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Was Dallas the 3rd wheel of the Detroit/Colorado rivalry?

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Old
02-06-2013, 07:11 PM
  #1
Stars and Bolts
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Was Dallas the 3rd wheel of the Detroit/Colorado rivalry?

During the dead puck era (1995-2004), much has been made about the intense rivalry between the Avs and Wings, as well as how they were the elite teams along with the Devils. However, it seems like the Stars often get lost in the discussion.

A close look at things shows that Dallas was often right there with Colorado and Detroit.

#1 seed in the Western Conference:
1. Detroit: 4 (95, 96, 02, 04)
2. Dallas: 3 (98, 99, 03)
3. Colorado: 2 (97, 01)
The other winner was St. Louis in 2000 (President's trophy as well)

President's trophies:
1. Detroit: 4 (95, 96, 02, 04)
2. Colorado: 2 (97, 01) and Dallas: 2 (98 and 99)

Conference champions:
1. Detroit: 4 (95, 97, 98, 02)
2. Colorado: 2 (96 and 01) and Dallas 2 (99 and 00)

Of course, Dallas only won the cup once (1999) which is why people may not include them in the likes of Colorado, Detroit, and New Jersey.

Playoff series against each other:
Colorado vs Detroit: 3-2 Avs
Colorado vs Dallas: 2-0 Stars
Dallas vs Detroit: 1-0 Wings

Did you consider the Stars to be the 3rd wheel in the Avs/Wings rivalry? Also, do they belong in the same discussion as the Avs, Wings, and Devils during this era?

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02-06-2013, 07:56 PM
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vadim sharifijanov
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dallas certainly does deserve to be discussed as one of the superteams from the (first) interlockout era.

but i don't think they deserve to be thrown in there in the detroit/colorado rivalry, being that i don't think detroit or colorado ever hated them or felt a real rivalry with them.

but dallas does have the distinction of being the team that turned the avs around at the turn of the millennium. losing those two straight WCFs to dallas made colorado rethink its personnel, first trading for bourque, then trading ozolinsh for futures, and finally trading for blake. without those two losses to dallas, i don't think the avs give up that much (deadmarsh, rolston, aaron miller, samme pahlsson [a prospect at the time], jared aulin [a hotshot prospect at the time], and three firsts). when they traded deadmarsh, i felt like it was lacroix acknowledging that it wasn't detroit they had to go through anymore, it was dallas. ironically, they'd never play hitchcock's stars in the playoffs again.

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02-06-2013, 08:27 PM
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Dallas was not part of the rivalry, but they were absolutely in the "1995-2004 contender" group with Detroit, New Jersey, and Colorado.

Those four, and nobody else, were the elite teams.

They were the only Cup winners (Det 3, NJ 3, Col 2, Dal 1) and aside from St. Louis in 2000 and Ottawa in 2003 (both abberations which were not part of sustained success) they won all of the President's trophies.

As a co-contender, Dallas was also the only team to have a defense corps that could rival that of Detroit, New Jersey, or Colorado. Sergei Zubov, Darryl Sydor, Derian Hatcher, and Richard Matvichuk was an elite top-four. Compare to Lidstrom/Coffey/Konstantinov/Fetisov (later Lidstrom/Murphy/Konstantinov/Fetisov, Lidstrom/Murphy/Fetisov/Eriksson, Lidstrom/Chelios/Fischer/Duchesne) or Ozolinsh/Foote/Krupp/Lefebvre (later Bourque/Ozolinsh/Foote/Skoula, Bourque/Blake/Foote/Skoula). Or Stevens/Niedermayer/Albelin/Driver (later Stevens/Niedermayer/Rafalski/Malakhov, Niedermayer/Rafalski/Stevens/White).

St. Louis, with Pronger and MacInnis, was a pretender to this group. They simply didn't have anyone on defense past those two. Their #3 defenseman, by year, was:

1998: Steve Duchesne
1999: Ricard Persson
2000: Marc Bergevin
2001: Alexander Khavanov

As you can see, that's not a group that's going to lead you to a Cup. Especially with the thrift-store goaltending they had.

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02-06-2013, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stars and Bolts View Post
do they belong in the same discussion as the Avs, Wings, and Devils during this era?
Absolutely they belong in that same discussion, but Colorado and Detroit wanted to drink wine out of each other's skulls...

