based on reading again old newspapers, the ice allowed no on to dominate in '20.
ice was terrible in ottawa due to unusually warm weather and after debate about postponing game 2, the series was moved to toronto after 3 games. ice was soft, slushy and wet, play was very difficult, and offense was mostly solo rushes. toronto world reported that ottawa struggled with the western rules in game 4, even though they won fairly easily (3-0) in game 2 (georges boucher at rover was the star of game 2). toronto world said that game 2 was relatively easy for ottawa b/c seattle used exactly the same plays and tactics as they used in game 1.
toronto world had a low opinion of the western rules. it described the neutral zone as "for tennis on skates." western neutral zone was 70 feet, eastern was 40.
montreal gazette thought that forward passing encouraged cherry picking, and mentioned frank foyston as a cherry picker. if foyston was unable to poke check the puck, he often waited in the neutral zone for a pass. same article later mentions that foyston's poke checking was very effective, though.
PCHA rules were closer to modern rules. forward passing, no substitutions were allowed on penalties, and goalies were allowed to move the puck. PCHA also relied more on combinatorial plays instead of solo rushes. apparently penalty shots were also a western invention.
hard to say who was best for ottawa. ottawa citizen seems to have longer and more detailed reports on games than montreal gazette and especially toronto world, but only 1 or 2 editions of the ottawa citizen are available for the games in '20.
darragh was never mentioned as clearly the best player in any game of the '20 finals, but was named as a stand out in games 1 and 5. nighbor was named as a stand out in games 1, 3 and 4.
if i had to award MVP for '20, i would probably pick hap holmes, who was excellent. for ottawa i would probably pick nighbor, but i could not be sure.
ottawa citizen is available for only 1 of the '21 games (game 5, in which darragh was the star with 2g), and the reports in the montreal gazette and toronto world are shorter than usual, probably b/c the series was played in vancouver.
from the reports of the '21 finals, team D seems to have been the main reason ottawa won (vancouver was also missing skinner for a game and mackay for a game). ottawa often lined up 5 men across the defensive zone. nighbor seems to have played very defensively. no one really stood out for ottawa. ottawa citizen and montreal gazette both said all ottawa players played well.
long, high, slow shots from outside (often called lifts) the D were common. sort of a primitive wrist shot through traffic.
if i had to pick an MVP for the '21 finals, i would probably pick lehman. i could not say who was best for ottawa, but it makes sense that darragh was picked, since he was the key player in the decisive game 5.
more was said about nighbor in '15 (tied for the lead in scoring in the finals, played very well both ways and effectively checked broadbent, ottawa's top scorer), and '23 (played great D and was much more physical than usual) than in '21.
In "The Trail of the Stanley Cup Vol.I", Charles L. Coleman mentions that Jack Darragh scored three goals in the final and deciding game 5. P376.
Perhaps this was seen as the deciding factor.
Last edited by Canadiens1958: 08-24-2010 at 11:45 PM.