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AAA 2013 A. O'Brien divisional final: Regina Direwolves vs Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets

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Old
12-13-2013, 07:53 PM
  #1
TheDevilMadeMe
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AAA 2013 A. O'Brien divisional final: Regina Direwolves vs Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets

Regina Direwolves

Coach: Brian Sutter
Assistant Coach: Jacques Laperriere

John Sorrell - Petr Nedved - Mike Murphy (C)
Tony Granato - Art Jackson - Alexander Golikov
Buzz Boll - Cully Dahlstrom - Billy Harris
Jack McDonald - Lorne Henning - Willi Plett
Martin Havlat (LW/RW), Ron Murphy (LW/RW)


Ivan Tregubov - Brad Marsh (A)
Reg Hamilton - Al Hamilton (A)
Art Moore - Patrice Brisebois
Bob Turner (D/W)

Kelly Hrudey
Earl Robertson

PP1: Sorrell - Jackson - Harris - Nedved - Tregubov
PP2: McDonald - Boll - Golikov - A.Hamilton - Brisebois
PK1: Henning - Murphy - Marsh - R.Hamilton
PK2: Dahlstrom - Granato - Tregubov - Moore

VS

Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets

Coach: Terry Crisp
Assistant Coach: Mike Buckna

Alex Kaleta - Jozef Stumpel - Glen Murray
Morris Lukowich - Guy Chouinard - Ran McDonald
Jochen Hecht - Ron Schock - Lucien DeBlois
Dan Maloney - Travis Zajac - Ryan Callahan
Jim Conacher, Ric Seiling

Stew Evans - Gord Murphy
Eric Brewer - Tom Bladon
Bob Trapp - Randy Manery
Bryan Watson

Gerry McNeil
Cesare Maniago

PP1
Kaleta-Stumpel-Murray
Chouinard-Bladon

PP2
Lukowich-Schock-McDonald
Murphy-Manery

PK1
Schock-Hecht
Evans-Brewer

PK2
Zajac-Callahan
Trapp-Murphy

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12-15-2013, 05:55 PM
  #2
Rob Scuderi
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Looking forward to it seventies, I'll start us off.

Nedved
vsX: 82.5, 81.25, 72.34, 65.14, 55.77, 52.87, 51.11
6 best sum: 409.87
Points: 13, 26, 30
Team scoring: 1, 1, 2, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5
42 pts in 71 playoff games

Stumpel
vsX: 86.81, 69.72, 64.44, 61.70, 57.29, 50.00
6 best sum: 389.96
Points: 10, 27
Assists: 4, 5
Team scoring: 1, 1, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6
30 points in 55 playoff games

I see Stumpel as one of the best 1st liners in the draft, but Nedved is even better. Stumpel had the best single season finishing 10th in scoring, with Glen Murray second on his team behind 19 points and Vladimir Tsyplakov third on the team. Nedved's best season was 13th in scoring, for 4th on his team behind Lemieux, Jagr, and Francis. Nedved pulls away with 2-4 best seasons and had 7 seasons of a vsX of at least 50 to Stumpel's 6.

Sorrell
vsX: 76.6, 72.09, 70, 55.81, 54.55, 53.33, 50
6 best sum: 382.38
Points: 15, 15, 20
Goals: 5, 8
Team scoring: 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6*
*combined totals with time NYA and DET
27 pts in 42 playoff games, 2x Stanley Cup winner, 1x Stanley Cup finalist

Murray
vsX: 88.46, 78.89, 68.97, 65.96, 65.93, 50.00
6 best sum: 418.21
Points: 7, 17
Goals: 2, 5
Team scoring: 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 5, 5
42 points in 94 playoff games

I have a tough time telling these two apart. I think Murray had the best two regular seasons, but it gets close after that. vsX scores say Murray was better, but 70s usually gives a boost to pre-expansion players. Either way, Sorrell definitely has a clear edge in the playoffs. Sorrell seems to have been "just" a scorer, and Murray had an inconsistent physical game.

Murphy
vsX: 58.1, 57.14, 53.54, 51.38, 50.96, 41.18
6 best sum: 312.3
Team scoring: 2*, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6
*combined totals from STL and NYR
36 points in 66 playoff games

Kaleta
vsX: 88.46, 69.84, 57.41, 51.85, 44.93, 43.33
6 best sum: 355.82
Points: 9, 16
Assists: 4
Team scoring: 2, 4, 4, 4
7 points in 17 playoff games

Kaleta definitely seems to be the better offensive player before a pre-expansion boost is given to his vsX scores. Murphy's offense seems below average for a top line, but he's an AAA intangibles god.

Overall, I think Pittsburgh's line has the edge. Nedved has Stumpel beat, and Sorrell and Murray are close. Kaleta's offense is definitely better than Murphy's though. Murphy brings the most intangibles being more physical than Murray and better defensively than Kaleta. Pittsburgh's line is somewhat soft and Kaleta is the lone backchecker, but I think their offensive firepower boosts them ahead of Regina's line.

Can Murphy's unmatched physical and defensive presence boost Regina's line ahead despite having the lowest scoring ability of our 6 players?

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12-15-2013, 06:16 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Percentage scores when Nedved played with some combo of Lemieux, Jagr, and Francis or when Glen Murray was centered by Thornton really need to be asterixed.

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12-17-2013, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Scuderi View Post
Looking forward to it seventies, I'll start us off.

