ATD#8 Milt Dunnell Cup Championship Final: Montreal Canadiens vs. Nanaimo Clippers

VanIslander
12-21-2007, 05:39 PM
All-Time Draft League Championship Final:



Red Fisher Conference Champion:

Montreal Canadiens

Coach: Al Arbour
Captain: Denis Potvin
Alternates: Jean Ratelle, Yvan Cournoyer

Charlie Simmer - Newsy Lalonde - Yvan Cournoyer
Vic Hadfield - Jean Ratelle - Hooley Smith
Don Marcotte - Doug Jarvis - Pit Martin
Marcel Bonin - Troy Murray - Eddie Shack
Pierre Turgeon

Denis Potvin - Harry Howell
Marcel Pronovost - Rob Ramage
Bill Hajt - Bill Barilko
Lloyd Cook

Turk Broda
Roger Crozier
Rollie Melanson



vs.



Jim Coleman Conference champion:

Nanaimo Clippers

Coach: Hap Day
Captain: Hap Day
Alternates: Bobby Orr, Lionel Hitchman

Sweeney Schriner - Joe Primeau - Charlie Conacher
Kevin Stevens - Frank Nighbor - Ed Litzenberger
Dean Prentice - Cooney Weiland - Bobby Rousseau
Hec Kilrea - Glen Skov - Eric Nesterenko
Camille Henry

Bobby Orr - Brad McCrimmon
Lionel Conacher - Hap Day
Gilles Marotte - Lionel Hitchman
Viktor Kuzkin

Clint Benedict
Tom Barrasso
Viktor Konovalenko



----------

VanIslander
12-21-2007, 05:39 PM
Montreal Canadiens

PP1: Simmer - Lalonde - Cournoyer - Potvin - P. Martin
PP2: Hadfield - Ratelle - H. Smith - Pronovost - Ramage

PK1: Marcotte - Jarvis - Potvin - Howell
PK2: Ratelle - T.Murray - Hajt - Barilko

vs.

Nanaimo Clippers

PP1: Schriner - Primeau - C. Conacher - Orr - Rousseau
PP2: K.Stevens - Nighbor - Litzenberger - L. Conacher - Day

PK1: Weiland - Rousseau - Conacher - McCrimmon
PK2: Skov - Nesterenko - Day - Hitchman

raleh
12-21-2007, 06:01 PM
Hey so would you two guys mind not competing in the next ATD to give the rest of us a chance at winning the thing? :D

Congrats both of you.

Nalyd Psycho
12-21-2007, 06:03 PM
When the final four was announced, I had a sinking feeling we'd get a clash of the champions.

VanIslander
12-21-2007, 06:04 PM
Coaching and goaltending will be a wash.

God Bless Canada
12-21-2007, 06:10 PM
I'll post more on this series later. After raleh and I lost in the division final, I had a hunch this would be the championship match-up. Both conference finals went exactly as I predicted them.

Should be an excellent final. Two things worth noting: these are our two past champions, and these two franchises met in the conference final of the last draft. Nanaimo won that one in seven, and pitseleh is the only GM to ever knock off HO. (I won't mention the only GM to ever beat pitseleh).

The last two draft finals have gone seven games. This one won't buck the trend.

vancityluongo
12-21-2007, 06:44 PM
I knew this would be the finals. Just had a gut feeling. It'll be close as hell though, and both teams have winning experience, which will make the series that much better.

Rowdy Roddy Peeper
12-21-2007, 06:51 PM
The biggest match-up is Potvin vs. Orr.

Personally, I think Denis will be beyond motivated to finally upstage #4.

pitseleh
12-21-2007, 08:23 PM
The biggest match-up is Potvin vs. Orr.

Personally, I think Denis will be beyond motivated to finally upstage #4.

I think you've been watching too much Canada Cup '76. :D

Anyways, I want to wish good luck to HO (not that you need it), looking forward to some good debate and a long, tough series. It should be fun.

Hockey Outsider
12-21-2007, 11:49 PM
It's a big honour to make it this far. Congrats, Pitseleh, and good luck. I won't be here tomorrow but I'll definitely be around for discussions after that.

Here's a quick look at some real-life teammates involved in this matchup.

- Hap Day vs. Turk Broda
- Lionel Conacher vs. Hooley Smith
- Yvan Cournoyer vs. Bobby Rousseau
- Bobby Orr vs. Don Marcotte
- Marcel Pronovost vs. Glen Skov
- Jean Ratelle vs. Gilles Marotte

pitseleh
12-22-2007, 12:44 AM
We also have a bunch of returning players vying for multiple Milt Dunnell Cup Championships:

Bobby Rousseau (who going for his third straight)
Bill Hajt
Newsy Lalonde
Don Marcotte
Hooley Smith
Dean Prentice (I hadn't noticed until now that my third line is 2/3rd of your championship team's third line)

I won't be around much tomorrow either, so we'll officially begin discussions on Sunday. :)

Hockey Outsider
12-22-2007, 12:58 AM
Hap Day is also going for his second championship as a coach (and first as a player).

Bert Olmstead and Hap Holmes have both been to the final four in all three drafts but have yet to win the Milt Dunnel Cup.

Rowdy Roddy Peeper
12-22-2007, 07:55 AM
I think you've been watching too much Canada Cup '76. :D

Anyways, I want to wish good luck to HO (not that you need it), looking forward to some good debate and a long, tough series. It should be fun.

You can never watch too much Canada Cup '76. :yo:

Hockey Outsider
12-25-2007, 06:04 PM
Definitely haven't forgotten about this. I'll try to post something here tomorrow.

pitseleh
12-27-2007, 03:16 PM
Definitely haven't forgotten about this. I'll try to post something here tomorrow.

I'm in the same boat as you right now - the holidays are taking their toll. I should be able to post my first analysis either tonight or tomorrow.

shawnmullin
12-27-2007, 11:38 PM
Is this Bobby Orr's first trip to the ATD final?

Love Orr vs. Potvin.

This would be so much fun to watch, but it's hard to say who I would actually expect to win.

Hockey Outsider
12-30-2007, 01:19 AM
Sorry for the delay, guys. I’ve been pretty busy with work and due to the holidays.

