Jim Robson Division Playoff: #4 Oilers vs. #5 Salmon Kings

VanIslander
11-22-2006, 11:03 AM
As part of the All-Time Draft #6 post-draft analysis we are having fantasy playoff head to head matches, beginning with the 4th and 5th ranked teams in each division, as judged based on initial general perceptions and analyses of the 20 draft g.m.s. Now is the time to look closely at how these all-time greats would do against a real, well hypothetically real, opponent.

Feel free to submit observations and analyses. Especially by the team g.m.s and anyone familiar and/or willing to examine the teams in the context of a playoff series. Please refrain from making sweeping final judgements. Analyses and commentary are encouraged. Voting will be via PM to Nalyd Psycho on Sunday and Monday before midnight eastern time. Until then, take time to reflect...

Jim Robson Division:
#4 vs. #5


Edmonton Oilers

Head Coach: Bob Johnson

Ilya Kovalchuk - Ted Kennedy - Glenn Anderson
Brian Sutter - Darryl Sittler - Lanny McDonald
Bob Gainey - Brent Sutter - Claude Provost
Vic Hadfield - Dave Poulin - Didier Pitre
Don McKenny

Pierre Pilote - Butch Bouchard
Leo Boivin - Babe Pratt
Babe Siebert - Ted Green
Jimmy Roberts

Terry Sawchuk
Frank Brimsek
Charlie Hodge


Salmon Kings

Head Coach: Pat Quinn

Luc Robitaille - Sergei Fedorov - Brett Hull
Sid Abel - Joe Nieuwendyk - Mike Gartner
Bill Mosienko - Anders Hedberg - Joe Mullen
Kevin Stevens - Vladimir Martinec - Ulf Nilsson
Pete Mahovlich

Scott Niedermayer - Brian Leetch
Lars-Erik Sjoberg - Teppo Numminen
Mattias Ohlund - Mark Tinordi
Ken Daneyko

Patrick Roy
Pelle Lindbergh
Olaf Kolzig

Transplanted Caper
11-22-2006, 11:11 AM
It's going to be a helluva goaltending battle :amazed:

VanIslander
11-22-2006, 11:36 AM
The Salmon Kings might want to re-align their defensive pairings because the top four offensive defensemen should have trouble keeping Oiler forwards like the Sutter brothers, Sittler and Lanny and even opportunistic Anderson away from the front of the net, frustrating Patrick who likes to see pucks coming and is known to scream at defenders to get players out of the *** way! Do the Salmon Kings have the muscle and size defensively to clear the crease? How many garbage goals and broken plays will benefit the Oilers, and will the Oilers be able to handle the quick puck movement up the ice on the Salmon Kings transition game?

Murphy
11-22-2006, 11:53 AM
Ahhh...Playoffs, the best time of the year.

I see the Sutter line matching up against the Federov Line, Robitaille and Hull aren't going to get a sniff around the net this round.

The Kennedy line will see alot of the Nieuwendyk line, they'll probably exchange scoring chances pretty evenly, we'll be looking for some of that clutch goal scoring that Kennedy and Anderson bring. This will leave Sittler's line to feast on Hedbergs line.

The fourth line matches up well, Pitre's big enough and fast enough to handle Stevens, Hadfield capable of outscoring Nilsson and handling him physically. Pound Nilsson and he'll disappear.

I don't think Victoria is going to wilt much in a physical series but Edmonton is going to look to pound them anyways. They definitely have the edge in that department.

The biggest threat is the top pair of Leetch and Neidermayer. Badger Bob will be putting together something similiar to the way the Calgary Flames used to handle Coffey. Pilote and Bouchard will see alot of these guys, hopefully standing up to them on the blueline when they're rushing the puck. Staying out of the box will be key but Gainey and Provost will be the primary penalty killers, Kennedy and Brent Sutter will be the second pair. Penalty killing should be stout.

Terry Sawchuk will start against the biggest game 7 choker ever seen....:D

VanIslander
11-22-2006, 12:12 PM
Line-matching is a perogative of the home team which gets last line change. So if it goes to a seventh game the higher ranked team will have a distinct advantage in getting the ideal match-ups consistently. The Oilers would have that going for them should this series go the limit.

BM67
11-22-2006, 12:37 PM
The first thing I'd fix would be the Salmon Kings' bottom two lines, they are just a mess right now.

Kevin Stevens - Ulf Nilsson - Anders Hedberg
Bill Mosienko/Joe Mullen - Pete Mahovlich - Vladimir Martinec

This looks much better to me.

