ATD 2013 Lineup Assassination Thread - Jim Robson Division
Jim Robson Division
3. Jafar - Montreal Canadiens
11. Reds4Life - Detroit Red Wings
19. papershoes & SchultzSquared - Kenora Thistles
27. Hawkey Town 18 - Chicago Shamrocks
1907 Stanley Cup Champions
Home Rink: Thistle Rink (1920), Kenora, Ontario
GM's: papershoes & SchultzSquared
Coach: Viktor Tikhonov
Assistant Coach: Harry Sinden
Captain: Niklas Lidstrom
Alternates: Dale Hawerchuk, Ted Harris, Igor Larionov
#17 Valery Kharlamov - #10 Dale Hawerchuk (A) - #8 Ken Hodge
#9 Vladimir Krutov - #11 Igor Larionov (A) - #24 Sergei Makarov
Hec Kilrea - #21 Doug Jarvis - #15 Eric Nesterenko
Johnny Wilson - Paul Ronty - #14 Rene Robert
extra: Gary Unger
#5 Niklas Lidstrom (C) - #2 Cy Wentworth
#5 Alexander Ragulin - Babe Pratt
Ian Turnbull - #10 Ted Harris (A)
extra: Benny Woit (D/RW)
PP1: Valery Kharlamov - Dale Hawerchuk - Sergei Makarov - Niklas Lidstrom - Rene Robert
PP2: Vladimir Krutov - Igor Larionov - Ken Hodge - Babe Pratt - Ian Turnbull
PK1: Doug Jarvis - Eric Nesterenko - Niklas Lidstrom - Alexander Ragulin
PK2: Igor Larionov - Hec Kilrea - Ted Harris - Cy Wentworth
Busher Jackson - Frank Boucher - Boris Mikhailov
Shane Doan - Jeremy Roenick - Helmut Balderis
Joe Klukay - Don Luce - Tony Amonte
Sergei Kapustin - Troy Murray - Mario Tremblay
Raymond Bourque - Art Coulter
Jimmy Thomson - Gus Mortson
Bobby Rowe - Mathieu Schneider
Jason Spezza , Rick Ley , Steve Thomas , Georges Laraque
PP1: Jackson - Boucher - Mikhailov
Schneider - Bourque
PP2: Kapustin - Roenick - Balderis
Mortson - Thomson
PK1: Klukay - Luce
Bourque - Coulter
PK2: Murray - Boucher
PK3: Tremblay - Amonte
didnt finish/link all the bios , will probably do it soon
Jafar, I'll post more about your team later but, the first thing that jumped out at me was the captaincy. Mikhailov over Bourque? Would love to hear the argument (and, not because I think it's a bad choice, just curious to learn more about Mikhailov's leadership).
Also, no "A" for Doan?
One thing is for sure, you have no shortage of leadership on this team...
Bourque's leadership was more of a ''lead by example'' type , so I've chosen Mikhailov who was more of a warrior (the type of leadership I've always preferred).
Of course Mikhailov won't run the show alone since Bourque is a very respected and powerful assistant due to his experience as a team captain and his incredible talent.
- the team has a lot of leadership. I agree with giving the C to Mikhailov over Bourque due to his more assertive leadership style. Both were great leaders who deserve to be ATD captains, but if only one can wear the C, I'd give it to Mikhailov.
- I agree with TDMM that the best candidate for the second A is probably Coulter, though that sets you up in a situation where all your letters are on the first unit. Maybe a rotation for the second A? Coulter, Doan, Thomson and Rowe are all worthy of the A.
- You probably want to switch the sides for the defensemen you've got listed on your powerplay. Schneider has experience playing both sides on the PP (he played a lot on the right when he was the best shooter, but a lot on the left next to Lidstrom in Detroit - this, and his long and consistent career, are why I picked him over other PP specialists available), and I think Bourque is the better shooter of the two. Thomson - Mortson need to switch so that Mortson can take one timers with that big shot.
- I'm not sure if Shane Doan is your best bet to round out the forwards on that 2nd unit powerplay. Amonte and Kapustin are your other options. I would honestly go with Kapustin, who I think is probably the best pure offensive player among them, and should have chemistry with Balderis, his linemate at CSKA and on the Soviet national team.
