ATD#8 Foster Hewitt Semi-Final: #2 Gwinnett Gladiators vs. #3 Victoria Cougars

VanIslander
11-28-2007, 09:13 PM
The Foster Hewitt division

Second Round Match-Up



Gwinnett Gladiators

Coach: Scotty Bowman
Captain: Brian Leetch
Alternates: Pat Verbeek, Jim Peplinski

Valery Kharlamov - Howie Morenz - Anders Hedberg
Steve Shutt - Bill Cowley - Peter Bondra
Bobby Carpenter - Vyacheslav Starshinov - Pat Verbeek
Scott Young - Derek Sanderson - Jim Peplinski

Stan Jonathan, Chris Nilan

Brian Leetch - Steve Smith
Babe Pratt - Gennady Tsygankov
Nikolai Sologubov - Ivan Tregubov
Yuri Fedorov

Georges Vezina
John Vanbiesbrouck



vs.



Victoria Cougars

Coach: Glen Sather
Captain: Pierre Pilote
Alternates: Toe Blake, Craig MacTavish

Toe Blake - Cyclone Taylor - Guy Lafleur
Alexander Yakushev - Ulf Nilsson - Brian Bellows
Craig Ramsay - Craig MacTavish - Floyd Curry
Vincent Damphousse - Tod Sloan - Terry Crisp

Pierre Pilote - Ching Johnson
Randy Carlyle - Kevin Lowe
Dallas Smith - Tomas Jonsson

Chuck Gardiner
Riley Hern

Dave Semenko, Jason Smith, Bill Guerin


--------

VanIslander
11-28-2007, 09:13 PM
Gwinnett Gladiators

PP1: Kharlamov - Cowley - Verbeek - Leetch - Bondra
PP2: Shutt - Morenz - Hedberg - Sologubov - Tsygankov

PK1: Sanderson - Peplinski - S.Smith - Tsygankov
PK2: Carpenter - Young - Sologubov - Tregubov

vs.

Victoria Cougars

PP1: Yakushev - Nilsson - Lafleur - Pilote - Taylor
PP2: Blake - Damphousse - Bellows - Carlyle - Jonsson

PK1: MacTavish - Ramsay - Pilote - Johnson
PK2: Crisp - Curry - Smith - Lowe

God Bless Canada
11-28-2007, 11:28 PM
Should be another fast-skating, free-wheeling series between two of the most offensive-minded teams in the draft. Both teams are loaded with up-tempo players, and both teams have a first line with blazing speed. Scotty Bowman was never the biggest proponent of line-matching, so hopefully we'll see the Taylor line go against the Morenz line in the games at Gwinnett. As for Sather, a high-octane line vs. a high-octane line sounds like his sort of thing. It means the checking lines might be used in spot duty.

Gwinnett has the edge in coaching, although I think the Cougars suit Sather's style more than the Gladiators suit Bowman's. But hey, you're always in great shape as long as Bowman's around.

Give an edge to Victoria in goal. Don't know how much of an edge exists - Gardiner's middle of the pack for my goalie ratings; Vezina's in the lower tier for No. 1s. I don't think it's a significant edge, but Gardiner is the better goalie. A first-team all-star in three of the first four years for the all-star teams. (And a second-team the other year).

Both teams have a good blend of defencemen who can fly, and defencemen who can hold their own zone. I think Pilote's the best defenceman in this series, and he has the perfect partner in Ivan Johnson. As has been stated many times before, Smith is miscast on the top pairing for Gwinnett. But he's likely going to see 15-18 minutes a game, so he's a top-pairing guy at even strength.

I think this series comes down to which team gets the most from their top line. I'm not convinced that Lafleur is the top forward in this series - I think Morenz is. Lafleur's a little more explosive; Morenz is better all-round. Howie had a not-so-publicized mean streak. But I like the overall top line in Victoria more, especially in a series where the focus is likely to be offence instead of defence.

Even though I'm not sold on Bondra, I like what Gwinnett has on the second line: the sheer skill of Cowley (Morenz-Cowley is one of the best 1-2 punches down the middle remaining), the scoring ability of Bondra, and Shutt's crash-the-net mentality.

I like the personel on mullin's third line, but for some reason, it doesn't work for me. They aren't a physical line, not with Damphousse. They aren't a two-way line with Guerin out there. So what are they? A third scoring line? Gwinnett's third doesn't have the greatest rhyme or reason. So expect these lines to be used the least, even with the talent that exists on both.

Don't know how much we'll see of the checking lines, but Craig Ramsay is one of the top defensive LWs in the draft. Top five, IMO. Nobody else from either team really stands out from an elite, all-time defensive perspective.

Should be a fun series to watch. Lots of speed. Lots of skill. Firewagon hockey at its finest.

shawnmullin
11-29-2007, 12:50 AM
Van I can you change this for me?

I think I'm going to make a couple of line-up changes. Quickly evaluating it. I think with the speed and skill in this series Bill Guerin might get chewed up and not offer me much back. It doesn't really look like it's going to be a war in the trenches here or anything. I was almost tempted to bring Semenko in to play with Sloan and Guerin as a crash/bang/intimidate line, but there's too much speed and skill on their side.

This is why I drafted Crisp, so I had the opportunity to insert him into the line-up if it better suited me. He's going to step in for Guerin and create a two-way line with Sloan and Damphousse. Both Crisp and Sloan can get rough and gritty if need be, all three can check their hats with decent speed. Sloan and Damphousse are both dangerous enough offensively to turn mistakes by someone like say Bondra into goals.

As a result:

Coach: Glen Sather
Captain: Pierre Pilote
Alternates: Toe Blake, Craig MacTavish

Toe Blake - Cyclone Taylor - Guy Lafleur
Alexander Yakushev - Ulf Nilsson - Brian Bellows
Craig Ramsay - Craig MacTavish - Floyd Curry
Vincent Damphousse - Tod Sloan - Terry Crisp

Pierre Pilote - Ching Johnson
Randy Carlyle - Kevin Lowe
Dallas Smith - Tomas Jonsson

Chuck Gardiner
Riley Hern

Dave Semenko, Jason Smith, Bill Guerin


PP1: Yakushev - Nilsson - Lafleur - Pilote - Taylor
PP2: Blake - Damphousse - Bellows - Carlyle - Jonsson

PK1: MacTavish - Ramsay - Pilote - Johnson
PK2: Crisp - Curry - Smith - Lowe
PK3: Sloan - Damphousse

(Taylor can come in on the PK if we need to pressure for a goal)

pitseleh
11-29-2007, 01:00 AM
I don't remember Guerin being all that slow in his prime, especially for a big guy. Though his defense wasn't great, so adding Crisp to your line up does give you two solid two-way lines.

