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AAA2012 Finals: Regina Pat Canadians vs. Buffalo Mugwumps

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Old
01-26-2013, 10:42 PM
  #1
seventieslord
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AAA2012 Finals: Regina Pat Canadians vs. Buffalo Mugwumps


Darryl Sutter

Greg Adams - George Gee - Petr Sykora
Vaclav Prospal - Mike Bullard - Dmitri Khristich
Alexandre Burrows - Bill Clement "A" - Bill Collins
Bob Kelly - Archie Hooper - Howie Meeker

Dale Rolfe - Leo Reise, Sr.
Mark Hardy "A" - Doug Lidster
Harold Snepsts "C" - Tom Poti

Cesare Maniago
Richard Brodeur

Spares:
Reg Hamilton, D
Steve Rucchin, C
Igor Liba, F
Bert McCaffrey, RW/D

Power Play #1
Vaclav Prospal - Mike Bullard - Dmitri Khristich
Tom Poti - Leo Reise

Power Play #2
Greg Adams - George Gee - Petr Sykora
Mark Hardy - Doug Lidster

Penalty Kill #1
Bill Clement - Bill Collins
Harold Snepsts - Dale Rolfe

Penalty Kill #2
Archie Hooper - Alexandre Burrows
Mark Hardy - Doug Lidster


VS



Buffalo Mugwumps

Coach: Red Berenson
Goalie / strength & conditioning coach: Vladislav Tretiak

Captain: Ryan Callahan
Assistant: Arthur Moore
Assistant: Luke Richardson

Ron Murphy - John Cullen - Brian Gionta
Jiri Dopita - Jimmy Carson - John Anderson
Doug Smail - George Ferguson - Ryan Callahan
Errol Thompson - Mark Johnson - Nelson Emerson

X: Joe Pavelski
X: Earl Ingarfield

Dan Hamhuis - Moe Mantha
Sean O'Donnell - Arthur Moore
Luke Richardson - Gord Murphy

X: Joe Cirella

S: Seth Martin
B: Ilya Bryzgalov

---
PP1 Dopita-Cullen-Gionta | Mantha-G.Murphy
PP2 Thompson-Carson-Anderson/Emerson | Hamhuis-Moore

PK1 Callahan-Smail | Hamhuis-O'Donnell
PK2 Ferguson-Johnson | G.Murphy-Richardson


Last edited by seventieslord: 02-02-2013 at 12:44 AM.
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01-26-2013, 10:43 PM
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Buffalo was wise not to trade us the 1st overall pick. As a result, they have a huge goaltending advantage, and the best player in the series.

To win, we have to demonstrate a series of small advantages, and I think we can do that.

Best of luck, Mike.

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01-27-2013, 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Buffalo was wise not to trade us the 1st overall pick. As a result, they have a huge goaltending advantage, and the best player in the series.

To win, we have to demonstrate a series of small advantages, and I think we can do that.

Best of luck, Mike.
Shouldn't be too hard, I see a massive advantage for Regina in the top 6 winger department. Every Regina top 6 winger is very clearly better than their Buffalo counterpart if you ask me. The differences between Sykora & Gionta and Prospal and Dopita are especially large.

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01-27-2013, 01:23 AM
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biggest weaknesses I see in team construction (not talent)? Lack of puck winning on Regina's 2nd line, lack of puck moving from Buffalo's 2nd d pairing.

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01-27-2013, 02:30 AM
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biggest weaknesses I see in team construction (not talent)? Lack of puck winning on Regina's 2nd line, lack of puck moving from Buffalo's 2nd d pairing.
None of our lines have big-time puck-winners, but we feel we have enough size for our lines to be able to complete well along the boards and in the tough areas, especially at this level. As I said in the assassination thread, you can't compare our players to ATD and MLD players. You have to compare them to the players that they are playing against in this AAA draft. Our wingers aren't going into the corner against Wayne Cashman and Bert Olmstead, they're going in against Brian Gionta and John Anderson.

