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Tom Paton, Olde Tyme Game Accounts, and How To Evaluate Pre-Cup Goaltenders

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Old
09-02-2012, 01:07 PM
  #26
tarheelhockey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
A big part of the problem, to my mind, is thinking about a season as if it means the same thing it means now. Montreal played 5 matches in 1892 (Paton missing one and Stewart missing two). Focusing on a "season" as if it must be examined separately from others is misguided, I think. Why would you focus on a "season" of 5 games instead of looking at a few seasons together, which gives you something approaching a significant number of games to draw conclusions from.

It's never a good idea to try to draw conclusion from 5 games. It doesn't matter if it's 1893 or 1993, that's not enough to draw solid conclusions from.
We have to think of them in terms of individual seasons because that's how they occurred in real life. I realize that 35 games is a better sample size than 5, but when they are spread across 6 years it's artificial to treat them as the equivalent of one continuous season from a later era. There were ups and downs during that timeframe -- not the typical variance that players always experience, but large swings in circumstances that have to be accounted for in isolation. For example, the emergence of Ottawa is a major turning point in the balance of talent around Paton. It wouldn't be right to look at that 1892 season as just a "slump" of sorts, when in fact is signaled a more important change in the dynamics of the AHAC.

This is just a challenge we have to live with when examining the early era. We aren't going to get a statistically significant sample size from Paton's career, no matter what, and that is just another reason to set aside his numbers and look at his performances in narrative format.


Quote:
I'm not trying to prove anything. I'm rebutting your apparent positive assertions, which seem to have little or nothing behind them.
What positive assertion? The one about aggressive defense that I got from your blog?

Quote:
I do think it's a reasonable assumption that, if a team is excellent defensively over a significant number of matches, chances are the defensive players on that team are good. Unless you have specific reasons to believe otherwise, that's a reasonable position.
Again, we aren't talking about "good", we're talking about "all time great". It is NOT necessary for all players on a team to be all time greats in order to achieve good results. Especially not in a league with uneven talent allocation.

Quote:
Are you sure about that? Can you prove that? What other sports did hockey inherit the goaltender from?
As you know, it's impossible to prove much of anything about the origins of the sport. However, the fact that goaltenders were being used in exactly the same roles hundreds of years earlier in culturally-related sports such as football, hurling and lacrosse would suggest that the early pioneers of hockey structured the sport according to the games they already knew. It is, to say the least, a stretch to portray the goaltender as an isolated invention in hockey.

Quote:
And again, if the claim is that the AAA were so far ahead of the other teams tactically, why wouldn't they realize the tactical advantage of a second point player rather than a goaltender in a game featuring few shots on goal?

I'm not discussing Paton individually, but all goaltenders from his time, as you said. If there were 10 shots per game playing with one point, how many would there be with two points? And even something that extreme would be unlikely - I'm just suggesting the possibility that the goaltender would not be restricted to the net, he'd be more like a point/goal player, challenging opponents away from the net but retreating when necessary for one of those rare shots.
Look, I've actually had to stand in net for a game in which our goaltender couldn't finish and we had no backup. It might sound like a good idea to go roving around and attempt to prevent shots, but it doesn't work... at all. Believe me, it doesn't take many times having opposing players cut away for an easy goal before you figure out that you're better off hanging back and trusting your teammates to at least give you a fighting chance at blocking the shot. Just do the math -- unless you could really cut down on the other team's shots dramatically, it doesn't make sense to abdicate the ability to make saves.

Now, having said that, it's not like early goaltenders weren't skating out and attempting to be part of the puck-moving game to a limited extent. Clearly they understood that they could get better defensive results by attempting to help their team control the puck. Some to the point of scoring goals themselves.


Quote:
The only ones I've read (and I've basically read all of them) that I could honestly describe this way would be certain Stanley Cup matches a bit later in time.
So let's start with those. It's better than nothing.


Quote:
Isn't that what I'm doing? I'm responding now to unsupported claims that goaltenders of that time were simply not very important.
They're more like hypotheses than "claims". Nobody is saying anything definitive, but the game summaries certainly suggest that goaltenders have become progressively more important with time -- and that they were the least important at the very early stage prior to the advent of combination passing.

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Old
09-02-2012, 11:44 PM
  #27
Iain Fyffe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
For example, the emergence of Ottawa is a major turning point in the balance of talent around Paton. It wouldn't be right to look at that 1892 season as just a "slump" of sorts, when in fact is signaled a more important change in the dynamics of the AHAC.
Then how do you explain the AAA being back on top in 1893, and taking Ottawa out 7-1 in their second meeting of the season, which effectively gave them the championship?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
What positive assertion? The one about aggressive defense that I got from your blog?
No, I was thinking of:

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
So over his career Paton was as sheltered as if he had the ability to jump in a time machine and travel to the weakest periods of competition in NHL history and only play for the very best teams.
Which argues that because his team outscored the opponents by a great degree, Paton must have been sheltered, and:

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
The more I see, the more I'm getting the sense that goalies' influence on outcomes was not as important as it would be in the near future. Which makes sense when you consider the nature and frequency of offensive rushes (uncoordinated, and not very frequent) which would imply very low shot totals, combined with the assumption that save percentages were MUCH lower in an age where there was no specialized equipment and no known technique. It sounds like the ability to simply get shots on goal was the main factor in game outcomes.
Which argues that there must not have been many saves, because many save were not mentioned in the game reports. Despite the fact that in most game reports, no saves are mentioned, which is a rather strong suggestion that most saves weren't reported, rather than they didn't exist, unless you believe that goaltenders usually allowed the great majority of shots to score.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
It is, to say the least, a stretch to portray the goaltender as an isolated invention in hockey.
That's not what I said. I said that if shots were very rare, and the AAA were so forward-thinking in their tactics, why would they have kept a dedicated goaltender? Your response was that the position is inherited from other sports, which implies they weren't thinking critically about it and just going along with what had been done before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Look, I've actually had to stand in net for a game in which our goaltender couldn't finish and we had no backup. It might sound like a good idea to go roving around and attempt to prevent shots, but it doesn't work... at all.
Doesn't work in modern hockey? I'll buy that. Wouldn't have worked in the 1880s with no forward passing and apparently few disorganized rushes resulting in very very few shots being taken? That's a different kettle of fish. Your personal experiences are not terribly relevant, since you did not play at Paton's time, or in the circumstances you describe (which I don't think actually existed at any rate).

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
They're more like hypotheses than "claims". Nobody is saying anything definitive, but the game summaries certainly suggest that goaltenders have become progressively more important with time -- and that they were the least important at the very early stage prior to the advent of combination passing.
I'd say you're arguing from ignorance. Your conclusions are based on what the game reports don't say, rather than what they do say.

Also, "combination passing" was mentioned from very early game reports. It didn't take long for the press to start decrying individual rushes in place of team play, and in Paton's day combination play was certainly a feature of the game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
So far nobody has answered the question as to how old Paton was when he first started playing hockey. We know he was 29 years old at the 1883 Winter Carnival, the first tournament to even approach high level competive hockey
I don't think we can really know that. Unless there's a biography of him that I'm not aware of?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
For that matter, shouldn't Archie McNaughton be a big contender for the forwards list?
McNaughton really only played in 1889, 1890 and 1891. And a couple of games otherwise. Even taking a season as a season, playing only three full seasons he'd have to have been damnably good in order to get any sort of consideration. Paton by contrast was a regular for eight seasons, and played part of a ninth. Cameron and Stewart both played in 11 seasons.

