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Mid to late 70's Canadiens vs. Mid 80's Oilers

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Old
10-05-2008, 09:04 PM
  #26
Psycho Papa Joe
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Originally Posted by Thornton_19 View Post
Lafleur was better than Messier by a hair
Robinson was better than Coffey by a hand.

The only real dazzling top end talent in comparison was Gretzky
I would suggest 75-79 Lafleur was considerably better than mid 80's Messier. Messier was better for longer, but at peak value, Lafleur was considerably better. Personally I think between the two teams, late 70's Robinson would be the 3rd best behind mid 80's Gretzky and late 70's Lafleur, and mid 80's Messier would be 4th.

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10-05-2008, 09:08 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe View Post
I would suggest 75-79 Lafleur was considerably better than mid 80's Messier. Messier was better for longer, but at peak value, Lafleur was considerably better. Personally I think between the two teams, late 70's Robinson would be the 3rd best behind mid 80's Gretzky and late 70's Lafleur, and mid 80's Messier would be 4th.
Very true. Careerwise I take Messier over Robinson, but I forgot to think of Messier as he was in the mid 80's. He was not yet the force he would become in the late 80's, early 90's. Robinson mid 70's is the 3rd best behind Lafleur and Gretzky, as you say.

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10-06-2008, 09:48 AM
  #28
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I wouldn't say that the number two guy behind Wayne Gretzky on those Oiler teams in the mid 80's was Mark Messier. Paul Coffey or Jari Kurri were most often associated with the second best Oiler (and also had a good case as the second best Player in the whole League).

That being said, Messier and Glen Anderson as a second unit to me would be able to outdo Montreal's depth. This second line is essentially another high caliber first line. I think Messier especially did not show what he was fully capable of when playing behind Gretzky. I don't think Messier suddenly got considerably better after Gretzky left. I think he finally took advantage of the opportunity that was now open.

It isn't surprising to me that Messier inserted himself into the discussion with Steve Yzerman and Ray Bourque as the third best Player in the League during the late 80's and early 90's. He had shown that he could play that way earlier in flashes, usually when the stakes were the highest.

Guy Lafleur was better than Messier (at that time) by a significant amount, but I would say he only has a small advantage over Kurri or Coffey who would be at their primes.

Let's not forget that the Gretzky-Kurri tandem is greater than the sum of its parts. Kurri is so unique as two-way players tend to primarily be Playmakers (naturally, scoring a lot of goals tends to get a Player playing deeper in the Offensive zone) but Kurri is the exception. Paired with Gretzky, he is the second best goal scorer on both teams. Bob Gainey may be better Defensively, but Kurri would be playing a ton more than Gainey. I wouldn't say Jacques Lemaire was better than Kurri Defensively. I would say Kurri would be the #3a in this series.

I'd take Coffey over Larry Robinson careerwise as is, and the only Defenseman I'd take peakwise over Coffey is Bobby Orr, so Coffey to me is the undisputed best blueliner on both sides. Coffey would be more of a threat to take over game morseso than Lafleur. Of course, Coffey was the most inconsistent star on both teams as well, but that didn't really manifest itself when winning was on the line. Coffey would be the #3b.

I think one thing to remember is that Coffey was a key to the Oilers' attack, but not exactly the key. If the Habs were to key in on Coffey, I believe they could severely limit him whereas most teams would be unable to. However, focusing on Coffey ignores that Gretzky could run the system himself. He wasn't doing it at this point, but he did in the early 80's (and again in the late 80's), essentially all by himself. It would be a 'pick your poison' scenario.

Messier vs. Robinson is interesting. I honestly don't know who would be better. I'll lean towards Messier because I'm Offensive minded.

I'm going to agree with the sentiments that the top end talent of the Oilers is just too much to handle.

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10-06-2008, 10:10 AM
  #29
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Originally Posted by poise View Post
I wouldn't say that the number two guy behind Wayne Gretzky on those Oiler teams in the mid 80's was Mark Messier. Paul Coffey or Jari Kurri were most often associated with the second best Oiler (and also had a good case as the second best Player in the whole League).

