Sunday, November 12, 2006

Potvin vs McLean: Who was better?








Temujin got me thinking about this last night, as a group of us were watching the Canucks/Flames game. I don't even know how the subject came up, but we threw out our opinions on who we thought was better, The Cat or Captain Kirk. Of course, since I am a Leafs junkie, I said Potvin. Temujin took the side of McLean.
So, for your viewing pleasure, and to hopefully put the issue to rest, here are some statistics of both goaltenders.

NHL REGULAR SEASON GAMES PLAYED
Potvin: 635.......McLean: 612......Advantage: Potvin

REGULAR SEASON WINS
Potvin: 266.......McLean: 245......Advantage: Potvin

REGULAR SEASON WINNING PERCENTAGE
Potvin: .419%.....McLean: .400%....Advantage: Potvin

GOALS AGAINST AVERAGE (CAREER REG. SEASON)
Potvin: 2.76......McLean: 3.26.....Advantage: Potvin

SHOTS AGAINST PER GAME
Potvin: 28.1......McLean: 27.5

SAVE PERCENTAGE
Potvin: .905%.....McLean: .887.....Advantage: Potvin

SHUTOUTS
Potvin: 32........McLean: 22.......Advantage: Potvin

ASSISTS
Potvin: 16........McLean: 23.......Advantage: McLean

And now for the playoffs...

GAMES PLAYED
Potvin: 72........McLean: 68.......Advantage: Potvin

WINS IN THE PLAYOFFS
Potvin: 35........McLean: 34.......Advantage: Potvin

PLAYOFF WINNING PERCENTAGE
Potvin: .486%.....McLean: .500%....Advantage: McLean

GOALS AGAINST AVERAGE IN PLAYOFF CAREER
Potvin: 2.64......McLean: 2.84.....Advantage: Potvin

SHOTS AGAINST AVERAGE PER GAME
Potvin: 30.1......McLean: 31.4

SAVE PERCENTAGE
Potvin: .910......McLean: .907.....Advantage: Potvin

SHUTOUTS
Potvin: 8.........McLean: 6........Advantage: Potvin

Assists
Potvin: 0.........McLean: 6........Advantage: McLean

Statistically, by my calculations, Felix Potvin owns Kirk McLean, with a score of 11-3, over the span of their careers. Not even close, folks. Yet there are so many other categories that can be used to compare them.
* Kirk McLean led the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1994. In the semis, the Nucks beat the Leafs, with yup, Felix Potvin in goal. Potvin never accomplished a Finals series. Advantage: McLean.
* In October 1993 with the Leafs, Potvin tied the NHL record for most wins in October with 9. That tied Kirk McLean's record from October 1991. That record was finally broken by Manny Legace and the Wings in 2005.
Potvin also held the record for most saves in a season (1996/97) at 2214. That record was eventually broken by Roberto Luongo in the 2003-04 season.
Kirk McLean still shares the single playoff season record for most minutes played by a goaltender with 1544, accomplised in 1994 obviously.
McLean holds 3 Canuck records for most games played by a Canuck goalie (516), Most wins by a Canuck goalie (211), and most shutouts by a Nuck backstopper (20).
For everything RECORDS, I say McLean has the advantage.

*MOST WINS IN ONE SEASON
Potvin: 34 (93/94).......McLean: 38 (91/92)......Advantage: McLean

Who was tougher? Felix Potvin. Need proof?

The best single game performance? Piece of cake. Kirk McLean in Game 1 of the 1994 Finals.
I liked Potvin's butterfly style better than McLean's stand up style. Both goalies were hacked for their respective styles. Potvin played too far back in his net, and went down all the time, making him vulnerable with high shots to the corners. McLean looked like a dying breed with his stand up style later in the 90's, as players were blowing slapshots through his legs, and beating him easily on wraparounds as well (remember Gretzky?)

Without even being biased as a Leafs fan, I think Potvin has the edge as the better goalie overall. If you disagree with me, please comment on this post and state why. Your opinions are welcome.

4 Comments:

At November 12, 2006 at 8:41 PM , Blogger Temujin said...

Well, if you're basing it purely on stats...

Potvin doesn't have much of an edge in the playoff stats categories, his stats are not much better than McLean's.

From the period of 90-95, the Canucks had three second round losses in the playoffs, one first round loss, and the trip to the finals. During the same stretch, the Leafs missed the playoffs twice, then Pat Burns led the to the third round twice, and they lost in the first round of 94-95, which led to the demise of Burns :-(

I think we can all agree that Pat Burns got a raw deal!

 
At November 12, 2006 at 10:39 PM , Blogger Zanstorm said...

Ok, so Kirk had those years, but I'm not just referring to Potvin with the Leafs. He had a lot of success in LA as well, including a 1st round upset of the super-powered Red Wings. By then, McLean was begging for a dollar on the streets because his career was over.

But you see what I mean tho, right? Potvin was a better goalie.

 
At November 13, 2006 at 3:26 PM , Blogger Temujin said...

I forgot about that upset against the Wings!

So what happened after he got traded from the Kings? I forget :-)

In 97-98 and 98-99 Mclean went a combined 13-12-5 in 37 games on a shitty Panthers team. His Save % was right around .900 and his GAA was a respectable 3.00 (give or take).

McLean played for 15 years, although the last four were in the back-up role. His longevity was certainly greater than Felix's, who played a mere 13 seasons, the last two of which were as a back-up (essentially).

I guess I'd have to give the advantage to Felix overall, but nothing he did ever topped Mclean in 1994.

SO THERE! NYAH!

 
At November 13, 2006 at 3:47 PM , Blogger Zanstorm said...

It's funny how the memory of McLean in 1994 overshadows anything else he ever did or didn't accomplish.
I still watch his performance against the Rangers especially, and it blows my mind to this day.
His stand up style worked so well, but I could never imagine that style ever coming back again.

 

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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.