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Jim Robson Division Semifinals: New Jersey vs. Halifax

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Old
04-16-2012, 07:06 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Jim Robson Division Semifinals: New Jersey vs. Halifax

New Jersey Swamp Devils

Head Coach: Lester Patrick
Assistant Coach: Roger Neilson

Ted Lindsay (C) - Duke Keats - Teemu Selanne
Bruce Stuart (A) - Russell Bowie - Martin St. Louis*
Gaye Stewart - Edgar Laprade - Don Marcotte
Ray Getliffe - Pete Mahovlich - Brian Rolston
*Bruce Stuart will take most of the faceoffs for the second line.

Jack Stewart - Brad Park
Hod Stuart - Jack Crawford (A)
Vasili Pervukhin - Bob Armstrong

Georges Vezina

John Ross Roach

PP1: Ted Lindsay - Duke Keats - Teemu Selanne - Hod Stuart - Brad Park
PP2: Gaye Stewart - Russell Bowie - Martin St Louis - Vasili Pervukhin - Brian Rolston
PK1: Edgar Laprade - Don Marcotte- Jack Stewart - Jack Crawford
PK2: Pete Mahovlich - Brian Rolston - Hod Stuart - Brad Park
PKX: Ray Getliffe, Martin St. Louis

Spares: Clem Loughlin (D); Mush March (RW); Al MacAdam (RW/LW); Bruce Stuart, Ray Getliffe, and Brian Rolston can play C; Don Marcotte, Pete Mahovlich, and Brian Rolston can play LW

Vs

Halifax Mooseheads


GMs: Stoneberg & raleh
Coaches: Anatoli Tarasov & Arkady Chernyshev
Captian: Siebert
Alternate Captains: Lowe, McKenney, Arbour


Roster
Valeri Kharlamov - Cyclone Taylor - Ken Hodge
Bun Cook - Mickey MacKay - Cecil Dillon
Don Marshall - Don McKenney (A) - Jerry Toppazzini
Camille Henry - Cal Gardner - Pit Martin

Mark Howe - Babe Siebert (C)
Kevin Lowe (A) - Ken Reardon
Al Arbour (A) - James Patrick

Ed Giacomin
John Vanbiesbrouck

Spares:
Lubomir Visnovsky, D
Jack Marks, F/D
Fred Whitcroft, F

1st PP Unit
Kharlamov - Henry - Hodge
Howe - Taylor

2nd PP Unit
Cook - MacKay - Dillon
Siebert - Reardon

-Taylor and Howe will play the majority of PP time.

PK Forwards
McKenney - Marshall
MacKay - Toppazzini
Martin - Dillon

PK Defensemen
Lowe - Siebert
Arbour - Reardon/Howe

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04-17-2012, 04:56 PM
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Good luck Stoneberg; hope you find the time to comment on this series.

First impressions:

Two of the best coached teams in the draft. NJ is built from the blue line out with strong goaltending and a fast group of high energy forwards spread thought the lineup - a team Lester Patrick would love to coach. I think Halifax's second and third line are very good at playing the two-way skill game of the Soviet system. The only line I can see having a problem with Tarasov is the first line, due to Ken Hodge, who is very slow and only useful in the offensive zone.

Goaltending is a pretty big advantage for NJ, especially in the playoffs, where Giacomin's record is fairly poor.

NJ has a smaller but significant advantages on the blue line - both teams have excellent blue lines but NJ's is even better

NJ also has advantages on special teams and team toughness.

Halifax is the faster team - one of the few teams in the draft with even more team speed than NJ (both teams have a huge slug on the top line but great team speed otherwise).

Forwards need a more in depth comparison because they are built so differently - Halifax has an all-offense first line and two-way second and third lines. NJ's top line is more versatile and our second line is more of a pure scoring line (though St Louis will help defend the neutral zone).

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04-18-2012, 04:06 PM
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Strategies

1. Matching up with Kharlamov/Taylor

This is, by far, Halifax's deadliest duo. Halifax's second and third lines should be able to chip in goals but both are two-way units that lack highend offensive talent. So NJ will key on Kharlamov and Taylor.

a) Stewart-Park will be out there every shift possible against the dynamic duo.

