Were the 90's the greatest era of Goaltenders?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Mcnotloilersfan, Apr 16, 2018.

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  1. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    IMO Roy and Hasek are at a different level than any of the other goalies named. Take those two out of the league and there’s not much to choose between the 1970s, 1990s and 2010s. But much like Gretzky and Lemieux being in the league at the same time, the twin generational talents push everyone else down a notch.
     
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  2. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    It’s not as though those guys were just ignorant. Of course they understood the butterfly position. You can watch film from the 1950s of Terry Sawchuk using a butterfly whenever the puck was in close.

    Why didn’t they use it all the time? Well, you tell me how eager you’d be to drop into a butterfly 50 times a game with no support for your knees, heavy horsehair pads weighing you down, wafer thin chest and arm pads barely covering you, and a one-piece fiberglass mask lying flat against your cheeks. A full time butterfly would have been a great strategy for ending up on IR.
     
  3. Seanaconda

    Seanaconda Registered User

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    Yeah but he's closer to the bottom three than the forth is to the top three
     
  4. Bluesguru

    Bluesguru Registered User

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    I agree, some great goalies out there from all eras.
     
  5. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    The O6 goalies from the era before the two goalie system was introduced.

    Jacques Plante, Terry Sawchuk, Glenn Hall, Harry Lumley, Johnny Bower and others.

    Glenn Hall played 502 consecutive complete RS games without a mask. All regularly played 3 games in 4 nights, at times 4 in 5 yet all registered SV% numbers that would be the envy of modern goalies.
     
  6. blood gin

    blood gin Registered User

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    Goaltending to me was more fun in the 80's. And yes these guys got absolutely peppered and scored on and shot blocking and responsible D was an afterthought, but great saves back then were GREAT SAVES. If you got a shutout in the 80's you absolutely worked for it. This was robo butterfly padzilla stuff these guys were really going above and beyond to make saves.

    There's an Instagram page called 80's goaltendinng which shows snippets of games back then and just what these guys had to deal with.
     
  7. Wingsfan 4 life

    Wingsfan 4 life Registered User

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    Going by decade, best era is 50's for me. 70-80% less teams than the 90-00's and still have 5 HOFers Sawchuk, Plante, Hall, Worsley and Lumley as starters for the majority/all of the decade and still have another one in Bower starting his NHL run and 2 more in Rayner and Broda ending theirs that decade.

    Sawchuk had 80 shutouts that decade. Yea, he's my favourite goalie, had to put that in there.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
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  8. quoipourquoi

    quoipourquoi Goaltender

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    I think in terms of name value, maybe, but there's too many times where the star goaltenders of the early-1990s didn't show up until April for the final stretch of the decade. A lot of Vezina nominations were left up for grabs for non-HOFers, even though the final rounds of the playoffs often came down to the marquee goaltenders and Detroit.

    Belfour (RS/Playoffs)
    1994: .906/.921
    1995: .906/.923
    1996: .902/.929
    1997: .901
    1998: .916/.922
    1999: .915/.930

    Joseph (RS/Playoffs)
    1994: .911/.905
    1995: .902/.865
    1996: .886
    1997: .907/.911
    1998: .905/.928
    1999: .910/.907

    Roy (RS/Playoffs)
    1994: .918/.930
    1995: .906
    1996: .908/.921
    1997: .923/.932
    1998: .916/.906
    1999: .917/.920

    Only two top-5 save percentages in a given regular season between them.
     
  9. billybudd

    billybudd 1for the other thumb

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    ???

    On topic, felt like there were more outliers then. The difference between #1 and #15 strikes me as a lot more extreme then than it would be today. Right now there's an enormous blob of "very good" that extends to backups and, in some cases, even the AHL.

    Part of that probably has to do with the low-end rising. There are no Kelly Hrudeys starting on a playoff team. Closest might be Elliott, but I'd vastly prefer him to Hrudey, just speaking for myself. Without 8 or 9 of Hrudey (and worse than him on the bench for 15-20 teams) one could argue that it would have been more difficult for a Brodeur (or whoever) to stand out from the pack so much.
     
  10. Boxscore

    Boxscore #OldNHL

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    Considering Roy, Hasek and Brodeur are 3 of the top 5 goalies of all-time on many lists, I think we can declare their era the best.

    That said, I think the 70's had the most colorful and enjoyable goalies to watch - Vachon, Dryden, Cheevers, Parent, Giacomin, Gratton, Esposito, Bouchard, Maniago, etc. Due to the equipment size, many of those old tenders had to be acrobats, sans Parent, and were so much fun to watch. Not to mention, they had the coolest masks!
     
