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Which Dynastic Team's End/Decline Was Most Avoidable?

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07-24-2014, 05:22 PM
  #26
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Fact is there 2nd liners, 3rds & 4ths etc, they just didnt step up their games enough when the money was on the table. Glenn Hall has been criticized as well, being outplayed by Bower & Worsley etc; out-Coached as well by Imlach & Blake. Parsimonious ownership alienating Bobby Hull. Yet even still Chicago was respectable & always has been
Very good, thank you. Had not seen this. Of course, let's not forget Sawchuk, who was one of the main reasons the Leafs beat the Hawks in 67. These Hawks kind of remind me of the 1980-83 post dynasty Habs. Great in the regular season, but lacking clutch goaltending and depth in the playoffs. Maybe not as hungry anymore either.

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07-24-2014, 05:53 PM
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There was certainly no way the Islanders were going to be denied in the end, but one of my biggest "what if?"s in hockey is how the Canadiens would have done in 1980 and maybe 81 had Dryden and Lemaire stuck around.
I actually think Montreal is the team whose decline was most avoidable. The ship began to list due to two men, GM Irving Grundman and Director of Scouting Ron Caron. Sam Pollock and Scotty Bowman are in the argument for the best ever at their respective jobs, so they were probably irreplaceable. But Grundman was always a questionable choice, not having a background in hockey, and he almost immediately began making poor decisions.

Coming off that 4th title Jacques Lemaire wanted to be paid as one of the best centers in the game. #1 center on a dynasty, with a great two-way game, coming off a career playoffs, that was probably fair. Grundman thought his age and numbers didn't match what Lemaire was asking, lowballed him and so JL retires to coach in Europe. So there goes his #1 center. Then Grundman spent months dithering over who would replace Bowman, surprising everyone by naming Bernie Geoffrion coach shortly before the season began. Bernie had already stepped away from coaching stints in NY and Atlanta due to nerves, so choosing him for the pressure cooker that is Montreal was a lunkheaded choice. Naturally Bernie didn't make it halfway through the season before stepping down and being replaced by Director of Player Development Claude Ruel, who didn't want the job but was a good soldier for stepping in to the position. Then there were the waiver losses of good depth players Pierre Bouchard and Yvon Lambert. A few yrs. later came the Langway trade. Langway had been vocal in the media about his pay and Quebec taxes but later said he was using that talk as a negotiating ploy and was actually surprised he was moved. Grundman clearly misread the situation and the Habs lost a future HOFer and further depth. There's also the head scratcher deal the Canadiens made with the Nords in '79 where the Canadiens chose to reclaim Danny Geoffrion instead of Marc Tardif and Alain Cote for 2nd & 3rd rd. picks, the only time the two teams ever made a deal. Tardif was clearly the best player involved and Grundman made a deal to ensure he stayed with the Nords. Geoffrion on the other hand, playing under his dad, managed to alienate most of the Montreal veterans by acting entitled, then was promptly sat after his dad stepped down, then was traded away the following year. Nice decision.

When Pollock stepped down he had left the Habs well positioned for the future. #1 overall pick in 1980, three #1's in 1981, 5 of the first 40 picks in 1982. Head scout Ron Caron should be applauded for the drafting of Mats Naslund, Guy Carbonneau, Craig Ludwig and Chris Chelios, among others. But it was Caron who had convinced Pollock not to draft local boy Mike Bossy because he was supposedly too soft. I've heard all the arguments for drafting Wickenheiser and no question he had had an amazing draft year season, but so had Denis Savard. Claude Ruel wanted Savard, Caron wanted Wickenheiser. We know how well that turned out. Those three #1's in 1981 netted Mark Hunter, Gilbert Delorme and Swede Jan Ingman, who never came over to the NHL. Hunter and Delorme were OK players, but for a team that was cycling through Larocque, Herron, Sevigny and Walmsley in goal over the previous two years Caron passing on Grant Fuhr (taken by the Oilers with the pick just after Hunter) was unconscionable. The 1982 draft netted journeyman Dave Maley and not much else. Not surprisingly that'd be the last draft Grundman and Caron oversaw.