That being said, Messier and Glen Anderson as a second unit to me would be able to outdo Montreal's depth. This second line is essentially another high caliber first line. I think Messier especially did not show what he was fully capable of when playing behind Gretzky. I don't think Messier suddenly got considerably better after Gretzky left. I think he finally took advantage of the opportunity that was now open.

It isn't surprising to me that Messier inserted himself into the discussion with Steve Yzerman and Ray Bourque as the third best Player in the League during the late 80's and early 90's. He had shown that he could play that way earlier in flashes, usually when the stakes were the highest.

Guy Lafleur was better than Messier (at that time) by a significant amount, but I would say he only has a small advantage over Kurri or Coffey who would be at their primes.

Let's not forget that the Gretzky-Kurri tandem is greater than the sum of its parts. Kurri is so unique as two-way players tend to primarily be Playmakers (naturally, scoring a lot of goals tends to get a Player playing deeper in the Offensive zone) but Kurri is the exception. Paired with Gretzky, he is the second best goal scorer on both teams. Bob Gainey may be better Defensively, but Kurri would be playing a ton more than Gainey. I wouldn't say Jacques Lemaire was better than Kurri Defensively. I would say Kurri would be the #3a in this series.

I'd take Coffey over Larry Robinson careerwise as is, and the only Defenseman I'd take peakwise over Coffey is Bobby Orr, so Coffey to me is the undisputed best blueliner on both sides. Coffey would be more of a threat to take over game morseso than Lafleur. Of course, Coffey was the most inconsistent star on both teams as well, but that didn't really manifest itself when winning was on the line. Coffey would be the #3b.

I think one thing to remember is that Coffey was a key to the Oilers' attack, but not exactly the key. If the Habs were to key in on Coffey, I believe they could severely limit him whereas most teams would be unable to. However, focusing on Coffey ignores that Gretzky could run the system himself. He wasn't doing it at this point, but he did in the early 80's (and again in the late 80's), essentially all by himself. It would be a 'pick your poison' scenario.

Messier vs. Robinson is interesting. I honestly don't know who would be better. I'll lean towards Messier because I'm Offensive minded.

I'm going to agree with the sentiments that the top end talent of the Oilers is just too much to handle.
To the bolded part, Messier already had a distinct advantage with Gretzky there. He had 1st line caliber linemates and icetime from Sather and PP time with Gretzky, but he was only facing the opposing teams secondary checking and defensive units. I think his jump in numbers was a part of a larger issue, 1 in which is common in power forwards. Power forwards generally peak in their late 20's, and that is exactly what he did. Messier had several of his better goal scoring years playing as LW to Gretz, before 84 when they moved him to the second line.

I also think you are drastically overrating Coffey. Robinson at his best is better than Coffey at his best. Coffey might be better offensively, but Robinson had a transition game that was not far behind Coffey's, and was absolutely rock solid defensively, an area of playing in which Coffey was particularly bad.

Defensively Coffey was a 4/10, Robinson 8.5/10. Coffey might be a 9/10 offensively, but Robinson was a 7.5/10

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10-06-2008, 07:13 PM
  #30
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The only game widely available on the Net of Lafleur's absolute prime is the 1977 Game 4 of the Finals. It even has highlights of Game 3 where he had 2 goals and 2 assists in a 4-2 win.

You can tell he is the most dangerous player all over the ice until Mario came along. And exciting to watch too with Milbury and other goons out to get him. I guess if he hung around selfishly at center he might have had more points but also the Habs would not have gone 60-8-12.

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10-06-2008, 08:17 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by PuckGirl View Post
The only game widely available on the Net of Lafleur's absolute prime is the 1977 Game 4 of the Finals. It even has highlights of Game 3 where he had 2 goals and 2 assists in a 4-2 win.

You can tell he is the most dangerous player all over the ice until Mario came along. And exciting to watch too with Milbury and other goons out to get him. I guess if he hung around selfishly at center he might have had more points but also the Habs would not have gone 60-8-12.
lafleur would be the most dangerous player in this series

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10-06-2008, 09:40 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by PuckGirl View Post
The only game widely available on the Net of Lafleur's absolute prime is the 1977 Game 4 of the Finals. It even has highlights of Game 3 where he had 2 goals and 2 assists in a 4-2 win.

