ATD#8 Don Cherry Round 1: #4 Flin Flon vs. #5 New York

VanIslander
11-19-2007, 07:35 PM
The Don Cherry division:

First Round Match-Up



Flin Flon Bombers

Coach: Pete Green
Captain: Bobby Clarke
Alternates: Dale Hunter, Viacheslav Fetisov

Vladimir Krutov - Igor Larionov - Sergei Makarov
John LeClair - Bobby Clarke - Mark Recchi
Valeri Kamensky - Vincent LeCavalier - Martin St.Louis
Martin Gelinas - Dale Hunter - Randy McKay

Viacheslav Fetisov - Alexei Kasatonov
Herb Gardiner - Eric Desjardins
Stefan Persson - Andre Dupont

Grant Fuhr
Percy LeSueur

Brad Richards, Dave Manson, Paul Holmgren



vs.



New York Rangers

Coaches: Pat Quinn, Jacques Martin
Captain: Jean Beliveau
Alternates: Bobby Nystrom, Craig Ludwig

Brian Propp - Jean Beliveau - Punch Broadbent
Mats Naslund - Peter Forsberg - Mickey Redmond
Don Maloney - Bob Bourne - Bobby Nystrom
Brian Rolston - Chris Drury - Claude Lemieux
Mike Keane

Mark Howe - Joe Hall
Craig Ludwig - Ebbie Goodfellow
Jerry Korab - Lester Patrick
Paul Reinhart

Billy Smith
Andy Moog

VanIslander
11-19-2007, 07:41 PM
Neither team presented a complete special teams alignment on their roster thread so let them post their own first and second units here.

Hockey Outsider
11-20-2007, 12:40 AM
- Interesting matchup between two of the three great money playoff goalies of the 1980s. Both were competitive goalies who only cared about getting the W at the end of the night; both are a bit fiery and have some baggage. Pretty tough to choose between the two, prime versus prime.

- The Rangers have the edge on the PK. All of their bottom seven forwards are very good defensively. Most of them were disciplined positional PKers, but I think Lemieux's dirty streak will make him more effective against Clarke. The flipside to this, though, is that the Bombers have a lot more scoring from their depth forwards (Lecavalier, St. Louis and Hunter vs. Maloney, Drury and Rolston).

- Clarke/Larionov vs. Beliveau/Forsberg is one of the best centre battles in this draft. I said earlier that Beliveau and Clarke are the epitome of grace and relentlessness, respectively, in the best possible sense for both players. I prefer the Rangers' duo, though the Bombers' centers have the advantage of playing with longtime linemates in real life. Will real-life chemistry be key in the playoffs? Or will the Rangers have gotten used to each other after fighting through the long regular season?

- This is more of a general comment, but I'm amazed that Flin Flon was able to re-unite the KLM line, plus the Fetisov/Kasatonov pair. Great job.

Nalyd Psycho
11-20-2007, 05:46 AM
I really like New York, except that their wingers are kinda average and their centers are not great goal scorers, so chemistry there will be the key to this series, and Flin Flon will have to find a population to fill the seats, I mean, they will need to disrupt the connection between center and wingers.

The Green Unit should mean all of them are clutch, some of them struggled in the NHL playoffs and I believe comfort zone was a big part of that. That is not an issue here.

God Bless Canada
11-20-2007, 07:20 PM
If New York is going to win this series, they have to do it in six, because a seventh game in Flin Flon would be very scary.No team in the draft has a bigger home ice advantage than Flin Flon. Many players have suffered the "Flin Flon flu" over the years - they suddenly become ill when they have to play in the Flon, and they're better the moment they leave. Fans are rabid, raucous, crude, obnoxious - whatever word you want to use to describe them. Having an SJHL alum in Brian Propp will help the Rangers prepare, but how much can you prepare for having a moose leg thrown at you during the game. Some visiting players love playing in Flin Flon - they soak up the emotion from the fans and the atmosphere. Others fold under the pressure.

Nalyd, Flin Flon never has to worry about fan support. I don't know if there's a team in Canadian junior A hockey that supports their team as well as Flin Flon.

The other thing that stood out to me as a big advantage for the Flon - chemistry - is mitigated by this time of the year. And, as I asked before: How will the Green Unit adapt to playing in one of the most redneck cities in North America? It's not necessarily the market I'd want to toss five Russians into.

The edge for the Rangers is clutch play. This team is a 180 from Sather's previous entry. Beliveau, Propp, Forsberg, Lemieux, Bourne, Nystrom and Drury have a penchant for big goals. They love this time of year. New York's wingers might be average by regular season standards, but once the playoffs hit, it's a different story. Propp-Beliveau-Broadbent is one of the toughest first lines in the draft. If I'm NY, I want Broadbent out there against Krutov every chance I get.

Does Paul Reinhart and his 77 post-season points draw into the line-up?

I like Flin Flon's defence, although having Reinhart for the playoffs narrows the gap. But the Flon has a very well-built defence, with a good blend of steady play, skill and toughness.

