ATD #9 René Lecavalier Semifinal: #2 Springfield Isotopes vs. #3 Ottawa 67's

FissionFire
05-27-2008, 02:14 AM
The Springfield Isotopes
Coach: Mike Keenan
Captain: Sylvio Mantha
Assistant Captains: Bill Barber, Walt Tkaczuk

Bill Barber (A) - Norm Ullman - Andy Bathgate
Baldy Northcott - Bobby Smith - Teemu Selanne
Hec Kilrea - Walt Tkaczuk (A) - John MacLean
Curt Fraser - Pit Martin - Jim Pappin
Camille Henry, John Ogrodnick

Brad Park - Sylvio Mantha (C)
Zdeno Chara - Hod Stuart
Dave Burrows - Gilles Marotte
Fredrik Olausson

Ken Dryden
Sean Burke

PP#1
Bill Barber - Norm Ullman - Andy Bathgate
Hod Stuart - Brad Park

PP#2
John MacLean - Bobby Smith - Teemu Selanne
Sylvio Mantha - Zdeno Chara

PK#1
Bill Barber - Walt Tkaczuk
Zdeno Chara - Sylvio Mantha

PK#2
Baldy Northcott - Norm Ullman
Brad Park - Dave Burrows



Ottawa 67s
Head Coach: Lindy Ruff
Captain: Syl Apps
Alternates: Gordie Howe, King Clancy

Anatoli Firsov - Syl Apps - Gordie Howe
Gaye Stewart - Duke Keats - Vladimir Martinec
Craig Ramsay - Gregg Sheppard - Bengt Gustafsson
Vic Stasiuk - Dale Hunter - Claude Lemieux
Jimmy Roberts, Dave Christian

Jimmy Thomson - King Clancy
Jan Suchy - Barry Beck
Keith Magnuson - Doug Crossman
Roman Hamrlik

Georges Vezina
Roger Crozier

PP#1
Antoli Firsov - Duke Keats - Gordie Howe
Jan Suchy - Barry Beck

PP#2
Gaye Stewart - Syl Apps - Vladimir Martinec
Jimmy Thomson - King Clancy

PK#1
Craig Ramsay - Gregg Sheppard
Jimmy Thomson - Barry Beck

PK#2
Syl Apps - Bengt Gustafsson
King Clancy - Doug Crossman

Rick Middleton
05-27-2008, 10:14 AM
Man, we're so going to crush you. Your 2nd line LW is named Gaye. I mean, come on, Gaye? Our 2nd line LW is named Baldy. That is so much more awesomer than Gaye.

FissionFire
05-27-2008, 11:00 AM
Man, we're so going to crush you. Your 2nd line LW is named Gaye. I mean, come on, Gaye? Our 2nd line LW is named Baldy. That is so much more awesomer than Gaye.

Yes but he has a clear advantage ad defense in the name department. Sylvio versus King? Domination.

Rick Middleton
05-27-2008, 11:16 AM
Yes but he has a clear advantage ad defense in the name department. Sylvio versus King? Domination.

Feh. We have Hod. Let's see him match that. Hod rules!

Jungosi
05-27-2008, 11:44 AM
Roger and George destroy Ken any day. He is just a product of Barbie.

FissionFire
05-27-2008, 12:26 PM
Feh. We have Hod. Let's see him match that. Hod rules!

IDK, King and Duke on the same team? You're facing royalty here.

Rick Middleton
05-27-2008, 02:19 PM
IDK, King and Duke on the same team? You're facing royalty here.

Royalty? Those bunch of inbred products of an outdated monarchichal system? Feh. What are they going to do, scare me with their bad teeth?

God Bless Canada
05-27-2008, 07:48 PM
I wouldn't be slamming Gaye Stewart. Former goals leader, and actually a pretty tough player.

Key question for me is if Springfield can stop Ottawa's big line? Ottawa has the two best forwards in this series (I like Bathgate, but he is not as good as Apps). And Firsov is a pretty damn good goal scorer for that top line. If Springfield can stop the Apps line, they still have to face the dynamic Keats line, but if you can stop Apps, you can stop Keats. Walt Tkaczuk and Pit Martin will have their hands full.

As stated several times before, Ottawa's fourth line is the best in the draft. Their third line is very good, too.

Bathgate won't be able to dominate like he did in the last series. Not against Stewart, Ramsay and Statiuk. But he will still put up points on that great top line.

Both teams have that great blend on the blue-line. Springfield has the best defenceman; I would argue that Ottawa has the best top-pairing. Thomson is very underrated, and I think the Clancy-Thomson tandem just works.

Zdeno Chara will be a pivotal guy in this series. He's a defining player, he's a guy that scouts will be seeking "the next ..." player for a while.

Dryden vs. Vezina is probably the biggest goaltending mis-match in the second round.

Not a big fan of either coach. I think they're good enough to be in the ATD, and I would say Keenan is the better coach, but I don't think Keenan over Ruff is a difference-maker.

shawnmullin
05-28-2008, 01:58 AM
Dryden vs. Vezina is probably the biggest goaltending mis-match in the second round.

*Cough* I disagree ;)

I love this series though. One of the many this round that are incredibly tough to call. I'm anxious to hear the arguments.

Sturminator
05-28-2008, 05:04 AM
You make a good point about Chara's importance in this series and to the Isotopes, in general, GBC. In fact, he will move back up to the 2nd pairing with Stuart. The new Springfield defensive pairings:

Park - Mantha
Chara - Stuart
Burrows - Marotte
- with Olausson in reserve

Onto the matchup:

- the most obvious advantage for Springfield in this series is Dryden vs. the Ottawa goalies. It shouldn't require much analysis, but I would also like to point out that Vezina is an old-time goalie and, at least in my opinion, is probably not going to be up to playing 7 consecutive playoff games, if the series goes that far. Dryden sat for 20 minutes of his entire playoff career in Montreal and will, of course, start every game for the Isotopes. The matchup here is really Dryden vs. 5-6 games of Vezina and 1-2 games of Crozier, which is even more lopsided than a straight Dryden vs. Vezina matchup.

