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Jim Coleman Conference Finals - New Jersey Swamp Devils vs. Pittsburgh AC

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Old
05-12-2013, 04:48 AM
  #51
TheDevilMadeMe
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BBS criticized George Armstrong for his lack of (regular season) scoring, and to an extent he's right - Armstrong is definitely not a natural first liner. But he's the 6th best offensive forward in my top 6 put on the first line because of chemistry. Paul Coffey, Phil Esposito, and Sid Abel lead the offense of the first unit - Armstrong is there to do everything else, in particular helping win the puck back in both the offensive and defensive zones.

When it comes time to stack offensive players on the PP, Armstrong gets relegated to 2nd PP duty, where he's something of a competent net presence.

One thing that needs to be considered when looking at the raw stats is that Armstrong played his entire career for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Punch Imlach had his stifling system in place for most of the time there.

Here's a crude attempt at quantifying the "Punch Imlach" effect. Frank Mahovlich's VsX 7 year score is 85.5. Bernie Geoffrion's is 91.4. ATD canon has those two as similar offensive players. If you believe they are similar, the the "Punch Imlach effect" for Mahovlich decreased his offense by approximately 6.5% (this probably underrates the effect if anything, as Mahovlich DID have some good years in Montreal after leaving Toronto).

_______________________

Another thing that needs to be talked about are linemates. For example, Bert Olmstead first replaced Toe Blake on the Punch Line, then spent most of his prime playing next to Jean Beliveau and Bernard Geoffrion. He also played on the stacked Montreal PP before Dickie Moore came around.

Steve Larmer had his best offensive years played with Denis Savard on a fairly run-and-gun Chicago team. Larmer certainly had what it took to play for Mike Keenan's more defensive system later in his career though.

Here are the scoring among teammates for Olmstead and Armstrong (only seasons in the top 6 included)

Bert Olmstead: 2nd (1953), 3rd (1951), 3rd (1954), 3rd (1956), 4th (1955), 4th (1959), 4th (1961), 5th (1950), 6th (1957), 6th (1960)

George Armstrong: 1st (1957), 2nd (1956), 2nd (1960), 3rd (1962), 4th (1954), 4th (1955), 4th (1958), 4th (1966), 5th (1963), 5th (1964), 6th (1959)


When Olmstead finished 2nd, he was way behind his linemate Maurice Richard. Anyway, I used to think that Olmstead's offense was vastly overrated by his raw stats, since most of his points were assists, feeding guys like Richard, Beliveau, and Geoffrion. After looking at BBS's profile and seeing contemporaries praise Olmstead's playmaking, I think his offense probably isn't that overrated by his raw stats, but it still almost definitely is overrated by the raw stats somewhat.

Comparing Larmer, who played in a 21-26 team league with guys who played in a 6 team league is much more difficult and I don't have the time to really try. But it's worth noting that Denis Savard led Chicago in regular season scoring every year from 1982-83 to 1987-88, by wide margins every year. The next two years, Larmer narrowly led the team in scoring over Savard who missed 20+ games both seasons. Larmer's best statistical season (1990-91) seems to have been uninfluenced by Savard, however.

Anyway, what's the point of all this?

Olmstead is definitely a better offensive player than Armstrong, but it isn't by nearly so much as the raw stats indicate, as Armstrong's offense was hurt by playing his entire career in Toronto most of it coached by Punch Imlach, and Olmstead's offense was helped by playing next to superstars for the firewagon Canadiens.

I also don't see Larmer as any better than Armstrong offensively, especially once playoff are taken into account. Larmer was a good playoff player, but no Armstrong.


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Old
05-12-2013, 05:11 AM
  #52
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Here's how I see these teams stacking up:

Coaching: Advantage NJ

It's a crude way to look at it, but Sather ranks anywhere from the 2nd to 4th best coach of the 1980s, depending on how you compare him with Keenan and Tikhonov. I think he's #2 after Arbour myself. Hart seems to have been the 4th best coach of the 1930s after Patrick, Irvin, and probably Gorman. I also don't think Hart was much of an innovator, though I could be wrong.

So I see Sather with a small but distinct advantage over Hart, then add in Roger Neilson, and NJ has a pretty decent advantage.

Goaltending: Fairly big Advantage NJ

Brimsek is no Hasek or Roy, but he's quite a bit better than Rayner. Brimsek has 2 1st Teams, 6 2nd Teams. Rayner has 0 1st Teams, 3 2nd Teams.

Both played in an era where the 1st team always went to the GAA leader and 2nd Team seemed to go to the best goalie left.

Top 6 forwards: Fairly big Advantage Pittsburgh

If I wanted to beef up my first line by swapping Armstrong and Alfredsson, Pitt would have small but clear advantages on both the 1st and 2nd lines (Alfy's VsX numbers are slightly better than Olmstead's, even before taking linemates into account).

The way my lines are now, Pitt has a pretty sizable advantage on the 1st line and little to no advantage on the 2nd line.

Bottom 6 forwards: Completely different roles

Pittsburgh's are better offensively, NJ's are better defensively. It's really not up for debate.

I prefer NJ's bottom 6, given how offensively dominant each team's first unit is.

Defense: Moderate advantage NJ

First pairing: Probable small advantage NJ. Coffey is quite a bit better offensively than Leetch and not that much worse defensively. Kasatonov is better than White, but that is largely because of offense he put up playing on the PP with the Green Unit, and he isn't playing on the PP here.

Second pairing: Moderate advantage NJ. Tom Johnson > Pat Stapleton. Lloyd Cook = Barry Beck.

Third pairing: Moderate advantage Pittsburgh. Gary Bergman < Frank Patrick. Doug Young = Willie Mitchell.

IMO, bottom pairing is the least important though.

See post 49 for details

Special Teams = advantage NJ

1st PP = even
2nd PP = advantage Pittsburgh

PK = big advantage NJ

NJ's 1st PP against any of Pittsburgh's weak penalty kill is the biggest mismatch of this series.


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Old
05-12-2013, 05:52 AM
  #53
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Here are the scoring among teammates for Olmstead and Armstrong (only seasons in the top 6 included)

Bert Olmstead: 2nd (1953), 3rd (1951), 3rd (1954), 3rd (1956), 4th (1955), 4th (1959), 4th (1961), 5th (1950), 6th (1957), 6th (1960)

George Armstrong: 1st (1957), 2nd (1956), 2nd (1960), 3rd (1962), 4th (1954), 4th (1955), 4th (1958), 4th (1966), 5th (1963), 5th (1964), 6th (1959)
It should be noted that the bolded above all occurred before Imlach coached the Leafs.

I'm not sure about your comparison between Mahovlich and Geoffrion. Part of the difference in their scoring is simply the fact that Boom Boom played with teammates who were better offensively, particularly on the powerplay. You're also mixing apples and oranges with regards to how Imlach's system affected the scoring of Toronto players. Punch's system was quite a lot like what we saw from Pat Burns in modern times - a tight defensive, counterattacking system where players were forbidden from taking risks with the puck and creating turnovers at either blueline. This had a stifling effect on a player like Mahovlich who had a lot of puck skills and was inclined to make fancy, but risky plays in transition. For many of the other players (guys like Keon, Pulford, and maybe Armstrong), it was at worst neutral, and may have actually helped their offensive production as ES by playing into their strengths. Long story short, I agree with you that your analysis of the effect of Imlach's system on Leafs scoring is crude.


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05-12-2013, 10:54 AM
  #54
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It should be noted that the bolded above all occurred before Imlach coached the Leafs.

I'm not sure about your comparison between Mahovlich and Geoffrion. Part of the difference in their scoring is simply the fact that Boom Boom played with teammates who were better offensively, particularly on the powerplay. You're also mixing apples and oranges with regards to how Imlach's system affected the scoring of Toronto players. Punch's system was quite a lot like what we saw from Pat Burns in modern times - a tight defensive, counterattacking system where players were forbidden from taking risks with the puck and creating turnovers at either blueline. This had a stifling effect on a player like Mahovlich who had a lot of puck skills and was inclined to make fancy, but risky plays in transition. For many of the other players (guys like Keon, Pulford, and maybe Armstrong), it was at worst neutral, and may have actually helped their offensive production as ES by playing into their strengths. Long story short, I agree with you that your analysis of the effect of Imlach's system on Leafs scoring is crude.
I had thought of Imlach's system as more of the Lemaire of his era, something that would have a stifling efffect on all players, but that's as much from his hfboards reputation as from anything else. Not that I doubt you because you're sure of yourself, but do you remember where you got the information from? (Pretty sure punch is from before your time). I do know that Imlach distributed PP time more evenly than other coaches of the era (which only hurts players who would be on the 1st unit PP in some seasons).

