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11-06-2012, 07:10 PM
  #33
Mike Farkas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Faster, more offensive game after the Red Line was introduced at the start of the 1943-44 season. Changed the way goalies played.
Context of the red line.

And C1958, you're more than qualified, it sounds, to add further commentary if necessary.

The addition of the center red-line, and thus the two-line offside pass rule, seems like a ploy to keep the game in check rather than to promote offense. However, that merely became a coaching adjustment to the new circumstances and not a necessarily intended consequence.

If I'm correct, forward passing was fully liberalized in 1929 (and quickly, league officials realized that an "offside" rule was needed as there was a Cooney looney amount of goal-scoring that took place shortly thereafter with players preceding the puck into the offensive zone - net-hangers included). However, forward passing was limited to the confines of the zone in which the puck originated. Meaning, that passes could not cross any blueline going forward.

The introduction of the red-line, in addition to making the recent rules governing icing probably easier to understand, allowed for forward passing to cross bluelines - but just not in excess of two-lines...a breakout pass from your own faceoff dot to the center dot was illegal in 1942...that pass was now legal in 1943. Quicker breakouts allowed for offenses to open up and the game to gain tempo. We all dismiss the scoring that occurs in 1944 and 1945 because of the talent that left for the War - and that's certainly valid - but a question that will always remain unanswered is not "would it have went up?" it is "how much would it have gone up instead?" while coaching and player adjustments were taking place soon after.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Press, Aug. 16, 1943
Stickhandling forwards and the rock'em-sock'em defensemen will come back into their own this winter - if there's hockey to be had. The National Hockey League and the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association at their joint meeting in Toront over the weekend voted a rule change that will make streamlined, five-man-up hockey more risky than slipping a counterfeit bill to an FBI man. Though the simple expedient of drawing a two-inch red line across the center of center ice and permitting the defensive team to make forward passes behind it without penalty, the hockey fathers have made streamlined hockey so vulnerable to breakaways that it will be almost suicidal to play the defensemen over the new red line and thus virtually ending the five-man-up game.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ottawa Citizen - Aug. 16, 1943
The rule, adopted at Saturday's meeting, provides for a new red line two inches wide across the rink at center ice called the "center line" to distinguish the new zone. Officials hoped the rule would result in a faster game and check the trend toward power plays evidenced in recent years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Grape Belt and Chautauqua Farmer - Aug. 17, 1943
The change, advocated for some time, was designed to permit defending teams to break away from power plays more easily, thus cutting the use of the lunging attack by making it too hazardous for the offensive players. Use of the power play, which permits several of the attacking players to go down ice and accept a long pass from a teammate, has increased to such an extent in recent years that the rule makers believe it a serious threat to the life of Canada's national game. Under the revised ruling, attackers will fear to venture at great length down the ice because of the possibility of being trapped out of position in case the puck is stolen by an opposing player. Thus, the stick work and brilliant offensive play of the individual in getting the puck into the scoring zone will be brought forth.
Adjustments: as related to the project at hand

I won't delve deeply into the adjustments that forwards made in this time where they were now allowed to "cheat" out of the zone. I'll instead focus on the defensemen and their mobility.

First, identifying the parties involved:

In front of Brimsek from 1945-46 through 1949-50 on defense:

1945-46: Pat Egan, Jack Crawford, Murray Henderson, Jack Church, Dit Clapper
1946-47: Pat Egan, Jack Crawford, Murray Henderson, Babe Pratt, Fern Flaman
1947-48: Pat Egan, Clare Martin, Jack Crawford, Murray Henderson(f), Fern Flaman
1948-49: Pat Egan, Fern Flaman, Jack Crawford, Murray Henderson, Ed Kryzanowski
1949-50: Last season, with Chicago: Bill Gadsby, Ralph Nattrass, Ernie Dickens, Bob Goldham, Doug McCaig

I'm gonna take some liberties here on interpretations because I don't have any video...please, feel free to make corrections if you feel something was incorrect or misleading.

Egan: regarded as good or fast and powerful.