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01-27-2013, 02:33 AM
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None of our lines have big-time puck-winners, but we feel we have enough size for our lines to be able to complete well along the boards and in the tough areas, especially at this level. As I said in the assassination thread, you can't compare our players to ATD and MLD players. You have to compare them to the players that they are playing against in this AAA draft. Our wingers aren't going into the corner against Wayne Cashman and Bert Olmstead, they're going in against Brian Gionta and John Anderson.
I know you know this, but the wingers are mostly going into the corners against the opposing defensemen.

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01-29-2013, 06:51 AM
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I know you know this, but the wingers are mostly going into the corners against the opposing defensemen.
That's true, and Buffalo does have some big defensemen. That blueline, however, I believe is going to be a liablity for Buffalo. Can Sean O'Donnell, Art Moore, Gord Murphy, and Luke Richardson keep up with our top-6 forwards? Their lack of footspeed is going to lead to a lot of penalties. Moreover, their puck skills are quite weak - they're going to be easy to forecheck on.

Regina's blueline, on the other hand is very mobile and skilled.

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02-02-2013, 01:27 AM
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First thing I'd like to illustrate is our depth on defense compared to our opponents.

Leo Reise Sr. is the best defenseman here. His offensive numbers are outstanding, he was incredibly fast and also physical. It looks like he was a bit of a risk-taking rusher, but we have the right partner for him. There is no one on Buffalo who compares to Reise as an all-time player.

Hamhuis and Rolfe are pretty comparable at this point. Similar career length, career team strength, and ice time (Rolfe has a few minutes more but also back then the top-4 tended to play a couple minutes more). Very steady, no nonsense defensive guys who weren't hugely physical and had underwhelming offensive numbers that are actually much more impressive when you realize they were all scored at even strength. Very strong PK numbers as well. The big difference is size. Hamhuis is a bit of a fire hydrant by today's standards. Rolfe was incredibly large for the 1970s. Overall they have about the same value.

Luke Richardson is a poor man's Harold Snepsts. Anyone disagree?

Murphy is actually a better all-around player than Poti, but Poti has the offensive specialist skills we needed.

Back to Snepsts, even O'Donnell, who is on Buffalo's 2nd pairing, doesn't compare very well. At Snepsts' best, he got into two all-star games, anchored a defense to the finals, was named the team's best defenseman that time and 3 others, averaged 23 minutes a game (over 6 years) and was a legitimately feared player. O'Donnell did have a four-year peak where he averaged 22 minutes a game, but he was never spoken of as one of the best of anything in the game, got to the finals as a #6 defenseman, and was obviously never close to the ASG. Also, young Hal Gill, old Don Sweeney, and post-injury Berard were the best players he managed to match from a minutes standpoint. After that, we're talking about guys like McGillis, Boynton, and Leschshyn - hardly strong competition for minutes. Aside from this peak, O'Donnell was almost always a 3rd pairing player.

It just seems that O'Donnell, as an all-time player, is another poor man's Snepsts (though he's better than Richardson, IMO) - and this is Buffalo's 2nd pairing guy compared to our 3rd.

I already said Murphy was better than Poti - he was a very astute late pick. But Poti is better than the other guy on Buffalo's 2nd pairing: Moe Mantha. Poti seemed to be a much more useful player overall, averaging 22.7 minutes a game, for 811 games, for teams that averaged 12% above average. Mantha played just 656 games, averaged 21.5 minutes a game, and played for teams 12% below average. Sounds like a slam dunk. Poti, of course, had his defensive issues for the first 2/3 of his career, but did eventually level off, and Mantha was a pure offensive guy himself. The scouting reports talk about how good he was offensively, particularly on the PP, but defensively, he's "average at best", "nothing to write home about", has trouble applying himself, makes risky passes, weak physically, allows the opposition to camp out in front, etc. Career-wise, I wouldn't give him any sort of defensive edge on Poti. Offensively he does have a peak that looks nice but after considering the era, it's not really better either. From 1984-1987, Mantha had 99 adjusted ESP and 78 adjusted PPP in 283 games. In Poti's best 4 years, he had 102 and 89 in 305 games. Per-game, this is pretty much even, with the edge to Poti for doing this over more games, plus he had more seasons as a good puck mover in addition to those four.

