (but before his untimely death), was their a wide view that he was best of all time?

Remember that I posted in the last thread that when the Red Wings traded prime Sawchuk to give young Hall a chance, their coaching staff was quoted as saying they felt there was little difference between them.

The thing with Sawchuk is that he owned the wins and shutouts records for decades until they were beaten by Roy and Brodeur.

Wins for goalies who played the majority of their careers before expansion
Sawchuk 447
Plante 437
Hall 407
Worsley 335

Shutouts for goalies who played the majority of their careers before expansion:
Sawchuk 103
Hainsworth 94
Hall 84
Plante 82

We know that a lot of hockey people today think Brodeur is the best goalie of all time because he has the most wins. So I don't find it unlikely that by the 1980s, when memories of the 3 were pretty far in the past, that Sawchuk's wins and shutouts records loomed larger when people looked back on them.

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10-26-2012, 09:36 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Perhaps the fact that Sawchuk saw far more excellent scoring chances on a nightly basis than Brodeur throughout their careers.
Sawchuk spent his prime playing behind Red Kelly (the best defenseman in the league), and the Production Line (the best forward line in the league with Gordie Howe playing at a generational level), so this is one case where you can't say Brodeur was helped more by his team.

Why does the Production Line matter? In a 6 team league, each goalie plays 20% of their games against each other team, and that's 20% of his games where Sawchuk didn't have to worry about being lit up by Gordie Howe.

You're right that post-prime Sawchuk had weaker teams, but post-lockout Brodeur has had pretty average teams himself

I'd say the dynasty Wings gave Sawchuk more help than Brodeur ever had. But Sawchuk spent a larger part of his career on weaker teams (Brodeur had Stevens and Niedermayer for a bit under 60% of his career). So overall, I think it evens out.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 10-26-2012 at 09:50 PM. Reason: more accurate to say that post-lockout Brodeur had average teams, not weaker
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10-26-2012, 09:51 PM
  #33
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1961-62

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I'm not sure what you are asking. Sawchuk was their starting goaltender during this time. So to the extent that he kept a job as a starter in a 6 team league, his longevity definitely isn't a write-off. But he was definitely up and down during that time compared to other goalies of this calibre.

I do have Sawchuk a solid 2nd this round behind Brodeur and I do think it's very close between the two of them. I'm open to arguments for Dryden over Sawchuk, but I'm not sure there is anything to be said that wasn't said last round.'

Edit: I'm also open to arguments for Sawchuk over Brodeur (I do think they are very close), but again, not sure if anything is to be said that wasn't said last round.
1961-62 when Hank Bassen had to play 27 games during a battle for 4th place the Red Wings finished 5th:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...basseha01.html

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10-26-2012, 09:58 PM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Sawchuk spent his prime playing behind Red Kelly (the best defenseman in the league), and the Production Line (the best forward line in the league with Gordie Howe playing at a generational level), so this is one case where you can't say Brodeur was helped more by his team.

Why does the Production Line matter? In a 6 team league, each goalie plays 20% of their games against each other team, and that's 20% of his games where Sawchuk didn't have to worry about being lit up by Gordie Howe.

You're right that post-prime Sawchuk had weaker teams, but post-lockout Brodeur certainly has as well.

I'd say the dynasty Wings gave Sawchuk more help than Brodeur ever had. But Sawchuk spent a larger part of his career on weaker teams (Brodeur had Stevens and Niedermayer for a bit under 60% of his career). So overall, I think it evens out.
When Sawchuk played on those great teams he was heads and shoulders better than anyone else. Brodeur was never that.

And Brodeur has never played on teams as weak as Sawchuk did. Sawchuk had to play against all of the great Montreal teams 14 times a year, every year.

Post lock-out Devils, weaker teams?

