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ATD2011 Jim Coleman Conf. Finals: New Jersey Swamp Devils vs. Ottawa Senators

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Old
05-22-2011, 02:54 PM
  #26
TheDevilMadeMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreakmur View Post
Just like players, coaches have come a long way over the years.

Not saying he wa a bad coach for his era. I'm saying coaching from that era was pretty bad.
Dreakmur's experience coaching at the ? level in today's game would translate into coaching circles around Toe Blake.

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05-22-2011, 02:56 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by overpass View Post
"Who is setting up Rick Nash?" Ha! Who has ever set up Rick Nash in Columbus? And yet he's been an elite goalscorer at even strength.

Anyway, the answer is Dan Bain. His LOH profile calls him a playmaker.
Heh. Yeah, I know Nash doesn't have a playmaker in Columbus, but I'm not sure if Columbus is exactly a model for success at this level. He's always had a playmaker for Team Canada.

Yeah, Bain's LOH profile says he can do everything. I just don't know how well his game translates into a modern playmaker.

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05-22-2011, 04:17 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by Dreakmur View Post


Richard's play-off abilities get over-hyped. His production actually goes slightly down (0.99 ppg to 0.94 ppg). .
I checked these numbers. First off, you rounded incorrectly. It should be 0.95 PPG in the playoffs. Not a big deal though.

The more interesting thing to me is that Richard's goals per game actually increases from 0.56 to 0.62, an increase of about 10 % over his regular season average.

Points are definitely important, but in the playoffs something is definitely to be said for being able to finish things off when the pressure is highest.

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05-22-2011, 05:18 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Err.... yeah, Jagr is not "definitely" the stronger player in the regular season. He has a better 5 year peak, but Richard was an elite player for 14 straight years in a way that Jagr was not.

5 1st place finishes in scoring is better than 5 second place finishes, sure. Richard's finishes were largely driven by goals over assists, so they are a bit more statistically valuable, though.

But yes, Jagr did have a stretch from 1997-2001 in the regular season better than any short regular season stretch Richard had.. Jagr had 3 particularly impressive Art Rosses - 1998, 1999, 2000. His 1995 tie for the Art Ross and the 2001 Ross that Mario gifted to him weren't particularly out of this world.

Richard was a 1st or 2nd Team All-Star for 14 straight seasons. 8 First Team All Stars, 5 Second Teams to Gordie Howe, and a second team as a rookie. Jagr had nothing of that sort of consistency as an elite player.
Elite offensive players lead their teams in scoring, and Richard only did that a few times. Jagr, on the other hand, did that pretty much every season.

Quote:
Richard no better in the playoffs than the regular season? Have you read a single book or article on the history of hockey in the Original 6 period? Seriously.
I have.

Quote:
As for the 50s, have you ever wondered why the playoffs were higher scoring than the regular season or are you too busy going over statistics to wonder about the "why?" The best two teams in the league were Montreal and Detroit - the two teams much more offensive minded than the rest of the league. When the two most offensive teams are the ones always advancing to the finals of a two-round playoffs, you are going to get higher than average scoring in the playoffs.
Are you suggesting that it is not actually harder to score in the play-offs?

If the 50s were only high scoring because the teams were high scoring, then that must mean that all the other times were low scoring because of the teams too, right?

Quote:
At least you're consistent. I mean, I doubt many people agree with you here. But I don't blame you for constantly downgrading the importance of playoff performances, when you're relying so heavily on Andy Bathgate on your own team. Heh.
I'm not downgrading the importnce of anything. I'm adding context.

Playing on a high scoring dynasty in a high scoring era makes it easier to score. Playing on a lower scoring garbage team makes it harder to score.

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05-22-2011, 05:25 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Dreakmur's experience coaching at the ? level in today's game would translate into coaching circles around Toe Blake.
If I had a time machine, and went back to the 50s, I would be a better coach than Toe Blake... but that's not really the point. The point is that coaching was extremely remedial untill Roger Neilson changed everything.

Coaching has evolved quite a bit more than the players over the years.

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05-22-2011, 05:50 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Dreakmur View Post
Elite offensive players lead their teams in scoring, and Richard only did that a few times. Jagr, on the other hand, did that pretty much every season.
Shane Doan led his team in scoring, what, 7 times? I don't think leading a team in scoring in the 30 team era is necessarily an accomplishment by itself.

I haven't looked to see how many times Richard led his team in scoring, because honestly I don't care. Everything we know says that he was the focus of opposing checkers for the majority of his career, so it's not like his leaguewide scoring finishes were easy to come by.

I have.

Quote:

Are you suggesting that it is not actually harder to score in the play-offs?

If the 50s were only high scoring because the teams were high scoring, then that must mean that all the other times were low scoring because of the teams too, right?
Huh? It's generally harder to score in the playoffs because you don't have easy teams to beat up on and because players take fewer chances.

The 50s were unique in that the two best teams by a wide margin were the two most offensive minded teams - the Red Wings, with Tommy Ivan emphasizing speed and creativity, and Toe Blake's "firewagon hockey" in Montreal. In a 2-round playoff series, the overall scoring of the playoffs will be heavily affected by the teams that make the finals. Each finals team in a 2 round playoffs, would be involved in 2/3 of the series.


Quote:
I'm not downgrading the importnce of anything. I'm adding context.

Playing on a high scoring dynasty in a high scoring era makes it easier to score. Playing on a lower scoring garbage team makes it harder to score.
Are you calling Jagr's Penguins' teams low scoring? The Penguins were perhaps the only team to never get the memo that you had to play defensive hockey to win, and they continued playing 80s style hockey right through the dead puck era. I guess the Rangers and Oilers tried this too, but they didn't have the talent to even make the playoffs this way. The Penguins really were the only true run-and-gun team to regularly make the playoffs during the era.

It's not necessarily harder to score if you are your team's superstar, and all the offense flows through you.

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05-22-2011, 05:51 PM
  #32
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Dreak, I hope you realize you're coming off as a massive tool comparing yourself to a guy who has 8 Stanley Cups right?

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05-22-2011, 06:11 PM
  #33
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Just to support my point that the Penguins were anything but terrible offensively, there are their GF/GA numbers during Jagr's prime:

1995: 2nd / 19th (of 26)
1996: 1st* / 20th (of 26)
1997: 1st / 25th (of 26)
1998: 7th / 4th (of 26)
1999: 4th / 17th (of 27)
2000: 9th / 19th (of 28)
2001: 2nd / 26th (of 30)

*outscored second place Colorado 362-326. This was Mario's last really ridiculous full season.