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Old
09-03-2012, 07:41 AM
  #28
tarheelhockey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Then how do you explain the AAA being back on top in 1893, and taking Ottawa out 7-1 in their second meeting of the season, which effectively gave them the championship?
Can you explain it? The purpose here is to uncover this information and share it.


Quote:
Which argues that because his team outscored the opponents by a great degree, Paton must have been sheltered, and:
There's a certain common sense that says if a team has a juggernaut offense and an outstanding defensive pair, the goalie is sheltered. If you have convincing evidence to the contrary, please share it.


Quote:
Which argues that there must not have been many saves, because many save were not mentioned in the game reports. Despite the fact that in most game reports, no saves are mentioned, which is a rather strong suggestion that most saves weren't reported, rather than they didn't exist, unless you believe that goaltenders usually allowed the great majority of shots to score.
In game reports in which even mundane saves WERE mentioned, not many appear. That's a strong signal that shot counts were fairly low. I guess I'll just repeat myself -- instead of arguing about it, let's do a bit of research and figure out if the hypothesis holds up.


Quote:
That's not what I said. I said that if shots were very rare, and the AAA were so forward-thinking in their tactics, why would they have kept a dedicated goaltender? Your response was that the position is inherited from other sports, which implies they weren't thinking critically about it and just going along with what had been done before.
Honestly, this argument is kind of silly. Nobody is claiming that MAAA was some kind of avant-garde troupe who tried to rearrange the fundamentals of the game. YOU have written about their defensive innovation so I assume you agree it occurred and was effective. That's not remotely relevant to the fantasy concept of experimenting with a no-goalie strategy.


Quote:
Doesn't work in modern hockey? I'll buy that. Wouldn't have worked in the 1880s with no forward passing and apparently few disorganized rushes resulting in very very few shots being taken? That's a different kettle of fish. Your personal experiences are not terribly relevant, since you did not play at Paton's time, or in the circumstances you describe (which I don't think actually existed at any rate).
I'm not saying my personal experiences prove anything. However, I can say that I've been in a position to personally try what you are suggesting -- and BTW, it was in a league where "few disorganized rushes with very few shots" is a fairly accurate description -- and however good it might sound in theory, there is a reason nobody ever applied it against serious competition.


Quote:
I'd say you're arguing from ignorance. Your conclusions are based on what the game reports don't say, rather than what they do say.
I haven't drawn any conclusions, I've simply suggested possible explanations to guide further investigation. Second or third time I've said that.

Quote:
Also, "combination passing" was mentioned from very early game reports. It didn't take long for the press to start decrying individual rushes in place of team play, and in Paton's day combination play was certainly a feature of the game.
But not a major feature, as you well know. Most offense came off individual rushes with minimal passing.

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Old
09-04-2012, 10:20 AM
  #29
Iain Fyffe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Can you explain it? The purpose here is to uncover this information and share it.
Can I explain how a great team can lose three out of four games to another great team? It happens all the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
There's a certain common sense that says if a team has a juggernaut offense and an outstanding defensive pair, the goalie is sheltered. If you have convincing evidence to the contrary, please share it.
So you're arguing from "common sense." That's a logical fallacy in itself. This is again an argument from ignorance: we don't know whether Paton was really "sheltered", but you're saying he was and then challenging me to disprove it. That's not how this works.

If you have convincing evidence that Paton was sheltered, please share it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
In game reports in which even mundane saves WERE mentioned, not many appear. That's a strong signal that shot counts were fairly low.
No, it's not. In the game reports that were fairly detailed, they were detailed about the plays that resulted in goals. Mundane plays were almost never mentioned. There's massive selection bias at play: if a play resulted in a goal, it was much more likely to received a detailed descrption. And you're discounting the times when references were made to many shots made in rapid succession.

I've just compiled the complete game summaries from the Gazette for the 1893 season. I'll post the findings when I have more time. They are not in favor of your interpretation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
I guess I'll just repeat myself -- instead of arguing about it, let's do a bit of research and figure out if the hypothesis holds up.
This could be a source of disconnect. "Let's do a bit of research" is fallacious when you're talking to someone who has already done the research. I have read most every available game report from that era already, from the AHAC to the OHA to the MNWHA. I have seen no reason to believe that goaltenders were just there to block a shot every six minutes or so. Again, I will post more evidence later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
I haven't drawn any conclusions, I've simply suggested possible explanations to guide further investigation. Second or third time I've said that.
You stated that Paton was sheltered, and that more and more you're coming to believe that goalies were not that important at the time. These sound like conclusions to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
But not a major feature, as you well know. Most offense came off individual rushes with minimal passing.
That depends on what game report you're reading. If you want to state that most offence came off individual rushes at the time, you'll need more than an assertion. If you have convincing evidence to support this, please share it.

I'm going to say that it's going to be very difficult to say one way or the other. Many descriptions of goals don't really specify how the play went ("...and then Routh scored after 10 minutes..."), and some aren't described at all.

What we can say is that teams were often criticized for engaging in too much individual rushing, and not enough combination play. That is, combination play was seen as being very important in the game, and that teams were better off doing more of it.

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Old
09-04-2012, 01:53 PM
  #30
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Ok, I'll just do the legwork instead of trying to win an internet argument.

Here are ALL references Tom Paton and his opponents in the Montreal Gazette during the 1888 season.

January 13, 1888
Montreal AAA 4, Montreal Crystals 1
Tom Paton vs Jack Norris

Summary: Paton is makes four concrete saves in this summary, with the possibility of four or more saves coming from a "scrimmage near the goal" and similar plays, and allowed one goal. Norris is noted for five concrete saves, no implicit shots, and allowed four goals. Neither goaltender was mentioned as a key player.

Quote:
Originally Posted by References to Paton
The Crystals got the face[off] and carried the puck up to the Montreal goal [implicitly to Paton], from whence it was transferred to Norris, who sent it down again.
...
Immediately after this Lee scored the first, and what proved to be the last, game for the Crystals, time 10 minutes.
...
The Crystals by a piece of combined play managed to get the puck near the Montreal goal. Lee got it at his stick and made a fine run, but failed to score. [possible implicit shot]
...
Brown by a rush took the puck well up where Lee made a gallant effort to score without success, as Paton was on the alert and sent it down only for it to be returned to him to defend his charge which he did well.
...
... only to be sent to Paton who sent it a short distance where an exciting struggle ensued near his fortress, which was soon relieved. [possible implicit shot]
...
... he passed it to Brown who shot for goal, but as Paton was keeping a sharp lookout it was sent up again...
...
Lee sent in another sharp one to Paton, who sent it back.
...
McDonald made an effort to score, but was unsuccessful. Elliott followed McDonald's effort to score, but it was met with the same result. [possible implicit shot]
...
A short scrimmage took place near the Montreal goal, which was soon relieved. [possible implicit shot or shots]
Quote:
Originally Posted by References to Norris
The Crystals got the face[off] and carried the puck up to the Montreal goal [implicitly to Paton], from whence it was transferred to Norris, who sent it down again.
...
Hodgson got possession of the puck and sent in a hot one to Norris, who stopped his progress in grand style.
...
Low and Hodgson, by some splendid passing, brought the puck to their opponents' gaol [sic] where Low took advantage of an opening and sent it flying past Norris in about five minutes, thus equalizing matters.
...
After the second half was started Norris was soon called upon to defend his citadel, which he did very well. Virtue, who was in the centre of the rink, got the puck and by a long shot sent it through between the sticks.
...
Norris was called upon to save his goal which he did, but it was only momentarily, as the Montrealers by a combined rush sent the puck and the goal-keeper through the sticks, time about 5 minutes.
...
Having got it at the end of his stick, [Hodgson] ran it up to Norris, who sent it out along the ice. It was soon returned, however, and was rushed through by the M.A.A.A. boys in about ten minutes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stars of the game
For the victors Cameron, Hodgson, Virtue and Low, all played a grand game. It was no fault of Lee, McDonald, Elliott and McQuiston that their side lost.
January 23, 1888
Montreal AAA 5, McGill 0
Tom Paton vs A. Shanks

