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ATD2011 Jim Coleman Semi: New Jersey Swamp Devils vs. Guelph Platers

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Old
05-17-2011, 08:14 AM
  #26
BraveCanadian
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
BC will point to the defensive abilities of his depth forwards, but I'm not sure they are actually better.

•Herbie Lewis is significantly better defensively than anyone on Guelph's second line. MacLeish is defensively responsible, but that just covers for Ogrodnick.
Robert was also solid.

Quote:
•Who is better defensively, McPhee or Doan? I could be out to lunch here, as I never saw McPhee and he doesn't appear to have a Selke record. I guess McPhee is more proven in the playoffs at least (though Doan was excellent in a defensive role in international play). BC, you could change my mind with this one.
McPhee had Selke votes in three seasons that I could find: 86-87, a 5th in 87-88 and 88-89.

86-87 and 88-89 were token votes but strangely the Habs also had Carbonneau up higher in the voting so I can't imagine it was the Montreal homers voting for McPhee over Carbonneau.. I could be wrong though.


Quote:
•Lebedev's a "grinder," but his defensive play appears completely unknown.
Lebedev's grinding is appealing to me on this line because obviously it is three grinders. I like that he has a bit of offensive upside as well because between him and Poulin, even as a primarily defensive line, they can't be completely written off as a threat offensively. If nothing else they can rag the puck.

Quote:
•Poulin is an excellent 3rd line checking center. He was an elite penalty killer, but how much better was his even strength defense than Selke runner up Handzus who was merely a good PKer? Edit: I realized this may not be fair to Poulin who was much more prolific in the playoffs than Handzus. And he's a third liner vs. 4th liner so he'll have more of an impact. So yeah, Poulin is definitely the most impactful defensive player in the bottom 6.
I can't say enough good about Dave Poulin. He was such a team guy, determined, professional, hard working and great defensively. His numbers really do him no justice as a hockey player.

Quote:
•MacKell and Gelinas are both "responsible" at even strength (MacKell being a top notch PKer).
Yeah Gelinas isn't outstanding but he is solid and speedy.

I like our fourth line's chances at creating some offense against yours, largely because Arnott has the size to combat Handzus and has a big speed advantage. Not to mention he has a couple of big playoff runs where he was very productive.

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05-17-2011, 09:46 AM
  #27
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•What does "solid" mean for Robert? Because I could call Starshinov and Palffy "solid" defensively too.

•Okay, I'm something convinced on McPhee. I mean, I don't think we can rank players based on Selke votes or anything, but just the fact that he got some says something. I still don't know if his defense is good enough to warrant 3rd line ice time given his lack of offense (I wouldn't want Handzus on a 3rd line here and he's better than McPhee, albeit a center).

•I guess Lebedev is draft worthy. I looks at chidlovski and his "grinding" ability is mentioned in numerous places, and I don't think any other Soviet player's is. I still don't see what he's doing on a checking line, when we don't know anything about his defensive ability.

•I think you're overrating Lebedev's offense here - it's actually quite poor. I'm using chidlovski's numbers which are slightly different from yours. Lebedev has 25 goals in 127 national team games, a 16 goal per 82 game pace for a team that often blew out the competition. To put it in perspective, Larionov known as a pure playmaker, has 77 goals in 200 national team games, Shadrin (a two way playmaker) has 71 in 169, and defensive defenseman bilyaletdinov has 21 in 244.

Lebedev looks better in domestic games with 181 in 473, but that's still less than Larionov's 204 in 457 or Shadrin's 213 in 455. This would be a lot more useful with points finishes, but I'm not sure how to do that. But keep in mind that neither Larionov nor Shadrin was known as a finisher. It's possible Lebedev was a pass-first kind of guy, but I doubt it.

I'm not sure what to make of Lebedev's offense. His scoring in international games is pathetic, but in the domestic league, he scored at an acceptable level for a guy used as a grinder here.