- Springfield's other clear advantage is on defense. GBC says that Clancy - Thomson "just works" as a 1st pairing...meh, I dunno. There are two problems here:

1. Clancy's size/strength disadvantage vs. the Springfield top 6. With the exception of Teemu Selanne (who is strong on his skates, himself), all of the Isotopes scoringline forwards are a physical mismatch against Clancy. None of Barber - Ullman - Bathgate are huge, but all three possess a great deal of physical strength and Barber/Ullman were very chippy guys who liked to hit and initiate contact. Baldy Northcott was a very big player for his era (6'0" 185 in the 30's) who was known for playing a strong, aggressive game, and Bobby Smith's size/strength advantage over Clancy shouldn't need much clarification. The King is a great defenseman, but his biggest weakness is exposed against the Springfield top 6.

2. That leaves Jimmy Thomson to do a lot of the dirty work for Ottawa. The thing about Thomson is that I see little reason to consider him a legitimate #2 defenseman in an ATD setting. He was a 2nd team all-star twice in very weak seasons for 2nd-tier defensemen (he shared 2nd team honors with Leo Reise Jr. and then Hy Buller) and is not a Hall of Famer. Thomson was a good passer and puck-carrier (though that seems a bit redundant with Clancy as his partner), had above-average size and was known as a tough player, but what reason do we have to believe that his defensive abilities are ATD first-pairing calibre? If they were, given his other qualities, I can only assume that he'd be a Hall of Famer. I don't actually have any information on Thomson's defensive skills, and not for a lack of trying. As far as I know, there is none available, which leads me to believe that he was probably nothing special in his own zone.

- the Leafs dynasty of the late 40's was built around a fierce forward unit (led by Apps, Kennedy, Bentley, Sloan, Smith, Klukay, Metz and Watson at various points) and Turk Broda. The blueline was clearly not the team's area of strength, and I think all of those defensemen: Thomson, Mortson, Goldham, Stanowski and Barilko - get overrated in this forum. I have a very interesting tidbit from a Toronto Globe and Mail article (http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/hockey/024002-119.01-e.php?=&=&hockey_id_nbr=113)on the inaugural NHL all-star game, which was played in 1947 between the defending champion Leafs and the league-all stars. The entire text is somewhat fascinating (the chippiness of the game, the introduction of glass panels behind the nets), but there is one snippet which I think is pretty telling about the Leafs team defense during their dynasty years:

The game was only 25 minutes old at this stage and suddenly Leafs fell apart, tumbling over each other and making things easy for the opposition. It was an all too familiar Toronto story. A good lead and the players letting down to suddenly find themselves on the wrong end of the score.

It's a fairly stunning indictment of Toronto's team defense from the hometown paper, though I don't honestly find it surprising. I get the impression that the great Leafs dynasty of the 40's won more in spite of its blueline than because of it. Considering the defensive quality of the Toronto forwards on that 47 team (Kennedy, Watson, Metz and Klukay being the obvious standouts), serious coverage breakdowns would seem to fall on the shoulders of the defense, which had depth, but lacked high-end talent.

Clancy - Thomson is a vulnerable first pairing in general, but especially against physical forwards, and doesn't compare well to a Park - Mantha pairing which has the toughness and defensive zone ability to effectively match up with ATD first liners.

- onto the 2nd pairings: I think it's fairly obvious that Stuart - Chara is the superior unit. Hod Stuart is a high-end 2-way #3 with great size and speed who (with Cleghorn), was considered one of the two most dominant defensemen in hockey history before the Shore/Clancy era. Some considered him even better than Cleghorn, and as Joe Pelletier pointed out in the Worldwide Hockey Hall of Fame discussion (http://www.chidlovski.com/wwhhof/1950.htm), his career as a dominant player for the Silver Seven actually lasted for nine seasons before his tragic death at the age of 27. Considering that many players retired around 30 in Stuart's era, there isn't much of a knock in terms of career value here. I don't really know why Hod gets picked behind guys like Boucher and Gerard when the consensus among those who saw them play was that Stuart was the superior player.

Zdeno Chara is a guy who (on the strong assumption that he beats Phaneuf in voting this year) has got two 1st team and one 2nd team all-star nods under his belt, already, in addition to another season in which he finished 7th in Norris voting (making him a marginal 3rd teamer). That's already the resume of a strong #3 ATD defenseman. As a #4, he may be the best in the league. Playing the center zone in a left wing lock gives Chara help against wide speed on both sides (the left wing on the left and Stuart on the right) and his reach, which is obviously so good as to be considered an outlier, will make it extremely hard to go around him in transition in his reduced area of responsibility.

With the exception of the Bourque - Flaman "2nd pairing", Stuart - Chara is the best in the draft.

Suchy was a great all-around defenseman at his peak - a poor man's Clancy, in my opinion - but his peak was short (basically 68-71) due to the car crash and, like Clancy, he is a matchup problem against physical forwards. Suchy was 5'8" 160 in 60's-70's era hockey. I think Jan Suchy is a good #3 ATD defenseman with an excellent peak, but his area of weakness is exploitable by the Isotopes' forwards.

I think Barry Beck had the talent to be a solid 2-way #4 in an ATD, but as pit pointed out, a string of injuries made it impossible for him to play with much consistency. Taken as a whole, his career is really more that of a 3rd pairing ATD defenseman. Based on Norris voting, he's got three seasons in which he was a marginal 3rd team all-star (7th, 7th, 6th). He's a questionable #4 and obviously not in Chara's league. Suchy and Beck have the talent of a good 2nd pairing, but there are consistency issues, and Suchy's lack of size can be a liability. Springfield's second pair is pretty easily the better unit.

Sturminator
05-28-2008, 07:48 AM
Walt Tkaczuk and Pit Martin will have their hands full.

As I've said a few times before, the Isotopes don't match lines. It's not my style and it's not Keenan's style, either. Keenan is a big proponent of fitness and likes to lean on his top 6 forwards and top 4 defensemen for the bulk of the icetime, which he will do with this team. Apps and Keats will be defended by Ullman and Smith, who are both fine defensive centers.

Bathgate won't be able to dominate like he did in the last series. Not against Stewart, Ramsay and Statiuk. But he will still put up points on that great top line.

Gaye Stewart was a fine offensive player and a tough guy (among other things, he got suspended for a stick-swinging duel in 1942), but he was not a special defensive player. Neither was Vic Stasiuk, whose best years were actually at right wing on the Uke line with Johnny Bucyk playing on the left. You should know that, as Bucyk is one of the RCAF's headliners. Amusingly, Andy Bathgate once beat up Stasiuk twice in the same game (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,895868,00.html).

