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ATD 12 Bob Cole Division Semi-Final: 1 Medicine Hat Tigers vs. 4 Cairo Desert Dogs

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Old
11-30-2009, 11:16 AM
  #26
God Bless Canada
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Originally Posted by raleh View Post
Hey guys,

just a quickie here. I'm really sorry about disappearing right before voting starts. This is actually my favourite part of the draft. On Thursday I had to take a group I'm coaching to Guelph for the national cross country championships. After the race my dad called and said I need to get to Montreal because my grandfather passed away that morning. So now I'm here, this is the soonest I could get to a computer, and I won't be able to vote or participate for until I'm home on Saturday. Just wanted to post because I think that me not voting actually affects my teams' results (not actually sure about that). I will be back voting for all the series on the weekend. And good luck to Cairo!
That's terrible news, bro. Is that the same grandfather who taught you so much about hockey history over the years?

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11-30-2009, 11:35 AM
  #27
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I wonder just how far can the defense carry the Tigers... With that offense, the fact that they won the division let alone advanced easily past first round baffles me.
With that offence? Well, let's just see...

Max Bentley won back-to-back Art Ross Trophies in the Original 6, and was a magnificent playoff performer.

Elmer Lach won two Art Ross Trophies (one during the war years), and led the league in assists three times. (Once during the war years). His playoff record is also very good.

Martin St. Louis has an Art Ross, and he's over a point-per-game in the playoffs.

Rick Middleton was a point-per-game player in the playoffs for most of his career, even though he didn't have much help up front in Boston.

Do you want to talk about how we have offence coming from all four lines, or how we have five defencemen who can definitely get involved in the rush, and provide good offensive support from our forwards, while taking nothing away from their defensive play?

Or do you just want to talk about our defence. Is that the blue-line, or is that the team defence? Potvin? Top five defenceman of all-time. Ragulin? Big, rock-solid defender. DesJardins? He would be the classic Steady Eddie defenceman, but he brings a little more to the table offensively than the traditional Steady Eddie type. Carlyle? Excellent all-round defender. Tough, mobile, talented, plays well in his own zone. Huddy? Steady, but he can produce. Maxwell? Injuries hurt his career, but he's big, strong, skilled, tough as nails and consistent when he did play. (And he always found a way to be there in the playoffs. He has 61 points in 79 post-season games). And they receive excellent support from their forwards, with some tremendous two-way players.

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11-30-2009, 11:48 AM
  #28
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Quick question: Toe Blake - Elmer Lach - Maurice Richard was one of the best lines in all of hockey history. If Toe Blake isn't an adequate puck winner, who was the puck winner on that line?
Lach did his fair share of battling in the corners. Here's a quote on Lach from Ultimate Hockey that was posted in a previous playoff thread that involved Lach:

Lach was a passer extraordinaire, an offensive force, but Dick Irvin Sr. lauded his defensive abilities:

"Lach was the only player I knew who could check four ways - forecheck, backcheck, and both sides of the rink as well."

Clearly, that would indicate he did his fair share of work in the trenches. (Although that's not the role we have him in. We want him to focus on his two-way game and let Sutter do the dirty work).

And from the same Habs history page that LF quoted earlier:

"Spending his entire career under the direction of Dick Irvin, Lach played 14 years of the hardnosed brand of hockey that distinguished the NHL play of his era. When he went into the corners for the puck, Lach almost invariably emerged with it, often leaving opponents with a painful memory of the encounter."


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11-30-2009, 11:58 AM
  #29
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To think that the Bentley line would be a plus against the Taylor line is ridiculous. The Taylor line is way ahead of the Bentley line in skill level and likely speed. Again, a first line matchup in this series, which I think isn't a terrible idea for LF, wouldn't see much play along the boards because of Taylor's speed. Everyone that ever saw Taylor play used words like "typhoon", "tornado", "cyclone" to describe his speed. Clearly he was the fastest player they had ever seen.

A player's playoffs is only about 17% of his entire career on average. I'm not going to vote for a guy because his players suddenly become point per game players in the playoffs. Regular seasons mean a lot too.

And again, we're not underrating Roberts for his peak, but rather rating him how he should be rated based on career value. The neck injury was unfortunate, but that's life. He is a weak first line LW, no question.

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11-30-2009, 02:35 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by jareklajkosz View Post
To think that the Bentley line would be a plus against the Taylor line is ridiculous. The Taylor line is way ahead of the Bentley line in skill level and likely speed. Again, a first line matchup in this series, which I think isn't a terrible idea for LF, wouldn't see much play along the boards because of Taylor's speed. Everyone that ever saw Taylor play used words like "typhoon", "tornado", "cyclone" to describe his speed. Clearly he was the fastest player they had ever seen.

A player's playoffs is only about 17% of his entire career on average. I'm not going to vote for a guy because his players suddenly become point per game players in the playoffs. Regular seasons mean a lot too.

And again, we're not underrating Roberts for his peak, but rather rating him how he should be rated based on career value. The neck injury was unfortunate, but that's life. He is a weak first line LW, no question.
With Roberts, you're basically looking at two careers: before the neck injury and after the neck injury. Before the neck injury (which he actually suffered in the 1994 playoffs against Vancouver), he was a dominant power forward. After the neck injury, he was a solid, effective grinding forward who could score goals. And keep in mind that the neck injury also cost him what was essentially three years of his career. Matched up against Selanne, I think he does very well, especially in the playoffs.

