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MLD 2012 Mickey Ion Semifinal: Medicine Hat Tricks vs. Pittsburgh Hornets

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Old
09-17-2012, 10:03 AM
  #1
seventieslord
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MLD 2012 Mickey Ion Semifinal: Medicine Hat Tricks vs. Pittsburgh Hornets

Coach: Claude Julien

Dubbie Kerr - Gus Bodnar - Alexander Kozhevnikov
Tony McKegney - Patrice Bergeron - Wayne Babych
Andre Pronovost - Terry Crisp - Scott Young
Dave Tippett - Rob Zamuner - Shorty Green


Brian Campbell - Bill Brydge
Percy Traub - Ted Graham
Bob Trapp - Dale Tallon

S: Wilf Cude
B: Sean Burke

X: Skene Ronan
X: Risto Siltanen
X: Frank "Coddy" Winters
X: Bryan Watson


VS

Coach: Terry Crisp
Captain: Jozef Golonka
Alternate: Jason Smith
Alternate: Brian Skrudland

Herb Cain - Viktor Shuvalov - Carson Cooper
Slava Kozlov - Jozef Golonka - Vincent Lukac
Radek Bonk - Brian Skrudland - Loui Eriksson
Dallas Drake - Peter Zezel - Anders Kallur

Sergei Brylin, Guy Chouinard, Ilkka Sinisalo

Phat Wilson - Lee Fogolin, Jr
Slim Halderson - Sylvain Lefebvre
Dave Manson - Jason Smith
Derek Morris


Pete Peeters
Felix Potvin


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 09-25-2012 at 01:07 AM.
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09-20-2012, 11:32 AM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Medicine Hat's first unit (Kerr - Bodnar - Kozhevnikov backed by Brian Campbell) is incredibly dangerous - possibly the most dangerous offense from a first unit in the draft, especially now that Bench Brawl's first line is out of it. Their one notable weakness is a lack of depth scoring - they have some guys who can chip in, but I don't see any offensive catalysts beyond the first unit.

So for the Hornets to have a chance a pulling off the upset, they need to show an ability to contain Medicine Hat's first unit.

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09-20-2012, 12:25 PM
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Additional lineup notes for Pittsburgh.

PP

Herb Cain - Viktor Shuvalov - Carson Cooper
Slava Kozlov - Phat Wilson

Loui Eriksson - Jozef Golonka - Vincent Lukac
Slim Halderson - Dave Manson

PK

Peter Zezel - Anders Kallur
Sylvain Lefebvre - Lee Fogolin Jr

Brian Skrudland - Radek Bonk
Dave Manson - Jason Smith

The bottom two lines will be shuffled to look like this:

Radek Bonk - Brian Skrudland - Loui Eriksson
Dallas Drake - Peter Zezel - Anders Kallur

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09-20-2012, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Medicine Hat's first unit (Kerr - Bodnar - Kozhevnikov backed by Brian Campbell) is incredibly dangerous - possibly the most dangerous offense from a first unit in the draft, especially now that Bench Brawl's first line is out of it. Their one notable weakness is a lack of depth scoring - they have some guys who can chip in, but I don't see any offensive catalysts beyond the first unit.

So for the Hornets to have a chance a pulling off the upset, they need to show an ability to contain Medicine Hat's first unit.
The Hornets will roll four lines and three pairings. All four lines have strong puck possession skills and can play both ways. Rather than giving special attention to Medicine Hat's skilled top unit, Coach Terry Crisp will emphasize the Hornets playing their game, with contributions from every line and pairing.

Medicine Hat has a couple of defensive specialists in their bottom six. Much respect to Tippet and Crisp for their ability to think the game and defend, but they're both small players who are non-factors offensively. IMO this will drag down the offensive contributions of Medicine Hat's bottom six.

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09-24-2012, 08:47 PM
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Brian Campbell is one of my favourite hockey players and has been since he was an Ottawa 67. And Claude Julien is certainly a very accomplished coach.

But I wonder if they fit well together. Julien has had success in the NHL by building a rock-solid defence that keeps opposing teams to the outside, with Zdeno Chara as the cornerstone. Campbell is as far as you can get from Chara in his playing style, and has generally played for teams that stress puck possession over defensive structure.

The last time Claude Julien coached a team with a midget named Brian as the #1 defenceman, he was fired right before the playoffs started. Is Claude Julien still coaching this team, or has Mike Farkas fired him and taken over? The people want to know!