•Arnott does have a couple of good playoffs, but his best runs were with Patrik Elias on his wing. Arnott is a shooter and not a puck carrier, and Elias was the puck carrier and playmaker for that line. Who is going to carry the puck for Arnott here? Vaive is a big slapshot with some grit (like Arnott) and Gelinas? Handzus is basically the same size as Arnott, so I think he'll do just fine.


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Old
05-17-2011, 09:54 AM
  #28
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
•I guess Lebedev is draft worthy. I looks at chidlovski and his "grinding" ability is mentioned in numerous places, and I don't think any other Soviet player's is. I still don't see what he's doing on a checking line, when we don't know anything about his defensive ability.
I like him there for his grinding ability and his puck control.

I agree though it is really hard to estimate Lebedev and the Russian/Euro players offense in general in this setting. I really can't say one way or another with certainty how effective his would be here.

Quote:
•Arnott does have a couple of good playoffs, but his best runs were with Patrik Elias on his wing. Arnott is a shooter and not a puck carrier, and Elias was the puck carrier and playmaker for that line. Who is going to carry the puck for Arnott here? Vaive is a big slapshot with some grit (like Arnott) and Gelinas? Handzus is basically the same size as Arnott, so I think he'll do just fine.
My thought is that they will use their speed to open up ice or dump and chase past your slower line (particularly Handzus compared to Arnott).

When they are playing with Reijo Ruotsalainen, his skating, passing and creativity will help them a lot. Particularly his long passing ability when those guys are trying to use their speed through the neutral zone.

The more I look at this, I think this is going to be a coin toss series.

Also in those two big runs Arnott was 46GP 16G 19A 35PTS so I don't think he is as unbalanced as you're claiming. He's going to be valuable here.


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05-17-2011, 10:03 AM
  #29
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•eh, Fleming MacKell is one of the fastest players in the entire draft. I don't see speed on my 4th line being an issue.

•I'm well aware of Arnott's exploits in 2000 and 2001 for the NJ Devils. Most of his assists were off the cycle or rebounds from his big slapshot (he played the point on the PP). He wasn't a puck carrier, though I guess maybe you don't need one on a 4th line that just dumps and chases.

•Charlie Gardiner was no Martin Brodeur, but he was known for being perhaps the first goalie to leave the net to go after the puck, which should help on the dump and chase a little bit.

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05-17-2011, 10:18 AM
  #30
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
•eh, Fleming MacKell is one of the fastest players in the entire draft. I don't see speed on my 4th line being an issue.
That is one guy, though, and Gelinas was also known for his skating.

Bert skates well for a bigger guy, as does Vaive.

That still leaves a big mismatch in speed and offense between Arnott and Handzus. (Handzus obviously being better defensively, Arnott being no slouch for the vast majority of his career by now)

Quote:
•I'm well aware of Arnott's exploits in 2000 and 2001 for the NJ Devils. Most of his assists were off the cycle or rebounds from his big slapshot (he played the point on the PP). He wasn't a puck carrier, though I guess maybe you don't need one on a 4th line that just dumps and chases.
Yeah, I think they have the speed and grit to work a dump and chase very effectively, particularly because Handzus isn't going to keep up with Arnott by any stretch, so we're going to have a short man advantage when we dump and chase.

Like I said, Ruotsalainen's passing when he is with them can also be used to stretch things out.

Quote:
•Charlie Gardiner was no Martin Brodeur, but he was known for being perhaps the first goalie to leave the net to go after the puck, which should help on the dump and chase a little bit.
I didn't know that about Gardiner, and that could possibly help you out a bit if we're dumping in against you.

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05-17-2011, 10:28 AM
  #31
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Arnott was also a "good skater for a big guy.". Yeah, he's faster than Handzus, but it's not like he's The Flash out there. And Handzus wasn't a Selke runner up by getting beaten by any forward that showed a hint of speed.


Ruotsalainen's passing ability is nice, but I doubt it compares to Quackenbush, Pratt, or Boyle.

