All Time Draft First Round - Detroit Red Wings @ St.Louis Eagles

Spitfire11
05-22-2007, 05:50 PM
St.Louis Eagles

Coach: Cecil Hart

Kevin Stevens - Mario Lemieux - Vladimir Martinec
Hec Kilrea - Cooney Weiland - Gordie Howe
Mats Naslund - Joe Malone - Phil Watson
Don Maloney - Bruce MacGregor

Valeri Vasiliev - Jimmy Thomson
Carol Vadnais - Ott Heller
Derian Hatcher - Jan Suchy
Pat Egan

Clint Benedict
Viktor Konovalenko

Reserves: Martin Lapointe, Michal Handzus and Henrik Lundqvist

(Nalyd can edit this, I can't tell what his lines are from his roster)
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Detroit Red Wings

Coach: Tommy Gorman

Baldy Northcott - Ted Kennedy - Cam Neely
Patrik Elias - Rick MacLeish - Martin St.Louis
Rod Brind'Amour - Bobby Holik - Jarome Iginla
Craig Simpson - Wayne Merrick- Jamie Langenbrunner

Al MacInnis - Jacques Laperriere
Butch Bouchard - Taffy Abel
Bob Dailey - Leo Reise Jr

Turk Broda
Bill Ranford

Sami Pahlsson, Robert Svehla, Cam Ward

Frightened Inmate #2
05-22-2007, 06:45 PM
I can't see anyway in which St. Louis doesn't take this series, a much better forward corps and while I am not a huge fan of the goaltending and defense they should be able to win this one easily in 4 or 5 games if things don't go well.

St. Louis could be in some trouble though in the future if they come up against a team with a solid group of forwards to compliment a good defense and goaltender.

vancityluongo
05-22-2007, 06:49 PM
My pathetic advice to Spit: Dress Pahlsson!

I believe if you shutdown Lemieux-Howe, you have a damn good chance of winning. Gorman is going to be a huge part of deciding who wins.

Nalyd Psycho
05-22-2007, 08:51 PM
(Nalyd can edit this, I can't tell what his lines are from his roster)


That's cause I don't have lines. I'll give a detailed breakdown of how my team opperates after I shower.

God Bless Canada
05-22-2007, 08:52 PM
I think this series is the worst one possible for St. Louis. They split up the Howe-Lemieux combo so that they can spread out the scoring. They get an opponent that trotts out four lines that are excellent defensively.

This is a very scary Detroit team. They remind me a lot of Murphy's entry in the last draft. And I think they're the darkhorse to win it all. They don't really have that game-breaker offensively, but they're an incredibly tough team to play against, with depth, an array of physical and defensive forwards, and a well-rounded defence. And at the end of the day, defence wins championships.

A big edge to Detroit in net. Nothing against Benedict, but Broda is one of the best clutch players of all-time. He was a big reason for Toronto's success in the late 40s and early 50s. Detroit has the best defenceman in this series (MacInnis) and arguably three of the top four.

St. Louis was built around defence, and if they can draw Detroit into playing a run-and-gun game, then it's series over, and in a hurry. The moment St. Louis starts dictating the pace of the play on a game-by-game basis, Detroit is done. Detroit has clutch scorers like Kennedy (one of the best ever)Neely and Simpson, but they can't beat St. Louis in a firewagon series. Nobody can.

But if Detroit can lull St. Louis into their type of game, then the Wings will win this series. They have hitters, but what really impresses me about this team is the defensive abilities of their scorers. MacLeish, Elias, St. Louis, Kennedy - all can shut you down and get points. Brind'Amour, Merrick and Holik are excellent defensively, too. It will be very tough to put up points against any of Detroit's forward lines.

St. Louis is the most potent offensive team in the draft. We'll see how they do against arguable the best defensive team in the draft.

MXD
05-22-2007, 09:10 PM
...I just love Detroit defense, even if I thought McInnis was drafted a little early, he's still the best D-Men in this matchup. 2nd best defense of the draft in my books.

As for dressing Pahlsson, well... Detroit already has solid two-way forwards that are able to defend themselves. They're more in need to score goals. Howe and Lemieux will score anyway, no matter how they're checked, but having responsible forwards able to score will mean they won't play with offense with their sole concern.

I had Detroit ahead of St-Louis for the regular season. However, much of it was explained by having Lundquist as the starter. I'd still take Broda before Benedict, but that's a very close gap.

Nalyd Psycho
05-22-2007, 10:37 PM
Ok, here's the strategy of the St. Louis Eagles.

There are no lines, instead, every player is assigned a role and then Cecil Hart combines those role players into various combonations that will counter and disrupt Gorman's units.

Roles:
The Hat-Trick: One of these three players will always be on the ice. These are the game breakers that will lead the team to glory or defeat. Their goal is to ensure that Detroit play a defence first game. (That's right, I want Detroit to play defence first.) Those concerned about endurance, keep in mind that this unit contains one player who routinely played 40-50 minutes a game and another who played over 30 years at a major pro level.

Gordie Howe (RW): Gordie's primary job is making defencemen **** bricks everytime he's on the ice. His speed, size and grit will be used extensively on the forecheck. Detroit's d-men will know that a bad pass will likely result in a goal, but, if they hold onto the puck, they're gonna have Mr. Hockey steamroll them. Offensively, he can do whatever he pleases.

Mario Lemieux (C/RW): Mario will be a proud cherry picker. Some say this hurts the team defensively. But, I believe, when it's Mario cherry picking, it means Detroit will always have one eye looking behind them. Offensively, free reign.

