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Poor goaltending in the past

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Old
06-01-2011, 11:52 AM
  #1
gifted88
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Poor goaltending in the past

I started watching hockey in the late 80's when goaltenders were improving their positional play and covering the bottom of the net. There was still the odd true stand-up goalie left by then but they were very quickly becoming a thing of the past.

So my questions are, was goaltending that poor prior to the butterfly style? Did the fans of the 80's look back at the 60's and comment on how terrible goaltending was? Or was that more of a helmet vs no helmet thing? Does the same go with the 60's looking back on the 40's? How do you truly compare say Plante to Price or Bower to Potvin?

I understand equipment has improved by leaps and bounds so lets leave that aspect out and just comment on positional play and athleticism.

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06-01-2011, 12:29 PM
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Johnny Engine
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I think when talking about poor goaltending in the 80s, people are really referring to the fact that offensive tactics had improved by leaps and bounds, but goaltending hadn't. 60s goaltenders would have likely been ripped to shreds by Gretzky and Lemieux, but then, they ripped up 80s goalies the same way. It's quite probable that guys like Grant Fuhr would have put up fantastic numbers against 60s shooters, but then, so did Johnny Bower.

Guys like Tony Esposito did push the trade along, but not nearly to the extent that Gretzky, Orr, Lemieux did.

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06-01-2011, 12:34 PM
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Bexlyspeed
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I think it was the late 80's when the synthetic pads came out,i believe Reggie Lemelin was the 1st to use them because of a bad back. he could not handle the weight of the leather pads, especially after they picked up some water weight during the course of a game.
they were lighter and offered more protection, then i think goalies started to catch up with the shooters shortly after. obviously there were some great goalies in the every era so its not all down to the gear.
i think fitness started to become more common place in the 80's as well

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06-01-2011, 12:55 PM
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BraveCanadian
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The goaltending wasn't poor.

It might look like it is compared to today but there are a bunch of factors at play:

equipment was heavier and at the same time did not protect as well

teams generally emphasized a more open and offensive style that brought all the numbers up

the style of play at the time generated more odd man rushes both ways making it more difficult to just plant a butterfly because of chances generated by lateral passing and second chances for that matter


There are many cases of goaltenders who played in the 80s being very successful later on and having their numbers reflect these changes. The most outstanding example of course is Patrick Roy, who did benefit from playing on one of the more defensively responsible teams in the 80s but he was still outstanding by 2000.

Grant Fuhr is another guy who put up very high gaa and quite "poor" save percentages compared to today during the 80s, but he too posted his best numbers past his prime playing for worse teams. By the end of his career his gaa was almost a full goal per game less than when he won a vezina and he certainly wasn't the goalie he had been by that time..

So generally I think the idea that goaltenders were really poor in the 80s doesn't hold a lot of water. Things just changed. There are plenty of examples of players whose numbers changed with the times when their styles and ability didn't change that much, or were in fact worse but posting better numbers.

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06-01-2011, 01:02 PM
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gifted88
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I have just heard all too often people blame the high scoring of the 80's squarely on goaltending. Was wondering why just the 80's? I doubt it got worse from the 70's. And it's not like the good players from Gretzky's era were shooting on different goalies, they all had the same opportunities.

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06-01-2011, 01:27 PM
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Bexlyspeed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
The goaltending wasn't poor.

It might look like it is compared to today but there are a bunch of factors at play:

equipment was heavier and at the same time did not protect as well

teams generally emphasized a more open and offensive style that brought all the numbers up

the style of play at the time generated more odd man rushes both ways making it more difficult to just plant a butterfly because of chances generated by lateral passing and second chances for that matter


There are many cases of goaltenders who played in the 80s being very successful later on and having their numbers reflect these changes. The most outstanding example of course is Patrick Roy, who did benefit from playing on one of the more defensively responsible teams in the 80s but he was still outstanding by 2000.

Grant Fuhr is another guy who put up very high gaa and quite "poor" save percentages compared to today during the 80s, but he too posted his best numbers past his prime playing for worse teams. By the end of his career his gaa was almost a full goal per game less than when he won a vezina and he certainly wasn't the goalie he had been by that time..

