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Mickey Ion divisional semi-finals: St. Louis Eagles vs. Philadelphia Phantoms

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Old
08-23-2013, 09:26 AM
  #26
Rob Scuderi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyShoe1721 View Post
Slashes are when they were traded mid-season and where they would stand for either team given their total point total that season. This re-affirms the offensive advantage for Prospal and Sullivan on the wings.
Agreed they're close, but Philly has an advantage on the wings.

Quote:
That brings us to Jaroslav Holik and Gagner. Holik played in a better Czech league than Cerny, so I'll give him that, but his finishes domestically don't seem all that impressive. 1, 2, 2, 3, 6 are the ones listed in his bio, occurring in 66, 67, 69, 72, and 74 respectively. He's also has two strong WC performances to his name in 1969 and 1972. His longevity is pretty poor though. I'm really not sure where he would stand compared to Gagner. Holik seems more of a big brute with weaker skating that was physical with his big size, and Gagner a smaller guy that was faster, and more of an annoying physical guy. I'm not sure how to quantify their respective offensive abilities, but you'd have to think pretty highly of Holik's five seasons of top 6s in the Czech league to take it over Gagner's 10 seasons of useful production in the NHL.

With pretty clear advantages at both wing spots, I think Philadelphia has the advantage in 2nd lines. Center is tough to call with two guys that played a similar style, but in very different circumstances. LWs don't bring much in terms of intangibles, RWs bring a similar amount of defense. Centers are similar tough, two-way players with decent offense.
You oversell Dave Gagner's physical game here if you think they were all that similar. He was a chippy little guy who worked hard for his points. Jaroslav Holik was a bully, there's an anecdote in Kings of the Ice where he talks about taking sleeping pills every night because he'd be restless worrying he was too harsh on his opponents during his games. Holik is the type of center I wouldn't want Savard to match up against, Gagner isn't in that same mold.

I'm not sure how this isn't a definite advantage for Holik overall. How is one scoring lead and three more top-3 finishes not impressive? His career with the national team was limited because he was bad for Soviet business.

Gagner's 10 year prime isn't so special that he's going to vault by Holik with a shorter career. He ranked 23rd in center vsX scores, which would mean if no non-NHLers existed he'd be one of the two worst scorers in the draft. With them existing, I'm not sure how he's anything special offensively. He's the same guy offensively as Mike Ridley, Andrew Cassells, and Cliff Ronning.

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08-23-2013, 09:56 AM
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyShoe1721 View Post
I'm going away for the weekend so I'm going to try to get as much done as possible, and then rebut what I can before voting once I get back.

Third Lines

Friesen: 69, 65, 59, 57, 53, 50, 48, 43(6 year total 353)
Langkow: 69, 67, 61, 60, 56, 56, 53, 50(6 year total 369)
Fairbairn: 65, 65, 58, 50, 48, 30(6 year total 316)

Total: 1,038

Boudrias: 71, 67, 66, 63, 61, 52(6 year total 380)
Haynes: 93, 86, 80, 60, 58, 24(6 year total 461), 15% boost applied
Backes: 63, 56, 49, 49, 44, 29(6 year total 290)

Total: 1,131

St. Louis comes out ahead due to Paul Haynes. The wings are basically equal, with Fairbairn being ahead of Backes by basically the same amount Boudrias is ahead of Friesen. Offensively, St. Louis has the edge. Backes and Boudrias are both physical players; Fairbairn is about as physical as them and Langkow/Friesen have a little grit. Defensively, it depends upon how you view Haynes' defensive abilities. Backes has the best Selke resume compared to Freisen/Langkow. Boudrias/Fairbairn played mostly before Selke voting and don't have records and Haynes obviously doesn't. Overall, St. Louis has a better 3rd line.
If I typed this up, I'd compare Fairbairn to Boudrias as they're the best wingers rather than LW to LW and RW to RW. I love Fairbairn, but Boudrias could pass in a top six role and has the skillset to play in the bottom six so I think I have an advantage at every spot here. Friesen's a nice scorer, but Backes has a substantial defensive edge.

Quote:
4th Lines

Philadelphia's better defensively, St. Louis better offensively. Eagles went for a two-way line, I went with as pure a shutdown unit as possible. In a vacuum, I probably have the worst 4th line in the draft. They'll serve different purposes with the Eagles probably rolling 4 lines and the Phantoms using the 4th line for shutdown duty when necessary against top 6 lines and holding a lead.
I'm not sure why you think we went for a two-way line, these are all guys with "4th line skills." I don't think they really have much offense outside of Cotton's decent vsX scores and Acton's one year feeding Lafleur. Drake's pretty much a plug offensively, it's just one guy he's being compared to topped 40 points once while playing in the 80s and the other lost some prime years to the WHA.

Fisher had good Selke recognition and Preston had a solid year, but Tippett only had one season receiving more than two votes. Is this really a smothering group to match against the Savard line when we're pressing for a goal?

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08-23-2013, 10:05 AM
  #28
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Originally Posted by BubbaBoot View Post
Have to agree. Letang is a bit of a paper tiger. If you run him and don't give him room or time to make a decision he'll cough it up more times than not and/or make a hasty and ill timed pass....but with Jarvis he has a good, compatible mate who can cover for him on the physical side.
He's not a paper tiger, he just makes crappy decisions at times and did so in a high profile instance months ago. Letang's also a physical freak despite being 6 feet. I agree he's never going to push Lucic around (where Jarrett can), but people should check out he trains in the offseason if they think he's weak.

