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

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  • 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 1 of 10 , Mar 6, 2011
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      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 2 of 10 , Mar 6, 2011
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        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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