Joe Malone (LW/C): Malone's role is three fold. Defensively he should do his phantom act and not cover anyone in particular, float somewhat, but remain in the interior to use his quick first step to get interceptions. In transition he should be going for picks as much as possible. Open up space for his puck carying linemates both with the picks and by reminding defenders who the most dangerous player on the ice is. Then, once set up, he'll use his shifty skating and quick first step to find free space in the slot while avoiding checks so he can use his quick wrist shot.
________________________________________________

Phil Watson (LW/C/RW): One man checking machine. He's my resident Republican, his job is to make Ted Kennedy's life hell. With Watson's ability to play any position, he can sub for anyone when Kennedy hops over the board. He'll get in his face, shadow him, pester him, hit him and run his mouth. Kennedy steps up under pressure, it's Watson's job to make the pressure crush Kennedy. He did it to Apps and Schmidt.
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Kevin Stevens (LW): His primary role is garbage collector, score on rebounds and deflections. His secondary role is to work the corners, both offensively and defensively.

Vladimir Martinec (RW): Critical against Gorman. Gorman is a system defence coach. Martinec's job is to be as offensively creative as he can, which is very creative, and his goal is to disrupt the system to open things up for his linemates. Once he is established, he'll be free to cherry pick.

Mats Naslund (LW): Offensively, he'll be a set-up and pick man, alot of give and goes with him both giving and going. He'll be the first forward back and play a more cautious game.

Cooney Weiland (C): Will also be expected to be the first man back, but, offensively, he'll be more like Malone, hovering and weaving through the slot, waiting for a pass.

Hec Kilrea (LW/RW): He'll be used to attack and cover the points agressively, force turnovers and use his speed on the counter attack. Forecheck and sacrifice his body for blocked shots.

Don Maloney (LW): He'll be used for digging in the corners and using his size and physical play to create room. He's got enough offensive skill to contribute, some, but the key is for him to create room. he'll try to be a first man back, often used as a secondary shadow.

Bruce MacGregor (C/RW): Another guy who's job will be to sacrifise his body with hits and blocks. Lots of picks and digging in the corners. Expected to be one of the first men back.
__________________________________________________

Valeri Vasiliev: Top minute getter. Will be used in all roles. Defence first two way play. He'll be expected to pick his spots.

Jan Suchy: Best rushing defenceman in the series. When he's on he's a serious threat offensively, when he's off, he's still the best rushing d-man. He'll get first looks in transition and pinch regularly. Defensively, he'll be a perimiter defender and shot blocker.

Derian Hatcher: Cam, meet Derian. Derian, meet Cam. Derian may lack speed, but he rarely loses power vs power battles. He'll be a key on the penalty kill and a key to keeping Cam out of Benedict's face.

Jimmy Thomson: Key to a quick transition, when we need the puck out of the zone, Thomson gets it for the breakout pass. Only D-man in NHL history to lead d-men in scoring without scoring a goal. A strong defensive d-man with a winning attitude. Will play a variety of roles, depends on what's needed. Similar to Vasiliev.

Ott Heller: Another defensive specialist. He'll likely see alot of Simpson and Elias. His job is to play very conservative and just make life hell for Detroit.

Pat Egan: Like Suchy, get him the puck to activate the offence. Lots of pinching from the point. Aggressive skating and stickwork.

Carol Vadnais: Similar to Suchy and Egan, let him rush the puck, alot. Also, let him be the high d-man in defenhsive transition, look for the open ice hit.
__________________________________________________ __

So, the task is for Cecil Hart to combine those players in an ever changing menagerie of high pressure offense first play with the objective of overwhelming, disrupting and containing Gorman's defense first system. The primary key will be to force Detroit into defensive submission. The best defense is a great offense. By maintaining high pressure, we hope to ensure that Detroit never has an oppertunity to attack. And you can't win if you don't score.

Spitfire11
05-23-2007, 05:43 PM
I think we have the right team to take out the Eagles. The trap is perfect for neutralizing Naslund, Malone, Martinec, Lemieux, Suchy etc from rushing through the neutral zone. They will be forced to dump-and-chase and outside of Stevens, they don't have the forwards to win those battles against our team.

Goaltending
Benedict is good, but Broda has the edge as one of the all-time elite playoff goalies and a 5-time Cup winner. It's not really his fault, but Benedict only had success in the pre-forward pass era which could have a big effect on his play.

Defense
As the saying goes, defense wins in the playoffs, and I believe this is where we have our big advantage and can win the series.

- Can 5'8 Jan Suchy hold up against our strong forcheck and physical 6'1 wingers? Can any of them? All 4 of our lines bring a ton of grit and are great on the forecheck. They will finish their checks every chance they get and use the cycle to wear down the Eagles defense. Outside of Hatcher, who will have as much trouble keeping up with his own team as ours, they are outmatched in size and as we're seeing with all the victims of the 06-07 Ducks, that's a recipe for disaster.

- A big part of Gordie's success was intimidation, get in his way and you'd get a stickblade to the face or one of his famous elbows. He's going to lose that in this series facing an entire blueline bigger than he is and no one who is going to get bullied around. Bouchard - Abel is the perfect tandem to shut him down, as neither will back down and they have the size and skill to keep him in check.

- MacInnis - Laperriere is one of the best pairings in the draft and can be used against Lemieux's line. They're both great in transition and can quickly start the rush while Lemieux is taking his sweet time getting back to his blueline.

- There isn't a lot of scoring beyond St.Louis' top 6, as most of them are defensive forwards, but Dailey - Reise is a solid pairing that can match up well against what's left.


I'll try to get the rest finished tonight, but we can get some discussion going with this.

Hoping I'll be able to chime in on all the series', just wish I had more time these next few weeks!

pitseleh
05-23-2007, 07:59 PM
One thing that worries me about Detroit is Kennedy's poor skating and the fact that it was often made up for by having quick wingers. I'm not sure if Elias and Neely are ideal in that role. St. Louis will probably look to take advantage of that.

Detroit will have to rely on the counter attack and transition game. If they can take advantage of some of the poorer defensive players on St. Louis, they'll have a good shot. They'll also look to wear down St. Louis' defense on the forecheck.

Nalyd Psycho
05-24-2007, 02:42 AM
They'll also look to wear down St. Louis' defense on the forecheck.

Gonna be hard to do, I dress 7 d-men and 11 forwards.

pitseleh
05-24-2007, 02:51 AM
Gonna be hard to do, I dress 7 d-men and 11 forwards.