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Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
Absolutely! I like him but the above nails his career to date.

At the MLD level of competition he's a 3/4 dman and 1st pp unit guy playing with a stalwart.
Letang just doesn't belong a top PP unit. It's kind of baffling how much better he is at even strength than with the man advantage. Vecens went to bat for him, but still conceded it makes sense to play him on the second unit.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
IMO, Letang is suffering from some serious anti-modern bias here due to his atrocious performance in the 2013 playoffs. In 5-10 years, nobody will think of it as anything more important than any other series, but now it's the freshest thing in everyone's mind
Now you see why Jarrett being bumped is lame collateral damage.

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08-23-2013, 01:33 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by BillyShoe1721 View Post
That brings us to Driver and Letang. I don't see Driver as anything special here, and I don't think Letang is either. His AS record is 3, 6, 9, but taking that at face value is not a real indication of his play. I just checked on vecens saying Letang was a #2 on the 08-09 cup team, in the regular season he was #4 in average ES TOI, but Gonchar/Whitney were limited by injuries in the regular season, so he was #2 of guys that played a lot of games. But once playoffs rolled around, he was 4th in total TOI and 6th in ESTOI.
Question - why should we take Dave Babych's All-Star record at face value and not Letang's? Aren't they both the type of defensemen who will be overrated by lazy writers looking too much at offensive stats?

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Old
08-23-2013, 04:25 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Question - why should we take Dave Babych's All-Star record at face value and not Letang's? Aren't they both the type of defensemen who will be overrated by lazy writers looking too much at offensive stats?
Yes. Or at least Babych was when he received those votes.

Honestly, modern norris/AS votes should be almost meaningless for modern defensemen since:

- we know that they're far too influenced by hockey card stats and voted on by people who rarely, if ever, saw them play
- other poor decisions these same people make further discredit them (like not knowing which positions certain players are, outright ignoring the memo, etc)
- the GF/GA stats, aside from giving decent icetime estimates, also show us what their situational usage was, as well as things like Rn and Rff, which helps illuminate any player's season (i.e. did he really have the best offensive season or did he simply never leave the ice when his team had a PP?) An advanced analysis of any post-expansion player can now be done, compared to what could have been done just 10 years ago.
- Advanced stats that have been in use since 2008 have shed even more light on how players are utilized (perceived) by their coaches, how they handle that usage, and what, if any, situational advantages/disadvantages they have.
- I know not everyone has fingertip access to them, but any prominent player from 1971-present will show up in a few scouting report guides where we can see how they played and/or what made them useful, and/or what their strengths and weaknesses were.

There's really no excuse now, if we consider ourselves scholars, for making such a simplified analysis of a player when there is so much more data available to us. The best players of all-time are in the ATD. Down here in the MLD, is there any player who actually received a significant amount of all-star or norris votes on more than one occasion? Significant meaning, being named on at least a third of the ballots? If not, I don't see the point of introducing these into an analysis. And you just know any time they are, it's a guy who was much better offensively than defensively. Every time, actually.

I don't care what a bunch of writers thought about all these second tier all-time players. I'm much more interested in how crucial he was to his team, how good /bad his teams were for relying on him that much, and how long he did it for.

Forget Norris voting, pretend everyone's is just nonexistant. We're talking about a guy with 385 games and 209 points, who's averaged 22:04 for above average teams. And he plays with two of the four best offensive players in the league. Is that impressive, once you get it out of your head that he got some Norris votes?

same with mr. 613 games, 280 points, 21:15 per game for good teams, and mr. 491 games, 288 points, 20:46 per game for crappy teams... and even, mr. 756 games, 392 points, 21:49 per game for above average teams.

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Old
08-23-2013, 04:40 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post

Forget Norris voting, pretend everyone's is just nonexistant. We're talking about a guy with 385 games and 209 points, who's averaged 22:04 for above average teams. And he plays with two of the four best offensive players in the league. Is that impressive, once you get it out of your head that he got some Norris votes?

same with mr. 613 games, 280 points, 21:15 per game for good teams, and mr. 491 games, 288 points, 20:46 per game for crappy teams... and even, mr. 756 games, 392 points, 21:49 per game for above average teams.
If this was all the information we had, I'd say I have no idea how to compare them and either look for more complete stats or start digging up newspaper articles to see what people who saw them play thought. Awards voting is a shorthand for what people who saw them play thought, though trends in voting (offensive defensemen are favored, defensemen whose teams missed the playoffs are disfavored) must be taken into account.

Maybe by the AAA draft you reach a level where awards voting becomes trivial and you have to play games with the limited stats that are available, but in the MLD, there are still guys who have significant award voting left. Such as Letang, who has a non-trivial number of votes in 2-3 seasons. Do those seasons outweigh the fact that Letang has had a very short career, and has been... we'll say "uneven" in the playoffs? Maybe, may not.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 08-23-2013 at 07:20 PM. Reason: fixing my grammar
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Old
08-23-2013, 04:52 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
IMO, Letang is suffering from some serious anti-modern bias here due to his atrocious performance in the 2013 playoffs. In 5-10 years, nobody will think of it as anything more important than any other series, but now it's the freshest thing in everyone's mind
No, I've been watching him for a while.....he can make some sweet plays and does play a little bit physical but he can be rattled, especially if you hit him hard. For a similar type player I prefer Erik Karlsson myself.

