Being Stanley Cup time, TSN compiled the Top 10 Greatest Stanley Cup Goals of All Time. As well as being fun to watch, I thought posting it was warranted because I wanted everyone to watch the goalies, particularly the older footage from the ’70’s and ’80’s.
After watching, does anyone (for a second) think today’s goalies, with the butterfly and/or hybrid goaltending systems, would have allowed a goal on most of these? Not taking anything away from the offensive players, but the goaltending deserves scrutiny.
#10 – Bob Frose – falls on his butt in an attempt to make the save. Wow. How about a simple movement to become square (term never used in ’85) and drop to the butterfly?
#9 – Mike Vernon – No type of style or system would neccessarily help a goalie in this example. The key is Vernon is too far oustide of his crease. We’ll always tell you to be aggressive when an attacking player is out-maned by defense, but, this was a bit extreme and poor judgement on Vernon’s part.
#8 – Bob Frose (again) – Where to begin on this one… maybe it was pad stack instead of a butterfly slide? Maybe it was his choice to not square up to the puck (again). Could even be the shaky movement from intial position to the pad stack? Basically it was all of the above in Frose’s glorious attempt at stopping the puck. Today, a simple move to become square to the shot and then saving the puck with the glove or chest would have done the job.
#7 – Billy Smith – it hurts me to bag on Smith. He may be my all-time favorite but this is the main reason the “kick save” never made it out of the ’80’s. Great shot, but, a drop into the butterfly or 1/2 butterfly would have sufficed.
#6 – Gerry Cheevers – I remember watching Gerry “Cheesy” Cheevers when I was a young kid but it has been a while. Let’s begin with depth, a concept Cheesy did not seem interested in as Robinson came flying down the rink. He is essentially 18 inches off the goal line on a semi-breakaway. Gerry, your team is looking for a save on this play and needs you at the top of the crease. Also, as Robinson is blowing by your defense, the team needs you to try and put your body between the puck and the net. I know chest and arm protection was minimal in the ’70’s but you needed to take one for the team on this shot. Today with the combination of vastly increased protection in pads along with the current goalie system of playing, the puck would never have found the back of the net.
#5 – Ron Hextall – 10 years ago this year. Hextall decided to simply drop to the ice hoping McCarty would lose the puck and/or skate into him. Considering the attacking player was Darren McCarty, it’s hard to blame Hextall. He, like the rest of the watching public, was probably astonished McCarty actually stickhandled past someone. But… today’s goalie is instructed to move with the attacking player and should have made the save. Although… let’s admit, seeing McCarty blow by anyone is “highlight reel” material.
#4 – Mikka Kiprusoff – the only goal in the Top Ten since the 1997 McCarty goal. Hmmm…. interesting. Sweet stickhandling in the corner from the great Vinny, but, the shot is routine and should have been saved. Kipper should have been better and, I’m sure, wanted this back.
#3 – Ed Belfour. Simply, this is Jagr at his best (and the clip did not even show the entire play from when Jagr originally got the puck). No system would stop a goalie’s jaw from hitting the ice after watching his defense look this foolish by an attacking Jagr. This could be the best individual (Jagr… really??) effort leading to a goal that has ever happened in the game of hockey.
#2 – Jon Casey – what decent goalie today would play Mario like this??? Let’s go over the mistakes: 1. 5-hole wide open; 2. Showing Mario and the whole world your poke-check intentions while Mario is still 15′ away; 3. Actually trying to poke check the greatest 1-on-1 player of all. Answer, no one. Not just “no one” in the NHL. I mean NO ONE. This is not an argument for adaptation of implementing a goaltending system. This is a case of terrible goalie decision making.
#1 – Glenn Hall – The goal many consider the greatest of all-time regardless of time of year. Hall is standing up and then turns his right pad towards the boards and drops his left knee to make the save Did he just try to catch the puck his is legs?. This, shall we say, with all respect due to one of the best in history, is not how pucks are saved. Today, the goalie would have been in his crouch against the post and simply dropped to his knees (being square) to save the puck.
Ten goals considered the best in Stanley Cup history. I say at least seven would have been saved by any NHL goalie in the last ten years because goalies now use a discplined system implemented either when they were growing up and/or their full-time goalie coach.
And the NHL wants to increase scoring by reducing the size of the goalie pads again….
Yeah, that will work.