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What if Philadelphia beat Montreal in 1976?

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02-04-2005, 11:27 PM
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Big Phil
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What if Philadelphia beat Montreal in 1976?

What would have happened if Montreal had lost to Philadelphia in the '76 Cup final? At that time the Flyers had won two straight Cups and had 118 points that year. Montreal had 127 points and was the only team statistically better than Philly. The Flyers had "pounded" the Russians earlier in the year while the Canadiens only tied them 3-3.

Hockey's future was on the line more than anything else. Philly was a good team I'll admit but secretly the NHL wanted to have finesse win over brut intimidation. Not only did Montreal win but they swept them 4-0. What if Philly had swept them? Would the league of been the same for the rest of the 70s? And 80s? Would a lot of teams had gone to the thuggery style?

Lets face it Montreal had some tough guys then too. Robinson and Savard were no pushovers, or Bouchard. Robinson more than anyone tamed the Broad Street Bullies. But they won built on finesse and speed. Lafleur, Cournoyer etc. But if Schultz, Dupont and etc. bullied the Canadiens to defeat would there have been the High flying 80s? How different would hockey have been?

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02-04-2005, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
Hockey's future was on the line more than anything else. Philly was a good team I'll admit but secretly the NHL wanted to have finesse win over brut intimidation. Not only did Montreal win but they swept them 4-0. What if Philly had swept them? Would the league of been the same for the rest of the 70s? And 80s? Would a lot of teams had gone to the thuggery style?
There was no secret about it. Clarance Campbell hated the Flyers. Ha dto kill the poor ******* to hand the Cup to Clarke twice.

The Flyers actually led the NHL in goas scored during the 1975-76 season.

A healthy Flyers-Habs would have been a great series, and probably have gone the full 7 games.

The Flyers went into the playoffs missing Parent, at the time clearly the best goalie on the planet, ad 2-time defending Conn Smythe winner, and also Rick MacLiesh, who led the Flyers in playoff scoring during both of the previous two years.

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02-05-2005, 12:43 AM
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Montreal was the better team because players like Doug Jarvis, Bob Gainey, Doug Risebrough, et al played fantastic in that series in addition to their major stars. Best team I have ever seen, IMHO. Sure, the Flyers were without major components in Rick MacLeish (Harold Snepsts wiped him out earlier in the season) and Bernie Parent. All four games were tight and maybe the presence of those two would have altered the series but I think Montreal would have prevailed eventually because they were in the infancy stages of something special.

If somehow, to answer your question, the Flyers won that series, it would have squelched the Canadiens' title run by one season; Montreal had the pieces in place for a dynasty. Would Fred Shero have left when he did? Who knows. Almost anything is possible but eventually the four WHA entrants came into the NHL and the League was a changing landscape as the 80's began.

John...Clarence Campbell's trophy presentation in Buffalo was amazing. He had the ultimate look of disdain. ESPN Classic replayed Game 6 of 1975 recently and the scowl on his face was so apparent.


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02-05-2005, 01:24 AM
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These types of discussions are always interesting and usually generate much debate. I think what can't be overlooked is the fact that Montreal didn't let themselves be intimidated in the preseason. There was the (in)famous brawl and the fact that Montreal came out victorious physically proved they could then beat Philly in the season with finesse. IMO Mtl winning that brawl shattered Philly's 'mean' image and proved that you could stand up to them. If that brawl had resulted in the Habs losing and resigning themselves to using the Flyers' tactics...who knows maybe it would have been Philly with 4 in a row instead of Montreal.

Then again with that Habs team, I don't think it would have been possible for them to lose. Just too much talent.

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02-05-2005, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiamiScreamingEagles
Montreal was the better team because players like Doug Jarvis, Bob Gainey, Doug Risebrough, et al played fantastic in that series in addition to their major stars. Best team I have ever seen, IMHO. Sure, the Flyers were without major components in Rick MacLeish (Harold Snepsts wiped him out earlier in the season) and Bernie Parent. All four games were tight and maybe the presence of those two would have altered the series but I think Montreal would have prevailed eventually because they were in the infancy stages of something special.
While the Habs became the dominant, team especially the following two seasons, which are arguably the two best in NHL history, I think the 75-76 Finals would have become a coin flip.