He also is not liked in the Boston area for his diving, most notably a year prior for throwing his head back and clutching his face on a stick that never hit him (Peverley?), giving the Pens a two man power play on which they scored, (Crosby I believe).

Some call it gamesmanship, (especially in Europe).....I say it's BS.

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08-23-2013, 04:56 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by bluesfan94 View Post
How much of that is due to the fact that we just saw him do that in one series of a playoff as opposed to something that should be considered in an all time basis? We simply may not know enough about non-modern players to be able to nitpick on one series like we can for Letang.
Some players are no shows or have a bad series or two....but you have to admit, Letang and a lot of other Pens were blatantly undressed in that series. It was downright embarrassing....

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08-23-2013, 07:01 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by BubbaBoot View Post
No, I've been watching him for a while.....he can make some sweet plays and does play a little bit physical but he can be rattled, especially if you hit him hard. For a similar type player I prefer Erik Karlsson myself.

He also is not liked in the Boston area for his diving, most notably a year prior for throwing his head back and clutching his face on a stick that never hit him (Peverley?), giving the Pens a two man power play on which they scored, (Crosby I believe).

Some call it gamesmanship, (especially in Europe).....I say it's BS.
Oh good. So we can just throw this post as meaningless since you hold a bias.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
If this was all the information we had, I'd say I have no idea how to compare them and either look for more complete stats or start digging up newspaper articles to see what people who saw them play thought. Awards voting is a shorthand for what people who saw them play thought, though trends in voting (offensive defensemen are favored, defensemen whose teams missed the playoffs are disfavored) must be taken into account.

Maybe by the AAA draft you reach a level where awards voting becomes trivial and you have to play games with the limited stats that are available, but in the MLD, there are still guys who have significant award voting left. Such as Letang, who has a non-trivial number of votes in 2-3 seasons. Do those seasons outweight the fact that Letang has had a very short career, and has been... we'll say "uneven" in the playoffs? Maybe, may not.
Yep. We're talking about a guy in Letang who was a 2nd team all star, on 82 ballots for his 6th place AS, and 19 for his 9th place. That's enough to where his totals aren't trivial one or two vote matters.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Question - why should we take Dave Babych's All-Star record at face value and not Letang's? Aren't they both the type of defensemen who will be overrated by lazy writers looking too much at offensive stats?
Yup. Crazy double standard being held.

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

Since we're pulling bad memories of Letang, the least I can do is pull up bad quotes of Kampman's five year career. If that's all we're going to remember, and all. Just so we don't gloss over Kampman's faults.

Quote:
"Bingo Kampman was serving the most costly penalty of his career as Babe Pratt led the Rangers to a 4-1 victory...
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...+kampman&hl=en

Quote:
He and Eddie Wiseman were chased to the boards by Wally Stanowski and Bingo Kampman of the Leafs. The Leafs players apparently thought they had the puck pinned, but Hill worked loose, took three quick strides and let go a cross-fire shot taht rose as it sped across Broda, slipped under his right arm, and caught the top right hand corner of the net.
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...+kampman&hl=en

Quote:
Despite hard-checking, there were only seven penalties. One to Bingo Kampman paved the way for Coulter's goal.
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...+kampman&hl=en

So basically, if we're to believe the standard that Letang is getting here where we're only looking at his faults and not his positives, Kampman is a wild card that hurts his team more than he helps it by ending up in the penalty box and costing his team odd-man opportunities.

Do you see how ridiculous that double standard is and how stupid the exercise I just did is? Like, the guy got his votes for a reason: he was a good defensive defenseman with a short prime that was cut short. Letang right now is a short prime offensive defenseman with a better peak and actually a longer career of being useful.

I'm still waiting for anything to prove that Kampman is any better than Letang.
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Old
08-23-2013, 07:30 PM
  #35
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I'm still waiting for anything to prove that Kampman is any better than Letang.
Depends on how much credit you want to give Kampman for having his career ended by World War 2. It's tough. It's easy to say that a guy who was a good player on both sides of the war probably would have been a good player in the seasons he missed through no fault of his own. But for someone like Kampman (or Johnny Mowers) who effectively had his career ended by the war... it's a lot tougher.

It feels unfair to treat Kampman like he suffered a career ending injury in 1943, since in reality, there's no sign he would have stopped playing if the war didn't break out - and like they say, there are no World Wars to worry about in the ATD. But on the other hand, it feels unfair to give Kampman credit for seasons he didn't play when we have no frame of reference for how good he might have been in them (as we do for players who were good NHLers both before and after the War).

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08-23-2013, 09:04 PM
  #36
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Oh good. So we can just throw this post as meaningless since you hold a bias.
Throw it out?

I have a bias towards Lucic but have made note that he is ordinary when he doesn't skate hard. It's true.....you going to throw that observation out too?

I have a bias towards my favorite player Patrice Bergeron but have noted that he isn't that fast a skater, his biggest deficiency besides his concussion problem......you going to throw that out too?

I've said that I don't like Ryan Kesler's diving but acknowledge that he is a damn good two-way player.....you going to dismiss this post too?

I despise Ulf Samuelsson for the cheap crap he pulled but have also said that he was a good defenseman who didn't need to go dirty.....you going to throw that out too?

