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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, 08:31 PM
  #51
Leafs Forever
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Jack Walker-Edgar Laprade-Ken Wharram vs Gilles Tremblay- Metro Prystai - Rene Robert

I'll keep Ken Wharram on the line for a few reasons; A. Want the offense in the matchup, B. My opposition doesn't have particularly good defensive forwards on his third line and C. Roberts and Sutter are terrible offensively and don't need much of a checking assignment. You know you're top 2 LW's are bad offensively when my third line RW, Wharram, perhaps accomplished more than either of them on a whole offensively. Heck, more than them combined looking at the those stats.

Walker vs Tremblay

This one isn't much of a contest. Tremblay is describes as a pretty good and fine defensive player; but nothing suggesting he was nearly as dominant in that regard as Walker, who was awared 7 retro selke's (not nearly as worth as much as real selke's, I'll admit- but it shows just how dominant he was in his time defensively), a retro conn smythe where he shut down Howie Morenz entirely in 1925 in the cup challenge and had the most points in said challenge on his way leading the challenge in points.

Tremblay is described as a pretty solid offensive contributor, but he isn't any better than Walker in the offensive regard; I'd likely call Walker better. As mentioned, Walker led a cup challenge in points (as well as goals) while also shutting down Howie Morenz; and also led two PCHA post-seasons in points as well- besting Tremblay's playoff record certainly, I think. Walker was also a pretty solid playmaker in the PCHA- once leading the PCHA in points which is a better finish than anything Tremblay ever came up with, and numerous other good finishes in PCHA assists. I'd give Walker the offensive edge as well.

And not to mention who faces the tougher matchups here; although a case hase been made for Middleton, he's still no Selanne; I've explained Fleury and Wharram is certainly more dangerous than Robert, but I'll get to that. Considering my opponents rather lacking RW (compared to Howie Morenz at least) I think Walker's defensive dominance will render my opposing RW's rather inneffective whenever he's on the ice, which is a key factor- not the case for Tremblay. Walker, all in all, has a signifigant edge in this matchup.

Laprade vs Prystai

Much has been said about how Prystai (who was a decent offensive contributor-maybe explaining his role) playing as a checking line centre role somehow instantly makes him good defensively for an ATD third line centre; and it has been responded with many times by it doesn't, and if he was something special defensively it would likely be more written about, one would think.

Laprade, I don't even need to make an effort to find quotes on. Here they are:

Quote:
A tremendous playmaking center and smooth skater, he was one of the NHL's best forwards during the late 1940s. Blessed with exceptional lateral mobility and an effortless skating style, he was a brilliant penalty killer and determined checker. Laprade could also score and was one of the league's most dangerous skaters on the counterattack-LOH
Quote:
He was a tremendous defensive player as well, making him one of the greatest two way centers in NHL history. A strong back checker and prolific penalty killer, Laprade perfected the "poke check" as an effective strategy.-Joe Pelletier
Quote:
An outstanding playmaker, he was the National Hockey League's premier checking centres during an era when defensive forwards were overshadowed by the exploits of the goal scorers.-LOH
Quote:
He proved to be an excellent penalty killer and dogged checker. But the two-way centre could also score, contributing 108 goals and 172 assists for 280 points in 500 regular season games-LOH
No contest defensively. At all.

Prystai brings more offensve, but Laprade is certainly no slouch in the offensive game. Prystai actually had a nearly idential goalscoring record to Laprade's playmaking- but Prystai is a better playmaker than Laprade a goalscorer, giving him an edge. Does that offensive edge make upLaprade's defensive edge? No, I don't feel it's close, especially as Prystai, more of a goalscorer, has two guys flanking him two guys who also seem to be more goalscorers.

Of course the defense of Laprade is better suited to deal with opposing centres as well. Laprade has the checking ability to do a good job against the opposing top-2 centres. Prystai doesn't seem to have much defensive ability at all, and it is a rather dreadful matchup against Taylor, who is going to require more than one quote that says Prystai played on a checking line without stating whether he excelled in it at all to stop. Prystai isn't likely to stop the skilled Weiland as well who is plenty better better offensively, and Weiland is also likely better defensively than Prystai too; the following quote I'd take over Prystai's- I'll take this quote on Weiland over Prystai's, frankly:

Quote:
And his offensive totals might have been even greater than they were had Weiland not also been such an adept penalty killer.-LOH
.

Of course if these two go head to head Laprade is going to shutdown Prystai and likely score more than him do to counter attack abilities and a rather lacking ATD defensive centre facing off against him. All in all, pretty good edge Laprade.

Ken Wharram vs Rene Robert

I'll open up this one with what I found on Wharram's intangibles (and a quote on his tremendous speed) in my hunting through the archives (which I didn't do a complete job on for Wharram):

Quote:
Ken Wharram, a frail right winger, charged around as thought he had just recieved muscles from Charles Atlas. He missed a couple of goals through overeagerness but there wasn't any body on the ice who generated more energy.
Quote:
Wharram, one of the speediest of the Hawks, turned on a great burst to score Chicago's final goal. Gerry Ordowski, of the wings, had him for one brief instant, but Wharram just flew away...
Quote:
Hull, Hay, Wharram, Eric Nesterko, Ab McDonald, and the hammering Chicago defence of Pieere Pilote, Jack Evans, and Elmer Vasko did most of the harrying and checking that frustrated Canadiens.
This quote above seem to show Wharram bought into the Hawks tough checking game.

Quote:
At 5:28 Ken Wharram of Chicago and Pete Geogan of Detroit ripped off their gloves and started swinging at each other at the wings blueline. Soon everyone on the ice except the goalies were piled up at the line in a wild swinging melee. When linesman Ron Wicks tried to break up the fight between Wharram and Goegan, he found himself buried between the two players as the rest of the players entered the scrap.
Looks like Wharram could drop the gloves as well.

I'd still give Robert an intangible edge I'll admit, but it doesn't seem as if Wharram did only offense. Speaking of offense; well, there's where this skilled, fast (hmm, seems like I've said that before...) two-time first team all-star over Howe shines.

Wharram places 2nd and 3rd in league goalscoring vs 9th and 10th for Robert; and also has 3 top 10's in points vs 1 for Robert. Do I think that kind of offensive edge makes up for the intangible edge? Yes.

Of course I think Robert has the much greater challenge; against top lines certainly, with him facing Blake and Wharram facing the much weaker Roberts (And as I mentioned previously, Wharram actually placed better in league scoring than Roberts!) and in the 2nd line, when Robert has to deal with the skilled playmaker Harris vs Wharram who has to deal with another Roberts-type who Wharram, again, did better in league scoring then. And when third lines go head to head, Robert likely gets rendered aboslutely ineffective against the best defensive forward in the series in Walker, while Wharram has to go up against a signifigantly weaker (although still good) defensive forward in Tremblay. All things considered, I think Wharram is going to be the better factor than Robert in the series.

Overall: With likely the two best defensive forwards on either line, that can also match your line in the offensive regard (especially when, again, you likely have three guys who score more goals than make plays), and a third line much more suited to go up against the top-6's in this series, I think my third line has a signifigant edge as well.