In the rugged give-and-take of bigtime hockey, Bathgate has learned to give with the best of them: he once got so infuriated that he beat up Boston's Vic Stasiuk twice in a single night.

It's a pretty funny article, overall, especially the bit at the end about Andy's wife, though the bits about the brutal Rangers fans and Bathgate injuring goalies with his slapshot are interesting, as well. Suffice it to say, if there's any player over whom Bathgate enjoys an intimidation factor, it is probably Vic Stasiuk.

Craig Ramsay is certainly a great checking left wing, but line-matching cuts both ways, especially on visiting ice with a lower-end coach. If Ruff tries to send Ramsay's line out there to check Bathgate every shift, that will have serious consequences for the 67's offense because Springfield's top line is going to get a lot of icetime.

Sturminator
05-28-2008, 11:55 AM
Here are two players. Which is better?

Player 1:

NHL top-10 goals finishes: 4th, 5th, 5th, 6th, 10th
NHL top-10 assists finishes: 1st, 1st, 6th, 6th
NHL top-10 points finishes: 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 6th, 7th, 8th
NHL top-10 Hart trophy finishes: 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd

Player 2:

NHL top-10 goals finishes: 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 7th, 8th, 10th, 10th
NHL top-10 assists finishes: 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, 8th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 10th
NHL top-10 points finishes: 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 6th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 10th
NHL top-10 Hart trophy finishes: 2nd, 5th, 9th

How do we compare these two players? Well, the first guy looks like a better playmaker (at least at his peak), while the second guy is clearly a better goalscorer in terms of peak and career value. Relative to their peers, they look to have roughly equal offensive peak values, with the second guy holding an advantage in terms of career value. The first guy got a lot more Hart trophy love, and we assume was therefore considered more vital to his team's success than the second guy.

These players are Syl Apps Sr. (player 1) and Norm Ullman (player 2). It's probably not surprising to those GMs with a lot of knowledge on these players, but really they are pretty similar. Ullman has the clear edge in terms of career value, while Apps has the big leadership advantage, as seen clearly in his Hart voting records. Apps lost two seasons to the war, so if we're generous his career value is close to Ullman's. Apps also has three more all-star nods than Ullman, but one came during a war year in which he only played half the season (essentially a throwout), and the level of competition the two men faced at center was not even close. Ullman shared all-star honors with Stan Mikita both seasons he made the team and frequently lost out to Beliveau, Richard and Esposito, among others. Not counting the throwout year, Apps shared all-star honors with Bill Cowley (twice), Neil Colville and Phil Watson. An average year for Ullman almost certainly would have been enough to win an all-star selection in a year that one of those players was the next best center in the league.

In terms of overall value, they really don't look all that far apart. Both men were tremendous playoff performers. Apps' teams had more success (which adds to his legend), but I don't think it can be said that he was actually a better postseason player than Ullman. Both were excellent skaters. Apps was bigger than Ullman and quite strong, but Ullman was very strong, himself, and was much more willing to initiate contact and play with an edge than the peaceful Apps.

I've never been able to find any hard information on Apps' fore or backchecking abilities. I have a hard time believing that he was a floater, but I'd like to see some praise of his secondary skills before I credit him for greatness in these areas. Ullman is described by multiple sources as being one of the greatest forecheckers and faceoff men of his era and a great digger along the boards. Joe Pelletier is generous in his praise of Ullman's backchecking abilities, and Punch Imlach called Ullman the greatest center he ever had. Given what we know about Imlach, one can only assume Ullman worked pretty hard to earn such a title.

Syl Apps has a certain mystique that Ullman lacks and I believe is more valuable mainly because he's one of the greatest leaders in NHL history. Leadership aside, however, Ullman actually appears to be the more complete player and may have an edge in career value, as well, depending on how you credit the years Apps lost to the war.

Apps is more important to the 67's because he is the team leader, but I'm not sure that he's actually the better player on the ice. Springfield has the great Sylvio Mantha (only one season behind Beliveau for the longest tenure as Habs captain in history) wearing the C, so there's not really a leadership gap, to speak of. Gordie Howe clearly gives Ottawa the advantage when the 1st lines go head-to-head, but it will be a tight competition.

FissionFire
05-28-2008, 01:15 PM
I agree with your post Sturm. Norm Ullman is criminally underrated. He was every bit the player Syl Apps or even Henri Richard was.

Rick Middleton
05-28-2008, 01:35 PM
Despite Sturm's vehement protestations, I have decided to release a picture of the secret weapon that we have developed to neutralize Gordie Howe:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2181/2068877972_73c82b0669_o.jpg

Pwnasaurus
05-28-2008, 02:13 PM
Strap on your skates Gordie...you're going in

reckoning
05-28-2008, 05:26 PM
Sorry I haven't commented here yet, just wanted to make a few points:

- I will give the Isotopes the edge in goal, though I don't think it's nearly as large as some believe. In the book Without Fear: Hockey's 50 Greatest Goaltenders Dryden was rated #7 and Vezina #9. Vezina is often underrated because his great years in the NHA tend to be forgotten, and because the Hab defence in front of him in the 1920s wasn't very strong. After he was forced to retire at the start of the 1925-26 season, Montreal plummeted to last place with their rising GAA being the main factor.

- I love Brad Park, but I still feel Clancy was better. Frank Selke in his autobiography Behind The Cheering goes so far as to say he felt Clancy was better than Doug Harvey! He was known for his low, accurate shot (low shots were Dryden's only weakness), and I don't feel his size will be any more of a detriment here than it would be for any other players from that era. He was smaller than most when he played and he was tough enough to survive, so he'll be alright here. He wasn't shy about using his stick as an equalizer in many battles, and had a reputation for being craftyenough to get away with a lot of trips without getting penalized.

- In regards to Sturm's questions about Jimmy Thomson's defensive abilities, in all fairness the above G&M article about the 1947 All-Star Game doesn't specifically blame Thomson, and regardless he was only 20 years old at the time. Defensive play doesn't leave behind statistics to judge the player by, but one indication (similar to the Vezina example is to look at the effect on Toronto's defence after Thomson was traded away:

56-57: 192 GA (4th overall) , 28.0 shots against per game (2nd overall)
57-58: 226 GA (6th overall), 33.6 shots against per game (5th overall)

It's quite a dropoff for a team with the same goalie and same defence (other than Thomson) for both years.