So the guys on our 3rd pairing are better than guys on their 1st, 2nd and 3rd pairings, we have a guy they can't match with any player and the other 1st pairing players are a wash. Pretty clearly a far superior defensive corps. I haven't even talked about Lidster and Hardy, two 23-minute, 900 game players who had decent offensive peaks, Lidster being the nimble, quiet, nonphysical guy who anchored a top defensive team for a few years, Hardy being the highly physical, shot-blocking meat and potatoes kind of guy. Gord Murphy, more or less, is the answer to Lidster, but who's the answer for Hardy?

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02-02-2013, 01:42 AM
  #9
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Billy's absolutely right about our offensive depth too, of course.

At center, I think we each have two guys from the dozen who blended together at the start of this draft. I had Carson and Cullen on the low end of this group, but in any case, Bullard and Gee can't be that much better. It's on the wings where we're better.

I like Adams over Murphy (obviously - I picked him over Murphy) but Murphy was on the radar too. Thing is, we're only assuming at this point he was a glue guy type of player. I've been unable to find anything that paints him as the poor man's Johnny Wilson or Vic Stasiuk we all hope he is. From the sounds of things, Mike settled on Murphy too after missing out on Adams. Murphy's competent though, and it's not like Adams is a true power forward himself. (from an AAA standpoint, he arguably is)

Sykora vs. Gionta... yikes! Need I say more? Gionta is a courageous, intense guy, but Sykora has always been the better player. I don't think this needs substantiation.

Prospal is a 700 point scorer who has been top-2 in scoring on his team six times. Doesn't do a hell of a lot else, but does Dopita? (Dopita flopped in the NHL, to be fair, he was 33-34, but at 33-34, Prospal was scoring 103 points in 157 games)

Khristich vs. Anderson is no contest as well. Anderson's a good, competent winger for this level, but Khristich might actually be our best forward. Their peak season-by-season and career totals are almost identical, but of course scoring was about 25% higher during Anderson's career, and Khristich was top-2 on his team 5 times to Anderson's 2. Defensively Anderson was hot and cold and was a bit on the temperamental side too, lacking confidence. Khristich was inconsistent from night to night but he was always strong defensively (even being praised for his defensive career as his offensive game played him out of the NHL in 2000-2002). As a puck winner, Khristich was far superior; Anderson didn't have any physical aspect to his game.

basically, our wingers are going to make life hell for Buffalo. Buffalo's wingers are also going to make like hell for Buffalo. That's a lot of hell in Buffalo!

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02-02-2013, 01:47 AM
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In net, Martin is awesome and has the high pressure WC games as great feathers in his cap.

But it should be said that Maniago was excellent in the playoffs himself, playing 6 points over the league average in his career, although admittedly most of those playoff games were against other expansion teams.

If Maniago should falter, we have a goalie who we readily admit may actually be our best, who has an outstanding playoff record for this level, in both the NHL and the WHA. He got to three finals, winning once, and posted excellent numbers every time, particularly in the NHL run.

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02-02-2013, 01:56 AM
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- I think Buffalo has built an excellent 3rd line that can stand up pretty well to ours.

- Really hard to compare 4th lines since theirs is made up of offensive players with some special teams ability, and ours is made up of an offensive wildcard with good all around skill, a thug/board man, and a gritty fearless scorer. We expect our line to play the tough, energetic game that a 4th line should play while actually having more offensive potential than Buffalo's 4th line - despite that line being made of players who are, more or less, offense-only.

- Buffalo has a great PK unit at forward. But we have perhaps the two best PK forwards in this draft up there. Their PK defensemen are probably a tad better. We have one who killed a ton of penalties and his team did great (Rolfe) and three who killed a ton of penalties for teams who didn't do so hot (Snepsts, Lidster, Hardy). Buffalo has a 2-2 split there.

