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Darius Kasparaitis

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Old
09-02-2012, 11:46 PM
  #1
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Darius Kasparaitis

Was he dirty? Was he underrated? Probably the hardest hitting dman not named stevens. Players feared this guy.

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09-03-2012, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Puckgenius View Post
Was he dirty? Was he underrated? Probably the hardest hitting dman not named stevens. Players feared this guy.
1. Depends on who you ask. Definitely an agitator type. Lots of gloves in faces and the back of the head, which made a lot of people angry. Also was very small and liked to throw hipchecks. That combination leads to lowbridging, which people also didn't like. Left his position a lot to crush people with hits that didn't necessarily have anything to do with the play. But he wasn't Raffi Torres or Bryan Marchment, if that's what you're asking. He wasn't collapsing lungs or headhunting on illegal hits.

2. If anything, he was probably overrated. Like I said, he'd abandon assignments to hit people half-way across the ice. Sometimes this burned him. But he also had good mobility, was strong for his size and was great at getting guys off their game. Also, his tendency to throw positionally risky hits lead to guys being wary of carrying the puck across the line on his side, which certainly cut down on offense...assuming they didn't see him coming and take advantage of the hole in coverage.

3. Yep. Apart from Stevens, best-hitting D of his era.

4. I don't know that they feared him, per se. Guys were jumping him all the time. But they definitely were super aware of when he was on the ice and where he was, if they were smart.

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09-03-2012, 03:07 AM
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Was he dirty? Yeah, I'd say so. Was he underrated? Nah, I wouldn't say that.

He was really fun to watch though. I was at a pre tournament game for the 1996 world cup of hockey in Calgary where he and lindros went at it the whole game, taking all sorts of runs at each other. It was awesome.

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09-03-2012, 03:33 AM
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Kasparaitus was certainly not a clean player. Like others have said, he threw quite a bit of hits that were a bit unnecessary, and his hipchecks weren't exactly popular. But I also wouldn't say he's a cheapshot artist. A player who played with a lot of intensity and could really **** people off, and I player I always liked and enjoyed watching. One of my favourite defencemen of his era.

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09-03-2012, 03:38 AM
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Good hockey sense but little offensive skill if that makes sense. He could time hits really well. Good skater, solid on his feet.

Three times when he caught my attention

1. When he destroyed Lindros back in 97 was it? Pens vs Flyers, Lindros is trying to receive a suicide pass with his head down crossing the line. Kasper throws a hit that would earn him 10 games today.

2. 2006 Olympics when he leveled Gagne with a hipcheck that looked like it really hurt.

3. 2006 after the Olympics when he acted like a little rat and turtled against Brashear.

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09-03-2012, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Puckgenius View Post
Was he dirty? Was he underrated? Probably the hardest hitting dman not named stevens. Players feared this guy.
Absolutely not. If anything he's one of the most over-rated players of all time.

Based on the hype he got over the course of his career for his style and occasional highlight-reel hits, you'd think he was a top-pairing defender. In actual fact he spent most of his career as a #5 guy playing 17-18 minutes/game.

Well below-average skill level offensively, and not enough hockey sense to be a legitimate shutdown defender. Basically he was - for the most part - a really flashy, overpaid, 3rd-pairing banger. There were times (rookie year with the Islanders, the late part of his Pittsburgh tenure) where he put it together for stretches, but this was more the exception than the rule.

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09-03-2012, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PSUCapsFan View Post
Good hockey sense but little offensive skill if that makes sense. He could time hits really well. Good skater, solid on his feet.

Three times when he caught my attention

1. When he destroyed Lindros back in 97 was it? Pens vs Flyers, Lindros is trying to receive a suicide pass with his head down crossing the line. Kasper throws a hit that would earn him 10 games today.

2. 2006 Olympics when he leveled Gagne with a hipcheck that looked like it really hurt.

3. 2006 after the Olympics when he acted like a little rat and turtled against Brashear.
That's an absurd description of that event. Lindros wasn't receiving a suicide pass, the was leading the rush with the puck on his stick and his head down (as usual). And there's no way that hit would result in a suspension today, several like it (from Kronwall and others) have gone unpunished. You don't get suspended if you are coming straight at the puck-carrier and he drops his head down.

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Absolutely not. If anything he's one of the most over-rated players of all time.

Based on the hype he got over the course of his career for his style and occasional highlight-reel hits, you'd think he was a top-pairing defender. In actual fact he spent most of his career as a #5 guy playing 17-18 minutes/game.

Well below-average skill level offensively, and not enough hockey sense to be a legitimate shutdown defender. Basically he was - for the most part - a really flashy, overpaid, 3rd-pairing banger. There were times (rookie year with the Islanders, the late part of his Pittsburgh tenure) where he put it together for stretches, but this was more the exception than the rule.
Pretty much exactly what I was going to say - great hitter, not a great defenseman.