2006 - 101 points
2007 - 107 points
2008 - 99 points
2009 - 106 points
2010 - 103 points
2011 - 81 points (best record in league after Jaques Lemaire takes over as coach)
2012 - 102 points

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10-26-2012, 10:25 PM
  #35
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Legitimately curious how points show that the team was strong or weak if the player in question helped get them to that record.

Some of the defensive squads the Devs have put out post-lockout are pretty pathetic, I gotta say. I mean, the Devils went to the Finals with Marek Zidlicky as a #1 d-man...Zidlicky...

The guy that was getting scratched on a Minnesota team that was dressing defensemen that I venture to say most of you have never seen before or, in some cases, have ever heard of...



That guy ^ was brought in as an improvement, an upgrade...and was given so much ice time in the process it's unbelieveable. At times during these playoffs, he was as two-way as they come - he tried to score for the Devils and he tried to give the oppoonents one back too...

The fact that post-prime Brodeur could do that is very impressive. It's not the be-all, end-all...but it was no small feat that he got the Devils there in spite of themselves at times...

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10-26-2012, 10:39 PM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
Sawchuk's regular season and playoff peak is still considerable enough, and his career strong enough, to not get beaten down further. Contemporaries have him as the greatest of all-time at least until Roy, and he is already behind two in his own time. I do not see Brodeur as having the peak to overtake him nor Dryden having the career.
The more information I collect from those kind enough to share around here, the more I wonder who exactly those contemporaries are. It almost seems like his legacy and legend are defined mostly by the regard in which he is held by Leafs fans (probably the majority of all Canadian NHL fans... probably "all" NHL fans by extension, given the era) as the last guy to win them the Cup. If not that, there has to be some kind of Howe/Lindsay factor. I mean, if Hall isn't stuck in a decade of Chicago Blackhawks mediocrity, I think more contemporaries end up being vocal about him, for example, but that's all just supposition, beyond the reality that Hall ended up on far more 1st all star lists during the seasons their careers overlapped (Sawchuk's only one being Hall's rookie year, I think).

Sawchuk had dynasty teams in front of him (yeah Dryden had one, too) for those early and late peaks (and was almost platooning in Toronto), has a lull of almost a decade on "normal teams" between those peaks, had backups/partners posting better numbers behind the same teams (understood that samples are small, and that those partners include Glenn Hall and Johnny Bower), and ultimately I find Dryden's consecutive 4 year stretch of Vezina/1st all-star team berths post-expansion more impressive than any similar stretch of Sawchuk's career.

That's without getting into the award count (which I don't always value so highly, as discussed in the previous thread) of 6 Cups to 4, 5 Vezinas to 4, 1 Conn Smythe to 0, etc. In terms of "career", it almost looks like one might find it easy to favour Dryden, in fact. In terms of stats, it looks like both guys had seasons where they put up monster numbers relative to the field, but it'll be interesting to look over similar data tables to last thread for these guys, and read more "stories behind the stories".

I convinced myself to lower Roy down from #1 once, but I'll be kinda surprised if there's an argument that makes me drop Dryden below Sawchuk (definitely willing to listen/read). Definitely a bit more biased having met and spoken at decent length with the legend who backstopped the Cup Final sweep of the Bruins on May 14, 1977, I must admit.

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10-26-2012, 11:55 PM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
When Sawchuk played on those great teams he was heads and shoulders better than anyone else. Brodeur was never that.
I think Sawchuk did probably peak higher than Brodeur. But "the anyone else" that he was heads and shoulders above was fairly weak competiton. These are the all-stars during Sawchuk's great 5 years:

1951: Terry Sawchuk, Chuck Rayner
1952: Terry Sawchuk, Jim Henry
1953: Terry Sawchuk, Gerry McNeil
1954: Harry Lumley, Terry Sawchuk
1955: Harry Lumley, Terry Sawchuk

It's not the worst competition, but outside Sawchuk, I think it's weaker than average. Plante and Hall didn't hit their strides until 1956.

