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ATD12 Jim Robson Quarterfinals: 3 Portland Rosebuds vs 6 Winnipeg Jets

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Old
11-25-2009, 02:42 AM
  #1
Hedberg
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ATD12 Jim Robson Quarterfinals: 3 Portland Rosebuds vs 6 Winnipeg Jets


3

GMs: Nalyd Psycho & Sturminator
Coach: Lester Patrick

Sid Abel (C) - Phil Esposito - Mickey MacKay
Paul Thompson - Bernie Federko - Odie Cleghorn
Bruce Stuart (A) - Bobby Smith - Jim Pappin
Camille Henry - Red Sullivan - Pud Glass
Charlie Burns - Dennis Hextall

J.C. Tremblay - Art Coulter (A)
Leo Boivin - Jim Neilson
Carol Vadnais - Yuri Liapkin
Phil Russell

Ken Dryden
Nikolai Khabibulin

PP 1: Abel-Esposito-Federko-Tremblay-MacKay
PP 2: Henry-Smith-Thompson-Vadnais-Liapkin
PK 1: Thompson-MacKay-Boivin-Coulter
PK 2: Abel-Pappin-Liapkin-Neilson

Callups:
F: Tony McKegeny, Cully Dahlstrom, Blaine Stoughton
D: Clem Loughlin, Al Hamilton
G: Darren Puppa

vs.

6

GM: vancityluongo
Coach: Jacques Lemaire

Clark Gillies (A)-Joe Thornton-Mike Bossy
Ilya Kovalchuk-Denis Savard-Anders Hedberg (A)
Dave Andreychuk-Ralph Backstrom-Bobby Nystrom
Ross Lonsberry-Troy Murray-Mickey Redmond
Craig Simpson - Jaroslav Holik

Butch Bouchard (C)-Chris Pronger
Ott Heller-Ken Morrow
Ron Greschner-Petr Svoboda
Gilles Marotte

Martin Brodeur
Curtis Joseph

Callups:
F: Cliff Ronning, Willi Plett, Dave Christian
D: Doug Bodger, Mattias Ohlund
G: Richard Brodeur



Last edited by Hedberg: 11-25-2009 at 03:00 AM.
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11-25-2009, 04:00 AM
  #2
Nalyd Psycho
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Reasons why Portland wins:
Offence from the blueline. Winnipeg's offence relies on great breakout passing (Pronger and Bouchard.) But Winnipeg lacks the type of player that can make it work. You need fast snipers to carry the momentum, only Kovalchuk provides that. Winnipeg's 1st line can't effectively use their best blueliners, only Greschner is effective with the unit, and relying on a weaker player for a key role is a recipe for failure. Conversly, the Portland Rosebuds are specifically designed to integrate units. Tremblay and MacKay will give teams fits in transition, and then Abel and Esposito will be arguably the most effective pair in the ATD down low. And Coulter is a great fit as the safety net. It's a much more cohessive unit.

What's more this carries through the line-up. The Brother's Grim (Boivin and Neilson) turn any forward unit into an impressive defensive force. And Vadnais-Liapkin is the most balanced and IMO best 3rd pairing in the draft. It's tough, mobile, and smart.

Also, Pronger has often shown that a rough forecheck can throw him off his game and cause him to take dumb penalties. (And Portland's poweplay is very potent.) And is there a more dangerous forechecking line than Stuart-Smith-Pappin? Not only do they all have the size to handle Bouchard and Pronger, they all have a mean streak, they all will crash and bang. But most importantly. This is the most offensively potent crash and bang line in the ATD.

And can Brodeur handle that kind of pressure? There's a reason his success has lessened after Stevens retired. Brodeur can be agitated off his game.

And after the SSP line, Red Sullivan adds another great agitator to the mix.

And speaking of Brodeur, one of Winnipeg's greatest strengths is neutralized by a superior goalie with a history of winning goaltending duels and winning more championships than anyone, Ken Dryden.

Overall, Portland wins because it is a more cohesive unit built on maximizing skills with a sizable coaching advantage that further promotes this strength.

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11-25-2009, 12:34 PM
  #3
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First impression: what could have been a strength for Winnipeg in most series, goaltending, is not a strength in this series. I'd take Dryden over Brodeur and I'm not alone. I realize many would also take Brodeur. Either way it's close, and not the advantage that VCL probably hoped for heading into the playoffs.

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11-25-2009, 05:20 PM
  #4
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Sorry, I know it was listed as such on my roster page, but could Andreychuk and Lonsberry be switched up? And my PP/PK units are as follows:

PP:
Gillies-Thornton-Bossy
Hedberg-Pronger

Andreychuk-Savard-Redmond
Greschner-Kovalchuk

PK:
Backstrom-Nystrom
Pronger-Bouchard

Murray-Lonsberry
Heller-Morrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
First impression: what could have been a strength for Winnipeg in most series, goaltending, is not a strength in this series. I'd take Dryden over Brodeur and I'm not alone. I realize many would also take Brodeur. Either way it's close, and not the advantage that VCL probably hoped for heading into the playoffs.
You're absolutely right. I took a goalie to have an advantage over everyone in my division, and Portland was the only team that has a comparable goalie. of course, I play Portland. I'm never taking Marty Brodeur again. In anything. The guy just haunts me in everything. Anyways...

Quote:
Offence from the blueline. Winnipeg's offence relies on great breakout passing (Pronger and Bouchard.) But Winnipeg lacks the type of player that can make it work. You need fast snipers to carry the momentum, only Kovalchuk provides that.
Michael Bossy doesn't count as a "fast sniper" to you?