Roger's Pancreas*
11-29-2007, 01:03 AM
I don't remember Guerin being all that slow in his prime, especially for a big guy. Though his defense wasn't great, so adding Crisp to your line up does give you two solid two-way lines.Guerin took a fastest skater competition with 13.69 seconds. Slow he is not.

shawnmullin
11-29-2007, 01:11 AM
I don't remember Guerin being all that slow in his prime, especially for a big guy. Though his defense wasn't great, so adding Crisp to your line up does give you two solid two-way lines.

Yup but I didn't say he was slow did I? Just that the speed and skill would chew him up. He's not horrible in his own zone, but if I want to turn this line into a possible match up for Gwinnett's second unit I couldn't keep him there.

Guerin will be back in the line-up if the next series includes more of a physical element. He's also a possible fill-in 2nd line RW in case of injury.

pitseleh
11-29-2007, 01:20 AM
Ah ok, I misunderstood what you were trying to say.

Rick Middleton
11-29-2007, 08:19 AM
Gwinnett would like to announce a couple of changes. Given their lack of production, and our need to bulk up our lineup for the next round, we will be scratching Anders Hedberg and Scott Young and inserting Stan Jonathan and Chris Nilan in the lineup. The lineup is now as follows:

Valery Kharlamov - Howie Morenz - Pat Verbeek
Steve Shutt - Bill Cowley - Peter Bondra
Bobby Carpenter - Vyacheslav Starshinov - Jim Peplinski
Stan Jonathan - Derek Sanderson - Chris Nilan

Brian Leetch - Steve Smith
Babe Pratt - Gennady Tsygankov
Nikolai Sologubov - Ivan Tregubov

Georges Vezina
John Vanbiesbrouck

PP1: Kharlamov - Cowley - Verbeek - Leetch - Pratt
PP2: Shutt - Morenz - Bondra - Sologubov - Tsygankov

PK1: Sanderson - Peplinski - S.Smith - Tsygankov
PK2: Carpenter - Verbeek - Sologubov - Tregubov

pappyline
11-29-2007, 10:27 AM
Gwinnett would like to announce a couple of changes. Given their lack of production, and our need to bulk up our lineup for the next round, we will be scratching Anders Hedberg and Scott Young and inserting Stan Jonathan and Chris Nilan in the lineup. The lineup is now as follows:

Valery Kharlamov - Howie Morenz - Pat Verbeek
Steve Shutt - Bill Cowley - Peter Bondra
Bobby Carpenter - Vyacheslav Starshinov - Jim Peplinski
Stan Jonathan - Derek Sanderson - Chris Nilan

Brian Leetch - Steve Smith
Babe Pratt - Gennady Tsygankov
Nikolai Sologubov - Ivan Tregubov

Georges Vezina
John Vanbiesbrouck

PP1: Kharlamov - Cowley - Verbeek - Leetch - Pratt
PP2: Shutt - Morenz - Bondra - Sologubov - Tsygankov

PK1: Sanderson - Peplinski - S.Smith - Tsygankov
PK2: Carpenter - Verbeek - Sologubov - Tregubov
With all due respect, IMO, this is a big mistake. Hedberg was your best RW & a much more effective 2 way player. He was extremely fast and had great scoring ability. With Kharlamov & Morenz you had one of the best first lines in the draft. I could see them playing that criss/cross style like Hull/Nilsson/Hedberg and destroying the relatively slow Victoria defense. I simply don't see what adding Nilan & Jonathan can bring to your team other than lots of PIM's. IMO both these guys are extremely borderline for an ATD draft. Why replace a talented 2 way player with such one dimensional players.

Transplanted Caper
11-29-2007, 11:10 AM
As a result:

Coach: Glen Sather
Captain: Pierre Pilote
Alternates: Toe Blake, Craig MacTavish

Toe Blake - Cyclone Taylor - Guy Lafleur
Alexander Yakushev - Ulf Nilsson - Brian Bellows
Craig Ramsay - Craig MacTavish - Floyd Curry
Vincent Damphousse - Tod Sloan - Terry Crisp

Pierre Pilote - Ching Johnson
Randy Carlyle - Kevin Lowe
Dallas Smith - Tomas Jonsson

Chuck Gardiner
Riley Hern

Dave Semenko, Jason Smith, Bill Guerin


PP1: Yakushev - Nilsson - Lafleur - Pilote - Taylor
PP2: Blake - Damphousse - Bellows - Carlyle - Jonsson

PK1: MacTavish - Ramsay - Pilote - Johnson
PK2: Crisp - Curry - Smith - Lowe
PK3: Sloan - Damphousse

(Taylor can come in on the PK if we need to pressure for a goal)


Solid changes mullin. Third line will definitely be getting some solid minutes now.

MXD
11-29-2007, 11:16 AM
I see a big negative in your changes, RM...

Derek Sanderson definitely deserves to see more than 5-6 minutes of IT per game. The thing is, Jonathan and Nilan doesn't, and if they happen to play more than this, you're gonna have to be PK'ing much more than you afford.

Rick Middleton
11-29-2007, 11:30 AM
Hmn, people aren't liking Scotty's moves. May have to rethink them.

God Bless Canada
11-29-2007, 12:41 PM
I liked the Gwinnett roster as it was. It's not going to be an overly physical series. If Gwinnett reaches the conference final, and plays a team like Nanaimo (or any other from that division), I could see swapping Verbeek and Hedberg (but keeping Hedberg in the line-up) and Young for Nilan or Jonathan. I wouldn't bring in Nilan and Jonathan. Gwinnett's original line-up works better for this series. And, as pappy mentioned, Victoria's blue-line mobility isn't stellar. Good, but not great.

