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[VIDEO] Alexander Mogilny: The Lost Shifts (A Look Back at a Tremendous Former-Devil)

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10-01-2012, 01:43 PM
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JetsAlternate
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[VIDEO] Alexander Mogilny: The Lost Shifts (A Look Back at a Tremendous Former-Devil)

Due to the positive reception to my close analysis of Pavel Bure, I have decided to produce a spin-off instalment in which we focus our attention on another Russian hockey superstar -- his former-linemate, Alexander Mogilny. This is, in part, due to the lack of footage online of him, and in part because recollections of his game have seemingly been lost with time.

While hockey fans are well aware of, and quite familiar with some of the sport’s greatest all-time players, some players have become relatively obscure and mysterious once retiring from the NHL. Details about these players’ abilities, their styles of play, and their once-renowned presence in the hockey world have rarely been discussed, and it seems as time passes, more becomes forgotten; Alex Mogilny has unfortunately been a victim of this. He retired under unfortunate circumstances, buried in the AHL in the midst of the 2005-06 season and finishing his career with the New Jersey Devils’ minor-league affiliate. Throughout the majority of his career, however, Mogilny proved he could at times be a dominant force against opposing teams. He scored 76 goals in his fourth NHL season to tie for the league lead in scoring, became the first ever European NHL captain, was named to six NHL All-Star games, is a member of the Triple Gold Club, and became the second ever Russian player to reach the 1000-point mark in 2004. Of course, he also played a role in the Devils' Stanley Cup victory in 2000.

Despite his accomplishments, though, there seems to be much curiosity now about what made Mogilny so effective; strangely, little is heard about him from fans of the Sabres, Devils, Leafs, or Canucks. In many discussions today, Mogilny has fallen under the radar, and many have difficulty recalling exact details about his style of play. Some have only identified him as a gifted skater who could score goals and make plays, but the specifics have been lost by many. Canucks fans recall little of him, and there is little discussion ever about his years in Vancouver. It is remarkable to see that Mogilny is the least discussed of the former-Soviet trio featuring Pavel Bure, Sergei Fedorov, and himself; more surprising is the lack of footage online to educate and remind fans of what made him unique.

To answer several questions and provide a clear understanding of exactly what kind of player he was, I have compiled a footage reel featuring shifts from five NHL games featuring Alexander Mogilny from between 1993 and 2000. This footage includes many regular shifts in which he did not score goals, as well as goal highlights, breakout plays, physical plays, and demonstrations of immense creativity, structure, and control.



Footage was primarily taken from games against Colorado, Florida, and New Jersey; select highlights were taken from a game against Detroit and one against Calgary, however, to highlight successful goal scoring-attempts and to emphasize certain points. Below are the games from which footage was used:

February 24, 1993 vs. the Detroit Red Wings (to highlight how he scored goals)
April 27, 1994 vs. the New Jersey Devils
April 22, 1996 vs the Colorado Avalanche
October 5, 1996 vs. the Calgary Flames
April 13, 2000 vs. the Florida Panthers

Alexander Mogilny was, without question, a sniper, scoring many goals using either his tremendous slap shot or quick wrist shot to blast the puck by the goaltender. He had a magnificent shot, accomplishing a shooting percentage of 20% or above twice during his career while averaging fewer than 300 shots per season. In addition, Mogilny often worked behind the opposition’s net and at the right half-wall, controlling the play and presenting a commanding presence once his teammates had established themselves in the offensive zone. Once established, he would roam throughout the lower half of the offensive zone, often sneaking into the slot for a one-timer if the puck was on the left side, behind the net to make a play, or sometimes parking beside the crease for a tap-in. He was a calculated positional player, and would sometimes generate a sneaky scoring chance from behind the net by skating out front and pulling the puck on his backhand.

Alex was also strong on his skates and had incredible balance. Consequently, he could control the puck well from behind the net or skate into traffic to retrieve the puck. Often, he would be challenged by opposing defenders, forcing him to play a physical and rough style involving much pushing along the boards, behind the net, and at times in the crease. In the footage, he is seen at times involving himself with Adam Foote and Scott Stevens. He was a physical player, and was unafraid to use his body to protect the puck. Furthermore, he would always finish his check.