I think you also really underestimate Max Bentley. He's a tremendous offensive catalyst who led the NHL in points twice (officially, he never won an Art Ross, since the Ross didn't come in until 1947-48), and a tremendous playoff record, with his role on three Stanley Cup championships. With his speed, he is more than capable of keeping up with Cyclone Taylor.

Regular seasons do mean a lot. But you play the games in the regular season so that you can play in the playoffs. The regular season is a qualifier. And when it comes to evaluating players for the playoffs, you need to look at what they did in the post-season.

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11-30-2009, 02:46 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
With Roberts, you're basically looking at two careers: before the neck injury and after the neck injury. Before the neck injury (which he actually suffered in the 1994 playoffs against Vancouver), he was a dominant power forward. After the neck injury, he was a solid, effective grinding forward who could score goals. And keep in mind that the neck injury also cost him what was essentially three years of his career. Matched up against Selanne, I think he does very well, especially in the playoffs.

I think you also really underestimate Max Bentley. He's a tremendous offensive catalyst who led the NHL in points twice (officially, he never won an Art Ross, since the Ross didn't come in until 1947-48), and a tremendous playoff record, with his role on three Stanley Cup championships. With his speed, he is more than capable of keeping up with Cyclone Taylor.

Regular seasons do mean a lot. But you play the games in the regular season so that you can play in the playoffs. The regular season is a qualifier. And when it comes to evaluating players for the playoffs, you need to look at what they did in the post-season.
And I do look at what they did in the playoffs, perhaps slightly more than the 17% value would demand. As far as Bentley, go get an SIHR membership and check out Cyclone Taylor's page. Go and see how many pretty red asterisks are on that page, denoting leading his league in stat categories. Bentley is no Taylor. I am not underrating him at all, but I AM saying that Taylor vs. Bentley is no contest, Taylor is better. I've also never heard anyone call Bentley a cyclone or whirlwind. Taylor was FAST! Can Bentley keep up? Possibly. But to say the Bentley line would come out as a plus against the Taylor line is ludicrous. The Taylor line is faster and much more skilled. Even if the Taylor line needs a puck winner, I can't fathom how you can think that Toe Blake doesn't qualify. But again, that puck won't go into the corners much. Taylor is very fast and skilled, he will play a puck possession game using his speed to burn defenders and his linemates are very good goal scorers who will know how to get open for him.

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11-30-2009, 02:52 PM
  #32
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Oh, one more thing GBC. Who exactly were these "tremendous" defensive forwards waiting on the wings in case Prystai faltered? I'd like to know who they were and why they would have been tremendous defensively.

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11-30-2009, 03:58 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Leafs Forever View Post
The ATD this time is filled with upsets; I think that could definetly occur in this series. It may even be likely (as I will illustrate). Just in my intial glance, other than a few places, My position to position comparisons seem to be very favorable to me. But this is just my prelim thoughts; I hope people certainly approach this with a very open mind despite seedings, but it seems they have based on some of the upsets.

Anywho!

Toe Blake- Cyclone Taylor-Teemu Selanne vs Gary Roberts-Max Bentley-Rick Middleton

I like how my first stacks up to your first line- better at every position. As I don't have a Gordie Howe to worry about this time, my first line isn't going to be one of the lines I focus to play against your first, although they will likely see eachother simply due to icetime. But my first line is just plain a lot more powerful than yours- as I will show, going position to position.

Toe Blake vs Gary Roberts.

Everyone loves how Roberts plays; but fact is, he is a guy out of place on a first line. Big time. I get the role he's playing, but Blake is essentially playing the same role- he's just not a questionable guy for the first line offensively. As far as looking at goals, assists, points, his lone top-10 in those regards is a 3rd in goals. Blake has 5 top 10's in goals (3 top-5's), 7 top-10's in assists, and 6 top-10's in points. Blake was a 3 time first team all-star, 2 time 2nd team all-star. Roberts was a good playoff producer, but Blake was one of the greatest playoff producers of the 1940s and a retro conn smythe. Roberts may have a bit of an intangible edge, but Blake is no slouch in that regard, and it would not touch the gap between the two offensively. The gap between these two may be the largest of any singular position in the series.

Cyclone Taylor vs Max Bentley

This is a comparison that might see the old split-league star debate come out. But I can fight that fight, and we are talking about arguably the greatest of that era.

Just to look at these guys from the great equaliser- the seventies consistency threads. These, as I will stress in every series, account for the split league era Taylor was in. If he was first in the PCHA in assists, it likely shows up as a top-2 in his leaderboards. If he finishes say 3rd in PCHA goals, it shows up as either a top-5 or top-10 (depending on what the numbers were like in that 3rd and the other guys competing for the top-5.) And so on.

Top 2 finishes- Top 5 finishes - Top 10 finishes - Top 15 finishes - Top 20 finishes

Goalscoring:
Taylor- 1-5-5-5-5
M.Bentley- 1-3-7-8-8

Playmaking:
Taylor- 6-7-7-8-8
M.Bentley- 3-4-4-6-6

Total:

Taylor: 7-12-12-13-13
M.Bentley: 4-7-11-14-14

Max Bentley is good, but he's not Taylor. Bentley was a great playoff producer certainly, but so was Taylor, with 20 points in 11 stanley cup challenge games.