Quote:
And Brodeur has never played on teams as weak as Sawchuk did. Sawchuk had to play against all of the great Montreal teams 14 times a year, every year.
Eh, when Sawchuk played for Boston, they were terrible, but that was only 2 years. After coming back to Detroit in 1957, I think those teams were pretty average. They still had Gordie Howe (not playing at a generational level anymore but still as good as any forward in the league, and prime Delvecchio and Ullman.

Quote:
Post lock-out Devils, weaker teams?

2006 - 101 points
2007 - 107 points
2008 - 99 points
2009 - 106 points
2010 - 103 points
2011 - 81 points (best record in league after Jaques Lemaire takes over as coach)
2012 - 102 points
You're way too fast for me. I edited "weaker" to "average" while you were responding. And I really do think the post-lockout Devils were average outside of goal. But I really do think the 1957-1963 Wings were a pretty average team too - some great high end talent, but lacking depth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
Legitimately curious how points show that the team was strong or weak if the player in question helped get them to that record.

Some of the defensive squads the Devs have put out post-lockout are pretty pathetic, I gotta say. I mean, the Devils went to the Finals with Marek Zidlicky as a #1 d-man...Zidlicky...

.....
To be fair, Zidlicky ran the PP, but Andy Green was probably the #1 at even strength. But yes, not exactly a superstar defense


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 10-27-2012 at 05:56 PM. Reason: typo
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10-27-2012, 12:02 AM
  #38
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Which one is it?
I ment to say he was not the clear-cut best his era. He probably was the best by a small margin, but I'm not nearly as confident in saying that as I used to be.

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10-27-2012, 06:15 AM
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
Legitimately curious how points show that the team was strong or weak if the player in question helped get them to that record.

Some of the defensive squads the Devs have put out post-lockout are pretty pathetic, I gotta say. I mean, the Devils went to the Finals with Marek Zidlicky as a #1 d-man...Zidlicky...

The guy that was getting scratched on a Minnesota team that was dressing defensemen that I venture to say most of you have never seen before or, in some cases, have ever heard of...



That guy ^ was brought in as an improvement, an upgrade...and was given so much ice time in the process it's unbelieveable. At times during these playoffs, he was as two-way as they come - he tried to score for the Devils and he tried to give the oppoonents one back too...

The fact that post-prime Brodeur could do that is very impressive. It's not the be-all, end-all...but it was no small feat that he got the Devils there in spite of themselves at times...
Did you ever watch any Devils games?

It was a testimate to the coach, not Brodeur, that made those teams were good. Broduer wasn't stealing games for them.

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10-27-2012, 07:56 AM
  #40
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Dryden vs. Tretiak

I remember this was always seen as a toss-up (maybe even favouring Tretiak: http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...d.php?t=783944) a few years ago and in earlier project.

What evidence was brought up that Tretiak is suddenly considered to be in a catergory below by most posters? Not questioning it - just genuine interested.

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10-27-2012, 07:58 AM
  #41
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To keep things short :

- Dryden, while on a great team, did end up making the difference.
- Tretiak was always on teams that were much better than their opposition, never ending up making much of a difference.
- Tretiak oft' outplayed by Holecek.

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10-27-2012, 07:59 AM
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
Legitimately curious how points show that the team was strong or weak if the player in question helped get them to that record.

Some of the defensive squads the Devs have put out post-lockout are pretty pathetic, I gotta say. I mean, the Devils went to the Finals with Marek Zidlicky as a #1 d-man...Zidlicky...

The guy that was getting scratched on a Minnesota team that was dressing defensemen that I venture to say most of you have never seen before or, in some cases, have ever heard of...

That guy ^ was brought in as an improvement, an upgrade...and was given so much ice time in the process it's unbelieveable. At times during these playoffs, he was as two-way as they come - he tried to score for the Devils and he tried to give the oppoonents one back too...