Goaltending is a saw-off. I could see Smith being a hit in Flin Flon with his combative style. In the regular season, I give the edge to Flin Flon. In the playoffs, too close to call. Two of the best clutch goalies ever.

Give the coaching edge to Flin Flon. Green over Quinn/Martin.

VanIslander
11-20-2007, 08:35 PM
The Rangers forwards are defensively skilled to counter the depth of Bomber scoring, pretty much negating the advantage that a Lecavalier third offensive line might have against several other clubs, but...

Can the Bombers forwards handle the Rangers forwards?

Believeau and Forsberg will have their own physical progress up ice countered by Clarke and Larionov, but no doubt Jean and Petr will get off sweet passes to an open man, they being masters at getting the puck to the right place. Makarov and Kamensky might not stay on their man so closely and even guys like Leclair and Krutov might be caught up ice, especially when turnovers spark the Rangers on transition. Hart-winning ex-centre Goodfellow provides great passing on the second pairing and "The Silver Fox" Patrick provides top flight rushing on the third pairing. So, the Rangers will get rushing opportunities to score, and we know that Drury, Claude et al will get their clutch scoring. Still, the concern remains...

Can the Rangers contain the damage caused by Clarke and the Soviet Five?

Hall, Ludwig and Korab are excellent defensive defensemen anchoring each Ranger pairing, and third line centre Bourne can be effective against almost any all-time great. Coach Quinn has assistant coach Martin to concentrate on team defensive play and this drafting of a second coach seems apt, playing to the team's strengths against a three-line passing team.

Evil Sather
11-20-2007, 08:38 PM
Some minor lineup changes, playoff driven.

Brian Propp - Jean Beliveau - Punch Broadbent
Mats Naslund - Peter Forsberg - Claude Lemieux
Don Maloney - Bob Bourne - Bobby Nystrom
Brian Rolston - Chris Drury - Mike Keane
Mickey Redmond

Mark Howe - Joe Hall
Craig Ludwig - Ebbie Goodfellow
Paul Reinhart - Lester Patrick


Billy Smith
Andy Moog

The Rangers are born and bred for this time of year. Lemieux, a 4th liner in the regular season, gets automatic second line minutes in the second season and with good reason; NINETEEN playoff game winning goals, 4 cups on 3 teams. Keane gets bumped to the 4th line to play major PK minutes, the whole 4th line will play special teams far more than ES, similar to how the Devils used to a few years ago with Madden and Pandolfo. I don't anticipate them getting more than 2 or 3 even strength shifts a game, unless it's an unusually clean game.

Paul Reinhart moves up and King Kong Korab takes a seat, his 77 playoff points in a mere 84 games more than enough justification.

Flin Flon's home ice is its biggest advantage; luckily the Rangers have scores of players who come up bigger the bigger the stakes. Billy Smith will not be intimidated in the least; if Bobby Clarke wants to make himself known to Billy, I'd probably take the guy in the goalie equipment and mask knocking out the rest of Clarkie's teeth.

The Rangers have the better big-game goalie (by a slight margin, but an advantage nonetheless; Smith has Smythe while Fuhr doesn't, 19 consecutive series victories, career playoff record), the best player in the series in Beliveau, several players with Cup winning goals , three Smythe winners (Beliveau, C. Lemeiux, Smith), and one of the best Captains in history.

Between the KLM line or Kantplaysky-Lecavalier-St. Louis, I see two lines on Flin Flon that would be vulnerable to the grinding physicality my team brings, and that I feel is a big edge; a guy like Dale Hunter might try to equal that in his own way and that's probably a negative for the Bombers. The defense is pretty solid but not spectacular at all, and it'll be interesting to see if Fuhr can maintain his concentration after 30-40 seconds of cycling when a shot comes and 3 guys crash his crease.

I'm just not that concerned over his 1st and 3rd lines flash and skill because I'll be clogging the neutral zone (ty Mr. Martin) pretty well and forcing dump-ins; I'd be more concerned over Clarke's line goading Smith into a bad penalty or two more than by rushes.

Rangers in six, I believe.

VanIslander
11-20-2007, 08:58 PM
Mats Naslund - Peter Forsberg - Claude Lemieux

Lemieux, a 4th liner in the regular season, gets automatic second line minutes in the second season ....
:clap: Good move.

Petr and Claude played very well together in Colorado on a line with.. "Kantplaysky" ;)

John Flyers Fan
11-20-2007, 09:04 PM
The edge for the Rangers is clutch play. This team is a 180 from Sather's previous entry. Beliveau, Propp, Forsberg, Lemieux, Bourne, Nystrom and Drury have a penchant for big goals.

I'd have to disagree with you here. Th eBombers have a number of guys known for clutch play, especially playoff OT goals.

Gelinas - 3 OT goals to end series
Hunter - 2 OT goals to end series.
Clarke, Larionov, St. Louis all OT goals in the Finals.
LeClair with two OT Finals goals.

Desjardins with another OT goal in the finals to cap the only hat trick by a defenseman in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Brad Richards with a Conn Smythe.
LeCavalier MVP of the World Cup
Kamensky, Soviet MVP of Randezvous 87

Larionov and Makarov late in their careers keying an upset of the #1 seeded Red Wings.

