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ATD 12 Jim Robson Division Semi-Final: 2 NJ Swamp Devils vs. 3 Portland Rosebuds

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Old
11-29-2009, 04:39 PM
  #1
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ATD 12 Jim Robson Division Semi-Final: 2 NJ Swamp Devils vs. 3 Portland Rosebuds

NEW JERSEY SWAMP DEVILS

GM: TheDevilMadeMe
Coach:"Badger" Bob Johnson

Paul Kariya - Joe Malone (A) - Jarome Iginla
Markus Naslund - Aleksandr Maltsev - Ken Hodge, Sr.
Herbie Lewis - Ken Mosdell - Shane Doan
Ryan Walter - Clint Smith - John "Pie" McKenzie
Mel Bridgman - Vladimir Vikulov

Serge Savard (C) - Bobby Orr
Bob Goldham - Art Ross (A)
Viktor Kuzkin (A) - George McNamara
Robyn Regehr

Ed Belfour
Gerry McNeil

Powerplay 1: Paul Kariya - Joe Malone - Jarome Iginla - Aleksandr Maltsev - Bobby Orr
Powerplay 2: Markus Naslund - Clint Smith - John McKenzie - Viktor Kuzkin - Art Ross
Penalty Kill 1: Ken Mosdell - Herbie Lewis - Serge Savard - Bobby Orr
Penalty Kill 2: Ryan Walter - Shane Doan - Bob Goldham - George McNamara

Callups:
F: Sergei Brylin, Scott Gomez, Tony Amonte
D: Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, Jason Smith
G: Kirk McLean

VS

PORTLAND ROSEBUDS

GMs: Nalyd Psycho & Sturminator
Coach: Lester Patrick

Sid Abel (C) - Phil Esposito - Mickey MacKay
Paul Thompson - Bernie Federko - Odie Cleghorn
Bruce Stuart (A) - Bobby Smith - Jim Pappin
Camille Henry - Red Sullivan - Pud Glass
Charlie Burns - Dennis Hextall

J.C. Tremblay - Art Coulter (A)
Leo Boivin - Jim Neilson
Carol Vadnais - Yuri Liapkin
Phil Russell

Ken Dryden
Nikolai Khabibulin

PP 1: Abel-Esposito-Federko-Tremblay-MacKay
PP 2: Henry-Smith-Thompson-Vadnais-Liapkin
PK 1: Thompson-MacKay-Boivin-Coulter
PK 2: Abel-Pappin-Liapkin-Neilson

Callups:
F: Tony McKegeny, Cully Dahlstrom, Blaine Stoughton
D: Clem Loughlin, Al Hamilton
G: Darren Puppa

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11-29-2009, 04:51 PM
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Here are links to the profiles I made of my players:

New Jersey Swamp Devils
Extras: Mel Bridgman(C/LW), Vladimir Vikulov(RW), Robyn Regehr (D)

Call Ups: Sergei Brylin, Scott Gomez, Tony Amonte, Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, Jason Smith, Kirk McLean

________
Matchups:

Once again, Savard-Orr will be playing primarily with the Malone line at even strength. I'll match Kariya-Malone-Iginla-Savard-Orr against any line Portland puts out there, especially on offensive zone faceoffs.

For key defensive zone faceoffs, Savard-Orr will back up the Mosdell line.

Goldham-Ross will be the preferred pair to play with the Maltsev line - backing it up with their toughness.


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11-29-2009, 05:14 PM
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First off, congratulations to Sturm and Nayd for advancing. We both had very good opponents in the first round, so even getting to round 2 is an accomplishment. I'm looking forward to what will surely be an intense debate.

Orr vs. Esposito should be one for the ages. Or at least the 70s.

My first impressions of this series:

Why NJ should win:

1. Superior defense, particularly the top pair.

Tremblay has a good case to be the best defenseman not in the Hall of Fame, but I think most would agree that NJ's #2 defenseman is better than Portland's #1. At first glance, the lower pairs look fairly close - I'm sure we'll compare them in excruciating detail soon enough.

2. Better ability to close out games.

When NJ is protecting a lead or taking a faceoff deep in their own zone, we will put the Mosdell line out there with Savard-Orr. Looking at Portland's lineup, I see a lot of offensive lines with defensive consciences on them. But I don't see any unit that I would trust to hold a lead late in the game or to take key defensive zone draws.

Against an offensive minded team like NJ, this is a major weakness.

Why Portland might win:

1. Better first line.

Phil Esposito is the best forward in the series and his wingers complement him perfectly. JC Tremblay adds an offensive dimension from the blue line - not nearly as potent as Bobby Orr, but potent nonetheless.

2. Slightly better goaltending and coaching.

Bob Johnson and Ed Belfour are very good at what they do. But Patrick and Dryden are just a bit better.

Edit: See downthread for my explanations of why I say "slightly." Basically, Ed Belfour was only slightly behind contemporary Patrick Roy (and ifor what it's worth outdueled Roy in the playoffs more than once), so how could he be that far behind Dryden? (Belfour also compares quite well with Brodeur, who had a goalie duel for the ages with Dryden in the first round). I certainly don't think goaltending should be a decisive factor in this series. As for the coaching, I personally think the "good" ATD coaches are very close after the Top 3.


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Old
11-29-2009, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post

2. Slightly better goaltending and coaching.

Bob Johnson and Ed Belfour are very good at what they do. But Patrick and Dryden are just a bit better.
Slightly better? Dryden chews up and spits out Belfour.

More importantly. Dryden stops Orr. History backs that up.

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11-29-2009, 09:59 PM
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Not to mention that Lester Patrick, in my eyes, is a top-10 coach all time at worst. Much better than Johnson.. that is more than just a "slight" advantage..

