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Round 2, Vote 8 (HOH Top Goaltenders)

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Old
01-08-2013, 07:03 AM
  #201
tarheelhockey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The "best in history to that point" bit wasn't based on a whole lot of firsthand viewing, since Davidson (born in 1953) was a young child when Jacques Plante was in his prime,
Granted, there's a strong likelihood that Davidson got that idea firsthand from Stan Fischler saying so

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01-08-2013, 07:21 AM
  #202
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I haven't sorted out my exact order, but here's what I have:

Top tier
Tom Barrasso
Curtis Joseph
Percy LeSueur
John Vanbiesbrouck

I tend to favor goalies who had the "best in the world" distinction, thus LeSueur. The other three are IMO all-time greats who were slightly unlucky by circumstance (Barrasso a little less so).

Middle Tier
Alec Connell
Ed Giacomin
Hap Holmes
Rogie Vachon

I have some misgivings about each of them, but they will make my top 8. Holmes is significantly above the other 3.

Bottom Tier
Lorne Chabot
Gerry Cheevers
Vladimir Dzurilla
Dave Kerr
Mike Liut
Roberto Luongo
Tim Thomas

Luongo, Liut and Thomas would be the three I'd consider for top-8 status, but they're still outside the bubble for me here.


If any of this sounds wrong, I haven't submitted and would probably be easily persuaded considering the tiny margins between each position.

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01-08-2013, 07:35 AM
  #203
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Interpretations

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Here's everyone who received more than 1 vote for All-Star goalie. Goalies who played on expansion teams are bolded. Basically, Fred Shero's Philadelphia (Parent, Favell) and Scottie Bowman's St Louis (Hall, Plante, Wakely) were the only expansion teams that got significant recognition for their goalies.

1968: GOALTENDER: (216/216, 108-108) Lorne Worsley 55 (24-31); Ed Giacomin 41 (5-36); Johnny Bower 30 (26-4); Glenn Hall 24 (11-13); Bernie Parent 16 (15-1); Doug Favell 15 (8-7); Dennis DeJordy 13 (13-0); Les Binkley 8 (1-7); Rogie Vachon 4 (0-4); Charlie Hodge 3 (3-0); Terry Sawchuk 3 (0-3); Cesare Maniago 2 (1-1);

1969: GOALTENDER: (324/324) Glenn Hall 115; Ed Giacomin 102; Jacques Plante 61; Bernie Parent 30; Gerry Cheevers 9; Lorne Worsley 4; Bruce Gamble 3

1970: GOALTENDER: (324/324) Tony Esposito 180; Ed Giacomin 81; Jacques Plante 28; Bernie Parent 9; Roy Edwards 9; Gerry Cheevers 6; Ernie Wakely 6; Rogie Vachon 3; Gary Smith 2

1971: GOALTENDER: (378/378) Ed Giacomin 157; Jacques Plante 111; Tony Esposito 75; Gilles Villemure 18; Ed Johnstone 11;

I know you don't agree with a lot of what's in this blog (I disagree with some of it too), but he does have a good description of the state of the league when Giacomin was racking up his All-Star teams:



http://brodeurisafraud.blogspot.com/...-giacomin.html

I guess CG didn't want to look like "that guy" who quotes from his own blog. He then goes on and makes a case for Vachon over Giacomin towards the end of the post.
Fred Shero was not coaching the Flyers when Parent and Favell were getting AST votes pre 1971.

Outside of Les Binkley, all that the 1968 - 1971 AST voting shows is that the gap in 1967 between the top 1 to 24 goalies in the NHL/high minors was very marginal. The big difference was sustainability of performance. Astute coaching could squeeze half seasons out of veterans or build a playoff run around solid goalies.

Still all the goalies referred to were found and developed by O6 teams before expansion. Billy Smith was the first true expansion goalie who reached HHOF status.

The other interesting point about the AST voting from the post 1967 era was that it reveals that the NHL not only featured expansion teams and players but also expansion owners, management, scouts, coaching, writers, etc. Some were better - Bowman,than the weak O6 counterparts, most were not. Prime example being expansion teams passing on Tony Esposito in the 1969 Intra League Draft or not jumping the line with a pre draft trade,before Chicago claimed him from Montreal.

