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04-24-2013, 01:09 PM
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After a hard fought, 7 games, battle against the University of Nanooks and Guy Lafleur/Chris Pronger, the Baltimore Blades will now face the Québec Nordiques, who went through the first round in 5 games.

1st line:

Bobby Clarke vs. Mark Messier. Well, if that's going to be another dandy to watch! Cy Denneny is a great offensive talent, getting passes from a fantastic playmaker, but he's up against and even bigger offensive machine in Bill Cook. The other matchup is Rod Gilbert & Rick Martin. I always founded Rod Gilbert a tad overrated, and unworthy of his usual placement in the draft. I guess the same could be said with Rick Martin, who's the weaker player of the two, no question. Overall, it's two powerful & well assembled first line. Can I give the Nordiques a 'tiny' advantage here, on the fact of a strong Messier-Cook destroying duo? Ok, maybe I shouldn't. It's a very even matchup.

2nd line:

Adam Oates is an elite playmaker on an ATD second, while Eric Lindros is a another superior second line centre, who brings fantastic brute force and offensive skills. In the playoffs, give me the guy that will hurt physically and offensively. Am I bias saying that? Perhaps. Sid Smith vs. Peter Bondra is a matchup of non-physical forwards who were excellent at scoring goals. Sid Smith brings a well more rounded game, but against Peter Bondra, how hard id it to be more well-rounded? Dean Prentice is a great 2nd line glue guy, always been a fan. However, Didier Pitre is just a better player. Faster, stronger (not physical, mind you). A better offensive player who can hurt you with one of the hardest wirst shot of All-Time. Good defensively. I definitely prefer the Nordiques second line, a favorable matchup for them.

3rd line:

Will the Blades will try their luck at home to play their defensive third line against the Nordiques first? I wouldn't be surprise. There's no way to compare two such different third line. What I can say that the Nordiques wouldn't mind that 3rd line vs. 1st line matchup, as we believe JP Parise would be completely mismatched by Bill Cook, while Mark Messier would have the best of Brent Sutter.

With that in mind, Brent Sutter is a good 3rd line defensive centre, as Dirk Graham on the right side. JP Parise brings some intangible and hard work on the left side. The Nordiques holds far more talent on their line. Gordie Drillon is a bonafide ATD scoring machine with speed. Alf Smith is an elite 3rd liner who brings a truckload of intangibles and fear. Fred Stanfield is a decent 3rd liner with decent playmaking abilities. No question in my mind that the Nordiques do own a far superior 3rd line, although they play different roles.

1st pairing:

When I made my regular season of the Baltimore Blades, I was vocal that I really liked their first pairing, but now that we play against each, I think it's a sub-par duo ... You know I'm kidding! Tim Horton is a fantastic, rock-solid, defensive defenceman with decent offensive output. He's flank by smallish, but offensively talented Jan Suchy. They work great together. The Nordiques have a botton #1 defenceman in BJ Stewart, another rock-solid defenceman, and Bebe Siebert, who brings a good all-around game with grit. Especially in the playoffs, I'll take Siebert over Suchy, but Horton vs. Stewart is no contest.

2nd pairing:

Never been a huge fan of Red Horner and his position in the draft. We was absolutely fearless and physical. Your scared when that guy is on the ice. But what else? Is that enough to select this penalty machine with the other elite #3 defenceman? Craig Hartsburg was a good rushing defenceman when he was not injured. With Jan Suchy already having a short prime and oft-injured by his reckless shot-blocking and Red Horner who will end on the penalty bench more often than any other defenceman in the draft, having another oft-injured defenceman might be a problem for the Blades. For the Nordiques, Frantisek Pospisil is an elite #3 defenceman, VERY close to Jan Suchy in term of talent and achievement. He's flanked by Leo Boivin, a good defensive defenceman who's arguably the hardest body-checker of All-Time. No contest on this one, and a huge advantage for the Nordiques.


Edge to the Blades. Roy Worters is a middle of the pack goaltender in this draft, and although he doesn't have any playoff experience, I still think he would of fare well in crunch situation. It would be dishonest for me to question is playoff experience, when I believe he would of been adequate. Tom Barrasso is good playoff goalie, but a step under Worters.


Well, Pat Burns couldn't ask for a better captain in Bobby Clarke. Who would be his scapegoat? My guess is Rod Gilbert. Anyway, Pat Burns was fabulous to get the best of his players the first 2-3 years. In this formal, and with team team at his disposition, I think he would do pretty well. Laviolette is an offensive coach that have his kind of team in front of him. Burns is better though.

Special Team:

The Nordiques hold a clear edge on the PP, while the Blades in on PK (I'm in a hurry, sorry for this short description!)

Can't wait to argue this series, good luck Tony, you have a very nice team assembled

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