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ATD 2013 Lineup Assassination Thread - Jim Robson Division

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Old
04-04-2013, 02:45 PM
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markrander87 View Post
That's a very strong team you've put together Sturm.

I like your 1st line as feel as though you did a great job flanking Boucher.

First pairing is obviously above average Ray Bourque is a top end #1.

Thanks, mark, but just so we're clear, this is Reen's team. He drafted and built the roster, and I think he did an excellent job of it. I'm just an assistant coach he brought in late in the season to help him close the deal, I guess.

As you know, I try my best to answer all requests for advice put to me with the best information that I have. Reen is one of the GMs who picked my brain in PM a few times, but I don't play favorites with whatever knowledge I have accrued, and my fingerprints are no more on this roster than they are on several others around the league.

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04-04-2013, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by EagleBelfour View Post
Selling this 2nd line will be the difference between a good run and a championship run. No doubt Jafar's team is a serious contender.
You may be right. Relative to how I expect the rest of the team to perform, the second line is probably the weakest unit, which is pretty good considering that it looks to be no worse than average in terms of talent, and a good fit for Gorman's kinetic forechecking system. We shall see.

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04-04-2013, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
Thanks, mark, but just so we're clear, this is Reen's team. He drafted and built the roster, and I think he did an excellent job of it. I'm just an assistant coach he brought in late in the season to help him close the deal, I guess.

As you know, I try my best to answer all requests for advice put to me with the best information that I have. Reen is one of the GMs who picked my brain in PM a few times, but I don't play favorites with whatever knowledge I have accrued, and my fingerprints are no more on this roster than they are on several others around the league.
Oh I know, it was just a joke which is why I included the .

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04-04-2013, 03:26 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
You may be right. Relative to how I expect the rest of the team to perform, the second line is probably the weakest unit, which is pretty good considering that it looks to be no worse than average in terms of talent, and a good fit for Gorman's kinetic forechecking system. We shall see.

I would guess it's average compare to the rest of the league. I mean, I've got to find some negative on that team! The first line is extremely fabulous and well built, the third line is a good defensive line, the fourth line brings a bit of everything, one of the very best defensive core in the league, alongside an elite #1 defenceman and to ice it off, a borderline Top-10 goaltender with a favourite of mine as a backup. Any teams will have a hand full against that team!

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04-05-2013, 03:44 AM
  #80
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Above average 1st PP. The forwards are solid. Bourque is in the category of best PP QBs of all-time not named Bobby Orr. Schneider is probably weak for a 1st unit PP guy, but not as weak as Bourque is strong. Neither guy is a RH shot, which does hurt their effectiveness a bit.
I wanted to touch on this because I forgot to address this comment earlier after this thread got sidetracked by the discussion of Montreal's 2nd pairing defensemen. I find it strange that you think Boyle is a good top unit PP guy and Schneider a weak one. When I was running the franchise with Reen MIA for a few weeks, I decided that a PP specialist as #6 defenseman would be the best way forward with the top-5 that he had assembled, and because I believed that keeping Thomson - Mortson together on the 2nd unit would be the best situation. So I researched who I thought was the best of what was out there, and with the exception of Sandis Ozolinsh, who went too early for me to pick him, and the undrafted Jeff Brown, who was an execrably poor defensive player, I was satisfied that Mathieu Schneider was the best man for the job. I think this for a couple of reasons:

1) He shows up very well in overpass' analysis of second tier post-expansion powerplay defensemen (I encourage everybody to read that excellent thread in its entirety). Basically, his PP production is identical to that of Dan Boyle, but his peak as a powerplay QB was about 150 games longer.

2) He has experience playing both sides, and being the 2nd best defenseman on a powerplay. Schneider played on the right a lot (both times in New York, at least, and I think for most of his career) when he was the best pointman on the powerplay because he had a big shot, but he also played mostly on the left in Detroit next to Lidstrom. You can go find his goal videos in NHL.com to confirm this, which is what I did to make sure before I made the pick. This makes him a perfect candidate to be a #6 PP specialist playing next to a better defenseman, on whichever side is needed.

Schneider would not be good as a #1 powerplay QB at this level, but as a #2 guy, with his long years of high-level production and experience playing on both sides, I think he's a good partner for Bourque. I would guess he's about average as a #2 PP defenseman at this level. Many great powerplay units, including Lidstrom - Schneider in Detroit, have featured two left-handed defensemen.


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04-05-2013, 12:48 PM
  #81
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The PK units for Chicago have been changed. I'm going with 3 forward pairings that will play an equal share of time (about 40 seconds each PK). They are:

Gilmour - Nevin
G. Tremblay - Conroy
Dumart - Kesler

Gilmour and Dumart's ES minutes have been reduced so they can play this role. Bossy's ES minutes will stay the same, and he will take a couple shifts a game on the 3rd line in place of John MacLean.

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04-05-2013, 06:07 PM
  #82
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
I wanted to touch on this because I forgot to address this comment earlier after this thread got sidetracked by the discussion of Montreal's 2nd pairing defensemen. I find it strange that you think Boyle is a good top unit PP guy and Schneider a weak one. When I was running the franchise with Reen MIA for a few weeks, I decided that a PP specialist as #6 defenseman would be the best way forward with the top-5 that he had assembled, and because I believed that keeping Thomson - Mortson together on the 2nd unit would be the best situation. So I researched who I thought was the best of what was out there, and with the exception of Sandis Ozolinsh, who went too early for me to pick him, and the undrafted Jeff Brown, who was an execrably poor defensive player, I was satisfied that Mathieu Schneider was the best man for the job. I think this for a couple of reasons:

1) He shows up very well in overpass' analysis of second tier post-expansion powerplay defensemen (I encourage everybody to read that excellent thread in its entirety). Basically, his PP production is identical to that of Dan Boyle, but his peak as a powerplay QB was about 150 games longer.

