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Re: [hockhist] Re: Mike Liut and the 1981 Canada Cup

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  • Craig Wallace
    Lloyd, As always a great post! From what I remember and what I have read since, Mike Liut didn t have a stellar tournament. Having said that he did play ahead
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 3, 2011
      Lloyd,

      As always a great post!

      From what I remember and what I have read since, Mike Liut didn't have a stellar tournament. Having said that he did play ahead of both Billy Smith (and what was the story on him by the way - he seemed very sour about the whole Canada Cup) and Don Edwards. How did they look in the pre-tournament games and training camp I wonder?

      Going back to my original post I can't blame Liut for the debacle in the last game. His defense was awful (both Denis Potvin and Ray Bourque played terrible in particular) and the forwards did no back-checking. Watching that highlight reel I posted I'd have to say that Gerry Cheevers playing like he did in the 74 Summit may have kept the game to a score of maybe 5-1. I don't think Liut can be blamed for this loss seeing as as great an offensive machine hockey has ever seen was turned loose on him and he had no support.

      Craig





      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Lloyd Davis
      To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sunday, February 27, 2011 12:28 PM
      Subject: Re: [hockhist] Re: Mike Liut and the 1981 Canada Cup



      After Canada's semifinal victory over the U.S., Sports Illustrated
      (September 21, 1981) ran this quote from Anatoli Tarasov:

      "To say I'm impressed wouldn't be telling the truth. Your goalie [Mike
      Liut] isn't so great."

      A Canadian Press story printed in the Regina Leader-Post (September 8,
      1981) suggested that Liut was "shaky" on two of Sweden's goals in
      their round-robin meeting.

      Eric Duhatschek wrote in the Calgary Herald (September 14, 1981) that
      "Team Canada, from Liut on out, simply, quietly and effectively quit"
      against the Soviets.

      Perhaps it would be appropriate to question why Bowman didn't go with
      his own goalie, Don Edwards, who had beaten the Soviets in the round
      robin, and was in the net for Buffalo in a 6-1 win over CSKA Moscow in
      1980.

      The 1984 choices are easily explained, if not defended. In '83-84, the
      only Canadian goalies with better save percentages were the Islanders'
      Melanson and Smith. (Not that coaches and GMs were looking at that in
      those days.) Smith was the #1 goalie on the island, and he showed in
      '81 he didn't want to be there, so it's doubtful he was even
      considered in '84. So Lemelin was a worthy choice.

      Fuhr's inclusion was a given. He was the goalie for the Stanley Cup
      champions, and would appear to have already gained his reputation as a
      money goalie. Besides which, Sather & Co. were calling the shots.
      Peeters had put up some gaudy numbers and won the Vezina in '82-83. Of
      interest is an Associated Press story that was published in the Bangor
      Daily News on September 18, 1984. It described Peeters' performance in
      a 4-2 loss to Sweden as the latest in a "long line of weak efforts in
      clutch situations" by Peeters. It said that "his shaky play
      contributed to [the Flyers'] losing the Stanley Cup to the New York
      Islanders" in 1980, and that he "played poorly" for Boston in the 1983
      semifinals against the Isles. But in the finals against Sweden, he was
      being touted as a key to Canada's success. The headline above a Red
      Fisher story in The Gazette on September 17 read "Team Canada flat but
      not Peeters." So I guess Peeters picked the right time to live up to
      his Vezina.

      The committee of GMs that handled the invitations for Team Canada 1987
      consisted of Bobby Clarke, Phil Esposito, Glen Sather and Serge
      Savard. Even if Fuhr and Hextall hadn't been Stanley Cup finalists,
      Clarke and Sather would certainly have been championing their
      inclusion on the final roster. Roy was the fourth goalie, and despite
      his performance in '86, he wasn't the Habs' #1 goalie in the 1987
      playoffs. Coach Jean Perron had gone with Brian Hayward late in the
      season, and according to Sports Illustrated (May 18, 1987), Roy had
      been "practicing halfheartedly." He appeared in only 6 of the
      Canadiens' 17 playoff games, putting up a 4.00 GAA and .873 save
      percentage.

      It was pretty clear that Fuhr was Keenan's choice as #1 goalie --
      didn't he play every minute of the tournament? -- and Hextall was 1A.
      Did it even matter who the #3 goalie was? Sure, Mike Liut was the
      second team all-star in 1987, but he was also highly beatable in the
      '87 playoff series against Quebec, and the Whalers lost that series to
      a team 20 points behind in the standings.