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09-03-2012, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PSUCapsFan View Post
Good hockey sense but little offensive skill if that makes sense. He could time hits really well. Good skater, solid on his feet.

Three times when he caught my attention

1. When he destroyed Lindros back in 97 was it? Pens vs Flyers, Lindros is trying to receive a suicide pass with his head down crossing the line. Kasper throws a hit that would earn him 10 games today.

2. 2006 Olympics when he leveled Gagne with a hipcheck that looked like it really hurt.

3. 2006 after the Olympics when he acted like a little rat and turtled against Brashear.
That Kasparaitis hit on Lindros was clean as a whistle. Two strides, glided into the hit, finished directly through the chest, didn't get his hands up, didn't jump into the hit, didn't aim for the face, didn't do anything that could be construed as illegal in any era. Wasn't even a charge. Eric Lindros never learned not to skate full speed with the puck while staring at his shoelaces and paid for it.

Hits that cause career-changing injuries don't get any more honest than the one Kasparaitis put on Lindros.


Rounding back to the dirtiness angle; Kasparaitis wasn't about to win a lady bing. He might have even been one of the most-hated players. But he wasn't one of the "dirtiest" either. Guy had nothing on Rich Pilon, Marchment, Gary Suter and many many others. For modern players, he'd be more in line with Ott's brand of dirtiness than, say, Sutton's. Which is to say he was far more irritating than cheap.

Edit:

Kasparaitis in a nutshell.



Blows his knee goes right back to the bench instead of the locker room. Big clean hit in the neutral zone on Klatt for no reason. Continues to harass Klatt by pawing at him and twice trying to steal his stick, Otto tries to crush him on a dump, Kasparaitis hip-checks him a liiiiiiiitle bit too low instead of eating glass.


Last edited by billybudd: 09-03-2012 at 04:49 PM.
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09-03-2012, 05:14 PM
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Not quite as good as Konstantinov. Lesser hockey sense too. Killed Gagne, which was very beneficial to Team Russia. An absence of a player like Kasper hurt them in Vancouver.

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09-03-2012, 05:22 PM
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he gave me one of my best hockey memories, game 7 ot winner vs buffalo.

but yeah as previously said, he was a amazing hitter but a so-so defenseman.

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09-03-2012, 05:38 PM
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Konstantinov was a better hitter than Kasparaitus. Kaspar was just under Stevens/Konstantinov.

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09-03-2012, 06:13 PM
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Awesome hockey player. True definition of the player you love to play with but hate to play against. Wasn't great defensively but not bad. And with his physical play he could bring energy and momentum to his team quickly, along with being very smart in getting under other teams skin while also always backing his teammates up. If anything i'd say he's underrated when you truly think of the "value" he brings to a team.

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09-03-2012, 07:50 PM
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Yeah I love Kasparaitis, but he was best suited as a 2nd pairing physical defender at his peak, not some top-pairing guy who could be a shut down defender. One of my favorite players, but really not that awesome.


Last edited by vecens24: 09-03-2012 at 11:37 PM.
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09-03-2012, 09:27 PM
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Who was better, Darius Kasparaitis, Dimitri Yushkevich or Daniil Markov? Markov always seemed to be a tough as nails customer who was a little insane. He developed a bit of an offensive game in Phoenix too. Yushkevich was just a solid foot soldier on good teams while Kasparaitis seemed flashy in terms of being physical, but wasn't air tight defensively.

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09-03-2012, 09:50 PM
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That crazy Lithuanian was entertaining and dirty package. One of the hardest hitters, but not really your number one suhtdown man. Kaspar was a bit too eager to hit and had some problems with hockey sense. His infamous hip checks were dangerous mainly because they were many times too low. He hurt himself too with his reckless style.

And btw, it's Kasparaitis, not -us.

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09-03-2012, 09:52 PM
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Yushkevich easily. A 25 minute guy in his prime who the Panthers saw fit to trade Svehla for.

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09-04-2012, 12:30 AM
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Very underrated and very dirty hated him as a player, but probable would of been my favorite player every if he played for the Blues or Flyers

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09-04-2012, 12:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
Who was better, Darius Kasparaitis, Dimitri Yushkevich or Daniil Markov? Markov always seemed to be a tough as nails customer who was a little insane. He developed a bit of an offensive game in Phoenix too. Yushkevich was just a solid foot soldier on good teams while Kasparaitis seemed flashy in terms of being physical, but wasn't air tight defensively.
Dany Markov was a very good dman. Poor mans Nik Kronwall.

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09-04-2012, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by MS View Post
Absolutely not. If anything he's one of the most over-rated players of all time.

Based on the hype he got over the course of his career for his style and occasional highlight-reel hits, you'd think he was a top-pairing defender. In actual fact he spent most of his career as a #5 guy playing 17-18 minutes/game.

