I purposely waited until the last day of voting to mention that several of Windsor's key players were on the Vees long list, most of them not high up.
Hockey Outsider and I agreed before the draft that:
Steve Payne would make a great third liner (NOT an ideal first line left wing!) and we were very happy to get Henry as first line left wing. We felt the miss of Payne, a guy HO was keen on.
A backup option for the second line left wing (behind Lever) was Marc Tardif, a player we might have been perfectly happy with, though indeed lower ranked. Of all Windsor players drafted, this one hurt the most as he'd have made a good option on the back lines. A solid talent.
Barry Pederson didn't last on our long list because he was seen as a smidge below Gradin and we weren't 100% sure we'd go with Gradin, with several other options ahead of him (most of which went early in the draft).
Ivan Boldirev was very low on the Vees' fourth line centre list, and it's surprising that he's given second line duty by Windsor. Not his team's strongest suit.
Fredrik Olausson was considered by us as a third pairing guy who could fill Rafalski's spot on the second pairing, but as a step below.
Dave Langevin was a decent sixth d-man, third pairing guy in our estimation, not for second pairing duty.
Randy Gregg was a depth option at #6/#7 position and unlikely to be drafted by us with so many ranked higher than him in our discussions.
Don Beaupre we had below our two top candidates for starting goaltender: McNeil and Hrudey. Beaupre was seen as a third option as starter and not as good an option as backup, as Lemelin and Larocque have had so good a record performing as a backup, stepping in occasionally. That said, we saw him as above average, given all the options available.
That said... there were some great players in Windsor that we'd overlooked and might be kicking ourselves over.
Bill Goldsworthy is a good first line right winger. We thought Kovalev's great performances on the international stage and his 87 playoff points in 100 NHL playoff games was impressive, but Goldsworthy's 37 points in 40 NHL playoff games is just as good, and Goldsworthy was a two-year captain, four year all-star game participant, and even got a couple of points in the 1972 Summit Series. RIP for dying of AIDS Goldsie.
Greg Adams is a guy I loved, offensive-minded, and would have made a decent fourth line winger, though Windsor placing him on the third line suggests that line ain't gonna be shutdown, as Adams wasn't. He did his checking but always was eager for offense even if sometimes in risky situations (as a Canucks fan I recall him well). Adams would realistically have been no more than an extra forward candidate on the Vees long list, but I'd have loved to have drafted him. Glad he went.
Dave Maloney was a character guy, a team leader, and though he only had 6-8 nearly full seasons, he was a decent all-around guy with a nasty edge, and would have made a good third pairing guy on the Vees if we'd thought of it.
Other guys in Windsor was nowhere near the Vees list: nash, getzlaf, regehr, kozlov.
I'd predict a Vees win in 5 games. But HO and I don't vote on this series, and voting ends today. Most of us have voted already, and those who haven't I'm sure will look at more than just our assessments/opinions!
After losing game one and leading 2-0 through 2 periods of game two, the underdog Windsor Bulldogs were in seventh heaven, but once the Penticton steamroller got going all they could do was shake their heads and mutter about wooden sticks. After their stunning come from behind OT win in game two, the Vees never looked back, or trailed again in the series. The wild play that led to the series winning goal seemed to sum up the "bad luck" that struck Windsor in the second game and never let go. In the last minute of a tie game seemingly headed for OT, the faceoff in the Windsor zone turned into a mad scramble with 3 Bulldogs without sticks, and a delayed penalty call coming when the goal light went on as Don Lever put home the rebound off a Brian Rafalski point shot.