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Old
05-02-2011, 03:08 AM
  #176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boy Wonder View Post
Also, I think Hal Winkler had every bit as much to do with that Bruins run as Fredrickson. In the reports that I've read, Winkler was very highly thought of for a little while during his career. He was apparently quite good, and I would imagine had a good say in what the Bruins did. Also, Fredrickson wasn't the only great player on that team, either. That team actually had quite a stacked defense, consisting of Lionel Hitchman, Sprague Cleghorn, Eddie Shore and Billy Coutu, along with Harry Oliver at forward. Don't pretend like he was the only thing going right for that team.
And yet those Bruins were in last place at the time they traded for Fredrickson, and ended up in the Cup finals with Fredrickson a Hart trophy finalist. It's quite a bit like the season the Sharks traded for Joe Thornton, although San Jose was merely struggling offensively at the time, not actually in last place.

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I'd also love to see you substantiate that claim about scoring levels fluctuating wildly.
Easy enough. You can find PCHA scoring information here.

During the last four years of the PCHA's existence (the time Fredrickson played in the league), here are the leaguewide goals scored:

1920-21: 235
1921-22: 203
1922-23: 310
1923-24: 250

A big part of the reason that the scoring is up in the final two seasons is that the PCHA schedule was expanded from 24 to 30 games. You still think scoring numbers should be compared apples to apples between the seasons?

By the way, your original comment that no two of Fredrickson's earlier seasons are equal in terms of raw scoring to what he did in 1922-23 is false. Unless my math is wrong, I believe 32 + 28 (Fredrickson's points in 20-21 and 23-24) = 60, which is more than he scored in 1922-23.

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05-02-2011, 05:01 AM
  #177
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OK, you win.

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05-02-2011, 07:55 AM
  #178
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreakmur View Post
Here are the goals per game levels of the WHL
1922 - 7.35 (NHL - 7.29) (PCHA - 5.64)
1923 - 6.45 (NHL - 6.92) (PCHA - 6.84)
1924 - 5.43 (NHL - 5.31) (PCHA - 5.56)
1925 - 6.44 (NHL - 5.00)
1926 - 5.22 (NHL - 4.61)


The NHL scoring trended downward for all 5 seasons. The WCHL scoring, with one exception (1925), made a similar, but slower, downward trend.

Based on that, it would not be accurate to claim that the scoring levels fluctuated wildly in the WCHL.
The WCHL/WHL scoring rate changed by more than 10% each season while the NHL rate changed by less than 10% except between 23 and 24. (Most of the huge drop seems to be an improvement in the defense in Hamilton. Looks like something worth looking at.)

Of course the discussion was about player point totals more so than league scoring level. As such schedule length and the rate at which assists are awarded play a big role as well.

There was no straight trend in assists per game rate.

It should be pointed out that the PCHA goals/game rate jumped in 22-23, which was the year they dropped the rover position. This is an indication that the rover was a a defensive position more so than an offensive one in the 21-22 season.

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05-02-2011, 09:28 AM
  #179
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One more piece of the puzzle regarding George Boucher's skating. This article is from the Ottawa Citizen - March 14, 1924:

Quote:
Manager Tommy Gorman, of the Ottawa Senators, now ex-champions of the world, lashed back yesterday at those who, since Tuesday's disaster, have been quite free with their criticism of the red, white and black team...

"George Boucher's injury last month was another wicked blow. It slowed up the great defenseman, and he has not since been himself. Had it not been for this injury, Boucher would have had a banner season."
It should be noted that George Boucher actually finished 4th in Hart voting in this season in spite of the knee injury, so it was an excellent season one way or another. The information on Boucher's knee injury, combined with what overpass posted in his research on Eddie Gerard (which actually indicates that Boucher had good speed before the injury) should pretty well close the book on his skating issues.

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05-03-2011, 02:08 PM
  #180
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Well, well, how often would you expect TSN to have some insight into hockey history?