Quote:
There's a reason his success has lessened after Stevens retired. Brodeur can be agitated off his game.
Hmm, so when you remove a HHOF defenseman from a lineup, a goalie isn't supposed to have his performance decline. Not to mention, the physicality Pronger-Bouchard bring should be just fine.

Honestly, I don't have very much to say here. I think the key factor here for me is that obviously Bossy is the best offensive player in the series. Goaltending, for the sake of convenience (so as not to argue in circles as GBC would say), I'm going to call a wash. Nalyd, I believe we actually went over this earlier on in the draft, and I think we came to some what of an agreement there too.

Federko was a steal where you got him, and Cleghorn is a decent second liner. However, Thompson is really the only non-questionable second liner. The first line is great, and you have other guys like Henry in the lineup that can provide offense, but nothing really like Kovalchuk-Savard-Hedberg. Also, I think I have one of the better shutdown lines with Lonsberry-Backstrom-Nystrom. I was extremely glad I got Backstrom, who IMO is right up there with the Carbonneau's of the world for best third line centers.

On defense, yes, I gotta admit, that's a nice third pairing. This is the third straight draft I've wanted Vadnais and just barely missed out on him. The perfect 5th defenseman IMO. However, I've got questions about your second pairing. I think I have a advantage there too.

Overall, I think if I'm to make a upset in this series, it'll be because of my better depth. And while it'll be tough, I think it can be done.

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11-25-2009, 06:18 PM
  #5
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The net battles when Portland is on the power play should be interesting. Portland has the best one-two punch of net presences in the draft in Esposito and Henry, but Winnipeg's defence is terrific for protecting the net while shorthanded.

Also, I don't know if I'd call Vadnais-Liapkin a mobile pairing...while Vadnais can move, I don't think Liapkin was very quick.

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11-25-2009, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overpass View Post
Also, I don't know if I'd call Vadnais-Liapkin a mobile pairing...while Vadnais can move, I don't think Liapkin was very quick.
My point was that any flaw one has, the other has as a strength.

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11-26-2009, 03:11 AM
  #7
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no one has mentioned it, but thornton is obviously a concern. a lack of good wingers has, imo, been a big problem for thornton in the playoffs, and bossy is nearly ideal, but as long as thornton thinks pass 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th, he will make the opposition's defensive work easier.

thornton is not useless in the playoffs, though. at about a point per game with SJ.


Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
First impression: what could have been a strength for Winnipeg in most series, goaltending, is not a strength in this series. I'd take Dryden over Brodeur and I'm not alone. I realize many would also take Brodeur. Either way it's close, and not the advantage that VCL probably hoped for heading into the playoffs.
imo, winnipeg probably has better team D, due to both personnel and coaching, so it is, imo, a better defensive team and allows fewer goals.

dryden is probably more capable of stealing a game, though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nalyd Psycho View Post
Reasons why Portland wins:
Offence from the blueline. Winnipeg's offence relies on great breakout passing (Pronger and Bouchard.) But Winnipeg lacks the type of player that can make it work. You need fast snipers to carry the momentum, only Kovalchuk provides that. Winnipeg's 1st line can't effectively use their best blueliners, only Greschner is effective with the unit, and relying on a weaker player for a key role is a recipe for failure. Conversly, the Portland Rosebuds are specifically designed to integrate units. Tremblay and MacKay will give teams fits in transition, and then Abel and Esposito will be arguably the most effective pair in the ATD down low. And Coulter is a great fit as the safety net. It's a much more cohessive unit.

What's more this carries through the line-up. The Brother's Grim (Boivin and Neilson) turn any forward unit into an impressive defensive force. And Vadnais-Liapkin is the most balanced and IMO best 3rd pairing in the draft. It's tough, mobile, and smart.

Also, Pronger has often shown that a rough forecheck can throw him off his game and cause him to take dumb penalties. (And Portland's poweplay is very potent.) And is there a more dangerous forechecking line than Stuart-Smith-Pappin? Not only do they all have the size to handle Bouchard and Pronger, they all have a mean streak, they all will crash and bang. But most importantly. This is the most offensively potent crash and bang line in the ATD.

And can Brodeur handle that kind of pressure? There's a reason his success has lessened after Stevens retired. Brodeur can be agitated off his game.

And after the SSP line, Red Sullivan adds another great agitator to the mix.

And speaking of Brodeur, one of Winnipeg's greatest strengths is neutralized by a superior goalie with a history of winning goaltending duels and winning more championships than anyone, Ken Dryden.

Overall, Portland wins because it is a more cohesive unit built on maximizing skills with a sizable coaching advantage that further promotes this strength.
i don't understand the 1st point. i don't see a problem in transition for winnipeg. pronger, heller and greschner are very capable puck movers, and i can't begin to imagine why a sniper is needed in transition.

imo, portland may have an advantage in offense from the blueline, but it is not too big.



i think transition is a bigger question for portland, b/c lemaire uses the trap. every time the trap is used, it is a major issue how the opposition will get through the neutral zone.

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11-26-2009, 03:16 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vancityluongo View Post

Michael Bossy doesn't count as a "fast sniper" to you?
Yeah, he must've forgotten that one...