  11. quoipourquoi

    quoipourquoi Goaltender

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    But with Sawchuk (1929), Plante (1929), and Hall (1931) on the table? And Brimsek (1915), Broda (1914), and Durnan (1916) right before that?

    We were blessed for a good ~25 years there from those two sets.
     
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  12. Datsyukian Deke

    Datsyukian Deke Is Holland gone yet?

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    Goalies in the 90's did have to go up against a vast amount of offensive firepower & talent throughout the league during that decade, so it definitely was fun to watch it on display at that time.
     
  13. Sergei DRW

    Sergei DRW Registered User

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    Tretiak always stressed that conditioning is a top priority for a goalie. His preparation techniques are probably now copied by the majority of goaltender coaches, no?
    Tretiak played in the same equipment or worse as his Canadian counterparts, because USSR teams weren't as well supplied as the Canadian teams, yet he played the butterfly all the time.
     
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  14. Claude Pepe Lemieux

    Claude Pepe Lemieux There is nothing in my way that can stop me!

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    LOL at Osgood :laugh::laugh::laugh:

    It's always hard to compare different eras. But with Roy, Hasek and Brodeur all playing in the 90's, it's hard to argue it was not the greatest era of goaltenders when these three are often considered as the top 3-5 goalies of all time.
     
  15. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    Not really, Tretriak played a hybrid style. Acrobatic. Yes he did employ elements of the Butterfly but it wasnt a full time dealeo..... As for his equipment.... as a youth coming up no, I rather doubt he had access to the kind of quality & protection (such as it was which wasnt great) those of us in North America did however.... by the time he was playing elite, enlisted, he had access to & was supplied with equipment that was every bit as good, indeed, using a Cooper Waffle Board Blocker & so on.... And yes, your quite right that many of his dryland & on-ice training techniques were adopted by Goalie Coaches, using them as the basis for training young goalies in Finland, Sweden etc... In North America not so much during the 70's & early 80's however by the mid-to-late 80's, the Butterfly School, various Tretriak, Russian techniques adopted, employed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
  16. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    Well, like I said, goaltenders of that era weren't ignorant.

    Half an hour of Tretiak highlights here:


    Clearly, Tretiak was well aware of the butterfly as a save selection. And considering he was one of the most famous goaltenders in the world, so was anyone else who watched him play.

    Likewise, anyone who watched Tony Esposito starring in the NHL was fully aware that the butterfly was a useful save selection.

    So why did goalies of that era not use it all the time? I would submit that the answer is in the video you posted:

    [​IMG]

    Look at how Tretiak's pads are positioned in this butterfly drill -- face down on the ice, with his leg on top. Modern goalie pads rotate forward so that the knee sinks into a "landing gear" flap which did not exist in 1970s-style goalie pads.

    Even the king of the butterfly Patrick Roy grew up doing a Tretiak-style butterfly with pads face-down against the ice.

    [​IMG]

    Note that if you watch early video of Roy, he uses this as a save selection but also quite consistently uses pad stacks and other standup-style techniques as well. But by the time he came into the NHL (this image is from 1985) there are landing gear flaps sticking out of the upper roll area in order to catch him safely in a modern butterfly position, with pads facing forward:

    [​IMG]

    And sure enough, within a few short years Roy had perfected the butterfly with forward-facing pads and his knees cradled in his landing gear -- this was not possible before the advent of modern pad design. It's also important to note that during the same period of time, goalie pads and chest protectors began to be manufactured with 1980s-style polymer plastics which weighed a fraction of the old leather/stuffing pads, and goalie masks went through a transition that protected the throat more than ever before.

    [​IMG]


    By the time you get to the modern day, goalie pads have nearly as much protection in the landing-gear area as they do on the front face.

    [​IMG]

    This is absolutely vital to the modern butterfly -- it is the reason goalies are able to drop their knees to the ice 50 times a game without breaking a kneecap. It also takes a lot of the force off their hips and thighs, preventing wear-and-tear injuries that would inevitably result from playing this style in old school pads.

    Just to reiterate -- pre-1990s goalies spent their entire youth and young adulthood on the ice. They were not ignorant of the notion that you could drop to the ice to make a save. There was a very good reason that nobody (not even pioneers like Tretiak and Roy) did this as a full-time style until the mid 1980s.
     
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  17. BraveCanadian

    BraveCanadian Registered User

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    Great post. It is too bad that no matter how many times this is pointed out, we still get people saying "goalies sucked" before.
     