      There's a lot to be said about Bill's suggestion regarding Hrudey:
      probably a guy with a good attitude who wouldn't get his nose out of
      joint sitting in the press box for a month. Still, capable enough
      should the roof cave in and he did have to play.

      Hrudey had also played very well in the 1987 playoffs, including that
      129-minute marathon in game 7 against Washington where he made 73
      saves. The Islanders then faced Philly in the division final, which
      went the full seven games. Clarke and Keenan might've remembered that.





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • William Underwood
      I can t let Liut go that easily Craig! He had a 5 hole that looked a lot like the Holland Tunnel that gamer and let several softies in.when a D is off top
      Message 2 of 10 , Mar 4, 2011
        I can't let Liut go that easily Craig! He had a 5 hole that looked a lot
        like the Holland Tunnel that gamer and let several softies in.when a D is
        off top goalies do the impossible, they make up for it at least to a degree,
        he did not. A goalie who only plays well when his D just plays a position he
        is not a true clutch goalie., non clutch. Now I am NOT saying that a goalie
        has to be big when a D is bad and yes the D can be blamed for a lot but one
        also can say that when a D is off that is when a top guy comes through like
        Dryden did in 71 when Espo called him and "Octopus" or how Tretiak kept the
        Habs at bay on New Years Eve, in what was one of the best goalies
        performances I have ever seen. You make the big save and you DON'T let
        questionable stuff past you. That night Liut remedied of me a joke in Philly
        about Hextall later in his career."did you hear that Hextall was almost hit
        by a bus..but it went right between his legs."And the Soviets spotted
        it..low through the wickets. No Canada did not play well in that Cup final
        and the team selection process changed from pure all star team to looking
        more for chemistry but at the same time Liut was HUGE part of it. He should
        have been out of there. When a team has no confidence that goalie will make
        a stop they lose confidence in themselves. And this was an all star team
        that only knew how to play one type of game as a group.



        While Liut was not the only issue he was a big part of it. Had he played
        better the Sovs may still have won but they would not have made it the
        debacle that it was. I remember watching that game and just groaning over
        what he was letting in and it was just so obvious how they were doing it. If
        each goal was some checker board across to a guy on the back side with an
        open cage it would be one thing, it was not.these were largely stoppable
        shots ones that you would say a top guy would stop. For grant Fuhr having a
        lot of decent shots was just another night's work the way the Oilers
        attacked. I don't blame Smitty form being bitter.he was Cup winning goalie
        who should have been tossed there! And had a guy who liked the hook like
        Mike Keenan been coaching he would have been! One can't be an apologist for
        Liut because there is no apology for it, the guy didn't try to play awful
        but he sure did and made a bad night snow ball into a disaster plain and
        simple. If Tretiak put in on New Years Even in Montreal the best goaltending
        performance I have ever seen in a game like that Liut's was easily its
        counterpart as the WORST. Simply put, no Liut perhaps Canada loses but by a
        civilized 3-1 but the actual box car score, well you could put "A Mike Liut
        Production" on the title of the tape. :-)



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Craig Wallace
        Bill, Our points of view are not really very different here. All I was saying was Mike Liut didn t have a good game that night. A goalie can t say he played
        Message 3 of 10 , Mar 6, 2011
          Bill,

          Our points of view are not really very different here.

          All I was saying was Mike Liut didn't have a good game that night. A goalie can't say he played well if he gave up 8 goals in a game. (The exception is a CIS game I watched in the 1984-85 season between University of Western Ontario and Ryerson University. Western won 9-0 and had over 80 - that's right - 80, shots. The Ryerson goalie was brilliant.)

          Anyway he didn't have a great game, no doubt about it. But again, looking at the Soviet goals I'd still argue that Dominic Hasec playing in his 1998 Olympic form would not have stopped many of them. Maybe he keeps the score to 5-1. But no goalie, regardless of how good, can keep a team as good as that Soviet team off the score board or even close when he has been abandoned by his defense and forwards. I remember watching that game and while not being impressed with Liut I also remember telling my sister who was with me that the Canadian forwards and defense had quit and had thrown Liut to the wolves. Look at Gretzky out there or Lafleur or the Islander line. After the first period they were just floating - they played awful. Bourque and Potvin stunk while the rest of the defense quit as well. What could Liut do?

