Jim Coleman Conference Prelim Round - Quebec Nordiques vs. Philadelphia Firebirds
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04-18-2013, 11:37 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Originally Posted by
- 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.
Holecek is probably the most important person in this series.
- 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.
Yeah completely forgot about Tikkanen. He's another key to this series. If he can get under Lindros and Messiers skin that could be a big advantage in getting power plays. Daneyko will be a factor on the penalty kill against top players but technically yeah still not a core player.
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.
Bridgman is awesome, no doubt on that. Lindros will be difficult to stop but he had a bad habit of keeping his head down and may b prone to getting hurt here going against hard hitters like Nolan and McPhee.
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.
they might have difficulty but I don't think nearly as much as you may think. Nilsson was a big guy that was hard to knock off the puck. He may have had compete level concerns but on big stages Nilsson worked harder. I don't remember him really being scared of physical play. Same goes for Palffy. Even with his size he still battled hard. He was usually the best player on his team with not so great help. He wen against top d men in an era f big tough physical play and still put up points.
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.
I think our forwards speed can eat your defenses speed. They might have trouble trying to hit and rough up our forwards if they can't keep up with them.
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
yeah forwards vs forwards is pretty even in skating I think we probably have the fastest skater of both teams in Kapanen.
- 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.
I think that's underestimating Timonen. He plays well against big/physical players. His stick work is is specialty. He also always plays through pain fork blocking shots or taking hits.
- 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.
as Hobknobs said he played LW in the Canada cup. He also played wing at times with Edmonton. He played Right wing at times in his career as well. He'll play center on the Powerplay.
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