Brad Park has the speed not to be completely blown away by these two and Jack Stewart was also known as a good skater (not all stay at home guys are poor skaters - see Scott Stevens who shares many similarities with Stewart). Both Park and Stewart were excellent defensive players and both are also good body checkers (especially Jack Stewart).
Stewart and Park will be encouraged to play as physical as possible against Kharlamov and Taylor. This will force Ken Hodge to act as a bodyguard, a role he isn't fully comfortable with:

Quote:
Originally Posted by LOH
(in Chicago)Because most of the team was small and Hodge was 6'2' and 210 pounds, he was expected to be the team's policeman for the next two years. "It was my job and I did it, but it cost me offensively," he said. "I wound up in my fair share of fights. But it's not really my nature. I don't like playing the bully, and it hindered my development as a player. I didn't take a regular shift, and when I was on the ice, I had other responsibilities."
...
(in Boston)The more he scored, the more they booed him. "Sometimes, I feel like telling them all to go to hell," he admitted. "But I figure the boos come from people who just don't understand?. I gather that the people feel I'm not aggressive enough. But I don't think you have to run around crashing into people to qualify as a hockey player."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelletier
When he arrived in Boston via Chicago he was one of the biggest men in hockey at 6'2" and 215lbs. They wanted him to use every ounce of muscle to bang away the opposition, but that was never really in Hodge's make up
Hodge was a guy who preferred to use his physical strength to protect the puck and win battles along the boards. He felt like acting like a policeman took away from his scoring game. In this series, he'd better act like a policeman or Kharlamov is getting smeared.

b) Both NJ's first line and third line will see shifts against Halifax's third line

I think it was Sturm who said "it is much easier to un-line match than line match. So NJ will try to keep our second line away from his first line. I don't think it's a disastrous matchup - St Louis is very good at defending the transition game and Kharlamov-Taylor are much more effective in transition than on the cycle. But I'd rather have lines 1 or 3 against his line 1 and with two options and a great line matching coach, I expect to have one of those lines out there against his first almost all the time.

NJ's 3rd line will matchup in a traditional way - Marcotte will be all over Kharlamov and will play him as physically as possible. Laprade will go head to head with Taylor and harass him and play keep away with the puck whenever possible.

I think Gaye Stewart might actually be a better offensive player than Ken Hodge.

Gaye Stewart's top 20 finishes:
Points: 2nd, 4th, 16th, 16th, 20th
Goals: 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, 11th, 17th
Assists: 6th, 18th

Ken Hodge's top 20 finishes:
Points: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 20th
Goals: 4th, 4th, 4th, 16th, 20th
Assists: 4th, 8th, 12th

Then consider that Hodge was centered by Phil Esposito and had Bobby Orr on the blue line while Stewart was centered by Gus Bodnar with Gus Mortson and sometimes Jimmy Thomson as his best guys on the blue line, and I think it's pretty clear that Stewart is the better offensive player. Gaye Stewart will be quite useful in the counterattack against a line with no defensive conscience.

I also like the strength vs strength matchup of the Keats line vs the Taylor line. I think that his first line has only slightly more offensive upside than mine, while I think the two-way ability of my top line will eat his alive (especially when backed by Brad Park). Duke Keats in particular should be able to rough up Taylor off the faceoff. When going stength vs strength, Keats will play very conservatively in transition to help out the defense.

In conclusion:The only matchup Lester Patrick will worry about is who to get out against Kharlamov-Taylor. *Black Jack Stewart-Brad Park is the choice on D. Either the Laprade or the Keats line will do among forwards. I think that if teams get too complicated in the matchups they want, it makes it harder to get simple matchups they might be after. By focusing only on this one matchup, I think Patrick should be able to get they guys he wants out there most of the time.

