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12-09-2004, 10:21 PM
  #24
SmokeyClause
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pelts35.com
Yes, but there were less teams in the 80's. What I am saying is that if you combine the influx of European talent with the amount of teams in the 80's, the 3rd and 4th lines would be significantly better (as wood the 5/6 d-men).

This would also give the minor leagues a better product as well. Reducing the amount of teams or players in the NHL would be better for hockey in general.

I do agree that the goalies are better now as well, but I would like to see how they would fare against better offensive players.

BTW, your avatar may give me a nightmare too!
I think, as a whole, offensive players are better than they have ever been. From top to bottom, there is legit offensive talent that I think could be nice players in past eras. I think we see the lower numbers and we just assume that the talent isn't there or that, on a team by team basis, the talent is down. I just don't see it. The talent is there but the game has changed from a standpoint outside of offense. The defenseman are bigger and much, much better skaters. They are smarter and much less likely to take chances. They are much better coached. Watching footage of the old Edmonton team, it was amazing how silly they made defenses look. And while they would still score at a great clip even in this era, a good deal of the defenseman they were schooling were poorly coached. Nowadays, players are much less likely to put themselves out of position during a play. Blame coaching, blame superior skating which keeps Dman in the right spot, but I think the offensive talent is just fine.

The big defenseman of years past were usually awful skaters. There were exceptions but, on a whole, the skating has improved to a point at which the size can be a big difference. These players, like a Regehr, can put themselves in to positions to use their size with their skating ability. Long gone are the days when a player can skate right around most Dman like they are standing still. Their ability to move and shrink the ice has lead to an increase in the effectiveness of obstruction. It occured all the time back in the day, but it was often harder to orchestrate because the people who obstructed often had trouble catching the player they were planning on impeding. With better skating ability (than in years past) and an increased awareness of how to play the position, big Dman are much more adept at getting themselves in a position to make the hold an effective weapon even against the fastest and the most agile players. I can't tell you how many times a player like Regehr held a player like St. Louis last year. In the 80's, it seemed like players like St. Louis were able to maintain their distance and use their speed to take advantage of the poor skating, out of position clods of the 70's and 80's.

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