- On the PP, considering the offensive depth we have at our disposal, it's no surprise that ours is much more potent.

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02-04-2013, 09:40 AM
  #12
Mike Farkas
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In the spirit of fair gamesmanship, I'm not going to try to sell ketchup to a tomato here. This is not a team I match up all that well against. I had two very specific plans in both the MLD and the AAA drafts based on what I assumed would be available. In MLD, I thought, the top-notch offense would be gone, but there would still be (relatively) elite level defense available. Players that stopped ATD level players could surely stop MLD level players. And it took me far.

In AAA, I figured that ratio has evened out mostly by this point and given the importance of quality defensemen in previous drafts, I figured that would be a fairly weak point/position in the AAA draft. So, I loaded up on speed, aggressive forecheckers and guys that could finish - as goaltending could be an area of concern for many teams as well.

So far, I think the voters have agreed that the speed and pressure applied by my forwards has pressured shaky defensemen into costly turnovers. While my terrific backline and goaltender hold the fort with composure and acumen.

In this case, though, I must admit, the mobility and capability of the Regina blueline will put a damper on my plans. While hope is not lost, as my team is still very capable, the Regina team is an exception to a rule that I was hoping I wouldn't have to broach.

Why Buffalo can still prevail...

The offense on the Regina isn't particularly frightening and has players that could check out of the game if bullied. Petr Sykora is a muffin and my rugged defense should keep him on the perimeter for most of the series. Mike Bullard is renowned for solo rushes and selfish play, and against the porous defenses of his time, he could pull it off sometimes, but against this defense, I doubt he'll find similar success.

There aren't a lot of pucks to be won by the Regina forwards either, the top six lacks a lot of sandpaper I think. They should be a tougher bunch, but they really don't appear to be. Bullard was a selfish, offensive guy that couldn't be troubled with anything but trying to go end-to-end. Sykora needs time and space to set up shop, with the speedy backcheck of my club and the pain train that I have on the backline, Sykora isn't going to rescuing any pucks from danger.

The NHL hands out hits like Jehovah's Witnesses hand out pamphlets...here's a random fact: Ales Hemsky (a player once blown over by a stiff chinook wind) played in 64 games for Edmonton Oilers in 2007, and he was awarded 23 hits. Petr Sykora also played on that team - lasted all 82 games too - 7 hits. 7. If you look at a player with a mean face in the NHL, they give you a hit. Sykora managed to virtually avoid body contact for an entire season. This is a guy that's going to produce against Sean O'Donnell, Dan Hamhuis, Luke Richardson, Art Moore, etc.? Seems unlikely.

Greg Adams was no superman when it came to using his size either. A capable player in the corners, but above all, another player with bark and little bite.

I haven't seen anything that suggests George Gee was more than a finesse-y type player either. I wonder how well he'll stand up to the rigors of a seven-game series against some pretty tough customers without Ted Lindsay or Gordie Howe to do his dirty work for him.

I wouldn't say that there is too much unfair about what seventies has said in the comparison. I took some minor exceptions, as I felt some things were a bit exaggerated, but nothing that's worth a major fight. Dmitri Kristich as a team's best forward doesn't exactly instill any fear in an opposing defense, I'll say that much.

The defensive corps were built differently for each team. The Regina team, more finesse, offensively oriented and their defense backs that. The Buffalo team needs a steady, defensive blueline to support aggressive forechecking forwards with positional integrity.

I think underrated in all this is Brian Gionta. Industrious, hard-working goal-scorer that doesn't forget his defensive responsibilities. Seven straight 20-goal seasons (including one on the wrong side of the '05 Lockout) on pretty conservative teams in an era where isn't all that easy to score certainly. His production remains steady right through the playoffs, so we know he's not a little guy taking advantage of weaker teams.

Having seen their entire careers, I'd certainly take Gionta over Prospal. I'm not sure what the numbers say, but for my money, Gionta is my pick with little hesitation.