The fact that post-prime Brodeur could do that is very impressive. It's not the be-all, end-all...but it was no small feat that he got the Devils there in spite of themselves at times...
easiest way is to look at the backups. it is hard with some of these goalies b/c they often played all or almost all the games, but there are some examples.


during sawchuk's peak in the early '50s, his backups' numbers were very similar to his own, and sometimes better. that was mostly glenn hall, though. DRW won in '50 with lumley prior to sawchuk, and DRW made the finals with hall in '56 (lost in 5 games). sawchuk's backups had similar numbers in '61 and '62.

clemmensen had basically the same numbers as brodeur in '09.

wayne stephenson had a similar record in '76 as parent, and flyers reached finals. stephenson did not get nearly the same fame, but he was 3rd in all star voting in '76 (which i just now learned).

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10-27-2012, 08:19 AM
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
The more information I collect from those kind enough to share around here, the more I wonder who exactly those contemporaries are. It almost seems like his legacy and legend are defined mostly by the regard in which he is held by Leafs fans (probably the majority of all Canadian NHL fans... probably "all" NHL fans by extension, given the era) as the last guy to win them the Cup. If not that, there has to be some kind of Howe/Lindsay factor. I mean, if Hall isn't stuck in a decade of Chicago Blackhawks mediocrity, I think more contemporaries end up being vocal about him, for example, but that's all just supposition, beyond the reality that Hall ended up on far more 1st all star lists during the seasons their careers overlapped (Sawchuk's only one being Hall's rookie year, I think).
Here are some articles from the time of Sawchuk's death.

The Sun, June 1, 1970 - Terry Sawchuk: "the greatest of them all"

Quote:
The tragic death of Terry Sawchuk has left the hockey world in a state of shock for the man many considered the greatest goaltender of them all.
Quote:
Bob Kinnear, who discovered Sawchuk for the Detroit Red Wings when he was only 12, said "What is that rhyme? Wednesday's child is full of woe? Terry was born on a Wednesday and he had a lot of troubles but he was the greatest goalkeeper I've ever seen and as far as I was concerned, a wonderful kid."
Quote:
Bud Poile said "I didn't know Terry that well personally, but I worked 13 years for Jack Adams and he always insisted Sawchuk was the greatest goalie who ever lived. And he saw them all."
Quote:
Vancouver coach Hal Laycoe, who roomed with Sawchuk when both were with Boston Bruins, called the news "a shocking thing. At his peak, I'd say he was the best who ever lived. He had it all."
Quote:
Emile Francis, his coach and general manager last season, called Sawchuk's death "a tragic and shocking loss to hockey in general and the Rangers in particular."

"Sawchuk's record speaks for itself" Francis continued. "He was one of the greatest goalies of all time."
Quote:
"Sawchuk was one of the greatest goalies of them all," said Sam Pollock, Montreal's general manager. "I'm just shocked. It's a very tragic thing."
Ottawa Citizen, June 1, 1970 - Was Sawchuk the greatest of them all?

Contains many of the same quotes.

To be fair, people may overrate a man when he has just died. Let's use Jacques Plante's obituaries as a comparison.

Montreal Gazette, Feb 28, 1986 - Jacques Plante: Hockey's masked legend

Toe Blake said "it's a great loss for hockey" and "without him we probably wouldn't have won five in a row." Jean Beliveau said "He was a great innovator. He always kept us in the game and always assumed his responsibility."

Montreal Gazette, Feb 28 - Teammates remember Plante as loner who did things his way

Quote:
For many, Jacques Plante was the greatest goaltender who ever lived. Dickie Moore thinks so; so does Red Storey, who refereed hundreds of games that Plante played in. Doug Harvey lists him as "one of the three best" with Bill Durnan, who was the Canadiens goalie when Doug started, and Terry Sawchuk.
The rest of the article is about Plante's personality and innovations.