It's pretty clear that Jagr's ability to put up points was not hurt by the team he was playing on.

Their defense was terrible (with the exception of 1998), but their offense was anything but.

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05-22-2011, 06:37 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by vecens24 View Post
Dreak, I hope you realize you're coming off as a massive tool comparing yourself to a guy who has 8 Stanley Cups right?
Toe Blake is one of the best coaches of all time because he did more with the tools he had than any other coach. I just have so many more tools.

It's no different than me saying that I'd be better than Maurice Richard if I got in a time machine. It's not a slam on the individual. It's a comment about how much the game has evolved. While I suck for my own era, I would dominate guys in the 50s.

If I brought a gun to the year 1600, I could easily kill Miyamoto Musashi.

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05-22-2011, 06:39 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Are you calling Jagr's Penguins' teams low scoring?
No.

I'm saying that context needs to be considered when looking at statistics.

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Old
05-22-2011, 08:09 PM
  #36
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Leaving aside Toe Blake (who is not involved in this series)...

Advantages for Ottawa

Top defence pairing - Gerard Pronger vs Quackenbush - Coulter

Chris Pronger is the best defenceman in this series. Huge. Very good defensively, and mobile enough that he doesn't get beaten with speed. A great breakout passer. And he has a nasty mean streak. Eddie Gerard is the perfect partner for him - an excellent all-around defenceman who hit hard but played clean. A great leader and ice general who will keep Pronger's baser instincts channeled toward winning.

New Jersey has the best line in this series, but this pairing is just what Ottawa needs to stop them.

Quackenbush-Coulter are good, but not as good.

Second Line - Gottselig - Modano - Provost vs Lewis - Starshinov - Mayorov

I think this is a big edge for Ottawa. Gottselig and Lewis are similar players. Modano-Provost is much better than Starshinov-Mayorov. I'll leave it there for Modano-Provost because I've sold them hard already and I don't know what to think about 60's Russians.

Gottselig vs Lewis - top to bottom, seasons in adjusted points (hockey-reference.com).

# Lewis Gottselig
1 82 83
2 77 69
3 70 68
4 67 65
5 64 61
6 62 61
7 59 59
8 55 57
9 51 47
10 48 46
11 28 41
12 - 35

Similar, with a very slight edge to Lewis.

Lewis played on the first line, with stronger linemates than Gottselig. (Larry Aurie, and Cooney Weiland or Marty Barry. On the other hand, Lewis probably faced tougher opposition. The old first line/second line issue.

But neither Lewis and Gottselig will play on the power play in this series. And Lewis probably scored a higher percentage of his NHL points on the power play.

Nov 5, 1938 Vancouver Sun
:
Quote:
The Wings power play this season will feature veterans Ebbie Goodfellow and Herbie Lewis and tree recent acquisitions – Carl Liscombe, Alex Motter and Charlie Conacher.
Jack Adams was quoted as saying:
Quote:
“When you have a set of men who can apply the pressure, the other team doesn’t play quite so hard. They want to avoid penalties. They know that losing a man is almost like giving a team a goal.

That’s the way it was from 1935 to 1937 when we had Marty Barry, Larrie Aurie, Johnny Sorrell, Lewis and Goodfellow to throw in whenever the opposition was penalized. They scored 32 times on that play in 1935-36, an average of three goals every two games. Next season it worked almost as well.”
I also know that the Wings used the same unit as listed above in the 1934 playoffs, but with Cooney Weiland instead of Marty Barry. See my posts in the Dishing the Dirt thread. So Detroit had a particularly strong power play, and Lewis's high scoring seasons all came while playing on this power play.

Gottselig obviously played on the power play as well - a quick search of Google News Archives shows a few quotes that confirms this. But Chicago's power play probably wasn't as strong as Detroit's, and Gottselig may not have played as regularly on the power play. For one, in the 1934 playoffs a game recap gave Chicago's power play forward line as Thompson, Romnes, and March (which was the regular first line).

All of which is to say that Gottselig was probably a better offensive player at even strength. He was a great stickhandler and had a reputation as a clever player - you see a lot of reference to the "clever" Gottselig or the "astute" Gottselig - so this isn't surprising.

Gottselig was a noted penalty killer, but Lewis's defensive reputation overall is stronger.

Third Line - Nash-Bain-Henderson vs Doan-Smith-Palffy

I haven't really sold my third line yet, so I'll give some detail on how I see them.

I really like Nash and Bain. I think my team got a huge boost when I was able to get them in the 500s. Nash is huge, fast, scores goals without any help, and he's a strong two-way player. His only weakness is that he's not a playmaker at all - he's a bit of a black hole in that the puck goes to him and it doesn't come back. But on the other hand he's very effective with it and he works hard to get it back, so that's not so bad.

Bain is hard to rate because he played in an early era without much documentation. All the information we have is that he was a big man and a physical specimen, an excellent skater, and basically good at everything. LOH said that Bain "provided scoring and playmaking" and Ultimate hockey said he "possessed a superb, heavy shot and a knack for setting up goals". So he was a strong playmaker.

Henderson was a fast forward with good anticipation who could score and was good defensively.

All together, yeah, the line isn't going to be scoring on tic-tac-toe plays. That's OK, they aren't playing on the power play as a unit. They're all fast skaters, threats to score, and hard workers who will win battles, retrieve the puck, and keep the pressure on. Nash and Bain's size will be invaluable when going to the net. They'll be a real handful against lower lines and pairings - especially ones that are lacking in physical presence.

Doan-Smith-Palffy is a very good scoring line for a third line. But it's pretty soft. TDMM said my top two lines were lacking physical presence - this one is softer. I want Nash-Bain-Henderson out against them.

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05-22-2011, 10:36 PM
  #37
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Warning: long post on Curtis Joseph. Summary: it's funny how he was considered a clutch goaltender for most of his career, and then his reputation swung in the opposite direction based on one game in the 2002 Olympics and one series in the 2003 playoffs.

I watched Curtis Joseph quite a lot while he was with the Leafs. At the time, he was widely considered to be among the best goalies in the league. Pat Quinn picked him over Martin Brodeur to start the 2002 Olympics for Canada. Maybe there was a bit of a homer element, but the debate had been going on in the media for the previous year as to whether Joseph or Brodeur should be the starter, and there was no consensus one way or the other. If anything, the Toronto media leaned toward Joseph.

