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The All-Purpose Toughness Thread

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Old
10-02-2011, 09:57 PM
  #1
Mike8
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The All-Purpose Toughness Thread

On the surface, this is the thread which should hold all discussions of whether Montreal needs an enforcer, or needs to get tougher.

On a more substantial level, this thread will be a season-long thread where we discuss and analyse both Montreal and the league as a whole in determining whether an enforcer or team-toughness have an impact on team records.

This all stems from the discussion in the PGT of the Tampa game. (Click there to be up to speed on this)

...

The proposal starts with:

Let's look at all cheapshots from every game this season. The season starts this coming week, so we can handle the entire year. We'll have a thread where we note (in the OP) every cheapshot, every suspension, and every injury that is the result of a cheapshot. We'll note the team making the cheapshot, and the team receiving the cheapshot, noting any goons/fighters, and whether any fights took place during the game (if we feel this information would be necessary). We'll also note the score, just for kicks.

Ultimately, the purpose of gaining team toughness is to:

1. Deter cheapshots
2. Avoid intimidation that may affect productivity

So by tracking all of this across the league, we may come to have some stats to back the pro or con argument. We'll see some correlation.

Instead of this perpetual back-and-forth which, as we've seen, is terribly unproductive, we'll actually be working together to collect some stronger sense of what's going on in the NHL.

...

We want to examine the following two elements at this stage:

1) Track suspensions/cheapshots/injuries-as-a-result-of-cheapshots league-wide

2) Track Montreal's record in games where some overt methods of intimidation are employed by the opposition

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10-02-2011, 10:03 PM
  #2
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Things we need to resolve:

a) the subjectivity of element #2. What constitutes intimidation? I propose that:

we can just as easily remove the word intimidation, replacing it with: teams that assert themselves physically. Montreal doesn't actually have to be intimidated, and that may be too controversial a word to use. Rather, the assert-themselves-physically may be more easy to gain consensus: we can agree that TB asserted themselves physically more than Montreal last night. We can then see that it had no bearing on Montreal's ability to perform and win the game. As such, Montreal was not physically intimidated.

Essentially, this could be a measure of Montreal's capacity to match up with teams that are physical. And that may be a far less controversial, but ultimately similar, way of describing 'intimidation.'

Thoughts?


b) tracking suspensions/cheapshots/injuries-as-a-result-of-cheapshots league-wide: I propose that we keep it simple and pick off cheapshots from the NHL forum, which captures any egregious to semi-egregious cheapshot. There's some problems with this, but it seems the simplest and will give us a large enough sample.

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10-02-2011, 10:18 PM
  #3
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Amen to that

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10-02-2011, 10:37 PM
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Damnit mike, I liked it better when the toughness debate was boiling over into every thread on the forum.

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10-02-2011, 10:46 PM
  #5
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When guys like Paul McLean, Lou Lamiorello, Peter Chiarelli and Ray Shero say that intimidation and toughness are still key elements of the NHL, then that's enough for me to agree.

This thread is meaningless, IMO.

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10-02-2011, 10:48 PM
  #6
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My initial thoughts on the process:

Problem one, as you point out, will be defining "overt intimidation". The problem is that this is more narrative and perception than objective reality -- it often gets credit when a team like Boston wins anything of significance, regardless of whether it was or not... and something that might be viewed as "overt intimidation" in a win wouldn't be in a loss. This is a point that's rife with after-the-fact perceptions, but you can perhaps find some way to define it with objective criteria.

And, of course, your criteria need to allow for the possibility that Montreal was "handled physically" and yet won the game, or wasn't and lost -- rather than it becoming the default explanation for virtually any Habs loss, as is commonly the case whenever they're ousted from the playoffs regardless of how the series actually went.

Problem two, and I think this is the biggie that everyone overlooks, will be figuring out a point of comparison. You don't need to only show that Montreal is subject to overt methods of intimidation, you need to demonstrate that they are significantly more so than the league average; likewise, you need to show that they are more affected by it than the league average. A point that will be difficult to demonstrate assuming it's even the case. And I doubt very much that it is; I think Habs fans are just sensitive about it because of the "soft" narrative surrounding their team. Of course, if you're only interested in the correlation between "overt intimidation" and losing then you can skip this step -- but I think that'd sidestep the point of whether Montreal is any different from the rest of the league. Unfortunately, this will require examining the entire league, rather than just the Habs.