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/nhl1969i.html

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Old
01-08-2013, 07:40 AM
  #204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
I haven't sorted out my exact order, but here's what I have:

Top tier
Tom Barrasso
Curtis Joseph
Percy LeSueur
John Vanbiesbrouck

I tend to favor goalies who had the "best in the world" distinction, thus LeSueur. The other three are IMO all-time greats who were slightly unlucky by circumstance (Barrasso a little less so).

Middle Tier
Alec Connell
Ed Giacomin
Hap Holmes
Rogie Vachon

I have some misgivings about each of them, but they will make my top 8. Holmes is significantly above the other 3.

Bottom Tier
Lorne Chabot
Gerry Cheevers
Vladimir Dzurilla
Dave Kerr
Mike Liut
Roberto Luongo
Tim Thomas

Luongo, Liut and Thomas would be the three I'd consider for top-8 status, but they're still outside the bubble for me here.


If any of this sounds wrong, I haven't submitted and would probably be easily persuaded considering the tiny margins between each position.
No time for persuasion, but...

Holmes ahead of Connel seems ill-advised; those two are comparables, though.

LeSueur in the Top-tier doesn't sound right to me, especially if competition (as opposed to playoffs) is what hold Giacomin in the middle-tier.

If there was room for another player in your middle tier, that would be Tim Thomas. In any case, I think he has to be SLIGHTLY ahead of Dave Kerr. I'll probably have them back-to-back in my list.

To be honest, I'd switch Vachon with somebody in the Top-8. Likely LeSueur, but any of those goalies could be okay.

In the end, Vachon and Joseph will be my main "candidates" for Top-1 status in this round. I finally dropped Giacomin to doubtful Top-4 status.

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01-08-2013, 08:18 AM
  #205
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Originally Posted by MXD View Post
No time for persuasion, but...

Holmes ahead of Connel seems ill-advised; those two are comparables, though.

LeSueur in the Top-tier doesn't sound right to me, especially if competition (as opposed to playoffs) is what hold Giacomin in the middle-tier.

If there was room for another player in your middle tier, that would be Tim Thomas. In any case, I think he has to be SLIGHTLY ahead of Dave Kerr. I'll probably have them back-to-back in my list.

To be honest, I'd switch Vachon with somebody in the Top-8. Likely LeSueur, but any of those goalies could be okay.

In the end, Vachon and Joseph will be my main "candidates" for Top-1 status in this round. I finally dropped Giacomin to doubtful Top-4 status.
I like Holmes over Connell. He has the same stats appeal cleaning up the PCHA in GAA as Connell did. (Edit: Did Connell actually clean up in the NHL GAA? He only led the league once) Connell was successful with a dynasty in Ottawa and won a cup with Detroit. Holmes was successful with Seattle, Toronto (twice), and Victoria. He was also one of Detroit's three best players when he was 38 and they were garbage. Holmes was a top-level goalie for longer as well, and his longevity is pretty unique among candidates left.

I don't think his peak value is as high as LeSueur's being the best in the world, but was Connell ever given that title?

I just don't see what Connell has going for him compared to Holmes, unless you think the NHL really picked up in the mid-twenties and have a dim view of NHA/PCHA/WCHL/early NHL.

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01-08-2013, 09:56 AM
  #206
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Originally Posted by Bring Back Scuderi View Post
I like Holmes over Connell. He has the same stats appeal cleaning up the PCHA in GAA as Connell did. (Edit: Did Connell actually clean up in the NHL GAA? He only led the league once) Connell was successful with a dynasty in Ottawa and won a cup with Detroit. Holmes was successful with Seattle, Toronto (twice), and Victoria. He was also one of Detroit's three best players when he was 38 and they were garbage. Holmes was a top-level goalie for longer as well, and his longevity is pretty unique among candidates left.

I don't think his peak value is as high as LeSueur's being the best in the world, but was Connell ever given that title?

I just don't see what Connell has going for him compared to Holmes, unless you think the NHL really picked up in the mid-twenties and have a dim view of NHA/PCHA/WCHL/early NHL.
Yeah, same here.

There is evidence in favour of Holmes being a "good" goalie at least, with his long string of PCHA all-star teams, which individually aren't much but the fact that he has more than a handful of them...

But with Connell there is just nothing in the existing award voting that helps his case.

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01-08-2013, 10:21 AM
  #207
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Yeah, same here.

There is evidence in favour of Holmes being a "good" goalie at least, with his long string of PCHA all-star teams, which individually aren't much but the fact that he has more than a handful of them...

But with Connell there is just nothing in the existing award voting that helps his case.
Again though, the multiple years he led the league in wins and shutouts, as well as his GAA leading season, all pre-date all-star voting.