I think the Guerin-for-Crisp substitution is a good one. mulls loses a fair amount of speed, but speed isn't an issue for Victoria up front. And Crisp doesn't have Guerin's shot or offensive ability. But Crisp is as physical as Guerin, and much better defensively. He gives that third line a better identity. It is a two-way line. It wasn't with Guerin there.

Rick Middleton
11-29-2007, 12:49 PM
Gwinnett would like to announce a couple of changes. Given their lack of production, and our need to bulk up our lineup for the next round, we will be scratching Anders Hedberg and Scott Young and inserting Stan Jonathan and Chris Nilan in the lineup. The lineup is now as follows:

Valery Kharlamov - Howie Morenz - Pat Verbeek
Steve Shutt - Bill Cowley - Peter Bondra
Bobby Carpenter - Vyacheslav Starshinov - Jim Peplinski
Stan Jonathan - Derek Sanderson - Chris Nilan

Brian Leetch - Steve Smith
Babe Pratt - Gennady Tsygankov
Nikolai Sologubov - Ivan Tregubov

Georges Vezina
John Vanbiesbrouck

PP1: Kharlamov - Cowley - Verbeek - Leetch - Pratt
PP2: Shutt - Morenz - Bondra - Sologubov - Tsygankov

PK1: Sanderson - Peplinski - S.Smith - Tsygankov
PK2: Carpenter - Verbeek - Sologubov - Tregubov


Yeah, scratch that. Back to the original roster.

Valery Kharlamov - Howie Morenz - Anders Hedberg
Steve Shutt - Bill Cowley - Peter Bondra
Bobby Carpenter - Vyacheslav Starshinov - Pat Verbeek
Scott Young - Derek Sanderson - Jim Peplinski

Brian Leetch - Steve Smith
Babe Pratt - Gennady Tsygankov
Nikolai Sologubov - Ivan Tregubov

Georges Vezina
JVB

Evil Sather
11-29-2007, 01:29 PM
Guerin took a fastest skater competition with 13.69 seconds. Slow he is not.

In a straight line, sure, but he's one of those guys whose lateral movement makes him an above average skater and nothing more. It's not a knock on him, he's good, but only a couple guys could be like Bure and maintain their speed when not going straight ahead. Guerin isn't one of them.

shawnmullin
11-29-2007, 08:30 PM
With all due respect, IMO, this is a big mistake. Hedberg was your best RW & a much more effective 2 way player. He was extremely fast and had great scoring ability. With Kharlamov & Morenz you had one of the best first lines in the draft. I could see them playing that criss/cross style like Hull/Nilsson/Hedberg and destroying the relatively slow Victoria defense. I simply don't see what adding Nilan & Jonathan can bring to your team other than lots of PIM's. IMO both these guys are extremely borderline for an ATD draft. Why replace a talented 2 way player with such one dimensional players.

I don't think our D is that slow! Just saying...

But more in depth comments coming later.

I think Rick's trying to get me to bring Semenko into the game. It's tempting, Rick! But at the moment I'm gonna have to say no. I think Sloan, Ching and Dallas can handle those goons.

shawnmullin
11-29-2007, 08:31 PM
Oh well now he switched back, OK then.

Now I'm bringing in my goons! (just kidding)

Roger's Pancreas*
11-29-2007, 10:03 PM
In a straight line, sure, but he's one of those guys whose lateral movement makes him an above average skater and nothing more. It's not a knock on him, he's good, but only a couple guys could be like Bure and maintain their speed when not going straight ahead. Guerin isn't one of them.If the only argument is that he doesn't have Pavel Bure acceleration, the playing field seems pretty level to me.

shawnmullin
12-02-2007, 09:55 AM
I'm going to do a quick review of some advantages I think we have here.

Winning Attitude: The Cougars have 48 Stanley Cups between them. It's a big number. Most of the guys here who played in the NHL have at least one championship. Several of our biggest players are multi-time winners. Victoria wanted a group that knew how to win when it mattered and I think we have it.

Leadership: Not that Leetch, Verbeek and Peplinski are poor leaders or bad guys, but they don't have near the pedigree as captains and leaders that guys like Pilote, Mac T, Blake, Lowe, Crisp, Carlyle, Ramsay do. Off the top of my head look at he guys here who went on to become sucessful coaches! Blake (obviously), Crisp (cup winner), Carlyle (cup winer), Ramsay, Lowe, Mac T... that says something about the leadership of these players. It also says something about their hockey sense and ability to think the game. I don't see the same thing in Gwinnett. I think they'd be more easily rattled.

Two Way Play: We both have speed and skill, there's no questioning that. However, they don't have a player in Ramsay's league as a two-way player, and they don't have a line in Ramsay-Mac T-Curry's league as a checking unit. I'd say that Damphousse-Sloan-Crisp is actually a more effective checking unit than anything Gwinnett has, and they'd be our second line for match-ups. However, those guys are not just going out there to play D. Ramsay was a regular 20 goal scorer. Mac T and Curry scored their share of points at the NHL level including clutch situations. Damphousse is primarily known for his offensive ability (over 1000 points) but an underrated two-way player. Sloan had quite a few very good scoring seasons while being very physical and responsible. I think in terms of two-way play from forwards we're way ahead.

Incidently, that leads to...

Penalty Kill: I think if you compare the units our advantage is fairly obvious.

PK1: Sanderson - Peplinski - S.Smith - Tsygankov
PK2: Carpenter - Young - Sologubov - Tregubov

vs.

PK1: MacTavish - Ramsay - Pilote - Johnson
PK2: Crisp - Curry - Smith - Lowe
PK3: Sloan - Damphousse

Mac T and Ramsay blow Sanderson and Peplinski out of the water IMO. Add to that 1rst team all-stars Pilote and Johnson vs. Smith and Tsygankov. There's a player by player advantage for Victoria here. I think that'll make a big difference when we both have such explosive power plays.

Crisp and Curry are both known as guys counted on to play shut down rolls on Cup winning teams. Carpenter and Young can't say the same thing. Both were more well known as offensive players in their youth before developping respectable two-way games, but not to be relied upon like Crisp and Curry were in those roles. I also really love the Lowe/Smith pairing on our second PK unit as they bring great defensive awareness, Lowe's very good puck movement and Smith's strength and physical play.

Plus Sloan and Damphousse are both accomplished two-way players with some speed and Sloan's physical side.