As for pounding Nilsson to make him disappear, ask Bobby Hull sometime how much abuse Ulf took while he was in Winnipeg. I think you'll find that Nilsson is a lot tougher than you think.

God Bless Canada
11-22-2006, 12:55 PM
A complete contrast in styles. The team that is going to win is the team that can succeed at imposing their style into the game. They both have a great No. 1 goalie, and an offensive-minded players' coach, but that's where the similarities end.

Edmonton's the type of team that will lull you to sleep, then capitalize with a couple of third period goals to break open a tie game. If this series features a lot of 2-1 or 3-2 games, then it is definitely to Edmonton's advantage. They're a pesky, annoying team to play against. They're brimming with gritty defensive forwards, bangers, grinders. Maybe the toughest team to play against in the draft, and a squad built for this time of year. Guys like Teeder Kennedy are selected specifically for the post-season.

Victoria, on the other hand, is pure offence. One of the most potent offensive teams in the draft. Few teams can trot out an arsenal of offensive right wingers like Hull, Gartner, Nilsson and Mullen. Mosienko played RW, too. If you start to see a lot of 6-5 games, then Victoria is sitting pretty. And they do have some players with a history of post-season success - Mullen, Fedorov, Hull, Stevens, Abel, etc. The question is whether that style of play can equal success in the playoffs, or will Victoria be eaten alive, especially by a team like Edmonton?

In the event of an injury to a goalie, Edmonton's in much better shape. Frank Brimsek is one of the best back-ups in the draft, good enough to be the No. 1 on a couple teams. Hedberg's No. 2, Pelle Lindburgh, is better suited to being a No. 3.

Frightened Inmate #2
11-22-2006, 01:13 PM
I agree withi GBC's analysis of the two teams nd the fact that they are complete opposites in terms of playing style. What he didn't really touch on though were the defensemen on the Salmon Kings who would rather fish for the puck using their sticks than make any physical contact to clear the crease. When a team doesn't really have much in the way of defensive forwards it is imparitive that they have solid defensive-defesemen manning the blueline, something that the Kings really don't have and I can easily see it resulting in some of the more imposing forwards - especially on a team such as Edmonton setting up shop in front of the net and just pounding in the garbage...

That being said if the Kings can find their stride they will be able to win just due to the firepower that they have.

I can see this series going to 6-7 games with Edmonton being crowned the winners just due to the physical advantages that they have.

Transplanted Caper
11-22-2006, 01:21 PM
While he may not have won a Cup, i like the choice of Pat Quinn for Victoria. With an offensive minded coach, there should be no problem getting that lineup going.

Hedberg
11-22-2006, 02:14 PM
My new lines

Luc Robitaille - Sergei Fedorov - Brett Hull
Sid Abel - Joe Nieuwendyk - Mike Gartner
Kevin Stevens - Anders Hedberg - Ulf Nilsson
Bill Mosienko - Pete Mahovlich - Joe Mullen
Vladimir Martinec

Scott Niedermayer - Mark Tinordi
Mattias Ohlund - Brian Leetch
Lars-Erik Sjoberg - Teppo Numminen
Ken Daneyko

Patrick Roy
Pelle Lindbergh
Olaf Kolzig

Murphy
11-22-2006, 03:36 PM
Well crap Hedburg, the Salmon Kings look like a much better team after the lineup shuffle. I don't think Sittler's line will be feasting on Hedburg & Nilsson like they were originally planning. Those two could dangle. I still like the matchup of that line though. Sutter & McDonald will still be physical and looking for turnovers, although Kevin Stevens is a good answer there. They're smart enough players not to get crossed up with the criss/cross back passes they were so good at. Ted Green and Stevens will be getting familiar with each other this series. I'd be looking at Sittler's line to matchup with the Sjoberg/Numminen tandem as well.

I think the Sittler line will be the difference if Brent Sutters line shuts down Fedorov's. The other two lines are a saw off although I think my fourth line has an edge.

The entire left side will be looking to impose themselves physically and not giving much room for Hull, Gartner, Nilsson and Mullen to operate. Shut down those guys and with Provost paying particular attention to Robitaille and I think the Salmon Kings offense will be stymied.

Wisent
11-22-2006, 03:51 PM
A complete contrast in styles. The team that is going to win is the team that can succeed at imposing their style into the game. They both have a great No. 1 goalie, and an offensive-minded players' coach, but that's where the similarities end.