Summary: The first half of the game is not described in detail; what you see below is the second half only. The writer states plainly that Paton did not face a single shot on goal. Shanks is credited for having played well in a losing effort, though the context makes it sound like a bit of a sympathetic platitude.


Quote:
Originally Posted by References to Paton
Two or three times afterward the puck hovered round the Montreal goals, but it never got dangerous and Paton never had a straight shot to stop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by References to Shanks
The McGill men, however, though playing mainly a defensive and losing game, showed lots of pluck and made a hard fight, Hamilton, Walsh and Shanks doing particularly good work. Hamilton at point, considering that he has not played for a long time, did splendidly, and both he and Shanks were kept pretty busy most of the time.
...
A combined rush on McGill's goals and Shanks went to the side after the puck. He could not recover his position in time and Findlay sent the puck whizzing between the poles.
...
Thus the game went, puck changing ends occasionally, but putting in most of the time in the vicinity of Shanks and Hamilton. At last Virtue got the puck in front and sent it skimming through, just as the referee's whistle declared time up, leaving the score M.A.A.A. 5, McGill 0.

February 3, 1888
Montreal AAA 1, Victorias 3
Tom Paton vs JC Crathern

Summary: Both goaltenders are credited with two concrete saves and possibly a third, depending what the writer meant by "cleared his posts/cleared his charge". Each may have had around five more saves, depending on how liberally you want to interpret phrases like "a grand run by so-and-so". Neither goalie is mentioned as a key player in the game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by References to Paton
Then Stewart, with a long shot, sent it down to Campbell, who returned it and Kinghorn followed it up, and finding an opening sent the puck flying past Paton, thus drawing first blood for the Vics in about five minutes' play.
...
Offside was called, but neither side payed any attention to it and both goals were in turn assailed. [possible implicit shot or shots]
...
Finally Shearer sent in a hot one to Paton, who stopped it very smartly.
...
Kinghorn tried to score, but failed. [possible implicit shot]
...
... Shearer made another attempt at scoring. After Paton returned a hot shot half time was called, the teams standing 1 to 1.
...
Ashe made another grand run... lost it to Ashe, who made another fine run. [possible implicit shots]
...
Ashe got possession of the puck, and wound up the finest run of the match by scoring the second goal for the Vics amid wild cheers.
...
Ashe was in the act of having a fine run when he lost the puck, and Paton again cleared his posts very ably.
...
... finally Ashe got it and ran it down, and being challenged passed it to Kinghorn, who sent it spinning past Paton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by References to Crathern
Virtue managed to carry the strife into the Vics' territory, where the M.A.A.A. boys looked like scoring, until Barlow got it and transferred it to the other end of the rink. [possible implicit shot or shots]
...
Hodgson, who was playing a grand game, sent in a couple of hot ones which were promptly stopped by Crathern.
...
Offside was called, but neither side payed any attention to it and both goals were in turn assailed. [possible implicit shot or shots]
...
Ashe got it and sent it back to Campbell, who, seemingly, did not expect it and before he realized where he was Hodgson swooped down upon it and with a splendid run wound up by scoring the first game for his side...
...
Hodgson was in hard lines in not scoring, and the Vics were now called upon to play on the defence as the M.A.A.A. boys were making determined and concerted efforts to score... [possible implicit shot or shots]
...
... Cameron took it from him and, being pressed, passed it over to Lowe, who tried to score but failed. [possible implicit shot]
...
Virtue tried to score but Campbell foiled him in this endeavor, and Crathern was now called upon to clear his charge which he did well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stars of the Game
Campbell, Ashe and Barlow (the latter especially) played a rushing and plucky game all through; while on the other hand, Hodgson, Cameron, Virtue and Lowe did all that was possible to avert defeat.
...
For the victors all played well, especially Campbell, Ashe, Shearer and Barlow. For the M.A.A.A. Cameron, Hodgson, Lowe and Virtue were the most conspicuous.

February 15, 1888
Montreal AAA 3, Montreal Crystals 1
Tom Paton vs W Virtue


Summary: This report is less detailed and the writer spends more time talking about goonery by the Crystals than about the strategic action of the game. Paton is credited with one save and possibly one or two more, allowing one goal. Virtue is not noted for any saves, allowing three goals. Neither goaltender is mentioned as a key player, and for that matter neither of them is mentioned for having made any remarkable plays.

Quote:
Originally Posted by References to Paton
With the exception of Paton nearly every member of the M.A.A.A. sustained injuries...
...
Elliott and McQuisten made strenuous efforts to score, but without success. [possible implicit shots]
...
The Crystals looked dangerous, but Paton sent it aside...
...
Finally Drysdale obtained an opening and scored the first and last game.
...
Stewart should not forget that his position is point, he has a disposition to get too far away from his place, he should be farther back and give the goalkeeper a little more assistance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by References to Virtue
... after five minutes give and take play Virtue [MAAA forward, not the Crystals goalie!], by a long shot, scored the first goal.
...
The second game was more open for a time, each goal in turn being assailed. [possible implicit shots]
...
... W. Hodgson got it and wound up a nice run by scoring.
The third game was only about five minutes' [sic] old when Virtue sent the puck to W. Hodgson who once more sent it flying through the goals.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stars of the Game
For the victors, A. Hodgson played a magnificent game. ... For the Crystal, Elliott played a rushing game, and it is not his fault that victory did not rest on his side.