I think it's clear Yakushev - Nilsson - Lafleur - Pilote - Taylor will score more against Sanderson - Peplinski - S.Smith - Tsygankov than Kharlamov - Cowley - Verbeek - Leetch - Pratt will against MacTavish - Ramsay - Pilote - Johnson and I think that will be a huge key for Victoria in winning this series.

Will they be able to make up the difference 5 on 5? I don't believe so. Not with my advantage in two-way forwards, equally explosive top two lines, better goaltending and IMO more responsible D.

Goaltending: Vezina gets a bit overrated IMO due to his name being on the trophy. Gardiner had one of the greatest peaks in NHL history. It was unfortunately short due to his death, but it could be argued that it's among the top 5 peak periods of any goaltender's career. He's a winner, he upped his game in the playoffs, and I believe his accomplishments rank him above Vezina.

Top D Pairing: Pilote and Johnson are both 1rst all-stars. They're both Stanley Cup winners. They were both leaders and elite players in their era. Pilote was the top scoring D of his decade while being physical enough to lay out both Richard brothers at once. Johnson was a vicious and strong checker with great defensive instincts who knew how to shut people down. Leetch is certainly worthy of a slot in the top pairing, but I don't think he has the all-around game Pilote has. He's close, but not quite there. I'd say Pilote is better in the physical game and more aware defensively while Leetch may have an edge offensively. Johnson is miles ahead of Steve Smith. Smith was barely a #2 on a regular NHL team let alone an all-time team. He may not be their #2 but he's going to be counted on to play a lot of minutes when paired with Leetch AND put on the top PK unit. I don't think Smith can handle those minutes nearly as well as Johnson can.

Other Issues: Anytime you have the greatest coach of all time you have some edge in coaching. However, I think Sather's record as a winner (4 cups) and the fact that he is very suited to my quick, skilled line-up (including Sather favourites Lowe and Mac T) is going to go a long way in negating some of that coaching advantage. I also agree with others who suggest the Gladiators aren't really a Scotty Bowman kind of team. Will he try to force some of their skilled players to play the kind of game that might diminish their returns? Will he get frustrated at the lack of two way players on this roster? I still think Scotty is an advantage, but not a significant one.

I also think we both have a tremendous amount of scoring ability. From the first to fourth lines of both teams there's a lot of speed and talent. It should be a very exciting series. I won't deny the depth up front for the Gladiators. I think it's clear Morenz is a better #1 C than Taylor (though Cyclone is a true star and does just fine), although I like my wingers and my first line overall better than theirs. I also think Yakushev is the best second line winger in the series while Bondra IMO would be the worst.

Home ice advantage will be helpful for Gwinnett in that they can get their top line away from Ramsay's line as often as possible. However, we have two lines that could be used in shut down situations and it'll be impossible for their scoring lines to always avoid one of them. We also have a strong defensive D-man in every pairing, and I'd say none of our D are remotely mistake prone. I'm also not concerned about going strength vs. strength. I think the speed and skill on our top lines equals theirs; and while both teams don't have much D on their top lines, I think the scoring would even out. Once we get to the games in Victoria it'll be a different story. Morenz's line will have Ramsay-Mac T-Curry and Pilote-Johnson in their faces all game long. Shutt-Cowley-Bondra will have to deal with either the second two-way line (Damphousse-Sloan-Crisp) or trying to hold their own against our top line. Bondra especially would get destroyed in his own zone by my top line. Other times in the game Gwinnett's third and fourth lines would face my top two units, and I don't think either line has enough two-way skill to hold them off the score sheet.

I don't want to sound like I think Gwinnett isn't going to be a tough match up. They certainly will. I wish I had a guy like Morenz on my team. I drafted Kharlamov and Leetch last draft. However, I think my leadership, two-way play and PK advantage (and as a result with such skilled PPs on both teams, my advantage in PP scoring) are absolutely the difference.

Ultimately Victoria is more playoff ready than Gwinnett.

Let the best team win!

Rick Middleton
12-02-2007, 05:35 PM
Jesus, by the sounds of it I might as well have the team pack their bags and start planning for their off-season excursions. To be polite, you're overestimating some of your players when compared to their counterparts and the supposed advantage you'd have against them.

Winning Attitude: The Cougars have 48 Stanley Cups between them. It's a big number. Most of the guys here who played in the NHL have at least one championship. Several of our biggest players are multi-time winners. Victoria wanted a group that knew how to win when it mattered and I think we have it

Given the Euro-flavour of my team, it's unlikely I match up well against any team when comparing Stanley Cup rings. But when you add European Championships and USSR/Russian Elite League championships I'm right there with you in terms of numbers. That advantage is a wash.

Leadership: Not that Leetch, Verbeek and Peplinski are poor leaders or bad guys, but they don't have near the pedigree as captains and leaders that guys like Pilote, Mac T, Blake, Lowe, Crisp, Carlyle, Ramsay do. Off the top of my head look at he guys here who went on to become sucessful coaches! Blake (obviously), Crisp (cup winner), Carlyle (cup winer), Ramsay, Lowe, Mac T... that says something about the leadership of these players. It also says something about their hockey sense and ability to think the game. I don't see the same thing in Gwinnett. I think they'd be more easily rattled

I'm not sure if you're trying to be funny or if you actually think that not having an A or a C on your chest means that you'd be rattled in a playoff series. That's ridiculous. And why the heck did you add in 7 players of yours versus my captain and two assistants? Are you planning on dressing 7 players with the A? When it comes to leadership, you overlooked some minor players on my team like Howie Morenz, Steve Smith, Steve Shutt, hell, even Kharlamov cowboy upped when he had his ankle tapped by Clarke and tried to play out the rest of the series. If that doesn't show leadership I don't know what does.

Two Way Play: We both have speed and skill, there's no questioning that. However, they don't have a player in Ramsay's league as a two-way player, and they don't have a line in Ramsay-Mac T-Curry's league as a checking unit. I'd say that Damphousse-Sloan-Crisp is actually a more effective checking unit than anything Gwinnett has, and they'd be our second line for match-ups. However, those guys are not just going out there to play D. Ramsay was a regular 20 goal scorer. Mac T and Curry scored their share of points at the NHL level including clutch situations. Damphousse is primarily known for his offensive ability (over 1000 points) but an underrated two-way player. Sloan had quite a few very good scoring seasons while being very physical and responsible. I think in terms of two-way play from forwards we're way ahead.