You can tell he is the most dangerous player all over the ice until Mario came along. And exciting to watch too with Milbury and other goons out to get him. I guess if he hung around selfishly at center he might have had more points but also the Habs would not have gone 60-8-12.
There are several games available if you know where to look. I had uploaded a few to Google video of Orr, but the process is so time consuming that it is no longer worth it. I merely upload clips to youtube now.

However, I can give you the address of a website which has many many classic games, and I have several of Lafleur in his prime.

A few months ago, they had at least 4 of Lafleur in his prime. Not sure if they are still up, but you can always request a reseed.

The Bruins/Canadians conference finals in 1979 game 7, the Red Army vs Habs game, The Bruins Habs 78 finals game 4, the 76 finals game 4 against Philly.........and more.

If you wish the site where you can get them, just PM me.

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10-07-2008, 07:44 AM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Thornton_19 View Post
There are several games available if you know where to look. I had uploaded a few to Google video of Orr, but the process is so time consuming that it is no longer worth it. I merely upload clips to youtube now.

However, I can give you the address of a website which has many many classic games, and I have several of Lafleur in his prime.

A few months ago, they had at least 4 of Lafleur in his prime. Not sure if they are still up, but you can always request a reseed.

The Bruins/Canadians conference finals in 1979 game 7, the Red Army vs Habs game, The Bruins Habs 78 finals game 4, the 76 finals game 4 against Philly.........and more.

If you wish the site where you can get them, just PM me.
Seen them all. Thanks.

Lafleurs prime was all too fleeting but so memorable.

His absolute most dazzling prime was 1976/77 (the greatest team ever) which is why I mention G4 of those finals which will be on the Canadiens 100 year anniversary DVD out later this year. I had heard that another game from that year was also available on the internet (an Islanders series playoff game) but I havent seen it.

Its too bad so little footage was kept from 1977. Hart,Ross,Smythe....There would be no comparisons to Kurri!

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10-07-2008, 07:48 AM
  #34
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Originally Posted by Thornton_19 View Post
There are several games available if you know where to look. I had uploaded a few to Google video of Orr, but the process is so time consuming that it is no longer worth it. I merely upload clips to youtube now.

However, I can give you the address of a website which has many many classic games, and I have several of Lafleur in his prime.

A few months ago, they had at least 4 of Lafleur in his prime. Not sure if they are still up, but you can always request a reseed.

The Bruins/Canadians conference finals in 1979 game 7, the Red Army vs Habs game, The Bruins Habs 78 finals game 4, the 76 finals game 4 against Philly.........and more.

If you wish the site where you can get them, just PM me.
I think that particular game shows best what Lafleur was about. I've watched that game enough to officially be a geek, and the 2 things that strike me is that had to be as heartbreaking a loss as I've seen and any pereception that Lafleur was just a highly skilled offensive guy putting up numbers on a good team is dispelled. He seized that game and shook it until they won. For all the fierce warrior talk of the Messier's of the league, watch Lafleur shift after shift that game.

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10-07-2008, 07:50 AM
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I think that particular game shows best what Lafleur was about. I've watched that game enough to officially be a geek, and the 2 things that strike me is that had to be as heartbreaking a loss as I've seen and any pereception that Lafleur was just a highly skilled offensive guy putting up numbers on a good team is dispelled. He seized that game and shook it until they won. For all the fierce warrior talk of the Messier's of the league, watch Lafleur shift after shift that game.
I agree with you - it was the most clutch performance I have seen. He was devastating on every shift and also all over the ice although bottled up in the first period. Its funny - I alos have seen that game too many times.

Have you seen the 1977 G4 - he's on a different planet skill wise from the other players especially speed and stickhandling.

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10-07-2008, 07:54 AM
  #36
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I agree with you - it was the most clutch performance I have seen. He was devastating on every shift and also all over the ice. Its funny - I alos have seen that game too many times. Have you seen the 1977 G4?
That game was actually on ESPN Classic Canada last night. I only caught the 3rd period and OT, but yeah, Lafleur was quite good that game. Not at the same level as the 79 game in question (which I have seen in its entirety), but easily the most dangerous player on the ice.

I was also impressed with Bob Gainey’s skating, and especially his obvious strength, both with the puck and away from it. That, and Cheevers was lights out in the 3rd.