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09-27-2012, 06:30 PM
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Mike Farkas
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In response: The bottom six won't need much of an offensive contribution in any series really because of the overall defensive nature of the team. We'll get spot production from Scott Young (a very capable scorer) and a HHOFer in Shorty Green and that should be plenty. Even Zamuner peaked at a near 0.5 ppg pace, so between a 300+ goal scorer in Young and a HHOFer in Green, I'm not at all concerned about what little production needs to come from the bottom six.

Yes, Julien has worked well with defensive-minded players and generally hides offensive d-men deeper in the lineup, but Campbell has matured into a capable defensive player that Julien can utilize. Julien used offensive-minded defensemen at other points as well: Memorial Cup champ with Mario Laroque as a top-pairing guy, a young Marc-Andre Bergeron was logging big minutes in Hamilton before Julien was called up, in Montreal in 2004 when the Habs went to the second round, his top-3 d-men were Souray, Markov and Brisebois, his only year in NJ was with Rafalski logging the most minutes...so he's had some success with offensive-minded players certainly.

And he sets them up for success structurally. For instance, Patrice Brisebois' best ever plus/minus season was under Julien.

My own thoughts: While this Pittsburgh is very good and has a few players that I was strongly considering taking, I do wonder about its ability to survive this Medicine Hat buzzsaw. The European talents may have a little bit of trouble with the rugged physicality of this Medicine Hat team...even a guy like Shuvalov, whose peak/prime seems to be very, very early in Soviet hockey, was regarded for having a shot five inches off the ice...well, Sean Burke is 6-foot-4 and has 11" tall pads, I think he'll be all right with it.

I'm not sure of how Peeters will hold up in this playoff series - he seems to have some shaky outings in the playoffs and his RS numbers seem to paint a similar picture, which will allow for the powerhouse top unit to gain enough offense and then allow the remainder of the team to check the European stars - or semi-stars - into submission. Undue frustration of having being unexpectedly and unrelentingly rattled every time they step foot on the ice should lead to some undisciplined stick fouls anyhow.

I expect it to be a tight series, and I certainly have a lot of respect for this opponent. Medicine Hat comes in well-rested and healthy after disembowing our first round opponent...Pittsburgh likely had at least a somewhat tougher time in their first series.

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09-27-2012, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
In response: The bottom six won't need much of an offensive contribution in any series really because of the overall defensive nature of the team. We'll get spot production from Scott Young (a very capable scorer) and a HHOFer in Shorty Green and that should be plenty. Even Zamuner peaked at a near 0.5 ppg pace, so between a 300+ goal scorer in Young and a HHOFer in Green, I'm not at all concerned about what little production needs to come from the bottom six.

Yes, Julien has worked well with defensive-minded players and generally hides offensive d-men deeper in the lineup, but Campbell has matured into a capable defensive player that Julien can utilize. Julien used offensive-minded defensemen at other points as well: Memorial Cup champ with Mario Laroque as a top-pairing guy, a young Marc-Andre Bergeron was logging big minutes in Hamilton before Julien was called up, in Montreal in 2004 when the Habs went to the second round, his top-3 d-men were Souray, Markov and Brisebois, his only year in NJ was with Rafalski logging the most minutes...so he's had some success with offensive-minded players certainly.

And he sets them up for success structurally. For instance, Patrice Brisebois' best ever plus/minus season was under Julien.

My own thoughts: While this Pittsburgh is very good and has a few players that I was strongly considering taking, I do wonder about its ability to survive this Medicine Hat buzzsaw. The European talents may have a little bit of trouble with the rugged physicality of this Medicine Hat team...even a guy like Shuvalov, whose peak/prime seems to be very, very early in Soviet hockey, was regarded for having a shot five inches off the ice...well, Sean Burke is 6-foot-4 and has 11" tall pads, I think he'll be all right with it.

I'm not sure of how Peeters will hold up in this playoff series - he seems to have some shaky outings in the playoffs and his RS numbers seem to paint a similar picture, which will allow for the powerhouse top unit to gain enough offense and then allow the remainder of the team to check the European stars - or semi-stars - into submission. Undue frustration of having being unexpectedly and unrelentingly rattled every time they step foot on the ice should lead to some undisciplined stick fouls anyhow.