I've said the very same thing about Marchand.....blah, blah, blah?

Please, you want to dismiss that post about Letang? Be my guest because I don't give a rat's ass what you think either....and diving is diving, is that a positive trait to you?


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08-23-2013, 10:08 PM
  #37
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The problem with that concept is that you've seen Letang play so you can nitpick his flaws, but you haven't seen (insert player here) play so you can't do the same thing for him. Instead, you rely on the positive newspaper clippings found in a bio, whereas those same snippets, for Letang, wouldn't do as much because you can say you don't believe them. In this format, you need consistent judgement, whether that's the eye test (rather impossible for everyone here) or else statistics and quotes.

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08-23-2013, 10:20 PM
  #38
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I don't think Babych is better than Hamrlik. It's been pointed out that your analysis of just all-star voting leaves a lot to be desired, especially when we're continuously slagging Letang for his record.

Let's look at TOI.

Babych ES: 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4
Hamrlik ES: 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5, 6
Crossing of matching placements and we're left with
Babych: 1, 1, 3, 3, 3, 3
Hamrlik: 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 4, 5, 6
Babych has two extra seasons as his team's #1, but Hamrlik has three extra seasons on a top pair.

Team GA while #1
Babych: 5/24, 10/21, 17/26, 18/26, 15/21, 21/26 18/21, 21/21
Hamrlik: 12/30, 12/30, 11/26, 18/30, 21/30, 21/30
2 of Babych's teams finished in the top half of goals against, 3 of Hamrlik's teams did

Team GA while #2
Babych: 15/21, 17/21
Hamrlik: 8/30, 11/30, 12/28, 15/26, 16/26, 21/30, 27/30
None of Babych's teams finished in the top half goals against, 3 of Hamrlik's teams did

overpass's adjusted points and special teams
Babych: 1195 GP, 337 ESP (22 per season), 333 PPP (22 per season) 62% usage for units 6% below average, killed 31% of team's penalties for units 3% below average
Hamrlik: 1379 GP, 404 ESP (24 per season), 338 PPP (20 per season) 54% usage for units 9% below average, killed 35% of team's penalties for units 5% above average

Both guys were minute munching defenseman with Babych a #1 two more times and Hamrlik a #2 five more times. Both ended up producing similar adjusted points, with Hamrlik slightly better at ES and Babych slightly better on the PP. This is an important point as offense was Babych's strong suit (not that it isn't true for Hamrlik also).

Hamrlik's teams were much better defensively however, and had a small advantage killing penalties.


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08-23-2013, 10:23 PM
  #39
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Building on the GA analysis, I wanted to see what scouting reports had to say about Babych's defensive game. No one doubts his offense, but how does he hold up defensively?

It seems like he got some praise for improving early in his career and had a good year defensively during his first season in Hartford. From there it sounds like Babych regressed defensively with quotes saying he was always somewhat one-dimensional and then became fully one-dimensional. He's also praised once for his body checking in 1983, but in 1991 it's said he's never been a big hitter. He's repeatedly criticized for his physical game in the Hockey Scouting Reports. For some reason Babych is inexplicably missing from the Hockey Scouting Reports after 1991.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey 1982
At 19, he became the team's king-pin and despite awesome load, had solid rookie year...Strong offensively (44 points last season), improving defensively...Has all the tools: size, speed, strength and a big shot...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey 1983
Improved defensively and benefited from presence of veteran Serge Savard...Good bodychecker...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey 1985
Blue-chip prospect who has demonstrated top potential only in flashes...Has logged heavy load of ice time in first four seasons...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey 1987
Acquired by Whalers from Winnipeg on Nov. 21, 1985, for Ray Neufeld in what was considered a desperation trade by Jets...Had fallen out of favor with Jets, where fans booed him for his inconsistent work in defensive zone, although he finished strongly in his final full season there, the Jets' best season ever...Improved from a -16 last season to a +2 in Hartford...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1987
The Finesse Game
He reads the rush into his zone just as well and easily forces men wide of the net by playing his angles well. Babych also has the speed to break up a play, say a two-on-one, by getting his stick or skate on the puck and then can wheel up-ice immediately, turning the defensive play into an offensive opportunity. Babych is not fooled too often.

The Physical Game
Babych can play a physical style of game, though his skills are in the finesse part of the game. He is good about tying up the man in front of the net, even if he doesn't clear him out of the crease completely, and Babych is also good along the boards, where he can take the puck in one motion and start a play, even while being harassed.

Babych will give the puck up if persistently checked, but that happens because he's playing with less talented, slower, more mistake prone partners and Dave is hesitant about giving the puck to them. So when the forechecking has closed in on him, and his teammates still haven't gotten open, Babych ends up giving the puck away by default as he tries to force a play.

Berger
Dave Babych was reborn as a player after his trade to Hartford from Winnipeg. He has become the Whaler's best defenseman.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Complete Handbook of Pro Hockey 1988
Despite his size, he is an unassuming, gentle person...His minus-18 rating was the worst on the club
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1989
The Finesse Game
He's a little slower getting back to the defensive zone than in previous years, and he's a little slower making his turns toward the opposition in the defensive zone.

Dave uses his teammates very well because of his good vision and anticipation...Those vision skills don't necessarily translate to Babych's defensive game, especially in his lack of patience. He'll make poor passes because he does not examine his options before passing, and that leads to turnovers.