At the time Joseph was considered anything but a choker. No, he hadn't won anything. But he had been absolutely spectacular in losing causes in the 1993, 1997, and 1998 playoffs before coming to Toronto. And in Toronto, while the Leafs were winning, nobody blamed it on Cujo. Rather, he was keeping them in series that they didn't deserve to be in.

Was Joseph overrated at the time? Maybe a little in the Canadian media. His great 1993 playoffs had a series against Toronto, in which he was phenomenal. His starring role in first round upsets later in the decade took place in Edmonton. And his arrival in Toronto sparked (or coincided with) the resurrection of Toronto as a contender.

But if the Canadian media had overrated Joseph before, they turned on him hard after 2002. One loss against Sweden, for whatever reason, established him as a choker. It's as if everyone decided "OK, he finally got his chance with a good team. He failed. Case closed."

It didn't help that Detroit lost in the playoffs the next two years after he joined them. Never mind that Joseph had a 1.64 GAA and a .931 SV% in those playoffs, and that Detroit scored a combine 9 goals in their 8 losses.

Quotes on Curtis Joseph during his career. Especially from the playoffs - both because that's perceived as his weakness, and because that's where the best quotes are available.

May 17, 1993 - Dave Luecking in the St Louis Post-Dispatch:
Quote:
As longtime National Hockey League coach Roger Neilson wrote Sunday in the Toronto Star, "The Leafs were stronger than the Blues in almost every area."

They limited the shots against rookie goalie Felix Potvin, who played a steady if unspectacular series. Blues goalie Curtis Joseph played a more spectacular series under a heavier workload, but he lost to Potvin because Potvin's team played better.
Quote:
The Blues didn't exactly dominate in their victories. They won only one period in each game - the overtime in Game 2, the second period in Game 3 and the final period in Game 6. When they played Toronto to a draw, it was mostly because of the play of Joseph.

If not for his stellar performance, the Blues might have been blown out in the first two games - both double-overtime thrillers - when he stopped 118 of 121 shots.


Joseph took a physical beating in the series as Toronto hitmen, led by veteran Mike Foligno, charged the net with abandon. Foligno accidently cut Joseph's neck with a skate in Game 1, knocking off Joseph's mask and sending him to the bench for repairs.

Joseph's mask was knocked off four times in the series, three times in the first two games when Toronto players charged him and in the finale on Wendel Clark's slap shot.

"I don't remember ever playing where I've been so banged up," Joseph said. "It was a very physical series, even more so than the Chicago series."

The Blackhawks also tried to intimidate Joseph by bumping him in the first round, but their strategy failed miserably. Chicago's bumps led to penalties against the Blackhawks. Toronto's bumps led to retaliation penalties against the Blues, who lost the composure that was so important in their sweep of the Blackhawks.
May 23, 1993 - Dave Luecking, St Louis Post-Dispatch
Quote:
Curtis Joseph, A+. "Cujo" stepped forward as the Blues' best player, facing a barrage of shots night after night and emerging as one of the NHL's elite goalies. Despite facing a club-record 2,202 shots, he led the NHL with a .911 save percentage.
May 2, 1997 - Tom Wheatley, St Louis Post-Dispatch
Quote:
Joseph conceded that "it's a little surprising" that coach Ron Low's green team is clicking so well.

"When I first came here, there were a lot of fringe players who were up and down in Cape Breton," Joseph said of Edmonton's top farm team. "Now I see all these players who are stepping up and who are not only NHL players, but are playing big in the playoffs."

They would have been long gone by now, if not for Joseph.


He threw two shutouts at the Stars and went 3-0 in overtime - including a 1-0 stunner in double OT in Game 5 - and made a series-saving stop just before Todd Marchant's overtime winner in Game 7.

Joseph carries the same load that he did with the Blues from 1990-95. For his team to have any hope, he must weather a blizzard of rubber.
May 12, 1997 - Larry Wigge, Sporting News
Quote:
"If you don't think a goalie can intimidate shooters" says Oilers coach Ron Low, a former goalie himself, "all you had to do was read the body language when Dallas was skating to the bench after Cujo made that save on Nieuwendyk.

"Their chins were on their chests. They were devastated. We won the game on the next shift."
May 5, 1998 - John Moussman, AP

Quote:
A day earlier, Edmonton goalie Curtis Joseph insisted he was feeling “confident but not unbeatable.”

The Colorado Avalanche must respectfully disagree.

Joseph recorded his second straight shutout and Bill Guerin scored his sixth goal of the playoffs, helping the Oilers clinch their first-round upset of the Avalanche with a 4-0 victory Monday night.

Oilers coach Ron Low said his team was “counted out when we trailed, 3-1, in the series. Very few teams have done what they accomplished.”

The difference, he said, was Joseph. "In Game 5 Curtis Joseph became the real Curtis Joseph," Low said. “You could see it, and you could feel it."
May 17, 1998 - AP

Quote:
Goaltending and defense, which carried the Dallas Stars all season,
carried them into the Western Conference finals Saturday night in a 2-1 victory over Edmonton at Dallas.

Ed Belfour stopped 17 shots behind brilliant defense. For the series,
Belfour stopped 119 of 123 shots.

"This was typical of how our teams have gone at it. The goaltenders
were dominant
, and it boiled down to the last five minutes," Star Coach Ken Hitchcock said.

Oiler goalie Curtis Joseph was almost Belfour's equal with 24 saves.
May 10, 1999 - Ken Campbell, Toronto Star:
Quote:
As much as the Pittsburgh Penguins hated to see Mats Sundin get his groove back, they left the Air Canada Centre last night trying to figure out how to get Curtis Joseph out of his own groove.

The Penguins felt that, with the exception of a terrible first period, they dominated the game. But as Cujo has done time and time again this season, he thwarted any hopes the Penguins had of coming back from their two-goal deficit, particularly in the second period when he stopped 13 of 14 shots.

``If you compare tonight to Game 1, we had two or three times as many opportunities,'' said Penguins right winger Rob Brown. ``Joseph stood on his head and made some big saves and I thought he stole the game. You know that Joseph is like a (Dominik) Hasek or a Tommy (Barrasso). Some nights they're going to get hot and they're impossible to beat.''
May 21, 1999 - Kevin Allen, USA Today:
Quote:
Dominik Hasek, Buffalo's hero of the moment, now has his own chicken wing sauce, which is only fitting. As the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs reach the conference finals this weekend, the four surviving goaltenders are all hot -- not a medium or a mild in the bunch.

The Sabres' Hasek will be matched against the Toronto Maple Leafs' Curtis Joseph in the Eastern Conference final. Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche meets Eddie Belfour of the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference final.

