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Colorado, Detroit and New Jersey

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06-28-2012, 07:49 PM
  #1
Stephen
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Colorado, Detroit and New Jersey

It's not much of a debate to suggest that Colorado, Detroit and New Jersey were the three great organizations in the NHL during the mid 90s-2000s. All three of these organizations emerged out of the 80s and early 90s as teams that got built from the ground up through the draft and combined, they won 8 Stanley Cups from 1995 to the lockout. They all won cups having to get past each other, New Jersey beating Detroit in 1995 in the finals, Colorado beating Detroit in the semi finals in 1996 and Colorado beating New Jersey in 2001 in the finals. In summary, Detroit and New Jersey won three apiece and Colorado won two.

That said, given the talent levels on these teams, is it appropriate to say that Colorado and Detroit should have cleaned up the decade between them, and that in particular Colorado losing to Dallas in 1999 and 2000 was a huge disappointment? Did New Jersey completely overachieve given what kind of personnel they were working with?

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06-28-2012, 08:03 PM
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newfy
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Jersey wasnt as star studded as those other teams but they definitely didnt overachieve.

The back end of that team was ridiculous. Stevens, Nieds, Rafalski, Brodeur etc

They had the system to play amazing defensive hockey, and the players for it, while the other 2 played more high octane and flashier games which might make them "seem" better

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06-28-2012, 08:29 PM
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TasteofFlames
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This might sound homer-y, but Dallas should probably be included on this. They were a major factor in the Western Playoffs through most of the DPE. The Stars rose to prominence a couple of years after the rest of these teams, but they made back-to-back finals, and lost in the 2nd to Jersey. Think about it this way, Dallas kind of played Calgary's role from the 80s. A major player in the post-season, but only winning one cup.

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06-28-2012, 09:05 PM
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Big Phil
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I think Colorado should have won more than two Cups. Detroit won three over 6 years but 1995 still had to sting

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06-28-2012, 10:58 PM
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shadow1
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News Jersey had an insane defense for a little while there, with Scott Stevens, Scott Neidermayer, Ken Daneyko, and Brian Rafalski. They just usually didn't have the same fire power [as Detroit and Colorado] up front, but that mattered less and less towards the end of pre-lockout.

Colorado could have/should have won more cups if they had a better defense. The year they had Ray Bourque, Rob Blake, and Adam Foote, they beat up on New Jersey despite no Peter Forsberg and worse forward depth than in years past. But in the years before and years after, they relied too heavily on mid-tier defensemen despite having some of the best forward depth ever.

Take 1999 for example:

Deadmarsh - Forsberg - Lemieux
Hejduk - Sakic - Fleury
Kamensky - Drury - Donovan
Hunter - Yelle - Podein
Messier

Ozolinsh - Foote
Lefebvre - Miller
De Vries - Klemm

Roy
Billington

Notice a difference between the defense and offense? It's no surprise they lost a hard fought 7-game series with a more defensive Dallas Stars team.

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06-29-2012, 03:22 AM
  #6
ThePuckBaron
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I always thought the Avs should have won more cups. 2 straight conference final game 7 losses vs the Stars...

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06-29-2012, 05:03 AM
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Dalton
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I expected all three to win more cups.

I guess that's why I don't subscribe to the notion that any of them were dynasties. Just very good teams with excellence at the management level perhaps.

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06-29-2012, 06:24 AM
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Ivan13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePuckBaron View Post
I always thought the Avs should have won more cups. 2 straight conference final game 7 losses vs the Stars...
Bourques post still hurts.

And the OP should've definitely included the Stars. Devils, Red Wings, Stars and Avs were the big 4 of the NHL during that period of time.

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06-29-2012, 08:03 AM
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IcedMaidenDeth
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I can't decide if I agree with adding Dallas or not. They only had 3 good (playoff) years. Conference Finals, Stanley Cup Champion, and then making the SC Finals again. The two years both before and after that little run, they combined for one playoff win (and missed the playoffs twice). In comparison, the Avalanche had a string of 7 years where, aside from one first round exit, did not finish worse than making the Conference Finals.

The Stars definitely deserve a lot of credit for stopping the Avalanche from winning probably at least another cup, and if not for running into the Red Wings and Devils, maybe add another one or two during that 3 year span. But as a team, that seems like a really short peak. I don't know, I could go either way with adding them to the top teams of the DPE.

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06-29-2012, 08:48 AM
  #10
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The Wings and Devils runs that started in the early to mid 90's are technically still going while Colorado has fallen by the wayside.

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06-29-2012, 02:27 PM
  #11
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Damn you Devils and your trap!

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06-29-2012, 02:43 PM
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WarriorOfGandhi
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Colorado has the fewest Cups of all 3 but the most playoff wins between 1995 and 2004


Last edited by WarriorOfGandhi: 06-29-2012 at 02:49 PM.
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06-29-2012, 03:14 PM
  #13
Elwood Blues
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadow1 View Post
Colorado could have/should have won more cups if they had a better defense.
.
Agreed! However I also feel that the coaching from Marc Crawford held us back. It's impossible to prove but I think we would have done better in the late 90's with another coach.

