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ATD 12 Bob Cole Quater-Finals: 2 Kimberley Dynamiters vs. 7 Hartford Whalers

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Old
11-24-2009, 09:11 PM
  #1
Hedberg
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ATD 12 Bob Cole Quater-Finals: 2 Kimberley Dynamiters vs. 7 Hartford Whalers

2

GM: Mr Bugg
Head Coach: Pete Green
Assistant Coach: John Muckler

Sid Smith - Joe Sakic - Larry Aurie
Brian Bellows - Marcel Dionne - Reggie Leach
Thomas Steen - Kent Nilsson - Hakan Loob
Johnny Gottselig - Dave Poulin - Mario Tremblay
Johnny Wilson - Duane Sutter

Ray Bourque - Rob Blake
Kevin Lowe - Adam Foote
George Owen - Bill Hajt

Grant Fuhr
Charlie Hodge

Callups:
F: Morris Lukowich, Jason Spezza, Russ Courtnall
D: Normand Rochefort, Rick Green
G: Earl Robinson

vs.

7
GM: MadArcand
Coach: Alf Smith
Assistant coach: Terry Crisp

Brendan Shanahan - Bryan Trottier (C) - Sergei Makarov
Brian Propp - Ron Francis (A) - Tim Kerr
Don Marcotte - Joel Otto - Terry O'Reilly (A)
Ryan Smyth - Dan Bain (A) - Kevin Dineen
Tiger Williams - Ladislav Trojak

Craig Hartsburg - Sprague Cleghorn
Derian Hatcher - Brian Rafalski
Jerry Korab - Glen Wesley
Jeff Beukeboom

Gerry Cheevers
Ron Hextall

PP 1: Tim Kerr - Bryan Trottier - Sergei Makarov - Craig Hartsburg - Sprague Cleghorn
PP 2: Brian Propp - Ron Francis - Brendan Shanahan - Jerry Korab - Brian Rafalski

PK 1: Don Marcotte - Joel Otto - Derian Hatcher - Sprague Cleghorn
PK 2: Brian Propp - Ron Francis - Jerry Korab - Glen Wesley

Callups:
F: Martin Gelinas, Rick Meagher, Igor Liba
D: Darius Kasparaitis
G: Sean Burke


Last edited by Hedberg: 11-25-2009 at 03:00 AM.
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11-24-2009, 10:21 PM
  #2
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First off, imagine my surprise when I saw a team with what a consider to be the best all-out top six in the Draft second-last in our division. There's a reason for it, but you can bet the leaders like Trottier and O'Reilly won't be happy with that and they'll be pushing that locker room for more. In a regular season, I think the offense alone should have carried Hartford to top-three in the Bob Cole.

However, there are some noticeable flaws with the Whalers. The first is toughness- or too much thereof. It's fine to have a physically imposing team, but there are exactly three forwards on Hartford I would trust to kill a penalty at the ATD level and one of them is just as likely to be sitting in the box as he is to be on the ice. Trottier is a workhorse and can play 30 minutes, but beyond him I don't think Otto and Marcotte can hold back Steen-Nilsson-Loob or Smith-Dionne-Leach-Sakic multiples times a game over six or seven games.

The second is defensive balance- both up front and on the back end. Again, Otto and Marcotte are the only legitimate shadows in the bottom six. Against a three-line scoring threat like the Dynamiters, that's simply not going to be good enough.

The defense is kind of wacky.

Hartsburg-Cleghorn: What Cleghorn needed was a cooler-headed defensive stalwart. What you've given him is a player that- while certainly less physical than he, although that's 99% of ATDers- is just as likely to be moving the puck.

Hatcher-Rafalski: Fine in theory- slow-footed defensive specialist with a slick skater. But they're so opposite that I think they'll be spending more time watching each other than actually making an impact.

Korab-Wesley: Deadly if they're able to get the puck into the corners and play their game. But send in a fast, creative group of forwards and they'll be exposed. Kimberley has not one but three such lines, and Gottselig was a creative customer who will give the right side of this team fits.

As a whole, this unit is also damningly uncreative with the puck. It reminds me a lot of Edmonton circa 06- that big, nasty franchise guy in Pronger, an offensive wunderkind in Tarnstrom, but a whole bunch of specialists after that. They rode Pronger and a hot goalie to Game 7, but can Cheevers do that here?

