20 Greatest Red Wings #12
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12-15-2012, 08:22 AM
The Zetterberg Era
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Originally Posted by
Really? Did you look it up on Wikpedia and take that as fact? There was a lot more going on than that. If you are dismissing Konstantinov as have having a hand in shutting down Lindros and Leclair, I don't think you watched the series too closely..
Like I said this is pretty well documented. Michael Farber in 1997:
Bowman surprised Murray—and everybody else—when he didn't use rugged defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov against Lindros and LeClair. Instead of the nastiest blueliner in the NHL, Bowman trotted out Nicklas Lidstrom and Larry Murphy, two finesse-oriented defenders. They handle the puck better than any other Detroit defensive pair, and that ability helped them stifle Philadelphia's vaunted forechecking. In Lindros's 103 even-strength shifts in the four games, Lidstrom and Murphy played together against him 62 times.
"Some other teams that played the Flyers in the playoffs tried to hammer their big players," Red Wings associate coach Dave Lewis said. "[Those teams attempted to] go after them with strength and size, and be in their face. When the opportunity is there, you can do it. But they'll wear you down before they get worn down. So there are other things to use."
Murray even became so concerned with it he started trying to run from the matchup of Lidstrom on Lindros.
Another story by Katie Baker when he retired:
Another good one from Michael Rosenberg for SI
Konstantinov was a defenseman's version of Lindros: a Russian known as "Vlad the Impaler" who appeared destined for the Hall of Fame.
There was a lot of hype for the Legion of Doom against Vlad the Impaler -- hockey fans could not wait to see them go at each other. Well, Wings coach Scotty Bowman was never much for hype. Shortly before Game 1 in Philadelphia, Bowman told his team that he would put the pairing of Lidstrom and Murphy -- not Konstantinov against the Legion of Doom.
At the time, Lidstrom was considered just another All-Star. But it was like the Flyers showed up to a checkers game and found out they had to play chess.
Legion of Doom?
"They never had the puck," Murphy said.
You can say whatever you want, but the fact Bowman wanted and won by putting Lidstrom out as much as he could against Lindros. Any other story just isn't very accurate. Konstantinov did do plenty of hitting in that series and was important. I don't forget how good he was back then many people thought he was going be better than Lidstrom and was better back then. Now I never agreed but I remember it quite well. Sadly we will never know and I cannot even put him over say Chris Osgood because his career is short and that is a factor. Also if we are going to play the what if game Jiri Fischer is another interesting name that was also destine for very big things in my opinion. He didn't accomplish as much as Konstantinov but I have no doubt in my mind that Fischer was also on his way to doing some great things.
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