The Habs didn't just fall off the map of course. They were still a perennial playoff team, but imagine for a moment a Habs team that has Bossy, Lemaire, Tardif, Langway, Savard, Fuhr, and doesn't lose such valuable depth players as Engblom, Jarvis, Lambert, Bouchard and Cote. Another dynasty was within reach in the 80's, management just missed badly.


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07-24-2014, 06:05 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by LeBlondeDemon10 View Post
Very good, thank you. Had not seen this. Of course, let's not forget Sawchuk, who was one of the main reasons the Leafs beat the Hawks in 67....
Oh ya, absolutely. No Terry Sawchuk, the Leafs wouldve been toast. His Game 5 performance in the Semi-Finals one for the ages and he wasnt even supposed to be playing. Bower had started, played the 1st Period but got pulled. Shaky. Sawchuk going in cold, semi-prepared really. Tough thing for a Goalie. Facing Bobby Hull, Dennis Hull, Doug Mohns & Stan Mikita, peppered with 37 shots over 2 periods & stones them. Hull in particular just ripping slapshots at Sawchuk. Leafs winning that game 4-2. Tommy Ivan said he'd never seen anything like it, everyone just blown away. I saw it, couldnt believe some of those saves. High quality scoring opportunities. Sawchuk after the game according to Ron Ellis absoloutely covered in welts from Bobby Hulls slapshots, many from very close range. How Terry Sawchuk even saw them, just no idea. With that banana blade, even if you saw the puck in the split second it left a stick & you tried to telegraph its trajectory well just forget it. Puck broke ever law of physics in flight & Sawchuk wasnt playing well out of his net, playing the angles like Plante or like Hall in a Butterfly whereby good chance the puck would hit you if you had the angle covered. This guy was all reflex deliberately leaving open net available & challenging the shooter, daring him to try & beat him. When asked by a Reporter what he had to say for himself after the game Sawchuk puffing on a cigarette told him "cant remember a thing". Guy was one mean piece of work off the ice.

As for Glenn Hall, he did perform quite brilliantly at times throughout the 60's in the Playoffs, from 1960/67 (later with the Blues of course). In 60/61 taking out the Habs in the Semi-Finals & who's lineup read like a who's who at the HHOF. Chicago finished nearly 20 points behind Montreal, Glenn Hall shutting them out in Games 5&6. Went on to win the Cup against Detroit of course....His pre-game, in-game, between period up-chucking is well known, though he wasnt tossing up peas & carrots. He'd drink water, throw that up. His wife in fact refused to even cook for him; "how would you like to prepare a meal for someone only to have them throw it up an hour or two later"? Ya, Mr. Ghoulie there absolutely embraced the nervous tension, and he played scared. According Dave Dryden who played with Hall; "I think Glenn was motivated by fear rather than joy. He was fearful he would let in a goal. He was anxious all the time". Whats not so well known & rather hard to imagine is that he apparently also used to seriously wrestle, like going at it hammer & tongs with the Blackhawks trainer Don "Sockeye" Uren for a good hour before a game. These guys werent fooling around, beating the Hell out of each other until Glenn called it off, ready to go get dressed, throw~up & play... though even then, he'd sometimes minutes into the first period call a time~out, skate off & head to the dressing room, vacate his stomach contents while everyone waited, players, Coaches & Ref's all well aware of what was goin on, crowd oblivious. Maybe an equipment malfunction huh?


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07-24-2014, 06:50 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by mrhockey193195 View Post
There was certainly no way the Islanders were going to be denied in the end, but one of my biggest "what if?"s in hockey is how the Canadiens would have done in 1980 and maybe 81 had Dryden and Lemaire stuck around.
If Bowman and those two players were still there, I think they might have got by Minnesota and eventually won in 1980.

But I think in 1981 and 1982, the Islanders were much stronger than Montreal would have been, regardless of those players.