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11-26-2009, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vancityluongo View Post
Honestly, I don't have very much to say here. I think the key factor here for me is that obviously Bossy is the best offensive player in the series.
Uhm...are you really so sure? Phil Esposito's 5 Art Ross Trophies (plus three 2nd place finishes) tell a different story. Bossy is easier to use than Esposito in an ATD context and often gets drafted higher because of it, but he is most definitely not a better offensive player, nevermind obviously so. In fact, he is clearly worse. Even if Wayne Gretzky is removed from the leaderboards throughout Bossy's career, the Boss only picks up one more goals crown and a single points crown (he never won an Art Ross in real life) - both in 81-82. Even taking this generous perspective on Bossy's career, his scoring still pales in comparison to Esposito's, especially in terms of playmaking, where the gap is so wide they are hardly comparable.

Phil Esposito is the best offensive player in this series, and by a healthy margin. The fact that Abel/MacKay badly outclass Thornton/Gillies only makes the 1st line imbalance more pronounced.


Last edited by Sturminator: 11-26-2009 at 09:57 AM.
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11-26-2009, 04:03 PM
  #10
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A few things about J.C. Tremblay:

- I've been a supporter of Tremblay's for a while, and seeing as he's perceived to be the weak point on this Rosebuds team, I suppose now is as good a time as any to say what I've got to say on his behalf. First things first, Tremblay's legacy and the WHA years:

J.C. Tremblay broke through late in the 64-65 season, carried it through to an excellent playoffs and went into the 65-66 season as one of the best defensemen in the league, ending up 4th in Norris voting. Over the next six seasons, Tremblay would place in the top-5 in Norris voting another 4 times, peaking at 2nd in 67-68, the year Bobby Orr won his first trophy. Other than the 69-70 season, in which J.C. missed 18 games to injury, he was considered one of the NHL's top 5 defensemen 5 out of 6 seasons at his peak - an impressive run of consistency in an era of stiff competition.

Tremblay's Norris voting record: 65-66 (4th), 66-67 (5th), 67-68 (2nd ), 70-71 (3rd), 71-72 (5th)

The players who beat Tremblay during those seasons: Bobby Orr (4 times), Pierre Pilote (2 times), Brad Park (2 times), Pat Stapleton (2 times), Tim Horton, Jacques Laperriere, Harry Howell and Bill White

After 7 seasons among the NHL's best and still at the top of his game, J.C. Tremblay jumped to the WHA. At this point, evaluating his career becomes a little bit harder. What do we make of his WHA career? We know he was very good in his first four seasons in the WHA, being named a 1st team all-star three times, once 2nd team, leading the league in assists twice and winning the Dennis A. Murphy award for best defenseman twice. But so what? How much should we credit Tremblay's WHA accomplishments?

I'm not normally one to look upon WHA players all that favorably. It was without a doubt a second rate league when compared to the NHL, and while there was certainly some nice talent in the league, there was very little depth. With a few exceptions, the performance of WHA players are very hard to evaluate against their NHL counterparts, but Tremblay is one of those exceptions. It is accepted as fact that J.C. carried over into the WHA the level of play which had defined his NHL career for the 7 previous seasons. He wasn't merely good in the WHA, for the first 4 seasons he was ridiculously dominant, which is exactly what you'd expect from a guy who was NHL top-5 good and still at his peak. If we're simply rating Tremblay against himself, three of his first four WHA seasons were up to his previous NHL standard: he won the best defenseman award and the assists crown in 72-73, won best defenseman again in 74-75 and won another assists crown to go along with a 1st team all-star berth in 75-76.

Add those accomplishments to his NHL resume, and suddenly you've got a guy who played 8 seasons of top-5 Norris level hockey in a tough era, and once lost winning the trophy only to Bobby Orr - a record of success that compares favorably to established lower-level ATD #1's like Brian Leetch, Guy Lapointe, Serge Savard, Borje Salming and Chris Pronger. When we factor in Tremblay's outstanding playoff record and his strangely underrated two-way play (which stems mostly from his softness and the misconception that it made him ineffective in his own end), there is a very good argument that he is, in fact, a top-32 all-time defenseman, and every bit deserving of his #1 role in Portland.

More to follow on Tremblay's playing style and postseason record...

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11-26-2009, 11:36 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nik jr View Post
i think transition is a bigger question for portland, b/c lemaire uses the trap. every time the trap is used, it is a major issue how the opposition will get through the neutral zone.
I strongly disagree.

1. Lemaire may be able to suck the life out of a game. But Patrick is one of the games great innovators. We have a coach that can solve the trap and thus completely kill any possible advantage Winnipeg has.

2. Our team is very diverse. Guys like MacKay, Tremblay and Henry can dangle. Guys like Abel, Cleghorn, Stuart, Pappin, Glass and Sullivan are all great with dump and chase.

3. Our forward corps is generally bigger and tougher and the trap requires either a size advantage or size neutrality to work.

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11-27-2009, 12:33 PM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nalyd Psycho View Post
I strongly disagree.

1. Lemaire may be able to suck the life out of a game. But Patrick is one of the games great innovators. We have a coach that can solve the trap and thus completely kill any possible advantage Winnipeg has.
teams have been able to overcome the trap and win, but no one has ever "solved" the trap. every NHL team now uses it at some time, b/c it is so simple and effective.

Quote:
2. Our team is very diverse. Guys like MacKay, Tremblay and Henry can dangle. Guys like Abel, Cleghorn, Stuart, Pappin, Glass and Sullivan are all great with dump and chase.
that will help, but many teams with a similar range of skills have lost a series to a trappng team.