Just a few months earlier the Flyers were clearly standing on top of the hockey world, as the two time defending Stanley Cup Champs, and the only team to beat the Soviets (which they did in dominant fashion). Only time Campbell ever rooted for the Flyers ... has to be killing him inside.

Bottom line is I don't thin kmuch would have changed if the Flyers had won that series. The Habs were too good the following two years, and would have gone on to win the 3 Stanley Cups.


IMO a better question is what would have happened if Leon Stickle had gotten the call right in 1980 ??? It would have forced a game 7 back at the Spectrum.

If the Flyers win that game what happens to the Islanders. It was a team that had been knocking on the door for some time. They had made the big move to aquire Butch Goring. would the Islanders have done something drastic and traded one of their big pieces to try and shake up the mix a bit ???

===============================================

I also think that for that season the talent difference wasn't nearly as stark as some are making it our to be: The one area the Habs had the big advantage was on defense.

Lafleur led the NHL in scoring, and Mahovlich was 6th. Clarke finished 2nd and Barber was 4th.

Reggie Leach led the NHL in goals, with Lafleur 2nd, Billy Barber 5th and Steve Shutt 8th.

Bobby Clarke les the NHL is assists, Mahovlich was 2nd, Lafleur tied for 3rd, and Barber 9th.

Bobby Clarke won the Hart Trophy.
Guy Lafleur won the Art Ross.


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02-05-2005, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
IMO a better question is what would have happened if Leon Stickle had gotten the call right in 1980 ??? It would have forced a game 7 back at the Spectrum.

If the Flyers win that game what happens to the Islanders. It was a team that had been knocking on the door for some time. They had made the big move to aquire Butch Goring. would the Islanders have done something drastic and traded one of their big pieces to try and shake up the mix a bit ???
You dont hear much about that call (non-call actually), and this is a great question.

Sabre fans will always complain about what happened to them, but IMO is not as bad as the no offsides thing....that one was just jaw-dropping clear

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02-05-2005, 10:21 AM
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No doubt, John. The 1980 Finals is a far different matter. Leon Stickle made an egregious error and there were other questionable calls in that series: the possible high stick goal, the OT PPG in Game One (first in NHL history, when refs generally looked away at that time of the game). The Flyers were caught in the web of some great teams: the Isles, Canadiens, Edmonton, etc. so that isn't to diminish what the Isles accomplished.

As far as the Soviets 1976 game, you are correct. The pressure of that situation was phenomenal. The Flyers had a fantastic goalie in Bernie Parent in their Cup run, one of the best two year-runs of a goalie in NHL history, so to eliminate his possible impact in 1976 Finals would be wrong. I also think the trade of Ed Van Impe in 1976 had a negative effect.

Let's not forget that in 1974 they pulled off one of sports greatest accomplishments against an incredibly strong Bruins team who were anything but pushovers.


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02-05-2005, 11:22 AM
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If anything I think the difference in the two games with the Soviets convinced Bowman that he could not beat the Flyers with pure finesse. The brawl in the pre-season was a good indicator, but that was pre-season and the playoffs are another beast entirely. But watching the Habs match finesse with finesse against the Soviets and only tying them; and then watching the Flyers absolutely brutalize the Soviets finesse attack had to convince Scotty that he had to change tactics.

He did so by spotting in bigger, nastier players like Pierre Bouchard, Rick Chartraw, Sean Shanahan and and Glen Goldup. The presence of those players assured that the Canadiens would not be run out of the rink and gave Lafleur, Lemaire and Shutt more room to move.

I do think the absence of Parent was huge though. As good as that team was you have to think Parent steals at least one, maybe two games and keeps the Flyers close enough for a bit of luck for a third maybe.

But as a Habs fan I still say Montreal would have won. (Hey every once in a long while the homer in me comes through)

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02-05-2005, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
What would have happened if Montreal had lost to Philadelphia in the '76 Cup final? At that time the Flyers had won two straight Cups and had 118 points that year. Montreal had 127 points and was the only team statistically better than Philly. The Flyers had "pounded" the Russians earlier in the year while the Canadiens only tied them 3-3.