- As i said in my last series: I have Gordie ****ing Howe! 6 time playoff scoring leader. I can't see him being intimidated by Chara, and I can see any of their LWs providing much of a threat to stopping him. If Howe and my top line can consistently produce, the wins will come.

- What's more important than anything else is looks of the respective coaches:

http://cdn.nhl.com/images/upload/2007/06/frozen_inside061407.jpg
Look at him. Suave, debonair, sophisticated. He could've replaced Newman or Redford in The Sting and it would've been an even bigger movie.

Now compare that to....

http://cdn.nhl.com/images/wire/ap/2007/09/e622b2ae-7c25-452c-94fb-66a0b888a898.jpg
He's so old he can't enough stay awake during the games. And he's practically bald (a direct contrast to Lindy's distinguished receding hairline.)

Hockey Outsider
05-28-2008, 05:52 PM
- the most obvious advantage for Springfield in this series is Dryden vs. the Ottawa goalies. It shouldn't require much analysis, but I would also like to point out that Vezina is an old-time goalie and, at least in my opinion, is probably not going to be up to playing 7 consecutive playoff games, if the series goes that far. Dryden sat for 20 minutes of his entire playoff career in Montreal and will, of course, start every game for the Isotopes. The matchup here is really Dryden vs. 5-6 games of Vezina and 1-2 games of Crozier, which is even more lopsided than a straight Dryden vs. Vezina matchup.

It's tricky to determine how many games the early goalies could have played. I think it's worth noting that Vezina played eight years in the NHL (before getting tuberculosis) and missed exactly one game during that span. He played in more games than any goalie, both in the regular season and playoffs, prior to his death. In terms of durability, Vezina was the best of his era.

Generally we accept that goalies from the distant past, who didn't have access to modern equipment and techniques, would be able to compete in the ATD. It would be inconsistent to "adjust" for an ancient goalie's technique/equipment, but not take his longevity/durability into account. Obviously I'm not saying that Vezina (or even Glen Hall) would play all 82 games + playoffs in our hypothetical season; I just mean that we should recognize that they were the most durable goalies of their respective eras and, therefore, we should work on the assumption that they have enough durability to last for 60ish regular season games and a full playoff run.

reckoning
05-28-2008, 06:38 PM
Exactly. Vezina was hockey's original "Iron Man". The idea that he can't play a full series because of the era he came from doesn't make sense.

Generally we accept that goalies from the distant past, who didn't have access to modern equipment and techniques, would be able to compete in the ATD. It would be inconsistent to "adjust" for an ancient goalie's technique/equipment, but not take his longevity/durability into account.
Agreed. I think the same adjustments should apply to height and weight as well.

Sturminator
05-28-2008, 06:52 PM
- no comment on the book that places Vezina 9th all-time among goalies.

I love Brad Park, but I still feel Clancy was better. Frank Selke in his autobiography Behind The Cheering goes so far as to say he felt Clancy was better than Doug Harvey! He was known for his low, accurate shot (low shots were Dryden's only weakness), and I don't feel his size will be any more of a detriment here than it would be for any other players from that era. He was smaller than most when he played and he was tough enough to survive, so he'll be alright here. He wasn't shy about using his stick as an equalizer in many battles, and had a reputation for being craftyenough to get away with a lot of trips without getting penalized.

Other than the obvious advantage in physicality, I'm not sure Park really was better than Clancy. The physical advantage is telling, however. Park was a feared hip-checker and a very strong man. One of my favorite hockey memories is of Brad Park and Bobby Orr squaring off at center ice in (I think it was) game 2 of the 1972 Cup finals. It was a hell of a fight, and a hell of a brawl between the teams, actually. Clancy was, as you said, tough enough to survive, but it's hard to deny that he's at a disadvantage against strong, physical forwards - a disadvantage that Park does not suffer. Brad Park also has a sterling playoff record, and while we can't draw too many conclusions from playoff scoring among defensemen in Clancy's era, the King's postseason performances don't appear to be on the same level.

In regards to Sturm's questions about Jimmy Thomson's defensive abilities, in all fairness the above G&M article about the 1947 All-Star Game doesn't specifically blame Thomson, and regardless he was only 20 years old at the time. Defensive play doesn't leave behind statistics to judge the player by, but one indication (similar to the Vezina example is to look at the effect on Toronto's defence after Thomson was traded away:

56-57: 192 GA (4th overall) , 28.0 shots against per game (2nd overall)
57-58: 226 GA (6th overall), 33.6 shots against per game (5th overall)

It's quite a dropoff for a team with the same goalie and same defence (other than Thomson) for both years.

This is a pretty thin reed considering that Jimmy Thomson was on his last legs when the Leafs traded him and would retire after only one season in Chicago. I don't think Thomson was even a 1st pairing defenseman in Toronto by 56-57, as I recall Morrison being Horton's partner during this period. I have a hard time believing that the player Thomson was in 56-57 could have made that much difference to a team. Ted Kennedy's retirement and the fact that Tim Horton was injured in 57-58 and only played 53 games probably had a lot more to do with it.

The standards of what constitutes a good ATD #2 defenseman are quite high and there isn't really any evidence that Thomson meets them. While it's unfair to assume that he was weak in his own zone, we also have no reason to assume that he was great, and in this setting, greatness is pretty much the standard for 1st pairing players, because the forwards he's facing are great, in no uncertain terms. I don't think a player of Thomson's pedigree is a good matchup against a line like Barber - Ullman - Bathgate.

As i said in my last series: I have Gordie ****ing Howe! 6 time playoff scoring leader. I can't see him being intimidated by Chara, and I can see any of their LWs providing much of a threat to stopping him. If Howe and my top line can consistently produce, the wins will come.

No, I can't see Gordie Howe being intimidated by anyone, nor shut down by anyone. The goal is not to neutralize Howe, but to contain him. As far as the left wings are concerned, both Barber and Northcott have the strength and speed to hang with Howe, and both were very effective checkers. Nobody seems to question Northcott's checking abilities, but I wonder if some of the GMs here are unaware of what a strong 2-way player and competitor Bill Barber was. The best quotes about him come from his Legends bio (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Hnns0uCebA), which can be found on Youtube.

Billy was a very good winger - always tough to play against...and, uh...an excellent checker. He was an excellent all-around player, Billy was.

Bryan Trottier also says some pretty nice things about Barber's competitiveness and gamesmanship here, as well.

Billy Barber had a really good habit of trying to get under your skin - getting you off your game by bumping you, distracting you, yelling at you, talking to you. He was a great competitor.

