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ATD2011 Jim Coleman Conf. Finals: New Jersey Swamp Devils vs. Ottawa Senators

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Old
05-21-2011, 02:45 PM
  #1
BillyShoe1721
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ATD2011 Jim Coleman Conf. Finals: New Jersey Swamp Devils vs. Ottawa Senators

New Jersey Swamp Devils



Spares: Gregg Sheppard (C/LW), Jiri Lala (RW), Alexei Zhitnik (D)

Powerplay (Click Link):
PP1: H Richard*- Starshinov - M Richard - Pratt - Boyle
PP2: Smith* - Bertuzzi - Palffy - Quackenbush - Boyle/Coulter
*faceoff

Penalty Kill:
F: MacKell - Lewis, Handzus - Doan, H Richard - Phillips
D: Quackenbush - Coulter, Bilyaletdinov - Pratt, extra: Ley

Shutdown lines (end of game / defensive draw in last minute of period): Lewis - H Richard - Phillips, MacKell - Handzus - Doan

Strategies (Please click)

Minutes charts (Please click)

vs.

Ottawa Senators



Coach: Dick Irvin Sr
Captain: Eddie Gerard
Alternates: Jaromir Jagr and Bill Hay at home, Johnny Gottselig and Dan Bain on the road.

Doug Bentley
- Henrik Zetterberg - Jaromir Jagr
Johnny Gottselig - Mike Modano - Claude Provost
Rick Nash - Dan Bain - Paul Henderson
Camille Henry - Bill "Red" Hay - Jim Peplinski
Martin Straka, Art Gagne

Eddie Gerard - Chris Pronger
Gary Bergman - Joe Simpson
Alexei Gusarov - Kjell Samuelsson
Pekka Rautakillio, Adrian Aucoin

Curtis Joseph
Vladimir Dzurilla

Even strength roles:

2nd line gets tough matchups
Other 3 lines are balanced.
3rd line w/Nash goes against power RWs.
Jagr gets double shifted/long shifts where possible in offensive zone.

Pronger-Gerard get big minutes, all situations, tough matchups
Bergman-Simpson get a more offensive role
Gusarov-Samuelsson get a more defensive role

Power play options

Core forwards: Henry around the net, Jagr on the right half boards.
Other forwards: Modano, Bain, Zetterberg, Nash, Bentley

Point: Simpson, Pronger, Bentley, Gerard (mostly first 3, and Bentley may also play up front with Gerard replacing him)

Modano - Henry - Jagr
Bentley - Simpson

Nash - Bain - Zetterberg
Pronger - Gerard

or

Bentley - Henry - Jagr
Pronger - Simpson

Nash - Modano - Bain
Gerard - Simpson/Zetterberg

In any case the power play runs through Jagr, with Henry finding space around the net to score goals.

Penalty kill units

Provost - Zetterberg
Pronger - Gerard

Gottselig - Hay
Gusarov - Samuelsson

Nash - Modano
Bergman

...with Jagr's line up next.

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05-21-2011, 03:09 PM
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overpass
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Congrats on reaching the conference finals, TDMM. Looking forward to a good series.

Does the fact that New Jersey is listed first mean they have home ice advantage?

Ottawa's game plan will be based around limiting the damage from New Jersey's top line, which is definitely the strength of their team. Gerard - Pronger will be hard matched against them. Preferred forward matchups TBD.

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05-21-2011, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overpass View Post
Congrats on reaching the conference finals, TDMM. Looking forward to a good series.

Does the fact that New Jersey is listed first mean they have home ice advantage?

Ottawa's game plan will be based around limiting the damage from New Jersey's top line, which is definitely the strength of their team. Gerard - Pronger will be hard matched against them. Preferred forward matchups TBD.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but due the the re-seeding results, the Devils placed first and the Senators were second in the Red Fisher Conference.

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05-21-2011, 03:49 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Congratulations on making it to the conference finals, overpass. I noticed very early on in the draft that we appeared to have a similar strategy in constructing our forward corps this time. We both got a high scoring RW for very good value, then loaded up on two-way forwards early, allowing us to bypass the later rush on defensive specialists and get our pick of more offensively-oriented players who fell. This appeared to be the winning strategy for the Coleman Conference at least.

I like your team quite a bit, but now of course comes the time where I have to show why mine is even better.


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05-21-2011, 06:21 PM
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Containing Jagr:

•Quackenbush-Coulter will be hard-matched against Jagr whenever he steps on the ice.

•Quackenbush, as the man responsible for the middle lane in the left wing lock, will hang back and be responsible for tracking Jagr as he comes down the ice. *He'll cheat heavily towards whichever side Jagr is coming down.