Personnel

The Canadiens have a big advantage in terms of strength down the middle. Primeau was a good playmaker for six years, but Lalonde was the best offensive player in NHA history and dominated the scoring race for the NHL’s first few seasons. He had some incredible playoff runs, and was a tough, physical player as well. Nighbor was an excellent, underrated player but I don’t think that his defensive play is enough to make up for Ratelle’s consistently excellent offense; Ratelle’s Pearson against Orr offsets Nighbor’s Hart. Weiland’s one huge scoring year occurred during the fluky 1929-30 with the offense-friendly rule changes; and while Weiland still had a great career, Jarvis’ outstanding defensive play, discipline, and PO experience makes his better suited as the third-line centre. Murray and Skov are equals, I’d say.

My team has faced some (justifiable) criticism for Simmer’s short peak. However, this applies to the Clippers as well. Litzenberger was only a top-end scorer for three years (1957-59) but never again broke topped 16 goals or 40 points. Additionally, Simmer and Stevens have very similar peaks, statistically, but Stevens was often injured and had the benefit of playing extensively with Lemieux during his best years and didn’t accomplish anything of note without him. Nanaimo clearly has the best winger in the series (Conacher), but I’d take Smith and Cournoyer as the next two.

I generally agree with VanIslander’s comments that goalies and coaches are a wash. Benedict and Broda were both among the best goalies of their era (Benedict has the regular season edge but they should be even in the PO). I doubt that either team will need to use their backup goalies, but Conn Smythe-winner Crozier gets the edge over Barrasso (who is often rumored to have an abrasive personality and for that reason might not be suitable as a backup anyway). I’d give Arbour a slight edge in coaching due to his repeated ability to pull upsets and to do more with weaker personnel than he’s often given credit for; he took the near-expansion Islanders to the conference finals in 1975, getting the most out of grinders like JP Parise and Jude Drouin. Arbour also helped upset Lemieux’s powerhouse Penguins in 1993 with a weak lineup due to instilling excellent work ethic and discipline in his players (Barrasso, Nanaimo’s backup, played poorly against the Islanders due to his frustration at his crease constantly getting swarmed).

In terms of intangibles, I will again point out that the Canadiens had a first-round bye. This means that my players will be somewhat more rested and in better physical condition. Aside from Simmer, all of my players were consistently healthy and had long, steady careers. Nanaimo has quite a few inconsistent players (Litzenberger and Stevens as discussed above; Primeau only played 8 seasons of professional hockey; and even Orr struggled with injuries).

Which team has home ice advantage?

Hockey Outsider
12-30-2007, 01:27 AM
Strategy

I will match up my top line against Nanaimo’s fourth line. This has several advantages. First, Cournoyer will be matched up against Kilrea. Aside from 1930 (the fluky year with the one-time rule changes), Kilrea was never much of a scoring threat. Therefore this matchup will allow Cournoyer to fully utilize his speed and goal-scoring ability; he can go deep into the Clippers’ offensive zone. Cournoyer will be able to take on a very aggressive offensive role given the lack of a counter-attack from Kilrea. Second, this allows Simmer to matchup against Nesterenko. I realize the latter is a good defensive forward, but Simmer's game is quite simple – he plants himself in the crease and waits for rebounds, tips and screens. Simmer is quite disciplined (in fact, Nesterenko took penalties at a significantly higher rate than Simmer, which could easily turn a PP into a 2-man advantage if Nesterenko isn't careful). Simmer has a 25 lbs advantage on Nesterenko, who will have a hard time moving him from the crease. Finally, Lalone matches up against Skov. While Skov was a key player on the Wings’ dynasty, it will be difficult for him to contain Lalonde’s speed, toughness and stickhandling ability. (Keep in mind that Leswick and Pavelich usually got the really hard tasks on the Wings dynasty i.e. shutting down Rocket Richard).

I will match our second lines straight across. As discussed before, my second line has better personnel at each forward position (except possibly LW). Smith and Ratelle are the two best scorers on either line; Hadfield should match Stevens’ physical play, and Smith and Ratelle should match Nighbor’s defensive play.

The Clippers are unique because their best offensive player is a defenseman. I was considering splitting up Potvin and Howell but I’ve decided to keep them together, and on the ice versus Orr. Whenever Orr rushes with the puck, Potvin will have two tasks. First, he will try to neutralize Orr’s offense via bodychecking or dropping the gloves. Given that Potvin is one of the few physical players in the draft that can keep up with Orr, #4 will face a physical pounding that he never had to face before, either in the NHL or in the ATD. Second, Potvin will be aggressive and will try to take the puck away and rush up ice as soon as possible. Potvin’s excellent speed can create odd-man rushes against Benedict; Orr was a terrific skater but even he would have a hard time catching up to Potvin and my speedy forwards if they have a head start. (McCrimmon was a good player but speed was never his strength, so defending a Potvin-led counterattack will be especially difficult). Potvin was (arrogantly, though somewhat justifiably) angry that Orr was chosen as MVP at the 1976 Canada Cup and spent his entire career being (unfairly) compared to Orr. I’m sure he’d love the chance to prove he can keep up with #4, and I’d bet he’d be willing to drop the gloves. (I’d hate to lose Potvin for five minutes, but Orr would be a bigger loss to Nanaimo).

In the event that Potvin gets out of position looking for a check (a rarity), or gets caught on his rush, keep in mind that Harry Howell, the dependable positional blueliner, will play more conservatively and will be back in his zone on time. In short, if Orr wants to rush, he must be prepared for Potvin’s physical play and the likelihood of odd-man rushes against. This should limit Nanaimo's offense considerably.

My third line will also stay on the ice against Orr (presumably Nanaimo is playing their top line at the same time). Primeau is a very good forward, but Doug Jarvis spent his entire career shutting down the league’s centres, including Clarke, Ratelle and Sittler, often as the key defensive centre on a dynasty. This is a good matchup for the Canadiens because Primeau and Jarvis are both small and disciplined (this prevents Jarvis from getting outmatched against a larger, more physical centre). Marcotte will get a very tough opponent in Conacher, but they match up well. Marcotte, like Conacher, was a tough, physical player. Marcotte was a very aggressive checker and fighter. This means that Marcotte will be able to stand up to Conacher’s strength, and can wear him down physical due to his aggressive style. Also, Marcotte was surprisingly disciplined (317 PIM in 868 games) while Conacher took 523 PIM in 460 games; Marcotte’s intense physical play and agitation will likely force Conacher into taking some foolish penalties, removing Nanaimo’s second-best player for good portions of the game. Keep in mind that Marcotte helped contain Gordie Howe in the second round.

pitseleh
12-31-2007, 02:58 PM
Thanks for getting things started HO. I've been under the weather for a few days but I seem to be on the mend right now.

