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Jim Robson Division Semifinals: Pittsburgh vs. Toronto

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04-16-2012, 06:08 PM
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Jim Robson Division Semifinals: Pittsburgh vs. Toronto

Pittsburgh Keystones

Head Coach: Hap Day
Assistant Coach: Billy Reay

Gary Roberts - Henri Richard (C) - Boom Boom Geoffrion
John LeClair - Eric Lindros - Jim Pappin
Gilles Tremblay - Blair Russel - Bob Nevin (A)
Dave Trottier - Ken Linseman - Ken Randall

Lionel Hitchman
- Bobby Orr
Gus Mortson - Rob Blake (A)
Allan "Eagle Eye" Cameron - Jerry Korab

Gump Worsley

Dave Kerr

RW Anders Hedberg, C Dennis Maruk, D Dave Langevin

PP1: LeClair-Richard-Lindros-Geoffrion-Orr
PP2: Roberts-Linseman-Pappin-Korab-Blake

PK1: Russel-Nevin-Hitchman-Orr
PK2: Richard-Tremblay-Mortson-Blake
extras: Trottier, Linseman, Cameron


Toronto St.Pats

GM: Leafs Forever13
Head Coach: Jack Adams
Captain: Raymond Bourque
Assistant Captains: Wayne Cashman, Frank Boucher

Roy Conacher-Frank Boucher-Glenn Anderson
Gord Roberts-Marcel Dionne-Wayne Cashman
Fleming Mackell-Keith Primeau-Danny Gare
Marcel Bonin-Troy Murray-Rejean Houle

Raymond Bourque-Allan Stanley
Cy Wentworth-Gary Bergman
Red Dutton-George Owen

Ed Belfour
Al Rollins

Spares: Bobby Rowe, D/RW, Chris Drury C/LW, Stephane Richer W, Gerard Gallant LW

PP1: Roy Conacher-Frank Boucher-Glenn Anderson
Raymond Bourque-Allan Stanley

PP2: Gord Roberts-Marcel Dionne-Wayne Cashman
Gary Bergman-George Owen

PK1:Fleming Mackell-Rejan Houle
Raymond Bourque-Cy Wentworth

PK2: Troy Murray-Marcel Bonin
Red Dutton-Allan Stanley

Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 04-19-2012 at 02:18 AM.
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04-17-2012, 01:10 PM
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Gord Roberts
- PCHA 1st All-Star Team (1917)
- Top-10 in goals 7 times (1st*, 2nd*, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd*, 8th, 9th) *-PCHA
- Top-10 in assists 3 times (2nd, 4th, 10th)
- Top-10 in points 7 times (2nd*, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd*, 5th*, 6th, 10th) *-PCHA

Roy Conacher
x1 Art Ross winner
x1 1st AST
x1 ASG

Goals: 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 5, 6, 7
Assists: 2, 8
Points: 1, 6, 7, 10, 10, 10

Hart: 3
AST: 1, 3
%: 103, 86, 84, 82, 81, 76, 76, 70, 69

Frank Boucher
x3 1st AST
x1 2nd AST

Goals: 4, 9
Assists: 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 4, 6
Points: 2, 3, 3, 4, 6, 6, 7, 10

Hart: 4, 5
AST: 1 ('34), 1 ('33), 2 ('31), 3 ('36),
%: 100, 96, 96, 90, 90, 81, 80, 78, 73, 70, 44

Bernie Geoffrion
x2 Art Ross Trophy winner
x1 Hart Trophy winner
x1 1st AST
x2 2nd AST
x11 ASGs

Goal Finishes: 1, 1, 3, 3, 5, 5, 8, 9
Assist finishes: 6, 6, 6, 7, 10
Point finishes: 1, 1, 4, 6, 6, 7, 7