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06-29-2012, 03:16 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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NJ "overachieved" to the tune of three Cups? Evidence that Scott Stevens was the greatest captain of his era? They had a different coach for each Cup, so it's hard to just credit coaching

Devila of 1999-00 and 2000-01 were certainly not lacking in firepower though, even lacking that one superstar up front.

Speaking of coaching: interesting that Detroit and Dallas had stability behind the bench, while Colorado and especially NJ did not

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06-29-2012, 04:09 PM
  #15
vadim sharifijanov
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new jersey quietly stockpiled two generations of very good players, mostly through the draft.

through the 80s, they got muller (became stephane richer), verbeek (became claude lemieux), maclean, driver, daneyko, sean burke (became holik), and shanahan (became stevens, of course). most of them were high draft picks, few of them were heralded as legitimate stars. but that young team broke through in the '88 playoffs before falling off again, not unlike detroit the same year.

then another crop in the 90s, starting with brodeur (technically guerin in '89, who became arnott), then niedermayer, rolston (became claude lemieux's second tour), up to elias and sykora, and eventually gomez and gionta, the devils stockpiled another very good core.

two things about that: 1. '95 was the perfect storm where that first generation was in its prime/still going strong and key members of the second generation had already stepped in and were playing at a high level. this is the kind of luck that, say, the canucks didn't have; if naslund and bertuzzi had held on for a bit longer, or if the sedins had developed a bit faster...

neither the '88 wings or devils could win until a second generation came in while the core of the '88 was still dominant. this is why the avs fell off after roy retired; the young talent dried up between hejduk/tanguay and stastny/duchene, while detroit those batards had a friggin' third generation with datsyuk, zetterberg, etc.

2. other than shanahan and niedermayer, none of those picks were can't-miss stars. but most of new jersey's picks at least met, and usually exceeded, expectations. so those devils teams may not have had the high end of detroit or colorado, but they were DEEP. and more importantly, they were deep with homegrown talent. in that second generation, i've said nothing about brylin, madden, pandolfo, rafalski, colin white, etc. etc., but those guys fit the system and the team had a true identity.

i haven't agreed with a lot of things he's done since his last cup, but lou lamoriello was by far the greatest GM in the era between the gretzky trade and the second lockout. he built a team and an organization that was just brilliantly self-sustaining and quietly was a juggernaut.

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06-29-2012, 04:28 PM
  #16
Sentinel
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Detroit won 4 Cups. Era of Lidstrom.

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06-29-2012, 05:18 PM
  #17
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Devils were probably the best defensive team since the 1950 Canadien teams. I always will consider them the best team of the 90s for the simple fact they changed the way hockey will play forever. Detroit and the Avs didnt but they iced some of the best teams. With that said, the Wings were the Yankees of hockey back then. Buying Championships.

^3 of those were under the Yzerman era.^ Lidstrom era didnt happen till Stevie retired, in 2006.

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06-29-2012, 05:51 PM
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quoipourquoi
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1995 - Rangers (6 Games)
Joe Sakic
4 Goals, 1 Assist, 4 Scoreless
Peter Forsberg
2 Goals, 4 Assists, 1 Scoreless
Goaltending
4.10 GAA, .871 SPCT, 4 Below-Average


1997 - Red Wings (6 Games)
Joe Sakic
4 Goals, 2 Assists, 3 Scoreless
Peter Forsberg
1 Assist, 4 Scoreless, Missed 1 Game (Concussion)
Patrick Roy
2.47 GAA, .930 SPCT, 1 SO, 2 Below-Average

1998 - Oilers (7 Games)
Joe Sakic
2 Goals, 3 Assists, 4 Scoreless, Suspended 1 Game
Peter Forsberg
6 Goals, 5 Assists, 3 Scoreless
Patrick Roy
2.51 GAA, .906 SPCT, 2 Below-Average

1999 - Stars (7 Games)
Joe Sakic
2 Goals, 3 Assists, 4 Scoreless
Peter Forsberg
2 Goals, 5 Assists, 3 Scoreless
Patrick Roy
3.14 GAA, .905 SPCT, 4 Below-Average

2000 - Stars (7 Games)
Joe Sakic
3 Assists, 4 Scoreless
Peter Forsberg
2 Goals, 3 Assists, 3 Scoreless
Patrick Roy
1.94 GAA, .918 SPCT, 2 SO, 3 Below-Average

2002 - Red Wings (7 Games)
Joe Sakic
2 Goals, 3 Assists, 3 Scoreless
Peter Forsberg
2 Goals, 6 Assists, 3 Scoreless
Patrick Roy
3.10 GAA, .900 SPCT, 2 Below-Average

2003 - Wild (7 Games)
Joe Sakic
6 Goals, 3 Assists, 2 Scoreless
Peter Forsberg
2 Goals, 6 Assists, 1 Scoreless
Patrick Roy
2.27 GAA, .910 SPCT, 1 SO, 4 Below-Average

2004 - Sharks (6 Games)
Joe Sakic
3 Goals, 3 Assists, 2 Scoreless
Peter Forsberg
1 Goals, 2 Assists, 3 Scoreless
Goaltending
2.30 GAA, .906 SPCT, 1 SO, 3 Below-Average



Colorado needed better depth, but sometimes their stars could've performed better. Cumulatively, all three of Sakic, Roy, and Forsberg were among the best in the world from 1995-2004, but every so often, one of them had a series that if not for their own performance, Colorado could've made up for the depth issue and advanced (as you can see, they almost always went the distance in their losses). If I'm assigning blame, depth comes first, then of the three stars I say:

1995: Clearly the goaltending. Thibault was good in relief, but the Rangers wrecked him in the last game. Sakic had the misfortune of Kovalev costing him a goal. Forsberg was fine.