2. Overall game plan - play Halifax as physically as possible.. NJ has the edge in physical play and I'm sure Lester Patrick intends to use or - especially since Halifax just escaped a series that went to 7 games in OT while NJ is well rested after a 4 game (OT) series.

a. NJ's physical defensemen

Brad Park:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelletier
A noted hip-checker, Park was brash and unintimidated.
Black Jack Stewart

Quote:
Originally Posted by LOH
Jack "Black Jack" Stewart was the complete package on defense during his dozen years in the NHL. One of the most punishing bodycheckers of his day, Stewart was able to rush with the puck when the need arose. His rock-solid play contributed to Detroit's Stanley Cup wins in 1943 and 1950, and his willingness to resort to a rough style of play when necessary gave him a reputation as one of the game's bad boys.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelletier
Jack Stewart perfected the bone crushing body check. Despite being relatively small at 5'11" and 185lbs, perhaps no defenseman delivered punishing body checks like Black Jack.
Hod Stuart

Quote:
Hod Stuart has been barred from the International Hockey League, the western contingent claiming he won too many championships and that he is too rough. He is one of the best hockey players on this continent.
Quote:
Stuart was so big that when a Canuck bumped him it was usually a case of the fooler being fooled, for Suart skated on, while the aggressive Soo man was sent sprawling to the ice.
Jack Crawford

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1on1 with Fern Flaman
Although just 20 years of age, the physical Flaman was able to study at the feet of legendary hitters like Pat Egan and Jack Crawford, both teammates with the Bruins and established himself as a strong NHL defenceman.
Bob Armstrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by LOH
A bruising, hard-hitting defenceman, Armstrong anchored the Boston blueline for every one of his 542 career NHL games after graduating from Stratford in junior hockey. He never rushed the puck, got into plenty of fights, and made it to the Stanley Cup finals twice, losing to Montreal in 1953 and again in 1957.
SummaryJack Stewart, Hod Stuart, and Bob Armstrong are all extremely physical defensemen. Brad Park and Jack Crawford are hard but clean body checkers. Only Pervukhin doesn't have a physical game worth talking about.

b. Going after Mark Howe

Mark Howe is an outstanding even strength defenseman with his skating ability. When healthy, he's basically a better Scott Niedermayer. The key is "when healthy." Mark Howe had trouble stringing together elite seasons due to injury problems.

Mark Howe's Norris record is relatively thin, basically the same as Scott Niedermayer's:

Mark Howe (1980-1988): 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 5th, 6th, 8th, 11th
Scott Niedermayer (1998-2009): 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 5th, 8th, 10th, 12th

Howe faced slightly better competition (yes, slightly, the early 80s were a transition period between the late 70s and late 80s/early 90s generations).

Niedermayer's thin record is because he just wasn't an elite defenseman until the end of his career. Howe was an elite defensman for longer and appears to have peaked higher (stats and Hart voting). His Norris record suffers because of his injury issues (I'm not going to go through them here - its fairly well documented in the defenseman project that injuries held Howe back from even greater things and are why his Norris record doesn't match up with his per-game stats).

Ted Lindsay and Bruce Stuart are probably going to see a lot of Mark Howe. When they do, they are encouraged to dump the puck into his corner whenever possible and hit him as hard and often as possible. Both players are fast (especially Lindsay) and both are very physical.

I dont think Lester Patrick is the kind of coach who would send his players headhunting, but he can certainly see the benefits to wearing down Mark Howe over the course of a series.

in conclusion: I think that NJ had the players to physically wear down Halifax's key players over a long series


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 04-18-2012 at 04:11 PM.
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04-18-2012, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Hodge was a guy who preferred to use his physical strength to protect the puck and win battles along the boards. He felt like acting like a policeman took away from his scoring game. In this series, he'd better act like a policeman or Kharlamov is getting smeared.
And

Quote:
I dont think Lester Patrick is the kind of coach who would send his players headhunting,
Doesn't really compute to me.


If your goal is to play physically but clean -- I don't think you force Hodge into the role of an enforcer or bodyguard. I'm sure Taylor and Kharlamov would be used to being targets for teams trying to wear them down. You wouldn't really get the added bonus of Hodge's admitted downgrade in his effectiveness when having to get into dustups...

If your goal is to play physically and get dirty shots in to really add to that wear and tear on them -- I'd have some pause in doing so if I was going to end up facing a 1st PP unit of:

Kharlamov - Henry - Hodge
Howe - Taylor

When I took the resulting penalties. Heck, you want to minimize how often you're going to give those guys the advantage period.

Quote:
in conclusion: I think that NJ had the players to physically wear down Halifax's key players over a long series
I don't think playing physically is a bad approach for you vs. Halifax, I'm pretty sure your defense in particular is better suited to that type of game than Halifax's back end.

