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10-08-2011, 08:20 AM
nik jr
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some things about PP's

Originally Posted by Saskatoon Star Phoenix: 11-2-1938
(Coach) Stewart is certain the Hawks will show cast improvement in one type of play which repeatedly made them look bad in the past--power attacks.

Last season when a member of the opposing team was in the penalty box, the Hawks consistently failed to show a scoring punch. Stewart promises it will be different this season. He plans to use 2 power play combinations. One will be made of Thompson, Romnes, March and Gottselig. The other will be formed by Northcott, Robinson, Blinco and Dahlstrom.

The defensive lineups will be holdovers from last season. Art Wiebe and the speedy Earl Seibert will work together, with the other duo Alex Levinsky and Bill McKenzie.

i am not sure if jarek finally established that Earl Seibert was fast, but he was consistently described as fast.

only 4 players were mentioned on each PP, which may mean a d-man stayed back.

Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette: 3-13-1936
Conacher's penalty left a gap for 2 power play goals in the 1st period, and on Earl Seibert's goal, 4 assists were given, to Mush March, Paul Thompson, Doc Romnes and Gottselig, as they passed the puck around before setting up the defenceman. Gottselig's goal was aided by March, Seibert and Thompson.
i quoted this in an earlier post, b/c it has 4a on 1g, and it sounds like a modern PP.

Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette: 11-4-1938
Red Wings Plan To Use Conacher As Spearhead of Power Attack

Detroit Red Wings are out to revive the power play that did a big job in their 2 marches to NHL championships and the Stanley Cup. This time, though, only 2 who were in on the play in its palmy days are still members.

"We lost too many games last year because we could not score when the other team was short-handed," Manager Jack Adams said today. "We've got to revive the power play to start winning again. There's no more effective weapon than a power play."

And the Wings power play this season will feature Ebbie Goodfellow and Herbie Lewis, veterans of the team that won the NHL championship and the Stanley Cup in 1935-36 and 1936-37. They will be supported by 3 recent acquisitions, Carl Liscombe, Alex Motter and Charlie Conacher. Conacher had the hardest shot in the league when he played for Toronto Maple Leafs. Charlie retired from hockey last year after 9 seasons with the Leafs. Now, fully recovered from a kidney ailment, he's attempting a comeback with Detroit. Adams expects Conacher to be the backbone of the Wings' attack.
"Jovial Jawn" sums up the situation like this:
"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, Larry 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 3 goals every 2 games. Next season, it worked almost as well."

Adams said the play needed men with specialized techniques in shooting, and he believes he has them in Conacher and Goodfellow. Like the Big Bomber, Goodfellow has one of the strongest shots in the NHL.

i think PP opportunities from '30s are not available, but 3 PP goals every 2 games seems very very good.

evolution of PP is a very interesting subject, and i don't know how it developed. old reports don't give a good sense of how PP's worked long ago.

phrases "power play" or "power attack" seem to have been used in the modern sense of 5 on 4, 5 on 3 and 4 on 3 play, but also for attacks where 4 or 5 players joined the attack at ES.

for example on page 6:
Originally Posted by Calgary Daily Herald: 3-29-1933
Flashing from behind after their opponents had scored 2 quick goals in the 2nd period, Detroit's amazing Red Wings ousted the big Maroons team from the Stanley Cup hockey playoffs last night, winning the deciding contest 3-2. A capacity crowd of 14500 saw Detroit take the round 5-2 and go into the Stanley Cup semi-finals against New York Rangers.

Maroons, trailing 0-2 as a result of a Red Wing victory in Montreal last Saturday night, put on their power plays for 60 minutes, ripping up anad down the ice of Olympia Arena to bowl over the frantic Detroit defence.
obviously, maroons were not on PP for 60 minutes.

another example from game 1 of '38 finals:
Originally Posted by St Petersburg Times: 4-4-1938
No one, however, could have greatly improved on Moore's performance. Though he came in cold, he turned back all but one of the highly-favored Leafs' thrusts, and turned them back time and again during a series of last-period power plays.
google news says it was April 4, but top of newspaper says April 6.

TML had no PP's during the last period. end of the game when trailing is a time when
4 or 5 players would attack, instead of 2 or 3 staying back to play D.

Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette: 2-12-1934
The old Boston Power play was powerless against Maroons Saturday night at the Forum. Master Stew Evans slapped a goal past Tiny Thompson in the 2nd period, and that was good enough for a 1-0 Montreal victory, despite the best efforts of Eddie Shore, who started power play after power play after Evans tally.
Time and time again they were thrown back by the power plays, but they invariably broke away for dangerous rushes on Thompson and only the Boston goalie's sensational work combined with some bad luck prevented Maroons from getting a couple of extra tallies.
Immediately after this goal, Eddie Shore trotted out the old power play, and it was a continual menace as 4 and 5 man attacks swept in on the Maroon net from the middle of the second period until the end of the game, but the Montreal defences, and Dave Kerr, in particular, withstood these assaults without a lapse. It was Kerr's 5th shutout of the season.
only 2 penalties in the game, both to Boston, so power play refers to ES massed attacks.

Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen: 11-29-1933
The Boston defence star opened the power play by driving at the enemy net as he swept through center. Four of his mates trailed him, but they were not heeded because Eddie fought his way in back of the Ottawa net, pulled the puck away from Syd Howe, and poked it out. The rubber struck goalie Bill Beveridge's skate, and the game was decided when it was deflected into his cage.
The Bruins countered with a 5-man attack that seldom got over the Senators' blue line, although during the last minute, Marty Barry missed a wide-open net on a power play.
5 minutes to go and the Bruins resumed their old-time power tactics. Shore started the play by firing into the Ottawa zone as he cut through center. Smith followed him down and there were 5 Bruins milling around in enemy territory when Shore battered his way through Bowman and followed the rubber around the Ottawa net. He passed out and the puck hit the goalie's skate and was deflected into the cage to put the Bruins out in front.
only 2 penalties in that game, and they were matching majors. power plays here again mean massed attacks at ES.

Originally Posted by Lewiston Evening Journal: 12-7-1932
The Boston Bruins, the team which put the power play in hockey, and nearly ruined the NHL with it, are back on the warpath again serving adequate notice that they are one of the many teams to beat in the championship race.

In the 1929-30 season, the Bruins knocked all existing scoring records into a cocked hat when they lost only 5 games and were tied once in a 44 game campaign and piled up the remarkable total of 179 goals. The next season, they were almost as good, but last year, with less weight and power on the squad, they changed their style of play and dropped into the cellar.

This season, against some of the strongest opposition they have ever faced, the Bruins are again rambling towards the top, overpowering all rivals. They are tied with the New York Rangers, a remarkable group of goal-getters, for the American division lead and have scored 27 goals, the 3rd highest total in the league, against 20 for their opponents.

The tough defense of the New York Americans halted the Bruins for 3 full periods last night, but after 62 scoreless minutes, big Nels Stewart crashed through to score with the assistance of Marty Barry and Dit Clapper, and when the A's gambled on a 5 man attack, Joe Lamb slipped away for another goal to make the final score 2-0.

Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette: 2-10-1932
A tie seemed impending when Art Ross, manager of the Bruins, gave the signal for the power play which so often had been ridiculed and so often had proved a boomerang.

Down the ice came Shore, carrying the puck and driving it into the corner where Weiland hurried after it and, quick as a flash, passed it out in front of the net where Shore took a shot.
ridicule and boomeranging of PP's is intriguing.

i quoted this in last ATD, about Shore and "pressure hockey," which may be the same as "power play":
Originally Posted by Dink Carroll in 2-23-1942 Montreal Gazette
Shore The Inventor Of Pressure Hockey?

Earl Seibert sums up the players' reaction to pressure hockey with the same neat efficiency that he displays on the ice. He says, "The forwards love it--the defencemen hate it."

The defencemen hate it, the big Chicago rearguard star explains, because they have to do the back-checking for the forwards, and the forwards love it because they no longer have that long haul back the length of the ice when their checks break away. Credit, or blame, depending on your point of view, for the new game, he pins squarely on the shoulders of the great Eddie Shore, though he thinks wily Art Ross may have had a hand in it.

"Shore used to leave his position on the defence and come up near the opposing team's blueline," big Earl recalls. "He'd only stay there for a minute or two at a time, putting on a little power play of his own. That was the way it started and I remember that Art Ross got so that he's bang a stick against the fence when he wanted Shore to move up. But I believe Shore moved up there in the first place on his own, and later Ross endorsed the move."

That is probably the truth about the origin of pressure hockey, as great individual stars have a habit of leaving their imprints on a game. Frank Nighbor, a forward with a particular genius for defensive hockey, was the cause of the kitty-bar-the-door style that prevailed for so many years. Shore, a defenceman with a brilliant offensive spark, may just as readily been the cause of the switchover to the new type of game.

Suggests Anti-offence Rule

Seibert doesn't think pressure hockey is here to stay. In his opinion, the fans don't like the new game and that is what will defeat it in the long run. He even has his own idea of what will develop.

"When all the clubs were playing defensive hockey," he pointed out, "the fans squawked all over the circuit. So they introduced the anti-defence rules. They're not always enforced, but they're there. According to the rules, only three men are allowed behind the defending blue line before the puck is carried into that defensive zone. It seems to me the next step will be anti-offence rules. They won't allow more than a certain number of players on the attacking team to go over the defending team's blue line."

Personally, he doesn't find it tougher to play the new game. He is always careful when playing "points" (that is the term defencemen use to describe their position when playing up on a power play) to keep moving. He skates at an angle and figures that helps him to turn with a forward and prevent him getting loose on a breakaway. In the old game, a defence player had to start from a standing position and he found the starting and stopping a bit wearying. Moving around as he does in the new game, his muscles are always loosened up and he doesn't tire so quickly.
anti-offence rule seems consistent with the idea that "power plays" were originally ES plays, and that Boston under Ross popularized them. i cannot remember seeing the phrase "power play" or "power attack" in reports from '20s.

Daily Boston Globe of 3-21-1934 says "the 'power play' is generally credited to him (Art Ross)," but have to pay to read the entire article.

if it is correct that Shore was central to Boston's "power plays (whether ES or PP)," and that Boston's frequent and successful use of them changed hockey (from defensive hockey to "pressure hockey"), it is much easier to understand why Shore won 4 harts and was a finalist 3 more times.

i read in some old paper that Shore, iirc, was "kingpin of the Boston Bruins power play," and when i read that, i was unaware that power play also applied to ES, so i assumed it meant Shore was a PP QB. but that is not clear at all.

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