Toronto was something of a defensive-minded team before Imlach started coaching though. There was a case made during the HOH Goaltender's project that Harry Lumley's stats might have been helped in 1954 and 1955 (the two seasons he was a 1st Team AS after never having been close in Detroit) by Toronto's defensive play.

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05-12-2013, 01:29 PM
  #55
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I had thought of Imlach's system as more of the Lemaire of his era, something that would have a stifling efffect on all players, but that's as much from his hfboards reputation as from anything else. Not that I doubt you because you're sure of yourself, but do you remember where you got the information from? (Pretty sure punch is from before your time). I do know that Imlach distributed PP time more evenly than other coaches of the era (which only hurts players who would be on the 1st unit PP in some seasons).
Punch was mostly before my time, though not completely. I had just been born when he won his first Cup, and was 11 years old when he was replaced as coach of the Sabres. The first hockey memory that I can clearly recall is actually of Imlach's Leafs winning the Cup with Andy Bathgate in 1964, which was a pretty big deal in our house, and not because we were filthy Leafs fans.

At any rate, my direct memories of Punch's teams are obviously rather vague, though I did pay attention to his Buffalo squads because they were the other expansion franchise in the state, and because Emile Francis had traded some former Rangers to Buffalo (specifically Goyette and Marshall), for whatever reason. For what it's worth, later in the 70's when the Islanders started to got good and Al Arbour became a topic, Imlach was always the coach to whom my father and eldest brother (I'm the youngest of four boys) compared him. Or rather, they said he was like a less fascist version of Punch. Like Arbour, Imlach apparently built his teams around mobile two-way centers, disciplined two-way defensemen, a scoring winger or two on the top line, and beyond that a bunch of grinders. I am 95% sure that Imlach was not a trapping coach, but then you don't know the people who passed this information on to me, so I won't be offended if you are skeptical. I cannot comment intelligently on how Imlach ran his special teams.

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05-12-2013, 03:28 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Overall talent on the blue line

A lot of talk about offense from the blue line, but defense matters too. This is how I see the overall talent on the blue lines.

First pairing = close, possible small advantage NJ

Coffey > Leetch, Kasatonov > White. I don't think either of those are debatable.

Kasatonov's advantage over White is driven by his scoring, however, and he scored a lot on the PP with the rest of the Green Unit. So there's an argument that by not playing him on the PP, you aren't getting close to his full offensive value. That's where the possible small advantage NJ comes from.
I'm not sure I agree his advantage over White is driven by his scoring. I realize White was great defensively, but was he that much better than Kasatonov?

He did score a lot of points due to his five man unit, but he was still on the all-star team at the 1982 WC with 3 points over Hartsburg and Gordie Roberts who scored more than he did.

I prefer Kasatonov, but I don't think he's that far behind White in his own end as both defensive-minded guys.

Quote:
Second pairing = advantage NJ

Tom Johnson > Pat Stapleton. Stapleton the best offensive defenseman on either second pairing, but Johnson is the better overall player and should have more of an overall impact.

Stapleton All-Star voting: 4th, 4th, 4th, 7th, 8th, 12th, 13th, 13th
Johnson All-Star voting: 1st, 4th, 5th, (5th), 6th, (6th), 7th, 8th, 9th

The numbers in parenthesis indicate Johnson's Norris finish in a year that he got Norris votes when we don't have full All-Star voting (6th in 1958, 5th in 1962)

Johnson has a moderate advantage in the voting record, and that's before you consider other factors. Stapleton was an offensive defenseman who played post-expansion, the kind of who voters who didn't see every player tended to favor.

Original 6 voters saw every player 14 times per year, but if any Original 6 player was underrated by his record, it was Tom Johnson who was overshadowed by Doug Harvey and rarely saw PP time until Harvey got injured. The season before Johnson won the Norris (the year Harvey got injured), NHL coaches voted Johnson the most underrated player in the league.

It's hard to compare Barry Beck and Lloyd Cook:

Beck's AS record: 5th, 6th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 12th
Cook PCHA AS record: 3 1st Teams, 3 2nd Teams

They seem awfully close to me. I remember when we made the trade that gave you Beck, both Beck and Cook were on my radar. In the end, I think we each got a guy who fit our teams needs (Beck a burly crease clearer, Cook a skating two-way guy).
Agreed Johnson's better and the voting will underrate him. You made a similar consideration with Mitchell below.

Beck and Cook are a coin flip for me. Both good #4s but different games and eras.

Quote:
Bottom pairings = advantage Pittsburgh

Patrick PCHA AS record: 2 1st Teams, 1 2nd Team.

Weaker record than Cook on its face, but he beat his brother Lester for both the 1st Teams, so we take them more seriously. I think Frank Patrick is probably on the same level as Beck and Cook, and would be a solid #4. So he's a step up from Bergman.

Bergman AS record: 8th, 8th, 8th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 15th.

I think Bergman would be a passable #4 and is an excellent #5, but I don't think he's quite on Patrick's level.


Doug Young AS record: 7th, 9th, 10th
Willie Mitchell AS record: 19th

Despite the AS record, I honestly think these two are similar. Mitchell is one of the top defensive defensemen in the league today, but with his total lack of scoring, he isn't going to get votes as best overall defenseman. Young probably is more effective at even strength to an extent because he was decent at rushing the puck from time to time, a skill Mitchell doesn't have.

I honestly think Mitchell could go on your first PK, though other GMs might hate it.
Agreed, Bergman's a fine #5 but Patrick's better. He seems to be a good fit for Mitchell too. I like Young a lot too after researching some of the MLD/AAA defenseman I've drafted. He definitely was praised in his day.

I think Mitchell could pass on a first PK unit too, but I really like Kasatonov's defensive game and want him on the top unit. I think Beck works better with him than Mitchell. Kasatonov was very physical, but he hit out of technique rather than to intimidate or hurt someone. Beck provides that missing element better than Mitchell I think, who provides a good option to shore up my second unit.

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05-12-2013, 03:48 PM
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
BBS criticized George Armstrong for his lack of (regular season) scoring, and to an extent he's right - Armstrong is definitely not a natural first liner. But he's the 6th best offensive forward in my top 6 put on the first line because of chemistry. Paul Coffey, Phil Esposito, and Sid Abel lead the offense of the first unit - Armstrong is there to do everything else, in particular helping win the puck back in both the offensive and defensive zones.

When it comes time to stack offensive players on the PP, Armstrong gets relegated to 2nd PP duty, where he's something of a competent net presence.

One thing that needs to be considered when looking at the raw stats is that Armstrong played his entire career for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Punch Imlach had his stifling system in place for most of the time there.

Here's a crude attempt at quantifying the "Punch Imlach" effect. Frank Mahovlich's VsX 7 year score is 85.5. Bernie Geoffrion's is 91.4. ATD canon has those two as similar offensive players. If you believe they are similar, the the "Punch Imlach effect" for Mahovlich decreased his offense by approximately 6.5% (this probably underrates the effect if anything, as Mahovlich DID have some good years in Montreal after leaving Toronto).

_______________________

Another thing that needs to be talked about are linemates. For example, Bert Olmstead first replaced Toe Blake on the Punch Line, then spent most of his prime playing next to Jean Beliveau and Bernard Geoffrion. He also played on the stacked Montreal PP before Dickie Moore came around.

Steve Larmer had his best offensive years played with Denis Savard on a fairly run-and-gun Chicago team. Larmer certainly had what it took to play for Mike Keenan's more defensive system later in his career though.

Here are the scoring among teammates for Olmstead and Armstrong (only seasons in the top 6 included)

Bert Olmstead: 2nd (1953), 3rd (1951), 3rd (1954), 3rd (1956), 4th (1955), 4th (1959), 4th (1961), 5th (1950), 6th (1957), 6th (1960)

George Armstrong: 1st (1957), 2nd (1956), 2nd (1960), 3rd (1962), 4th (1954), 4th (1955), 4th (1958), 4th (1966), 5th (1963), 5th (1964), 6th (1959)


When Olmstead finished 2nd, he was way behind his linemate Maurice Richard. Anyway, I used to think that Olmstead's offense was vastly overrated by his raw stats, since most of his points were assists, feeding guys like Richard, Beliveau, and Geoffrion. After looking at BBS's profile and seeing contemporaries praise Olmstead's playmaking, I think his offense probably isn't that overrated by his raw stats, but it still almost definitely is overrated by the raw stats somewhat.