Nedved
vsX: 82.5, 81.25, 72.34, 65.14, 55.77, 52.87, 51.11
6 best sum: 409.87
Points: 13, 26, 30
Team scoring: 1, 1, 2, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5
42 pts in 71 playoff games

Stumpel
vsX: 86.81, 69.72, 64.44, 61.70, 57.29, 50.00
6 best sum: 389.96
Points: 10, 27
Assists: 4, 5
Team scoring: 1, 1, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6
30 points in 55 playoff games

I see Stumpel as one of the best 1st liners in the draft, but Nedved is even better. Stumpel had the best single season finishing 10th in scoring, with Glen Murray second on his team behind 19 points and Vladimir Tsyplakov third on the team. Nedved's best season was 13th in scoring, for 4th on his team behind Lemieux, Jagr, and Francis. Nedved pulls away with 2-4 best seasons and had 7 seasons of a vsX of at least 50 to Stumpel's 6.

Sorrell
vsX: 76.6, 72.09, 70, 55.81, 54.55, 53.33, 50
6 best sum: 382.38
Points: 15, 15, 20
Goals: 5, 8
Team scoring: 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6*
*combined totals with time NYA and DET
27 pts in 42 playoff games, 2x Stanley Cup winner, 1x Stanley Cup finalist

Murray
vsX: 88.46, 78.89, 68.97, 65.96, 65.93, 50.00
6 best sum: 418.21
Points: 7, 17
Goals: 2, 5
Team scoring: 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 5, 5
42 points in 94 playoff games

I have a tough time telling these two apart. I think Murray had the best two regular seasons, but it gets close after that. vsX scores say Murray was better, but 70s usually gives a boost to pre-expansion players. Either way, Sorrell definitely has a clear edge in the playoffs. Sorrell seems to have been "just" a scorer, and Murray had an inconsistent physical game.

Murphy
vsX: 58.1, 57.14, 53.54, 51.38, 50.96, 41.18
6 best sum: 312.3
Team scoring: 2*, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6
*combined totals from STL and NYR
36 points in 66 playoff games

Kaleta
vsX: 88.46, 69.84, 57.41, 51.85, 44.93, 43.33
6 best sum: 355.82
Points: 9, 16
Assists: 4
Team scoring: 2, 4, 4, 4
7 points in 17 playoff games

Kaleta definitely seems to be the better offensive player before a pre-expansion boost is given to his vsX scores. Murphy's offense seems below average for a top line, but he's an AAA intangibles god.

Overall, I think Pittsburgh's line has the edge. Nedved has Stumpel beat, and Sorrell and Murray are close. Kaleta's offense is definitely better than Murphy's though. Murphy brings the most intangibles being more physical than Murray and better defensively than Kaleta. Pittsburgh's line is somewhat soft and Kaleta is the lone backchecker, but I think their offensive firepower boosts them ahead of Regina's line.

Can Murphy's unmatched physical and defensive presence boost Regina's line ahead despite having the lowest scoring ability of our 6 players?
- Just a thought, would you consider removing the decimals in the future? The vsX method is already just a method of approximation and IMO the decimal places don’t make them any more accurate, only uglier, and sort of give the numbers a sort of “precision” look to them that they don’t really deserve. Sorry, I’m just a “significant figures” stickler and you’re not the first one I’ve said this to. Again, it’s up to you.
- On the centers comparison, I think you’re generous – a little. TDMM is right about Nedved’s best seasons being boosted by Jagr/Lemieux. I don’t know exactly how to account for this. However, One thing I’ve seen (and done myself) with regards to Nicholls, is to simply drop his percentage score for the affected season to the next best level he achieved “on his own”. The assumption is that to reach his gaudiest scores, he had to not only be at his best, but also had help from superior linemates (usually Nedved was a catalyst, it’s just that in a couple seasons he was a clear passenger). In Nedved’s case what this would mean is his best scores are… 81, 81, 72, 56, 56, 53 for a total of 399… but that’s based on my sheet which I think uses a different benchmark for 1996 and 1997. No matter – the point stands. Nedved is “slightly” more potent than Stumpel offensively, but I don’t think the difference in best 6 scores is the reason why, as it’s fairly minimal. I’m more concerned with the fact that Nedved was a dynamic player who was balanced offensively, while Stumpel was only going to hurt you one way – with passing – which made him very predictable. Is this as important as actual results? No, but it is a consideration to make on the side.
- I would agree on Sorrell vs. Murray too. Although I’m not selling Sorrell as a major catalyst who always outscored both his linemates, I think he was less dependent on them than Murray was, at least. As far as the pre-expansion boost goes, you’re free to accept or challenge it, but I don’t need you to accept it blindly. I’m willing to defend the assertion because I believe in it, but I don’t want to browbeat this point into all of you, either. Here’s a little supporting snippet if it helps. I assume you’re like me and have a longlist maintained for the MLD/AAA/AA stretch. Maybe you even have your wingers or all forwards listed by their VsX totals as a starting point for evaluation. What you might notice (as I notice right now) is that based on the raw VsX numbers, the top 22 guys available right now (at least the top-22 I’ve bothered to track thus far) are all post-expansion. In total, of the top-37 offensive NHL/WHA wingers I can see (and I may be missing a few), 8 are pre-expansion and 29 are post-expansion (slightly off), and as I said, none are top-20 (way off). If there’s a 15% boost given to the pre-expansion guys, then we have 14 of the “top” 44 wingers being pre-expansion guys, including 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th, 12th, 16th, 20th, 24th, 27th, 30th, 36th, 39th, and 43rd. Not only is 14 of 44 a much more attractive ratio, but the older guys are interspersed quite nicely among the newer guys so that a guy who is as “dominant” from a pre-expansion standpoint is valued about as much as a guy who is as dominant from a post-expansion standpoint. This is all a side note to our series though.
- As for the big question regarding these two lines – YES. I do think Murphy makes up for the offensive edge Kaleta has over him. I think adding up the offensive values of all the players on a line is a fair way to make a comparison of a scoring line, IF the two lines meet these criteria: 1. They are not overly biased towards goals or assists, and 2. They have a good level of toughness/defense/glue guy/whateveryouwanttocallit. In this particular case there is one line with a good edge in this area (admittedly thanks entirely to one player). I would agree that if you were to just “sum” the players’ offensive abilities then the Pittsburgh line would be “better” thanks entirely to Kaleta’s edge over Murphy. But it’s a question of how effective the line will be overall – how often will it get scored on when the puck is in its end, and how often will it be in their end (i.e. can they win puck battles to get it out of the defensive zone, keep it in the offensive zone, and effectively cycle and dump and chase when necessary?) With these elements not exactly “missing”, but certainly “lacking” on Pittsburgh, I see a decided edge in Regina’s favour.
- Side note again: I don’t even think Murphy is an “intangibles god” in the grand scheme of things, but yeah, as far as players with enough upside to play on a AAA scoring line this year, he is. It’s crazy but he compares that well to the others here. The MLD has sucked all of the players with any combination of upside and intangibles up from the AAA/AA level, and I honestly think Murphy, Larochelle, Tobin, Lukowich, Granato, Kunitz and Harris are a dying breed down here, because there are quite obviously seven inferior overall player they can and will replace on MLD 3rd/4th lines next year – at least. So this time next year, who are we calling an “intangibles god” on a AAA scoring line? Jim Riley? Joe Juneau? Yikes.