Of course, agitating Gordie Howe in such a manner (nevermind diving) is a dangerous undertaking, but Barber was a guy who was always willing to pay the price to win.

Billy Barber was as complete a player as there was in the NHL when he played. I mean he could score. He could pass. He could check. He could certainly play in the tough games. He had great speed...

Of course, these Legends videos make everyone sound like Superman, and Barber clearly was not. He was, however, a strong 2-way player and a real competitor with the strength and speed to hang with Gordie Howe. Probably the best quote about Barber is this one, though:

You know...Bill Barber...his greatest value to the team is that he didn't imagine himself as being better than he actually was. I mean...Bill Barber, and of course others on the team, knew that Bobby Clarke was the leader. Bill Barber knew that Bernie Parent was the goaltender who made things work. And that was good enough for Bill Barber. That's what he wanted to be and he tried to be the best that he could at that.

Fischer doesn't say what "that" actually is, but what he means is that in spite of his talent, Barber was a good soldier who was happy to play a supporting role on a team that needed him to do so. Well, he's in that role again. I said it previously, but Bill Barber may have been the most important pick Rick and I made because I knew we'd eventually have to deal with Howe or Cook in this division. Of all the 1st line left wings in the draft (meaning guys who can actually score), I can think of very few who I'd rather have matched up against Howe, not because Barber will shut Gordie down (to claim such a thing would be foolish), but because he has the right combination of physical ability, grit and skill to check Howe and prevent him from simply running wild.

The combination of tough checking LWs (and centers in support) and a very skilled and physical top-4 defense (not to mention Ken Dryden) make Springfield arguably the best suited of all the teams in the draft to defend Howe. Gordie will always get his points, but the Isotopes have the personnel to minimize the damage.

Sturminator
05-28-2008, 06:58 PM
It's tricky to determine how many games the early goalies could have played. I think it's worth noting that Vezina played eight years in the NHL (before getting tuberculosis) and missed exactly one game during that span. He played in more games than any goalie, both in the regular season and playoffs, prior to his death. In terms of durability, Vezina was the best of his era.

Generally we accept that goalies from the distant past, who didn't have access to modern equipment and techniques, would be able to compete in the ATD. It would be inconsistent to "adjust" for an ancient goalie's technique/equipment, but not take his longevity/durability into account. Obviously I'm not saying that Vezina (or even Glen Hall) would play all 82 games + playoffs in our hypothetical season; I just mean that we should recognize that they were the most durable goalies of their respective eras and, therefore, we should work on the assumption that they have enough durability to last for 60ish regular season games and a full playoff run.

Fair enough. Perhaps my prejudice against old-time goalies is unfair.

God Bless Canada
05-28-2008, 08:20 PM
I agree with your post Sturm. Norm Ullman is criminally underrated. He was every bit the player Syl Apps or even Henri Richard was.
I really like Ullman. I think he's very underrated. But he's a definite step below from Syl Apps. Sr.'s. Ullman's a credible No. 1 centre for this thing; I think you can make a case for Apps as one of the top 10 centres of all-time. He led the post-season in scoring in 42. He put up very good point totals for that time in the game's history. (I don't know if people realize how impressive eight points in nine games was in the late 40s).

He led the league in assists twice, and was second in points three times. A five-time all-star. (Only one selection, 43, came after the best went to war). He was over a point-per-game from 37 to 42 - very, very few players in the history of the game could have done that.

God Bless Canada
05-28-2008, 08:38 PM
Funny, Sturm, I didn't hear any of the criticisms about Clancy in the last draft...

I think Sturm is really underrating King Clancy. Clancy's one of the best defencemen in the draft. He's quick, he's smart, and he is tough. Outside of Ted Lindsay, Clancy might be, pound-for-pound, the toughest player who ever played the game. He did face some bigger players in his time, Dit Clapper was 6'2" and Nels Stewart was 6'1", and Clancy didn't back down. And we all know about Clancy's great battles with Eddie Shore. Clancy was fearless, and he'll cause a lot of long nights for any who plays against him.

I'm not concerned about Clancy's playoff record. Defencemen were more encouraged to join the rush in Clancy's years, but keep in mind how incredibly difficult it was to put up points in the playoffs at that time. I don't know if any defenceman, except for Orr or Coffey, could have put up points in the 20s and 30s. Park certainly wouldn't have.

Sturm, I thought you and Nalyd had the best offensive trio in the last draft with Gretzky-Bathgate-Clancy. I think I called them the trio of terror. Well, reck has the Trio of Terror in this draft with Apps-Howe-Clancy.

I think Brad Park's the better defenceman, but I don't think it's by much.

As for the Thomson article, I don't know if it paints a true picture. Thomson was 19 and playing his first full year. Mortson was a 22-year-old rookie. Barilko was a 19-year-old rookie. Garth Bosch was an older rookie. Stanowski was the only real veteran on that defence. Got anything from 1951?

I don't think the 40s/50s Leafs get overrated. They seem to be the classic case of the defence that played better than the sum of its parts. Would Mortson/Thomson be the worst No. 1 defenceman ever for a dynasty team? Yes. But for whatever reason, that Leafs defence just worked.

reckoning
05-28-2008, 10:34 PM
This is a pretty thin reed considering that Jimmy Thomson was on his last legs when the Leafs traded him and would retire after only one season in Chicago.
He was only 30 years old when he was traded, so I wouldn't say he was on his last legs. He was only traded because of his involvement with the Players Association, not because of any drop off in his play. He retired the next year because of the cold shoulder he was receiving, plus he was educated and capable enough to make a good living outside the game.

Sturminator
05-29-2008, 12:58 AM
He was only 30 years old when he was traded, so I wouldn't say he was on his last legs. He was only traded because of his involvement with the Players Association, not because of any drop off in his play. He retired the next year because of the cold shoulder he was receiving, plus he was educated and capable enough to make a good living outside the game.

30 was actually pretty old for a player of that generation. Very few players were able to sustain their prime production past the age of 30. Ted Kennedy, for example, retired at the age of 29 in the same offseason in which Thomson was traded.

I think Sturm is really underrating King Clancy.

Did you actually read what I wrote, GBC? I see no particular reason to repeat myself. The strongest criticism I made of Clancy was the statement that his playoff record is essentially neutral, while Park's is an obvious plus. Considering the clumsy points-per-game breakdown I could have done with the King's playoff scoring record, my comment was pretty even-handed. I don't see any reason to criticize Clancy's playoff record, but I don't see any reason to praise it, either.