2) He has experience playing both sides, and being the 2nd best defenseman on a powerplay. Schneider played on the right a lot (both times in New York, at least, and I think for most of his career) when he was the best pointman on the powerplay because he had a big shot, but he also played mostly on the left in Detroit next to Lidstrom. You can go find his goal videos in NHL.com to confirm this, which is what I did to make sure before I made the pick. This makes him a perfect candidate to be a #6 PP specialist playing next to a better defenseman, on whichever side is needed.

Schneider would not be good as a #1 powerplay QB at this level, but as a #2 guy, with his long years of high-level production and experience playing on both sides, I think he's a good partner for Bourque. I would guess he's about average as a #2 PP defenseman at this level. Many great powerplay units, including Lidstrom - Schneider in Detroit, have featured two left-handed defensemen.
You find it strange that I don't have every but of information on every player in the draft memorized? I guess Schneider is passable on the first PP; I don't think Boyle is particularly great there either. One thing in favor of Boyle is that he's a RH shot.

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04-06-2013, 05:05 AM
  #83
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
You find it strange that I don't have every but of information on every player in the draft memorized?
You should take it as a compliment, even if it's not entirely fair. As hard as I try to keep my elbows down in these debates, old habits die hard.

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Quote:
I guess Schneider is passable on the first PP; I don't think Boyle is particularly great there either.
I am surprised to hear you say that. In case you hadn't noticed (I'll stop assuming that you are omniscient), 32 adjusted powerplay points/season puts Boyle and Schneider tied with Doug Wilson, among others, and only 1 point behind Guy Lapointe. Aren't those guys considered strong ATD 1st unit powerplay players?


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04-06-2013, 08:28 AM
  #84
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With the exception of Joe Klukay, who I am still researching, I have managed to update all of the profiles to a standard that I feel is sufficient. After doing some research on Boris Mikhailov in The Red Machine, I am satisfied that he is the right choice for captain of this team. Mikhailov was known as an assertive leader who was a workaholic personally, and who wasn't afraid of dressing down his teammates for poor performances. As I value active more than passive leadership, I think Mikhailov is ultimately a better choice than Bourque to wear the C on this team. I have added the relevant excerpt from the book to the linked Mikhailov bio.

I still have some documents to sift through in my research of Joe Klukay, so that one may not get done until after the regular season voting is over.

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04-06-2013, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
I am surprised to hear you say that. In case you hadn't noticed (I'll stop assuming that you are omniscient), 32 adjusted powerplay points/season puts Boyle and Schneider tied with Doug Wilson, among others, and only 1 point behind Guy Lapointe. Aren't those guys considered strong ATD 1st unit powerplay players?
Those guys are fine, I guess. Lapointe is a bit underrated by his PP stats because of Montreal's tendency to spread the ice time around.

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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
With the exception of Joe Klukay, who I am still researching, I have managed to update all of the profiles to a standard that I feel is sufficient. After doing some research on Boris Mikhailov in The Red Machine, I am satisfied that he is the right choice for captain of this team. Mikhailov was known as an assertive leader who was a workaholic personally, and who wasn't afraid of dressing down his teammates for poor performances. As I value active more than passive leadership, I think Mikhailov is ultimately a better choice than Bourque to wear the C on this team. I have added the relevant excerpt from the book to the linked Mikhailov bio.

I still have some documents to sift through in my research of Joe Klukay, so that one may not get done until after the regular season voting is over.
I agree with this decision

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04-06-2013, 02:41 PM
  #86
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
With the exception of Joe Klukay, who I am still researching, I have managed to update all of the profiles to a standard that I feel is sufficient. After doing some research on Boris Mikhailov in The Red Machine, I am satisfied that he is the right choice for captain of this team. Mikhailov was known as an assertive leader who was a workaholic personally, and who wasn't afraid of dressing down his teammates for poor performances. As I value active more than passive leadership, I think Mikhailov is ultimately a better choice than Bourque to wear the C on this team. I have added the relevant excerpt from the book to the linked Mikhailov bio.

I still have some documents to sift through in my research of Joe Klukay, so that one may not get done until after the regular season voting is over.
That's why I preferred Mikhailov to Bourque , he was more of a ''hands-on'' type of leader which is the kind of leader that have the most charisma as far as I'm concerned.

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04-06-2013, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
With the exception of Joe Klukay, who I am still researching, I have managed to update all of the profiles to a standard that I feel is sufficient. After doing some research on Boris Mikhailov in The Red Machine, I am satisfied that he is the right choice for captain of this team. Mikhailov was known as an assertive leader who was a workaholic personally, and who wasn't afraid of dressing down his teammates for poor performances. As I value active more than passive leadership, I think Mikhailov is ultimately a better choice than Bourque to wear the C on this team. I have added the relevant excerpt from the book to the linked Mikhailov bio.

I still have some documents to sift through in my research of Joe Klukay, so that one may not get done until after the regular season voting is over.
I wasn't able to write a lot of good bios this year (even though I wanted to do a sharp job on bios before the draft , my lack of time and basically concentration made it impossible for me to do around the middle of the draft) , so thanks for updating them.

Also , you are a freak.You know more about a lot of my players than me.WTF.

EDIT: And why/how are you always appearing offline anyways?

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04-06-2013, 06:15 PM
  #88
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I wasn't able to write a lot of good bios this year (even though I wanted to do a sharp job on bios before the draft , my lack of time and basically concentration made it impossible for me to do around the middle of the draft) , so thanks for updating them.
We both owe dreak a thanks, as well, for his good work on the Tremblay bio, as well as his reformatting of those for Gorman and Amonte.

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Also , you are a freak.You know more about a lot of my players than me.WTF.
It's strange to say this, but I've been doing this for going on seven years now.

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04-09-2013, 04:37 PM
  #89
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Chicago's Versatility

One thing I would like people to note about my team is that because of the way the forward lines have been put together, there is a lot of room to juggle players between lines to get favorable matchups. The main reason for this is that the defensive conscience/glue guy on each line alternates from LW to RW. Here are the lines as they stand right now...