I’ll come back to do some 2nd line analysis and hopefully more. This is just getting going; hopefully we can have time to do this.

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12-17-2013, 07:11 PM
  #5
Rob Scuderi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
- Just a thought, would you consider removing the decimals in the future? The vsX method is already just a method of approximation and IMO the decimal places don’t make them any more accurate, only uglier, and sort of give the numbers a sort of “precision” look to them that they don’t really deserve. Sorry, I’m just a “significant figures” stickler and you’re not the first one I’ve said this to. Again, it’s up to you.
Good idea, I've been lazily copying and pasting but that would make it easier to read.


Quote:
- I would agree on Sorrell vs. Murray too. Although I’m not selling Sorrell as a major catalyst who always outscored both his linemates, I think he was less dependent on them than Murray was, at least. As far as the pre-expansion boost goes, you’re free to accept or challenge it, but I don’t need you to accept it blindly. I’m willing to defend the assertion because I believe in it, but I don’t want to browbeat this point into all of you, either. Here’s a little supporting snippet if it helps. I assume you’re like me and have a longlist maintained for the MLD/AAA/AA stretch. Maybe you even have your wingers or all forwards listed by their VsX totals as a starting point for evaluation. What you might notice (as I notice right now) is that based on the raw VsX numbers, the top 22 guys available right now (at least the top-22 I’ve bothered to track thus far) are all post-expansion. In total, of the top-37 offensive NHL/WHA wingers I can see (and I may be missing a few), 8 are pre-expansion and 29 are post-expansion (slightly off), and as I said, none are top-20 (way off). If there’s a 15% boost given to the pre-expansion guys, then we have 14 of the “top” 44 wingers being pre-expansion guys, including 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th, 12th, 16th, 20th, 24th, 27th, 30th, 36th, 39th, and 43rd. Not only is 14 of 44 a much more attractive ratio, but the older guys are interspersed quite nicely among the newer guys so that a guy who is as “dominant” from a pre-expansion standpoint is valued about as much as a guy who is as dominant from a post-expansion standpoint. This is all a side note to our series though.
I have lists of weighted vsX scores, but it's for 5 best seasons (can't give you a good reason why). I'd really rather not recalculate them for this purpose so based on 5 best, I had 3/10 best drafted centers as pre-expansion guys and 7/20 wingers as pre-expansion guys. Seemed somewhat balanced so I haven't looked into a boost really, just wanted to mention it. It seems like vsX does a good job with pre-expansion players, or my best 5 seasons is doing them a favor.


Quote:
- As for the big question regarding these two lines – YES. I do think Murphy makes up for the offensive edge Kaleta has over him. I think adding up the offensive values of all the players on a line is a fair way to make a comparison of a scoring line, IF the two lines meet these criteria: 1. They are not overly biased towards goals or assists, and 2. They have a good level of toughness/defense/glue guy/whateveryouwanttocallit. In this particular case there is one line with a good edge in this area (admittedly thanks entirely to one player). I would agree that if you were to just “sum” the players’ offensive abilities then the Pittsburgh line would be “better” thanks entirely to Kaleta’s edge over Murphy. But it’s a question of how effective the line will be overall – how often will it get scored on when the puck is in its end, and how often will it be in their end (i.e. can they win puck battles to get it out of the defensive zone, keep it in the offensive zone, and effectively cycle and dump and chase when necessary?) With these elements not exactly “missing”, but certainly “lacking” on Pittsburgh, I see a decided edge in Regina’s favour.
That's kind of how I see my line too, not really deficient in an area but no one who stands out in those roles. Stumpel and Murray are big bodies who can cycle but they're soft and sometimes soft so they might not strike fear into defensemen.

Quote:
- Side note again: I don’t even think Murphy is an “intangibles god” in the grand scheme of things, but yeah, as far as players with enough upside to play on a AAA scoring line this year, he is. It’s crazy but he compares that well to the others here. The MLD has sucked all of the players with any combination of upside and intangibles up from the AAA/AA level, and I honestly think Murphy, Larochelle, Tobin, Lukowich, Granato, Kunitz and Harris are a dying breed down here, because there are quite obviously seven inferior overall player they can and will replace on MLD 3rd/4th lines next year – at least. So this time next year, who are we calling an “intangibles god” on a AAA scoring line? Jim Riley? Joe Juneau? Yikes.