To start out, I would like to note that Viktor Kuzkin will draw back into the lineup in place of Marotte. At this point in the draft, I'd imagine that my #6 defenseman will get less than 10 minutes of ice time a night, and I feel more comfortable using Kuzkin as a PP specialist than I do having Marotte eat up time at ES/PK.

Here are some thoughts on personnel:

I'll start off by agreeing that coaching and goaltending are essentially a wash. I have Benedict slightly ahead of Broda, but in the playoffs it's so close that it doesn't really matter. Arbour is a better coach than Day, but again, it's close. Both teams have coaches that suit the personnel they have put together.

In terms of top-6 forwards, I think our teams are remarkably similarly constructed - albeit different in terms of positional advantage. For that reason, while positional advantage is a good place to start in the comparison, I think a better reflection is accomplished by looking at what each player brings to their respective line rather than to their position. I'm a big Newsy Lalonde fan, but I like Conacher better for his combination of toughness, size, and goal scoring ability as the centerpiece of a top line. While Cournoyer represents a step-up from either Schriner or Primeau (mitigating the advantage that Conacher brings), Simmer is the definite weak link on either top line. For that reason, I give the Clippers a slight edge.

Nighbor versus Ratelle is an interesting comparison, because one way I've seen Nighbor is as a stronger defensively Ratelle. I think they essentially represent a wash (while bringing different respective strengths). Smith and Stevens bring similar type games (with Hooley obviously bringing more consistently strong offense). Litzenberger and Hadfield represent the triggermen on the respective lines, with Litzenberger bringing a longer, higher peak.

Our third and fourth lines representing contrasting styles. Our third line has a stronger offensive focus while Montreal's brings more defensively and physically. Montreal's fourth line seems more centered around crash and bang type play and additional goal scoring while our unit is more defensively inclined (though Murray was a good defensive player). I'll get into the respective strengths and weaknesses later when I get into matchups.

Our defenses are again similarly built, with our top two defenseman anchoring our top two pairings, with the advantage of Orr/Conacher over Potvin/Pronovost going to the Clippers. While Howell is better than any other defenseman on the Clippers, I think this advantage is mitigated by advantages that the team has at other relative positions. The only other advantage that I give the Canadiens is the Hajt/Kuzkin matchup, and I figure that both will have minimal impacts on the series.

I expect this will be a very tight matchup. I'll post more on strategy later.

BM67
01-02-2008, 07:27 AM
Lets set the deadline for voting at midnight eastern Monday the 7th.

We also need to get a list of who is doing writeups. A different writer for each game was discussed, and about 4 or so guys chimed in in the draft thread.

Sturminator
01-02-2008, 07:30 AM
I'd really appreciate it if we could extend the deadline to Monday night. I was quite busy over the holidays and haven't yet had a chance to post of think much about this finals matchup. Having this weekend would really help.

Transplanted Caper
01-04-2008, 09:20 AM
Probably will be posted elsewhere, but given the name of the Finals I thought it warrented attention.

http://www.tsn.ca/headlines/news_story/?ID=226452

TORONTO - Former columnist and sports editor Milt Dunnell, a Toronto Star legend and Hall of Fame journalist known for his deft turn of phrase and encyclopedic breadth of experience, has died. He was 102.

Dunnell died at North York General Hospital late Thursday night, a source from the Star told The Canadian Press.

"To be honest, when I was younger, I never thought I'd make it to 50," Dunnell told the Toronto Star in 2005 when he turned 100.

"In some respects, I'm healthier now than when I was younger. But I don't think there's any great achievement in living to be 100 years old."

Dunnell, who turned 102 on Christmas Eve, was an honoured member of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and the Football Reporters of Canada Hall of Fame.





Dunnell was known around the newsroom as Mr. Sports or, more fondly, as Uncle Miltie.

"By any measure, the former Toronto Star sports editor was simply Canada's top sports columnist for more than half a century," Jim Kernaghan of the London Free Press wrote in 2005.

Diving Pokecheck*
01-04-2008, 03:39 PM
Rest In Peace.
Should we re-name it the Milt Dunnell Memorial Trophy?

vancityluongo
01-04-2008, 04:19 PM
Rest In Peace.
Should we re-name it the Milt Dunnell Memorial Trophy?

RIP, and that actually isn't a bad idea.

pitseleh
01-05-2008, 12:02 AM
RIP Milt Dunnell. His contribution to hockey was remarkable.

To start off on the strategy discussion, I'll address HO's points first. It'll be important because (I believe) Montreal has home-ice advantage, so they will have the edge in getting the matchups they want.

Strategy

I will match up my top line against Nanaimo’s fourth line. This has several advantages. First, Cournoyer will be matched up against Kilrea. Aside from 1930 (the fluky year with the one-time rule changes), Kilrea was never much of a scoring threat. Therefore this matchup will allow Cournoyer to fully utilize his speed and goal-scoring ability; he can go deep into the Clippers’ offensive zone. Cournoyer will be able to take on a very aggressive offensive role given the lack of a counter-attack from Kilrea. Second, this allows Simmer to matchup against Nesterenko. I realize the latter is a good defensive forward, but Simmer's game is quite simple – he plants himself in the crease and waits for rebounds, tips and screens. Simmer is quite disciplined (in fact, Nesterenko took penalties at a significantly higher rate than Simmer, which could easily turn a PP into a 2-man advantage if Nesterenko isn't careful). Simmer has a 25 lbs advantage on Nesterenko, who will have a hard time moving him from the crease. Finally, Lalone matches up against Skov. While Skov was a key player on the Wings’ dynasty, it will be difficult for him to contain Lalonde’s speed, toughness and stickhandling ability. (Keep in mind that Leswick and Pavelich usually got the really hard tasks on the Wings dynasty i.e. shutting down Rocket Richard).

Though Kilrea-Skov-Nesterenko isn't a top-notch checking line, I feel they have the personnel to effectively matchup against Montreal's top line. Cournoyer's biggest threat is his tremendous speed, so having Kilrea to match up against him is vital. Kilrea was one of the, if not the, fastest skaters in the league during his time (according to Ultimate Hockey he set the fastest skater record in the 30's). Even ignoring his outlier year, he was a fairly consistent offensive threat and even had another top-10 goal scoring finish.