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02-07-2013, 01:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stars and Bolts View Post
During the dead puck era (1995-2004), much has been made about the intense rivalry between the Avs and Wings, as well as how they were the elite teams along with the Devils. However, it seems like the Stars often get lost in the discussion.

A close look at things shows that Dallas was often right there with Colorado and Detroit.

#1 seed in the Western Conference:
1. Detroit: 4 (95, 96, 02, 04)
2. Dallas: 3 (98, 99, 03)
3. Colorado: 2 (97, 01)
The other winner was St. Louis in 2000 (President's trophy as well)

President's trophies:
1. Detroit: 4 (95, 96, 02, 04)
2. Colorado: 2 (97, 01) and Dallas: 2 (98 and 99)

Conference champions:
1. Detroit: 4 (95, 97, 98, 02)
2. Colorado: 2 (96 and 01) and Dallas 2 (99 and 00)

Of course, Dallas only won the cup once (1999) which is why people may not include them in the likes of Colorado, Detroit, and New Jersey.

Playoff series against each other:
Colorado vs Detroit: 3-2 Avs
Colorado vs Dallas: 2-0 Stars
Dallas vs Detroit: 1-0 Wings

Did you consider the Stars to be the 3rd wheel in the Avs/Wings rivalry? Also, do they belong in the same discussion as the Avs, Wings, and Devils during this era?
I think they're "scissors." The problem for Dallas was that Detroit was "rock," by virtue of having the most overall success of the three teams during that era. So when people talk about these teams, they typically start with Detroit, who had the most Cups and regular season success. They then move to Colorado, the "paper" to Detroit's rock, who, although they didn't have as much overall success as Detroit, still managed to get the best of them more times than not in head to head contests. It's only then that you get to Dallas, who had success in the head to head against Colorado, but was always kind of a little brother to Detroit (losing their one head to head playoff meeting, and being stocked with former Detroit management who were clearly looking to the "Detroit model" to run things).

Even if everything else stayed the same, if Colorado beats Detroit in '97 (and was thus "rock"), I think you hear more about Dallas (who then becomes paper to Detroit's scissors).

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02-07-2013, 10:35 AM
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Well , yeah , kind of (in response to the title).

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02-07-2013, 10:49 AM
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Dallas isn't really a part of the Colorado/Detroit rivalry, they had their own feuds, but they are a huge piece of the DPE's landscape and easily its fourth best team.

On that subject, who's #5? Tampa by virtue of being the only other team with a Cup? Or do Buffalo/Pittsburgh/Philly get the nod for being the flawed teams with elite players you consistently had to go through?


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02-07-2013, 11:48 AM
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Yes, they were, I always thought that.

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02-07-2013, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by struckbyaparkedcar View Post
Dallas isn't really a part of the Colorado/Detroit rivalry, they had their own feuds, but they are a huge piece of the DPE's landscape and easily its fourth best team.

On that subject, who's #5? Tampa by virtue of being the only other team with a Cup? Or do Buffalo/Pittsburgh/Philly get the nod for being the flawed teams with elite players you consistently had to go through?
It's hard to pick Tampa when they were doormats until the very end of the period. I'd say either Philly in the East, or St. Louis in the West.

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02-11-2013, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
dallas certainly does deserve to be discussed as one of the superteams from the (first) interlockout era.

but i don't think they deserve to be thrown in there in the detroit/colorado rivalry, being that i don't think detroit or colorado ever hated them or felt a real rivalry with them.
No doubt that they never had a rivalry with either the Avs or Wings that was as intense as their rivalry was. The reason I called them the 3rd wheel is because they were the other elite team.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eva unit zero View Post
Dallas was not part of the rivalry, but they were absolutely in the "1995-2004 contender" group with Detroit, New Jersey, and Colorado.

Those four, and nobody else, were the elite teams.