I’ll come back to do some 2nd line analysis and hopefully more. This is just getting going; hopefully we can have time to do this.
Yeah Murphy's physicality and defensive game might not seem mindblowing, but he's only being compared to the other guys in this draft.

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12-17-2013, 07:17 PM
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I'll compare third lines since 70s said he's going to try to get to second lines.

Cully Dahlstrom
vsX: 70, 57, 55, 50, 45, 43
6 year sum: 320
14 points in 29 playoff games, 1x Stanley Cup winner, 1x Stanley Cup finalist

Ron Schock
vsX scores: 68, 52, 47, 47, 43, 41
6 year sum: 298
20 points in 55 playoff games
781 GP
Adjusted ESP: 349 / 35 per season

Two of the best 3rd centers in the draft, and I agree with our all-star voting that had Dahlstrom ahead. He's better offensively and you provided quotes showing his defensive game (wish I had known about them). He seemed to have some grit in him as well, where Schock seemed more of a clean checking center. Schock isn't out of Dahlstrom's league, Cully's just gets the nod here.

Buzz Boll
vsX: 79, 70, 59, 57, 57, 48, 47
6 best sum: 370
10 points in 31 playoff games, led 1936 playoffs in points and goals, 3x Stanley Cup finalist

Jochen Hecht
vsX scores: 60, 49, 46, 46, 44, 40
6 year sum: 285
32 points in 59 playoff games
833 games played
Adjusted ESP: 420 / 40 per season

Boll might be even better than our centers. His offense is comparable to Kaleta's and wouldn't be out of place on a scoring line. I shied away from him because I wasn't sure how glowing the praise for his two-way game was, but you have a quote calling him a good backchecker and quotes saying he could play on defense. He might have been the jack-of-all trades master of none as Pelletier's profile says, but that basically applies to Hecht too. I wanted to split hairs and claim Hecht might have been the better defensive player, but I'm not sure if I can do unless it's on that basis it's easier to find more quotes about a player from the 2000s than 30s-40s. Hecht does seem to have been the best even-strength scorer of our post-expansion players though, a skill that made me select him when I did.

You did have Boll in your top tier of toughness from forwards last series and I'm not sold on that. Is there something in his bio I'm missing? Hecht wasn't physical, but he would work the corners and take hits. I'm not saying this will make a difference between the two, but I'm curious where Boll stands in this area compared to our other forwards.

Billy Harris
vsX: 64, 59, 55, 49, 48, 47, 47
6 best sum: 322
1x All-Star Game participant
897 GP
Adjusted ESP: 367 / 33 per season
38 points in 71 playoff games

Lucien DeBlois
vsX scores: 63, 44, 40, 35, 31, 28
6 best: 241
13 points in 52 playoff games, 1x Stanley Cup
993 GP
Adjusted ESP: 362 / 29 per season

Harris has a definite edge in vsX scores and even-strength scoring. Both have some quotes praising their checking abilities and toughness. I get the impression Harris was better defensively and DeBlois tougher. Overall, I think you have to take Harris here.

I gave Regina advantages at all three spots so I see them as having the better line. Dahlstrom and Schock are close, but I think there's some more separation on the wings. Hecht and Schock, like Harris, did most of their scoring from even-strength so they should be able to chip in from a bottom six role.

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12-17-2013, 08:01 PM
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Jack McDonald ought to be the first star of this series as an NHA star scorer relegated to fourth line duty for some inexplicable reason (check out his bio by simply clicking). It might have been wise (strategically in terms of impressions) for seventieslord to play Granato on the second pairing and Jack as the fourth liner but I cannot believe coach Sutter wouldn't reverse their positions.

Granato was a balls-to-the-wall style of physical banger whose injuries were a direct result of his playing style and the ONLY reasons I re-arranged my personal life to watch a Kings-Wings playoff game (ugh, I so haven't liked either team) to watch the Wings killer in action, and he didn't disappoint. Granato was Yzerman on crack. The Direwolves left wingers are awesome and Granato as a 2nd line left winger in the playoffs at this level (with equally injury-prone Havlat and stalwart Murphy capable of filling his role) ought to be an impact player in the series.

Henning I have often considered a MLD-worthy Bottom-6 left winger (I saw him excel defensively for the ugh-great Isles in my youth) so him at center of a AAA fourth line should be more than a playoff match for relative greenhorn Zajac.

Schock is a quality 3rd liner at this level but I have always found Hecht to be an above average but unexceptional second/third liner (speaking as a Sabres fan my four years in Ontario) and so I'd put Hecht in the same boat as an undrafted Finn who'll deservedly go in the Double-A: OJ).

Brisebois brings up plenty of negative feelings but as a third pairing guy with sheltered minutes at the AAA level he ought to THRIVE! I have played hockey, assistant coached hockey, reported on hockey as a newspaper journalist, and as a fan of the game I have to say putting Brisebois on the third pairing at this level was a stroke of genius! That said, Bladon on the opposition is equally an offensive weapon from the blueline (LOL, like either of them patrolled the blueline often) and so there's no competitive advantage here.

I seriously believe either team could win this series, with Nedved dogging it many a night, Crisp with Callahan and Watson bringing all-time great clutch play experience as well as McNeil's three Stanley Cup Finals appearances, the series oygvht ot be a six or seven games affair either way.

Both teams are deserved draft finalists!

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12-17-2013, 11:57 PM
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lots of good stuff to reply to - so much more to say! But I'll have to stick to a couple of points here.

Rob: I think you're mistaken about what I think of Boll. I had him 8th out of the 24 starting forwards in my last series defensively, but toughness-wise, I only had him 12th out of 24, so merely average. You may have just gotten the lists confused.