Kerry Fraser on Billy Smith: You should also know that your New York Islander name sake didn't use his paddle to knock pucks over the glass but bodies from his crease. Billy Smith was the best playoff goalie I ever saw when the money was on the line)!

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=364492

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05-03-2011, 02:14 PM
  #181
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boy Wonder View Post
Well, well, how often would you expect TSN to have some insight into hockey history?

Kerry Fraser on Billy Smith: You should also know that your New York Islander name sake didn't use his paddle to knock pucks over the glass but bodies from his crease. Billy Smith was the best playoff goalie I ever saw when the money was on the line)!

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=364492
First, Kerry Fraser misses obvious high sticks to star players so I wouldn't count on what he saw.

Second, everyone already knows about battlin' Billy's reputation.




(the above opinions may be somewhat biased)

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05-03-2011, 02:21 PM
  #182
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
First, Kerry Fraser misses obvious high sticks to star players so I wouldn't count on what he saw.

Second, everyone already knows about battlin' Billy's reputation.




(the above opinions may be somewhat biased)
It's up to you guys to determine how much stock to put into Fraser's comments, however, his collective experiences watching Smith should be fairly credible vs. one missed call on a play that took 3 seconds.

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05-03-2011, 02:28 PM
  #183
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boy Wonder View Post
It's up to you guys to determine how much stock to put into Fraser's comments, however, his collective experiences watching Smith should be fairly credible vs. one missed call on a play that took 3 seconds.
Ah, well I saw him myself so I don't need to rely on a blind zebra.

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05-03-2011, 02:29 PM
  #184
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It's a feather in Billy Smith's cap, but I don't see it as really telling us anything new. There's a reason some people consider Smith a top 100 player, despite his lack of regular season hardware. I think Smith and Turk Broda are the two guys generally credited with raising their games in the playoffs the most.

If some of the younger posters here are unfamiliar with Smith's rep, it's more because his owners haven't been profiling him, rather than that the information isn't out there, I think.

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05-03-2011, 02:32 PM
  #185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
It's a feather in Billy Smith's cap, but I don't see it as really telling us anything new. There's a reason some people consider Smith a top 100 player, despite his lack of regular season hardware. I think Smith and Turk Broda are the two guys generally credited with raising their games in the playoffs the most.

If some of the younger posters here are unfamiliar with Smith's rep, it's more because his owners haven't been profiling him, rather than that the information isn't out there, I think.
Turk Broda, you say?

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Old
05-04-2011, 01:33 PM
  #186
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In an effort not to clutter up the Gwinnett series further, anyone know when line matching became a common strategy? I know that by the late 40s, Dick Irvin was linematching Ken Mosdell fairly strictly. I think the Krauts were used as a checking unit by Boston in the late 30s/early 40s

This would make the Montreal teams of Cecil Hart, Howie Morenz, and Pit Lepine of the late 20s and early 30s not that far removed from the practice.

This is more for historical interest than any series in particular.

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05-04-2011, 01:36 PM
  #187
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It might have been as early as the days of Punch Broadbent. In, I believe, The Trail, it was said that Broadbent, not Nighbor, was the one who checked Keats to a standstill.

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05-04-2011, 01:46 PM
  #188
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boy Wonder View Post
It might have been as early as the days of Punch Broadbent. In, I believe, The Trail, it was said that Broadbent, not Nighbor, was the one who checked Keats to a standstill.
When Broadbent played, it was mostly one-line hockey, with a couple of subs, so there'd be no such thing as linematching.

Based on this timeline, it doesn't appear that there was much gap between the introduction of lines and linematching.

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05-04-2011, 03:59 PM
  #189
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
In an effort not to clutter up the Gwinnett series further, anyone know when line matching became a common strategy? I know that by the late 40s, Dick Irvin was linematching Ken Mosdell fairly strictly. I think the Krauts were used as a checking unit by Boston in the late 30s/early 40s

This would make the Montreal teams of Cecil Hart, Howie Morenz, and Pit Lepine of the late 20s and early 30s not that far removed from the practice.

