AA Draft Semifinals: #2 Pittsburgh Pirates vs #3 Garnish Bulldogs
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01-04-2012, 11:00 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Behind A Tree
First off, good luck to Bring Back Scuderi. He constructed a really good team once again, best of luck to him here:
Let me take a few moments to break down the series:
Forward Line 1: My #1 forward line consists of Martin Rucinsky, Chris Gratton and Petri Skriko. Rucinsky will be the playmaker here, his 5 seasons of 30 or more assists is pretty good for this level. Gratton, my #1 centre, will bring grit and size to the 1st line; Gratton, I find to be very under-appreciated. He has 568 career points in his NHL career. I expect him to provide grit and playmaking to my team. Petri Skriko will be the sniper of this line. His career was a little to short but when he played he played decent, having 4 seasons of 30 or more goals. Having 2 good playmakers on his line in Rucinsky and Gratton should only help Skriko.
BBS Forward Line 1: I like your 1st line a lot, I expect it to match up well against mine. Josef Cerny was one of the better Czech players of his era and should really be looked at in the AAA or even the MLD draft. He was a target of mine early in this draft so good pick there. Wilson's a really good playmaker who put up better numbers than you would think. Kovalenko may appear a bit lost on this line. He did put up some good numbers but had a reputation for being inconsistent.
Advantage: Garnish Reason: Kovalenko's incosistency really hurts Pittsburgh here, other than that his 1st line matches up well with mine.
Garnish Forward Line 2: I picked Ashton out of my always liking him as a player but the guy put up good numbers in his career and should do so for my team. His 4 60 point seasons should only help him here. Much like Ashton I picked Tucker as I liked him as a player when he was playing. His 4-30 Assist Seasons should go well with Ashton who had 3 seasons of 30 more goals. Finishing off this line is Trent Klatt. Klatt always had a reputation for being a good 2-way player which is why I drafted him. I think he'll provide good defense for the team along with a few offensive plays.
Pittsburgh Forward Line 2: Gendron was another target of mine coming into this draft, he was the type of player who did everything good so a solid pick for you. The day you picked Meehan I was set to pick him, myself. The guy was a good playmaker and should serve your team well as its captain. Kristian Husselius was more of a playmaker than I realized. His injury history concerns me a little but his career numbers make up for that.
Matchup Thoughts: Pittsburgh may have a slight advantage here, they do lack a game breaker but I like their line's all around capabilities a little more than mine, it depends on how Husselius gets on with his injury concerns.
Garnish Forward Line 3: I drafted Momesso for his strong defensive game, Momesso was seen as one of the key reasons behind Vancouver's surprise run to the Cup finals in 1994, I look for him to perform the same role here. Turcotte adds goal scoring to my 3rd line, he had 5 seasons of 20 or more which is pretty good from 1 of my bottom 2 lines. Rounding out this line is Dainius Zubrus. Zubrus reads as a player who does everything really good, I'm counting on him for being a playmaker for Turcotte on this line.
Pittsburgh Forward Line 3: Here's some trivia sports fans: Curt Bennett was the first American-born player to score 30 goals in a NHL season, he appears to be the goal scorer of this line. Like Turcotte he has an All Star Game appearance. Mike Zuke had 3 impressive seasons when it came to assist totals, that's pretty good for a 3rd line, he was a solid pick for you. Corrigan reads as your Sergio Momesso only with better offensive numbers. He was a versatile player, having scored 20 goals at all 3 forward positions.
Matchup Thoughts: Garnish has a slight advantage here, while Zubrus never had 40 assists in a season at any time, he does have 9 20 assist seasons. Bennett's 20 goal seasons are 2 less than Turcotte's (3 for Bennett to 5 for Turcotte). I think Corrigan's a little better than Momesso but I am happy with Momesso here.