- Is Mario Tremblay a better penalty killer than Troy Murray? I'm not sure...I don't have their career PK stats handy, but my impression is the Murray is a good 2nd unit penalty killer here, and Tremblay is probably best as a 3rd unit/spare PK guy. There's nothing wrong with using two centers on the 2nd unit, and you can just slot in Roenick as a 3rd unit guy next to Amonte. JR killed penalties pretty frequently during his career.
Lotta firepower in the top-6. KLM reunited speaks for itself - they'll probably win a few early season games just from their chemistry. I wouldn't be surprised to see them in the league scoring leaders 10 games in and of course they'll be good all season too. There's a ton of offensive ability in the Kharlamov-Hawerchuk-Hodge trio as well. I'm not a Hodge fan though - I think he benefitted as much as anyone from playing with Orr and Esposito, and I'd rather see someone who's a bit more inclined to do the dirty work for the line.
Your third line will get a lot of defensive responsibility and should be up to the task. Jarvis was outstanding defensively, and Kilrea and Nesterenko were good value as second-tier defensive wingers. Kilrea brings some offensive game as well, but the line as a whole won't score much - that's the job of the top two lines. Fourth line is a fourth line. Solid hard-working guys who can contribute on special teams and score a little, like most of the fourth lines out there.
Lidstrom-Wentworth is definitely one of the better pairings around defensively. Smart, skilled, mobile, but not very physical. Pratt-Ragulin is an enormous second pairing. Suggestion: swap Pratt for Wentworth. Lidstrom was at his best playing with offensive defenders like Pratt (Coffey, Rafalski, Schneider, Olausson). And Pratt can help Lidstrom keep the front of his net clear. Wentworth would add more quickness to the second pairing, where Pratt and Ragulin as a pairing probably aren't the most agile at their size.
Third pairing is very solid - good blend of O and D.
Ideally you'd have a stronger backup to pair with Holmes in the regular season. Unless I'm underestimating Konovalenko.
Lots of skill on the PP and Lidstrom as the QB - looks good. But it's pretty perimeter-oriented.
PK looks good. Jarvis will probably take a ton of face offs for Kenora as by far the best option on the roster. At least he will if Tikhonov cares about face offs.
I said the roster looked pretty good under Tikhonov, but I do wonder if Babe Pratt will last the season...
Anyway, good job. This edition of the Thistles definitley has a distinctive character.
I was trying to spread the leadership through the line-up but it's true that Coulter might be too good a leader to pass on.
Head Coach: Hap Day
Assistant Coach: Frank Patrick
Captain: Bob Nevin
Alternate Captains: Doug Gilmour, Ching Johnson
Woody Dumart - Doug Gilmour - Mike Bossy
Paul Thompson - Frank Fredrickson - Bob Nevin
Gilles Tremblay - Ivan Hlinka - John MacLean
Dennis Hull - Craig Conroy - Ryan Kesler
Ching Johnson - Carl Brewer
Art Duncan - Jack Crawford
Phil Housley - Al Arbour
Peter "Pekka" Lindmark
Extra: Chris Drury, Viktor Shalimov, Brian Campbell
Frank Fredrickson - Doug Gilmour - Mike Bossy
Art Duncan - Phil Housley
Paul Thompson - Ivan Hlinka - John MacLean
Carl Brewer - Phil Housley/Dennis Hull
Doug Gilmour - Bob Nevin
Ching Johnson - Jack Crawford
Gilles Tremblay - Craig Conroy
Carl Brewer - Al Arbour
Woody Dumart - Ryan Kesler
Ching Johnson - Jack Crawford
PK Extra D: Art Duncan
*Bossy will play a couple shifts a game on the 3rd line in place of MacLean.
A defensive minded team backed by an elite goaltender. The lines will match up straight across...1st vs. 1st, 2nd vs. 2nd, etc. Probably less offense up front than some teams, but great puckmoving Dmen on the 2nd and 3rd pairs and a strong 1st powerplay unit should help.
Hap Day does not really care about offense at all, so that is one reason the offensive minded Frank Patrick is here. He is also a big player's coach, which should be helpful with Carl Brewer and Frank Fredrickson.
