I like Worsley, but Parent is an excellent clutch goalie and gives Ottawa a big advantage. Ottawa also has the type of defense that will block a lot of shots and clear the front of the net for Parent (though I'm not enamored with a Reardon-Turnbull pairing). I also think that they have the advantage up the middle.
Dubai has the most dynamic line in the series though with Firsov-Fedorov-Mikhailov and will lean heavily on them to come out on top. Having both Park and Kelly on the back end is formidible as well, and together will give Shore a run for his money in terms of offense from the back end.
Great first round match-up between two teams I had higher than they finished. I really like this entry from Wiser - I think it's his best yet. I'm not as impressed with reck's entry as the last draft - that was a heck of a team - but it's still a strong team.
As everyone has said before, the big weakness in Ottawa is scoring on the wings. Thompson and Leach are really miscast in top line roles. They are excellent down the middle with Francis and Apps, but they'll have to do a lot of work with those wingers. The third line is loaded with grit. You could stick Cliff Ronning down the middle between Pavelich and Lehtinen, and you'd still have one of the best two-way lines in the draft.
Shore is a reckoning favourite. The rest of the defence is typical for reckoning - a solid, hard-working, reliable, blended bunch with puck-moving ability, grit and work ethic. Goldham and Ramsey are excellent shot-blockers.
The difference in this series will be the ability of Dubai's first line to score on Ottawa's fourth line. If you think they will score, pick Dubai. If you don't, Ottawa becomes a much more attractive option. I think Fedorov's better suited to a second line role, but Mikhailov and Firsov are excellent offensive players.
Danny Gare is an excellent third line RW. I think Pahlsson is a flavour of the month pick - he's had just the one year as a top-notch defensive centre - but our last memories of him are very good.
Wiser has two of the top 12 defencemen ever in Kelly and Park. That's huge. Mantha is an excellent No. 3. the thought of having Kelly or Park on the ice for 50-55 minutes per game should cause lots of concern for Ottawa.
I'm a big Gump Worsley fan, but give Ottawa a legit edge in net. Parent is terrific. Especially in the playoffs.
Keenan isn't the most likeable coach, but Ottawa has a lot of character, so his volatile nature shouldn't be much of a problem. Wiser got the coaches he wanted, although he paid a premium for it.
To begin with, I think Wisent was wise to assemble the coaching staff the way he did. Tasarov is not a coach I'd want for every team, but for a squad dominated by Russians (especially Firsov), there is arguably no better choice. Check out this almost disturbing interview with Firsov if you don't already know about how close the relationship between the two men was. The bits about Tasarov start about 1/3rd of the way down. The very last quote of the article is rather interesting, as well...
At any rate, at the very least we know Firsov will go through a wall for his coach (insert ironic comment here).
I strongly recommend that Wisent shuffle the top 2 defensive pairings if for no other reason than that Park and Kelly are both left shots and Mantha and Numminen are both right shots. Particularly on the powerplay, mixing up the handedness is rather important.
One thing to look out for: who on Dubai keeps Eddie Shore from taking runs at the smaller Camels players. There aren't a lot of weaklings in Dubai nor a lot of injury prone guys, but unless someone steps up to the plate, I wouldn't be surprised to see a guy like Alfredsson end up in a crumpled heap at some point in the series.
I think Dubai's first line will be able to overcome the checking of Ottawa's 4th line (although Ottawa's home ice advantage helps here), but Ottawa's combination of checking forwards, Goldham-Shore and Bernie Parent will definitely slow the Russians down.
Ottawa will need to stay out of penalty trouble (I'm looking at you, Eddie Shore) because Dubai's man-advantage unit is sick. Even without fighting, if Dubai can put the puck in the net a few times early with Shore in the box, it may calm his wilder inclinations.
There's not a lot of great secondary scoring in this series, but the best secondary line is probably Elias - Francis - Wharram, and their ability to put up points against Dubai's second pairing will be crucial to Ottawa's success. The fact that Ottawa's 2nd line is maybe better than its 1st is another reason I'd split up Kelly and Park.