Woody Dumart - Doug Gilmour - Mike Bossy
Paul Thompson - Frank Fredrickson - Bob Nevin
Gilles Tremblay - Ivan Hlinka - John MacLean
Dennis Hull - Craig Conroy - Ryan Kesler

For Example: You could easily put together an uber-shutdown line by switching Nevin and Bossy. By doing that you also get a more offensive line with Thompson - Fredickson - Bossy that still has 3 plus defensive players (although no one that is very good defensively). If you did want a very good defensive player on that line you could easily switch Thompson and Tremblay, and still have a plenty of offense coming from the Fredrickson - Bossy duo, while boosting the offense of the 3rd line.

We are almost never going to have more offensive firepower than our opponents (which isn't surprising coming from a defensive-minded team built around an elite goalie), so getting favorable matchups will likely be a big factor in our success. With a high end coach like Hap Day, most of the time Chicago will be able to take advantage of this versatility and get the matchups they want.

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04-10-2013, 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post
One thing I would like people to note about my team is that because of the way the forward lines have been put together, there is a lot of room to juggle players between lines to get favorable matchups. The main reason for this is that the defensive conscience/glue guy on each line alternates from LW to RW. Here are the lines as they stand right now...

...

We are almost never going to have more offensive firepower than our opponents (which isn't surprising coming from a defensive-minded team built around an elite goalie), so getting favorable matchups will likely be a big factor in our success. With a high end coach like Hap Day, most of the time Chicago will be able to take advantage of this versatility and get the matchups they want.
This is sort of an interesting situation. I like the way you've set your lines generally because Day appears to have believed in playing tight defense up and down the lineup, and set his lines accordingly. Based on my research of Joe Klukay, I can say pretty definitively that the normal Leafs lines at that time were generally a mix of offensive and defensive players. I've recently read a lot of old game reports from Day's Leafs (in Thomson, Mortson and Klukay, Montreal owns the biggest part of Day's defensive core for that threepeat team), and I haven't found any evidence that he used line-matching as a regular tactic on his teams.

This question reflects a general distaste I've had for some time for the generic claims made about coaches in the ATD. Did Day match lines regularly? It's sort of an ATD tradition to assume that the better coach always gets the matchups he wants, and I think this is largely rubbish. Coaches have different strengths - different things that made them truly great - and Day's great strengths seem to have been as a motivator and a defensive system coach. If Day was really a line-matcher, I'd like to see some actual evidence of it.

Regarding Day's teams, you really do seem to have reproduced the general feel of the forwards from that 1947-49 championship run quite well. But I'm not sure you've gotten it quite right with the defensemen. From your bio of Day:

Quote:
Day saw to it that his troops got the puck out of their own zone as quickly as possible. Then they could worry about finding creative new ways to score.
Day's defense on those teams was built around the two-way play of the Thomson - Mortson top pairing, both of whom moved the puck very well, and his earlier teams always had a strong puckmover like Stanowski or Pratt. Your 2nd and 3rd pairings will move the puck well, but Johnson - Brewer on the top pairing is a glaring weakness. Carl Brewer was a good even-strength puckmover in his day, but this is the ATD. As the primary offensive defenseman on an ATD top pairing, he is clearly lacking, and Ching Johnson is no kind of puckmover, at all. You are providing Day with less puckmoving on his top pair than he had in real life, and compared to ATD competition, much less. This looks like one of the weakest top pairings in the league in terms of puckmoving, and they may end up getting pinned in their own zone a lot by teams that can forecheck effectively.

edit: for clarity's sake, here is Carl Brewer's ES Assists record vs. other NHL defensemen:

1958-59: 4th behind Johnson, Gadsby, Turner
1959-60: 7th behind Johnson, Pilote, Pronovost, Morrison, Vasko, Flaman
1960-61: 6th behind Harvey, Gadsby, Pilote, Vasko, Talbot
1961-62: 4th behind Gadsby, Pilote, Talbot
1962-63: 3rd behind Harvey, Boivin
1964-65: 2nd behind Pilote
1969-70: 3rd behind Orr, Stapleton

Brewer certainly has a strong record as a puckmover at even-strength, but it is not ATD 1st pairing strong. If he's among the 32 best even strength puckmoving defensemen of all time, he's certainly towards the bottom of that list.


Last edited by Sturminator: 04-10-2013 at 07:37 AM.
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04-11-2013, 05:50 PM
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This is sort of an interesting situation. I like the way you've set your lines generally because Day appears to have believed in playing tight defense up and down the lineup, and set his lines accordingly. Based on my research of Joe Klukay, I can say pretty definitively that the normal Leafs lines at that time were generally a mix of offensive and defensive players. I've recently read a lot of old game reports from Day's Leafs (in Thomson, Mortson and Klukay, Montreal owns the biggest part of Day's defensive core for that threepeat team), and I haven't found any evidence that he used line-matching as a regular tactic on his teams.

This question reflects a general distaste I've had for some time for the generic claims made about coaches in the ATD. Did Day match lines regularly? It's sort of an ATD tradition to assume that the better coach always gets the matchups he wants, and I think this is largely rubbish. Coaches have different strengths - different things that made them truly great - and Day's great strengths seem to have been as a motivator and a defensive system coach. If Day was really a line-matcher, I'd like to see some actual evidence of it.
Thanks for your response. I did some more research on Day's coaching, but it is really difficult to find specifics about strategy. You see references to his teams being very well prepared, playing mistake free, and playing a very defensive style. You also see Day getting A LOT of credit for his teams' performances. His teams upset some heavy favorites multiple times. And when things were flip-flopped and the Leafs were the favorite, they just destroyed their competition, at one point winning 12 playoff games in a row.

Here is the one example of line matching that I was able to find in my research...