Mogilny’s vision was remarkable, and he possessed the uncanny ability to perform quick, difficult passes; furthermore, he could remain quite calm while in control of the play, and had a poise to his game that kept opponents guessing. He would not hesitate to attempt a cross-ice pass or to pass back-and-forth with a teammate until a scoring chance became apparent. Due to this patience, he would regularly evaluate when to shoot and when to pass, taking full advantage of his situation.

His stick handling skills were excellent, and his skating was above average. While he was not as explosive a skater as Bure, Mogilny’s tremendous agility allowed him to navigate smoothly throughout the open ice. His speed was also quite admirable. As a result, when carrying the puck into the offensive zone, he could frequently cut across the slot or maneuver into an open space to unleash his shot. Occasionally, though, he would catch the opponent unprepared, and would swiftly stickhandle through the defender. His hands allowed him to take advantage of his breakaways, regardless of whether he took a shot or backhanded the puck.

Defensively, he often remained at the right boards to provide an outlet for his defenders, and would fixate on guarding the point when defending in his own zone; on breakouts, he would rely on his teammates to provide him with a pass either as he left the defensive zone or as he rushed up neutral ice. His ability to send pucks across the ice, however, was quite useful when his team needed to transition quickly.

Alexander Mogilny, for the most part, was a very structured, calculated player, utilizing his patience, physicality, and creative passing plays to generate offense. Offensively, Alex often drifted within a designated area in the offensive zone and would rely particularly on plays from the right side and behind the net; his anticipation, meanwhile, permitted him to retrieve loose pucks and create second opportunities from behind the opposing net. He utilized his shot and side-to-side movement, as well as sneaky tactics to generate chances and would generally return to a number of preferred locations in the offensive zone if he was out of position. If he was freewheeling, however, Mogilny’s skill set allowed him to at times perform remarkable feats with the puck.

Without question, he was a different type of player from his two former-Soviet linemates. It is unfortunate, however, that more details about him have been forgotten than those of Bure and Fedorov. Though Mogilny’s game may not be as exhilarating as Pavel’s or as defensively-slick as Sergei’s, his presence as an intuitive, physical, creative sniper and playmaker should be recalled with fondness by fans of the former 76-goal scorer and Russian hockey legend. Devils fans may hopefully be able to recall those fond years with Mogilny in the lineup; if not, here is a reminder of how he contributed.

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10-01-2012, 02:01 PM
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loved the bure one. this is a great follow up, thanks! very under-appreciated plays

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10-01-2012, 02:24 PM
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Great read, seriously.

Mogo was always one of my favorite players - long before he was a Devil - namely for the way he came to America.

But his talent level was absolutely unreal.

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10-01-2012, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Cowbell232 View Post
Great read, seriously.

Mogo was always one of my favorite players - long before he was a Devil - namely for the way he came to America.

But his talent level was absolutely unreal.
it was an absolute shame the way his career ended. absurd.

OP- are you doing any future ones? are they all russians? would love to see a kovy one someday. i'd also love to see one on a defenseman, as long as im making random requests

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10-01-2012, 03:22 PM
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JetsAlternate
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Originally Posted by MartyOwns View Post
it was an absolute shame the way his career ended. absurd.

OP- are you doing any future ones? are they all russians? would love to see a kovy one someday. i'd also love to see one on a defenseman, as long as im making random requests
Glad you enjoyed it! I have some ideas in mind over the next while, though they aren't exclusive to Russian players. I would be focusing on players from prior generations, though, as I'd like to help restore what seems to be forgotten history at the moment.

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10-01-2012, 03:41 PM
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Glad you enjoyed it! I have some ideas in mind over the next while, though they aren't exclusive to Russian players. I would be focusing on players from prior generations, though, as I'd like to help restore what seems to be forgotten history at the moment.
Great job, appreciated.

Could you give us the link to your Bure piece as well? Would love to see it, but don`t have the time to search for it. Thanks in advance.