Ottawa Citizen, Feb 28, 1986 - Plante praised as hockey legend
Quote:
He was a man who gave it his all, who revolutionized the game," said St Louis Blues coach Jacques Demers.
Quote:
"He was a great money player," said Ralph Backstrom, a former teammate at Montreal. "When the chips were down, he always kept us in the game until our offence got going."

Backstrom recalled Canadiens' scrimmages when they used to have a $1 bet on which team - red or white - would win.

"It seems whoever had Plante in net would win," he said. "It was as simple as that."
Quote:
Montreal club president Ronald Corey said Plante was the greatest goalie in history.

"I'll never forget the game between the Junior Canadiens and the Soviet at the Forum," he said. "He was incredible."
Take it for what it's worth, but the whole slant of the Sawchuk articles and the quotes is more focused on him being the greatest of all time. Plante has some people saying he was the greatest, but it's more focused on him being a great money goaltender and an innovator.

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10-27-2012, 08:28 AM
  #44
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1957-1959 Bruins

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post

Eh, when Sawchuk played for Boston, they were terrible, but that was only 2 years. After coming back to Detroit in 1957, I think those teams were pretty average. They still had Gordie Howe (not playing at a generational level anymore but still as good as any forward in the league, and prime Delvecchio and Ullman.



You're way too fast for me. I edited "weaker" to "average" while you were responding. And I really do think the post-lockout Devils were average outside of goal. But I really do think the 1957-1963 Wings were a pretty average team too - some great high end talent, but lacking depth
1957-59 Bruins were the toughest competition the 1956-60 Canadiens faced in the Finals and that the upstart healthy Leafs faced in the semis. Canadiens lost only 9 playoff games between 1956-60, three to the Bruins with Don Simmons. Bruins also held the Canadiens to their lowest GF numbers in the playoffs. They were a very good team that lacked an elite goalie.

The 1956 Bruins had given up too much depth in 1955 getting Sawchuk but this was remedied in a year by getting Allan Stanley, the return of Real Chevrefils and the maturation of the young core. Sawchuk's health forced the Bruins to turn to Don Simmons who was well below HHOF caliber - by 1959 splitting the job with an old Harry Lumley. Getting Bucyk for Sawchuk in the 1957 off season helped but the team still lacked goaltending. Trading Allan Stanley to Toronto in 1958 was simply brutal.

Post 2005-06 Devils, forward core of Elias, Parise, Zajac with flow thru or additions like Rafalski, White on defense, Langenbrunner, Gionta, Kovalchuk are well above average, tending towards excellent.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 10-27-2012 at 09:18 AM.
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10-27-2012, 09:10 AM
  #45
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Thanks for those links overpass.

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10-27-2012, 09:41 AM
  #46
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Did you ever watch any Devils games?

It was a testimate to the coach, not Brodeur, that made those teams were good. Broduer wasn't stealing games for them.
Given the market that I've lived in for past 7 years (formerly New Brunswick, NJ - no longer), it's been a long time since I missed a Devils game and usually go to several per year given the proximity and convenience.

Last year's Devils were not a very defensive team, especially come playoff time. They relied a lot on their forecheck to try to neutralize speed and skill coming at them out high. Most of the rest of their defense was specialized to each team - one trick ponies like New York and Philadelphia were unable or unwilling to make adjustments after realizing the extensive film work Pete DeBoer and Adam Oates and Larry Robinson did on their clubs (which was remarkable, some of the finest preparation I think I've seen). It was tactical sure, and I know you're a Brodeur hater and all, but he gets trashed for being "behind the trap" (which most people don't know what that means or entails...it's just something that's said and glossed over without consequence) and then he gets trashed for...not playing behind it? I don't know, it's hard to tell sometimes if Brodeur - himself - has played a single good game in his career based on some of the input I see around here.

I'll say this, I've seen Brodeur play live more than any other player ever (and no, I'm far from a Devils fan...) probably in the neighborhood of 90 or 100 times and he's one of the smartest, most aware goaltenders I've ever seen...I'm not sure if there's a goalie that has ever understood the game situation at every second better than Brodeur has. And that includes everything about his team and the other team and the officiating and everything.