I expect it to be a tight series, and I certainly have a lot of respect for this opponent. Medicine Hat comes in well-rested and healthy after disembowing our first round opponent...Pittsburgh likely had at least a somewhat tougher time in their first series.
Kozlov, Kallur, Eriksson, and Bonk all proved themselves in the NHL. I'm not too worried about their ability to deal with the rough stuff.

Golonka should relish the physical game and dish out as much as he takes. You mention retaliatory stick fouls as a concern for the Europeans. I guess you are assuming all games are played with North American officials.

Lukac and Shuvalov are unknowns in this area. We know they are European, but little more about their likely response to physical play. Similar to your first line RW- the most intimidating thing about him is spelling his name.

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09-28-2012, 09:41 AM
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Mike Farkas
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Naturally, I'm not too worried about shutting down Radek Bonk or Anders Kallur, who will be used more defensively than anything it appears...

Kozhevnikov, as it were, was a very unconventional Soviet player - known for his rugged play and supreme offensive skill. He will not be intimidated.

It's a two-wave attack on the opponent's offense. Rugged, defensive forwards will slow you down through the neutral zone and then the truculent defense will finish you off before you get to the top of the circles. It will take some clever maneuvering to puncture this club's defense, I feel.

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09-28-2012, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
Naturally, I'm not too worried about shutting down Radek Bonk or Anders Kallur, who will be used more defensively than anything it appears...

Kozhevnikov, as it were, was a very unconventional Soviet player - known for his rugged play and supreme offensive skill. He will not be intimidated.

It's a two-wave attack on the opponent's offense. Rugged, defensive forwards will slow you down through the neutral zone and then the truculent defense will finish you off before you get to the top of the circles. It will take some clever maneuvering to puncture this club's defense, I feel.
Radek Bonk and Anders Kallur are, of course, not the most important attackers on Pittsburgh.

But they are part of a Pittsburgh advantage - a more well-rounded and offensively dangerous bottom six.

Looking at the players in the bottom six who played since the 1967 expansion, here are the scoring-level adjusted even strength points per game for each one. Pittsburgh Hornets are bolded.

Career
Player ESP/Game
Loui Eriksson 54.8
Dallas Drake 37.8
Peter Zezel 37.4
Scott Young 35.0
Radek Bonk 33.4
Rob Zamuner 31.1
Brian Skrudland 29.6
Anders Kallur 26.9
Terry Crisp 26.5
Dave Tippett 24.4

5-year peak*

Player ESP/Game
Loui Eriksson 59.3
Dallas Drake 48.9
Radek Bonk 47.8
Scott Young 44.6
Peter Zezel 42.6
Rob Zamuner 36.7
Brian Skrudland 36.6
Anders Kallur 35.3
Dave Tippett 29.0
Terry Crisp 27.8

*Used three year peaks for Kallur and Crisp because they didn't really have 5 year peaks in the NHL.

To be fair, Shorty Green is probably Medicine Hat's best offensive player in the bottom six and is not included here. Andre Pronovost is probably the third best and is also not included.

Other factors: Take a little air out of Eriksson's numbers and out of Bonk's peak numbers because they got those playing on top lines. Anders Kallur spent many of his best years in Sweden and three of his six NHL seasons came after he turned 30 in a fourth line role on a dynasty - he's better offensively than these numbers show.

Eriksson and Shorty Green are probably the best two offensive players in each bottom six. I know it's hard to compare them, but Eriksson really has been an excellent ES scorer in his NHL career - top 20 in league ES points in three seasons, and 29th in another. Green never led his team in scoring in the NHL. Edge Pittsburgh, although YMMV.

Drake/Bonk/Zezel are similar to Young offensively. Pronovost and Zamuner are probably a step below the Drake/Bonk/Zezel group offensively. Edge Pittsburgh.

Skrudland and Kallur were better offensively than Crisp and Tippett - without even factoring in Kallur's age in the NHL and his Swedish play. Edge Pittsburgh.

Edit: A little more on Eriksson at ES. Here are the even strength scoring leaders in the NHL over the past 4 seasons.

