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10-05-2012, 12:25 AM
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I generally try to steer clear of super-posts that cover too much territory at once, so I'll split my response to the last series-related post in half. This one will cover first line comparisons, while the next will have to do with the middle 6.

Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
- In the beginning of the clip, he's carrying the puck down the right side and then lines up on the left side for the faceoff. In any event, it's not terribly worrisome to have a left wing move to the other wing, especially when it provides a shooting advantage. It's not like taking a natural wing and stuffing him at center. The only outstanding reason why a C/LW in the NHL today couldn't also play the right side is because of his handedness and the disadvantage in board play which is so prominent in the North American game. It's not that the two wings are so wholly different in their responsibilities.
I guess there are no strict "rules" to this thing, but what you just described doesn't strike me as sufficient justification for moving a player to a new position for the playoffs and expecting him to keep up his productivity. The two wings are most definitely two different positions.

It's one thing with Giroux playing his original position, but you're taking a center who had an unknown amount of experience at LW and moving him to RW? On your first line? Ok, glad it's you and not me.

- Not attacking Nilsson's softness, just his uncanny ability to get hurt playing against men.
I call B.S. Several of your comments, including the one quoted, insinuated that he is soft. I'm not sure if you see Swedish+injuries=soft or what, but you're barking up the wrong tree if you think Nilsson isn't game for a physical matchup.

There's some very tough customers on this side, a number of which came from a very rugged era in NHL history. He might not be "soft" but he is brittle.
There was no more rugged era than that in which Nilsson played, the post-WHA, pre-enforcer period where you had guys like Potvin and Robinson running people through the boards. Nilsson went right into the jaws of those defenses and scored a point per game on them. It's not like he was sitting out games with concussions and broken fingers -- the injuries that kept him out were of a catastrophic nature, shredded ligaments and shattered ankles, things that nobody can skate through. Otherwise he quietly and effectively skated through years of targeted violence so extreme that Bobby Hull sat out a game in protest -- and that was in the "soft" WHA.

In any case, we know how much time Nilsson will miss, about 28%, or 2 games. In the other 5 games he will be the best center in the series. Given my center depth, I'll take that tradeoff.

Personally, I'm a tiny bit confused as to where your numbers on Bodnar missing so much time are from...

I have it as playing 667 out of 750 (including losing every game in a trade scenario, so give or take a game or two possibly). That's 89% of regular season tilts.
You're right, I made a mistake -- if I had to guess, in copying hockey-reference's GP column I probably counted his 1954 as three different seasons. Your numbers above are correct.

So Nilsson played in 50% (at best) of the games he could have played in at the NHL level...granted, he stayed healthier in a lesser, less physical league...but that's to be somewhat expected.
I submit that it is unwise to be so dismissive of non-NHL leagues considering you have two non-NHL'ers on your first line. Or shall we "adjust" their career GP to 0%?

- I mentioned Bodnar's postseason failings already. ... Kozhevnikov is probably even better than we even know about him...but even at face value, looks to be "very good" or better at this level.
Whoa, slow your roll there. I'd say the combination of these players is a problem waiting to happen for you.

Kozhevnikov had 4 good seasons out of 12 (not holding his comebacks against him) and in those other 8 seasons he fell off the face of the earth. His scoring in those 8 seasons was on par with guys who aren't even given consideration for the AA draft. So you get Good Kozhevnikov for a third of your games, and Invisible Kozhevnikov for two-thirds.

Now look at Bodnar's consistency. Maybe 5 seasons befitting a first-line MLD'er, and 7 that ranged from subpar to terrible (again I'm not even taking WWII into consideration here). So you get Good Bodnar for maybe 3 games here.

To make the point explicit: a team that relies heavily on its first line will get poor performances from its center for 4 games and total invisibility from its RW for 5 games. If you're lucky you MIGHT get that line at 100% twice in the series. And what happens when those bad games coincide? Kerr is a good winger but he's not Gretzky.

Compare with my first line -- Scanlan was apparently as good at the end of his career as in his prime, Kehoe is as steady and consistent as they come, and Nilsson never slowed down except to injury. In the event that Nilsson is out, he will be replaced by a healthy top-9er like Bernier or Juneau, who won't simply disappear. It is quite possible that, in spite of having less first-line talent, mine could end up out scoring yours in at least 2 or 3 games here. And that is a disaster given your top-heavy game plan.

Of course, I have my own streaky scorers, but they're not THE make-us-or-break-us scoring unit.

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