The Windsor Daily Star - April 18, 1949
Quote:
Smythe thought that one of the determining factors of the series was that Detroit's big line of Syd Abel, Gordie Howe, and Ted Lindsay tried to bump his "Three Feathers" line. But Bentley, Ray Timgren and Joe Klukay were too light to be bumped and just bounced away "while the Wings took themselves out of the play."
different article, same newspaper edition...
Quote:
Banking largely, as usual, on its Big Line of Lindsay, Abel, and Howe, the Detroit club clung tenaciously to its slender lead until the halfway mark of the second period - but then the fresh and power-laden Leafs got rolling and the hand-writing was on the wall.
It appears that the Bentley line was matched up against Detroit's big line. On a side note: This should be a feather in Bentley's cap, who is generally thought of as an offense-only type guy (Or maybe a feather in Day's for getting him to be able to play that way! )

Quote:
Regarding Day's teams, you really do seem to have reproduced the general feel of the forwards from that 1947-49 championship run quite well. But I'm not sure you've gotten it quite right with the defensemen. From your bio of Day:

Day's defense on those teams was built around the two-way play of the Thomson - Mortson top pairing, both of whom moved the puck very well, and his earlier teams always had a strong puckmover like Stanowski or Pratt. Your 2nd and 3rd pairings will move the puck well, but Johnson - Brewer on the top pairing is a glaring weakness. Carl Brewer was a good even-strength puckmover in his day, but this is the ATD. As the primary offensive defenseman on an ATD top pairing, he is clearly lacking, and Ching Johnson is no kind of puckmover, at all. You are providing Day with less puckmoving on his top pair than he had in real life, and compared to ATD competition, much less. This looks like one of the weakest top pairings in the league in terms of puckmoving, and they may end up getting pinned in their own zone a lot by teams that can forecheck effectively.

edit: for clarity's sake, here is Carl Brewer's ES Assists record vs. other NHL defensemen:

1958-59: 4th behind Johnson, Gadsby, Turner
1959-60: 7th behind Johnson, Pilote, Pronovost, Morrison, Vasko, Flaman
1960-61: 6th behind Harvey, Gadsby, Pilote, Vasko, Talbot
1961-62: 4th behind Gadsby, Pilote, Talbot
1962-63: 3rd behind Harvey, Boivin
1964-65: 2nd behind Pilote
1969-70: 3rd behind Orr, Stapleton

Brewer certainly has a strong record as a puckmover at even-strength, but it is not ATD 1st pairing strong. If he's among the 32 best even strength puckmoving defensemen of all time, he's certainly towards the bottom of that list.
I read the quote you gave from my Hap Day bio a little differently when looking at the context. To me, that sentence is just re-enforcing how important defensive play was to Day, and not really about some kind of quick transition game in which high-end puckmoving was necessary. Here is some of the text that came before what you referenced...
Quote:
“We were meticulously trained,” Leafs captain Ted Kennedy said of the system the coach put in place. “It was drilled into us. Day was insistent on doing it his way, leaving as little as possible to chance.”

Reporters remarked that Day’s training camps more closely resembled prison camps, with the coach clamping down on anyone who made a mistake, most particularly in the defensive zone. They may have cursed him (behind his back, of course) but they learned what they were capable of doing at game time.

Day, having been a defenceman himself, believed in making sure one’s check never got away from him. Some opponents complained that the Leafs were nothing but clutch-and-grab artists during Day’s tenure, but that style of play proved remarkably effective. Day saw to it that his troops got the puck out of their own zone as quickly as possible. Then they could worry about finding creative new ways to score.
Maybe some of the other GM's can give us their feelings?


While I'm definitely not going to argue that Brewer and Johnson are great puckmovers, it should be noted that they were both the best puckmovers on their real-life pairings. Johnson usually being paired with Abel, and Brewer with Baun. Both were generally facing top lines, and both were on pretty successful teams...someone was moving the puck when they were on the ice. I think what TDMM said was fairly accurate, these guys are fine at ES, but fall in an overall ranking because of sub-par play on the PP.

Finally, one thing that should really help move the puck in the defensive end is having Plante in goal, who not only was a great puckhanlder that often left the net to help his defensemen, but also a great communicator, constantly yelling to his teammates and acting as a second set of eyes for them.

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04-12-2013, 05:24 AM
  #92
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Here is the one example of line matching that I was able to find in my research...
This is an interesting quote:

The Windsor Daily Star - April 18, 1949

Quote:
Smythe thought that one of the determining factors of the series was that Detroit's big line of Syd Abel, Gordie Howe, and Ted Lindsay tried to bump his "Three Feathers" line. But Bentley, Ray Timgren and Joe Klukay were too light to be bumped and just bounced away "while the Wings took themselves out of the play."
Though it looks more like Adams was trying to match the Production Line against the Bentley line, rather than the other way around. This is not at all clear evidence that Day was matching lines. In fact, it looks like Jack Adams was the coach with a habit of linematching here:

20.3.1936 - The Windsor Daily Star:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...,4775495&hl=en

Quote:
One of the amazing performances in hockey class last night was that furnished by Detroit's great forward line of Barry, Aurie and Lewis. This trio opposed, throughout the evening, Chicago's most formidable line, Romnes, March and Thompson...

Last night Detroit's three musketeers not only outchecked and outskated their arch rivals in the sharpshooting fraternity, but overwhelmed them in the scoring school.
I think you've got it backwards here with what was going on in that playoff series. And it's not all that hard to find evidence of linematching among coaches of this era. The above shows that Adams did it, and there is an article in the Gorman bio I posted that talks about an aggressive linematching duel between he and Lester Patrick in 1937.

Quote:
It appears that the Bentley line was matched up against Detroit's big line. On a side note: This should be a feather in Bentley's cap, who is generally thought of as an offense-only type guy (Or maybe a feather in Day's for getting him to be able to play that way!)
So I don't agree with your conclusion here. We know that Adams linematched as early as 1936, and I think it is unlikely that Day would have tried to match the Bentley line against the Production Line. I seriously doubt that Max Bentley was ever a good defensive center (all evidence points to the contrary), and I don't think Day was actually using him in defensive matchups. I am still quite skeptical that Day was a linematcher.

