Monday, August 6, 2007

Picking the Wrong Guy, Part 1: 1987-88

This is part one of a series on questionable Vezina voting decisions, where team factors fool NHL GMs into choosing the wrong goaltender as the league's best.

In 1987-88, Grant Fuhr won the only Vezina of his career. He also finished as the runner up to Mario Lemieux for the Hart Trophy. Fuhr outpointed Wayne Gretzky (149 points in 64 games), Steve Yzerman (50 goals, 102 points in 64 games), and Denis Savard (131 pts in 80 games). Four voters even listed Fuhr in first place ahead of Lemieux, who had scored 70 goals and added 98 assists to lead the league in scoring.

Fuhr had not done particularly well in previous years in Vezina voting. His best result was second place in 1981-82. So what was the difference? Was it perhaps an improvement in the team? Or did he merely have a career year?

Edmonton lost Paul Coffey from their blue line after the 1986-87 season, but his strengths were mainly offensive and it is doubtful they lost much on the defensive side. The other main blueliners (Lowe, Muni, Gregg, Smith, Huddy, McSorley, Beukeboom) all returned for 1987-88. The Oiler forward group was very much the same as the year before. As might be expected, then, the team played defence at a similar level. The team shots against totals were almost the same - 28.9 per game in 1986-87, 28.8 in 1987-88.

Given the continuity, therefore, one would expect Fuhr's numbers to be similar. Indeed, his performance rates were almost exactly the same in 1987-88:

1986-87: .618 win %, .881 save %, 3.44 GAA
1987-88: .610 win %, .881 save %, 3.43 GAA

So if his performance didn't improve, how then did Fuhr go from 3rd in Vezina voting with 0 Hart votes to being considered the best goalie in the league and more valuable than Wayne Gretzky?

The very simple answer: Andy Moog left to play on the Olympic team.

Andy Moog and Grant Fuhr spent six years sharing time in the Edmonton net, and were for all intents and purposes the same goalie. Most years their save percentages were very similar, and their records for Edmonton during the dynasty period were almost identical: Fuhr 107-39-14, Moog 104-37-14. No matter who was in net, Edmonton usually won.

Moog's departure in 1987 meant that Edmonton only had 21-year old Bill Ranford and 22-year old Darryl Reaugh on their team. This meant they chose to rely heavily on Fuhr. Fuhr played 75 games, leading the NHL. He also led in minutes played, wins, and shutouts. Martin Brodeur fans will probably recognize that combination. However, 14 other goalies played 2000 minutes or more and finished ahead of Fuhr in save percentage.

Was Fuhr deserving of the Vezina? Let's look at his stats again, compared to his teammates in the Edmonton net:

Fuhr's numbers: .610 win %, 3.43 GAA, .881 save %
Fuhr's backups: .714 win %, 3.95 GAA, .876 save %

Fuhr's backups' numbers are a little misleading because of the influence of one Warren Skorodenski, a rarely used career backup who saw his final bit of NHL action with Edmonton in 1987-88. In 61 minutes of play, Skorodenski was beaten 7 times for a catastrophic 6.89 GAA. Since Fuhr's backups didn't play many games in 1987-88, Skorodenski has a large impact on the stats. Here is the stat line without him included:

Ranford and Reaugh: .714 win %, 3.59 GAA, .890 save %

That compares very favourably to Fuhr, and provides evidence that his season really wasn't that special at all. As had been the case for many years with Moog, Fuhr did no better than his backups had done. Ranford was coming off of a 41 game season with an .891 save percentage in 1986-87, and he improved to .899 in 6 games in 1987-88, so he probably could have played more games at least at the same level as Fuhr. Fuhr was far from the league's best goalie, and he deserved little consideration as league MVP. Rating Fuhr as more valuable to the Oilers than Gretzky has to likely be considered one of the most curious award voting decisions in the history of the NHL.

Let's look at the way the Vezina voters ranked the rest of the top 5 after Fuhr. I have included their performance statistics, as well as that of their backups to get the team context.