The counterpoint to that is they are probably going to make you pay where it actually counts if you take penalties doing so.. and even if you aren't being dirty, you're usually going to take some penalties in passing if you are encouraging guys to go out of their way to get their licks in.. in my opinion anyways.

It compounds when your defense players who you have put in the spotlight as the better physical players are also the ones you're counting on to kill those penalties if they do come up.

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04-18-2012, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
And



Doesn't really compute to me.


If your goal is to play physically but clean -- I don't think you force Hodge into the role of an enforcer or bodyguard. I'm sure Taylor and Kharlamov would be used to being targets for teams trying to wear them down. You wouldn't really get the added bonus of Hodge's admitted downgrade in his effectiveness when having to get into dustups...
If Hodge wants to let Black Jack Stewart splatter Kharlamov with body checks and not mix it, that's what I would prefer

What doesn't compute about hard and aggressive hockey? Patrick isn't going to tell his guys to go Bobby Clarke on Kharlamov, but he won't have a problem telling them to lay the body.

Quote:
If your goal is to play physically and get dirty shots in to really add to that wear and tear on them -- I'd have some pause in doing so if I was going to end up facing a 1st PP unit of:

Kharlamov - Henry - Hodge
Howe - Taylor

When I took the resulting penalties. Heck, you want to minimize how often you're going to give those guys the advantage period.
It's a good PP, but it's pretty average by first unit standards - Mark Howe and Ken Hodge are not impressive players for a first PP in the ATD.

Quote:
I don't think playing physically is a bad approach for you vs. Halifax, I'm pretty sure your defense in particular is better suited to that type of game than Halifax's back end.

The counterpoint to that is they are probably going to make you pay where it actually counts if you take penalties doing so.. and even if you aren't being dirty, you're usually going to take some penalties in passing if you are encouraging guys to go out of their way to get their licks in.. in my opinion anyways.
Obviously taking penalties is rarely a good thing. I do think NJ has the better special teams though.

Quote:
It compounds when your defense players who you have put in the spotlight as the better physical players are also the ones you're counting on to kill those penalties if they do come up.
[/quote]

Every one of NJ's defensemen is at least good in his own end, so it's not a disaster if I have to mix up the PK. Either of the bottom pairing guys can do spot duty on the PK.

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04-18-2012, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
If Hodge wants to let Black Jack Stewart splatter Kharlamov with body checks and not mix it, that's what I would prefer.
Going for the big hit against players with the mobility of Taylor and Kharlamov is not often a good idea. Yeah, yeah, I know...Ed Van Impe blah blah...I'm sure after a full season of ATD hockey, Kharlamov will have adjusted to dealing with open-ice hitters. Your top pairing has the mobility to keep up, but they will need to be careful with the physical game, and not because of Ken Hodge.

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04-18-2012, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
Going for the big hit against players with the mobility of Taylor and Kharlamov is not often a good idea. Yeah, yeah, I know...Ed Van Impe blah blah...I'm sure after a full season of ATD hockey, Kharlamov will have adjusted to dealing with open-ice hitters. Your top pairing has the mobility to keep up, but they will need to be careful with the physical game, and not because of Ken Hodge.
Keep in mind that most of the time, they will have either Marcotte all over Kharkamov in neutral ice (with Laprade out there as well) or Duke Keats hanging back in a conservative defensive posture.

Edit: I'm assuming that Park and Stewart are smart enough not to get burned going for the big hit - they wouldn't have the all star records they do if they were. Scott Stevens (who played a similar game to Jack Stewart in NJ) didn't get burned by fast forwards in transition. He just held back and either stepped up when he had support, or waited to do his damage in battles along the boards. I know Ken Hodge is the designated puck winner for the line, but that doesn't mean the other two will never be put in position to be roughed up along the boards themselves.

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04-19-2012, 01:33 AM
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Ed Giacomin in the playoffs:

The stats: 29-35, one career shutout, 2.81 GAA.

Giacomin's legacy is based off the regular seasons from 1966-67 to 1970-71 when he was a 2x 1st Teamer and 3x 2nd Teamer. He got very little All Star consideration outside this time frame.

1967:

Giacomin was a 1st Team All Star almost by default. He started 68 games, Crozier started 58 for a non-playoff Detroit team and no other goalie started more than 44.