Tikhonov is a below average coach IMO. One good thing is that I don't think you have any players that will clash with his very strict/tough style, so he works in that way. I'm not really sure how Sinden fits in here, and I would like some info on how you will use him. Tikhonov is not a line matching guy at all, and it seems like that contradicts your 3rd line, which is designed as a shutdown line. It seems like they would be wasted a bit whenever they don't get matched up against your opponents' best.
No complaints here, Lidstrom is a strong leader that will definitely do what he's told. He has good support from the alternates.
First Line: Kharlamov-Hawerchuk is a good combo. I think you could've done better than Hodge to complete the line. A guy like Odie Cleghorn would've worked well and brought more toughness which I think is needed. Also, Hodge may have trouble keeping up with his linemates.
Second Line: Not much to say here, you reunited the great KLM line. These guys will be a force, and one of the very best second lines in the draft.
Third Line: A good defensive line, but as I said before, they may be under-utilized in Tikhonov's system.
Fourth Line: An average 4th line, not much to say here.
Overall: The first 2 lines seem to fit in a Tikhonov type team, but I would've liked to have seen a more two-way 3rd line. Lack of toughness on the first 2 lines may be an issue against some teams.
First Pair: Lidstrom is an elite #1, but Wentworth is just an average to above average #4 in my mind. They will be good defensively, but usually Lidstrom gets paired with a more offensive guy, so you are losing out on that. These guys are also lacking size, which could be an issue against physical lines that put big guys in front of the net.
Second Pair: I am definitely not a fan of where Ragulin usually gets drafted. He gets drafted like he's a high-end #3, but I think he's more of an average to above average #4. I don't value the 60's Soviets very highly, and he doesn't have many accomplishments in the 70's, which is when I do start to value them. Pratt is an average to below average #3, these guys bring a lot of toughness, and the two fit well together stylistically, so the pairing as a whole works.
Third Pair: Good pairing. Harris is a high-end #5, and the two complement each other well.
Overall: The first pairing could have been constructed better with either a tougher/bigger guy or a more offensive guy. You could bring up Pratt, but Lidstrom has said himself that the only thing he asks for is to have a RHS partner, which Pratt is not. There would also be a real lack of puck-moving on the 2nd pairing. There's no perfect solution here, you will just have to pick whichever setup you think is the lesser of two evils.
Easily the weakest part of your team. Holmes is a low-end starter, and you didn't get him a very good backup, which I think you should have. I don't really think having 3 goalies will help much either...I think that would be more helpful if you had guys with health issues. I think you should drop one of your backups and pick up a spare that can play wing, because right now you don't have someone to fill in there.
Powerplay: A ton of firepower and skill up front, no net guy, but I think you have so much skill that it doesn't matter. Lidstrom is great on the point. My one question is Robert...Did he regularly play the point on the PP? I'm not saying he didn't, I just don't know, and would like some evidence or for some of the other GM's to back it up. I don't remember him being a PP point guy last year. (EDIT: Confirmed that he did). I would suggest leaving your forward PP units as is against teams with good 1st and 2nd PK units, but if you run into a team with a weak 2nd unit you may want to just play them how they are at ES, which is more Tikhonov's style anyway.
Penalty Kill: Outstanding first unit and very good second unit as well. Outside of Holmes, this is very strong.
Overall: Strong special teams
Tons of firepower on the first two lines, but lacking a little in toughness. The third line is a good shutdown type line, but line matching doesn't fit the coach's style. As a group the D will be very sound defensively, but I think the first pairing could've been constructed in a way to better complement your forwards. Goaltending is a weakness. Pretty strong special teams. This team will likely be a problem for teams that only have one forward line that is good defensively or that have slow defensemen.
Rene Robert definitely played extensively on the point in Buffalo. Later on, Danny Gare would take his spot up front. Now whether Tikhonov would ever play a forward on the point of the PP is an open question - he generally kept his 5-man units together and would just put out the best one on the PP - though maybe that was a function of coaching the real life Green Unit.
I will speak to this as it was my idea to get Sinden...