Speaking of goal, Fuhr versus Cheevers is no contest. Cheevers thrived in a puck-possession system where the likes of Cashman, Esposito and that Orr fellow made it so all he had to do was push the puck north and it was gone for five minutes at a time. But there's no Orr here. Can Cleghorn, Hartsburg and Rafalski get the puck going in the right direction under pressure? Can their partners?

Lastly, spares. Injuries are going to happen. Maybe we won't see enough that the taxi squad gets called up, but a missing skater here or there is a reality of the NHL and ATD playoffs. That might be where Hartford is weakest. Trojak is criminally underrated, but he's not proven at this level and do you really want to give Tiger Williams ice-time? Overall, you went with spares who replicated what you already had, not players who you can insert to change the dynamic of your team.

Good luck and I look forward to a good series.

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11-25-2009, 02:23 AM
  #3
MadArcand
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Let me first adress this. I'll analyse your team later today, after all the meetings I have at work.

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Originally Posted by Mr Bugg View Post
First off, imagine my surprise when I saw a team with what a consider to be the best all-out top six in the Draft second-last in our division. There's a reason for it, but you can bet the leaders like Trottier and O'Reilly won't be happy with that and they'll be pushing that locker room for more. In a regular season, I think the offense alone should have carried Hartford to top-three in the Bob Cole.
Thanks for that, but apparently most didn't think so.

Quote:
However, there are some noticeable flaws with the Whalers. The first is toughness- or too much thereof. It's fine to have a physically imposing team, but there are exactly three forwards on Hartford I would trust to kill a penalty at the ATD level and one of them is just as likely to be sitting in the box as he is to be on the ice. Trottier is a workhorse and can play 30 minutes, but beyond him I don't think Otto and Marcotte can hold back Steen-Nilsson-Loob or Smith-Dionne-Leach-Sakic multiples times a game over six or seven games.
Seriously? The team has five elite penalty killers, and you think it's not enough? Trottier. Francis. Propp. Otto. Marcotte. Are you saying that Selke-winning Francis, one of the best two-way forwards of his generation and one of the best faceoff men won't be good enough? Or that Propp, an elite penalty killer of the 80's won't be enough? I strongly disagree.

Quote:
The second is defensive balance- both up front and on the back end. Again, Otto and Marcotte are the only legitimate shadows in the bottom six. Against a three-line scoring threat like the Dynamiters, that's simply not going to be good enough.
Except that all four of my lines have an excellent defensive center. Good luck to your undersized soft centers going against them. And as for wings, second line has Propp. Third line has Marcotte. Fourth line has both Smyth and Dineen, who are good if not elite defensive guys. O'Reilly on 3rd has his flaws, but he's far from bad in that regard, either.

Quote:
The defense is kind of wacky.

Hartsburg-Cleghorn: What Cleghorn needed was a cooler-headed defensive stalwart. What you've given him is a player that- while certainly less physical than he, although that's 99% of ATDers- is just as likely to be moving the puck.
Think of it the other way. Which line of yours can stop my first unit? None. The purpose is to exact maximum pressure on opposing defense, while still having a ton of defensive talent. They complement Trottier's line in that to a T.

Quote:
Hatcher-Rafalski: Fine in theory- slow-footed defensive specialist with a slick skater. But they're so opposite that I think they'll be spending more time watching each other than actually making an impact.
I don't think that's a viable point of view. What's the basis? Slower players get often paired up with a good skater to compensate. Smaller guys get paired with tough guy all the time. It's a typical, proven setup.

Quote:
Korab-Wesley: Deadly if they're able to get the puck into the corners and play their game. But send in a fast, creative group of forwards and they'll be exposed. Kimberley has not one but three such lines, and Gottselig was a creative customer who will give the right side of this team fits.
Wesley is not slow. He's criminally underrated here. That guy was a fine skater, with good offensive talents and played excellent shutdown defense.

Quote:
As a whole, this unit is also damningly uncreative with the puck. It reminds me a lot of Edmonton circa 06- that big, nasty franchise guy in Pronger, an offensive wunderkind in Tarnstrom, but a whole bunch of specialists after that. They rode Pronger and a hot goalie to Game 7, but can Cheevers do that here?
Uncreative? Cleghorn, Hartsburg and Rafalski are obviously anything but. Wesley and Korab have provided lot of offense over the years and are hardly some stiffs. Even Hatcher had more puck-handling skills than you might think - that guy quarterbacked the PP often during his career.