2. Tom Barrasso, 2-3-3, 22

Barrasso's numbers: .569 win %, 3.31 GAA, .896 save %
Barrasso's backups: .466 win %, 4.45 GAA, .860 save %

3. Kelly Hrudey, 1-4-0, 17

Hrudey's numbers: .557 win %, 3.34 GAA, .896 save %
Hrudey's backups: .542 win %, 3.22 GAA, .893 save %

4. Brian Hayward, 2-1-1, 14

Hayward's numbers: .667 win %, 2.86 GAA, .896 save %
Hayward's backups: .625 win %, 2.97 GAA, .898 save %

5. Mike Vernon, 0-4-2, 14

Vernon's numbers: .685 win %, 3.53 GAA, .877 save %
Vernon's backups: .556 win %, 4.36 GAA, .858 save %

Barrasso's numbers are very impressive. His backups were Daren Puppa and Jacques Cloutier, both of whom were decent goalies. Barrasso's numbers were very good for any team, much less a weak Sabres team coming off of a sub-.500 campaign in 1986-87. He deserved to have won the Vezina.

Kelly Hrudey's numbers are very good, but the fact that they were pretty well matched by the 38-year old Billy Smith testifies to the Islanders' strong defensive play. It was a similar situation in Montreal, where Brian Hayward and Patrick Roy both played well, but the main reason for their success and Jennings Trophy win was their very strong defensive team.

Vernon doesn't look that great overall, except for his winning percentage. But the fact that his backups could win at a .556 rate despite a 4.36 GAA shows how good the Flames were. The Flames #2 goalie was Doug Dadswell, who played 25 of his 28 career NHL games in 1987-88, explaining the weak performance of the backup goalies. Vernon was no better than average in 1987-88, and only received notice because of his 39 wins as the primary starter on an excellent team.

Coming in sixth place in the voting was the Rangers' John Vanbiesbrouck, who might have been the second best goalie in the league in 1987-88:

Vanbiesbrouck's numbers: .545 win %, 3.38 GAA, .890 save %
Vanbiesbrouck's backups: .438 win %, 3.56 GAA, .876 save %

The backup was Bob Froese, who had a number of very good years in the 1980s, yet was well outplayed by Vanbiesbrouck.

The rest of the top 10 (Lemelin, Roy, Hanlon, and Stefan), all played for very good defensive teams, and had similar stats to the other goalies on their teams.

Were there any goalies that went unnoticed on bad teams? A couple. Daniel Berthiaume of Winnipeg had a .531 winning percentage and .882 save percentage on a weak team, much better than what his backups did, and Darren Pang stopped shots at an .891 rate behind the porous Chicago defence (35.2 shots against per game), although Pang's teammate Bob Mason also did pretty well.

The writers fell into the same trap as the GMs in their All-Star voting. Fuhr again finished first, taking 58 out of 61 first place votes. Patrick Roy was second, followed by Tom Barrasso. The rest of the list went more or less by the strength of the goalie's team, with Malarchuk, Vernon, Lemelin, Hextall, Hrudey, Peeters, Hayward, Liut and Hanlon.

In summary, then, the statistics show that Fuhr was neither outstanding nor especially valuable in 1987-88, and his per-game performance was almost exactly the same as what he had done the previous year. This means that the voters got it completely wrong. Fuhr's Vezina win was the result of the Oilers' loss of Andy Moog, which led to more games played and therefore more wins and shutouts. This attracted the attention of the voters, who, as they often do, overrated durability and gave too much credit for team success. They even went so far as to claim that Fuhr was more valuable than Wayne Gretzky, a completely laughable assertion. The 1987-88 Vezina should have instead gone to Tom Barrasso.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

The same year fuhr won the canada cup all-star mvp and was 16-2 in the playoffs and won the canada cup . His gaa was a goal less in the playoffs in the regular season and he led the nhl with 4 shutouts on probably the least defensive team of that decade to me thats pretty good.
Fuhr would have bad numbers becuase he would play awesome the whole game alot of times and if the oilers were up 4-1 or 5-2 he would lose his concentration and let in 1 or 2 cheap goals. But if the oilers were up 1 that would rarely happen. Fuhr is as good as it comes at playin the score. But for whatever reason when his teams up a few goals he lets is shitty goals thats one thing i never liked it almost gives u a heartattack. If the oilers were up 4-1 in the 3rd u might get the second goal, u might get the third goal but ud never get the fourth.
From the sportsforecaster all playoff games of grant fuhr.
I have the top 10 goalies from sports forecaster, the top 10 playoff winnners of all time at the time this article came out Fuhr was second with 92 wins and 50 losses second all times to wins next to roy.
When fuhr's team is ahead 3 goals his gaa is 3.85
ahead 2 goals his gaa 3.13
ahead 1 goal his gaa 1.34
tied besides 0-0 1.98
behind 1 goal his gaa 1.44
behind 2 goal his gaa 1.94
Most top 10 goalies are consistant in gaa's ill get u roy's ans hasek's shortly but grant fuhr's gaa is more distinctive then anyone of the others. For whatever reason he steps up his level of play when hes playin the score more so if hes up 3-4 goals. And as an oiler fan I can honestly say this is true cuz IVe watched him play for over 10 years and when the game is close hes awesome but when his team is up he lets in bad, cheap goals cuz it seems to due of lack of concentration more then anything.