Mark Recchi with a multiple OT game winner .. 34 point playoff en route to a Stanley Cup, 3 other double digit playoff seasons, one en route to a 2nd Stanley Cup.

Fuhr a big time money goalie with 4 Cups as a starter and a Canada Cup.

John Flyers Fan
11-20-2007, 09:09 PM
:clap: Good move.

Petr and Claude played very well together in Colorado on a line with.. "Kantplaysky" ;)

Would that be the same Kamensky that did this in back-to-back playoff seasons in Colorado:

1996 Stanley Cup winning Avalance playoff scoring:

Sakic - 34 points
Kamensky - 22 points
Forsberg - 21 points

Claude Lemieux - 12 good for 9th on the team

1997 Avalanche playoff scoring:

Sakic - 25 points
Lemieux - 23 points
Kamensky - 22 points

Forsberg T-4th - 17 points


That would be

Kamensy - 44 points :naughty:
Forsberg - 38 points
Lemieux - 35 points

VanIslander
11-20-2007, 09:36 PM
I know the value of Kamensky, having drafted him to play my first line before. But as a third liner? Well, while not typical, your third line is like a second first line: offense-oriented.

Can the Bombers succeed icing three offensive lines without having superior blueline depth?

Perhaps. Clarke, Larionov and Hunter sure will clog the middle of the ice and Fuhr likes to get a lot of work.

John Flyers Fan
11-20-2007, 09:59 PM
I know the value of Kamensky, having drafted him to play my first line before. But as a third liner? Well, while not typical, your third line is like a second first line: offense-oriented.

Can the Bombers succeed icing three offensive lines without having superior blueline depth?

Perhaps. Clarke, Larionov and Hunter sure will clog the middle of the ice and Fuhr likes to get a lot of work.

Our team is not constructed to be ...

scoring line 1
scoring line 2
checking line
crash bang/specialty line

All four of my lines can put the puck in the net, and unless we're getting dominated by a particular line (not going to happen in this series) we won't put together a true shutdown line.

Kamensky, LeCavalier and St. Louis are often going to see time against the 3 pairing defenseman of the other teams, and theiir size, speed and skill and going to make the opposition pay. All three are proven big game players, and will only rise to the occasion come playoff time.

John Flyers Fan
11-20-2007, 10:11 PM
Some other advantages I feel we have.

#1. Home ice advantage. While we won't necessarily be looking to match lines on a regular basis, it will happen if needed, and the Flin Flon faithful and Bobby Clarke won't let this team lose on home ice.

#2. Coaching - Green is a 3 time Stanley Cup winner, while neither Quinn or Martin have ever won a Cup .. and Martin in particular has a ratehr spotty playoff resume.

#3. Fetisov and my overall defense corps- clearly the best defenseman in the series.

#4. Injury prone players ... Reinhart's wonky back ... and Forsberg's myriad of injuries. Forsberg's ankles will certainly be tested for strength by any of a number of Bombers.

#5. Gamebreakers - The Bombers have far more elite level offensive players.


In the end I think the Rangers are only winning this series if Beliveau dominates and takes over the series. In the end the Bombers win the series with more offense, and the better defense corps. Goaltending is nearly a draw (personally I'd give a slight edge to Fuhr, but it's real close).

John Flyers Fan
11-20-2007, 10:23 PM
As for Flin Flon's special teams units.

Power Play ... we don't have a #1 & #2 unit ... depends on when the penalties are taken and who has been on the ice last.

The Green Unit .. will play the game exactly how they do. Having dominated the best the world has to offer.

LeClair - Clarke - LeCavalier
Desjardins - Recchi

LeClair will man the front of the net, Clarke will work the corners and set up behind the net, while LeCavalier mans the half wall. Recchi and Desjardins will man the points.


Penalty kill


Our top two defensive pairs will kill penalties.

Up front we will have a number of combinations

Clarke - St. Louis .. will be our #1 pair. Speed, smarts and tons of pressuer on the opposing defense. Shorthanded goals galore

Hunter - Gelinas

Makarov - Krutov ... were devastating on the penalty kill. Torturing the 87 Canada Cup team with shorties in every game.

MXD
11-20-2007, 10:32 PM
Some other advantages I feel we have.

#1. Home ice advantage. While we won't necessarily be looking to match lines on a regular basis, it will happen if needed, and the Flin Flon faithful and Bobby Clarke won't let this team lose on home ice.

#2. Coaching - Green is a 3 time Stanley Cup winner, while neither Quinn or Martin have ever won a Cup .. and Martin in particular has a ratehr spotty playoff resume.

#3. Fetisov and my overall defense corps- clearly the best defenseman in the series.

#4. Injury prone players ... Reinhart's wonky back ... and Forsberg's myriad of injuries. Forsberg's ankles will certainly be tested for strength by any of a number of Bombers.

#5. Gamebreakers - The Bombers have far more elite level offensive players.


