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THN's Top 25 Greatest Teams of All-Time

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Old
12-28-2013, 08:58 PM
  #51
silkyjohnson50
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And they lost in 7, winning that game 7 (and winning the cup after to florida) would really change thing about how much that team was good at playing hockey ?
They lost in 6 games. And yes, winning vs losing in the Conference Finals changes everything.. That's like saying, if 95-96 Detroit lost an additional 7 games in the regular season does it change how good they were?

Ask every NHL player what their ultimate goal is to start every season and I'm willing to be 99% of them answer to win the Cup. Not achieving that goal is a failure for a team like 95-96 Detroit. Playoff hockey is different than regular season hockey. Using their regular season record and roster as a reason to their greatness despite them failing when their season was on the line is flawed. Just like it is to call 05-06 Detroit better than any of the three 06-09 Detroit teams.

If you're not good enough to win the Stanley Cup, then you're not good enough to be in a discussion for the "Greatest" teams ever.

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12-28-2013, 09:44 PM
  #52
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Cap-era team will have a hard time beating those big Wings, Avs, Devils, Stars team of the no-cap era.

But the 95-96 Wings have an argument for sure:
http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/l...000341996.html

Federov-Yzerman-Larionov-Primeau-Draper at center..... (an argument could be made for best center depth of that era, but then Lemieux-Francis at center of Sakic-Fosrberg-Ricci were not bad at all).

Fetisov-Konstantinov-Coffey-Lidstrom at defense (an argument could be made for best top-4 in that period, but then Bourque-Blake-Foote and Pronger-Niedermayer-Beauchemin and some other were not bad).

Ciccarelli, Kozlov not bad winger and McCarty, Lapointe, Maltby are the kind of deep that you want (and they did prove it the next years).

Vernon (one season away of a conn smythe, so very much still in his prime)-Osgood in net.

That team had 325 GF to 181 GA with 131 points that season.

They won their 2 series 4-0, (they are 11-4 those playoff, not that bad), they got beat by the Av's (also a monster playoff team that year IMO, with Sakic and Roy) that won their 2 first series 4-0 and 4-1.

And they lost in 7, winning that game 7 (and winning the cup after to florida) would really change thing about how much that team was good at playing hockey
?
This is completely wrong. They beat Winnipeg 4-2, and St. Louis 4-3, before losing 4-2 to the Avalnache. They were 10-9 in that playoffs, nothing to be impressed about at all.

GM's build teams with the idea that they can win 4 playoff series, not win the President's Trophy.

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12-28-2013, 10:33 PM
  #53
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This is completely wrong. They beat Winnipeg 4-2, and St. Louis 4-3, before losing 4-2 to the Avalnache. They were 10-9 in that playoffs, nothing to be impressed about at all.

GM's build teams with the idea that they can win 4 playoff series, not win the President's Trophy.
Sorry, the wikipedia page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1995%E2...eason#Playoffs

Is all wrong (maybe some Wings fan did change the numbers to make that team look better).

That's the good one:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1996_Stanley_Cup_playoffs

Yeah not that impressive now.

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12-29-2013, 03:24 AM
  #54
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They lost in 6 games. And yes, winning vs losing in the Conference Finals changes everything.. That's like saying, if 95-96 Detroit lost an additional 7 games in the regular season does it change how good they were?

Ask every NHL player what their ultimate goal is to start every season and I'm willing to be 99% of them answer to win the Cup. Not achieving that goal is a failure for a team like 95-96 Detroit. Playoff hockey is different than regular season hockey. Using their regular season record and roster as a reason to their greatness despite them failing when their season was on the line is flawed. Just like it is to call 05-06 Detroit better than any of the three 06-09 Detroit teams.

If you're not good enough to win the Stanley Cup, then you're not good enough to be in a discussion for the "Greatest" teams ever.
Why isn't it possible to be the 2nd best team in your season, but still one of the greatest teams in the league? 1955 Habs took a dynasty Wings team to Game 7 OT in the finals, with one of their 3 best players serving a suspension. They would probably defeat most Cup winners in a best of 7.