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10-07-2008, 08:24 AM
  #37
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That game was actually on ESPN Classic Canada last night. I only caught the 3rd period and OT, but yeah, Lafleur was quite good that game. Not at the same level as the 79 game in question (which I have seen in its entirety), but easily the most dangerous player on the ice.

I was also impressed with Bob Gainey’s skating, and especially his obvious strength, both with the puck and away from it. That, and Cheevers was lights out in the 3rd.
OK. He had changed to a longer stick by 79 and didnt stickhandle as well imo and was slightly slower. But thats being nitpicky.

As for the topic - if the 77 Habs had maintained the goal differnetial in GF-GA that the 85 Oilers had; would they have scored 500 goals?

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10-07-2008, 08:43 AM
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OK. He had changed to a longer stick by 79 and didnt stickhandle as well imo and was slightly slower. But thats being nitpicky.

As for the topic - if the 77 Habs had maintained the goal differnetial in GF-GA that the 85 Oilers had; would they have scored 500 goals?
The Habs had a goal differential of 216. Given that the Oilers were typically in the 300-320 goals against range in the mid 80's, they would have had to score between 516 and 536 goals to match the Habs goal diffential.

The Habs of 77 were just a phenomenal all round team. For each goal they allowed they would score 2.26. The Oilers at their best were 1.42. In terms of dominance, the Habs of 77 have no peers.

At the Oilers offensive best they managed 446 goals for. The Habs 387. But in order to manage those extra 59 goals, the Oilers had to sacrifice alot of defense, and allowed 143 more goals than the 77 Habs.

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10-07-2008, 03:00 PM
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At the Oilers offensive best they managed 446 goals for. The Habs 387. But in order to manage those extra 59 goals, the Oilers had to sacrifice alot of defense, and allowed 143 more goals than the 77 Habs.
This and other stat based arguments really should be put into context within each teams respective era, IMO.
For anyone who did not get that, we should be comparing goals for/against between 77 Habs and rest of league 77, and also Habs vs other best team as well. Same with Oilers but I'm not typing all that out again.

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10-07-2008, 07:05 PM
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This and other stat based arguments really should be put into context within each teams respective era, IMO.
For anyone who did not get that, we should be comparing goals for/against between 77 Habs and rest of league 77, and also Habs vs other best team as well. Same with Oilers but I'm not typing all that out again.
The Habs season I cited and the Oilers season I cited were only 6 or 7 years apart.

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10-07-2008, 08:45 PM
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The Habs season I cited and the Oilers season I cited were only 6 or 7 years apart.
That's great logic. So both those years were the exact same in terms of goals/game and overall competition within the league? How about a comparison between years of the league minus the two teams in question.

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10-07-2008, 09:32 PM
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lafleur is VERY highly underrated here
anything wayne could do lafleur did damn near as good
somthings better
lafleur was scarrier than gretzky
70 s canadiens = the best team ever

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10-07-2008, 09:35 PM
  #43
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Since it's goal differential and not raw totals, you'd probably only require an adjustment if you were comparing eras with fairly significant differences in scoring/games played levels. (EDIT: Perhaps this statement is actually incorrect based on what my research shows below) The late 70's and the mid 80's were basically even in terms of games played, and scoring was pretty high in both eras.

A better comparison would be to look at the goal differentials of other teams in the league compared to the Habs/Oilers. There seemed to be a pretty substantial gap between the have's and the have not's in the late 70's, whereas there was more parity in the 80's (at least at a glance), so here's a quick look. Unfortunately I don't know how to put info into a table (I'm sure pnep has a table of this somewhere though, haha).

Top Goal Differentials in the NHL:

1974-75

1. Montreal +149
2. Buffalo +114
3. Philly +112
4. Boston +100

1975-76

1. Montreal +203
2. Philly +139
3. Islanders +107
4. Buffalo +99

1976-77

1. Montreal +216
2. Philly +110
3. Buffalo +99
4. Islanders +95

1977-78

1. Montreal +176
2. Islanders +124
3. Boston +115
4. Philly +96

1978-79

1. Islanders +144
2. Montreal +133
3. Boston +46


1982-83

1. Edmonton +109
2. Boston +99
3. Philly +86

1983-84

1. Edmonton +132
2. Islanders +88
3. Washington +82
Quebec +82

1984-85

1. Philly +107
2. Edmonton +103
3. Washington +82


1985-86

1. Edmonton +116
2. Philly +94
3. Montreal +50

1986-87

1. Edmonton +88
2. Philly +65
3. Montreal +36


It appears to have been easier to rack up huge goal differentials in Montreal's era, so here are the top five years in terms of percentage of "victory" over the runner-ups in years where either team led the league in goal differential:

76-77 Montreal, 96%
83-84 Edmonton, 50%
75-76 Montreal, 46%
77-78 Montreal, 42%
86-87 Edmonton, 35%

Montreal's 76-77 seasons stands miles above the rest of the pack, although the other top years have them pretty much even with Edmonton, which actually surprises me a little.

Other years of note:

In 78-79 the Islanders and Canadiens just utterly dominated everyone else. New York had a 213% difference between them and the very distant third place Bruins, and Montreal is 189% over Boston.

85-86 and 86-87 are somehwat similar in terms of two teams (Edmonton and Philly) crushing everyone else. Edmonton had a 144% gap over third place Montreal in 86-87.

So basically what I gather from this regarding the goal differentials is that Montreal had one huge season, but other than that, both teams seemed to dominate their competition to fairly similar degrees, at least in this one statistic.

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10-08-2008, 05:11 PM
  #44
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Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
Since it's goal differential and not raw totals, you'd probably only require an adjustment if you were comparing eras with fairly significant differences in scoring/games played levels. (EDIT: Perhaps this statement is actually incorrect based on what my research shows below) The late 70's and the mid 80's were basically even in terms of games played, and scoring was pretty high in both eras.

A better comparison would be to look at the goal differentials of other teams in the league compared to the Habs/Oilers. There seemed to be a pretty substantial gap between the have's and the have not's in the late 70's, whereas there was more parity in the 80's (at least at a glance), so here's a quick look. Unfortunately I don't know how to put info into a table (I'm sure pnep has a table of this somewhere though, haha).

Top Goal Differentials in the NHL:

1974-75

1. Montreal +149
2. Buffalo +114
3. Philly +112
4. Boston +100

1975-76

1. Montreal +203
2. Philly +139
3. Islanders +107
4. Buffalo +99

1976-77

1. Montreal +216
2. Philly +110
3. Buffalo +99
4. Islanders +95

1977-78

1. Montreal +176
2. Islanders +124
3. Boston +115
4. Philly +96

1978-79

1. Islanders +144
2. Montreal +133
3. Boston +46


1982-83

1. Edmonton +109
2. Boston +99
3. Philly +86

1983-84

1. Edmonton +132
2. Islanders +88
3. Washington +82
Quebec +82

1984-85

1. Philly +107
2. Edmonton +103
3. Washington +82


1985-86

1. Edmonton +116
2. Philly +94
3. Montreal +50

1986-87

1. Edmonton +88
2. Philly +65
3. Montreal +36


It appears to have been easier to rack up huge goal differentials in Montreal's era, so here are the top five years in terms of percentage of "victory" over the runner-ups in years where either team led the league in goal differential:

76-77 Montreal, 96%
83-84 Edmonton, 50%
75-76 Montreal, 46%
77-78 Montreal, 42%
86-87 Edmonton, 35%

Montreal's 76-77 seasons stands miles above the rest of the pack, although the other top years have them pretty much even with Edmonton, which actually surprises me a little.

Other years of note:

In 78-79 the Islanders and Canadiens just utterly dominated everyone else. New York had a 213% difference between them and the very distant third place Bruins, and Montreal is 189% over Boston.

85-86 and 86-87 are somehwat similar in terms of two teams (Edmonton and Philly) crushing everyone else. Edmonton had a 144% gap over third place Montreal in 86-87.

So basically what I gather from this regarding the goal differentials is that Montreal had one huge season, but other than that, both teams seemed to dominate their competition to fairly similar degrees, at least in this one statistic.

The Habs didnt run up the score to pad stats which you would know if had actually seen any 70's Habs games.

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10-08-2008, 05:20 PM
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The Habs didnt run up the score to pad stats which you would know if had actually seen any 70's Habs games.
I was just presenting some numbers, you don't have to get all defensive.