You're kidding me, right? Damphousse as a defensive player? Better than my 3rd or 4th line? I won't argue that my team is based on offense first, and that you're team has arguably the better group of defensive forwards, but to dismiss players like Sanderson, Peplinski, Carpenter and Young is foolish.


Penalty Kill: I think if you compare the units our advantage is fairly obvious.

PK1: Sanderson - Peplinski - S.Smith - Tsygankov
PK2: Carpenter - Young - Sologubov - Tregubov

vs.

PK1: MacTavish - Ramsay - Pilote - Johnson
PK2: Crisp - Curry - Smith - Lowe
PK3: Sloan - Damphousse

Mac T and Ramsay blow Sanderson and Peplinski out of the water IMO. Add to that 1rst team all-stars Pilote and Johnson vs. Smith and Tsygankov. There's a player by player advantage for Victoria here. I think that'll make a big difference when we both have such explosive power plays.

Until he started to party his life away, Derek Sanderson was one of the best defensive forwards in the league, and Peplinski was a shut down PK'er. So to say that Mactavish and Ramsay blow them out of the water is a little dismissive. And I pity you if you stick Damphousse out as a PK'r against one of my lines. He'll get lit up like a Christmas tree.

I think it's clear Yakushev - Nilsson - Lafleur - Pilote - Taylor will score more against Sanderson - Peplinski - S.Smith - Tsygankov than Kharlamov - Cowley - Verbeek - Leetch - Pratt will against MacTavish - Ramsay - Pilote - Johnson and I think that will be a huge key for Victoria in winning this series

Sure, you can debate whether they would outscore my top unit, but you've overlooked two things. First, you have a forward manning the point. That spells disaster against an aggressive PK unit. Second, your 2nd line PP unit doesn't hold a candle to my 2nd PP unit. So there is no tangible special team advantage.

Will they be able to make up the difference 5 on 5? I don't believe so. Not with my advantage in two-way forwards, equally explosive top two lines, better goaltending and IMO more responsible D.

As two other GM's have noted, your defense corps is slow. And my team is built on speed. That spells disaster 5 on 5. Get used to scenes like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuD9-1v0Bno

Goaltending: Vezina gets a bit overrated IMO due to his name being on the trophy. Gardiner had one of the greatest peaks in NHL history. It was unfortunately short due to his death, but it could be argued that it's among the top 5 peak periods of any goaltender's career. He's a winner, he upped his game in the playoffs, and I believe his accomplishments rank him above Vezina.

Georges Vezina - #75 on the Hockey News' Top 100 players
Chuck Gardiner - #76 on the Hockey News' Top 100 players

And somehow this is a distinct advantage for Gardiner? And if worse comes to worse, I'm taking JVB over Riley Hern any day of the week. Our goaltending is a wash.

Top D Pairing: Pilote and Johnson are both 1rst all-stars. They're both Stanley Cup winners. They were both leaders and elite players in their era. Pilote was the top scoring D of his decade while being physical enough to lay out both Richard brothers at once. Johnson was a vicious and strong checker with great defensive instincts who knew how to shut people down. Leetch is certainly worthy of a slot in the top pairing, but I don't think he has the all-around game Pilote has. He's close, but not quite there. I'd say Pilote is better in the physical game and more aware defensively while Leetch may have an edge offensively. Johnson is miles ahead of Steve Smith. Smith was barely a #2 on a regular NHL team let alone an all-time team. He may not be their #2 but he's going to be counted on to play a lot of minutes when paired with Leetch AND put on the top PK unit. I don't think Smith can handle those minutes nearly as well as Johnson can

I'm growing a little tired of the Steve Smith bashing. I spread my defensive talent over the 3 units. I didn't stick my best two players on the first unit for a reason, so that when 1 group comes off I don't have to worry that I'm sending out 2 guys to get owned. These are two distinctively different defensive groups. 1 is chock full of puck movers, 1 is chock full of defensive defensemen. Both arguably play to their teams strengths.

I also think Yakushev is the best second line winger in the series while Bondra IMO would be the worst.

Read Sturminator's analysis of Bondra in the player selections thread (http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?p=10689043&highlight=Bondra#post10689043). He was Washington's offense for years. He accounted for more of their offense than virtually any player in league history. Yet he's the worst of the 2nd liners in this series? In case you didn't realize it, you have Bellows on your 2nd line (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbu9bjb44NE).

I don't want to sound like I think Gwinnett isn't going to be a tough match up.


Really? Sure as **** sounded like it.

shawnmullin
12-02-2007, 07:00 PM
Don't get offended Rick... I think you made some fine points for your side. It wasn't up to me to make them for you ;) I was just saying what I felt my advantages were. I stand by that but of course you're going to see different things and of course play up what we think are advantages for our teams.

A couple of things from your response I'd like to point out...

-You mention that I have a forward playing the point on the PP. Cyclone Taylor played D for a very large portion of his career. He is not just some regular forward who'd be overmatched. He's known as the guy who can skate backwards as fast as he can forward.

-Brian Bellows has been on two teams that made the cup final and one championship, he scored 29 points in the North Stars playoff run, had over 1000 points and nearly 500 goals. The reason Trots and Stevens were getting on him was because he was Minnesota's biggest threat and they wanted to try to get under his skin.... typical stuff.

-You underrated Damphousse's two-way ablity. However, he's not the most important factor. He'd play almost no time on the PK but you needt o have guys ready should you get in penalty trouble. He'd also be on a line with the very good defensively Sloan and Crisp. Vinny won't have to be physical, he'll just have to rely on his good hockey sense and strong positional play.

-I simply disagree that my D are slow. Johnson is known to be slower, but he was a brilliant player. Lowe and Carlyle aren't Coffey but they wern't _slow_. Jonsson certainly wasn't. Pilote wasn't. Smith isn't speedy, but again he's a big, smart, physical D. They don't tend to be speed demons.

-The Hockey News top 100 is one source. I'll let the GMs decide if they believe it's a wash in net or not. Personally I think Gardiner is better and I think the stats and records indicate that.