%: 106, 101, 89, 81, 78, 78, 73, 63, 55, 53, 47, 45

Henri Richard
x1 1st AST
x3 2nd AST
x10 ASGs

Goal finishes: 5, 7
Assist finishes: 1, 1, 4, 7, 8, 8, 10
Point finishes: 2, 4, 5, 9, 9, 10

%: 100, 91, 90, 78, 76, 69, 67, 64, 64, 63, 61, 60, 58, 56, 51, 49, 43, 42

Jim Pappin
x5 ASGs

Goals: 6
Points: 10

%: 92, 85, 68, 65, 53, 53, 45, 40

Post-expansion only guys
Glenn Anderson

Goals: 3, 4, 9
Assists: 9
Points: 9

AST: 3, 4, 5, 5
%: 86, 84, 83, 76, 73, 70, 64, 58, 57, 53, 48, 46, 40
1129 GP / 52 ESP / 21 PPP, 49% usage, 1.11 quality (1.00 is average, with higher scores representing a better PP and lower scores representing a worse PP)

Wayne Cashman
x1 2nd AST
x1 ASG

Assists: 5, 5
Points: 4, 7

AST: 2, 3
%: 103, 93, 68, 60, 52, 50, 49, 46, 45, 43
1026 GP / 50 ESP / 14 PPP, 32% usage, 1.22 quality

Marcel Dionne
x1 Art Ross winner
x2 Ted Lindsay Award winner
x8 ASGs
x2 1st ASTs
x2 2nd ASTs

Goals: 2, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 8, 9, 10
Assists: 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 9, 9, 9,
Points: 1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 7

Hart: 2, 3, T6, 8, 9
AST: 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5

%: 110, 103, 102, 100, 100, 100, 91, 90, 88, 84, 80, 79, 77, 77, 73, 64, 54
1348 GP / 62 ESP / 38 PPP, 77% usage, 1.03 quality

Gary Roberts
x3 ASGs
Goal finishes: 3

1224 GP / 51 ESP / 15 PPP, 38% usage, 1.03 rating
%: 84, 75, 57, 56, 56, 55, 55, 54, 53, 46

John LecLair
x2 1st ASTs
x3 2nd ASTs
x5 ASGs

Goal finishes: 3, 3, 5, 5, 6, 10
Point finishes: 4, 5, 9, 9

967 GP / 62 ESP / 22 PPP, 53% PP usage, 1.06 quality
%: 98, 96, 84, 84, 82, 77, 63, 57, 41

Eric Lindros
x1 Hart Trophy winner
x1 Ted Lindsay award winner
x1 1st AST
x1 2nd AST
x6 ASGs

Goal finishes: 6, 7, 9, 9
Assists: 4, 6, 9
Points: 1, 6, 7

760 GP / 78 ESP / 32 PPP, 68% usage, 1.06 quality
100, 100, 87, 87, 81, 80, 78, 63, 53, 51

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04-17-2012, 03:33 PM
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The skinny on Marcel Dionne's playoffs courtesy of Hockey Outsider

His conclusion:
One thing that helps Dionne’s case is his underrated, complete game. Obviously he wasn’t a Trottier or Clarke, but it seems like a lot of people mistakenly assume that his combination of offensive talent, small size, and low PIM totals make him a one-dimensional player. Dionne stood up for his teammates, dropped the gloves against a much tougher opponent, and played on the penalty kill. He was praised for his underrated strength by one opponent, and for his allaround game by Don Cherry. Dionne did have some great moments, including the tremendous upset against Edmonton in 1982, and practically singlehandedly winning two games against the 1976 Bruins. Dionne, when he was on top of his game, could dominate a series, and not just in the offensive zone.