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10-08-2008, 05:23 PM
  #46
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The Habs didnt run up the score to pad stats which you would know if had actually seen any 70's Habs games.
The poster you quoted never said that they did, which you would know if you had actually read his post.

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10-08-2008, 07:07 PM
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I was just presenting some numbers, you don't have to get all defensive.
You're numbers surprised me. I would've assumed that the Oilers gap was larger and the Habs a little less. It seemed that the Oilers were involved in more blowouts.

Perception and reality collide again.

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10-09-2008, 12:20 PM
  #48
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Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
Unfortunately I don't know how to put info into a table (I'm sure pnep has a table of this somewhere though, haha).
SeasonFranch.DIF (Adj. GF - Adj. GA)NHL DIF. Stand. Dev.DIF/NHL DIF. Stand. Dev.
1974-75MTL136.3697.711.40
1975-76MTL150.5288.081.71
1976-77MTL203.1281.572.49
1977-78MTL167.0485.401.96
1978-79MTL119.5864.791.85
  776.62417.559.40
     
1982-83EDM88.6760.361.47
1983-84EDM104.8856.351.86
1984-85EDM83.1355.711.49
1985-86EDM91.4651.911.76
1986-87EDM75.1730.582.46
  443.31254.919.04




All Time Best, Worst

SeasonFranch.DIF (Adj. GF - Adj. GA)NHL DIF. Stand. Dev.DIF/NHL DIF. Stand. Dev.
2007-08DET79.5731.412.53
1976-77MTL203.1281.572.49
1995-96DET139.8156.682.47
1986-87EDM75.1730.582.46
1988-89CGY107.5443.822.45
2005-06OTT108.0846.742.31
1970-71BOS197.8990.252.19
1933-34TOR118.9355.562.14
2005-06DET95.9646.742.05
1979-80BUF104.2850.852.05
2000-01NJ111.1154.212.05
1978-79NYI129.4764.792.00
     
2001-02ATL-117.4449.58-2.37
1992-93OTT-158.3264.42-2.46
2003-04PIT-134.5254.47-2.47
1974-75WAS-242.5297.71-2.48
1992-93SJ-160.7864.42-2.50
1998-99TB-131.4050.86-2.58
1997-98TB-137.2151.47-2.67
1999-00ATL-158.8955.80-2.85
1991-92SJ-125.8844.15-2.85
1989-90COL-142.6543.45-3.28
1993-94OTT-180.5054.31-3.32

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Old
10-09-2008, 05:33 PM
  #49
Kyle McMahon
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Awesome stuff pnep.

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Old
10-11-2008, 01:32 PM
  #50
dcinroc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PuckGirl View Post
The only game widely available on the Net of Lafleur's absolute prime is the 1977 Game 4 of the Finals. It even has highlights of Game 3 where he had 2 goals and 2 assists in a 4-2 win.

You can tell he is the most dangerous player all over the ice until Mario came along. And exciting to watch too with Milbury and other goons out to get him. I guess if he hung around selfishly at center he might have had more points but also the Habs would not have gone 60-8-12.
1979 game 7 against Boston is online, too (google video, I think).

Lafleur had the tying goal to send it into OT and had 2 assists...all in the 3rd period. Prior to that he had set up a number of good opportunities, but the Habs had trouble finishing.

Aside from Lafleur, who often double-shifted, Shutt and Larouche didn't really see a lot of ice-time. Bowman liked to play the bangers much of the time. Guys like Gainey, Risebrough, Lambert and Tremblay tended to see a lot of ice.

If Shutt and Larouche had been on the ice more, then I have no doubt that Lafleur could have topped 90+ assists regularly. I can't count how many times I saw Lafleur setting up guys like Gainey or Houle with easy plays that they would miss. People who think that Lafleur's numbers were inflated by playing on Montreal are kidding themselves....it's actually the opposite.


It is also often forgotten that Lafleur could be a pretty tenacious and physical forechecker in his younger days.

All that said, I think it would be a very tough series between Montreal and Edmonton. I think the key to the whole series wouldn't be if Montreal could stop Gretzky, but rather if Edmonton could stop Lafleur.


Last edited by dcinroc: 10-11-2008 at 03:01 PM.
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