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10-10-2012, 09:51 AM
Mike Farkas
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I'll follow-up with Campbell vs. McCabe as time permits. I just want to first deal with the Conference Final matchup here and then let the voters decide the fate...

- Re: switching wings. Really not a big deal, similar responsibilities in this system anyhow. This provides a shooting advantage, one that would have been granted to him in the Soviet system. He grew up with the off-wing shot, this wouldn't be new territory at all. Seamless transition, much ado about nothing.

- I'm not sure that I agree that the 70's were the most rugged era in history. I'd guess the time around the formation of the major pro leagues where Sprague Cleghorn's and Eddie Shore's were all but eviscerating people where they stood is the most rugged and above all, dangerous. Many of my d-men grew up in that era, so I'm confident in that their truculence will rule the day.

- So we're tearing apart Kozhevnikov because he was forcefully held back by the nature of the Communist party? Using the "if you remove all of his good seasons, he'd be bad" argument? That's really not gonna look too good for your top-six when we remove the best four seasons of Ulf Nilsson, Bronco Horvath, Joe Juneau and the like...especially when you consider they all had more free-range to actually be better longer if not for their own limitations. Kozhevnikov was not liked by his coaches. Which isn't to say that isn't somewhat his fault or even mostly his fault...but he wouldn't be treated with such disdain anywhere else...I'm surprised I saw the "he didn't do anything good outsiide of his good seasons" argument though...

- Kehoe is steady and consistent in the regular season, which has long passed. Kehoe is the ghost of playoffs yes, steady and consistently invisible...

I think it's an overstatement that my game would crash down around me because of this purported disappearing act that most of my team will go through (not yours, of course, just mine) in just this series (not the others, or the whole regular season) - all of a sudden, now, and only now, these guys will be maimed or otherwise rendered ineffective. It's an interesting claim I guess...maybe the voters will have their own beliefs about my team's demise...perhaps the Spanish Flu will wipe out the locker room by chance...or my arena will burn down forcing me to wander over to your arena for all 7 games or less...a gaggle of clumsy movers may drop a piano on Brian Campbell on his way to practice...anything is possible!

- Maybe Maxwell played some top pairing minutes, but that doesn't necessarily mean he was going against top competition regularly. Especially given his lack of PK experience, I wouldn't guess he was matched up against the elite because he couldn't be trusted to kill penalties...I see a couple seasons where he may have been on the second PK unit...but that's hardly a ringing endorsement that he was going against top competition...Arnie Brown, in the years he actually played with Howell or Park, sure...but I don't know the extent of that off-hand...

It not an issue of how they score, but of how MUCH they score.

In fact, it's even broader than that. Even a slight advantage in puck possession, over a 7 game series, tends to tilt the matchup rather dramatically. Defensive players get burned out if their team doesn't have the puck, and it's a safe bet that your bottom 9 won't generate many big offensive games. How long are they going to bend before they break? Sooner or later, the large edge in offensive skill will cause a breakthrough.
I'll quote that because I couldn't bring myself to type it. Not much for coaching tactics, huh? Is all I could say to's very much an issue of how they score, that's the very nature of the game. That's what the team was built for. If you gave the 2003 Minnesota Wild the blueprints of the 1984 Oilers and said, "do what they do!" you have a last place team, even if they do score a few extra goals...a goal prevented is more valuable than a goal scored anyhow. And we can prevent them. And given our unyielding affection for board play and the cycle and the ability to win faceoffs, it'll be difficult to muster the type of the puck possession that you boast of...I'm not sure how long Joe Juneau or Ulf Nilsson plan to hold off Percy Traub or Bill Brydge, but I'd wonder how long (or how far?) those players can bend before breaking, not my team as a whole...

- Charlie Burns may have been assigned to shut down Howe. That's one guy on your fourth line. I have two of the most defensively responsible lines in the whole league AND then a Selke-winner (the only one in the league, right?). The defensive mismatch is large. I'll take ATD-level defense vs. MLD-level offense any day of the week.

- With Brad Maxwell and Jocelyn Guevremont making up half of your top-four d-men, meaning they'll be playing in upwards of 45 minutes a night (you'll have to excuse the drool from Dubbie Kerr and Wayne Babych)...I'm surprised, from your glass house, you'd be throwing stones at Brian Campbell. A player who has matured tremendously over his career and has been very capable defensively the last couple years. Surely, the responsibility of lugging the Florida Panthers to a division title didn't come exclusively from his ability to make break-out passes...his growing use on the PK is noteworthy and helps to justify the maturity he's shown on the rink. There doesn't seem to be anything that Campbell can't do...he keeps getting heaps of ice time and keeps maturing and handling it so well...

- I wouldn't guess that your offense is a lock to succeed in this series (at all) because this offense doesn't look worlds different from the other offenses that have been strangled by this team throughout the regular season and through the playoffs...but, again, we'll see what the voters believe. Maybe they'll buy the "none of my players were good outside of their good seasons" argument and you'll sweep!


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