While Nesterenko did earn his share of penalties, he was also a very reliable PKer for many years with the Blackhawks. I can't imagine him being a liability to draw a penalty on the PK. He was also a very belligerent player and wasn't afraid to drop the gloves - which probably factors in to his inflated PIM totals.

Again, while Leswick and Pavelich were better defensive players, Skov was responsible for shutting down centers who play tough games like Lalonde in Schmidt, Lach and Teeder Kennedy. Lalonde was a faster skater than the three, but Skov should be able to keep up defensively and physically.

Our fourth line will likely play around 8-10 minutes a night, so the rest of the time I expect to have either Prentice-Weiland-Rousseau or the Nighbor line on the ice against the Lalonde line. I feel as though Lalonde is the real catalyst for that line, and effectively limiting his offensive freedom will be the key to limiting their production.


I will match our second lines straight across. As discussed before, my second line has better personnel at each forward position (except possibly LW). Smith and Ratelle are the two best scorers on either line; Hadfield should match Stevens’ physical play, and Smith and Ratelle should match Nighbor’s defensive play.


I'd say that's debateable. Nighbor finished in the top-10 scorers 4 times (to Smith's six I believe) but also had a couple of great seasons in the NHA. At worst I'd say they are comparable offensively.

I also think that Stevens and Litzenberger were sufficiently better offensively than Hadfield to mitigate some of that advantage.


The Clippers are unique because their best offensive player is a defenseman. I was considering splitting up Potvin and Howell but I’ve decided to keep them together, and on the ice versus Orr. Whenever Orr rushes with the puck, Potvin will have two tasks. First, he will try to neutralize Orr’s offense via bodychecking or dropping the gloves. Given that Potvin is one of the few physical players in the draft that can keep up with Orr, #4 will face a physical pounding that he never had to face before, either in the NHL or in the ATD. Second, Potvin will be aggressive and will try to take the puck away and rush up ice as soon as possible. Potvin’s excellent speed can create odd-man rushes against Benedict; Orr was a terrific skater but even he would have a hard time catching up to Potvin and my speedy forwards if they have a head start. (McCrimmon was a good player but speed was never his strength, so defending a Potvin-led counterattack will be especially difficult). Potvin was (arrogantly, though somewhat justifiably) angry that Orr was chosen as MVP at the 1976 Canada Cup and spent his entire career being (unfairly) compared to Orr. I’m sure he’d love the chance to prove he can keep up with #4, and I’d bet he’d be willing to drop the gloves. (I’d hate to lose Potvin for five minutes, but Orr would be a bigger loss to Nanaimo).

In the event that Potvin gets out of position looking for a check (a rarity), or gets caught on his rush, keep in mind that Harry Howell, the dependable positional blueliner, will play more conservatively and will be back in his zone on time. In short, if Orr wants to rush, he must be prepared for Potvin’s physical play and the likelihood of odd-man rushes against. This should limit Nanaimo's offense considerably.

My third line will also stay on the ice against Orr (presumably Nanaimo is playing their top line at the same time). Primeau is a very good forward, but Doug Jarvis spent his entire career shutting down the league’s centres, including Clarke, Ratelle and Sittler, often as the key defensive centre on a dynasty. This is a good matchup for the Canadiens because Primeau and Jarvis are both small and disciplined (this prevents Jarvis from getting outmatched against a larger, more physical centre). Marcotte will get a very tough opponent in Conacher, but they match up well. Marcotte, like Conacher, was a tough, physical player. Marcotte was a very aggressive checker and fighter. This means that Marcotte will be able to stand up to Conacher’s strength, and can wear him down physical due to his aggressive style. Also, Marcotte was surprisingly disciplined (317 PIM in 868 games) while Conacher took 523 PIM in 460 games; Marcotte’s intense physical play and agitation will likely force Conacher into taking some foolish penalties, removing Nanaimo’s second-best player for good portions of the game. Keep in mind that Marcotte helped contain Gordie Howe in the second round.

I like the way this matchup plays out for the Clippers:

1) Having Potvin-Howell on the ice for the bulk of their ice time trying to shut down Orr and our top line limits Potvin's ability to catalyze their offense other than on the PP.

2) The worry of the counter-attack against Orr's offensive pressure is limited by the offensive abilities of Marcotte-Jarvis-Martin. Though Potvin may be able to create transition offense, having those players involved in the play is much less worrisome than having to face either of Montreal's top two lines.

As for our strategies:

1) We'll look to get our top line out against Bonin-Murray-Shack as much as possible. Bonin and Shack are more known for being physical diggers with an offensive touch. For that reason, having our top line out against them gives us the best chance of creating offense against the Canadiens.

2) With Kuzkin in the lineup mostly as a PP specialist, Orr and Conacher will get double shifted quite a bit, and will likely combine for nearly the whole game on the left side at ES/PK. Just to reiterate, because of this imbalance in ice-time between the right and left side, Orr and Conacher will likely have two different partners through the game (as they have all draft). Conacher will be on the ice against the Hadfield/Smith to act as the physical presence defensively. He will see a fair bit of ice time with Hitchman when this line is on the ice to have two strong physical defensemen on the ice.

Hap Day will likely see more ice-time against the top unit of Montreal. He is a quicker blueliner than either McCrimmon or Hitchman and is very positionally sound. I feel more comfortable with him on the ice to matchup with the speed of the top line.

3) Prentice-Weiland-Rousseau is a much more offensively competent line than either of Montreal's bottom two and represents a competitive advantage for Nanaimo. They will be able to keep either of Montreal's top-two lines honest defensively while providing very solid defense.

I think the advantages that Orr and our third line give us offensively (with Potvin being relied upon more defensively) are the competitive advantages that we can utilize to take the series.

Hockey Outsider
01-06-2008, 01:56 AM
Thursday was a sad day for hockey. During the summer I was able to read a number of Dunnell’s articles in the Toronto Star from the 50s and 60s. His passion for the game was evident in every column.

Pitseleh, hope you’re feeling better. I agree with most of what you said about personnel. I would still give my Canadiens the advantage for top six forwards—Conacher/Lalonde are even and I would take both Ratelle and Smith over Nighbor as I discussed before.

