ATD2011 Jim Coleman Conf. Finals: New Jersey Swamp Devils vs. Ottawa Senators
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05-22-2011, 08:09 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Leaving aside Toe Blake (who is not involved in this series)...
Advantages for Ottawa
Top defence pairing - Gerard Pronger vs Quackenbush - Coulter
Chris Pronger is the best defenceman in this series. Huge. Very good defensively, and mobile enough that he doesn't get beaten with speed. A great breakout passer. And he has a nasty mean streak. Eddie Gerard is the perfect partner for him - an excellent all-around defenceman who hit hard but played clean. A great leader and ice general who will keep Pronger's baser instincts channeled toward winning.
New Jersey has the best line in this series, but this pairing is just what Ottawa needs to stop them.
Quackenbush-Coulter are good, but not as good.
Second Line - Gottselig - Modano - Provost vs Lewis - Starshinov - Mayorov
I think this is a big edge for Ottawa. Gottselig and Lewis are similar players. Modano-Provost is much better than Starshinov-Mayorov. I'll leave it there for Modano-Provost because I've sold them hard already and I don't know what to think about 60's Russians.
Gottselig vs Lewis - top to bottom, seasons in adjusted points (hockey-reference.com).
Similar, with a very slight edge to Lewis.
Lewis played on the first line, with stronger linemates than Gottselig. (Larry Aurie, and Cooney Weiland or Marty Barry. On the other hand, Lewis probably faced tougher opposition. The old first line/second line issue.
But neither Lewis and Gottselig will play on the power play in this series. And Lewis probably scored a higher percentage of his NHL points on the power play.
Nov 5, 1938 Vancouver Sun
The Wings power play this season will feature veterans Ebbie Goodfellow and Herbie Lewis and tree recent acquisitions – Carl Liscombe, Alex Motter and Charlie Conacher.
Jack Adams was quoted as saying:
“When you have a set of men who can apply the pressure, the other team doesn’t play quite so hard. They want to avoid penalties. They know that losing a man is almost like giving a team a goal.
That’s the way it was from 1935 to 1937 when we had Marty Barry, Larrie Aurie, Johnny Sorrell, Lewis and Goodfellow to throw in whenever the opposition was penalized. They scored 32 times on that play in 1935-36, an average of three goals every two games. Next season it worked almost as well.”
I also know that the Wings used the same unit as listed above in the 1934 playoffs, but with Cooney Weiland instead of Marty Barry. See my posts in the Dishing the Dirt thread. So Detroit had a particularly strong power play, and Lewis's high scoring seasons all came while playing on this power play.
Gottselig obviously played on the power play as well - a quick search of Google News Archives shows a few quotes that confirms this. But Chicago's power play probably wasn't as strong as Detroit's, and Gottselig may not have played as regularly on the power play. For one, in the 1934 playoffs a game recap gave Chicago's power play forward line as Thompson, Romnes, and March (which was the regular first line).
All of which is to say that Gottselig was probably a better offensive player at even strength. He was a great stickhandler and had a reputation as a clever player - you see a lot of reference to the "clever" Gottselig or the "astute" Gottselig - so this isn't surprising.
Gottselig was a noted penalty killer, but Lewis's defensive reputation overall is stronger.
Third Line - Nash-Bain-Henderson vs Doan-Smith-Palffy
I haven't really sold my third line yet, so I'll give some detail on how I see them.
I really like Nash and Bain. I think my team got a huge boost when I was able to get them in the 500s. Nash is huge, fast, scores goals without any help, and he's a strong two-way player. His only weakness is that he's not a playmaker at all - he's a bit of a black hole in that the puck goes to him and it doesn't come back. But on the other hand he's very effective with it and he works hard to get it back, so that's not so bad.
Bain is hard to rate because he played in an early era without much documentation. All the information we have is that he was a big man and a physical specimen, an excellent skater, and basically good at everything. LOH said that Bain "provided scoring and playmaking" and Ultimate hockey said he "possessed a superb, heavy shot and a knack for setting up goals". So he was a strong playmaker.
Henderson was a fast forward with good anticipation who could score and was good defensively.
All together, yeah, the line isn't going to be scoring on tic-tac-toe plays. That's OK, they aren't playing on the power play as a unit. They're all fast skaters, threats to score, and hard workers who will win battles, retrieve the puck, and keep the pressure on. Nash and Bain's size will be invaluable when going to the net. They'll be a real handful against lower lines and pairings - especially ones that are lacking in physical presence.
Doan-Smith-Palffy is a very good scoring line for a third line. But it's pretty soft. TDMM said my top two lines were lacking physical presence - this one is softer. I want Nash-Bain-Henderson out against them.
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