Hockey's future was on the line more than anything else. Philly was a good team I'll admit but secretly the NHL wanted to have finesse win over brut intimidation. Not only did Montreal win but they swept them 4-0. What if Philly had swept them? Would the league of been the same for the rest of the 70s? And 80s? Would a lot of teams had gone to the thuggery style?

Lets face it Montreal had some tough guys then too. Robinson and Savard were no pushovers, or Bouchard. Robinson more than anyone tamed the Broad Street Bullies. But they won built on finesse and speed. Lafleur, Cournoyer etc. But if Schultz, Dupont and etc. bullied the Canadiens to defeat would there have been the High flying 80s? How different would hockey have been?
Who know's? What if the Habs didn't have 10 regulars out in 1980? What if Bowman didn't leave? What if Dryden didn't retire? They still managed to take the up and coming North Stars to 7 games. Would they have won a 5th in a row? Fact is they play with the hand that is dealt them.

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02-05-2005, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
Parent, at the time clearly the best goalie on the planet
I would argue that Ken Dryden, who didn't play the 1974-75 season and didn't regain his form until the 1975-76 season, was better than Bernie Parent.

Also, you mentioned planet, so I will say that Vladislav Tretiak was better than Parent.

As for the premise of this discussion, would the Flyers winning the 1975-76 Stanley Cup have changed the way the game was played in the 1980's, I say no. Philadelphia had already won the two previous Cups, and there were still high-flying teams. Wayne Gretzky still would have been Gretzky. And, as has been pointed out above, the Flyers weren't just a bunch of goons. They were a bunch of goons who could turn on the red light.

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02-05-2005, 07:47 PM
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The Habs would've won anyway...they always win...they have Satan on their side...</Disgruntled Bruin Fan>

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02-05-2005, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Puddy
I would argue that Ken Dryden, who didn't play the 1974-75 season and didn't regain his form until the 1975-76 season, was better than Bernie Parent.

Also, you mentioned planet, so I will say that Vladislav Tretiak was better than Parent.
#1. As for Tretiak, he was NEVER better than Parent was at the time. IMO Tretiak is the single most overrated player in the history of hockey.

#2. I think most Habs fans would even agree, that while Dryden had the better career, he never was as good as Parent was during the mid-1970's.

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02-05-2005, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
#1. As for Tretiak, he was NEVER better than Parent was at the time. IMO Tretiak is the single most overrated player in the history of hockey.

#2. I think most Habs fans would even agree, that while Dryden had the better career, he never was as good as Parent was during the mid-1970's.
Although I don't agree with Tretiak being grossly overrated, I do agree that Parent was a better goalie than Dryden that year. Not only that, Parent was a specimen who shined the most at the world's biggest stage, the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He was the Conn Smythe champion of the NHL in the previous two years and led the Flyers to two Stanley cups. Had Parent been playing, I think the Flyers might have had a good chance of winning the Stanley Cup. As someone pointed out, the Canadiens dynasty was still in their infancy and in retrospect, the Flyers were the dominant team-to-beat that year while the Canadiens were just a young team on the rise.

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02-05-2005, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
I think most Habs fans would even agree, that while Dryden had the better career, he never was as good as Parent was during the mid-1970's.
Parent had two great seasons, 1973-74 and 1974-75. He was selected to the NHL's First All-Star Team in both seasons.

However, Dryden sat out the first of those two, and he then was a little less than his usual self in his first season back. After that he was named to the First All-Star Team for four consecutive seasons leading up to his retirement. He was also the First All-Star Team goalie in 1972-73 and Second All-Star Team goalie in 1971-72.

Parent was only the best goalie for two seasons. Had Dryden not sat out the 1973-74 season and worked in law, it may have been no seasons as the best goaltender.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
As for Tretiak, he was NEVER better than Parent was at the time. IMO Tretiak is the single most overrated player in the history of hockey.
That's your right. He was MVP of the 1981 Canada Cup.