In fact, calling my defense uncreative when your second pairing is one huge offensive blackhole seems rather odd.

Quote:
Speaking of goal, Fuhr versus Cheevers is no contest. Cheevers thrived in a puck-possession system where the likes of Cashman, Esposito and that Orr fellow made it so all he had to do was push the puck north and it was gone for five minutes at a time. But there's no Orr here. Can Cleghorn, Hartsburg and Rafalski get the puck going in the right direction under pressure? Can their partners?
This *is* a puck posession team. The defense is adept at getting the puck up the ice, and the offensive lines are built to keep play there.

Quote:
Lastly, spares. Injuries are going to happen. Maybe we won't see enough that the taxi squad gets called up, but a missing skater here or there is a reality of the NHL and ATD playoffs. That might be where Hartford is weakest. Trojak is criminally underrated, but he's not proven at this level and do you really want to give Tiger Williams ice-time? Overall, you went with spares who replicated what you already had, not players who you can insert to change the dynamic of your team.
I am under the assumption that for injury, you don't have to slot in Tiger, you can call up a player from minors. Tiger is a locker room guy. And I don't think he'd be out of place on the 4th while we're at it.

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Good luck and I look forward to a good series.
Good luck to you as well. May the better team win.

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Old
11-25-2009, 06:30 AM
  #4
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Let's look at how Kimberley compares to my Whalers:

Coaching: I think coaching is largely a wash. Green and Smith replaced eachother twice on the same team. They preferred styles seem to differ, but so do styles of our teams. Both Muckler and Crisp are IMO good assistants.

Goaltending: Fuhr or Cheevers? I believe Cheevers is the better goalie, though they are actually very similar and quite close. Fuhr was good, not great, on the offense-first Oilers. I don't think your team has that kind of firepower. Fuhr was abysmal in Toronto, LA and Buffalo, only to become a good, not great, workhorse for Blues. He then ended up on low note in Calgary but that doesn't matter. Like Fuhr, Cheevers was a money goalie behind a strong team. I do believe I have built a team in this mold - certainly closer than your team is to Oilers. Cheevers 'wasted' a large part of his prime in the WHA, being the best goalie there. He was never the workhorse that Fuhr was, but he also never sucked like Fuhr did in the midst of his prime.

What IMO makes the biggest difference in goaltending is the backups - Hextall blows Hodge out of the water, no contest there.

I also believe that Burke is clearly ahead of Robertson when it comes to depth.

Defensemen: You have an outsdanding #1 in Bourque, clearly better than my Cleghorn - however Cleghorn as #1 is far from a slouch. Behind Bourque though, the defense doesn't look impressive. Blake as #2 is a stretch, his true prime was short. In spite of his mastery of the hip check, he wasn't ever great defensively, nor was he truly elite on offense. Outstanding physical presence, but no speedster. He won the Cup as #2 behind Bourque, so I see you went for chemistry there, but is that enough? I am afraid Bourque might have to do cover for Blake getting out of position to make a hit a lot, mitigating his offensive potential.

Is Hartsburg a better fit alongside Cleghorn? Both like to rush the puck out. However, if they don't rush both at the same time, they should be perfectly fine. Both are solid skaters and cover for eachother. Since they will mostly play with the first line, their skills should fuel the offense. With every one of my lines having an excellent defensive presence, the risk of having two offensively geared guys (who are, however, very good to great defensively!) is minimized, while the potential to provide incredible offensive push is maximized. I think the two should fit well together and with the forward lines.

Your second pairing is an offensive blackhole and lacks mobility. Foote is IMO an offensively lacking and slightly less physical version of Hatcher. Either of your guys would be fine on second pairing alone, but together they won't provide much support from blueline - if any - and can be exploited by faster, agile forwards. I think covering Hatcher's weakness with Rafalski (and vice versa) makes more sense than pairing two similar types - especially if those types are going to be used with your offensively geared lines. They're a good shutdown pairing perhaps, but being a second pairing they'll inevitably end up in situations when they'll need to support offense - more often than not. And I don't think they can do that.