In the end I think the Rangers are only winning this series if Beliveau dominates and takes over the series. In the end the Bombers win the series with more offense, and the better defense corps. Goaltending is nearly a draw (personally I'd give a slight edge to Fuhr, but it's real close).

I feel somewhat "brave" right now to target a team with two GM's (which means two guys that can vote against me rather than one...)

-But c'mon, saying Pete Green is a better coach than Pat Quinn because of the Cups he had while there were much less teams involved (thus, a better chance to make the playoffs)makes as much sense as saying Henri Richard is a superior player to ... Let's say Peter Stasny, because he has 11 more cups. I mean... THERE HAS to be a better reason.

-Maybe the Bombers have more gamebreakers (I agree), but they don't have THE gamebreaker.

I can't really argue about the others point. But the Green was brought with the worst justification you could come out with.

Roger's Pancreas*
11-20-2007, 10:49 PM
I don't know how anyone can say that our forwards will struggle against New York's when New York's secondary scoring hinges on Peter Forsberg. As great of a player as Forsberg is/was, he will get dominated in the faceoff circle against Clarke, and the frustration during game time will inevitibly mount. He'll erupt, as he often does against players who take liberties against him, and when he does the Russian Five are going to be there to clean up the mess. Just a point I didn't see mentioned above.

God Bless Canada
11-21-2007, 12:39 AM
I'd have to disagree with you here. Th eBombers have a number of guys known for clutch play, especially playoff OT goals.

Gelinas - 3 OT goals to end series
Hunter - 2 OT goals to end series.
Clarke, Larionov, St. Louis all OT goals in the Finals.
LeClair with two OT Finals goals.

Desjardins with another OT goal in the finals to cap the only hat trick by a defenseman in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Brad Richards with a Conn Smythe.
LeCavalier MVP of the World Cup
Kamensky, Soviet MVP of Randezvous 87

Larionov and Makarov late in their careers keying an upset of the #1 seeded Red Wings.

Mark Recchi with a multiple OT game winner .. 34 point playoff en route to a Stanley Cup, 3 other double digit playoff seasons, one en route to a 2nd Stanley Cup.

Fuhr a big time money goalie with 4 Cups as a starter and a Canada Cup.
You're targeting single areas or single years. I'm looking at the entire body of work. You don't have a guy as clutch as Beliveau. For my money, Beliveau is the best "intangible" guy in the draft - his character, leadership, class, clutch play, experience, will to win, etc. There just isn't another guy who brings all of it together like Beliveau.

Don't try to compare Kamensky and Lemieux. I like Kamensky. He's a good value pick. But trying to compare them only weakens your overall argument. Kamensky had two great playoffs. Lemieux had a lot more than that. And Lemieux could be the best player on the ice without a point. Can't say the same about Kamensky.

Forsberg was clutch. He was hurt in the 1997 playoffs. That's why his numbers were low. He's well over a point-per-game in the playoffs for his career, and he was likely the best player in the playoffs in 1999 and 2002.

You want to talk about Makarov's playoff performances? He was dealt out of Calgary because of his playoff performances. He was, at one point, a healthy scratch for the Flames in the post-season.

Does anyone really care, in a best-of-seven situation, that Kamensky was MVP for the USSR in Rendez-Vous 87? A two-game total goal series, vs. a seven-game series. World of difference.

The Rangers have more clutch scorers. I don't think you're going to win any arguments if you try to counter that statement. The guys in this draft are too smart for that. So don't try to blow smoke. I think your two biggest advantages are coaching and home-ice advantage. That might seem like a knock against your team, but your home-ice advantage is the biggest in the league.

John Flyers Fan
11-21-2007, 01:12 AM
Don't try to compare Kamensky and Lemieux. I like Kamensky. He's a good value pick. But trying to compare them only weakens your overall argument. Kamensky had two great playoffs. Lemieux had a lot more than that. And Lemieux could be the best player on the ice without a point. Can't say the same about Kamensky.

Forsberg was clutch. He was hurt in the 1997 playoffs. That's why his numbers were low. He's well over a point-per-game in the playoffs for his career, and he was likely the best player in the playoffs in 1999 and 2002.

You want to talk about Makarov's playoff performances? He was dealt out of Calgary because of his playoff performances. He was, at one point, a healthy scratch for the Flames in the post-season.

Does anyone really care, in a best-of-seven situation, that Kamensky was MVP for the USSR in Rendez-Vous 87? A two-game total goal series, vs. a seven-game series. World of difference.

The Rangers have more clutch scorers. I don't think you're going to win any arguments if you try to counter that statement. The guys in this draft are too smart for that. So don't try to blow smoke. I think your two biggest advantages are coaching and home-ice advantage. That might seem like a knock against your team, but your home-ice advantage is the biggest in the league.


Kamensky had two great playoffs, because like all my other Soviets his best years were spent in Europ and not in the NHL. As a kid he was great during the 87 Canada Cup, quite possibly the best collection of talent hockey has ever seen and he was one of the 10 best players on the ice.

Makarov and Krutov were the 3rd and 4th best forwards, behind only Gretzky and Lemieux, certainly outshining Messier, Propp, Hawerchuk, etc.