          And to go back to a point I made earlier. Doesn't it seem a tad harsh to blame Liut for this one game? After all he had played the Soviets before and played well against them. Compare that to Ken Dryden. The first 3 times he faced the Soviets (once with the Nats and Games 1 and 4 of the 72 Summit) he was bombed - he played horrible. He played well in Game 6 and was average, at best in Game 8. He was terrible in the New Years Eve game of 1975. He played below average to average in the 1979 Challenge Cup. And yet people seem to forget that and hammer Liut for one bad game.

          Craig




          ----- Original Message -----
          From: William Underwood
          To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Friday, March 04, 2011 10:40 AM
          Subject: [hockhist] Re: Mike Liut and the 1981 Canada Cup



          I can't let Liut go that easily Craig! He had a 5 hole that looked a lot
          like the Holland Tunnel that gamer and let several softies in.when a D is
          off top goalies do the impossible, they make up for it at least to a degree,
          he did not. A goalie who only plays well when his D just plays a position he
          is not a true clutch goalie., non clutch. Now I am NOT saying that a goalie
          has to be big when a D is bad and yes the D can be blamed for a lot but one
          also can say that when a D is off that is when a top guy comes through like
          Dryden did in 71 when Espo called him and "Octopus" or how Tretiak kept the
          Habs at bay on New Years Eve, in what was one of the best goalies
          performances I have ever seen. You make the big save and you DON'T let
          questionable stuff past you. That night Liut remedied of me a joke in Philly
          about Hextall later in his career."did you hear that Hextall was almost hit
          by a bus..but it went right between his legs."And the Soviets spotted
          it..low through the wickets. No Canada did not play well in that Cup final
          and the team selection process changed from pure all star team to looking
          more for chemistry but at the same time Liut was HUGE part of it. He should
          have been out of there. When a team has no confidence that goalie will make
          a stop they lose confidence in themselves. And this was an all star team
          that only knew how to play one type of game as a group.

          While Liut was not the only issue he was a big part of it. Had he played
          better the Sovs may still have won but they would not have made it the
          debacle that it was. I remember watching that game and just groaning over
          what he was letting in and it was just so obvious how they were doing it. If
          each goal was some checker board across to a guy on the back side with an
          open cage it would be one thing, it was not.these were largely stoppable
          shots ones that you would say a top guy would stop. For grant Fuhr having a
          lot of decent shots was just another night's work the way the Oilers
          attacked. I don't blame Smitty form being bitter.he was Cup winning goalie
          who should have been tossed there! And had a guy who liked the hook like
          Mike Keenan been coaching he would have been! One can't be an apologist for
          Liut because there is no apology for it, the guy didn't try to play awful
          but he sure did and made a bad night snow ball into a disaster plain and
          simple. If Tretiak put in on New Years Even in Montreal the best goaltending
          performance I have ever seen in a game like that Liut's was easily its
          counterpart as the WORST. Simply put, no Liut perhaps Canada loses but by a
          civilized 3-1 but the actual box car score, well you could put "A Mike Liut
          Production" on the title of the tape. :-)

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Craig Wallace
          Bill, Our points of view are not really very different here. All I was saying was Mike Liut didn t have a good game that night. A goalie can t say he played
          Message 4 of 10 , Mar 6, 2011
            Bill,

            Our points of view are not really very different here.

            All I was saying was Mike Liut didn't have a good game that night. A goalie can't say he played well if he gave up 8 goals in a game. (The exception is a CIS game I watched in the 1984-85 season between University of Western Ontario and Ryerson University. Western won 9-0 and had over 80 - that's right - 80, shots. The Ryerson goalie was brilliant.)

            Anyway he didn't have a great game, no doubt about it. But again, looking at the Soviet goals I'd still argue that Dominic Hasec playing in his 1998 Olympic form would not have stopped many of them. Maybe he keeps the score to 5-1. But no goalie, regardless of how good, can keep a team as good as that Soviet team off the score board or even close when he has been abandoned by his defense and forwards. I remember watching that game and while not being impressed with Liut I also remember telling my sister who was with me that the Canadian forwards and defense had quit and had thrown Liut to the wolves. Look at Gretzky out there or Lafleur or the Islander line. After the first period they were just floating - they played awful. Bourque and Potvin stunk while the rest of the defense quit as well. What could Liut do?