On third pairing, Owen had a short career. Good offensive output, but I can't find much info on his defensive game. Until you provide a proof to the contrary, I think it's fair to assume he was average in that regard. Hajt was a quiet, solide defenseman. That's not a bad third pairing, but I don't think it compares favorably to Korab & Wesley. They bring significantly more physicality, maybe slightly better offense and better defense. I think I have clear edge here.

Overall, as an unit, I'd dare to call my defensemen a bit better. You have advantage on the top end, but the actual way the pairings are setup seem to me to be in my favor, and my third pairing is clearly better.

Forwards: I really don't see how this is a contest. Your forward lines have exactly one thing going for them, and that's more speed. They get murdered in the corners and along the board, being quite soft by comparison. They're worse on faceoffs, and lacking defensively. Sure, Sakic, Aurie, Steen, Poulin, Tremblay & Gottselig are good two-way guys. But...

Your second line lacks any defensive or physical presence. Third line is also lacking, Steen can't provide everything alone. First and fourth seem quite well-built to me. Especially the fourth, that's a very good line that can contribute on both ends of ice. But how much icetime exactly will they see remains a question.

I went with two scoring lines which I find outstanding - it's where the strength of the team lies afterall. I think the players fit each other on those lines perfectly - Francis is ideal center for the Philly duo of tough, goalscoring wingers, and Trottier gets wingers that approximate Trio Grande and should thrive along them.

My third line is pure physical, checking line. It's similar to your fourth, in a way. Ideal to crush your 2nd and 3rd line.

Fourth line is a two-way line that keeps up the physicality. Can your smaller, softer forwards keep up with the onslaught? I doubt it.

Special teams: Your top powerplay unit is very good, but soft. Second unit even more so, and in their case I'm also not quite sold on their offensive capabilities. I think I have a better powerplay for sure.

On penalty kill, your team looks good. I wouldn't call it better, but it's certainly quite comparable. The forwards are all good, and the weakest link is Hajt - who's not exactly weak on PK at all, so really, the PK's good. I'd call it a wash but feel free to convince me otherwise.


Overall: Well, that's about it for the reasons why I think my team should win the series. It's not because your team would be lacking - it's a good team, and I like it, however I find it an ideal matchup. I just don't think it's built to play against a very physical and defensively tough team.


Last edited by MadArcand: 11-25-2009 at 07:33 AM. Reason: finally finished
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Old
11-25-2009, 06:47 AM
  #5
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Fourth line has both Smyth and Dineen, who are good if not elite defensive guys.
Just wanted to address a point that stuck out at me (although relative unimportance):

Really? I was under the impression Smyth wasn't anything special in the defensive regard. I don't tend to see Smyth play, so you have something to back that one up?

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11-25-2009, 07:32 AM
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MadArcand
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Originally Posted by Leafs Forever View Post
Just wanted to address a point that stuck out at me (although relative unimportance):

Really? I was under the impression Smyth wasn't anything special in the defensive regard. I don't tend to see Smyth play, so you have something to back that one up?
I'm pretty sure I remember him playing on PK for team Canada. He's not fast, but works hard and backchecks from what I saw. It's more of a grit & determination approach to defense.

BTW just to clarify, I hope you understood it as 'good, (even though) not elite', not as 'good, (maybe even) elite'.

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11-25-2009, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by MadArcand View Post
I'm pretty sure I remember him playing on PK for team Canada. He's not fast, but works hard and backchecks from what I saw. It's more of a grit & determination approach to defense.

BTW just to clarify, I hope you understood it as 'good, (even though) not elite', not as 'good, (maybe even) elite'.
I won't question is grit and determiniation or call him bad defensively. Just not sure if he is good defensively in an ATD context. Team Canada doesn't exactly tend to bring defensive specalists on their team, and I don't think a stint as a penalty killer their necessarily links to good defensively. (They'll bring stars who have defensive ability, but these guys tend to make more of their living on other areas)

I didn't, but I suppose I do now.

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11-25-2009, 12:47 PM
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A great start by Bugg and a great rebuttal by Hartford. This one is dead even at this point, IMO.

But, I gotta ask: Why does Hextall blow Hodge out of the water?

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11-25-2009, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
A great start by Bugg and a great rebuttal by Hartford. This one is dead even at this point, IMO.

But, I gotta ask: Why does Hextall blow Hodge out of the water?
Hodge had a very short prime. It took him eons to crack the NHL full-time. He was very good for a short time then, and then it fell apart again. Also has no playoff performance on level of Hextall's Smythe.

