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Re: Gerry Cheevers Question

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  • William Underwood
    Craig on the three issues that you brought up. As far as the Soviets go I think we can compromise, he was the best that they had faced in their limited
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 23, 2009
      Craig on the three issues that you brought up.



      As far as the Soviets go I think we can compromise, he was the best that
      they had faced in their limited experience against the NHL. I am not saying
      that he did not play as good/better than the others against them, I am only
      saying that the Soviets experience was based upon a very limited number of
      games. Had you played against Steve Penny in that one magical playoff year,
      and had only played a small number of games against NHL goalies including
      Penny, you might say "Steve Penny was the best goalie that we faced." Now I
      am NOT comparing Cheezy with Penny but what I am saying is that the Soviets
      could only speak about the small number of games that they had played
      against North American goalies. They NEVER faced Parent, had not faced
      Giacomin at that point and had only faced any of these guys a half dozen or
      so times.



      On the 1971, you are right he could have played better but again, NOBODY is
      100 % on. We see guys have off series all of the time.



      Finally regarding the Soviets versus Montreal.NO ONE is saying that the
      Soviets were not great nor saying :4 zip Habs". What I AM saying is that
      Montreal was probably AS good if not better. What the Soviets lacked was a
      couple of things. They were not physical and did not always respond well to
      a physical game. Montreal could skate AND hit, they could play well against
      the Flyers, who the Russians had trouble with or the Sabres.They also had
      specialists, the Soviets were not into doing that yet. There were guys there
      who could just shut down a team when needed. The Soviets top lines were as
      great as any in the world. But the bottom end of that line up was not as
      special. We can even see that since the Iron Curtain came down, the high end
      Russians came over and were super stars, the lower end national team guys
      were not all that amazing. And the Soviet team of the late 80's/early 90's
      had as many great players as the 70's. The Soviets had no answer to Gainey
      or Jarvis or Roberts, now there was guy who could play ANY position except
      for goal.he really could be listed as "CH" for checker.They had no answer to
      Lambert-Risebrough-Tremblay who could do a bit of everything. They played
      both ends, could hit could skate and could score. And the top two liens were
      as good as you could want. Especially once Houle joined the team and filled
      the one slight "hole" if you want to call it that on left side where they
      switched him over to play. As for the D.they were not as good as Robinson,
      Lapointe and Savard. Even the number four spot was very competently filled
      by Billy Nyrop. The Soviet blue line was really not much to write home
      about.



      We often talk about who could switch leagues and play, would North Americans
      do as well over there, well with the exception of one or two tough guys like
      Chartraw and Bouchard there is not a player on that Montreal team who could
      not have played in Russia and WELL.. Would all of the Soviet nats have been
      great over here. I don't think so.Tretiak would have been great, the top two
      lines would have had nice careers some great. But after that the lower liens
      are more debatable. And the D? Well Vasliev is the only one I am pretty darn
      sure would have been REALLY high end type good but HOF/Norris Trophy type
      good. NO! It was an unexceptional blue line. And again, we see that
      phenomenon today, Russian forwards have been GREAT, they have had some
      decent goalies but FAR fewer really exceptional D. Hence my
      statement.Montreal was at least as good maybe even better. They may not have
      been as talented as Team Canada 72 but they WERE better put together, they
      were a TEAM with REAL CHEMISTRY. And often it is the play of those
      specialists and lower line guys that can make a real difference.look at Team
      Canada, who was the guy that won things for them...Paul Henderson. A Gainey
      might not have gotten those goals but he may have prevented a Kharlamov or
      Yakushev form getting theirs.At any rate it would have been a GREAT series!




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    • PCMP
      Hi Craig,   Purely subjective, of course, but from my own recollections watching goaltenders very carefully both in the WHA and NHL in the 1970s: it could be
      Message 2 of 10 , Mar 24, 2009
        Hi Craig,
         
        Purely subjective, of course, but from my own recollections watching goaltenders very carefully both in the WHA and NHL in the 1970s: it could be argued that either Cheevers or (Ken) Dryden were the best of the era. (I don't mean to slight Ken's brother, Dave, who was a fine goalie for the WHA Oilers in the 1970s. And yes, I know, Espo and Parent and others were fabulous, too!)
         
        It can be easy to forget decades later that Cheevers was very much the 1970s media superstar, too, and his personality and demeanor made him very popular and much sought after by GMs. He was just stunning in the WHA as well as the NHL, of course. The comparison & contrasting to Dryden is very interesting, too, on both a personal level, their demeanor on the ice, and the kinds of teams they backed. I think it shows that there are many ways to play at the highest level!
         