This is more for historical interest than any series in particular.
I don't know. But IMO coaches would have to consider as soon as they had different lines. Not that everyone would hard match right away, but as a coach you'd have to think about who you send out against the Bread line or the Kid line, no?

Long shifts would change things a bit. Did teams even change on the fly back then?

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05-05-2011, 11:41 AM
  #190
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Some information on the adoption of modern penalty rules in hockey:

The original penalty rules in hockey were known as the "deferred penalty" system. Under this system, a penalized player was forced to sit on the bench during his penalty, but could be replaced on the ice through the duration of his penalty by a substitute. The PCHA seems to have changed this system sometime during the 1918-19 season. Here is an article discussing rules for the upcoming season. From the Regina Morning Leader - November 29, 1918:

Quote:
Deferred Penalty System

The association decided to adopt deferred penalty system, which has been accepted within the past and has been adopted by the N.H.A. This ensures six men to a team on the ice at all times.
This next article is from the famous tie game of 1919 Cup finals between Seattle and Montreal. From the Edmonton Journal - March 27, 1919:

Quote:
The game was the roughest of the series. Penalties were frequent on both sides, but Joe Hall, the Montreal defenseman, drew the ire of the fans by his rough checking. "Bad Joe" they call him back east, and the Seattle spectators will admit that he is well named. Two Seattle players are nursing injured ankles from Hall's wicked stick; Jack Walker had three stitches taken above his eye as a result of one of Hall's lunges, and every member of the Seattle club is marked from the visiting defense man's checking. And Hall is not the only offender. The Montreal men laid the wood hard and often on Seattle shins, and Seattle players were not slow to retaliate. But under the lax penalty system of the east, where a penalty only means the replacing of the offending player by a substitute, neither club was much handicapped by the penalties. Two members of the invading club were hurt, Berlinquette sustaining a bad cut on the mouth and Corbeau a sprained shoulder.
So it seems to be the case that the PCHA adopted a modern penalty system at some point in the course of the 1918-19 season, otherwise the comments vis-a-vis the eastern system in the Finals would make no sense.

The real Rosetta Stone of this investigation I actually had to pay for, but it was worth it. This next article (no link) describes the NHL's move to a modern penalty system. From the Christian Science Monitor - November 16, 1921:

Quote:
Toronto, Ontario - The directors of the National Hockey League met here Monday and ratified the agreement with the Pacific coast and Western Canada professional leagues which will place professional hockey under the one commission throughout Canada. While the schedule will not be adopted until the annual meeting to be held in Montreal on November 26, it was decided that each team will play 12 home games and that the season must be completed by March 15 in order that the series with the champions of the other two leagues be completed before the end of the season. It was decided that instead of a split season as was the case last year there will be but a single schedule and the first and second teams will play off for the championship.

The most important feature of the meeting was the adoption of the penalty rule of the Ontario Hockey Association with the exception that fouls are catalogued and a definite penalty for each provided. This year every player who is penalized for a foul of any description will serve his term on the fence and his team will play short-handed. It does not make any difference how many players are fenced, all will have to serve their penalties as they are inflicted. There will be no deferring of penalties. For minor offenses players will be ruled off for three minutes, for major fouls five minutes and for match fouls the penalty is 20 minutes at least, and may be banished for the remainder of the game. The system of fining players for certain offenses also remains in force.