They were the only Cup winners (Det 3, NJ 3, Col 2, Dal 1) and aside from St. Louis in 2000 and Ottawa in 2003 (both abberations which were not part of sustained success) they won all of the President's trophies.
Those 4 were the only winners until Tampa Bay won the cup in 2004, which was the final year of the dead puck era.
Quote:
Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Absolutely they belong in that same discussion, but Colorado and Detroit wanted to drink wine out of each other's skulls...
That's why I used the term 3rd wheel, since they were part of the elite teams out west along with the Avs and Wings, and while they had a rivalry with the Avs, it wasn't as intense as the Avs/Wings rivalry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by overg View Post
I think they're "scissors." The problem for Dallas was that Detroit was "rock," by virtue of having the most overall success of the three teams during that era. So when people talk about these teams, they typically start with Detroit, who had the most Cups and regular season success. They then move to Colorado, the "paper" to Detroit's rock, who, although they didn't have as much overall success as Detroit, still managed to get the best of them more times than not in head to head contests. It's only then that you get to Dallas, who had success in the head to head against Colorado, but was always kind of a little brother to Detroit (losing their one head to head playoff meeting, and being stocked with former Detroit management who were clearly looking to the "Detroit model" to run things).

Even if everything else stayed the same, if Colorado beats Detroit in '97 (and was thus "rock"), I think you hear more about Dallas (who then becomes paper to Detroit's scissors).
When we played the Wings in 1998, we had no shot at winning, because Joe Nieuwendyk suffered a knee injury in the 1st game of the playoffs by that cheap shot artist Bryan Marchment. Nieuwendyk had had a big year that year, and the loss of him completely hurt the Stars offense. We beat Edmonton (who had upset Colorado in the 1st round) in the second round, despite only scoring 9 goals in 5 games. Against Detroit we stood no chance. Of course, this prompted us to sign Brett Hull in the offseason, which alone helped our goal scoring. And of course, Nieuwendyk proved just how much he was missed in 98 by winning the Conn Smythe in 1999.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
It's hard to pick Tampa when they were doormats until the very end of the period. I'd say either Philly in the East, or St. Louis in the West.
I agree, even though the Lightning were the only team outside the big 4 to win the cup, they only made the playoffs 3 times in the DPE. First in 1996, then not again until 2003 before winning the cup in 2004.
St. Louis and Philly were the 2 I thought about after the big 4. I'm more inclined to give it to the Blues because they were more consistent and they had to deal with the Avs, Wings, and Stars, while the Flyers only had to contend with the Devils.

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02-11-2013, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overg View Post
I think they're "scissors." The problem for Dallas was that Detroit was "rock," by virtue of having the most overall success of the three teams during that era. So when people talk about these teams, they typically start with Detroit, who had the most Cups and regular season success. They then move to Colorado, the "paper" to Detroit's rock, who, although they didn't have as much overall success as Detroit, still managed to get the best of them more times than not in head to head contests. It's only then that you get to Dallas, who had success in the head to head against Colorado, but was always kind of a little brother to Detroit (losing their one head to head playoff meeting, and being stocked with former Detroit management who were clearly looking to the "Detroit model" to run things).

Even if everything else stayed the same, if Colorado beats Detroit in '97 (and was thus "rock"), I think you hear more about Dallas (who then becomes paper to Detroit's scissors).
I'm not sure what connection you're talking about regarding Detroit management in Dallas. If anything, the glory days of the Stars were brought about largely by former Habs players/management. Gainey was the coach until he found the replacement he wanted as well as the GM. He built a team that played a different style than Detroit (or Colorado for that matter), and he brought in a few key former Canadiens players to bring his vision to fruition. The identity of those Stars teams were based largely on Gainey's style as a player and things he learned from Bowman during his time in Montreal.

Former Habs players on Stars 98-99 roster:

Keane
Carbonneau
Ludwig
Skrudland

Unless there's some other aspect of the front office I'm missing I don't see a connection with Detroit whatsoever. And style-wise, if you were to pick another big team of that era that they're close to it would be New Jersey; conversely Detroit and Colorado were similar to one another.

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02-11-2013, 10:08 PM
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From 97-2003, FOR MOST CERTAIN and it usually was...first round was always Edmonton/Dallas.

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02-12-2013, 03:00 AM
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overg
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Originally Posted by glovesave_35 View Post
I'm not sure what connection you're talking about regarding Detroit management in Dallas.
http://stars.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=39228

Given that page lists his wife as Kim, I'm going to guess he's re-married in the past decade, but his former wife's name was Denise Illitch Lites, daughter of Red Wings owners Mike and Marion Illitch.