Garnish Line 4: Terrion's niche was as a penalty killer who could score the odd goal, I expect him to play more of a defensive role on my team. Allan Haworth was my favourite find of this draft, he was a really good playmaker and a decent defensive player (The role he'll play on this team). Mccliwain was another journeyman that my team drafted. Mccliwain will be counted on solely for his defensive game here.
Pittsburgh Line 4: Ladd is another player I've always liked, the guy has everything you like in a player and should only get better. His 2 Stanley Cups in only a few seasons doesn't hurt his case either. Matt Cullen completes your centre tandem and what a tandem it is. Cullen has 4 30 assist seasons to his credit which is good for anyone at this level little lone a 4th liner. Callahan is another good pickup for you, he is known for his 2-way play which should serve him and the rest of your team well.
Matchup Thoughts: Another almost equal matchup. I give myself a slight edge because of Haworth but this battle could go either way.
Defensive Pairing 1 (Garnish): Liles is one of the better power play quarterbacks taken in the AA draft this year. He has 3 40 point seasons so far in his career and is on pace for another this season. Craig Muni will not be providing much offense but he will still provide the Bulldogs with great defensive game, he was an easy choice as my captain and seemed to be a popular choice here when I picked him.
Defensive Pairing 1 (Pittsburgh): Danny Markov had a short NHL career but while he was in the NHL, he was a solid defensive contributor. Rick Lanz was a really good offensive defenseman, similar to Liles. He has more 50 point seasons than Liles (2 to 0) but Liles has more 30 point seasons than Lanz (7 to 3).
Matchup Thoughts: Another almost equal matchup, because Liles point totals are more consistent I give the edge here to Garnish.
Defensive Pairing 2 (Garnish): When I was scouting for the AA draft I was surprised to see Brian Benning having such good point totals (7 30 point seasons), as a 2nd offensive defenseman option he should be alright. Much like Craig Muni, Brooks Orpik won't provide much offense but the guy has been a solid defenseman for Pittsburgh during his career.
Defensive Pairing 2 (Pittsburgh): Before his concussion Marc Staal looked like he was developing into a top 10 defenseman, good to see him back with the Rangers. Aaron Miller was another good defensive defenseman during his career, good pairing.
Matchup Thoughts: While I like the Staal-Miller pairing it does lack a gamebreaker, Brian Benning is probably not your traditional offensive defenseman I'll take him as a 2nd offensive defenseman option over Staal or Miller, advantage Garnish.
Defensive Pairing 3 (Garnish): Johanssen was a great 2-way defenseman, perfect for a shutdown pairing, he should pair well with Steve Konroyd, who reads as the prototypical shutdown defenseman. This pairing should serve me well.
Defensive Pairing 3 (Pittsburgh): Terry Carkner was another target for me, he was a really good shutdown defenseman, solid pick. Hannu Virta was a good offensive defenseman from Finland who saw some action in North America, good pick.
Matchup thoughts: I think Virta may get lost on a 3rd pairing especially matched up against a shutdown pairing like Johanssen and Konroyd, Carkner and Virta is a good pairing but not a shutdown one.
Goaltending (Garnish): Urpo Ylonen represented Finland at 8 World Hockey Championships and was voted the tournament's best goalie in 1970. Rick Wamsley is going to be a solid backup. He has over 200 wins in the NHL to his credit.
Goaltending (Pittsburgh): I hadn't heard of Jimmy Foster before this draft but as I read up on him now he was a solid goalie. Back when England was known as a hockey playing nation Foster was seen as their biggest star, solid pick. Wayne Stephenson reads as a consumate backup, solid pick.
Matchup Thoughts: This is another close battle between the 2 teams but I think Ylonen and Wamsley collectively are better than Foster and Stephenson due to their experience, should be a close match.
Final Thoughts: This is going to be a close series, aside from the 2nd defensive pairing lacking an offensive guy I don't see any problems with Pittsburgh's roster. Once again Scuderi picked a solid lineup, kudos to him, I look forward to Scuderi's rebuttal to this, good luck to him.
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