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Jim Robson Divisional Finals: New Jersey vs. Pittsburgh

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Old
04-28-2012, 02:13 PM
  #51
Rob Scuderi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I think Blake was fine in transition offense, though probably not as good as he was in either zone, since his size and shot were his two biggest assets. I think his issue was transition defense, where his relatively poor decision making was his weakness.

As for Niedermayer, it's a little different. His R-on and R-off are both very high for the current NHL. It makes sense - his off-ice comparable went from Scott Stevens to Chris Pronger. While team definitely helped, I do think Niedermayer's high R-on is largely his own doing - he was an excellent even strength player with his skating, especially in his prime. Before I had access to these stats, I always said I'd take Nieds at even strength and Blake on both special teams when the two were compared based on "the eye test."

Blake's on-ice numbers are average, but other than a year and change of Bourque, his off ice comparables were not mega elite all-time greats (Adam Foote probably the best), so he really should have made more of a difference than he did at even strength.

I think he can be a #2 in the ATD, but he is definitely stronger on special teams than at even strength
I think a look at the difference is ratios is way more telling than raw looks at their values, which tell us more about team strength than anything else. The fact that Blake didn't significantly improve his team's scoring is more interesting to me than the fact that he and his teammates generally scored less than those being compared. I think him being average at ES is a totally fair conclusion, but I don't think his offense loses value. He still scored at a good rate ES wise so I expect him to be a factor there.

I wanted to bring Nieds into the conversation too, but you're right that it's just a different situation. Certainly having Pronger and Stevens on the ice when you aren't is going to help your teams R-Off numbers and skew a comparison in ratios.


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04-28-2012, 02:42 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I think Blake was fine in transition offense, though probably not as good as he was in either zone, since his size and shot were his two biggest assets. I think his issue was transition defense, where his relatively poor decision making was his weakness.

As for Niedermayer, it's a little different. His R-on and R-off are both very high for the current NHL. It makes sense - his off-ice comparable went from Scott Stevens to Chris Pronger. While team definitely helped, I do think Niedermayer's high R-on is largely his own doing - he was an excellent even strength player with his skating, especially in his prime. Before I had access to these stats, I always said I'd take Nieds at even strength and Blake on both special teams when the two were compared based on "the eye test."

Blake's on-ice numbers are average, but other than a year and change of Bourque, his off ice comparables were not mega elite all-time greats (Adam Foote probably the best), so he really should have made more of a difference than he did at even strength.

I think he can be a #2 in the ATD, but he is definitely stronger on special teams than at even strength
And yet they have virtually identical even strength and powerplay point production per season.

This despite the fact that Stevens was taking the tougher matchups in NJ and we believe Blake was taking the tougher ones on his team (outside a season and change as you said).

So basically all the difference is on the other side of the ledger where, yes, Blake and his teammates gave up more goals.. but how much of that was Blake and how much of that was his teammates?

It is quite possible that hypothetical very average #1 defenseman playing in his place would be less than the off ice comparables.

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04-28-2012, 02:51 PM
  #53
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I'm probably underrating Niedermayer on the PP, because his prime PP years were in Anaheim, not NJ where i obviously saw more of him. I know Ducks fan MVPeyton was a big fan of Nieds on the PP. Pronger basically QBed the Anaheim PP while Nieds played kind of like a rover.

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04-30-2012, 04:42 PM
  #54
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Eric Lindros and Martin St Louis are a great example that sometimes year-end seasonal finishes might not tell the whole story. Look at top 20 points finishes:

St Louis: 1, 2, 5, 6, 12, 16, 18
Lindros: 1, 6, 7, 11, 17, 20

St Louis actually has a better set of top 20 finishes than Lindros.. Considering they both spent the entirety of their careers after the Euro-influx, I think top 20 finishes are as good as any other seasonal metric.

Lindros competed with Lemieux and Gretzky for a couple of years each (but never really at the same time due to Mario's injuries and temporary retirement and then Gretzky declining), but that isn't enough to make much of a difference in the rankings.

I think we all know that Lindros was a better point producer in the regular season when healthy, and this isn't taken into account in the seasonal rankings.

I do think the seasonal rankings serve a useful purpose though - they remind us that even in Lindros' prime, his reckless style of play led to frequent injuries that lowered his end of the year totals to below St Louis level.