Edmonton's the type of team that will lull you to sleep, then capitalize with a couple of third period goals to break open a tie game. If this series features a lot of 2-1 or 3-2 games, then it is definitely to Edmonton's advantage. They're a pesky, annoying team to play against. They're brimming with gritty defensive forwards, bangers, grinders. Maybe the toughest team to play against in the draft, and a squad built for this time of year. Guys like Teeder Kennedy are selected specifically for the post-season.

Victoria, on the other hand, is pure offence. One of the most potent offensive teams in the draft. Few teams can trot out an arsenal of offensive right wingers like Hull, Gartner, Nilsson and Mullen. Mosienko played RW, too. If you start to see a lot of 6-5 games, then Victoria is sitting pretty. And they do have some players with a history of post-season success - Mullen, Fedorov, Hull, Stevens, Abel, etc. The question is whether that style of play can equal success in the playoffs, or will Victoria be eaten alive, especially by a team like Edmonton?

In the event of an injury to a goalie, Edmonton's in much better shape. Frank Brimsek is one of the best back-ups in the draft, good enough to be the No. 1 on a couple teams. Hedberg's No. 2, Pelle Lindburgh, is better suited to being a No. 3.

Well, i completely agree with your analysis of the Edmonton team. Their grit and two way play is just ridiculously good.

Wisent
11-22-2006, 03:54 PM
My new lines

Luc Robitaille - Sergei Fedorov - Brett Hull
Sid Abel - Joe Nieuwendyk - Mike Gartner
Kevin Stevens - Anders Hedberg - Ulf Nilsson
Bill Mosienko - Pete Mahovlich - Joe Mullen
Vladimir Martinec

Scott Niedermayer - Mark Tinordi
Mattias Ohlund - Brian Leetch
Lars-Erik Sjoberg - Teppo Numminen
Ken Daneyko

Patrick Roy
Pelle Lindbergh
Olaf Kolzig

The only thing Iwould change in that line up ist the goalie order. Kölzig would be my number 2.

Hedberg
11-22-2006, 04:00 PM
Breaking the team down:

Luc Robitaille - Sergei Fedorov - Brett Hull
Hull and Robitaille aren't the best skaters in the world, but they can score. They both have over 650 goals. Federov can also put the puck in the net, but will act as a more of a set up man on this lines

Sid Abel - Joe Nieuwendyk - Mike Gartner
Two playoff performers and a 700 goal scorer. Nieuwendyk will take my key faceoffs and along with Abel provide leadership for this team

Kvin Stevens - Anders Hedberg - Ulf Nilsson
Two thirds of Winnipeg's dominant line in the 70's and a power forward who was great at his time. Stevens scored over 40 goals in four consecutive years playing with Mario. Hedberg and Nilsson both provide an offensive spark as well

Bill Mosienko - Pete Mahovlich - Joe Mullen
Mosienko will provide leadership and hopefully click on this offensive forth line that will hopefully work hard.

Vladimir Martinec
Will be used sparingly to chip a few goals in

Scott Niedermayer - Mark Tinordi
Niedermayer will be the quarterback of my transitional game, plus he's also great defensively. Tinordi will shut down opposing forwards and brings a physical element to the defense.

Mattias Ohlund - Brian Leetch
Leetch, much like Niedermayer, will rush the puck and is also defensively sound. Ohlund's strong positioning will eliminate scoring chances.

Lars-Erik Sjoberg - Teppo Numminen
Numminen is the third unit's transitional defenseman, whil Sjoberg will alternate shifts will Daneyko. Sjoberg should also help the transitional game.

Ken Daneyko
Daneyko will be counted on to provide a physical presence.

Patrick Roy
Pelle Lindbergh
Olaf Kolzig

Roy is one of the premier goaltenders in history and if he plays at the top of his game, he will be unbeatable. He will probably get alot of shots, but he should excel with that much work. Lindbergh and Kolzig are both solid and if Roy went down could win a game or two. A whole series would probably be asking too much.


PP
You do not want to take penalties against this team, as they will be deadly on the PP

PK
Roy is going to have to be the best penalty killer, as this is not the teams strong suit

pappyline
11-22-2006, 05:27 PM
The first thing I'd fix would be the Salmon Kings' bottom two lines, they are just a mess right now.

Kevin Stevens - Ulf Nilsson - Anders Hedberg
Bill Mosienko/Joe Mullen - Pete Mahovlich - Vladimir Martinec

This looks much better to me.