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12-29-2013, 03:30 AM
  #55
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Why isn't it possible to be the 2nd best team in your season, but still one of the greatest teams in the league? 1955 Habs took a dynasty Wings team to Game 7 OT in the finals, with one of their 3 best players serving a suspension. They would probably defeat most Cup winners in a best of 7.
Because a list of 25 different Habs seasons would be really boring

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12-29-2013, 10:16 AM
  #56
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There is just no rhyme or reason to this list. They are trying to tell us that the 77-78 Habs, who lost only 2 more regular season than the previous season, does not make the top 25? That they couldn't beat the 60-61 CBH who really don't belong here or the 91-92 Pens? There were Detroit teams in the 50's that didn't win the Cup but finished first overall that were better than any of those two teams. Or any of the other Oiler, Islander or 50's Montreal teams during their dynasty years? As great a player Mario was, without him, those Pens teams are just an average team. Yes, they rode on his back to glory, but a more balanced team that perhaps didn't even win the cup still beats those Pens teams.
the "average" 91-92 team coached by scotty bowman with a roster of; jagr(hall of famer), francis(hall of famer), stevens, tocchet, & mullen(hall of famer), trottier (past his prime but a good leader on the 3rd line - also a hall of famer), larry murphy(hall of famer), ulf, and tom barrasso. with the exception of trottier, all these players were in their prime. that team would stack up nicely against any team.

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12-29-2013, 11:18 AM
  #57
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Not crazy at all. I have a really hard time ranking the '02 Wings amongst their Cup teams. They had by the far the most talent (when Brendan Shanahan is part of a 6 man pulled goalie unit, and is the *worst* player there from a career perspective, something crazy is going on), but both the '97 (at least in the playoffs) and '08 teams played more cohesively. The '97 was plenty talented and played the gutsiest hockey of the 4 Cup winners . And that '08 team may not have had the top to bottom star studded lineup of the pre-cap Wings, but holy crap were they dominant.

I think you can make a case for putting the '02 Wings anywhere between 1st and 3rd in the recent Cup Wings teams. They were only clearly better and more dominant than the '98 team.
1997
2008
1998
2002

Probably. 1997 Detroit let in two goals or less in 17/20 playoff games - and they were up against two of the best offensive teams in their final two series, as well as another top-10 team in the second-round. People were ******* in their Corn Flakes for the past three seasons, and the team finally snapped and destroyed everybody. They outshot the Avalanche by 214-127 in the Conference Finals in a series that wasn't nearly as close as it looked on paper.

The 2008 team had a major first-round hiccup before rolling over some weaker competition. Penguins were the only 100-point team, Colorado's goaltender had the flu, Dallas matched up better against Anaheim who would have matched up better against Detroit. After the Nashville series, there wasn't really anything in doubt after the first few games of every series, but boy, there was doubt in the Nashville series.

I think the 2009 team gets underrated because while the 2008 team was matched-up against a sick and injured Colorado roster, the 2009 team had to go to war against Anaheim where they lost three really close games (one by the margin of a **** call on a no-goal). If you look at the regular season numbers, the Red Wings' Achilles' heel was their goaltending, yet that was one of the stronger parts of their 2009 playoff run. They were probably closer than people want to say, but Pittsburgh was better equipped to face them the second time.

1998 needs more respect. They got off to a really hot start despite missing some players from the 1997 roster and finished second in the Conference to Dallas who had acquired Belfour - but because they shared a division, that meant Detroit received harder matchups in the playoffs in the playoffs as a non-division winner. Dallas met two sub-.500 teams while Detroit drew 98-point St. Louis (4th in the league) and Phoenix who had spent the last month of the season crawling out of a five-game-under hole because they played in a division with those same three teams. Osgood had three unfortunate games to start the playoffs before stopping at a .931 the rest of the way. Unfortunately, people remember one bad goal against Dallas more than his .938 against them. And then the team didn't even drop a single game to Olaf Kolzig when he looked unbeatable (.946 in the East; .920 against Detroit). The only real question mark was how they would have done had Nieuwendyk been healthy.

2002 is consistently overrated in those magazines. They had a worse playoff goal-differential than the 1998, 2008, and 2009 teams despite being the only Red Wings team of the group to play no 100-point teams. They started in an 0-2 hole against the #8 seed and were taken to seven games by a Colorado roster that was shutout 10 times during the season (18th in GF) and still managed to score at a lower rate in the playoffs. The only series they didn't trail in was against St. Louis, because even Carolina who wouldn't have made the playoffs in the Western Conference drew first-blood. And even against St. Louis, Detroit was fortunate that Pronger injured himself when the Blues were leading in a Game 4 that could have tied the series (he already had 5 points in the four games). The Red Wings looked dead-in-the-water with 10 games left in the season (one win) and had they played stronger teams in the playoffs, they likely would have lost and would have been written-off with the 1995 and 1996 teams.