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11-25-2009, 02:04 PM
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Goaltending: Fuhr or Cheevers? I believe Cheevers is the better goalie, though they are actually very similar and quite close. Fuhr was good, not great, on the offense-first Oilers. I don't think your team has that kind of firepower. Fuhr was abysmal in Toronto, LA and Buffalo, only to become a good, not great, workhorse for Blues. He then ended up on low note in Calgary but that doesn't matter. Like Fuhr, Cheevers was a money goalie behind a strong team. I do believe I have built a team in this mold - certainly closer than your team is to Oilers. Cheevers 'wasted' a large part of his prime in the WHA, being the best goalie there. He was never the workhorse that Fuhr was, but he also never sucked like Fuhr did in the midst of his prime.
The regular season doesn't matter at this point. We both know what Grant Fuhr's specialty was, and we both know what Cheevers wasn't known for. It's too bad he went to the WHA for three of his prime years, but even there he couldn't win! It's the single biggest mark on Cheevers' record. I know that, you know that, everybody knows it. The guy was not a winner.

Quote:
What IMO makes the biggest difference in goaltending is the backups - Hextall blows Hodge out of the water, no contest there.
I'll second seventies here: Why is this? I mean, I can be swayed by a good argument, but what is it?

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I also believe that Burke is clearly ahead of Robertson when it comes to depth.
If this proves to be a divisive point I'll expand on it, but Sean Burke never won a Cup, was never a post-season AST.

Quote:
Defensemen: You have an outsdanding #1 in Bourque, clearly better than my Cleghorn - however Cleghorn as #1 is far from a slouch. Behind Bourque though, the defense doesn't look impressive. Blake as #2 is a stretch, his true prime was short. In spite of his mastery of the hip check, he wasn't ever great defensively, nor was he truly elite on offense. Outstanding physical presence, but no speedster. He won the Cup as #2 behind Bourque, so I see you went for chemistry there, but is that enough? I am afraid Bourque might have to do cover for Blake getting out of position to make a hit a lot, mitigating his offensive potential.
Yes, Bourque will have to cover for Blake, who received several Norris shares (and a win) during his career.

You're making a (common) mistake in evaluating Blake. When we talk about whether or not he was good defensively, we're comparing him to the top 150 of all-time. It's no question who the better player was in any dimension when compared to, say, Craig Hartsburg. There's no possible argument that paints Hartsburg- however skilled he was- as being better in any category.

Quote:
Overall, as an unit, I'd dare to call my defensemen a bit better. You have advantage on the top end, but the actual way the pairings are setup seem to me to be in my favor, and my third pairing is clearly better.
On a one-to-one basis, my defense is significantly better.

Bourque vs. Cleghorn

We've already established this.

Blake vs. Hartsburg

Are you kidding me? Again, there really needn't be discussion here.

Lowe vs. Hatcher

It's interesting you chose to denigrate Lowe/Foote offensively when nothing in Hatcher's record indicates he was significantly better in this regard.

Placement in Team Defense Scoring (to age 30)

Hatcher: 5th, 4th, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd
K. Lowe: 4th, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 2nd, 5th, 2nd, 2nd

When you consider he had five 2nd place finishes on the Dynasty Oilers, it really brings into perspective how effective and underrated he was at providing offense. Hatcher, not so much. Even with the extra year (Lowe entered the league at 20) Hatch was a top-two threat offensively exactly once from the blueline.

Foote vs. Rafalski

Two vastly different players. Neither have post-season ASTs, both have multiple Rings, both have represented their country at the Olympics more than once. I do find it interesting, though, that there is such a disparity in ATOI since the league began to track the stat:

Foote, career- 24:23
Rafalski, career- 23:02

When one considers that Foote never, ever was anyone's choice for a powerplay, it really shows you how much ES and PK time the guy has gotten on a year-to-year basis. This isn't even a recent thing caused by playing on bad BJ and Avs teams- even when playing alongside the likes of Bourque and Blake, Foote was playing 25+ minutes.

Anyway, they're about as good as the other at their specialty. Tough to compare otherwise.

Owen vs. Korab

The worst thing anyone has ever been able to say about Owen is that is career was short. That, or he was only 'decent' defensively.