"Hasek and Joseph are the two best in the league," Sabres defenseman Darryl Shannon says. "Wait, let me take that back. Roy will have something to say about that, too."
May 22, 1999 - Damian Cox, Toronto Star:
Quote:
If you had to pick a netminder for one game tonight for all the marbles, who would you pick?

For the purposes of this story, the May, 1999 menu of answers is restricted to three padded men. In alphabetical order, they are Dominik Hasek of the Buffalo Sabres, Curtis Joseph of the Maple Leafs and Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche.

Sure, those three just happen to be members of this year's Final Four squads, which perhaps makes it convenient to use them as candidates for top goaltender in the world as we speak.

Last year, when Roy was out in the first round and Joseph in the second, the discussion might have been different. But it's hard to see a debate over which of Hasek, Chris Osgood, Olaf Kolzig or Ed Belfour is the world's best, and they were the final quartet last year.

New Jersey fans might scream that Martin Brodeur should be included in this discussion, although consecutive first-round exits fuelled partially by Brodeur's average play weakens that argument.

Byron Dafoe? Like Kolzig, essentially just getting started as part of the elite. Mike Richter? Not after missing the playoffs again. Nikolai Khabibulin? Skipped the Olympics and keeps losing in the first round.

Belfour? Puh-lease.

In fact, the only real missing puckstopper in an over-all career sense might be the once wonderful Grant Fuhr, who has been hobbled by injuries for years now and simply isn't what he once was.

Now if this was 1988 . . .

So like it or not, it's Hasek versus Joseph versus Roy.

You have to pick one for one game. Which one?

Right off the top, Joseph might seem a clear third and slightly out of place, for his career accomplishments obviously do not compare favourably with the other two men.

No Stanley Cup rings. No Vezinas. No first-team all-star berths. The lowest paid. The worst regular season and playoff winning percentage.

But see, all of those categories require assistance, and it could be argued that Joseph has never been in a position to win such individual or team awards.

Mostly, he's played with franchises that have given up a lot of shots, which tends to make it difficult for a goalie to register the superlative numbers required or to carry the club far in the post-season.

A year ago, you probably couldn't really make an argument to include him in this threesome. But in lifting the Leafs into the NHL's upper echelon this season after the club missed the playoffs last season, and in doing it with swagger and brilliance, he has padded a resume that previously included extraordinary first-round playoff performances for St. Louis and Edmonton.

Right now, it's hard to believe any goalie could play at a higher level than the Toronto netminder. Getting the Leafs into the Stanley Cup final, of course, would only add to the growing Joseph legend.
May 22, 1999 - Jeff Schulz, AJC:
Quote:
The NHL playoffs are down to four teams. Maybe that should be, down to four goalies. The goaltender is the centerpiece of any hockey team, and this season the NHL is left with its most elite conference championships in years.

In the Western Conference finals that begin tonight, Colorado's Patrick Roy faces Ed Belfour of Dallas. Roy is the league's all-time leader in playoff wins. Belfour started for a team that allowed the fewest goals this season and earlier in the playoffs had a shutout string over seven periods.

In the Eastern Conference finals, Buffalo's Dominik Hasek opposes Toronto's Curtis Joseph. Last year, Hasek reaffirmed his status as the globe's best goalie after leading an undermanned Czech Republic team to the Olympic gold medal. Joseph, who signed with the Leafs as a free agent, is second only to Hasek with a playoff saves percentage of .930.
May 22, 1999 - Rachel Alexander, Washington Post
Quote:
The Avalanche's Patrick Roy, the Sabres' Dominik Hasek,
the Stars' Ed Belfour and the Maple Leafs' Curtis Joseph rank among
the top five goaltenders in terms of victories over the past six
years. The other is Martin Brodeur, whose New Jersey Devils were
eliminated in the first round.

"It is no coincidence that the four best goalies in the
game are all in the [conference] finals right now," Colorado captain
Joe Sakic said. "That is what it takes to win championships and long
series is great goaltending, and all four teams have that.
Quote:
The matchup between sharp-shooting Toronto captain Mats
Sundin and Buffalo captain Michael Peca, the best defensive forward in the game, is being eagerly anticipated, as well as the clash that
should come when the Maple Leafs' go-go offense meets the Sabres'
tight-checking defensive system. But the series' best duel may be
between Hasek and Joseph, two veterans looking for their first Stanley Cup rings.

Both will be as dangerous for the damage they can do to
their opponent's psyche as for their actual goaltending.
April 24, 2000 - Larry Wigge, Sporting News
Quote:
* The story in the Toronto-Ottawa series is simple. Curtis Joseph is Curtis Joseph and Tom Barrasso isn't.
April 28, 2000 - Liz Robbins, New York Times:
Quote:
The Toronto Maple Leafs are used to Curtis Joseph's magic act. They never get tired of watching him in goal and, after a performance like tonight's, they never tire of praising him.

''Curtis Joseph stood on his head tonight,'' Toronto's Wendel Clark said. ''He was the best player out there. He's the best goalie in the league and he proved that tonight.''


Entering the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Devils' and Maple Leafs' players narrowed in on the battle between the pipes, identifying it as the crucial game within the game.

Round 1 went to Joseph, whose Maple Leafs took a 2-1 victory as the goaltender stopped 32 shots to his Devils counterpart Martin Brodeur's 19.

Leafs Coach Pat Quinn said: ''We were outchanced and we still won. Usually, when that happens, your goalie makes the difference.''

Leafs center Darcy Tucker, who had the game-winning goal, off Clark's assist, said: ''You could talk about Cujo after every game. If it wasn't for him, we probably would be down, 1-0, by now. He's the best goaltender in the world in my opinion. He's proven it time and time again. We rely on him heavily.''
May 5, 2000 - Neil Stevens, Canadian Press
Quote:
The Toronto Maple Leafs can be outhit, outshot and out just about everything, but they always have the chance to win because they have Curtis Joseph in goal.

Never has this indisputable fact been more apparent than in the second-round NHL playoff series with the New Jersey Devils, which is knotted at two wins each only because of Joseph.

Joseph has been everything the Leafs hoped for -- and more -- since they signed him to a free-agent deal July 15, 1998. He's making $6.15 million US this season. Only Colorado's Patrick Roy ($7.5 million) and Buffalo's Dominik Hasek ($7 million) make more. Joseph is a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender this season and the man nicknamed Cujo after an intimidating dog from an old motion picture is showing in this series why he deserves to win the coveted trophy.

"Thank God we have Cujo," said the Leafs' Tie Domi.

