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08-22-2011, 04:49 PM
  #7
TheDevilMadeMe
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Coaching

I'll start with coaching and goaltending since they are both easy comparisons between these teams.

Coaching

We're all very familiar with Dave Tippett and Claude Julien - both highly thought of modern coaches. Both have a Jack Adams, and both have excellent records in their short times in the league.

Tippett has a slightly better regular season winning percentage. Julien coached his team to the Cup last year and has received votes for the Adams trophy on more occasions.

Is there a point in comparing them further? I think they are of more or less equal quality.

Assistant coach is where Eden Hall has a big advantages. John Muckler won 5 Cups in his career - 2 as assistant coach, 2 has co-coach, and 1 as head coach. That's a record that's unmatched by other assistants in this draft. Floyd Smith had a short but great run in the mid-70s but isn't in Muckler's class here.

Muckler will have a similar role under Claude Julien as he did under Glen Sather - he'll run the practices and help devise tactics that Julien will then implement in game. Muckler was more defensive-minded than Sather - famously refusing to play Ruzicka in the playoffs in 1990 because of his lack of defense - so he should have no problems working with Julien.

Conclusion: Head coaches are close, but if you think having a strong assistant coach helps, then Eden Hall has to have the advantage behind the bench.

Goaltending

This is actually a very easy comparison, since both goalies had very short but brilliant peaks before their careers ended - Lindbergh because he tragically died, Mowers because he went off to serve in World War 2 for three years (a year longer than Turk Broda and Frank Brimsek served) and when he returned, future HHOF Harry Lumley was firmly entrenched in the starter's role.

Both goalies were expected to be stars for years to come (an article on Mowers said the author would be highly disappointed if he didn't end up one of the greatest goalies of all time). And both were denied the opportunity for reasons that weren't their faults. Comparing either guy to a full career guy is tricky, but since each man had 3 full seasons, a straight up comparison of their accomplishments is possible.

Regular season:

Mowers finished 1st and 3rd in All-Star voting. Lindbergh finished 1st and 6th in All Star voting (1st and 7th in Vezina voting).

Mowers competed against Broda and Brimsek; Lindbergh played during goaltending's dark ages in the mid 80s but competed against a greater quantity of goaltenders.

Slight advantage Mowers.

Playoffs:

Lindbergh was fantastic in the 1985 playoffs, a key player as his team made a surprising run to the finals. Mowers, on the other hand, was a key player in three straight trips to the finals, including a Cup in the 3rd year.

When Mowers signed a new contract after his second season, he was credited with "carrying" Detroit to the finals in his first two seasons:
Quote:
Fast moving Johnny Mowers, whose agility in the nets has twice carried Detroit to the Stanley Cup finals, is equally quick at the cashier's cage
The Calgary Herald, Oct 19, 1942
I find that it is usually hyberbole when a goalie is talked about "carrying" a team, but it does indicate great performances in both seasons.

After Mowers won the Cup in his third season (his third straight trip to the finals, at least one writers considered him the star of the playoffs:
Quote:
Star of the playdowns was goalie Johnny Mowers who climaxed a season in which he won the Vezina Trophy (for lowest goals scored on him) by blanking Boston with two shutouts on successive nights and these action pictures from Boston demonstrate how Mowers dominated the finals games.
-The Calgary Herald, Apr 13, 1943

As great as Lindbergh was in 1985, it can't compete with a guy who was great on three occasions.

Advantage Mowers.

Conclusion: Both goalies had short but brilliant careers in the NHL, but Mowers accomplished more during his peak than Lindbergh did and has to be considered the better goalie here.

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