Problem three is defining teams with "more toughness", which is almost entirely based on perception and reputation -- such as how a team built largely around small skilled forwards, like Philadelphia, ends up being seen as a "tough" team. You'd need to either agree on a set of team commonly accepted as "tough" (which would only mean that they have the reputation to be so) or else find some reasonable set of objective criteria to determine it (and then you risk being surprised as to which teams fall where).

All in all, finding objective criteria to build this exercise around is going to be a giant pain, and given the sample size involved (one season by one team!) it's not likely to give you any meaningful results. If your criteria can be expanded to all teams and then ideally projected back over several seasons, you might get enough data to draw some conclusions.

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10-02-2011, 10:54 PM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nittany View Post
When guys like Paul McLean, Lou Lamiorello, Peter Chiarelli and Ray Shero say that intimidation and toughness are still key elements of the NHL, then that's enough for me to agree.

This thread is meaningless, IMO.
By the same logic, we ought not discuss anything pertaining to the NHL since there are paid specialists who couldn't possibly make mistakes in judgments.

But teams like Detroit and Montreal continue to not dress enforcers nor have particularly 'gritty' lineups in the traditional sense. And there are experienced execs filling these franchises, too.

In any event, this isn't really up for debate. Either you want to join in and productively engage in the discussion, or you don't.

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10-02-2011, 11:00 PM
  #8
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To Aurel Joliat and Habtacular (''the 5-1 we're doomed, let's tank'' thread was closed):


I agree with Aurel Joliat...Blunden and maybe even another big body should have been playing since White and Moen were injured.

You have to be ready for a Downie and Malone. We can't keep getting pushed around and injured.

Laraques: didn't work but most of us were happy when Gainey went to get him (I was). It didn't work (Laraques just wanted the paychecks), but you still have to try address the issue at hand...our team is always getting pushed around, abused, and injured by opponents, especially when we win.


A Chris Neil type, maybe an Asham? maybe Konopka? I don't know but I do know this...we need at least one more moen or one more bigger/taller White. We can't expect White and Moen to do everything...they will be exhausted and injured before the playoffs even begin. They need help. And, White and Moen can play hockey...let someone else ''police'' out there.

Gorges: I don't ever want to see him fight a Malone again, ever. He's too important for our team...Gorges could have had a serious eye injury, concussion, wrist/hand injury... A Chris Neil type should have been taking care of Malone or Downie.

Free pass?: no free pass to management on this just 'cause Moen and White are injured. You ahve to try and replace that toughness...Blunden and another player should have been out there.




In a nutshell:
we can take all the time in the world to discuss ''prove this'' or ''prove that'', meanwhile...our team will continue getting pushed around, abused and injured (especially when we win).
We need to address the issue before more injuries occur. Easier said than done (but not impossible) we need a Chris Neil type. There's no doubt in my mind. Or try Blunden sometimes. Will it guarantee us less injuries and less headshots/cheapshots? No guarantees but it will help there's no doubt about it. Especially when a Malone or Downie is running around trying to hurt half of our team.


Last edited by Mr. Hab: 10-02-2011 at 11:17 PM.
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10-02-2011, 11:08 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post
Things we need to resolve:

a) the subjectivity of element #2. What constitutes intimidation? I propose that:

we can just as easily remove the word intimidation, replacing it with: teams that assert themselves physically. Montreal doesn't actually have to be intimidated, and that may be too controversial a word to use. Rather, the assert-themselves-physically may be more easy to gain consensus: we can agree that TB asserted themselves physically more than Montreal last night. We can then see that it had no bearing on Montreal's ability to perform and win the game. As such, Montreal was not physically intimidated.

Essentially, this could be a measure of Montreal's capacity to match up with teams that are physical. And that may be a far less controversial, but ultimately similar, way of describing 'intimidation.'

Thoughts?


b) tracking suspensions/cheapshots/injuries-as-a-result-of-cheapshots league-wide: I propose that we keep it simple and pick off cheapshots from the NHL forum, which captures any egregious to semi-egregious cheapshot. There's some problems with this, but it seems the simplest and will give us a large enough sample.
i think a) is quite relative and will probably have to set some standard of grading an act as "intimidation". A simple one would be retaliatory hits. Obvious mara-style face washes. anyways this is the most interesting part of the discussion IMO

as for b) we can get posters to point out at any given time during the game a "intimidation" moment, cheapshots they observerd (during GDT's , there are plenty of people who see something and post it. if we get the times with that, we can have someone who verify and 'vouch' on the act. Possibly people who can record the games (i can, i might do it for fun from time to time, and since its on my computer, i can record and maybe even post clips, fel 96 style).
The main forums is a great start for daily games. i dont follow it much but im sure lots of people do.

As Mathman says, its too much info to get significant sample to represent the whole of it; nonethless you can, as you said, set certain criteria to narrow down the data and have a 'meaningful' sample, for discussion purposes.


Last edited by uiCk: 10-02-2011 at 11:13 PM.
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Old
10-02-2011, 11:26 PM
  #10
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Mike, kudos for you for persistence.

With all due respect, however, you are planning to compile evidence based on a flawed premise. And I have said this on many posts before.

Having a protector/enforcer/tough guy/goon will not cause cheap shots that cause injury to stop.

There is only a few inches of difference between a good clean hit and a "cheap shot" that causes injury. The game is fast and players are big and hits happen on every shift. Even the Rome hit on Horton was ruled a clean hit albeit late. Which leads to the argument about whether Rome knew it was too late to hit Horton or if he did it anyway with intent. Again, we default back to the unknown.......no one knows except Rome what exactly he was thinking at the time.

And with regard to intimidation, there is not a single player on the Canadiens that would admit to it. So, again, you will be forced to speculate. Was Pleks intimidated? Or was he not? Was he knocked off of his game or just having a bad night?

So I defer to people smarter than myself. Hockey people. Roughly 90% of the GM's in this League see fit to having tough guys/enforcers/protectors/goons (I hate that I am forced to type that many descriptors lest I be called out because I used a word that is not accurate in someone's mind) on their teams. Yet we do not (White and Moen are not heavyweights who will drop the mitts with the Thornton's of the League) even though our team is filled with talented but small forwards.

So good luck with tilting at windmills, so to speak.

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10-02-2011, 11:43 PM
  #11
Bill McNeal
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What do people consider the characteristics of a 'tough' team?

Seems to me that what makes one team tougher than another, according to what I've read on these boards and others, is the ability to play a physical game (re: throw hits) and a willingness to fight. So, would I be off in saying that generally speaking tougher teams will have fought more and thrown more hits by season's end?

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Old
10-03-2011, 01:34 AM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nittany View Post
When guys like Paul McLean, Lou Lamiorello, Peter Chiarelli and Ray Shero say that intimidation and toughness are still key elements of the NHL, then that's enough for me to agree.

This thread is meaningless, IMO.
Hey, I was just reading moneyball and that's basically what the old scouts were all saying to Billy Beane. We always did it this way, we must be right! 90% of GM believe this, it must be correct!

It's a form of fallacy.

A thousand years ago everyone, both the mass and the educated, believed that the sun was revolving around the earth. They were all wrong.

That's why you collect data and analyze it. Baseball realized it a few years ago. Maybe it's time hockey join the fun that is rationality!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post
We want to examine the following two elements at this stage:

1) Track suspensions/cheapshots/injuries-as-a-result-of-cheapshots league-wide

2) Track Montreal's record in games where some overt methods of intimidation are employed by the opposition
For this to be meaningful, you need objective data.

Things like number of fights and who instigated. Player's/game lost to hit they were suspended. Open ice hits. Things like that.

'Overts method of intimidation' isn't going to lead anywhere meaningful from a statistical perspective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
All in all, finding objective criteria to build this exercise around is going to be a giant pain, and given the sample size involved (one season by one team!) it's not likely to give you any meaningful results. If your criteria can be expanded to all teams and then ideally projected back over several seasons, you might get enough data to draw some conclusions.
Easiest thing would be to simply use data already available. I ain't a big statistic buff, but most of the data is out there already, I'm sure.

What's a tough team, in terms of stats? Presumably they have a lot fighting majors and instigators penalties compared to the rest of the league.

What's a vicious team? Presumably they have a lot cross checking penalties, boarding penalties, suspension for head shots etc. compared to the rest of the league.

What you need is a model that objectively ranks team by 'toughness' and 'Viciousness' (or other meaningful categories).

Then you can correlate this to injuries and to wins, for example.


Last edited by Mike8: 10-03-2011 at 02:24 AM. Reason: merge
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Old
10-03-2011, 02:05 AM
  #13
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Vs Boston this season we have to bring out the gloves, I;m all for being civilized, but that City threw it all out the door, were also an Irish City, we can fight!

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10-03-2011, 02:20 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernHab View Post
Mike, kudos for you for persistence.

With all due respect, however, you are planning to compile evidence based on a flawed premise. And I have said this on many posts before.

Having a protector/enforcer/tough guy/goon will not cause cheap shots that cause injury to stop.

There is only a few inches of difference between a good clean hit and a "cheap shot" that causes injury. The game is fast and players are big and hits happen on every shift. Even the Rome hit on Horton was ruled a clean hit albeit late. Which leads to the argument about whether Rome knew it was too late to hit Horton or if he did it anyway with intent. Again, we default back to the unknown.......no one knows except Rome what exactly he was thinking at the time.

And with regard to intimidation, there is not a single player on the Canadiens that would admit to it. So, again, you will be forced to speculate. Was Pleks intimidated? Or was he not? Was he knocked off of his game or just having a bad night?

So I defer to people smarter than myself. Hockey people. Roughly 90% of the GM's in this League see fit to having tough guys/enforcers/protectors/goons (I hate that I am forced to type that many descriptors lest I be called out because I used a word that is not accurate in someone's mind) on their teams. Yet we do not (White and Moen are not heavyweights who will drop the mitts with the Thornton's of the League) even though our team is filled with talented but small forwards.

So good luck with tilting at windmills, so to speak.
wrong, and that's why people compile stats for moer than one event. If there's one thing that is flawed is you thinking we can't know what people think... sure, they wont admit being afraid or anything, and ONE bad game but still, you can draw conclusions for things such as :

how about Plek (or anyone else) bad games happen mostly VS tougher teams ?

(the guy isnt telling you, but that would be a strong indicator of a player being scared)

or

headshots happen mostly late in a game and comes from a member of the losing team
(indicate frustration, sure, the player doesnt tell you but...)

or

same headshot happen mostly after one of teammates lost badly in a fight ?
(vengeance ?)

and so on...



So yeah, players arent telling you these things, but the type of game they play does, the time on the clock does too, the incidents happening prior to the hits tells you also...

if you dont have enough smarts to think of something else than "players wont say anything" that's your problem, but it doesnt mean it isnt feasible...

(I mean, according to you, Habs werent scared of being injured or anything in their last reg season game vs the B since they didnt tell anyone...)

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10-03-2011, 05:37 AM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post
Things we need to resolve:

a) the subjectivity of element #2. What constitutes intimidation? I propose that:

we can just as easily remove the word intimidation, replacing it with: teams that assert themselves physically. Montreal doesn't actually have to be intimidated, and that may be too controversial a word to use. Rather, the assert-themselves-physically may be more easy to gain consensus: we can agree that TB asserted themselves physically more than Montreal last night. We can then see that it had no bearing on Montreal's ability to perform and win the game. As such, Montreal was not physically intimidated.

Essentially, this could be a measure of Montreal's capacity to match up with teams that are physical. And that may be a far less controversial, but ultimately similar, way of describing 'intimidation.'

Thoughts?


b) tracking suspensions/cheapshots/injuries-as-a-result-of-cheapshots league-wide: I propose that we keep it simple and pick off cheapshots from the NHL forum, which captures any egregious to semi-egregious cheapshot. There's some problems with this, but it seems the simplest and will give us a large enough sample.
Agreed mike8 on this point, but what will be unable to see is the wear and tear effects, but i'll concede that point and move on, but for instance if Campoli suffered a long term injury and the habs subsequently go on a 7 game losing streak can we account for it at all? For instance, last year the habs were on fire with the new emergence of Max Pacioretty and then he suffers a season ending injury the habs begin to struggle.

I'll also concede that no amount of toughness would have prevented chara from doing his thing, but what if the names were different and it was Malone skating around all night taking pot shots at our players and then patches season is ended by that same player? How can we account for that in any way? If we agree that we can't, that's fine too, I just want to point out the limitations that our study may subject too, but with like these sorts of things to have a little bit of consideration somehow as well, the likeliness of a similar scenario taking place are quite slim, so it's not a big point, but something to consider.

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10-03-2011, 06:41 AM
  #16
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When guys like Paul McLean, Lou Lamiorello, Peter Chiarelli and Ray Shero say that intimidation and toughness are still key elements of the NHL, then that's enough for me to agree.

This thread is meaningless, IMO.
So if the knowledge of people in charge is so heavily weighted for you, why do you feel the need to whine about and bash every single decision made by management?

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10-03-2011, 06:48 AM
  #17
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I would also like to have a committee assigned to the task of formulating intimidation factors, so everyone and their dog who already has an opinion one way or the other doesn't come in and hijack the thread. Everyone can post what they feel was overt intimidation or not along with the result win/losses, but only the committee can vote to decide if either case has any merit. An equal number of poster from both sides of the alley capable of looking at this project objectively.

Myself and mike8 agreed to take on this project, so perhaps would could elect people for this task if they are willing to take part.

I would nominate mathman and talkstogoalposts off the bat as some sort of stats keeper. I believe they already have an opinion, which contradicts mine to some degree, but I think they are more than capable of looking at this with an open mind. With mathman he was talking about how bad the habs were 2 years ago, based on the evidence he had, then last year he was able to put that aside and admit the habs were better than originally thought when faced with the evidence, ie puck possession and shot differential ect. I believe he's objective and if willing to look at this with an open mind could be a valuable member of the committee so to speak, ditto to goalposts.


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10-03-2011, 06:55 AM
  #18
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I don't want posters who are gonna show up to thread with one liners like, "if only we were bigger we would of won" ect ect being part of this.

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10-03-2011, 07:08 AM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill McNeal View Post
What do people consider the characteristics of a 'tough' team?

Seems to me that what makes one team tougher than another, according to what I've read on these boards and others, is the ability to play a physical game (re: throw hits) and a willingness to fight. So, would I be off in saying that generally speaking tougher teams will have fought more and thrown more hits by season's end?
Good question....Nathan Horton fought more as a Bruin than he ever did as a Panther, but i certainly don't think he got "tougher" in Boston.

Fighting can still be highly influenced by team culture, teammates, etc.

I measure toughness as a willingness to do whatever it takes to win...block shots, take big hits, deliver big hits, stick up for teammates, etc. In this regard i do not question the Habs "toughness".

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10-03-2011, 07:22 AM
  #20
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I say we get dirtier. Trade Moen for Matt Cooke and boom instantly our problem goes away. Man wouldn't it piss off Boston if we had Cooke.

I think Mario would be happy to give him away at this point. Cooke is more useful on the ice than Moen at this point. He's good on the PK.

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10-03-2011, 08:34 AM
  #21
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I'd be so pissed if we got Matt Cooke. I guarantee Boston would be pissed though.

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10-03-2011, 09:14 AM
  #22
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So if the knowledge of people in charge is so heavily weighted for you, why do you feel the need to whine about and bash every single decision made by management?
I didn't mention Gauthier. All the guys I mentioned are winners...

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10-03-2011, 09:16 AM
  #23
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I didn't mention Gauthier. All the guys I mentioned are winners...
an what about Yzerman ?

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10-03-2011, 09:19 AM
  #24
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I'd be so pissed if we got Matt Cooke. I guarantee Boston would be pissed though.
My point is that winning is a popularity contest or a nice contest. Our scoring depth has resulted in a pk weakness. Cammy shouldn't be on the PK, DD gets owned 5 on 5 vs 1st liners. We could use someone like Cooke on the 3rd line who can put up 20-30 points and kill penalties. AK can't do it, not really Eller either.

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10-03-2011, 11:26 AM
  #25
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Quote:
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I didn't mention Gauthier. All the guys I mentioned are winners...
Nice excuse but doesn't cover the Gainey bashing and whining and he was a winner.

So basically you accept the expertise of GMs on other teams, but not your own.

Ill bring up that post next time who say something about management and we'll what excuse comes up next.

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