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05-17-2011, 11:19 AM
  #32
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Arnott was also a "good skater for a big guy.". Yeah, he's faster than Handzus, but it's not like he's the flash out there. And Handzus wasn't a Selke runner up by getting beaten by any forward that showed a hint of speed.
In his draft year:

"Jason Arnott - The Oshawa Generals center has emerged as a bonafide first-round pick after a season of 41 goals and 57 assists in 56 games. A very good skater with speed and balance who has good vision and uses his winger well."

http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...rontpage&hl=en Page 21.

Lets fast forward a few years:

"Rolston is a good skater, Arnott is a good skater," Lemaire said."- Newsday Apr 25 1998

"The trio combined for seven goals and nine assists in six games. They backed up the Toronto defense with their speed and skill and even punished it with their grit." - Daily News May 09, 2000.

I could go on, but even if we just call Arnott a "good" skater, Handzus is not, so that still opens up a fairly sizable gap between them if not the rest of their lines.

Quote:
Ruotsalainen's passing ability is nice, but I doubt it compares to Quackenbush, Pratt, or Boyle.
I guess you didn't see him much in his Oilers playoff runs, then.

Hopefully I did this right, I am mashing through it a bit:

Ruotsalainen in his 5 full seasons among defensemen for points (he did play some forward at points too for his bad Rangers teams, but keep in mind this is against Bourque, Coffey, Potvin etc.):

4, 7, 9, 15, 15

Boyle (against worse competition - the Lidstrom argument )

4, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 20

So yes, at first glance Boyle looks a chunk better (not accounting for who he is against) and certainly for longevity, but I think their ability is at least "comparable".


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Old
05-17-2011, 11:36 AM
  #33
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•So your evidence as to Arnott's speed is a quote from junior (meaningless), a quote from his coach saying he has "good" speed, and a quote about the Elias-Arnott-Sykora line in general. The only quote even relevant is the lemaire one. And it's not like handzus would have finished 2nd, 8th, 9th in Norris voting if every guy with "good speed" gave him problems. Arnott was a big guy who had slightly above average speed, which was quite impressive, given his size. Elias and Sykora were the smaller speed demons.

•How bad was Ruotsalainen in his own zone of he finished 4th and 7th in scoring among defensemen but didn't get Norris votes?

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05-17-2011, 11:39 AM
  #34
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Regardless, I don't think the quality of defensemen has declined enough to explain away those scoring finishes.

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05-17-2011, 11:51 AM
  #35
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•So your evidence as to Arnott's speed is a quote from junior (meaningless), a quote from his coach saying he has "good" speed, and a quote about the Elias-Arnott-Sykora line in general. The only quote even relevant is the lemaire one. And it's not like handzus would have finished 2nd, 8th, 9th in Norris voting if every guy with "good speed" gave him problems. Arnott was a big guy who had slightly above average speed, which was quite impressive, given his size. Elias and Sykora were the smaller speed demons.
Yes, but having above average skating along with size that matches Handzus (below average skater) makes him a perfect guy to go against him, in my opinion.

Quote:
•How bad was Ruotsalainen in his own zone of he finished 4th and 7th in scoring among defensemen but didn't get Norris votes?
You mean when he finished 4th behind 121 point Norris trophy winning, Paul Coffey?

Or the 7th place finish in a year when (for once) a defensive defenseman won the Norris?

Obviously Boyle would have to be considered better all around with his all stars and voting history.

Mainly because of his size, Ruotsalainen was just ok in his own zone overall. It wasn't that he was afraid of contact or a tin man or anything like that, he was just limited by his size and played to his strengths. That is why I paired him with a guy like Macoun.

However, here Ruotsalainen is a 6th defenseman and powerplay specialist. I think he fits that role perfectly.

With his speed, puck control, vision and passing, the hope of course is that we don't spend much time in our zone anyways.

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05-17-2011, 12:00 PM
  #36
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• I think a big guy with non-elite speed is the perfect guy for Handzus to handle. This is, of course, assuming our 4th lines mostly play each other. My fourth line has the defensive ability to take defensive zone draws and hold their own against any line, while any of my scoring lines would eat your fourth line for lunch.

•And then for dinner, The Starshinov-Mayorov pair would grind Ruotsalainen to death in his own zone.