Let's compare the seasons we can- age 27-31, or five years.

Owen: 7th, 12th, 2nd, 2nd, 23rd
Korab: 15th, 12th, 18th, 11th, 101st

That's league defensive scoring.

Korab only played 54 games in his 31 year-old season, but even if you make it his 32nd (52 points, 22nd in NHL) it doesn't change the picture much.

You can argue longevity all you like, but the rest of Korab's career was forgettable at best. He had six seasons where he placed in the top 25 of defensive scoring, but totaled only 167 points in the rest of his 521 games and wasn't a top-tier defensive guy.

Hajt vs. Wesley

Wesley was known for being a skilled two-way guy up until 25. After that, he sniffed 30 points only once, never mind 40. What happened? Well, he was traded. It wasn't so much where he was traded to that was the problem, but where he was traded from. I don't think it's any coincidence at all that as soon as he and the guy on my first pairing were separated, Wesley never touched above-average scoring numbers again.

Quote:
Forwards: ... They're worse on faceoffs, and lacking defensively. Sure, Sakic, Aurie, Steen, Poulin, Tremblay & Gottselig are good two-way guys. But...
I think it's sort of funny (in a haha way) that you mention half my forward core as being 'good two-way guys', but call the group as a whole 'lacking' defensively in the preceding sentence.


Quote:
Especially the fourth, that's a very good line that can contribute on both ends of ice. But how much icetime exactly will they see remains a question.
That line's going to have to see a lot of time, especially in this series. But they're built for it, they've won Rings doing it, and I think they can handle 12-15 minutes a night against your big guns.

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My third line is pure physical, checking line. It's similar to your fourth, in a way. Ideal to crush your 2nd and 3rd line.
So your third line is going double-shift against my 2nd and 3rd lines? Good to know. Gottselig-Poulin-Tremblay will eat Smyth-Bain-Dineen for breakfast and our first lines will be too busy trying to match each other to product much.

Quote:
Fourth line is a two-way line that keeps up the physicality. Can your smaller, softer forwards keep up with the onslaught? I doubt it.
Who is your fourth line going to play that's smaller and softer? Our fourths are the same size, and you're really not thinking of matching them up against my top unit are you? Because that's a match-up I'll take every time.

Quote:
On penalty kill, your team looks good. I wouldn't call it better, but it's certainly quite comparable. The forwards are all good, and the weakest link is Hajt - who's not exactly weak on PK at all, so really, the PK's good. I'd call it a wash but feel free to convince me otherwise.
I'd call them a wash.

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11-25-2009, 02:17 PM
  #11
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Placement in Team Defense Scoring (to age 30)

Hatcher: 5th, 4th, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd
K. Lowe: 4th, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 2nd, 5th, 2nd, 2nd

When you consider he had five 2nd place finishes on the Dynasty Oilers, it really brings into perspective how effective and underrated he was at providing offense. Hatcher, not so much. Even with the extra year (Lowe entered the league at 20) Hatch was a top-two threat offensively exactly once from the blueline.
That doesn't look too bad for Lowe, especially considering that for 7 of those years, one of the guys ahead of him was Coffey.

Quote:
Foote vs. Rafalski

Two vastly different players. Neither have post-season ASTs, both have multiple Rings, both have represented their country at the Olympics more than once..
Although representing Canada in a best-on-best is much more impressive than representing the USA.

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11-25-2009, 02:22 PM
  #12
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
That doesn't look too bad for Lowe, especially considering that for 7 of those years, one of the guys ahead of him was Coffey.
Although to be fair to Hatch, he had Zubov to contend with.

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Although representing Canada in a best-on-best is much more impressive than representing the USA.
Absolutely. Foote may have lacked serious mobility, but he beat out a number of very good, very fast players to represent Canada in best-on-best play. It wasn't an Eric Brewer-esque favor either- he's played in three Olympics.

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11-25-2009, 02:26 PM
  #13
seventieslord
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Originally Posted by Mr Bugg View Post
Although to be fair to Hatch, he had Zubov to contend with.
True. Although Zubov is no Coffey, it's the same thing. Either way, Lowe and Hatcher won't get more points than them.

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Absolutely. Foote may have lacked serious mobility, but he beat out a number of very good, very fast players to represent Canada in best-on-best play. It wasn't an Eric Brewer-esque favor either- he's played in three Olympics.
As well as two World Cups, for a total of 32 games in five best-on-best tournaments.