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01-08-2013, 11:31 AM
  #208
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
Again though, the multiple years he led the league in team stats, all pre-date all-star voting.
Fixed for you.

And they do pre-date all-star voting, but not Hart voting. In 1926, when Connell led the NHL with a 1.12 GAA (ignore, first of all, that this was a half-league, so it was more like leading a conference in GAA than a league), Frank Nighbor, the greatest defensive forward of all-time was 3rd in hart voting. Hooley Smith, another excellent defensive forward, was 4th. King Clancy, their top defenseman, was 8th. In fact, we have voting all the way to 14th, and Connell isn't there.

Ottawa's top scorer, Cy Denneny, did not make the top-14 either, and he had 11 more points than Smith and Nighbor but was not considered a good defensive forward.

Connect the dots. It's pretty clear what made the Senators good this year - it was Pete Green's defensive system (executed by his successor Alex Curry) and the players who played it best.

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01-08-2013, 11:34 AM
  #209
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Also, using his instances of leading the league in team stats a combined 7 times is pretty cheap when you see that guys like George Hainsworth and Tiny Thompson did it 8 and 13 times themselves, with much longer careers full of actual recognition as one of the best 2-3 goalies in the game. there is a definite separation from them to a guy like Connell, and he hasn't waited appropriately long enough.

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01-08-2013, 12:07 PM
  #210
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Fixed for you.

And they do pre-date all-star voting, but not Hart voting. In 1926, when Connell led the NHL with a 1.12 GAA (ignore, first of all, that this was a half-league, so it was more like leading a conference in GAA than a league), Frank Nighbor, the greatest defensive forward of all-time was 3rd in hart voting. Hooley Smith, another excellent defensive forward, was 4th. King Clancy, their top defenseman, was 8th. In fact, we have voting all the way to 14th, and Connell isn't there.

Ottawa's top scorer, Cy Denneny, did not make the top-14 either, and he had 11 more points than Smith and Nighbor but was not considered a good defensive forward.

Connect the dots. It's pretty clear what made the Senators good this year - it was Pete Green's defensive system (executed by his successor Alex Curry) and the players who played it best.
And once again...that was also representative in multiple game reports (many of which were in great detail) that handed out copious amounts of praise. Connell was generally not in first, second, third or even fourth in line most of the time...superlatives did not generally follow Connell around. I went looking directly for them too and I came up way more empty handed than I did with other goalies of the time. In fact, John Ross Roach puts up a really, really good fight with Connell in that time too and was probably believed to be better than him generally speaking.

I tried...I had a hunch that we were underrating Connell...I started mining...nothing but fool's gold really...I'm not quite sure where he belongs on the list yet, but I know it's not here, not now...

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01-08-2013, 12:18 PM
  #211
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Fixed for you.

And they do pre-date all-star voting, but not Hart voting. In 1926, when Connell led the NHL with a 1.12 GAA (ignore, first of all, that this was a half-league, so it was more like leading a conference in GAA than a league), Frank Nighbor, the greatest defensive forward of all-time was 3rd in hart voting. Hooley Smith, another excellent defensive forward, was 4th. King Clancy, their top defenseman, was 8th. In fact, we have voting all the way to 14th, and Connell isn't there.

Ottawa's top scorer, Cy Denneny, did not make the top-14 either, and he had 11 more points than Smith and Nighbor but was not considered a good defensive forward.

Connect the dots. It's pretty clear what made the Senators good this year - it was Pete Green's defensive system (executed by his successor Alex Curry) and the players who played it best.
And still, all that does is suggest to me that the "most valuable" player in those days may not actually have gone to the "best" player at his position league-wide. But still, the post season all-stars are selected on the basis of how strong their season was - not necessarily where anyone would "rank" them in their position. So without that kind of recognition more than half of Connell's best years get thrown out because we're left "connecting the dots"?

Again, for the millionth time now, I think, I'm not pushing for Connell to go into anyone's top "tiers". But it seems to me that we're already discussing other goalies who have never led the league in anything either, haven't won a Vezina either, but also haven't won a Stanley Cup, nor could really be labelled as the top goalie in the league in any given year, and yet have the luxury of post-season award voting comprising a great deal of their case. Yeah, I'm looking Cujo straight in the eyes there, who even at the pinnacle of his Hart recognition was only a 4th team all-star that season, for example.

