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Tony Tanti - Why the drop off?

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02-05-2013, 01:17 PM
  #1
Smelling Salt
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Tony Tanti - Why the drop off?

Anyone know why Tony Tanti's numbers fell off a cliff after the 87-88 season?

1983-84 VAN 79 45 41 86
1984-85 VAN 68 39 20 59
1985-86 VAN 77 39 33 72
1986-87 VAN 77 41 38 79
1987-88 VAN 73 40 37 77
1988-89 VAN 77 24 25 49
1989-90 VAN/PIT 78 28 36 64
1990-91 PIT/BUF 56 7 19 26
1991-92 BUF 70 15 16 31

It looked like some injuries may have started at the end of the 80s unless there was some other explanation why he was missing games. His last season in Vancouver and first season in Pittsburgh are decent pro-rated, but that's about it. He basically stopped scoring at age 24, out of the league at 28 which is strange.

1987 would coincide with getting cut from Team Canada but I am assuming that had nothing to do with it...


Last edited by Smelling Salt: 02-05-2013 at 03:01 PM.
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02-05-2013, 01:48 PM
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Leafsdude7
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If I were to guess, just looking at the Canucks team scoring over Tanti's high-level years and then what it looked like in the 88-89 season that he struggled, I'd point to the coinciding struggles of Stan Smyl and Barry Pederson as possible causes:

Stan Smyl:
1983-84 VAN NHL 80 24 43 67
1984-85 VAN NHL 80 27 37 64
1985-86 VAN NHL 73 27 35 62
1986-87 VAN NHL 66 20 23 43
1987-88 VAN NHL 57 12 25 37
1988-89 VAN NHL 75 7 18 25

Barry Pederson:
1986-87 VAN NHL 79 24 52 76
1987-88 VAN NHL 76 19 52 71
1988-89 VAN NHL 62 15 26 41

As far as I can tell, Tanti played with Greg Adams down the middle and a variety of wingers at ES over those seasons and with either of both of these two on the PP, where he got a lot of his goals, though he played with Patrik Sundstrom in 83-84 when Sundstrom got a career high 91 points.

Another factor might have been the emergence of Linden and the youth movement as a whole that the Canucks had just entered at that time. Keep in mind, though, that he still scored 24 and 28 goals in those two "slump" seasons, so he didn't immediately fall off completely. As well, with both Pittsburgh (Recchi and Rob Brown) and Buffalo (Mogilny and Vaive), he was playing behind two more accomplished right wingers, so those 22 goals in 126 games over his last two seasons were with 3rd line minutes where the first two lines were probably playing a combined 35-40 minutes.

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02-05-2013, 02:59 PM
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Yeah you know what I took his VAN/PIT split year as two separate seasons, making it look like he had injury problems for two seasons. So that is my bad and I fixed the stats I posted.

Thanks for posting. It could be true the PP cost him some goals for sure. And you're right - he may have been odd man out in Pittsburgh/Buffalo. Never thought of that.

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02-05-2013, 03:09 PM
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I would guess the reason for the drop off in Tanti's play is because he is now approaching 55-60

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02-05-2013, 03:34 PM
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Ogie Goldthorpe
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He wasn't the biggest guy... in fact he looked quite slight... but he didn't play a perimeter game, so he took his lumps. Much like everything else that sucked about the Canucks at that time, we didn't have elite enforcers either, so teams like the Flames and Oiler beat us in the alley as well as on the ice. Tanti didn't get the level of protection that most other teams' stars got. Consequently, he always seemed to get the bulk of his goals in the first half of the season, and then tail off.

I figure the beatings eventually took their toll.

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02-05-2013, 04:28 PM
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Giacomin
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Maybe he wasn,t that good

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02-05-2013, 05:45 PM
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Big Phil
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Burnout? Not to mention just probably peaked early on and didn't have the strength to compete year in and year out

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02-05-2013, 06:01 PM
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vadim sharifijanov
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i'm not old enough to remember tanti very well and i don't know the distribution of tanti's points wrt opponents, one other factor might be the smythe division (especially edmonton and calgary, but also winnipeg) became more defensive during the late 80s. maybe he was better suited to run and gun than battling through muckler and crisp teams.

it's not like when he was scoring 40 goals a year that the canucks were winning any more games. i think just the division got tighter checking. they all happen for a number of different reasons, but skriko, pederson, and smyl's point totals all start to go down in the late 80s, and their declines, while not totally in lockstep with tanti's, might all have been accelerated by the shift in the smythe division.

i'd also note that in '89 the canucks had their best year in forever and seemed to themselves make a defensive shift, dropping more than 100 goals against from the previous season.

but also, in the crater year of '89, tanti's shooting percentage, which was usually pretty high-- around 18%-- plumetted to 11%. could have just been a snake-bitten year. he bounces back somewhat with a 64 point year in '90, split between vancouver and pittsburgh (shooting percentage of almost 15%).

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02-05-2013, 06:42 PM
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knee injury and removed off the top line

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02-06-2013, 02:11 AM
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MS
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There were a lot of similar players with similar toolboxes - smallish, average skaters, quick hands - who experienced a similar drop-off at a young age at roughly the same period circa 1990.

My personal opinion is that that type of player was very effective against the tons-of-holes small equipment flopping goalies of the early-mid 1980s (Mike Bossy being the finest of the breed) but became less effective with the advance of butterfly goaltending.

Against improved goaltending, you either needed great speed to generate point-blank chances or a howitzer shot to blow past goalies to be a legit goal-scoring threat, and guys who could do neither at a really high level struggled to keep up.

Hell, look how Gretzky's goal-scoring totals fell through that period while his assist totals remained steady.

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02-06-2013, 07:20 AM
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Darth Yoda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS View Post
There were a lot of similar players with similar toolboxes - smallish, average skaters, quick hands - who experienced a similar drop-off at a young age at roughly the same period circa 1990.

My personal opinion is that that type of player was very effective against the tons-of-holes small equipment flopping goalies of the early-mid 1980s (Mike Bossy being the finest of the breed) but became less effective with the advance of butterfly goaltending.

Against improved goaltending, you either needed great speed to generate point-blank chances or a howitzer shot to blow past goalies to be a legit goal-scoring threat, and guys who could do neither at a really high level struggled to keep up.

Hell, look how Gretzky's goal-scoring totals fell through that period while his assist totals remained steady.
This. Also i believe coaching defense became better and perhaps you needed breakthrough power, combining speed with strenght.

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02-06-2013, 05:53 PM
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JetsAlternate
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To further the point about improved goaltending equipment, Tanti had a knack for deflecting pucks. I think the improvement in goaltending took its toll on Tanti's goal totals just because he couldn't find the holes between the goaltender's equipment anymore on those deflections. As Ogie mentioned above, Tanti took abuse from the opposition quite often due to his style of play. Eventually, it became difficult for him to sustain the way he played.

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