February 27, 1888
Montreal AAA 2, Montreal Victorias 1
Tom Paton vs JC Crathern


Summary: The writer specifies that Paton made no significant plays in the first half. He made one concrete save in the second half, followed by a period of offensive pressure in which he may or may not have made saves before surrendering a goal. The writer does not suggest that he faced another shot after that goal. Crathern is not credited with any saves. The author credits all players in the game with having played well, which tells us nothing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by References to Paton
In the first half the puck never stayed any great length of time in the vicinity of the M.A.A.A. poles.
...
The next dangerous piece of work was done by Ashe, he dashed through nearly the whole M.A.A.A. team and brought puck with him; a clean, swift, straight shot right for the centre of the goal, a magnificent stop to Paton's credit and the M.A.A.A. fortress was saved.
...
... and with a rush like the charge of forlorn hope Paton's fortress was stormed, but it did not fall just yet...
...
Barlow was the lucky man on the Victoria team, and at last he shot the puck past Paton amid tumultuous cheering.
Quote:
Originally Posted by References to Crathern
... Hodgson lifted the puck high; it seemed to go over the goal posts. The majority of spectators seemed to think it was a goal and raised a cheer that made the roof rattle, but goal was not allowed.
...
... the puck at the end of Lowe's stick and the next instant vociferous cheering, for the umpire had put up his hand and the M.A.A.A. had scored their first goal.
...
One of Hodgson's fine rushes was the turning point in this game. He got the puck clean up to Crathern, who put it just to the side of the goals, a tussle, a scrimmage, and a swipe by Hodgson and there was another goal for Montreal.
...
Lowe added another fine run to his credit... [possible implicit shot]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stars of the Game
There was not a weak man on either team; all were in prime condition; all played magnificently and all deserve equal credit...

March 2, 1888
Montreal AAA 8, McGill 0
Tom Paton vs A. Shanks


Summary: The writer goes out of his way to mention even mundane saves at both ends of the ice. Paton is credited with one sure save, and possibly one or two more at the very beginning and very end of the game. Shanks is praised as having played an exceptional game, which is a rarity from this writer, though it should be noted that he appears to have a bit of sympathy for Shanks as he received a similar nod in the earlier 5-0 loss.

Quote:
Originally Posted by References to Paton
After the second game had been started the McGill boys made a rush on their opponents' goal. Stewart, however, relieved the pressure... [possible implicit shot]
...
Paton was next called upon to stop the puck which he did.
...
The McGill boys were in a fair way of scoring when Cameron upset their calculations. [possible implicit shot]
...
The ninth game was the last, and the McGill boys played much better in it that [sic] they had done previously, both goals being in danger of downfall, but time was called before any further scoring was done. [possible implicit shots at both ends]
Quote:
Originally Posted by References to Shanks
The match was hardly started when it was seen that the M.A.A.A. boys were going to rush the play and after some give and take play Virtue was successful in registering the first goal for his side.
...
... A. Hodgson sent in a hot one which was neatly sent aside by Shanks.
...
From a face[off] near the McGill goal W. Hodgson got the puck and sent it flying past Shanks.

At the beginning of the third game Shanks had a good deal to do which he did well, all through he played a magnificent game.
...
A heavy pressure was put on Shanks who withstood it for a time until Virtue got on to it and sent it past him.

The fourth game was of short duration, A. Hodgson doing the needful.
...
Play being resumed Shanks was kept busy, finally W. Hodgson got the puck, ran it up, and when challenged passed to Virtue, who in turn gave it back to W. Hodgson who sent it past Shanks.

The sixth game was a short one. Virtue wound up a nice run by scoring.

The seventh game was a defence one for the McGill boys. W. Hodgson managed after some attempts to put on another point for his side. [possible implicit shots other than the goal]

The eighth game saw the M.A.A.A.'s round Shanks... W. Hodgson sent in a flyer which was neatly stopped by Shanks. Finally Virtue got on to it and scored.

The ninth game was the last, and the McGill boys played much better in it that [sic] they had done previously, both goals being in danger of downfall, but time was called before any further scoring was done. [possible implicit shots at both ends]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stars of the Game
The victors all played a fine game. For the losers, Shanks, F.M. Lucas and Walsh were the most prominent.

March 15, 1888
Montreal AAA 2, Montreal Victorias 1
Tom Paton vs Tom Arnton


Summary: Interestingly enough, the writer departs from his usual style and chooses not to give us a play-by-play of this game. Instead he goes through each roster man-by-man and summarizes his play in the championship. Perhaps he felt this was more appropriate for a season-ending recap.

In this format, it's rather easy to see the driving forces behind MAAA's championship run.


Quote:
Originally Posted by References to style of play
Bits of brilliant individual play were of continual occurrence on both sides, and every man on either team did his record credit. The failing of the Victorias seemed to be a slowness in following up, and some good chances were consequently missed, while the M.A.A.A. were particularly noticeable for the dashing play of their forwards.... Both teams endeavored to play an unselfish game, and team work was a feature, not always successful though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by References to outstanding non-goalie skaters
Campbell [Vics], at coverpoint as usual, however, was a whole team in himself, and it was chiefly due to his fine play that some of the combined rushes of the M.A.A.A. men lost their effectiveness in scoring.
...
It was in intercepting passed shots that both Virtue and Lowe displayed great speed and good judgment; and quick decision in utilizing opportunities called forth unanimous applause. The defence work of Cameron and Stewart was worth going a long way to see. Very little escaped Cameron's attention, and what little did escape was promptly handled by Stewart. ... The Hodgson brothers did some wonderful playing... On the Vic side, as usual, Campbell carried off the honors. He seemed the only one who could withstand the rushes of W. Hodgson successfully... Kinghorn, Barlow and Shearer worked hard and unselfishly, and Campbell [perhaps he meant Nichol?] and Wand played a very creditable game.
Quote:
Originally Posted by References to Paton
Paton between the flags was the same reliable stop he always is. He did not have a great deal to do, but while he was engaged he had to hustle, and hustle he did, when endeavoring to clear his goals. A few times he was called upon to get particularly hard ones, and in all cases but one he was successful.
...
On the Vic side, as usual, Campbell carried off the honors. He seemed the only one who could withstand the rushes of W. Hodgson successfully, and when he wound up as fine a run as was ever seen in a hockey match by getting the puck past Paton and scoring, he was rewarded by the unstinted applause of the spectators.
Quote:
Originally Posted by References to Arnton
Arnton in goal had a good deal to attend to, and he did it well, playing a cool, careful game, although several times his getting away out of goals would have been exceedingly dangerous if he had been successfully checked.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Ok, hopefully that is considered a large enough sample of information to draw at least some reasonable conclusions.

Shot counts

Obviously the writer was not tasked with an official tally of shots in each game. However, he does seem to find that each shot on goal is an important event worth mentioning, and when he's given the column space to do so he most definitely makes note of saves. Here are the counts of concretely-described saves, with implied saves in parentheses and a "plus" to remind us that there could still have been more which were not worth mentioning:

1/13/88 - AAA 4 (4+), Crystals 5 (0+)
1/23/88 - The summary makes no effort to describe shots
2/3/88 - AAA 3 (5+), Victorias 3 (5+)
2/15/88 - Montreal 1 or 2, Crystals 0 - Summary is incomplete in its account
2/27/88 - AAA 1 (?+), Victorias 0 (?+)
3/2/88 - AAA 1 (2+), McGill 2 (large number+)
3/15/88 - The summary makes no effort to describe shots.


Now, of the games which were described in full, it is completely fair to say that goaltenders made anywhere from 1 to 5 significant saves per game, with perhaps as many as 5 other shots coming their way. There is no reason to believe that shot counts exceeded about 8 or 10 per game, and it's VERY clear that entire halves would pass without a shot on the AAA goal if the game was being played unevenly.



Star players

Here are the AAA players singled out by the writer as being "stars of the game".