Parent over Worsley is a clear advantage to Ottawa and Bernie's puckhandling skills may come in handy springing quick counterattacks to Shore, Turnbull and Stackhouse (who was a pretty good transition passer in his prime).
I agree with those who pointed out the obvious advantages. Ottawa in goal and Dubai on the scoring wing. I think this is going to be a very very tight series. Kelly and Park being split up might be good for Dubai. Give you two pairings with legit #1s, something Ottawa doesn't have.
I've been following the Draft pretty closely which was really interesting. Now that is it playoff time , I decided to comment on some match-ups. (By the way : if someone wants some help with the write-ups he can pm me.)
'I'll give Dubai the edge here. Their first line is one of the best of the draft , three top-15 soviet players together with Tarasov will be hard to stop. While Ottawa has a better second line it's not enough to equal the Russians. This should be a low scoring series.
A really tough one. Kelly and Park agains Shore is great match-up. The second pairings are about equal and both teams have elite defensive lines. But Ottawa is getting the edge with their Pavelich - Sheppard - Lethinen line. Ottawa's third line can negate any offence other than the Russians.
Ottawa's biggest advantage. Parent is one of the best clutch goalies ever. He really can make the difference in this series. If he pulls of a '74-like performance Ottawa has a good chance of winning this one. Worsley is a great goalie but there a few goalies that can match Parent in the playoffs.
Egde to Dubai. Their first PP-unit is great eventhough Wisent could seperate Kelly and Park as Sturminator already stated. The second unit won't to much damage but is ok. Ottawa has a strong PK but if Shore is in the Box they could be in trouble. For Dubai's PK I'm not really fan of Pahlsson centering the first unit but the rest is looking strong.
Overall i'd say Dubai in 6 or 7 with almost every game being a one-goal win or decided in OT. My three stars'd be Firsov,Parent and either Shore or Kelly.
One thing no one ever notes is that Parent did have an injury shortended career.
The other thing to note is that Shore is a near unparalleled game breaker. The only reason he isn't in the Greztky, Orr, Howe, Lemieux range is his emotional/psychological state. If Dubai can't attack him there, he can win this series by himself.
Every post comes with the Nalyd Psycho Seal of Approval.
Kelly + Park is an awesome duo, and you don't miss a beat with Sylvio Mantha as a 2/3 either. Dubai's coaching + Russians is a nice mix. Davydov + Lapkin is a very accomplished 3rd pairing. Doubtful it matters, Giacomin has a big advantage over Luongo. Pahlsson looks really out of place centering a 3rd line, something that will kill Dubai sometime soon.
Love Wharram and Elias, but I don't think either of them is enough of a scorer to make maximum use of Francis's service. Ottawa's bottom 4 wingers are just dandy. Eddie Shore and Bernie Parent will be the two best players in the series, and both are capable of stealing the thing, but if they don't, I think Ottawa is going to have a hard time matching Dubai.
You know Sun Belt expansion has gone too far when Ontario is overmatched by the United Arab Emirates ...
I'll do the write-ups for this series. I am doing this for the first time so I can't guarantee for great quality but i will do my best. I should be finished tomorrow around 4 p.m. eastern.
67's off a good start at home
"They hardly allowed us a shot on goal but when we did , Parent was there." , that was the only comment a frustrated Brad Park made after Game 1 in Ottawa. In front of a capacity crowd the 67's lead by Eddie Shore and Bernie Parent showed excellent defensive hockey , giving Dubai only a few scoring chances. "We were able to shut down the Russians and stayed out of the box." , said coach Mike Keenan ,who was really happy with his teams performance tonight. "If we can contain this disciplined style we are going to win."