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05-17-2011, 12:52 PM
  #37
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• I think a big guy with non-elite speed is the perfect guy for Handzus to handle. This is, of course, assuming our 4th lines mostly play each other. My fourth line has the defensive ability to take defensive zone draws and hold their own against any line, while any of my scoring lines would eat your fourth line for lunch.
I think you're up selling Handzus pretty seriously here. His advantage is his size but he doesn't have that on Arnott. His weakness is his speed which Arnott has..

Arnott has a token Selke vote too, if we're going to count late token placements. Handzus basically has one season of any real note - all his noms are pre-lockout where he could clutch and grab.

Then lets add in the fact that he has almost as many goals in his career as Handzus has points and over twice as many points (admittedly in more games but in completely overlapping careers) and we start opening up a mismatch offensively on this line similar to the one your third has on ours.

Basically our 3rd and 4th lines have their roles reversed, that's all.

People will have to decide if offense or defense wins in each of these matchups.

Quote:
•And then for dinner, The Starshinov-Mayorov pair would grind Ruotsalainen to death in his own zone.
Good luck with your slow centerman and your right winger going after my speedy right defenseman.

Poor little Boyle is going to suffer against my grinders. He is probably just about as small relatively as my guy was 25 years ago.

McPhee and Gillies and Gelinas are hungry.


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05-17-2011, 01:28 PM
  #38
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•I'm not selling Handzus particularly hard. His Selke record of 2nd, 8th, 11th does it for me. He did this playing against centers of all speeds. Arnott is NOT a particularly fast center. As scoring line centers go, he was probably pretty average. Size was Arnott's big advantage over other centers and Handzus neutralizes that.

•Boyle has a Norris record of 4th, 5th, 6th vs (nothing) for your offensively oriented bottom pairing guy. He'll be fine in his own zone


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05-17-2011, 01:30 PM
  #39
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I'm not sure what to make of Lebedev's offense. His scoring in international games is pathetic, but in the domestic league, he scored at an acceptable level for a guy used as a grinder here..
the chidlovski site is really about the international games, right? I think this almost certainly means Lebedev was a scorer in the soviet league but a role player internationally... like a multitude of Canadians such as Doan, Smyth, Morrow, Linden, Brind'Amour, Brent Sutter, etc.

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05-17-2011, 01:36 PM
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the chidlovski site is really about the international games, right? I think this almost certainly means Lebedev was a scorer in the soviet league but a role player internationally... like a multitude of Canadians such as Doan, Smyth, Morrow, Linden, Brind'Amour, Brent Sutter, etc.
Yeah, that makes sense. It makes it tough to figure out how good Lebedev may have actually been though.

I'm thinking that the specific mentions of him definitely make him worth drafting, I'm just not sure if I like him on a line that's supposed to be a checking line without evidence of his defense.


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05-17-2011, 01:47 PM
  #41
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the chidlovski site is really about the international games, right? I think this almost certainly means Lebedev was a scorer in the soviet league but a role player internationally... like a multitude of Canadians such as Doan, Smyth, Morrow, Linden, Brind'Amour, Brent Sutter, etc.
Could very well be

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05-17-2011, 02:40 PM
  #42
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I think you're up selling Handzus pretty seriously here. His advantage is his size but he doesn't have that on Arnott. His weakness is his speed which Arnott has..

Arnott has a token Selke vote too, if we're going to count late token placements. Handzus basically has one season of any real note - all his noms are pre-lockout where he could clutch and grab.

Then lets add in the fact that he has almost as many goals in his career as Handzus has points and over twice as many points (admittedly in more games but in completely overlapping careers) and we start opening up a mismatch offensively on this line similar to the one your third has on ours.

Basically our 3rd and 4th lines have their roles reversed, that's all.

People will have to decide if offense or defense wins in each of these matchups.



Good luck with your slow centerman and your right winger going after my speedy right defenseman.

Poor little Boyle is going to suffer against my grinders. He is probably just about as small relatively as my guy was 25 years ago.

McPhee and Gillies and Gelinas are hungry.

His Right Winger would be matched up against your Left Defenseman.

