Billy Smith vs. Grant Fuhr

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by arrbez, Aug 15, 2006.

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  1. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    2 HOF goalies, who are always said to have "made the big save when it counted" (which secretly means that they would let in a first period stinker every once in a while ;) )

    Both backstopped dynasties to 4 Stanley Cups (I'm not sure if Fuhr technically won a 5th in 1990, but at any rate he didn't play).

    Fuhr has a first and second team all star selection, Smith had a first team and a Conn Smyth. Both have a Vezina (in the modern sense of the trophy).

    Who was better?
     
  2. Bring Back Bucky

    Bring Back Bucky Registered User

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    Good question arrbez. Fuhr has that large faction of haters, but don't believe their shizzle- he was a great netminder who tended for a team who won with a style unlike any other. Smith was fantastic as well, though I always hated his guts. I can't choose.
     
  3. Trottier

    Trottier Very Random

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    Two great money goalies.

    To me, Fuhr was the epitome of the anti-HF netminder.

    That is, he didn't have the shiniest GA, Sv% and other individual stats for which some fans live for, and misguidedly use to judge netminders. (And, respectfully, regular season awards and the like are pretty meaningless when evaluating both of these guy's careers.)

    All Fuhr did was make the save(s) that won games. Period. Consistently.

    Billy Smith, to me, is the best playoff goalie ever, or at least in my lifetime. It is fair to say that were it not for his post-season play, he would not be in the HHOF. He was a solid NHL netminder, October-March. Come springtime, he was on another level altogether.

    I'm with BBB - neither answer is wrong. (And that's not a copout.)
     
  4. Cawz

    Cawz Registered User

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    Good question. This is like the Sakic / Yzerman comparison. Its a tie.
     
  5. xeric716x

    xeric716x Born To Expire

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    Fuhr in my opinion
     
  6. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    I'll take Chico and Moog.








    As 2 of the best back-ups ever! Who was the better of those 2?
     
  7. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    Good question. I too think it could be seen as a tie.

    But he really impressed me his first year in St. Louis when Fuhr started all 79 games as a 34 year old before getting injured just before the playoffs. The next season too.

    I think Fuhr, Smith and Brodeur are on par, made better because of the skaters in front of them, but very good in their own right. Brodeur has the stats because of Lou's defensive philosophy, and he is more consistent, less likely to let in the soft goal, but unlikely to make spectacular saves often either.

    None of them are in the class of Roy, Hasek, Plante,... but no doubt they were WINNERS!
     
  8. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    Fuhr is #21 on my list, Smith is #29. Their ratings are very close but Fuhr wins by a bit.
     
  9. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    What? A relevant comparison thread of HF Boards? Nice work, arrbez.

    To reiterate what was stated earlier, you can make a valid case for either goalie. And they're so similar in terms of their mentality: 6-0 win? Hey, that's great. 6-5 win? Hey, that's great. We won, right? That's all that matters. And when you needed that big save, or series of saves, in the third period, they were as close to a sure thing as there was in hockey. Gerry Cheevers is another goalie who only cared about one stat: winning.

    I think if something were to push Fuhr over the top, it's the way he rebounded in the 1995-96 season. The two previous seasons were about as bad as it could get for an HHOF netminder. But I don't think there was a player who meant as much to his team's fortunes in 1995-96 than Grant Fuhr. (And no, I'm not the guy who gave Fuhr a first-place vote in Hart balloting that year). Fuhr was magnificent, showing the endurance and determination that were trademarks of his first few seasons in the league.

    One of the things that's always amazed me about Smith was his regular season play. An all-star only once. Never won more than 32 games. Never played more than 58 games. But once the playoffs hit, the man was an unflappable winning machine.
     
  10. arrbez

    arrbez bad chi

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    Just every once in a while, to mix things up ;)

    once you're done this, please post your oppinion in my Steve Yzerman vs. Felix Potvin thread...
     
  11. ScaredStreit

    ScaredStreit Registered User

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    Two great goaltenders, both of them in my oppinion are heavily underrated. They each have backstopped dynasties-and they're still never even in the top 10 goalies of all time when people make the lists! I'd say it's a draw, but I'll go with Smith because of his postseason play, and well because I'm a little bias :sarcasm: .
     
  12. Slats432

    Slats432 Registered User

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    As an Oiler fan, don't buy into the Fuhr hype. He made lots of big saves....but let in tons of softies.

    Battlin Billy for me...in a walk.
     
  13. Changeiscoming

    Changeiscoming Rebooting myself Sponsor

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    I would love to say Fuhr

    But he let alot of bad goals in and his off ice antics does hurt him

    Billy NO BS SMith wins

    and I am from Edmonton
     
  14. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    Thing is, as good as they are, they really aren't top 10.

    It's close for sure. Both two of the best clutch goalies. But, I have to go with Smith. Why? 1983. Smith was the leader and best player of a cup winning team. Fuhr never did that. Problem, in his prime, Fuhr never had to do that. But still, you have to judge players on what they did, and Smith lead a team to the cup while Fuhr enabled other players to lead them to a cup.
     
  15. Psycho Papa Joe

    Psycho Papa Joe Porkchop Hoser

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    Agreed. Smith's 1983 playoff is the tie breaker for me. He held the Oilers, a team scoring well in excess of 5 goals a game to about 2 goals a game and swept them 4 straight. An absolutely incredible accomplishment, and probably the single greatest series I have ever seen a goalie play.
     
  16. Jimmi McJenkins

    Jimmi McJenkins Sometimes Miracles

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    I'll say this

    If I needed a starting goalie to ride for a season, I'll take Fuhr hands down.

    If I needed to win one big game, I would take Smith
     
  17. Murphy

    Murphy Registered User

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    What an interesting comparison. My favourite all-time goalie against my most disliked.

    Head to head they had there battles and pretty much came out even. The nod for goes to Fuhr for his Canada Cup performances.
     
  18. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Its tough. Fuhr won a Vezina in '88 and was also 2nd in Hart Trophy voting. Smith won a Vezina in '82. Fuhr as some people may not know has 423 wins and under 300 losses thats a great record. Smith has what might be the best winning % of any goalie all time in the playoffs (I'm not sure but I think). I like Smith's play in the '83 playoffs. He more than anyone stole that Cup from the Oilers.

    But then you have 1987. We all remember the Canada Cup. ANd it is best remembered for the Gretzky to Lemieux pass and it should be. But in those final three games vs. the Soviets Fuhr was great. Sure it was three 6-5 games. But in Game 2 he was unstoppable in OT. That game went to double OT and if you remember the Soviets outplayed a tired Team Canada. Fuhr made save after save against all the SOviet stars, and with confidence too. Anyone who doubts he's a HOFer, should watch the tape of that game. He WASNT going to let in the winning goal. Sure there may have been times when he let in a goal he shouldnt have. But take a guy like Ron Hextall who may have a better career GAA but he let in some untimely soft goals in his career, FUhr I cant think of a time when he did.

    But Fuhr vs. Smith. I still dont know. Flip a coin and hope it lands on its side
     
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