So what made Cujo "greater"? The fact that most of us are quite familiar with how big of a deal he was in Toronto, or maybe a playoff series or two in Edmonton?

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01-08-2013, 12:33 PM
  #212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
But it seems to me that we're already discussing other goalies who have never led the league in anything either, haven't won a Vezina either, but also haven't won a Stanley Cup, nor could really be labelled as the top goalie in the league in any given year, and yet have the luxury of post-season award voting comprising a great deal of their case.
Without using team stats, is there a reason we would label Connell the best goalie in any given year?

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01-08-2013, 12:33 PM
  #213
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
And still, all that does is suggest to me that the "most valuable" player in those days may not actually have gone to the "best" player at his position league-wide. But still, the post season all-stars are selected on the basis of how strong their season was - not necessarily where anyone would "rank" them in their position. So without that kind of recognition more than half of Connell's best years get thrown out because we're left "connecting the dots"?
Yes, hart voting represents “most valuable” and not necessarily “best”. However, he had incredible stats for a very strong defensive team, yet was not considered one of the three prime reasons the team allowed as few goals as it did.

Is it “possible” that he could be the best goalie in the NHL despite not being one of the three most important players on his team? Sure, technically. Is it probable? God, no. History isn’t exactly littered with such cases, either.

Quote:
Again, for the millionth time now, I think, I'm not pushing for Connell to go into anyone's top "tiers". But it seems to me that we're already discussing other goalies who have never led the league in anything either, haven't won a Vezina either, but also haven't won a Stanley Cup, nor could really be labelled as the top goalie in the league in any given year, and yet have the luxury of post-season award voting comprising a great deal of their case. Yeah, I'm looking Cujo straight in the eyes there, who even at the pinnacle of his Hart recognition was only a 4th team all-star that season, for example.

So what made Cujo "greater"? The fact that most of us are quite familiar with how big of a deal he was in Toronto, or maybe a playoff series or two in Edmonton?
If you asked anyone from 1993 to 2003, Joseph would be a constant on any observer’s top-6 list in the league. I’m sure THN’s annual rankings more or less corroborate what I’m saying, too.

In a bigger league it’s much harder to be a stat leader or an all-star, and yes, win cups as well. Look at the bigger picture. Cujo was the clear 5th best goalie of his generation after Roy, Hasek, Brodeur and Belfour. (maybe 6th if you consider him with Beezer and/or Barrasso, but they kind of straddle the eras and had primes in the 80s). Connell is, at best, 5th himself, after Gardiner, Worters, Hainsworth and Thompson. It’s pretty much universally accepted that the modern pool was deeper and more competitive.

We should be discussing whether the 5th best goalie of the 30s is on par with the 8th-9th best goalie of the 90s the not 5th best. That should be a no-brainer.

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01-08-2013, 02:50 PM
  #214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
I haven't sorted out my exact order, but here's what I have:

Top tier
Tom Barrasso
Curtis Joseph
Percy LeSueur
John Vanbiesbrouck

I tend to favor goalies who had the "best in the world" distinction, thus LeSueur. The other three are IMO all-time greats who were slightly unlucky by circumstance (Barrasso a little less so).

Middle Tier
Alec Connell
Ed Giacomin
Hap Holmes
Rogie Vachon

I have some misgivings about each of them, but they will make my top 8. Holmes is significantly above the other 3.

Bottom Tier
Lorne Chabot
Gerry Cheevers
Vladimir Dzurilla
Dave Kerr
Mike Liut
Roberto Luongo
Tim Thomas

Luongo, Liut and Thomas would be the three I'd consider for top-8 status, but they're still outside the bubble for me here.


If any of this sounds wrong, I haven't submitted and would probably be easily persuaded considering the tiny margins between each position.
This is very similar to my line of thinking, except I would raise both Holmes and Luongo a tier. BBS and 70s talked about Holmes. And as I've said many times, I really don't see what makes Luongo any worse than Giacomin. And I'm sympathetic to TCG's argument that we are really starting to under-represent more recent goalies, so I not only had Luongo in the middle tier, but near the top of it.

I really do feel dirty posting such nice things about Luongo by the way.