I agree that you dressing 7 d-men makes it difficult, but Detroit does have 4 lines that are capable of bringing a strong forecheck and punishing defensemen. Their going to try, whether it's effective it's a whole other story.

John Flyers Fan
05-24-2007, 10:09 AM
I'm not at all a fn of St. Louis "spreading the wealth"

I would load up that top line and have Stevens - Lemieux - Howe. Dominant offensively and physically ... it would be without a doubt the best line in the ATD, and one that could go a long way towards winning series after series.

Nalyd Psycho
05-24-2007, 11:52 AM
I'm not at all a fn of St. Louis "spreading the wealth"

I would load up that top line and have Stevens - Lemieux - Howe. Dominant offensively and physically ... it would be without a doubt the best line in the ATD, and one that could go a long way towards winning series after series.

I fear and respect Gorman too much to give him lines to match up against. I will use Stevens-Lemieux-Howe sometimes, but, I believe the key to victory is for Hart to stay one step ahead of Gorman. And I believe that by keeping lines fluid, Hart will be the one dictating Howe things are played. Plus, if Bouchard plays Howe, Laperriere vs Lemeiux, who's gonna stop Malone?


A big edge to Detroit in net. Nothing against Benedict, but Broda is one of the best clutch players of all-time. He was a big reason for Toronto's success in the late 40s and early 50s.
Broda gets overrated because he elevated his game so much. Benedict is a 4 time cup winner who was 4 and 2 in the finals and he seemingly outplayed Chabot in 27-28. He had two bad playoff performances in an 18 year career, 1915 against a powerhouse Millionaires squad and 1919, every other year, he was stellar. He, along with Martin Brodeur is one of two goalies in NHL history to record 4 shutouts in the playoffs twice in his career. And before you say it was the era, remember this. 1) No one else did it. 2) That was 8 game and 9 game playoffs. When the Maroons won in '26, Benedict got a shutout in all three Montreal wins. His post-season GAA is 1.86, his regular season gaa is 2.30, an improvement of 0.44, or almost 20%. 1918-19 and 1923-24 are the only years his post season GAA was weaker than his regular season gaa, keeping in mind that the average playoff opponent is tougher than the average regular season opponent. In the post season he got a shutout in 32% of his playoff games and 16% of his regular season games, so he gets twice as many shutouts in the post season.

It's like this: Benedict is superior to Broda in the regular season. Benedict is a clutch money goalie who steps up noticeably in the post-season. Broda steps up slightly more. The difference still favours Clint Benedict.

I win the goalie battle. Benedict is still quite underrated.

Stats for both:
http://www.hockeygoalies.org/bio/benedict.html
http://www.hockeygoalies.org/bio/broda.html

I think we have the right team to take out the Eagles. The trap is perfect for neutralizing Naslund, Malone, Martinec, Lemieux, Suchy etc from rushing through the neutral zone. They will be forced to dump-and-chase and outside of Stevens, they don't have the forwards to win those battles against our team.
It's funny, we're both each others worst case scenario. You can out play any team that tries to play a defense first game, and I can outplay any team that tries to play offense first. It's unstoppable force vs immovable object. Quite the series for the first round.

The thing about it is, in his comeback, Lemieux routinely destroyed neutral zone traps, and he wasn't even at his best then. He didn't have to dump and chase. Systems just don't work against players of his skill level. And Howe would be just the same, you can't trap the elite. It's like setting up a trap for Indiana Jones, even if he sets it off, he makes it out alive and with the treasure. Try and trap Howe and Lemieux and they'll still get goals. I'd also be careful to underrate Howe's ability to chase. His speed, strength and fearlessness will make him a wrecking ball.

I also believe Malone and Martinec have the ability to tangle up traps some of the time, not as often as Lemieux/Howe, but you can't trap Malone & Martinec all the time, maybe the majority of the time, but if I break the trap 25% of the time, then I win 75% of the games.

Goaltending
Benedict is good, but Broda has the edge as one of the all-time elite playoff goalies and a 5-time Cup winner. It's not really his fault, but Benedict only had success in the pre-forward pass era which could have a big effect on his play.

I'll get the numbers for this at home, but relative play of players who played pre and post 1929-30 changes very little. Benedict drops due to age and Gardiner improves due to age, but Hainsworth, Connell, Chabot, Thompson etc remain at the same level of play. While the change had a huge efdfect on raw numbers, the effect on players effect on the outcome is minimal. For the reasons stated above, Benedict is the superior goalie, he's almost as money as Broda, but, he's coming from a superior base skill level.

Defense
As the saying goes, defense wins in the playoffs, and I believe this is where we have our big advantage and can win the series.

Meh, that's only because real teams can't have the 2nd and 3rd best offensive players in hockey history on the same team. Defense loses to that level of game breaking talent.

- Can 5'8 Jan Suchy hold up against our strong forcheck and physical 6'1 wingers? Can any of them? All 4 of our lines bring a ton of grit and are great on the forecheck. They will finish their checks every chance they get and use the cycle to wear down the Eagles defense. Outside of Hatcher, who will have as much trouble keeping up with his own team as ours, they are outmatched in size and as we're seeing with all the victims of the 06-07 Ducks, that's a recipe for disaster.
As Chelios proved against Bertuzzi, winning the size match-up isn't nearly as important as winning the grit and skill match-up. Yeah, an undersized player will struggle, but Vasiliev, Thomson and Heller are all tough defensive defenceman who will make life just as tough on your forwards as your forwards will be tough on me.

And, if I was you, I'd be careful forechecking, Howe, Lemieux or Malone will always be on the ice, and an unsuccessful forecheck will result in a scoring opportunity from one of the top 10-20 goal scorers in the history of hockey. If you don't keep your forwards back, you will create holes, and you don't want holes when Howe, Lemieux or Malone is on the ice. Your only hope is containing them, and a heavy forecheck will just give them room to destroy you.