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11-30-2009, 09:06 PM
  #52
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Some background on Prystai:

Prystai joined the NHL in 1947 with the Chicago Blackhawks. He was excited to join fellow Saskatchewan natives Max and Doug Bentley. But Prystai lasted only three seasons with the Hawks when he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings. Feeling that Chicago was on the rise, he was sorry to leave until he realized the lineup he was joining and winning prospects awaiting him in the Motor City. There, he skated with Ted Lindsay and Gordie Howe. He then settled in for much of his time on the checking line with Marty Pavelich and Tony Leswick.

The most exciting event of his career came when, in 1952, the Wings swept the entire playoffs, winning all eight contests, four against Toronto and four against Montreal. Terry Sawchuk had four shutouts as the Wings never gave up a goal in their own rink. As for Prystai, he scored two goals and an assist in the final game.

By 1954-55, Prystai was given a return ticket to play in Chicago again. He plugged away in the Windy City for just over one season before he was hustled back to Detroit where he remained until his demotion to the minors in 1957-58. He rounded out his on-ice career with the Edmonton Flyers of the WHL later that year.

So, he lasted only 3 years in Chicago, then about 5 in Detroit, before bouncing between Chicago and Detroit again to end up in the minors. Hmm.

Nothing about him in any of the books I own. You might need to specifically look at a Detroit Red Wings book in particular to find good info on him. Otherwise, the info on him is bare.

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11-30-2009, 09:08 PM
  #53
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Fourth lines, like with last series, I will take care of later. Next up, defences cores!

Denis Potvin-Alexander Ragulin vs Ebbie Goodfellow-Doug Wilson

Potvin vs Goodfellow

Similar situation to the 2nd line C; not going to argue this one- you want info on Goodfellow, click his bio- he was a pretty darn good defenceman with a Hart trophy. And he, as I think I've shown, is facing the weaker group of forward. But Potvin is better and is going to give Medicine Hat the better first pairing. Here's my arguement: no.2-no.6, my guys are better.

Wilson vs Ragulin

Here's an interesting little tidbit on Ragulin:

Quote:
His weakness was his skating, but that wouldn't have been as exposed in the old NHL days.-Joe Pelletier
I'm sure you all know who has perhaps the deadliest line in the ATD against slow skating, right?

Potvin I won't question; but I think the scary speed and skill of my top line can exploit that weakness of Ragulin (which, I assume, was a factor in how I won my last series) when they face off against him.

Somewhat of an aside, but a critical one.

Now, onto the comparison; just that tidbit somewhat bridges the gap between two defensively I feel. Wilson doesn't fall under the same skating problems, as shown on thoe quote on Wilson:

Quote:
He was sound positionally in the defensive zone, and, complimented by his great skating ability, had a great knack offensively. -Joe Pelletier
Now, on to offense: no contest. Here's a quote that spells this out on Ragulins side of thing:

Quote:
Offensively he had a heavy shot but, as a throw back even in Soviet hockey, it was primarily his defensive play that was his strength.-Joe Pelletier
Sounds like he was that defensive stay at home guy. Of course you don't have to worry about offense with Potvin, but I'm arguing Wilson as the better here than Ragulin, and it plays a factor. Now, as for that shot: Wilson can match it-

Quote:
Like Al MacInnis after him, he was known for the big slapshot, but was truly a complete defenseman.- Joe Pelletier
Wilson was a more well-rounded guy than Ragulin by the looks of things.

Offensively, Wilson was excellent; a 2nd, 3rd, two 6th's, a 7th, and two 10th's amongst defenceman in points in an era loaded with great defenceman offensively. Wilson's Norris trophy, first team AST and two second team AST's are also great accomplishments in a rather loaded era for D-men; Bourque, Coffey, Potvin, Robinson, Chelios, MacInnis,and Mark Howe to name. That's two top-5 D-men all-time, 3 guys that I have seen people include in their top-10 (not all at once necessarily; but they are in that class battling for the spots), and some solid other competition as well.

Ragulin had a good international record, but as he spent time in the 60s and early 70s, mostly not in the best on best stuff. He showed he could compete in the summit series, but is that the only instance of best on best play?

Ragulin has an edge defensively and in intangibles, but as noted considering we've got plenty of weapons to explot his weakness, it gets tightened somewhat. I'd also contend that Wilson is better defensively than Ragulin offensively; here's his quotes-

Quote:
He averaged nearly a point a game, was rock solid in his own end of the rink and was a natural leader on and off the ice.-LOH
Quote:
He was a solid two-way defenseman. Although never a big nor bruising defender, Wilson knew how to effectively play the body and clear the front of his net, and unlike many other skill defenseman of his era he willingly did so. .-Joe Pelletier
Quote:
He was sound positionally in the defensive zone, and, complimented by his great skating ability, had a great knack offensively. Like Al MacInnis after him, he was known for the big slapshot, but was truly a complete defenseman.- Joe Pelletier
Wilson, as mentioned, seems to be the more rounded. Considering the offensive edge Wilson has here, the speed factor, and Wilson being rather better in the intangible department than Ragulin in the offensive, I think Wilson has an edge.

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11-30-2009, 09:12 PM
  #54
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More on Prystai, and this is perhaps the most telling, from the LoH one-on-one with Alex Delvecchio:

Delvecchio broke into the Wings' line-up as a centre, replacing Larry Wilson. "Those first few years, I didn't play that much," admitted Alex. "We were on the third line, mostly Johnny Wilson, Metro Prystai and myself. We didn't hit the ice much unless we were way ahead or way behind."

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11-30-2009, 09:14 PM
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jareklajkosz View Post
More on Prystai, and this is perhaps the most telling, from the LoH one-on-one with Alex Delvecchio:

Delvecchio broke into the Wings' line-up as a centre, replacing Larry Wilson. "Those first few years, I didn't play that much," admitted Alex. "We were on the third line, mostly Johnny Wilson, Metro Prystai and myself. We didn't hit the ice much unless we were way ahead or way behind."
Ooh, that doesn't look particularly good for Prystai.

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11-30-2009, 09:16 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by Leafs Forever View Post
Ooh, that doesn't look particularly good for Prystai.
To be fair, that was I believe 50-51, Delvecchio's rookie season, however, he had already spent 3 years in Chicago, so he had already started to develop - if he had shown any signs of being great defensively, he would have made the checking line immediately. It wasn't until after that that he was centering Leswick and Pavelich, and based on the guys who are on that line, was probably there more for offense than defense, as has been noted.

EDIT: Actually, nevermind, it seems that Delvecchio said that in his first few years, he was on the third line with Prystai and Wilson. So, that likely means that Prystai only spent 2, maybe 3 seasons with Leswick and Pavelich.

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11-30-2009, 09:20 PM
  #57
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From http://esask.uregina.ca/entry/hockey.html

Metro Prystai was recruited from Yorkton to be a scoring sensation with the junior Moose Jaw Canucks.

Nothing about defensive play, apparently he was recruited to be a scorer.

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11-30-2009, 09:24 PM
  #58
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Nice digging. Granted guys can go from scoring sensations in junior to defensive guys in the NHL, but still; doesn't seem to be the case here.

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11-30-2009, 09:26 PM
  #59
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http://www.hhof.com/html/exSCJ05_13.shtml

More on Prystai. In fact, quite a detailed tidbit on him. Again, all that is mentioned is his scoring exploits. Nothing about defensive play.

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11-30-2009, 10:19 PM
  #60
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Harvey Pulford-Gus Mortson vs Eric Desjardins-Randy Carlyle

I'm assuming Desjardins as playing your no.3 role; let's stack him up against Mortson, shall we?

Gus Mortson vs Eric Desjardins

I'll suppose I'll start things on the easy one- toughness. No contest.

Quote:
Desjardins had good size at 6'1" and 205lbs, but he never played an overly physical game, perhaps making him less noticeable to the casual observer and easy to under-appreciate.
Doesn't sound like the toughest guy; Mortson? Shall I go there? I think I will.

Quote:
He was one of those players who you loved to hate - unless he was one of your own! ...he earned his corn smashing, crashing, and bashing opponents of all shapes and sizes... He made up one half of the infamous Gold Dust Twins...they both enjoyed the physical game and, as a result, often set the tone of Leafs games....The physical game was easily his strongest suit. A fine skater and rusher, he loved nothing more than crashing some poor opponent into the corner chicken wire. It was this lust for rough stuff that often got him in trouble, as his penalty record indicates. - Ultimate Hockey
Quote:
Mortson built his game around keeping his opponents honest... He was a fearless checker who was not above giving a chop across the ankles to stop an opposing attacker. Players who dared to go into the corner with him knew they were in for a battle. If all else failed, he would simply use the Leafs' clutch and grab style.- Maple Leafs Legends
Quote:
Mined his way through life's prospects and came out a winner every way...a rusher with a mean streak... The Gold Dust Twins allowed less than a goal per game...-Players: The ultimate A-Z Guide Of Everyone Who Has Played In the NHL
Quote:
He was strongly built and the hardrock type of defenseman who liked nothing better than exchanging bumps. He was also a good skater and effective rusher-The Trail Of the Stanley Cup, Vol. 3
Quote:
He was once one of the baddest men in hockey.-Joe Pelletier
Another interesting quote for Desjardins:

Quote:
He was never really equated with the elite defensemen of the game, yet he was not far off, either, providing a lot of steady minutes
It came up in my last series too; Mortson, a first team all-star, didn't have trouble being one of the games elite defenceman.

Is Desjardins as good as Mortson offensively? I don't think so. I looked at his highest point seasons that might net him a good scoring record; but outside of his all-star years, where he placed 8th and 4th amongst defenceman in scoring, I don't think he ever cracked the top-10. Mortson, seemingly much more of a rusher than Desjardins, has a 5,8,8,8,9,9,10 amongst defenceman in scoring; thoourghly besting Dejardins in that regard.

Now, Desjardins does step things up in the playoffs; leading in points amongst blueliners in the playoffs twice, and placing 5th another. Unfortunately, so did Mortson; three consecutive years of placing 2nd in defenceman points in the playoffs (which would make him 1st amongst blueliners over that 3 year stretch in total playoff points, if I am using the powerplay feature correctly), and some other good finishes besides. I think Mortson has a fairly signifigant offensive edge in this one.

Is Desjardins better defensively? Hard to tell- two completely different styles- Desjardins, clean and positional, Mortson, use toughness, beast along the boards, rough em up. But I highly doubt any advantage Desjardins has in this regard, if any, is like Mortson's offense and toughness advantage- giving Mortson an edge, and I think a fairly good one.

Harvey Pulford vs Randay Carlyle

This is one I was looking forward. Maybe you can finally be the one to answer my question about him. I fought against a guy who had him before- a guy who gave me one heck of a fight in that round. Maybe you will be able to answer this question better than he. The question I asked him:

Outside of Carlyle's norris year, what the heck makes him and ATD defenceman?

Now, as this is a 32-team draft vs a 20-team draft, things are different but the point is still clear. Besides his norris year, he makes it in the top-5 defenceman in scoring once more (the next year) then never makes the top-10 again. He comes very close once, has another top-15 a while before his norris, but that's it. Nothing stellar outside that norris. Of course that Norris year has value in itself, I admit.

You describe him as a "tough, well-rounded defenceman" in the roster thread. I want the quotes for that one- none of which I found or, as my regular easy sources are dried up, nowhere to easily aquire. His PIM's support toughness, but they aren't everything- and despite the high totals, I he never once made the top 10 for PIMs. Maybe it's an era thing, but still. I want the quotes to go along with the PIMs; I don't know if those PIMs were mostly for fighting or stupid defensive decisions, now do I?

As for the well-rounded portion why don't you show me some quotes on his defensive ability? Now I don't tend to look at this stuff, but the amount of goals scored against with him on the ice during his two big top-5 offensive defenceman seasons are alarming. Maybe that's just the teams he played for, who knows; hence why I want to see quotes on his defensive ability, that supposedly make him well-rounded.

Of course where Caryle's doesn't translate so well into the playoffs- he seemed to have played alright, but a a lacklustre record of never making it past the second round; and a couple rather poor playoffs. Not good.

But onwards to his comparison to Pulford; I will definetly contend that Pulford was more dominant and better defensively than Carlyle offensively, and much tougher and more physical as well. And I will gladly back this up with this:

Quote:
“The sight of big him on defence struck waves of fear through the hearts of the enemy.” – Ultimate Hockey
Quote:
“He was considered a masterful defensive defenseman.” – Who’s Who in Hockey
Quote:
He could take out a man with hits that "could have crippled even the Creator himself." All hyperbole aside, he was a bruiser, a battleship on blades.” – Total Hockey
Quote:
He was a brick wall on blades. In a 1905 Stanley Cup match against the speedy Rat Portage Thistles, he was given the green light to throw the body around. The result was one of the most impressive displays of one-man ganging ever seen, and his teammates were enough for Ottawa to take the next two games 4-2 and 5-4, en route to the Stanley Cup.” – Ultimate Hockey
(looks like he could handle speed as well)

A 4 time cup champion captain, his success certainly seems to carry over to the playoffs.

Ultimate Hockey’s “Best Body-Checker” from 1900 to 1909
Ultimate Hockey’s “Best Shot-Blocker” from 1900 to 1909
Ultimate Hockey’s “Finest Athlete” from 1900 to 1909
Ultimate Hockey’s “Strongest Player” from 1900 to 1909
-------------------------------------------------------

Pulford seemed to be truly dominant defensively; and unlike with Carlyle's offensive dominance, his defensive dominance wasn't only two-years long. Pulford also, unless you provide evidence to the contrary, seems to be the tougher and more physical defenceman. Pulford doesn't provide offensive game, but I don't see any evidence that Carlyle provides defensive game either (please show me some if there is), and considering the other two areas, I think Pulford has an edge here.

I also love the chemistry of my second pairing. I think it may be the toughest, most physical pairing in the draft. Two superb defensive, tough, physical guys and with Morton's offensive capabilities, the pairing doesn't sacrifice offense.

I do like the the chemistry on my first pairing two; both guys do very well moving and shootin the puck; Goodfellow is a hard-nosed, rough customer- Wilson, the more two-way prescence who can also clear the front of the net. I think they work well together too.

Bottom pairings I will try and cover tomorrow.

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11-30-2009, 10:36 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by jareklajkosz View Post
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.
I never, ever used the word "wonderful." Please tell me where I said wonderful. That's your word, not mine. I have never, ever tolerated misquoting people in my line of work. And I don't tolerate getting misquoted, either.

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11-30-2009, 10:40 PM
  #62
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Although you didn't go as far as to say tremendous, I think jarek was referring to this bit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
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.

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.
I think he wanted to know who those "really good" checking centres were. Perhaps he just misrembered exact wording, but inflection, although his word is somewhat more extreme than yours, was clear.

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11-30-2009, 10:42 PM
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
I never, ever used the word "wonderful." Please tell me where I said wonderful. That's your word, not mine. I have never, ever tolerated misquoting people in my line of work. And I don't tolerate getting misquoted, either.
The point still stands - there is all the evidence in the world that Prystai was brought in as an offensive force, and no evidence at all that he was effective defensively other than some circumstantial stuff that, for all we know, he could have been playing an offensive role on his line, especially based on my findings.

That, and what LF said. You did say there were some very good defensive forwards waiting in the wings - who were they?

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11-30-2009, 10:56 PM
  #64
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
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.



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.



That sounds to me like too much assuming and not enough proving, sorry.



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?



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.



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.
I haven't seen anything that says "Blake is a great puck-winner." I've found something that said Lach was. I've seen descriptions of Blake being gritty, aggressive, a great worker who hated to lose. Nothing that says he was a puck-winner. And nothing that says he'll be a force in front of the net.

I think Blake's in tough in this series along the boards. He's going against some big, strong, tough defencemen who are mobile and smarter than what he faced against Syracuse. Not as mean, but smarter. A lot of defencemen who are great along the boards, and who are tremendous in clearing out the front of the net.

As for Roberts, he finished ninth in Selke voting in 1993-94. And he did get votes in other years. Doesn't make him Bob Gainey, obviously. But it says he was more than "by no means defensively skilled."

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11-30-2009, 11:42 PM
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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.



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.



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?



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).?



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.



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.



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.
On Walker:

Walker wasn't the only one to shut down Morenz. In 27, Morenz had one point in four games. In 28 (after he set league records for assists and points in a season, which is quite remarkable give the circumstances), he had zero points in two games. In 29, it was zero in three. That's the difference that the forward pass in the offensive zone made.

Also, according to hockey-reference.com, in 25, Morenz had five points (four goals, one assist) in four games in the Stanley Cup final. So to say that Walker shut Morenz down entirely might be hyperbole.

And I've never been a big fan of saying one player shut down a star. It does take a team effort. Walker might have been assigned to shadow Morenz, or log big minutes against Morenz, but it takes more than just one player to shut down a star.

On Selanne:

If you want to talk about Selanne as a clutch player, then yes, there is a stark difference between the international stage and the Stanley Cup playoffs. In the international game, you're playing best-of-one's on big ice. Selanne never had to play the same team, night after night, in a seven-game series in the World Championships or the Olympics. We're not playing a best-of-one here. We're playing a tough best-of-seven where Selanne gets the same opponent night after night.

On Prystai:

At first I was a little miffed at the Jordan Staal-Metro Prystai comment. But Jordan Staal's one of the best defensive centres in the game today. So I'm not sure what you were trying to prove. If something happens to Mikey Richards, Jordan Staal could be Canada's checking centre in Vancouver. He's the big, brilliant, mobile centre that teams covet, and his offensive numbers would be a lot better if he had an opportunity to be an offensive contributor. That'll never happen in Pittsburgh, but hey, he'd rather be a third line centre on a championship-calibre team than a top line centre on Toronto or Florida.

As for this line:

"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."

You don't do that with your checking line centre on a Stanley Cup contender. I can understand it using a left winger or a right winger. (Moreso an RW, since LW isn't a position with a lot of scoring depth). But your centre? You're asking for trouble. The centre is the one with the most ice to cover. (Note: Prystai was a marvellous skater). But he's also going to be matched up against the opponent's best forward on a lot of nights. He has to be better than okay defensively. Or the opponent's centre takes over the game. It's not an assumption. It's how the game is played.

(The context of the "settled in" is that he started on a line with Lindsay and Howe, and then he "settled in" on the checking line.

On Middleton:

This is a classic case of someone being blinded by statistics. If you actually would have seen him play, you would have seen that he was an absolute magician on the ice. He was brilliant. Simply brilliant. But the talent wasn't always there in Boston. He was a dazzling offensive player, but he didn't have someone of his ilk to work with up front. When people talk about the best NHL players not in the HHOF, Middleton's name is usually one of the first that comes up.

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11-30-2009, 11:58 PM
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The point still stands - there is all the evidence in the world that Prystai was brought in as an offensive force, and no evidence at all that he was effective defensively other than some circumstantial stuff that, for all we know, he could have been playing an offensive role on his line, especially based on my findings.

That, and what LF said. You did say there were some very good defensive forwards waiting in the wings - who were they?
If you've ever read the book Hockey Towns by Bill Boyd (great read, incidentally), the book is littered with accounts of guys who couldn't get a sniff of the show becuase there were only six teams. Guys who got an invite to a camp, went to the AHL, played there for a while, then went home and played senior hockey because the money was better at the mines or the mills than in the AHL. A lot of guys who would have been good enough to play if there were 12 or 14 teams, but in a six-team league, it meant jobs were scarce.

And it meant that guys had to do what it took to stay in the NHL. If you weren't doing your job, you were sent to the minors, and someone was called up to take your place.

Metro has a pretty indicative story in Hockey Towns, too. He talks about his negotiations with noted hard-line GM Jack Adams:

"I was making ten thousand dollars and I'd had a pretty good year so I asked Jack for five hundred dollars more. He says, 'Jesus, Metro, I got guys lined up ready to take your place for a helluva lot less.' So I ended up signing the same contract. I didn't want to be sent to the minors. In the old days they could send you down and nobody would ever see you again. They all did it then."

Shawnmullin - one of the best GMs in the draft - is the play-by-play guy for the Trail Smoke Eaters Junior A hockey team. He knows some of the guys who won the World Championship in 61 for Canada. He said that a lot of those guys had offers from NHL teams to leave Trail and take a shot at the show. Most didn't - they knew it was hard to make the league with only six teams, and they could make more money working in Trail than they could playing in the AHL.

(Damn, I would have loved to have covered senior hockey in the 50s and 60s. There were some great leagues).

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12-01-2009, 12:02 AM
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is he as tough as the fearless, physical, and gritty as Fleury? Does he peak at a 6th in selke voting as Fleury does?
Well, no, but he peaked at 4th, actually. So his record is technically better than Fleury's. But with that said, both guys made the top-6 once and were never top-15 again, so it doesn't really indicate much more than responsible defensive play, not elite or career-long greatness.

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Roberts and Sutter are terrible offensively and don't need much of a checking assignment.
Well, Sutter may be, even though "terrible" is such a strong word. But Roberts isn't terrible. He could play on a second line. Did you see the even strength numbers overpass posted?

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Nothing about him in any of the books I own. You might need to specifically look at a Detroit Red Wings book in particular to find good info on him. Otherwise, the info on him is bare.
That's the thing - I own 5 books specifically about the red wings and their history, focusing on bios of players, and none of them have anything about Prystai aside from the odd mention but nothing that says he was any good defensively.

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12-01-2009, 12:13 AM
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I haven't seen anything that says "Blake is a great puck-winner." I've found something that said Lach was. I've seen descriptions of Blake being gritty, aggressive, a great worker who hated to lose. Nothing that says he was a puck-winner. And nothing that says he'll be a force in front of the net.
Quotes like "he was a good puckwinner" aren't exactly abundant for pre-1950 players. Blake has all the skills needed to do it.

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As for Roberts, he finished ninth in Selke voting in 1993-94. And he did get votes in other years. Doesn't make him Bob Gainey, obviously. But it says he was more than "by no means defensively skilled."
Fair enough. like I said about Fleury and St. Louis, it's not much, but it is something.

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On Middleton:

This is a classic case of someone being blinded by statistics. If you actually would have seen him play, you would have seen that he was an absolute magician on the ice. He was brilliant. Simply brilliant. But the talent wasn't always there in Boston. He was a dazzling offensive player, but he didn't have someone of his ilk to work with up front. When people talk about the best NHL players not in the HHOF, Middleton's name is usually one of the first that comes up.
His name probably shouldn't be one of the first 10 that comes up. But it would be close. He was great, and yes, I agree that statistics don't fully do him justice. Still, it would be a huge sell to say he's better than Selanne. Selanne is only about the 20th-best RW, and Middleton would still be about 6-10 notches below that. A legitimate first liner, but a lower-tier guy.

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12-01-2009, 12:16 AM
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If you've ever read the book Hockey Towns by Bill Boyd (great read, incidentally), the book is littered with accounts of guys who couldn't get a sniff of the show becuase there were only six teams. Guys who got an invite to a camp, went to the AHL, played there for a while, then went home and played senior hockey because the money was better at the mines or the mills than in the AHL. A lot of guys who would have been good enough to play if there were 12 or 14 teams, but in a six-team league, it meant jobs were scarce.

And it meant that guys had to do what it took to stay in the NHL. If you weren't doing your job, you were sent to the minors, and someone was called up to take your place.

Metro has a pretty indicative story in Hockey Towns, too. He talks about his negotiations with noted hard-line GM Jack Adams:

"I was making ten thousand dollars and I'd had a pretty good year so I asked Jack for five hundred dollars more. He says, 'Jesus, Metro, I got guys lined up ready to take your place for a helluva lot less.' So I ended up signing the same contract. I didn't want to be sent to the minors. In the old days they could send you down and nobody would ever see you again. They all did it then."

Shawnmullin - one of the best GMs in the draft - is the play-by-play guy for the Trail Smoke Eaters Junior A hockey team. He knows some of the guys who won the World Championship in 61 for Canada. He said that a lot of those guys had offers from NHL teams to leave Trail and take a shot at the show. Most didn't - they knew it was hard to make the league with only six teams, and they could make more money working in Trail than they could playing in the AHL.

(Damn, I would have loved to have covered senior hockey in the 50s and 60s. There were some great leagues).
I've read Hockey Towns. Good read, but we don't really know how close some guys got. regardless, your point is that there were limited jobs available and that is true. The thing about Prystai is, he was a very good offensive player. So he could very well have been staying in the NHL because of that alone. I'm not saying he was for sure. But with his offensive stats and lack of quotes on defensive ability, there is defintely circumstantial evidence that he was more of an offensive guy who played with defensive guys.

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12-01-2009, 12:36 AM
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I've read Hockey Towns. Good read, but we don't really know how close some guys got. regardless, your point is that there were limited jobs available and that is true. The thing about Prystai is, he was a very good offensive player. So he could very well have been staying in the NHL because of that alone. I'm not saying he was for sure. But with his offensive stats and lack of quotes on defensive ability, there is defintely circumstantial evidence that he was more of an offensive guy who played with defensive guys.
Prystai's offence dried up after 1953. He went 27 points in 70 games, 29 points in 69 games, 32 in 71 and 22 in 70. He's not going to stay around in a six-team league if he's an offensive guy averaging under a point every two games. He obviously brought something to the table besides just great speed.

He wasn't a guy who was used sparingly after the offence dried up. He played every night. He missed one game in those four seasons.

If he was a guy who was staying in the NHL based on offensive ability, he would have been gone after 55 or 56. Or he would have become a suitcase like Bronco Horvath - a guy that a team takes a chance on, hoping that he can regain his lost offensive touch, only to quickly dispatch him once they realize he doesn't have it. (Horvath played 180 games after his 1959-60 campaign).

And, you wouldn't last long in Tommy Ivan's Detroit if you were an offence-only guy.

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12-01-2009, 12:48 AM
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Quotes like "he was a good puckwinner" aren't exactly abundant for pre-1950 players. Blake has all the skills needed to do it.



Fair enough. like I said about Fleury and St. Louis, it's not much, but it is something.



His name probably shouldn't be one of the first 10 that comes up. But it would be close. He was great, and yes, I agree that statistics don't fully do him justice. Still, it would be a huge sell to say he's better than Selanne. Selanne is only about the 20th-best RW, and Middleton would still be about 6-10 notches below that. A legitimate first liner, but a lower-tier guy.
I would actually agree with most of the bolded paragraph. I actually had Selanne right at No. 20 on my list; Middleton was No. 24, after Gilbert and Anderson, but ahead of guys like Kerr, Mogilny, Fleury and Dye. (Just don't know if Dye's game translates to success at this level). Come playoff time, on North American ice in a best-of-seven, I like Nifty more.

The thing about Nifty is that his game is better suited than Selanne to what we wanted in Magic Max's linemate: a highly-skilled, shifty, goal-scoring winger with great puck skills who brings a great two-way game. That last part was key. I think Middleton's also going to be better at deferring to Bentley than Selanne would.

Lanny McDonald was my first pick to be Max's compliment: a gritty, goal-scoring forward who played for the Tigers. Middleton was second. If we would have landed Lanny, we could have gone with someone who had a little more skill, say, a John LeClair - big, solid goal-scorer with good grit, but as a puck-winner, isn't anywhere near as good as Roberts.

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12-01-2009, 01:19 AM
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Harvey Pulford-Gus Mortson vs Eric Desjardins-Randy Carlyle

I'm assuming Desjardins as playing your no.3 role; let's stack him up against Mortson, shall we?

Gus Mortson vs Eric Desjardins

I'll suppose I'll start things on the easy one- toughness. No contest.



Doesn't sound like the toughest guy; Mortson? Shall I go there? I think I will.











Another interesting quote for Desjardins:



It came up in my last series too; Mortson, a first team all-star, didn't have trouble being one of the games elite defenceman.

Is Desjardins as good as Mortson offensively? I don't think so. I looked at his highest point seasons that might net him a good scoring record; but outside of his all-star years, where he placed 8th and 4th amongst defenceman in scoring, I don't think he ever cracked the top-10. Mortson, seemingly much more of a rusher than Desjardins, has a 5,8,8,8,9,9,10 amongst defenceman in scoring; thoourghly besting Dejardins in that regard.

Now, Desjardins does step things up in the playoffs; leading in points amongst blueliners in the playoffs twice, and placing 5th another. Unfortunately, so did Mortson; three consecutive years of placing 2nd in defenceman points in the playoffs (which would make him 1st amongst blueliners over that 3 year stretch in total playoff points, if I am using the powerplay feature correctly), and some other good finishes besides. I think Mortson has a fairly signifigant offensive edge in this one.

Is Desjardins better defensively? Hard to tell- two completely different styles- Desjardins, clean and positional, Mortson, use toughness, beast along the boards, rough em up. But I highly doubt any advantage Desjardins has in this regard, if any, is like Mortson's offense and toughness advantage- giving Mortson an edge, and I think a fairly good one.

Harvey Pulford vs Randay Carlyle

This is one I was looking forward. Maybe you can finally be the one to answer my question about him. I fought against a guy who had him before- a guy who gave me one heck of a fight in that round. Maybe you will be able to answer this question better than he. The question I asked him:

Outside of Carlyle's norris year, what the heck makes him and ATD defenceman?

Now, as this is a 32-team draft vs a 20-team draft, things are different but the point is still clear. Besides his norris year, he makes it in the top-5 defenceman in scoring once more (the next year) then never makes the top-10 again. He comes very close once, has another top-15 a while before his norris, but that's it. Nothing stellar outside that norris. Of course that Norris year has value in itself, I admit.

You describe him as a "tough, well-rounded defenceman" in the roster thread. I want the quotes for that one- none of which I found or, as my regular easy sources are dried up, nowhere to easily aquire. His PIM's support toughness, but they aren't everything- and despite the high totals, I he never once made the top 10 for PIMs. Maybe it's an era thing, but still. I want the quotes to go along with the PIMs; I don't know if those PIMs were mostly for fighting or stupid defensive decisions, now do I?

As for the well-rounded portion why don't you show me some quotes on his defensive ability? Now I don't tend to look at this stuff, but the amount of goals scored against with him on the ice during his two big top-5 offensive defenceman seasons are alarming. Maybe that's just the teams he played for, who knows; hence why I want to see quotes on his defensive ability, that supposedly make him well-rounded.

Of course where Caryle's doesn't translate so well into the playoffs- he seemed to have played alright, but a a lacklustre record of never making it past the second round; and a couple rather poor playoffs. Not good.

But onwards to his comparison to Pulford; I will definetly contend that Pulford was more dominant and better defensively than Carlyle offensively, and much tougher and more physical as well. And I will gladly back this up with this:







(looks like he could handle speed as well)

A 4 time cup champion captain, his success certainly seems to carry over to the playoffs.

Ultimate Hockey’s “Best Body-Checker” from 1900 to 1909
Ultimate Hockey’s “Best Shot-Blocker” from 1900 to 1909
Ultimate Hockey’s “Finest Athlete” from 1900 to 1909
Ultimate Hockey’s “Strongest Player” from 1900 to 1909
-------------------------------------------------------

Pulford seemed to be truly dominant defensively; and unlike with Carlyle's offensive dominance, his defensive dominance wasn't only two-years long. Pulford also, unless you provide evidence to the contrary, seems to be the tougher and more physical defenceman. Pulford doesn't provide offensive game, but I don't see any evidence that Carlyle provides defensive game either (please show me some if there is), and considering the other two areas, I think Pulford has an edge here.

I also love the chemistry of my second pairing. I think it may be the toughest, most physical pairing in the draft. Two superb defensive, tough, physical guys and with Morton's offensive capabilities, the pairing doesn't sacrifice offense.

I do like the the chemistry on my first pairing two; both guys do very well moving and shootin the puck; Goodfellow is a hard-nosed, rough customer- Wilson, the more two-way prescence who can also clear the front of the net. I think they work well together too.

Bottom pairings I will try and cover tomorrow.
We picked DesJardins ahead of Carlyle because I thought DesJardins was a little better suited to being the building block for a second pairing. But I think Carlyle's the better defenceman, and I think Carlyle's on the fringe for a No. 2 ATD defenceman. We never expected Randy to be around in the 10th round. We wanted to get a fleet-footed, two-way RW to play with Lach. (As it was, we got one in St. Louis, who might be the best playmaking winger in the game today. He's also a dandy goal scorer).

I'll be honest: I'm not a fan in the least for top 10s when it comes to evaluating defencemen. When I talked about "what hockey people are looking for" earlier, this is a classic case. From 1929, when the forward pass in the offensive zone came into effect, to 1967, when expansion and Bobby Orr opened the game up in ways that hadn't been seen in decades (with the exception of a few years during the Second World War), defencemen didn't get involved in the rush. Not like they do now. Defencemen took care of their own zone first.

It's almost impossible to truly evaluate a 1930s or an Original 6 defenceman's effectiveness by using top 10 in scoring at that position. I like top 5s. I'm not interested in top 10s. I'm amazed by any defenceman who finished top 10 in league assists or points from 1930 to 1967. (A big reason why I'm so high on Ott Heller).

I think a top 25 finish in scoring for a defenceman in 1988 or 1993 or 1998 is just as impressive as a top five in 1956, because of the offensive defenceman factor. The number of teams and the number of players isn't a factor to me. What matters is how the game was played, and how the defenceman's role was completely different. When Orr entered the league, it completely changed the game. For the first time since 1929, the offensive defenceman became a legit reality. Yeah, we saw a few offensive defencemen - Flash Hollett would probably be the best example. But they were few and far between. Orr's arrival opened the door for guys like Coffey and Housley to play defence. Without Orr, Coffey never plays defence in the NHL playing the way he did.

If I had the choice between DesJardins, Carlyle and Mortson, and I've never had any of them before (I've had Mortson twice, and I'm probably his biggest supporter, outside of pappy), I probably pick Mortson, because he combines the skill and the toughness better than either of them. (He's not as good offensively as Carlyle or DesJardins, but he's probably one of the toughest defencemen in the draft, and he provides the protection that I want to have in a top six forward or a top four defenceman). But it's damn close. A lot closer than the top 10s, top 15s or top 20s will tell you, for the reasons I outlined above.

Carlyle was terrific. Watched him play a lot of hockey in Winnipeg late in his career. He was the guy that the Jets always leaned on to play against the opponent's best players. And in the Smythe Division - the high-tempo, run-and-gun division that often featured the top team in the league (six Cups in seven years can't be wrong, sometimes the top two (1988, 1990) or two of the top three (1986, or the top three (1985), or four of the top five (1990) - that's going to kill your stats. When your goaltenders are Brian Hayward (great back-up, but not a good No. 1), the aptly nicknamed Pokey Reddick, Daniel Berthiaume, and a host of others prior to Bob Essensa taking the No. 1 job by the horns, and your facing each team in the Smythe eight times a year, your plus-minus is going to get killed.

If you didn't watch Smythe Division hockey from 1984-85 to 1989-90, it's hard to explain, because there's nothing that I can compare it to from a modern perspective. There's been no division since then that compares to what the Smythe was for six magical seasons. There were years in which the worst team in the Smythe (usually Vancouver or LA) was better than the BEST team in the Norris. It was that stacked.

I had the chance to spend a lot of time with Lanny McDonald during a weekend in January. During one of the media scrums, a radio guy asked Lanny how many Cups the Flames would have won. Lanny's immediate response (paraphrased) was that if it wasn't for Edmonton and Calgary, the question would be how many Cups would have the Jets won. (Man, that was a great weekend. I broke my professional code and had my picture taken with Lanny. It's still the background on my computer at work).

One last note on how much Carlyle brought to a team: he really ran into some back problems late in his career, after about 1988-89. In the 1992 playoffs, he "played" five of seven games, but you could tell he was done. When he wasn't playing, the Jets had him behind the bench, because they didn't want to have his veteran presence, his leadership and his hockey IQ sitting up in the press box. They wanted him on the bench and in the locker room between periods. All that he brought to the ice has certainly parlayed into a very nice coaching career.

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12-01-2009, 02:14 AM
  #73
jarek
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
Prystai's offence dried up after 1953. He went 27 points in 70 games, 29 points in 69 games, 32 in 71 and 22 in 70. He's not going to stay around in a six-team league if he's an offensive guy averaging under a point every two games. He obviously brought something to the table besides just great speed.

He wasn't a guy who was used sparingly after the offence dried up. He played every night. He missed one game in those four seasons.

If he was a guy who was staying in the NHL based on offensive ability, he would have been gone after 55 or 56. Or he would have become a suitcase like Bronco Horvath - a guy that a team takes a chance on, hoping that he can regain his lost offensive touch, only to quickly dispatch him once they realize he doesn't have it. (Horvath played 180 games after his 1959-60 campaign).

And, you wouldn't last long in Tommy Ivan's Detroit if you were an offence-only guy.
Ok. It's all still circumstantial evidence.

53-54 was his first year where he was "bad" offensively. The next year, after 12 games, he was gone back to Chicago. So, your idea that noone would have survived in Detroit with numbers like those holds true - HE DIDN'T! He was shipped back to Chicago. So, obviously, he was there for his offense, because he was traded once his numbers started going down. He spent a year in Chicago, and then was inexplicably sent back to Detroit the year after being traded to Chicago. Clearly, he wasn't needed in Chicago either.

By the way, you are absolutely mistaken that the Red Wings just shipped off their junk for nothing. Read this:

http://www.hockeybookreviews.com/200...-by-kevin.html

The specific line I'm looking at:

Quote:
Red Kelly remembers the great times at Ma Shaw's rooming house, where he, Howe, Marty Pavelich, Ted Lindsay and later Metro Prystai lived and formed the strongest of bonds.
The review describes the Red Wings as a "family".

Perhaps their best defenseman wanted him back when he was traded to Chicago, and has a hand in his return? It is a plausible explanation for why they re-acquired him. Either way, he struggled to keep his job after he stopped being great offensively, as evidenced by his departure to Chicago, then return to Detroit, and retirement shortly after.

For what it's worth, his final 2 years in Detroit (after he was traded back from Chicago), he placed 6th, 9th in points on the team. That 6th was behind 4 guys who were a hell of a lot better than him: Howe, Delvecchio, Kelly, Lindsay. The other was Dutch Reibel who was 2nd. So, I wouldn't say he wasn't successful offensively, but obviously not what they were looking for. The 9th place was a similar story. The next year, after 12 games, they likely lost their patience and he was sent back to the minors. So, no, he wasn't kept around for great defensive play. He was traded to Chicago, then traded back, then after a couple of years of him not doing much offensively, he was sent to the minors and retired.

Oh, and you never mentioned any names and why they would have been great at the NHL level as far as players waiting on the wings. Only that the players were there.

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12-01-2009, 07:15 AM
  #74
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
I would actually agree with most of the bolded paragraph. I actually had Selanne right at No. 20 on my list; Middleton was No. 24, after Gilbert and Anderson, but ahead of guys like Kerr, Mogilny, Fleury and Dye. (Just don't know if Dye's game translates to success at this level). Come playoff time, on North American ice in a best-of-seven, I like Nifty more.

The thing about Nifty is that his game is better suited than Selanne to what we wanted in Magic Max's linemate: a highly-skilled, shifty, goal-scoring winger with great puck skills who brings a great two-way game. That last part was key. I think Middleton's also going to be better at deferring to Bentley than Selanne would.

Lanny McDonald was my first pick to be Max's compliment: a gritty, goal-scoring forward who played for the Tigers. Middleton was second. If we would have landed Lanny, we could have gone with someone who had a little more skill, say, a John LeClair - big, solid goal-scorer with good grit, but as a puck-winner, isn't anywhere near as good as Roberts.
And I'll contest that, again, Selanne did have a decent run in that precious
best of seven playoff format. And again that he showed he could up his game, which is the point.

And I notice you never asked the question of: If we don't value international accomplishments, why do we draft the russian league stars?


Quote:
We picked DesJardins ahead of Carlyle because I thought DesJardins was a little better suited to being the building block for a second pairing. But I think Carlyle's the better defenceman, and I think Carlyle's on the fringe for a No. 2 ATD defenceman. We never expected Randy to be around in the 10th round. We wanted to get a fleet-footed, two-way RW to play with Lach. (As it was, we got one in St. Louis, who might be the best playmaking winger in the game today. He's also a dandy goal scorer).
Carlyle a fringe no.2 with only 2 particularly good seasons? Really?

Quote:
I'll be honest: I'm not a fan in the least for top 10s when it comes to evaluating defencemen. When I talked about "what hockey people are looking for" earlier, this is a classic case. From 1929, when the forward pass in the offensive zone came into effect, to 1967, when expansion and Bobby Orr opened the game up in ways that hadn't been seen in decades (with the exception of a few years during the Second World War), defencemen didn't get involved in the rush. Not like they do now. Defencemen took care of their own zone first.
Quote:
It's almost impossible to truly evaluate a 1930s or an Original 6 defenceman's effectiveness by using top 10 in scoring at that position. I like top 5s. I'm not interested in top 10s. I'm amazed by any defenceman who finished top 10 in league assists or points from 1930 to 1967. (A big reason why I'm so high on Ott Heller).

I think a top 25 finish in scoring for a defenceman in 1988 or 1993 or 1998 is just as impressive as a top five in 1956, because of the offensive defenceman factor. The number of teams and the number of players isn't a factor to me. What matters is how the game was played, and how the defenceman's role was completely different. When Orr entered the league, it completely changed the game. For the first time since 1929, the offensive defenceman became a legit reality. Yeah, we saw a few offensive defencemen - Flash Hollett would probably be the best example. But they were few and far between. Orr's arrival opened the door for guys like Coffey and Housley to play defence. Without Orr, Coffey never plays defence in the NHL playing the way he did.
But it's relativity; every defenceman back then is recieving the the same benefits and disadvantages. They all "look over their own zone" more-so, as you put it. Mortson, despite this, is still describes as a fine rusher and D-man. I can find you quotes on plenty of defenceman describes like that from that time period- describes still ctonributing lots to offence.

A top-25 as impressive as a top-5? Really? That's a reach if I ever saw one. If you placed top-5 in that time, you are one of the best defenceman offensively in the world that year. If you place top-25 in the time period you talk about, it's not an ATD calibre season- aren't you a guy that doesn't like reaching that far down for scoring seasons?

And how does the offensive defenceman factor make such a huge thing? Yes, defenceman on a whole played more offensively, but every D-man will be playing more offensively- perhaps Desjardins wouldn't have been so offensive and not score as well in a diffferent time.

It's not a good arguement to me.


Quote:
If I had the choice between DesJardins, Carlyle and Mortson, and I've never had any of them before (I've had Mortson twice, and I'm probably his biggest supporter, outside of pappy), I probably pick Mortson, because he combines the skill and the toughness better than either of them. (He's not as good offensively as Carlyle or DesJardins, but he's probably one of the toughest defencemen in the draft, and he provides the protection that I want to have in a top six forward or a top four defenceman). But it's damn close. A lot closer than the top 10s, top 15s or top 20s will tell you, for the reasons I outlined above.
Really? Yet you want to show this by..philisophical arguements. Ok, my philosphy is that evalute relatively (wait..isn't that the ATD philosphy?) and dominating a ton more offensively in your own era than another guy does in another era (which is the case here) to the point where competition can't make up the differences make you better offensively.

I don't see it as particularly close. I've showed plenty; you haven't showed a ton but, again, philosphy and personal perceptions of your players. At this time, somewhat bias perceptions. My bias perception is that Mortson is a fair gap ahead of both of them. I guess that cancels things out so we should actually look at the facts, right?



Quote:
Carlyle was terrific. Watched him play a lot of hockey in Winnipeg late in his career. He was the guy that the Jets always leaned on to play against the opponent's best players. And in the Smythe Division - the high-tempo, run-and-gun division that often featured the top team in the league (six Cups in seven years can't be wrong, sometimes the top two (1988, 1990) or two of the top three (1986, or the top three (1985), or four of the top five (1990) - that's going to kill your stats. When your goaltenders are Brian Hayward (great back-up, but not a good No. 1), the aptly nicknamed Pokey Reddick, Daniel Berthiaume, and a host of others prior to Bob Essensa taking the No. 1 job by the horns, and your facing each team in the Smythe eight times a year, your plus-minus is going to get killed.

If you didn't watch Smythe Division hockey from 1984-85 to 1989-90, it's hard to explain, because there's nothing that I can compare it to from a modern perspective. There's been no division since then that compares to what the Smythe was for six magical seasons. There were years in which the worst team in the Smythe (usually Vancouver or LA) was better than the BEST team in the Norris. It was that stacked.

I had the chance to spend a lot of time with Lanny McDonald during a weekend in January. During one of the media scrums, a radio guy asked Lanny how many Cups the Flames would have won. Lanny's immediate response (paraphrased) was that if it wasn't for Edmonton and Calgary, the question would be how many Cups would have the Jets won. (Man, that was a great weekend. I broke my professional code and had my picture taken with Lanny. It's still the background on my computer at work).

One last note on how much Carlyle brought to a team: he really ran into some back problems late in his career, after about 1988-89. In the 1992 playoffs, he "played" five of seven games, but you could tell he was done. When he wasn't playing, the Jets had him behind the bench, because they didn't want to have his veteran presence, his leadership and his hockey IQ sitting up in the press box. They wanted him on the bench and in the locker room between periods. All that he brought to the ice has certainly parlayed into a very nice coaching career.
You know what I notice in this post? You don't give me what I want- you don't give anything that lets people who never watched him know how supposedly well-rounded he was- you post an interesting side story that distracts people and then pass your perceptions of the guy upon watching as particularly valuable. Ok, if he was going up agaisnt the high scoring guys and it was just the teams he played on, surely something would be written about it right? Surely someone would have said something about is defensive play irght?

This is a story about how tough a division he played in. It doesn't prove he was good defensively or tough, which is what we all want to see. Proof. I notice you try to get by not using proof, not using anything but your own bias perceptions, philosophies and circumstantial evidence to get by to make your players look better than they are, but that doesn't cut it for me and, I hope, the voters. It's an interesting story, but it's value is minimal at best.

That last bit shows good leadership; Pulford captained 4 stanley cup teams- he brought leadership as well. I want to know defensive play and toughness, please. And don't give me "I saw, therefore he is" show me what other people saw too. People argue about how guys played all the time; people disagree about how good or bad a guy played in a game all the time. Perhaps there are people out there who'd argue against what you saw. And, you are bias because he is your player too. Yes, I can believe he was a good player- so is everyone in the ATD.

Let's see the real evidence.

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Old
12-01-2009, 10:21 AM
  #75
seventieslord
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
Prystai's offence dried up after 1953. He went 27 points in 70 games, 29 points in 69 games, 32 in 71 and 22 in 70. He's not going to stay around in a six-team league if he's an offensive guy averaging under a point every two games. He obviously brought something to the table besides just great speed.

He wasn't a guy who was used sparingly after the offence dried up. He played every night. He missed one game in those four seasons.

If he was a guy who was staying in the NHL based on offensive ability, he would have been gone after 55 or 56. Or he would have become a suitcase like Bronco Horvath - a guy that a team takes a chance on, hoping that he can regain his lost offensive touch, only to quickly dispatch him once they realize he doesn't have it. (Horvath played 180 games after his 1959-60 campaign).

And, you wouldn't last long in Tommy Ivan's Detroit if you were an offence-only guy.
Prystai was surely not an "offense only" guy. He's no Horvath. I'm just suggesting that he was relied on more for his offense than his defense. Even the point totals he put up as his career wound down were pretty decent, especially if you consider the ice time he'd have been getting by then.

All I'm questioning is, does he play ATD-level defense? Pavelich, Skov, Leswick, and Wilson, other 1950s Wings, all have the good stuff written about them to back it up but Prystai doesn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
I'll be honest: I'm not a fan in the least for top 10s when it comes to evaluating defencemen. When I talked about "what hockey people are looking for" earlier, this is a classic case. From 1929, when the forward pass in the offensive zone came into effect, to 1967, when expansion and Bobby Orr opened the game up in ways that hadn't been seen in decades (with the exception of a few years during the Second World War), defencemen didn't get involved in the rush. Not like they do now. Defencemen took care of their own zone first.

It's almost impossible to truly evaluate a 1930s or an Original 6 defenceman's effectiveness by using top 10 in scoring at that position. I like top 5s. I'm not interested in top 10s. I'm amazed by any defenceman who finished top 10 in league assists or points from 1930 to 1967. (A big reason why I'm so high on Ott Heller).

I think a top 25 finish in scoring for a defenceman in 1988 or 1993 or 1998 is just as impressive as a top five in 1956, because of the offensive defenceman factor. The number of teams and the number of players isn't a factor to me. What matters is how the game was played, and how the defenceman's role was completely different. When Orr entered the league, it completely changed the game. For the first time since 1929, the offensive defenceman became a legit reality. Yeah, we saw a few offensive defencemen - Flash Hollett would probably be the best example. But they were few and far between. Orr's arrival opened the door for guys like Coffey and Housley to play defence. Without Orr, Coffey never plays defence in the NHL playing the way he did.
[/QUOTE]

Equating a top-5 then to a top-25 now is probably taking it a little far, but you are right in principle.

LF, consider how many jobs were available in the original six era. Not many. The defensemen to make the NHL were the best all-around defensemen in the world, and the rankings that you pull from those, are the top offensive defensemen among those, but not in the world. There were almost surely a number of defensemen in the minors who were better offensively than those guys placing 7th, 8th, 9th among defensemen in the NHL, but couldn't make the show because the rest of their game wasn't there. Later on (1970 and onward) the league got bigger and perceptions changed. Now there is room for those players. Now the list of top-scoring defensemen in the NHL does read like a list of the top offensive defensemen on earth.

I use top-10s for defensemen from merger to expansion, but I realize they are highly suspect as you get to those guys in 8th-10th. Post-expansion they aren't. And post-1980, I'm inclined to even start recognizing a top-15 as something worthy of appreciation.

Relatively speaking, you might still convince me Mortson is a better offensive blueliner than Carlyle, but whatever is the case, it's closer than you made it out to be at first.

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