-I mentioned my depth of leadership and only your captains because they are supposed to be the elite of your leadership and I think I have more than a handful of guys who are better leaders than them. Just IMO obviously.

I don't tink you can really counter the PK or Two-Way play advantage I have... but that's just how I see the series. Doesn't mean I think your team stinks! I'd love to watch them.

Rick Middleton
12-03-2007, 08:16 AM
-Brian Bellows has been on two teams that made the cup final and one championship, he scored 29 points in the North Stars playoff run, had over 1000 points and nearly 500 goals. The reason Trots and Stevens were getting on him was because he was Minnesota's biggest threat and they wanted to try to get under his skin.... typical stuff.


The difference between Bondra and Bellows is that Bellows played on some very good teams, whereas Bondra played on some real Craptacular teams. And Bondra kept scoring. I would never rank Bellows ahead of Bondra.


You underrated Damphousse's two-way ablity. However, he's not the most important factor. He'd play almost no time on the PK but you needt o have guys ready should you get in penalty trouble. He'd also be on a line with the very good defensively Sloan and Crisp. Vinny won't have to be physical, he'll just have to rely on his good hockey sense and strong positional play.

If you're intent on using Damphousse as a central component to checking one of my two offensive lines you're in trouble. I've watched Damphousse his entire career. I would never say that he was a lockdown defensive player, because that's what you need to have in an ATD if you're using him on a 3rd or 4th line.

I simply disagree that my D are slow. Johnson is known to be slower, but he was a brilliant player. Lowe and Carlyle aren't Coffey but they wern't _slow_. Jonsson certainly wasn't. Pilote wasn't. Smith isn't speedy, but again he's a big, smart, physical D. They don't tend to be speed demons.

Again, I'm old enough to have watched Carlyle and Lowe. Carlyle was average at best and Lowe was better but certainly not fleet of foot. Combine that with Johnson whom you admit is slow and 1/2 of your defense corps is of questionable quickness. Against arguably the fastest team in the ATD that spells trouble 5 on 5. I'm not pimping my team, just stating a fact.

I mentioned my depth of leadership and only your captains because they are supposed to be the elite of your leadership and I think I have more than a handful of guys who are better leaders than them. Just IMO obviously.

A subjective selection with intent to denigrate the rest of my team. Understood loud and clear.


I don't tink you can really counter the PK or Two-Way play advantage I have... but that's just how I see the series. Doesn't mean I think your team stinks! I'd love to watch them.

You don't have a sizable PK advantage, and if you are playing that 3rd PK line then good luck stopping either of my PP lines. If anything one of the few distinct advantages you do have is more two-way players, I've already stated that. The distinct disadvantage you have is a slower defense corps versus an extremely fast forward corps. Unless you're playing in old Boston Garden where team speed could be negated by a small ice surface, your team is bound to give up multiple 2 on 1's.

Sturminator
12-03-2007, 08:47 AM
For the record, I think that overall Gardiner is better than Vezina and Bondra is better than Bellows, both for reasons already discussed at length.

MXD
12-03-2007, 09:38 AM
I can't beleive there's a discussion between Bondra and Bellows... :help:

Rick Middleton
12-03-2007, 12:05 PM
I can't beleive there's a discussion between Bondra and Bellows... :help:

Don't you start trashing Bondra :rant: ;)

pitseleh
12-03-2007, 12:53 PM
1MNA0_n32Hc

God Bless Canada
12-03-2007, 01:46 PM
I think Bondra works better than Bellows for what RM was trying to create on his second line. He has the playmaking magic of Cowley and the crash-the-net presence of Shutt. He needed that pure goal scorer to take Cowley's passes, and Bondra was a more natural goal scorer than Bellows.

From a pure team-building perspective, if given the choice between the two, I would take Bellows, though. Bellows can play LW and RW. He's a better leader. He was better in the playoffs. He's a better playmaker. And he's definitely a better player away from the puck. Bondra's the better goal scorer and overall offensive talent. Bellows is the better player.

As for Damphousse, he became an excellent two-way player later in his career. He wasn't much defensively during from the time he entered the league until 1995. He was a one-dimensional offensive LW. For all our bemoaning Mario Tremblay's coaching, one thing he got right was Damphousse. He switched Damphousse from LW to C early in the 1995-96 season, and Damphousse responded with the best hockey of his career. He was one of the best in the league in the second half of the 1995-96 season, and finished fourth in Selke voting. (It was the year in which voters went over the top in their pursuit of the offensive player who played the best defensively, but it does show how quickly Damphousse improved his two-way game).

Damphousse's production slid after that year, but he was always an effective two-way player and leader. Even when he switched to LW in 2003-04 in San Jose, his two-way game remained.

shawnmullin
12-03-2007, 03:29 PM
The difference between Bondra and Bellows is that Bellows played on some very good teams, whereas Bondra played on some real Craptacular teams. And Bondra kept scoring. I would never rank Bellows ahead of Bondra.

Agree to disagree then. As GBC says, Bondra is a better pure goal scorer and more explosive. But overall Bellows is a better hockey player.

If you're intent on using Damphousse as a central component to checking one of my two offensive lines you're in trouble. I've watched Damphousse his entire career. I would never say that he was a lockdown defensive player, because that's what you need to have in an ATD if you're using him on a 3rd or 4th line.

Who said central component? Sloan and Crisp are both the more physical and defensive players on that line. Damphousse also happens to be a very good two-way player who is as offensively talented as a third/fourth line LW is going to be in this draft. It's a line of players who can all play a two way game though Sloan and Crisp will be more relied upon for the heavy lifting than Damphousse would be, while Damphousse and Sloan are more relied upon for their offensive production than Crisp would be.

It's a two way line and they'll see time against your second line, as will my first line, when I have the ability to set match-ups. I like both those match-ups.

Again, I'm old enough to have watched Carlyle and Lowe. Carlyle was average at best and Lowe was better but certainly not fleet of foot. Combine that with Johnson whom you admit is slow and 1/2 of your defense corps is of questionable quickness. Against arguably the fastest team in the ATD that spells trouble 5 on 5. I'm not pimping my team, just stating a fact.

Well for one my forwards would certainly put up a fight when the argument for quickest team came up. That'll help defend against your speed.