I think there are two options here:

•If you assume there are no injuries in the ATD, then St Louis > Lindros offensively even in the regular season

OR

•Lindros is better than St Louis offensively (as he showed on a per game basis), but he'll be injured for couple of games this series (especially considering NJ's physical defensemen) and replaced by, I would imagine, Ken Linseman on the second lineup for those games.
_____________

By the way, this is what originally made me decide to compare Lindros and St Louis:
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Only 10 players have averaged over a point per game in the playoffs for more than 30 games since 1995

1. Alexander Ovechkin 1.35 over 37 games
2. Sidney Crosby 1.32 over 62 games
3. Jaromir Jagr 1.22 over 106 games
4. Mario Lemieux 1.22 over 41 games
5. Evgeni Malkin 1.18 over 68 games
6. Peter Forsberg 1.13 over 151 games
7. Joe Sakic 1.10 over 166 games
8. Eric Lindros 1.08 over 53 games
9. Martin St Louis 1.08 over 63 games

10. Patrick Kane 1.07 over 45 games

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...oints_per_game

Somehow five players managed to be at exactly 1 PPG over the time frame - Michael Cammalleri (32 games), Mark Messier (36), Jason Spezza (46), Eric Staal (43), and Jonathan Toews (46).

This is obviously not an ordered list of the best playoff players of the era but it does show how excellent St Louis has been in the postseason.

Edit: above stats compiled before 2012 playoffs

St Louis has never had a bad playoff year

St. Louis has been over a PPG in 4 out of 5 playoff runs. In the only one where he wasn't, he scored 4 goals but 0 assists in 5 games in 2006.

St Louis did this while playing a solid two-way game.
Whatever advantage a healthy Lindros has over St Louis in the regular season is definitely reduced in the playoffs.

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04-30-2012, 05:22 PM
  #55
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looking at their point production quantitatively, Lindros was better. Over his best 9 years (his first 9 years) he had an adjusted 797 points in 581 adjusted games, for an average of 1.37.

In St. Louis' best 9 years (his last 9 years) he had an adjusted 813 points in 731 games for 1.11 per game.

1.37 is a huge edge over 1.11; it is 23% higher.

However:

- there has to be some sort of credit for averaging 1.11 over 150 more games.

- most importantly, TDMM is correct that if you want to look at it this way (and I think you should) then you need to account for the fact that Lindros missed 29% of his team's games in the ten-year period I covered. That's 2 of 7 if this series goes that far. St. Louis, on the other hand, has missed 7 games in 9 years and won't be missing any time here.

If all other things are equal (and of course, they never are, and they aren't here) then you could probably expect Lindros to score one fewer point than St. Louis in two fewer games. In the other two games he has an ineffective replacement in his place.

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04-30-2012, 06:11 PM
  #56
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BTW, I believe most of the concerns with HR's adjusted stats are mostly valid; however, I think any issues would affect these two players more or less equally.

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04-30-2012, 06:22 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
BTW, I believe most of the concerns with HR's adjusted stats are mostly valid; however, I think any issues would affect these two players more or less equally.
Agree with your last two posts.

In a vacuum, I could see St Louis scoring 7 points in 7 games, Lindros scoring 6 points in 5 games, and Linesman maybe scoring 1 point in 2 games replacing Lindros (he is the most logical replacement).

But you're right, it isn't a vacuum, and that's a good segway into the next point I wanted to make about the two - I think the group of burly defensemen that NJ has in the top 4 is very well suited to slowing down Lindros. Blake-Hitchman isn't necessary the best pair stylistically against Martin St Louis - I like St Louis's speed against the slow skating Hitchman when Rob Blake gets out of position going for a big hit.

Edit: skating doesn't seem to be an issue for Hitchman; see below


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04-30-2012, 06:32 PM
  #58
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In a vacuum, I could see St Louis scoring 7 points in 7 games, Lindros scoring 6 points in 5 games,
that is exactly what I was going to speculate.

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04-30-2012, 08:35 PM
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Agree with your last two posts.

In a vacuum, I could see St Louis scoring 7 points in 7 games, Lindros scoring 6 points in 5 games, and Linesman maybe scoring 1 point in 2 games replacing Lindros (he is the most logical replacement).

But you're right, it isn't a vacuum, and that's a good segway into the next point I wanted to make about the two - I think the group of burly defensemen that NJ has in the top 4 is very well suited to slowing down Lindros. Blake-Hitchman isn't necessary the best pair stylistically against Martin St Louis - I like St Louis's speed against the slow skating Hitchman when Rob Blake gets out of position going for a big hit.
There's no set way to handle injuries, but I think you've laid it out pretty fairly.

Question though, where'd you come across Hitchman being slow? I've read a lot about how he never rushed the puck, but nothing about his skating.

The only thing I could find was an article after he retired calling him a "hard-hitting, fast-skating defensemen."

http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=6623,7540935

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04-30-2012, 11:37 PM
  #60
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Originally Posted by Bring Back Scuderi View Post
There's no set way to handle injuries, but I think you've laid it out pretty fairly.

Question though, where'd you come across Hitchman being slow? I've read a lot about how he never rushed the puck, but nothing about his skating.