oilersfan99 said...

So when your comaparing his stats to say moog's or anyoen elses. The other backups would get beat clean, like they couldnt do anything about those goals. But If oilers had a big lead and fuhr was great for most of the game he would let in cheap shitty goals. Since your big on stats due how many 3rd period goals fuhr let in when the oilers had a big lead. The guy just loses focus more so then him just being an average goalie. As your see above

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

Thanks for posting those stats. I'd definitely like to see more of them, if you could email me them or post them I would appreciate it. If I had the means to calculate those numbers myself I would have done it a long time ago.

I appreciate being corrected when I am wrong, I just like to see strong evidence for it, and what you have presented is definitely a good start.

I have been skeptical of Grant Fuhr's ability to "make the key save" based on some preliminary studies I have done, because of what other fans and bloggers (like Mc79hockey) have said, my own anecdotal memory (e.g. 1987 Canada Cup - Fuhr lets in a late tying goal in all 3 games), and because little evidence has been found for similar claims about other goalies. If those numbers are correct, though, it may indicate that Fuhr is truly a special case. I would have preferred to see save percentages rather than GAAs, because there could be some sort of team effect (e.g. Edmonton plays more defensively in a close game), but on the surface it does seem that Fuhr may have played to the score.

I don't doubt Fuhr's talent, I've said that several times, he certainly had the ability to be spectacular. It is nevertheless clear that he probably let in more goals than he should have, because he failed to distinguish himself much from his less talented backups in terms of save statistics. So the key question is when those extra goals came. If they all (or mostly) came in non-key situations, then it could be he wasn't really costing his team that much and could still be considered a very good or elite goalie.

There is still a very strong team effect with Fuhr, yes he won a lot, but he should have won a lot on that team. Another question is how much he can be excused for the quality of his defence. I am not at all sold on the fact that Edmonton was supposedly so terrible at defence - sure they played a wide open style, but how many teams could match them in terms of puck possession? As someone once commented, Fuhr had the best players in the game skating away from him, not towards him. By 1987 and 1988, Edmonton gave up fewer shots than league average, and in 1988 in the playoffs gave up just 25 shots against per game. That explains partially why they went 16-2 in the playoffs, the Oilers were combining a prolific offence with improved shot prevention. Just because a team scores a lot of goals does not mean necessarily they are giving up a lot of shots and good chances the other way. I'm not claiming they were great, but I very much doubt it was harder to play goalie in Edmonton than in places like Toronto or Vancouver.

So there is some hard evidence that Fuhr actually was pretty good, better than his numbers anyway. The question is still how good? One of the better goalies of the 1980s? Clearly the best of his era? Look at the 1987-88 season, for example, should Fuhr have really won the Vezina over a guy like Barrasso, who put up better numbers on a worse team?

oilersfan99 said...