Crawford: adjusted well, apparently, to the red-line as seen in his AS voting. Was probably at least an average skater.

Henderson: Poor skater that is said to do poorly away from Boston

Church: ? Highly touted prospect before the red-line, no mention for or against his skating that I could find.

Clapper: As far as I can tell, wasn't renowned for his skating and it would make sense that pre-1943 that a slower forward - if capable - would move back to defense, I think.

Pratt: Wasn't a great skater, kind of heavy fellow.

Flaman: Doesn't appear to be more than average and is regarded as a "classic defenseman" which wouldn't suggest a ton of mobility necessarily.

In front of Durnan from 1943-44 through 1949-50 on defense:

1943-44: Leo Lamoureux, Mike McMahon, Glen Harmon, Butch Bouchard
1944-45: Butch Bouchard, Leo Lamoureux, Frank Eddolls, Glen Harmon
1945-46: Butch Bouchard, Glen Harmon, Leo Lamoureux, Ken Reardon
1946-47: Ken Reardon, Roger Leger, Glen Harmon, Leo Lamoureux, Butch Bouchard
1947-48: Ken Reardon, Roger Leger, Glen Harmon, Butch Bouchard, Doug Harvey
1948-49: Glen Harmon, Doug Harvey, Ken Reardon, Roger Leger, Hal Laycoe, Butch Bouchard
1949-50: Ken Reardon, Doug Harvey, Glen Harmon, Roger Leger, Butch Bouchard, Hal Laycoe

Lamoureux: ? Though, as a defensive guy, he couldn't hang around after the War vets came home. Also played some forward.

Harmon: Known as speedy and shifty

Bouchard: Fine skater, better straight line skater than in transition or tight turns. Looked like he could rely on his size, strength and positioning to navigate tight spaces as opposed to agility.

Reardon: Not a very good skater

Leger: ?

Harvey: Excellent

Laycoe: ?

In front of Broda from 1946-47 through 1949-50 on defense:

1946-47: Vic Lynn, Wally Stanowski, Gus Mortson, Jimmy Thomson, Garth Boesch
1947-48: Jimmy Thomson, Gus Mortson, Bill Barilko, Wally Stanowski, Garth Boesch
1948-49: Jimmy Thomson, Gus Mortson, Garth Boesch, Bill Barilko, Bill Juzda
1949-50: Vic Lynn, Bill Barilko, Gus Mortson, Bill Juzda, Jimmy Thomson, Garth Boesch

Lynn: Excellent

Stanowski: Excellent, may have been the fastest d-man in the league at one time.

Mortson: Regarded as a very good skater

Thomson: Referred to as "fast skating", despite him being a "classic defensive defenseman"

Boesch/Barilko: Weren't these the guys that would leave their feet constantly to block shots? No real mention of skating ability that I could find.

Juzda: Below average skater it seems

---

Depending on coaching adjustments, the Boston Bruins d-men would struggle the most with this new, faster-paced game. Faster, more offensive forwards would become more valuable, so even if the Bruins sat back to get a "head start" on their opponents, they would be hemmed in their end due to their - my estimation - below average mobility. They played in a smaller rink, but that still means half of their games aren't in the friendly confines.

Now, I don't believe we have shot counts from the years in question. I would hypothesize that the Bruins are more susceptible than another team to giving up high quality scoring chances on the road due to the limited nature of their defensemen. Thus, if the goaltending talent is equal (and based on where we're at in the discussion, they have to be pretty close), I would suggest that the Bruins - more than their peers - are more susceptible to giving up goals on the road as opposed to at home.

Brimsek:
1945-46: Unfortunately for me, I thought Brimsek played the last 34 games consecutively, and when trying to made the original home/road splits work I drove myself nuts thinking I was miscounting. Further research indicates that Brimsek and Bibeault alternated in net when Brimsek first returned and Brimsek only took over full-time when Bibeault was returned to Montreal when Durnan broke his hand. As a result, I'll do a Bruins split, not just a Brimsek split.

