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04-17-2013, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by KingForsberg View Post
First glance I think we have a small but clear advantage in goal. As Billy said in the assassinations Holecek should be looked at closer to Tretiak. Quebec has the advantage in physicality but we are no slouches either with Holik, Nolan, McPhee, Daneyko and Ramage. Our key to winning is going to speed our speed and finesse. LaFontaine, Selanne, Nilsson and Palffy are all gonna have of avoid the physical play of Quebec and out skate them.
- No question that the Firebirds have a small, but clear advantage in goal. It's really hard to place Jiri Holecek on a All-Time list, but his international success in the 1970s is quite impressive. As I wrote in my initial thought, he's one of the key of the Firebirds' success, and will need to play incredible series if Philadelphia wanna prevail.

- Quebec do own, IMO, a very definitive edge in physically. Of all the players you mention, you have a 4th liner, two 3rd liner, a 2nd & a 3rd pairing defenceman. Those are not core players. It's ironic that you forgot your two most dangerous physical player, Esa Tikkanen, the excellent pest, and Bryan Trottier, the only 'core' players the Nordiques should fear due to his physicality.

On the other hand, Mark Messier, Eric Lindros & Bill Cook are the three most physical player of this series, and hold major part of the Nordiques' success. Didier Pitre is not physical, but strong and very difficult to push around. Alf Smith is a pest equivalent to Esa Tikkanen, but with a better offensive resume. If we're naming 4th liners, Mel Bridgman and Stan Smyl are exciting energy players.

Although the sheer physicality of our forwards is impressive, the defence might be even more physical: Jack Stewart and Babe Siebert are punishing hitters and very physical defenceman. The second pairing is as much, or even more physical, with the brutal Frantisek Pospisil and one of the better bodychecker of All-Time with Leo Boivin. Frantisek Tikal is anothe physical defenceman on this team.

The Quebec Nordiques hold a very clear advantage in physicality, something that the modest & soft players of the Firebirds, players like Kent Nilsson, Pat Lafontaine, Zigmund Palffy & Brian Rafalski, will have difficulty to deal with.

- Although the Firebirds do own great speed all over the lineup, the Nordiques also have boatload of speed in his lineup. The entire top-6 are players with either tremendous wheels or strength-ful strides. Martin - Pitre - Smith were speed merchant. Messier & Cook were always great, powerful skaters. Eric Lindros might be the least 'adequate skaters of the 6, but still above average, with his long strides and graceful for his size. Gordie Drillon was a great skater, so are players like Bridgman and Smyl.

Speed, although a quality of the Firebirds, is also a quality for the Quebec Nordiques, and I don't see the Firebirds holding an edge in this regard. As you said: ''LaFontaine, Selanne, Nilsson and Palffy are all gonna have of avoid the physical play of Quebec and out skate them.'', but I don't see those guys outskating Mark Messier, Bill Cook & Eric Lindros much often, let alone the other 'less physical' player on the top-6 in Rick Martin, Sid Smith & Didier Pitre

- I see the Firebirds have made some slight adjustement. Esa Tikkanen against Gordie Drillon should make it much tougher for the Quebec star. However, Kent Nilsson vs. Didier Pitre is a complete mismatch. Didier Pitre is faster & much stronger, and much better away from the puck . I don't see the whole unit of Nilsson-Lafontaine-Palffy-Ramage-Timonen holding a chance to stop the unit of Smith-Lindros-Pitre-Pospisil-Boivin over a 7-game matchup. The Nordiques 2nd unit is too strong, too powerful and the forwards can definitely keep up with the speed of the Firebirds trio, the line main strength. I think it's a wise choice to move Brian Rafalski on the third unit, but I'm unsure Kimmo Timonen, the 5'9'' 'brainiack' defenceman is the solution to Eric Lindros & Didier Pitre.

- BTW, just how much of a LW Kent Nilsson is? I always viewed him as a centre, but I'm not verse enough to make a judgement on him.

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