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05-17-2011, 02:47 PM
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His Right Winger would be matched up against your Left Defenseman.
I know, but the guy he is talking about pasting with his right winger is my right defenseman.

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05-17-2011, 02:55 PM
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I know, but the guy he is talking about pasting with his right winger is my right defenseman.
Heh. I was thinking of a cycling game, where positions don't matter as much.

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05-17-2011, 04:36 PM
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Henri Richard was arguably the best even strength player in the league over a 12 year period

•This chart is in Henri's profile, but worth repeating, as he's going head to head with Trottier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by overpass
Here are the top even-strength scorers in the NHL from 1955-56 (when Richard broke in as a 19 year old) to 1966-67, a 12 year period.

Player Years GP Pts ESG ESA ESP PPG PPA PPP ESP/G PPP/G
Richard 56-67 764 710 222 343 565 41 97 138 0.74 0.18
Howe 56-67 826 920 245 330 575 120 192 312 0.70 0.38
Beliveau 56-67 745 830 217 300 517 126 181 307 0.69 0.41
Bathgate 56-67 811 825 232 326 558 55 205 260 0.69 0.32
Ullman 56-67 817 703 233 290 523 55 102 157 0.64 0.19
Delvecchio 56-67 816 691 191 267 458 65 144 209 0.56 0.26

This table doesn't cover Gordie Howe's prime, and doesn't include Mikita and Hull who starred during the latter part of this period. Still, it's very impressive that Henri Richard was (probably) the best player in the league at even-strength over a 12 year period.
•Henri was also one of the best defensive forwards in the league during this time, getting the toughest defensive assignments for two dynasties.

•Henri's even strength offense might be inflated a bit if he saw more even strength time than most stars due to being an ES specialist, but it couldn't have been inflated that much, as he still had to share ES time with Beliveau.

•I think it's clear that if Trottier has an offensive advantage over Henri at even strength, it can't be very large.

Trottier's larger size allowed him to play more physically, but would this be a big problem for Henri? I doubt it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Clarke
Henri is always there. Every time I pick up the puck he's coming at me from somewhere. He's been hit quite a few times; by me, by our defense, but he doesn't stop. It's frustrating when you outweigh a guy by 20 pounds, knock him down and he's up and gone before you are.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Esposito
Henri Richard. That son of a ***** was the best centre I ever played against. He was good on faceoffs. He was fast. The little ******* could score. He was a tough little guy and I respected him. Henri was the most underrated player on the Canadiens.
Trottier might be the better overall player, but Henri matches up quite well at even strength. . Trottier's greater size does allow him to control the puck better in the offensive zone on the PP, no doubt.

Fun fact: THN listed Henri Richard as the 29th best player of all time and Trottier as the 30th. Heh. The respective positions of these two men was one of the biggest points of criticism of that list by the HOH board.

I think it's clear Trottier was the better overall player at his peak, but Henri is the toughest matchup he's seen this ATD.

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05-17-2011, 04:53 PM
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Top line wingers

If any offensive advantage Trottier provides at even strength is relatively small, the wingers of the Swamp Devils give us significantly more offensive punch. I'm just going to use overall scoring finishes, which is a crude method, but it's a lot quicker. As far as I am aware, Gillies, Middleton, and Richard all spent their entire primes on the first PP unit, so I don't think the results should be too distorted.

Top 10 finishes:

Gillies goals: none
Gillies assists: none
Gillies points: 9th

Middleton goals: 7th, 8th, 10th
Middleton assists: none
Middleton points: 10th, 10th

M Richard goals: 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 4th , 5th, 6th
M Richard assists: 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th
M Richard points: 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th

Yeah, yeah, top 10s are a crude method, and Middleton I'm sure has quite a few 11-20 finishes that are quite meaningful in the 80s, but... I really don't see a need to get into more refined methods when the gaps are this huge.