            And to go back to a point I made earlier. Doesn't it seem a tad harsh to blame Liut for this one game? After all he had played the Soviets before and played well against them. Compare that to Ken Dryden. The first 3 times he faced the Soviets (once with the Nats and Games 1 and 4 of the 72 Summit) he was bombed - he played horrible. He played well in Game 6 and was average, at best in Game 8. He was terrible in the New Years Eve game of 1975. He played below average to average in the 1979 Challenge Cup. And yet people seem to forget that and hammer Liut for one bad game and he never got another shot, while Dryden got numerous chances to redeem himself.

            Craig
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: William Underwood
            To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Friday, March 04, 2011 10:40 AM
            Subject: [hockhist] Re: Mike Liut and the 1981 Canada Cup



            I can't let Liut go that easily Craig! He had a 5 hole that looked a lot
            like the Holland Tunnel that gamer and let several softies in.when a D is
            off top goalies do the impossible, they make up for it at least to a degree,
            he did not. A goalie who only plays well when his D just plays a position he
            is not a true clutch goalie., non clutch. Now I am NOT saying that a goalie
            has to be big when a D is bad and yes the D can be blamed for a lot but one
            also can say that when a D is off that is when a top guy comes through like
            Dryden did in 71 when Espo called him and "Octopus" or how Tretiak kept the
            Habs at bay on New Years Eve, in what was one of the best goalies
            performances I have ever seen. You make the big save and you DON'T let
            questionable stuff past you. That night Liut remedied of me a joke in Philly
            about Hextall later in his career."did you hear that Hextall was almost hit
            by a bus..but it went right between his legs."And the Soviets spotted
            it..low through the wickets. No Canada did not play well in that Cup final
            and the team selection process changed from pure all star team to looking
            more for chemistry but at the same time Liut was HUGE part of it. He should
            have been out of there. When a team has no confidence that goalie will make
            a stop they lose confidence in themselves. And this was an all star team
            that only knew how to play one type of game as a group.

            While Liut was not the only issue he was a big part of it. Had he played
            better the Sovs may still have won but they would not have made it the
            debacle that it was. I remember watching that game and just groaning over
            what he was letting in and it was just so obvious how they were doing it. If
            each goal was some checker board across to a guy on the back side with an
            open cage it would be one thing, it was not.these were largely stoppable
            shots ones that you would say a top guy would stop. For grant Fuhr having a
            lot of decent shots was just another night's work the way the Oilers
            attacked. I don't blame Smitty form being bitter.he was Cup winning goalie
            who should have been tossed there! And had a guy who liked the hook like
            Mike Keenan been coaching he would have been! One can't be an apologist for
            Liut because there is no apology for it, the guy didn't try to play awful
            but he sure did and made a bad night snow ball into a disaster plain and
            simple. If Tretiak put in on New Years Even in Montreal the best goaltending
            performance I have ever seen in a game like that Liut's was easily its
            counterpart as the WORST. Simply put, no Liut perhaps Canada loses but by a
            civilized 3-1 but the actual box car score, well you could put "A Mike Liut
            Production" on the title of the tape. :-)

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Lloyd Davis
            And if the coach at Ryerson (then still a Polytechnic Institute) was the one I used to have to deal with (Jim Cairns), he probably told the guy from the campus
            Message 5 of 10 , Mar 6, 2011
              And if the coach at Ryerson (then still a Polytechnic Institute) was
              the one I used to have to deal with (Jim Cairns), he probably told the
              guy from the campus paper that Western got a couple of softies and his
              boys missed a couple of chances. Complexion of the game might've been
              totally different. (Yeah, they'd have lost 7-2.)


              On 6-Mar-11, at 10:59 AM, Craig Wallace wrote:

              > All I was saying was Mike Liut didn't have a good game that night. A
              > goalie can't say he played well if he gave up 8 goals in a game.
              > (The exception is a CIS game I watched in the 1984-85 season between
              > University of Western Ontario and Ryerson University. Western won
              > 9-0 and had over 80 - that's right - 80, shots. The Ryerson goalie
              > was brilliant.)
            • William Underwood
              I think that there were two major differences. 1-You see I don t think that all of those 8 goals were that great. They found a weakness and swarmed in it.the 5
              Message 6 of 10 , Mar 6, 2011
                I think that there were two major differences.