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02-05-2005, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Puddy
Parent had two great seasons, 1973-74 and 1974-75. He was selected to the NHL's First All-Star Team in both seasons.

However, Dryden sat out the first of those two, and he then was a little less than his usual self in his first season back. After that he was named to the First All-Star Team for four consecutive seasons leading up to his retirement. He was also the First All-Star Team goalie in 1972-73 and Second All-Star Team goalie in 1971-72.

Parent was only the best goalie for two seasons. Had Dryden not sat out the 1973-74 season and worked in law, it may have been no seasons as the best goaltender.
I said that Parent's period of greatness was short, but during that period, he was better than Dryden ever was. Dryden had the better career, but Parent's peak was higher.


Quote:
Originally Posted by David Puddy
That's your right. He was MVP of the 1981 Canada Cup.
That MVP was so deserved too, because he was oviously the difference in that cliff-hanger of a finals:

USSR 8 - Canada 1

Why didn't you bring up the 1980 game vs. the Americans ??? .... or the final four games of the Summit Series, where his sv% was under .860 ... and he gave up a 2 goal lead in the 3rd period of the deciding game.

Tretiak played on a a ridiculously dominat team, both internationally and in Soviet league play. He likely played fewer than 50 games where his team wasn't an OVERWHELMING favorite to win.

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02-05-2005, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
#1. As for Tretiak, he was NEVER better than Parent was at the time. IMO Tretiak is the single most overrated player in the history of hockey.

#2. I think most Habs fans would even agree, that while Dryden had the better career, he never was as good as Parent was during the mid-1970's.
OMG I've never thought I'd hear someone say Tretiak was soo overrated. Man Lafleur and Clake, both of whom were the dominat players in the 70-s said that he was the best goalie they've ever faced. So to say he was overrated is just wrong. And not only that, if someone has actually watched Tretiak he would kno what he was all about. I would consider Tretiak in the top 5 of best goalies of all time after Roy, Hasek, Plante and Sawchuk.

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02-05-2005, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by KOVALEV10
OMG I've never thought I'd hear someone say Tretiak was soo overrated. Man Lafleur and Clake, both of whom were the dominat players in the 70-s said that he was the best goalie they've ever faced. So to say he was overrated is just wrong. And not only that, if someone has actually watched Tretiak he would kno what he was all about. I would consider Tretiak in the top 5 of best goalies of all time after Roy, Hasek, Plante and Sawchuk.
You're wrong there. Clarke thinks Tretiak is highly over rated. Grab a copy of The Hockey News "Greatest Debates" one of them is about Tretiak.

I had thought this long before, but hadn't seen anyone esle who thought the same way. There are a number of opinions in the article, and Clarke's was of the opinion that is was very over rated. I don't have the article in front of me, but one of Clarke's comments was along the lines of:

If "Dryden had given up the goals that Tretiak did, and blown a 2 goal lead in game 7, he would have been crucified for life in Canada."

==============================================

I'd love to hear your basis on why Tretiak is one of the games 5 best goalies ?

When and how often did he prove himself against the best ? Other than when he played Canada in select World Events, he was playing against grossly inferior teams.

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02-05-2005, 10:31 PM
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I like how arrogant Tretiak is. He really believes he is the best of all time. I read an interview where he talked about his 4 gold medals, then blamed the coach for pulling him in 1980 for not having a 5th gold medal. he straight out said that if he wasn't pulled after 1, the Soviets would've won gold.

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02-05-2005, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by acr
I like how arrogant Tretiak is. He really believes he is the best of all time. I read an interview where he talked about his 4 gold medals, then blamed the coach for pulling him in 1980 for not having a 5th gold medal. he straight out said that if he wasn't pulled after 1, the Soviets would've won gold.
That's nice of him to say, but if he hadn't given up two brutal goals he wouldn't have been yanked, and the Soviets would have won gold.

Tretiak also has no problem blaming the defenseman (name escapes me at the moment) for Henderson's winning goal in game 8 of the Summit Series. Vlad neglects to mention that Henderson's game winning goal in game 6 that was scored from outside the blueline.