Comparing Larmer, who played in a 21-26 team league with guys who played in a 6 team league is much more difficult and I don't have the time to really try. But it's worth noting that Denis Savard led Chicago in regular season scoring every year from 1982-83 to 1987-88, by wide margins every year. The next two years, Larmer narrowly led the team in scoring over Savard who missed 20+ games both seasons. Larmer's best statistical season (1990-91) seems to have been uninfluenced by Savard, however.

Anyway, what's the point of all this?

Olmstead is definitely a better offensive player than Armstrong, but it isn't by nearly so much as the raw stats indicate, as Armstrong's offense was hurt by playing his entire career in Toronto most of it coached by Punch Imlach, and Olmstead's offense was helped by playing next to superstars for the firewagon Canadiens.

I also don't see Larmer as any better than Armstrong offensively, especially once playoff are taken into account. Larmer was a good playoff player, but no Armstrong.
Armstrong was 28 during Punch's first full season coaching the team in 1960. All the team ranks before that shouldn't be given special treatment as if his overall finishes could have been higher. If Imlach wasn't there to suppress them, are they any more important than anyone's team finishes? (Like Steve Larmer during the height of the Party Line)

Even in the Imlach years - 1962 Armstrong finishes third on the team, but Mahovlich finishes 5th in league scoring. 1963 Armstrong finishes fifth on the team, Mahovlich finishes 4th in league scoring. 1964 Armstrong finishes fifth on the team, Keon finishes 10th in league scoring. 1966 Armstrong finishes fourth on the team, no Leafs finish in the top 10 in league scoring.

My point is, the elite offensive talent broke through a number of these years. Is it really reasonable to suggest Imlach held Armstrong's scoring back the way he did with Mahovlich, considering he never cracked the top ten in anything before he arrived?

Here's Armstrong's top 20s
Points: 15th, 16th, 16th, 18th, 18th

Let's look at Larmer
Points: 10, 17, 18, 20

We have Armstrong's team finishes, but how about comparing them to Larmer's again if the claim is he's no better offensively.

George Armstrong: 1st (1957), 2nd (1956), 2nd (1960), 3rd (1962), 4th (1954), 4th (1955), 4th (1958), 4th (1966), 5th (1963), 5th (1964), 6th (1959)
Larmer: 1st (1989), 1st (1990), 1st (1991), 2nd (1983), 2nd (1984), 2nd (1985), 2nd (1987), 2nd (1988), 2nd (1992), 3rd (1993), 4th (1986), 5th (1994), 5th (1995)

That's eight years at first or second on his team. I just don't agree at all Larmer is no better offensively. He was as consistent a scorer as you could ask for in a second line glue guy and he has defensive credentials. Armstrong's offense wasn't on his level.

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05-12-2013, 04:15 PM
  #58
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Here's how I see these teams stacking up:

Coaching: Advantage NJ

It's a crude way to look at it, but Sather ranks anywhere from the 2nd to 4th best coach of the 1980s, depending on how you compare him with Keenan and Tikhonov. I think he's #2 after Arbour myself. Hart seems to have been the 4th best coach of the 1930s after Patrick, Irvin, and probably Gorman. I also don't think Hart was much of an innovator, though I could be wrong.

So I see Sather with a small but distinct advantage over Hart, then add in Roger Neilson, and NJ has a pretty decent advantage.
Hart seemed to get some credit as an innovator.

The Montreal Gazette - 8/24/1932
He was an expert at maintaining a fighting spirit in his club and his outspoken manner earned for him the respect of every player under him. In piloting the Flying Frenchmen to Stanley Cup victories in 1930 and 1931, he employed the strategy of a five-forward attack and did much to popularize such spectacular tactics.

The Montreal Gazette - 4/4/1931
The defensive system of the Frenchmen was centered around their ability to skate, and in the second period, especially, they skated the lines that Coach Irvin was sending out at two-minute intervals, into the ground.

The Montreal Gazette - 4/13/1931
HART PLAYS BOLD HAND

In directing his team to victory, Manager Cecil Hart played a bold hand and deserves considerable credit for the triumph. From the time the Hawks were shorthanded early in the second period until Canadiens had gained the lead late in the third, Hart kept four forwards an one defenceman on his line-up. It was a daring and heady piece of work and it worked out to perfection. It was the speed of the forwards, always boring in hard that ran the Chicago resistance ragged in the third period and paved the way for the winning goals.

The Montreal Gazette - 6/25/1936
If movement to get Cecil to return to Canadien is successful, it will be a step in the right direction to rehabilitate the Flying Frenchmen in the National Hockey League. Not only has the fiery mentor a host of friends, but he is considered one of the smartest men in hockey today and his return to the bleu, blanc, rouge, should do much to mend their fortunes.

Quote:
Goaltending: Fairly big Advantage NJ

Brimsek is no Hasek or Roy, but he's quite a bit better than Rayner. Brimsek has 2 1st Teams, 6 2nd Teams. Rayner has 0 1st Teams, 3 2nd Teams.

Both played in an era where the 1st team always went to the GAA leader and 2nd Team seemed to go to the best goalie left.
Indeed, all Rayner has over Brimsek is his puckhandling abilities crucial to my team.

Quote:
Top 6 forwards: Fairly big Advantage Pittsburgh

If I wanted to beef up my first line by swapping Armstrong and Alfredsson, Pitt would have small but clear advantages on both the 1st and 2nd lines (Alfy's VsX numbers are slightly better than Olmstead's, even before taking linemates into account).

The way my lines are now, Pitt has a pretty sizable advantage on the 1st line and little to no advantage on the 2nd line.
Second lines are close, but to call it no advantage would mean Novy>=Morris.

Schriner's clearly better than Kovalchuk, Alfredsson is better offensively than Larmer, but they're equals defensively and Larmer's better along the boards. If Novy and Morris are a wash, does Alfredsson's offensive edge over Larmer even out Schriner's over Kovalchuk?

Here's Novy:
3x Czechoslovakian All-Star Center (1975-1977)
3x Czechoslovakian Best Forward (1977, 1981-1982)
3x Czech Golden Stick Trophy (1977, 1981, 1982)
1x Czech Golden Stick Trophy Runnerup (1980)
3x Czechoslovakian Extraliga Scoring Leader (1976, 1977, 1978)
1x Canada Cup All-Star Team (1976)
1x WEC-A First All-Star Team (1976)

Morris:
5x PCHA First All-Star Team (1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1922)
2x PCHA Second All-Star Team (1921, 1923)
1x PCHA Scoring Leader

- Top-10 in PCHA Goals 7 times (1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th)
- Top-10 in PCHA Assists 6 times (1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 6th)
- Top-10 in PCHA Points 7 times (1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 7th)

Did we ever figure out what the deal with Novy's stats are? I remember vmbm questioning them, right?

Here's what EB had on Novy:
Czechoslovakian Elite League:
Top-10 Scoring (1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 9th)
Top-10 Goalscoring (1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 7th, 9th)
Top-10 Assist (1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 5th, 6th, 6th, 9th, 9th)

WC: 3, 4, 12, 17

Olmypics: 1, 6

CC: 4

Quote:
Bottom 6 forwards: Completely different roles

Pittsburgh's are better offensively, NJ's are better defensively. It's really not up for debate.

I prefer NJ's bottom 6, given how offensively dominant each team's first unit is.
Yeah no question which each excels in. The only thing I think may be in my favor is the speed of your dominant top line. All of my forward lines can keep up with Epso and Armstrong.

Quote:
Special Teams = advantage NJ

1st PP = even
2nd PP = advantage Pittsburgh

PK = big advantage NJ

NJ's 1st PP against any of Pittsburgh's weak penalty kill is the biggest mismatch of this series.
No real complaints here, I slightly prefer my top PP but PK differences mitigates it. I just think if I threw Schriner in place of Olmstead on the top unit we'd be calling it an advantage for Pittsburgh, but I think the reality of the situation is that the unit with Olmstead on it will function better than stacking pure offense. It helps free Beliveau up and I already have enough skill to go around.