The rules will be changed to make a pass off the goal keeper onside as far out as the nearest red line marking the no offside area. Leo Dandurand of Montreal, one of the purchasers of the Canadian Club franchise formerly held by George Kennedy, was elected to replace Mr. Kennedy on the board. A permanent board of referees was appointed and will consist of Cooper Smeaton of Montreal, Quebec, Lou Marsh and Harvey Sproule of Toronto and Charles McKinley of Ottawa.
And immediately thereafter we begin seeing mentions of teams playing shorthanded. This last article is from the Vancouver Sun - March 24, 1922:

Quote:
Duncan Penalized

Duncan rushed and was checked by Stuart, and after a mixup, Duncan was penalized. Oatman and Stuart mixed, and both were given penalties. Locals playing five men to four. Smylie and Dye went down, but Cook intercepted the rush. St. Pats attacked but could do nothing. Parkes went on for Vancouver and held the locals in check. Dye went down and missed the net. Everybody on again. Lehman passed out and Noble intercepted, but he missed an opening.


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05-05-2011, 11:43 AM
  #191
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This video is pure gold:


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05-05-2011, 11:50 AM
  #192
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Good stuff. That time frame is consistent with what I've read about Frank Nighbor killing an entire penalty by himself via sticklanding, Bobby Orr style.

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05-05-2011, 12:02 PM
  #193
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That is awesome. I just can't get enough of really old (pre-1960) hockey footage.

Why are we no longer dishing the dirt old school?

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05-05-2011, 12:05 PM
  #194
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
That is awesome. I just can't get enough of really old (pre-1960) hockey footage.

Why are we no longer dishing the dirt old school?
Because I discovered at random (by clicking) how one edits the titles of one's posts here on HF, and decided to use the function just because I could.

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05-05-2011, 12:41 PM
  #195
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That video is great and it's shockingly high quality for a video that old. 30s hockey doesn't look all that far remove from the modern game.

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05-07-2011, 12:39 PM
  #196
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Some information on Dave Balon:

Balon should be by now pretty well known by ATD GMs as a strong two-way player from the late O6 / early expansion era. What is probably not well-known is how robust he was physically. This is one of those things I know firsthand from having seen the player, but I decided to do the research anyway to provide some solid evidence of the physical element of Balon's game.

This first article is from the Windsor Star - December 4, 1963:

Quote:
It was widespread opinion last june that somehow the Montreal Canadiens got rooked in their seven-player swap with New York Rangers. The feeling was the Habs had given away a lot more than they should have in their anxiety at the bargaining table to resolve a situation that was obviously intolerable. Developments since and the fine work of one of the minor figures in the exchange might be grounds for a reappraisal of things.

It would be stretching a point unrealistically to profer any argument that Montreal has come out on top. All the club has to show in uniform on a regular basis for the transaction is Dave Balon. But Balon's play - his sudden potence around the net - has been a big factor in Montreal's unexpected emergence as the No. 2 club in the standings at this point. The Rangers meanwhile share fourth spot.

So far the aggressive 25-year-old native of Prince Albert, Sask. has potted 11 goals, giving him a share of the team lead in that department. He counted only that many through a full schedule as a New Yorker last season.
As a point of reference, the "obviously intolerable" situation in Montreal to which the article refers was the rising tension within the organization over the question of what to do in goal, where Charlie Hodge was more than ready for regular NHL duty, but Jacques Plante could not accept a backup role.

Another article from just after the trade. From the Ottawa Citizen - June 5, 1963:

Quote:
Only Balon has a chance to wear Canadiens colors. He is a rugged left-winger, but Ronson and Rochefort, also wingmen, are strictly trade material. They'll probably be used by Habs in an effort to land a solid defenseman, needed so desperately.
This next article is from later in Balon's time in Montreal. From the Montreal Gazette - April 29, 1966:

Quote:
Rousseau returned only on power plays while Duff took Balon's spot on left wing after Balon drew a misconduct penalty in the second period. But Balon, giving and taking heavy hitting throughout, was back on the line at the finish.
Now we jump forward a bit in time to Balon's second stint with the Rangers. This article is all about Balon and mentions the shoulder injury which held him back in his last two seasons in Montreal. But I'll just cherrypick Emile Francis' description of Balon:

Quote:
Balon, rated by Rangers' Coach Emile Francis as a player who does everything "If a team has 18 guys like Dave it's in pretty good shape" - had an average season for 10 goals and 21 assists in 1968-69, while confined mostly to a penalty-killing role. But last season he came up with his best performances ever to score 33 goals and 37 assists.
And finally, Francis' description of Balon after the latter's death:

Quote:
"Davey was one of the most versatile players I ever coached," said Emile Francis, the Rangers' longtime coach and general manager. "He was one of the best defensive forwards in the league, great in the corners and excellent on the power play."
I think the business about Balon being a strong defensive forward and scorer is well known, but his physicality and aggressivenes was probably not clear to everyone, so I thought I'd shed a bit of light on the subject.

edit: one more bit. This is from an obit of Balon in the National Post:

Quote:
TORONTO — He was born a fighter, a tough, bow-legged Prairie boy with an awkward skating style and a lion heart who left the family farm to find his way as an NHL hockey player. But the tough Prairie kid always stayed humble, and he always came home to Saskatchewan.

...

“Dad was the kindest, most gentle person there was,” Jodi Balon said from the family home in Prince Albert on Wednesday. “He was the big tough guy on the ice, but you never saw that at home. He had every good quality in him. He kept the family steady and solid.”

First diagnosed with a progressive strain of the incurable disease in 1980, Balon never complained, not even as it ate away at his once-muscular and athletic form. It had been the body of a bricklayer, coiled and fit and full of fight. Marshall Johnston remembers it. The head of professional scouting for the Carolina Hurricanes is a Saskatchewan boy, just like Balon. The two were teammates with the Prince Albert Mintos as juniors.

“Dave was real tough,” Johnston said Wednesday. “And some guys used to call Dave ‘Dangler’ [because of] the way he skated, kind of bow-legged, and all over the place.

“But he was a good two-way player, and he was a pretty good scorer, too.”
The story of Balon's battle with and eventual death from multiple sclerosis is really quite heartbreaking. I suggest that everyone read the last article.


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05-07-2011, 12:48 PM
  #197
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
That video is great and it's shockingly high quality for a video that old. 30s hockey doesn't look all that far remove from the modern game.
Except for the defenseman standing at the redline when their team is cycling

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05-08-2011, 08:24 AM
  #198
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Some more information on Frank Foyston:

Foyston is a very interesting player - a somewhat enigmatic figure whose regular season scoring exploits (which are very good but not great in an all-time sense) stand in curious contrast to his postseason record and to the regard in which he was apparently held by contemporary commentators. Foyston's career fairly begs the question if something is not missing from the picture - if he didn't possess some quality that has thus far remained unknown. I can't say that I have found a definitive answer, but I believe I've found enough information to shed considerably more light on the subject than there was before. Part of what I will post here is a re-post of my earlier answer to nik jr in the draft thread, which has subsequently been all but lost as useable reference material due to HFBoards' issues with indexing their posts for search.

In many ways, the trio of Foyston, Walker and Holmes are the defining players of the East vs. West Cup era. The three men were the dominant players of the first Cup finals of the era in 1914, went west together to play for the Patricks in Seattle where they contributed greatly to the first American Cup victory, and then were sold as a block to Victoria and participated in the last two Cup finals of the era in 1925 and 1926, and played on the last western Cup winner. So we'll start the story of Frank Foyston from the beginning - the 1914 Cup finals.

Here is a report from Game 1 from the Toronto Sunday Mail - March 16, 1914:

Quote:
The Stanley Cup is not in much danger of going west, according to the performance given by the Victorias, champions of the Coast League, Saturday night in the Arena. They were outplayed in every department by the Torontos, score 5 to 2, the the (sic) N.H.A. winners showed a decided lack of training for the occasion. Indeed, the blue shirts were in such condition that Cameron was not included in the lineup, and Davidson appeared on the ice at rare intervals.

...