So generally I think the idea that goaltenders were really poor in the 80s doesn't hold a lot of water. Things just changed. There are plenty of examples of players whose numbers changed with the times when their styles and ability didn't change that much, or were in fact worse but posting better numbers.
I think you hit it right on the head. Teams always emphasized scoring goals in the 80's, most of them had the fire power

by the 90's with expansion defense came to be more important because with more teams and less talent you could not afford to into a shootout with a more talented team because you didnt have as much ammo

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06-01-2011, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Bexlyspeed View Post
I think you hit it right on the head. Teams always emphasized scoring goals in the 80's, most of them had the fire power

by the 90's with expansion defense came to be more important because with more teams and less talent you could not afford to into a shootout with a more talented team because you didnt have as much ammo
There was more offensive talent in the 90's than the 80's. There was also just a lot more defensive skill at all positions, and more importantly, strong emphasis on defense by the late 90's. Goaltending had started to improve noticeably by the late 80's/early 90's. Teams didn't emphasize scoring goals in the 80's because most of them had the firepower, it was because goals were easy (easier) to come by. Same reason teams started emphasizing defense, goals were getting harder to come by. In a league where an unraised/unscreened/undeflected slapshot going in from just inside the blue line is not an uncommon goal, it makes sense you're going to play to score first and foremost. In a league where a goalie is going to save a puck if he can see it, it makes sense to play to defend first and foremost.

If you watch a game from the 70's then one from the 80's, it is quite apparent that the position had not kept pace in the evolution of the game. That was due to the style of the goaltenders, the goalie equipment, and the style of the game itself.

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06-01-2011, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Infinite Vision View Post
There was more offensive talent in the 90's than the 80's. There was also just a lot more defensive skill at all positions, and more importantly, strong emphasis on defense by the late 90's. Goaltending had started to improve noticeably by the late 80's/early 90's. Teams didn't emphasize scoring goals in the 80's because most of them had the firepower, it was because goals were easy (easier) to come by. Same reason teams started emphasizing defense, goals were getting harder to come by. In a league where an unraised/unscreened/undeflected slapshot going in from just inside the blue line is not an uncommon goal, it makes sense you're going to play to score first and foremost. In a league where a goalie is going to save a puck if he can see it, it makes sense to play to defend first and foremost.

If you watch a game from the 70's then one from the 80's, it is quite apparent that the position had not kept pace in the evolution of the game. That was due to the style of the goaltenders, the goalie equipment, and the style of the game itself.
Ah the newer = better argument from you again.

You might have a leg to stand on if many of the NHL players didn't spend several seasons in both decades.

I still maintain it has a lot more to do with the style of play that was popular in the league than with the goaltenders themselves.

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06-01-2011, 02:47 PM
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Iain Fyffe
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Originally Posted by gifted88 View Post
I have just heard all too often people blame the high scoring of the 80's squarely on goaltending.
That's clearly unfair. Goalies didn't have the equipment or the training they do now, but that was far from the only reason.

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06-01-2011, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Ah the newer = better argument from you again.

You might have a leg to stand on if many of the NHL players didn't spend several seasons in both decades.

I still maintain it has a lot more to do with the style of play that was popular in the league than with the goaltenders themselves.
n/m.


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06-01-2011, 03:40 PM
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Peter9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
The goaltending wasn't poor.

It might look like it is compared to today but there are a bunch of factors at play:

equipment was heavier and at the same time did not protect as well

teams generally emphasized a more open and offensive style that brought all the numbers up

the style of play at the time generated more odd man rushes both ways making it more difficult to just plant a butterfly because of chances generated by lateral passing and second chances for that matter


There are many cases of goaltenders who played in the 80s being very successful later on and having their numbers reflect these changes. The most outstanding example of course is Patrick Roy, who did benefit from playing on one of the more defensively responsible teams in the 80s but he was still outstanding by 2000.

Grant Fuhr is another guy who put up very high gaa and quite "poor" save percentages compared to today during the 80s, but he too posted his best numbers past his prime playing for worse teams. By the end of his career his gaa was almost a full goal per game less than when he won a vezina and he certainly wasn't the goalie he had been by that time..

So generally I think the idea that goaltenders were really poor in the 80s doesn't hold a lot of water. Things just changed. There are plenty of examples of players whose numbers changed with the times when their styles and ability didn't change that much, or were in fact worse but posting better numbers.
You're right, I think, and here are some of my thoughts.