The only thing I could find was an article after he retired calling him a "hard-hitting, fast-skating defensemen."

http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=6623,7540935
Honesty, just based off ATD canon. Lester Patrick at one point criticized "blockers," who were big, slow-moving defensive defensemen who did nothing but stand in front of his own goal, blocking forwards from getting to it. Patrick predicted such players would become obsolete.

I think we just assumed Hitchman was that type of player, partly because most of his praise was about how "hard to get around" he was.

Seems like that might have been inaccurate. I wouldn't put much into one single source, but it's not like Ive seen strong info the other way. (you should add that quote to his bio if you haven't already).

Hitchman doesn't appear to have anything in the way of puck skills, but based on what we have, skating doesn't seem to be an issue.

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05-01-2012, 12:04 AM
  #61
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Forwards at even strength

First lines = close

Lindsay > H Richard overall, but Henri did almost all his damage at even strength, so they have be close at even strength.

Selanne is very close to Geoffrion in the regular season if not equal. Quick and dirty top 10s:
Geoffrion: 1, 1, 4, 6, 6, 7, 7
Selanne: 2, 2, 5, 5, 7, 8, 8
And Selanne did it in an era where it is much harder to repeat as a top scorer.

But Geoffrion was one of the best playoff performers of his era, while Selanne's playoff record is best described as "incomplete." Selanne was scoring over half a goal per game in his limited playoff experience before the age of 30 and is arguably the best performer in the Winter Olympics of his generation, so he's hardly a choker. But he still doesn't have the resume of Geoffrion in the playoffs. Geoffrion should be considered a slight advantage over Selanne here.

Keats > Roberts by a good margin. This shouldn't be controversial.

Chemistry-wise, I like both lines. Every player on NJ's line was an excellent puck handler, while Pittsburgh only has Henri Richard (Geoffrion is a triggerman and Roberts a grinder type), so that's a slight bonus. Not much of an issue with Orr back there though.

Second lines = close

Pappin and Stuart are mostly warm bodies with decent enough hands not to kill things offensively. Both have their roles though.

This might be a slight edge for Pittsburgh if you could assume Lindros would have his per game (regular season) production and be healthy every game, but we can't make that assumption.

Lindros and LeClair might be able physically dominate less brawny defensemen, but that won't be an issue against NJ.

Third lines =slight advantage NJ

NJ has better scoring chemistry IMO. BBS seems to disagree. I don't think there's any new ground to break here that wasn't already broken.

I also like NJ's personnel a little better. These are both checking lines, and Marcotte is the best defensive forward in the series. Laprade is probably the best overall player, followed closely by Nevin.

Fourth lines

Neither is a liability offensively or defensively, which is all I want from a fourth line. I don't see a need to go further.


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05-01-2012, 12:46 AM
  #62
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Defensemen at even strength

top 4

Orr is easily the best

Park is easily second best. He's basically been canonized on hfboards as the 11th best defenseman ever by now. 11th among defensemen on the 2009 top players list; 11th on the recent top defensemen project (with clear gaps between 10, 11, and 12 in voting). But he's no Orr.

Jack Stewart is easily better than Rob Blake. 3x 1st Team, 2x 2nd Team (plus 2 prime seasons lost tonthe war) vs 1x 1st Team, 3x second team. And the gap probably widens at even strength (its not like Stewart was getting votes for his PP prowess).

I think there's a good argument Hod Stuart was a better player than Rob Blake too. I think the second best dman (after Cleghorn) to play his entire career before consolidation was either Eddie Gerard or Hod Stuart. Even if not, I think Stuart's skating game should give him the even strength edge over Blake, who was more a force on special teams.

Blake is easily better than Crawford, Hitchman, or Mortson.

I think Crawford is a bit better than either Mortson or Hitchman. None are in the HHOF, and Crawford had the better all star record.

So Pittsburgh has the best #1
NJ's #2 and probably #3 are better than Pittsburgh's #2
NJ's #4 is better than Pittsburgh's #3 or #4

bottom pairing.

Pervukhin is easily the best defenseman on either bottom pairing. Korab isn't close as a puck mover. Korab finished 10th and 19th in All star voting. Pervukhin was either the 3rd or 4th best Soviet defenseman of his generation and was a (First Team) Soviet All Star in 1979.

Bob Armstrong (3 top 10 finishes in Norris voting) also has a better record than Korab. As the defensive guy, how does he compare to Allan Cameron, a prominent defenseman who retired almost a decade before Russel Bowie got going? Who knows. But NJ's #6 definitely has a better record than Korab.

overall: Orr is a significant advantage over Brad Park as a #1, but NJ had significant advantages 2-6.

From a chemistry perspective, I don't really like Mortson as a stay at home next to Orr (BBS seems to disagree). Everyone else seems fine.