As for Suchy, you got to catch him. He won't be playing much on the board, so you have to go for open ice hits against a great skater. Again, a recipe to get burned on. He dodges the player, advantage me, and you don't want me to have an advantage when there is always one of Howe, Lemieux or Malone on the ice.
- A big part of Gordie's success was intimidation, get in his way and you'd get a stickblade to the face or one of his famous elbows. He's going to lose that in this series facing an entire blueline bigger than he is and no one who is going to get bullied around. Bouchard - Abel is the perfect tandem to shut him down, as neither will back down and they have the size and skill to keep him in check.
That's all well and good, problem is, this is Gordie we're talking about. Shutting him down isn't an option, if he gets 3-4 goals in the series, you did a great job. Howe's success is that he's freaking awesome. Breakaway speed, built like a brick house, fearless, equally adept playmaker and scorer, brilliant one on one moves, etc... Yeah, he's famous for his elbows, but he can just as easily embarrass you with pure skill. And all that attention to him leaves a guy like Weiland or Stevens open in the slot for a pass, a pass that Gordie will make spot on.
- MacInnis - Laperriere is one of the best pairings in the draft and can be used against Lemieux's line. They're both great in transition and can quickly start the rush while Lemieux is taking his sweet time getting back to his blueline.
This doesn't bother me, because, it's Mario. They'll have to keep one eye behind them at all times, they lose the puck and the greatest breakaway scorer of all time has a breakaway.

- There isn't a lot of scoring beyond St.Louis' top 6, as most of them are defensive forwards, but Dailey - Reise is a solid pairing that can match up well against what's left.

That's actually not true, Kilrea, Weiland and Watson all have serious offensive credentials. Weiland has multiple top 10 finishes (I can't get the exact numbers at school.) and a goal and points scoring title that set the record for points in a season that wasn't broken until WW2 diluted the league. Watson has a playoff scoring title and a regular season assists title. Kilrea has multiple top 10 finishes.

pitseleh
05-24-2007, 01:52 PM
It's like this: Benedict is superior to Broda in the regular season. Benedict is a clutch money goalie who steps up noticeably in the post-season. Broda steps up slightly more. The difference still favours Clint Benedict.


Yeah, I feel the same way about it. A lot of times clutch goalies get overrated because they play so much better than a lower standard during the regular season, while a guy who is consistenly very, very good gets penalized for not elevating his game come playoff time.

Spitfire11
05-24-2007, 07:01 PM
When THN ranked the top 100 players of all time, Broda was rated a head of Benedict with five other goalies in between (Brimsek, Fuhr, Gardiner, Vezina, Parent).

Now obviously those rankings arn't the be-all-and-end-all, but I think that makes a pretty strong statement as to who the better goalie was.

Nalyd Psycho
05-24-2007, 11:31 PM
When THN ranked the top 100 players of all time, Broda was rated a head of Benedict with five other goalies in between (Brimsek, Fuhr, Gardiner, Vezina, Parent).

Now obviously those rankings arn't the be-all-and-end-all, but I think that makes a pretty strong statement as to who the better goalie was.

And I think it makes a pretty strong statement about how players that weren't seen live by the voters were punished.

Spitfire11
05-24-2007, 11:47 PM
And I think it makes a pretty strong statement about how players that weren't seen live by the voters were punished.

But it's not like they saw Vezina or Gardner(well maybe a few) live either.

Nalyd Psycho
05-24-2007, 11:48 PM
But it's not like they saw Vezina or Gardner(well maybe a few) live either.

Both Gardiner and Vezina get a simpathy bump for dying during their playing careers. Vezina over Benedict is a joke. Benedict consistently had notably better stats and notably better playoff performances.

kruezer
05-25-2007, 01:30 AM
Both Gardiner and Vezina get a simpathy bump for dying during their playing careers. Vezina over Benedict is a joke. Benedict consistently had notably better stats and notably better playoff performances.
I disagree about Gardiner (predictably) but I agree, Vezina was not superior to Benedict from everything I can read about it.

Nalyd Psycho
05-25-2007, 01:39 AM
I disagree about Gardiner (predictably) but I agree, Vezina was not superior to Benedict from everything I can read about it.

Gardiner's peak value was possibly better than Benedict's, but, he only had 4 or 5 years as a top goalie. Because of the tragic circumstances, I suspect they acted like he had a longer career.

Spitfire11
05-25-2007, 02:41 AM
The thing about it is, in his comeback, Lemieux routinely destroyed neutral zone traps, and he wasn't even at his best then. He didn't have to dump and chase. Systems just don't work against players of his skill level.

How was his record against the NJ Devils in the playoffs?

What trapping teams did he tear apart?

(honest questions, I really don't know)

That's all well and good, problem is, this is Gordie we're talking about. Shutting him down isn't an option, if he gets 3-4 goals in the series, you did a great job. Howe's success is that he's freaking awesome. Breakaway speed, built like a brick house, fearless, equally adept playmaker and scorer, brilliant one on one moves, etc... Yeah, he's famous for his elbows, but he can just as easily embarrass you with pure skill. And all that attention to him leaves a guy like Weiland or Stevens open in the slot for a pass, a pass that Gordie will make spot on.

Howe was beaten twice in the Stanley Cup finals by Broda/Kennedy's Leafs, and they're looking for the hattrick

In '48 he had just 2 points in 10 playoffs games.
In '49 Broda held his entire team to a palty 5 goals in 4 games.



Quick run-down on the offense, as I've been hard pressed finding time for the draft these past couple days:

Brind'Amour - Holik - Iginla will be matched up against Lemieux's line.

Northcott will be assigned to Howe, and will most likely be paired with Kennedy who will also be out there to get the better of Gordie...again..

The rest are all good 2-way players and we will not be sweating when any of them are out there.

MacLeish (twice), Simpson, Kennedy, MacInnis, Northcott, Langenbrunner have all lead the playoffs in scoring, while Neely and Iginla have both lead in goals.

It's funny, we're both each others worst case scenario. You can out play any team that tries to play a defense first game, and I can outplay any team that tries to play offense first. It's unstoppable force vs immovable object. Quite the series for the first round.