With five left-handed players in the top-six for Regina, I'd imagine they'd have a fair bit of a trouble creating on the rush or winning battles along the boards - at least on the right side. It should force plays back to their defense, which is cause for salivating for my speedy forwards. They'll make it tough to hold pucks in at the line to be sure.

I think it'll be close series to be sure. The ace in the hole for Buffalo is having the best player in the league in net with Seth Martin. A gamer who willed far weaker teams to far greater heights in his time.

Best of luck, Regina.

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02-04-2013, 11:15 PM
  #13
seventieslord
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
The offense on the Regina isn't particularly frightening and has players that could check out of the game if bullied. Petr Sykora is a muffin and my rugged defense should keep him on the perimeter for most of the series. Mike Bullard is renowned for solo rushes and selfish play, and against the porous defenses of his time, he could pull it off sometimes, but against this defense, I doubt he'll find similar success.
You should be frightened of Regina's offense! In this draft it is elite. Incredibly elite. We drafted well, and, admittedly, were the beneficiaries of a bit of luck too, in the way guys fell to us.

We aren't so far down in the draft that we're loading our teams with players who can only score in one way. Every player, against harder competition, is going to find scoring, in his favourite way, or otherwise, to be that much harder, and that applies to your guys as much as ours.

Quote:
There aren't a lot of pucks to be won by the Regina forwards either, the top six lacks a lot of sandpaper I think. They should be a tougher bunch, but they really don't appear to be.
Hey, let the record show that we've never claimed we have six power forwards out there. But come on... if our top-6 isn't going to win a lot of pucks, how many is your top-6 going to win? negative four?

Quote:
Bullard was a selfish, offensive guy that couldn't be troubled with anything but trying to go end-to-end. Sykora needs time and space to set up shop, with the speedy backcheck of my club and the pain train that I have on the backline, Sykora isn't going to rescuing any pucks from danger.

The NHL hands out hits like Jehovah's Witnesses hand out pamphlets...here's a random fact: Ales Hemsky (a player once blown over by a stiff chinook wind) played in 64 games for Edmonton Oilers in 2007, and he was awarded 23 hits. Petr Sykora also played on that team - lasted all 82 games too - 7 hits. 7. If you look at a player with a mean face in the NHL, they give you a hit. Sykora managed to virtually avoid body contact for an entire season. This is a guy that's going to produce against Sean O'Donnell, Dan Hamhuis, Luke Richardson, Art Moore, etc.? Seems unlikely.
Sykora is more courageous than you give him credit more. He does good work in tight and goes to the money areas. Does he initiate contact? No, never. Those seven hits were probably from looking at a player with a mean face, and it was probably always a smaller player. That said, this guy has the best record of offensive production in this draft - despite being bullied, he still scored more than any of the other bums in this series

Quote:
Greg Adams was no superman when it came to using his size either. A capable player in the corners, but above all, another player with bark and little bite.
Maybe. But he has potentially the most bite of all the top-6 forwards in this series, as silly as that may be. It's easier to assert yourself physically when you're a man among boys.

Quote:
I haven't seen anything that suggests George Gee was more than a finesse-y type player either. I wonder how well he'll stand up to the rigors of a seven-game series against some pretty tough customers without Ted Lindsay or Gordie Howe to do his dirty work for him.
Gee never played with those guys.

But you're right, he was more of a finesse-y type player. So was Carson, and, to a lesser extent, Cullen. I mean, it kinda washes out, doesn't it?

Quote:
I wouldn't say that there is too much unfair about what seventies has said in the comparison. I took some minor exceptions, as I felt some things were a bit exaggerated, but nothing that's worth a major fight. Dmitri Kristich as a team's best forward doesn't exactly instill any fear in an opposing defense, I'll say that much.
he's not our most potent offensively but his defensive game is miles ahead anyone else in our top-6 or yours. Potentially he's a decent two-way MLD 2nd liner going forward.

