|Добавлено: Суббота, 24 Мар 2007 16:45:26
|Dryden's award-winning career somewhat out of sequence
Dryden's award-winning career somewhat out of sequence
Evan Weiner | NHL.com correspondent Mar 24, 2007, 12:00 PM EDT
Ken Dryden is the one player who won the Conn Smythe Trophy before winning the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.
In NHL annuals, there seems to be an anomaly. There is one player who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Stanley Cup Playoffs' top performer and then won the Calder Trophy as the League's top rookie the following season.
That player was Ken Dryden who led the Montreal Canadiens to an upset victory over the defending champion Boston Bruins in the opening round of the 1971 playoffs and the Canadiens went on to beat Chicago to win the Cup. The next season, Dryden was the League's top rookie.
Dryden was called up to the Canadiens in March and played in six games at the end of the ’71 season. Montreal won all six games with Dryden, allowing just 1.65 goals against per game. He was coach Al MacNeil's surprise choice to start the playoff series against Boston.
The Bruins had Phil Esposito, Bobby Orr, Johnny Bucyk, Ken Hodge, Wayne Cashman and Fred Stanfield. They were a scoring machine. The Bruins also had home ice advantage.
Little of that mattered to Dryden, who in 1964 was drafted by the Bruins. Dryden decided to go to Cornell University and the Bruins traded his rights to Montreal with Alex Campbell for Guy Allen and Paul Reid on June 28, 1964. Almost seven years later, Dryden almost single-handedly beat the team that originally drafted him.
"You top a Conn Smythe with a Stanley Cup," said Dryden about winning a Conn Smythe Trophy, then the Calder Trophy. "A Stanley Cup trumps everything. But that was great.
"The Stanley Cup is a showcase for goaltending. It is the best occasion that any goaltender can have to play goal in because it is in a Stanley Cup when all energy, all attention is there. And when it isn't quite there, then the defense suffers.
”You can always play offense. In a midseason game, the offense is always there. It's the defense that suffers. When the playoffs begin, that's what picks up. So, the goaltender, instead of having the obstructed shot, gets the unobstructed shot. Instead of getting the rebound or the second rebound, he gets the first shot. Instead of getting a shot in front of the net, he has a shot from an angle.
"It is the goaltender’s chance to shine and, happily for me, I had a chance to do it."
Dryden had a huge opportunity in Game 7 against the Bruins and came up big.
"Sure," he said before starting his next thought. "The goalie is the most visible guy on the ice. When things are going well, you get more than your share of attention. When they go badly, you get more than your share of abuse. That's the way it goes."
Dryden played in all 20 playoff games that spring, including two seventh games -- against Boston and in Chicago. Two tough rinks, and he survived both.
The Canadiens were knocked out of the 1972 playoffs by the New York Rangers in six games in the opening round. In 1972-73, Montreal finished first in the East with a 52-10-16 record and beat Buffalo, Philadelphia and Chicago to win the Cup.
Dryden sat out the 1973-74 season in a contract dispute with Montreal management and spent his time as a law clerk in Toronto. He returned the next year and the Canadiens finished 14 points better than the team did without Dryden. Yet, Buffalo beat Montreal in the semifinals.
Dryden would play four more seasons and was part of the last great Montreal Stanley Cup run of four-straight titles between 1976-79.
Oddly enough, Dryden never viewed the 1971 Bruins series or beating Minnesota and Chicago to win the Stanley Cup or the Conn Smythe as his career highlight.
The 1972 Canada-Soviet Summit Series was far more important to him, followed by the 1976 Stanley Cup championship.
"In fact, there was one Stanley Cup, the first of our four that really meant more to me I think than any of them," he said. "We had not won for a couple of years, the Flyers had and we just decided that we were going to find a way of winning that year.
Dryden never viewed either the Conn Smythe or the Calder Trophy as his career highlight.
”We chased (Philadelphia) all year and chased them into the playoffs and beat them four straight and that's my favorite of all of our Stanley Cups."
The Canadiens were 58-11-11 that year. The following season, Montreal won 60, lost eight and tied 12. Dryden joked; "We lost 10 or 11 that year, it was a bad year."
Dryden was a five-time Vezina Trophy winner as the League's top goaltender, was a first-team All-Star five times and made it once as a second-team All-Star. He rang up some incredible numbers during his career. He won 258, lost 57 and tied 74. He had 46 shutouts and a 2.23 goals-against average. In the playoffs, he won 80 and lost just 32, had 10 shutouts and a 2.40 GAA. In all, he was part of six Cup championship teams.
The 1971 playoff performance and the 1972 season lead to an invite to Team Canada in 1972.
"Really my fondest, most memorable time -- the thing that sticks the most -- is the 1972 series. That leaves everything else in its dust easily," said the Hall of Fame goaltender. "You never know that in the context, but as time passes, all of those things became a lot clearer to you. Some memories fade and others don't. That's the way 1972 is for me.”
Dryden had a mediocre series against the Soviets. He was in goal for Game 8 in Team Canada’s 6-5 victory which gave Canada the Summit Series victory. He played in four games and allowed 19 goals.
Dryden and Soviet goaltender Vladislav Tretiak have been linked for nearly 35 years because of that series, which is probably more responsible for the international growth of North American sports than any other event. It opened the door for the NHL and other sports leagues to bring their game to other parts of the world.
“It’s a nice link,” said Dryden. “It was a tough link at the time. He was a great goalie and was very frustrating to us more often than we would have liked. But that’s one thing that happens over time is that you realize it is those good opponents like Tretiak, like the Soviets, for me on the Canadiens, like those who played on the Bruins.
Those were the good opponents. Those were the people that forced you to be as good as you can be, that brought about your best and worst and most memorable moments. Once a career is over, most of those other moments disappear and it is those that you are left with and you are grateful for having them.”
Dryden’s No. 29 was retired by the Canadiens on Jan. 29, 2007. Of all of his achievements, there is one that will most likely never be topped: Winning the Conn Smythe Trophy and then the Calder Trophy.
Teams rarely call up a rookie in March who becomes so prominent in a Stanley Cup run. But Al MacNeil rolled the dice with a rookie in goal and won a Cup.
Dryden went onto a Hall of Fame career; MacNeil, on the other hand, did not parlay his Stanley Cup into a long coaching career.
MacNeil, who took over from Claude Ruel in the middle of the 1970-71 season, had a falling out with Canadiens star Henri Richard in the finals after he benched Richard. MacNeil resigned after winning the Cup.
He would later coach the Flames to some success, but his biggest contribution to the Canadiens came long after he was gone. Ken Dryden won five more Cups after MacNeil quit as coach.
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