                1-You see I don't think that all of those 8 goals were that great. They
                found a weakness and swarmed in it.the 5 hole. Yes they were great shooters
                but a great goalie could have stooped several of those shots better as we
                saw from the guy at the other end of the ice against some pretty great
                Canadian shooters.he WAS a great goalie..who I NEVER saw play that bad in a
                key game not even the US game where he was pulled.for the record I never
                have thought he should have been pulled, I would have tugged out Liut after
                bad goal number two.A cont5rast.Tretiak was MVP and all star in 81 Liut was
                what he was.greatness versus relative (in this company at this level)
                mediocrity.

                2-Dryden was a DOMINANT goalie in the NHL. U can't think of any point in his
                career where I would have hesitated to call him one of the top two or three
                in the league. He won far more big games than he lost and some were actually
                competitive. Can I say the same of Liut? DEFINITELY not on the first
                account! Top half dozen ok but not top three more time than not. In 84 it
                was debatable and even more so in 87. As for clutch play..where were his
                huge playoff year? Only twice in his entire career was he under 3.00 G post
                season. Now you may say he was never on great teams.but wouldn't expect a
                truly great goalie which is what a Team Canada goalie SHOPULD be to raise
                his team up and make them go a round or two further than they deserved to
                normally like even a Halak did last year? Dryden did it as a rook. Parent
                was THEW reason Philly won two cups. Smith was a KEY part of 4 Cup runs. And
                Fuhr, well it was Fuhr that allowed the Oilers to play their game.I have met
                ex players form those teams overt the year and they all say it. Even little
                Andy Moog did it. He only ever made two NHL All Star teams over his career
                and 1st team on only one of them.



                Simply put Craig even if he had won that game I doubt he would have gotten a
                second shot. That era in 1981 was transition al era for goalies. The greats
                of the 70's were gone or declining and the greats of the 80's really were
                not there yet. There was a greatness gap and into it walked Liut not because
                he was great but because it was era where you did not have to be great..Why
                would they have wanted him in 84? There were better men out there and in 87
                doubly so. The last time he had been an NHL all star had been in 81 the
                spring before that calamity. Pete Peeters, Grant Fuhr, Billy Smith, Pat
                Riggin and Rollie Melanson had all made all star teams in the meantime.
                Fuhr, Smith and Melanson each had won Cups. Liut never even made an NHL all
                star game after 81. In 87 he was a second team all star but Fuhr had just
                won three of the past four Cups, Hexy was the 1st team all star, Conn Smythe
                and Vezina winner. The best that you could argue is for a number three slot
                and get to do what Hrudey did.sit and watch.



                He was just never that good that it was amazing that he never got another
                chance. In fact had he been born 5 years earlier or later he would NEVER
                have gotten ANY chance. He was not a bad goalie and in fact was a VERY good
                NHL goalies, but he just was never that amazing as to say "he is an all time
                great or a dominant guy for his time" whereas other guys were. We are
                talking Team Canada here which is a MUCH higher standard. Yes Dryden had his
                bad nights but you always could say "he is one of the best in the game" same
                with Tretiak for that matter. When Liut had a bad night you were not exactly
                saying that. Nor did he do anything to make anyone think he was better or
                even as good as those taken over him. Had the same happened to say Dryden.I
                would say "you are right, he was a great goalie who should have been back
                just look at all he has done." I just can't say the same of Liut.Again even
                if Liut had won it in 81 I would have thought there were better men for the
                job in 84 and 87. The most that can be argued is maybe for the purely
                honorary position of number 3/bench warmer/practice goalie and even there it
                is no slam dunk. What happened in 91 did not help him but you know
                something.had he won a Vezina or two or had a few great playoffs or won a
                Cup or won more or less ANYTHING really special between 81 and 84 he would
                have still been selected. People would have seen him as being more like
                Dryden but the fact is that he didn't. It was less that bad game in 81 that
                folks saw but more "what have you done lately to make us forget it or to
                warrant selection over other guys?" The answer was "blessed little."



                _____

                From: Craig Wallace [mailto:craigw@...]
                Sent: Sunday, March 06, 2011 4:18 PM
                To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [hockhist] Re: Mike Liut and the 1981 Canada Cup



                Bill,



                Our points of view are not really very different here.