As for Makarov being traded because he didn't get it done in the playoffs in Calgary ... that's a crock. He joined the team the year after they won the Stanley Cup.

1st year in Calgary he prodeuced a point a game in the playoffs, outscoring Gilmour, Fleury and Joey Mullen among others.

2nd year in Calgary he was injured and only played in 3 playoff games

Years 3 and 4 in Calgary they missed the playoffs both years. The Flames didn't trade him beacuse he wasn't producing in the playoffs. The Flames weren't sniffing the playoffs. Makarov wanted to lpay with his buddy Larionov in San Jose.

Makarov is clearly the best winger in this series, and that really shouldn't even be up for debate.

I'll put my offense and [roven clutch play against the Rangers team any day of the week. Yes, Beliveau is the best player .. after that the talent gap widens in a hurry.



I know you aren't a big fan of current players in this draft, I'm wondering if that's why you have neglected to mention Recchi, LeCavalier and St. Louis even once. All three are supremely talented, gritty and proven big game, playoff performers.

Nalyd Psycho
11-21-2007, 05:34 AM
Nalyd, Flin Flon never has to worry about fan support. I don't know if there's a team in Canadian junior A hockey that supports their team as well as Flin Flon.


I wouldn't be surprised if the entire city attended the home games, I'm just not sure that would fill an NHL sized arena.

God Bless Canada
11-21-2007, 12:37 PM
Kamensky had two great playoffs, because like all my other Soviets his best years were spent in Europ and not in the NHL. As a kid he was great during the 87 Canada Cup, quite possibly the best collection of talent hockey has ever seen and he was one of the 10 best players on the ice.

Makarov and Krutov were the 3rd and 4th best forwards, behind only Gretzky and Lemieux, certainly outshining Messier, Propp, Hawerchuk, etc.

As for Makarov being traded because he didn't get it done in the playoffs in Calgary ... that's a crock. He joined the team the year after they won the Stanley Cup.

1st year in Calgary he prodeuced a point a game in the playoffs, outscoring Gilmour, Fleury and Joey Mullen among others.

2nd year in Calgary he was injured and only played in 3 playoff games

Years 3 and 4 in Calgary they missed the playoffs both years. The Flames didn't trade him beacuse he wasn't producing in the playoffs. The Flames weren't sniffing the playoffs. Makarov wanted to lpay with his buddy Larionov in San Jose.

Makarov is clearly the best winger in this series, and that really shouldn't even be up for debate.

I'll put my offense and [roven clutch play against the Rangers team any day of the week. Yes, Beliveau is the best player .. after that the talent gap widens in a hurry.



I know you aren't a big fan of current players in this draft, I'm wondering if that's why you have neglected to mention Recchi, LeCavalier and St. Louis even once. All three are supremely talented, gritty and proven big game, playoff performers.
He wasn't hurt in 1991. He was a healthy scratch. Calgary tried to trade him in the off-season, but there weren't any takers. (Side note: the Flames were also trying to trade Makarov because they had a highly-skilled Swede coming in, Thomas Forslund, who they expected to fill Makarov's role. But Forslund fizzled, and the deal fell through).

Calgary did have a deal worked out with Hartford for Makarov in 1992, but it fell through. Makarov played one more year in Calgary. The Flames did make the playoffs in 1993, but I don't know why Makarov didn't play. He did fade badly down the stretch in the 1992-93 season (he killed me in a hockey pool), so I'm not sure if he was hurt, or if he was once again a healthy scratch. Makarov went to Hartford in 1993, and was promptly dealt to San Jose.

I'll agree that Makarov is the best winger in this series. But the gap narrows once the playoffs start.

I hold St. Louis very highly. One of the things that nobody mentions about him is the three straight game winning goals against Washington in 2003. I think I mentioned Recchi earlier. Leclair's playoff record is hit or miss.

Lecavalier seems to have shed the inconsistency that plagued him for most of his career. Even in 2004, he was a roller coaster. He was terrible against the Islanders in the first round. He was Tampa's best player against Montreal. (And it wasn't close). In the final against Calgary, he was a non-factor the first six games, and then had one of the best games of his life in Game 7. His playoff record has been a roller coaster thus far, but that's reflective of his career up until last season.

Transplanted Caper
11-21-2007, 12:44 PM
Some minor lineup changes, playoff driven.

Brian Propp - Jean Beliveau - Punch Broadbent
Mats Naslund - Peter Forsberg - Claude Lemieux
Don Maloney - Bob Bourne - Bobby Nystrom
Brian Rolston - Chris Drury - Mike Keane
Mickey Redmond

Mark Howe - Joe Hall
Craig Ludwig - Ebbie Goodfellow
Paul Reinhart - Lester Patrick


Billy Smith
Andy Moog

.


Really like the line-up change ES. When I looked at the original lines I thought the 2nd line could use some girt and tenacity, and come April, Claude supplies that in spades. Beliveau/Forsberg is a great one-two punch up the middle with the only question being Forsberg's health.