This was probably the worst match-up for your team, but if you can make it past our team with the trap, 4 stong defensive lines, one of the top defenses in the draft, Broda(his 1.98 playoff GAA and 5 Cups), and Gorman.....it will give your team a huge boost, and I don't know who out there will be able to stop them.

Spitfire11
05-25-2007, 02:52 AM
Also, wasn't Lemieux was one of the biggest critics over obstruction over his career. He was also in favour of 4on4 to give players more room. The trap is exactly what he hated throughout his career, you'd think it would be perfect for throwing him off his game.

Nalyd Psycho
05-25-2007, 05:23 AM
How was his record against the NJ Devils in the playoffs?

What trapping teams did he tear apart?

(honest questions, I really don't know)

Also, wasn't Lemieux was one of the biggest critics over obstruction over his career. He was also in favour of 4on4 to give players more room. The trap is exactly what he hated throughout his career, you'd think it would be perfect for throwing him off his game.

I'm talking about his 1.4375 ppg between 2000 and 2004.

Thing about hate is this, it's also a great motivator. Yes, Lemieux hates clutch and grab trap hockey. But what does that result in? Lemieux getting shut down? No. It results in Lemieux proving such systems to fail because they can't score, nor can they stop him.

Howe was beaten twice in the Stanley Cup finals by Broda/Kennedy's Leafs, and they're looking for the hattrick

In '48 he had just 2 points in 10 playoffs games.
In '49 Broda held his entire team to a palty 5 goals in 4 games.

'48 & '49, you must meen before Howe was a point per game player, as he didn't break out until the 50-51 season. But here's the thing, yeah, Detroit only scored 5 goals in '49, but how many were by Howe, quick glance at the stats, in the 49 playoffs, Howe had twice as many goals as Toronto's leading goal scorer and as many goals as Toronto's top scorer (Kennedy) had points. Of course your first line center, only had 2 more points on that Leafs team than one of my defensive d-men. (Thomson.)

Can't blame Howe for Abel and Lindsay's failure.

Personally, I don't think Howe ever forgave or forgot the 49-50 playoffs. He might be willing to repay in kind.

Quick run-down on the offense, as I've been hard pressed finding time for the draft these past couple days:

Brind'Amour - Holik - Iginla will be matched up against Lemieux's line.

Northcott will be assigned to Howe, and will most likely be paired with Kennedy who will also be out there to get the better of Gordie...again..

The rest are all good 2-way players and we will not be sweating when any of them are out there.

MacLeish (twice), Simpson, Kennedy, MacInnis, Northcott, Langenbrunner have all lead the playoffs in scoring, while Neely and Iginla have both lead in goals.

Yeah, all your forwards are good defensively, I like it that way. I'm not trying to make them nervous, no, I want you forwards playing defence, they don't score that way. That's the whole point of my system. I beg you to defend me so you can't score, all the time, your coach knows that if he opens things up to try to score, I'll match in kind. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. You can't possibly shut me down. But if you try really hard you can lose 2-0, or you can try to score a few and lose 7-2.

You can't line match me because I don't have lines. I have 3 players who one of whom is always on the ice. I have one player shutting down your best scorer. and I have 7 other guys supporting the 3 players. If you match lines you'll have 3 of your scorers never on the ice.

If you want Kennedy to shut down Howe, remember that Kennedy is going to be hounded by Phil Watson the entire time, you know, the guy who shut down the Kraut line and Apps/Drillon while leading the playoffs in scoring.

And go ahead and have Holik match Lemieux minute for minute. I don't see how Holik playing 25 minutes a game hurts me at all.

This was probably the worst match-up for your team, but if you can make it past our team with the trap, 4 stong defensive lines, one of the top defenses in the draft, Broda(his 1.98 playoff GAA and 5 Cups), and Gorman.....it will give your team a huge boost, and I don't know who out there will be able to stop them.

Not really, my team is built on the idea that the best defense is a good offense, and your team is built so that it's really easy for my offensive pressure to shut down your offense.

You aren't my ideal choice, but I'm much worse a match up for you than you are for me. Your built on the idea of shutting teams down, and in the first round, you drew the one team you can't possibly shut down.And on my backline I got a guy with 4 cups and a 1.86 playoff gaa, who got shuts outs in 36% of his playoff games, as opposed to your goalie with 12%.

Spitfire11
05-25-2007, 12:10 PM
In '49 Howe was a 2nd team all-star and lead the league in playoff scoring. I think it's safe to say he 'broke-out' by then. Howe went 0-3 (swept twice) never beating Broda/Kennedy in the playoffs. He can be shut down....and he will...again

In '49 Kennedy lead the Leafs in playoff scoring, he has three retro Conn Smyths and 5 Stanley Cups. I could care less about how many points he puts up, he will score as much as he needs win.

And nothing got Lemieux off his game more than having someone in is face all the time giving him shots. I'm sure you remember him snapping on Ference. When did he ever 'prove the trap failed'? He won't elevate his game, instead he'll complain to the press and take retalitory penalties.

The best defense is not a good offense. '95 Red Wings were swept by the trapping Devils. Hap Day's Leafs had the Red Wings' number. Offensive juggernaughts can be beat by defense-first teams. You saw last year with the Oilers and again this year with the Ducks. They will stop you from playing your game, and score the ugly goals to win.

I don't know where the idea that we'll be playing this entire series in our own zone comes from. Your team won't be able to mount a strong forcheck at all with these tiny forwards. They will be kept to the perimeter where they'll get pinned against the boards and have the puck taken away. You also make it sound like your team will routinely shut out all these playoff studs. We won't need to open up to score, players like Elias, Kennedy, Iginla, Langenbrunner, Holik, Northcott put up their points while playing under defensive systems.

reckoning
05-25-2007, 10:40 PM
I picked this series to go 7 games. I also gave 2 of the 3 stars to Jacques Laperriere and Derian Hatcher. That's the type of series I think it would be.