Quote:
3. Our forward corps is generally bigger and tougher and the trap requires either a size advantage or size neutrality to work.
i don't see any size advantage for portland.

winnipeg's D corps is very big. many of their F's are big, and those who are not are good skaters.



not saying winnipeg's trap is a decisive advantage, but it is an important part of the series.

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11-27-2009, 05:27 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nik jr View Post
teams have been able to overcome the trap and win, but no one has ever "solved" the trap. every NHL team now uses it at some time, b/c it is so simple and effective.


that will help, but many teams with a similar range of skills have lost a series to a trappng team.


i don't see any size advantage for portland.

winnipeg's D corps is very big. many of their F's are big, and those who are not are good skaters.



not saying winnipeg's trap is a decisive advantage, but it is an important part of the series.
Thanks nik, this post will save me a lot of time. You basically said a lot of what I was thinking.

Nobody is ever going to solve the trap. It won't happen. When properly executed (which I'd imagine it would be when we're talking about the game's greatest), the only way to solve the trap is to take advantage of mental breakdowns. Portland will get a decent number of goals from taking advantage of mental breakdowns. My team isn't perfect. However, despite your "dump-and-chase" and forechecking skills, I don't see how you'll get all that many goals.

And Portland is a smaller team than Winnipeg. At least, I think so. My blueline has a ton of size. My forwards may not all be massive, but there is some size sprinkled in throughout the lineup. Plus, who says the trap needs big players? The trap needs players who can skate. My guys can skate. Esposito would be an example of a terrible player for the trap - IIRC, there was the quote about him where a defenceman said Espo would have to deke him 3 or 4 times on the same play because he was so slow. Says a lot about his offensive talent and skill, but that's the type of player that can't play the trap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sturminator
A few things about J.C. Tremblay:

- I've been a supporter of Tremblay's for a while, and seeing as he's perceived to be the weak point on this Rosebuds team, I suppose now is as good a time as any to say what I've got to say on his behalf. First things first, Tremblay's legacy and the WHA years:

J.C. Tremblay broke through late in the 64-65 season, carried it through to an excellent playoffs and went into the 65-66 season as one of the best defensemen in the league, ending up 4th in Norris voting. Over the next six seasons, Tremblay would place in the top-5 in Norris voting another 4 times, peaking at 2nd in 67-68, the year Bobby Orr won his first trophy. Other than the 69-70 season, in which J.C. missed 18 games to injury, he was considered one of the NHL's top 5 defensemen 5 out of 6 seasons at his peak - an impressive run of consistency in an era of stiff competition.

Tremblay's Norris voting record: 65-66 (4th), 66-67 (5th), 67-68 (2nd ), 70-71 (3rd), 71-72 (5th)

The players who beat Tremblay during those seasons: Bobby Orr (4 times), Pierre Pilote (2 times), Brad Park (2 times), Pat Stapleton (2 times), Tim Horton, Jacques Laperriere, Harry Howell and Bill White

After 7 seasons among the NHL's best and still at the top of his game, J.C. Tremblay jumped to the WHA. At this point, evaluating his career becomes a little bit harder. What do we make of his WHA career? We know he was very good in his first four seasons in the WHA, being named a 1st team all-star three times, once 2nd team, leading the league in assists twice and winning the Dennis A. Murphy award for best defenseman twice. But so what? How much should we credit Tremblay's WHA accomplishments?

I'm not normally one to look upon WHA players all that favorably. It was without a doubt a second rate league when compared to the NHL, and while there was certainly some nice talent in the league, there was very little depth. With a few exceptions, the performance of WHA players are very hard to evaluate against their NHL counterparts, but Tremblay is one of those exceptions. It is accepted as fact that J.C. carried over into the WHA the level of play which had defined his NHL career for the 7 previous seasons. He wasn't merely good in the WHA, for the first 4 seasons he was ridiculously dominant, which is exactly what you'd expect from a guy who was NHL top-5 good and still at his peak. If we're simply rating Tremblay against himself, three of his first four WHA seasons were up to his previous NHL standard: he won the best defenseman award and the assists crown in 72-73, won best defenseman again in 74-75 and won another assists crown to go along with a 1st team all-star berth in 75-76.

Add those accomplishments to his NHL resume, and suddenly you've got a guy who played 8 seasons of top-5 Norris level hockey in a tough era, and once lost winning the trophy only to Bobby Orr - a record of success that compares favorably to established lower-level ATD #1's like Brian Leetch, Guy Lapointe, Serge Savard, Borje Salming and Chris Pronger. When we factor in Tremblay's outstanding playoff record and his strangely underrated two-way play (which stems mostly from his softness and the misconception that it made him ineffective in his own end), there is a very good argument that he is, in fact, a top-32 all-time defenseman, and every bit deserving of his #1 role in Portland.

More to follow on Tremblay's playing style and postseason record...
I learned quite a lot from this post, so thanks for that Sturm. However, I think I have two better defenseman than Tremblay in Bouchard and Pronger (for their roles - while I think Pronger is flat-out better, Bouchard and Tremblay are close: as a #1 guy, I like Tremblay, however as a complimentary top pairing guy, which I have him as, I like Bouchard), so while Tremblay may be a suitable #1 guy, I like my top-end on D much better.