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11-29-2009, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jareklajkosz View Post
Not to mention that Lester Patrick, in my eyes, is a top-10 coach all time at worst. Much better than Johnson.. that is more than just a "slight" advantage..
For my money, Patrick is the equal of any man other than Toe Blake, Scott Bowman and Al Arbour. And, more importantly, he suits Portland better than Johnson suits New Jersey.

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11-29-2009, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Nalyd Psycho View Post
For my money, Patrick is the equal of any man other than Toe Blake, Scott Bowman and Al Arbour. And, more importantly, he suits Portland better than Johnson suits New Jersey.
He could very well be that 4th coach after those 3 guys. I think lack of information more than anything holds him back.

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11-29-2009, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Why NJ should win:

1. Superior defense, particularly the top pair.

Tremblay has a good case to be the best defenseman not in the Hall of Fame, but I think most would agree that NJ's #2 defenseman is better than Portland's #1.
Highly debateable. Savard was never the go to guy on his team. He was always protected. Tremblay should much greater ability to be the man. Honestly, I fail to see what separates Savard from Art Coulter other than having Larry Robinson as a partner.

And honestly. Our 3rd line is better than your 2nd line. Your 2nd line is great in the regular season. But, Maltsev has shown he can be thrown off in tough games. Naslund folds like crisp linen in the post season and Ken Hodge is one of the most inconsistant players in NHL history. Bruce Stuart was an early power forward who proved himself in big game situations. A dominant force who should be a second liner. Bobby Smith is one of the most well rounded players in the game, also should be a second liner. And Jim Pappin is what Hodge could have been if he gave a consistent effort.

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11-29-2009, 10:48 PM
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Dryden vs Belfour

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nalyd Psycho View Post
Slightly better? Dryden chews up and spits out Belfour.
If Dryden "chews up and spits out" Belfour, then he probably does the same thing to Patrick Roy, since Roy was barely better than Belfour when they played at the same time. I like to compare Belfour to Roy since they peaked at exactly the same time.

He'd really chew up Brodeur, who is arguably no better than Belfour at stopping the puck (Brodeur's advantages are puckhanding -though Belfour is no slouch - and longevity). And yet, he just barely escaped a goaltender's duel with Brodeur in the last round. Belfour was the 4th best goalie of his era, but the difference between him and #5 is bigger than the difference between him and #1.

From my Belfour profile (edited very slightly since I can't edit the original):

Quote:
Ed Belfour

-7 times Top 5 in Vezina voting (1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 4)
--2 Vezina Trophies against a prime Patrick Roy (1991, 1993)
--2nd in Vezina Voting to a prime Hasek (1995)
--3rd in Vezina Voting in 2003
--4th in Vezina voting in 92, 98, 00

-2 First Team All Star nods (91, 93)
-1 Second Team All Star nod (95)'
-3 "Third Team" All Star nods (92, 98, 03)

-4 Jennings Trophies (91, 93, 95, 99)
-Regular season save % leader in 91 and 00

-Stanley Cup Champion in 1999
-Stanley Cup Runner up in 1992, 2000

-161 career playoff games (3rd all-time)
-88 career playoff wins (tied with Billy Smith for 4th all-time)
-career playoff save % of .920 - tied with Martin Brodeur and behind only Dominik Hasek among goalies with more than 60 career playoff games.

-All this while playing in the most competitive era ever for goaltending.
--Without Roy or Hasek (argubly the two best goalies ever), Belfour would have 3 1st team and 2 2nd team All Star nods.
--Without Roy, Hasek, or Brodeur (as good a trio as Sawchuk, Plante, and Hall), Belfour would have 4 1st team and 2 2nd team All Star nods.
--Belfour had to compete with one-season wonders who wouldn't even be in the league if there were still only 6 teams. (See a couple of the Vezina winners during Belfour's career).

___

In my opinion, a peak Belfour was just as good as peak Brodeur and a tiny hair behind peak Roy at stopping pucks. He wasn't the quite the puckhandler Brodeur is/was, but he was certainly above average, and I don't need puckhandling from my goaltender when I have Bobby Orr.
I could find newspaper clippings about the times (plural) Belfour outdueled Roy in the playoffs, but I think most of us remember.

For those who want a statistical analysis across eras, according to the mathematical formulas on Puck Prospectus, Belfour ties with Brodeur, Dryden, and Hall for the 5th best goalie of all time. (Roy is 1st, Hasek 2nd, and Plante 3rd using their forumula). Now, I'm not arguing that Belfour is just as good as Dryden. But I think the difference is indeed quite small.

http://www.puckprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=49

The conclusion of a statistical analysis of playoff clutchness (take it for what it's worth):

Quote:
Originally Posted by overpass
Overall, Hasek had a better clutch playoff record than Roy, Brodeur, Belfour, and Joseph from 1994 to 2008. Only Belfour was close.
http://hfboards.com/showpost.php?p=22307246&postcount=5

Conclusion: I agree that Dryden deserves his spot above Belfour on any All-Time list. I rank him in the 2nd tier of NHL goaltenders with Brodeur, Sawchuk, and Hall. I rank Belfour in the 4th tier of NHL goaltenders with Brimsek, Bower, Parent, and Gardiner. But let's not pretend the difference in quality is all that big. Sawchuk and Hall are certainly better than Bower in an all-time sense, but I certainly wouldn't say they "chew up and spit him out."
_________

New Jersey has another advantage that should narrow the gap further: A superior defense. Dryden, like Brodeur, did all of his damage playing behind a stacked defense. In fact, I think his defense in real life was better than the defense of Portland. How will he adjust to playing behind a weaker defense? I would never say Dryden (or Brodeur) is a product of his defense. But the mental game is such a huge part of goaltending. How would Dryden react to playing outside his comfort zone? We all know how Brodeur reacted in the 2008 playoffs when his now-creampuff defense wouldn't defend him from Sean Avery's antics. Dryden's (relatively) poor play in games against the Soviets shows that even the great Ken Dryden isn't unflappable in every situation he is thrown into.