I will give u those stats for the top goaltenders in the playoffs shortly. But from what i see most goalies are relatively the same hasek, roy broduer through out. Fuhr is more distinctive cuz it jumps few goals when his team is ahead 3-4 goals then as his team is up by 1. The other goalies as well it dropped down somewhat but not as distinctive as fuhr. If you really look at his numbers it is really odd. One of the more memoral games i can find and of what i seen and remember was in 1984 when the oilers broke the longest undefeated streak to begin a season (12-0-3).
Edmonton beat Washington 8-5. The oilers were up 8-2 in the third period when the caps scored 3 goals and 2 of them were as bad as u were ever see. I dont know it seems he doesnt care howmany he lets in or he loses focus cuz ask any oilers fan how many cheap goals fuhr lets in, and many said it was his concentration his mind drifts or whatever, i dont know maybe the cocaine haha. But going back to that game he stopped 41-46 shots he was brilliant all game until like the final 8-9 mins when the oilers were up like 8-2 and he lets in shitty goals. Therefore his gaa is 5 and save percentage 89 percent. If you look at stats yeah that looks brutal but honestly u had to watch the game to see what really happened and he was brilliant in most part, if the score was 4-2 or something like that, you would rarely see those types of cheap goals go in on him cuz he concentrates more. Here is darren pang i know u know who he is also wrote an article entitled Statistics dont tell the story between the pipes. Check this out its for espn. And next post i will put up the other stats for the other goalies, many hasek roy ect.
http://espn.go.com/nhl/columns/pang_darren/1289707.html

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

That Pang article is typical media drivel. Sure, stats don't tell the entire story, because we don't yet have perfect stats. That's why guys like me spend hours trying to pull apart what we do have and try to get useful information from it. There is some value in observation and scouting, certainly, but choosing "quality wins against the best teams" as the measure of a goalie shows a clear misunderstanding of the relative value of the goaltending position. I don't care that guys like Pang played in the NHL or what they claim about a special "goaltenders fraternity", they're just writing the same old conventional wisdom as everyone else.

Anyway, back to Fuhr. What about his post-Edmonton career? Do you think he still had the same tendencies, because obviously his win/loss record dropped off, but his teams also weren't nearly as good.

Secondly, don't you think one of the reasons Fuhr often looked brilliant was because he played an athletic style and exaggerated his saves? Often people judge goalies a lot based on style, which is one of the reasons I rely so heavily on objective stats, and Fuhr had that in spades.

oilersfan99 said...

Your right he did tally off his career because he played with an athletic style. For instance patrick roy could play until hes 50. He comes out cuts off the angle and lets face it there wasnt no rules againts equipment as much as today and he made himself big as possible and u couldnt see the net at all. On like every shot he dropped to his knees and it hit him in the chest. Roy was always in perfect position he was a text book goalie. Fuhr on the otherhand as you mentioned relied on his reflexes and athleticism. When your grow older isnt that the first thing to go? He did struggle a few seasons getting bounced around and aquiring injuries. On st. louis he had a few good rebound seasons where he played farely well particularly the first two years then he dropped off again. When he played well in st. louis granit, the scoring at that team league wise dropped compared to the 80's but if you seen him on st. louis because i watched him 10 plus years in edmonton he relied more on angles and positioning then so the case on edmonton. He still had pretty good athleticism but nothing compared to what he had in edmonton. His gaa was the best of his career with the blues. He had to change his style somewhat to adapt to the nhl and how it changed from the 80's.
Personally i dont think a butterfly goalie would of been good the style the oilers played in the 80's. Because they gave up alot of odd man rushes when they were pressuring the other team with puck possessions because there defense was immobile, huddy, smith, gregg, ect. So breakaways 2 on 1's 3 on 1's 3 on 2's ect he had the perfect style because he use to lunge from post to post and sprawl all over the ice to make those saves. In my opinion i dont think too many goalies of today could of been really solid for that type of play. Thats just mine opinion like most of the butterfly goalies you see today, u needed an athletic type of goalie for that system and fuhr was perfect. Maybe the one guy who would of been great in the system was a guy like dominik hasek, because like fuhr i seen him lunge from post to post making spectucular saves and he was really flexible as well. Hasek, and Fuhr are the two best goalies I ever seen at stopping odd man rushes like 2 on 1's ect because of there athleticism. Again i dont think i guy like giguere or someone with his type of style would of played well. Now i could be wrong because nobody will really know but thats what I truly think. You need to have great athleticism as a goalie to play that type of system.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

I do tend to agree with you, that Giguere-style blocking butterfly goalies do much better on good teams that don't give shooters the time and space to pick the corners on them. In the 1980s, with more space and smaller equipment, it was less possibly to rely entirely on positioning, although the success of Patrick Roy shows that the butterfly could definitely be used as a strong base for a successful game even in that era. I also agree with you about Hasek, I think he would have been outstanding in any era because he was so athletic and so smart.

