ATD2013 Final: Pittsburgh AC vs. Montreal Canadiens
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05-19-2013, 06:07 AM
I voted for Kodos
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: West Egg, New York
Originally Posted by
Any claim that Busher Jackson is even close to Andy Bathgate is an injustice. That's my point here. Bathgate >>> Jackson.
Eh, the scoring numbers are what they are. Bathgate vs. Mikhailov is actually the better comparison of wingers here. Bathgate is certainly the better scorer, but by how much? Mikhailov was the top scorer on those Soviet teams that terrorized NHL competition throughout the 70's, and he was grittier, and a much better off-puck player than Andy. Both of these wingers have been underrated to this point, for different reasons.
The 1st unit wings (and really the whole units) of these two teams are an interesting study in ATD philosophy. The wingers, specifically, were drafted quite close to one another, with Bathgate and Mikhailov going #70 / #73 and Jackson and Olmstead going #115 / #123. These selections seemed to follow two separate team-building models, the Pittsburgh model favoring maximizing talent early and backfilling with role players later, and the Montreal model favoring balance early and finishing the unit with the most talented player available.
Pittsburgh's choice of Bathgate to play with Beliveau left the AC with a top unit core that was light on grit and defense, which led to the selection of Olmstead. Montreal's selection of Mikhailov to play with Boucher left the Habs with a well balanced core, and in a position to take the most talented left winger available to round out the unit. In many ways, the wings on these lines should probably be compared as duos, as they exist in complimentary roles to one another, and the one pick led to the next.
Which pair of wings is the better of the two? Bathgate and Olmstead or Mikhailov and Jackson? I suppose it's debatable, but I think Montreal's wingers are pretty clearly the better set. The offensive gap between Jackson and Olmstead is very wide:
Top-7 weighted VsX for Left Wings (1926-2012):
Doug Bentley* **
...and that is before we get into the fact that Olmstead's peak seasons were spent as by far the worst offensive player on a line with two superstars (Lach - Richard early on, and Beliveau - Geoffrion later). Olmstead's offensive totals are as inflated by linemates as just about anyone's in history. Offensively, he is basically Bun Cook.
Using the new benchmarks for 1956-57 and 1957-58, here is how the right wings look:
Top-7 weighted VsX for Right Wings (1926-2012):
Martin St. Louis
The question here is where do we think Boris Mikhailov would fall on this list had he played in the NHL? My best guess is that he'd probably come out somewhere in the 90 range (same as Jackson, actually), between Geoffrion and Recchi in scoring terms, and may be as high as Selanne. Anything below that seems a little irrational given the fact that Mikhailov was the leading scorer on what was a really scary offensive team. Bathgate was a great scorer, but there's almost no way that he was as far ahead of Mikhailov as Jackson is of Olmstead.
Pittsburgh has an advantage on the top line by virtue of having a top-10 pick at center; there's nothing much debatable about that. Montreal's wings, however, are better on the whole.
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