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01-08-2013, 02:56 PM
  #215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
And still, all that does is suggest to me that the "most valuable" player in those days may not actually have gone to the "best" player at his position league-wide. But still, the post season all-stars are selected on the basis of how strong their season was - not necessarily where anyone would "rank" them in their position. So without that kind of recognition more than half of Connell's best years get thrown out because we're left "connecting the dots"?
We know GMs voted on All-Star teams for most of the late 20s, and they always picked Roy Worters 1st. So Connell wasn't missing any 1st Teams. In 1927-28, we have full voting and Connell was 3rd, barely behind Hainsworth for 2nd with John Ross Roach in 4th. So I wouldn't be surprised if he was missing a 2nd Team nod or two, but even with a 2nd Team or two, I think he's slightly behind Holmes and probably a round too early.

Quote:
So what made Cujo "greater"? The fact that most of us are quite familiar with how big of a deal he was in Toronto, or maybe a playoff series or two in Edmonton?
Connell was the 5th best goalie of his generation, behind Gardiner, Worters, Thompson, and Hainsworth. Cujo was the 5th-7th best of his generation behind Roy, Hasek, Brodeur, Belfour, and possibly Barrasso/Beezer, depending on how you want to rank Barrasso/Cujo/Beezer. Which generation do you think was stronger?

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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Without using team stats, is there a reason we would label Connell the best goalie in any given year?
NHL GMs voted Worters the best for basically every one of Connell's "missing years." Too bad we only have past 1st for 1 of the late 20s years.

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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post

We should be discussing whether the 5th best goalie of the 30s is on par with the 8th-9th best goalie of the 90s the not 5th best. That should be a no-brainer.
I'm a little higher on Connell than you are (I think there is clear separation between him and whoever you want to say is 6th best of his era - Chabot? Roach?), but I completely agree with this line of thinking in general. It's like we took account how strong Roy/Hasek talent pool of goalies was until we added Ed Belfour... then just stopped.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 01-08-2013 at 03:06 PM.
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01-08-2013, 05:33 PM
  #216
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Not sure if there's really a need at this point to emphasize LeSueur's dominance over his peers, but here are a few more quotes I came across that I don't think have been relayed in previous posts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edmonton Journal 1/30/1962
"Whenever I was asked to pick an all-star team," Fred (Cyclone) Taylor said in Vancouver Monday, "Percy LeSueur was always in goal -- you can check that with the records."

Percy LeSueur, the peerless goalkeeper of the Ottawa Hockey team... is and has been the premier custodian of the country since he came to the capital in 1906.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette 11/25/1909
[Ottawa] had been dickering with Hugh Lehman, Chuck Tynes and others, but at last night's meeting it was decided to make a special effort to bring LeSueur back.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen 12/1/1909
LeSueur will be the highest paid goalkeeper in the east... his work last year stamped him as the best net custodian in the game and the Ottawas were determined not to let him slip away.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen 6/23/1910
Percy blocks the ball well, mostly with his body, but is some stickhandler and footrunner.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Calgary Daily Herald 1/25/1912
* This article declared Moran "perhaps the one best bet" as the greatest goalkeeper of all time, with LeSueur mentioned next. Rounding out the top-4 are "Dutchy" Morrison and "Whitey" Merritt as retired candidates, and it's unclear whether they are supposed to be listed in order or all in a cluster. Riley Hern and Jack Winchester are listed as runners-up.

Percy LeSueur is one of the greatest students of hockey. He is always trying to learn some new wrinkles and also always trying to teach others what he knows of the game. He went down to Ottawa once with the Smith Falls aggregation and showed the people there the greatest exhibition of stopping they had ever witnessed. ... He very seldom has a bad night and can be depended upon to hold a wobbly defense together.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calgary Daily Herald 4/8/1913
LeSueur has had his off nights, like the rest of them, but his "on" sessions have so far overshadowed his temporary lapses, the former can hardly be recalled. It was generally admitted that his magnificent goal work the past winter alone kept the Ottawas from grounding on the bottom.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montreal Daily Mail 11/5/1914
[Ottawa] will probably offer to trade LeSueur for Nighbor, the Vancouver wing man, and then trade him to the Torontos for Jack Walker, the Port Arthur boy, who wishes to come here.


Those who have spent a good deal of time in the newspaper archives can corroborate that it is fairly rare to see 19th-century goaltenders described as being dominant in the modern sense of "carrying" a team or covering up for a bad defense over a long period of time. If LeSueur wasn't the very first to achieve that level of star status, he was very close. Certainly the article listing him, Moran, Morrison and Merritt as the 4 best of all time is a clue that pre-LeSueur there were very few goaltenders whose legacies have stood the test of time.