VI: The thing about McDonald/Granato is simply chemistry. I selected Granato first because I needed a balls to the wall player on that line. I had a very docile center and planned all along to select the relatively one-dimensional Golikov so I needed to get a tough guy who could play LW, with as much upside as possible. Granato fit that bill. McDonald kinda fell into my lap, as I had honestly thought he was gone for most of this draft. Even if he didn't have some credibility as a checker I'd have selected him as a 4th liner because he was the best scorer I could get and I wanted one more weapon for my PP. the fact that he's actually pretty credible as a 4th liner turned out to be purely a bonus.

Can I argue that he's not as good a player as Granato? Absolutely not. I had Granato as a bottom line player coming in and McDonald would have been highly rated as a scoring line guy. In fact, he could be argued to be my 2nd-most potent winger (he's arguably 2nd after Sorrell, but Golikov, Havlat and Boll are arguably more potent than him). It's simply a matter of chemistry. I'm a big fan of lines that "work". Granato brings an element of meanness, agitation and leadership that McDonald doesn't. The line has exploitable size, but of course McDonald wouldn't have remedied that. Anyway, having overqualified players buried in your lineup is what makes a team deep, and deep teams win

BTW, three things:

1. Where did you get Henning as a LW? I must have missed this because I only have seen him as a C.
2. Who's OJ? I can only imagine you mean Olli Jokinen. But he's selected.
3. Kings/Wings playoff series? Granato was only a King during the era of divisional playoffs and therefore would have only played the wings in the conference finals... which I know never happened. So either you're mistaken there, or I'm misunderstanding your anecdote.

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12-18-2013, 02:43 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
1. Where did you get Henning as a LW? I must have missed this because I only have seen him as a C.
I remember him as a left winger AND I included it in an earlier bio from research I'd done (years ago now). I'll dig up the reference when I have time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Kings/Wings playoff series? Granato was only a King during the era of divisional playoffs and therefore would have only played the wings in the conference finals... which I know never happened. So either you're mistaken there, or I'm misunderstanding your anecdote.
I vividly remember the Kings-Wings playoffs. It was in 2001. The comeback against the Wings was EPIC! I just mixed up Granato with Deadmarsh. LOL. Deader was the hero. I mixed up the two in my quick memory, easy to do since they played a similar style in that era.


Last edited by VanIslander: 12-18-2013 at 03:06 AM.
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12-18-2013, 07:48 AM
  #10
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Ahh, yes, that I remember very well myself.

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12-18-2013, 08:24 AM
  #11
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Who's OJ? I can only imagine you mean Olli Jokinen. But he's selected.
I must have mentally blocked it out. I cannot imagine a first line player who has consistently disappointed as much as he has. In a 30-team NHL he has maintained a top-6 position, top line on a below average club but his TOI and total points should be so discounted, are misleading in the extreme. He is not an all-time great or near great and I have a "Could he have been better than Olli Jokinen?" standard for evaluating question marks, of players who played the bulk of their career outside of the NHL during the NHL years of hockey history.

(OJ went in the second to last double round of the MLD this year as an extra skater and as a bench player he's adequate at best though still brings no single all-time great skill to the table; I have been continually disappointed in him; Finn grit is well known but he sleepwalks through some games).

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12-18-2013, 09:26 AM
  #12
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4 times top 20 in goals isn't bad, mind you...

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12-18-2013, 04:43 PM
  #13
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2nd lines

I never realized how similar Granato and Lukowich were. Both small, gritty, tenacious, fearless players. Both the kinds of guys who are excellent in their roles as scoring line grit players.

Similarities:

- Combative in nature
- Spent some time playing with a far superior offensive talent
- Excellent leaders (Lukowich was a captain one season)
- Small
- Fast

Differences:

- I get the impression Granato was dirtier/meaner
- Granato was more heavily penalized and this is partially due to his shorter fuse
- After a WHA conversion I have Lukowich over Granato in “best 6” scores 324 to 309
- Lukowich’s best season was Hawerchuk-fueled, Granato’s 4th-best was Gretzky-fueled (his best season, 1992, was not quite a year I’d call Gretzky-fueled, since he played all over in the lineup according to scouting reports)
- Lukowich was in one more ASG
- Granato was capable of playing RW and C when needed
- Granato has a more extensive playoff record, with over twice as many games and an even (after conversion) scoring rate in them

These players have been selected an average of 10 spots apart over the past 6 drafts, so unsurprisingly, Rob and I took them 5 picks apart this year. It appears that Lukowich has the slightly better regular scoring record and Granato likely the slightly better glue guy skills. That said, Granato’s more proven in the playoffs (which matters a little more here) and his intangibles edge could be no more than a symptom of more detailed reports available on him. I think these guys are more or less even as far as how effective they’ll be on these lines. Assuming next year’s MLD goes to 1100 picks again, there’s no excuse for letting these two guys fall this far.

At center, we have two guys from different eras. Jackson and Chouinard. As a starting point, the percentage scores I have for these guys in their best 6 seasons are 382 for Jackson and 372 for Chouinard. Given that Jackson’s a pre-expansion guy, not known to be a PP specialist (he very well could have been but we just don’t know), and at least somewhat of a two-way player, I think it’s safe to say that as far as even strength is concerned, Jackson is going to outperform Chouinard on the second line.

