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11-27-2009, 05:27 PM
Twin Benning
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Originally Posted by nik jr View Post
teams have been able to overcome the trap and win, but no one has ever "solved" the trap. every NHL team now uses it at some time, b/c it is so simple and effective.

that will help, but many teams with a similar range of skills have lost a series to a trappng team.

i don't see any size advantage for portland.

winnipeg's D corps is very big. many of their F's are big, and those who are not are good skaters.

not saying winnipeg's trap is a decisive advantage, but it is an important part of the series.
Thanks nik, this post will save me a lot of time. You basically said a lot of what I was thinking.

Nobody is ever going to solve the trap. It won't happen. When properly executed (which I'd imagine it would be when we're talking about the game's greatest), the only way to solve the trap is to take advantage of mental breakdowns. Portland will get a decent number of goals from taking advantage of mental breakdowns. My team isn't perfect. However, despite your "dump-and-chase" and forechecking skills, I don't see how you'll get all that many goals.

And Portland is a smaller team than Winnipeg. At least, I think so. My blueline has a ton of size. My forwards may not all be massive, but there is some size sprinkled in throughout the lineup. Plus, who says the trap needs big players? The trap needs players who can skate. My guys can skate. Esposito would be an example of a terrible player for the trap - IIRC, there was the quote about him where a defenceman said Espo would have to deke him 3 or 4 times on the same play because he was so slow. Says a lot about his offensive talent and skill, but that's the type of player that can't play the trap.

Originally Posted by Sturminator
A few things about J.C. Tremblay:

- I've been a supporter of Tremblay's for a while, and seeing as he's perceived to be the weak point on this Rosebuds team, I suppose now is as good a time as any to say what I've got to say on his behalf. First things first, Tremblay's legacy and the WHA years:

J.C. Tremblay broke through late in the 64-65 season, carried it through to an excellent playoffs and went into the 65-66 season as one of the best defensemen in the league, ending up 4th in Norris voting. Over the next six seasons, Tremblay would place in the top-5 in Norris voting another 4 times, peaking at 2nd in 67-68, the year Bobby Orr won his first trophy. Other than the 69-70 season, in which J.C. missed 18 games to injury, he was considered one of the NHL's top 5 defensemen 5 out of 6 seasons at his peak - an impressive run of consistency in an era of stiff competition.

Tremblay's Norris voting record: 65-66 (4th), 66-67 (5th), 67-68 (2nd ), 70-71 (3rd), 71-72 (5th)

The players who beat Tremblay during those seasons: Bobby Orr (4 times), Pierre Pilote (2 times), Brad Park (2 times), Pat Stapleton (2 times), Tim Horton, Jacques Laperriere, Harry Howell and Bill White

After 7 seasons among the NHL's best and still at the top of his game, J.C. Tremblay jumped to the WHA. At this point, evaluating his career becomes a little bit harder. What do we make of his WHA career? We know he was very good in his first four seasons in the WHA, being named a 1st team all-star three times, once 2nd team, leading the league in assists twice and winning the Dennis A. Murphy award for best defenseman twice. But so what? How much should we credit Tremblay's WHA accomplishments?

I'm not normally one to look upon WHA players all that favorably. It was without a doubt a second rate league when compared to the NHL, and while there was certainly some nice talent in the league, there was very little depth. With a few exceptions, the performance of WHA players are very hard to evaluate against their NHL counterparts, but Tremblay is one of those exceptions. It is accepted as fact that J.C. carried over into the WHA the level of play which had defined his NHL career for the 7 previous seasons. He wasn't merely good in the WHA, for the first 4 seasons he was ridiculously dominant, which is exactly what you'd expect from a guy who was NHL top-5 good and still at his peak. If we're simply rating Tremblay against himself, three of his first four WHA seasons were up to his previous NHL standard: he won the best defenseman award and the assists crown in 72-73, won best defenseman again in 74-75 and won another assists crown to go along with a 1st team all-star berth in 75-76.

Add those accomplishments to his NHL resume, and suddenly you've got a guy who played 8 seasons of top-5 Norris level hockey in a tough era, and once lost winning the trophy only to Bobby Orr - a record of success that compares favorably to established lower-level ATD #1's like Brian Leetch, Guy Lapointe, Serge Savard, Borje Salming and Chris Pronger. When we factor in Tremblay's outstanding playoff record and his strangely underrated two-way play (which stems mostly from his softness and the misconception that it made him ineffective in his own end), there is a very good argument that he is, in fact, a top-32 all-time defenseman, and every bit deserving of his #1 role in Portland.

More to follow on Tremblay's playing style and postseason record...
I learned quite a lot from this post, so thanks for that Sturm. However, I think I have two better defenseman than Tremblay in Bouchard and Pronger (for their roles - while I think Pronger is flat-out better, Bouchard and Tremblay are close: as a #1 guy, I like Tremblay, however as a complimentary top pairing guy, which I have him as, I like Bouchard), so while Tremblay may be a suitable #1 guy, I like my top-end on D much better.

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