I thought there were several other key Stars personnel who had Detroit connections during that time frame, although a quick Google search isn't popping anything, so maybe my memory was just exaggerating things.

In any event, there's no doubt Dallas had a Montreal thing going on. But they also explicitly referenced the "Detroit model" a lot during that time frame. Of course that's hardly surprising given that the Wings were in 3 SF finals in 4 years and won 2 of them . . . everyone was trying to emulate them or find a way to beat them. Dallas was just the best at the former, using a rock solid defensive system and waiting for opportunities for their star offensive players to score. I'd agree that they actually played more like New Jersey than Detroit, but I think the stated aim was to play more like the Wings.

If I recall correctly, Detroit also had a great deal of success against the Stars in the regular season during that time frame, which placed more emphasis on Detroit being the "hurdle" Dallas needed to get over (I'm talking pre-'99 here). That ended up not really being the case, as it was Colorado, not Detroit, that Dallas beat on the way to its two Cup finals.

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02-12-2013, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overg View Post
http://stars.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=39228

Given that page lists his wife as Kim, I'm going to guess he's re-married in the past decade, but his former wife's name was Denise Illitch Lites, daughter of Red Wings owners Mike and Marion Illitch.

I thought there were several other key Stars personnel who had Detroit connections during that time frame, although a quick Google search isn't popping anything, so maybe my memory was just exaggerating things.

In any event, there's no doubt Dallas had a Montreal thing going on. But they also explicitly referenced the "Detroit model" a lot during that time frame. Of course that's hardly surprising given that the Wings were in 3 SF finals in 4 years and won 2 of them . . . everyone was trying to emulate them or find a way to beat them. Dallas was just the best at the former, using a rock solid defensive system and waiting for opportunities for their star offensive players to score. I'd agree that they actually played more like New Jersey than Detroit, but I think the stated aim was to play more like the Wings.

If I recall correctly, Detroit also had a great deal of success against the Stars in the regular season during that time frame, which placed more emphasis on Detroit being the "hurdle" Dallas needed to get over (I'm talking pre-'99 here). That ended up not really being the case, as it was Colorado, not Detroit, that Dallas beat on the way to its two Cup finals.
I guess in that sense most teams were trying to emulate Detroit to some degree. The same was true after the 2004 lockout as well. I'll just say that even though, or perhaps because, Detroit was the big brother that was such a huge hurdle, I don't ever recall hearing anything in Dallas media or Stars personnel saying anything about following a Detroit model. If they did it was only in the most broad "we respect them and want to get to that (multiple championship) level" type of context.

If we're going to call playing sound team defense and allowing star players to score goals the "Detroit model" then I'd say almost every team of that era was following the Detroit model.

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02-12-2013, 03:42 PM
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Well, sort of, yeah. There was the Detroit model (star forwards sacrificing points to play sound defense), the New Jersey model (not really relying on star forwards at all, but rather a rock solid defensive system and superior goaltending), the Colorado model (relying on a combination of star forwards and goaltending, without quite the emphasis on a defensive system), and even the Flyers model (lots of big, tough, players).

The reason I think Dallas was trying to emulate Detroit, rather than the others, was the Stars did have some superstar forwards, but they were asked to reign things in and play ultra-tight defense. I also do recall Dallas management explicitly referring to Detroit as they were building to their Cup runs. Which, given the Wings success and the fact that Lites came from the organization, isn't surprising.

At the end of the day I stand by my position. Dallas was the 3rd wheel because a) they had the least Cups of the three, and b), they never beat the team that is usually credited with being the first wheel . . . Detroit. Colorado also had less overall success than Detroit, but could at least make a claim to being better due to their head to head records (the same holds true for New Jersey versus Detroit).

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02-12-2013, 07:01 PM
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Dallas was the #3 team in the West during that span, for sure. Three straight deep runs in the playoffs 1998-'00 with one Cup out of it puts them in contention. Keep in mind they also beat Colorado twice in 7 game series for the right to the Cup final. However, neither of Dallas' best teams beat the best from Detroit (2002) or Colorado (2001).