For three decades--from the early 1960s through the early 1990s--the emphasis generally was on increased offense. First came the slap shot and the curved stick--along with the players who could exploit them to the maximum, Hull and Mikita. Then came the Orr revolution, which changed the role of defencemen or at least some of them, making them much more part of the offense. The glamor of Lafleur and the rest of the Flying Frenchmen made the free-flowing style of play all the more attractive. The focus became all-out offense. Although a few teams still paid considerable attention to defense, in the main, the attitude was, what difference does it make that the opposition has scored five goals if we score seven? Eventually--although it took some doing--even Stan Fischler recognized that the team that scored the most goals won the game no matter how many goals it gave up.

The dominance of Gretzky and Lemieux and a few others in the offensive department was a factor that led to a change in emphasis. Not every team could have a Gretzky or a Lemieux; there were not enough of them to go around.

The evolution in style of play was inevitable. Given the shootouts of the 1980s, it was inevitable that eventually someone was going to try to change things around. And when a more defensive style of play proved effective, others were bound to copy it. Once an emphasis on defense became the vogue, attention was bound to turn to improving goaltending, in both technique and equipment.

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06-01-2011, 05:03 PM
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Rhiessan71
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It's not about talent, it's mostly about equipment and even more so, about style of play.

Hockey used to be played straight up and down (north/south), wingers stayed on their wings up and down the ice and D-men rarely pinched or were rarely allowed to pinch.
Then along came Bobby Orr, then add to this the Soviet and European cycle and circle (east/west) first practiced in North America by the Jets of the WHA and later adopted by Sather and the Oilers in the NHL.
Suddenly, wingers were leaving their wings and D-men were being activated faster than a MacInnis slap shot.
It was an all out offensive explosion and teams played to win.

It took well over a decade, maybe even closer to two for goalies, equipment and team defensive scheme's to catch up.

Today, we have come full circle and then some, to the point where now it's more about speed, playing defense first and playing not to lose.

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06-01-2011, 06:22 PM
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Bigger, lighter equipment was developed in the 90's and that gives the illusion of better goaltending. Really it is the equipment.

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06-01-2011, 07:17 PM
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I'd say the quality of technical instruction has resulted a higher talent floor level for goaltending ability in the NHL, so the gap between the elite and piss poor is much thinner than it was in the 80s, when there was still a bit of a lag between offensive innovation learned from the European game and the techniques and equipment available to goalies.

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06-01-2011, 08:15 PM
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The Mask/Tandem Goalies

Up thread Peter9 gave an excellent overview of the impact of the slapshot on goaltending, and the impact of the curved stick.

There are two other factors. T

he most important development in the history of goaltending, Jacques Plante and the mask, Nov 1,1959.

The introduction of the mask had a tremendous impact on goaltending at two levels. NHL and NHL ready goaltenders adapted at various levels to the mask. If we look at the NHL ready goaltenders from the 1959-60 season and the following few seasons, Bruce Gamble, Eddie Johnston, Cesare Maniago, Gerry MCnamara, Roger Crozier, Ed Giacomin, Gerry Cheevers to name a few, all struggled adapting to the mask and the changes in allowed in their stance, weight distribution, vision and so forth.From this group only two played up to HHOF standards [ Giacomin and Cheevers and they are low to mid tier members.

The mask also created developmental problems at the youth hockey levels. Parents encouraged it and were more inclined to let their youngsters play goalie but there were a lot of bad products on the market. Also the various governing bodies did not mandate the use of the mask right away - some jurisdictions and organizations dallied inyo the early 1970's and even then there was no viable certification criteria. Net result was that young goalies from the era did not develop at a steady pace. Often they had to go thru adjustment and re-learning periods which hampered development..

Eventually some of these young goalies made the NHL but their development was far from ideal and it showed at times. These goalies hung around the NHL into the early 1990's.

The two goalie system that entered the NHL during the last years of the o6 era was soon imitated in youth hockey. This had an important upside. The number of youngsters getting a chance to play goalie effectively doubled.but the positioned had to be shared up until junior so this impacted on the development of the physical and mental stamina required to play the position. So from the mid seventies into the nineties you had interesting tandems, prime example Edwards and Sauve in Buffalo where neither goalie could assume the workhorse role.

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06-01-2011, 10:10 PM
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Bigger, lighter equipment was developed in the 90's and that gives the illusion of better goaltending. Really it is the equipment.
http://brodeurisafraud.blogspot.com/...t-was-not.html

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