•When Jagr comes down his right wing side (the Swamp Devils left side), the Swamp Devils LW who is hanging back as a third defenseman will aggressively confront him in the neutral zone, knowing that Quackenbush is backing him up.

•The goal is to prevent Jagr from entering the zone with the puck on his stick by taking away his space in the neutral zone. All other options: a turnover, a dump-in, or a pass to Zetterberg / Bentley is preferable to Jagr carrying the puck into the zone himself.

Other strategies:

•I think the Swamp Devils have the better overall offense, so no need to disrupt the rhythm of the forwards by complicated line matching schemes. Every line has a defensive safety valve at LW, though I continue to prefer a 1st vs 1st matchup.

•None of the Ottawa LWs are a particular threat to Rocket Richard, I don't think.

•As before, Maurice Richard will see some shifts on the Smith line in place of Palffy to get him out there against lesser defensemen.

•Boyle will continue seeing shifts next to Pratt on the second pairing in offensive situations.


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05-21-2011, 10:18 PM
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Am I crazy for wondering if Jaromir Jagr might be better than Maurice Richard?

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05-21-2011, 10:42 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreakmur View Post
Am I crazy for wondering if Jaromir Jagr might be better than Maurice Richard?
Jagr was a bit better during his regular season peak. Maurice Richard has more longevity as an elite player and more consistency in the regular season. And was better in the playoffs, of course. If you completely ignore playoffs (where overpass was basically correct in saying Jagr was very good, but quite not as good as in the regular season), then you'd have a case that Jagr was better. I don't think many people ignore the playoffs at this point, though.


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05-21-2011, 11:01 PM
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No offense to Overpass as I am a big fan of his research, but i am absolutely baffled how a team with CuJo as his number one goalie and Zetterberg (has he ever been a top 5 center ever?) as his top line center could make it to this point.

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05-22-2011, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreakmur View Post
Am I crazy for wondering if Jaromir Jagr might be better than Maurice Richard?
It's not the craziest idea.

Top-5 Hart voting

Jagr: 1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 4
Richard: 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3

Top-5 in points

Maurice Richard: 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5
Jaromir Jagr: 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 5

Regular season, Jagr is right there with Maurice Richard.

Richard gets bonus points for being a legend in Canada, especially in Quebec. OTOH, Jagr may also be a legend in the Czech Republic - I'm not sure, being Canadian. Richard has a better playoff record than Jagr (who was often great in the playoffs, but 2001 is a black mark on his record.)

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05-22-2011, 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by markrander87 View Post
No offense to Overpass as I am a big fan of his research, but i am absolutely baffled how a team with CuJo as his number one goalie and Zetterberg (has he ever been a top 5 center ever?) as his top line center could make it to this point.
Let me enlighten you Mark

I drafted 2 W and 2 D with my first 4 picks. Waiting on a centre was a move that could backfire, for sure. Especially since I was in a division with a team that started off with Frank Nighbor and Mike Schmidt. But I'm happy to have Modano and Zetterberg - both great two-way guys who could bring it in the playoffs.

Re: Zetterberg as a top 5 centre - have you watched the playoffs the last few years? But seriously, I think Zetterberg has been a top 5 centre even in the regular season. I think he's always been a better overall player than, say, Evgeni Malkin. The Western Conference has been much stronger than the East since the lockout, and Zetterberg is an excellent defensive player. Zetterberg also has an easier job on my team than most top line centres, as Jagr is the lead offensive guy on his line. And Modano's line is taking a lot of the tough matchups.

Cujo deserves his own post, and it won't be tonight. But he was considered among the best goalies in the game for quite a while. I'll just post this 2001 quote from the NYT that I found while reading about Jagr:
Quote:
No longer hockey's most valuable player, Hasek remains among the best at his position. With a disciplined team around him, Hasek could lead the Sabres to the conference finals.

The other matchup in the East, the Devils against the Toronto Maple Leafs, should also draw energy from its goalies. Martin Brodeur of the Devils and Curtis Joseph of the Leafs are on the same high plateau as Hasek.

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05-22-2011, 01:31 AM
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Forward matchups

I want the matchup of Gottselig - Modano - Provost vs Phillips - Henri - Maurice.

Also, Rick Nash will spell Gottselig on this line sometimes, with Gottselig switching to the third line. The idea is to give Gottselig a break from always going against Maurice, and to give a different look with Nash's size and speed.

Nash on the second line and Gottselig on the third disrupts the offensive chemistry a little, so it would more likely be used when Ottawa has the lead.