Roger's Pancreas*
11-21-2007, 01:18 PM
I hold St. Louis very highly. One of the things that nobody mentions about him is the three straight game winning goals against Washington in 2003. I think I mentioned Recchi earlier. Leclair's playoff record is hit or miss."Hit" coming before the back injuries neutered him, and "miss" coming afterwards I can only assume.Lecavalier seems to have shed the inconsistency that plagued him for most of his career. Even in 2004, he was a roller coaster. He was terrible against the Islanders in the first round. He was Tampa's best player against Montreal. (And it wasn't close). In the final against Calgary, he was a non-factor the first six games, and then had one of the best games of his life in Game 7. His playoff record has been a roller coaster thus far, but that's reflective of his career up until last season.Given third line minutes, he's only going to be counted on for one, maybe two good shifts per game. That's perfect for a player as inconsistent as LeCavalier. Because as long as he breaks out for one shift, he'll be providing the Bombers with some depth.

MXD
11-23-2007, 11:38 AM
The question that needs to be adressed here :

- Can Maloney - Bourne - Nystrom stop Kamensky - Lecavalier - St-Louis.

The 1st and the 2nd will pretty much trade off goals, and both teams have D's who will score goals. Is NY 3rd good enough hold Kam - Lec - STL silent?

- Am I the only thinking Bobby Clarke vs. Joe Hall, deep down in NY's zone, is damn interesting?

- And what are the lines matchups anyways?

John Flyers Fan
11-23-2007, 12:17 PM
Lecavalier seems to have shed the inconsistency that plagued him for most of his career. Even in 2004, he was a roller coaster. He was terrible against the Islanders in the first round. He was Tampa's best player against Montreal. (And it wasn't close). In the final against Calgary, he was a non-factor the first six games, and then had one of the best games of his life in Game 7. His playoff record has been a roller coaster thus far, but that's reflective of his career up until last season.

LeCavalier was also their best player against the Flyers in 2004. He was a monster against New Jersey last year as well, with him and St. Louis trying to pretty much single handedly beat the Devils.

He's also quite arguably the best player in the world at the moment, which is something only a few players in this series have ever sniffed (Beliveau, Forsberg, Clarke, LeCavalier & St. Louis).

Sturminator
11-27-2007, 03:55 PM
Game 1:

Associated Press – Flin Flon

Le Gros Bill lived up to his billing today, scoring a second period goal and setting up two more as New York surprised the home team with a quick offensive outburst and then held onto the lead in front of a raucous Flin Flon crowd. Valeri Kamensky gave the Bombers an early lead on a vintage individual effort that brought back memories of 1987. Flin Flon went to the dressing room up one and were shocked to be down two before the midway point of the second period. “They just jumped on us as soon as the puck was dropped in the second. Beliveau made that pass to Howe and it was all downhill from there,” said a typically verbose Dale Hunter after the game. Indeed, Jean Beliveau’s saucer pass through three sticks to set up a streaking Mark Howe was the highlite of the night. Beliveau would score one of his own on a quick backhander in-close on the powerplay three minutes later before setting up Peter Forsberg from behind the net during a bizarre line change at 09:24. Flin Flon drew within one midway through the third when John Leclair slipped a puck through Billy Smith’s pads before getting chopped to the ice by the combative goaltender. That sequence set off a round of fisticuffs that nearly cleared the benches and set the tone for a game that got rougher as time wound down. “If they want a war, we’ll give them one,” said Bobby Clarke after the game.

Final score: New York 3 – Flin Flon 2
New York leads the series 1 game to none

Sturminator
11-27-2007, 03:55 PM
Game 2:

Associated Press – Flin Flon

The Bombers, led by their iconic captain Bobby Clarke, came out hard in front of the home crowd in game two. “We were determined not to go into New York down 2-0,” said coach Pete Green, “That is simply unacceptable.” Early on, Herb Gardiner buried Peter Forsberg with a questionable check along the boards and again the teams nearly came to blows before Clarke opened the scoring at 16:58 of the first, digging a loose puck out of Smith’s pads and chipping it cleverly into the upper corner. Claude Lemieux got called for tripping at 04:23 of the second and on the ensuing powerplay, Slava Fetisov scored on a powerful slapshot to give the home team a two goal lead. Mickey Redmond brought the Rangers to within one with a hard wrister before he, himself, was the victim of a questionable check, this one coming from Dale Hunter. In-between bites of a delicious looking hoagie, a visibly angry Pat Quinn said after the game: “If Flin Flon thinks they can take advantage of our star players, they are sorely mistaken. The next time I see Dale Hunter with his stick up, someone’s going to the hospital.” Sergei Makarov iced it with a quick one-timer off an Igor Larionov feed late in the third, to the delight of the home crowd.

