ATD2011 Red Fisher Semi: McGuire's Monsters vs. Philadelphia Firebirds
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05-16-2011, 10:42 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Orillia, Ontario
Originally Posted by
As my opponent pointed out, my first line is slightly better than his, at first glance. But, I think this difference might be a little more pronounced than you may believe. My 1st line holds a significant advantage in terms of playoff scoring. Bathgate had the misfortune(or fortune if you look at it in one way in terms of regular season scoring), of playing on bad teams. So, you can't criticize him for being a bad playoff performer. When he was in the playoffs, he was decent. But, let's compare how each guy stacks up to the other in the playoffs.
Simply using play-off top 10s is both lazy and misleading. Many factors impact those play-off top 10s, and very few of them are related to the player.
Alf Smith vs. Dick Duff
Play-off Goals - 2nd(1904), 2nd(1905), 2nd(1906), 6th(1907)
4x Top 10 Playoff Goals (4, 5, 7, 7)
6x Top 10 Playoff Assists (3, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9)
5x Top 10 Playoff Points (3, 4, 8, 9, 10)
Even before you consider the fact that those are very misleading finishes, Duff is still better. 12 of those 33 goals came against the Dawson City Nuggets, Toronto Marlboros, and Winnipeg Rowing Club. Add onto the fact that an unspecified amount came against Queen's University and Smith's Falls, the difference becomes even more pronounced. My opponent will be quick to point out that this means the same think for Frank McGee. Yes, it does. I acknowledged last round that his playoff competition was weak. My point is that Duff's playoff finishes are significantly more impressive considering the stats in Dreakmur's bio.
The fact that Alf Smith only played in 4 play-off seasons hurts the number of top-10s he can rack up. I suppose 4 for 4 is decent enough. Just like the regular season, Smith's playmaking skills were not accounted for, so his true offensive production is actually quite a bit better than the goal totals indicate.
Dick Duff took advantage of many other factors that I talked about above. He played for a lot of great teams, where he got to play a lot of play-off games. He went to the finals 9 times, and he was most often a complimentry player on those teams. While Duff is a good play-off player, his top-10s are overly flaterring.
Both Smith and Duff are strong play-off performers, and since Smith is clearly the better regular season, he remains the better player in this match-up.
That brings us to Jean Beliveau and Norm Ullman.
Play-off Points – 1st(1963), 1st(1966), 2nd(1964), 6th(1965)
Play-off Goals – 1st(1966), 2nd(1964), 4th(1965), 5th(1963)
Play-off Assists – 1st(1963), 2nd(1964), 2nd(1966)
9x Top 10 Goals NHL Playoffs (1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 6, 6, 8)
10x Top 10 Assists NHL Playoffs (1, 1, 1, 3, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 7)
11x Top 10 Points NHL Playoffs (1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 9)
A big advantage goes to Beliveau there.
Again, top 10s flatter Beliveau. He went to the finals a dozen times, often with a high scoring dynasty, so it's not surprising that he was top 10 as many times as he was.
Ullman, on the other hand, only made the finals a handful of times, and he was never a Cup winner.
That brings us to Andy Bathgate and Jari Kurri.
Goals: 1, 4, 5
Points: 7, 9
He has no top 10s in assists.
7x Top 10 Goals in Playoffs (1, 1, 1, 1, 7, 8, 9)
7x Top 10 Assists in Playoffs (3, 4, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10)
6x Top 10 Points in Playoffs (2, 3, 3, 4, 6, 7)
Kurri comes out miles ahead. That's without even looking at the fact that Kurri had a much deeper talent pool to compete against.
My point is not that we can criticize Bathgate, Ullman, and Smith really for being average playoff performers(for either not getting there enough like Bathgate, playing against bad competition like Smith, or just not being all that impressive when his teams made the playoffs like Ullman), but to realize that the difference between the level of playoff performance between the two lines is huge. Even if we were to count all of Smith's goal finishes as being point finishes(which isn't fair, but just to prove how big this gap is),
Jean Beliveau alone has more top 10s in playoff points than the entire Monsters 1st line, 11 to 7!
Again, Kurri is flatterred by his mutilple long play-off runs. He is further boosted by playing for the highest scoring dynastly of all time.
Bathgate is in the exact opposite boat.
Kurri is a slightly better play-off performer, but it doesn't close the gap from Bathgate's overall lead. Bathgate is still better in this series.
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