1/13/88 - Cameron, Hodgson, Virtue and Low
1/23/88 - None
2/3/88 - Hodgson, Cameron, Virtue and Lowe
2/15/88 - A. Hodgson
2/27/88 - Everybody
3/2/88 - Everybody

And this is the most descriptive one:

3/15/88 - Virtue, Lowe, Cameron and Hodgson are mentioned as usual. Cameron and Stewart are praised for their defensive play, consistent with remarks made throughout the season. Jack Campbell of the Vics receives effusive praise for his individual play, again consistent with his reviews in each of the earlier games.

Meanwhile, Paton is noted as "the same reliable stop he always is". That's an interesting choice of words. The next line is that he didn't have to do very much, but he hustled when occasionally called upon. Good old "reliable" Paton.


Campbell is called a one-man team, the AAA defense is described as worth travelling to see, Virtue and Lowe received "unanimous" applause. And Paton is "reliable", a hustler on the rare occasion that he has work to do.

Conclusions: MAAA played 7 games in the 1888 season. Twice they defeated McGill by such large margins that Paton literally went entire halves of the game without facing a shot. On two other occasions, he is not notable enough to be considered a top-4 player on his own team. On a fifth occasion, he is noted for having made one save and for needing a bit more help from the wandering Stewart. In the final, championship game, he is described as "reliable", a rather underwhelming sentiment compared to the praise lavished upon his teammates.


This is the entirety of the data that I know to exist from the 1888 season. Please add to it if more exists.

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09-04-2012, 02:41 PM
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Tom Paton at the 1885 Winter Carnival:

Notes from the Jan 29 edition of the Gazette:
- Paton was the captain of the AAA team when they faced the Montreal Football Club.
- MFC was apparently playing shorthanded the entire game, and aside from a surge here and there they were generally overwhelmed.
- MFC is not noted as having actually taken a shot on goal, nor was Paton described as being in on any significant action. By contrast, a skillful save is noted at the other end of the ice.
- The score is incorrectly recorded on Wikipedia as 3-0. In fact it was 6-0.

From the Jan 31 edition:
- Paton no longer listed as captain as they faced Ottawa.
- Gameplay is not described in detail, other than noting goals. The game ended in a draw after multiple overtimes, both teams scoring once, at which point both teams went home and it was determined they needed to play the following morning for the sake of moving the tournament forward. Montreal scored with about five minutes left in the next day's tiebreaker to advance. The summary suggests that play was even, with both defenses preventing potential winning goals.

From the Feb 2 edition:
- Paton is listed in goal, but not as captain in the championship game against McGill.
- The entire game summary reads as follows: "The Montreal team, despite their exertions in the morning, seemed in splendid condition, and play on both sides was about equal. As in the other match, there was no advantage gained on either side during the first hour's play, and it was only well on in the third that Montreal succeeded in taking a goal, thus winning the match and the tournament."
- Needless to say, it is impossible to draw conclusions of any kind about how this game progressed, other than that it was even and low-scoring.


Summary: The first win was a gimme not only for Paton but also MAAA, playing against a team that was shorthanded the entire game. The next two matches were more evenly played and the game against Ottawa was particularly tense as it progressed through several OT periods. The opposing goaltenders (W. Odell for Ottawa and G.W. Stephens for McGill) who matched Paton in these games are nowhere to be found when the AHAC organized three years later.

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09-04-2012, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
But not a major feature, as you well know. Most offense came off individual rushes with minimal passing.
I'll start here. I went through the 1893 game summaries from the Montreal Gazette. 155 goals were scored in the AHAC that season, of which I counted 31 that were described in enough detail to determine how they were scored.

I counted 11 goals from individual rushes (35%), 11 from combination plays (35%), 5 from scrimmages in front of the goal (16%), 3 from lifts (10%) and 1 from a rebound (3%).

Rushes and combination plays are equally represented, and neither make up most of the goal-scoring.

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09-04-2012, 03:52 PM
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Next, I went through the summaries and counted the number of times a player was singled out in the summary for outstanding individual play. I found 47 such instances in the 20 summaries (some of the summaries were very brief indeed).

We should expect somewhere around 6-7 mentions by position, if each position were represented equally, which would imply each is as important to its team's success.

22 of the mentions were for forwards, which is actually 5.5 since forward is four positions (rover, centre, two wings). Ottawa's Reg Bradley was mentioned 4 times, and Chauncey Kirby 3 times.

11 of the mentions were for cover-points. I'm not surprised that covers earn the most mentions. The best overall player often played cover, since it had the most even mix of offensive and defensive responsibilities. Ottawa's Weldy Young was mentioned 4 times, and Allan Cameron 3 times.

4 of the mentions were for points. James Stewart had 2.

10 of the mentions were for goaltenders. 21% of all mentions of outstanding players in a game were goalkeepers, when 14% is what you'd expect. This suggests that goaltenders were not of low important at the time. They were regularly singled out for their contributions to the game.

Tom Paton had 3 such mentions, but Quebec's Harry Patton was actually singled out as being outstanding 5 times, and he only played 7 of his team's 8 matches. Quebec was noted for having a very strong defence several times, and their goaltender was mentioned the most often for individual effort. The Vics' Robert Jones also earned a mention, as did Ottawa's Albert Morel. The Crystals' Herbert Collins was not mentioned as being oustanding in a game, though he was mentioned as making several clever stops in one game.

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09-04-2012, 04:09 PM
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And now some quotes from the game summaries:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette game report for 14 Jan 1893
"Shot after shot was stopped."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette game report for 14 Jan 1893
"A continuous attack was made on the Quebec goals."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette game report for 14 Jan 1893
"Lowe and Hodsgon fell short every time they rushed matters, but their shots were well directed, and Morel was kept at his work all the time."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette game report for 14 Jan 1893
"Russell was weak on defence, and Montreal nearly scored a half dozen times. The Ottawas sent twice that number of shots at Paton, but he was equal to the occasion every time."
This describes a game that lasted 13 minutes before Ottawa scored. So it seems in those 13 minutes Montreal took at least 6 shots, and Ottawa 13.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette game report for 21 Jan 1893
"Indeed, but for the steadiness and skilful play of Paton [Harry Patton], in goal, Quebec would have fared very much worse. He stopped many a dangerous shot."
It doesn't say how many routine stops he made, but if he stopped "many" dangerous shots, and also allowed 5 goals in the game, surely he faced more than 10 shots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette game report for 23 Jan 1893
"The game was very fast at times and both goal keepers had plenty of work to do."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette game report for 28 Jan 1893
"Young made a few long rushes and gave Jones more work than he expected. Three rapid shots were directed at him, which he cleverly stopped."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette game report for 28 Jan 1893
"Jones had many stops to make."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette game report for 28 Jan 1893
"At the start the puck was carried down to the Montreal end of the ice and shot after shot was made at the goal, but Paton stopped them with his hands, stick or feet. He seemed to be in every part of the goal at once, and every time the puck was shot in it was as speedily returned..."
We've seen this one before. Paton stopped shot after shot before the first goal was scored.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette game report for 04 Feb 1893
"[Harry] Patton played a particularly fine game in goal. At times shots were coming in with bewildering rapidity, but Patton was ever ready with his feet and hands, and in each of the games taken by the Victorias the puck was partially stopped, and only rolled a few inches through the goal."
Harry Patton comes out looking good from this research.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette game report for 10 Feb 1893
"Play was a little slow, but suddenly the forwards did a bit of combination work and Patton stopped two awfully close ones."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette game report for 11 Feb 1893
"Morel made an unusually large number of stops."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette game report for 10 Mar 1893
"In the beginning the Montreal team started off with a rush and pushed the Crystals hard, Collins having his work cut out for him."
Can you read all of these and interpret it as teams taking about 10 shots per game, when a team scored an average of 3.8 goals per games?