You might want to do a search for something like "Day Toronto Shadow" and "Day Toronto Blanket" in google archives (with the appropriate date range) if you're looking for real evidence of linematching. I haven't finished the profile on Joe Klukay yet, but I've found a number of reports that talk about the "Shadow Line" or "Blanket Line" in Boston being used quite successfully against the Production Line in the 1953 playoffs. At any rate, I think the words that were most commonly used for the practice of linematching in this era were "shadow" and "blanket".

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

Quote:
While I'm definitely not going to argue that Brewer and Johnson are great puckmovers, it should be noted that they were both the best puckmovers on their real-life pairings. Johnson usually being paired with Abel...
It should be noted that this is how Ching Johnson played during his heyday.



Before Gorman brought forechecking into hockey, with the exception of the "rushers" (guys like Shore and Clancy), defensemen generally hung back at their own bluelines when the forwards were in the attacking zone. This means two things. First, they were a lot less involved in the offense than modern defensemen. Second, they never faced five-man forechecking pressure (which was referred to in the press as "ganging" after it made its way into the game), and so didn't have to move the puck under nearly as much duress as the defensemen of later generations.

overpass speculated in the Dirt thread that forechecking may have been the impetus behind the conversion of a number of forwards to defense starting in the mid-1930's, which includes Ebbie Goodfellow, Babe Siebert, Dit Clapper and Neil Colville. This is what he said:

Quote:
In the Stanley Cup final, Detroit moved Ebbie Goodfellow back to right defence in game 3, after he was the second line centre in games 1 and 2. Detroit won Game 3 5-2 and lost Game 4 1-0 with Goodfellow on the blueline, after scoring 2 goals in the first two games. Maybe Goodfellow's speed and skill helped to beat the Chicago forecheck?

If Gorman was right about forechecking becoming a more popular style, I wonder if that was a reason that several high scoring forwards were moved to play defence during the 1930s - their skill was needed in the puck-moving defenceman role, to beat the forecheck and establish the transition game.
...and it is probably accurate. Forechecking was quickly adopted all over the hockey world, and teams had to adapt by putting more skilled players on the blueline. Other than rushers like Clancy and Shore, most blueliners from before the dawn of forechecking would have had little experience and probably little skill at moving the puck quickly under pressure. It makes sense that we'd see skilled forwards moved back to the defense in the immediate aftermath of forechecking's introduction into hockey, and then the practice would slowly disappear as more skilled defensemen were brought up in the junior ranks in response to the new tactics.

To make a long story short, defensive defensemen from the pre-forechecking era likely did very little actual puckmoving during their careers. Ching Johnson's last all-star season was the same year that forechecking was introduced into the NHL, 1933-34, but he played another four seasons in the NHL after that. Over those four seasons, he scored 13 points in 142 games, mostly paired with Ott Heller in New York, who was a puckmover. Johnson's puckmoving credentials are essentially nil.

[/Johnson & forechecking]

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

Quote:
I think what TDMM said was fairly accurate, these guys are fine at ES, but fall in an overall ranking because of sub-par play on the PP.
I'm going to try to be as fair to Brewer as possible here, because I don't think he's a trainwreck as a 1st pairing puckmover, and I don't want it to come across that way. Removing the guys whose even-strength production wasn't really elite, I would say Brewer definitely falls behind the following defensemen as an ES puckmover:

Quote:
Top-7 weighted VsX for Defensemen (1926-2012):

Rank Player
1 Bobby Orr
2 Paul Coffey
3 Raymond Bourque
4 Denis Potvin
5 Brian Leetch
6 Red Kelly
7 Al MacInnis
8 Nicklas Lidstrom
9 Eddie Shore
10 Bill Gadsby
11 Brad Park
12 Doug Harvey
13 Pierre Pilote
14 Larry Robinson
15 King Clancy
16 Mark Howe
...and also behind Cleghorn, Cameron, Georges Boucher, Jan Suchy and Slava Fetisov. So, that puts us at 21 defensemen who I think were almost certainly better even strength puckmovers than Carl Brewer.

Brewer was a good ES puckmover - better than I had thought before looking at the numbers, and I think he legitimately enters the conversation at this point, along with a whole bunch of other guys like Sergei Zubov, Sergei Gonchar, Chris Chelios, Dan Boyle, Gary Suter, Pat Stapleton, Doug Wilson, Doug Mohns, Lester Patrick, Hod Stuart, Alexei Kasatonov, Marcel Pronovost, Larry Murphy, Lionel Conacher, Chris Pronger, Bill Quackenbush, Art Ross and Flash Hollett. So that gets us to 40 defensemen. I think it's probably fair to say that Carl Brewer is somewhere between the 22th and 40th best even strength puckmoving defenseman of all-time. This would make him in all likelihood an adequate, but low-end top pairing puckmover in the ATD, somewhere towards the bottom of the top-32. I think Brewer can do what you're asking of him here, but he's going to be pretty weak at it relative to most top pairing puckmovers in the ATD.

Between Brewer and Johnson, you've still got arguably the weakest top pairing puckmoving in the draft.

Quote:
Finally, one thing that should really help move the puck in the defensive end is having Plante in goal, who not only was a great puckhanlder that often left the net to help his defensemen, but also a great communicator, constantly yelling to his teammates and acting as a second set of eyes for them.
Having Plante in goal is helpful, yes.