        Which would I pick for my team? Can I have them both, lol?
         
        All for fun!
         
        Timothy Gassen
        whaRACERS.com
         
        (PS: Michel Dion is another favorite of mine from the 1970s that I saw up close many, many times...)


        --- On Sat, 3/21/09, Craig <bflynn3@...> wrote:

        From: Craig <bflynn3@...>
        Subject: [hockhist] Gerry Cheevers Question
        To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Saturday, March 21, 2009, 3:41 PM






        Recently I heard Don Cherry state that in his opinion (whatever that is worth) Gerry Cheevers was the goalie he would want in net for a "must win" game. There have been many sources that I have seen that have referred to Cheevers as a great "big game" goalie. Question to the group here is that just a legend or is it in fact a historical fact? I looked back at his career and saw the following:

        1. His first real chance at shining in the playoffs came in 1968-69. (I skipped the previous year as Boston really had no chance at all against Montreal.) In these playoffs Cheevers played superbly - picking up 3 shutouts. When the Bruins bowed out to Montreal in 6 game, the final game was a 2-1 Montreal win in double o/t. Clearly both Rogie Vachon and Cheevers played great in that game. And yet while Cheevers overall played very well I have read that he gave up two soft goals in Game 1 - a goal late in regulation time that tied the game and the winning Montreal goal in O/T was also "soft."

        2. He backstopped Boston to a Stanley Cup championship in 1969-70. He played all but one playoff game for Boston that year. The fact that the Bruins won the Cup says a lot about Cheevers (he did outplay both Eddie Giacomin and Tony Esposito in earlier rounds) but to be fair Boston probably could have had a much lesser goalie in net in the finals and still rolled over St. Louis.

        3. In 1970-71 Cheevers was the Bruins number one goalie in the playoffs. In the first round he was the reason Boston won Game 1 3-1 against Montreal as he was superb. He didn't play in Game 2 (7-5 Montreal win) and then played the rest of the series. Boston lost Game 3, 3-1 (he played well) and then Boston won the next 2 games 5-2, and 7-3. Going into Game 6 all Boston needed was a win to finish off Montreal. Well Montreal bombed Cheevers 8-3 in Game 6 and then Ken Dryden totally outplayed Cheevers in Game 7 as Montreal won 4-2. This was the series for a great "clutch goalie" to shine and I can't say that Cheevers actually did so in the final 2 games with everything on the line.

        4. Boston won the Cup in 1971-2 but Cheevers split the goaltending duties with Eddie Johnson (although Cheevers did shut New York out in Game 6 to finish the series.) But one must wonder - had Tom Johnson lost some confidence in Cheevers going into the playoffs that year.

        5. The next big chance for Cheevers came in the 1974 Canada/Soviet Summit series. And he came through in a big way. Playing against the best team on the planet and with the entire hockey world watching he may have played the best hockey of his life. After that series the Soviets called him the best goalie they had ever faced. So there is a great argument right there for him being a great "clutch" goalie.

        6. The next big event or opportunity for Cheevers came in the 1976 Canada Cup and he never left the bench. Clearly Scotty Bowman didn't have a great deal of confidence in him.

        7. The Bruins made the finals the next 2 years and lost to power house Montreal teams. You can't blame Cheevers for those losses as outside of the Soviet National Team I really don't think any team could have beaten Montreal.

        8. In the 1979 Challenge Cup Cheevers was in net for 3rd and deciding game against the Soviets. And with everything on the line he and the NHL All-Stars were bombed 6-0. And then in the 1979 playoffs Cherry yanked him out of the lineup after 2 lopsided losses to Montreal and he never got back in. Again this makes me question this reputation as a great "clutch" goalie.

        Anyway does anyone have any other thoughts or examples they could share regarding this reputation of Cheevers?