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  18. quoipourquoi

    quoipourquoi Goaltender

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    Disagree on just one part, tarheelhockey: Allaire's "Hockey Goaltending For Young People" was published in 1983. It was in response to this and his practice of the technique in Sherbrooke that the modification to the equipment to allow for greater rotation and less vulnerability began. It became almost a science for him and Roy - who was already an almost unknowing practitioner before. That he abandoned double pad stacks was an Allaire influence.
     
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  19. quoipourquoi

    quoipourquoi Goaltender

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    One pad face down, one pad elevated, sharp skates to push off. We talk about the padding, but the key to the butterfly's transition from save selection to a complete style was the changeover from goaltenders using dull skates for lateral movement to instead sliding on padding with a sharper skate to create motion from the butterfly position.

    The rotation of the pads and Roy playing Dr. Frankenstein with his equipment was subsequent to the original goal: generating additional movement from a position that offered better percentages than standing upright.

    Not saying that you've characterized it as a thoughtless technique brought about solely by equipment changes, but you can give me a pair of Jacques Plante's pads, and I could play the Sherbrooke butterfly in them. Not the save selection; the whole style. Because it's a philosophy of skating. Just sharpen my skates and give me a few weeks to work on my leg strength.
     
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  20. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    ^ Good post and I like the observation about skate sharpness to create motion, particularly the front-and-back motion that is much more common today. That's an adjustment from earlier eras which could have occurred independent of changes to pad structures.

    To your point about Roy having been a butterfly goalie prior to meeting Allaire, it's helpful to know that he originally (pre-Allaire) modeled his game after Dan Bouchard, goalie for the Flames and then the Nords during the 1970s. His name is not particularly familiar to your average hockey fan, but he quietly put up some excellent seasons in Atlanta. Roy picked up his butterfly style as a teenager, at around the same time Allaire was studying it as a university student.

    Funny thing, the summer after Roy had his legendary 1986 playoff run, Bouchard was coaching a goalie school in Quebec. At that camp, a teenager named Pete Smith showed Bouchard some gloves he made at home. That launched Smith's career as an innovator of goalie pads to specifically fit the butterfly style. A couple of years later, Smith invented what could fairly be called the first pair of modern goalie leg pads, seen below, and sold them to Tom Barrasso.

    [​IMG]

    That set of pads, and Barrasso's high profile success with them, fundamentally changed the way goalie pads have been constructed since.

    Smith was also responsible for two of the critical technologies that have enabled butterfly to become prominent since 1990 -- the hinged, rotating pad which enables face-forward butterfly with a flat seal along the ice, and the fully integrated landing gear (as opposed to simply sewing foam flaps to the inside of the pad) which hit the market in the early 2000s and allowed goalies like Giguere to play full-time on their knees. Everything we've seen since then, from Giguere to Lundqvist to Price, has been a ripple effect of that technology and accompanying changes in technique.

    Maybe the easiest way to see this progression is in the statistics of Patrick Roy himself. While he certainly benefitted from world class coaching, we can presume that his physical abilities and stylistic preferences were more or less constant throughout his career. But if we look at his save percentages, we see what he accomplished with more or less traditional pads (.890-.900 range) to 90s era pads (.900-.915 range) to fully modernized 00s-era pads (.920-.925 range), mirroring the progression of global save percentage over that same time period. Given the extreme consistency in his game, and given that the changes in his technique from ages 25-40 can be chalked up mostly to changes in equipment, that helps us quantify in a very approximate way the impact of changes in technology even after the introduction of the butterfly principle is accounted for.
     
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  21. SealsFan

    SealsFan Registered User

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    I'll see your Darren Puppa and raise you Darcy Wakaluk~!! Can I get a Jarmo Myllys?
     
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  22. Sugi21

    Sugi21 Registered User

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    Do I have a Jarmo Myllys? Go fish.. do you have a Bob Essenssa?
     
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  23. SealsFan

    SealsFan Registered User

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    I'll trade you an Essensa for a Peter Sidorkiewicz...
     
  24. Doctor No

    Doctor No Registered User

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    How about Ross McKay?
     
  25. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    ... ya, pretty much this qpq... really from each generation there are 3-4-6 + excellent Goaltenders who in their own way have contributed to the evolution of how the position has played combined with both individual & or team success. To elevate one era over the other just isnt on in my book. At any given time regardless the # of teams in the NHL (then you also need to get into Minor-Pro, Senior & International & consider all of that, totally different schools in some cases but of equal import) just all kinds of outstanding Goalies. Even the much maligned Goaltenders of the late 70's & early to mid-80's. The easy answer is the post WW2 through 67 era, thats the easy answer but its not the right answer. There is no right answer as their all equal. Different as the games changed, but equal. Not a fan myself of the BF but I appreciate it, respect the guys, and some greats amongst them.
     

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