Tikhonov has been described as "monotonous" coach... but there is no doubting the man understood systems and X and Os... perhaps his best gift was building on the shoulders of giants and learning from mistakes of previous generation... he figured that out and overlooked practicalities habits bias if it meant the team would be better for it... on one end of the extreme is finding and putting Larionov between Krutov Makarov and nurturing five man units... that takes a crazy mind to affect change... on the other is sequestering his players season long
But he was not a player's coach... and he had trouble politicking. This is where Sinden I think is most valuable... really I think the ideal but unusual set-up would be Sinden as team manager so to speak as he was in Boston and Tikhonov as the task master behind the bench
Sinden would have little trouble pushing back against Tikhonov when it came to striking a balance between commitment to hockey and life... he was a maverick of his own when it came challenging those who threatened his team his philosophy and his sensibilities... but he could also motivate players with the carrot as he did in '72... fans maybe not always agreed with Harry... but the players who played for him never felt more protected
I thought Hodge didn't get along with Sinden at all.
I read it in this book "1972: The Summit Series, Canada vs. USSR - Stats, Lies & Videotape: The Untold Story of Hockey's Series of the Century" by Richard J. Bendell (a SIHR member fwiw).
Here's what I got:
With Sinden just being the assistant, the best move is probably to drop him and pick up someone else
The first line has all the elements you want to succeed. I'd rather see Gilmour in a second line role ideally considering his offense. They'll be better defensively than most first lines with Dumart and Gilmour being strong defensive players. They won't be great offensively, but aren't terrible. Your second line is much of the same, very good defensively but lacking punch offensively. The third line is similar to the first two lines, they'll be good in their own zone and chip in offensively, but not to a great degree. Same deal with the fourth line, really.
Overall, a group of very conservative, responsible two-way forwards. There are only 3 guys that don't really have a reputation as being good defensive players(Bossy, Hlinka, and Hull). From top to bottom, maybe the most reliable group of forwards defensively in the entire draft. On the other side of the coin, the forwards lack scoring punch and if Bossy or Frederickson aren't producing, you could be in trouble.
All the two-way play from the forwards is going to be necessary with this defense that lacks a #1. You compensated by getting two #2s, but the pairing is probably still going to be below average. I'm a fan of Art Duncan, and think he's a very good #4, Nalyd did great work on his bio. Stewart is a good #3 that will complement him well. An above average 2nd pairing. Classic ying-yang 3rd pairing that will be useful on special teams. The defense suffers because of a lack of a #1, but is good otherwise.
You've got one of the best ever, and goaltending will be an advantage in basically all your matchups. The biggest strength this team has for sure.
Hap Day should love this team with all of the two-way play that they have. He's a very defensive coach, but it shouldn't hurt Bossy or Frederickson because he let his stars do their thing once they were in the offensive zone. He's an above average coach here.
Your PP suffers from the lack of offensive punch from your forwards. The first unit is okay because you stacked it, but the second unit isn't very good at all.
Since your forwards are so defensive, you've got a bunch of options as penalty killers. Two very solid units here.
Overall, a very defensive team that can win some close battles. If they can manage more than 2 goals, they'll win nearly every game. Some of the best two-way play from forwards in the draft, and four lines that can basically go up against whatever the opposition puts out. Great penalty kill, and a tremendous goalie. It lacks punch and if the star forwards aren't on, this team could struggle. It also lacks a #1 defenseman, and its PP is not great.
Thanks for the review Billy. I agree with most of it. I only have a few comments.
I agree that the second unit is low-end, but if you look at the minutes chart some of the first unit guys will be taking a lot of the time, so that may help some. It is kind of a 1st unit or bust type scenario though.
- I think it is probably a good idea to drop Sinden and pick up another players' coach. The known conflict with Hodge could be a distraction.
- as much as I dislike his personal style and general persona, I think Tikhonov is a pretty underrated hockey mind. The man was brought in to fix a host of emerging problems in Soviet hockey in the late 70's, and he succeeded big time, bringing the Soviet program back to its former glory with a generation of players that was not as talented as the one that came before it. Tikhonov was the one Soviet coach who seemed really willing and able to understand and adapt to what his opponents were doing. He was tyrannical and inflexible with his players, but he seems to have been a highly adaptive tactician.
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