        Craig

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      • arnilate99
        For a stats-based analysis of goalies, here is a good start: http://brodeurisafraud.blogspot.com/
        Message 3 of 10 , Mar 25, 2009
          For a stats-based analysis of goalies, here is a good start:

          http://brodeurisafraud.blogspot.com/

          --- In hockhist@yahoogroups.com, PCMP <purplecactusmedia@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi Craig,
          >  
          > Purely subjective, of course, but from my own recollections watching goaltenders very carefully both in the WHA and NHL in the 1970s: it could be argued that either Cheevers or (Ken) Dryden were the best of the era. (I don't mean to slight Ken's brother, Dave, who was a fine goalie for the WHA Oilers in the 1970s. And yes, I know, Espo and Parent and others were fabulous, too!)
          >  
          > It can be easy to forget decades later that Cheevers was very much the 1970s media superstar, too, and his personality and demeanor made him very popular and much sought after by GMs. He was just stunning in the WHA as well as the NHL, of course. The comparison & contrasting to Dryden is very interesting, too, on both a personal level, their demeanor on the ice, and the kinds of teams they backed. I think it shows that there are many ways to play at the highest level!
          >  
          > Which would I pick for my team? Can I have them both, lol?
          >  
          > All for fun!
          >  
          > Timothy Gassen
          > whaRACERS.com
          >  
          > (PS: Michel Dion is another favorite of mine from the 1970s that I saw up close many, many times...)
          >
          >
          > --- On Sat, 3/21/09, Craig <bflynn3@...> wrote:
          >
          > From: Craig <bflynn3@...>
          > Subject: [hockhist] Gerry Cheevers Question
          > To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
          > Date: Saturday, March 21, 2009, 3:41 PM
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Recently I heard Don Cherry state that in his opinion (whatever that is worth) Gerry Cheevers was the goalie he would want in net for a "must win" game. There have been many sources that I have seen that have referred to Cheevers as a great "big game" goalie. Question to the group here is that just a legend or is it in fact a historical fact? I looked back at his career and saw the following:
          >
          > 1. His first real chance at shining in the playoffs came in 1968-69. (I skipped the previous year as Boston really had no chance at all against Montreal.) In these playoffs Cheevers played superbly - picking up 3 shutouts. When the Bruins bowed out to Montreal in 6 game, the final game was a 2-1 Montreal win in double o/t. Clearly both Rogie Vachon and Cheevers played great in that game. And yet while Cheevers overall played very well I have read that he gave up two soft goals in Game 1 - a goal late in regulation time that tied the game and the winning Montreal goal in O/T was also "soft."
          >
          > 2. He backstopped Boston to a Stanley Cup championship in 1969-70. He played all but one playoff game for Boston that year. The fact that the Bruins won the Cup says a lot about Cheevers (he did outplay both Eddie Giacomin and Tony Esposito in earlier rounds) but to be fair Boston probably could have had a much lesser goalie in net in the finals and still rolled over St. Louis.
          >
          > 3. In 1970-71 Cheevers was the Bruins number one goalie in the playoffs. In the first round he was the reason Boston won Game 1 3-1 against Montreal as he was superb. He didn't play in Game 2 (7-5 Montreal win) and then played the rest of the series. Boston lost Game 3, 3-1 (he played well) and then Boston won the next 2 games 5-2, and 7-3. Going into Game 6 all Boston needed was a win to finish off Montreal. Well Montreal bombed Cheevers 8-3 in Game 6 and then Ken Dryden totally outplayed Cheevers in Game 7 as Montreal won 4-2. This was the series for a great "clutch goalie" to shine and I can't say that Cheevers actually did so in the final 2 games with everything on the line.
          >
          > 4. Boston won the Cup in 1971-2 but Cheevers split the goaltending duties with Eddie Johnson (although Cheevers did shut New York out in Game 6 to finish the series.) But one must wonder - had Tom Johnson lost some confidence in Cheevers going into the playoffs that year.
          >
          > 5. The next big chance for Cheevers came in the 1974 Canada/Soviet Summit series. And he came through in a big way. Playing against the best team on the planet and with the entire hockey world watching he may have played the best hockey of his life. After that series the Soviets called him the best goalie they had ever faced. So there is a great argument right there for him being a great "clutch" goalie.
          >
          > 6. The next big event or opportunity for Cheevers came in the 1976 Canada Cup and he never left the bench. Clearly Scotty Bowman didn't have a great deal of confidence in him.
          >
          > 7. The Bruins made the finals the next 2 years and lost to power house Montreal teams. You can't blame Cheevers for those losses as outside of the Soviet National Team I really don't think any team could have beaten Montreal.
          >
          > 8. In the 1979 Challenge Cup Cheevers was in net for 3rd and deciding game against the Soviets. And with everything on the line he and the NHL All-Stars were bombed 6-0. And then in the 1979 playoffs Cherry yanked him out of the lineup after 2 lopsided losses to Montreal and he never got back in. Again this makes me question this reputation as a great "clutch" goalie.
          >
          > Anyway does anyone have any other thoughts or examples they could share regarding this reputation of Cheevers?
          >
          > Craig
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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