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Thursday, August 8, 2019

Lost Cards: 1987-88 OPC Glenn Resch

  The best New York Islanders goalie in the 70s was not Billy Smith, but Glenn "Chico" Resch.  Chico consistently outplayed Billy in the regular season, but was part of a few disappointing early exits for the Islanders as the decade came to a close.  Which is why one is in the HHOF and the other is one of the most underrated goalies of the 70s/80s.
  Resch was property of the Montereal Canadiens, as one of the last players under the old sponsorship program.  Feeling his chances of making the NHL were not a guarantee, he opted to get educated and accepted a scholarship with at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.  Resch guided the university to it's first ever post-season win in 1971, and was selected to the WCHA 2nd All-Star team.  He attended the 1971 Montreal Canadiens training camp but the team was engorged with young goaltender talent, including rookie Ken Dryden, whom had led them to a Stanley Cup the previous spring.  Resch also found himself behind his idol Rogie Vachon, Phil Myre, Wayne Thomas and Michel Plasse.  The Canadiens had six goalies under contract who we all between the ages of 22 and 26.
  Resch was sent to the Muskegon Mohawks of the IHL to play the 1971-72 season.  Resch won multiple awards including top goalie and rookie of the year.  His play, and the voice of junior coach Bob Turner, drew the attention of New York Islanders GM Bill Torrey.  The Isles and Habs swung a trade that saw four players, including Resch and veteran goalie Denis Dejordy, head to the Island in exchange for a 2nd round draft pick, whom the Habs used to select Glen Goldup.
  Resch would spend two more seasons in the minors, including a brief call-up in 1973-74, before making the NHL for good in 1974-75 season.  Resch was in the back-up role for the regular season, but was given the starters gig in the play-offs.  Then he lost it to Smith, then Smith lost it to Resch.  Resch led the Islanders to an improbable run that included a 3-0 comeback against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the quarter-finals, and then almost duplicating the feat in the semi-finials, pushing the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, the Philadelphia Flyers, to seven games.  The Islanders lost in the Stanley Cup semi-finals in four out of five years from 1975 to 1979.

1974-75 OPC Glen Resch Variant (RC)

  In the six seasons leading upto the Islanders 1980 Stanley Cup victory, Glenn and Billy Smith posted remarkable similar regular season numbers.  Although Resch was twice selected as a 2nd Team All-Star.

Query Results Table
Rk Player Tm From To Active GP W L T/O GA SA SV SV% GAA GA%- SO MIN GPS
1Glenn ReschNYI197419806248138614260069386338.9142.4977221445057.3
2Billy Smith*NYI197419806248121665164868716223.9062.7484131421351.5
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/23/2019.

  It was the play-offs, in particular the failings, that has Smith in the HHOF and Resch traded into wasteland of the Colorado/New Jersey franchise.  Looking at the five post-season runs leading up to the 1980 Cup win, Smith had been outplayed by Resch overall.

Query Results Table
Rk Player Tm Pos From To Active GP W L GA SA SV SV% GAA GA%- SO PIM MIN
1Billy Smith*NYIG19741979530161182863781.9052.88941381705
2Glenn ReschNYIG19741979534171574932858.9212.3780241874
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/23/2019.

  After the play-off success of 1974, the inability to reach the Stanley Cup final the next four seasons were viewed as disappointments.  In particular was the 1978 play-offs, in which the Islanders didn't win a round.  Resch started all seven games against the Toronto Maple Leafs.  He allowed four in the first period of game 6 before being pulled, and then allowed the overtime series winning goal to Lanny McDonald, at home, in game 7 to complete the upset.
  The following post-season, Smith and Resch split starts.  Although their play was similar, Resch lost three games to Smith's one and was in between the pipes in the game six loss to the New York Rangers.  It was another shocking upset and yet another season the Islanders failed to advance to the Stanley Cup finals.
  The 1980 playoffs started off like the previous season, with Smith and Resch alternating starts.  Smith and the Islanders easily beat the Los Angles Kings 8-1 in the series opener.  Resch struggled in game two, allowing 6 goals in 20 minutes of play as the Islanders lost 6-3.  Resch would be benched as Smith started all but one of the remaining games in the Islanders play-off championship run.  The other game Resch started was a 2-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

1980-81 OPC Glenn Resch Variant

  The following season, the Islanders, convinced they would go with Smith in play-offs, and encouraged by the play of rookie Roland Melanson, traded Resch to the Colorado Rockies.  Billy Smith and Islanders would go onto win the Stanley Cup three more times.  Resch and the Rockies would move to New Jersey to become the Devils.  Resch played in the heyday of the Mickey Mouse Organization.  Resch went on to lead the league in losses twice, once as a Rockie and once as a Devil. His GAA with the Rockies/Devils would be 4.10.

1981-82 OPC Original and Reboot
  Glenn was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers late in the 1985-86 season.  In a season and a bit with the Flyers, in limited play, he posted a GAA of 2.97.  He still had it.
  In Resch's last NHL season, he backed-up Calder winner, Ron Hextall, and accompanied the team to the 1987 Stanley Cup finals.  Along the way, Resch played an integral part of play-offs pre-game brawl that would change NHL rules.  The Flyers lost the Finals in seven games to the Edmonton Oilers.
  Resch would get a sorry looking airburshed job in the 1986-87 OPC set.  As a Resch fan, it was not justice.  So created a career capping Lost Card of Glenn Resch for the 1987-88 OPC set.

1987-88 OPC #269 Glenn Resch

1987-88 OPC #269 Glenn Resch

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