In the four games with the Devils, Toronto has been outshot 33-21, 33-20, 36-23 and 36-22 -- add it up and New Jersey is ahead 138-86 on the shots clock. Yet, the best-of-seven series is all even.

Made the difference

"Cujo made the difference again," Devils goalie Martin Brodeur said after the Leafs' 3-2 win in Game 4. "He's the reason why the series is 2-2."


Joseph habitually deflects praise.

"That's what you're there for," he said. "You're trying to make the big saves at big times."

The only thing he's been known to boast about is the size of the fish he catches. He'll proudly retell the story of landing a 25-pound striped bass last summer. Now he's landing Devils.

"An average game for him is a lot better than an average game for another goaltender," said Leafs captain Mats Sundin. "He makes the key saves at the right moments and motivates us.

"There is no doubt that he is the key to this team."

New Jersey defenceman Ken Daneyko insists he and his teammates never expected it to be an easy series, even when they so clearly outplayed the Leafs earlier in the week to temporarily grab a series lead.

"We just have to keep peppering Joseph," said Daneyko. "In the two wins they've had, Joseph has stood on his head. Now it's two out of three."

"This is a goaltenders' duel," said Domi. "We knew it would be from the start."

Joseph has a reputation as a money player. His lifetime goals-against average in the NHL playoffs is lower than his regular-season GAA.

So, after being written off by many after losing Game 3 by a 5-1 count, the Leafs remain very much alive because of Joseph.
April 12, 2001 - Canadian Press:
Quote:
"Everybody has an opinion and that's probably one that's easy to make, for sure, because they beat us five times during the regular season and they're one of the top-flight hockey clubs in the league," Joseph said after practice Wednesday when asked about Ottawa being favoured to win the series by most of the critics. "It's easy to say we're the underdog."

Yet, his teammates know he can swing the series their way by himself. Ottawa could outshoot Toronto 45-15 Friday, but with Cujo in goal the Leafs always believe they have a chance to win. Patrick Lalime has had a good season for the Senators, but he doesn't have Joseph's playoff credentials -- nowhere close.

Joseph, who is earning $6.15 million US this season, is eager to get started, too, because this is his time of the year. Each spring for the last four years, he has taken a good goals-against average from the regular season and reduced it during the playoffs. His team has never been eliminated in the first round in those four years.
April 21, 2001 - Ken Campbell, Toronto Star:
Quote:
Look around the NHL and find one team that has improved itself through unrestricted free agency in recent seasons more than the Leafs.

Led by goalie Curtis Joseph, perhaps the best free-agent acquisition ever, the Leafs have been among the league's busiest franchises and certainly the most productive organization after July 1.
April 27, 2001 - Jason Diamos, New York Times:
Quote:
Joseph, who began his career in St. Louis before moving to Edmonton and then Toronto, has long been considered one of the N.H.L.'s elite goalies. Many view this series, a rematch of the conference semifinal won by the Devils last season, as the starting point of a competition between Joseph and the Devils' Martin Brodeur for the No. 1 goaltender job on the Canadian Olympic team in next year's Winter Games at Salt Lake City.
April 27, 2003 - Kara Yorio, Los Angeles Times:
Quote:
Joseph did not lose the series. Sure, he misplayed a puck in Game 3 that resulted in a goal, but he did not lose games with poor play. Joseph's 2.08 goals-against average and .917 save percentage aren't bad stats, and teams should win with such a performance. Still, Joseph went to Detroit to win the Cup just as Dominik Hasek had the season before him. Hasek finished last season's playoffs with a 1.86 GAA and a .920 save percentage. The telling save percentages of the two aren't all that different, but Hasek finished the job and Joseph did not.

Devil goalie Martin Brodeur has won two Stanley Cups but also has lost a few series in the first round, including last year's to the Hurricanes. He knows how it feels to fail to meet expectations.

"Look at me last year; look at CuJo now," Brodeur says. "You can look at it and say the teams didn't score, but ... if you want to be the best, this is what you have to deal with. People look up to you to make that run."

The very best make the difference. Joseph wanted to be the guy. He left Toronto with a farewell speech about the Maple Leafs not being committed to winning and Detroit being the home of the best chance to win the 2003 Stanley Cup. Nothing less would do. Not for Joseph. Not for the Wings. Certainly not for Wing fans.

"He put himself in a position to fail, and that's really admirable," Hrudey says.

The team failed him. He ultimately failed the team. The criticism wouldn't be as bitter had he helped this team to the Cup finals and lost. That's disappointment, not disgrace. Instead, he's a first-round loser playing for a team with an unsettled future. Will Steve Yzerman play another season? What will happen with unrestricted free agents Sergei Fedorov, Darren McCarty and Igor Larionov? Will Luc Robitaille return? Whatever happens over the summer, it sure feels like the end of an era.

But Joseph will be there next season, still at the other side of the pointed finger, as well as in that middle ground among the NHL's all-time great goaltenders. He is one of the game's premier goalies, but can he be considered one of the rarified elite whose winning reputations remain for the ages? How much of a difference is there between the great ones who put up the numbers during the regular season and the ones who do that and win the Cup?

"There's a difference, but it's minimal," Hrudey says. "That's not to take anything away from the accomplishments of the guys who won. I'd never do that. But there are a number of truly great ones that haven't. If Hasek hadn't gone to Detroit, he wouldn't have won the Cup, and he'd probably still be recognized as one of the best to ever play."

Probably. But having won a Cup -- not to mention an Olympic gold medal (something Brodeur guided Canada to in 2002; Joseph was the backup) -- Hasek definitely will be remembered as one of the all-time greats.

Joseph, 35, is ninth in career wins. If he never wins a Stanley Cup, he will be remembered as one of the best of his time. But it'll take a second or two before his name is mentioned. People always start with the men who still were standing at the end before they think of the others.
April 22, 2004 - Kevin Allen, USA Today:
Quote:
No one blamed Joseph solely for the Red Wings' defeat last summer, and he had reasonable playoff numbers. But he was probably victimized by a new measuring standard for goalies. In the 1950s and 1960s, goalies were measured simply by goals-against average. Then in the 1980s, save percentage became the rage. Now general managers talk about goalies making the right save at the right time. The only criticism directed against Joseph last spring was that he didn't save the Red Wings when everyone was struggling against the Mighty Ducks.

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05-23-2011, 02:05 PM
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Defense:

Top pairing: *

•I think the Swamp Devils have one of the best shutdown pairs in the draft, but I agree with overpass that his pair is a bit better.