1997: Forsberg's health. With a healthy Forsberg, Colorado could've stolen one of the close games (Game 2 or Game 6 for sure). Roy was excellent. Sakic could've been better.

1998: Sakic. He was suspended because of Game 82, and they lose Game 1. He then scores in just Games 2 and 3 and subsequently disappears. Joseph was incredible. Of Roy's two below-average games (SPCT), only one was a loss, and Colorado was shutout anyway.

1999: Roy and Sakic. Sakic was in a rut since the first round, and Roy was getting peppered (40+ SA in three games). The Avs looked like they ran out of offense by the end of Game 5.

2000: Sakic. He was worse than he was in 1999. The three wins were 2-0, 2-0, 2-1; Roy nearly stole this series.

2002: Sakic again. Roy needed a better Game 7, but he was too good the rest of the series (only two games with a below-average SPCT; Hasek had three). Forsberg was looking tired, but still scored in the clutch, both by himself and with Drury. Sakic needed the type of big game that Roy and Forsberg were providing.

2003: Roy. No contest. He shouldn't lose twice in overtime.

2004: Forsberg. Aebischer and Sakic kept the Avalanche on life-support. Sakic had back-to-back games in which he scored every goal (including two in overtime). Nabokov was scary. Forsberg needed to explode for a game, but he never did.

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06-29-2012, 05:55 PM
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quoipourquoi
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And for those who participate in the never-ending Sakic vs. Forsberg debate, the above is a good reason why people who follow the Western Conference will often say Forsberg.

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06-29-2012, 05:59 PM
  #20
TheDevilMadeMe
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Wasn't Sakic playing through a serious injury in 1999?

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06-29-2012, 06:03 PM
  #21
GKJ
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The Avalanche, for being such a high-profile team, always had trouble keeping the other team on the ground. Blew 3-1 leads vs. the Oilers and Wild (!), and nearly blew two vs. the Kings.

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06-29-2012, 06:12 PM
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quoipourquoi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Wasn't Sakic playing through a serious injury in 1999?
Yes. He was also hurt in 2000 and 2001. I marked Forsberg's concussion in 1997 because he missed time and played unusually ineffective because of the nature of the injury. The thing is, if I mark down every injury, that post lights up like a Christmas tree because of all of the degenerating injuries as well.

And I'm not trying to deride Sakic or anything; I'm holding him up to his own high standard, so it might look that way. Still, the only better playoff skater during that cumulative time-frame was his second-line center.

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07-03-2012, 01:01 AM
  #23
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
And for those who participate in the never-ending Sakic vs. Forsberg debate, the above is a good reason why people who follow the Western Conference will often say Forsberg.
You neglect to mention that 1996 series where Forsberg had 4 points and Sakic had 9. Also 2001 is conspicuously missing, hmmm. Also Fosrberg's concussion in 1997 happened near the end of the series. He only played 1 game concussed, and 1 point in the other 4 games from Forsberg was just no good for the Avalanche against DRW

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07-03-2012, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by IcedMaidenDeth View Post
I can't decide if I agree with adding Dallas or not. They only had 3 good (playoff) years. Conference Finals, Stanley Cup Champion, and then making the SC Finals again. The two years both before and after that little run, they combined for one playoff win (and missed the playoffs twice). In comparison, the Avalanche had a string of 7 years where, aside from one first round exit, did not finish worse than making the Conference Finals.

The Stars definitely deserve a lot of credit for stopping the Avalanche from winning probably at least another cup, and if not for running into the Red Wings and Devils, maybe add another one or two during that 3 year span. But as a team, that seems like a really short peak. I don't know, I could go either way with adding them to the top teams of the DPE.
That's just absolutely insane to look back on now.

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07-03-2012, 02:48 AM
  #25
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Originally Posted by TheGoldenJet View Post
You neglect to mention that 1996 series where Forsberg had 4 points and Sakic had 9. Also 2001 is conspicuously missing, hmmm. Also Fosrberg's concussion in 1997 happened near the end of the series. He only played 1 game concussed, and 1 point in the other 4 games from Forsberg was just no good for the Avalanche against DRW
well, since he's looking at years where the Avs didn't win, that kind of makes sense, eh?

What happened to Forsberg in 2004... well, that's exactly what got Scott Hannan that plump and ridiculous contract from the Avs after the lockout.

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