(Of course, in this 'what if' scenario, the Isles not winning in 1980 means they might not have won afterwards, etc., etc...)

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07-24-2014, 06:57 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by double5son10 View Post
...Another dynasty was within reach in the 80's, management just missed badly.
Ya, nicely laid out there. Wasnt really until the arrival of Patrick Roy that they got their crease situation straightened out & ultimately, Roy became the franchise in many ways. Carried it. Manifest Destiny some would say. Guy had some serious swagger going. And early on. Made the Granby Bisons of the QMJHL as a Backup. Team was lousy. First game he gets into after the starter got yanked letting in 3 goals on 4 shots Roy faces 80 through the remaining nearly full 3 periods & blanks the Hull Olympiques. At one point in that game an Olympique had a breakaway, Roy stops that one, then throws the puck back at the guy rather than holding it or trying to play it going "here, try again". Stops the 2nd attempt as well. Thats some kinda hubris huh?

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07-24-2014, 07:04 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by double5son10 View Post
When Pollock stepped down he had left the Habs well positioned for the future. #1 overall pick in 1980, three #1's in 1981, 5 of the first 40 picks in 1982. Head scout Ron Caron should be applauded for the drafting of Mats Naslund, Guy Carbonneau, Craig Ludwig and Chris Chelios, among others. But it was Caron who had convinced Pollock not to draft local boy Mike Bossy because he was supposedly too soft. I've heard all the arguments for drafting Wickenheiser and no question he had had an amazing draft year season, but so had Denis Savard. Claude Ruel wanted Savard, Caron wanted Wickenheiser. We know how well that turned out. Those three #1's in 1981 netted Mark Hunter, Gilbert Delorme and Swede Jan Ingman, who never came over to the NHL. Hunter and Delorme were OK players, but for a team that was cycling through Larocque, Herron, Sevigny and Walmsley in goal over the previous two years Caron passing on Grant Fuhr (taken by the Oilers with the pick just after Hunter) was unconscionable. The 1982 draft netted journeyman Dave Maley and not much else. Not surprisingly that'd be the last draft Grundman and Caron oversaw.

The Habs didn't just fall off the map of course. They were still a perennial playoff team, but imagine for a moment a Habs team that has Bossy, Lemaire, Tardiff, Langway, Savard, Fuhr, and doesn't lose such valuable depth players as Engblom, Jarvis, Lambert, Bouchard and Cote. Another dynasty was within reach in the 80's, management just missed badly.
Good post. Did not know this about Boom Boom Jr. After reading Dryden's book, I don't think he comes back under any circumstances. In fact his game had slowly deteriorated throughout his last season. Mentally, I don't think he was 100% present or sharp. Despite Pollock setting up the future and missing out on Bossy, nobody seemed to think goal tending was going to be an issue. This from a franchise that had goalies pass the torch to the next similar to the star forwards. They had to have known Dryden was going to pack it in. If not, they had to have been concerned about his play anyway. Acquiring Denis Herron was not the answer. Poor planning in that department.

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07-24-2014, 07:37 PM
  #32
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Alternate history here:

Sakic doesn't sign the 21 million dollar three year offer sheet from the Rangers and NHL salaries don't spiral upwards so quickly. This pushes the NHL lockout by 5 years.

In those 5 years the Avalanche manage to hold onto a roster containing:

Paul Karia - Joe Sakic - Teemu Selanne

Alex Tanguay-Peter Forsberg-Milan Hejduk


Adam Foote - Rob Blake



That sounds like it would do alright.

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07-24-2014, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jigglysquishy View Post
Assuming the Oilers retain their dynasty (i.e. Pocklington's financial situation is resolved) they likely win quite a few more cups.