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11-28-2009, 12:53 PM
  #14
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On Tremblay's playing style:

J.C.'s reputation for softness precedes him. He was simply not a physical player, and had the bad luck to play in Montreal in an era when Habs fans were as bloodthirsty as it gets in modern times. They were simply merciless with any Canadiens players who didn't try to drive opposing skaters through the sideboards on every shift. The two main targets for their affection were Tremblay and Bobby Rousseau - two terrifically talented hockey players who simply did not initiate contact. In truth, Rousseau got it worse - being practically driven out of Montreal by the boos of the fans - but Tremblay got a disproportionate share of criticism as well. A few quotes, the first from Joe Pelletier's blog:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
Defensively Tremblay was efficient and heady, relying on his intelligent stick to break up plays rather than bones. He never really had an obvious physical game, something that his critics pointed out regularly. But he was so smart, it did not really matter.
from Habsworld:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Habsworld
Tremblay was not a physical player, he never had more than 24 penalty minutes in a season, and he tended to shy away from body contact. Unfortunately, this is what some fans and members of the media focused on.

In 1961-62 Tremblay joined the Habs full time. This coincided with the departure of Doug Harvey from the Canadiens. Harvey had one six of the last seven Norris trophies and was the dominant defenseman of his time and one of the greatest of all time. He had also been a key contributor to six Stanley Cup winners. Needless to say these were huge holes for Tremblay to fill, and in many ways he was never able to escape Harvey’s shadow.

In the next three years Tremblay’s points were 18, 21, and 20. These point totals were not up to the expectations of the Canadiens fans. Combined with the Habs not winning the Stanley Cup, there was a growing impatience. This led to Tremblay becoming the target of the boo birds in the Forum crowd. In many ways this led to psychological scars that never healed for Tremblay, despite his later success.

On November 30th, 1966 in a game against Toronto, Tremblay and teammate Bobby Rousseau became the first players to permanently wear a helmet. Unfortunately, this helped contribute at the time to Tremblay’s soft image.
As opposed to 60's/early 70's Montreal, J.C.'s game wouldn't seem so strange to today's hockey fan. He had some fight in him, and would scrap for the puck when necessary, but the puck (and not the man) was always his focus, and he had a remarkable number of ways of going about establishing control of it. In the defensive zone, the easiest style comparison would be Nicklas Lidstrom. This is not perfectly apt - Lidstrom is better at defending the front of the net, for example - but in terms of stick play and general approach, they aren't so different. One thing that set Tremblay apart was his ability to improvise; he was very good at catching the puck in mid-air and at playing the puck with his feet, to the point that he looked a bit like a soccer player at times. It was extremely hard to pass the puck anywhere near Tremblay because of this factor combined with his hockey sense and anticipation. There was a somewhat "Gretzkian" quality to many of the things Tremblay did on the ice; his control of body and the puck was supreme, and it was very hard to predict what his next move would be.

Defensively, he was one of the best defensemen in the league in spite of his lack of physicality. I've already described how he played, so I'll let a few others describe how effective he was...the first part is from legendary Habs sportswriter Red Fischer:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Fisher
During his time, there was nobody better, in terms of taking care of business in his own end of the ice.

He didn't have the size, but few had a better understanding of what was needed to win. Tremblay's colleagues during his years with the team were people such as Jacques Laperrière, Ted Harris and Jean-Guy Talbot, but when a lead had to be protected or an important goal was needed, Tremblay was your man
Pretty high praise from a guy who isn't known for throwing aroung praise lightly. Here's more from Pelletier:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
The year is 1966. Ace defenseman Jean-Claude Tremblay is the key player as the Montreal Canadiens defend their Stanley Cup championship.

Tremblay leads all Canadiens players in point scored during these playoffs, tallying 11 points including 1 goal and 6 points in the finals against Detroit. His defensive effort was also supreme. He seemed to always be on the ice for the many crucial situations faced in a playoff game.
...and more

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Pelletier
Jean-Claude (J.C.) Tremblay is one of the most intelligent, two-way defenders of all time. Yet very few give him recognition as such. Tremblay's departure in 1972 to the World Hockey Association on one hand helped to establish the WHA as a true alternative to the National Hockey League, but on the other hand appears to have hurt his shot at eternal fame.

J.C. starred for years with the Montreal Canadiens. He became a regular in 1961 and played for 794 games until 1972. Tremblay was an excellent all around performer during this time, and saved his best performances for the playoffs.
It seems strange to me that Tremblay has had a reputation on this board for playing poor defensive hockey - even to the point that Devil questioned not whether or not he was an effective #1 defenseman, but whether or not he belonged on a first pairing, at all. For those of us who saw Tremblay play (I am old enough to remember him in his last couple of years in Montreal), such statements are mindboggling, but they seem to have been accepted as fact around here for some time. At any rate, it is hard to imagine that the Habs could have won 5 Cups with Tremblay as their #1 defenseman if he hadn't been very good in his own zone.

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11-28-2009, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post


It seems strange to me that Tremblay has had a reputation on this board for playing poor defensive hockey - even to the point that Devil questioned not whether or not he was an effective #1 defenseman, but whether or not he belonged on a first pairing, at all. For those of us who saw Tremblay play (I am old enough to remember him in his last couple of years in Montreal), such statements are mindboggling, but they seem to have been accepted as fact around here for some time. At any rate, it is hard to imagine that the Habs could have won 5 Cups with Tremblay as their #1 defenseman if he hadn't been very good in his own zone.
While I wouldn't have Tremblay as a no.1 in this thing, he's certainly good enough for a 1st pairing, and having him on a 2nd pairing would be either pure overkill, or having guys that would blend better together AND a really great no.1

Example : If I had Eddie Shore, Lionel Hitchman, Jean-Claude Tremblay and whoever from the 200+ range (for the sake of the example, let's say Jack Crawford), i'd certainly have the first two on my 1st paring and the last two on my 2nd.