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05-01-2012, 03:24 AM
  #63
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Special Teams

First PP = close

Pittsburgh has the best pair of PP point men I've ever seen in the ATD, but the forwards are not very good. NJ's pointmen are good but not great.

NJ has a big advantage at F. Lindsay is very good. Selanne is top 4th all-time in career PP goals and is the only one in the top 10 to not play in the 70s or 80s. *Henri Richard barely ever played on the PP in real life, and from a skill perceptive, his forechecking, speed, puck possession game seems more suited for even strength. Lindros and LeClair are ok but neither is close to Selanne or Lindsay on the PP.

Second PP = advantage NJ

Blake > Rolston as the shooter, but NJ has big advantages in every other position.

First PK = close

Orr is one of the best PKers ever. Stewart is great but probably not as good. I think Crawford has a slight advantage over Hitchman, but it's close. Overall, Pittsburgh has the better D.

Marcotte is one of the best PKing wingers ever (check his profile). Nevin is good, but not that good. I think Laprade's PKing is more established than Russel's.

D to Pitt, F to NJ, overall close

second PK = Advantage NJ

Blake = Park (both elite for a second PK); Stuart = Mortson probably. D is even

NJ had better forwards. Henri Richard seems to have the skills to PK but rarely did it in real life. Tremblay was a good, not great PKer.

Mahovlich was only a big time Pker for the first 6-7 years of his career, but he was elite during the time - tying with Bobby Clarke in a coach's poll for best PKer in the league and getting selected to the 1972 Summit Series and 1976 Canada Cup as a PKer. And Tremblay only had 6 full and 3 partial seasons in his career. Rolston is a bit behind Marcotte as an elite PKing winger.


Quote:
Originally Posted by overpass View Post
PKTime=an approximation of the number of season equivalents of shorthanded ice time that the player played. Calculated by sum of (PlayerPGA/TeamPGA).

TeamPK+=strength of the penalty kill units for which the player played. 1 is average, lower is better. 0.80 means that the unit allowed goals at 80% of a league average rate. Calculated by 1-(TmPGA -TmSHGF)/TmTSH, with each season weighted by the players PKTime.

Best penalty killing wingers by the numbers, 1968-2010
Player PKTime TeamPK+
Craig Ramsay 7.96 0.77
Ed Westfall 7.68 0.80
Bob Gainey 6.58 0.83
Don Marcotte 5.39 0.80
XXX 6.16 0.85
Bill Barber 3.71 0.80
Brian Rolston 4.48 0.86
Jari Kurri 4.14 0.86
XXX 4.87 0.88
XXX 4.92 0.89


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05-02-2012, 01:10 PM
  #64
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I guess I should do this.

Why NJ should win:

•NJ's advantages on the blue line from 2-6 and in goal more than make up for the advantage that Orr is over Park. As great as Orr was, he's still just one man and he isn't going to skate around an ATD team like pylons like he could a 70s expansion team.
•If it becomes a special teams battle, NJ's depth (significantly better second units) should win it.

Good series, BBS.

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05-02-2012, 05:46 PM
  #65
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I guess I should do this.

Why NJ should win:

•NJ's advantages on the blue line from 2-6 and in goal more than make up for the advantage that Orr is over Park. As great as Orr was, he's still just one man and he isn't going to skate around an ATD team like pylons like he could a 70s expansion team.
•If it becomes a special teams battle, NJ's depth (significantly better second units) should win it.

Good series, BBS.
I didn't comment on your comparisons as they were all spot on. You have the edge on the backend, in net, and overall in special teams. Ultimately if Pittsburgh will have success it'll have to come from my top six, with all the other areas I'm conceding an edge. I'll need Lindros's line to outperform Bowie's and Orr to do his thing if I want to win. It'll be a tough undertaking so we'll just have to see how it plays out.

Good series for sure and appreciate the debate.

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05-04-2012, 01:37 PM
  #66
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Pittsburgh wins with a thrilling games 6 OT victory.

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05-04-2012, 02:21 PM
  #67
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wow BBS is winning everything on his path , good job to both guys!

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05-04-2012, 05:35 PM
  #68
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Yeah, has BBS lost a series in any draft yet?



And now Orr vs. Gretzky, this is going to be good!


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05-04-2012, 07:24 PM
  #69
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congrats, BBS. Following in my footsteps of drafting Orr first overall in my first full draft and winning the division from the second seed; nicely played.

I was pretty confident my team was a little better than yours, but them's the breaks

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05-04-2012, 11:41 PM
  #70
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congrats, BBS. Following in my footsteps of drafting Orr first overall in my first full draft and winning the division from the second seed; nicely played.

I was pretty confident my team was a little better than yours, but them's the breaks
Thanks, I definitely saw my squad as the second seed to your first so I'm glad I could pull the upset off. I'll have to try to keep it going with Gretzky and co.

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