Bruins total: 24-18-8 - 156 GA (3.12 GAA)
---
Away: 8-13-4 - 88 GA (3.52 GAA)
Home: 16-5-4 - 68 GA (2.72 GAA)
- Gave up 5+ away: 5 times
- Gave up 5+ @home: 5 times
- Gave up 4+ away: 10 times
- Gave up 4+ @home: 6 times

1946-47:
Total: 26-23-11 - 175 GA (2.92 GAA)
---
Away: 8-16-6 - 101 GA (3.37 GAA)
Home: 18-7-5 - 74 GA (2.47 GAA)
- Gave up 5+ away: 10 times
- Gave up 5+ @home: 2 times

1947-48:
Total: 23-24-13 - 168 GA (2.80 GAA)
---
Away: 11-16-3 - 89 GA (2.97 GAA)
Home: 12-8-10 - 79 GA (2.63 GAA)
- Gave up 5+ away: 7 times
- Gave up 5+ @home: 4 times

Amended: Fooled myself into thinking it was a 70-game schedule in 1949...it was 60. So I've narrowed down the games that Brimsek has played and have adjusted the numbers only and to only affect Brimsek

1948-49: (a little tricky because Brimsek only plays 54 games - I believe he misses six of them from January 22 - February 5 (Bruins went 3-3 in the stretch), not sure about the other ten. Surely, someone will suggest a better way to do this but given that he played in the playoffs and returned on February 6 vs. Toronto (his child was severely ill and he had to go home), I'm gonna take the games from Feb. 6 - season end for my numbers because, given that he played in the playoffs, he almost assuredly played these games as well. But I am assuming.

Total: 26-20-8 - 147 GA (2.72 GAA)
---
Away: 11-12-6 - 88 GA (3.04 GAA)
Home: 15-8-2 - 59 GA (2.36 GAA)
- Gave up 5+ away: 5 times
- Gave up 5+ @home: 1 time

I'm not sure I see the Chicago season as particularly important for what I'm looking into. If someone disagrees, I'll run the numbers. But my commentary is on the transition post-red line and the Bruins sluggish defensemen.

In thinking about it, I guess it would make sense to include 1944 and 1945, though Brimsek didn't play to see how the Bruins faired without him home/road.

1943-44:
Total: 19-26-5 - 268 GA (5.36 GAA)
---
Away: 4-18-3 - 156 GA (6.24 GAA)
Home: 15-8-2 - 112 GA (4.48 GAA)
- Gave up 6+ away: 15 times
- Gave up 6+ @home: 7 times
- Gave up 10+ away: 6 times
- Gave up 10+ @home: 0 times

1944-45:
Total: 16-30-4 - 219 GA (4.38 GAA)
---
Away: 5-18-2 - 126 GA (5.04 GAA)
Home: 11-12-2 -93 GA (3.72 GAA)
- Gave up 6+ away: 9 times
- Gave up 6+ @home: 3 times
- Gave up 7+ away: 8 times
- Gave up 7+ @home: 0 times
---

News flash: teams lose more on the road than at home. Got it.
Let's see how the other two noteworthy teams do with home/road splits in that era...

Montreal Canadiens:

1943-44:
Total: 38-5-7 - 109 GA (2.18 GAA)
---
Away: 16-5-4 - 59 GA (2.36 GAA)
Home: 22-0-3 - 50 GA (2.00 GAA)
- Gave up 6+ away: 1 time
- Gave up 6+ @home: 0 times
- Gave up 5+ away: 4 times
- Gave up 5+ @home: 0 times

1944-45:
Total: 38-8-4 - 121 GA (2.42 GAA)
---
Away: 16-6-2 - 58 GA (2.32 GAA)
Home: 22-2-2 - 63 GA (2.52 GAA)
- Gave up 6+ away: 1 time
- Gave up 6+ @home: 1 time
- Gave up 5+ away: 2 times
- Gave up 5+ @home: 2 times

1945-46:
Total: 28-17-5 - 134 GA (2.68 GAA)
---
Away: 12-11-2 - 69 GA (2.76 GAA)
Home: 16-6-3 - 65 GA (2.60 GAA)
- Gave up 5+ away: 4 times
- Gave up 5+ @home: 3 times