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12-29-2013, 11:26 AM
  #58
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I do. Do we all have short memories? The 2013 Hawks have the second longest undefeated streak in NHL history. Only the 1979-'80 Flyers have a longer streak. Toews and Kane were both more seasoned in 2013. Crawford was better than Niemi. Keith and Seabrook were at least as good. Hossa about the same.
You missed the biggest difference: the transformation of Nik Hjalmarsson into Chicago's shutdown defenseman. Hjalmarsson going against the toughest matchups open up ice for Keith/Seabrook to play 2010 Campbell-Hammer's role (which they kind of still are) and Keith went absolutely nuts (and still is) with the reduced defensive responsibilities.

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12-29-2013, 01:35 PM
  #59
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Why isn't it possible to be the 2nd best team in your season, but still one of the greatest teams in the league? 1955 Habs took a dynasty Wings team to Game 7 OT in the finals, with one of their 3 best players serving a suspension. They would probably defeat most Cup winners in a best of 7.
It would get a little muddy if we used Stanley Cup runners up. No doubt the 1955 Habs would beat a lot of actual Cup winners but if they weren't using other teams in a dynasty (1957 to 1960 Habs) then they won't use a team that lost. But the 1996 Wings and 1993 Pens didn't even make the final let alone were good enough to be compared with the the teams that did win within their own franchise. I'll take the 1997 Wings over the 1996 Wings anyday, wouldn't everyone?

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12-29-2013, 03:06 PM
  #60
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Sorry, the wikipedia page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1995%E2...eason#Playoffs

Is all wrong (maybe some Wings fan did change the numbers to make that team look better).

That's the good one:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1996_Stanley_Cup_playoffs

Yeah not that impressive now.
I went back on Wikipedia and fixed it.

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12-30-2013, 05:35 PM
  #61
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I know there is lots of talk about the Red Wings great teams of recent. I don't see 2008 being the best. 1997 and 2002 come to mind. I have a little bit of nostalgia for 1997 because that was a veteran team that finally put it all together and they did it against the defending Cup champs and President's trophy winners.

However, that 2002 was just too loaded to forget. I mean, the depth on that team was astounding. The HHOFers on that team were outrageous. They peeled through the regular season that year. 116 points with the next best in the NHL having 101? Amazing. In 1997 they were far from leading the NHL in points. In 2002 they did it all. And I think beating the Avs even without Bourque was still pretty good. They faced a fresh Forsberg who was on his way to having a playoff year that you tell your grandkids about. And we all know Forsberg liked to terrorize Detroit. That team just came together and did what they were supposed to do.

2002 is the best in my mind.

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12-30-2013, 05:57 PM
  #62
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That team just came together and did what they were supposed to do.

2002 is the best in my mind.
That sum it, it was a bit strange, they were heavy favorite before the start of the season, had a incredible start (with IIRC the Islanders in the east), and just won the cup at the end like they were suppose too.

It feel a bit strange that nothing got wrong enough to loose that cup (it would be easy for a team packed to not have success like we saw the Rangers of that era do so many times). But that group have a lot of winners and great not to old player on it too.

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12-30-2013, 07:12 PM
  #63
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Keep in mind these are the same people who left Teemu Selanne off their top 60 post-O6 players list.

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12-31-2013, 01:15 AM
  #64
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While I understand that you can't have every season of a dynasty represented why no love for the '72-73 Montreal Canadiens? 52-10-16, won the Cup, 11 Hall of Fame players, Hall of Fame coach. Should be on this list.

Not sure why they chose 82-83 Islanders over the previous years edition. Headscratcher that one.

Glad to see the '88-89 Flames there. Kind of a forgotten powerhouse. Calgary's spectacular failures in '88, '90 & '91 playoffs kind of deflect from how good they were but that team had great balance. The top 4 of MacInnis, Macoun, Suter, McCrimmon was a great mix. Gilmour, Mullen, Loob, Nieuwendyk, a rookie Fleury, and tough grinders like Peplinski, Roberts, Hunter, Otto and Colin Patterson. Add to that Mike Vernon's best season and they topped an outstanding defensive team in Montreal (broke my heart).

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12-31-2013, 11:30 AM
  #65
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In 2002 they did it all. And I think beating the Avs even without Bourque was still pretty good.
The Avalanche's second-best skater in those playoffs was Greg de Vries. No joke.


Personally, I bought the magazine because they had a nice article on the 2005 London Knights.

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12-31-2013, 12:19 PM
  #66
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The Avalanche's second-best skater in those playoffs was Greg de Vries. No joke.


Personally, I bought the magazine because they had a nice article on the 2005 London Knights.
I don't understand this. Greg DeVries was not their 2nd best forward. He was 4th in playoff points on the Avs in 2002. A bit of a spike for him.

The 2002 Avs had 99 points and didn't have Forsberg the entire season. How is that not a good team?

A team with Roy, Sakic, Forsberg, Blake, Drury, Foote, Tanguay and Hejduk is easy to beat? I'll strongly disagree on this one. Not to mention Forsberg having the best postseason of his career. Probably the best player in the NHL at this moment was Sakic.

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12-31-2013, 12:24 PM
  #67
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98 Wings faced a very easy road to the Cup. Had St. Louis's number for years. Phoenix had AHLer Wakalak in goal. Injured Niewendyk for Dallas. Caps had no one other than Kolzig.

By strength of the competition, I rank them: 97, 02, 08, 98. What blows is that they could've / should've also had 95, 96, 99, and 09. Now THAT would've been a ****ing DYNASTY!

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12-31-2013, 01:32 PM
  #68
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2002 is the best in my mind.
I think this is a very legitimate opinion, it's just . . .

Hmmmm, how to explain? The 2002 Wings tended to exert just enough talent to win. Perhaps more than any other team in recent (is 12 years recent?) memory, they had "the switch."

So it almost felt like we never really saw exactly how great they could be, because they often used just enough talent to win.

The '97 team is tough to rank for a different reason. Namely, they were rather pedestrian (by Wings' standards) in the regular season. But the last two playoff rounds were probably the best Wings hockey played in the last three decades. By the time the Cup was awarded that team was just loaded with guts, an incredible system, depth, and talent. Throw in very "stable" goaltending from Vernon (which is exactly what they needed), and I think that playoff team beats the other three recent Wings Cup winners. At the same time, if those four teams played a full regular season together, '97 comes out the loser.

2008 is easy to underestimate, simply because their talent level was dwarfed by the pre-cap Wings teams. But as silkyjohnson pointed out on page one, they absolutely controlled games throughout both the regular season and playoffs. They actually reminded me a lot of the '96 Wings, except the '08 Wings didn't choke in the playoffs. A +11 shot differential in the regular season and +13 in the playoffs, in a post-cap, parity driven league is simply impressive as hell.


Unlike the '97 team, which left everything on the ice during the playoffs, or the '08 team, which played almost to their full capacity throughout the regular season and playoffs, the '02 team never seemed to "put it all together." Which is a pretty nutty thing to say, given how many games they won, and I do feel kind of unfair penalizing them for being that much more talented than the competition. But I just can't shake the feeling that the '02 Wings kind of toyed with their competition at times, while the '97 and '08 Wings were all business.

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12-31-2013, 10:46 PM
  #69
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the "average" 91-92 team coached by scotty bowman with a roster of; jagr(hall of famer), francis(hall of famer), stevens, tocchet, & mullen(hall of famer), trottier (past his prime but a good leader on the 3rd line - also a hall of famer), larry murphy(hall of famer), ulf, and tom barrasso. with the exception of trottier, all these players were in their prime. that team would stack up nicely against any team.
Ya, your right. Got mixed up with the 90-91 Pens team which was not as strong. Good, but without Mario, I don't think they have enough to be considered in the top 25.

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12-31-2013, 11:18 PM
  #70
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Is 92-93 penguins missing here ? They were greater than much other teams.

Same thing for 95-96 Red Wings, that team had serious depth and high end talent.

Strange to see moderns teams not having 100 points (or even 90pts) in the ranking over those 2.

Maybe a little bias over only cup winners.
I agree with this. I mean yes winning a cup IS the ultimate goal but that PIT team in 1993 had 4 100 pt scorers.
And the DET craziness in 1996.
Id easily take out the 98 Stars team in favor of DET. You can take or leave out PIT. But just the whole story surrounding the PIT team that year (Lemieux coming back, that Offense, even the upset) is hard to ignore historically.

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01-01-2014, 01:42 AM
  #71
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I agree with this. I mean yes winning a cup IS the ultimate goal but that PIT team in 1993 had 4 100 pt scorers.
And the DET craziness in 1996.
Id easily take out the 98 Stars team in favor of DET. You can take or leave out PIT. But just the whole story surrounding the PIT team that year (Lemieux coming back, that Offense, even the upset) is hard to ignore historically.
Sure, lots to like about the 1993 Pens. Could have been arguably the greatest story in NHL history. Mario coming back from cancer. 17 straight wins (still a record) would have won a third straight Cup. However, this is a team that let the Islanders take them to 7 games and then got some terrible luck (Mario ringing it off the crossbar) in that game coupled with some bad goaltending. The 1993 Pens are a lot like the 2007 New England Patriots. The postseason was supposed to be a coronation, almost a right to win, rather than anything dramatic.

But how can you put the 1993 team on a list like this when they couldn't even knock off the Islanders an 87 point team that had a fraction of the talent?

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01-01-2014, 10:26 AM
  #72
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I don't see how winning the Cup needs to be a pre-requisite to be in the "Greatest Teams" discussion when making a list like this is a purely subjective/hypothetical exercise and also one that stretches across years. It's not like these teams were competing against each other for the same Stanley Cup. Putting aside the whole "one representative for a time period per franchise" rule they seem to be using, I'd give consideration to at least the following teams:

95-96 Red Wings
92-93 Penguins
29-30 Bruins

Any others that warrant mention among the non-champs?

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01-01-2014, 11:42 AM
  #73
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I don't see how winning the Cup needs to be a pre-requisite to be in the "Greatest Teams" discussion when making a list like this is a purely subjective/hypothetical exercise and also one that stretches across years. It's not like these teams were competing against each other for the same Stanley Cup. Putting aside the whole "one representative for a time period per franchise" rule they seem to be using, I'd give consideration to at least the following teams:

95-96 Red Wings
92-93 Penguins
29-30 Bruins

Any others that warrant mention among the non-champs?
I would say that these teams were better than certain Cup winners. Maybe not the ones on the THN top 25 list but I would still say they'd all be better than the 2006 Hurricanes for instance. That being said, none of them were the best teams in their particular season when all was said and done. I mean if we are doing a list of the best World Junior teams to ever play you might think about the 2002 Canadian WJC team or the 2004 WJC team until you realize that they both choked something awful in the gold medal game. Hard to put them as the "best" even in their particular year if they couldn't win.

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01-01-2014, 12:01 PM
  #74
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I don't understand this. Greg DeVries was not their 2nd best forward. He was 4th in playoff points on the Avs in 2002. A bit of a spike for him.

The 2002 Avs had 99 points and didn't have Forsberg the entire season. How is that not a good team?

A team with Roy, Sakic, Forsberg, Blake, Drury, Foote, Tanguay and Hejduk is easy to beat? I'll strongly disagree on this one. Not to mention Forsberg having the best postseason of his career. Probably the best player in the NHL at this moment was Sakic.
1. Greg de Vries was a defenseman.
2. Greg de Vries was 3rd in scoring.
3. The Avalanche were 18th in scoring in the 2001-02 regular season.
4. The Avalanche scored at an even lower rate in the playoffs.
5. Milan Hejduk scored 6 points in 16 games.
6. Alex Tanguay missed parts of the Conference Finals.
7. There was no offensive depth from the bottom-six forwards.
8. Of 23 skaters, the only plus players after 21 games were on the 2nd Line.

They were the should-be first-round knockouts that kept going on the back of one player.

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01-01-2014, 12:06 PM
  #75
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1. Greg de Vries was a defenseman.
2. Greg de Vries was 3rd in scoring.
3. The Avalanche were 18th in scoring in the 2001-02 regular season.
4. The Avalanche scored at an even lower rate in the playoffs.
5. Milan Hejduk scored 6 points in 16 games.
6. Alex Tanguay missed parts of the Conference Finals.
7. There was no offensive depth from the bottom-six forwards.
8. Of 23 skaters, the only plus players after 21 games were on the 2nd Line.

They were the should-be first-round knockouts that kept going on the back of one player.
They didn't have Forsberg the entire season, so their regular season isn't going to be as impressive either. I know Forsberg had a whale of a postseason, but he was impossible to stop that year, almost. Roy did play well until Game 6 and 7 of that series. Sakic had done better, but he wasn't invisible either. I still say the 2002 Avs could have won the Cup and were a difficult foe for Detroit.

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