Though Kilrea-Skov-Nesterenko isn't a top-notch checking line, I feel they have the personnel to effectively matchup against Montreal's top line. Cournoyer's biggest threat is his tremendous speed, so having Kilrea to match up against him is vital. Kilrea was one of the, if not the, fastest skaters in the league during his time (according to Ultimate Hockey he set the fastest skater record in the 30's). Even ignoring his outlier year, he was a fairly consistent offensive threat and even had another top-10 goal scoring finish.

I agree that Kilrea is a great skater, but Cournoyer was also remarkably strong for his size. He, like Jagr, had amazing lower-body strength. Even if Kilrea caught up to him, I don’t know if he would be able to knock him off the puck.

I still think that Lalonde vs. Skov is a significant mis-match. Skov was a good defensive forward, but Lalonde was probably the best player in the history of professional hockey until Morenz and Shore. I’ll admit I’ve had a hard time doing research about Skov but, so far, I’ve found nothing to indicate that he was an exceptional skater or especially tough (two of Lalonde’s greatest qualities).

1) Having Potvin-Howell on the ice for the bulk of their ice time trying to shut down Orr and our top line limits Potvin's ability to catalyze their offense other than on the PP.

I have to disagree here. My second pair defensemen have the speed and puckhandling ability to complement either of my top two lines. Marcel Pronovost will be a key to my transition game. He was described as “a strong skater and puck carrier” who could “make a spectacular rush from one end to another”. Clearly he’s no Potvin but Pronovost’s speed and willingness to join the rush will still give both of my lines a lot of offensive support. Ramage was inconsistent offensively but his career highs of 20 goals and 56 assists, both on low-scoring teams, show he was capable of being an offensive catalyst as well.

2) The worry of the counter-attack against Orr's offensive pressure is limited by the offensive abilities of Marcotte-Jarvis-Martin. Though Potvin may be able to create transition offense, having those players involved in the play is much less worrisome than having to face either of Montreal's top two lines.

My third line obviously won’t outscore your top line on a counterattack, but it should provide enough pressure to make Orr play more cautiously than he normally would. Remember, Potvin showed that he can score with weak teammates too (in the 1976 playoffs he scored 19 pt in 13 games as a rookie Trottier dissapeared and Potvin was stuck with Jude Drouin and Garry Howatt as the team’s next best scorers). Martin (peaked at 4th in the league in assists) and Marcotte (steady 25 goal-scorer), combined with Potvin, should be enough to force Orr into being more conservative.

1) We'll look to get our top line out against Bonin-Murray-Shack as much as possible. Bonin and Shack are more known for being physical diggers with an offensive touch. For that reason, having our top line out against them gives us the best chance of creating offense against the Canadiens.

My fourth line will get around 8 minutes per game. Conacher is obviously much better than Bonin; but the Hab was described as “feisty and physical, good at retrieving pucks in corners and scrums”. I think he can contain Conacher for 8 minutes per game and Marcotte, as described earlier, will try to shut him down the rest of the time. Bonin wrestled bears during the off-season, and I figure Conacher must be as strong as a bear, so at least Bonin has good practice :). I don’t mind the Murray vs. Primeau match-up. Murray’s Selke-calibre defense and significant advantage in toughness should hold Primeau in check. Shack vs. Schriner is a mis-match but is no less of a difference than Skov vs. Lalonde. The difference is that Lalonde will be able to out-skate and out-muscle Skov, while Schriner could potentially get worn down by Shack's relentless checking.

3) Prentice-Weiland-Rousseau is a much more offensively competent line than either of Montreal's bottom two and represents a competitive advantage for Nanaimo. They will be able to keep either of Montreal's top-two lines honest defensively while providing very solid defense.

The only major advantage is Weiland vs. Jarvis (who I concede provides very little offense). However Weiland won his Art Ross during the fluky 1930 season when the NHL made aggressive rule changes to increase scoring (which were reversed halfway through the season). Weiland’s definitely the better scorer, but his Art Ross is a huge outlier due to it occurring in 1930. At LW, Marcotte and Prentice are basically even in terms of per-game and season-high stats. At RW, Rousseau gets the edge over Martin but, again, it’s a small advantage. Outside of one huge year (1966), Rousseau and Martin are equal offensively. As in previous rounds, I have the option of playing Pierre Turgeon. He’s not especially well-suited for this series, but he’s probably a better scorer than any player currently on our bottom two lines.

Ultimately I think that my team's strength down the middle, superiority on the second and third line, and our balanced, complete top three defensemen, will be enough for victory in a seven-game series.

pitseleh
01-06-2008, 12:01 PM
Pitseleh, hope you’re feeling better. I agree with most of what you said about personnel.

Thanks. :)


I agree that Kilrea is a great skater, but Cournoyer was also remarkably strong for his size. He, like Jagr, had amazing lower-body strength. Even if Kilrea caught up to him, I don’t know if he would be able to knock him off the puck.


Despite playing during an earlier era, Kilrea is listed as two inches taller and 13 pounds heavier (at 5'9, 185). Taking era into account, Kilrea is substantially bigger than Cournoyer. I'd imagine that Kilrea had a similar build considering his speed and his weight relative to his height (for comparison Lionel Conacher is listed at 6'2, 195). Obviously this is conjecture, but I don't think it's an unfair extrapolation. He may not be as strong as Cournoyer, but he should be strong and fast enough to keep up with him at the very least.


I still think that Lalonde vs. Skov is a significant mis-match. Skov was a good defensive forward, but Lalonde was probably the best player in the history of professional hockey until Morenz and Shore. I’ll admit I’ve had a hard time doing research about Skov but, so far, I’ve found nothing to indicate that he was an exceptional skater or especially tough (two of Lalonde’s greatest qualities).


That's a fair enough point. In Detroit he did play with two exceptional defensive forwards. But he was also known as a strong defensive center with the Hawks playing with Nesterenko. If pappy's around, maybe he'd like to chime in?


I have to disagree here. My second pair defensemen have the speed and puckhandling ability to complement either of my top two lines. Marcel Pronovost will be a key to my transition game. He was described as “a strong skater and puck carrier” who could “make a spectacular rush from one end to another”. Clearly he’s no Potvin but Pronovost’s speed and willingness to join the rush will still give both of my lines a lot of offensive support. Ramage was inconsistent offensively but his career highs of 20 goals and 56 assists, both on low-scoring teams, show he was capable of being an offensive catalyst as well.