The most concrete reference to a number of shots in a certain period of time is when Montreal took at least 6 shots, and Ottawa about 13 in 13 minutes' play.

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09-04-2012, 04:18 PM
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Paton in the 1886 Montreal Hockey Championship:

Note that these games are not listed on Paton's Wikipedia profile. Not sure whether they are recorded elsewhere or if it's just a wiki irregularity.

From the Jan 25 Gazette:
- "From the Bully the Victorias had the advantage all through the first half time, the magnificent goal keeping of Paton and the defence play of F.M. Larmouth and W. Hodgson, who was out of his place at corner, alone saving the quick ending of the game"
- "The third half hour was not on five minutes when Arnton got the puck, when a cry of "off side" was raised, but Jack did not wait, and without opposition put the ball, Paton not attempting to stop him."
- The non-offside goal was apparently the result of spectators yelling "off side!" on random rushes, causing MAAA to stop playing momentarily. The ref, Stewart, explained in a letter a few days later that he had picked up a whistle partway through the game to counter this problem, and the MAAA players must have forgot about that change.

From the Feb 5 edition:
- Nothing specific is mentioned about the goaltenders or how the game was played. MAAA won 3-1.
- "For the Montrealers, Larmouth, Barlow and MacIntyre were conspicuous for good play..."
- Larmouth and Barlow were the point and cover-point.

From the Feb 23 edition:
- A brilliantly detailed play-by-play of the February 19 match between MAAA and the Crystals. This is the kind of shot-by-shot account that supposedly does not exist during this time period.

Here are all relevant plays noted in the summary:

Quote:
Originally Posted by References to Paton
A second or two later a hard shot at goal by one of the Crystal forwards was well checked by Paton.
...
Cameron's shot went wide of the goal...
...
... Laing swooped on to puck and after a splendid run, passing through all opponents, by turns, sent the rubber flying exactly to the centre of the visitors' goal. Paton was on the lookout and stopped it well with his feet, but so hard did it come that it was with difficulty he could recover himself. The Crystal forwards were down on him at once, and, amid loud shouts and calls for either side from the lookers on, a fierce struggle commenced. In vain did Paton endeavor to get away, first one, then another of the Crystal men returned the ball to him, until in cleverly "cutting" a sharp one of Laing's, he fell down, one of the posts being knocked down at the same time. This was the chance for the visitors, for in spite of Paton's best efforts and of the endeavors of the Montreal men to relieve their goal keeper, Findlay, who seemed all over the ice at this time, got puck and cleverly shot it through the posts out of Paton's reach, the point being obtained...
...
... and, the smart goal keeping of Paton, who had to do all he knew to stop some nasty shots by [Allan Cameron].
...
Virtue and Laing now got busy, their passing being very good, which was the means of getting the best of the Montreal forwards, Virtue finding himself in a position to bother Paton. Aird, however, relieved his goal-keeper, and, closely followed by Virtue, relieved the game to the centre of the ice...
...
Hardly had Aird got away puck a bit to the side [ed: yes, that's what it says], when Virtue and Laing bore down and got hold of the rubber, and running down, avoided McEntyre and Barlow by a pass from left to right, then, on Laing being met by Smith, he shot puck under his left leg across to Virtue, who dodging Hodgson and Learmont wound up a brilliant piece of play by sending puck by a very hard, but well directed shot past Paton's right side, amid most deafening applause. Two goals to none.
...
[Virtue] made a grand shot at goal. The goal keeper proved too much for him, and scudded puck away to the side.
...
... Cameron, who, on being charged by Learmont, passed back to Laing, who ended the run amid tremendous cheering by a clever feint, once more getting the best of the goal keeper. Game, 3 to 0.
Quote:
Originally Posted by References to his opponent, Hutchison
[Aird of MAAA] outpaced Laing, skated round Virtue, Findlay, and with McEntyre who cleverly assisted him by judicious backing up, relieved all danger for a short time by shooting puck past Cameron, up to Hutchinson in goal. The goal keeper then endeavored to get away...
...
On resuming a careless bit of play by Laing passing blindly in front of goal gave the visitors a chance which was taken, a very hard shot by McEntyre being very well stopped by Hutchinson.
...
Ends being changed, the Montreal men began to press the Crystal men, McEntyre and Barlow giving Hutchinson a deal of trouble...
...
Barlow got it and took it past Virtue, and it looked as if he was going to score, but Hutchison would not be denied, this efficient goal keeper saving by a smart "chop".
This play by play account is as detailed as one could possibly hope to find, recording every off-side, skirmish, and rush. Even using the most liberal interpretation of what might have been a "shot", there is no doubt that there were fewer than a dozen shots on Paton in the face of a very well organized offense. Hutchinson appears to have faced about 5 shots from the struggling MAAA squad.

From the Feb 27 edition:
- A three-game tournament was held at the Burlington Carnival; MAAA won the gold by beating the Crystals by 1 and the Van Ness Club of Burlington by 4, but the actual scores are not listed.
- Amusing line from the second-place match: "The Burlingtonians, although not practiced hockey players, are experts at polo, and great improvement in their play was noticed from the start of the game."

From the March 6 edition:
- MAAA lost a championship match to the Crystals 4-2. Paton did not play, and was replaced by one "R. White" who was simply noted as having made some saves.

From the March 14 edition:
- Inexplicably, the championship match was summarized thus: "A game of hockey was played at the Victoria Rink last night, when the Crystal team beat the M.A.A.A. team 5 to 0. The game was in favor of the Crystals clean through." Presumably the reporter couldn't make the game.

Summary: The 2/23/1886 edition is the big find here. It clearly and convincingly details shot counts in the 5-to-10 range, with save percentages in the neighborhood of 70-80%. Still nothing to suggest that Paton was a star of MAAA or that he even had a particularly remarkable impact on the outcome of his games. His replacement, White, got comparable results against the Crystals.

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09-04-2012, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Obviously the writer was not tasked with an official tally of shots in each game. However, he does seem to find that each shot on goal is an important event worth mentioning, and when he's given the column space to do so he most definitely makes note of saves. Here are the counts of concretely-described saves, with implied saves in parentheses and a "plus" to remind us that there could still have been more which were not worth mentioning:

1/13/88 - AAA 4 (4+), Crystals 5 (0+)
1/23/88 - The summary makes no effort to describe shots
2/3/88 - AAA 3 (5+), Victorias 3 (5+)
2/15/88 - Montreal 1 or 2, Crystals 0 - Summary is incomplete in its account
2/27/88 - AAA 1 (?+), Victorias 0 (?+)
3/2/88 - AAA 1 (2+), McGill 2 (large number+)
3/15/88 - The summary makes no effort to describe shots.