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Old
05-13-2013, 01:01 AM
  #59
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Ah, the Sunday response dump!

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Originally Posted by Bring Back Scuderi View Post
I'm not sure I agree his advantage over White is driven by his scoring. I realize White was great defensively, but was he that much better than Kasatonov?

He did score a lot of points due to his five man unit, but he was still on the all-star team at the 1982 WC with 3 points over Hartsburg and Gordie Roberts who scored more than he did.

I prefer Kasatonov, but I don't think he's that far behind White in his own end as both defensive-minded guys.
I also think that if Kasatonov is behind White in his own end, it isn't by much. My point is that most of us think Kasatonov is a better overall player than White, but what makes Kasatonov better is his offense. But a large portion of his offense was on the PP, so I don't think it applies to this series.

Basically, in a vacuum, I think that Coffey's advantage over Leetch is similar to Kasatonov's advantage over White. But when Kasatonov isn't getting a chance to show his PP offense, I think whatever advantage he has over White isn't as big as the advantage Coffey has over Leetch.

Quote:
Agreed Johnson's better and the voting will underrate him. You made a similar consideration with Mitchell below.

Beck and Cook are a coin flip for me. Both good #4s but different games and eras.


Agreed, Bergman's a fine #5 but Patrick's better. He seems to be a good fit for Mitchell too. I like Young a lot too after researching some of the MLD/AAA defenseman I've drafted. He definitely was praised in his day.

I think Mitchell could pass on a first PK unit too, but I really like Kasatonov's defensive game and want him on the top unit. I think Beck works better with him than Mitchell. Kasatonov was very physical, but he hit out of technique rather than to intimidate or hurt someone. Beck provides that missing element better than Mitchell I think, who provides a good option to shore up my second unit.
okay.

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05-13-2013, 01:09 AM
  #60
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Originally Posted by Bring Back Scuderi View Post
Armstrong was 28 during Punch's first full season coaching the team in 1960. All the team ranks before that shouldn't be given special treatment as if his overall finishes could have been higher. If Imlach wasn't there to suppress them, are they any more important than anyone's team finishes? (Like Steve Larmer during the height of the Party Line)

Even in the Imlach years - 1962 Armstrong finishes third on the team, but Mahovlich finishes 5th in league scoring. 1963 Armstrong finishes fifth on the team, Mahovlich finishes 4th in league scoring. 1964 Armstrong finishes fifth on the team, Keon finishes 10th in league scoring. 1966 Armstrong finishes fourth on the team, no Leafs finish in the top 10 in league scoring.

My point is, the elite offensive talent broke through a number of these years. Is it really reasonable to suggest Imlach held Armstrong's scoring back the way he did with Mahovlich, considering he never cracked the top ten in anything before he arrived?

Here's Armstrong's top 20s
Points: 15th, 16th, 16th, 18th, 18th

Let's look at Larmer
Points: 10, 17, 18, 20
To me, that looks too close to call in a vacuum. Larmer's offense honestly surprises me a little bit - why does this guy always get drafted below other "glue guys" with clearly inferior offensive resumes? Shows how little sense some parts of "ATD canon" make.

Anyway, I think that VsX and similar percentage methods are the best way to determine offense between eras for guys who spent their entire primes on first lines/first PP units. But for guys of this calibre, league size has a major effect. Steve Larmer got to spend his entire prime on the 1st line of an NHL team in a 21-26 team league, while Armstrong was something of a 1st/2nd line tweener in a 6 team league. If Armstrong plays in a 21 team league, I have no doubt he plays a bigger role and scores closer to the leaders. The same is true of Olmstead to an extent.

Anyway, I think as crude as it is, for guys of this calibre - guys who wouldn't necessarily be 1st liners in a 6 team league, that top 10 finishes or even adjusted points are superior methods to VsX.

So it looks to me like Larmer and Armstrong are similar in their regular season offense, with Armstrong getting at least some kind of boost now that we are in the playoffs.

I realize that is comparing my first liner with your second liner, but as I said, Armstrong is the 6th best offensive forward in my top 6, playing with the top line at even strength for the sake of chemistry.

On the other hand, the following comparison is terrible, as it ignores league size:

Quote:
We have Armstrong's team finishes, but how about comparing them to Larmer's again if the claim is he's no better offensively.

George Armstrong: 1st (1957), 2nd (1956), 2nd (1960), 3rd (1962), 4th (1954), 4th (1955), 4th (1958), 4th (1966), 5th (1963), 5th (1964), 6th (1959)
Larmer: 1st (1989), 1st (1990), 1st (1991), 2nd (1983), 2nd (1984), 2nd (1985), 2nd (1987), 2nd (1988), 2nd (1992), 3rd (1993), 4th (1986), 5th (1994), 5th (1995)

That's eight years at first or second on his team. I just don't agree at all Larmer is no better offensively. He was as consistent a scorer as you could ask for in a second line glue guy and he has defensive credentials. Armstrong's offense wasn't on his level.
It's clearly much easier to rank higher among your teammates in a larger league with the talent spread much more thin than it is in a smaller league. Larmer's prime was before the big European influx of the early 90s, so I don't see any reason to think the talent in the 1980s was any higher than it was in the 1960s. It was just spread thinner among more teams.

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05-13-2013, 01:30 AM
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Good stuff on Hart. I still think he's a step below Sather, but just a small step.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Scuderi View Post
Second lines are close, but to call it no advantage would mean Novy>=Morris.

Schriner's clearly better than Kovalchuk, Alfredsson is better offensively than Larmer, but they're equals defensively and Larmer's better along the boards. If Novy and Morris are a wash, does Alfredsson's offensive edge over Larmer even out Schriner's over Kovalchuk?
According to the VsX 7 year numbers, the offensive gap between Larmer and Alfredsson is a bit larger than the gap between Schriner and Kovalchuk, so I felt like I was already taking account of whatever advantage Larmer might have along the boards over Alfy.

The weighing method Sturm uses (weighting the 3rd best season the highest) is a bit rough on Schriner, who won 2 Art Rosses and had a pretty big drop off to his 3rd best season.

Quote:
(All these guys spent their primes on 1st lines, so the percentage method is the best way of comparing them).

Here's Novy:
3x Czechoslovakian All-Star Center (1975-1977)
3x Czechoslovakian Best Forward (1977, 1981-1982)
3x Czech Golden Stick Trophy (1977, 1981, 1982)
1x Czech Golden Stick Trophy Runnerup (1980)
3x Czechoslovakian Extraliga Scoring Leader (1976, 1977, 1978)
1x Canada Cup All-Star Team (1976)
1x WEC-A First All-Star Team (1976)

Morris:
5x PCHA First All-Star Team (1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1922)
2x PCHA Second All-Star Team (1921, 1923)
1x PCHA Scoring Leader

- Top-10 in PCHA Goals 7 times (1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th)
- Top-10 in PCHA Assists 6 times (1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 6th)
- Top-10 in PCHA Points 7 times (1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 7th)

Did we ever figure out what the deal with Novy's stats are? I remember vmbm questioning them, right?

Here's what EB had on Novy:
Czechoslovakian Elite League:
Top-10 Scoring (1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 9th)
Top-10 Goalscoring (1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 7th, 9th)
Top-10 Assist (1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 5th, 6th, 6th, 9th, 9th)

WC: 3, 4, 12, 17

Olmypics: 1, 6

CC: 4
I think VMBM had issues with their World Championship numbers, not the domestic numbers.

Anyway, it's clear to me that in his prime, Novy was the clear cut 3rd best center in Europe behind Petrov/Maltsev. The "best center" and "best forward" Czech awards didn't exist for every year and from 1975-1982, Novy was the ONLY Czech center to win either award. This period includes the height of Czech power, when they won the 1976 and 77 World Championships and were 2nd to Canada in the 1976 Canada Cup.

According to this thread, which is based off the SIHR stats, Novy led the Czech domestic league in scoring in 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981, and 1982. He appears to have been top 3 in scoring every season between 1973 and 1982.

Quote:
Yeah no question which each excels in. The only thing I think may be in my favor is the speed of your dominant top line. All of my forward lines can keep up with Epso and Armstrong.
Well, I would counter and say the power of my top line will give your smaller defensemen (in particular Brian Leetch) all kinds of trouble.