Secondly, Carlyle and Lowe were of average speed not slow. Johnson was known for being slower, but also known as one of the best D-men of his time. I think he handled a few quick players back then ;)

You don't have a sizable PK advantage, and if you are playing that 3rd PK line then good luck stopping either of my PP lines. If anything one of the few distinct advantages you do have is more two-way players, I've already stated that. The distinct disadvantage you have is a slower defense corps versus an extremely fast forward corps. Unless you're playing in old Boston Garden where team speed could be negated by a small ice surface, your team is bound to give up multiple 2 on 1's.

I all ready told you that third PK line is going to see limited time on the ice. However, you have to plan for a situation when your PKers would be tired. Maybe you take a 5 minute penalty, maybe you run into back to back minors.... I have players capeable of being good PKers to cover those situations.

I also still strongly believe I have a player by player advantage on both first and second PK units. I think it's significant. Sanderson is good, but Ramsay is excellent. Peplinski is good but Mac T is better. I don't think you could possibly argue for Smith and Tsygankov against Pilote and Johnson.

As for my apparently slow D... Pilote isn't remotely slow, Jonsson isn't, a few of the guys are average and Johnson is slower. Well I don't think Johnson is going to pinch much so i'm not too worried about him getting caught for 2 on 1s. You also can't forget about the fact that my forwards are as fast as yours or at least very close. This is a quick team too. You won't be skating circles around anyone.

MXD
12-03-2007, 06:09 PM
Don't you start trashing Bondra :rant: ;)

I picked Bondra in the last draft, so I was obviously not talking trash about him...

You realize the importance of rhetorics whenever Bellows is brought in the same sentence than Bondra... Ok, Bellows was maybe a little more "physical", but a 2nd line that is well built will always be better with Bondra on it than with Bellows on it, if we key on their respective strengths. (Unless someone can put up a Ted Lindsay - Syl Apps - Brian Bellows 2nd line, which is rather impossible in a 28-team draft. This said, I think Bondra would be even better than Bellows on that line, but that's not the point here.)

VanIslander
12-04-2007, 05:04 AM
Game One: Foster Hewitt Semi-Finals

Meteor shower hits Cougars
Morenz line combines for 10 points in lopsided 5-1 opener

(vi) All 11,500 fans at the sold out arena in Duluth, Georgia were on their feet in standing ovation when the Mitchell Meteor scored his second goal and fourth point of the night on yet another brilliant passing play with Valeri Kharlamov. The Soviet dynamo registered three points himself, setting up his centre twice and doing a tic-tac play with Hedberg that everyone in the building thought was going to be tic-tac-toe to Morenz, including the visitors' Lowe who collapsed on the passing lane, and goalie Gardiner who came across the crease, only to watch dumbfounded as V.K. did what can only be described as a tapped wrister top shelf. "I was watching Gretzky out there," remarked a head-shaking Cougars coach Sather after the game, "Only I think I saw two of them on the same line." Victoria's only goal came from Pilote on the powerplay, a screened shot assisted by Lafleur and Taylor. The Cougars went 1-for-3 with the man advantage while the Gladiators couldn't score on 7 powerplay chances. "Our best players were their best tonight," said Gwinnett coach Bowman, "But as a team we can play better." The home team were outshot 13-5 in the opening frame and went down 0-1 midway through the period on a tripping call to Smith which prevented a partial breakaway by Lafleur. A late goal by Hedberg on a 3-on-2 surge evened things up and the rest of the game was all Gladiators, the final shot tally 39-27 in their favour. The game's three stars 1. Morenz 2. Kharlamov 3. Hedberg.

VanIslander
12-04-2007, 05:53 AM
Game Two: Foster Hewitt Semi-Finals

Gladiators stunned in OT
Pilote nets winner after controversial non-call

(vi) Only three minutes into sudden death and it was all over 3-2 in OT as the Cougars Ching Johnson grabbed Steve Shutt's jersey and held him up a couple of seconds - an uncalled clutching penalty seen by plenty of booing fans but missed by on ice officials - and his Cougars defensive partner Pilote then swung over, recovered the puck and surged up ice with Damphousse on a 2-on-1 against Babe Pratt, and instead of passing he shot, beating Vezina five hole.

Everything went the Cougars way when it mattered most as the visitors killed off eight penalties, including a major to Cyclone Taylor for giving Morenz a bloody nose on a high sticking infraction which prevented the Gladiators centre an open net shot on the short side, off of a rebound as Gardiner had gone down for the initial save. The visiting netminder earned the win with 37 saves, only Morenz and Bondra got rubber past him, Starshinov recording a game high 5 shots. Kharlamov left the game early in the second period with an undisclosed injury after contact with Crisp along the boards.

"This is (expletive) unacceptable," said an irritated Gladiators coach Bowman moments before cancelling the post-game press conference. "I can't say anything more without getting fined by the league." In addition to the non-calls, the home team took ten penalties, giving up powerplay goals by Yakushev in the first and Lafleur in the third. A fight between Tod Sloan and Babe Pratt ended with both getting ejected from the game late in the second period.

The game's three stars: 1. Pilote 2. Gardner 3. Morenz

VanIslander
12-04-2007, 06:33 AM
Game Three: Foster Hewitt Semi-Finals

Morenz does a hat trick
Gladiators go up 2-1 in the series with an impressive road win

(vi) Captain Leetch scored the eventual winner late in the second period but it was all academic as a natural hat trick by Morenz silenced the Victoria crowd early. The Cougars got one back in the second on a Taylor net-crashing tip-in of a Lafleur shot from the right circle and closed the margin to 2-4 on Lafleur's unassisted second of his three points on the night. But that's as close as it got as Morenz set up two more goals in the third, to Kharlamov and Sanderson. The visitors held off a late storm by the Cougars, as the home team scored with six minutes remaining and pulled Gardiner with five minutes to go, to no avail, as the game ended 6-3. Gladiators backup Vanbiesbrouck looked good stopping 22 of 23 in relief as Vezina left the game after going down hard on the Taylor goal. It was a night of end to end rushes and relatively few penalties, neither team having success on three attempts each. The game's three stars: 1. Morenz 2. Kharlamov 3. Lafleur

Rick Middleton
12-04-2007, 01:50 PM
Nicely done VanI. Good work.