Foyston was probably the best man on the ice, and his aggressive playing did more to stop the visitors than anything else. He was always in the fray, and kept his opponents watching him all the time. Walker was not in form in the first period, but he came round in the last two and starred, as usual. He had Dunderdale and Poulin under his wing once he got going. George McNamara played a whale of a game, and, in the absence of Cameron, he more than made good. Even the speedy midget whose place he took could hardly have played better than he did, and the big fellow slowed up Genge and Patrick nicely.

...

Genge and Dunderdale are the shining lights for the Victorias. The big defenseman has a barrel of speed, which he utilizes in end-to-end rushes. He is easily upset, tho. He displayed wonderful prowess in stickhandling, assisted greatly by a very powerful wrist. Dunderdale is very tricky and can stand a lot of watching. He took possession of the puck many times by superb stickwork, and even penetrated the defense by his wonderful work in dodging players.
Here is the game 2 report from the Toronto Sunday World - March 18, 1914:

Quote:
The world's championship and the Stanley Cup will be residents of Toronto for the next year unless something very unexpected happens in the final game on Thursday night. Last night Torontos made practically sure of this when they defeated Victorias at the Arena in the second game of the series by the score of six to five in eighteen minutes overtime.

...

The locals were not used to staying in their positions, which is a feature of the seven man game, with the result that the Victorias were always breaking away on the wings by taking long passes in the restricted space and tearing in on the defense. The forward pass makes play faster and allows the players a breathing space at times. This does not mean that loafing in this space is very much in evidence, in fact on the contrary the fact that a player may receive a pass at any moment from any side naturally forces him to keep on the move and his eyes open for the unexpected. It is an improvement over the N.H.A. style at least and likely none on the O.H.A. style of skating a man onside.

To single out stars on the forward line of the blue shirts is a heavy task, as every one of them stayed with the play from start to finish and checked back like fiends...

Blue Shirts in Form

Walker and Foyston were just as good as ever, and they were relentless, both upon their powers of endurance and the attacking forwards. Their feats are common talk among the fans, so it is not necessary to elaborate upon their performance again. Holmes in goal was by far the strongest man on the ice. He was as cool as a cucumber, and his work was really phenomenal. If he had not been there it would have been a different story.
And finally the game 3 report from the Toronto Sunday World - March 20, 1914:

Quote:
Toronto pros are undisputed hockey champions of the world. The blue shirts earned this title last night by downing Victoria, Pacific Coast Champions, in the third and deciding game of the series, at the Arena last night by 2 to 1.

...

Foyston the Best Man

Frank Foyston was the most useful man for the victors, and went from end to end, despite the rough passage that was given him by the Victoria defense. Genge and Patrick were not gentle with their checking when Foyston got in to close quarters, but the blue and white centre went right back for more and worried Lindsay with his hard shots from close in. Walker went well for two periods, but tired a bit in the third period.
The above game report also contains a scoring summary for the entire series. The scoring for this series has been widely misreported for whatever reason, but there it is in black and white. Foyston scored the opening goal of game 2 and then two goals in the third period of game 2 to send the game into overtime, with Toronto eventually the victors. He also scored the first goal of game 3, and ended the series with 4 goals - the next best scorers all having two goals each. It was a quite dominating performance by Foyston, especially when we consider that he is described as probably the best man on the ice in game 1, in which he did not score. He seems to have played an aggressive all-around game, and to have been equally at home in attacking, checking and in physical battles.

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We now skip forward a bit to 1915 - as Foyston is named captain of the Seattle Mets. From the Regina Morning Leader - December 1, 1915:

Quote:
Foyston to Captain Seattle Hockey Team

Frank Foyston, of Toronto, considered one of the brainiest hockey players in the business, was chosen captain of the Seattle Metropolitans yesterday afternoon. Foyston took charge of the team at yesterday's practice. The easterner was entirely unsuspecting of the honor and was surprised when told of his selection.