At the same time, I think we can now make an argument against Dionne that’s more subtle than “he didn’t score as much as he did in the regular season”. First, Dionne and the Kings usually played very poorly in the first game of a series, often getting blown out. Winning the first game is especially important in a best-of-three/five, so a weak first game is especially dangerous. Second, Dionne played very poorly in elimination games. When the Kings needed a big effort, Dionne was usually (though not always) held off the scoresheet. Nine points in thirteen games is what you’d expect from Butch Goring, not Marcel Dionne. Finally, Dionne’s biggest problem was inconsistency. I found two or three times in his entire career when Dionne strung together two consecutive good games. The Kings often lost because their best player often disappeared for half a series at a time.
Some of the highlights
  • A huge series of fights breaks out in Game 2 against the NY Rangers (1981 Round 1). Dionne (5’8”, 190 lbs) stands up for his teammates by dropping his gloves, and, shockingly, fought the massive Ed Hospodar (6’2”, 210 lbs). After getting five minutes in the box, Dionne scored a goal and added an assist on an emotional night. The next game, Dionne has another two-point night (twice giving LA the lead).
  • Dionne scores two goals and an assist in a 10-8 win over Edmonton (1982 Round 1), twice giving LA the lead. He assisted on Charlie Simmer’s game-winner with five minutes left in the third. Two games later, in the Miracle on Manchester, the LA Kings stage a stunning comeback against the Edmonton Oilers, erasing a 5-0 deficit in the third period. Dionne is a key element of this, racking up two assists, including assisting on the tying goal with five seconds left despite being heavily checked.
Some of the lowlights
  • In 1976 (Round 2), the Kings take a 2-1 series lead, with game four back in Los Angeles. The Kings are unable to eliminate the Bruins, and Dionne puts up just two points over the next four games. Dionne is held off the scoresheet in the crucial game seven.
  • In 1978 (Round 1), Dionne is held off the scoresheet in both games of the best-of-three series, as the Kings are swept. Jimmy Jones shadows Dionne all game… no offense to the Leafs, but he’s not exactly Bob Gainey. The Toronto Star notes that “Dionne wasn’t just inconspicuous… he was downright invisible. It would have taken a high-powered telescope to detect his presence”.
Response to the concern "Dionne scored goals, it's not his fault his teammates couldn't"
As a King, Dionne’s goal-per-game rate dropped in the playoffs (0.60 RS, 0.47 PO) but his assist-per-game rate dropped even more sharply (0.82 RS, 0.47 PO). Some people have interpreted this as meaning that Dionne’s numbers are mostly hurt because he never had any players to pass to in the playoffs.

However, Dionne led the Kings in playoff scoring just twice in eight years (with two more years as ties), despite leading them in scoring in literally every regular seasons, often by 20-40 point margins. When players like Glenn Goldup, Darryl Edestrand and Daryl Evans lead the Kings in the playoffs, it’s safe to say that the roster’s depth players stepped up, and Dionne usually didn’t.
Containing Dionne
I think it will be in my best interest to match Dionne's line with my second line as much as possible. Dionne is flanked by two tough customers, but I think his underrated grit and two-way play will still leave him over his head with this matchup. Lindros should do well keep possession lined up against Dionne and Wayne Cashman and Gord Roberts don't exactly scream puck carrier. I think Cashman should help Dionne, but he's still going to have a lot of sizable and tough opponents to get through.

I'm also going to try to get Linseman's line some shifts against Dionne's. I think Linseman and Trottier could definitely do something to pull one of Cashman or Roberts into the box with them.

Last edited by Rob Scuderi: 04-18-2012 at 05:21 PM.
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04-17-2012, 08:41 PM
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I'm going to swap Hedberg out for Ken Randall on that 4th line RW spot. Roberts will take the open slot on the second PP. He's not ideal but he can create some havoc in front of the net for Blake and Korab's shots. Dave King used Roberts on both the PP and PK when he had his career year with the Flames so I'm hoping he can thrive with the bigger role.

Randall will make my already nasty fourth line much more difficult to play against. He's definitely the type Linseman needs to have by his side and his physical game should prove useful as the series progresses.