...91/92 - This is where it gets tricky. Those Pens teams were really good and could have potentially upset the Oilers. We'd also finally get to see the Lemieux/Gretzky showdown in the finals.
Dear Lord, I would have paid my life saving$ (which were considerably less in 1992 ) to have seen a stacked Oilers v. Mario's Pens Final. Oilers, obviously, were the highest octane team I ever saw. Pens, though, were a clear 2nd...and I'm unsure I ever saw a more dominating player than Mario those two springs of 1991 and '92. Wow, that matchup would have been fun. (And this is coming from a longtime advocate of "defense first, always".)

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Originally Posted by The Panther View Post
To stay more on topic, though -- which decline was avoidable?...I'd say maybe Pittsburgh. They should have won in '93, were still 1st place in '94, 2nd in '95, and 1st in '96. After that, they declined.

It's almost like they won when they shouldn't have (1991, 1992) and lost when they should have won (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996).
Am amazed to this day that the Pens didn't make it to the Finals in '96. Thought they had it in the bag. Then again, the Panthers shocked multiple teams that spring.

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Originally Posted by mrhockey193195 View Post
There was certainly no way the Islanders were going to be denied in the end, but one of my biggest "what if?"s in hockey is how the Canadiens would have done in 1980 and maybe 81 had Dryden and Lemaire stuck around.
Ironically, as an NYI fan, my biggest "if" is how would have NYI fared in the '79 Finals v. the Habs, had NYR not upset them in the Semi-Finals. I tend to agree with former Ranger Pat Hickey when he said that the Oilers didn't deny NYI their fifth Cup in '84; NYR denied them their first one in '79. (Worth remembering that NYI beat out Montreal for most points in the league that regular season, Trottier won the Hart and Art Ross, Potvin the Norris, Arbour the Adams, Bossy scored 69....)


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07-24-2014, 08:17 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by bedsheetrubber92 View Post
Alternate history here:

Sakic doesn't sign the 21 million dollar three year offer sheet from the Rangers and NHL salaries don't spiral upwards so quickly. This pushes the NHL lockout by 5 years.

In those 5 years the Avalanche manage to hold onto a roster containing:

Paul Karia - Joe Sakic - Teemu Selanne

Alex Tanguay-Peter Forsberg-Milan Hejduk


Adam Foote - Rob Blake



That sounds like it would do alright.
No lockout, no Selanne revival, right?

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07-24-2014, 08:24 PM
  #35
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No lockout, no Selanne revival, right?
And Kariya signed a one-year deal to ensure that if it didn't work out, he could jump the next year as a UFA without the restrictions that were in place in 2003. And Forsberg was going to Sweden in 2004 even if the lockout didn't happen.

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07-25-2014, 05:16 AM
  #36
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avalance comes to mind immediately.

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07-25-2014, 01:18 PM
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Good post. Did not know this about Boom Boom Jr. After reading Dryden's book, I don't think he comes back under any circumstances. In fact his game had slowly deteriorated throughout his last season. Mentally, I don't think he was 100% present or sharp. Despite Pollock setting up the future and missing out on Bossy, nobody seemed to think goal tending was going to be an issue. This from a franchise that had goalies pass the torch to the next similar to the star forwards. They had to have known Dryden was going to pack it in. If not, they had to have been concerned about his play anyway. Acquiring Denis Herron was not the answer. Poor planning in that department.
Yes, I've wondered about this as well. Dryden's contract was up at the end of '79. First chapter of The Game Dryden talks about meeting w/ team president Jacques Courtois and Grundman, and reiterating that he was retiring. So they knew he was gone pretty much that whole season. And their answer was Denis Herron? They did draft Rick Wamsley in the 3rd in '79, but of course he wasn't a long term answer either and wouldn't have been ready anyway. Did management think Larocque had it in him to take the tough assignments? They must have, though it didn't appear Ruel did once he became coach. Consider some goalies who were traded between '79 and '81-Chico Resch, Gilles Gilbert, Rogie Vachon, Richard Brodeur, Wayne Stephenson-all of whom (with the exception of Brodeur, who had two WHA titles to his name) had played more playoff games than the 10 that Herron had under his belt at the time of his trade to Montreal. Canadiens certainly had the organizational depth to trade for a playoff proven goalie. Just baffling.