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02-05-2005, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
That's nice of him to say, but if he hadn't given up two brutal goals he wouldn't have been yanked, and the Soviets would have won gold.

Tretiak also has no problem blaming the defenseman (name escapes me at the moment) for Henderson's winning goal in game 8 of the Summit Series. Vlad neglects to mention that Henderson's game winning goal in game 6 that was scored from outside the blueline.
Um.. ya right in his HHOF spotlight video he sais that Hendersons goal was unstoppable and that it was a good goal.

By the way who cares if Treti was arrogant. If tretiak was arrogant then I wonder what Roy was?

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02-05-2005, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by KOVALEV10
OMG I've never thought I'd hear someone say Tretiak was soo overrated. Man Lafleur and Clake, both of whom were the dominat players in the 70-s said that he was the best goalie they've ever faced. So to say he was overrated is just wrong. And not only that, if someone has actually watched Tretiak he would kno what he was all about. I would consider Tretiak in the top 5 of best goalies of all time after Roy, Hasek, Plante and Sawchuk.
Heartily agree with JFF. I didn't know about Clark's comments but go ask Phil Esposito what he thinks about Tretiak. Espo doesn't even think Tretiak should be in the Hall of Fame. Clark and Tretiak were there in 72 and played against him. The people who put this god like aura around Tretiak usually haven't seen him play much. That probably tells you something about him. Usually people who play against an amazing talent will recognize it. (You never hear Roy's contemporaries say he sucked- They say he'the world's biggest jerk )

Bottom line is, those who played against Tretiak said either he wasen't as good as people thought. He is not top 5 of all time.

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02-06-2005, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Quiet Robert
Heartily agree with JFF. I didn't know about Clark's comments but go ask Phil Esposito what he thinks about Tretiak. Espo doesn't even think Tretiak should be in the Hall of Fame. Clark and Tretiak were there in 72 and played against him. The people who put this god like aura around Tretiak usually haven't seen him play much. That probably tells you something about him. Usually people who play against an amazing talent will recognize it. (You never hear Roy's contemporaries say he sucked- They say he'the world's biggest jerk )

Bottom line is, those who played against Tretiak said either he wasen't as good as people thought. He is not top 5 of all time.
Well Lafleur said that he was the best goalie he ever faced and thats something seeing as he faced Parent, Cheevers and other great goalies year in year out.

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02-06-2005, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Quiet Robert
Heartily agree with JFF. I didn't know about Clark's comments but go ask Phil Esposito what he thinks about Tretiak. Espo doesn't even think Tretiak should be in the Hall of Fame. Clark and Tretiak were there in 72 and played against him. The people who put this god like aura around Tretiak usually haven't seen him play much. That probably tells you something about him. Usually people who play against an amazing talent will recognize it. (You never hear Roy's contemporaries say he sucked- They say he'the world's biggest jerk )

Bottom line is, those who played against Tretiak said either he wasen't as good as people thought. He is not top 5 of all time.
Oh and dont get me started on Esposito. Who has Espo ever given credit to that hasnt play on his team?

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02-06-2005, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by KOVALEV10
Oh and dont get me started on Esposito. Who has Espo ever given credit to that hasnt play on his team?
His brother Seriously though Esposito is the type of guy you can take at face value. There's never a hidden message when he speaks.

Enough people who played against Tretiak say is overrated in one way or another. I doubt all them would do it out of spite. No one doubts he was a great goaltender, but there are too many questions to classify him as top 5.

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02-06-2005, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Quiet Robert
His brother Seriously though Esposito is the type of guy you can take at face value. There's never a hidden message when he speaks.

Enough people who played against Tretiak say is overrated in one way or another. I doubt all them would do it out of spite. No one doubts he was a great goaltender, but there are too many questions to classify him as top 5.
Fair enough but me personally having watched the games in which Tretiak played, I consider him to be one of the greatest goalies ever and had he played in the NHL I believe that he would not be considered overrated by players like Clark and Espo because it was like a war back then between Soviets and Canada and players all hated each other. Thats the reason they consider Tretiak overrated.

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