Final Score: Flin Flon 3 – New York 1
Series tied 1 game to 1

Sturminator
11-27-2007, 03:56 PM
Game 3:

Associated Press – New York

When asked after the game if the series had turned into an all-out war, game three hero Igor Larionov cooly replied, “No. War is war. This is hockey. There is a difference.” Not surprising coming from the only man in Madison Square Garden who appeared to have kept his cool after a first period brawl between the teams that got as far as the visitors’ dressing room. “What does Bobby Clarke want, a cookie?” said Jerry “King Kong” Korab after the game. “He scores one and then goes showboating like that. I had to teach him a lesson on the next shift.” With the Bombers up one nothing, Korab laid a crushing check on the Flin Flon captain that sent him flying into the New York bench, where he was rudely greeted by Claude Lemieux and Craig Ludwig. Clarke came out swinging and in a matter of moments, the teams began fighting between the benches. The melee eventually made it into the hallway and as far as the Flin Flon dressing room before security restored order. Grant Fuhr squared off with Billy Smith at center ice and got the better of the action in the only clear KO. “Blood and thunder, baby…blood and thunder,” was all Punch Broadbent could mutter through a blood-stained grin after the game. There was also a bit of hockey played and a pair of beautiful third period goals from the KLM line. Vladimir Krutov converted a clever Larionov pass at 12:35 of the third and then returned the favor three minutes later to salt away the victory for Flin Flon.

Final Score: Flin Flon 3 – New York 0
Flin Flon leads the series 2 games to 1

Sturminator
11-27-2007, 03:57 PM
Game 4:

Associated Press – New York

Outscored 8 to 4 through the first three games of the series, the Rangers came alive tonight, potting a pair of goals in all three periods to run away with a game that seemed ready to descend into a free-for-all at any moment. Against the backdrop of forty of New York’s finest lining the tunnels and a surly, at times deafening crowd, the home team played relentless hockey on the evening and had the game well in hand by the opening of the third period. Referee Francis “King” Clancy, earning a little spending money while his Seals sit idle, was seen talking to the Flin Flon bench at the beginning of the third. “I warned them not to try any monkey business with the score like it was. Sometimes a team that’s way down in a game will try to send a message. I told Pete Green I didn’t want to see him take any pepper spray to the face.” The game was delayed for ten minutes while a clean-up team followed by a Zamboni tended to the ice after angry New Yorkers threw trash, beer, and all forms of flotsam and jetsam as the Bombers came out of the tunnel to begin their warm-up skate. Once the game commenced, it was all Rangers, who got two goals from Broadbent and one each from Beliveau, Propp, Naslund and Rolston. Vincent LeCavalier tallied for Flin Flon in the third, but it was too little, too late.

Final Score: New York 6 – Flin Flon 1
Series tied 2 games to 2

Sturminator
11-27-2007, 03:57 PM
Game 5:

Associated Press – Flin Flon

With literally every inhabitant of Flin Flon watching the game - either from the stands or on a jumbotron set up in the town square with money originally intended for an anti-domestic violence campaign – Grant Fuhr became the town’s newest hero after stoning the Rangers through sixty minutes of bloody, brutal hockey. “That was the single dirtiest game I’ve ever seen played,” said Canada One guest commentator Denis Potvin after the game, “I wish I could have been in it.” Staked to an early 1-0 lead on a Bobby Clarke rebound goal, the Bombers began taking runs at the New York team, trying to intimidate them physically. Early in the second period, Dale Hunter cut Peter Forsberg on the forehead with a high stick and the Swede replied by chopping at Hunter’s knees. What followed can only be described as an old-fashioned stick duel, with Forsberg getting the better end of it before both players were eventually restrained by their own teammates and sent to the showers with matching game misconducts. Hunter is listed as day-to-day with a “lower body injury”. Not surprisingly, things went from bad to worse after that. Punch Broadbent mauled Dave Manson in a fight later in the second, only to receive his comeuppance on the next shift in the form of a vicious crosscheck from Bombers captain Bobby Clarke. Surprisingly, there were only 8 minutes of minor penalties called in the game, in spite of exceptionally dirty play throughout. “I’m going to launch an inquiry into the officiating with the league office. What happened today was a disgrace,” said a visibly hungry Pat Quinn at the postgame press conference.

Final Score: Flin Flon 1 – New York 0
Flin Flon leads the series 3 games to 2

Sturminator
11-27-2007, 03:58 PM
Game 6:

Associated Press – New York

“Be-li-vo! Be-li-vo!” Jean Beliveau gave the New York Rangers new life in their darkest hour in game six, scoring the equalizer with Smith pulled and 15 seconds to play as the Rangers saw their season about to end. “It was one of those quick plays. Forsberg digs it out of the corner, whips it over to Howe and suddenly the puck is on my stick and in,” said a typically humble Beliveau. New York fans serenaded their captain with the most inspiringly clumsy Francophone name-chant since the Matteau goal, and the team carried that energy into the extra frame, finishing the comeback at 02:36 of the first overtime on a beautiful deke and finish by Chris Drury. After taking the early lead on an Eddie Goodfellow power play tally in the first, the Rangers had fallen into a hole after second period goals on successive shifts from Flin Flon’s Flyers and KLM lines. “When Leclair and Makarov made it 2-1, not one man on our bench so much as blinked. Not one man. We knew we were going to come back,” said Beliveau, “Sorry it took me so long.”