Last edited by Sturminator: 04-12-2013 at 05:40 AM.
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04-12-2013, 12:50 PM
  #93
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
This is an interesting quote:

The Windsor Daily Star - April 18, 1949



Though it looks more like Adams was trying to match the Production Line against the Bentley line, rather than the other way around. This is not at all clear evidence that Day was matching lines. In fact, it looks like Jack Adams was the coach with a habit of linematching here:

20.3.1936 - The Windsor Daily Star:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...,4775495&hl=en



I think you've got it backwards here with what was going on in that playoff series. And it's not all that hard to find evidence of linematching among coaches of this era. The above shows that Adams did it, and there is an article in the Gorman bio I posted that talks about an aggressive linematching duel between he and Lester Patrick in 1937.



So I don't agree with your conclusion here. We know that Adams linematched as early as 1936, and I think it is unlikely that Day would have tried to match the Bentley line against the Production Line. I seriously doubt that Max Bentley was ever a good defensive center (all evidence points to the contrary), and I don't think Day was actually using him in defensive matchups. I am still quite skeptical that Day was a linematcher.

You might want to do a search for something like "Day Toronto Shadow" and "Day Toronto Blanket" in google archives (with the appropriate date range) if you're looking for real evidence of linematching. I haven't finished the profile on Joe Klukay yet, but I've found a number of reports that talk about the "Shadow Line" or "Blanket Line" in Boston being used quite successfully against the Production Line in the 1953 playoffs. At any rate, I think the words that were most commonly used for the practice of linematching in this era were "shadow" and "blanket".
I agree with you here. This just as easily could have been Detroit matching up to Toronto, and that does makes more sense. I will try to do some more searching using the terms you suggested.

EDIT: Still a feather in Bentley's cap for not being thrown off his game by a very physical opponent.


Quote:
It should be noted that this is how Ching Johnson played during his heyday.

Before Gorman brought forechecking into hockey, with the exception of the "rushers" (guys like Shore and Clancy), defensemen generally hung back at their own bluelines when the forwards were in the attacking zone. This means two things. First, they were a lot less involved in the offense than modern defensemen. Second, they never faced five-man forechecking pressure (which was referred to in the press as "ganging" after it made its way into the game), and so didn't have to move the puck under nearly as much duress as the defensemen of later generations.

overpass speculated in the Dirt thread that forechecking may have been the impetus behind the conversion of a number of forwards to defense starting in the mid-1930's, which includes Ebbie Goodfellow, Babe Siebert, Dit Clapper and Neil Colville. This is what he said:

...and it is probably accurate. Forechecking was quickly adopted all over the hockey world, and teams had to adapt by putting more skilled players on the blueline. Other than rushers like Clancy and Shore, most blueliners from before the dawn of forechecking would have had little experience and probably little skill at moving the puck quickly under pressure. It makes sense that we'd see skilled forwards moved back to the defense in the immediate aftermath of forechecking's introduction into hockey, and then the practice would slowly disappear as more skilled defensemen were brought up in the junior ranks in response to the new tactics.

To make a long story short, defensive defensemen from the pre-forechecking era likely did very little actual puckmoving during their careers. Ching Johnson's last all-star season was the same year that forechecking was introduced into the NHL, 1933-34, but he played another four seasons in the NHL after that. Over those four seasons, he scored 13 points in 142 games, mostly paired with Ott Heller in New York, who was a puckmover. Johnson's puckmoving credentials are essentially nil.

[/Johnson & forechecking]

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



I'm going to try to be as fair to Brewer as possible here, because I don't think he's a trainwreck as a 1st pairing puckmover, and I don't want it to come across that way. Removing the guys whose even-strength production wasn't really elite, I would say Brewer definitely falls behind the following defensemen as an ES puckmover:



...and also behind Cleghorn, Cameron, Georges Boucher, Jan Suchy and Slava Fetisov. So, that puts us at 21 defensemen who I think were almost certainly better even strength puckmovers than Carl Brewer.

Brewer was a good ES puckmover - better than I had thought before looking at the numbers, and I think he legitimately enters the conversation at this point, along with a whole bunch of other guys like Sergei Zubov, Sergei Gonchar, Chris Chelios, Dan Boyle, Gary Suter, Pat Stapleton, Doug Wilson, Doug Mohns, Lester Patrick, Hod Stuart, Alexei Kasatonov, Marcel Pronovost, Larry Murphy, Lionel Conacher, Chris Pronger, Bill Quackenbush, Art Ross and Flash Hollett. So that gets us to 40 defensemen. I think it's probably fair to say that Carl Brewer is somewhere between the 22th and 40th best even strength puckmoving defenseman of all-time. This would make him in all likelihood an adequate, but low-end top pairing puckmover in the ATD, somewhere towards the bottom of the top-32. I think Brewer can do what you're asking of him here, but he's going to be pretty weak at it relative to most top pairing puckmovers in the ATD.

Between Brewer and Johnson, you've still got arguably the weakest top pairing puckmoving in the draft.



Having Plante in goal is helpful, yes.
What does Johnson sitting back at his own blueline when his team is on offense tell us about how he moved the puck out of his own zone? It should also be noted that Johnson would likely be underrated in any kind of an offensive stat comparison because the Bread Line is credited for introducing a passing attack that featured frequent passing between the 3 linemates who were constantly moving into open space. This type of strategy would make it harder for Johnson to rack up assists when comparing him to other Dmen on teams that still used a more individual-rush type of attack. This makes Johnson's puckmoving from his own zone very tough to evaluate. What we know is that the Rangers were a top team, and Johnson was clearly their best Dman during those years and he has an AS record that shows he was one of the very best Dmen in the league. There's all sorts of praise about his defensive play...so at the very least he was stealing the puck from players and moving it to someone on his team safely. We don't know how often he was moving it out of the zone himself vs. giving it to a teammate to do it, but he was doing something with the puck all those times he was taking it from the best offensive players. I'm not saying Johnson is a great puckmover or anything, but I do think he is better than a nil, and that the Brewer-Johnson pairing combined with Plante will not be a liability at all.


Last edited by Hawkey Town 18: 04-12-2013 at 01:21 PM.
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04-12-2013, 01:03 PM
  #94
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Bob Davidson's profile talks about how he was matched against Maurice Richard. Seems to be evidence that Hap Day was willing to at least have a shadow on a top offensive threat, even if he didn't fully line match.