[B]Now, of the games which were described in full, it is completely fair to say that goaltenders made anywhere from 1 to 5 significant saves per game, with perhaps as many as 5 other shots coming their way.
What you're describing is the absolute minimum number of shots, while making the rather large assumption that all shots are described. Even in the game you claim the writer made effort to describe mundane saves - just because some mundane saves were mentioned, does not mean all mundane saves were mentioned.

The premise of your analysis is that a significant proportion of shots are in fact described in the game summaries. You need to demonstrate that premise before your analysis can be seen as valid. "How many shots aren't mentioned?" is the question that faces your research. To which your only answer can only be "I don't know."

When you say "of the game which were described in full" this illustrates the unproven premise. How do we know these games were described in full? Can you account for every play, or are you just assuming that if there was a shot the writer would mention it?

You're making the positive assertion that hockey at this time was significantly different than hockey even just a decade later. You're going to need much more than this to support such an assertion.

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09-04-2012, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Can you read all of these and interpret it as teams taking about 10 shots per game, when a team scored an average of 3.8 goals per games?
It would certainly appear that shot counts had risen at the time that Paton left the game, which makes sense in light of facing more experienced skaters. I'll keep chipping away at the 1880s tomorrow and see what comes up.

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09-04-2012, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
From the Feb 23 edition:
- A brilliantly detailed play-by-play of the February 19 match between MAAA and the Crystals. This is the kind of shot-by-shot account that supposedly does not exist during this time period.
Careful; you said they were common, I said they were rare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
- Amusing line from the second-place match: "The Burlingtonians, although not practiced hockey players, are experts at polo, and great improvement in their play was noticed from the start of the game."
This is a reference to ice polo, a hockey-like game that had a brief vogue in the US around this time. No horses involved.

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09-04-2012, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
The premise of your analysis is that a significant proportion of shots are in fact described in the game summaries. You need to demonstrate that premise before your analysis can be seen as valid. "How many shots aren't mentioned?" is the question that faces your research. To which your only answer can only be "I don't know."

When you say "of the game which were described in full" this illustrates the unproven premise. How do we know these games were described in full? Can you account for every play, or are you just assuming that if there was a shot the writer would mention it?

You're making the positive assertion that hockey at this time was significantly different than hockey even just a decade later. You're going to need much more than this to support such an assertion.
I invite you to review the 1886 game summary above. The detail is MUCH too precise to seriously believe the writer omitted significant numbers of shots on goal.

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09-04-2012, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Careful; you said they were common, I said they were rare.
What you said was this:

"The only ones I've read (and I've basically read all of them) that I could honestly describe this way would be certain Stanley Cup matches a bit later in time."

So it would seem that you were denying their existence during this time frame.


Quote:
This is a reference to ice polo, a hockey-like game that had a brief vogue in the US around this time. No horses involved.
Either way, it's amusing that a 3-team "championship" tournament was being contested by a team from a different sport... and they only missed 2nd place by one point!

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09-04-2012, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
I invite you to review the 1886 game summary above. The detail is MUCH too precise to seriously believe the writer omitted significant numbers of shots on goal.
I was doing just that. I found the following before half time:

"Scrimmages being the order of the say for some minutes." How many shots resulted from these scrimmages? We don't know. Several minutes of the game not described in any detail.

"The game now got very fast, Smith, McGoldrick, McEntyre and Virtue making good runs." How many good runs? How many resulted in shots? Was it one run each or several? Where is the detail of this portion of the game?

"Up to now the game was very even, but at this point the Crystals began to press their opponents, Cameron, centre, proving a great stumbling block to the Montreal men." How many shots resulted from this press? How long did it last?

"Puck was not sent about the ice at a great pace, either side gaining temporary advantage till some sensation was caused by Camerons' play..." How long was this? How many shots resulted from either side having the advantage for some undefined amount of time?

"McEntyre and Barlow then put in some very good forward play, making some effective exchanges..." How many exchanges? How many shots resulted from these exchanges?

"After resuming, the chief features of the game, prior to "half time" which was shortly after called, was the brilliant play of Cameron, apart from his decidedly questionable body checking; and, the smart goal keeping of Paton, who had to do all he knew to stop some nasty shots by the last named player." How many shots do we credit Cameron on Paton in this short, undefined amount of time, for which no other detail of play is given?

I agree that this is one of the most detailed game summaries available from this time. Your claim, however, that it is complete and describes every rush and every shot, is clearly unfounded.

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09-04-2012, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
What you said was this:

"The only ones I've read (and I've basically read all of them) that I could honestly describe this way would be certain Stanley Cup matches a bit later in time."

So it would seem that you were denying their existence during this time frame.
See above, this summary is not complete. It does not describe every rush and every shot, as you claim.

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09-04-2012, 04:51 PM
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The summaries to which I referred are from the Thistles-Wanderers Stanley Cup games in 1907. By my count Kenora outshot the Wanderers 78-77 in four games, and again I can't be 100% sure all shots are accounted for there.

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09-04-2012, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
A lot of hockey historians disagree with you. Many books cover hockey history from that point because the Stanley Cup was a significant development worthy of remembrance, signifying a common goal representing the pinnacle of achievement, a championship trophy that the best teams played for (or wanted to play for, in cases where rejected, ie., American amateur and pro teams that were rejected in the early years).
I disagree; many hockey books cover history from that point because it's an easy, arbitrary cutoff, and because so much work was built off the Trail, which of course started with 1893 since it was about the Stanley Cup. It's something that still exists today, making it something of a reference point to modern fans. That doesn't mean that it was then what it is now.

The points you raised here were discussed in my blog post. I find the claim that the Stanley Cup finally gave teams something to compete for to be a modern interpretation based on the modern status of the trophy, and it not reflective of the attitude at the time. It's revisionist history.

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09-04-2012, 05:01 PM
  #45
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It's abundantly clear from the paragraphs of highly detailed play-by-play that when the author reverts to the mode of "the teams scrimmaged", or "the puck went back and forth", he's simply glossing over stretches of unproductive play. When he simply says someone made a "good rush", the implication is that it was stopped on the way to the net. Why would he NOT make note of significant shots, or flurries of shots, when he goes to such great pains to mention those events elsewhere in the game? That would be a nonsensical way to relay the passage of events.

The one exception is the surge by Cameron which, notably, the writer mentions produced shots on goal. We don't know how many shots "some shots" is supposed to be, but realistically we can pin it in the range of about 3-5 can we not? Had it been more, it would have warranted more attention than a passing reference.

I realize that you're going to stick to your guns about Paton. But at some point you have to be objective here and acknowledge that these writers are giving us better information about his performance than even the best analysis of game scores.

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09-04-2012, 05:18 PM
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
It's abundantly clear from the paragraphs of highly detailed play-by-play that when the author reverts to the mode of "the teams scrimmaged", or "the puck went back and forth", he's simply glossing over stretches of unproductive play.
If you say so. Again, this is your premise, but it's unproven. Can you be sure he wasn't glossing over stretches of play that he didn't actually see, for instance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
When he simply says someone made a "good rush", the implication is that it was stopped on the way to the net. Why would he NOT make note of significant shots, or flurries of shots, when he goes to such great pains to mention those events elsewhere in the game? That would be a nonsensical way to relay the passage of events.
Why would he not? Any kind of reasons. Maybe he needed a bathroom break. Maybe he saw a pretty lady in the crowd. Maybe he was looking down to write and missed something.