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07-25-2014, 05:08 PM
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Is there a consensus on which NHL dynasty is the best one? I would guess the 70s Canadiens would be considered the best but not sure what others thought. And what would one of the other teams have to accomplish to be considered better than the one deemed "the best"?

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07-25-2014, 06:36 PM
  #39
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Is there a consensus on which NHL dynasty is the best one? I would guess the 70s Canadiens would be considered the best but not sure what others thought. And what would one of the other teams have to accomplish to be considered better than the one deemed "the best"?
Actually a lot of people seem to think the late 50's Habs Team was the Greatest Dynasty of All Time followed by the 70's Teams'; Montreal Teams of the 60's sort of the "Forgotten Dynasty" ranking 3rd in terms of the Canadiens' themselves.

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07-25-2014, 08:39 PM
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Is there a consensus on which NHL dynasty is the best one? I would guess the 70s Canadiens would be considered the best but not sure what others thought. And what would one of the other teams have to accomplish to be considered better than the one deemed "the best"?
I only rank those teams in my lifetime (eye test), otherwise, I am reduced to relying on statistics only, which is the type of poster for whom I hold contempt.

That said, for me it's 1976-79 Canadiens, followed by the 1980-83 Islanders. It's been said often, but those teams could play any style game you wanted...and beat you at it.

Oiler, a distinct third. Greatest offensive team ever, hands down. But they could, on occasion, get thrown off their game. A bonafide dynasty nonetheless.

Reason I give the Habs the slight nod is their trio on D. Isles' Denis Potvin was the best defender on either team, and the Isles D corp was talented, deep and diverse. But Robinson, Savard and Lapointe during the Habs' reign were the best three I've ever seen on a single team. Likewise, I couldn't care less how watered down the NHL was during parts of the '70s and '80s, losing just 8 games over the 80-game 1976-77 regular season, what with all the travel and such, remains a ridiculous feat.


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07-25-2014, 09:17 PM
  #41
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... for me it's 1976-79 Canadiens, followed by the 1980-83 Islanders....
... Nice to see the Islanders getting the nod. A sort of "Forgotten Dynasty" (much like the 60's Habs) sandwiched as they were between the powerhouse late 70's Canadiens & the Oilers. Hell of a team. Never really given a lot of thought as to how the Islanders couldve extended their Dynasty. Calls for a lot of hypotheticals & speculation well into Fantasyland really. I prefer reality, and those guys individually & collectively gelled & peaked at just the right moment in time.

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07-25-2014, 09:30 PM
  #42
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... Nice to see the Islanders getting the nod. A sort of "Forgotten Dynasty" (much like the 60's Habs) sandwiched as they were between the powerhouse late 70's Canadiens & the Oilers. Hell of a team. Never really given a lot of thought as to how the Islanders couldve extended their Dynasty. Calls for a lot of hypotheticals & speculation well into Fantasyland really. I prefer reality, and those guys individually & collectively gelled & peaked at just the right moment in time.
And really, a great team for 10+ years if you go back to the mid 70's. Always in the mix, a couple of playoff disappointments, losing to the Habs twice in the SF's, but giving them a pretty good run anyway. A franchise to model when starting from scratch.

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07-25-2014, 09:51 PM
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...A franchise to model when starting from scratch.
Ya thats for sure. Sam Pollack tried to pry Denis Potvin from Bill Torreys hands shortly after he picked him in the 73 Draft. Some quick fixes offered, just who exactly from the Canadiens Im not sure, but obviously no deal. Potvin grew up a Canadiens fan. Scary thought, him on the Blue line with Robinson, Savard & all the rest of them. Talk about over~kill.

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07-26-2014, 01:05 AM
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I only rank those teams in my lifetime, otherwise, I am reduced to relying on statistics only, which is the type of poster for whom I hold contempt.
You could also consider a third option, which is to consider things that have been written about older teams, both contemporary and by historians, input from other people who did see teams before your lifetime play, that sort of thing. I can't see restricting the discussion of history to things we have personally seen.