Golikov vs. McDonald – you tell me! I think it’s possible these two guys are equals as far as offense is concerned. This is total guesswork, but recall that in my proposed method of multiplying a soviet league finish by three and converting to an NHL percentage score, Golikov gets a score of 391 in his best 6 seasons. How precise is this method? Nothing more than an approximation, but also recall that it passes the smell test for Boris Mikhailov (makes him a better Lanny McDonald or Bill Barber) and Evgeny Mishakov (makes him a Ken Schinkel). McDonald’s best 6 vs1 scores (which I do on pre-expansion guys) have him at 315. However, I’ve also noticed that the difficulty in comparing pre-expansion guys to post-expansion similarly exists with pre-merger to post-merger and I think the factor to multiply by is closer to 1.2. If we did that, McDonald would be at 378 which, with imprecise methods as these, seems to indicate they’re at least in the same ballpark. Or hockey rink. Or whatever. I know I just took two foreign currencies, related them to the local one, and then used that to relate them to eachother, so take it for what you will. McDonald likely has a bit more “spunk” to him than Golikov though,

At even strength, due to the advantage at center I think Regina would prevail in a 2nd line matchup. It wouldn’t be a bloodbath though.

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12-19-2013, 04:19 PM
  #14
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I’ll try to keep the fourth lines brief since they’re not likely to have a huge impact on the series.
*
Plett vs. Maloney is an easy one to make. Both were legitimate goons and legitimate scorers who played at almost the same time (careers overlapped 6 full seasons). Maloney had better overall scoring numbers, but not by much when you consider Plett played 2 full seasons as an essential non-factor offensively and Maloney relied on the PP for scoring more than Plett did. If you remove all PP points and cut off Plett’s last two years and Maloney’s last, Plett has 352 in 702, and Maloney has 340 in 693. If one were to adjust for era for the short times they preceded and survived eachother, they’d be more or less even as non-PP producers. *(I was going to have Plett as a PP net presence and finisher but the fact is he just wasn’t used that way, even if you’d think he should have been). It should also be said that Plett was more goals-heavy so there’s one factor that probably tips the offense in his favour somewhat. Also, he played with Vail/Lysiak in his best seasons as opposed to Sittler/McDonald so he was probably less linemate dependent. Neither was a major factor defensively, though Maloney did kill some penalties. Plett had some defensive/two-way quotes earlier in his career, Maloney had some as well, he’s probably a little stronger defensively. I get the impression Maloney was more of a leader/steadying presence than Plett, who was more of a Wildman. Both were epic fighters, in the conversation for top-3 in the game for an extended period, and both began to run out of opponents as time went on. Both were excellent hitters and both were legitimately scary/intimidating guys. Overall there’s little to choose from between these two. Both will play the fourth line role well, beat up anyone stupid enough to challenge them, and not embarrass themselves from a possession standpoint.
*
I know it’s a LW vs. a C, but considering both are more or less PK specialists at this point, it might make more sense to compare Henning to Callahan. Callahan has got better offensive numbers – but Henning was buried behind some REALLY good players on the Island, was a junior superstar and proved an awesome SH scorer. Also, he played about 10 minutes a game and Callahan gets 19-21 per game including a few on the PP. The offensive gap is really not that much, all considered. Callahan has better defensive recognition as Henning was never really eligible for the Selke in his prime and once the award was introduced he was essentially competing for a 3rd place vote with 100 other forwards. So there are reasons to consider Callahan more deserving at this point but also some mitigating factors associated with Henning that I think are worth consideration,My only concern about him is how long his career has been. He’s played what amounts to roughly 40-50% of a career for a player of his caliber. But then, it’s not like Henning had an extremely long career for his era either, right?
*
McDonald and Zajac are more of an odd couple to compare. Zajac is the better defensive player and McDonald better offensively. Neither is particularly physical but they aren’t soft, either. McDonald is here as an offensive ringer for the PP and Zajac, more or less for the PK. So comparing them as overall players on a 4th line is not really fruitful.
*
Neither line has a real edge in personnel. As a whole, since my line is admittedly a mismatch of specialists (goon, PP, PK) and Pittsburgh’s more of a cohesive unit, I’m inclined to give them the edge in 4th lines. Whatever advantages Henning and McDonald give me can be discussed with special teams.

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12-19-2013, 11:09 PM
  #15
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Not sure how I feel about Granato and Lukowich's offensive ability, I'm assuming you used your percentage system for those best 6 seasons.

Using vsX and the WHA benchmarks and .71 conversion you posted for Bernier, I have Lukowich at 321 and Granato at 286 for their 6 best.

Here's all of them according to vsX (and the WHA stuff)
Granato: 59, 56, 55, 45, 37, 34

Lukowich: 63, 62, 50, 44, 35, 32
WHA: 61, 41

It seems like Lukowich had a bigger edge in regular season scoring. He was also a second team all-star in the WHA in 1979 behind Mark Howe who finished 4th in scoring to Lukowich's 6th. Hull only played 4 games that year so his usual 1st or 2nd team spot was open.

Team scoring placements
Lukowich NHL: 1 (+15), 2, 2
WHA: 2, 2

Granato: 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5

Lukowich's scoring dried up fast after moving to the NHL, but he seems to have played a bigger part in his team's scoring than Granato at their best.

-----
I can buy McDonald and Golikov being a wash. McDonald had a lot of all-star teams in the PCHA, but he wasn't competing with Mikhailov and Makarov. They both outscored Golikov in 1980 when he was a 1st team all-star, but he outscored them both in the Olympics. Really impressive he stole even one all-star spot away from them.

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12-19-2013, 11:33 PM
  #16
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
I know it’s a LW vs. a C, but considering both are more or less PK specialists at this point, it might make more sense to compare Henning to Callahan. Callahan has got better offensive numbers – but Henning was buried behind some REALLY good players on the Island, was a junior superstar and proved an awesome SH scorer. Also, he played about 10 minutes a game and Callahan gets 19-21 per game including a few on the PP. The offensive gap is really not that much, all considered. Callahan has better defensive recognition as Henning was never really eligible for the Selke in his prime and once the award was introduced he was essentially competing for a 3rd place vote with 100 other forwards. So there are reasons to consider Callahan more deserving at this point but also some mitigating factors associated with Henning that I think are worth consideration,My only concern about him is how long his career has been. He’s played what amounts to roughly 40-50% of a career for a player of his caliber. But then, it’s not like Henning had an extremely long career for his era either, right?
I was actually going to compare these two as well if I wrote up our fourth lines. I think they compare best with short careers and PK ability.

Henning played 7.5 season and missed 61 games in those 7 seasons. Callahan played 6 seasons missing 70* or 5.5 seasons missing 40* depending on how you view his 52 GP in 2008 which he started in the AHL.

A game to game comparison of missed time won't work perfectly as Callahan played in a 82 game schedule and Henning played in 78 and 80 game schedules but you get the point.

*prorating 3 missed GP during lockout to 6 since I'm calling it a full season, I realize that is clunky especially with Callahan's physical style

Quote:
*McDonald and Zajac are more of an odd couple to compare. Zajac is the better defensive player and McDonald better offensively. Neither is particularly physical but they aren’t soft, either. McDonald is here as an offensive ringer for the PP and Zajac, more or less for the PK. So comparing them as overall players on a 4th line is not really fruitful.
Yeah that's the problem with comparing Henning and Callahan even though they fit so well.

Quote:
*Neither line has a real edge in personnel. As a whole, since my line is admittedly a mismatch of specialists (goon, PP, PK) and Pittsburgh’s more of a cohesive unit, I’m inclined to give them the edge in 4th lines. Whatever advantages Henning and McDonald give me can be discussed with special teams.
Works for me, Henning and McDonald seem similar to Chouinard's real value not showing up when comparing 2nd lines.

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12-20-2013, 09:20 AM
  #17
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As far as granato goes, I only have the 56 and 34 you're seeing. Going any further on this will require a philosophical discussion on vsx and what we really want to achieve with it. For example, Kevin Stevens not being removed in 1992 will never make sense to me no matter what Sturm says. Anyway, there's a time for this discussion, just not now.

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12-20-2013, 05:40 PM
  #18
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I think comparing defense corps is going to be tiresome and perhaps even tedious, so I’d like to start with something easier.
*
I personally had Robertson, Brodeur and Maniago as the three elite backups here. Picking between Robertson and Maniago is likely pissing up a rope. It’s true that Robertson’s place in hockey’s pecking order was a lot higher, but it was in a weaker era for goalies and his career was less than half as long. Both their resumes partially depend on being decorated outside of the small and exclusive NHL that existed when they played. Leave the big comparison between these two for the time they end up against eachother as starters.
*
This part may be controversial, but I think Hrudey and McNeil are approximately equals. I think if you look at their whole careers and where they ranked worldwide throughout them (extrapolating from an O6 talent pool to a modern one) they line up fairly well. McNeil was a 2nd team all-star, Hrudey a Vezina finalist. McNeil had a year where he finished 4th with a relatively insignificant vote total; so did Hrudey. McNeil was definitely a top-6 goalie in the world for 4 years. Looking at 1988-1991, so did Hrudey (or, you could say conservatively top-8, which is about equal to top-6 in the O6). Looking at the rest of McNeil’s career, there were 5 more seasons (47, 48, 49, 56, 58) where McNeil was arguably a top-12 goalie as an all-star in one of the NHL’s feeder leagues. You could say this was about the same as 86, 87, 92, 93, 95 for Hrudey, where he was at least top-18 (and that’s conservative), serving as a 1A over Billy Smith, (86, 87), and as a good-but-not-great legit starter (92, 93, 95).
*
I don’t think our goaltenders give us an advantage either way here. What are your thoughts?
*
Also, full disclosure, I had Crisp as a top-2 coach heading into this. I really like the case for Buckna as an assistant coach and obviously same with Laperriere. I think coaching is more or less a wash here unless you want to make a case otherwise, such as for example why you have a coaching staff more suited to your team than mine is to mine.
*
Defense corps and PP/PK left to go, then maybe miscellaneous matters if you’re up to it. Having fun so far.

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12-21-2013, 02:06 PM
  #19
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Busy weekend?

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12-21-2013, 03:52 PM
  #20
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Yeah busy weekend

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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
As far as granato goes, I only have the 56 and 34 you're seeing. Going any further on this will require a philosophical discussion on vsx and what we really want to achieve with it. For example, Kevin Stevens not being removed in 1992 will never make sense to me no matter what Sturm says. Anyway, there's a time for this discussion, just not now.
You may hate this, but what if we went back to their scoring finishes?

Granato: 45, 58, 61, 76
Lukowich: 18, 37, 61

That leaves out Lukowich's WHA season and the team scoring differences of these best seasons.