Nalyd Psycho
05-26-2007, 12:11 AM
In '49 Howe was a 2nd team all-star and lead the league in playoff scoring. I think it's safe to say he 'broke-out' by then. Howe went 0-3 (swept twice) never beating Broda/Kennedy in the playoffs. He can be shut down....and he will...again

Howe was a star by then, but he hadn't reached his all-time great status until 50-51 and that's the Howe you have to shutdown. And, unless you have box stats, I really highly doubt they shut Howe down. 8 goals in 11 games I really doubt all 8 goals came against came in round 1. It's more likely that the Leafs shut down everyone but Howe, and since you can't shut down Malone and Lemieux, that tactic won't work.

In '49 Kennedy lead the Leafs in playoff scoring, he has three retro Conn Smyths and 5 Stanley Cups. I could care less about how many points he puts up, he will score as much as he needs win.

What about when Howe's Red Wing's held Kennedy to 3 points in 7 games in 49-50. Or his 2 points in 5 games in 43-44.. Against... Phil Watson's Canadiens. You know, the guy that will be shadowing Kennedy. Or what about when Howe's Wings swept Kennedy's Leafs, holding Kennedy pointless? And heck, when the Leaf's swept Detroit in '49, Kennedy got a whooping 2 goals that playoff.

You can focus on the history that benefits you, but Kennedy could be shutdown in the playoffs. Howe did it, and Watson did it. You want Kennedy against Howe. I want Watson against Kennedy. I like Watson centering Howe for both offensive and defensive purposes. I think that's a match-up where I obliterate you.

And nothing got Lemieux off his game more than having someone in is face all the time giving him shots. I'm sure you remember him snapping on Ference. When did he ever 'prove the trap failed'? He won't elevate his game, instead he'll complain to the press and take retalitory penalties.

He did beat Hasek's Sabre's in 7 games and the Caps in 6 in '01. He didn't get much playoff time in the Dead Puck Era because his team was even deader. But Lemieux still averaged a ppg that obliterated everyone else. His average pace was 118 points. Between 01-02 and 03-04 that was bested once, tied once, and that was both 00-01, a year Mario was on pace for 145. Yes, that's right, in the Dead Puck Era, Mario was on pace for over 140 points.

As for dumb penalties. Here's were Cecil Hart really fits well. He specializes in creating an environment where his skilled players are focussed on creativity and scoring. Mario is going to be very hppy in that situation and nigh impossible to take him off his game.

The best defense is not a good offense. '95 Red Wings were swept by the trapping Devils. Hap Day's Leafs had the Red Wings' number. Offensive juggernaughts can be beat by defense-first teams. You saw last year with the Oilers and again this year with the Ducks. They will stop you from playing your game, and score the ugly goals to win.

Yeah, teams with **** for offence can't use an offensive system to beat defence. But, look at the 80's Oilers, early 90's Penguins, Early 50's Red Wings, late 50's Canadiens. All teams that were dominant offense, played offense first and could win. Thing is, you need a dominant offense for the system to work, you need to be so good that opposition players are forced to play defence first to the point where they aren't able to commit enough to score. With Howe, Lemieux and Malone, I have that level of game exploding offense in spades.

You will not stop me from playing my game, I will force you to play your style to such an absurd degree that you never get a chance to force the play, never get a chance to score a garbage goal.

I don't know where the idea that we'll be playing this entire series in our own zone comes from. Your team won't be able to mount a strong forcheck at all with these tiny forwards. They will be kept to the perimeter where they'll get pinned against the boards and have the puck taken away. You also make it sound like your team will routinely shut out all these playoff studs. We won't need to open up to score, players like Elias, Kennedy, Iginla, Langenbrunner, Holik, Northcott put up their points while playing under defensive systems.

They put up those points when they weren't having to shadow Lemieux, Howe and Malone. You are going to have to play a cautious offensive game due to them. And with my top transitional defence, Thomson and Vasiliev are high end breakout passers and Suchy, Egan and Vadnais are top rushing d-men, combined with the speed of my forwards, any mistake you make in the offensive zone, any rebound you don't get, any battle on the boards I win will immediatly turn into a scoring chance for me. So are you going to commit enough forwards down low to win the battles, know that every battle lost can cost you big time? Or are you going to watch your back, but lose more battles and get less chances?

Two things we haven't discussed.

1) How are you going to stop the only player in NHL history to have a 7 goal game, Joe Malone?
2) Offense from the blueline, MacInnis may be the best, but, Suchy is 2nd best, Vadnais 3rd, Egan 4th, Thomson 5th and Vasiliev 6th.

BM67
05-26-2007, 06:51 AM
Yes, Howe scored all 8 goals in the 7 game first round series against Montreal. Howe had a combined 0 goals and 2 assists in the 48 and 49 finals, but as you've said, Howe was not quite the force he was to become at that time.

Spitfire11
05-26-2007, 02:18 PM
Two things we haven't discussed.

1) How are you going to stop the only player in NHL history to have a 7 goal game, Joe Malone?

2) Offense from the blueline, MacInnis may be the best, but, Suchy is 2nd best, Vadnais 3rd, Egan 4th, Thomson 5th and Vasiliev 6th.

Redundant now, but might as well continue a bit since we've had some good discussion. Doesn't seem like many have followed it anyways besides us.

Malone will face whatever's on the ice when he is. He's one of the few players from the the 20's era I like. The problem he's going to have is getting room as he's another small guy and there's no one on his line to help make room for him. We're going to clog up the middle of the ice and keep Malone to the perimeter, away from our the front of our net.

As for offense from the blueline, Bob Dailey fits somewhere in between 3-4 and Laperriere is better than Thomson.

This is the playoffs where the offense of all your guys seemed to disappear

Egan 13 points in 44 games
Thomson 13 points in 63 games
Vadnais 50 points in 106 games

MacInnis 160 points in 177 games
Dailey 46 points in 63 games
Laperriere 31 points in 88 games
Reise 13 points in 52 games
Even Bouchard managed 32 points in 113 games for a better ppg than Thomson and an equal one to Egan.

I think we will actually get more offense from the blueline than St.Louis.

