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09-09-2011, 02:41 PM
seventieslord's Avatar
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Because Eden Hall has much better personnel on the PP than Regina. Coaches coach, players play, and the advantage Eden Hall has in PP players is enormous. Believe me, I'm going to emphasize this again before the series is up.

In one of the few seasons Julien actually had decent powerplay personnel (2008-09), his team finished 4th in the league on the PP. Of course, that's besides the point, as I already indicated that John Muckler will be just as involved in team strategy as Claude Julien, and will likely take the role on the PP.
that sounds a bit like just glossing over the fact that some coaches are better and worse at one special team or the other.

games are still won at ES... roughly 80% of the game is played at ES.

Serious question: How much better is the 3rd best defensive forward (as determined by the media) than the 9th best defensive forward (as determined by the media)? I really don't think the gap between the top checking forwards is that high - certainly not as high as the gap between the top scorers, which is why I never draft 3rd liners before 1st liners.

Once in awhile, there will be a generational defensive forward like Bob Gainey, but Erixon clearly isn't that. If he was, ATD canon would have him go in the main draft, considering the ATD was started by a group of GMs who grew up watching 80s (and 70s) hockey.
OK, first of all, this is not the ATD. just because Bob Gainey can't possibly be as valuable as Hooley Smith or Syd Howe doesn't mean Jan Erixon can't possibly be as valuable as Vincent Lukac or Wally Hergesheimer.

When I took Erixon, I saw him standing above all others available in his role, like no available scoring forward or defenseman could do. I 100% stand by that logic and by that pick. Erixon was the highest vote-getter among bottom-6 forwards, you know.

Maybe it just means that Sargent was the big fish in a small pond - those North Stars teams weren't exactly stacked - certainly not like the recent San Jose Sharks or the President's Trophy winning Canucks.
You're right, it might mean what you want it to mean, and it might mean what I want it to mean. where does that leave us?

Sargent certainly didn't have any years better than Ehrhoff's last 2 when he finished top 10 in Norris voting over a much larger talent pool and deserved it.
Don't be so certain of that! 42nd and 23rd don't quite fit the profile of a top-10 defensemen. that's only one piece of it of course. Maybe a quick refresher of what these votes mean is appropriate.

For Ehrhoff to place highly at all in norris voting, he has to get some votes. Every ballot has just 5 slots. there were 12 voters who saw Ehrhoff as a top-5 defenseman which is borderline insane, and there was one who saw him as 3rd, which is not really defensible. Similarly, the year before he even got a 2nd place vote.

Now this totally cuts both ways and affects Sargent, too. His three points in 1978 probably mean he got three 3rd-place votes. Someone had him ahead of three of Potvin, Park, Robinson, Salming and Lapointe. Crazy, hey? And likewise, in his similarly strong 1977 and 1979 seasons, he didn't show up in voting, but how do we know that a dozen voters didn't have 4th and 5th-place votes ready for them if their ballots were only that large? (If ballots were still three votes long, Ehrhoff would have received two votes the past two years combined, just saying)

The number of times these kinds of things happened and the degree to which they happened is where we get these mediocre (but very good by MLD standards) all-star and norris records from. (I'm not too concerned with pre-expansion for reasons you already described). We both realize that these votes don't just go to garbage players and they did something to deserve them, and we both also are careful to toss out embarrassingly low and insignificant totals, so please don't misinterpret this as saying it's garbage.

So how reliable is the information that tells us these were top-10 defensemen a combined three seasons? Somewhat. This is why I say don't be a slave to it. It's one piece of the puzzle. (IIRC, someone like sturm or HO made a good case about sub-top-5 d-men, it really should apply more to the ATD than the MLD, of course, as at this point we're just doing our best and "going with what we have")

So anyway, there are other pieces of the puzzle. There is icetime. There are written descriptions of their play. And there is the eye test, at least for Ehrhoff.

You'll disagree of course, but I do not see Ehrhoff as a top-10 defenseman in the NHL. he's very good of course, and it's great that he was a #1 in the regular season on a presiden't trophy winner. On the other hand, that team more or less had multiple "co-#1s. It's rare you see a team-leading TOI like he had in 2010, and even in 2011 it was well below average for a #1. So this is not quite as simple as saying Ehrhoff's seasons were better thanks to his Norris record, when there is evidence that should be considered just as compelling in Sargent's favour!

Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Huh? Ehrhoff has been a 21+ minute defenseman every season since 2007-08. It's literally impossible to be anything below a top 4 defenseman when you see that much ice time.
That was me being lazy. I knew he was a 4 or 5 in 2009 because I posted it the day before, but it was not in the "past 50 posts" that show up at the bottom of the reply screen. I know in 2008 he was a #2, we've mentioned that enough. Having checked now, I can tell you he was a #4 in 2009, even with 21:14 played per game. (yeah, it was 2 seconds behind Blake, haha)

It's actually 11th in voting according to HOH - you have him listed as 11th on his profile, so I assume this was an error.
lazy again, trying to go off the top of my head.

