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08-30-2011, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Philadelphia's Top 2 Lines are going to get roughed up

Hockey is a physical sport, a sport where a large percentage of the game is spent battling for the puck "in the trenches" (in the corners, in front of the net, etc). And the ability to battle for the puck is a distinct weakness for Philadelphia's top 2 lines.

Joe Pelletier's profile of Robbie Ftorek starts with the damning phrase, "Although he was too small to make a major impact at the National Hockey League level..." Ouch. Now, small players have carved out successful careers at high level of hockey, but if I had drafted Ftorek, I'd sure want to give him protection. Philadelphia has not done this. McDougall is an offense-only player. Philadelphia is relying entirely on Red Green to provide a physical presence, and I think he's a weak one.
Talk about selective use of a profile!! Convenient that you would choose to take that quote in my profile, but you ominously decided not to bring up these:

They call him the " Bobby Clarke of the World Hockey Association," and he has scored more points (113) in a major league season than any other American-born player

What seems to please Ftorek most, though, is the fact that he is one of only six players—Canadian, American, whatever—to amass 100 points and 100 penalty minutes in the same season.

Ftorek is a tireless forechecker at one end and back-checker at the other, one of those players who always appear to be chasing—or being chased by—the puck.

He was skating around, this little guy with ragamuffin pants and hair sticking out of his helmet. He was a little bit of a loner. Very intense. A very, very intense kid. He was young at the time. Stubborn as hell, but he gave 100% all the time.

He may have only been 5-foot-9 and 155 pounds, but Robbie Ftorek was one of the hardest working players in the game. And what he lacked in size he made up for with his feisty playing style and fierce competitive nature.
One vague quote about "handling the rough stuff" is perhaps enough to make Green a power-forward-lite, but next to someone like Ftorek whose size was a problem in real life, I'd want someone tougher. In fact, there is specific reason to believe that Red Green does was not an intangibles-laden player. In Green's best season by far (1924-25), he finished 5th in scoring, but only 14th in Hart voting. His linemate and brother, Shorty Green, was 8th in scoring but finished 9th in Hart voting, so obviously Shorty brought much more away from the puck than Red.
Green was also two times top 9 in PIM. That adds to his toughness resume. There's one quote in my bio that I think puts Green's role as a physical player into context.

Green was again at his pestiferous tricks.
This suggests that Green continuously was at these "pestiferous tricks". I had to look up what pestiferous meant, and it is defined as:

a. Producing or breeding infectious disease.
b. Infected with or contaminated by an epidemic disease.
2. Morally evil or deadly; pernicious.
3. Bothersome; annoying.
Green was a pest. He was annoying to play against, a guy that got under your skin.

I can definitely buy Red Green as something of a physical presence and a puck winner, but I certainly don't buy him as adequate protection for a guy like Ftorek, whose size was a known issue in the NHL. I can see Eden Hall's more rough and tumble defensemen like Jack Evans and Garth Butcher throwing Ftorek around like a ragdoll and his linemates not being able to do anything about it.
Your brutes have to be able to catch Ftorek first. As I noted earlier, Ftorek did not back down from people, and the following shows that he was able to avoid physical contact as well.

the crafty forward was lightning quick and able to avoid many hits during his career.
Ftorek never had a bodyguard during his time in the WHA as far as I know, and he survived pretty well there. I can play the same game with Billy McGimsie. In Mickoski's bio, I see the following words: "had size", "difficult to bump off the puck", "digger", "diligent worker", and "labored long and hard against last night". What exactly there makes Mickoski tough? It makes him a corner guy, but what there says that he will be sticking up for McGimsie or Drozdetsky when Bill Juzda, Jim Dorey, or Alex Smith is throwing them around? Juzda was a bone crushing hitter, Dorey was built like a caveman, thrived on the roughness of a game, and was described as an alley fighter. Smith thrived on a physical game as well.