Foyston plays forward and is a splendid skater, an aggressive player and can hold his own in a close fight with the rest of them.
Again we see a reference to a physical aspect of Foyston's game which was previously unknown. He seems to have been a much scrappier player than was previously assumed, and may indeed have been his line's primary puckwinner for much of his career, especially given that Foyston's regular linemates in Seattle were generally Bernie Morris and Jack Walker - both of whom were fairly non-physical as far as I know. I know very little about Cully Wilson, the other regular forward on those Seattle teams.

We now skip ahead to game 1 of the 1917 Cup finals and find Foyston again dominating the series with all-around play. From the Regina Morning Leader - March 19, 1917:

Quote:
The Canadiens registered the first victory in the world's hockey championship when they defeated the Seattle club here last night by a score of 8 to 4.

...

Frank Foyston, captain of the Mets, although he scored but one goal, was the individual star of the Seattle team. Foyston's work on offense and defense, his checking, skating and shooting were of a class that fully justified his selection as the most valuable player in Pacific coast hockey. From a scoring standpoint, Bernie Morris, with three goals to his credit, was the shining light of the Mets. In purely defensive play, Jack Walker, with his clever hook check, was the Seattle star. Walker took the puck away from the best stickhandlers the Flying Frenchmen could produce as easily as taking off his hat and it was his work that spilled most of the offensive rushes of the Canadiens.
Unfortunatley, I can't find a report of game 2 which describes the performance of the players in detail, so this will have to do. From the Saskatoon Phoenix - March 21, 1917:

Quote:
The Seattle Metropolitans, champions of the PCHA, swung into their regular stride tonight and won the second game of the world's series by a score of six goals to one from the Canadiens of Montreal, champions of the eastern league...

The game, which was lightning fast for the first two periods, degenerated into a rough house affair in the third canto and ended in a free for all fight in which players of both teams joined...

George Irvine, judge of the play, jumped in to stop the fight and Lalonde skating up just then swung his stick and cut the official across the face. Referee Ion immediately sent Lalonde off the ice, and fined him $25 for hitting Irvine...

"Beaten by the hook check," might be an appropriate title of tonight's struggle because it was clever use of this bit of hockey strategy combined with sheer speed and aggressiveness that put the Mets on an even basis with the invaders for the Stanley Cup.
Bad business about Lalonde whacking the referee with his stick. He would not be suspended for any additional time, though Lester Patrick would call for it. It sounds like Jack Walker was probably the star of game 2, given the "beaten by the hook check" business. Moving onto game three, which Seattle again dominated. From the Montreal Daily Mail - March 24, 1917:

Quote:
Seattle nosed out the Canadiens after one of the fastest and hardest fought battles seen in the west, by a count of 4 goals to 1...

Bernie Morris and Captain Foyston were the chief stars on the Seattle team. The former did some good stick-handling and it fell to his lot to score three of the four goals registered by the Seattle team. Foyston was in the play all the time, and in addition to scoring a goal, assisted in the scoring of another.
I take being "in the play all the time" to be an indication of all-around play, though the reader can form his own opinion. Finally, we have game 4, a Seattle slaughter from first to last and the Cup clincher. From the Dawson Daily News - April 14, 1917:

Quote:
The Seattle Metropolitans are monarchs of the hockey world this morning. In a game that opened like a regular struggle and ended in a rout the home lads pasted the veteran Montreal Les Canadiens with a 9 to 1 victory in the final game of the world championship series last night and are now reigning supreme in puck circles, with the famous Stanley cup tucked under their arm.

If ever the Mets looked like world's champs it was last night. While several thousand ardent fans cheered them on, Muldoon's pets beat the flying Frenchmen at everything in the hockey category. Speed, which has been such an important asset to the locals in former games, figured as strongly as ever and the invaders were simply smothered by the aggressive style of the Seattle men. In every department of the game did Foyston and his fellow gladiators best Montreal and if Timer Kendall hadn't called a halt the score might have been a hundred.