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04-12-2013, 02:15 PM
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Here is what I was able to find...

The Maple Leaf - March 27, 1945
Quote:
Another talking point that must be considered by the boys in the bull ring, the fast men with a pencil, is the fact that the Leafs (even if lacking the all round strength of Canadiens) have in Metz and Davidson and the manner in which Hill can shadow Blake, the sort of checking club that bothers the Lach line the mostest.
Here there appears to be a specific game plan for the Punch Line.


The Calgary Herald - April 2, 1945

Quote:
Maurice Richard slipped away from the close checking with which he had to contend all evening to score the first Montreal goal, and the second went to Emile (Butch) Bouchard
This is similar to what TDMM posted...targeting a specific star player.


The Calgary Herald - March 23, 1945
Quote:
The Leafs turned back Canadiens for a second time by a one goal margin last night, using their close-checking mastery of the Canuck power to fashion a 3-2 victory to add to their 1-0 win of Tuesday night
This one could go either way depending on if you think "Canuck power" refers to the Punch Line or to their team as a whole.


The Windsor Daily Star - April 20, 1945

Quote:
That shot proved the match that ignited the fuse to dynamite-Toronto dynamite. Up to that time the Leafs had been cautious. But with everything to gain and nothing to lose, they threw caution to the winds and stormed to the attack. Coach hap Day even dusted off his "forgotten line" - a line composed of Nick Metz, Don Metz, and Art Jackson, which had not seen service as a unit in the series-and tossed them into the fray.
This isn't super valuable because it isn't a shutdown/shadow situation, but it does show Day's willingness to shuffle his lines for specific reasons. We also know he famously did this in the 1942 Cup Finals to spark his team to make the famous down 0-3 comeback.

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04-12-2013, 04:48 PM
  #96
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I've become sort of fascinated by Tommy Gorman since signing on with Reen's team, and have done some more research on his career. This work has been fairly fruitful, and I think adds meaningfully to Gorman's legacy as a coach. The more we learn about Gorman, the longer his shadow grows, and I think it is time to start talking about him as one of the upper tier of all-time coaches. First, it appears that Gorman coached the Ottawa Senators in the 1923-24 season, in which the team finished 1st in the regular season standings, and lost to the Habs in the NHL playoffs.

9.10.1924 - The Calgary Daily Herald:

Quote:
Pete Green to Coach Ottawa Hockey Club

Peter "Doc" Green, so long familiar as Ottawa's famous athletic coach, will be back in his old role again. Ottawa's management announced that Petie had been signed on to coach the Senators this coming winter.

...

Last year Petie was not with the Senators, the coaching duties being divided between Eddie Gerard and Tommy Gorman.
So this adds one pretty successful season to Gorman's career. Next, his time behind the bench of the New York Americans was also highly successful. To wit:

New York Americans 1927-28: 11-27-6 // 63 GF; 128 GA - manager Shorty Green

New York Americans 1928-29: 19-13-12 // 53 GF; 53 GA - best winning % in franchise history - manager Tommy Gorman

11.1.1929 - The Montreal Gazette:

Quote:
New York Crowds Want More Goals

That old hockey cry of "more goals" has broken out in New York with renewed force within the last few days, due in part to the almost goalless contests staged between two of the league's bitterest rivals, the New York Rangers and the New York Americans.

...

On the other hand, Lester Patrick, manager of the Rangers, believes that the present rules do not need any revision. He claims that his team have done a fair amount of scoring in most of their league games, and that the only reason they do not cage the puck more against their intra-city rivals is because the A's present an air-tight defensive system, which is almost as effective as the famed "kitty-bar-the-door" style of game perfected some years ago.
20.3.1929 - The Morning Leader:

Quote:
The Rangers tried some of their patented passing combinations, but the Gorman squad blocked everything offered. The latter did not do much on their own account, leaving two men at the blue line on every thrust.
9.7.1929 - The Montreal Gazette:

Quote:
Gorman, in announcing his resignation today, said he had been appointed assistant general manager of the new Agua Calientes race track in Mexico. He will retain his post as secretary of the Connaught Park Jockey Club. The irrepressible Tommy has been an outstanding figure in hockey for years. He was part owner and manager of the Ottawa Senators before going to New York and turned out several championship teams. Gorman is given a great amount of credit for the showing made by the Americans last year, when he made a mediocre team into a championship contender.
----------------------------------------------------

The difference in goals against from the year before Gorman took over to the season he coached the team is just ridiculous. They went from being an awful defensive team to a strong one in a single season with Tommy Gorman behind the bench, and he was lauded for it by other managers and in the press. This was the best winning percentage the Amerks would ever have in the 17 year existence of the franchise.

As seventies likes to say, once is random, and twice may be luck, but three times is a pattern. Gorman went to three straight franchises, which ranged from terrible to middling, and improved them all greatly in a single season, making two of them into world champions. In the process, Gorman introduced to the world of hockey the art of forechecking, which is quite possibly the single most significant system innovation in the history of the sport, and which had a profound impact on hockey that is still felt today, on every shift, in every league.

After the introduction of forechecking, we begin to see talk of "ganging attacks" in the offensive zone in which all five skaters are inside of the opposing blueline, the shifts become shorter and the game speeds up due to the energy required to forecheck effectively. We see junior and NHL teams adopting this system in the subsequent years, and in 1938 icing rules are being introduced to hockey, almost certainly as a way to prevent defenses from simply flinging the puck down the ice when under pressure from a heavy forecheck. Gorman's innovation changed the face of hockey (the evidence for this is all in the last section of the bio).

