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Joe Nieuwendyk vs. Rod Brind'Amour

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05-09-2010, 02:15 PM
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Blades of Glory
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Joe Nieuwendyk vs. Rod Brind'Amour

Who was better?

I've always thought about this, and it's partly because I consider them both to be very, very good second-line centers that could handle some first-line duty, and a perfect fit behind a franchise center. Not to mention, they have fairly similar careers, and neither has a great shot at the HHOF.

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05-09-2010, 02:36 PM
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Big Phil
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Tough one. You know, some posters have suggested that both of them have a good shot at the HHOF. I don't think they do personally though.

If I had to pick one, I guess it's Niewendyk. Very, very good comparison though. Makes you think. I love BrindAmour's 2006 playoffs but then forget that Nieuwendyk actually won the Smythe in 1999 with his play. Both are great secondary centers, you don't win if they are your best players but it can be argued that you also don't win if players of their kind aren't on your team in some shape or form.

Both were good defensively, great on faceoffs. Nieuwy had that mid career lull but did a good job later in his career. I think Nieuwy gets overrated as a supreme playoff performer at times but he did have some moments where he rose to the occasion at the right times. Along with Fleury and perhaps MacInnis he might be the only Flame to have pulled his weight during that string of early 1990s first round exits.

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05-09-2010, 02:54 PM
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DaveG
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Man this is a tough one. Both regarded as good playoff performers, both put up good numbers in the regular season although neither was elite in that regard, Neuwendyk was the better of the two from a scoring standpoint. Both were good defensive players, Brind'Amour the better of the two there and with two Selkes to show for it. Niewy has more Cups, but Brindy captained a team to a Cup. Both are prettymuch the definition of a top second line center that was just not quite good enough to be a #1 on a top team.


I'd favor Brindy slightly due to the better two-way play, but that's just me.

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05-09-2010, 02:55 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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A lot of people actually involved in the hockey world talk about Nieuwendyk like a first ballot guy. They cite career numbers, winning Cups with different teams.

I don't think he's particularly better than Brind'amour myself. I thought Rod should have won the Smythe in 2006.

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05-09-2010, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
A lot of people actually involved in the hockey world talk about Nieuwendyk like a first ballot guy. They cite career numbers, winning Cups with different teams.

I don't think he's particularly better than Brind'amour myself. I thought Rod should have won the Smythe in 2006.
I still can't believe Nieuwendyk won the Smythe in 1999. Don't get me wrong, he was a beast that year and came up with a ton of clutch goals for the Stars, but it was simply a case of voters looking at the GWG totals and deciding that since Nieuwendyk had more than everyone else, he must have been the most valuable player. He wasn't even the best center on the team that postseason. Mike Modano was playing 24 minutes per game, compared to Nieuwendyk's 16, and was doing it playing in every situation. Modano anchored their top PK unit, their top PP unit, their top forward line, everything. He broke his wrist in Game 3, missed one game (Nieuwendyk scored the GWG), and came back to set up every single Stars goal in Games 5 and 6. If that isn't a Conn Smythe-worthy performance, I don't know what is. Ed Belfour easily should have gotten it over Nieuwendyk too. I think he lost points because he played behind Ken Hitchcock's suffocating defensive system, but he went head-to-head with the guy who is widely considered the greatest goalie of all-time IN HIS PRIME, and went save for save with him. And beat him.

Honestly, I consider Brind'Amour a superior playoff performer to Nieuwendyk. He was an absolute beast in 1997, and was pretty much the only Flyer forward to show up in the Cup Finals against Detroit. Nieuwendyk always had the luxury of having an elite center in front of him in those long playoff runs. In 1997, Brind'Amour's top center vanished thanks to Lidstrom and Murphy, and one could even say he was Carolina's top center in 2006, something you couldn't say about Nieuwendyk in 1989 or 1999.

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05-09-2010, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blades of Glory View Post
I still can't believe Nieuwendyk won the Smythe in 1999. Don't get me wrong, he was a beast that year and came up with a ton of clutch goals for the Stars, but it was simply a case of voters looking at the GWG totals and deciding that since Nieuwendyk had more than everyone else, he must have been the most valuable player. He wasn't even the best center on the team that postseason. Mike Modano was playing 24 minutes per game, compared to Nieuwendyk's 16, and was doing it playing in every situation. Modano anchored their top PK unit, their top PP unit, their top forward line, everything. He broke his wrist in Game 3, missed one game (Nieuwendyk scored the GWG), and came back to set up every single Stars goal in Games 5 and 6. If that isn't a Conn Smythe-worthy performance, I don't know what is. Ed Belfour easily should have gotten it over Nieuwendyk too. I think he lost points because he played behind Ken Hitchcock's suffocating defensive system, but he went head-to-head with the guy who is widely considered the greatest goalie of all-time IN HIS PRIME, and went save for save with him. And beat him.

Honestly, I consider Brind'Amour a superior playoff performer to Nieuwendyk. He was an absolute beast in 1997, and was pretty much the only Flyer forward to show up in the Cup Finals against Detroit. Nieuwendyk always had the luxury of having an elite center in front of him in those long playoff runs. In 1997, Brind'Amour's top center vanished thanks to Lidstrom and Murphy, and one could even say he was Carolina's top center in 2006, something you couldn't say about Nieuwendyk in 1989 or 1999.
I agree with this. Brind'Amour were a more complete player than Nieuwendyk too.

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05-09-2010, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Blades of Glory View Post
I still can't believe Nieuwendyk won the Smythe in 1999. Don't get me wrong, he was a beast that year and came up with a ton of clutch goals for the Stars, but it was simply a case of voters looking at the GWG totals and deciding that since Nieuwendyk had more than everyone else, he must have been the most valuable player. He wasn't even the best center on the team that postseason. Mike Modano was playing 24 minutes per game, compared to Nieuwendyk's 16, and was doing it playing in every situation. Modano anchored their top PK unit, their top PP unit, their top forward line, everything. He broke his wrist in Game 3, missed one game (Nieuwendyk scored the GWG), and came back to set up every single Stars goal in Games 5 and 6. If that isn't a Conn Smythe-worthy performance, I don't know what is. Ed Belfour easily should have gotten it over Nieuwendyk too. I think he lost points because he played behind Ken Hitchcock's suffocating defensive system, but he went head-to-head with the guy who is widely considered the greatest goalie of all-time IN HIS PRIME, and went save for save with him. And beat him.
It's not the first time I've heard those arguments. And they are very compelling.

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05-09-2010, 10:00 PM
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Joe N only played 16 minutes per game in 1999? Pretty hard to be your team's most valuable player when those are the minutes you're playing.

He was a veteran presence in 2003, but not one of the most important players on the Devils. Injured for pretty much the whole finals.

These players were more valuable than Joe N in 2003: Scott Niedermayer, Martin Brodeur, Scott Stevens, Jamie Langenbrunner, John Madden, Jeff Friesen, Brian Rafalski, Patrik Elias, Colin White.

Joe N was, at best, the 10th most important player on the 2003 Devils.

Joe gets a lot of credit for being the "missing piece" on three different Cup winners.

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05-09-2010, 10:12 PM
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It's not the first time I've heard those arguments. And they are very compelling.
6 game winning goals was a record until Brad Richards beat it in 2004. Considering he was right there in points with Modano in 1999 (23-21 for Modano) I didn't really see a problem with him winning the Smythe since he led the playoffs in goals, scored two overtime winners and got 6 GWG. In a shorter pressure packed environment like the playoffs I value a GWG quite a bit.

But yeah he wasn't a big factor in 2003 and in Calgary in 1989 he was no better than the 6th most important guy. The idea that he's a playoff legend tends to be a bit of a stretch. He was a pretty good playoff performer, that's as far as I will go with him

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05-10-2010, 07:48 AM
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6 game winning goals was a record until Brad Richards beat it in 2004. Considering he was right there in points with Modano in 1999 (23-21 for Modano) I didn't really see a problem with him winning the Smythe since he led the playoffs in goals, scored two overtime winners and got 6 GWG. In a shorter pressure packed environment like the playoffs I value a GWG quite a bit.

But yeah he wasn't a big factor in 2003 and in Calgary in 1989 he was no better than the 6th most important guy. The idea that he's a playoff legend tends to be a bit of a stretch. He was a pretty good playoff performer, that's as far as I will go with him
There's no arguing that Nieuwendyk was a leader, and I think that tends to over-influence some people about the extent of his playoff success. To use the example DMM made about 2003, Nieuwendyk really did not do anything of note on the ice in those playoffs, but he is widely known for waking up the Devils dressing room during Game 7 of the ECF by motivating the players because he was so distraught that he was going to miss the rest of the playoffs. That's where I think some people fail to see the line, and believe he was a spectacular playoff performer, when he really was a solid performer with one great playoff run during which Mike Modano was literally carrying the load to such an extent that he was able to pick his spots, and boy, did he pick them well. Very clutch that year, but MVP? I just can't say a guy that plays 16 minutes with a lot of PP time is more valuable than a guy that plays 24 minutes in every situation.

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05-10-2010, 11:22 AM
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Thats a tough one but im gonna go with Nieuwendyk

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