Giacomin's 2.61 GAA in the regular season ballooned to 3.41 in the playoffs as NY was swept by a Montreal team that only had 5 points more than them in the regular season. NY had a 4-1 lead with 10 minutes left in game 1 and lost 6-4.

1968:

Giacomin is a 2nd Team All Star to Gump Worsley.

His GAA goes from 2.44 in the regular season to 3.00 in a first round loss to a Chicago team that finished 10 points behind the Rangers in the standings.

1969:

Giacomin is a 2nd Team All Star to a 37 year old Glenn Hall.

In the playoffs, his GAA went from 2.55 in the regular season to 3.33 in the playoffs. The Rangers were swept in the first round by a Montreal team that finished 12 points ahead of them in the standings. Giacomin, who led the regular season in games played, only played 3 of the 4 games in the playoffs.

1970:

Giacomin was a 2nd Team All Star to a young Tony Esposito.

His 2.36 GAA in the regular season became 4.07 in the playoffs. Hard to tell how bad it was as it was against the Bobby Orr Bruins (who finished 7 points ahead in the regular season) but Giacomin, who again led the league in regular season starts only played 5 of 6 in the first round loss.

1971:

Giacomin was a 1st team All Star (and I'm not going to second guess the voters based of retroactive save % like TCG).

Giacomin was pretty good in the playoffs (finally). His team lost in the Conference finals to a very good Chicago team and his 2.16 GAA in the regular season only went up to 2.21.

After 1971:

Giacomin was no longer a top goalie in the regular season.

In 1972 and 1973, he platooned with Gilles Villemure, and Villemure received more All Star votes than Giacomin both seasons. Starting in 1974, Neither Giacomin nor Villemure recieved a single vote for the AS teams.

In the 1972 playoffs, Giacomin was 6-4 with a decent 2.70 GAA and Villemure was 4-2 with a 2.33 GAA as the Rangers lost in the Cup finals to the Bobby Orr Bruins.

Giacomin was the man in the playoffs for the Rangers in both 1973 and 1974, despite platooning in the regular season. Both years he put up solid but unspectacular stats in the playoffs as his team lost in the second round both times. He recorded the only playoff shutout of his career in 1973.

In 1975, Giacomin lost his only two starts in the playoffs. He was then traded to Detroit where he finished His career as a backup.

In summary:

Giacomin had a 5 year stretch as the 1st or 2nd best regular season goalie in the league, against fairly weak competition. His playoff record was horrendous for the first four years of the stretch.

Outside of this 5 year stretch, he received very little All-Star consideration as he settled into a platoon situation. His playoff numbers were solid but unspectacular (as they were in the last of his 5 years as a top regular season guy).

Giacomin is a worthy HHOFer (short prime, but 5 straight years as a 1st or 2nd Team AS is very good even against soso competition). But we're talking about the best of all time and he has to have the worst playoff record of any starter in the draft, right? Is it particularly close?

Vanbiesbrouck is a very good regular season backup but he was known as a pretty weak playoff player himself until his amazing run in 1996. I think Beezer becomes relevant this series since I think Giacomin's record makes it likely he'll see some action.

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04-19-2012, 01:37 AM
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Since Stoneberg is MIA, I'd like someone (maybe Sturm with his fascination for 70s Rangers) to let me know of he thinks the criticism of Giacomin is fair.

I think goalies often get too much blame when their team loses, but some of Giacomin's statistics in the playoffs really do look terrible.

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04-19-2012, 02:13 AM
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As I recall, Giacomin doesn't look any better if you go by sv% either.

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04-19-2012, 03:22 AM
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Very unscientifically speaking, Fast Eddie's playoff reputation in New York was not very good. The best modern comparison I can think of is Nabokov in San Jose. Sometimes good, but a couple of times disappointing. Never really terrible, but the postseason is definitely not his calling card.

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04-20-2012, 02:11 PM
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I mentioned this in arrbez's series - the NHL allowed forward passing between zones for the first time in 1943-44 - something that would entirely change the way a defenseman defended the neutral zone. Defensemen who stayed in the NHL during World War 2 had a two-year head start on those who left for the military in 1943-44 and 1944-45.