I'm not very good with statistics and other fun with numbers, but maybe I'll make a little more detailed post about the coaching he's been behind and his awareness of the game. I'd be better at that (I think) anyway...

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10-27-2012, 09:55 AM
  #47
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Legitimately curious how points show that the team was strong or weak if the player in question helped get them to that record.

Some of the defensive squads the Devs have put out post-lockout are pretty pathetic, I gotta say. I mean, the Devils went to the Finals with Marek Zidlicky as a #1 d-man...Zidlicky...

The guy that was getting scratched on a Minnesota team that was dressing defensemen that I venture to say most of you have never seen before or, in some cases, have ever heard of...



That guy ^ was brought in as an improvement, an upgrade...and was given so much ice time in the process it's unbelieveable. At times during these playoffs, he was as two-way as they come - he tried to score for the Devils and he tried to give the oppoonents one back too...

The fact that post-prime Brodeur could do that is very impressive. It's not the be-all, end-all...but it was no small feat that he got the Devils there in spite of themselves at times...
...players have down stretches, it happens. Zidlicky had a bad half-season in Minnesota, but also had a track record as a decent to good second pairing offensive defenseman who could eat minutes. He didn't kill penalties nor face top competition in New Jersey, who didn't actually employ a #1 defenseman, splitting shutdown and offensive responsibilities between Greene and Zidlicky's pairings.

New Jersey bought low on a guy who did several things they sorely needed (right handed PPQB) and it worked out for them. It doesn't really add or detract from Brodeur's 2012.


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10-27-2012, 10:58 AM
  #48
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Ok, so Zidlicky was 20 seconds off the ES time/gm lead...really throws a wrench into it, whatever. Andy Greene, who was very good defensively, is a tiny bit miscast as a shutdown player but was forced into it because, well, Zidlicky can't. Salvador's emergence into something more than he's probably ever been this side of the lockout was just a Godsend. No matter what way you slice it, Zidlicky played a ton of time and wasn't very good defensively, you have a rather sluggish and over-the-hill Salvador, you have a 5'10" formerly offensive-minded defenseman turned shutdown guy, and then of course, the amazing Mark Fayne - whose hockey sense leaves me wanting quite a bit...

Regardless of how you want to cut it up and justify it, that was a defense that was stretched well beyond its means.

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10-27-2012, 11:31 AM
  #49
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To keep things short :

- Dryden, while on a great team, did end up making the difference.
- Tretiak was always on teams that were much better than their opposition, never ending up making much of a difference.
- Tretiak oft' outplayed by Holecek.
To me. If Tretiak outplayed Dryden head to head, Holocek outplayed Tretiak head to head and Dryden and Holocek never played head to head. Doesn't that mean there is a legitimate argument that both Tretiak and Holocek should be ranked above Dryden?

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10-27-2012, 11:32 AM
  #50
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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
Ok, so Zidlicky was 20 seconds off the ES time/gm lead...really throws a wrench into it, whatever. Andy Greene, who was very good defensively, is a tiny bit miscast as a shutdown player but was forced into it because, well, Zidlicky can't. Salvador's emergence into something more than he's probably ever been this side of the lockout was just a Godsend. No matter what way you slice it, Zidlicky played a ton of time and wasn't very good defensively, you have a rather sluggish and over-the-hill Salvador, you have a 5'10" formerly offensive-minded defenseman turned shutdown guy, and then of course, the amazing Mark Fayne - whose hockey sense leaves me wanting quite a bit...

Regardless of how you want to cut it up and justify it, that was a defense that was stretched well beyond its means.
Right, but harping on how bad the defense was and crediting Brodeur for offsetting that is iffy at best. The Devils were driven by their forwards and their forecheck, and the fortune of not having to play a balanced team until the Finals. I just can't consider that Rangers team offensively competent.

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