Yes there were 4 big treams back then in the era between lockouts. Detroit, New Jersey, Colorado and Dallas. I never really thought who would be the 5th team since there were holes in every one of those teams. I guess I'd pick Philly. After that it gets dicey between Ottawa, Toronto and St. Louis.

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02-13-2013, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overg View Post
Well, sort of, yeah. There was the Detroit model (star forwards sacrificing points to play sound defense), the New Jersey model (not really relying on star forwards at all, but rather a rock solid defensive system and superior goaltending), the Colorado model (relying on a combination of star forwards and goaltending, without quite the emphasis on a defensive system), and even the Flyers model (lots of big, tough, players).

The reason I think Dallas was trying to emulate Detroit, rather than the others, was the Stars did have some superstar forwards, but they were asked to reign things in and play ultra-tight defense. I also do recall Dallas management explicitly referring to Detroit as they were building to their Cup runs. Which, given the Wings success and the fact that Lites came from the organization, isn't surprising.

At the end of the day I stand by my position. Dallas was the 3rd wheel because a) they had the least Cups of the three, and b), they never beat the team that is usually credited with being the first wheel . . . Detroit. Colorado also had less overall success than Detroit, but could at least make a claim to being better due to their head to head records (the same holds true for New Jersey versus Detroit).
Agreed. No shame in being the 4th of those teams either, though I put a mental caveat alongside what New Jersey accomplished given that the three other top teams were all battling each other each year out West; they simply had an easier road to the finish line. In any case, it was those four teams and then everyone else during that era. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the reason we can define it as an era is due in very large part to those teams' combined dominance.

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02-13-2013, 02:57 PM
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Very interesting topic as I originally wanted to comment on Dallas, in a previous Colorado/Detroit thread from two weeks ago. Depending on the reference year/range, the opinions will be very different...

Colorado and Detroit had a very fierce rivalry that spanned a decade. If you have a decade long parameter from 1995 - 2004, Dallas doesn't come close in the equation.

However if your reference point is 1998-2001, then Dallas was a huge and integral part of that rivalry - as the Stars were probably the best of the three during those years. In 1998/1999, Dallas wins the cup; and in 1999/2000, the much-favored Dallas went to Game 6 of the Finals against NJ. During that stretch, Dallas was the best team in the league and the team to beat in the West.

That 1998-2000 period coincided with a Brett Hull's tenure as a Star. In the short three seasons Hull was a Star, Dallas had everything and the aura/confidence to boot. It was during this time when Belfour claimed (and rightly so, after beating Colorado in two straight playoffs) that "he was just as good as, if not better than, Patrick Roy." I first started closely following hockey around that time and Dallas was a feared and well-oiled machine.

Upfront, they had the most well-rounded group of forwards out there. Modano and Lehtinen who were some of the best two-way players in the game (with Langenrbunner being in the same mold). The scoring touch from Hull and Nieuwendyke coupled with grit/toughness from guys like Verbeek, Marshall, Keane, Muller, Carboneau and Morrow. Defensively, they had a great blend of toughness and finess in Hatcher, Zubov and Sydor. Belfour was also at his best.

In contrast, Colorado was a little messed up those few years while a lot of people already assumed that Detroit was getting too old. Colorado didn't have the defense (which prompted them to get Bourque and Blake) and had silly dramas, with instances like Fleury getting too drunk in the playoffs and had to miss games in the Avs/Stars series. Colorado was also juggling different strategies and trying to blend in youth (i.e. amassing four 1st round picks in 1998, before drafting Regehr, Tanguay, Skoula and Parker). Moreover, Detroit never really struck as much fear then since they were going to war against the Roy-led Avs and the Belfour-led Stars with Chris Ogood...

The interesting thing is, as someone else suggested, a lot of the later power moves from Detroit and Colorado came from a function of Dallas. Detroit realized it needed a star goalie to compete with the likes of Roy, Belfour and Brodeur. Colorado realized that needed Blake to have a top 3 that matched the likes of Hatcher, Zubov and Sydor. Ironic thing is, we never saw a best vs. best rivalry between the Stars and the Avs and the Wings. By the time the Avs stacked up with Blake and Detroit stacked up later with Hasek and Hull, the Stars quickly declined. So in that sense the rivalry never developed since Detroit and Colorado got stronger while Dallas quickly faded from its prime.


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