The Physical Game
Babych is primarily a finesse player with size. He is inconsistent in his attempts at clearing the front of the net and he allows his checks to sneak back into the play, so he could improve his takeouts. On the whole, he plays a no better than fair physical contest though he has the tools to play a good one. He is good along the boards, where he can take the puck in one motion and start a play while being harassed.

The Intangibles
Babych has always been a pretty much one-dimensional player, but now even that dimension is slipping away from him as he ages. Injuries and durability are also questions, as is his awful showing at even strength last season: 37 of his 50 points came on the power play. That makes his plus/minus rating even worse.

The Whalers weren't especially pleased with his performance last season, so he might not be long for the Insurance City.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1991
The Finesse Game
He has never been strong at gap control, and his decreasing agility hasn't helped. He plays defense reactively, rather than actively.

The Physical Game
He's never been a big hitter, and he's never going to be a big hitter. Babych is inconsistent in his use of size for clearing the net or taking men off the puck, two aspects of defensive play he's not real interested in. In short, he's a finesse player with size.

The Intangibles
He's a one-dimensional, aging hockey player saved from dismissal by the fact that no other Hartford defenseman has come to the offensive fore. He doesn't really want to be cast in a leadership role of any type, and the fact that he doesn't play with intensity in every game demonstrates that.

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08-23-2013, 10:39 PM
  #40
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I always viewed Hamrlik as a guy who saw a lot of ice time because he played for generally crappy teams with no better options. Maybe I'm just thinking of the first half of his career though.

Also, as a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none, he could be used in all situations with adequate, though not necessarily stellar results. Guys like that always get more ice time than more specialized players.

Maybe I was a little biased against Hamrlik because as a #1 overall pick, he was supposed to develop into a franchise defenseman and he didn't.

None of this is to say anything about how Hamrlik compares to Babych though. Babych's prime was well before my time. I had always assumed Babych as better offensively than Hamrlik, but more one-dimensional. Does Babych have a better offensive prime than Hamrlik? (I really don't care about career averages)

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08-23-2013, 10:39 PM
  #41
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I remember Babych vividly from his Canucks days and the last word I'd use to describe him is 'conservative'.

He and Jyrki Lumme were not on the ice at the same time because, as Jim Robson put it, the duo is like an earthquake meeting a hurricane. He meant they shook things up, unstable, not that they were physical forces. It was exciting to watch them play. Lumme was more creative and better stickhandler but Babych was the better passer and harder shot.

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08-23-2013, 10:50 PM
  #42
Rob Scuderi
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I always viewed Hamrlik as a guy who saw a lot of ice time because he played for generally crappy teams with no better options. Maybe I'm just thinking of the first half of his career though.

Also, as a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none, he could be used in all situations with adequate, though not necessarily stellar results. Guys like that always get more ice time than more specialized players.

Maybe I was a little biased against Hamrlik because as a #1 overall pick, he was supposed to develop into a franchise defenseman and he didn't.

None of this is to say anything about how Hamrlik compares to Babych though. Babych's prime was well before my time. I had always assumed Babych as better offensively than Hamrlik, but more one-dimensional. Does Babych have a better offensive prime than Hamrlik? (I really don't care about career averages)
Here's what I have for 6 best years for PP scoring
Dave Babych 46-138-184, 86%
Roman Hamrlik 49-123-172, 80%

6 best ES scoring years
Dave Babych 29-131-160
Roman Hamrlik 44-118-162

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08-24-2013, 11:39 AM
  #43
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Originally Posted by BillyShoe1721 View Post
Second Pairings

As I mentioned, I was surprised Jarret wasn't ranked on any of the all star teams. He's got a decent AS record of 7, t-11, 14, and another year where he got a vote. Joe Watson has 11, 16, 16, and another year where he received a vote. Watson was named to the 3rd AS team here, 17th overall meaning people see him a slightly above average #2, so he should be a strong #3 and seventies said he saw him as a great #3, so I guess the fact that he was the ES ice time leader for the two Flyers cup winners and hefty penalty killer for strong PKs resonated with people. I guess AS voting back in the day didn't really work in his favor because the Flyers' defense was seen as a nondescript group that didn't have any studs, and Watson was a no-flash, no nonsense player.
You don't think there was room for one of the best teams to have a defenseman factor in all-star voting? I think the perception you talk about is what we look back with as they didn't have a standout.

Jarrett garnered all-star votes and he wasn't getting them for piling up points so it's not like Watson's disadvantaged in that sense. Watson's a nice player for a second pair, but Jarrett's better.

Here's what all-star voters thought of the two

Watson: 11 - 4 voting points (1977), 16 - 4 votes (1967), 16 - 4 voting points (1975), single vote in 1968
Jarrett: 7 - 24 votes (1967) , T11 - 9 voting points (1970), 14 - 6 votes (1968), single vote in 1965

Watson never had more than 4 votes in a single season, Jarrett's voting record is more substantial.

Both have identical PK numbers via overpass's data. Both killed 44% of their teams' penalties for units 16% above average.

Watson does have the two Stanley Cup wins and additional finalist which is a nice feather in his cap. Jarrett has two Stanley Cup finalist appearances losing to the Canadiens in 7 and 6 games.