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12-21-2013, 04:04 PM
  #21
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
I think comparing defense corps is going to be tiresome and perhaps even tedious, so I’d like to start with something easier.
*
I personally had Robertson, Brodeur and Maniago as the three elite backups here. Picking between Robertson and Maniago is likely pissing up a rope. It’s true that Robertson’s place in hockey’s pecking order was a lot higher, but it was in a weaker era for goalies and his career was less than half as long. Both their resumes partially depend on being decorated outside of the small and exclusive NHL that existed when they played. Leave the big comparison between these two for the time they end up against eachother as starters.
*
This part may be controversial, but I think Hrudey and McNeil are approximately equals. I think if you look at their whole careers and where they ranked worldwide throughout them (extrapolating from an O6 talent pool to a modern one) they line up fairly well. McNeil was a 2nd team all-star, Hrudey a Vezina finalist. McNeil had a year where he finished 4th with a relatively insignificant vote total; so did Hrudey. McNeil was definitely a top-6 goalie in the world for 4 years. Looking at 1988-1991, so did Hrudey (or, you could say conservatively top-8, which is about equal to top-6 in the O6). Looking at the rest of McNeil’s career, there were 5 more seasons (47, 48, 49, 56, 58) where McNeil was arguably a top-12 goalie as an all-star in one of the NHL’s feeder leagues. You could say this was about the same as 86, 87, 92, 93, 95 for Hrudey, where he was at least top-18 (and that’s conservative), serving as a 1A over Billy Smith, (86, 87), and as a good-but-not-great legit starter (92, 93, 95).
*
I don’t think our goaltenders give us an advantage either way here. What are your thoughts?
I can buy this, playing a handful of seasons in the NHL is going to hurt McNeil being compared to a post-expansion goalie. But shouldn't McNeil get the edge in the playoffs? I found a lot of quotes showing he wasn't just a bit piece on those excellent teams.

Don't really have any thoughts on coaching right now, I'll come back to it if I do.

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12-21-2013, 04:18 PM
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Tregubov and Evans play different styles, but I see them as our #1s. Tregubov was a legitimate star in the Soviet Union in the late 50s and earned a pair of WC Best Defenseman awards. Evans has one of the best all-star team voting records in the draft and some quotes backing his place in the league up. I could ham up the lower quality of European hockey in the 50s and early 60s to make Evans look better, but if his all-star spots compare favorably to guys drafted already is that really fair? I'd say these two are close with a slight edge to Tregubov. He's better offensively and was one of the best players in European hockey during his era, Evans was a very good player in his era and once called "first-rate" in the same class as ATDers but his voting record isn't going to compare to his peers as favorably as Tregubov's.

Brad Marsh
20.1 minutes per game for 1086 games
ES ranks: 1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 6
97 playoff games

Teammates he finished ahead of in ES TOI: Brad McCrimmon* (2), Behn Wilson* (2 times), Doug Crossman** (2)
Miroslav, Dvorak*, Al Iafrate*, Borje Salming*, Jim Watson*, Tom Kurvers***
(40 game minimum for these ES ranks and players)
*drafted ATD, **drafted MLD, ***drafted AAA


Gord Murphy
22.7 minutes per game over 862 games
ES ranks: 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 6
53 playoff games

Teammates: Ed Jovanovski*(2), Robert Svehla*(2), Jay Wells***(2) , Jason Woolley***(2)
Mark Howe*, Kjell Samuelsson*, Keith Brown***, Jaroslav Spacek***, Don Sweeney***

Again different styles, but who I view as our #2s. This one is simpler, Murphy had better ES toi ranks on his teams and saw more ice time, but his teams were worse than Marsh's. Murphy had puckmoving skills that Marsh didn't, but Marsh was much tougher and better defensively. With the TOI earned on superior teams, Marsh gets the edge.

The #1s are close, but I think Regina has the better top pair.

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12-21-2013, 11:53 PM
  #23
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Yeah busy weekend



You may hate this, but what if we went back to their scoring finishes?

Granato: 45, 58, 61, 76
Lukowich: 18, 37, 61

That leaves out Lukowich's WHA season and the team scoring differences of these best seasons.
Hey, don't get me wrong, Lukowich is the better scorer. Although most of Granato's best seasons came after the european invasion, so that mitigates the differences by finishes. Either way, Lukowich having an easy edge in top season indicates the unforgiving vsx benchmarks of the 1980s...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Scuderi View Post
I can buy this, playing a handful of seasons in the NHL is going to hurt McNeil being compared to a post-expansion goalie. But shouldn't McNeil get the edge in the playoffs? I found a lot of quotes showing he wasn't just a bit piece on those excellent teams.

Don't really have any thoughts on coaching right now, I'll come back to it if I do.
Maybe only being in the NHL a few seasons would hurt McNeil if another person was assessing him, but I think I'm giving him due credit for being among the next best few goalies in the world after the 6 in the NHL, in every season that he was named an all-star.

Yeah, I'd have to say he has a playoff advantage... although, he was a game under .500 overall, something I doubt any other Hab goalie who played in more than a 20 playoff games from 1940-1980 can say. On the other hand... he had a strong GAA, so did the team stop scoring?

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12-22-2013, 02:02 AM
  #24
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McNeils period in the Habs net just happened to coincide with leafs and wings dynasties.

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12-22-2013, 03:53 AM
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Maybe only being in the NHL a few seasons would hurt McNeil if another person was assessing him, but I think I'm giving him due credit for being among the next best few goalies in the world after the 6 in the NHL, in every season that he was named an all-star.
Fair enough, I do think his non-NHL resume is impressive and you acknowledged this.

Quote:
Yeah, I'd have to say he has a playoff advantage... although, he was a game under .500 overall, something I doubt any other Hab goalie who played in more than a 20 playoff games from 1940-1980 can say. On the other hand... he had a strong GAA, so did the team stop scoring?
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McNeils period in the Habs net just happened to coincide with leafs and wings dynasties.
Basically what jkrx said. In the 1951 semifinals he outduels Sawchuk who was a 1st teamer while not winning the Vezina. The finals are against Toronto and Montreal loses in 5 despite the fact that every single game went to OT. They were all 3-2 or 2-1 final scores. Not sure what more you can ask of McNeil there.

1952 Montreal beats Boston in the semifinals, but for the finals meet Sawchuk playing at his best ever. They have two games scoring a goal in each and that's it for goal support.

1953 is when he breaks through and finally wins the Stanley Cup. Detroit lost in the first round to Boston and Toronto were in a down year missing the playoffs.

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