Gorman's teams improved dramatically after he took over. The information on the Amerks' turnaround is above, but here is the season-to-season difference in Chicago and Montreal:

1932-33 Chicago Blackhawks: 16-20-12 // 88 GF; 101 GA - managers Emil Iverson, Godfrey Matheson, Tommy Gorman

1933-34 Chicago Blackhawks: 20-17-11 // 88 GF; 83 GA - Stanley Cup Champions - manager Tommy Gorman

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

1933-34 Montreal Maroons: 19-18-11 // 117 GF; 122 GA - manager Eddie Gerard

1934-35 Montreal Maroons: 24-19-5 // 123 GF; 92 GA - Stanley Cup Champions - manager Tommy Gorman

Gorman's Cup winning teams put up what is probably the most dominant two year stretch in NHL postseason history, going a combined 11-1-3 and outscoring their opponents 35-20, although both were considered underdogs.

Researching Tommy Gorman has proven surprisingly easy. There is a ton of material out there on him, which I guess makes sense considering his stature in the sport and level of success. Gorman was obviously an extremely bright hockey mind, and he was also known as a great motivator and players' coach (this stuff is all in the bio). Adding the year he spent behind the Ottawa bench, he coached for nine seasons in the NHL, which isn't a long career, but it isn't particularly short, either. I am convinced that Gorman is among the very best coaches in hockey history. His leadership and ability to get the best out of his players, his repeated and dramatic success with teams of limited talent, and the hugely innovative system he introduced all paint the picture of a special coach.

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

edit: just to be clear, I think Gorman probably ends up in the next tier of coaches after the top-5. I would say the top two tiers look like this:

Bowman
Blake
Arbour
Patrick
Tarasov

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

Shero
Day
Gorman

Yes, this means I'm saying he was a better coach than Tommy Ivan, Dick Irvin and Jack Adams, among others. Tommy Gorman is extremely similar to Fred Shero in terms of career accomplishments, style and value.


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04-12-2013, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
I've become sort of fascinated by Tommy Gorman since signing on with Reen's team, and have done some more research on his career. This work has been fairly fruitful, and I think adds meaningfully to Gorman's legacy as a coach. The more we learn about Gorman, the longer his shadow grows, and I think it is time to start talking about him as one of the upper tier of all-time coaches. First, it appears that Gorman coached the Ottawa Senators in the 1923-24 season, in which the team finished 1st in the regular season standings, and lost to the Habs in the NHL playoffs.

9.10.1924 - The Calgary Daily Herald:



So this adds one pretty successful season to Gorman's career.
Good find. I have definitely seen Gorman get credit for coaching the Sens before, which is why I questioned Pete Green's role. That makes things a little clearer.

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04-13-2013, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post
Here is what I was able to find...

The Maple Leaf - March 27, 1945

Here there appears to be a specific game plan for the Punch Line.


The Calgary Herald - April 2, 1945



This is similar to what TDMM posted...targeting a specific star player.
I think this is sufficient evidence that Day assigned a shadow to Richard when they met in the playoffs.

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04-13-2013, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by overpass View Post
Good find. I have definitely seen Gorman get credit for coaching the Sens before, which is why I questioned Pete Green's role. That makes things a little clearer.
Yeah, the exact management structure of those Ottawa teams is still difficult to determine, but I think it's clear that Gorman and Gerard played a larger role in the "coaching" duties (according to a modern definition of the word) than has been generally credited to this point. I don't want to oversell Gorman but yes, there is pretty strong evidence that he was not just a front office guy, but had an active role with the team (like you, I have also seen mention of this from primary sources in the period). From the bio:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
Gorman gradually took over most of the responsibilities with the Ottawa franchise and was one of the founding members of the National Hockey League in 1917. Most significantly, he was the club's manager where he was a strong motivator and astute judge of talent and character.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montreal Canadiens’ official website
When he joined the Canadiens in 1940, Gorman possessed a hockey resume which already spoke for itself. He had four Stanley Cups to his credit, including a pair earned behind the bench with the Ottawa Senators in 1920 and 1923, one with Chicago in 1934, and another with the Montreal Maroons in 1935. The latter pair of championships made him the only coach in league history to win consecutive Cups with different teams.
Now, these are not direct sources and may not be entirely reliable, so it's hard to say. I think Gorman definitely played an important role in the lockerroom of that Sens team as a motivator, and we know that he sat behind the bench in the 1923-24 season. The Habs website says that he sat behind the bench in 1920 and 1923, as well, though I don't know if that's true and if so, what it really means. In the "starters and subs" era, the actual bench boss may not have been all that important to the "coaching" of a team.

What is interesting about that Habs site quote is that it only lists Gorman as sitting behind the bench in those two seasons, rather than for all three of Ottawa's championships in this period. The fact that 1921 is left out suggests to me that the claims on the Habs site may be true, as it would be strange to specifically leave out one year if they were not in possession of real information.

Given Green and Gerard's comparatively small historical stature and Gorman's dramatic success as a defensive system coach later in his career, one wonders if Gorman wasn't the chief architect of the system that those dynasty Sens teams were running. If this could ever be clearly shown to be true, Gorman would have a claim to being the greatest coach in hockey history, though at this point it's still unclear to whom and in what proportion the credit for the management of those dynasty Sens teams should really go.


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04-13-2013, 11:49 AM
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What does Johnson sitting back at his own blueline when his team is on offense tell us about how he moved the puck out of his own zone?
It's not specifically about Johnson, but more the fact that this tactic was practiced leaguewide before 1934. From what I just posted on Gorman:

20.3.1929 - The Morning Leader:

Quote:
The Rangers tried some of their patented passing combinations, but the Gorman squad blocked everything offered. The latter did not do much on their own account, leaving two men at the blue line on every thrust.
Here we see that even Gorman's own teams were playing this way prior to his invention of forechecking. What this means is that defensemen in the pre-forechecking era would have had much easier passes to clear the zone than those who came after them, because they didn't have to worry about an opposing defenseman picking them off. There were also no icing rules when Johnson played, so again, clearing the zone would have been vastly easier for defensemen of his generation.

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