                All I was saying was Mike Liut didn't have a good game that night. A goalie
                can't say he played well if he gave up 8 goals in a game. (The exception is
                a CIS game I watched in the 1984-85 season between University of Western
                Ontario and Ryerson University. Western won 9-0 and had over 80 - that's
                right - 80, shots. The Ryerson goalie was brilliant.)



                Anyway he didn't have a great game, no doubt about it. But again, looking at
                the Soviet goals I'd still argue that Dominic Hasec playing in his 1998
                Olympic form would not have stopped many of them. Maybe he keeps the score
                to 5-1. But no goalie, regardless of how good, can keep a team as good as
                that Soviet team off the score board or even close when he has been
                abandoned by his defense and forwards. I remember watching that game and
                while not being impressed with Liut I also remember telling my sister who
                was with me that the Canadian forwards and defense had quit and had thrown
                Liut to the wolves. Look at Gretzky out there or Lafleur or the Islander
                line. After the first period they were just floating - they played awful.
                Bourque and Potvin stunk while the rest of the defense quit as well. What
                could Liut do?



                And to go back to a point I made earlier. Doesn't it seem a tad harsh to
                blame Liut for this one game? After all he had played the Soviets before and
                played well against them. Compare that to Ken Dryden. The first 3 times he
                faced the Soviets (once with the Nats and Games 1 and 4 of the 72 Summit) he
                was bombed - he played horrible. He played well in Game 6 and was average,
                at best in Game 8. He was terrible in the New Years Eve game of 1975. He
                played below average to average in the 1979 Challenge Cup. And yet people
                seem to forget that and hammer Liut for one bad game and he never got
                another shot, while Dryden got numerous chances to redeem himself.



                Craig

                ----- Original Message -----

                From: William <mailto:wausport@...> Underwood

                To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com

                Sent: Friday, March 04, 2011 10:40 AM

                Subject: [hockhist] Re: Mike Liut and the 1981 Canada Cup





                I can't let Liut go that easily Craig! He had a 5 hole that looked a lot
                like the Holland Tunnel that gamer and let several softies in.when a D is
                off top goalies do the impossible, they make up for it at least to a degree,
                he did not. A goalie who only plays well when his D just plays a position he
                is not a true clutch goalie., non clutch. Now I am NOT saying that a goalie
                has to be big when a D is bad and yes the D can be blamed for a lot but one
                also can say that when a D is off that is when a top guy comes through like
                Dryden did in 71 when Espo called him and "Octopus" or how Tretiak kept the
                Habs at bay on New Years Eve, in what was one of the best goalies
                performances I have ever seen. You make the big save and you DON'T let
                questionable stuff past you. That night Liut remedied of me a joke in Philly
                about Hextall later in his career."did you hear that Hextall was almost hit
                by a bus..but it went right between his legs."And the Soviets spotted
                it..low through the wickets. No Canada did not play well in that Cup final
                and the team selection process changed from pure all star team to looking
                more for chemistry but at the same time Liut was HUGE part of it. He should
                have been out of there. When a team has no confidence that goalie will make
                a stop they lose confidence in themselves. And this was an all star team
                that only knew how to play one type of game as a group.

                While Liut was not the only issue he was a big part of it. Had he played
                better the Sovs may still have won but they would not have made it the
                debacle that it was. I remember watching that game and just groaning over
                what he was letting in and it was just so obvious how they were doing it. If
                each goal was some checker board across to a guy on the back side with an
                open cage it would be one thing, it was not.these were largely stoppable
                shots ones that you would say a top guy would stop. For grant Fuhr having a
                lot of decent shots was just another night's work the way the Oilers
                attacked. I don't blame Smitty form being bitter.he was Cup winning goalie
                who should have been tossed there! And had a guy who liked the hook like
                Mike Keenan been coaching he would have been! One can't be an apologist for
                Liut because there is no apology for it, the guy didn't try to play awful
                but he sure did and made a bad night snow ball into a disaster plain and
                simple. If Tretiak put in on New Years Even in Montreal the best goaltending
                performance I have ever seen in a game like that Liut's was easily its
                counterpart as the WORST. Simply put, no Liut perhaps Canada loses but by a
                civilized 3-1 but the actual box car score, well you could put "A Mike Liut
                Production" on the title of the tape. :-)

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