Nash may seem to be an unorthodox choice for this role. But he's been playing in a power-vs-power role for the last 5 years in Columbus, ever since Ken Hitchcock coached him. And he's been very good at it, despite little support from his linemates. He's played in a checking role on Team Canada.

Beyond this matchup, I don't have strong preference. 1 vs 2, 2 vs 1, 3 vs 3, 4 vs 4 sounds good to me. I like the idea of Nash and Bain going against Smith and Palffy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
•None of the Ottawa LWs are a particular threat to Rocket Richard, I don't think.
If only Claude Provost could play both wings. Maybe I can find a quote saying that he skated down the left side one time...

Like your plan vs Jagr, my main matchup vs Richard will be the defence pairing.

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05-22-2011, 06:28 AM
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Heh, the New York sports writers wrote some wacky things over the years to try to discredit Hasek (with the aim of pimping Richter and Brodeur, initially). I'd say the aim of that comment was to pimp Brodeur, but they needed to include another goalie to seem honest, and Cujo was as good as any other.

2001 was a big black mark on Jagr's playoff record, but he was already being (at times unfairly) criticized for his playoff record before then. I remember when Jagr dragged his team to an upset win in the first round against NJ in 1999, the attitude was basically, "about time someone with that much talent won a series for his team.". But then perhaps we had all been spoiled by Wayne and Mario (and to a lesser extent Mark).

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05-22-2011, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by overpass View Post
If only Claude Provost could play both wings. Maybe I can find a quote saying that he skated down the left side one time...
Defensively, left wing and right wing are the exact same positions - just on opposite sides of the ice. There's no reason a right winger can't play left wing.

Offensively, they are the same too, but the player will be taking passes and making plays from the other side. In Provost's case, that will mean he is taking passes on his back-hand more often, but for the best players in the world, that's not a very big issue.

If you decide to move him to LW, I view him as 100% effective on defense and 90% effective on offense.

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05-22-2011, 12:16 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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If Claude Provost could be effective at LW, then why did Toe Blake never try moving him there in real life to play against the likes of Gordie Howe? If Provost was nearly as effective at LW, then he'd have to be better than the likes of Gillies Tremblay or any of the LWs who actually faces off against Howe, right?


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05-22-2011, 12:50 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. But I'm a little too conservative to make that move. Provost played over 1000 NHL games at RW. It's what he knew, what he did, and what he was. He's an important member of my team - as a RW.

I don't agree that LW and RW are identical defensively. Play along one's own boards is very important to transitioning out of the zone, and harder on the off wing. There's a reason a lot of off-wing wingers circle high looking for the breakout pass instead of battling along the boards (like Maurice Richard?) There's a place for those wingers, but that's not Provost's game.

Moving Provost to LW is tempting but would be a blunder IMO.

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05-22-2011, 01:08 PM
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Some notes on forwards, that favor NJ

-Both top lines are well constructed, but I think the Swamp Devils have slightly better personnel.


Maurice Richard > Jagr in the playoffs (not that Jagr is bad, but Maurice is just that good). Henri Richard is simply a better player than Doug Bentley. Zetterberg vs. Phillips? Both are excellent defensive players who are clutch offensively. If you give full credit to Zetterberg's offense for the playoffs, they are probably pretty close, though Phillips is quite a bit faster.

-Ottawa's second line may not get the most out of Claude Provost offensively.


Provost was an excellent defensive player, but he had an all-time great playmaker in Henri Richard on his line in real life. Provost was top 10 in points and goals twice, both with Henri Richard and Henri is often credited with helping Provost out offensively. Modano is a different kind of center offensively, at least as good at scoring goals as setting them up. This is supported by the fact that Modano, despite being top 10 in regular season points 3 times, was only top 10 in assists once. Then you look at the production of Modano's linemates, and he didn't seem to elevate the numbers of Brett Hull or Bill Guerin the way other star centers did.

Johnny Gottselig provides some playmaking from the wing, so between him and Modano, it's possible they will get production out of Provost. And Modano is definitely good enough defensively to compliment Provost's defensive game. But Provost doesn't have the all-time great playmaking center to set him up here like he did in real life during his 2 big offensive seasons.

-Who is setting up Rick Nash?


Nash is among the most shoot-first players of recent years. He's come a long way since 2003, when he had 41 goals and 16 assists, but playing in an era where assists are given out far more frequently than goals, he's one of a small minority of offensive talents who actually has more goals than assists in his career - 259 goals, 229 assists.

Anecdotes suggest than Dan Bain could do everything, including setting up plays, but I don't like the idea of using a guy who played in an era when most goals were scored through individual efforts, and for whom no assist data is available, as the playmaker for a guy as goal-biased as Rick Nash. Even if Bain had balanced offense, his goal scoring is a bit wasted if he's always looking to set up Nash, I think.