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04-19-2012, 01:53 PM
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For simplicity's sake, let's ignore Bourque and Orr's records. The default edge of top pairs I've been receiving is probably compromised by having another top 2-5 defenseman.

All-star records
Allan Stanley: 3, 3, 3, 6, T9, 10, 14, 15

Lionel Hitchman*: T5; 2nd in Hart '30

Rob Blake: 2, 3, 3, 3, 5, 8, T11

Gus Mortson: 1, 7, 9, T9, 10

Cy Wentworth*: 3, 4, T5, 6, T9

Gary Bergman: 8, 10

*Hitchman and Wentworth's era has some pretty ugly voting records that are hard to make sense of with the First/Alt and Left/Right splits.

I think the top pairs are pretty even with Orr being a bit better than Bourque and Stanley having a clearer edge over Hitchman. Stanley's skating woes might give him some trouble with a guy like Henri Richard but otherwise he's fine next to Bourque. He's definitely better in transition than Hitchman as well, but then again Hitchman has Orr by his side. Pretty close top pairs here that I think are probably a draw. I'm just not sure having a weaker partner is enough for Orr's pair to yield much.

I don't think the second pairs are nearly as close. I think Blake's resume compares much more favorably to Stanley's than Wentworth's or Bergman's. I think he's clearly the best player on either second pair. Wentworth is your #3 and I think it's possible Mortson is also better. I almost picked Wentworth, but reading comments some people had on him and then seeing what that voting looked like I got a much clearer picture. If you look at that record it looks great, but when you look at the voting thread you can see how there's just not a ton too it. I did my best to come up with the most seemingly fair ranks for the alt/first/left/right team splits in voting but 1 point either way has so much influence compared to other voting systems. I think Wentworth is probably similar to Hitchman, but without voting records for most of Hitch's career I'm really unsure how to best compare them.

I think comparing #4s is a favorable matchup for me as well. Mortson AST record isn't the best, but we only have the top four vote-getters for some of his career. Bergman didn't have the same issue and his voting record is simply weaker. Mortson won't be able to match his offensive game, but that's about it. Bergman was a stud in the Summit Series though so even if he's weaker than Mortson or possibly best-served as a #5 in the ATD, he can still play.

Last edited by Rob Scuderi: 04-19-2012 at 02:34 PM. Reason: tried to make sense of split voting instead of just using 1st team votes
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04-20-2012, 04:12 PM
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Matching Boucher's line and using Orr
For Toronto's top line I'm going to try to match my top line and third lines. Boucher will be my main focus and I'm not sure how effective his linemates will be in forming the combination plays that the Bread Line were famous for. I think Richard should be particularly effective in keeping up with the shifty Boucher. Boucher's also pretty slight and I'm going to rely mostly on my backend to punish him physically. His hookcheck is worrisome for Orr's game but this is a matchup I feel can swing my way over the course of a series with the help of Geoffrion and Richard.

My third line should help my blueline get their chances at Boucher as well. Tremblay should handle Anderson fine after battling Howe and Bob Nevin was another talented defensive player. I think they can be effective locking down Boucher's options in transition and force him to hold onto the puck. This should help my physical defensive group get more hits on Boucher and hopefully he'll be picking himself up off the ice as my team goes the other way.

With my Orr-centric focus, I think I can afford keying in on Boucher as his wingers don't bring the same defensive presence. Anderson is a better glue guy than Roberts, but trails the other four. Conacher's a potent scorer but trails Geoffrion. I feel if we can contain Boucher and wear him down then Conacher and Anderson will either be left chasing Orr up the ice or dealing with two of my stronger defensive players lined up across them. If Boucher isn't there hookchecking Orr then I really like this matchup for my top line, and by using my third line as well I can still save Orr's unit for some mismatches with the home ice advantage.

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04-25-2012, 09:24 AM
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In a back-and-forth 7 game series, Pittsburgh prevails!

Congrats on making the division final in your first ATD, BBS. where did you go, LF?

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