Teemu Selanne vs Rick Middleton

Again, I'll adress Selanne's playoff concerns with A. His pretty good run with the Ducks and B. His two time leading the olympics in a pressure environment, I feel, similar to that of the playoffs. Certainly a lot on the line for a guy like Selanne there. In these best on best competitions, I don't feel it a stretch to equate those two leading the olympics to top-5's in playoff scoring. And Selanne is playing with two great playoff guys as well, as well a being coached by a great playoff guy, so I don't think it's a concern.

As far as offensive potentital goes, no comparison. Middleton has a 7th, 8th, 10th in goals, and two 10th's in points. Selanne, by comparison, has the same number of 1st in goals as Middleton has top-10's (as well as another 2nd, 3rd, and 10th in goals), a 4th, 7th, 9th, and 9th in assists, and two 2nd's, two 5th's, a 7th, and a 8th in points.

Middleton was a decent playoff producer, but outside that '83 year, it isn't anything special it appears. I've justified Selanne in the playoffs, and will defend that. Although Middleton has a defensive edge, it is nowhere near that of the offensive edge Selanne has, I feel.

All in all, my powerful top line just plain blows your top line out of the water offensively. Those supposed better backcheckers are going to have their hands full a lot more than my guys will have with yours. They can score more if going head to head, and as for when these lines see our respectice 2nd an 3rd lines? More on that later. Similar with D-Core matchups. But in the last series I showed the defensive strength of my 2nd and 3rd lines and the majority of my defence core as well; they can do well against this top line, but I will show it more as I move down the lineup. In head to head comparisons, we'll see; because frankly on a number of my opponents guys I need to learn more about.
That is a huge forward line mismatch. And not just because these guys have better top-10 finishes. You have lines constructed almost the exact same way (puckwinning LW, balanced, speedy offensive talent in the middle, speedy goalscorer on the right) but your guys significantly better at each position. One concern is Selanne's playoff record. Middleton helps to close the gap by being the playoff performer that Selanne isn't, but overall, this line is a massive advantage over the Medicine Hat line.

And, it is cohesive. Blake is an elite first line puckwinner who actually has above average talent for a first line LW. Taylor is an elite goalscorer and playmaker. Selanne is Blake's antithesis on the right. Whatever he lacks, the other two bring. I like this line almost as much as that Tkachuk/Gretzky/Kurri line. Just so perfectly balanced and talented.

reigning two-time ATD champ Sturminator revealed his line-building strategy to all of us this draft. in case you didn't recall, it was to make sure that goal scoring, playmaking, and puckwinning are all taken care of with your first two picks, then simply take the BPA (a value pick) to fill that third spot. What a concept, I thought at the time. And that's exactly what you did, and before Sturm mentioned it.

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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
Two-way forwards? Well, Middleton: Ninth in Selke voting in 83, fourth in 84. St. Louis was fourth in 2004. A quick check on Lach will reveal how good he was defensively. Roberts and Sutter both take excellent care of their own zone. Richards has a fifth and a second in Selke voting. (Had the most first place votes last year). Davidson was described as being a fine two-way player. Robert was strong defensively. Tremblay was strong defensively.
Yes, Medicine Hat does have two-way forwards. Although you're overrating Roberts. He's tough, gritty, and physical but was by no means defensively skilled.

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Metro Prystai obviously had to be strong defensively if he's going to play centre on a checking line. You need the centre on your checking line to be strong defensively. If he isn't, he won't last five games in that role. He'll be dispatched in favour of someone who's better.
That sounds to me like too much assuming and not enough proving, sorry.

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I don't think Blake and Fleury are the puck-winners you need. Roberts is a puck-winner. Sutter's a puck-winner. When we had Fleury last draft, we used Kevin Stevens to be the guy to win the battles. And Fleury isn't the guy you're going to want for front-of-the-net battles.
Yes, Fleury is a little lacking as a 2nd line puckwinner. Due to size, of course, not mentality. But Blake should have zero problems being the primary puckwinner for his line; what makes you think he's not right for that role?

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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
And I like Roberts for the puck-winning, crash the net, goal-scoring role more than Blake.
Maybe that is more his game than Blake's, but it doesn't change that Blake is better than him in nearly every way, the two most important being scoring goals and making plays.

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I believe Bentley is better than Taylor. And I'm a big Taylor fan. But Bentley has two Art Ross Trophies, three rings and an amazing playoff record for the late 40s/early 50s.
The majority of GMs disagree. Taylor is twice as high as Bentley on this year's revision of the HOH top-100 (#27 and #57). That list was put together based on the cases the participants made for the players. There was simply a much better case to be made for Taylor, than Bentley.

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Old
11-30-2009, 04:11 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by jareklajkosz View Post
Admittedly, I like Medicine Hat's second line quite a bit more than Cairo's, but I don't think we can call the difference anything more than a wash considering the advantage Cairo has on the first line.
The second line is a pretty big mismatch. Lach is one of the top-3 2nd line centers in the draft. Weiland is one of the bottom-3. Fleury is not an ideal puckwinner, but at the same time, Brian Sutter is not an ideal 2nd-liner at all. Not great offensively. Smokey Harris and Martin St. Louis are both underrated guys but borderline second liners and wash out in the end. The big thing here is that Lach is much, much better than Weiland.