Quote:
No real complaints here, I slightly prefer my top PP but PK differences mitigates it. I just think if I threw Schriner in place of Olmstead on the top unit we'd be calling it an advantage for Pittsburgh, but I think the reality of the situation is that the unit with Olmstead on it will function better than stacking pure offense. It helps free Beliveau up and I already have enough skill to go around.
Yeah, I see why you put Olmstead on your top unit - Sid Abel serves a similar role for NJ, but he's quite a bit better offensively. I really don't see any notable difference between first units - Coffey/Espo cancles out Leetch/Beliveau on the PP. Bathgate is much better than Kovalchuk, but Abel is much better than Olmstead. I have no idea how to compare Alfredsson and Morris, but I can't see Morris being better.


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05-13-2013, 01:48 AM
  #62
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Why NJ should win

These teams are both loaded with talent, particulary offensive talent. Pittsburgh has the advantage in forward talent, NJ has the advantage in goaltending and talent on the blue line.

IMO, it's too close to call which team has a higher level of overall talent.

When two teams have similar levels of overall talent, the team that is better equipped at closing out 1 goal games and slowing down the other team's stars usually wins in the playoffs, and NJ's key advantage in this series is a much stronger checking unit. Sounds strange on a team that started by drafting Phil Esposito and Paul Coffey, but it really is one of NJ's two key advantages.

NJ's second big advantage is related to Pittsburgh's lack of checkers - NJ has a pretty big advantage on special teams. If the teams come out close at even strength, NJ should win because the biggest mismatch of the series is NJ's top power play unit against Pittsburgh's relatively weak penalty kill.

Good luck, BBS! As usual, you built a great team and are a worthy semifinalist.


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05-13-2013, 02:29 AM
  #63
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I think VMBM had issues with their World Championship numbers, not the domestic numbers.
Correct. The issues were about Martinec's, Novy's and Nedomansky's WC and WO numbers in the Novy bio.

As far as I know, there isn't anything questionable about Novy's dominance (points-wise) domestically.

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05-13-2013, 02:39 PM
  #64
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Ah, the Sunday response dump!



I also think that if Kasatonov is behind White in his own end, it isn't by much. My point is that most of us think Kasatonov is a better overall player than White, but what makes Kasatonov better is his offense. But a large portion of his offense was on the PP, so I don't think it applies to this series.

Basically, in a vacuum, I think that Coffey's advantage over Leetch is similar to Kasatonov's advantage over White. But when Kasatonov isn't getting a chance to show his PP offense, I think whatever advantage he has over White isn't as big as the advantage Coffey has over Leetch.
I've never seen ES/PP scoring splits for the Soviet league or IIHF events. Was Kasatonov's scoring really reliant on PP time? If it just boils down to a belief held such as Tikhonov keeping his five man units together on PPs, then that's pretty weak evidence.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
To me, that looks too close to call in a vacuum. Larmer's offense honestly surprises me a little bit - why does this guy always get drafted below other "glue guys" with clearly inferior offensive resumes? Shows how little sense some parts of "ATD canon" make.

Anyway, I think that VsX and similar percentage methods are the best way to determine offense between eras for guys who spent their entire primes on first lines/first PP units. But for guys of this calibre, league size has a major effect. Steve Larmer got to spend his entire prime on the 1st line of an NHL team in a 21-26 team league, while Armstrong was something of a 1st/2nd line tweener in a 6 team league. If Armstrong plays in a 21 team league, I have no doubt he plays a bigger role and scores closer to the leaders. The same is true of Olmstead to an extent.

Anyway, I think as crude as it is, for guys of this calibre - guys who wouldn't necessarily be 1st liners in a 6 team league, that top 10 finishes or even adjusted points are superior methods to VsX.

So it looks to me like Larmer and Armstrong are similar in their regular season offense, with Armstrong getting at least some kind of boost now that we are in the playoffs.

I realize that is comparing my first liner with your second liner, but as I said, Armstrong is the 6th best offensive forward in my top 6, playing with the top line at even strength for the sake of chemistry.

On the other hand, the following comparison is terrible, as it ignores league size:


It's clearly much easier to rank higher among your teammates in a larger league with the talent spread much more thin than it is in a smaller league. Larmer's prime was before the big European influx of the early 90s, so I don't see any reason to think the talent in the 1980s was any higher than it was in the 1960s. It was just spread thinner among more teams.
The problem is, what metric do you want to use to conclude it's too close to call. vsX says Larmer's better, team finishes say Larmer's better. You say they're unfair for different reasons. You bring up adjusted points, but everyone ridicules href's system that gives points for pre-expansion guys. I use overpass's but he stops at expansion. Top 10s aren't existent for Armstrong, so we can look at top 20s. Top 20s will say they're pretty close, but isn't that just as unfair to Larmer as the other metrics are to Armstrong? Top 5/10s are one thing, but differences league size definitely should be accounted for when we're looking at finishes 11-20.

I realize Armstrong's roles, but Larmer provides similar attributes without so many asterisks that need to explain why his scoring looked the way it did. Armstrong would be a 3rd liner on my team and I don't think it's unfair to say he's worse than Larmer offensively.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Anyway, it's clear to me that in his prime, Novy was the clear cut 3rd best center in Europe behind Petrov/Maltsev. The "best center" and "best forward" Czech awards didn't exist for every year and from 1975-1982, Novy was the ONLY Czech center to win either award. This period includes the height of Czech power, when they won the 1976 and 77 World Championships and were 2nd to Canada in the 1976 Canada Cup.

According to this thread, which is based off the SIHR stats, Novy led the Czech domestic league in scoring in 1976, 1977, 1978, 1981, and 1982. He appears to have been top 3 in scoring every season between 1973 and 1982.
Sure, but Morris is essentially the second best offensive producer in the PCHA's history after Cyclone Taylor. People may prefer Fredrickson and Foyston and MacKay was certainly more valuable all things considered, but Morris outproduced them. Looking at guys like Nighbor and Lalonde would further push Morris down, but we could do the same with North American centers who played when Novy did.

Quote:
Well, I would counter and say the power of my top line will give your smaller defensemen (in particular Brian Leetch) all kinds of trouble.
Why wouldn't you highlight a matchup advantage like I did?

Quote:
Yeah, I see why you put Olmstead on your top unit - Sid Abel serves a similar role for NJ, but he's quite a bit better offensively. I really don't see any notable difference between first units - Coffey/Espo cancles out Leetch/Beliveau on the PP. Bathgate is much better than Kovalchuk, but Abel is much better than Olmstead. I have no idea how to compare Alfredsson and Morris, but I can't see Morris being better.
Why don't you think Morris is better offensively since we're looking at the powerplay?

You can't directly compare them very well, but here's what Alffy has.

Alfredsson
Points 4, 7, 9, 15, 17, 19
All Star: 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9

This is what Morris did in the PCHA
PCHA All-Time Forward Scoring Leaders
Name DOB HHOF? GP G A Pts PIM GPG APG PPG Best 5 G Best-5 A Best-5 Pts
Cyclone Taylor 1884 Y 130 159 104 263 65 1.22 0.80 2.02 1, 1, 1, 2, 2 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 1, 1, 1, 1, 1
Tommy Dunderdale 1887 Y 241 194 60 254 494 0.80 0.25 1.05 1, 1, 1, 3, 6 3, 4, 5, 6, 6 1, 1, 3, 3, 5
Smokey Harris 1890 252 156 90 246 416 0.62 0.36 0.98 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 1, 1, 2, 2, 4 1, 2, 3, 4, 7
Mickey MacKay 1894 Y 192 159 82 241 193 0.83 0.43 1.26 1, 1, 2, 5, 6 1, 2, 2, 2, 4 2, 2, 2, 3, 5
Bernie Morris 1890 167 155 76 231 137 0.93 0.46 1.38 1, 2, 2, 2, 4 1, 2, 2, 2, 3 1, 2, 2, 2, 4
Frank Foyston 1891 Y 202 174 53 227 133 0.86 0.26 1.12 1, 1, 2, 3, 4 5, 5, 7, 8, 11 2, 3, 3, 4, 4
Eddie Oatman 1889 195 129 81 210 278 0.66 0.42 1.08 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 1, 3, 4, 4, 5 3, 3, 4, 4, 6
Jack Walker 1888 Y 186 82 58 140 31 0.44 0.31 0.75 4, 7, 9, 9, 11 3, 4, 4, 4, 6 4, 8, 9, 9, 10
Frank Fredrickson 1895 Y 105 93 46 139 83 0.89 0.44 1.32 1, 3, 4, 4, DNP 1, 2, 2, 3, DNP 1, 2, 2, 3, DNP
His all-star record
- PCHA First All-Star Team (1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1922)
- PCHA Second All-Star Team (1921, 1923)


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05-13-2013, 05:13 PM
  #65
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I've never seen ES/PP scoring splits for the Soviet league or IIHF events. Was Kasatonov's scoring really reliant on PP time? If it just boils down to a belief held such as Tikhonov keeping his five man units together on PPs, then that's pretty weak evidence.
First off, Tikhonov keeping his five man units together on the PP isn't a "belief," it's what he did. There is a ton of footage of the 1980s Soviet team available, and a very good book about the 1987 Canada Cup series. I thought it was fairly well accepted that Kasatonov usually played as a stay-at-home defenseman at even strength and scored a lot on the PP - here's an earlier post about it: http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...&postcount=441

I don't know, maybe he showed his offense skills more at even strength than I thought though.