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That brings us to Driver and Letang. I don't see Driver as anything special here, and I don't think Letang is either. His AS record is 3, 6, 9, but taking that at face value is not a real indication of his play. I just checked on vecens saying Letang was a #2 on the 08-09 cup team, in the regular season he was #4 in average ES TOI, but Gonchar/Whitney were limited by injuries in the regular season, so he was #2 of guys that played a lot of games. But once playoffs rolled around, he was 4th in total TOI and 6th in ESTOI.

Letang's got three very good years offensively that Driver can't touch, but beyond that, his offense doesn't amount to much. In Letang's two best seasons, he missed a good amount of time so a comparison of adjusted points isn't fair straight up. Letang's adjusted PPG is .581 over 385 games(giving him 41 points for 12-13). Driver's is .476 over 922 games. In Driver's "best 398" games, his adjusted PPG is .555, a difference of just 2.6%, not including the longevity Driver has on top of that as a useful point producing defenseman. But, Letang's got an AS record(how much he deserved it is another thing), and Driver doesn't have one at all. I'll give Letang the advantage overall, but offensively they are not far apart, if at all.

I'm not sure how to call this. Our fellow GMs put Watson as the best defenseman of the 4 here. Letang is better than Driver, but how much? They're both here for their offense, which I just showed is very close.
I like Driver more than I thought I did after flipping through the Hockey Scouting Report books. They were complementary of his defensive game and felt he was underrated during his career.

But I'm comparing him to Letang who I feel has the edge because of a substantial edge in peak value. I've said it earlier, but even if Letang's record should be 5/10/15 instead of 3/6/9 he's still one of the best defenseman in the MLD according to voting. I get why he's being nitpicked here, but I can't see steady Driver passing Letang's dynamic game.

With an edge at #3 and 4, I believe Pittsburgh has the superior second pair.

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08-25-2013, 09:14 PM
  #44
BillyShoe1721
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Originally Posted by Rob Scuderi View Post
None of those guys are in this series, Mac Colville is. Even my third liner Andre Boudrias is a healthy 10 points ahead in the vsX scores I posted. Lever's just a very average player for a top line. He's not as fearsome as some of the other guys you listed and not a great defensive player. More of a hardworker type with only ok offense.
Lever is not a good offensive player for a first line, I never said he was. I'd say he's definitely a better defensive player than Crowder/Corson/Mellanby, and Colville honestly. I always thought more of him as a defensive player, but now that I think of it, all I can remember is the one quote about himself when he was 70 years old, nearly 40 years removed from his playing career.

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And my point is there's a reason it's unquestionably top 2 defensively in the draft with a handful of middling Selke recognition. You overstate what that really means, especially when we're comparing top lines.

They're only close offensively because you're using vsX sums and Wiseman's great. Looking at individual parts, it's an obvious advantage in 2/3 players and then an obvious advantage for you in the third.
There's more than some "middling Selke recognition" that make them clearly one of the best defensive first lines. PK time is not always a perfect indicator of defensive play(it's a pretty good indicator), but Lever killed a good amount of penalties throughout his career, and Pederson did for 7 years of his career, doing it for some very, very good penalty killing teams. There are quotes calling them defensive minded forwards, two-way forwards, penalty killers, and contributors at both ends of the ice.

The extent of defensive ability of your first line is Mac Colville saying he backchecked when he was 70 years old, from what I can tell. Savard was a pretty soft/one-dimensional forward most of his career until a few years in Boston, and as far as I know Shibicky doesn't bring any intangibles to the table. How is that not a big difference?

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08-25-2013, 09:52 PM
  #45
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Originally Posted by Rob Scuderi View Post
You oversell Dave Gagner's physical game here if you think they were all that similar. He was a chippy little guy who worked hard for his points. Jaroslav Holik was a bully, there's an anecdote in Kings of the Ice where he talks about taking sleeping pills every night because he'd be restless worrying he was too harsh on his opponents during his games. Holik is the type of center I wouldn't want Savard to match up against, Gagner isn't in that same mold.

I'm not sure how this isn't a definite advantage for Holik overall. How is one scoring lead and three more top-3 finishes not impressive? His career with the national team was limited because he was bad for Soviet business.

Gagner's 10 year prime isn't so special that he's going to vault by Holik with a shorter career. He ranked 23rd in center vsX scores, which would mean if no non-NHLers existed he'd be one of the two worst scorers in the draft. With them existing, I'm not sure how he's anything special offensively. He's the same guy offensively as Mike Ridley, Andrew Cassells, and Cliff Ronning.
Gagner's not anything special offensively as a center, again, I never said he was. For a guy acting as the glue guy of his line, he brings very good offense compared to other 2nd line glue guys, it's just unusual because he's a center. If they both go into a corner, I'd think Holik would come out with the puck more often than Gagner.

I did a similar analysis with Eldebrink and I don't think you had any objection to it, so I'll do it again. Holik's got 6 good years mentioned in his bio, spread from 1966 to 1974, but bulk and best part was between 1966 and 1972, a seven year span. Take Gagner's 7 year peak(1988-89 to 94-95) and he's 27th in points among forwards, and 37th in PPG in that span among forwards with at least 300 games. Put him at the ~34th best forward in the world. The KLM line had come to North America so I don't think there are any Europeans who are clearly better that aren't represented. In Holik's time, Europeans better than him were Nedomansky, Jaroslav Holik(I think), Firsov, Starshinov, Vikulov, Yakushev, and Mikhailov, seven guys. I didn't count guys like Kharlamov or Petrov who began their prime halfway through that period. The top 31 forwards in points in that period were all ATD players, and the only guy in the top 37 who wasn't an ATD player is Ted Hampson at 32. Is Holik better offensively than ~7-10 of them? I could see an argument for 3-4 of them, but that's it.