This is why I think it's particularly noteworthy that Jack Stewart (the best defenseman in hockey in 1942-43) was able to play all-star level hockey immediately after returning to the league (at the age of 28). Stewart was the only defenseman in the NHL to make an All Star Team both before and after the war - under both sets of rules.

His overall record (from his profile):

Quote:
Stewart finished top 5 in All-Star voting every season he played from the ages of 25-32 before retiring due to injuries:

1942-43: 1st in All-Star voting
1943-44: Lost season to World War 2
1944-45: Lost season to World War 2
1945-46: 4th in All Star voting
1946-47: 3rd in All Star voting
1947-48: 2nd in All Star voting
1948-49: 2nd in All Star voting
1949-50: 5th in All Star voting

1949-50 would be Stewart's last full year of hockey and last season in Detroit. He ended his tenure in Detroit by winning his second Cup, this time as the hard-hitting stay at home partner to a young player named Red Kelly. He was 32 years old. He would have two injury-filled seasons in Chicago afterwards before calling it quits for good.

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04-20-2012, 02:15 PM
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To be fair, Ken Reardon was an All Star immediately after returning from the war, as well. It's really hard to figure out just when Reardon became able to play all-star level hockey since he was a young, raw player before the war, left for 3 (not 2) years, and then was immediately an All Star on return

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04-20-2012, 02:39 PM
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I think it's been established by now that NJ had the best overall defense corps in the draft. I have a pretty good group of forwards, but if I want to win the Milt Dunnell Cup, I'll be relying heavily on the blue line.

I'll quickly go through D pairings though.

First pairing

Both pairings have perfect chemistry IMO, so talent is the only thing that matters.

Brad Park is an all-rounder. Very good at both ends of the ice, smart, good skater, good hip checker, very good PP QB, very good on the PK. The only reason he isn't on the first PK is to manage his ice time.

Mark Howe is as close to an even strength specialist as you'll get in the ATD. He was pretty good on the PP and PK in the NHL but not good enough to where I would want him on a first unit in the ATD. Howe's dominant skill was his skating - both with and without the puck - a skill much more useful in controlling the pace at even strength than on special teams. I see no need to "provide evidence" of this - Park and Howe should be known commodities by now and the evidence (stats and otherwise) is all over the discussion threads for the Top 60 project.

It's quite possible that Howe will be as effective as Park at even strength (in a vacuum and when healthy - see our gameplan against Howe).

Jack Stewart just has a better record than Babe Siebert. Both were the best defenseman in the league once. Both were a 1st time All Star 3 times. Jack Stewart was a Second Teamer twice to none for Siebert. Siebert had a great 4 year stretch (3 first teams and a 5th place finish) but received very little recognition (as a F or D) outside the time frame. Stewart was a top 5 defensman every season he played for an 8 year stretch. Stewart also has more playoff success than Siebert as a peak player - Cup as a #1 in 1943 and a Cup as a #2 to Red Kelly in 1950.

Slight to moderate advantage at even stength to NJ because Stewart has a better record than Siebert.. I'll get to Park's superiority over Howe on the PP and PK when discussing special teams

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04-20-2012, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
This is why I think it's particularly noteworthy that Jack Stewart (the best defenseman in hockey in 1942-43) was able to play all-star level hockey immediately after returning to the league (at the age of 28). Stewart was the only defenseman in the NHL to make an All Star Team both before and after the war - under both sets of rules.
This almost certainly has a lot to do with the fact that there was a big turnover of generations from pre to post war. Shore, Clapper, Seibert, etc. all fizzled out before 1946. I have no doubt that almost all of the great pre-war all-star defensemen (not talking about Bucko McDonald here) would have been an all-star in the immediate post-war years had they still been at their respective peaks. I think what you're pointing out here is a more of a historical curiosity than it is evidence that Stewart was somehow special.

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04-20-2012, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
This almost certainly has a lot to do with the fact that there was a big turnover of generations from pre to post war. Shore, Clapper, Seibert, etc. all fizzled out before 1946. I have no doubt that almost all of the great pre-war all-star defensemen (not talking about Bucko McDonald here) would have been an all-star in the immediate post-war years had they still been at their respective peaks. I think what you're pointing out here is a more of a historical curiosity than it is evidence that Stewart was somehow special.
Yeah, it's mostly a curiosity I guess. I think if it shows anything, it shows that Stewart has the best case of any defenseman to get credit for likely All Star level play over the war years.