Also it is worth noting that LeSueur played the game at a time when goaltending itself was largely a different activity than it would be a generation later; hence the praise for his "footrunning" and stickhandling. He was replaced in Ottawa by Clint Benedict, who is closer to the modern concept of a goaltender.

Basically, there is nothing to suggest that LeSueur doesn't belong here in terms of his ranking among peers. The main reason not to vote for him would be misgivings about whether the goaltending of the 1910s is of value to this list (and bear in mind that LeSueur overlapped by 6 years with Vezina, our #10 man).

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01-08-2013, 05:58 PM
  #217
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I did not vote LeSueur (often spelled wrong even in newspaper accounts, careful if you're doing last minute research!) in my top-4. Not because I don't think he was among the best of his era, but because I didn't fully trust the era. I also mentioned how uncomfortable I was with pre-forward pass era goalies being added to the list "already" (at the time, obviously) when talking about Vezina and the like...

He'll get very strong consideration from me next time around, but I couldn't reconcile it in my own mind this time around...

I just figure I'll take my chances with three top-5 or 7 or 8 or whatever goalies in the fully-integrated NHL vs. the, at best, 3rd best goalie in NHA history

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01-08-2013, 06:16 PM
  #218
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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
I did not vote LeSueur (often spelled wrong even in newspaper accounts, careful if you're doing last minute research!) in my top-4. Not because I don't think he was among the best of his era, but because I didn't fully trust the era. I also mentioned how uncomfortable I was with pre-forward pass era goalies being added to the list "already" (at the time, obviously) when talking about Vezina and the like...

He'll get very strong consideration from me next time around, but I couldn't reconcile it in my own mind this time around...

I just figure I'll take my chances with three top-5 or 7 or 8 or whatever goalies in the fully-integrated NHL vs. the, at best, 3rd best goalie in NHA history
I concur.

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01-08-2013, 06:19 PM
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Yes, hart voting represents “most valuable” and not necessarily “best”. However, he had incredible stats for a very strong defensive team, yet was not considered one of the three prime reasons the team allowed as few goals as it did.

Is it “possible” that he could be the best goalie in the NHL despite not being one of the three most important players on his team? Sure, technically. Is it probable? God, no. History isn’t exactly littered with such cases, either.



If you asked anyone from 1993 to 2003, Joseph would be a constant on any observer’s top-6 list in the league. I’m sure THN’s annual rankings more or less corroborate what I’m saying, too.

In a bigger league it’s much harder to be a stat leader or an all-star, and yes, win cups as well. Look at the bigger picture. Cujo was the clear 5th best goalie of his generation after Roy, Hasek, Brodeur and Belfour. (maybe 6th if you consider him with Beezer and/or Barrasso, but they kind of straddle the eras and had primes in the 80s). Connell is, at best, 5th himself, after Gardiner, Worters, Hainsworth and Thompson. It’s pretty much universally accepted that the modern pool was deeper and more competitive.

We should be discussing whether the 5th best goalie of the 30s is on par with the 8th-9th best goalie of the 90s the not 5th best. That should be a no-brainer.
Cujo may have been even better than that.

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01-08-2013, 06:39 PM
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Yes, hart voting represents “most valuable” and not necessarily “best”. However, he had incredible stats for a very strong defensive team, yet was not considered one of the three prime reasons the team allowed as few goals as it did.
You can have the best goalie in the league and still have two guys who have "more valuable" seasons. Surely you wouldn't argue that. Even semi-contemporarily (my fake adverb of the day) we've seen a team like the Oilers have the "best" goalie in the league, and notice that consensus around here wouldn't have him any higher than 3rd "best"/"most valuable" player on that team during that era either (ironically, though, Fuhr actually led all Oilers in Hart votes that season, lol).

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Is it “possible” that he could be the best goalie in the NHL despite not being one of the three most important players on his team? Sure, technically. Is it probable? God, no. History isn’t exactly littered with such cases, either.
You know what history is littered with, though? Goalies whose league-leading GAA and/or shutout totals earned them post season all star berths and/or a Vezina. Look at Hainsworth for a contemporary example of someone who did that exact same thing, the very year after Connell, but was awarded the first ever Vezina thanks to timing. But essentially, leading in any 2 of 3 of the main categories (wins, GAA, shutouts) has translated into all-star and Vezina votes for many, many a goalie in history. If it was widely accepted that Connell has even one "retro Vezina" (which he actually earned, as the criteria for winning in '27 was lowest GAA) and even just one "retro 1st or 2nd team all star" (chances are that a guy who led the league once in GAA, twice in wins and three times in shutouts would get at least one), how would the voting record be used to support Joseph over Connell then?