shawnmullin
12-04-2007, 03:32 PM
Nice, who won the Sloan/Pratt fight? ;)

VanIslander
12-04-2007, 05:45 PM
Game Four: Foster Hewitt Semi-Finals

Clutch play in Victoria
Cougars even the series on Gardiner's 41-save performance

(vi) The final score 5-2 doesn't do the game justice as the Cougars win wasn't assured until a Ching Johnson puck recovery deep in his own zone led to a Cyclone Taylor conversion of a Pilote pass with three minutes remaining, followed by a MacTavish empty netter. The home team was outshot 41-32 but two posts, a crossbar and Gardiner goaltending was the difference. Lafleur opened the game's scoring at the 2-minute mark on a 35-footer which seemed to catch Vezina flatfooted. Rumour has it the Gladiators netminder was still hurting from the previous game's injury and he was replaced by Vanbiesbrouck after giving up a second goal on three shots, a shorthanded effort by Ramsay from Pilote. The Beezer looked great in relief, stopping 27 of 28 until the late insurance goal, the only crack he showed before that was an unsportsmanlike penalty he took in the second period after a swear-filled tirade at Yakushev and the referees regarding contact the tough crease-crashing Soviet winger had initiated. The Cougars scored their third goal of the game, the eventual winner, due to a screened shot by Pilote, deflecting pinball style into the net off of Blake's stick and Sologubov's skate. It put the home team up 3-1 shortly after Kharlamov caught Gardiner sliding across and roofed one off of a Morenz cross ice feed through the skates of Carlyle. The Gladiators top line centre then narrowed the gap to 3-2 before the end of the period with a quick slapshot on a 2-on-2 rush with Hedberg, the goal assisted by Leetch. The third period began with a Morenz crossbar and Cowley post, and a spectacular Gardiner save robbing Bondra on a partial breakaway. The game's three stars: 1. Gardiner 2. Morenz 3. Pilote

VanIslander
12-04-2007, 06:42 PM
Game Five: Foster Hewitt Semi-Finals

Great Guy in Gwinnett
Lafleur scores twice, Gardiner shuts out Gladiators

(vi) This contest was two games in one, as both teams came out skating hard, going end to end in tidal surges reminiscent of game three, only this time Morenz couldn't get any past Gardiner and the Gladiators could only watch as Lafleur beat Vanbiesbrouck twice gloveside from the slot on near identical slapshots, after which the pace of the game slowed and checking increased on both sides. The visiting Cougars won 2-0 but were once again outshot 29-23, though 11 of the shots against came on five penalties being killed, including a major to Ching Johnson. The only powerplay the visitors got was due to a slashing call to Verbeek away from the play which hit Toe Blake on the shoulder but on replay looked like an attempted decapitation. Morenz and Kharlamov got six shots each, few of any note, as the Cougars forwards backchecked closer than in previous games, and Guerin sparked the physical play in his first start, replacing the series worst plus-minus performer at -5 in Bellows, outmatched against Kharlamov. Gladiators coach Bowman announced changes to come for his line-up next game and that Vezina will be healthy enough to play as the series shifts back to the West Coast for game six. The game's three stars: 1. Lafleur 2. Gardiner 3. Morenz

VanIslander
12-04-2007, 09:46 PM
Game Six: Foster Hewitt Semi-Finals

Cougars kill Gladiators in high-flyin' affair
Lafleur, Morenz with two goals each in 6-5 series clincher for Victoria on home ice

(vi) This game was everything you could expect it to be given the teams involved. Morenz opened the scoring less than minute in, on a conversion of his own rebound, as he was being checked to the ice by Ching Johnson. The home team's own top line tied things up at the five minute mark on a backhander by Cyclone Taylor, from Blake and Pilote. Starshinov drew a tripping penalty on Dallas Smith moments later and the Gladiators regained the lead on the ensuing powerplay as Kharlamov approached the left crease then suddenly flipped the puck back to Leetch for a rocket of a shot through traffic and in off Gardiner's blocker. Before the period ended Bondra hit the post and his linemate Cowley fanned on a golden opportunity and instead things became tied up at 2-2 heading into intermission on a converted turnover by Ramsay. The second period started off slow as Nilan and Guerin drop the gloves and get themselves ejected from the game, Guerin's blood staining the ice, requiring a a five-minute delay to clean it up. Fans in Victoria got back into the game when they killed off a 5-on-3 without Yakushev (charging) and Johnson (interference). As soon as 5-on-5 resumed, Lafleur took a Jonsson pass and generated a fat rebound on a last-second shot in close that Vezina managed to kick out and Taylor was set to pounce on but Steve Smith beat him to the loose puck and in an attempt to chip the puck behind the net, rung it off the post, to the ahhs of the crowd. Blake recovered the puck at the boards and passed back to Lafleur for the go-ahead goal. The lead was extended minutes later by Curry, his first point of the series, from Nilsson on a makeshift second line. Kharlamov narrowed the gap to 4-3 from Pratt and Morenz at the end of the period. Kharlamov tied it all up early in the third on a beautiful give-and-go with Morenz which embarrassed MacTavish trying to take the body and Lowe trying to force a pass. A time-out by Sather proved fruitful as less than two minutes later Victoria responded with Damphousse's tip-in of a Pilote shot. Lafleur extended the lead with the eventual game winner from the right slot and Verbeek took a Leetch pass in transition and made it a one-goal game with four minutes remaining, but to no avail, as Gardiner shut the door, with help from Pilote and Johnson, each rearguard doubleshifted down the stretch, logging the most minutes of any skaters in the series. The game's three stars: 1. Lafleur 2. Leetch 3. Pilote

The series three stars: 1. Morenz (Gladiators) 2. Lafleur (Cougars) 3. Gardiner (Cougars)
Victoria Cougars win the series in 6 games

shawnmullin
12-04-2007, 10:01 PM
Thanks for the great write-ups Van. Really captured the spirit of the series and the little battles going on throughout.

Good series Rick, hope there's no hard feelings as we did a little battle in the match-up thread. I loved a lot of the skill players on your team and it's clear people really respected Morenz as your centrepiece. I just think it was a good match-up for me, but doesn't necessarily mean a better team.

Rick Middleton
12-05-2007, 09:05 AM
:cry: