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If New Jersey doesn't make the Cup Finals or win it all in 1995

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01-03-2012, 01:26 AM
  #1
Al Bundy*
 
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If New Jersey doesn't make the Cup Finals or win it all in 1995

Does the ensuing era of low-scoring dead puck hockey still happen?

This would have been back-to-back crushing playoff losses; the blown 3-2 series lead to the Rangers in 1994, and if they blow the 1995 Philly series or don't beat the Wings in the Cup Finals.

It would have been two blown chances for Jacques' Devils, and maybe the trap isn't embraced by teams the way it was without a Stanley Cup.

One of those potential 'Outcomes that could have had interesting long-term effects'.

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01-03-2012, 01:35 AM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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The 1994 Devils weren't low scoring. I guess technically they trapped, but it wasn't much different from the late 70s Canadiens who used the system to create offense as much as defend. In 1995, the team was having trouble scoring, so Lemaire tightened everything up defensively and the rest is history.

IMO, trap hockey came in a two-step process. NJ in 1995 showed how a talented defensive minded team could win the Cup (over teams with more big name stars) by focusing on stifling the opponent's offense and counter attacking. Step 2- Florida in 1996 shows that even a team with marginal talent can go far of they outwork their opponents and play "the trap.".

It might have been inevitable though. Scoring was already trending down through the early 90s.

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01-03-2012, 01:43 AM
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Controversial opinion- the trap and defensive minded hockey is the only thing that kept the era between the lockouts competive. It was a time when rich teams bought all the expensive (offensive) talent. If run and gun hockey kept up, we'd probably be back to a 1970s type NHL where the few haves beat up on the large number of have nots.

But then I'm a Devils fan, so what do I know...

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01-03-2012, 05:11 PM
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Big Phil
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I think you would have seen a different opinion in the NHL. If the Devils don't win in 1995 then the Penguins or Flyers move onto the 1995 final vs. Detroit. That would have made a more interesting final other than the 1995 one which is among the most unwatchable in NHL history - if not THE most unwatchable.

Then there wouldn't be the Panthers in 1996 either. That means most likely a Penguins/Avs final. Or even Flyers/Avs final since they beat both out. That would lead to an offensive final and the NHL is a copycat league. If offense is winning Cups other teams would follow suit. That's why fighting skyrocketed in the 2007-'08 season after the Ducks won.

So would hockey have been the winner? As was usually the case when New Jersey didn't win back then, hockey would have been the winner.

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01-03-2012, 08:27 PM
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tony d
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I think had New Jersey not made the Cup finals in 1995 we would have never seen the dead puck era of the late 90's. Possibly Marty Brodeur wouldn't be as revered as what he is.

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01-03-2012, 10:43 PM
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Kyle McMahon
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We may have reached the era of fluff we're currently in a decade sooner.

Or maybe we don't get the anti-defense crusade from the media and maintain a decent balance between defensive strategy and the ability to be creative offensively as well.

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01-03-2012, 10:53 PM
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agentblack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I think you would have seen a different opinion in the NHL. If the Devils don't win in 1995 then the Penguins or Flyers move onto the 1995 final vs. Detroit. That would have made a more interesting final other than the 1995 one which is among the most unwatchable in NHL history - if not THE most unwatchable.

Then there wouldn't be the Panthers in 1996 either. That means most likely a Penguins/Avs final. Or even Flyers/Avs final since they beat both out. That would lead to an offensive final and the NHL is a copycat league. If offense is winning Cups other teams would follow suit. That's why fighting skyrocketed in the 2007-'08 season after the Ducks won.

So would hockey have been the winner? As was usually the case when New Jersey didn't win back then, hockey would have been the winner.
Totally agree with this. I think after CHI and PIT won their cups, its also feels now more than ever that having a top pick is more important than building a winning team. It feels like fanbases dont mind so much if their team is last cause they are getting their own Crobsy or Toews are even both if they finish last again and again. Eventually after sucking for enough years youll finally collect so much
talent the rest of the league will crumble at your feet.

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01-03-2012, 11:45 PM
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Kyle McMahon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agentblack View Post
Totally agree with this. I think after CHI and PIT won their cups, its also feels now more than ever that having a top pick is more important than building a winning team. It feels like fanbases dont mind so much if their team is last cause they are getting their own Crobsy or Toews are even both if they finish last again and again. Eventually after sucking for enough years youll finally collect so much
talent the rest of the league will crumble at your feet.
I agree that (idiot) fans have taken up this mentality, but the "tanking for picks = Cups" is a total myth. Pittsburgh got lucky in that Crosby was the best prospect in 20 years, and Malkin turned out far better than initially projected. Better than typical top draft picks.

Toews and Kane were the only high picks on the Blackhawks. Keith and Bolland were 2nd rounders. Brouwer and Byfuglien late round picks. Most crucially, Versteeg and Sharp were acquired almost literally for free (this fact is constantly overlooked). Niemi came out of nowhere. Excellent player development and some good luck built the Blackhawks, not tanking for picks.

The Panthers, Blue Jackets, Islanders, and former Thrashers have nothing to show for their decade of futility. According to HF mentality, they should all have won Cups by now.

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01-04-2012, 03:39 AM
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begbeee
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The fact is the trap remains the most unbeatable strategy in hockey. The evolution of game or its strategy has not passed the trap yet. We still try to stop the trap from outside by changing rule, with mentioned anti-defense crusade by media etc but hockey need to beat the trap on the ice by more successful strategy.

To be honest I liked the dead puck era. I liked stacked teams and big rivarlies between them. NJ, DRW and Avs are definitely one of the better or even one of the best teams which won SC, not sure if I can say the same about post-lockout teams. The parity is fine to some extent, but it has become a new idol for everyone.

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