Sorry if I wasn't clear on this point. I agree, Pronovost is a fine offensive defenseman and you do have puck moving ability on your second pair. But Potvin is up there near the top when it comes to getting the puck to the forwards, so it's a little more comforting that he won't be used with stronger offensive players at ES (it's especially scary thinking of him sending long bombs out to Cournoyer at center).


The only major advantage is Weiland vs. Jarvis (who I concede provides very little offense). However Weiland won his Art Ross during the fluky 1930 season when the NHL made aggressive rule changes to increase scoring (which were reversed halfway through the season). Weiland’s definitely the better scorer, but his Art Ross is a huge outlier due to it occurring in 1930. At LW, Marcotte and Prentice are basically even in terms of per-game and season-high stats. At RW, Rousseau gets the edge over Martin but, again, it’s a small advantage. Outside of one huge year (1966), Rousseau and Martin are equal offensively. As in previous rounds, I have the option of playing Pierre Turgeon. He’s not especially well-suited for this series, but he’s probably a better scorer than any player currently on our bottom two lines.

I think it's a little unfair to directly compare Marcotte and Prentice's stats because Prentice played his prime and the majority of his career games during the O6 era while Marcotte had the benefit of playing his career during the post-expansion era (well, minus one game). Prentice finished as high as 4th in the league in goals and was consistently close to the top-10 in goals. He played five 'full' seasons post-expansion and scored twenty goals 4 times, despite those seasons coming between the ages of 36 and 41.

I'd also say that Rousseau had a fairly substantial edge on Martin. Rousseau during his career finished top-10 in goals twice (top-5 once), top-10 in assists four times (top-5 three times including leading the league), and top-10 in points twice (top-5 once). Martin finished top-10 in assists twice (once top-5).

Glad we were able to get some debate in on this. It may be a little late, but I guess it's better late than never. :)

pappyline
01-06-2008, 02:46 PM
That's a fair enough point. In Detroit he did play with two exceptional defensive forwards. But he was also known as a strong defensive center with the Hawks playing with Nesterenko. If pappy's around, maybe he'd like to chime in?





I do remember Skov in his last couple of Hawk seasons where he was almost strictly used as a penalty killer in tandem with Earl Balfour.

With those great Detroit teams of the early 50's he centred the checking line with Pavelich & Leswick on the wings. I would presume he was out there checking Beliveau & other top centers.

Sturminator
01-07-2008, 12:39 AM
Ok, I'm into the discussion late, but better late than never.

To begin with, I think having the coaching advantage and home ice will allow Montreal to dictate the play for the majority of the series. The goaltenders are nearly a wash, though I might still give a very slight advantage to the Clippers. Both are excellent, disciplined teams with great leadership. Aside from Simmer, I don't see any injury concerns for the Habs, while Nanaimo will live and die by the health of its stars. Before the skaters are analyzed, then, I think the Habs have the advantage because of home ice, coaching and health. Montreal has also played fewer games on the road to the finals.

Skaters:

- Bobby Orr is easily the best skater on the ice and can win a series by himself if he's playing at the top of his game. At this point in the playoffs, however, his health really does concern me. It's no secret who the Clippers' offensive catalyst is, and Nanaimo has had a hard run of physical opponents, starting in the first round.

- Overall, I think the skaters are nearly a dead heat. Although I think Lalonde is the best player on either first line, Nanaimo's is the better unit, overall, because of the out of place Charlie Simmer. Montreal wins on the 2nd line while Nanaimo wins on the 3rd and the 4th lines are about a wash.

- I like Montreal's #2-3 defensive combination of Pronovost-Howell considerably better than Nanaimo's, which is Conacher-Day. Taking health into consideration, I'm not sure which of Orr or Potvin I'd honestly prefer at this point. Neither McCrimmon nor Ramage is a standout #4. I like McCrimmon a bit better, overall, though Ramage is less out of place given that he won't be overplayed as McCrimmon will next to Orr. I give Nanaimo a slight advantage on the 3rd pairing. Hitchman and Hajt is very close, but I prefer Marotte to Barilko. Taken as a whole, I think Montreal's defense is actually a bit better at this point. This is going on the assumption that Orr is playing at something less than 100%.

In the end, I think I like the Habs in this one.

Nalyd Psycho
01-10-2008, 05:03 AM
Game 1: Arbour takes advantage of his home ice advantage by waging psychological warfare against the Clippers. Giving the Clippers what appears to be holes in the defense, but then closing them just as the Clippers commit. And on the odd occasion they find a seem, Broda shuts the door. Nanaimo is left feeling like they are controlling the play only because Montreal wills it to be so. Nanaimo starts playing apprehensive, like they want Montreal to seize control in order to normalize the game. Montreal waits, holds off on taking over. In the 3rd, Nanaimo is playing like they've just played 24 playoff games while Montreal looks as fresh as the start of the playoffs. And that's when they strike. A flurry of goals by Potvin, Lalonde and Jarvis ends the game.

Montreal wins game 1 3-0 for a 1-0 series lead.

Game 2: Montreal utilizes the same tactic in game 2. It works for a while, but this time, Bobby Orr doesn't get frustrated, he adapts. He uses fake outs, tricks Montreal into believing he's falling for their traps, and puts them out of position. This allows him to set-up goals by Conacher and Nighbor. With the two goal lead, Nanaimo locks it down and plays a tough trapping road game. Montreal learns just how much of a shutdown defender Orr is when he sets his mind to it. With Broda pulled, Ratelle scores, but, it's too little too late.

Nanaimo wins game 2 2-1 to tie the series 1-1.

Jungosi
01-10-2008, 09:05 AM
Clint Benedict stellar in Game 3

With the series tied at 1 it was time to go to Nainamo for game 3 and 4. The capacity crowd saw a goaltending performance extraordinaire by Praying Bennie. He made 26 saves on 27 shots to give his team the edge in the game and the lead in series. The first period was fast paced but neither team was able to score. Kevin Stevens scored the first goal midway to the second on a semi-breakaway. Montreal was pressing hard but couldn't find a way past Benedict. Charlie Conacher made it 2-0 shortly after the intermission while Montreal was still trying to score a goal. Lalonde would finally score to give his team some new hope but it was soon destroyed by Bobby Orr.