The game started slowly with few shots on goal and a lot of small mistakes. The first period remained scoreless and almost without any events if there wasn't for a bone-crushing hit by Shore on Johanssen. "Hard to take but it was clean" , admitted coach Tarasov. In the second a really strong Shore put on a classic end-to-end rush. Worsley , who made 23 saves ,could save the initial shot but Leach converted on the rebound and the score was 1-0 in favour of the home team. Unable to tie it in the remainder of the second period , Dubai came out flying in the third putting big pressure on the defense. Parent robbed Firsov on a slap-shot after a giveaway by Turnbull in the neutral zone. That save completely stole the momentum Dubai build and Ottawa began to pressure Dubai's defence. At 16:11 it happened. Ron Francis crosses the blueline ,gets by Mantha and feeds Elias who didn't hesitate to put it past Worsley. In the last minitue Eddie Shore crowned his strong performance by scoring the empty netter.
Ottawa leads the Series 1-0
2nd 10:22 - Leach (Shore)
3rd 16:11 - Elias (Francis,Turnbull)
19:37 - Shore (unassisted)
3 Stars of the game
1st - Eddie Shore
2nd - Bernie Parent
3rd - Ron Francis
"That wasn't the kind of performance I exspected after game 1. They owned us." Mike Keenan summarised the game pretty much with this statement.
Dubai charged Ottawa's zone the whole game. Parent was able to stop Dubai in the first period ,must notiable was a save on Firsov in the first five minutes. At the beginning of the second took a cross-checking penalty and Red Kelly scored just 10 seconds into the powerplay. It wouldn't be the last powerplay goal of the night as Mikhailov scored on a deflection. Worsley was more of a spectator than a goalie making just 16 saves made a good save on a shorthanded breakaway by Jere Lethinen. Nearing the end of the third , Mikhailov scored a beauty on feed by fellow Russian Sergei Fedorov. Eddie made the result look a bit better by shooting a 45ft slapper past Worsley.
"We had a gameplan and we executed it well" , said Red Kelly , who recieved first star honours.
Series tied at 1
4:36 - Kelly (Park,Mikhailov) PP
13:00 - Mikhailov (Kelly,Firsov) PP
Great write-ups so far Jungosi, keep up the good work. Looks like this series could go the distance.
By the way, I love the boxscore at the end of the game as well. A nice touch.
For me, this was the toughest series to evaluate. Loved Ottawa's strength up the middle, goaltending and overall defence corps. Dubai is much better on the wings, has the awesome 1-2 punch on D (and a pretty good No. 3), and the impressive speed and skill throughout the line-up. A lack of input from the two GMs involved also made it tough to decide a winner. I think Wiser had one post and reck had none, so I couldn't use the debate as the deciding factor.
Thanks a lot hockey_guy , it's really motivating to get some positive reviews.
OT Marathon in the desert
Dubai ,33 degree celsius and we are playing what? Hockey? something can't be right here. But it is. The Dubai Icedome has been sold out for 20 days. "Playing in a country that almost completely a desert is kind of weird but at least we are far away from the Toronto Media." , Mike Keenan said in the press conference.
The first period proved that neither of the teams had problems adjusting. The crowd was suprisingly loud and did a lot of creative chants. Pumped up by the crowd it was Syl Apps who scored first. He took a pass by Shore and ripped it through Worsleys five-hole. The game was more open than most of the spectators thought and it didn't took Anatoli Firsov long to tie it at 12:41. Both Parent and Worsley made a spectecular save each when the first came to its end. Midway through the second Numinnen took a tripping penalty and Ottawa didn't hesitated to score on the powerplay. Francis fed Thompson in front of the goal and he tiped it in. Dubai tried to tie it again but Parent denied them. At 18:45 in the third coach Tarasov pulled Worsley for an extra attacker. The gamble paid off. Danny Gare scored on a last second rebound and the crowd was going wild. The entire building was rocking and waiting for the OT.
The overtime was a goalie battle per exellence. Parent and Worsley made save for save. Possible and impossible. In the second period of the overtime Parent did his best Hasek impression while Worsley used his stick to rob Gottselig. It took another period until Sergei Fedorov dangeled through the 67's defense ,deked Bernie Parent and scored in the third overtime period after around 116 minutes of play.
The Icedome was exploding. In the whole town you could see people celebrate. "It was an unbelieveale game , the atmosphere ,the intensity ,everything. Words can't describe the feeling you feel after you win a game like this." , said Gump Worsley.
"What a game by Eddie and Syl. I'm almost speechless.That was one of the best performance you will ever get from a defenseman." , an exited Reggie Leach said after his teams strong play last night.
Unlike the games in Ottawa this one started with a fast pace and a lot of intensity. The crowd got wild the first time when Brad Park gave Ian Turnbull a perfect hip-check at the blueline. Some rough stuff was going on after this and Mike Keenan was screaming obsenities at the refferie Don Koharski.Some players said it sounded like fat pig and donut. Anyway , Ottawa got it's retaliation on the ice. Shore made a nice breakout pass to Apps who Thompson for a perfect shot. Later on a powerplay Eddie Shore hammered in a slapshot from the point to make it 2 to nothing.
The second began with an uproar of the crowd as Bob Goldham owned Boris Mikhailov along the boards. Mikhailov didn't liked that and hi-sticked him directly under the chin. Both were send to the box and Fedorov scored on the 4on4.
It was again Eddie Shore to score for his team and Syl Apps added the inrurance marker.
So we are going back to Canada with the series tied at 2.
10:15 Thompson (Apps,Shore)
16:54 Shore (Apps,Leach) PP
If you ask someone who would score an overtime goal in this series , there aren't too many people who would say Dan Maloney. The thirdliner ended the with 10 minutes into the first overtime.
Johnny Gottselig opened the scoring in the first period with a nice wrister past Parent. There wouldn't be too much chances until the third period when Ken Wharram converted on a feed by Ron Francis , who played a great defensive game , to tie it with 8 minutes left. In the following extra time Parent made crucial save to keep his team in the game. Inspired by his teamates play Maloney just blasted a slapper past Worsley to win it. Everyone it Ottawa ws celebrating this win and looking forward to end it in Dubai.
9:23 - Gottselig (Alfredsson,Park)
13:37 - Wharram (Francis)
9:41 - Maloney (Linseman,Reardon)
3 Stars of the game
1st Star - Dan Maloney
2nd Star - Bernie Parent
3rd Star - Ron Francis
It was looking good for Ottawa , they lead the game 2-0 and the series 3-2 and were looking to end it here in Dubai. But a harmless cross-check by Brad Park made Shore punching him with his glove on. That was the turning point. Shore recieved a roughing major and a game misconduct , giving Dubai a 5 minute powerplay. First Brad Park scored from the point and then Mikhailov put in a rebound to tie it. Frustrated by the momentum change Mike Keenan didn't pay enough attention to a change and got a too many man penalty. It was again Boris Mikhaillov to score the powerplay goal. Ottawa wasn't able to tie it and Dubai wins game 6.
14:12 - Thompson (Shore,Leach)
1:12 - Leach (Apps,Thompson)
12:12 - Park (Kelly,Firsov) PP
14:02 - Mikhailov (Fedorov,Park) PP
17:36 - Mikhailov (Fedorov,Kelly) PP
3 Stars of the game
1st - Boris Mikhailov
2nd - Sergei Fedorov
3rd - Paul Thompson
That was what the announcer said when Red Kelly scored the only goal in this game 7. It was one of the finest goaltending match-ups in recent memorie. Both Worsley and Parent made save after save. Parent denies Fedorov on a breakaway , Worsley counters with a great save on a rebound by Leach. "It was like a brick wall , you couldn't find an opening." , stated Paul Thompson after the. He had 3 great chanches one could have ended the game. "The hockeygod didn't wanted ous to win" , said Parent. He was beaten midway through the second overtime period when he was screened by Mikhailov and a Red Kelly slapshot found its way through sticks and bodies to put an end to this series. Many fans instantly left the arena in disbelief while the few Dubai fans where going crazy and have been seen celebrating until the next morning.
12:49 - Kelly (Mantha,Firsov)
3 Stars of the series voted by HF Media
1st - Eddie Shore
2nd - Red Kelly
3rd - Boris Mikhailov
congrats to Wisent und viel Glück in der zweiten Runde
also congrats to reckoning for putting on a great team