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04-20-2012, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Yeah, it's mostly a curiosity I guess. I think if it shows anything, it shows that Stewart has the best case of any defenseman to get credit for likely All Star level play over the war years.
Yeah...although in the case of very physical players like Stewart (and Schmidt), I think a couple years off (though I realize Stewart wasn't particularly old when he went to war) from pro hockey likely extended their careers/peaks. Hell, look at what it did for Teemu Selanne sixty years later.

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04-20-2012, 04:48 PM
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Second Pairing

Hod Stuart and Ken Reardon are both great second pairing anchors. Reardon played 2 unspectacular seasons before WW2, missed 3 years, was a 1st or 2nd Team All Star for 5 straight years then retired. Stuart was the best offensive defenseman of his generation by a wide margin and among the best defensively. People who saw them all play seemed to think Stuart was better than Eddie Gerard, Moose Johnson, or Harry Cameron, but there might have been a nostalgia factor there. It's impossible to truly compare Reardon and Stuart overall, so here is a comparison of their skill sets:
  • Both were very effective at both ends of the ice. Stuart was more famous for his O, Reardon for his D
  • Both were extremely physical players. Reardon's kamikaze style led to frequent injuries. I don't think Stuart's did
  • Stuart was a fast skater, Reardon a slow skater.
  • Both had some, but not much, team success

I think Reardon might have trouble against the speedy Selanne and St. Louis, so that might be an advantage.

Regardless of what you think of Stuart vs Reardon, the biggest difference on second pairings is the difference between Kevin Lowe and Jack Crawford.

Crawford's All Star Record: 1st, 3rd, 5th, 5th, 7th, 8th, 8th
Lowe's All Star Record: 5th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 14th

Crawford had injury plagued seasons in 44 and 45 yet still finished 6th in AS voting both years, such was the level of competition then. I'm omitting those finishes in this comparison. Competition was quite a bit better when Lowe played, but that's an enormous difference in all-star consideration.

New Jersey had a moderate advantage on the second pairing because of the large difference between Jack Crawford and Kevin Lowe

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04-20-2012, 05:14 PM
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Third Pairing

I don't think a lot of people realize how good Vasili Pervukhin was. I think he should be considered just as good as Kuzkin, Tsygankov, and Bilyaletdinov. From his profile:

Quote:
Most North Americans seemed to prefer Bilyaletdinov, perhaps because he played a hard hitting physical "North American" game. But his partner Pervukhin actually has superior awards recognition

1977: 5th in Soviet MVP voting, first among defensemen.
Vasiliev and Lutchenko were the Soviet league all stars, though

1979: First Team Soviet league All Star.
No MVP voting available beyond the winner.

1985: 5th in Soviet MVP voting, 2nd among defensemen behind Fetisov.
Fetisov and Kasatonov were the All Star defensemen.
-------

Finishing top 5 in Soviet MVP voting was not common for a defenseman.

Fetisov: 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
Vasiliev: 3rd, 5th, 5th
Pervukhin: 5th, 5th
Ragulin: 5th
Kasatonov: 5th

That's it until after 1989
I think Pervuhkin is a guy who was consistently just behind the top Soviet defensemen, but was able to break through and be a First Teamer in 1979, kind of a transition period between generations.

I think Pervuhkin is very comparable to Kimmo Timonen in both style and quality. He's a finesse defenseman who was praised for his defensive ability and few mistakes, as well as his ability to run a powerplay. I can see him (like Timonen) playing a conservative game at even strength, but still possessing the puck skills to get the puck to the forwards.

Here's Patrick's All Star record: 8th, 9th, 16th.
That's it. I think Pervuhkin is the better defenseman, possibly (but not definitely) by a lot.

Full All Star voting records don't exist for much of Bob Armstrong's career or the first part of Arbour's, so I'll use Norris records.

Bob Armstrong's Norris record: 7th, 8th, 9th
Al Arbour's Norris record: 5th, 6th, 10th

Looks like a marginal advantage for Arbour, but that advantage disappears when you consider competition:

Al Arbour

56-57: 10th
68-69: 5th
69-70: 6th

Bob Armstrong

53-54: 8th
56-57: 9th
59-60: 7th

Competition in the mid-late 50s was very deep, while competition at the end of the 60s was fairly shallow.