However, I think it's just because Gerard is a better version of Coulter. I don't think Pronger is an improvement over Quackenbush at even strength. Pronger's advantages are his proven ability to QB the PP and using his size and strength in front of the net on the PK. I think it's telling that when Pronger and Niedermayer played together, Niedermayer was the top guy at even strength, but Pronger was the top guy on both special teams.

•Pronger vs M Richard is an interesting matchup because both men have the same weakness - a bad temper. If M Richard takes a dumb penalty, I lose my top player. If Pronger does something stupid, they lose their top penalty killer.

Depth defensemen:

•Tough to compare because of some of the mystery surrounding Bullet Joe Simpson. It's very clear that Bullet Joe and Babe Pratt anchor each team's depth defensemen. I'm not sure who is better. Anecdotes suggest Simpson is even better that Pratt at rushing the puck. But Pratt's physical play is much more talked about.

Bilyaletdinov and Bergman seem similar - neither was ever that close to a superstar, but both were very good defensemen for a long time. Both had their career highlights in international play - Bilya in the 81 and 84 Canada Cups, Bergman in the 72 Summit Series. Both compliment the dominant defenseman of each pair well.

I'd say that Ottawa's pair provides more offense, and NJ's provides more physical play. I'm not sure I either pair is better at positional defense, so I think the physical play of NJ's pair will make them more effective in their own zone. Seem pretty even to me overall.

•I like the Dan Boyle x factor as a guy who can play on the NJ bottom pair and move up to the second pair in offensive situations. I think having him in the lineup overcomes any offensive edge that Simpson has over Pratt.

•Ottawa's bottom pair is solid defensively and provides the size and physicality your second pair otherwise lacks.

Overall, I think NJ has a small advantage in depth defensemen because Pratt/Boyle will provide more puck movement than Simpson alone.

I realize that moving the puck isn't the purpose of Ottawa's bottom pair, but I think the small defensive edge NJ's middle pair probably has is just as important as the larger defensive edge Ottawa had on bottom pairs, considering how Manu minutes bottom pairs usually play.


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05-23-2011, 03:33 PM
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Depth forwards:

Hard to compare because the lines are playing different roles, but I'll try to respond to overpass's comments and make some more of my own.

•I counted four "probably"s and one "may not" in overpass's Lewis vs Gottselig comparison. Heh. I certainly don't think speculation about who probably saw more PP time is enough to overcome the advantage Lewis has in terms of numbers.

But given Lewis's superior real life linemates, I think their offense is "probably" similar here. (See what I did there? Heh). Lewis, on the other hand, has much better substantiated defense and is a much better defensive player here.

•As for Starsh/Mayorov vs. Modano / Provost, of course your guys are better - just look at their respective draft positions! I am not sure, however if your guys are better offensively - best goal scorer of the mid-late 60s Soviets vs Mike Modano? Mayorov won't score much himself, but he's well equipped to dig the puck out of corners and feed it to Starsh in front of the net. Like I said above, I'm not sure how Provost will do without that elite playmaker on his line. Modano and Provost are obviously better overall, by virtue of their excellent defensive play.

Overall, your line is better because it is quite a bit better defensively (despite Lewis's relatively large defensive edge over Gottselig) - it should be, it's your checking line.

Third lines:

•This is where I really disagree with you.

•All four wingers played post-expansion, so a percentage approach is the best way to compare them.

Doan: 78, 74, 66, 66, 62, 61, 56, 54, 50
Palffy: 96, 93, 83, 82, 73, 70, 66, (*77)

*on pace during his holdout year

Nash: 72, 67, 66, 65, 61, 51
Henderson: 63, 59, 57, 55, 52, 52

Nash is a very biased goal scorer, so his offensive value is greater than his raw points finishes, but how much better?

Henderson is obviously the defensive conscience of the line, but I don't think his defensive effort is enough to overcome the very large advantage that Shane Doan (also a good defensive player) has in terms of offense. Not sure how to account for Henderson's WHA years, but he seemed to be past his prime by then anyway (34 points in his last NHL season).

•Centers are tougher to compare. Bain is a top notch physical presence, but I think Smith is more proven offensively.

Smith finished 3rd, 4th, and 9th in scoring, then also has the pair of 5th place finishes tainted by the War. We only know about 38 games that Bain played in total, and who knows where the best player in Manitoba ranks overall in the 1890s.

I think Smith is probably better offensively, but Bain has a better overall game. I don't think it's enough to account for NJ's superior wingers.

Overall, NJ has a substantial edge in offense, and therefore a better third line, since neither line is being used in a checking role. . Nash and Bain give Ottawa that robust physical duo every team needs, but I don't think they are that much more physical than the Starshinov/Mayorov pair from NJ's second line. And you'd have to have a very high opinion of Rick Nash's defensive ability to give this line more than a small defensive advantage.

•I disagree with overpass that my third line is softer than either of his top lines. Smith and Palffy are non-physical players, but I don't think either is uniquely soft. And Doan is more physical than anyone from either Ottawa top line. Doan's coach calls him a "bull in a China shop:"

http://www.azcentral.com/sports/coyo...red-wings.html

•Like I said, Ottawa's top 2 lines are completely capable of battling for the puck, but they don't have anyone to lay punishing hits on the defense and tire them out. Shane Doan can do that (as can Nash/Bain obviously). Given the fact that Ottawa obviously intends on giving their top 2 lines the lion's share of the ice time, it is a weakness that may or may not matter.


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05-23-2011, 03:48 PM
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I don't expect Nash/Bain to create many problems for Smith /Palffy physically, because other than right off face-offs, most physical play happens between forwards and opposing defensemen, unless there is a shadowing situation happening.

Nonetheless, if they do run into problems, Pitner can try to put the more physical Starshinov/Mayorov pair or the huge Handzus/Bertuzzi pair against them. (Or simply outclass them with the Richards.

NJ's home ice advantage in the series helps overcome whatever level edge it is that you find Irvin to have over Pitner.

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05-23-2011, 04:05 PM
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Some thoughts on Joseph:

•i agree with overpass that Joseph is a worthy starter. I think if he played in most other eras, he'd have a couple of Second Team All Star nods under his belt. And he was rarely a reason his teams lost in the playoffs. That said, some of the articles overpass quoted are pretty brutal.

•The Damien Cox article is hilarious in retrospect, where he sings the praises of Cujo, Roy, and Hasek, and dismisses Belfour out of the 4 Conference final goalies in 1999. We all known what happened afterwards... Actually, the inclusion of Cujo at all with Hasek and Roy as a guy in the conversation as who you'd want "in one game for all the marbles" is a typical example of Toronto homerism. Peak Hasek, 3 Cups (at that point) and playoff peak Roy and... Joseph? Even Cox admits farther down that "Joseph may seem out of place."