However, it is an undisputable fact that Kasatonov played on the 1st unit PP with the Green Unit. It's also pretty much accepted that he was the more stay-at-home of the Fetisov-Kasatonov pairing. It is just an assumption that he scored a high percentage of his offense on the PP, but I don't think it's unreasonable.

Quote:
The problem is, what metric do you want to use to conclude it's too close to call. vsX says Larmer's better, team finishes say Larmer's better. You say they're unfair for different reasons. You bring up adjusted points, but everyone ridicules href's system that gives points for pre-expansion guys. I use overpass's but he stops at expansion. Top 10s aren't existent for Armstrong, so we can look at top 20s. Top 20s will say they're pretty close, but isn't that just as unfair to Larmer as the other metrics are to Armstrong? Top 5/10s are one thing, but differences league size definitely should be accounted for when we're looking at finishes 11-20.
Why are top 20 finishes unfair to Larmer? Do you think the 20th best player in the 1980s was better than the 20th best player in the 1960? If you think so, why is this? Top X finishes are a default metric when there isn't a better one.

Why does league size matter when talking about top 20 finishes? If the current league doubles in size to 60 teams, the 20th best player is still the 20th best player.

The ATD has gotten away from Top 10 or Top 20 finishes to percentage methods like Vx2 or VsX to try to take into account changes in the talent pool, but I don't see much reason to think the talent pool significantly changed from Armstrong's time to Larmer's time. Larmer was in his 30s when the Iron Curtain fell.

VsX does a great job of what it's supposed to do - compare the offense of guys who were 1st line players their entire careers. That's the way the percentage system was designed - Vs2 ties scoring to the 2nd best scorer in the league. VsX tries to be more precise than always looking at #2, but it does the same thing - tying scoring to one of the top scorers of the league. But it's only good at what it's designed to do - compare offense among guys who had 1st line/1st PP opportunities basically their entire primes. It's a poor way of comparing guys of the Armstrong/Larmer level - guys who had some seasons as the 10th-20th best scorers in the league. Guys who would spend their whole primes as 1st liners/1st PP guys in a 20+ team league. Guys who would often be supplanted by better players on their own teams in a 6 team league.

Comparing "team finishes" between a guy in a 6 team league and a guy in a 21-26 team league is absolute nonsense and should not be carried along further.

Quote:
I realize Armstrong's roles, but Larmer provides similar attributes without so many asterisks that need to explain why his scoring looked the way it did. Armstrong would be a 3rd liner on my team and I don't think it's unfair to say he's worse than Larmer offensively.
What asterixes are those? Even if you don't believe Armstrong's team was all that defensive, Larmer certainly wasn't at a disadvantage by playing with Denis Savard when Chicago was a pretty run-and-gun team.

If there is any asterix, it's that Larmer's Chicago team was better offensively relative to the rest of the NHL than Armstrong's Toronto team.

Unless one of us comes up with an adjusted points formula in the next few hours (it won't be me), top 20 finishes (or top 30 if you like) is the best way to compare non-elite offensive players from before expansion to after expansion. Even seventieslord, a huge advocate for Vs2 in the past implicitly acknowledged this with his "fudge factor" in favor of pre-expansion players when using Vs2.

Quote:
Sure, but Morris is essentially the second best offensive producer in the PCHA's history after Cyclone Taylor. People may prefer Fredrickson and Foyston and MacKay was certainly more valuable all things considered, but Morris outproduced them. Looking at guys like Nighbor and Lalonde would further push Morris down, but we could do the same with North American centers who played when Novy did.


Why wouldn't you highlight a matchup advantage like I did?


Why don't you think Morris is better offensively since we're looking at the powerplay?

You can't directly compare them very well, but here's what Alffy has.

Alfredsson
Points 4, 7, 9, 15, 17, 19
All Star: 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9

This is what Morris did in the PCHA
PCHA All-Time Forward Scoring Leaders
Name DOB HHOF? GP G A Pts PIM GPG APG PPG Best 5 G Best-5 A Best-5 Pts
Cyclone Taylor 1884 Y 130 159 104 263 65 1.22 0.80 2.02 1, 1, 1, 2, 2 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 1, 1, 1, 1, 1
Tommy Dunderdale 1887 Y 241 194 60 254 494 0.80 0.25 1.05 1, 1, 1, 3, 6 3, 4, 5, 6, 6 1, 1, 3, 3, 5
Smokey Harris 1890 252 156 90 246 416 0.62 0.36 0.98 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 1, 1, 2, 2, 4 1, 2, 3, 4, 7
Mickey MacKay 1894 Y 192 159 82 241 193 0.83 0.43 1.26 1, 1, 2, 5, 6 1, 2, 2, 2, 4 2, 2, 2, 3, 5
Bernie Morris 1890 167 155 76 231 137 0.93 0.46 1.38 1, 2, 2, 2, 4 1, 2, 2, 2, 3 1, 2, 2, 2, 4
Frank Foyston 1891 Y 202 174 53 227 133 0.86 0.26 1.12 1, 1, 2, 3, 4 5, 5, 7, 8, 11 2, 3, 3, 4, 4
Eddie Oatman 1889 195 129 81 210 278 0.66 0.42 1.08 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 1, 3, 4, 4, 5 3, 3, 4, 4, 6
Jack Walker 1888 Y 186 82 58 140 31 0.44 0.31 0.75 4, 7, 9, 9, 11 3, 4, 4, 4, 6 4, 8, 9, 9, 10
Frank Fredrickson 1895 Y 105 93 46 139 83 0.89 0.44 1.32 1, 3, 4, 4, DNP 1, 2, 2, 3, DNP 1, 2, 2, 3, DNP
His all-star record
- PCHA First All-Star Team (1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1922)
- PCHA Second All-Star Team (1921, 1923)
[/QUOTE]

Ugh, Morris only outproduced them if you compare their career PPGs against each other and ignore the wild swings in scoring year by year in the PCHA. That chart is something like 5 years old now and keeps getting trotted out by whoever drafts Morris, even though in 2011 Sturminator already compared the offense of the PCHA guys using a more nuanced approach, based on the Vs2 formula for PCHA guys only: http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...&postcount=283

I think it's clear from a season-by-season approach that Fredrickson was the 2nd best offensive player in PCHA history, with Morris the third.


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05-14-2013, 04:23 PM
  #66
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First off, Tikhonov keeping his five man units together on the PP isn't a "belief," it's what he did. There is a ton of footage of the 1980s Soviet team available, and a very good book about the 1987 Canada Cup series. I thought it was fairly well accepted that Kasatonov usually played as a stay-at-home defenseman at even strength and scored a lot on the PP - here's an earlier post about it: http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...&postcount=441

I don't know, maybe he showed his offense skills more at even strength than I thought though.

However, it is an undisputable fact that Kasatonov played on the 1st unit PP with the Green Unit. It's also pretty much accepted that he was the more stay-at-home of the Fetisov-Kasatonov pairing. It is just an assumption that he scored a high percentage of his offense on the PP, but I don't think it's unreasonable.
I could have used the word fact instead of belief, but I think the point still stands. Is it really fair to downgrade Kasatonov because of powerplay points when we don't actually have the numbers?

I wanted to cite his even-strength goal during the 87 Canada Cup finals where he scored on a wrister from the right faceoff circle, but it was his only goal in the tournament Scouting reports did say he liked to sneak in that spot for shots however.