Neither man appears to have a longevity advantage, I think they are equal.

Advantage NJ because we have the better #5 defenseman. #6s are basically a wash. How much you think this advantage amounts to depends on how much better you think Pervukhin is than Patrick.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 04-20-2012 at 05:27 PM.
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04-20-2012, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
[Al Arbour placed quite highly in his extremely brief NHL career: .
I swear, it's like you drop 20 IQ points before starting to talk about Arbour, and then pick them back up when you're done. I think there's some bias at work here, that goes back 2 drafts.

Arbour played 626 NHL games, and the span between his first and last was about 17 years. I don't know how anyone can describe his NHL career as "extremely brief".

...anyway, carry on.

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04-20-2012, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
I swear, it's like you drop 20 IQ points before starting to talk about Arbour, and then pick them back up when you're done. I think there's some bias at work here, that goes back 2 drafts.

Arbour played 626 NHL games, and the span between his first and last was about 17 years. I don't know how anyone can describe his NHL career as "extremely brief".

...anyway, carry on.
Already beat you to it schnookms. Notice the time of my edit and the time of your post. Edit: Er, my edit was apparently 2 minutes later, but I swear I started the edit before reading your post.

I always forget the first half of Arbour's career (before he was sent down) when I talk about him. You really need to take a deep breath though; even before the edit, later in the post, I checked their careers on h-r and said this: "Neither man appears to have a longevity advantage, I think they are equal. " which you neglected to quote.

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04-20-2012, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Already beat you to it schnookms. Notice the time of my edit and the time of your post. Edit: Er, my edit was apparently 2 minutes later, but I swear I started the edit before reading your post.

I always forget the first half of Arbour's career (before he was sent down) when I talk about him. You really need to take a deep breath though; even before the edit, later in the post, I checked their careers on h-r and said this: "Neither man appears to have a longevity advantage, I think they are equal. " which you neglected to quote.
haha... i deserved this. clearly there is an attachment still there.

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04-20-2012, 08:45 PM
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I don't have the time or desire to do detailed player by player comparisons of the top 2 lines before voting, especially since so many of the players are non-NHLers. I will give my impressions though. Please let me know if you disagree.

First lines
•Offense: slight advantage to Halifax
•Defense: moderate advantage to NJ
•Physical play: fairly large advantage to NJ

Second lines
•Offense: moderate advantage to NJ. St Louis is easily the best NHLer on either second line, and MacKay is more valuable defensively than offensively. Offensively, MacKay falls behind Bernie Morris, Frank Fredrickson, and Tommy Dunderdale just in the PCHA. Stuart is the worst offensive player on either seconding though.
•Defense: fairly large advantage to Halifax. MacKay is the best defensive player on either line. Cook is probably second best, followed by St Louis then Dillon then Stuart.
•Physical play: hard to tell. NJ has an absolute beast (Stuart) next to two shrimps and Halifax has more of a grit by committee line.

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04-21-2012, 09:29 PM
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third lines

Again quickly.

I think Halifax has one of the best two-way third lines in the draft and I think that in a vacuum, they have the better third line at even strength.

But in his series? Toppanzini is a great PKer, but he's the least impressive even strength defensive player on the line. And his check is Ted Lindsay, NJ's best offensive player.

Meanwhile, NJ's best defensive player Don Marcotte (who may be the best checker on either line) is head to head against Kharlamov. Gaye Stewart is there to add a dangerous goal scorer on the counter attack, which works perfectly since his check is Ken Hodge who isn't particularly dangerous in open ice

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04-21-2012, 09:42 PM
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Stoneberg built a really good team; it's a shame he isn't around to talk about it now.

Why NJ should win

•The teams have a variety of strength and weaknesses up front, but NJ has distinct advantages on the blue line and in goal
•NJ has 2 lines that can play agains Halifax's top line - our third line where Marcotte will shadow Kharlamov and Stewart can flat out outscore Hodge; and out first line which can win the battle head to head given its superior defensie play and support from the blue line.

I'll post in detail about special teams if I have time. I see the biggest differences being NJ's superior forwards on the second PP and NJ's superior defensemen on the PK.

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