On the other side, I tried to build a defense that compliments Eddie Belfour. Belfour won the Cup in 1999 playing behind a defense that blocked tons of shots (not every goaltender likes having the easy shots blocked). So I got Bob Goldham, the premier shotblocker. Joe Pelletier even mentions the Stars' 1999 championship in his bio of Goldham (see my linked bio if you want to read it).


Quote:
More importantly. Dryden stops Orr. History backs that up.
I assume you are talking about the famous upset by the rookie Dryden in 1971 over arguably the best regular season team of all time?

Was Orr really stopped? He had 5 goals and 7 assists in the 7 game series. Phil Esposito on the other hand had 3 goals to go along with 7 assists, after averaging almost 2 points per game during the regular season.

To the extent that one player can't win series by himself, I will just say that Esposito and Savard were on those teams too.


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11-29-2009, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by jareklajkosz View Post
Not to mention that Lester Patrick, in my eyes, is a top-10 coach all time at worst. Much better than Johnson.. that is more than just a "slight" advantage..
I guess it depends on how much difference you place between being a Top 10 coach and being (likely) an 11-20 coach. Personally, I think only Bowman, Blake, and Arbour are a big step above anyone else. After that, the most important thing is getting a good coach who fits the personel of your team.

For what it's worth, I have Patrick in my second tier of coaches and Bob Johnson in the third tier.

If you think that the all time coaches are more stratified after the top 3, then I'll just agree to disagree. It's not really something that is provable, unlike Belfour being very close to Roy (and therefore we can assume Dryden).

Which brings me to...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nalyd Psycho View Post
And, more importantly, he suits Portland better than Johnson suits New Jersey.
Really? Please do explain. I have already explained why I think Johnson is a perfect fit for my team. He is the ultimate player's coach and he loves skilled, offensive minded teams.

Quote:
Originally Posted by legends of hockey

Pittsburgh Penguins president Craig Patrick was an ardent fan of Johnson's work. When his talented squad, built around Mario Lemieux, needed to take their game to the next level, he lured Johnson back into the league. The upbeat Johnson earned the respect of the players and put an end to the factions that had divided the team and kept it from achieving its potential.
From his bio: Sounds like the perfect guy for a team with lots of offensive weapons, built around a generational talent.


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11-29-2009, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The conclusion of a statistical analysis of playoff clutchness (take it for what it's worth):
To add a little context to that: The study compared Hasek, Roy, Brodeur, Belfour, and Joseph from 1994 to 2008. As a result it misses some of Belfour's early years, and some of Roy's best years.

Belfour was roughly equal with Hasek as the best in 3rd periods as well as in the subcategory of 3rd periods that began tied or as one-goal games.

Breaking it down further, Belfour was the best of the group in overtime and in 3rd periods that began with the score tied. He was excellent while down by 1 goal in the 3rd, only Hasek was better. His weakest point was holding 1-goal leads in the 3rd, where he was 4th out of 5, ahead of only Roy.

The study is linked here.

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11-29-2009, 11:41 PM
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Highly debateable. Savard was never the go to guy on his team. He was always protected. Tremblay should much greater ability to be the man. Honestly, I fail to see what separates Savard from Art Coulter other than having Larry Robinson as a partner.
Well, good thing I have Bobby Orr to "protect" him, though I doubt he'll need it, since he won the 1969 Conn Smythe when Robinson was still in juniors.

Quote:
But, Maltsev has shown he can be thrown off in tough games.
From Maltsev's profile:

-IIHF Best Forward: 1970, 72, 81
-IIHF all-star: 1970, 71, 72, 78, 81

-World Championships top-5 scoring: 1st (70), 1st (72), 3rd (71), 3rd (78), 3rd (81)
-Olympics top-5 scoring: 1st (76), 5th (72)

-Allstar in the 1976 Canada Cup (only Soviet Allstar)

International competition is the closest thing the old Soviets had to the playoffs, and Maltsev's record is very strong.

He admittedly doesn't like the physical game. But here, he has a giant in Ken Hodge to play with, and he'll be backed up by a defense pairing that doesn't mind dropping the gloves. And besides, it's not like your second line center loves the physical game.

And on lighter note, he was right wing on the first line of last year's ATD champions, so he has a history of being clutch in the ATD.

Quote:
Naslund folds like crisp linen in the post season and Ken Hodge is one of the most inconsistant players in NHL history.
From my last series:

Quote:
While Naslund will never be accused of being a clutch player (which is why he's a 2nd liner and not a 1st liner in this thing), he only flopped in the playoffs once - in his first try in the playoffs as his team's top threat. He was great in the other 2 playoffs he played in during his prime.

From my bio:

5 goals, 9 assists, 14 points (all leading his team) in 14 playoff games in 2003.

2 goals, 7 assists, 9 points in 7 playoff games in 2004. 2nd place on his team had 5 points.

3rd best playoff points-per-game average from 2003-04, ahead of Peter Forsberg.

(He was admittedly over his head in the playoffs in 2002, but was very good the following two seasons, despite the fact that he became effectively the only offensive threat on his team).

Okay, maybe Naslund was a failure as a captain or something. But he's a second liner in this thing. He doesn't have to lead anyone anywhere. He just has to put up points, which is something he did in 2 of 3 playoffs in his prime.
Hodge was inconsistent, and that's why he's not a first liner in this thing. He was a First Team All-Star twice at RW, and was a point-per-game player in the playoffs, while he played with the Bruins and Bobby Orr. All this, while generally not seeing any time on the first PP unit (Pie McKenzie got that time). Not bad for the least talented member of my second line.


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11-30-2009, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Nalyd Psycho View Post
Bruce Stuart was an early power forward who proved himself in big game situations. A dominant force who should be a second liner.
He's a good pick for a 3rd offensive line, that is true. And you might be able to sell him as a second liner (pre-1910 players always need selling), but luckily you don't have to.

Quote:
Bobby Smith is one of the most well rounded players in the game, also should be a second liner.
He'd be one of the weakest second line centers in the draft. 8th in points once, no other top 10s. Top 10 in assists twice, and zero top 5s. Less than a point per game in either the regular season or the playoffs, for a player whose career coincided with the highest scoring era in hockey history (1978-1993).

And worst of all, I don't think he's good enough defensively to play on a stereotypical 3rd line. Ideally, he's a 4th liner in my mind (though my 4th liner, Clint Smith, has a better offensive record). I realize your third line is more of a 3rd scoring line, but when my top 2 centers are Phil Esposito and Bernie Federko, I would want my third line center to be elite defensively. I know that Bobby Smith was responsible defensively (and is probably the best defensive center you have), but I'm not sure if it's good enough.

Quote:
And Jim Pappin is what Hodge could have been if he gave a consistent effort.
I don't think they are comparable at all. At his best, Hodge was a 1st Team AS twice. Pappin is a good third liner, but he was never a postseason AS, and his highest points finish was 10th, just once.


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11-30-2009, 10:14 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
He'd really chew up Brodeur, who is arguably no better than Belfour at stopping the puck (Brodeur's advantages are puckhanding -though Belfour is no slouch - and longevity). And yet, he just barely escaped a goaltender's duel with Brodeur in the last round.
You are mixing up real-life performance with ATD performance, and badly. Surely you realize why the above statement is jibberish?

Quote:
And on lighter note, he was right wing on the first line of last year's ATD champions, so he has a history of being clutch in the ATD.
Again...you've got to stop this. A player's "history of performance" in the ATD is completely irrelevant. That's my team you're referencing, by the way.

Quote:
New Jersey has another advantage that should narrow the gap further: A superior defense. Dryden, like Brodeur, did all of his damage playing behind a stacked defense. In fact, I think his defense in real life was better than the defense of Portland. How will he adjust to playing behind a weaker defense?
You evidently didn't read through my posts on Tremblay in the last round.

Quote:
I assume you are talking about the famous upset by the rookie Dryden in 1971 over arguably the best regular season team of all time?

To the extent that one player can't win series by himself, I will just say that Esposito and Savard were on those teams too.
Serge Savard didn't even suit up for the 1971 playoffs, nevermind play. The super defense behind which Dryden played in 1971 consisted of J.C. Tremblay (in his prime), Jacques Laperriere (past his prime), Guy Lapointe (rookie season), an aging Terry Harper and a couple of scrubs. It was a good defense largely because Tremblay was such a stud in the playoffs, but it was merely competitive with the other top defenses of the day, not dominant. Chicago had Stapleton, White, Magnuson and Korab - Boston had Orr, Smith and Green and New York had Park, Neilson and Seiling. The Habs did not win that year because their blueline outclassed the rest of the league. That the Habs later iced a great defense does not mean that Dryden depended on it.

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11-30-2009, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
For those who want a statistical analysis across eras, according to the mathematical formulas on Puck Prospectus, Belfour ties with Brodeur, Dryden, and Hall for the 5th best goalie of all time. (Roy is 1st, Hasek 2nd, and Plante 3rd using their forumula). Now, I'm not arguing that Belfour is just as good as Dryden. But I think the difference is indeed quite small.

http://www.puckprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=49
I just checked this source, and it is godawful. You are quoting someone who has Tony Esposito as the 4th best goalie of all-time, a fact you conveniently failed to mention. This guy also has neither Terry Sawchuk nor Clint Benedict on his list, meaning that he considers them both inferior to Belfour and Esposito. Seriously...What.The.****?! It's quite possibly the worst "greatest goalies list" I've ever seen, and is an embarassment to your argument.

Quote:
The conclusion of a statistical analysis of playoff clutchness (take it for what it's worth):
Ugh...again, you are using brutal sources. I am familiar with the "Brodeur is a Fraud" website and with The Contrarian Goaltender (as he calls himself) who runs it. I first stumbled upon his site whilst researching Grant Fuhr in ATD#10. The guy has a giant hate-on for Martin Brodeur and does everything he can to run the target of his affection into the ground, to the point that he can justify comparing Brodeur to Belfour as equals. In his analysis, he also treats GAA and SV% as 100% accurate measurements of goaltending performance, and analyses goalie performance based on these broken measurements the same way we compare forwards based on points and goals. He is the Glenn Beck of hockey analysts, and no one I would dare quote in a serious debate.

Let me see if I can follow your argument here:

1) Ken Dryden's ATD team beat Brodeur's in 7 games.

2) Crazy hockey analyst X says that Martin Brodeur is hugely overrated and no better than Ed Belfour.

3) Therefore, Dryden is barely better than Belfour.

It's an absolute trainwreck of an argument. This is as far as I will go in entertaining your comparison between Belfour and Dryden, which if difficult to take seriously even before one looks at the awful sources you're using to back it up. Pick another fight.

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11-30-2009, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
I just checked this source, and it is godawful. You are quoting someone who has Tony Esposito as the 4th best goalie of all-time, a fact you conveniently failed to mention. This guy also has neither Terry Sawchuk nor Clint Benedict on his list, meaning that he considers them both inferior to Belfour and Esposito. Seriously...What.The.****?! It's quite possibly the worst "greatest goalies list" I've ever seen, and is an embarassment to your argument.
First, this list is based on their statistic GVT, which only runs from 1944 to the present. Second, there are no save percentages available before 1955. As a result, Benedict is right out and Sawchuk is rated based on his very ordinary post-1955 career.

Tony Esposito is arguably the fourth best regular season goaltender of all time, so it's not that surprising he's up there. I think that list may overrate career value, which is a strength of Esposito. The real problem is that the list doesn't have a disqualifier for playing terribly in the playoffs, but that doesn't really apply to the rest of the goalies.

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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
Ugh...again, you are using brutal sources. I am familiar with the "Brodeur is a Fraud" website and with The Contrarian Goaltender (as he calls himself) who runs it. I first stumbled upon his site whilst researching Grant Fuhr in ATD#10. The guy has a giant hate-on for Martin Brodeur and does everything he can to run the target of his affection into the ground, to the point that he can justify comparing Brodeur to Belfour as equals. In his analysis, he also treats GAA and SV% as 100% accurate measurements of goaltending performance, and analyses goalie performance based on these broken measurements the same way we compare forwards based on points and goals. He is the Glenn Beck of hockey analysts, and no one I would dare quote in a serious debate.
I'll stand up for this one, as I originally linked and quoted this. The study that is linked is done with publicly available data, clearly explained methods, and is replicable. It's a straightforward look at the performance of the elite goaltenders of the last generation in the 3rd period of close playoff games. I don't see how that doesn't belong in a serious analysis. I dare you to look at the study and show me where any "bias" comes in.

I think you are mischaracterizing the source as well - it's essentially a data-driven look at goaltending. Also, GAA and SV% are not treated as 100% accurate there - the proprietor frequently makes comparisons to backup goalies and attempts to discover and estimate the magnitude of team effects in GAA and SV%. Any comparison between Brodeur and Belfour isn't because of some crazy bias - it's because their save percentages are fairly similar over their careers. The main difference in their career value is that Brodeur got his start at 21 instead of 25.

Both sources are very well respected sites within the statistically inclined hockey community. I'd take the Puck Prospectus list with a grain of salt, as you should with any single formula, but the list does make the point that Belfour has had a very impressive career. And I don't see anything wrong at all with the study on clutch playoff performance. It was a very straightforward look at the record of a group of elite goaltenders in clutch situations, and is a great example of what can be done with data from the Hockey Summary Project. If you can't even look at the results of a study like that and take something from it, I'd have to assume you aren't interested in learning anything new at all that challenges your perceptions of players.

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11-30-2009, 04:27 PM
  #17
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overpass, no one here is arguing that Ed Belfour is a poor goalie. In fact, I think he was a very good goalie, and has been generally underrated in the ATD - an opinion which I have voiced in the past on this forum. The problem here is that Devil is employing an incredibly cheap tactic - throwing out grossly misleading "studies" without the qualifications that you have given them - and putting the onus on his opposition to "prove him wrong". He doesn't bother to make any substantive arguments, himself, he just posts links to the arguments of others and hopes that they will go unscrutinized.

That Puck Prospectus list is terrible no matter how you slice it, especially when posted without qualificaion the way Devil did it. What is the point of putting together a "greatest goalies of all time" list that knowingly excludes Frank Brimsek, Clint Benedict, Bill Durnan, Vlatislav Tretiak, Jiri Holecek, Terry Sawchuk and Turk Broda...just for starters? The list is a joke.

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Originally Posted by overpass View Post
I'll stand up for this one, as I originally linked and quoted this. The study that is linked is done with publicly available data, clearly explained methods, and is replicable. It's a straightforward look at the performance of the elite goaltenders of the last generation in the 3rd period of close playoff games. I don't see how that doesn't belong in a serious analysis. I dare you to look at the study and show me where any "bias" comes in.
I have looked at quite a bit of that man's "research", and I find much of it laughable. His bias is not actually that hard to find. He simply poo-poos arguments with which he disagrees, without ever seriously engaging them. It's an effective tactic when you're giving a monologue, but there are plenty of warts with his theories.

He uses the backup goalies argument as a whitewash for objections to his constant pumping of GAA and SV% numbers, but completely ignores the two huge holes in that argument. The first hole is that backups almost always play against lesser opponents (on the whole) in the regular season, and that teams very often play more defensively in front of a backup than they do in front of a trusted starter. The second problem (which is much more critical, but harder to explain on this forum) that he runs into with this stupid backup comparison is sample size, a concept which he seems to grasp, but ignores whenever it is convenient to do so.

TCG's other big problem is that he completely ignores the human element of sport, and approaches all statistical problems from the assumption that players perform the same regardless of game situation, again without ever really grappling with the problem. It is essentially a hockey version of Moneyball, Billy Beane's now comical baseball analysis which included the theory that there is no such thing as clutch hitting. I am essentially a statistically inclined man, myself (and my career as and ATD gm will back that up), but I find attempts to erase the human element of sport under a pile of statistics not only patently false, but also vaguely disgusting.

Of course, if we actually look around his site at some of his analysis, we find that every study he does supports the idea that Ken Dryden was one of the top 2-3 playoff goalies of all time, if not the greatest. To wit: TCG's analysis on adjusted SV% in the playoffs, which has Ken Dryden 3rd all-time, just a hair behind Dominik Hasek. Belfour also rates well on this metric, although it should be noted that the difference between a .918 and .914 SV% is actually pretty large - the goalie at .918 is allowing 5% fewer goals.

He concludes in this essay that Ken Dryden has the 4th best Pythagorean playoff record of all-time (and vastly better than Belfour's), but dismisses the numbers beforehand because they don't suit his positions (specific to this case, his unnatural man-love of Dominik Hasek and desire to denigrate Patrick Roy) with this:

Quote:
I'm not at all convinced that any goalies have consistently shown good timing or an unusual ability to raise their level of play in high-leverage spots. I think the ability of the rest of the team to play to the score is likely far more important than a goalie's clutch performance. Some (maybe even most) of these results might be entirely because of team factors, and some of these results might be entirely because of luck.
So much for your rational analysis, overpass. He simply puts forth his opinion without a shred of evidence when the results don't suit his agenda. Strangely enough, in spite of the guy's pathological need to tear down every celebrated goalie not named Hasek, the only goalie who consistently comes out at the top of his playoff performance metrics is Ken Dryden. The fact that he is almost completely silent on the subject of Dryden's career actually speaks volumes, considering the man's predilections.

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11-30-2009, 04:57 PM
  #18
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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
overpass, no one here is arguing that Ed Belfour is a poor goalie. In fact, I think he was a very good goalie, and has been generally underrated in the ATD - an opinion which I have voiced in the past on this forum.
We agree on this.

Regarding your opinion of TCG...I've corresponded with him extensively, am very familiar with his research, and consider him a friend, so I'm not exactly unbiased on this topic.

I don't think he's ever said much about Dryden at all. The thing about Dryden is that he played in such an extreme team environment, so that it's hard to make any conclusions beyond the obvious based on the stats. There are basically no goalies who have played in comparable situations, so a data-driven analysis doesn't have much to add there. That said, Dryden's stats are excellent, especially as more and more save percentage stats come out.

It's funny you say that he tries to bring down Patrick Roy at every turn...he's a Canadiens fan, Patrick Roy was his favorite player, and was part of the reason he started playing in goal. But the more he looked into the data, the more he realized that Patrick Roy, while playing in Montreal, was in a very favorable team environment for putting up good numbers, every bit as much as Martin Brodeur in New Jersey. In fact, I'd say this is a huge point against him having personal biases. If you don't want to take my word for it, read through his archives, you can see he downgrades Roy over time. (I don't really expect you to do this, obviously, but the info is out there.)

Obviously you have a fundamental disagreement with the way he applies stats to goalies, and that's fine. I wouldn't call it a bias, just a different way of looking at things. But the thing is, you don't have to agree with his opinions or worldview to accept a study about 3rd period playoff numbers in close games. It's just a presentation of how a group of goalies performed in certain situations. The fact is that Hasek and Belfour played better in these situations than Brodeur, Joseph, or Roy in the second half of his career.


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11-30-2009, 05:01 PM
  #19
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Originally Posted by Nalyd Psycho View Post
For my money, Patrick is the equal of any man other than Toe Blake, Scott Bowman and Al Arbour. And, more importantly, he suits Portland better than Johnson suits New Jersey.
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Originally Posted by jareklajkosz View Post
He could very well be that 4th coach after those 3 guys. I think lack of information more than anything holds him back.
Throw Tarasov in there and you've got the true top-5 coaches.

There's definitely not a lack of info on Patrick. Throughout my heavy reading over the past 18 months, there have been numerous instances describing how great of a coach he was, and how players said he was a wonderful teacher.

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Originally Posted by Nalyd Psycho View Post
Bobby Smith is one of the most well rounded players in the game, also should be a second liner.
TDMM covered this, but I must also say that I don't see it. Smith was rarely elite offensively, and even if he was elite defensively I wouldn't have him up on a second line. As it is, his GA stats show he rarely killed penalties, an indication that he was not relied on for his defensive abilities. I've criticized Lemaire as a very low-tier 2nd line center, but even he is a much more accomplished goal scorer than Smith. (they are about equal in playmaking)

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Really? Please do explain. I have already explained why I think Johnson is a perfect fit for my team. He is the ultimate player's coach and he loves skilled, offensive minded teams.
Ah, so I'm not the only one who has to deal with it...

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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
Ugh...again, you are using brutal sources. I am familiar with the "Brodeur is a Fraud" website and with The Contrarian Goaltender (as he calls himself) who runs it. I first stumbled upon his site whilst researching Grant Fuhr in ATD#10. The guy has a giant hate-on for Martin Brodeur and does everything he can to run the target of his affection into the ground, to the point that he can justify comparing Brodeur to Belfour as equals. In his analysis, he also treats GAA and SV% as 100% accurate measurements of goaltending performance, and analyses goalie performance based on these broken measurements the same way we compare forwards based on points and goals. He is the Glenn Beck of hockey analysts, and no one I would dare quote in a serious debate.
Yeah, I know it's just a blog, but the guy does some excellent work. He has come at it from a lot of angles and it seems no matter the angle, Brodeur is no better than Belfour. Don't worry though, it doesn't apply to your series. Belfour isn't underrated much, it is likely Brodeur that is overrated. (the best line I read was "Belfour with more games, or Joseph with better teammates")

He also doesn't use GAA to prove anything (unless its about old goalies and absolutely necessary, I guess) - he uses sv% which is far better, and shot quality adjusted sv% and ES sv%, both of which are far more useful, whenever possible.

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11-30-2009, 05:49 PM
  #20
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You are mixing up real-life performance with ATD performance, and badly. Surely you realize why the above statement is jibberish?
Why is it jibberish? It seems the only argument for Dryden being a huge advantage over Belfour is "Dryden is #7 all time. Belfour is #14-18 all time. 14 is twice is big as 7, therefore Dryden is twice the goalie of Belfour." If this is really how "ATD performance" is measured, I don't know what to say. I wouldn't give Sawchuk a huge edge over Bower, just because I rank him about 10 spots higher. They played at the same time, Sawchuk was clearly better, but the difference was tiny in reality. I think there's a huge dropoff after the top 20 or maybe 25 goalies all time, but Belfour is north of this dropoff.

I tried to look at how Belfour performed. In reality, he was just a bit behind Hasek and Roy in terms of peak and career value. In most ways, he was very close to Brodeur, though a bit behind in certain areas. (He was well ahead of #5 of his time, likely Joseph, in any way that matters). These are likely the #1, 3, and 6-7 goalies of all time. And Belfour gave them a run for the money each time he played them, and in career value. We saw all these guys play. Belfour is a guy with no notable weaknesses (no height thing as in the case or Worters, no long record of playoff failures like Esposito. Just for two examples). His only possible weakness is that he can be a dick to his backup, which is why I got a nice levelheaded guy as a backup.

Quote:
Again...you've got to stop this. A player's "history of performance" in the ATD is completely irrelevant. That's my team you're referencing, by the way.
Ir was a one-liner that I prefaced with "on a lighter note." It was meant to be taken as a break from the seriousness that is this thing, plus a shoutout to your team last year. I am well aware that I am facing the defending champion in the second round.


Quote:
You evidently didn't read through my posts on Tremblay in the last round.
I did read through the posts on Tremblay, and I might just buy him as bargain basement, but legit, #1 in this thing. And never once did you actually compare him to Savard (why would you? It wasn't our series yet). If you want to try to revise history (and make no mistake, arguing that Tremblay is better than Savard is indeed revisionist history), the onus is on you, and you need to do more other than just show how great Tremblay was.

Edit: I might even be convinced Tremblay is a better #1 than Savard because of their different skillsets. Maybe. It is, of course, irrelevant since Savard is obviously my #2. But there's a reason Savard is a shoo-in for the bottom of everyone's Top 100 lists, whereas Tremblay is on the outside looking in.

Quote:
Serge Savard didn't even suit up for the 1971 playoffs, nevermind play. The super defense behind which Dryden played in 1971 consisted of J.C. Tremblay (in his prime), Jacques Laperriere (past his prime), Guy Lapointe (rookie season), an aging Terry Harper and a couple of scrubs. It was a good defense largely because Tremblay was such a stud in the playoffs, but it was merely competitive with the other top defenses of the day, not dominant. Chicago had Stapleton, White, Magnuson and Korab - Boston had Orr, Smith and Green and New York had Park, Neilson and Seiling. The Habs did not win that year because their blueline outclassed the rest of the league. That the Habs later iced a great defense does not mean that Dryden depended on it.
Doh! I even mentioned the leg injuries when arguing with dreamkur about how Savard actually did provide offense early in his career. Obviously I had a had a brainfart when I posted. I apologize; it was really late here. I think I just got a little too caught up in the fight. Dryden's 71 is right up there with Roy's 93 when we talk about goaltending performances of all time.

Still don't think he's more than a small advantage over Belfour though.


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11-30-2009, 05:58 PM
  #21
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I just checked this source, and it is godawful. You are quoting someone who has Tony Esposito as the 4th best goalie of all-time, a fact you conveniently failed to mention. This guy also has neither Terry Sawchuk nor Clint Benedict on his list, meaning that he considers them both inferior to Belfour and Esposito. Seriously...What.The.****?! It's quite possibly the worst "greatest goalies list" I've ever seen, and is an embarassment to your argument.
I didn't mention Esposito, because I was cutting and pasting from the original ATD thread and Esposito wasn't drafted yet when I drafted Belfour. My intention here is to win, but not to mislead while doing it.

overpass already covered why he doesn't have Sawchuk or Benedict on the list - it's more a best since 1950ish. (Though he wouldn't be alone in missing Sawchuk - I believe that Goalie's World left Sawchuk out of their top 10 because of his lack of accolades once Plante, Hall, and Bower were on the scene). This was also covered the first time I posted the survey in the ATD thread. I just assumed most people read it then - obviously, I was wrong.

As for the statistical surveys that I provided, I'm pretty sure I said, "take it for what it's worth." Some people here really like using stats to compare players; other don't. I thought they might be useful tools to those who do. I trust ATD voters to put the statistics within their proper context, and to realize how difficult it is to do a statistical analysis across eras. I don't think they are totally worthless, though.


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11-30-2009, 06:12 PM
  #22
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From my end, at least, the Belfour vs. Dryden thing is probably played out. I'll hopefully have more to say about the guys in front of them a bit later on.


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11-30-2009, 07:01 PM
  #23
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I lied. It happens. Note to voters - don't read if you're tired of hearing about Belfour.

One last thing, I agree with you that Brodeurisafraud is a pretty bad site. I'm a Devil's fan, how can I like a site with that name?

Seriously though, Belfour is a guy that we all watched. What were his weaknesses? Why would he falter in the playoffs? I watched a lot of Belfour and even more of Brodeur, and I can honestly say they were about the same at stopping the puck. We are all privileged to have watched 4 true gamechanging superstar goalies in our time - Hasek, Roy, Brodeur, and yes, Belfour. I think they are the best 4 goalies since, yes, Dryden, and they all played at the same time.

Brodeur beats Belfour on puckhandling, durability, and longevity by a little bit. Not that Belfour is a slouch - Brodeur is the best puckhandling goalie of all time among the elite goalies (so not Hextall), and he's the Glenn Hall of our age when it comes to durability. Brodeur also beats Belfour on "levelheadness" by a lot, which affects his value to a franchise, but I'm not sure it has an effect on a game-to-game basis. Brodeur probably has more "intangibles" if you want to call them that, than any goalie all-time, and this is what people who are overly stat-obsessed don't see. But in terms of stopping the puck? I really don't see the difference between Brodeur and Belfour - either statistically or from watching them play. And Belfour does provide better than average durability and puckhandling himself.

I stand by my statement that the advantage you have in goaltending is small. That is not meant as a slight to Dryden.

Now, that I've totally beaten it to death, I really am done with this topic.


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12-01-2009, 04:10 AM
  #24
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
TDMM covered this, but I must also say that I don't see it. Smith was rarely elite offensively, and even if he was elite defensively I wouldn't have him up on a second line. As it is, his GA stats show he rarely killed penalties, an indication that he was not relied on for his defensive abilities. I've criticized Lemaire as a very low-tier 2nd line center, but even he is a much more accomplished goal scorer than Smith. (they are about equal in playmaking)
The big thing to remember is that he also a big physical presence. He's good offensively, defensively and physicaly. He's a total package. Yes, he is more of a playmaker, that's why he has two snipers on his wings.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
He admittedly doesn't like the physical game. But here, he has a giant in Ken Hodge to play with, and he'll be backed up by a defense pairing that doesn't mind dropping the gloves. And besides, it's not like your second line center loves the physical game.
If we need to get under his skin, Red Sullivan will line up against him. But really. The player Maltsev needs to worry about is Leo Boivin, a man who's in the HHoF because of his ability to make opponents taste ice. Maltsev doesn't like the physical game. Boivin lives for it. Boivin will be the bane of his existence.


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12-01-2009, 04:39 AM
  #25
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You know who isn't getting love or getting talked about. Art Coulter.

He was a 4 time 2nd team all-star in a great era for d-men.

Quote:
An athlete of exceptional strength and endurance, he was fiercely devoted to the concept of teamwork.
Quote:
His physical play and ability to handle the puck made Coulter a perfect defence partner for burly Taffy Abel. The solid duo played a key role on the Hawks' inaugural Stanley Cup win in 1934.
Quote:
. His solid defensive play and competitive zeal pleased the New York management and fans.
Legends of Hockey

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Art was recognized in the hockey world as a "team player." He believed in teamwork and knew early on that teamwork was the crucial ingredient to winning games and having fun...and ultimately earning the team the right to hold the Stanley Cup.
Quote:
Art's physical strength and endurance was the key to his defense. He was a punishing hitter, and was not afraid to drop the gloves.
Joe Pelletier

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An outstanding puck-handler and a durable player, Coulter was a four-time All-Star, once with the Chicago Blackhawks and three times with the Rangers, in an N.H.L. career that spanned 11 seasons.
Quote:
He made his N.H.L. debut with the Blackhawks in the 1931-32 season, played for Chicago's 1934 Stanley Cup champions, then was traded to the Rangers in January 1936 after, he said, he ''sassed'' the team owner when he came to the locker room to berate some teammates.
Quote:
''Art Coulter was our best player,'' Clint Smith, a center on the 1940 team and a fellow Hall of Famer, recalled. ''He was a leader, like what you have now in Mark Messier.''
New York Times

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Coulter was a quiet gem, a man who became the Rangers' captain during their second golden era at the end of the 19030s.[sic]
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"He was a superb ice general," said his coach Frank Boucher. "He lend strength to our smaller players, always on the spot if opposing players tried to intimidate them, responding beautifully to new responsibilities. He was a well set up fellow, quite tall, very muscular without an ounce of fat."
Quote:
Coulter teamed with Muzz Patrick to give the Rangers a fearless, bruising defense. He also was the linchpin of the Rangers' offensive penalty-killing team, an innovation the New Yorkers introduced in 1939. Coulter was the anchor man working with forwards Alex Shibicky, Neil and Mac Colville. Over the season, the Rangers outscored their opponents almost two to one when they were shorthanded.
Who's Who in Hockey by Stan and Shirley Fischler
And in case you missed that, the Rangers were so confident in his defensive ability that he was the lone defenceman on the ice when they killed penalties. And they won the Stanley Cup with the system.

Quote:
A key member of the 1940 Stanley Cup championship team, Coulter led the Rangers in penalty minutes during the 12-game run to the Cup. Two years later, following his retirement from the NHL, he remained in New York for two years as a member of the Eastern Hockey League`s Coast Guard Clippers, a World War II-era team that helped raise money for the war effort.
Official New York Rangers site

A fun little annecdote about what type of person Art was:
Quote:
One of the cab captains was Art Coulter, who was known as a nice guy and a free spender during the social hours, and when the Rangers got back to New York after one road trip, Lester assembled his captains and said, "Okay, boys. What do I owe you for cab fares?"
The chits of the other three captains ranger from $6.00 to $8.75, but Coulter's tab added up to $12.75.
"Art," said Lester, persuing the bill, "why is your bill so much larger than the others?"
"Well, Lester," said Coulter, "you've told us that we're in the big leagues now, so I tip like a big-leaguer."
Lester was just momentarily nonplussed.
"That's very commendable, Art," he said, "but I don't know if the Rangers can afford big tippers like you."
"Okay," Art said, grinning. "You don't have to worry about it. I resign my captaincy."
The big tipper did, however, ratain his team captaincy,
The Patricks: Hockey's Royal Family by Eric Whitehead

So, overall. Great defensively. Better with the puck than his stats would suggest. A great captain. And a great personality, loved by his teammates, who wasn't afraid to be assertive.

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