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07-26-2014, 01:18 AM
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I only rank those teams in my lifetime, otherwise, I am reduced to relying on statistics only, which is the type of poster for whom I hold contempt.
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
You could also consider a third option, which is to consider things that have been written about older teams, both contemporary and by historians, input from other people who did see teams before your lifetime play, that sort of thing. I can't see restricting the discussion of history to things we have personally seen.
No of course not. And we really dont have any Members here that are absolutely pure theoretical Puckmetricians. Everyone blending statistical data with contemporaneous print, radio & TV coverage when & wherever available. Articles, papers, minutes from league meetings, blogs... you name it. One cannot fully grasp, understand & fully comprehend the past relying solely on the refracted black & white lenses of statistics alone. You need color and you wont find that in numbers alone.

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07-26-2014, 01:03 PM
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Ironically, as an NYI fan, my biggest "if" is how would have NYI fared in the '79 Finals v. the Habs, had NYR not upset them in the Semi-Finals. I tend to agree with former Ranger Pat Hickey when he said that the Oilers didn't deny NYI their fifth Cup in '84; NYR denied them their first one in '79. (Worth remembering that NYI beat out Montreal for most points in the league that regular season, Trottier won the Hart and Art Ross, Potvin the Norris, Arbour the Adams, Bossy scored 69....)
Interesting point. The first thought that comes into my head when thinking about that hypothetical scenario is the 1983 finals, since the parallels are obviously there. Young, soon-to-be dynasty, against a dynasty towards the end of their streak...and the dynasty teaches the young team a lesson that would last with them forever. Obviously, it's too easy to say that's exactly what would have happened in 1979.

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07-26-2014, 01:52 PM
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You could also consider a third option, which is to consider things that have been written about older teams, both contemporary and by historians, input from other people who did see teams before your lifetime play, that sort of thing. I can't see restricting the discussion of history to things we have personally seen.
Of course. And I LOVE reading and gaining insight of others here on the history of hockey (and history, period).

But I personally tend to try to contribute only when I feel truly well versed about a topic, and one of my criteria is having seen a subject first-hand. Given that I wasn't born yesterday, that increasingly covers much of the timeframe discussed on this great board (HOH).

For the record, in no way was my comment meant as a criticism of those who do not follow that approach.

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... Nice to see the Islanders getting the nod. A sort of "Forgotten Dynasty" (much like the 60's Habs) sandwiched as they were between the powerhouse late 70's Canadiens & the Oilers. Hell of a team.
Written this before, but it's taken decades since for me to appreciate just how friggin' spoiled I was as a young hockey fan, living through those years. I'll undoubtedly never witness such sustained success ever again among my sports teams. Every spring for several years in a row, turning on the TV literally expecting to win. After the first Cup in '80, they were a uber-confident machine, led by their uber-confident Captain. In the midst of their four-year run, my good friend (to this day) who was a Ranger fan and annoyed at NYI's success, asked me: "They can't win forever, can they?"

He was serious.

For it seemed plausible at the time, what with Torrey somehow landing the Pat Lafontaine draft pick (#3 overall) in the summer of '83, on the heels of their 4th straight Cup. A local NYR sports reporter said sarcastically: "Just what a four time Cup champ needs...a 100 goal scorer." (Lafontaine scored 104 in Verdun one season in Juniors.)

But alas, nothing lasts forever.

Looking back, I find NYI's dynasty so odd, since the franchise has been relatively abysmal in the 30 years since, and especially in the last 25 years or so.

It's probably because I was weened on that era, but I loved when there was a distinct top team or two that towered over the rest of the league and that everyone else had had to try to knock off. I think the current Kings and Hawks (both on a much lesser scale, as neither meet the criteria for "dynasty") offer up that scenario in the NHL for the first time in many years.