...

Bernie Morris lived up to his reputation as the "demon goal getter of the league" when he shot the puck past Goalminder Vezina five times. Morris' shooting eye was in working order last night and he slipped the rubber past the visiting goalie with ridiculous ease. Capt. Foyston was the same valuable leader as in the former games. Foyston was fast as a streak and his back checking and all round playing featured the game. Foxy Jack Walker and his hook check closed a busy season in high-class style, his hook stopping many of the rushes of Lalonde's puck men.
One gets the impression from these game reports that Frank Foyston was really the engine of those great Seattle teams - the best all-around player the Mets had. Walker was the wizard of the hook check and Morris was the great offensive opportunist, but Foyston seems to have been the guy who held it all together and who brought the most energy and aggression to the ice.

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Here is a transcription of the full text of the "perfect player" article from the Calgary Daily Herald - January 17, 1922:

Quote:
Mickey MacKay, Vancouver's brilliant rover, Frank Foyston, Seattle flash, or Jack Walker, of hook check fame, another of Seattle's stars, which member of the trio is the nearest approach to the perfect hockey player? Or did the members of the old school when the Patricks were just breaking into the ice sport include among their number players who were regarded as the greatest the game has produced.

Fans around the coast hockey loop are once again discussing this interesting question and trying to solve the riddle of who in hockey today is the nearest approach to the perfect player. Last year a majority expressed the opinion that honors should go to Mickey MacKay, but there were hundreds who believed the crown should rest on Frank Foyston's brow. And not a few are out in favor of naming Jack Walker as the real leader. Walker's work during the past two years has been steady and at all times bordering on the sensational. Without him in the pivot position the Seattle Mets would appear like a ship without a rear paddle to direct its course.

The perfect hockey player, like the perfect woman, is a hard bird to find. But hockey folks will never be ruled out for not trying. MacKay's choice last winter failed to impress all critics, and the history of other players will have to be given the once over before the crown is finally awarded.

What should the perfect hockey player possess to be classed as such is the question that naturally arises. Should he be a goal keeper, a defenseman of a forward? As the game of hockey is won by the team that scores the majority of goals, and as forewards have this brunt of the work to do, the perfect player will, perhaps, be more readily discovered up on the firing line, hence the opinion of many that Frank Foyston should be acclaimed the leader. The player should first of all have speed. He should be a goal getter. He should be unselfish. He should be able to check back. He should have stick handling ability, hockey brains and the ability to keep his temper. He should also be able to stand the gaff and go 60 minutes without rest.

What hockey player has all these virtues? Does the history of the game show any man capable of passing a close test on these points? It is argued that Tommy Phillips, former Kenora star, who played his last hockey with Vancouver's first team in 1912, was the closest approach to the real thing that ever displayed his wares on the frozen pond. He was an all-round star.

Then there was Alf Smith, of the famous Silver Seven of Ottawa, another near perfect hockey star. Alf was a regular foxy grandpa for hockey brains. He was out this way a few years ago. He was not the fastest player in the world, but like Phillips could skate when the occasion demanded. The old Ottawa team included other great players, including Frank McGee, Rat Westwick and the Gilmour brothers. The old Ottawa team for many years holders of the coveted Stanley Cup, was the nearest approach to a perfect team ever developed. Yet, after glimpsing Ottawa's cup winning aggregation in the series here last spring, we incline to the opinion that it was probably the greatest squad ever assembled, "a super team", according to Frank Patrick.

Eastern critics point out that Lester Patrick, in the good old days before he came west, was in the perfect class. Frank Nighbor, with Vancouver in 1915, and now with Ottawa, is another star who can go both ways full speed.

However, Pacific coast fans are stringing along on MacKay, Foyston and Walker as the king pins of them all. They exhibit no weaknesses, in fact they can easily be classed as the three greatest players in the game today, east or west.

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