There are many reasons why, and that's your problem. You're claiming that this summary is complete and therefore describes every shot that was taken. And then, when it's pointed out that it's not complete, you retreat to saying that it must describe every shot, because, well, why wouldn't it? But you can't prove it, because there are stretches of play that are glossed over, for whatever reason.

All you can say is that this summary describes every play that the writer saw and thought worth describing. Nothing more than that. Even if the summary appeared to be a complete one, where there were no obvious stretches glossed over, we still wouldn't know for sure that it was complete, since we have nothing (such as shot totals) to compare it against.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
The one exception is the surge by Cameron which, notably, the writer mentions produced shots on goal. We don't know how many shots "some shots" is supposed to be, but realistically we can pin it in the range of about 3-5 can we not? Had it been more, it would have warranted more attention than a passing reference.
It might have, but since you don't know that the write was doing or what his criteria were, it's merely another assertion on your part. You might think this is the case, but there is nothing you can do to prove it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
I realize that you're going to stick to your guns about Paton.
Mind the ad hominems, please. If you had convincing evidence, I'd like to see it. But you tout a "complete" description of the play, and it turns out not to be. You apparently believe it describes every shot, but you have no way of actually, objectively knowing that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
But at some point you have to be objective here and acknowledge that these writers are giving us better information about his performance than even the best analysis of game scores.
Objective? Assuming things that are not written is not objective by any stretch.

We're well beyond Paton at this point and are into the nature of hockey in the 19th century.

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09-04-2012, 05:33 PM
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
If you say so. Again, this is your premise, but it's unproven. Can you be sure he wasn't glossing over stretches of play that he didn't actually see, for instance?


Why would he not? Any kind of reasons. Maybe he needed a bathroom break. Maybe he saw a pretty lady in the crowd. Maybe he was looking down to write and missed something.
Ok. This is obviously going in a really unproductive direction.

"How do you KNOW that all the game scores from this era are correct? Just in looking over a dozen games, I found a case where a common public source lists a game as 3-0 instead of 6-0, so there's a possibility that this happens all the time. Maybe they were written down wrong by the official scorers, who had to go to the bathroom. Maybe illegal goals were accidentally recorded. Maybe the refs were being paid to report goals that never occurred. Maybe all the numbers are wrong and everything we know is a lie!

All you have to do to convince me is PROVE the numbers match up to real events... preferably with video recordings and living witnesses..."

It's very clear from the written record, at least as far as 1888, that Paton was NOT a major element of Montreal AAA's dominance over other teams. He was not a bad goalie, but he wasn't equal to his defensive partners either. That much is damned clear and denying it in the face of first-person accounts is ridiculous. You aren't more of an authority on this subject than the beat writer who gives you your material!


Last edited by Trebek: 09-04-2012 at 05:47 PM. Reason: Personal
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09-04-2012, 05:44 PM
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
"How do you KNOW that all the game scores from this era are correct? Just in looking over a dozen games, I found a case where a common public source lists a game as 3-0 instead of 6-0, so there's a possibility that this happens all the time. Maybe they were written down wrong by the official scorers, who had to go to the bathroom. Maybe illegal goals were accidentally recorded. Maybe the refs were being paid to report goals that never occurred. Maybe all the numbers are wrong and everything we know is a lie!
No, stop the slippery slope stuff please.

When you're talking about game scores, you have something to check the game summary against. If the score is listed as 5-0 but the game summary describes only 3 goals to be scored, you know it's incomplete. If it describes 5 goals, you know it's complete with respect to goals.

There is no such check with shots. Unless the game summary provides a shots number to check against, you can't know whether the description of shots is complete, and as such any analysis that assumes it is complete is necessarily on shaky ground.



Do you know how many hours I've put into research like this? I don't, because I've lost count. And now, because I disagree with your suppositions based on limited reading, somehow I'm not interested in the truth and I haven't done any research.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems this is the first time you're reading these game reports. You consider the Feb 23 1886 report a "find", suggesting you think others don't know about it. And yet I'm the only person I know that has gathered the statistics for the 1886 Montreal hockey tournament. In Total Hockey it's claimed that there was no senior hockey played in Montreal in 1886, because the Winter Carnival was cancelled. I've known that to be false for some time.

I've got McGoldrick with 6 goals in 1886, and Findlay with 4. What do you have? (Your claim about R. White having as good results as Paton doesn't mesh with my records, by the way. I have him allowing 4 goals in his only game, while Paton recorded a 1.44 GAA).

You seem to laboring under the assumption that I'm just saying whatever I like, then going to look for evidence, instead of basing my comments on years of research, which is what's actually happening. The research comes first, then the conclusions.

You're correct that this is going down an unproductive road. I don't think I will be responding further.


Last edited by Iain Fyffe: 09-04-2012 at 05:52 PM. Reason: QDP
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09-04-2012, 05:58 PM
  #49
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09-04-2012, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
No, stop the slippery slope stuff please.

When you're talking about game scores, you have something to check the game summary against. If the score is listed as 5-0 but the game summary describes only 3 goals to be scored, you know it's incomplete. If it describes 5 goals, you know it's complete with respect to goals.

There is no such check with shots. Unless the game summary provides a shots number to check against, you can't know whether the description of shots is complete, and as such any analysis that assumes it is complete is necessarily on shaky ground.
3-line game "summaries" are strictly accurate for recording scores, and their data can be crunched and twisted backward to "prove" that one player deserves a certain amount of credit for his team results...

... but page long narratives that specifically describe the gameplay on a rush-by-rush basis are irrelevant because the writer might have been on the crapper during an important play!? Are you kidding?


Quote:
Do you know how many hours I've put into research like this? I don't, because I've lost count. And now, because I disagree with your suppositions based on limited reading, somehow I'm not interested in the truth and I haven't done any research.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems this is the first time you're reading these game reports. You consider the Feb 23 1886 report a "find", suggesting you think others don't know about it. And yet I'm the only person I know that has gathered the statistics for the 1886 Montreal hockey tournament. In Total Hockey it's claimed that there was no senior hockey played in Montreal in 1886, because the Winter Carnival was cancelled. I've known that to be false for some time.

I've got McGoldrick with 6 goals in 1886, and Findlay with 4. What do you have? (Your claim about R. White having as good results as Paton doesn't mesh with my records, by the way. I have him allowing 4 goals in his only game, while Paton recorded a 1.44 GAA).
A whole lot of people have done a whole lot more research than you on a whole lot of subjects, and been dead wrong. Perhaps you should just do the graceful thing and acknowledge that your analysis of Paton is heavily team-biased, and that his teammates CLEARLY had a larger role in MAAA's early success than he did. If you can't do that, what good were all those hours of research just to draw tainted conclusions?

Edit: out of curiosity, where exactly did you spend countless hours reading about Paton? These summaries are easily available online and it only takes a little while to read a whole season's worth of them.


Last edited by Trebek: 09-04-2012 at 06:03 PM. Reason: I didn't say "stop" explicity, so I'll say it here: STOP.
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