Because Shore and Hitchman did well together. A I could certainly see a guy like Crawford playing well with Tremblay. And because it wouldn't make much sense to have Hitchman and Crawford playing together for 20 minutes.

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11-28-2009, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post

It seems strange to me that Tremblay has had a reputation on this board for playing poor defensive hockey - even to the point that Devil questioned not whether or not he was an effective #1 defenseman, but whether or not he belonged on a first pairing, at all. For those of us who saw Tremblay play (I am old enough to remember him in his last couple of years in Montreal), such statements are mindboggling, but they seem to have been accepted as fact around here for some time. At any rate, it is hard to imagine that the Habs could have won 5 Cups with Tremblay as their #1 defenseman if he hadn't been very good in his own zone.
Damn, called out by name in someone else's series. I guess I should respond.

First off, if I said he doesn't belong on a first pairing, that's a bit harsh and I should clarify. I think that ideally, he's a second pairing puck mover who doesn't play regular minutes against ATD first lines. I think it probably takes away from his strength - his offensive game - if you want him to focus more on defense.

I meant that second pairing duty would free him up to do what he does best - control the transition game without having to spend as much time in his own zone. But given the premium you put on your first line and goaltending, defense won't be ideal. It happens. I highly doubt he's the worst #1 in the draft. Anyway, it's a moot point now since he's on your first pairing to stay.

When I questioned Tremblay on the first pair, it had at least as much to do with style as ability. Obviously, if Tremblay is the 3rd best defenseman on your team, you have a super-stacked defense. Some #2s are better off playing next to the #1. Some are better off anchoring their own pair. That was my bigger point.
_____

But since I'm here, I'll make a few more points.

1. Was Tremblay really the #1 defenseman on the 60s Habs? They had a guy named Jacques Laperriere who received more Norris and All Star consideration and who is in the Hall of Fame. I had been under the impression that Tremblay and Lapperriere collectively filled the #1 defenseman role that the Habs had been missing since Harvey left - Tremblay more on the offensive side, Lapperriere more on the defensive side.

2. Paul Coffey won a lot of Cups as a #1 dman, and he wasn't anything special defensively. I'm not compairing Tremblay to Coffey, but the "he won all these Cups as the #1 guy, how could he be anything less than very good in his own zone?" doesn't fly.

3. Finally, not everyone who say Tremblay play shares your view of his defensive acumen. I've talked to more than one Canadiens fan who is old enough who was not a fan of Tremblay in the defensive zone. And no, I have no seen Tremblay play, other than the occasional video well after the fact. Take that for whatever you think it's worth.

Your co-GM said that Tremblay will not be used as a true #1 in the ATD. Surely, there is a reason for that.


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11-28-2009, 03:41 PM
  #17
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As for Dryden vs. Brodeur, I think it's too close to call if you ignore their teams.

The thing is, both of them had all their playoff success playing behind all-time great defenses.

So in a way, I would say that whoever is playing behind the better defense has an extra advantage - because their goaltender will be playing more in his comfort zone.

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11-28-2009, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Damn, called out by name in someone else's series. I guess I should respond.

First off, if I said he doesn't belong on a first pairing, that's a bit harsh and I should clarify. I think that ideally, he's a second pairing puck mover who doesn't play regular minutes against ATD first lines. I think it probably takes away from his strength - his offensive game - if you want him to focus more on defense.

I meant that second pairing duty would free him up to do what he does best - control the transition game without having to spend as much time in his own zone. But given the premium you put on your first line and goaltending, defense won't be ideal. It happens. I highly doubt he's the worst #1 in the draft. Anyway, it's a moot point now since he's on your first pairing to stay.

When I questioned Tremblay on the first pair, it had at least as much to do with style as ability. Obviously, if Tremblay is the 3rd best defenseman on your team, you have a super-stacked defense. Some #2s are better off playing next to the #1. Some are better off anchoring their own pair. That was my bigger point.
_____

But since I'm here, I'll make a few more points.

1. Was Tremblay really the #1 defenseman on the 60s Habs? They had a guy named Jacques Laperriere who received more Norris and All Star consideration and who is in the Hall of Fame. I had been under the impression that Tremblay and Lapperriere collectively filled the #1 defenseman role that the Habs had been missing since Harvey left - Tremblay more on the offensive side, Lapperriere more on the defensive side.

2. Paul Coffey won a lot of Cups as a #1 dman, and he wasn't anything special defensively. I'm not compairing Tremblay to Coffey, but the "he won all these Cups as the #1 guy, how could he be anything less than very good in his own zone?" doesn't fly.

3. Finally, not everyone who say Tremblay play shares your view of his defensive acumen. I've talked to more than one Canadiens fan who is old enough who was not a fan of Tremblay in the defensive zone. And no, I have no seen Tremblay play, other than the occasional video well after the fact. Take that for whatever you think it's worth.

Your co-GM said that Tremblay will not be used as a true #1 in the ATD. Surely, there is a reason for that.
Agreed with this all. Tremblay would be absolutely ideal, say on Tidewater. Chelios as the anchor of the first pairing (let's say Tremblay is substituted for Pronovost) and Tremblay is the anchor of the second pairing, alongside Terry Harper.

Also, I'm not sure if Art Coulter is the ideal number two next to Tremblay either. I think Coulter is a top pairing defenseman, and an absolutely ideal 3rd (as we had him last draft), but not the strongest next to Tremblay.