As for pounding Nilsson to make him disappear, ask Bobby Hull sometime how much abuse Ulf took while he was in Winnipeg. I think you'll find that Nilsson is a lot tougher than you think.
As Bobby Hull waited in the Madison Square Garden corridor for a Pro-Celebrity Hockey Challenge to begin, the Hall of Famer recalled a night when Ulf Nilsson was bruised from head to toe.
''He only got eight points that night,'' Hull said with a laugh. ''You couldn't intimidate him.'

John Flyers Fan
11-23-2006, 07:18 PM
The Oilers are the most physical team I'ev seen yet, but I think the Salmon Kings win out .... Leetch and Neidermayer key the transition game ... Fedorov and Garter have sbsolute wheels up front, and the Swedes, Robitaill and Hull with tremendous hands.

Evil Sather
11-23-2006, 07:34 PM
The Oilers cycle the Kings into mush. Salmon King forwards just get lost. Oilers in 6, and only because of Mike Gartner of all people tallying 5 goals in the series, including a hat trick to stave off elimination in Game 5.

VanIslander
11-23-2006, 08:24 PM
The Salmon Kings will get the puck up ice thanks to Leetch and Niedermayer, only their transition game won't be as good as if the team were built on speed. Their style seems more puck possession, as Fedorov and Nieuwendyk like to carry the puck (too long many have often said) and that gives plenty of time for the wingers to get into scoring position.

Speedy Gartner on the Salmon Kings second line right wing will be a good match for the Blues Kovalchuk but Brett Hull will not like the Blues Brian Sutter on him every moment of every shift. I cannot think of a better guy to match-up against brett than Brian. Not one. But Brett will still get scoring chances, even if mostly on the powerplay.

BM67
11-23-2006, 11:03 PM
I'd have to give the coaching nod to Johnson, so advantage Oilers.

I see lots and lots of talent on the Salmon Kings up front, but the Oilers just have better lines, as the players just fit a bit better, so again advantage Oilers.

On defense, I think the Oilers a have bit more bang, but the Salmon are going to have a great transition offense, and they do have some speed up front to make it work. Advantage Salmon Kings.

Goal is a toss up. I'd have to say the only real difference would be that Brimsek is clearly the 3rd best goalie of the bunch, so advantage to the Oilers.

Add it all up and I'd have to see the Oilers taking it, but I could see the Oilers getting in to penalty trouble that could stretch it to 7 games.

VanIslander
11-25-2006, 11:22 PM
In terms of goaltending Roy will be frustrated by the traffic and broken plays and rebounds and garbage goals that the Oilers will be capable of, whereas Sawchuk will see the puck coming and the question is whether he can stop enough perfectly executed passing and shooting plays.

VanIslander
11-25-2006, 11:28 PM
We are all familiar with the Salmon Kings defense, most of whom we've seen play, but a look at the much-older but excellent Oiler blueline is worthwhile.

Three NHL captains, two Hart trophy winners (for a defenseman! rare) and perfectly-matched pairings in terms of their ability to work together.

Pierre Pilote, 5'9" 3-time Norris winning rushing defenseman who said "My first instinct was always playing forward"
Butch Bouchard is a tall, tough stay-at-home defenseman in top physical condition and uses his body and brains in every situation, with great hockey sense and an exceptionally alert first pass that sparks the transition game, a skill that could get Gainey or Anderson shorthanded opportunities.


Leo Boivin, 5'7", nicknamed "Fireplug" for his lack of height yet thundering bodychecks, was referred to by a star player of his time as "the toughest blueliner to beat in a one-on-one situation".
Babe Pratt, a leader and a winner in every sense, having gotten the Hart trophy and a remarkable 15 championships in 26 years of hockey including play at every level. He was an offensive defenseman who "kept the puck deep in the other team's zone".


Babe Siebert was a fast skilled forward who when he got older lost his speed and so was moved to the blueline where he immediately thrived and won the Hart trophy! not surprising since as a forward he was "known for his rushing, his sheer physical strength and his relentless backchecking to get the team possession of the puck".
Ted Green was a hard-hitting defensive defenseman considered even "violent" as "a solid enforcer who provided the club with crease-clearing spine and leadership" prone to taking penalties.

Jimmy Roberts is a penalty killer, "unspectacular but dedicated with "a strong commitment to team play" always an "alert and intense competitor" who "slowed opposition lines like water in a deep freeze."