(As an aside, when I was trying hard to trade up for Bain, I was looking to put together a MacKell-Bain-Palffy line. Palffy, with 329 goals and 384 assists in his career, is a much more balanced player than Nash offensively and MacKell was a passer first (at least when he played center, his offense does need to be downgraded as a winger)).

Henderson appears to be a solid enough even strength producer, but he's more of a complimentary offensive player.

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05-22-2011, 01:19 PM
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Ottawa's top 6 forwards are strong on both sides of the puck as a group, but they lack a physical presence as a group. This could create a mismatch with NJ's physical defensemen

-Ottawa's first line is obviously designed to play a puck-possession style, with Zetterberg really the closest thing to a physical presence. Between the hard work of Z and possibly Bentley, I don't think there is a puck winning issue, but they could be vulnerable to more physical play.

-Ottawa's second line is comprised of three hard-working players, so again, no puck winning issue, but again a lack of physical play.

-Obviously no lack of physical play on the third line with Bain and Nash.

-NJ's physical defensemen - Art Coulter, Babe Pratt, Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, and Rick Ley in his limited minutes - will hit Ottawa's top line forwards often and hard and attempt to wear them down as the series progresses. The mismatch in physical play between NJ's defensemen and Ottawa's top 6 forwards could be a key factor in the series.

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05-22-2011, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
If Claude Provost could be effective at LW, then why did Toe Blake never try moving him there in real life to play against the likes of Gordie Howe? If Provost was nearly as effective at LW, then he'd have to be better than the likes of Gillies Tremblay or any of the LWs who actually faces off against Howe.
If Toe Blake had the creativity to try it, and it failed, I would buy that. The problem there was coaching, not Provost's ability to play the other side.

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I don't agree that LW and RW are identical defensively. Play along one's own boards is very important to transitioning out of the zone, and harder on the off wing. There's a reason a lot of off-wing wingers circle high looking for the breakout pass instead of battling along the boards (like Maurice Richard?) There's a place for those wingers, but that's not Provost's game.
They are identical defensively, and battling along the boards is the same anywhere on the ice.

Transition is part of offense. Being on the wrong wing isn't really a deficit in itself - it's just a little different. Either you have to take a pass on your backhand or you have to open up and take it on the forehand. Some players can't do that as well, but others actually do it better. I've had lots of players over the years that benifit from picking up the puck that way.

Off wingers don't need to circle high. It's just that certain types of players go to their off wing, and those kinds of players generally cheat offensively. Provost can play the same responsible style on both sides.

Quote:
Moving Provost to LW is tempting but would be a blunder IMO.
Not using one of the best shadows in the ATD against an elite scorer is a waste. You selected Provost specifically because of his ability to shadow, so why wouldn't you mximize that ability?

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05-22-2011, 01:32 PM
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If Toe Blake had the creativity to try it, and it failed, I would buy that. The problem there was coaching, not Provost's ability to play the other side.
I'm just going to have to assume that Toe Blake, who won 8 Cups in 13 years of coaching knew more about what was best for the 1960s Canadiens than a 30 or so year old Dreakmur.

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05-22-2011, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Jagr was a bit better during his regular season peak. Maurice Richard has more longevity as an elite player and more consistency in the regular season
Jagr was quite a bit better during his peak. He's definately a stronger player in the regular season.

Quote:
And was better in the playoffs, of course. If you completely ignore playoffs (where overpass was basically correct in saying Jagr was very good, but quite not as good as in the regular season), then you'd have a case that Jagr was better. I don't think many people ignore the playoffs at this point, though.
Richard's play-off abilities get over-hyped. His production actually goes slightly down (0.99 ppg to 0.94 ppg). In the 1950s, scoring levels in the play-offs were generally higher than the regular season, so the "it's harder to score in the play-offs" doesn't apply as much to Richard as it does other players. Based on that, Richard is no better in the play-offs than he was in the regular season.

Jagr dropes from 1.26 ppg to 1.07 ppg in the play-offs. Jagr was slightly weaker in the play-offs than he was in the regular season.



Since Jagr is slightly better in the regular season, but gets a little weaker in the play-offs, they are about equal in this series.

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05-22-2011, 01:39 PM
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I'm just going to have to assume that Toe Blake, who won 8 Cups in 13 years of coaching knew more about what was best for the 1960s Canadiens than a 30 or so year old Dreakmur.
Just like players, coaches have come a long way over the years.

Not saying he wa a bad coach for his era. I'm saying coaching from that era was pretty bad.