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11-28-2009, 05:01 PM
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Two more notes on this series:

1) Chris Pronger vs. Phil Esposito in front of the crease is one of the best battles of the first round.

2) Can Mike Bossy elevate Joe Thornton enough so that the line can meet expectations in the playoffs?

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11-29-2009, 01:15 PM
  #20
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Portland wins the best-of-seven first round series 4-3.

Three stars:
1. Ken Dryden
2/3 (tie): Martin Brodeur and Phil Esposito

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11-29-2009, 01:34 PM
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Bah, I saw that coming. I've said it a couple times, but Portland might've been the worst possible first round matchup for me. Ah well, I'm just glad it went 7. Congrats to Nalyd and Sturm, you guys have a great team like always, and good luck the rest of the way.

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11-29-2009, 03:10 PM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
1. Was Tremblay really the #1 defenseman on the 60s Habs? They had a guy named Jacques Laperriere who received more Norris and All Star consideration and who is in the Hall of Fame. I had been under the impression that Tremblay and Lapperriere collectively filled the #1 defenseman role that the Habs had been missing since Harvey left - Tremblay more on the offensive side, Laperriere more on the defensive side.
Good that you bring up Laperriere, as that leads me to my next point: Tremblay's playoff record. By the way, I know that you just threw out that bit about "there was a guy named Jacques Laperriere", but go easy on the condescension, especially when you know the words, but not the music. Laperriere was the Habs' #1 defenseman only briefly - over the span of his sadly short athletic peak before injuries took their toll - and his peak barely overlapped with Tremblay's in reality. Looking at their careers from a great distance like you are doing obscures what was actually going on in Montreal during that period. I'll walk us through it.

63-64: Laperriere breaks out in his first year as a full time player in the NHL, surpassing Tremblay (who is three years older) and finishing 4th in Norris voting. He is a great two-way player almost immediately (in contrast to the pure defensive-defenseman he'd later become), and quickly takes over 1st unit powerplay duties next to Tremblay, who has been to this point a disappointment in Montreal. The Habs are eliminated in the playoffs by a Toronto team that plays a suffocating defensive system that would probably be labeled "the trap" by modern commentators.

64-65: Laperriere establishes himself as one of the finest players in the league en-route to a 2nd place Norris finish. Tremblay, himself, begins to break out this season and carries that momentum into the playoffs, where his playmaking is instrumental in breaking the Toronto defense in the semifinals. Laperriere suffers his first in a long list of leg injuries in the deciding game six of the semis, and Tremblay is forced to take over #1 duties in the finals, which he does admirably, eventually leading the league in assists (and league defensemen in scoring) as the Habs win the Cup.

From Hockey Notes:

Quote:
The turning point in his professional career came during the 1965 Stanley Cup finals against Bobby Hull and the Chicago Black Hawks. With Jacques Laperriere down with a broken leg, Tremblay was called to step forward. He came through in a big way, playing 40 minutes a game and leading the Canadiens to their first championship in five years.
65-66: Laperriere comes back from the injury to play the best hockey of his career (winning the Norris in the offseason), but suffers another injury at about the 3/4 mark of the regular season, and is unavailable for the playoffs. This is really Tremblay's first peak season (and the only season in which their peaks truly overlap), and he ends up 4th in Norris voting. Again cast into the #1 role in the playoffs in the absence of Laperriere, Tremblay catches fire, leading the league in assists and defensemen scoring for a 2nd time in a row (as well as placing 1st in points on the Habs and 2nd in the league) en route to a Cup victory and his infamous Conn-Smythe near miss.

66-67: Laperriere's knee injury is much slower to heal this time around, and the Habs remove him from the 1st unit powerplay and top pairing for most of the season to take physical pressure off of him. Tremblay is now firmly established as the #1 defenseman in Montreal, playing across from Ted Harris on most nights, and ends up 5th in Norris voting. Lappy plays pretty well again in the regular season and garners a few Norris votes, but is again worn out by the playoffs and generally ineffective, being replaced by a 21 year old Carol Vadnais for one game. Tremblay is 5th in team scoring (behind only Tim Horton among NHL defensemen), doubling the output of the rest of the Montreal blueline put together and ahead of many of the forwards, but the Habs eventually succumb to a stingy Leafs defense in the semis.

67-68: Tremblay is at the height of his career and establishes himself as one of the dominant players in the league, losing the Norris to Bobby Orr in a fairly close vote. Laperriere has a good season and ends up 5th in Norris voting, himself, though it is again Tremblay who shines in the postseason, leading all NHL defensemen in scoring for a third time and scoring the Cup clinching goal against St. Louis.

68-69: The beat goes on in Montreal, as the Habs again sweep the Blues in the finals to capture the Cup. Tremblay betters his totals from the previous season with 39 points and a +29, but is locked out of the Norris voting in favor of teammate Ted Harris. This is Serge Savard's Conn-Smythe season and the only one of Tremblay's Cup winning years in which he is not the focal point of the defense.

69-70: Tremblay gets injured early in the season, misses games on and off throughout the year and is not himself. Laperriere has his best season since the injury - placing 4th in Norris voting (the only time after the injury in which he would place higher than Tremblay), but the Habs fail to qualify for the playoffs.