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11-25-2009, 03:01 PM
  #14
MadArcand
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Originally Posted by Mr Bugg View Post
The regular season doesn't matter at this point. We both know what Grant Fuhr's specialty was, and we both know what Cheevers wasn't known for. It's too bad he went to the WHA for three of his prime years, but even there he couldn't win! It's the single biggest mark on Cheevers' record. I know that, you know that, everybody knows it. The guy was not a winner.
Say what? *The* money goalie was not a winner? Au the contraire. And Fuhr never won diddlysquat outside insanely stacked team.

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I'll second seventies here: Why is this? I mean, I can be swayed by a good argument, but what is it?
I already answered that to seventies.

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If this proves to be a divisive point I'll expand on it, but Sean Burke never won a Cup, was never a post-season AST.
Sean Burke was a Vezina finalist, 4th in Hart voting, Olympic medalist and the guy who carried NJD on his back to its first ever postseason and to conference finals there.

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Yes, Bourque will have to cover for Blake, who received several Norris shares (and a win) during his career.

You're making a (common) mistake in evaluating Blake. When we talk about whether or not he was good defensively, we're comparing him to the top 150 of all-time. It's no question who the better player was in any dimension when compared to, say, Craig Hartsburg. There's no possible argument that paints Hartsburg- however skilled he was- as being better in any category.
I think they're of rather similar level in defensive play. But Blake is better, sure.


Quote:
Lowe vs. Hatcher

It's interesting you chose to denigrate Lowe/Foote offensively when nothing in Hatcher's record indicates he was significantly better in this regard.

Placement in Team Defense Scoring (to age 30)

Hatcher: 5th, 4th, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd
K. Lowe: 4th, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 2nd, 5th, 2nd, 2nd

When you consider he had five 2nd place finishes on the Dynasty Oilers, it really brings into perspective how effective and underrated he was at providing offense. Hatcher, not so much. Even with the extra year (Lowe entered the league at 20) Hatch was a top-two threat offensively exactly once from the blueline.
This isn't about offense only, and you know it. Insinuating that Lowe was better defensively, more physical or better leader than Hatcher is nonsense. Anyone got Norris finishes for them at hand?

Also, I denigrate your second pairing, not the guys as individuals. I don't have two Derian Hatchers on second pairing, unlike you.

Quote:
Owen vs. Korab

The worst thing anyone has ever been able to say about Owen is that is career was short. That, or he was only 'decent' defensively.

Let's compare the seasons we can- age 27-31, or five years.

Owen: 7th, 12th, 2nd, 2nd, 23rd
Korab: 15th, 12th, 18th, 11th, 101st

That's league defensive scoring.

Korab only played 54 games in his 31 year-old season, but even if you make it his 32nd (52 points, 22nd in NHL) it doesn't change the picture much.

You can argue longevity all you like, but the rest of Korab's career was forgettable at best. He had six seasons where he placed in the top 25 of defensive scoring, but totaled only 167 points in the rest of his 521 games and wasn't a top-tier defensive guy.
Korab was a physical force and more than just good defensively. Once again you compare just offensive output.

Quote:
Hajt vs. Wesley

Wesley was known for being a skilled two-way guy up until 25. After that, he sniffed 30 points only once, never mind 40. What happened? Well, he was traded. It wasn't so much where he was traded to that was the problem, but where he was traded from. I don't think it's any coincidence at all that as soon as he and the guy on my first pairing were separated, Wesley never touched above-average scoring numbers again.
Are you kidding? Wesley changed his game same way that Scott Stevens did. He chose to focus on defense, he didn't lose all his skill suddenly. Geez.

Quote:
I think it's sort of funny (in a haha way) that you mention half my forward core as being 'good two-way guys', but call the group as a whole 'lacking' defensively in the preceding sentence.
Because many of the rest are downright terrible. 2/3 of your third line and your whole second line, actually. Ugh.

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So your third line is going double-shift against my 2nd and 3rd lines? Good to know.
Strawman. No they aren't, obviously. They're going to dominate one of them, not both at same time. It's not like Trottier, Francis or Bain would have trouble stopping either of those lines anyway.