Just saying, if one is basing their opinion largely off of voting records for such awards, there's a bit more to think about when dealing with guys like LeSueur, Connell, Holmes, or any of the others from the earliest of eras who have entered the conversation to this point. When I first started challenging the notion it was a bit early given the guys being discussed at the time, but now that guys like Joseph are actually up for comparison, my "concern" seem to have manifested itself already.

I think Cup rings are slightly more significant in the past than the present, too. I know that seems counter-intuitive because there are more teams competing in the present, but credit was also only shared 6 ways back then; not 22 ways. There was no such thing as being a 4th line/role playing champion. While not a large part of the decision pie, necessarily, it's a trump card, and one that Connell, for example, holds two of.

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If you asked anyone from 1993 to 2003, Joseph would be a constant on any observer’s top-6 list in the league. I’m sure THN’s annual rankings more or less corroborate what I’m saying, too.
That's so arbitrary though. If "conventional wisdom" only elucidated 5 goaltenders worth mentioning in any of those years, how much value is there in being 6th? Even with the 1 guy in 6 vs 1 guy in 30 dynamic affecting "in a vacuum" probabilities, the threshold remains, like I said, arbitrary.

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In a bigger league it’s much harder to be a stat leader or an all-star, and yes, win cups as well. Look at the bigger picture. Cujo was the clear 5th best goalie of his generation after Roy, Hasek, Brodeur and Belfour. (maybe 6th if you consider him with Beezer and/or Barrasso, but they kind of straddle the eras and had primes in the 80s). Connell is, at best, 5th himself, after Gardiner, Worters, Hainsworth and Thompson. It’s pretty much universally accepted that the modern pool was deeper and more competitive.

We should be discussing whether the 5th best goalie of the 30s is on par with the 8th-9th best goalie of the 90s the not 5th best. That should be a no-brainer.
Well, I don't know how to discuss something that is clearly 5th... but could be 6th or 7th depending... but through poor editing on my part I've already addressed some of this. Regardless of whether a talent pool was "deeper" or not, you've still been careful not to elevate Josh Howard above Georges Vezina, but part of the equation becomes measuring their performance and results vs their peers, right? How, then, are the more talented goalies from the deeper modern pool actually getting "weeded out" to make room for so many different guys from so many different decades so far?

I'd say just drop the preconceived notion that being 5th at one point has any scale that allows meaningful comparison to someone who is any specific ranking of a different era - the subjectivity in the establishing of those rankings being only the beginning of the pitfalls.

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01-08-2013, 07:20 PM
  #221
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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
I did not vote LeSueur (often spelled wrong even in newspaper accounts, careful if you're doing last minute research!) in my top-4. Not because I don't think he was among the best of his era, but because I didn't fully trust the era.
Well now, I don't feel so bad for spelling his name wrong in my first 3 posts in this thread, then having to go back and fix them all.

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I also mentioned how uncomfortable I was with pre-forward pass era goalies being added to the list "already" (at the time, obviously) when talking about Vezina and the like...
Vezina, Benedict, Worters, Hainsworth, Lehman, Holmes, Connell - all pre-forward pass goalies. I get that Worters, Hainsworth, and Connell all had successful years both before and after the forward pass, but their best years seem to be before it was allowed. Frankly, I think that the fact that Worters was the best goalie in the world leading up to the forward pass and 2nd best after Gardiner in the years afterwards (combined with Hainsworth and Connell having some good years after the forward pass) is pretty good proof that the elite goalies didn't have all that much trouble adjusting to it.

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He'll get very strong consideration from me next time around, but I couldn't reconcile it in my own mind this time around...

I just figure I'll take my chances with three top-5 or 7 or 8 or whatever goalies in the fully-integrated NHL vs. the, at best, 3rd best goalie in NHA history
If we're talking strictly NHA (meaning 1910-1918), I think LeSeuer is ahead of Benedict for the 2nd best NHA goalie. Most of what Benedict accomplished was after 1918. But that's probably just splitting hairs.

I'm okay with LeSueur missing this round, but I think our top 40 would really be missing something if we didn't have the best goalie to play the game prior to World War I somewhere on it.