I'm still having great difficulty placing Grant Fuhr. The numbers simply say he he wasn't that great, so even if there was an additional clutch element, how can I quantify that effect? Maybe he won more games than he should have through playing to the score, but his backups also won extraordinarily often. He maybe wasn't so consistent, he did give up cheap goals, maybe they didn't count for so much because often his team was well ahead but it's still a negative compared to the other goalies who weren't giving them up. His teams were great, but not necessarily great defensively, which is unusual and therefore difficult to adjust for. He played in some wide-open games but he had the advantage of never having to face his own team, the most dangerous scoring team of all.

So I'm finding it tough to evaluate Fuhr against peers like Roy, Hrudey, Vernon, Barrasso, Vanbiesbrouck, etc.

oilersfan99 said...

I also agree with alot of what you said but patrick roy also had a gaa around 3 for most part of the 80's and early 90's. If there was a defensive team at that time it was the montreal canadians. If roy would been on edmonton the style he had you think he would do well as oppose to fuhr or hasek in that wide open style since he relied surely on the butterfly his whole career? I mean who knows i would say no because he was a butterfly goalie but at the same times hes patrick roy so u never really know.
But i do think if fuhr was on montreal he wouldnt of had the same success early in his career because he wasnt fundamentally sound. His style made him thrive in edmonton and in defensive type games early in his career i dont think he would of been as good as roy was on montreal. Maybe later on his career ala the blues but definitely not early on. To me grant fuhr played better when he got 40 shots a game compared to 17 or 18.
And going back to roy, roy might be the only exception for butterfly goalies because he had the greatest butterfly of all time hands down, he perfected it, so he might be the only exception compared to guys like today no offense but i dont think too many could of played in that wide open style without getting lit up. To me the 80's was about athleticism with more space no leftwing lock, nuetral zone trap , clutching grabbing ect ect. The goalies of today i see that could not only play but play well in that era would be hasek, luongo, fleury and im not too sure about anyone else.
And again Im 43 years old and ive watched alot of goaltenders come and go and seen alot of teams play. The only other goalie ive seen whos clutch and athletic and can sprawl from post to post and make big saves on odd man rushes besides fuhr is dominik hasek. If you were to tell me how many goalies could of won the cup with the oilers team, id say alot could, but how man others could win 5 in 7 years with that team if not more, that would narrow down the margin. The only 100 percent gaurantee i would say is hasek. Only hasek would be capable of winning 5 in 7 years if not more cuz he could handle that type of action and excel. Honestly i dont know about anyone else. I would like to see belfour or roy or beezer or others play for a team like that but could they hold up? Could martin broduer who plays exact opposite team for most of his career then fuhr win 5 in 7 in the 80's? I dont know im sure he could win a cup maybe 2 but i dont see him with his style doin that. The only other goalie that could be dominate from the 1980 season and on is dominik hasek, i dont see anyone else who could.
Thats just my opinion but also im observing goalies style and how they play not necessarily numbers.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

I agree with a lot of what you are saying about the effectiveness of different styles. What I do disagree on, though, is the size of the effect. I think Brodeur probably would have won at least 2 or 3 Cups if he played Fuhr's minutes in Edmonton, simply because the team was so good. I think the same thing would apply to Belfour, Cujo, Beezer, Roy, whoever. I agree Hasek would have done the best, but I think the goalie would had to really have screwed up to cost the Oilers the Cup in some of those seasons, and I don't see many of today's decent starting goalies doing that, even in a more wide-open era.

Goalie is the most important position, but hockey is a team game, and most times it is the group of skaters that determines the result. Also, the gap between goalies is often overstated - the gap between Gretzky and the other team's best player, for example, was way bigger than the gap between Fuhr and the other goalie for pretty much every opponent, except possibly for Pittsburgh and Lemieux. So I'm hesitant to claim that certain goalies would have won while others wouldn't, because I still tend to believe the main driving force behind Edmonton's dynasty was Gretzky, Messier, Coffey, and Kurri, not Fuhr, Moog or Ranford.

oilersfan99 said...