Sullivan and Pettersson are about as good defensively as the center version of Billy Harris.
I would agree.

Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I really don't see this supposed physical gap that 70s thinks he has on the 4th lines. I'd rate their toughness something like this:

I agree McKay is 1st. But I don't see how it's possible to place the next three as anything but Regina players. A couple little quotes about Patey (one by Patey himself) doesn't put him above Grier, or on Tucker's level. We all saw Tucker, there is no doubt he was a fearless little fireball. Grier was called Grier is a hockey player in a football player's body. He is an aggressive forechecker and bores in on the unfortunate puck carrier with all of the intensity of a lineman blitzing a quarterback... frightens a lot of people into mistakes... honest, tough, physical winger... A power forward... one of the premier cornerman in the league... won't hesitate to bull his way through two defenseman... intimidating physical presence... great strength and is almost impossible to knock down... Powerful winger with intimidating size and strength, he has impressive straightaway speed and can alter a game's momentum with his punishing hits... His size and strength along the boards is unparalleled... hard-hitting physical style... a veritable force along the boards ... - Patey is none of the above.

As for Grier's defense - read his profile. He was consistently called an excellent defensive forward, and for a few years was on a line that the reports called one of the NHL's best shutdown trios (it was there for a few years but I don't repeat anything in bios that is exact words repeated from one edition to the next) - He certainly didn't have the team success that McKay had, but much more than the average player he has had a knack for advancing in the playoffs. McKay peaked at 9th in selke voting, Grier was 14th once. You said there's not much difference there, right? I don't keep detailed records past 15th, but I know Grier got votes in four other seasons. What about McKay? Also, as a Devils fan you know more about him than others would, but the potential for bias also exists. I would like to look at my scouting reports to see what is mentioned of his defensive play (i.e. how often is it mentioned, what superlatives are used, how does that compare to Grier) before coming to any definite conclusion, but my suspicion is that the big defensive edge you claim for McKay is either not real, or not that big.

And who says a team's "agitator" has to be a forward:

McKay, Patey, and Butcher. You were critical of the Butcher pick before, but now you see why we selected him - he performs the role you are asking for here.
If you want to say that Butcher is your agitator, fair enough. he is the worst defenseman in the series by a country mile so if he has to be out there for that, good for me. That doesn't really answer the whole question though. I have a whole line that will forecheck like demons and drive your defensemen bonkers. there is a long history of unsung energy lines like this making very appreciated contributions to winning teams with their momentum-changing, bang and crash style. Eden Hall's version is simply not as effective at this kind of game.

Honestly, it's not like Grier was some kind of physical beast.
Absolutely he was.

Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Do you actually think you've shown anything to indicate that Gibbs was better defensively at even strength than Brian Campbell?
Come on. Gibbs' reputation for a decade was that he was a defensive defenseman. Campbell started off as a fringe NHLer for 4 years (and it wasn't his offensive skills that made him a fringe player), and since then has ranged from excellent specialist to good support player to top-10 d-man, but has never been considered better than below average defensively.

Where he places in the league isn't the full issue, when the NHL of the 70s was much weaker than it is today. I think it's very plausible that a poor #1 in a 14 team league was about the 25th best player in the league. Then consider all the talent in Europe (mostly the USSR and CSSR but also Sweden) and the WHA (Al Hamilton, Paul Shmyr, Rick Ley, JC Tremblay, etc etc) and yes, I think it's very plausible that a poor #1 could be no better than the 40th best defenseman in the world.
(Al Hamilton wasn't better, and I'd be curious to know which Swede was, too)

I know the NHL was watered down. I think that I've been very accomodating so far by acknowledging that "doubling" the finishes for the 70s to make it more comparable to modern times, is fair. I feel the above is trying to get away with some "double dipping" now. Anyway, we have something to work with here.

So we finally have a number. Let's say I agree that Gibbs was 40th-50th in the world in the three years when he was a "poor #1" (the years you placed in the #6 tier) and incrementally better when he was more than that. Doubling that would make him 80th-100th in his 8th, 9th, and 10th-best seasons. That is still a #3 defenseman in modern times.

what about the #5 tier? 35th, perhaps? So 70th today. A good #3.

how about the seasons in tier 4? 25th-30th, maybe. or 50th-60th today. A #2. (these might be the key to the answer though because if he was 11th-13th in his two best years then 25th-30th is probably underrating him in his 3rd-5th-best.

then there are the seasons in tier 2, where we have reasonable data to suggest he was 11th-13th, or 22nd-26th by moden standards, a clearcut below-average #1.

So, if Gibbs' best 9 years were the last 9 years, we could imagine him being a legit #1 twice, a #2 three times, and a #3 four times. I realize and agree Campbell has two seasons better than Gibbs ever had. But put another way, that's four more seasons as a top-3 guy than Campbell had. and three more as a top-2 guy.

of course, not all of Campbell's #3 seasons are sorted out and to compare apples to apples we'd have to come to a semi-agreement about where he ranked in each of the last six seasons.

Come on, you have to admit this doesn't look very bad for Gibbs, at all.

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