Final Score: New York 3 – Flin Flon 2
Series tied 3 games to 3

Sturminator
11-27-2007, 03:59 PM
Game 7:

Associated Press – Flin Flon

“Arguably the most bitter, violent and best first round series in which I’ve ever played,” - Bobby Clarke

“I don’t think there was a man on either team who left anything on the ice tonight.” – Billy Smith

“Theses series was a niiiice!” - Alexei Kasatonov

It was one for the ages tonight. Far better than any words can tell, scenes of destruction in and around the frozen city of Flin Flon stand as a still smoldering monument to the passions of the town and its team, the Bombers. Mark Recchi remains in critical condition in Flin Flon Memorial Veterinary Clinic, and many of the perpetrators of the already infamous Recchi Riot remain at large. There is much confusion for the league office to sort out in the wake of this incident, but for one team, the next round is all that matters. “All I care about is that we’re through,” said Claude Lemieux, “The press and the commissioner can talk all they want about dirty play, but at the end of the day, one team goes through and one team goes home.” And so it was; against seemingly impossible odds, the New York Rangers made it out of Flin Flon, victorious and alive after a game that may make Igor Larionov reconsider his stance on the difference between hockey and war.

Claude Lemieux was both hero and villain, ending the season’s hopes for the Bombers and possibly ending Mark Recchi’s career in the same night. “His feet got tangled up in my stick and he fell into the boards. Don’t ****ing accuse me of pushing him,” said the ever-taciturn Lemieux in response to questions about his role in an on-ice incident which left Mark Recchi lying motionless on the ice for almost twenty minutes. Referee Kerry Fraser issued only a 2 minute minor penalty to Lemieux for tripping on a play in which Recchi lost his edge and went head-first into the end boards while fighting with Lemieux as both men raced after a long dump-in in the Bombers’ zone. Video replay showed that Lemieux gave Recchi a shove as the left winger was going down, propelling him harder into Flin-Flon’s unforgiving old-style end boards. When the scene was replayed on the jumbotron in Flin Flon, the crowd nearly broke down the glass around the penalty box.

“I don’t want to think about what might have happened to me had that glass given way,” said Lemieux, “It was the longest two minutes of my life.” But Lemieux would not remain the villain for long. Just thirty two seconds after emerging from the penalty box, Lemieux broke a scoreless tie at 17:49 of the third, and then proceeded to kill off the first half of a penalty in the game’s dying moments as the Bombers mounted a desperate last-ditch assault on the New York goal. Before Lemieux asserted himself, the game was a messy, unpleasant affair. Punch Broadbent and Herb Gardiner were both ejected for their roles in a first-period fight that left Frazer, who bravely tried to intervene, with a badly broken, bloodied nose. A second period brawl cleared both benches and again Billy Smith got the worst of it from Grant Fuhr in a clash reminiscent of some of Patrick Roy’s lesser moments. “He’s not much of a goalie,” Smith said after the game, ”but he’s pretty tough. I wonder if he does that to his golfing partners, as well?” Thanks to Lemieux, Smith and his teammates had the last laugh in Flin Flon and quickly fled the arena as incensed, drunk and quite possibly just bored fans began tearing apart anything they could get their hands on. The Rangers’ team bus was last seen navigating its way through a maze of overturned cars, many of which were on fire, en route to the airport. A state of emergency has been declared in Flin Flon.

Final Score: New York 1 – Flin Flon 0
New York wins the series 4 games to 3

Three Stars of the series:

1) Jean Beliveau
2) Bobby Clarke
3) Mark Howe

MXD
11-27-2007, 04:19 PM
Whhhhaatttt a writeup!
Congrats ES, I liked your team from the start.

Nalyd Psycho
11-27-2007, 04:39 PM
Hardest series for me to decide on. Congrats ES.

Evil Sather
11-27-2007, 05:13 PM
Hardest series for me to decide on. Congrats ES.

Wow, my teams have a thing for 1st round riots.... LOVE IT!!

Congrats to Flin Flon for an epic series.. I figured it would go seven.

Mildly surprised... Mark Howe, 3rd star?!? Wow!

Woulda liked to see Joe Hall v. Bobby Clarke.

Fuhr a better fighter than Smith?!?!?

Will I even have a team able to dress for the next series? Yikes.

arrbez
11-27-2007, 06:08 PM
Hardest series for me to decide on. Congrats ES.

Amen to that. An unfair fate for such good teams to meet in the first round.

And now I've got my hands full with New York.

Transplanted Caper
11-27-2007, 06:22 PM
Best write up ever. Well done Sturm.

John Flyers Fan
11-27-2007, 06:35 PM
Good luck to ES.

Have to say I'm quite surprised that our team is gone so early. I believe that this team would have quite easily defeated my team from the last draft, and that one made it to the semi's.

shawnmullin
11-27-2007, 07:14 PM
I'm surprised to see Flin Flon lose game 7 at home! But this was a VERY tough one for sure.

vancityluongo
11-27-2007, 08:10 PM
Wow. Epic. Both teams were second round worthy, IMO, but one of them had to lose. Congrats to NY for pulling out the win.