•Comments by a player's current teammate calling him "the best x in the league" can always be dismissed out of hand.

•Notice again the excessive praise from Toronto papers ends shortly after Joseph left.

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05-23-2011, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Defense:

Top pairing: *

•I think the Swamp Devils have one of the best shutdown pairs in the draft, but I agree with overpass that his pair is a bit better.

However, I think it's just because Gerard is a better version of Coulter. I don't think Pronger is an improvement over Quackenbush at even strength. Pronger's advantages are his proven ability to QB the PP and using his size and strength in front of the net on the PK. I think it's telling that when Pronger and Niedermayer played together, Niedermayer was the top guy at even strength, but Pronger was the top guy on both special teams.

•Pronger vs M Richard is an interesting matchup because both men have the same weakness - a bad temper. If M Richard takes a dumb penalty, I lose my top player. If Pronger does something stupid, they lose their top penalty killer.

Depth defensemen:

•Tough to compare because of some of the mystery surrounding Bullet Joe Simpson. It's very clear that Bullet Joe and Babe Pratt anchor each team's depth defensemen. I'm not sure who is better. Anecdotes suggest Simpson is even better that Pratt at rushing the puck. But Pratt's physical play is much more talked about.

Bilyaletdinov and Bergman seem similar - neither was ever that close to a superstar, but both were very good defensemen for a long time. Both had their career highlights in international play - Bilya in the 81 and 84 Canada Cups, Bergman in the 72 Summit Series. Both compliment the dominant defenseman of each pair well.

I'd say that Ottawa's pair provides more offense, and NJ's provides more physical play. I'm not sure I either pair is better at positional defense, so I think the physical play of NJ's pair will make them more effective in their own zone. Seem pretty even to me overall.

•I like the Dan Boyle x factor as a guy who can play on the NJ bottom pair and move up to the second pair in offensive situations. I think having him in the lineup overcomes any offensive edge that Simpson has over Pratt.

•Ottawa's bottom pair is solid defensively and provides the size and physicality your second pair otherwise lacks.

Overall, I think NJ has a small advantage in depth defensemen because Pratt/Boyle will provide more puck movement than Simpson alone.

I realize that moving the puck isn't the purpose of Ottawa's bottom pair, but I think the small defensive edge NJ's middle pair probably has is just as important as the larger defensive edge Ottawa had on bottom pairs, considering how Manu minutes bottom pairs usually play.
A few points:

Yes, Niedermayer played tougher minutes when he and Pronger played together. On the other hand, that version of Pronger was a bit past his best years, and less mobile than he had previously been. From about 1997-98 until his knee and wrist injuries in around 2002, Pronger was possibly the best even strength defenceman the NHL has seen since Ray Bourque in his prime. He was huge, mobile, tough, skilled, was a lethal breakout passer, and was dangerous in the offensive zone as well.

Pronger, not MacInnis, played against the other teams top lines while playing in St Louis. (No, they weren't a pairing at even strength - they each played right defence on separate pairings, and played together on special teams and the occasional ES shift at the end of the period or the end of the game.)

From the AP on April 22, 1999:
Quote:
Pronger also shadows the other team's best scorer, and that means a rematch with Keith Tkachuk in the first game of the Blues-Coyotes first-round playoff series tonight in Phoenix.
Pronger slowed down a little after his injuries, IMO, although he was still very effective at even strength. If he was playing behind Niedermayer...well, Niedermayer was a top-3 defenceman in the league at the time.

Not much to add on your second pairing comparison. I like my guys, but your guys are pretty good too. Good work on the Bilyaletdinov bio, I hadn't known a lot about him but he looks better than some of the 70s guys that Chidlovski loves. I preferred Bergman over some of those guys, thought they were a bit overrated.

My third pairing will get a fair amount of work. Irvin will leverage their defensive abilities with a lot of defensive zone faceoffs in particular, including second unit PK time. They'll have an impact defensively. So I don't agree that you have an advantage in depth defencemen.

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05-23-2011, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
•The Damien Cox article is hilarious in retrospect, where he sings the praises of Cujo, Roy, and Hasek, and dismisses Belfour out of the 4 Conference final goalies in 1999. We all known what happened afterwards... Actually, the inclusion of Cujo at all with Hasek and Roy as a guy in the conversation as who you'd want "in one game for all the marbles" is a typical example of Toronto homerism. Peak Hasek, 3 Cups (at that point) and playoff peak Roy and... Joseph? Even Cox admits farther down that "Joseph may seem out of place."
I thought it was hilarious as well, that's why I posted most of it. He dismissed Brodeur as well, and recently Cox has been as vocal as anyone for Brodeur as the best goalie ever. Cox is probably a good example of someone whose opinion of Joseph and Brodeur completely changed from February 2002 to June 2003.

I don't mean to suggest I agree with every quote I post, just tracking the perception of Joseph.

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05-23-2011, 04:23 PM
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I thought it was hilarious as well, that's why I posted most of it. He dismissed Brodeur as well, and recently Cox has been as vocal as anyone for Brodeur as the best goalie ever. Cox is probably a good example of someone whose opinion of Joseph and Brodeur completely changed from February 2002 to June 2003.

I don't mean to suggest I agree with every quote I post, just tracking the perception of Joseph.
I fully understand why Brodeur wasn't included. Devils choked as a team in 97 and 98 and while Brodeur was fine, goalies always get their share of the criticism. And in 99, Brodeur actually was bad for one of the very few times in his career, as Jagr made him look like a sieve (the one defining series of Jagr's career I mentioned earlier). So as of 1999, Brodeau had quite the rep as regular season goalie despite the 95
cup. Something he'd turn around between the 2000 Cup, 2002 Olympics, and 2003 Cup.

But uh... Back to this series, you're right that perception of Joseph in the media changed almost overnight...

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05-23-2011, 04:51 PM
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Depth forwards:
•I counted four "probably"s and one "may not" in overpass's Lewis vs Gottselig comparison. Heh. I certainly don't think speculation about who probably saw more PP time is enough to overcome the advantage Lewis has in terms of numbers.

But given Lewis's superior real life linemates, I think their offense is "probably" similar here. (See what I did there? Heh). Lewis, on the other hand, has much better substantiated defense and is a much better defensive player here.
From the adjusted points comparison I posted earlier, Lewis has a 3-4% advantage on Gottselig. (I think adjusted points are a fair metric to use here to adjust for changing scoring levels, although I don't know all the details of how they are calculated.)