The statement that Brad Park "certainly wouldn't have" put up points in the playoffs in Clancy's era is ridiculous. Brad Park is one of the greatest playoff performers in NHL history. Saying that his playoff record is better than Clancy's is hardly a stretch. In 77-78, Park finished the playoffs with a line of 9-11-20 in 15 games, one off the NHL lead in points and goals (both held by Habs players) for a team on which the next best offensive producers (in that postseason, at least) were Peter McNab and Terry O'Reilly. He was a lock for the Conn-Smythe had the Bruins prevailed in the finals, which of course, they did not. It was one of many great playoff runs for Brad Park, and quite possibly the greatest postseason performance ever by a defenseman not named Orr.

As for criticisms about Clancy in the last draft, have you forgotten how often the Seals were called small and soft?

monster_bertuzzi
05-29-2008, 03:00 AM
Am I the only one left scratching my head at the low point totals from the 30's and 40's - especially when you consider the miniscule goalie equipment.

Sturminator
05-29-2008, 03:28 AM
Am I the only one left scratching my head at the low point totals from the 30's and 40's...

From what I've read, the low scoring totals were mostly the result of a laissez faire enforcement of holding, hooking and obstruction rules (such as existed at the time) that made even pre-lockout hockey look like a game of two-hand-touch. This phenomenon seems to be even more pronounced in the playoffs, and makes the postseason scoring records of players from this era consistently hard to analyze conclusively.

Nalyd Psycho
05-29-2008, 05:51 AM
My thoughts on the series.

-Ullman is one of the most underrated players ever. Not as valuable as Apps, but not far off.

-Dryden is a huge advantage.

-Howe is a huge advantage

-The 67's defense is quicker and more explosive. But not nearly as tough as the Isotopes.

-The 67's first line is one of the best.

-Both second lines intrigue me, not sure which I prefer.

-I prefer the Isotopes 3rd line, their bang and crash scoring may prove invaluable against the 67's defense. Unfortunately for the Isotopes, their major scoring lines won't exploit any failings in the 67's blueline.

-67's 4th line is awesome. And if not for penalty concerns would play a bigger role.

-I think what it comes down to is this, what style do you think is better, and who did a better job achieving it?

Rick Middleton
05-29-2008, 10:43 AM
Rather than do a line-by-line analysis, I thought I'd do a position by position analysis of our two teams. This may take me a while, so be prepared for this post to be incomplete.

Centers

Norm Ullman vs. Syl Apps

Sturm has already addressed this in an earlier post (http://hfboards.com/showpost.php?p=14232933&postcount=12). Quite frankly, there is little difference between the two. Apps got more love during his day as a player (All-Star voting and Hart Trophy voting), but in terms of offensive impact there is little to differentiate the two. Ullman is arguably the better defensive player, Apps is arguably the better leader. So this is really a wash IMO.

Bobby Smith vs. Duke Keats

This matchup will probably garner the most disparate conclusions. Keats dominated his League to a much greater degree than what Smith did, albeit in the WCHL. Smith had a much longer and far more prolific career, but it is questionable that he ever hit that peak that Keats had. So what do you take as the most important component of an athlete's ability, peak value or career value? The one component that does differentiate them in a substantial way is Keats' well-known temper. Keats will undoubtedly be spending a lot of time in the penalty box or in the press box when suspended, whereas Smith provides you a more consistent effort night-in, night-out. Physically they probably are equal as well, with a slight edge to Smith on pure size, and a slight edge to Keats on toughness. Keats was a larger man for his time (5'11" 195), and Smith was a big body as well (6'4" 210). So this comes down to what you value the most, peak or career. Simply because of Keats fiery temper, I have to give Smith the slight nod here. He'll be in the lineup when you need him, giving you what you need to win. Keats could win you the game, or lose you the game.

Walt Tkaczuk vs. Gregg Sheppard

Another dead-even heat. Tkaczuk is arguably the better defensive player, while Sheppard is arguably the better offensive player. Neither are deficient in any way, both are great two-way players. Both were noted for their PK ability and their ability to stop the opposition's best player. Tkaczuk may have the physical advantage, Pelletier lauds him in his article (http://nyrangerslegends.blogspot.com/2006/05/walt-tkaczuk.html), and Esposito stated that
"I've never run into anyone tougher. Ever," said Espo of Tkaczuk. "Bobby Clarke of Philadelphia gives me fits because he's so fast and persistent. Jim Harrison in Toronto was as strong as a horse but Tkaczuk had a combination of those qualities."
Sheppard, on the other hand, was a smaller player who was noted for his clean play on rough Bruin teams. So, this is a question of what you're looking for in your 3rd line center. Want more offense? Take Sheppard. Want more toughness and defensive play? Take Tkaczuk.

Pit Martin vs. Dale Hunter

I'll be honest. I like Dale Hunter here better. Notoriously dirty/hard-nosed, Hunter was the heart of those good Nordique teams of the 80's, and went on to Captain those good Cap teams of the late 80's early-90's. That's not to say that Martin is a schlub. Pit is a very good player, and his stats back that up, but he had the unfortunate luck of being involved in the Esposito trade, and that probably put a dampener on what could have been an even better career (imagine Pit Martin centering Hodge and Cashman). He had a very good career, and adds a nice dynamic to our 4th line, but Hunter simply outmatches Pit. It's an edge to the 67's. Not a rout, but a clear edge.

reckoning
05-29-2008, 11:06 AM
30 was actually pretty old for a player of that generation. Very few players were able to sustain their prime production past the age of 30. Ted Kennedy, for example, retired at the age of 29 in the same offseason in which Thomson was traded.


I don't think the average age was all that low back then. Only pnep knows for sure. But looking at the ages of the 4 defencemen who made the All-Star Team in 56-57:

Harvey- 32
Kelly- 29
Flaman- 30
Gadsby- 29

30 doesn't seem to be over the hill.

Sturminator
05-29-2008, 01:41 PM
I don't think the average age was all that low back then. Only pnep knows for sure. But looking at the ages of the 4 defencemen who made the All-Star Team in 56-57:

Harvey- 32
Kelly- 29
Flaman- 30
Gadsby- 29

30 doesn't seem to be over the hill.