Philadelphia's second line appears to lack a puck winner entirely. Backstrom's Capitals are the perfect example of a team that has the talent to dominate the regular season, but other than Ovechkin (who isn't here today), lacks the grit to do anything in the postseason. Tanti was an offensively-inclined player who would throw big hits sometimes, but I don't think was known as a guy who would battle for pucks. Charlie Sands is a good defensive conscience who is adequate offensively, but where is the grit? Who on Philadelphia's second line would dare battle in the trenches with the likes of Jack Evans?
Because Backstrom is the main problem with the Capitals come playoff time and the offense is the reason why they can't win the playoffs. I literally laughed when I read that. The Capitals can't succeed in the playoffs because their defense is absolutely horrendous, and their goaltending is sub-par. Backstrom is the engine that makes this line go. So, let's take a look at how Backstrom has had success in his career. He passes it to a sniper(Tanti) while the 3rd guy on the line doesn't really figure much in the scoring, other than getting deflections off Ovechkin's shots or being on the receiving end of spectacular plays by the other two to get a tap-in goal. Backstrom doesn't need a puckwinner on his line to be successful. According to, here are the guys that played 3rd wheel to Ovechkin and Backstrom since Backstrom entered the NHL: Viktor Kozlov(certainly not a physical presence at all), Viktor Kozlov, Mike Knuble, and Mike Knuble. Backstrom's 2nd and 3rd best seasons were with Kozlov, and 1st and 4th were with Knuble. He had 157 points with Kozlov, and 166 with Knuble. I think that difference is easily more than explained by the fact that Backstrom played his first 2 years with Kozlov and his last 2 with Knuble. He simply got better as a player in those last 2 years than he was in his first two. I'm sure you'll be quick to point out the change in system that Boudreau implemented in 10-11 that hindered his offense. But, we don't know by how much, and I still think the fact that it's that close in his first 2 years compared to his next 2 equates to him making significant strides as a player more than anything. Nicklas Backstrom doesn't need a puck winner on his line to succeed. You say it won't work in the playoffs? Here are his numbers in the playoffs with each guy:

With Laich+Semin(07-08): 7GM, 4G, 2A, 6PTS(.857PPG)
With Kozlov+Ovechkin(08-09): 14GM, 3G, 12A, 15PTS(1.071PPG)
With Knuble+Ovechkin(09-10 and 10-11): 16GM, 5G, 6A, 11PTS (.6875PPG)

SO, Backstrom had his best playoff performance playing with the least physical 3rd member of his line of all the years if I'm equating Semin to Ovechkin in 07-08, which I think is fair since they play the same role on the line.

Eden Hall, on the other hand, does not have such a problem. While McGimsie, Drozdetsky, Stastny, and Ribeiro are all strictly scorers, Mickoski and Dahlen are two of the best diggers in the draft.

"had size and also speed."
"6'1" frame was difficult to bump off the puck"
"a fine two- way worker"
"Nicholas Mickoski, the 30 year old Winnipeg digger who for three seasons was the most diligent worker on the Chicago Black Hawks, labored long and hard again last night,"
Yes, Mickoski is a digger. I addressed this above. I don't see why he should be relied upon to protect his rather soft linemates from Bill Juzda and Jim Dorey.

I have a whole section of Dahlen's profile on his boardwork and am not going to post it all, but I'll post some of it here:

"he used great balance and core body strength to protect the puck with his body expertly. He was extremely effective down low and in the corners and on the boards. He would then drive to the net or find an open man with a strong pass. In a different era he would have been the perfect fit to compliment the Sedin Twins."
"Ulf Dahlen, a big power forward who scored more than 300 goals in 900-plus NHL games, was the pioneer of the 10 and 2." The 10-2 is the style of footwork NHL players now use to protect the puck behind the net.
"When Ulf Dahlen goes into the corner for a loose puck, he always seems to come out with it. Considered one of the top puck-protection men in the league..."
Yes, Dahlen is a great digger, maybe the best in the draft. He's also not a bodyguard. You seem to be hellbent on the fact that Ftorek is going to get eaten alive by your Butcher and Tex. Who's going to protect that wuss Ribeiro? He's soft as tissue paper and a complete puss to be honest. Dahlen has a grand total of 4 fights in his entire NHL career, and surprisingly low PIM totals for someone that was such a good digger and supposed power forward. That leaves Marian Stastny, and I don't think anyone would call him a physical presence. So, when Jim Dorey takes Ribeiro's head off, who is going to do something about it?

Conclusion: Eden Hall's defensemen have the ability to force Philadelphia's scoring lines into the type of perimeter game that does not succeed in the playoffs. Eden Hall's scoring lines do not have such a problem.
This point is addressed throughout this post.

Last edited by BillyShoe1721: 08-30-2011 at 08:46 PM.
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