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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
*And you guys underrate Roberts. For three years in the early 90s, before the neck injury, he was a force as a goal-scoring power forward. He was dominant in 1991-92. He was dominant in 1992-93 before a leg injury. He was dominant in 1993-94, although not as good as the previous two years. I think people forget just how much of a force he was before the neck injury. He wasn't the same player after it. He went from being one of the best hockey players in the world (and one of the top three or four in the world at his position) to being a good, gritty goal scorer, but not a top-notch hockey player.
We got criticized for intending to use Duff in a complementary 1st line role. But Roberts is right in his league. This is a post I made right at the end of one of the ATD threads that I think may have been overlooked:

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Originally Posted by seventieslord
If you're not sold on Duff as a complementary player on a 1st line, you should not be sold on Gary Roberts, either. Let's do an elementary comparison of the two:

Neither was a renowned playmaker so we can eliminate that part right away. Roberts exploded into the top-5 in goals once, and aside from that, was only in the top-20 in the NHL one other time. (Roberts had two other seasons where his GPG was enough to make him a top-10 scorer, but he played a combined 93 games those two seasons.) Duff was in the lower half of the top-10 twice and three more times was a top-20 scorer. That's a goal-scoring record similar to a Punch Broadbent, Hooley Smith, or Doug Mohns, and a tad better than fellows like George Armstrong, Danny Gare (aside from Gare's league-leading season), Ace Bailey (ditto), Bob Pulford, and Neil Colville. Both Roberts and Duff are loaded with intangibles, the major differences being that Duff is better defensively, Roberts is tougher, and Duff has a better playoff resume (a 25% PPG increase is huge, even if Roberts' 2% decrease is more than respectable) Then there's reliability. Knocking off Duff's 1st and last season, he played 89% of scheduled games in his career. Knocking off Roberts' 1st and last two, he played 74% of his.

A similar comparison could be made regarding Duff and Brian Sutter, your 2nd line glue guy. Sutter was not a playmaker either, was top-10 in goals once and top-20 one more time, tougher, less skilled defensively, with a PPG decrease of 22% in the playoffs.
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*And Blake's impressive 18 point playoff that LF cited: came in a war year. 1944. Great for Toe. I'm a big fan of the guy. But it needs to be taken with a legit grain of salt.
Absolutely.

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*I'm actually surprised Taylor didn't have more than 20 points in 11 games. Playing at a time when guys played the entire game, and with his excellent skill level, I would have expected more.
....or you can look at the playoff records of other great stars of the era like Lalonde, Malone, Nighbor, Denneny, Foyston, and Dunderdale, and realize that Taylor's offensive record in the playoffs is very strong.

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11-30-2009, 04:16 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Quick question: Toe Blake - Elmer Lach - Maurice Richard was one of the best lines in all of hockey history. If Toe Blake isn't an adequate puck winner, who was the puck winner on that line?
Lach was a great puckwinner too. But yes, good point.

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Originally Posted by Leafs Forever View Post
Who knows; but fact is when a guys defence isn't talked about in writings about him, he likely wasn't anything that special defensively, and it doesn't make him worthy of a third line role in an ATD setting.
...if the third line is a defensive line, that is. I'm not sold on Prystai being a defensive star at all, but he does have some offensive credibility for a 3rd scoring line.

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You want quotes? "He then settled in for much of his time on the checking line with Marty Pavelich and Tony Leswick." That's from legendsofhockey.net. He settled in playing centre on the checking line for a perennial Stanley Cup champion.
That is still pretty weak when compared to what has been written about most other checking centers throughout history.

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11-30-2009, 04:19 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
With that offence? Well, let's just see...

Max Bentley won back-to-back Art Ross Trophies in the Original 6, and was a magnificent playoff performer.

Elmer Lach won two Art Ross Trophies (one during the war years), and led the league in assists three times. (Once during the war years). His playoff record is also very good.

Martin St. Louis has an Art Ross, and he's over a point-per-game in the playoffs.

Rick Middleton was a point-per-game player in the playoffs for most of his career, even though he didn't have much help up front in Boston.

Do you want to talk about how we have offence coming from all four lines, or how we have five defencemen who can definitely get involved in the rush, and provide good offensive support from our forwards, while taking nothing away from their defensive play?

Or do you just want to talk about our defence. Is that the blue-line, or is that the team defence? Potvin? Top five defenceman of all-time. Ragulin? Big, rock-solid defender. DesJardins? He would be the classic Steady Eddie defenceman, but he brings a little more to the table offensively than the traditional Steady Eddie type. Carlyle? Excellent all-round defender. Tough, mobile, talented, plays well in his own zone. Huddy? Steady, but he can produce. Maxwell? Injuries hurt his career, but he's big, strong, skilled, tough as nails and consistent when he did play. (And he always found a way to be there in the playoffs. He has 61 points in 79 post-season games). And they receive excellent support from their forwards, with some tremendous two-way players.
Dude, offense is not this team's strength, at all. LF could post a laundry list of his team's offensive achievements and it would be twice as long. Your team's strength is that you have a good playoff goalie, you have Denis Potvin, and you have good grit and responsibility throughout the forwards. Offense is not your team's strength. At all.

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11-30-2009, 04:21 PM
  #37
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On Walker: respect the guy. However, I would like to point out that the Morenz series you alluded to was in 1925, before the forward pass was allowed in the offensive zone. That makes a very big difference. It's the single biggest rule change in the last 81 years. So while I applaud him for his performance in 1925, I'd be a lot more impressed if he shut down Morenz in 1930 or 1931.
Oh yes, this thing. Here's a question: Why don't you show me all the quotes about everyone shutting down Morenz in 1925? If it was so easy, so simple to shut a guy down with forward passing, why did Morenz get 39 points in 30 games that year?

Everyone in the era playing defensively recieved the same benefit Walker did; Walker clearly stood out it than year despite this. The ATD is about relativity.

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I don't think Walker's in Gainey's class defensively. No LW in the draft is. That's why Bob Gainey was a first-ballot HHOFer.
Of course I believe a tremendous arguement has been made for Ramsay in that regard, and I am not saying Walker is Gainey, but it's an unrelated debate and highly opinated. But for my money, Walker is the third best defensive LW you can find behind Gainery and Ramsay.

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Selanne's playoff record on standard ice, in best-of-seven situations - the situation that we have here - is underwhelming. You haven't shown anything. You've shown he can produce in a situation in which he isn't playing here. The game that is played in the World Championships and in the Olympics is a stark contrast to the game that is played in the show.
He did have that solid run with the Ducks.

I haven't shown anything? A stark contrast to the show? He was playing NHLers; he was playing the best players every country had to offer. There weren't any scrubs out thee to play against. He was playing for his country; in a high pressure environment where everyone in your country is watching you and everyone is going to play their hardest and try to win for national pride. And in this situation, he beat out the other scorers in 1988; Federov, Lindros, Bure, Nieuwndyk, anyone else Canada had to offer. And he did the same thing in 2006; beating out the likes of Jagr, and anyone else Canada had to offer. You're telling me that isn't worth anything? Well I'm telling you that's wrong.

Here's a question: If we don't value international accomplishments, why do we draft the russian-league stars?

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As for this:

"Perhaps there just wasn't a guy in the Detroit system to fill that role as well as Prystai; perhaps PRystai was the worst checking line centre in the league at the time. Perhaps his wingers just really liked him for some strange reason. Who knows; but fact is when a guys defence isn't talked about in writings about him, he likely wasn't anything that special defensively, and it doesn't make him worthy of a third line role in an ATD setting."

*On Prystai: If Prystai was the "worst checking line centre in the league at the time," then Detroit, a perennial Stanley Cup contender, would have gone out and traded for a better checking line centre, or they would have gone out and found a better checking line centre in another league. You don't put a guy in a role like that just because "his wingers liked him for some strange reason." (That one made me laugh). There were a lot of really good checking centres in the game at the time who couldn't get a job in the show because there were only six teams. If you're a perennial Cup contender, then you're going to want guys in each position who give you a chance to win. If that player can't deliver in that role, you're going to drop him and find someone who can do the job. And when there's no shortage of players in the minors and the senior leagues who can do the job, Prystai wouldn't have lasted a month if he couldn't get the job done. It's the reality of winning.
This is assumptions; don't try to pass it off as fact. I've been burned in the ATD for trying to make assumptions, and I think the assumptions were a lot more solid reasoning than this. Prystai did contribute decently offensively, perhaps the reason why he was kept up or placed on the line; to put up offensive numbers while maybe playing ok defensively. Of course ok defensively at an NHL level translated to below-average defensively at an ATD level.

But do you not think that if Prystai was special defensively, you could bring out quotes about him? About his supposed defense, that makes him worthy of an ATD checking role? To expect a guy like that go fair well against Cyclone Taylor is a reach; you need an excerllent defensive guy with backup to go up against Taylor, and you don't have one it seems, based on lack of evidence. You expect him to do better in his role than Edgar Laprade, who was inducted into the Hall for a large part due to defensive work and was one of the best defensive forwards and penalty killers of his day (and this, I can actually back up).?

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You want quotes? "He then settled in for much of his time on the checking line with Marty Pavelich and Tony Leswick." That's from legendsofhockey.net. He settled in playing centre on the checking line for a perennial Stanley Cup champion.
Jordan Staal has settled into playing centre on the checking line of last years Cup champion, and it seems like they are going to be a perrenial contender. Is he worthy of a checking line role in this?

Not the best comparison I admit, but the point is clear; guy played on checking line on good team doesn't mean guy is worthy of playing a checking line on an ATD with the best centres of all-time bearing down on him, especially with so little said about his defensive work. It says he "settled in" it doesn't say he "excelled" or "did great work in his role as" or anything that really says he was particularly special when playing that role. It just says that he did play that role. The ATD is reserved for the best; Prystai, to me, doesn't seem like he was one of the best.

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With that offence? Well, let's just see...

Max Bentley won back-to-back Art Ross Trophies in the Original 6, and was a magnificent playoff performer.

Elmer Lach won two Art Ross Trophies (one during the war years), and led the league in assists three times. (Once during the war years). His playoff record is also very good.

Martin St. Louis has an Art Ross, and he's over a point-per-game in the playoffs.

Rick Middleton was a point-per-game player in the playoffs for most of his career, even though he didn't have much help up front in Boston.

Do you want to talk about how we have offence coming from all four lines, or how we have five defencemen who can definitely get involved in the rush, and provide good offensive support from our forwards, while taking nothing away from their defensive play?
You note 4/6 guys from your topic 6; Bentley and Lach no one will deny, but Middleton played in the 80s where PPG doesn't mean nearly as much- and as I demonstrated earlier, was nothing special offensively, compared to Selanne at least. Middleton, offensively, is definetly a lower-tier offensive player in this.

St.Louis won an art ross and hasn't really come close to that since; a 5th in points where he was 18 points behind the leader, and then no more top-10 points finishes.

Of course; I can play the same game, only with more effitiveness.

Cyclone Taylor was by far the most dominant offensve player the PCHA ever saw, and may have been the most dominant offensive player of his time (certainly top-2 in that regard). He three times led the PCHA in goals, and five times in points; and was a dominant playoff performer as well.

Selanne, who three times led the league in goals and came runner up in points twice to two guys named Jagr and Lemieux. A dominant force on the wolrd stage who also led the olympics in best on best play twice.

Blake, who has the most playoff points of the 1940s and also has an art ross to his credit as well as numerous other great finishes.

Fleury, who twice led the playoffs in PPG and has a three year stretch in the playoffs where nobody scored at the clip he did; including Gretzky.

Weiland, who also had a art ross to his credit and twice led the playoffs in points.

Harris, who was one of the best playmaker in the PCHA and twice led it in assists; as well as leading the way in PCHA playoff points twice.

All my lines can score, unfortunately for you, as well. I can list their accomplishments in scoring as well if you like.

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Or do you just want to talk about our defence. Is that the blue-line, or is that the team defence? Potvin? Top five defenceman of all-time. Ragulin? Big, rock-solid defender. DesJardins? He would be the classic Steady Eddie defenceman, but he brings a little more to the table offensively than the traditional Steady Eddie type. Carlyle? Excellent all-round defender. Tough, mobile, talented, plays well in his own zone. Huddy? Steady, but he can produce. Maxwell? Injuries hurt his career, but he's big, strong, skilled, tough as nails and consistent when he did play. (And he always found a way to be there in the playoffs. He has 61 points in 79 post-season games). And they receive excellent support from their forwards, with some tremendous two-way players.
And I can go down my list as well; Goodfellow? Tough guy who brings plenty to the offensive table/ Wilson? Complete defenceman who won a norris and can clear the front of the net and play two-ways. Mortson? Toughest guy in his era who also defended very well and brought plenty of offensive ability. Pulford? Ok, a guy who doesn't bring much to the offensive table, but an aboslute beast in defensive and physical play and was the 2nd best defeceman in his era. Carlyle, a guy I am not a fan of, seemed to do rather little outside his norris year. Leduc? One of the best playoff scoring defenceman of his era, compared to Cleghorn in the physicality department, and also pretty good in his own zone. Randall? Didn't have injures that hurt his career, but is described in many brilliant rushes as well as being able to play well in his own zone, in addition to being described as the toughest of his day.

And supported by many tremendous two-way players as well; each of my lines other than my first features two.


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11-30-2009, 04:32 PM
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*And Blake's impressive 18 point playoff that LF cited: came in a war year. 1944. Great for Toe. I'm a big fan of the guy. But it needs to be taken with a legit grain of salt. (It also came in the first season in which players could pass the puck over the blue-line, so there was an adjustment factor).
OF course Blake outshone his supposedly better linemates in Lach and Richard as well as some other pretty good guys; Doug Bentley, and Syd Howe. Not as much worth in a non-year I'll admit, but still has worth and is one heck of a playoff.

OF course Blake also has a couple more 2nd's in playoff points in '46 and '47, so it's not like it didn't somewhat translate after the war.

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*I'm actually surprised Taylor didn't have more than 20 points in 11 games. Playing at a time when guys played the entire game, and with his excellent skill level, I would have expected more.
What seventies said; find me a bunch of guys who did better. Taylor was a force in the playoffs as well.

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*I love guys who hate to lose. That's one of the reasons why I'm a big Toe Blake fan. However, is he going to be able to win the corner battles and the battles in front of the net? I've had Blake before. And I put him in a role that enabled him to use his two-way excellence, but I had a winger who could do the dirty work. And I've had Fleury before. Used him as an aggressive, abrasive scorer, but I wanted a power winger to provide him support, because I didn't want a five-foot-six guy as a dirty work player.
This also has been touched on, and I showed quotes earlier for Blake; he can do the role.

The only concern for Fleury is his size; but he is shown he can overcome that all his career, I think.

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*When I say "What hockey people are looking for," I mean they have different priorities at different times. The attributes that a GM is looking for now are different than what they were looking for 10 to 15 years ago, 25 years ago and 30 years ago. And that does have an impact on top 10 finishes.
Erm..how can they change where a guy placed in goals? Any special era condition created by GMs is likely going to effect all scorers. Your going to have to get more specific.

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*And as for this line: "For my money, a line with Cyclone Taylor on it doesn't need an elite puck winner. The man was so fast and skilled that the play with him on the ice should rarely hit the boards." Thanks. I needed a laugh after the end of the Grey Cup. Every line needs someone who can do the dirty work. Even lines with generational talents. (If Taylor actually is a generational talent).
That's why I put Blake on the line.

Yes, Taylor is a generational talent. There is only one guy people might argue was better in his era. He was in those debates for best player ever for a time.

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11-30-2009, 04:47 PM
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The second line is a pretty big mismatch. Lach is one of the top-3 2nd line centers in the draft. Weiland is one of the bottom-3. Fleury is not an ideal puckwinner, but at the same time, Brian Sutter is not an ideal 2nd-liner at all. Not great offensively. Smokey Harris and Martin St. Louis are both underrated guys but borderline second liners and wash out in the end. The big thing here is that Lach is much, much better than Weiland.
Of course I take Fleury over Sutter by a fairly wide margin. Weiland has some good two-way ability to help with Lach, but it is one of the only two positions on his team I don't like the comparison of (2nd line C vs 2nd line C; other is #1D #1D). Everywhere else I think compares rather well for me, but I will have to look more into things.

But at the same time, my wingers are on a whole better than his on the 2nd line, offensively at the least, by a fair margin, I feel. It's a problem that was noted earlier; his top-2 centres are really running one-man shows for the most part, particularly when Walker is given some time against them (and then said centres have to deal with Laprade if Walker is on the ice)

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11-30-2009, 05:16 PM
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Not sure it matters much, but when you say "Selanne led the league in goals 3 times," he really led the league once and was tied for the lead twice. Just a pet peeve of mine. Carry on.

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11-30-2009, 05:19 PM
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He did have that solid run with the Ducks.
Naah, he wasn't anything special. But still, he's an upgrade on Middleton despite the playoff performance difference and Middleton's solid defense.

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11-30-2009, 05:48 PM
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I'm going to stick up for Middleton here as well. He's a great example of a guy who's statistical achievements in the NHL underrate how well he would play in the ATD, IMO.

In Middleton's prime, he was the best forward on a very good Boston team. Boston played in the tough Adams division and played tight defensive hockey, at least for the era. Middleton was very good defensively and the best player on the team offensively until Ray Bourque broke out. Unlike, say, Toe Blake, he never played with anyone remotely as good as Max Bentley; yet he has the skill set to excel when doing so. Very good defensively, good playmaker, high-percentage shooter...makes you wonder what his numbers would look like if he had the opportunities that Jari Kurri did, and vice versa.

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11-30-2009, 06:04 PM
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I'm going to stick up for Middleton here as well. He's a great example of a guy who's statistical achievements in the NHL underrate how well he would play in the ATD, IMO.

In Middleton's prime, he was the best forward on a very good Boston team. Boston played in the tough Adams division and played tight defensive hockey, at least for the era. Middleton was very good defensively and the best player on the team offensively until Ray Bourque broke out. Unlike, say, Toe Blake, he never played with anyone remotely as good as Max Bentley; yet he has the skill set to excel when doing so. Very good defensively, good playmaker, high-percentage shooter...makes you wonder what his numbers would look like if he had the opportunities that Jari Kurri did, and vice versa.
And I'd counter that with his counterpart; Selanne never played with anyone as good as Taylor as Blake, I believe. Selanne was also often the best forward on the teams he played on; which, if memory serves well, were rather poor in the early parts of his career.

I'll buy his good defensively; it still doesn't make him a great ATD first-line winger overrall. Perhaps he did have the skill set and could have done better; but it's speculation, and it's a "what-if", which we don't tend to give value for.


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11-30-2009, 06:21 PM
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And I'd counter that with his counterpart; Selanne never played with anyone as good as Taylor as Blake, I believe. Selanne was also often the best forward on the teams he played on; which, if memory serves well, were rather poor in the early parts of his career.

I'll buy his good defensively; it still doesn't make him a great ATD first-line winger overrall. Perhaps he did have the skill set and could have done better; but it's speculation, and it's a "what-if", which we don't tend to give value for.
See, I don't even think it's a what-if, it's a what-was. You just have to look beyond the raw points and scoring finishes. In Middleton's context of playing on a low-scoring team as the best forward on his team, each individual point was more valuable than a player playing in a high-scoring context like the Oilers or Nordiques.

Take 1982-83. There were 555 goals scored in Boston games, and Middleton had a hand in scoring 96 of them, or 17.3% of the total. There were 679 goals scored in Quebec games. Peter Stastny had a hand in scoring 124 of them, or 18.3% of the total. This is a crude adjustment for the different scoring contexts that the two players faced, but I think Middleton was closer to the top scorers in the league in value than his raw points would suggest.

You can also look at it from a top-down perspective of team value. Boston was an excellent team during Middleton's prime, among the best in the league. Middleton was the best player for much of that, at least until Bourque and Pederson emerged. Surely that suggests that Middleton was an excellent player, better than the basic stats show.

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11-30-2009, 06:34 PM
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See, I don't even think it's a what-if, it's a what-was. You just have to look beyond the raw points and scoring finishes. In Middleton's context of playing on a low-scoring team as the best forward on his team, each individual point was more valuable than a player playing in a high-scoring context like the Oilers or Nordiques.

Take 1982-83. There were 555 goals scored in Boston games, and Middleton had a hand in scoring 96 of them, or 17.3% of the total. There were 679 goals scored in Quebec games. Peter Stastny had a hand in scoring 124 of them, or 18.3% of the total. This is a crude adjustment for the different scoring contexts that the two players faced, but I think Middleton was closer to the top scorers in the league in value than his raw points would suggest.

You can also look at it from a top-down perspective of team value. Boston was an excellent team during Middleton's prime, among the best in the league. Middleton was the best player for much of that, at least until Bourque and Pederson emerged. Surely that suggests that Middleton was an excellent player, better than the basic stats show.
I've always been interested in what percentage of a team's offense a player had a part in, but I've never really used it in evaluating players. You've caused me to pause and consider it.

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11-30-2009, 06:39 PM
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I've always been interested in what percentage of a team's offense a player had a part in, but I've never really used it in evaluating players. You've caused me to pause and consider it.
If it's relevant at all, it's only relevant for good teams. Scoring a large percentage of your team's goals on an awful team doesn't really mean much to me. Being the biggest offensive force on a great team, especially a defensive minded one - I can see it.

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11-30-2009, 06:47 PM
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See, I don't even think it's a what-if, it's a what-was. You just have to look beyond the raw points and scoring finishes. In Middleton's context of playing on a low-scoring team as the best forward on his team, each individual point was more valuable than a player playing in a high-scoring context like the Oilers or Nordiques.

Take 1982-83. There were 555 goals scored in Boston games, and Middleton had a hand in scoring 96 of them, or 17.3% of the total. There were 679 goals scored in Quebec games. Peter Stastny had a hand in scoring 124 of them, or 18.3% of the total. This is a crude adjustment for the different scoring contexts that the two players faced, but I think Middleton was closer to the top scorers in the league in value than his raw points would suggest.

You can also look at it from a top-down perspective of team value. Boston was an excellent team during Middleton's prime, among the best in the league. Middleton was the best player for much of that, at least until Bourque and Pederson emerged. Surely that suggests that Middleton was an excellent player, better than the basic stats show.
I think this more so ties into how valuable a guy is to his team as opposed to how good he is. A guy on a dynasty may not score a big part of his teams goal as opposed to a guy who is the only player on his team, but that doesn't necessarily make the guy who is the only guy on his team better than the guy on the dynasty.

Was Boston a low scoring team when they are also amongst the best?

The year in question is also Middleton's magic playoff run; I question why he couldn't score at a rate higher to the one he scored in his playoff.

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11-30-2009, 06:54 PM
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If it's relevant at all, it's only relevant for good teams. Scoring a large percentage of your team's goals on an awful team doesn't really mean much to me. Being the biggest offensive force on a great team, especially a defensive minded one - I can see it.
Yeah, I think the key is that the low scoring is because of style of play, not lack of talent.

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11-30-2009, 07:47 PM
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Smokey Harris-Cooney Weiland-Theo Fleury vs Brian Sutter-Elmer Lach-Martin St.Louis

I've touched on this one already, but I'll stat with the wings. As for who's going to matchup against this line, no real set plan in mind; more so 2nd and 3rd I suppose, some 1st to give the best line in this matchup ice-time.

I'll star off at the wings; Theo Fleury is just the better offensive guy to St.Louis, particularly in the playoffs.

Interesting that we both choose to employ undersized guys on our RW; but Fleury definetly gets the better of the two. St.Louis brings some decent intangible work, but is he as tough as the fearless, physical, and gritty as Fleury? Does he peak at a 6th in selke voting as Fleury does?

As for scoring; St.Louis may be the better peak guys. but Fleury gets the overall edge for longevity. St.Louis had one pick playiff; his cup year with Tampa (although he has solid years outside of that), while Fleury has three; 2 times leading the playoffs in ppg, and another 3rd in ppg- for a htree year stretch where nobody scored in the playoffs at the same rate at Fleury, including guys like Gretzky. I don't think St.Louis stacks up to that.

St.Louis has the big year where he led the league in points, but he only has a 5th other than that and that's all for top 10's. Fleury has the more balanced 6th, 7th, and 8th in points; considering that came with somewhat more competition, and considering the playoffs, Fleury gets an offensive edge and a signifigant edge overall.

On the other side: Harris vs Sutter

People may scoff at this matchup- perhaps including yourself- "Who's Harris? And he's facing a Sutter!"

Trouble is Sutter, like Roberts, is a stranger to a scoring line really. Considering you had Lach, don't know why you went out and got him to create perhaps the worst top-6 offensive LW team. (that is to say, Roberts and Sutter may provide the least offense from any teams top-2 LW's in this)

Sutter's lone top-10 in major offensive category? A 9th in goals. No one will deny his great intangibles, but still- not ideal.

Harris is another fast, skilled guy; a primary playmaker who twice led the PCHA in assists. A 4 time PCHA first team all-star, he also twice led the PCHA in post-season scoring; he could get it done in the playoffs. The highest Sutter in post-season scoring was, I believe, 18th in 1982. Look at Harris's stuff on his bio for how he does in consistency in goalscoring and playmaking threads; he stacks up well to guys no one questions as second liners.

Unfortunately, we have yet to learn much about Harris's play beyond his offense; Sutter certainly has an edge in that regard. Does it beat Harris's better skill and offensive game? How much toughness was Sutter's fists? Is Sutter's game really necessary on a line with Lach? Frankly, I feel Harris offense as a top scorer of the PCHA bests Sutter's intangible game.

But that brings us to the Lach vs Weiland. I won't argue this; it's been said, Lach is better, and likely makes up for the weakness of his two linemates (of course how he does with two much weaker guys in comparison to him remains to be seen.) It's a good thing I'll likely have either Weiland or Laprade, a good two-way centre and an excellent defensive centre with offensive ability, facing up against him, or Taylor sometimes, who's speed and skill can overcome Lach's intangible edge when they occasionaly have a shift off against eachother.

As far as overall top 6's go? When I perhaps take 5/6 positions, it's big. The gap between our 1st line LW's is, I think, comparable to that between 2nd line C's; and with all the other edges I got, my top 6 and the deadly Lamplight Flash Cyclone line (Ok, not the greatest name, but you try encorporating all their nicknames into a top-line name!) have a signifigant edge over your top 6, I feel.


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11-30-2009, 08:58 PM
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Hey guys,

just a quickie here. I'm really sorry about disappearing right before voting starts. This is actually my favourite part of the draft. On Thursday I had to take a group I'm coaching to Guelph for the national cross country championships. After the race my dad called and said I need to get to Montreal because my grandfather passed away that morning. So now I'm here, this is the soonest I could get to a computer, and I won't be able to vote or participate for until I'm home on Saturday. Just wanted to post because I think that me not voting actually affects my teams' results (not actually sure about that). I will be back voting for all the series on the weekend. And good luck to Cairo!
Appear to have missed this. My condolences to you and your family. I wish you luck as well.

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