I just think his scoring on the whole is overrated by his unit, but I'd like to see some evidence that this happened more so on the powerplay than in general.

Quote:
Why are top 20 finishes unfair to Larmer? Do you think the 20th best player in the 1980s was better than the 20th best player in the 1960? If you think so, why is this? Top X finishes are a default metric when there isn't a better one.

Why does league size matter when talking about top 20 finishes? If the current league doubles in size to 60 teams, the 20th best player is still the 20th best player.

The ATD has gotten away from Top 10 or Top 20 finishes to percentage methods like Vx2 or VsX to try to take into account changes in the talent pool, but I don't see much reason to think the talent pool significantly changed from Armstrong's time to Larmer's time. Larmer was in his 30s when the Iron Curtain fell.
I think it's more impressive to be a top 20 scorer when you have over 20 teams than 6. Armstrong finishing in that range meant he was 3rd best on one of six teams. Larmer finished higher than the top scorer did on certain teams.

Quote:
VsX does a great job of what it's supposed to do - compare the offense of guys who were 1st line players their entire careers. That's the way the percentage system was designed - Vs2 ties scoring to the 2nd best scorer in the league. VsX tries to be more precise than always looking at #2, but it does the same thing - tying scoring to one of the top scorers of the league. But it's only good at what it's designed to do - compare offense among guys who had 1st line/1st PP opportunities basically their entire primes. It's a poor way of comparing guys of the Armstrong/Larmer level - guys who had some seasons as the 10th-20th best scorers in the league. Guys who would spend their whole primes as 1st liners/1st PP guys in a 20+ team league. Guys who would often be supplanted by better players on their own teams in a 6 team league.

Comparing "team finishes" between a guy in a 6 team league and a guy in a 21-26 team league is absolute nonsense and should not be carried along further.

What asterixes are those? Even if you don't believe Armstrong's team was all that defensive, Larmer certainly wasn't at a disadvantage by playing with Denis Savard when Chicago was a pretty run-and-gun team.

If there is any asterix, it's that Larmer's Chicago team was better offensively relative to the rest of the NHL than Armstrong's Toronto team.

Unless one of us comes up with an adjusted points formula in the next few hours (it won't be me), top 20 finishes (or top 30 if you like) is the best way to compare non-elite offensive players from before expansion to after expansion. Even seventieslord, a huge advocate for Vs2 in the past implicitly acknowledged this with his "fudge factor" in favor of pre-expansion players when using Vs2.
And that fudge factor has swung the other way with Sturm's vsX. Armstrong played all the seasons we feel Bathgate's being overrated, but he wasn't a good enough scorer to capitalize off those benchmarks.

The asterisks I'm referring to are his vsX scores. We have to consider the things you bring up about being a 1st/2nd tweener and lacking PP time so we can't take them at face value. We're giving him credit for the things he wasn't able to do, but lesser teammates like Tod Sloan broke into the top 10 scorers logging impressive vsX scorers.

I already disagreed with the Imlach effect, and think it's a red herring for the reasons in post #57.

If Armstrong's teams were at such a disadvantage offensively and he wasn't good enough to consistently hold a top line spot or power play time, isn't that a further indictment of his offense?


Quote:
Ugh, Morris only outproduced them if you compare their career PPGs against each other and ignore the wild swings in scoring year by year in the PCHA. That chart is something like 5 years old now and keeps getting trotted out by whoever drafts Morris, even though in 2011 Sturminator already compared the offense of the PCHA guys using a more nuanced approach, based on the Vs2 formula for PCHA guys only: http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...&postcount=283

I think it's clear from a season-by-season approach that Fredrickson was the 2nd best offensive player in PCHA history, with Morris the third.
Fair enough, outside of Fredrickson's best 136 score (to Morris's 106) they're basically even.

Fredrickson: 136 [108], 100 [75], 100 [60], 96 [32], 91 [114]*

Morris: 102 [13], 100 [68], 100 [53], 100 [39], 92[4]

Do you still think this suggests Alfredsson is better offensively only?

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05-14-2013, 05:25 PM
  #67
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Originally Posted by Bring Back Scuderi View Post
I could have used the word fact instead of belief, but I think the point still stands. Is it really fair to downgrade Kasatonov because of powerplay points when we don't actually have the numbers?

I wanted to cite his even-strength goal during the 87 Canada Cup finals where he scored on a wrister from the right faceoff circle, but it was his only goal in the tournament Scouting reports did say he liked to sneak in that spot for shots however.

I just think his scoring on the whole is overrated by his unit, but I'd like to see some evidence that this happened more so on the powerplay than in general.
I'm just going on Kasatonov's rep as a guy who played a stay-at-home style at even strength. I agree that it isn't entirely conclusive that he scored a lot of his offense on the PP, but I think he's probably fairly likely. Anyway, there isn't really more we can say about it at this time. A lot of it is from "watching him play" as they say, but I'm far from an expert on Kasatonov myself.

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I think it's more impressive to be a top 20 scorer when you have over 20 teams than 6. Armstrong finishing in that range meant he was 3rd best on one of six teams. Larmer finished higher than the top scorer did on certain teams.
Question - do you think finishing 20th in scoring in 1967-68 was more impressive than doing so in 1966-67? The league doubled in size from 6 to 12 teams during that time.

Listen, I get that there are marginal cases of players who may not have gotten chances to do what they did in 6 team leagues, but for the most part, all the best forwards and defensemen were in the NHL when there were 6 teams.

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If Armstrong's teams were at such a disadvantage offensively and he wasn't good enough to consistently hold a top line spot or power play time, isn't that a further indictment of his offense?
Or is it you holding Armstrong's birth year against him? It's highly unlikely Steve Larmer would have consistently held a top line spot in a 6 team league, as well. There were only 18 top line spots in the O6, and first unit PP guys played the entire PP.


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Fair enough, outside of Fredrickson's best 136 score (to Morris's 106) they're basically even.

Fredrickson: 136 [108], 100 [75], 100 [60], 96 [32], 91 [114]*

Morris: 102 [13], 100 [68], 100 [53], 100 [39], 92[4]

Do you still think this suggests Alfredsson is better offensively only?
I'm pretty sure that analysis also doesn't include Fredrickson's 4th in scoring in the NHL in 1926-27, giving him 2 seasons well above anything Morris did. I get that the statement was "Morris is the 3rd best scorer in PCHA history," but I think that when evaluating how he was compared to all his peers in the world, it does matter than Fredrickson (who IMO is the 2nd best scorer in PCHA history) did have an outstanding season outside the PCHA (in the NHL). I don't know who is better offensively between Morris and Alfredsson - I'm still pretty fuzzy on how to compare a 2nd tier PCHA scoring like Morris to a 2nd tier NHL scorer like Alfredsson.


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05-14-2013, 05:31 PM
  #68
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It's probably too late to affect anyone's votes, but what are Morris' percentages compared to the #1 scorer in the PCHA? I'm saying #1, since he played in the PCHA during the split team era.

I think that if you compared his score to #1, it would be at least a starting point for comparing him to the post-consolidation era.

Edit: This methodology is probably pretty sound through 1920-21. After that, the WCHL starting taking off, and the PCHA started declining, and the scoring tables from 1922-21 to 1923-24 (when the PCHA folded and was absorbed into the WCHL) are a nightmare to figure out.

Double edit: Morris has something of a rep as "a weak but legit second line center in the ATD" or "regularly one of the last legit scoring line centers to be drafted" and I've been going off that reputation.


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05-14-2013, 05:40 PM
  #69
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Originally Posted by Bring Back Scuderi View Post

The asterisks I'm referring to are his vsX scores. We have to consider the things you bring up about being a 1st/2nd tweener and lacking PP time so we can't take them at face value. We're giving him credit for the things he wasn't able to do, but lesser teammates like Tod Sloan broke into the top 10 scorers logging impressive vsX scorers.
FYI, Sloan used to be regarded as an excellent 2nd liner in the ATD, until we realized how inconsistent he was and that his lows were actually quite low. At his best, I think he was a significantly better offensive player than Larmer or Armstrong, at least in the regular season. He didn't bring either of their overall games though.

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05-14-2013, 06:05 PM
  #70
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Question - do you think finishing 20th in scoring in 1967-68 was more impressive than doing so in 1966-67? The league doubled in size from 6 to 12 teams during that time.