Well below-average skill level offensively, and not enough hockey sense to be a legitimate shutdown defender. Basically he was - for the most part - a really flashy, overpaid, 3rd-pairing banger. There were times (rookie year with the Islanders, the late part of his Pittsburgh tenure) where he put it together for stretches, but this was more the exception than the rule.
Well, this post saved me 5 minutes.

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09-04-2012, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by MS View Post
Absolutely not. If anything he's one of the most over-rated players of all time.

Based on the hype he got over the course of his career for his style and occasional highlight-reel hits, you'd think he was a top-pairing defender. In actual fact he spent most of his career as a #5 guy playing 17-18 minutes/game.

Well below-average skill level offensively, and not enough hockey sense to be a legitimate shutdown defender. Basically he was - for the most part - a really flashy, overpaid, 3rd-pairing banger. There were times (rookie year with the Islanders, the late part of his Pittsburgh tenure) where he put it together for stretches, but this was more the exception than the rule.
As a Flyer fan who remembers that hit like it was yesterday, I have to say it wasn't dirty. Lindros simply got caught with his head down.

It was more Morozov's reaction after the hit that pissed me off.

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09-04-2012, 01:46 PM
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Highlight of Kaspar's career:


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09-04-2012, 06:49 PM
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Highlight of Kaspar's career
Wrong. His OT series-winner against Hasek (game 7, 2nd round 2001) was his crowning achievement:



If one wanted to be mean, maybe the hit that concussed Lindros, too.

Anyway speaking as a Pens fan, Kasper was a great hitter but not a great defenseman. His offense was nothing to write home about and he too often left his assignments looking for the big hit. But his style made him pretty effective for years. Super-annoying to play against and dirty enough to get opponents off their game (like Mario in those 93 playoffs). Overall a good teammate and fan favorite but unfortunately Hatcher-Kasparaitis was more than one step down from Murphy-Samuelsson, and it cost us in the late 90s.

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09-04-2012, 08:18 PM
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Was he dirty? Yeah, I'd say so. Was he underrated? Nah, I wouldn't say that.

He was really fun to watch though. I was at a pre tournament game for the 1996 world cup of hockey in Calgary where he and lindros went at it the whole game, taking all sorts of runs at each other. It was awesome.
He was that. Fun to watch. He was apparently a fun person too, a character in the room but on the ice, he was looking for attention more than looking to be effective. The opposite of smooth Nik Lidstrom.

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Originally Posted by billybudd View Post
1. Depends on who you ask. Definitely an agitator type. Lots of gloves in faces and the back of the head, which made a lot of people angry. Also was very small and liked to throw hipchecks. That combination leads to lowbridging, which people also didn't like. Left his position a lot to crush people with hits that didn't necessarily have anything to do with the play. But he wasn't Raffi Torres or Bryan Marchment, if that's what you're asking. He wasn't collapsing lungs or headhunting on illegal hits.

2. If anything, he was probably overrated. Like I said, he'd abandon assignments to hit people half-way across the ice. Sometimes this burned him. But he also had good mobility, was strong for his size and was great at getting guys off their game. Also, his tendency to throw positionally risky hits lead to guys being wary of carrying the puck across the line on his side, which certainly cut down on offense...assuming they didn't see him coming and take advantage of the hole in coverage.

3. Yep. Apart from Stevens, best-hitting D of his era.

4. I don't know that they feared him, per se. Guys were jumping him all the time. But they definitely were super aware of when he was on the ice and where he was, if they were smart.
great post...dead on.

Kaspar was one of my favourite players early in his career. His energy and passion he played with was infectious and he showed a lot of promise. But he liked the YouTube highlights more than learning the position and committing to getting better without the puck. He was a smooth skater, pretty agile, but only an average (to below average) passer with zero offensive instincts, no shot whatsoever and he simply ran around far too much in his own zone.

While you had to be aware of him, he was so easy to beat off the rush because he thought "big hit" first, not the safe, positional play. Hence, he became more and more unreliable as he aged, in important games, he didn't age well either.

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09-05-2012, 05:33 PM
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One of my favorite hitters back in the day. I would call him opportunistic but not dirty.

Just looked him up on wiki and never realized he went 5th overall in 1992. Anyone here know how he was drafted so high? Was he projected to be an offensive D?

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09-05-2012, 06:31 PM
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One of my favorite hitters back in the day. I would call him opportunistic but not dirty.

Just looked him up on wiki and never realized he went 5th overall in 1992. Anyone here know how he was drafted so high? Was he projected to be an offensive D?
I can't say for sure but I think a lot of it had to do with him playing on the same team as Yashin. A lot of people saw what he was able to bring physically and salivated. He wasn't a bad selection if you look at the draft, though. Definitely top ten defenseman, and at his peak one of the most impactful out of his draft class. Not one of the best defenseman but he brought a lot to a team.

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