1946-47:
Total: 34-16-10 - 138 GA (2.30 GAA)
---
Away: 15-10-5 -81 GA (2.70 GAA)
Home: 19-6-5 - 57 GA (1.90 GAA)
- Gave up 5+ away: 4 times
- Gave up 5+ @home: 2 times

1947-48:
Total: 20-29-11 - 169 GA (2.82 GAA)
---
Away: 7-16-7 - 87 GA (2.90 GAA)
Home: 13-13-4 - 82 GA (2.73 GAA)
- Gave up 5+ away: 3 times
- Gave up 5+ @home: 6 times

1948-49:
Total: 28-23-9 - 126 GA (2.10 GAA)
---
Away: 9-15-6 -75 GA (2.50 GAA) [far outlier 9-0 loss to Rangers really hurts this]
Home: 19-8-3 - 51 GA (1.70 GAA)
- Gave up 5+ away: 2 times
- Gave up 5+ @home: 2 times

Toronto Maple Leafs:

1943-44:
Total: 23-23-4 - 174 GA (3.48 GAA)
---
Away: 10-12-3 - 89 GA (3.56 GAA)
Home: 13-9-1 - 85 GAA (3.40 GAA)
- Gave up 6+ away: 5 times
- Gave up 6+ @home: 2 times
- Gave up 5+ away: 8 times
- Gave up 5+ @home: 7 times

1944-45:
Total: 24-22-4 - 161 GA (3.22 GAA)
---
Away: 11-13-1 - 89 GA (3.56 GAA)
Home: 13-9-3 - 72 GA (2.88 GAA)
- Gave up 6+ away: 5 times
- Gave up 6+ @home: 1 time
- Gave up 5+ away: 9 times
- Gave up 5+ @home: 5 times

1945-46:
Total: 19-24-7 - 185 GA (3.70 GAA)
---
Away: 9-11-5 - 97 GA (3.88 GAA)
Home: 10-13-2 - 88 GA (3.52 GAA)
- Gave up 6+ away: 7 times
- Gave up 6+ @home: 4 times
- Gave up 5+ away: 9 times
- Gave up 5+ @home: 7 times

1946-47:
Total: 31-19-10 - 172 GA (2.87 GAA)
---
Away: 11-11-8 - 97 GA (3.23 GAA)
Home: 20-8-2 - 75 GA (2.50 GAA)
- Gave up 5+ away: 7 times
- Gave up 5+ @home: 4 times

1947-48:
Total: 32-15-13 - 143 GA (2.38 GAA)
---
Away: 10-12-8 - 74 GA (2.47 GAA)
Home: 22-3-5 - 69 GA (2.30 GAA)
- Gave up 5+ away: 3 times
- Gave up 5+ @home: 3 times

1948-49:
Total: 22-25-13 - 161 GA (2.68 GAA)
---
Away: 10-17-3 - 88 GA (2.93 GAA)
Home: 12-8-10 - 73 GA (2.43 GAA)
- Gave up 5+ away: 6 times
- Gave up 5+ @home: 3 times

1949-50 (all teams, quick look):
Bruins - Home GA: 98 (2.80 GAA) /// Road GA: 130 (3.71 GAA)
Leafs - Home GA: 77 (2.20 GAA) /// Road GA: 96 (2.74 GAA)
Habs - Home GA: 66 (1.89 GAA) /// Road GA: 84 (2.40 GAA)

It seems to me, and maybe you'll make a different conclusion, but it seems to me that the Bruins struggled more on the road defensively over the era in question because of management's and/or coaching's failures to make proper adjustments to the new era and rules. As a result, one might suggest that Brimsek was under undue distress in this time, facing higher quality opportunities and thus, eventually yielding to these pressures. At a glance, it appears the Bruins were embarrassed more on the road than many other teams which I think is noteworthy as it likely meant the opposition was adjusting to Boston's limitations as a team and taking great advantage of it.

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Last edited by Mike Farkas: 11-08-2012 at 12:10 PM.
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