3 Stars

1. Clint Benedict
2. Charlie Conacher
3. Bobby Orr


Montreal crushes Nainamo

"After losing two games in a row , we really needed that win. Trailing 3 to 1 and playing in Montreal would have been a really difficult task." , said Al Arbour after the game.

Montreal set the signs for victory early in the game. Cournoyer and Simmer scored a goal each in the first ten minutes. Late in first Potvin laid a hip-check on Bobby Orr. Orr was laying on the ice for about 2 minutes unitl he got up. The hit started a scramble around the redline but no fights broke out. The momentum Monteal gained by the Hit lead to another goal by Rob Ramage.
Nainamo made the score look better when Nighbor scored late in the second but early in the third Lalonde and Potvin made it worse. The game ended 5-1 and the series in now tied at two.

1. Lalonde
2. Potvin
3. Cournoyer

If anyone wants the boxscores then tell me. ;)

Nalyd Psycho
01-10-2008, 05:51 PM
Game 5: Dennis Potvin sets the tone early with a thunderous hit on Orr. Nesterenko tries to stand up for Orr but gets demolished in a fight by Potvin. But Nanaimo is happy with the trade off. With Potvin out for five, Orr takes 3 to shake the cobwebs out. When he hits the ice he controls the play, dishing and dashing, Montreal's collective heads are spinning, Orr scores on a give and go with Schriner. When Potvin returns to the ice he is not about to be outdone. He gets the puck and charges down the ice like a freight train running behind schedule. Winds up for a big slapper and blows it right past Benedict. Early in the second, Potvin sets up a Cournoyer breakaway goal. Midway through the second Potvin lays out Charlie Conacher with a massive hit, Lionel Conacher comes to defend his brother and beats Potvin in a fight that will be appearing on highlight reels for decades. Nighbor sets up Stevens to tie it up late in the second. A clutch goal by Prentice gives Nanaimo the lead early in the third. Montreal storms back and Potvin, Ratelle and Hadfield connect on a tic-tac-toe play to tie it up. The game starts getting ugly and chippy as the teams battle for the go ahead goal. But it does not arrive. THIS ONE'S GOING TO OVERTIME! Midway through the first overtime, Kilrea takes a bad penalty. On the PP, Potvin fakes a big slapper, dekes around the sprawled Weiland and wrist the winner top shelf.

Montreal wins Game 5 4-3 in overtime to take a 3-2 series lead.

Game 6: Nanaimo is on the ropes and the home crowd knows it. But they aren't going down without a fight. Benedict and Broda engage in a flamboyant goaltenders duel, holding both sides scoreless through two. Early in the third Smith jams home a goal through Benedicts pads after Hadfield bowled him over. Hap Day is livid, calling for goalie interference, but the goal stands. Nanaimo is battle, scratching, trying anything they can. Finally, a lucky bounce give Kilrea a breakaway and a chance to make amends, and he does not fail, tying it up 1-1. THIS ONE'S GOING TO OVERTIME. Nanaimo gets set up in the Montreal zone. Orr to Primeau, to Schriner, back to Orr, over to Conacher, one-timer...GOAL!

Nanaimo wins Game 6 2-1 in OT to tie the series 3-3.

pitseleh
01-10-2008, 06:22 PM
Game seven, and I wasn't expecting any less. I'm going to be tense until the final game is posted. :)

God Bless Canada
01-10-2008, 11:08 PM
Game seven, and I wasn't expecting any less. I'm going to be tense until the final game is posted. :)
No surprise here, either. The previous two finals went to a Game 7 as well.

Hope the former champs are handling this well. If I was in their situation, I'd probably be sick to my stomach from being nervous.

pitseleh
01-10-2008, 11:13 PM
I'm a little sick to my stomach right now, but I think it's because of the Canucks game tonight. :D

Hawkman
01-11-2008, 12:25 AM
I'm a little sick to my stomach right now, but I think it's because of the Canucks game tonight. :DSpeaking of being sick to your stomach, the winner of game 7 has to wear these http://nhluniforms.com/1990s/Images/Islanders5.gif

Nalyd Psycho
01-11-2008, 12:47 AM
Game 7: Before the game, a ceremony is held honoring Milt Dunnell. His family is in attendance and they get a standing ovation from the respectful crowd. Both teams know what is on the line, victory means tasting the ultimate victory, and a loss tonight means they may have well have lost in the 1st round. The game starts with Orr trying to get through the neutral zone and being stripped by Potvin, but Orr catches him on the back check. Back and forth, back and forth. The game is going in circles as both teams play very conservatively. Midway through the second, Orr is able to scramble the Montreal defense and set-up Frank Nighbor for the go ahead goal. Montreal opens up a bit and Newsy Lalonde ties it up in the dying seconds of the second. The third is much the same as the first. Very defensive. With a few minutes to go, Potvin is able to hit Ratelle with a breakaway pass, dekes, scores! Nanaimo presses, but, it is to no avail as time winds down.

Montreal wins game 7 2-1 to win the series 4-3.

The Montreal Canadiens are your Milt Dunnell Champions!

Three Stars:
3rd: Turk Broda
2nd: Bobby Orr
1st: Denis Potvin

Bobby Orr is the winner of the Charlie Gardiner Memorial Trophy for playoff MVP.

Nalyd Psycho
01-11-2008, 12:47 AM
Sorry for the delay, I had it all ready to go then the update happened and I had to leave.

Sturminator
01-11-2008, 12:57 AM
Congrats to HO and the Habs. Montreal was the only division winner I picked. That Newsy Lalonde kid seems to be getting his due now, eh?

ck26
01-11-2008, 04:52 AM
Congrats to Les Habitants as well as the Clippers. The differences between the final four teams was almost indestinguishable, and any could have been champs. The bar has been raised again ...

VanIslander
01-11-2008, 05:12 AM
the non-super star team of the final four took it

i'd like to think people looked past the broda-potvin-lalonde trifecta of series stars, but that was a pretty balanced early core to build around, and HO sure did that

Rowdy Roddy Peeper
01-11-2008, 07:52 AM
Congrats to HO. Great team he built there.

pits too. Making consecutive Finals is no small feat.

God Bless Canada
01-11-2008, 08:43 AM
Dang. So I'm no longer the only GM to beat pit in the ATD playoffs? At least raleh and I can say that we pushed this Montreal team further (we lost in OT) than anyone else.