Uhm...first of all, those are some truly special players you list there, none of whom should be compared to Thomson. Furthermore, you're wrong. In the 56-57 season, out of the entire NHL, only the following players were above the age of 30:

Ted Lindsay: 31 - Detroit
Maurice Richard: 35 - Montreal
Doug Harvey: 32 - Montreal
Johnny Pierson: 31 - Boston
Johnny Bower: 32 - Rangers
Sid Smith: 31 - Maple Leafs
Ted Kennedy: 31 - Maple Leafs (I had Kennedy's retirement age wrong)
Harry Watson: 33 - Chicago
Gus Mortson: 32 - Chicago
Ken Mosdell: 34 - Chicago

That's it. Ten players in the entire league (including goalies) above the age of 30, and half of them were superstars. The only team in the league that had more than two was also by far the worst team in the league. It was a young man's game during the O6 era, recko. There were a few superstars who were able to sustain peak production into their thirties, but it was a rare feat, and Jimmy Thomson simply wasn't one of those players. Again, the contention that the departure of a 30 year old Thomson was the cause of an increase in Toronto's goals against numbers is a very tenuous claim.

Sturminator
05-29-2008, 02:00 PM
-Dryden is a huge advantage.

-Howe is a huge advantage

The difference between Dryden and Vezina is clearly bigger than the difference between Howe and Bathgate, unless you're the guy who wrote that book, I guess. As you well know, Nalyd, Andy Bathgate outscored Gordie Howe over an eight year span - basically the entirety of Andy's athletic peak. Howe obviously has a number of advantages over Bathgate, but in terms of scoring ability, the gap is not huge.

-Unfortunately for the Isotopes, their major scoring lines won't exploit any failings in the 67's blueline.

I disagree with this statement, but I'm not going to waste any more ink repeating myself.

Nalyd Psycho
05-29-2008, 03:59 PM
I disagree with this statement, but I'm not going to waste any more ink repeating myself.

What I meant by that statement was that with guys like Clancy and Suchy in major roles, a large bruising forward corps would be very effective against the 67's. Not that your team wouldn't be effective, just that the glaring flaw won't be fully exploited.

reckoning
05-29-2008, 10:22 PM
Andy Bathgate outscored Gordie Howe over an eight year span - basically the entirety of Andy's athletic peak.
Putting aside the fact that Bathgate played more games and their PPG were equal, it's still somewhat misleading. Bathgate was age 24-31 in that span, Howe was aged 28-35. Considering that most players hit their offensive peak in their mid-20s (and especially considering that the 06 era was a "young man's game" where "it was a rare feat for a player to sustain peak production after 30"), then wouldn't you expect that the player in the 24-31 range would have more points?

Selectively choosing years where one player peaked but conveniently fall outside the other players peak is easy. I could point out that Vic Stasiuk outscored Norm Ullman in the 4 year span between '56-'57 to '59-'60. It proves nothing though.

Sturminator
05-30-2008, 03:51 AM
Putting aside the fact that Bathgate played more games and their PPG were equal, it's still somewhat misleading.

Of course it is. Howe wasn't at his "statistical full peak" during that period, though he did win 4 of his 6 Harts in those years, so I don't think it can be said that he had fallen off much. Howe's team and linemates were also vastly superior to Bathgate's, so taking the full picture into account cuts both ways. The point here is not to suggest that Bathgate is better than or even as good as Gordie Howe, because he clearly is not. Comparing Bathgate's peak numbers to those of a still extremely productive Howe, does, however, illustrate just how good Bathgate was. It was actually the entire league that Bathgate outscored over his 8 year peak, not just Gordie Howe, and on an awful Rangers team, to boot. Andy Bathgate and Mario Lemieux are the only players in NHL history to win the Hart on non-playoff teams.

I've got Andy Bathgate somewhere in the 6-9 range (depending on taste) all-time among right wings with Geoffrion, Cook and Conacher. Of the group, Bathgate's the guy you draft if you want a stickhandler and playmaker. Gordie Howe holds an advantage over any right wing or even forward not named Gretzky, but Bathgate was an extremely good player, himself, and meshes very well with goalscorers Ullman and Barber. The gap at 1st line RW (and on the first line, in general) is considerably smaller than the gap in goal, in my opinion. Howe vs. Bathgate, speaking in terms of goalies (yeah, I know), would be something like the difference between Plante and Durnan: a sizeable advantage. Dryden vs. Vezina, however, is a completely different order of magnitude.

Rick Middleton
05-30-2008, 09:54 AM
Yeah, with my workload there's no way in hell that I'm going to get through the full analysis of each position. Here's the uber-truncated version.

Right Wing

Howe > Bathgate.
That's a no-brainer. Bathgate is very good/great. Howe is all-world.

Selanne > Martinec
Martinec was good in his own rights, and dominated his league. Teemu, however, has shone for a longer period and a lot brighter.

MacLean > Gustafsson

Gustafsson had a very long and very respectable career. MacLean's was equally long, equally impressive, and simply brings more in terms of leadership, PK ability, physical play and intangibles than Gustafsson.

Lemieux >= Pappin

Very slight edge to Claude here. Pappin was a very good two-way player. As was Lemieux. Lemieux's ability to get under peoples skin gives him the slight edge.

Overall, Springfields RW core edges out the 67's RW core. Howe's legend can't overcome the significant edge that Springfield has in the 2nd and 3rd lines.

FissionFire
05-30-2008, 09:57 AM
Andy Bathgate and Mario Lemieux are the only players in NHL history to win the Hart on non-playoff teams.

You might want to check your data on that since it's not true.

Sturminator
05-30-2008, 01:28 PM
You might want to check your data on that since it's not true.

You're right. The ghosts of Al Rollins and Tommy Anderson are deeply offended, I'm sure.

chaosrevolver
06-04-2008, 07:20 PM
Howe scores 2 as Ottawa edges Isotopes

Gordie Howe scored twice in a game where Ken Dryden faced 35 shots in the loss. Final score was 2-1 with Brad Park scoring the other on a Andy Bathgate assist. Syl Apps would have 2 assists for Ottawa. The crowd in Springfield was shockingly upset as Gordie Howe deked out Ken Dryden to score the game winner. With the series now 1-0 in favour of Ottawa, the Isotopes will be forced to win their next game or will end up being down 2-0 in the series.