This is where i strongly disagree. Im 43 years old im not sure how much hockey uve watched or how many goalies you have seen over the years.
Ive seen goaltending since dryden to smith to fuhr to roy to hasek ect. Grant fuhr was as good as it got when it comes to wide open play because of his reflexes and athleticism. Patrick roy in the 80's had the best defense in the league and his gaa was still around 3. Grant fuhr throughout edmonton was about 3.5. Put roy on edmonton i gaurantee his gaa would be about 4 if not 4.5. You can say look at andy moog ect ect. But when moog was in net it was against weaker teams and oilers tigntened up defensively for him big time and still his gaa wasnt that good. You needed an athletic goaltender to play that system because of the odd man rushes oilers use to give up game in game out. Edmonton did dominate alot of the game but when they gave up chances they were usually point blank, and many odd man rushes.
From all the years i seen they gave up more odd man rushes then what they had themselves game in game out. You can say yeah look at all there great players but oilers were a puck possessive team meaning they would keep it in the zone and dominate, meaning the other players on the other teams were mostly all back tryin to get the puck away from them. When they would lose the puck alot of the times there d were so immobile except coffey, like huddy smith muni gregg ect, that they would get beat constantly.
If belfour was on edmonton i think he would only have 1 or two cups with that team. Also take in account equipment was alot smaller as well. You said beezer ive seen beezer he was a decent positional goaltender but to me he wasnt that athletic, i dont think he would of done well. Cujo he could of done well but hes never won a big game. Ive seen him play brilliant making 60 saves in one game then when he takes over cup winning teams from year before he lays an egg in the playoffs and the teams dont want him back. About broduer i think he could of won a few cuz he was athletic enough to get across the net.
About your comment in the wide open era you said you even think some goalies of today could of even done well back then, who knows in most part you could be right. But goaltending overall has improved from the 1980's. The equipment better and bigger. Back then they didnt even have weight rooms and plyometric exercises, the new improved schools, goaltending drills ect ect like they have for the athletes today which can also make a big difference. The list goes on and on overall the goaltending now is better then ever before, you cant really compare players from different eras and how they would do in other eras. You can only compare them to the peers of the era they played for. When i looked at what grant fuhr did for the oilers in the 80's I still think he was awesome for that time and for that era. I still havent seen a reaction goaltender as fast or athletic as grant fuhr since the 1980's to the modern nhl and to me thats still sayin something.
Andrew raycroft made the best point i think about grant fuhr. In an interview he said alot of guys growing up try to emulate there idols roy brouder hasek ect. Ive heard of grant fuhr and seen him on espn classic here and there. He was a reaction goaltender with great athleticism. He stands there and just literally explodes to that one side where the puck has been shot. You have to be so fast to play that type of style I dont think anyone today could do it.

And another thing i dont think style is overrated. Some goalies play better on certain teams, certain eras, certain periods of there career, certain flow of the game, ive been analyzing goaltenders past 25-30 years and alot of that stuff makes and breaks em.
The oilers had the perfect goalie for there system and the most wide open era in nhl history. Oilers needed this kind of style http://members.tripod.com/~DragonHeart/furhpic8.html
not this kind of style.
http://www.fortunecity.com/olympia/piper/194/patrick_roy_pics.htm
As i dont think roy would of been as successful on edmonton as fuhr, I also think because of fuhr's style he would of been as good as roy if he was on montreal. Im not sayin roy or any other goalie wouldnt have won any cups maybe a couple but not 5-7 years besides of course hasek. In my opinion hasek was in the topps in the wide open era up there with fuhr, but he was also topps in the low scoring era with guys like roy and broduer he was truly unique.

oilersfan99 said...

The final paragraph I meant to say after rereading what i wrote was i dont think roy beacuse of his style would of been as successful as fuhr was on edomonton and vice versa i dont think fuhr because of his style would of been as successful as roy was on montreal.

The Contrarian Goaltender said...

Butterfly goalies are not completely helpless on breakaways and odd-man rushes. Look at shootout results, for example, there doesn't seem to be a particular style that is more effective than others. There are positives and negatives to any style, for example an athletic and explosive goalie may be more likely to make an exceptional save, but he is probably also more likely to get deked out of his jockstrap than a patient positional goaltender. Some goalies are weaker moving laterally on 2-on-1s, but they can compensate somewhat for that by being more likely to make the first save if the shooter elects to shoot. From personal experience, I know I have the most success against odd-man rushes if I move laterally in a butterfly slide. Many of today's goalies agree, which is why so-called athletic moves like pad stacks are rarely seen in the NHL today, they just aren't as efficient.