All kidding aside, congrats to HO and his Montreal team on becoming the first two-time Milt Dunnell Cup champions. Very few weaknesses, and a lot of strengths.

pitseleh
01-11-2008, 09:03 AM
Hey congrats Hockey Outsider. No shame in losing to a great team like yours. :)

pitseleh
01-11-2008, 09:34 AM
Congrats to Les Habitants as well as the Clippers. The differences between the final four teams was almost indestinguishable, and any could have been champs. The bar has been raised again ...

I honestly think every team that the Clippers beat along the way could have been in my shoes in the finals.

Dang. So I'm no longer the only GM to beat pit in the ATD playoffs? At least raleh and I can say that we pushed this Montreal team further (we lost in OT) than anyone else.


On the bright side, I can still say the Clippers are the only team to beat the Canadiens. ;)

Jungosi
01-11-2008, 09:57 AM
Congratulations to both Hockey Outsider and pitseleh. This was terrific final with two worthy opponents :clap:. I'm really looking forward to ATD #9.

Btw : I think it's really interesting that Montreal kicked out 3 of the big 4 in this playoffs.

God Bless Canada
01-11-2008, 01:35 PM
Congratulations to both Hockey Outsider and pitseleh. This was terrific final with two worthy opponents :clap:. I'm really looking forward to ATD #9.

Btw : I think it's really interesting that Montreal kicked out 3 of the big 4 in this playoffs.
I think Nanaimo might have actually had the tougher path. Edmonton always leads the pack for the "Toughest Team to Play Against" Award. Boston and Detroit had terrific, well-assembled teams. If the Speaker and EB were more involved in the debate (hope you're doing better, EB), I might have picked those teams over Nanaimo. Detroit, Nanaimo and Boston were very, very close.

I don't mean this as a slight against Oakland in any way, but I think they might have been the weakest opponent for the Clippers.

Nalyd Psycho
01-11-2008, 01:56 PM
I think Nanaimo might have actually had the tougher path. Edmonton always leads the pack for the "Toughest Team to Play Against" Award. Boston and Detroit had terrific, well-assembled teams. If the Speaker and EB were more involved in the debate (hope you're doing better, EB), I might have picked those teams over Nanaimo. Detroit, Nanaimo and Boston were very, very close.

I don't mean this as a slight against Oakland in any way, but I think they might have been the weakest opponent for the Clippers.

I know that's just because you hate teams that can actually score goals. :D

Diving Pokecheck*
01-11-2008, 05:39 PM
congratulations. I guess that losing to the eventual champion isn't so bad.

pappyline
01-11-2008, 06:13 PM
Gongrats to HO on the win & to Pitseleh on being in the final again You guys consistently put together great teams.

Sturminator
01-12-2008, 02:27 AM
I don't mean this as a slight against Oakland in any way, but I think they might have been the weakest opponent for the Clippers.

I'm not in the least bit surprised by this statement. Shame that the GMs who really didn't like the Seals stayed around to vote in the playoffs while at least a couple of the guys who praised Oakland the most (I'm talking about Lappy and Eagle here) did not.

The fact you think a team that a number of your colleagues called the best in the draft was worse than a #7 seed shows, I suppose, how widely opinions may vary in this forum.

Hockey Outsider
01-12-2008, 07:57 PM
Wow, this is a pleasant surprise. I was pretty nervous coming home today as the series could have gone either way. It’s fitting that it went to game seven, though. Thanks to everybody who participated over the past few months (GMs, outside commentators and writers). The draft can be a bit frustrating at times (BM67 has a particular talent for taking players a few spots before I do), but it’s become one of my favorite activities. Special thanks go to BM67 (for yet again running the league flawlessly and always having a top-tier team) and Jungosi (it’s good to see an “outsider” so involved in the draft; hopefully you join us in ATD #9).

Any of the teams that I faced could have won our matchup. I’m not saying this to be falsely modest, it’s a testament to how evenly-matched the teams are. During the past three drafts, there has only been one series that I thought was very one-sided. The funny thing is, I didn’t like the direction of my team for quite a while. I kept on second-guessing my early choices (Potvin vs. Morenz, Cournoyer vs. Abel, and, ironically given the finals, Broda vs. Benedict). And, still, I have a few obvious problems (lack of LW scoring, playing Martin and, to a lesser extent, Smith out of position).

My favourite teams were the Camels and Raiders, because they were so unique. Wisent has great knowledge of European players and I’ve learned a great deal following his teams during the past few drafts. VanIslander took a big risk in terms of strategy/personnel but it produced one of the top teams in draft.

Pitseleh, it was an honour to face you in the finals again. Our teams are always pretty similar – (though your bottom two lines always have more scoring while mine have more grit). I knew that one final four spot was gone as soon as you traded up to get the first pick (though, really, you would have made it there anyway without that trade). I'm glad I could "borrow" four key players from your championship team last time.

I was glad to see Nanaimo knock out Oakland. I won’t go into the details, but I think they would have beaten me in the finals. (I definitely don’t mean that Nanaimo was a weak team, I just mean that Oakland’s strengths matched up very well against my Canadiens).

Interestingly, Bobby Rousseau has enjoyed the most team success, with two championships and one runner-up. Bill Hajt, Don Marcotte, Hooley Smith, Newsy Lalonde, Adam Oates, Doug Risebrough and Ted Harris are all two-time winners.

I’ve been trying to figure out what would be the optimal drafting strategy. It seems like “second tier” goalies have had the most success. I’d say it’s generally a mistake to take a goalie (even Plante, Roy, etc.) in the first ~35 picks unless you get a major bargain. Balance seems to work—focusing too heavily in one aspect (whether by position or by concept (i.e. toughness, speed)) generally means too many weaknesses in others.

I’m not participating in the minor-league draft due to busy season starting at work, but I’ll see everybody back for ATD #9.

Murphy
01-31-2008, 02:28 PM
A little late to the party but the last to leave, lol

Congrats to Outsider & Pitseleh. I don't know how you two do it but you both always assemble great teams every time. I guess I'll just have to make it my personal mission for ATD #9 to take you out

Hawkman
01-31-2008, 06:51 PM
A little late to the party but the last to leave, lol. Congrats to Outsider & Pitseleh. I don't know how you two do it but you both always assemble great teams every time. I guess I'll just have to make it my personal mission for ATD #9 to take you outIt's good for a young man to have dreams. ;)

Murphy
01-31-2008, 08:13 PM
Not that young........;)