70-71: Both Laperriere and Savard are injured for much of the season and Tremblay has arguably his finest year as a professional, placing 3rd in Norris voting behind Orr and Park. Serge Savard cannot play, but Laperriere returns for the playoffs and performs well. Tremblay is again the star on defense, leading league defensemen in points for the 4th time and placing 2nd in league assists behind Beliveau while leading the Habs in game winning goals in route to another Stanley Cup. The real star of the postseason is rookie Ken Dryden, who carries a Habs team not favored to win (and without their best defensive defenseman) to the Cup in a stunning effort.

71-72: Tremblay's final season in Montreal. J.C. picks up where he had left off the previous season and establishes a personal high in +/- en route to another top-5 Norris finish. Serge Savard misses much of the season to injury, but the Habs blueline is bolstered by the development of Guy Lapointe. Montreal falls flat in the playoffs, going out to the Rangers in the 1st round.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tremblay and Laperriere were not "sharing" #1 duties during their respective time in Montreal. There was an established pecking order which had Laperriere at the top early on, only to be eclipsed by Tremblay later due to the former's injury problems and the latter's further development as a player. After 1966, Jacques Laperriere rarely even played on the top pairing, as Habs management preferred to pair Tremblay with a more physical partner (Harris early and later a rotation of guys). On Tremblay's first two Cup winners, Laperriere was the team's #1 defenseman in the regular season, but it was Tremblay who carried the workload in the playoffs, and was arguably Montreal's most valuable player (and inarguably #1 defenseman) through both Cup runs. Laperriere only played 6 out of 23 total playoff games on those Cup winners. On the latter three Cup teams, two times (1968 and 1971) Tremblay was quite clearly the best defenseman in Montreal both in regular and postseason, and one time Serge Savard was the hero of the Cup run.

It's worth noting that Montreal was able to win Cups over this period without Laperriere in the playoffs, but the one year that Tremblay got hurt (69-70), they did not even qualify for the postseason. Overall, J.C. Tremblay led the NHL in assists twice and all defensemen in scoring 4 times (all on Cup winners) during his peak. Over the span of Tremblay's peak years in Montreal (1965-72), he scored 60 points in 85 playoff games, an absolutely ridiculous pace for that era, and didn't have a single poor performance. The 2nd place scorer among defensemen over this period (Pat Stapleton) has barely more than 50% of Tremblay's total, with 32 points. J.C. Tremblay was quite clearly the dominant postseason defenseman of his era, and quite possibly the single best postseason player of his era, as well.

Quote:
2. Paul Coffey won a lot of Cups as a #1 dman, and he wasn't anything special defensively. I'm not compairing Tremblay to Coffey, but the "he won all these Cups as the #1 guy, how could he be anything less than very good in his own zone?" doesn't fly.
It's good that you're not comparing Coffey to Tremblay, because that would be an awful comparison. I don't seem to remember Paul Coffey ever playing 40 minutes a game, leading his team in postseason scoring or the league in assists or being described by any kind of superlatives that didn't have to do with his offensive game. Tremblay was great in both ends of the ice for those Habs Cup winners, and he was great consistently and for a long time. At any rate, Paul Coffey is an outlier for a lot of reasons, and bringing him up adds nothing but confusion to the discussion.

Quote:
3. Finally, not everyone who say Tremblay play shares your view of his defensive acumen. I've talked to more than one Canadiens fan who is old enough who was not a fan of Tremblay in the defensive zone. And no, I have no seen Tremblay play, other than the occasional video well after the fact. Take that for whatever you think it's worth.
I think it's worth very little, and that asking old Habs fans about J.C. Tremblay is probably like asking Sens fans about Dany Heatley. I will go with my own eyes and the words of men like Red Fisher over "some old Habs fan" you happen to know.

Quote:
Your co-GM said that Tremblay will not be used as a true #1 in the ATD. Surely, there is a reason for that.
Where did he say that? Not in this thread. If he actually said that, remind me to smack him, though I'm not sure he did, and I find it curious that you seem to remember better what my co-GM said about Tremblay in what I'm assuming must be the lineup assassination thread than what you said about him, yourself.

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11-29-2009, 03:13 PM
  #23
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Ah jeez...it took me so long to post that, the series was already over by the time I was done. I though the voting deadline was extended until midnight eastern tonight. Or was that noon eastern? ****.

Ah well, good series, vcl. You put together a fine team, and I agree with you that the matchup was a tough one for you.

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11-29-2009, 03:45 PM
  #24
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Ah jeez...it took me so long to post that, the series was already over by the time I was done. I though the voting deadline was extended until midnight eastern tonight. Or was that noon eastern? ****.

Ah well, good series, vcl. You put together a fine team, and I agree with you that the matchup was a tough one for you.
I think you face me in the next round, so you would have ended up posting it eventually. It was certainly a interesting read, even after the fact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post


Where did he say that? Not in this thread. If he actually said that, remind me to smack him, though I'm not sure he did, and I find it curious that you seem to remember better what my co-GM said about Tremblay in what I'm assuming must be the lineup assassination thread than what you said about him, yourself.
He said it here:
http://hfboards.com/showpost.php?p=2...&postcount=481

I find it curious that you seen to remember better what I said in an assassination than what your co-GM said about the way your team would be managed.

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11-29-2009, 08:25 PM
  #25
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Good match VCL.

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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
Where did he say that? Not in this thread. If he actually said that, remind me to smack him, though I'm not sure he did, and I find it curious that you seem to remember better what my co-GM said about Tremblay in what I'm assuming must be the lineup assassination thread than what you said about him, yourself.
Ow! Sorry, I deserve that. One of my biggest weaknesses is not fighting hard enough for my team...

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