Quote:
I think underrated in all this is Brian Gionta. Industrious, hard-working goal-scorer that doesn't forget his defensive responsibilities. Seven straight 20-goal seasons (including one on the wrong side of the '05 Lockout) on pretty conservative teams in an era where isn't all that easy to score certainly. His production remains steady right through the playoffs, so we know he's not a little guy taking advantage of weaker teams.

Having seen their entire careers, I'd certainly take Gionta over Prospal. I'm not sure what the numbers say, but for my money, Gionta is my pick with little hesitation.
Gionta is the better goal scorer than Prospal, but that's a bit of a stat cherrypick. He hasn't proven to be a great playmaker, and a playmaking winger is exactly what Prospal is. Gionta's scored 50 points three times, Prospal nine. Seriously, I mean, we all like to root for the little guy, and let's give some credit for some courageousness and decent defense, but let's get real, they're in different worlds offensively.

I appreciate you coming in here and making a series of it. Hopefully you're not done, and hopefully my co-GM has something to say.

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02-06-2013, 11:26 AM
  #14
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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
The offense on the Regina isn't particularly frightening
I think we have easily the best top-6 forwards in the draft. Our 2nd line was significantly better than most 1st lines.

Add in the best offensive defenseman in the draft, and I think our offense is definately frightening.

Quote:
Petr Sykora is a muffin and my rugged defense should keep him on the perimeter for most of the series.
Muffins don't play over 1000 NHL games... and they certainly don't have the number of dominant play-off runs that Sykora does.

You do have some rugged defensemen, but how many of them can keep up to a guy like Sykora. At best, Sean O'Donnell and Luke Richardson are just going to end up chasing, and at worst, they'll live in the penalty box.

Quote:
There aren't a lot of pucks to be won by the Regina forwards either, the top six lacks a lot of sandpaper I think.
There's a lot to be said for size in the corners.

Also, as I've said before, our forwards aren't going into the corners with Wayne Cashman, they're going in with Brian Gionta.


Quote:
The defensive corps were built differently for each team. The Regina team, more finesse, offensively oriented and their defense backs that. The Buffalo team needs a steady, defensive blueline to support aggressive forechecking forwards with positional integrity.
Just because our defensemen have skill doesn't mean they lack defensive abilities. Likewise, just because your defense lacks skill doesn't mean they have defensive abilities.

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02-10-2013, 01:18 PM
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Tony D and Hedberg are the only ones to vote so far.

I'll tally votes sometime tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully I'll have more votes to tally by then!

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02-11-2013, 04:03 PM
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One of the voters gave a description of the series which fits the vote count:

Quote:
Buffalo catches Regina napping with a lopsided win in game 1, but drop the next 3. Martin pitches a shutout in game 5, but Regina puts the series away by scoring 3 third period goals in a 5-2 win.
So Regina wins the series in 6 in front of a raucous crowd of about 400 people.

Stars of the series (only guys named on more than 1 ballot)

1. Seth Martin
2. Leo Reise, Sr
3. Petr Sykora

Doug Lidster, John Cullen, and Jimmy Carson received a single 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place vote respectively.


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02-11-2013, 04:10 PM
  #17
Mike Farkas
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So Regina wins the series in 6 in front of a raucous crowd of about 400 people.
The whole province came out!?!?!

Congrats guys, good series. The better team won, I'm just happy to have made it as far as I did. My gameplan was effective against most of the defensive corps in this league, not that one. I needed a megalithic performance from Seth Martin just to have a chance.

Next time, I guess we won't run headlong into an ATD. I'm happy to have two drafts under my belt now as I wander into the ATD as, effectively, an assistant GM just learning the ropes of the big show.

Great job, all! Fun stuff.

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02-11-2013, 05:34 PM
  #18
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Good series Mike. You did well. Kudos to you and my partner for sticking with it despite the ATD starting. This draft did go too long. We'll make sure that doesn't happen again.

Thanks dreakmur, for curbing my enthusiasm about certain players and proving something to bounce ideas off of. We really planned this team out well, like by judging how long we could afford to wait on which players.

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