I also realize that both Gillies and Middleton raised their games tremendously in the playoffs, but i don't see them doing so any more than the Rocket and Tommy Phillips. The Rocket's exploits are well known, but Phillips raised his play tremendously in the playoffs and when he faced good competition. His numbers in the relatively weak Western league are not nearly as good as his legend, but in Phillip's one season in the stronger Eastern league, he was a strong 3rd in goals, 2 goals behind co-leaders Marty Walsh and Russel Bowie. And Phillips is one of the greatest Cup Challenge players ever.

I agree with BC that Gillies provides a good deal more intangibles than The Rocket, but the gap in offense between them is tremendous.

Conclusion: Swamp Devils have the better top line because the enormous gap between Maurice Richard and Gillies more than overcomes any edge Trottier may have over Henri Richard at even strength.. I'm assuming Phillips and Middleton are close in value here; it's really hard to tell.

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05-17-2011, 05:41 PM
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Top defensive pairings

Quackenbush All Star voting: 1, 1, 2, 3, 3, 6
Lapointe Norris voting: 2*, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5

*to Orr

Easy win for Quack right? Not really. Competition was quite poor among defensemen in Quack's era and quite strong in Lapointe's era. They are probably close to equal with a slight defensive advantage to Quackenbush and a slight offensive advantage to Lapointe. Quackenbush may be the better even strength player, as Lapointe gets more of his value from the powerplay, but I wouldn't say for sure.

Coulter:

-4 times Second Team All Star playing at the same time as Eddie Shore and Earl Seibert (no full voting records)

-his teammate (in real life and here on the Swamp Devils) Clint Smith called Art Coulter the best player on the 1940 Cup winner, a team Conn Smyth once called the best team he ever saw

Ramsey:

-No Postseason All Star nods

-One 7th place finish for the Norris (as a defensive defenseman in the golden era for offensive defensemen)

-4 All Star games (chosen over some of those offensive defensemen)

-Great player, but would a team with him as it's best player really be a contender for the Cup?

Ramsey was a great physical, defensive defenseman for sure, but Coulter played the same style and was just plain better at it.

Conclusion: Quackenbush vs Lapointe is too close to call, but the gap between Ramsey and Coulter is quite large in Coulter's favor. . Even if you don't buy Quackenbush as Lapointe's equal (and you'd have to have an especially dim view of the 1947-53 period for that), any gap is significantly smaller than the gap between Coulter and Ramsey, and more of Lapointe's value comes from the PP than Quackenbush.

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05-17-2011, 05:51 PM
  #48
TheDevilMadeMe
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So in conclusion, NJ should win the battle of first units because the massive advantage of Maurice Richard over Gillies and the large advantage of Coulter over Ramsey overcomes any small advantage Trottier may have over Henri Richard at even strength.

Once again, Trottier's big advantages over Henri are physicality (which doesn't seem to phase Henri) and powerplay offense (perhaps a result of opportunity or perhaps because of his strength in the offensive zone).

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05-17-2011, 08:23 PM
  #49
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Just for fun here are the top 5 even strength point producers over Trottier's first 12 seasons. (hopefully I have the numbers correct) Talk about competition for him, though. Gretzky is in another world, of course:

NameGPESPESP/G
Gretzky63210421.65
Dionne935837.90
Trottier914799.87
Bossy752739.98
Lafleur676663.98

Trottier was 5th in ESG during this time too. I know people keep ragging on him not being able to score and I don't understand it.

I'm not sure what this tells us for sure if Henri was saved for ES somewhat, though. I mean besides that they were both awesome at ES in general.

As far as the physicality goes, you know he is a guy who is going to make you not want to face him when a monster like Larry Robinson says:

"What you don't realize is that Trottier weighs over 200 pounds. You can't budge the guy or knock the puck off of his stick. And he hands out a lot of punishment at close quarters."

Maybe it doesn't bother Henri, but getting beat on game in and game out does take a toll eventually. The mind can sometimes be willing but the body isn't always able.

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05-17-2011, 10:09 PM
  #50
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Lol @ Gretzky vs everyone else.

And yeah, everyone knows Trottier can score I hope. I don't think he's overrated by the HOH Top 100 for example, but Henri Richard is underrated (what exactly is the justification for the gap between Milt Schmidt and Henri?)

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