Rk Player ESP GP ESP/G
1 Henrik Sedin 252 328 0.77
2 Alex Ovechkin 239 308 0.78
3 Daniel Sedin 226 299 0.76
4 Martin St. Louis 224 323 0.69
5 Evgeni Malkin 214 267 0.80
6 Steven Stamkos 209 325 0.64
7 Jarome Iginla 209 328 0.64
8 Loui Eriksson 207 325 0.64
9 Sidney Crosby 206 221 0.93
10 Ilya Kovalchuk 200 313 0.64
11 Joe Thornton 196 323 0.61
12 Corey Perry 196 322 0.61
13 Patrick Kane 196 317 0.62
14 Henrik Zetterberg 190 313 0.61
15 Pavel Datsyuk 188 287 0.66
16 Alex Burrows 188 316 0.59
17 David Krejci 187 315 0.59
18 Rick Nash 185 311 0.59
19 Anze Kopitar 184 321 0.57
20 Patrick Marleau 183 322 0.57

That's pretty good company for Eriksson. 17 of the top 20 were drafted in the ATD, and Anze Kopitar is a first line centre in the MLD.


Last edited by overpass: 09-28-2012 at 11:15 AM.
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09-28-2012, 01:54 PM
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Mike Farkas
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There's no doubt that it's a formidable bottom-six, but yours obviously will be serving a bit different role than mine. Mine is all about defensive, smart, tough hockey...if yours wants to take off on scoring exploits, go for it, that'll give my top unit plenty of room to operate and the other three lines (and all three defensive pairs) are more than capable of handling them.

While you focus on the potential goals of your bottom-six, I'll focus on the defense of it.

Andre Pronovost: "Andre Pronovost once worried about the likes of Gordie Howe, George Armstrong, Leo Labine and Frank Mahovlich. As a left winger Pronovost had the unenviable job of holding players like Gordie Howe in check."

Terry Crisp: "...it was Crisp's job to shut down the likes of Ken Hodge and Phil Esposito."

Dave Tippett: "...Dave Tippett cast a long shadow over the United States with his defensive checking of Pat Lafontaine in the opening game"

Rob Zamuner" "Rob Zamuner, who made Canada's 1998 Olympic team because of his checking skills..." [vs. the world's best players]

So while some post-expansion scoring numbers are terrific (really, I'm not being facetious, I have a lot of respect for your team), and maybe even in the company of some ATDers...my guys made a living shutting down elite ATDers...I surely don't believe that Slava Kozlov will be much of a match for these tenacious checkers, much less Anders Kallur or Peter Zezel...

So, while your bottom six players can pot an extra goal over mine in a 7-game series, are they a great success overall?

Even with an outlier like Kallur who basically only played during the Isles dynasty years and removing the fact that Green played in the pre-NHL era. I think the Finals appearances are still 14-12 for my guys, and I think Green may have played in 2 or 3 championships in his pre-modern NHL leagues. It also doesn't include Zamuner playing in a best-on-best tournament for Canada (though Eriksson did represent Sweden once, to be fair).

The top-four in those scoring numbers on your team don't seem to appear on a lot of successful teams...they have one Cup between them, right? So while Eriksson, Drake, Zezel and Bonk may marginally outscore some of my guys (though Young is right there, and Shorty Green is the only one with a top-10 finish in the whole group, right?). My bottom-six has a lot of experience on winners. Drake - among those top-4 point getters - has the only Cup and it was when he had the least amount of ice time of his career.

So, of those somewhat skewed numbers (as the best player overall [Green] and probably third or fourth best player overall [Pronovost] are not included) I'm not sure I get much of an offensive advantage - at least not one that would be noticeable over seven games or less...and moreover, the defense of my bottom-six blows that bottom-six out of the water...it's a group that could challenge any MLD team I feel.

In sum, I don't need to create tables that indicate how much my bottom-six can score because they aren't out there to do so. Especially when said tables leave off 2 of the top 3 players on my end of that spectrum anyhow. It would appear that Medicine Hat boasts one of the most formidable bottom-sixes in this league (maybe the best, as the voters must have been impressed by something) and perhaps the finest top offensive unit (again, our fellow GMs seem to feel this way). It would be concerning to me if Radek Bonk's (a former 3rd overall pick) 7% advantage in even strength scoring over Rob Zamuner was enough to sway this series in Pittsburgh's favor. Or sway anything in Pittsburgh's favor, to be quite frank.

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09-28-2012, 02:34 PM
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Your winner, in 6 games, is Medicine Hat.

3 stars:

1. Dubbie Kerr
2. Brian Campbell
3. Josef Golonka

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09-29-2012, 06:17 AM
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Well played and well deserved, Mike. Good luck in future series.

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09-29-2012, 07:54 AM
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Mike Farkas
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Well played and well deserved, Mike. Good luck in future series.
Thanks so much, you're a more-than-worthy opponent.

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09-29-2012, 08:56 AM
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