MXD
05-27-2007, 06:44 AM
Game 1

The first period of this game featured some of the most boring, conservative hockey ever. Both teams did not go rough, applied very little forecheck, and the defensemen just didn't joined the rush. An extremely awkward outlet pass from Jan Suchy was intercepted by Baldy Northcutt, who couldn't put the puck past Benedict, however.This was probably the most exiting moment of the 1st.

In the second period, both teams opened up the play passably more, and the Red Wings were the first team to score. Hatcher/Suchy pairing faulty again : extremely weak coverage by Hatcher makes
Neely go one on one vs Clint Benedict, who saw very little forwards as big as Neely drive the net like Neely did on his goal. So much that after the goal, Benedict litterally slashed Neely, and ended up giving a power play to Detroit just after scoring the first goal of the playoffs. About one minute later, Al McInnis executes a perfect
fake-slapper, and passes the puck to Neely (again), leaving Jimmy Thompson and Clint Benedict completely in awe before that play, while Neely scored one of his easier goals ever. While outshooting Detroit 20-14 after two periods, St-Louis just weren't able to do anything against Broda, and a few times, you could clearly see Mario Lemieux and Joe Malone mad at their wingers who were just unable to finish anything whatsoever.

Coach Hart decided to tweak his third pairing, inserting Pat Egan instead of Jan Suchy. The move paid off : a long ball from Egan to Malone, who has no problem making it past Bouchard and Abel : Broda blocks, but the burly netminder is somewhat out
of position when the puck ends up on Mats Naslund's stick, who had no problem roofing the puck over Broda. Poor Butch : he was argueably the best D-Men on the ice for the game, nullyfing Gordie Howe for the whole game, yet couldn't do anything
against the diminutives Malone and Naslund. He was able, though, to finish the game rather well, as proven with a absolutely big open-ice on Gordie Howe in the last minutes of the game, a hit that left Howe questionnable for game two, due to general body soreness. 2-1 Detroit, Detroit leads 1-0.
Stars : 1 : Cam Neely 2: Turk Broda 3: Butch Bouchard

MXD
05-27-2007, 02:32 PM
Game 2

Bad news in St-Louis prior to the game : Gordie Howe won't be dressed for game two, still injured from that violent hit suffered to Butch Bouchard, which means Martin Lapointe will be inserted in the lineup. There was also word of Jan Suchy being scratched, but coach Hart changed his mind, considering it was better to keep 7 D-Mens on the ice against the forecheck-oriented offense from Detroit. Although it was probably a polite way of saying that Michal Handzus probably don't belong on the starting squad, as Jan Suchy ended up
playing only 7 minutes in game two, most of them on the powerplay. At least, he played better than in game one.

Knowing Hart would probably be reluctant to use Suchy anyways, Tommy Gorman orders his players to forecheck like crazy in the first period : as such, he probably hoped his team would have winded up with a better result than trailing 1-0 after one period. Not only Hec Kilrea shown lots of courage by blocking a McInnis shot, but he was also able to use his speed to get to the puck before McInnis could get by it, and was able to beat Turk Broda on the breakaway. While
coming back to the bench, Kilrea was congratulated by coach Hart for his courage when the blade of his skate detached itself from the boot. Due to the lack of '30ies skates in the stock, Kilrea refused to go on the ice again in the 1st period, saying that he would look like a sissy in those modern skates...
Otherwise, the period was led by Detroit, and Coach Gorman told his players to continue playing the way they did : it will surely pay dividends later.

Starting the 2nd period with only 10 forwards (Kilrea continuing his holdout), St-Louis were nonetheless able to dominate offensively the 2nd period, controlling the puck effectively in the offensive
zone : too bad for them most of their shots were either blocked, or had very little angle due to superb display by Detroit defense. Detroit offense weren't able to get anything going, and the McLeish line just weren't unable to make it past the red line when in possession.

Kilrea was again holding out in the 3rd. Too bad, 'cause Coach Hart would really have needed it during a Detroit PP. Bob Dailey unleashed a weak, boucing wristler that Benedict wasn't quite able to control, and Ted Kennedy took the rebound, passed the puck to Jarome Iginla who just had to shoot it in a wide-open net. For the reminder of the period, Detroit just pressured the St-Louis D, and kinda screwed up their transition game. However, no one was able
to get anything going in Detroit offense, so that one went in OT.

Mario Lemieux, who weren't especially effective during the series, had the best chance of the first two periods of OT following a nice setup by Vladimir Martinec : too bad the shot hit the horizontal cross bar, as Broda was really beaten on the play.

The third OT period went to be the last period of this game. An extremely questionnable call on Kevin Stevens led to a Detroit PP. Winger Phil Watson was able to intercept a pass from McInnis to Abel, and flyed towards Broda with Lapointe on his wing, as Detroit players has been on the ice for more than a minute. Watson opts for passing, but... Lappy... LUNGES! ...INTERCEPTS!...PASSES WHILE still down to a fresh Jamie Langenbrunner who had just jumped
on the ice for Cam Neely. One on One vs. Ott Heller, Langenbrunner unleashes a slapper just inside the blueline, slightly deflect on Heller... SCORES!!!
Detroit wins 2-1, Detroit Leads 2-0
3 Stars : 1 : Turk Broda 2 : Mario Lemieux 3 : Jacques Laperriere.

And Cecil was mad at Watson, and especially Lapointe, who didn't exactly took the best decision for a guy who was promoted in the starting lineup due to an injury...

MXD
05-27-2007, 10:07 PM
Good news ahead for St-Louis. As expected, a full box of skates was able to get to the team, so Hec Kilrea will play again. And Mr. Hockey's back too. Don't know if he's top shape, though...
As could be expected, Martin Lapointe goes straight back in the reserves squad. The two newcomers don't lose time in prooving their usefulness : surprising Leo Reise with his tenacious forcheck, Hec Kilrea manages to make him cough to puck, sends it back to Howe.. SCORE! St-Louis would score one before before the end of the first : winning a battle against Lappy along the boards, Howe spots Jan Such who left his spot, backhand pass by Howe who finds his way behind Broda. The next shift, Howe is litterally assaulted by Bobby Holik, and both starts exchanging blows, to the net advantage of Howe, who was acclaimed on his way to the penalty box. Hence, Gordie Howe notched his first natural Gordie Howe hat-trick in career!