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07-26-2014, 02:41 PM
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It's probably because I was weened on that era, but I loved when there was a distinct top team or two that towered over the rest of the league and that everyone else had had to try to knock off. I think the current Kings and Hawks (both on a much lesser scale, as neither meet the criteria for "dynasty") offer up that scenario in the NHL for the first time in many years.
People love knock on the 90s/early 2000s, but to me it was a magical period of hockey for that reason. NJ, Dallas, Detroit, and Colorado had a stranglehold on the league. Sure, there's something to say about parity making the league more enjoyable, but there's also something to say for how special the 2001 Kings upset of the Wings was, or the 2003 Wild knocking out the Avs. Let alone all the spectacular playoff matchups between those four teams.

Now, back on topic...

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07-26-2014, 08:10 PM
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There was certainly no way the Islanders were going to be denied in the end, but one of my biggest "what if?"s in hockey is how the Canadiens would have done in 1980 and maybe 81 had Dryden and Lemaire stuck around.
I think the bigger questions for me are "what if the Habs had handed the reigns over to Bowman instead of Grundman?" & "what if Lafleur stayed healthy & had no problems with off-ice discipline?"

I think the Habs would've been in good shape to seriously challenge for a few more Cups under Bowman with Lafleur 100% healthy & focused, even without Dryden & Lemaire. Even without Dryden & Lemaire or an equivalent number one center, the Habs had the best blueline & defensive forwards in the league, & had plenty of skill & grit, to boot. Even with two key missing pieces, Bowman would've ensured their competitiveness. While Savard & Lapointe were on the decline post-Dynasty, Robinson was in his prime & Langway & Engblom were emerging as the best shutdown pair in the league.

A Bowman regime brings up interesting questions, such as how would he have dealt with the Lapointe situation, would he have drafted Savard, would he have paid Langway what he needed to stay a Hab?

Even with Bowman coaching Langway into his prime, there's no way the Isles weren't going to still grab at least a couple of Cups, they were just too strong a team.

I think the Habs could've extended their Dynasty potentially had they gone with Bowman instead of Grundman. Still mystifies me to this day why they didn't.

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07-26-2014, 08:19 PM
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Of course. And I LOVE reading and gaining insight of others here on the history of hockey (and history, period).

But I personally tend to try to contribute only when I feel truly well versed about a topic, and one of my criteria is having seen a subject first-hand. Given that I wasn't born yesterday, that increasingly covers much of the timeframe discussed on this great board (HOH).

For the record, in no way was my comment meant as a criticism of those who do not follow that approach.



Written this before, but it's taken decades since for me to appreciate just how friggin' spoiled I was as a young hockey fan, living through those years. I'll undoubtedly never witness such sustained success ever again among my sports teams. Every spring for several years in a row, turning on the TV literally expecting to win. After the first Cup in '80, they were a uber-confident machine, led by their uber-confident Captain. In the midst of their four-year run, my good friend (to this day) who was a Ranger fan and annoyed at NYI's success, asked me: "They can't win forever, can they?"

He was serious.

For it seemed plausible at the time, what with Torrey somehow landing the Pat Lafontaine draft pick (#3 overall) in the summer of '83, on the heels of their 4th straight Cup. A local NYR sports reporter said sarcastically: "Just what a four time Cup champ needs...a 100 goal scorer." (Lafontaine scored 98 in Verdun one season in Juniors.)

But alas, nothing lasts forever.

Looking back, I find NYI's dynasty so odd, since the franchise has been relatively abysmal in the 30 years since, and especially in the last 25 years or so.

It's probably because I was weened on that era, but I loved when there was a distinct top team or two that towered over the rest of the league and that everyone else had had to try to knock off. I think the current Kings and Hawks (both on a much lesser scale, as neither meet the criteria for "dynasty") offer up that scenario in the NHL for the first time in many years.
The Islanders died when Potvin retired. He was The Franchise Player. He carried the team on his back until they were good enough to keep up with him, brought them to five straight Cup Finals, then hung up the skates. He was irreplaceable, & they never recovered from his loss. One can directly correlate the rise & fall of the Islanders with Potvin's career.

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