Listen, I get that there are marginal cases of players who may not have gotten chances to do what they did in 6 team leagues, but for the most part, all the best forwards and defensemen were in the NHL when there were 6 teams.
If we're looking at that exact season probably not because you'd think there probably weren't enough players to handle that overnight doubling of the league size.

If you fast forwarded a few years, I think whoever finished 12th was probably more impressive than whoever did during the 06 period.


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Or is it you holding Armstrong's birth year against him? It's highly unlikely Steve Larmer would have consistently held a top line spot in a 6 team league, as well. There were only 18 top line spots in the O6, and first unit PP guys played the entire PP.
Dean Prentice was born two years after Armstrong, if you drafted him instead I wouldn't have any of this to say as he produced. You just want to give Armstrong extra credit for his birth year while assuming Larmer's offense would have been the exact same if he were in Armstrong's position. It's all built up and not what they actually produced.

Quote:
I'm pretty sure that analysis also doesn't include Fredrickson's 4th in scoring in the NHL in 1926-27, giving him 2 seasons well above anything Morris did. I get that the statement was "Morris is the 3rd best scorer in PCHA history," but I think that when evaluating how he was compared to all his peers in the world, it does matter than Fredrickson (who IMO is the 2nd best scorer in PCHA history) did have an outstanding season outside the PCHA (in the NHL). I don't know who is better offensively between Morris and Alfredsson - I'm still pretty fuzzy on how to compare a 2nd tier PCHA scoring like Morris to a 2nd tier NHL scorer like Alfredsson.
I just don't get how Morris is second tier if Alfredsson is also. Alfredsson had more than two guys ahead of him or he would have been named to more all-star teams right?

Morris's five best years put him at 3rd best offensively in a league's twelve year history. He had finishes of 1, 2, 2, 2, 4 and was a five time first team all-star.

I understand Alfredsson is more well-rounded and since I'm using Morris at center, Alfredsson is more valuable to his position. But I think Morris is better offensively when you're looking at the power play.

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05-14-2013, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Bring Back Scuderi View Post
If we're looking at that exact season probably not because you'd think there probably weren't enough players to handle that overnight doubling of the league size.

If you fast forwarded a few years, I think whoever finished 12th was probably more impressive than whoever did during the 06 period.
I don't see why a few years time would somehow increase the quality of a scoring finish. The reason we largely abandoned top 10/top 20 finishes for superstar level players is because the European explosion of talent in the early 90s made it clear to a lot of us that there was more competition for top 10/top 20 scoring finishes

It has nothing to do with league size.

Maybe I'm misinterpreting things, but it almost sounds like you're saying that the league talent pool magically increases as the size of the league increases.

Quote:
Dean Prentice was born two years after Armstrong, if you drafted him instead I wouldn't have any of this to say as he produced. You just want to give Armstrong extra credit for his birth year while assuming Larmer's offense would have been the exact same if he were in Armstrong's position. It's all built up and not what they actually produced.
Here is what they actually did:

Armstrong top 20 finishes : 15, 16, 16, 17, 18
Larmer top 20 finishes: 10, 17, 18, 20

Prentice was a significantly better offensive player in the regular season than either, so I don't know why you are bringing him up.

I think it's splitting hairs as to which was a better offensive player in the regular season. Both had their peaks before Europeans came to the NHL en masse.

Quote:
I just don't get how Morris is second tier if Alfredsson is also. Alfredsson had more than two guys ahead of him or he would have been named to more all-star teams right?
Quote:
Morris's five best years put him at 3rd best offensively in a league's twelve year history. He had finishes of 1, 2, 2, 2, 4 and was a five time first team all-star.

I understand Alfredsson is more well-rounded and since I'm using Morris at center, Alfredsson is more valuable to his position. But I think Morris is better offensively when you're looking at the power play.
The quality of the modern NHL is more than a bit higher than the quality of the PCHA, right? A crude way of looking at it is that the PCHA contained about half the best Canadian players in the world. Assuming the quality of Canadian players was constant from the 1920s to today (which I think is generous to 1920s players as hockey hadn't quite taken over Canada yet), then the quality of Canadian players in the NHL is twice what it was in the PCHA. And Canadian players only make up half the top players in the NHL today. So overall, the PCHA had 1/4 the talent of the modern NHL.

Translated to modern terms, that would make Morrises finishes look something like this in the modern league:

2*, 8, 8, 8, 16

*I don't want to take too much away from a year when Morris led the PCHA in scoring, but unless it was by a large margin, I hate giving him a 1st place finish

If you don't think that the Euro influx increased the size of the talent pool significantly (and some GMs don't), you honestly might as well stick to top 10/top 20 finishes across the board, because they are easier to calculate than Vx2 and they are less affected by league size.

I think in the ATD "offseason," it could be a very good idea to discuss the pros and cons of the different methods of analyzing offensive production. I think Vs2/VsX has been refined just about as far as it can be.

(Edit: If you don't think the talent pool changed at all from the 1920s to today, well, I strongly disagree, but if so, Morrises finishes would be something like: 2, 4, 4, 4, 8 across the leagues. I would be interested to see what Dreakmur's study has for Morris' "consolidated finishes" (Dreak why don't you post the full results of the study as well as the methodology in detail somewhere?).


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05-15-2013, 02:18 AM
  #72
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Well, allright kids. This is the closest series that I have ever personally seen, and a single vote would have swung it. As it is, the series ended up tied 9-9 in the voting, and, remarkably, even exactly tied in terms of the sum of series length for both teams. Two things for which I am thankful:

1) That I cast my vote yesterday, before the last votes came in. I would not have liked to have been in the position of consciously being the final arbiter of such a tight series.

2) That we collected three stars voting for this series, because it was this voting which eventually decided the outcome.

Yes, the outcome of this series was decided by three stars voting, and even that was very tight. The #1 star of the series was clear, but I ended up summing up the three stars voting for both teams to make sure of the outcome. For those of you who did not submit three stars votes, well...it would have mattered. At any rate, your result:

Pittsburgh AC wins in triple overtime of game 7.

Three Stars:

1) Jean Beliveau
2) Paul Coffey
3) Phil Esposito / Frank Brimsek

Congrats to both GMs on an all-time great series. Good luck in the finals, BBS.

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05-15-2013, 02:55 AM
  #73
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I'm not at all surprised that I lost - I expected this one to be very close. Both of these were really good teams. I've only been shocked to lose one time in my history of the drafts at any level, and that was when I lost to you last year in the ATD.

In fact, I was so uncertain of how the voting would go, that I had something of a concession speech thought out. Here goes: Even a couple of drafts ago, if you didn't have a strong checking unit, you were lucky to get out of the second round, because that's how teams in the 70s, 80s, and 90s were built. But with so many of the younger GMs most familiar with hockey as it has been played after the 2005 rule changes, when checking lines have become somewhat obsolete for a variety of reasons, I'm not particularly surprised to see you squeak through, and I'm okay with that. It really shows how much younger the ATD community has gotten, and that isn't a bad thing. This was a much stronger entry than your team last year, IMO.

But losing because of 3 stars voting... ugh... I don't want to hear anyone say that drafting in the top 10 isn't at least a little bit of an advantage ever again.

Anyway, thanks for the mostly fair debate; wish we could have gotten more in before Sunday. I still don't understand why you didn't get how much harder it was to rank higher on your team in scoring when all the talent was compressed into 6 leagues, but I think an evaluation of the various methods of determining offensive value might be the next "project" i undertake for this board.

This might be my last ATD - at some point, GMs take off because they say it starts to feel more like work than fun. And I started to understand the feeling this time. And somehow losing to the stupidest tiebreaker ever devised - one that I'm pretty sure has never actually needed to be used before now - somehow seems like a fitting way to go out. Maybe I'll focus more on historical research as I retire as an active GM.

Good luck in the finals.

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05-15-2013, 03:54 PM
  #74
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Yeah, the 3 stars tiebreaker might be the dumbest thing I've ever heard of.

Dear god.

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05-15-2013, 04:43 PM
  #75
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Definitely not how I wanted to win. If someone who didn't vote wanted to be the judge, jury, and executioner I wouldn't have a problem with it.

I thought you shutdown the comparison of team ranks between Armstrong and Larmer.

I'd hate to lose your future entries for something so strange. At a minimum I think this could be looked at in the ATD offseason too. Thanks for the series, if it weren't for those Pens last night I could have gotten back to your last post.

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