A surpringly boring 2nd period after that action packed 1st. Once again, St-Louis controls the game, but cannot quite get past Detroit D. And Detroit offense was completely ineffective and couldn't get anything going. Still 2-0 Detroit.

The third period was, well, quite the same way. The Eagles contented themselves to rely a lot on Phil Watson to
stop Ted Kennedy, and the D played well enough defensively to keep Detroit players at bay. Cooney Weiland would add an
empty netter.
St-Louis wins 3-0, Detroit Leads 2-1
3 Stars ; 1 : Gordie Howe 2 : Phil Watson 3 : Turk Broda

BM67
05-27-2007, 10:24 PM
What's up with the empty netters not being included in the final scores?

MXD
05-28-2007, 07:48 AM
Game 4
Kevin Stevens finally wokes up after a terrible start to the series. First, he notches a PP goal following a brillant pass from Valeri Vasiliev. Then, Lemieux dekes both Reise and Dailey, and sends the puck on Stevens way, who sends it through the five-hole. Lemieux also had an assist on the 1st Stevens goal. For the first time of this serie, Detroit defensive is really outplayed by the three-way threat of Lemieux/Howe/Malone. Joe Malone adds one before the end of the period, assisted by Pat Egan and Phil Watson, and Turk Broda starts
wondering what's going on there.

Lemieux don't lose any time in the 2nd period... Credited with a goal when he deflected a Carol Vadnais shot. Coach Gorman decides to withdraw Broda for Ranford. Nothing to do there : Detroit defense is in absolute disarray with the offense displayed by St-Louis. Gordie Howe - assisted by Valeri Vasiliev and Conney Weiland, would add another one before the third. 5-0 St-Louis.

It's under the sounds of boos and jeers that Detroit would finish the game. They were leading 2-0 before going home, and while no one actually beleived that they could win this round 4-0, they at least expected one win at home. The crowd continued to jeer as Mario Lemieux adds a second goal on a rebound, following a shot from Derian Hatcher.
St-Louis wins 6-0, Series tied 2-2
Stars : 1: Mario Lemieux 2:Valeri Vasiliev 3:Kevin Stevens

MXD
05-28-2007, 11:39 AM
Game 5
Back in St-Louis for game 5. As might be expected, Turk Broda returns in the net for this game. He ended up giving the first goal, but there isn't much that could be done against it : a slapper from Carol Vadnais deflected on Gordie Howe's elbow. Overall, a tightly played first period, where both teams ended up giving not much space to the opponent. 1-0 St-Louis.

Discipline problems errupted for St-Louis in the 2nd, however. Being badly outskated by Martin St-Louis, Hatcher trips him, and ends up in the box. A few moments later, Rick MacLeish scores, as he takes a rebound from Al McInnis's shot. During another PP to Detroit, McLeish wins a battle in the corner against Pat Egan, passes in the slot, but the pass is deflected by Rod Brind'Amour skate. The goal is accepted. Detroit got, in all, 7 power plays in the 2nd period, and Coach Hart can thank Clint Benedict for trailing only 2-1 in the game, after two.

If the 2nd period could be spelled "Clint Benedict", the 3rd period was Gordie Howe's one. First, he stunned Leo Reise with a thundering bodycheck. Reise was taken out with the help of the trainer, and is extremely doubtful to play again in first round. Howe scored the 2nd goal, with the help of a great pass (or a lucky bouce, according to everyone in Detroit...) from Maloney. And during a PP, he received a great pass from Lemieux, and sent it behind Broda. However, he pleased the crowd even more when Cam Neely viciously sucker-punched Naslund after losing a battle along the boards(considering the size difference between both guys, Neely had all the reasons to be mad...). Howe assaulted Neely, and pounded him like silly. Neely suffered a broken nose and needed 17 stitches to sew a huge cut below his eye after the game. No instigator penalty was given to Howe on the play, and Tommy Gorman started throwing sticks on the ice, while the crown chanted "Neely... YOU S*CK!"
Gordie Howe 3, Detroit 2 : St-Louis leads 3-2.
Stars : 1 : Gordie Howe 2 : Rick MacLeish 3 : Clint Benedict.

Injury report :
Detroit -- Reise : Doubtful to play in 1st round ; Neely : Should be okay.
St-Louis -- Naslund : Questionnable for next game. Should be able to play if Game 7 necessary.

MXD
05-28-2007, 11:58 AM
Game 6

First, news from the trainers room. Leo Reise, as expected, cannot play, and Robert Svehla will take his place in the lineup. Next, Cam Neely has been cleared to play by the trainers ; however, the League suspended him for 2 games after his attack on Naslund. Sami Pahlsson enters the game As for Naslund, he's been dressed by Coach Hart, but every columnist suspects he's not 100% at all, and Hart's decision is more revealing of his distrust of Handzus and Lapointe (after game 2...) than Naslund's health status. Maloney will take Naslund spot at ES, and Naslund will have some appearances on the PP : it's, at least, everyone's guess.

No use for a period-for-period report here : the game could be wrapped-up with one word : Turk Broda. Stopped 38 on 38. Coach Hart probably somewhat regrets of having played Naslund, as the guy just couldn't use his speed at all. The lone goal of the game was when Hec Kilrea was fairly nonchalent with Ted Kennedy in the neutral zone, allowing him to enter the offensive zone with Jarome Iginla at his right. From Teeder, to Iggy, to Teeder... One-timer, GOAL!

Coach Gorman was happy to have Sammy Pahlsson in his lineup, as he was surprisingly very effective against Mario Lemieux, who probably had his worst game of the playoffs -- and won only 21% of his faceoffs.
Detroit 1, St-Louis 0 : Serie tied 3-3.
Stars : 1 : Turk Broda 2 : Ted Kennedy 3 : Clint Benedict

Injury report:
Reise : Round over
Naslund : Could play around 10 minutes in game 7