VanIslander
11-25-2006, 11:37 PM
The Salmon Kings have a great powerplay.

God Bless Canada
11-25-2006, 11:53 PM
We are all familiar with the Salmon Kings defense, most of whom we've seen play, but a look at the much-older but excellent Oiler blueline is worthwhile.

Three NHL captains, two Hart trophy winners (for a defenseman! rare) and perfectly-matched pairings in terms of their ability to work together.

Pierre Pilote, 5'9" 3-time Norris winning rushing defenseman who said "My first instinct was always playing forward"
Butch Bouchard is a tall, tough stay-at-home defenseman in top physical condition and uses his body and brains in every situation, with great hockey sense and an exceptionally alert first pass that sparks the transition game, a skill that could get Gainey or Anderson shorthanded opportunities.


Leo Boivin, 5'7", nicknamed "Fireplug" for his lack of height yet thundering bodychecks, was referred to by a star player of his time as "the toughest blueliner to beat in a one-on-one situation".
Babe Pratt, a leader and a winner in every sense, having gotten the Hart trophy and a remarkable 15 championships in 26 years of hockey including play at every level. He was an offensive defenseman who "kept the puck deep in the other team's zone".


Babe Siebert was a fast skilled forward who when he got older lost his speed and so was moved to the blueline where he immediately thrived and won the Hart trophy! not surprising since as a forward he was "known for his rushing, his sheer physical strength and his relentless backchecking to get the team possession of the puck".
Ted Green was a hard-hitting defensive defenseman considered even "violent" as "a solid enforcer who provided the club with crease-clearing spine and leadership" prone to taking penalties.

Jimmy Roberts is a penalty killer, "unspectacular but dedicated with "a strong commitment to team play" always an "alert and intense competitor" who "slowed opposition lines like water in a deep freeze."
I think Pilote is one of the most underrated all-time greats ever. Most players who rate among the greats get the credit they deserve. Not Pilote. The guy won three straight Norris Trophies, and was "retroactively awarded" the Conn Smythe in 1961. Part of the problem is that people look at his competition for the Norris, and while he wasn't facing an in-his-prime Harvey or Orr, he was facing some damn good players - Horton, Brewer, Laperriere, Vasko, etc. He was also good enough to be a post-season all-star in eight straight years. Put him in the 80s or even the 70s, and he puts up 90 points per season.

Butch Bouchard is the perfect partner for Pilote. It's not as intriguing a tandem as Coffey-Langway, but it's a very interesting one none-the-less. The combo of the smallish, highly skilled offensive defenceman, and the sturdy, reliable defensive defenceman.

Seibert's a natural forward, but so is Cyclone Taylor, and nobody complains when Cyclone is picked as a defenceman.

Babe Pratt's an interesting story as a player. He won his Hart Trophy during the war years, but was out of the NHL within two years of the war's end. I don't think it's a reflection of him being a bad player who dominated at a lax time. I don't think he ever regained interest in the NHL after the gambling charges, even though he was cleared. But it is interesting to note.

Nalyd Psycho
11-26-2006, 02:06 AM
I think Pilote is one of the most underrated all-time greats ever. Most players who rate among the greats get the credit they deserve. Not Pilote. The guy won three straight Norris Trophies, and was "retroactively awarded" the Conn Smythe in 1961. Part of the problem is that people look at his competition for the Norris, and while he wasn't facing an in-his-prime Harvey or Orr, he was facing some damn good players - Horton, Brewer, Laperriere, Vasko, etc. He was also good enough to be a post-season all-star in eight straight years. Put him in the 80s or even the 70s, and he puts up 90 points per season.

I agree that Pilote is underrated. Says alot that the only way Hall, Mikita and Hull could win a cup is when Pilote is the player leading the team on the ice.

Seibert's a natural forward, but so is Cyclone Taylor, and nobody complains when Cyclone is picked as a defenceman.


Cyclone is actually a natural rover, so, kinda hard to put him in his prefered position.

Murphy
11-26-2006, 01:36 PM
Thanks for the analysis VanIslander and GBG. The general concensious has been that the Oilers defense is solid but unspectacular. I like to think they're better than solid myself but then again we all feel that way about our teams.

If Pierre Pilote isn't the most under-rated superstar of all time I don't know who is. I myself really hadn't heard much about him until I started with these drafts. I'm sitting here trying to think of a modern day comparison but I can't think of any. He had a complete game like Lidstom does but was tougher is about the best I can imagine.