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08-25-2013, 10:13 PM
  #46
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Originally Posted by Rob Scuderi View Post
If I typed this up, I'd compare Fairbairn to Boudrias as they're the best wingers rather than LW to LW and RW to RW. I love Fairbairn, but Boudrias could pass in a top six role and has the skillset to play in the bottom six so I think I have an advantage at every spot here. Friesen's a nice scorer, but Backes has a substantial defensive edge.
No qualms about that, you've got a clear advantage on the 3rd lines.


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I'm not sure why you think we went for a two-way line, these are all guys with "4th line skills." I don't think they really have much offense outside of Cotton's decent vsX scores and Acton's one year feeding Lafleur. Drake's pretty much a plug offensively, it's just one guy he's being compared to topped 40 points once while playing in the 80s and the other lost some prime years to the WHA.

Fisher had good Selke recognition and Preston had a solid year, but Tippett only had one season receiving more than two votes. Is this really a smothering group to match against the Savard line when we're pressing for a goal?
I said two-way because they bring a little offensive ability and you appear to have wanted a little bit of offensive ability from the group. Can you point to a 3rd or 4th line in the draft that you could say is a definitively better shutdown forward line? I see a handful of lines that are in the conversation, but not one that you could say is clearly head and shoulders above Tippett-Fisher-Preston. Looking through the roster thread, the only LW I see with a better Selke resume is Burr. Hell, the guy with the next best resume among LWs after Tippett is Friesen. Then look at pre-Selke guys and the ones I could see maybe having an argument over Tippett would be Marks and Cotton. I think you're expecting too much from these MLD guys, these are the next best after the best 800 have already been chosen.

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08-25-2013, 10:29 PM
  #47
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Originally Posted by vecens24 View Post
I'm still waiting for anything to prove that Kampman is any better than Letang.
I'm still waiting for anything that shows Letang is better than Kampman. The writers that voted Kampman to those numbers saw him play live, in person, at least 2-3 times a year, all of them. Kampman was a #2 defenseman on a Stanley Cup winning team, and a #1 defenseman on another team that made the Stanley Cup Finals. You claimed Letang was a #2 on a cup winning team, in reality he was a #2 in the regular season only because Whitney and Gonchar were hurt. When they were healthy, they played more than him. Then in the playoffs, his was 5th in overall TOI and 6th in ESTOI. He was #5/6 in 07-08 when they made the finals, doesn't add anything.

09-10: 2nd OV, 3rd ES, lost in the second round
10-11: 1st OV, 4th ES, lost in first round
11-12 & 12-13: I think we all remember what a defensive gong-show the Penguins were during these two playoff runs.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
It feels unfair to treat Kampman like he suffered a career ending injury in 1943, since in reality, there's no sign he would have stopped playing if the war didn't break out - and like they say, there are no World Wars to worry about in the ATD. But on the other hand, it feels unfair to give Kampman credit for seasons he didn't play when we have no frame of reference for how good he might have been in them (as we do for players who were good NHLers both before and after the War).
Kampman's three years of AS voting were also the three years leading up to the war, so his play was pretty obviously headed in the upward direction when the war happened.

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08-25-2013, 11:09 PM
  #48
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Originally Posted by Rob Scuderi View Post
I don't think Babych is better than Hamrlik. It's been pointed out that your analysis of just all-star voting leaves a lot to be desired, especially when we're continuously slagging Letang for his record.
If we're going to pick on Babych and Letang for their voting records as modern offensive defenseman, shouldn't we be picking on Hamrlik too? After all, he is a modern offensive defenseman as well, so he should be subject to the same bias in his favor that the other two had. Yet all he ever had was one 7th place finish? That says something, doesn't it?
Quote:
Team GA while #1
Babych: 5/24, 10/21, 17/26, 18/26, 15/21, 21/26 18/21, 21/21
Hamrlik: 12/30, 12/30, 11/26, 18/30, 21/30, 21/30
2 of Babych's teams finished in the top half of goals against, 3 of Hamrlik's teams did

Team GA while #2
Babych: 15/21, 17/21
Hamrlik: 8/30, 11/30, 12/28, 15/26, 16/26, 21/30, 27/30
None of Babych's teams finished in the top half goals against, 3 of Hamrlik's teams did
If you put an 18-23 year old Roman Hamrlik on those brutal expansion Winnipeg Jets teams, could you say with confidence that their defensive results would have been any better? In your bio it says that when Hamrlik was that age, he struggled with his reads a bit and had problems moving the puck out of the zone and on his backhand(I assume on the forecheck).

You're also using ES TOI in rankings which helps Hamrlik a lot. Look at overall TOI(it doesn't mean all that much), Hamrlik was a #1 four times, and Babych a #1 eight times. If you use overall defense, doesn't it make sense to use overall TOI?

Quote:
Both guys were minute munching defenseman with Babych a #1 two more times and Hamrlik a #2 five more times. Both ended up producing similar adjusted points, with Hamrlik slightly better at ES and Babych slightly better on the PP. This is an important point as offense was Babych's strong suit (not that it isn't true for Hamrlik also).