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01-08-2013, 07:27 PM
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You know what history is littered with, though? Goalies whose league-leading GAA and/or shutout totals earned them post season all star berths and/or a Vezina. Look at Hainsworth for a contemporary example of someone who did that exact same thing, the very year after Connell, but was awarded the first ever Vezina thanks to timing. But essentially, leading in any 2 of 3 of the main categories (wins, GAA, shutouts) has translated into all-star and Vezina votes for many, many a goalie in history.
You probably already know this, but when Hainsworth was awarded the Vezina, it was the same as the modern Jennings.

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If it was widely accepted that Connell has even one "retro Vezina" (which he actually earned, as the criteria for winning in '27 was lowest GAA) and even just one "retro 1st or 2nd team all star" (chances are that a guy who led the league once in GAA, twice in wins and three times in shutouts would get at least one), how would the voting record be used to support Joseph over Connell then?
To clarify, the criteria for winning the Vezina in 27 was the same as the modern Jennings, but starters played every game back then, barring injury. We have very good proof that Connell never got any 1st Team All Star nods; have you read ANY of the posts about the GM-voted on All-Star teams?

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I think Cup rings are slightly more significant in the past than the present, too. I know that seems counter-intuitive because there are more teams competing in the present, but credit was also only shared 6 ways back then; not 22 ways. There was no such thing as being a 4th line/role playing champion. While not a large part of the decision pie, necessarily, it's a trump card, and one that Connell, for example, holds two of.
This makes no sense to me. A starting goalie played every minute of a game back then, just like he does now. I do think Connell should get credit for two great playoff performances; it's a big reason why I had him 7th, rather than out of my top 8, but saying that it was more significant to win Cups in a much smaller league than it is now is basically backwards math. I can understand what you are saying for skaters, who did actually skate the full 60 minutes back then as opposed to now, but not for goalies, whose TOI hasn't changed.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 01-08-2013 at 07:44 PM.
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01-08-2013, 07:28 PM
  #223
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I don't disagree with you really, TDMM...as you probably can detect, I'm very visual. I've at least seen glimpses of how it was done back to the '50's...you get a pretty good feel from detailed game reports post-forward pass to WWII that it wasn't all that much different.

Before that though, going back into the 20's and back, I wonder just how much the position evolved. At that time, they were still just "taking the fat kid" or "the guy that can't skate" and sticking him in net (Connell) at the National Hockey League level essentially. That's over-simplified and definitely doesn't apply to everyone in the era, but the feeling I get is that the position really evolved precipitously after that. Reading what some of the other goalies did - like Lehman, who was noted for charging out as far as the boards to break up plays on the rush - it made me twinge a bit.

I don't know, probably just jabberwocky on my part, but between that and the level of competition, I just couldn't quite buy what was being sold...not yet. Rain check. Hesitant to "guess" ...if it's close, I'll take what I thought was good when I was watching it. Like I said, was hesitant on pre-forward pass guys being so early when they went...didn't like Holecek at all...hesitant on LeSueur who played over 100 years ago...right or wrong, just trying to be consistent with it...hesitant to give benefits of the doubt when it's a "best ever" list...

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01-08-2013, 07:33 PM
  #224
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No time for persuasion, but...
Thanks for your thoughts. Gave me more to think about.


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If there was room for another player in your middle tier, that would be Tim Thomas.
I agree. He's just barely, barely outside my bubble. Suspect he'll be in my top-4 in a couple of rounds.

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01-08-2013, 07:48 PM
  #225
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But it seems to me that we're already discussing other goalies who have never led the league in anything either, haven't won a Vezina either, but also haven't won a Stanley Cup, nor could really be labelled as the top goalie in the league in any given year, and yet have the luxury of post-season award voting comprising a great deal of their case. Yeah, I'm looking Cujo straight in the eyes there, who even at the pinnacle of his Hart recognition was only a 4th team all-star that season, for example.

So what made Cujo "greater"? The fact that most of us are quite familiar with how big of a deal he was in Toronto, or maybe a playoff series or two in Edmonton?
Curtis Joseph led the league in save percentage in 1992-93 and led the playoffs in save percentage in 1993 and 2004. He also finished 2nd in league save percentage in 1991-92 against the best season of our #1 goaltender. And that "4th team all-star" year saw him receive more 1st place Vezina votes than our #2 goaltender in arguably his best season. So what are you talking about exactly when you say that Joseph never led the league in anything?

Couldn't be labeled the top goaltender in any year? It would probably be quicker to ask which of us DON'T think Curtis Joseph was the best goaltender in 1992-93.

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