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Gottselig-Poulin-Tremblay will eat Smyth-Bain-Dineen for breakfast and our first lines will be too busy trying to match each other to product much.
Say what? First of all, I could as well say that Bain's line murders your third, my third destroys your second, my second holds off your first and my first eats your fourth alive. Creating favorable matchups is easy.

Aside from that, I don't think your fourth line would eat mine. At all.

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Who is your fourth line going to play that's smaller and softer? Our fourths are the same size, and you're really not thinking of matching them up against my top unit are you? Because that's a match-up I'll take every time.
Your third, for instance. Soft and with defense akin to swiss cheese.

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11-25-2009, 03:18 PM
  #15
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Quickly on Foote: not only did he play for Canada in those best-on-best tournaments, he starred for Canada in best-on-bests. He was at his best while playing for his country. I thought he was our best defenceman at the 1996 World Cup. There's no doubt in my mind he was our best defenceman in the 02 Olympics, and he was the best defenceman, period, at the 04 World Cup.

I see a couple interesting match-ups. First is the strength of Hartford's forwards against the strength of Kimberley's defence. That's an imposing group of 12 that Hartford has. They're big, they're strong, they're tough. I've never heard a coach say "we need to play less physical." Or, as a Hall-of-Famer once told me, "You either hit, or be hit." And they're very good defensively. Francis, Trottier, Otto, Propp, Marcotte, O'Reilly - this team can trot out three or four strong penalty killing units. Against a team with a smaller defence, Hartford could do a lot of damage. But the only defenceman on Kimberley who I see being in a mismatch situation is Owen.

Bourque's one of the finest defencemen any fan will ever see. One of those guys who, at once, was among the best offensive defencemen, and defensive defencemen in the league. He was a freak. He can play 30-35 minutes a night, and carry a team on his back. Foote, Lowe, Blake and Burrows all match up well with Hartford's forwards.

How will Hartford handle Kimberley's forwards? As I said before, there's a lot of skill on that Kimberley team. They aren't overwhelming physically like Hartford's forwards, but the Kimberley forwards can come at you in waves. Kimberley has three dangerous scoring lines. Sakic and Dionne form a potent 1-2 punch down the middle, although Dionne's big-game mentality is deservedly questioned. Hartford's weakness is their blue-line brigade. Yes, their team defence makes up for it, with guys like Francis, Trottier and Propp, as well as a solid third line, but you still need the defencemen. Outside of Cleghorn, Hartford's defence isn't impressive.

The flip side, of course, is that Hartford has a mean, nasty defence, and some mean, nasty forwards, matched up against a Kimberley team that doesn't have a big-time physical presence in their top six. How will Kimberley do in battles along the boards, and in front of the net, against Cleghorn, Hatcher and Korab, because those battle zones are often where games are won and lost.

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Old
11-26-2009, 12:30 AM
  #16
MadArcand
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
Yes, their team defence makes up for it, with guys like Francis, Trottier and Propp, as well as a solid third line, but you still need the defencemen. Outside of Cleghorn, Hartford's defence isn't impressive.
But it's good at its job, and I think the pairings are better matched than Dynamiters'. He does have the better individual talent (at least in the top 4), but you can't tell me with a straight face that his second pairing is going to work with his second line. There's no transition game to speak of, and it's two defensive rocks playing with a line of marshmallows who don't show up in their zone. It just doesn't work.

Can Kimberley roll three scoring lines? Yes. Are lines 2&3 soft, defensively irresponsible and far from playoff warriors? Yes. Does that mitigate the potential offensive danger they pose, especially if you throw Kimberley's second pairing in the mix? IMO, yes.

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11-28-2009, 03:49 PM
  #17
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Sorry for the bump, but I just hope people read this thread before voting.

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Old
11-29-2009, 03:15 PM
  #18
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As happy as I am to get my first-ever series win in the ATD, this one could have gone either way and I'd like to thank MadArcand for a quality debate.

Ultimately, though, our first-line centers were a wash and I simply had the better defense and goaltending, and I look forward to the semis.

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Old
11-29-2009, 03:46 PM
  #19
MadArcand
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Can't say I'm happy, but can't say I'm surprised either. Given the abysmal regular season showing, 7 games is solid. Guess that offense and grit ain't valued much 'round here - a lesson for the future (if there'll be a future...).

Thanks for the debate Mr Bugg, and good luck in the division semis!

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