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05-22-2011, 01:50 PM
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"Who is setting up Rick Nash?" Ha! Who has ever set up Rick Nash in Columbus? And yet he's been an elite goalscorer at even strength.

Anyway, the answer is Dan Bain. His LOH profile calls him a playmaker.

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05-22-2011, 03:14 PM
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Mike Modano and Johnny Gottselig were both primary playmakers on their lines and can provide service for Provost.

Did Modano boost his winger's goal totals? Maybe not as much as some other centres. But he boosted their plus-minus, and I'll take that.

Re: physicality, how much of a physical edge do your defencemen have over my top 6 if you are hard matching Quack against my top line? Also, physicality is nice but against Jagr you need some size to make it effective. I don't know that Quack and Coulter provide that.

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05-22-2011, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreakmur View Post
Jagr was quite a bit better during his peak. He's definately a stronger player in the regular season.
Err.... yeah, Jagr is not "definitely" the stronger player in the regular season. He has a better 5 year peak, but Richard was an elite player for 14 straight years in a way that Jagr was not.

5 1st place finishes in scoring is better than 5 second place finishes, sure. Richard's finishes were largely driven by goals over assists, so they are a bit more statistically valuable, though.

But yes, Jagr did have a stretch from 1997-2001 in the regular season better than any short regular season stretch Richard had.. Jagr had 3 particularly impressive Art Rosses - 1998, 1999, 2000. His 1995 tie for the Art Ross and the 2001 Ross that Mario gifted to him weren't particularly out of this world.

Richard was a 1st or 2nd Team All-Star for 14 straight seasons. 8 First Team All Stars, 5 Second Teams to Gordie Howe, and a second team as a rookie. Jagr had nothing of that sort of consistency as an elite player.
Quote:
Richard's play-off abilities get over-hyped. His production actually goes slightly down (0.99 ppg to 0.94 ppg). In the 1950s, scoring levels in the play-offs were generally higher than the regular season, so the "it's harder to score in the play-offs" doesn't apply as much to Richard as it does other players. Based on that, Richard is no better in the play-offs than he was in the regular season.
Richard no better in the playoffs than the regular season? Have you read a single book or article on the history of hockey in the Original 6 period? Seriously.

Since we're so fond of stats, Maurice Richard was more productive in the playoffs than Bobby Hull, scoring 11% more goals per game in the playoffs over his best 13 years than Hull did over his 11 year stretch. And of course, it took decades of 4 round playoffs (vs the 2 round playoffs when Richard played) for someone (Sakic) to break Richard's record for playoff OT goals.

As for the 50s, have you ever wondered why the playoffs were higher scoring than the regular season or are you too busy going over statistics to wonder about the "why?" The best two teams in the league were Montreal and Detroit - the two teams much more offensive minded than the rest of the league. When the two most offensive teams are the ones always advancing to the finals of a two-round playoffs, you are going to get higher than average scoring in the playoffs.

I'd quote Toe Blake about how Maurice was the best "scorer under pressure" he'd ever seen, but I know you know better than he does.

Quote:
Jagr dropes from 1.26 ppg to 1.07 ppg in the play-offs. Jagr was slightly weaker in the play-offs than he was in the regular season.
I really don't care about Jagr's statistical drop in the playoffs. I actually watched the majority of Jagr's playoffs, and he did not have a defining run. In fact, I can't even remember a defining series, where he took his team on his back, other than NJ in the first round of 1999.

Quote:
Since Jagr is slightly better in the regular season, but gets a little weaker in the play-offs, they are about equal in this series.
At least you're consistent. I mean, I doubt many people agree with you here. But I don't blame you for constantly downgrading the importance of playoff performances, when you're relying so heavily on Andy Bathgate on your own team. Heh.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 05-22-2011 at 03:57 PM.
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05-22-2011, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by overpass View Post
Mike Modano and Johnny Gottselig were both primary playmakers on their lines and can provide service for Provost.

Did Modano boost his winger's goal totals? Maybe not as much as some other centres. But he boosted their plus-minus, and I'll take that.
Yes, but Brett Hull and Bill Guerin needed help with their plus minus Claude Provost's defensive play is fine, it's his offense that largely depends on his linemates I think.

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Re: physicality, how much of a physical edge do your defencemen have over my top 6 if you are hard matching Quack against my top line? Also, physicality is nice but against Jagr you need some size to make it effective. I don't know that Quack and Coulter provide that.
Bilya and Pratt will be out there most of the time that Coulter-Quack are not. Yeah, Quack was a very clean non-physical defensive player. Coulter was quite the best though and will hit Zetterberg and Bentley (and Jagr when he comes to his side) any chance he gets. n

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