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10-01-2012, 03:49 PM
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10-01-2012, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Getzo5 View Post
Great job, appreciated.

Could you give us the link to your Bure piece as well? Would love to see it, but don`t have the time to search for it. Thanks in advance.
this is the bure one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt5YW_GqO1c

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10-01-2012, 04:08 PM
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He is definitly one of my favourite underrated players, I loved him in Buffalo, Vancouver, and Jersey.
He's generally number 6 on every one of my top 5 lists

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10-01-2012, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Getzo5 View Post
Great job, appreciated.

Could you give us the link to your Bure piece as well? Would love to see it, but don`t have the time to search for it. Thanks in advance.
You're quite welcome. I released my Bure presentation in two parts. Enjoy:







You can find their respective threads below if you'd like a full analysis:

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...429&highlight=

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...801&highlight=


Last edited by JetsAlternate: 10-01-2012 at 04:17 PM.
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10-01-2012, 04:55 PM
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Very nice video and write-up.

Watching this also reminded me that Chico was once a coherent commentator.

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10-01-2012, 04:56 PM
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He wasn't a Devil long but easily one of my top 5 favorite Devils ever.

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10-01-2012, 05:08 PM
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Wow, this is remarkable, and it brings back some great memories of the past. Thanks for the write up and video, I really enjoyed it.

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10-01-2012, 05:13 PM
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Cool video. I'll always have fond memories of AlMo from the 2000 and 2001 teams.

I also do appreciate the copious amount of Doc Emrick in the play by play of the games featured on the video.

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10-01-2012, 06:15 PM
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Thank you for this video. One of my favorite hockey players, loved him before he was even a Devil.

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10-01-2012, 06:35 PM
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Trevor Kidd sighting.

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10-01-2012, 07:12 PM
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Thank you for this video. One of my favorite hockey players, loved him before he was even a Devil.
I loved him before he was a Devil too, and wet myself when we traded for him. Was bummed we didn't keep him in 01. Was really bummed he was buried in the minors when Patty came back in 06. I understand his salary is what made him the odd man out. Not that he was the first that deserved to be sent down. He was on pace for like 28 goals in 05/06 had he played the whole season. He did go cold and pointless for quite a few games before he was sent down though.

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10-01-2012, 08:31 PM
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I remember two Mogilny goals from his last season:

1) his wrister in the final seconds against Boston. This goal came off a faceoff between Madden and Thornton which effectively ended Thornton's tenure with Boston.

2) his winner against the Rangers just seconds after we tied the game late in the 3rd on a Gionta goal. The puck just found his stick off a Ranger skate and he didnt hesitate. I believe this was the last of his career.

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10-01-2012, 08:44 PM
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I think he scored twice in a game at Tampa Bay around Thanksgiving of 05! We blew them out 8-2 I think!

A couple of our guys had a multi goal game. We also chased POS washed up Sean Burke too out of the net!

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10-01-2012, 10:58 PM
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Mogo was always one of my favorite players - long before he was a Devil - namely for the way he came to America.

How about them coupon savings? Is there an echo in here?

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10-01-2012, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by njdevsfn95 View Post
I remember two Mogilny goals from his last season:

1) his wrister in the final seconds against Boston. This goal came off a faceoff between Madden and Thornton which effectively ended Thornton's tenure with Boston.

2) his winner against the Rangers just seconds after we tied the game late in the 3rd on a Gionta goal. The puck just found his stick off a Ranger skate and he didnt hesitate. I believe this was the last of his career.
oh ya i remember that goal. at the time i thought, " theres still time" and it happened...... everytime i see a similar goal i think "mogilny vs bruins" .....well played fn95...that was wicked

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10-01-2012, 11:18 PM
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10-01-2012, 11:57 PM
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This was awesome. Great job.

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10-02-2012, 02:26 AM
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Great highlight vid. Well done.

And now i have the sudden urge to find my old NHL 2001 disk and score another bazillion goals with Almo.

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10-02-2012, 05:11 AM
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Very nice video and write-up.

Watching this also reminded me that Chico was once a coherent commentator.
When did that happen?

Great work OP, I really enjoyed the read.

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