Hamrlik's teams were much better defensively however, and had a small advantage killing penalties.
These guys are offensive defenseman, first and foremost. In general, the defensive abilities for their teams is pretty bad. Babych's are really bad, Hamrlik's are bad. Is there really that much of a difference there? Again, if you put Hamrlik in Babych's position, do the teams really do any different?

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08-26-2013, 12:35 AM
  #49
seventieslord
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
If this was all the information we had, I'd say I have no idea how to compare them and either look for more complete stats or start digging up newspaper articles to see what people who saw them play thought.
Except it's painfully obvious (from, for example, the positional issues we've had lately) that they don't really watch these players play.

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Maybe by the AAA draft you reach a level where awards voting becomes trivial and you have to play games with the limited stats that are available, but in the MLD, there are still guys who have significant award voting left. Such as Letang, who has a non-trivial number of votes in 2-3 seasons. Do those seasons outweigh the fact that Letang has had a very short career, and has been... we'll say "uneven" in the playoffs? Maybe, may not.
OK. Let's assume for a second that Letang really was the 3rd best defenseman last season (even though his strongest supporters tend to go "...ok. we'll, let's all agree he was at least top-5, right?)

This was still based on 35 games of hockey. And his career is 1/3 as long as some of the other guys in this draft. You talk derisively at the "seventieslordian notion of career value" (apologies for the likely misquote) but a lot of times you give off a "he who had the best single season is therefore the best" vibe. That's kind of a "TheDevilmadeMeian notion of peak", eh? It's like it doesn't even matter if another player didn't have a season with those kind of votes, but his 2nd, 3rd, 4th seasons and career were all better.

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Originally Posted by vecens24 View Post
Yep. We're talking about a guy in Letang who was a 2nd team all star, on 82 ballots for his 6th place AS, and 19 for his 9th place. That's enough to where his totals aren't trivial one or two vote matters.
82 is not bad. Let's still remember what that says though. 32% of voters thought he was one of the top 3. That really is "shorthand" for 6th best in the NHL... at best.

Let's agree on a few things here.

One, all-star and norris voters LOVE hockey card stats.

Two, If Letang was a 45-point guy, and not the (aggregate) 80-point player that he's been over the last season's worth of games in two seasons, would he get any norris recognition at all? I mean, no one's calling him terrible at anything here, but he doesn't have Norris level anything, except point production. Right?

Three, if Letang wasn't on a run and gun team with Crosby and malkin on it, though we can't predict what his point totals would be, we're pretty sure they would be lower.

Where does that leave us?

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Originally Posted by Rob Scuderi View Post
Building on the GA analysis, I wanted to see what scouting reports had to say about Babych's defensive game. No one doubts his offense, but how does he hold up defensively?

It seems like he got some praise for improving early in his career and had a good year defensively during his first season in Hartford. From there it sounds like Babych regressed defensively with quotes saying he was always somewhat one-dimensional and then became fully one-dimensional. He's also praised once for his body checking in 1983, but in 1991 it's said he's never been a big hitter. He's repeatedly criticized for his physical game in the Hockey Scouting Reports. For some reason Babych is inexplicably missing from the Hockey Scouting Reports after 1991.
thanks, I forgot I had put that together for someone.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I always viewed Hamrlik as a guy who saw a lot of ice time because he played for generally crappy teams with no better options. Maybe I'm just thinking of the first half of his career though.
You're thinking of 1993-1998 in particular. Hamrlik played 23 minutes per game, but his teams were BAD. We're talking 17% below average at ES. However, from 1999-2008, he played 24.6 minutes a game. And his teams were actually quite successful - in the regular season, anyway. They were 4% above average.

In total, he's at 1400 games now, and has still maintained a 23.36 minute average, and though in total his teams have been 5% below average, that's still pretty crazy.

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Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
I remember Babych vividly from his Canucks days and the last word I'd use to describe him is 'conservative'.

He and Jyrki Lumme were not on the ice at the same time because, as Jim Robson put it, the duo is like an earthquake meeting a hurricane. He meant they shook things up, unstable, not that they were physical forces. It was exciting to watch them play. Lumme was more creative and better stickhandler but Babych was the better passer and harder shot.
Thanks for the insight. I thought that as he got older he was viewed as a "steady veteran" type for Vancouver. i tend to remember GBC also raving about his late career work with the canucks, but maybe not. Maybe he was always a poor man's non-physical McCabe.

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08-26-2013, 12:40 AM
  #50
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Looking at the St. Louis PK forwards, Boudrias looks like a bit of a weak spot. He only ever killed penalties for 3 years in his career, for two decent units and for one really bad one. Drake killed 27% for teams 4% above league average, but when he was a top 4 option they were a below average PK team. Backes played on some really good PKs, but his whole career he has been either a #3 or #4 in SH TOI/G or didn't kill them at all like the first 2 years of his career. Acton killed 31% for units 3% below average.

Pederson: SH TOI Rank(81-82 to 88-89): 4, 3, 1, 4, 2, 2, 3, on PKs 9.36% better than the league average
Tippett: 51% usage on units 12% better than the league average
Fairbairn: 4, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2/2 on NY penalty kills that were really good, and then brutal North Stars teams seriously drag down his totals, including a PK that was 7% worse than the average.
Lever: killed a good amount of penalties for some awful penalty killing teams.

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