Three Stars:
1. Gordie Howe - 2 Goals, 0 Assists
2. Ken Dryden - 35 Shots, 2 GA, 33 Saves
3. Syl Apps - 0 Goals, 2 Assists

Ottawa 67's lead the series 1-0.

chaosrevolver
06-04-2008, 07:26 PM
Firsov Scores Only Goal in 1-0 Win

Anatoli Firsov would score the only goal in a 1-0 matchup versus the Springfield Isotopes. Firsov would score at the 6:34 mark of the second period and thanks to great goaltending by both Ken Dryden and Georges Vezina, thats the way the game would end. Ken Dryden faced 40 shots in the loss and Vezina faced 31. With the series now 2-0 for Ottawa, it will be up to Springfield to win at home or be knocked out of the playoffs.

Three Stars:
1. Ken Dryden - 40 Shots, 1 GA, 39 Saves
2. Georges Vezina - 31 Shots, 0 GA, 31 Saves
3. Anatoli Firsov - 1 Goal, 0 Assists

Ottawa 67's lead the series 2-0.

God Bless Canada
06-05-2008, 07:37 PM
So what's happening with this series?

chaosrevolver
06-05-2008, 09:10 PM
Howe Destroys Isotopes

Gordie Howe would score 3 and assist on 2 Syl Apps goals to give the Ottawa 67's a commanding 3-0 series lead with a 5-1 win. The only goal scored by Springfield would come off the stick of Andy Bathgate. Selanne and Park assisted on Bathgate's goal. Ken Dryden had a heavy load as he faced 48 shots in the loss. Vezina made 24 saves in the win. With the series at 3-0, the Isotopes will have to win 4 straight or suffer elimination.

Three Stars:
1. Gordie Howe - 3 Goals, 2 Assists
2. Syl Apps - 2 Goals, 1 Assist
3. Georges Vezina - 25 Shots, 24 Saves, 1 GA

Ottawa 67's lead the series 3-0.

chaosrevolver
06-05-2008, 09:14 PM
Springfield Counters with Rout

Andy Bathgate would score 2 goals, Park with 1 and 4 assists and Norm Ullman and Teemu Selanne would combine for another 3 goals in a 6-0 win for the Isotopes. Gordie Howe was held to only 3 shots in the game and Apps to only 2. The Isoptopes would score 4 times in the third period to put a seal on this one. 27 shots were fired on Dryden and 36 on Vezina. With the series 3-1, the Isotopes still will need 3 more in a row to take this series.

Three Stars:
1. Andy Bathgate - 2 Goals, 2 Assists
2. Brad Park - 1 Goal, 4 Assists
3. Ken Dryden - 27 Shots, 27 Saves, 0 Goals Against

Ottawa 67's lead the series 3-1.

chaosrevolver
06-05-2008, 09:18 PM
Two in a row cuts series to 3-2!

In a low scoring affair, the Springfield Isotopes would pull away with a 2-1 victory. Gordie Howe had the only goal on Dryden however as a team, Ottawa would pour 42 shots on the legendary goaltender. The goals for the Isotopes were scored by Andy Bathgate and Norm Ullman. Vezina made 21 saves in the loss. 3-2 is now the score of the series. This is a big step for the Isotopes but they still need two more in a row. Can they do it?!

Three Stars:
1. Ken Dryden - 42 Shots, 41 Saves, 1 GA
2. Andy Batgate - 1 Goal
3. Gordie Howe - 1 Goal

Ottawa 67's lead the series 3-2.

chaosrevolver
06-05-2008, 09:21 PM
3-3!!!

Ken Dryden saved the day for Springfield, making 50 saves and not surrendering one single goal. The Isotopes would only score 1 which came off the stick of Brad Park. Andy Bathgate and Teemu Selanne had the only assists on the goal. Vezina faced 23 shots in the loss. 3-3 is now the series!! Springfield goes back home looking to make it 4 straight and an advancement in the series.

Three Stars:
1. Ken Dryden - 50 Shots, 50 Saves, 0 Goals
2. Brad Park - 1 Goal
3. Georges Vezina - 23 Shots, 22 Saves, 1 Goal

Tied series 3-3.

chaosrevolver
06-05-2008, 09:26 PM
Springfield Takes out 67's in series finale!

Andy Bathgate would go one-on-one with Gordie Howe in the finale and though Howe had the better individual performance, Bathgate's team would win in the end. Bathgate would have a goal and an assist while Howe would score 1 and add 2 assists. However, like previously written, Springfield won...the score being 5-3. 44 shots were fired at Ken Dryden but ofcourse Ken Ken was amazing. Vezina made just 26 saves in the loss. Springfield battled back from a 3-0 deficit in the series, to win it 4-3.

Three Stars:
1. Ken Dryden - 44 Shots, 3 GA, 41 Saves
2. Gordie Howe - 1 Goal, 2 Assists
3. Syl Apps - 2 Goals, 1 Assist

Springfield Isotopes win the series 4-3.

chaosrevolver
06-05-2008, 09:40 PM
http://www.highhopes.com/5star3.jpg
1. Gordie Howe (7 Goals, 5 Assists, 12 Points)
2. Ken Dryden (4-3-0 1.71 GAA .950 SV%)
3. Andy Bathgate (5 Goals, 5 Assists, 10 Points)

Goaltending Statistics
Ken Dryden: 4-3-0, 1.71 GAA, .950 SV%
Georges Vezina: 3-4-0, 2.28 GAA, .910 SV%

Congratulations to the Springfield Isotopes on the victory. Also congrats to Vthe Ottawa 67's on a hardfought and close series.

Transplanted Caper
06-05-2008, 10:09 PM
Congrats to the Isotopes.

shawnmullin
06-05-2008, 11:06 PM
I had a heck of a time chosing a winner here guys. Two great teams and congrats to both.

Sturminator
06-06-2008, 12:26 AM
Thanks for the write-up, chaos. I appreciate how much work you've put in this round with few writers available. You created some high drama there.

You built a great team, recko, and I can't say I'm looking forward to ever matching up with you again. Thanks for the lively and civil debate. Now we go from Howe to Gretzky. Joy.

reckoning
06-06-2008, 09:53 PM
Congratulations Springfield.

And thanks a lot for getting my hopes up with the 3-0 lead chaos :rant:

chaosrevolver
06-07-2008, 12:36 AM
Congratulations Springfield.

And thanks a lot for getting my hopes up with the 3-0 lead chaos :rant:ah..had to add some suspense;)

Dont worry about it. My team got ousted in the first round:D:naughty: