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Hindsight & awards voting

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Old
08-23-2010, 10:29 PM
  #26
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Thornton and Jagr was a difficult choice, as evidenced by Jagr being top 3 on 127 ballots compared to 124 for Thornton. The story line was rather similar in some ways:

"Elite forward perceived to be underachieving is traded by struggling team to another struggling team, and with help of improved goaltending leads his new team from the depths to the playoffs."

The difference was that Thornton's story was fresher, as he had been traded during that season, while Jagr was traded during the season two years prior. Another difference was that the Sharks had been to the WCF the previous season, while the Rangers hadn't even made the playoffs in several seasons.

Thornton turned a talented Cheechoo into a 50 goal scorer (he had 28 in his first full season when scoring was 15% lower), after which he was injured and his promise unfulfilled. The Sharks' second line center was Marleau.

Jagr set the Ranger season records for goals and points, while propelling Nylander to 79 points (a career-best by 15) and Straka to 76 points (26 points in 54 games in '04), both at age 33. The Rangers' second line center was a 34 y/o Steve Rucchin.

The Rangers' 2006 defense was not only aided by Lundqvist in goal, but also helped by Renney's emphasis on team defense (he smartly let Jagr's line do its thing) and the creation of very good checking/PK line of Betts/Ortmeyer/Hollweg (only Ortmeyer on 2004 team). The '04 team had 5/6 defenseman over 30, while '06 team added Rozsival, Malik and had Tyutin all season, all under 30.

The Rangers had such a balanced offensive attack that when Jagr was injured in the playoffs, the only Ranger to score more than one point in the series was Blair Betts with 2. Their leaders in shots that series were Nylander and Jagr with 10 each... Jagr had 9 shots in the first game.

It wasn't that Lundqvist wasn't very valuable in 2006, but on that team he was basically the difference between losing games 4-1 or 3-0 and losing games 3-1 or 2-0. Jagr was what gave them a single line of offense that allowed them to win games.

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08-23-2010, 10:31 PM
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
I've been through this one before a few times, but here's my take anyway:

Though Thornton was scoring when in Boston, he was doing so putting in very little effort. It was the first part of the first season after the lockout and everyone was scoring like crazy early on with all the power plays and limited contact. Thornton was 11th in scoring when he left Boston. He went to San Jose with something to prove, and he did it. But I have a hard time giving a player an MVP when over a quarter of his season was spent basically floating by.
He still had 33 points in 23 games though. I've often thought a big guy like Thornton didn't adjust well in the beginning to the "New NHL" rules. You'd think it would have because of his skill but it may not have, who knows. I assumed Lecavalier would have tore up the NHL in 2005-'06 but he didn't. The next year however he did. Anyways it is just a theory as to why he started "slow" in Boston. And I say that with quotations too. I mean the guy had a terrible team and even then was on pace for a 117 point season. Then a change of scenery coupled with him hitting his prime and voila, we have our MVP.

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08-24-2010, 07:09 PM
  #28
Dennis Bonvie
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This is the absolute worst type of hindsight analysis. Future performance should have no bearing on what a player did in a particular year and whether or not it is award-worthy. This is especially true of the Calder trophy, it's not supposed to be "Rookie with the Brightest Career Path".
I agree.

And not just for the Calder, which is the worst case.

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08-24-2010, 07:51 PM
  #29
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But in the case of Carey, the hindsight would be since Kolzig took over on the same team and performed just as well that maybe the writers might wonder if the defence in front of Carey was a bigger contributing factor to his big season than previously thought.

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08-24-2010, 07:55 PM
  #30
Dennis Bonvie
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But in the case of Carey, the hindsight would be since Kolzig took over on the same team and performed just as well that maybe the writers might wonder if the defence in front of Carey was a bigger contributing factor to his big season than previously thought.
Like when Scott Clemmensen replaced Broduer 2 years ago and played just as well?

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08-24-2010, 08:40 PM
  #31
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Interesting Observation

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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Like when Scott Clemmensen replaced Broduer 2 years ago and played just as well?
When a goalie gets hurt and is replaced by a back-up for an extended period of time with similar results there is a tendency to credit the team. Perhaps, but the real test comes when the back-up is asked to step-up and be the regular stud goalie.Rarely happens. More often than not it is a question of the back-up playing just long enough before the league figures out why he is the back-up.

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08-24-2010, 09:04 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
.

Jagr/Thornton interesting. One of those multiple misinterpretations coming out plausibly right scenarios. Specifically San Jose before Thornton was a < .350 team. Thornton's arrival coincided with Toskala getting more playing time and producing in goal. Pre Thornton Sharks goals against was < 3.50 GAA after Thornton with Toskala getting more playing time it dropped to < 2.75 GAA. Effectively .75GA less per game or app 43 fewer goals given up over the remaining 58 games after Thornton's arrival then projected over the first 24 games without Thornton. So voters were misdirected from defensive factors to offensive factors. Not surprising. Still in terms of impact a viable choice given the Jagr / Lundqvist scenario admitted to previously. Jonathan Cheechoo had an eye candy effect.
awesome stats about the goals against average. i feel this was the biggest reason for the sharks turnaround that year. if nabokov would have stayed in net playing similarly to his start the sharks would have missed teh playoffs.

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08-24-2010, 09:42 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
When a goalie gets hurt and is replaced by a back-up for an extended period of time with similar results there is a tendency to credit the team. Perhaps, but the real test comes when the back-up is asked to step-up and be the regular stud goalie.Rarely happens. More often than not it is a question of the back-up playing just long enough before the league figures out why he is the back-up.
This is sort of what I had in mind with the Carey example. Carey put up great numbers until teams realized that he had trouble moving from side to side and it was pretty easy to score on him once you got him hopping around. And I wonder if, knowing that, voters might've viewed his '96 performance in a slightly different light and given the award to Osgood or Puppa (given how close the Vezina voting was that year, it doesn't seem inconceivable).

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08-24-2010, 09:52 PM
  #34
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Function of an Era

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Originally Posted by Dissonance View Post
This is sort of what I had in mind with the Carey example. Carey put up great numbers until teams realized that he had trouble moving from side to side and it was pretty easy to score on him once you got him hopping around. And I wonder if, knowing that, voters might've viewed his '96 performance in a slightly different light and given the award to Osgood or Puppa (given how close the Vezina voting was that year, it doesn't seem inconceivable).
Jim Carey started his career in the right place - Washington, a defensive team at the right time - when hockey had adopted the North/South perimeter game.

For awhile his awkwardness and lack of mobility was hidden. But then a few East/West goals started going in, the league adapted, Jim Carey did not and his career ended rather quickly.

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08-25-2010, 12:23 AM
  #35
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it is strange that datsyuk has won 3 selkes while zetterberg has won 0. zetterberg is a better defensive player (better positioning and more defensive minded) and usually gets tougher matchups.

it was OK for datsyuk to win in '08 and '09, (i generally prefer selke to be given to checkers more than 2 way F's, though) but i don't think he should have been a finalist in '10, since his SHTOI was low. i think b/c datsyuk became famous for takeaways, voters conflated takeaways with overall D.


it would be very bad if zetterberg were not remembered as a great defensive F.

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08-25-2010, 02:38 AM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
When a goalie gets hurt and is replaced by a back-up for an extended period of time with similar results there is a tendency to credit the team. Perhaps, but the real test comes when the back-up is asked to step-up and be the regular stud goalie.Rarely happens. More often than not it is a question of the back-up playing just long enough before the league figures out why he is the back-up.
There is also a such thing as a goalie with poor fundamentals just getting really hot for several months.

Clemmensen was the 3rd string goalie in NJ. When Brodeur went down, the backup, Kevin Weekes failed to hold the fort and the team tried Clemmensen and he had success scrabbling and flopping around. Brodeur came back at the right time though, Clemmensen was already starting to lose games for the team a couple of weeks before Brodeur's return.

Also, the fact that the team scored about half a goal per game more when Clemmensen in net certainly helped.

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08-25-2010, 03:33 AM
  #37
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it is strange that datsyuk has won 3 selkes while zetterberg has won 0. zetterberg is a better defensive player (better positioning and more defensive minded) and usually gets tougher matchups.

it was OK for datsyuk to win in '08 and '09, (i generally prefer selke to be given to checkers more than 2 way F's, though) but i don't think he should have been a finalist in '10, since his SHTOI was low. i think b/c datsyuk became famous for takeaways, voters conflated takeaways with overall D.


it would be very bad if zetterberg were not remembered as a great defensive F.
Datsyuk's Selke this year was ridiculous - PK work is one of the most important (possibly THE most important) part of being a quality defensive forward, and if you don't PK, there's no way you should be winning over guys who do.

But there have been several awful Selke selections in the past.

The worst is probably Rick Meagher in 1989-90. He was a good checking-line center, but he was 37 and near the end of the line, and would be sent to the minors near th start of the 1990-91 season. That he beat out Carbonneau and Tikkanen in their primes is a joke, especially when you consider that Tikkanen never got the Selke he deserved and this was probably his best chance.

Craig Ramsay also got a 'consolation Selke' in his last NHL season as a tribute to all the years he finished 2nd to Bob Gainey. Dave Poulin probably should have won that year.

And does anyone *really* think that Steve Kasper was, at age 20, the best defensive forward in the NHL in 1981-82?

____________

Some of the Norris voting in the past is also pretty awful.

The Lidstrom-Blake Norris voting in 1998 has been done to death here so I won't go too deep into that again.

The worst, though, was probably 1981. Randy Carlyle got the award for leading defenders in scoring and being a 'fresh face' to voters bored of giving the award to Robinson and Potvin every year. Denis Potvin was the best defender in the NHL by a country mile that year, and his not winning the '81 Norris is to me the biggest award blunder ever.

That said, Langway's 1983 Norris over Howe isn't much better.

And while Sergei Gonchar never actually won a Norris, his voting record is absolutely ridiculous relative to his actual performance.

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08-25-2010, 03:35 AM
  #38
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I think Jagr was robbed of the Hart trophy in 2006, 54 goals to Thornton's 29 and Thornton only had 2 more points 125 to 123, goals are more important than assists IMO.
QFT. maybe that pushed him over the edge and made him play in the KHL... or 10 million dollars did..

however, Jagr had already won the Hart at the time, and Joe hadn't. might have been the deciding factor. but the fact that Jagr only won the Hart once, is f'ing ridonkulous

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08-25-2010, 05:20 AM
  #39
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Datsyuk's Selke this year was ridiculous - PK work is one of the most important (possibly THE most important) part of being a quality defensive forward, and if you don't PK, there's no way you should be winning over guys who do.
Agreed. With how poorly the writers give out the Selke, I view the award as basically proof that the player was good defensively, but not necessarily the best in the league, or really even close to the best.

I really is a sham that everyone who watches the wings even for a few games can see that Zetterberg is their #1 option in defensive situations, yet Datsyuk wins the Selke because him puts up more points and does really well in the fancy new "takeaway" stat. Seriously, Gretzky probably led the league in "takeaways" quite a few times - you want to give him the Selke?

The lazy writers use a combination of stats and reputation when handing out the award. I think Brind'amour's 2nd Selke (over Pahlsson and Pandolfo) was an even bigger joke than Datsyuk's 3rd Selke. Even Rod said in his acceptance speech that he didn't really think of himself as a defensive player, just a two-way player.

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And while Sergei Gonchar never actually won a Norris, his voting record is absolutely ridiculous relative to his actual performance.
Agreed. He was basically a #5 defenseman at even strength for much of his time in Washington, based on his ice time, and yet he was top 6 in Norris voting 4 times there?

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08-25-2010, 05:24 AM
  #40
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QFT. maybe that pushed him over the edge and made him play in the KHL... or 10 million dollars did..

however, Jagr had already won the Hart at the time, and Joe hadn't. might have been the deciding factor. but the fact that Jagr only won the Hart once, is f'ing ridonkulous
Do people here not remember 2006? It was only 4 years ago! I see people looking at a stats sheet wondering how Thornton could have failed to win the Hart.

Thornton won over Jagr for the season reason that Forsberg won over Naslund in 2003 - he and his team came from way behind to win the Art Ross and division over the runner up, whose relatively poor play down the stretch was a big reason his team lost the division.

Edit: I mean, I get the argument that Jagr deserved the Hart, but I think it's pretty obvious why he lost it.


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Old
08-25-2010, 07:04 PM
  #41
Dennis Bonvie
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Agreed. With how poorly the writers give out the Selke, I view the award as basically proof that the player was good defensively, but not necessarily the best in the league, or really even close to the best.

I really is a sham that everyone who watches the wings even for a few games can see that Zetterberg is their #1 option in defensive situations, yet Datsyuk wins the Selke because him puts up more points and does really well in the fancy new "takeaway" stat. Seriously, Gretzky probably led the league in "takeaways" quite a few times - you want to give him the Selke?

The lazy writers use a combination of stats and reputation when handing out the award. I think Brind'amour's 2nd Selke (over Pahlsson and Pandolfo) was an even bigger joke than Datsyuk's 3rd Selke. Even Rod said in his acceptance speech that he didn't really think of himself as a defensive player, just a two-way player.



Agreed. He was basically a #5 defenseman at even strength for much of his time in Washington, based on his ice time, and yet he was top 6 in Norris voting 4 times there?
This is true.

But you must admit, this is a pretty difficult award to vote on. To really have a firm grip on who had the best year defenvisely as a forward, you would pretty much have to watch all games backward for the whole season. That is, not watching what's happening offensively but rather always watch what's happening defensively. Can't really watch the puck carry. And many great defensive plays are so subtle no one but the guys on the ice see it. Ricky Middleton was like that, as well as Doug Jarvis.

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08-25-2010, 11:57 PM
  #42
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And does anyone *really* think that Steve Kasper was, at age 20, the best defensive forward in the NHL in 1981-82?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Kasper covered Gretzky when the Bruins played the Oilers. Gretzky scored "only" 1 goal and 4 assists in 3 games against the Bruins (this was the year he scored 92 goals and 212 points).

Suddenly, Kasper was regarded as one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL because he could "contain" Gretzky.

Of course, this makes no sense. It's an extreme case of reading too much into a tiny sample size. Kasper was a very good defensive forward, but he won his Selke at least partially due to the media's ignorance of statistics.

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I think you might be overrating Oates a bit. To say he inflated Hulls goal totals by as much as 35 goals? That's a bit much.
I don't think Oates inflated Hull's scoring by 35 goals, but I think he may have pushed him from mid 60's to mid 80's. That may be enough to push Hull from having a very good year as a one-dimensional scorer, to a Hart candidate.

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I think Jagr was robbed of the Hart trophy in 2006, 54 goals to Thornton's 29 and Thornton only had 2 more points 125 to 123, goals are more important than assists IMO.
Goals vs. assists is an important consideration, but the media likely would have taken this into account when they voted. I'm trying to find out if there's any new information, that wasn't available in April 2006 (when they voted), that would have changed their decision had they been aware of it at the time.


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08-26-2010, 07:23 AM
  #43
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Kasper covered Gretzky when the Bruins played the Oilers. Gretzky scored "only" 1 goal and 4 assists in 3 games against the Bruins (this was the year he scored 92 goals and 212 points).

Suddenly, Kasper was regarded as one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL because he could "contain" Gretzky.

Of course, this makes no sense. It's an extreme case of reading too much into a tiny sample size. Kasper was a very good defensive forward, but he won his Selke at least partially due to the media's ignorance of statistics.
I believe that's pretty much exactly what happened.

And it speaks to one of the biggest problems with award voting - the voters seem to get bored with players who have been consistently near the top of voting for a few years, and jump on 'new', 'exciting' young players who have done something to distinguish themselves.

This is what happened with Kasper, when voters were tired of Gainey/Clarke/Ramsay were were all 30 or so years old at the time, and some 20 y/o kid does something noteworthy as a defensive forward.

Same with Carlyle's Norris. Or the high placing of Phaneuf and Doughty in Norris voting in their breakout years recently (I know I'll get some flack for mentioning Doughty, who is no doubt an outstanding player, but he simply isn't a better player than Pronger and Chara yet).

__________

The Selke is the worst because it's the hardest to judge. It's pretty easy to figure out who the best 2 or 3 offensive players, or defenders, or goalies are in the league in a given year, and even if you don't get it exactly right the player who is chosen will almost ever be worse than the 2nd or 3rd-best selection.

With the Selke, it's so bloody hard to compare that it basically makes almost every year nothing more than an exercise in groupthink.

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08-26-2010, 07:29 AM
  #44
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This is true.

But you must admit, this is a pretty difficult award to vote on. To really have a firm grip on who had the best year defenvisely as a forward, you would pretty much have to watch all games backward for the whole season. That is, not watching what's happening offensively but rather always watch what's happening defensively. Can't really watch the puck carry. And many great defensive plays are so subtle no one but the guys on the ice see it. Ricky Middleton was like that, as well as Doug Jarvis.
I really think the Selke would be better if a team (or the local writers covering a team) could present a candidate for each team, and then the votes are among those candidates.

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08-26-2010, 07:54 AM
  #45
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Steve Kasper

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Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Kasper covered Gretzky when the Bruins played the Oilers. Gretzky scored "only" 1 goal and 4 assists in 3 games against the Bruins (this was the year he scored 92 goals and 212 points).

Suddenly, Kasper was regarded as one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL because he could "contain" Gretzky.

Of course, this makes no sense. It's an extreme case of reading too much into a tiny sample size. Kasper was a very good defensive forward, but he won his Selke at least partially due to the media's ignorance of statistics.
Steve Kasper played a good part of his junior career with Raymond Bourque and they had developed a synergy offensively and defensively that was much greater than usual between a junior forward and d-man.

This helped Kasper get noticed and drafted by the Bruins. Steve Kasper joined the Bruins the season after Ray Bourque and the synergy carried over to the NHL. Combined with the defensive performance against Wayne Gretzky, his overall defensive play was significantly impressive although not as polished as the veteran defensive forwards of the era. The 1981-82 Selke was the result.

The next two seasons were injury plagued and Kasper never recovered his previous speed, quickness, lateral movement.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...kaspest01.html

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08-26-2010, 08:10 AM
  #46
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I really think the Selke would be better if a team (or the local writers covering a team) could present a candidate for each team, and then the votes are among those candidates.
Of course a candidate per team could cause complaints, considering for example that for couple of years Detroit has have two players regularly within top-5.

However, Selke (together with Lady Byng) due their very vague definitions seems to require that a player has achieved certain amount of reputation before they can win. Decreasing the number of candidates to 1 per team could help to alleviate the problem.

Can we send that as suggestion to someone in charge?

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08-26-2010, 09:46 AM
  #47
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1981-82 Selke Trophy

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Datsyuk's Selke this year was ridiculous - PK work is one of the most important (possibly THE most important) part of being a quality defensive forward, and if you don't PK, there's no way you should be winning over guys who do.

But there have been several awful Selke selections in the past.

The worst is probably Rick Meagher in 1989-90. He was a good checking-line center, but he was 37 and near the end of the line, and would be sent to the minors near th start of the 1990-91 season. That he beat out Carbonneau and Tikkanen in their primes is a joke, especially when you consider that Tikkanen never got the Selke he deserved and this was probably his best chance.

Craig Ramsay also got a 'consolation Selke' in his last NHL season as a tribute to all the years he finished 2nd to Bob Gainey. Dave Poulin probably should have won that year.

And does anyone *really* think that Steve Kasper was, at age 20, the best defensive forward in the NHL in 1981-82?


1981-82 Selke voting reflected the shift in defensive strategies. The key became shutting the offensive center on the opposing team. This was reflected in the Selke voting. Starting in 1982, 14 of the 16 winners beginning with Kasper were centers.

On balance Kasper was a reasonable choice. The Flyers and Bobby Clarke had a horrific year defensively, often giving up 5 or more goals per game inc. 10 against Washington and 11 against Montreal.
Centers were especially effective against the Flyers. Gretzky and Trottier each had 5 goal games, as did RW Willy Lindstrom.Kent Nilsson had a 4 goal game. Paul Gardner, Dennis Maruk,Keith Acton had 3 goal games while lines centered by Tomas Gradin, Bobby MacMillan had dominant games against the Flyers during the 1981-82 season:

http://www.flyershistory.com/cgi-bin/hspgames.cgi

If anything, Bobby Clarke's 1982-83 Selke is more of a career achievement award than Ramsay's.He did have a bounce back year but was still far from his defensive prime.


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08-26-2010, 10:15 AM
  #48
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The Norris and Selke are difficult simply b/c it is so hard to 'rate' defensive play.

Hart is always interesting in retrospect as it has been awarded to the most valuable in the league as well as most valuable to his team at different times.

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08-28-2010, 06:04 PM
  #49
Dennis Bonvie
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I really think the Selke would be better if a team (or the local writers covering a team) could present a candidate for each team, and then the votes are among those candidates.
Excellent suggestion.

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08-28-2010, 08:19 PM
  #50
Canadiens1958
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Objectives and Roles

Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
The Norris and Selke are difficult simply b/c it is so hard to 'rate' defensive play.

Hart is always interesting in retrospect as it has been awarded to the most valuable in the league as well as most valuable to his team at different times.
Rating defensive play is difficult because the observers are not privy to the exact team objectives and roles of the specific players under consideration.

Speculation and assumptions are far from accurate measures of objectives and roles

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