Just because Fuhr played an athletic style doesn't mean other styles wouldn't have been effective. It is often difficult to see things in any different way than they actually happened (e.g. no other team could have won that Cup, nobody else could have done what that player did, etc.), but the margins are usually a lot closer than our memories recall. The Oilers could have won by playing a more defensive style - as they did when Moog was winning games at the same rate as Fuhr, and in some of their later Cup runs, especially 1988, when they gave up much fewer shots on net. They mostly chose to play a very offensive style, but there is definitely evidence that they didn't have to, and that it was not their only way to success. Maybe with another goalie they would have altered their personnel and tactics and still had the same success, who knows?

I know your estimates aren't right with Patrick Roy, there is no way he would let in an extra goal a game facing the same shots as Fuhr. Simply no way. That would require a save percentage around .860 for Roy when the league average was .875, and Roy has been well above league average in terms of save percentage for his entire career. His stats would be worse, but not even close to that much worse.

I also disagree with your assessment of Cujo's big game abilities, which I discussed in an earlier post. His reputation as a playoff loser is almost entirely the result of team factors.

http://brodeurisafraud.blogspot.com/2007/05/cujo-choker.html

MESSIERRULES said...

DID YOU SEE GRANT FUHR ON PROS VS JOES SEASON 2 LAST YEAR? HE LOOKED 300 POUNDS, LIKE HIS PLAYING WEIGHT IN BUFFALO HAHAHAHAHAH. STILL I LOVE FUHRSY.

MESSIERRULES said...

MAN I AGREE WITH WHAT YOU SAYING ABOUT GOALIES GREATIN ALOT OF THE CREDIT, BUT IN EDMONTON IT WAS EXACT OPPOSITE FUHR DIDNT GET ENOUGH OF THE CREDIT. SO I AGREE WITH YOU ASSESSMENT ON BROUDER ECT BUT NOT WITH FUHR.

IN HIS HALL OF FAME CEREMONY DESCRIBES FUHR THE BEST.

Fuhr often never received his due because he played for a team capable of scoring on every shift and allowing a breakaway on every other.

http://www.legendsofhockey.net:8080/LegendsOfHockey/jsp/LegendsMember.jsp?type=Player&mem=P200301&list=ByName#photo

ANOTHER THING I FOUND INTERESTING WAS GRANT FUHR FIRST CAME INTO THE LEAUGE HE WORE NUMBER 1 INSTEAD OF 31 AS I WAS LOOKIN THROUGH HIS PICS AT THE HOCKEY HALL OF FAME PAGE.

http://www.legendsofhockey.net:8080/LegendsOfHockey/jsp/LegendsMember.jsp?mem=p200301&type=Player&page=gallery&list=ByName#photo

AND ALSO IN 1979 PRIOR TO GOING TO THE NHL HE WAS DRAFTED BY THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES OF MLB, BUT TURNED THEN DOWN TO PLAY IN THE NHL. IVE ALWAYS SAID HE WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST ATHLETES TO EVER PLAY THE GOALTENDING POSITION.

midi haytham said...

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كشف تسربات المياه
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راندا السيد said...

تخزين اثاث

شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض


شركة نقل عفش بالرياض


شركة رش مبيدات بالرياض


رش مبيدات

شركة مكافحة حشرات بالرياض

راندا السيد said...

شركة نقل اثاث من الرياض الى جدة
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هنا بتحط الكلمة الى انت عاوزها

تنظيف خزانات بالرياض

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تخزين عفش

شركة تنظيف واجهات زجاج بالرياض

راندا السيد said...


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كشف تسربات المياه


شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض


تنظيف خزانات

تخزين عفش


راندا السيد said...

الصفرات للتنظيف بالرياض

الصفرات لنقل الاثاث

الصفرات لكشف تسربات المياه بالرياض


الصفرات لرش المبيدات

شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض

شركة تخزين اثاث بالرياض


شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض

شركة تنظيف شقق بالرياض

شركة تنظيف فلل بالرياض

شركة رش مبيدات بالرياض

راندا السيد said...

شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض
شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة تنظيف مسابح بالرياض