Any uncertainty I have beyond that is because I'm not sure how much Gottselig played on the power play - probably much of the time, to score the number of points he did. But I am sure that Lewis scored a lot of his points on the power play.

From the articles I've posted, Detroit had a very defined power play unit from at least 1933-34 to 1938-39, and Lewis played on it that whole time. 1935-36 was a big year for them, and they scored 32 PP goals. Lewis missed 3 games, so let's say they scored 30 PP goals with him on the ice. Modern NHL forwards get a point on between 50% (Tomas Holmstrom) to 80% (Wayne Gretzky) of the PPG they are on the ice for, depending on their role. Most are between 60% to 75%. But scorers gave out fewer assists back then - Detroit had 1.38 assists per goal in 1935-36. So let's say that Lewis scored 16 power play points. That's almost half of his 37 total points, which was his second best scoring season.

Surely it's not a coincidence that Lewis's best scoring seasons were from 1933-34 to 1938-39.

Third lines - your guys are good scorers. If this was a first line comparison, I'd say your guys are better offensively. But will Doan-Smith-Palffy get the minutes they need to excel offensively?

I doubt Smith or Palffy regularly played against the other team's best lines. In the ATD, most top-9 forwards have done that at some point. Here, they won't be playing against the best lines in the ATD, but even a third line like Nash-Bain-Henderson is tough competition. Nash and Henderson both played tough matchups - I know Nash has consistently done so in the last 5 years, and Henderson did so at least with the HUM line and Team Canada, and also drew Bobby Hull duty at times. Bain played against the other team's only players, so this doesn't apply to him.

In Smith's case, he was a centre on a team with Neil Colville and Phil Watson. I don't know who's getting the tough matchups, but I know who isn't - Smith. (In fact, I read at some point that Watson and Hextall were on the Rangers "roughneck" line or something like that, and played against the other team's top line. Not sure for which years this applied, though.)

I don't think Ziggy Palffy was going power-on-power. Correct me if you know otherwise, but...I just don't think so. (Although he may have in LA when he played with Allison and Deadmarsh, that was an awesome line.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I don't expect Nash/Bain to create many problems for Smith /Palffy physically, because other than right off face-offs, most physical play happens between forwards and opposing defensemen, unless there is a shadowing situation happening.

Nonetheless, if they do run into problems, Pitner can try to put the more physical Starshinov/Mayorov pair or the huge Handzus/Bertuzzi pair against them. (Or simply outclass them with the Richards.

NJ's home ice advantage in the series helps overcome whatever level edge it is that you find Irvin to have over Pitner.
You said that forwards rarely match up physically. OK, not as much as they battle with opposing defencemen. But one place they meet is on the high boards in the zone, when one set of forwards is looking to clear the zone and the forwards on the other team are coming back hard to break up the play and keep the puck in. Teams with soft forwards can really struggle at this. Watching a game when the Oilers can to Ottawa a couple of years ago, I was amazed at how soft the Edmonton forwards were in this area. Ottawa had a really hard-working, strong two-way group of forwards at the time and there were times when Edmonton simply could not clear the zone because every time their forwards would get the puck up high, an Ottawa forward would come back and just run them off the puck.

Not that your guys are the Edmonton Oilers, but I like my chances when my third line gets the puck in the zone against your third line. IMO Pitner would be wise to try to avoid that situation.

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05-23-2011, 05:46 PM
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Any uncertainty I have beyond that is because I'm not sure how much Gottselig played on the power play - probably much of the time, to score the number of points he did. But I am sure that Lewis scored a lot of his points on the power play.
A little support for the idea that Gottselig scored less of his points on the power play.

Nov 1, 1938 - Calgary Daily Herald:
Quote:
Stewart is certain the Hawks will show vast improvement in one type of play which repeatedly made them look bad in the past - power attacks.

Last season, when a member of the opposing team was in the penalty box, the Hawks consistently failed to show a scoring punch. Stewart promises it will be different this season. He plans to use two power-play combinations. One will be made up of Thompson, Romnes, March, and Gottselig. The other will be formed by Northcott, Blinco, Robinson, and Dahlstrom.
To recap: Gottselig's team, Chicago, played with two power play lines and was relatively unsuccessful. Lewis's team, Detroit, used one unit and had a very successful power play. I think there's good reason to believe that Gottselig was the better offensive player at even strength.

Also consider that Gottselig had his best offensive season in 1938-39, when he got first line minutes as Paul Thompson's playing role was reduced. Lewis, on the other hand, played first-string minutes all along.

Edit: this article suggests that offensive support may have been an issue for Gottselig. Calgary Herald, Mar 10, 1939:
Quote:
Johnny Gottselig is the best stickhandler in hockey. A good scorer when he has any help and a fine checker and puck saver when he is out their single-o, trying to kill off penalties. So our first line would be Apps, Shibicky, and Gottselig.
And another quote on Gottselig's all-star prospects from that season. (Gottselig didn't make an all-star team, as Toe Blake and Sweeney Schriner were 1-2 in scoring.) Montreal Gazette, Feb 17, 1939:
Quote:
Johnny Gottselig is the best stickhandler in hockey. A good scorer when he has any help and a fine checker and puck saver when he is out their single-o, trying to kill off penalties. So our first line would be Apps, Shibicky, and Gottselig.


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05-23-2011, 05:57 PM
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Elite offensive players lead their teams in scoring, and Richard only did that a few times. Jagr, on the other hand, did that pretty much every season.


.
Why should Jagr get bonus points for leading his team in scoring when it was completely ignored with Daryl Sittler?

Also I havent been shown that Zetterberg has ever been considered a top 5 Center at any point of his career. "Have you watched the playoffs" doesnt really cut it.

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05-23-2011, 06:18 PM
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overpass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markrander87 View Post
Why should Jagr get bonus points for leading his team in scoring when it was completely ignored with Daryl Sittler?

Also I havent been shown that Zetterberg has ever been considered a top 5 Center at any point of his career. "Have you watched the playoffs" doesnt really cut it.
Conn Smythe Trophy winner Henrik Zetterberg has added another honour to his 2007-08 collection, as the Detroit Red Wings forward has been named the first TSN NHL Player of the Year. The honour goes to the most outstanding player of the full season (regular season and playoffs) and was voted on by a 30-member panel consisting of current NHL players, coaches and GMs, the NHLPA executive director and the NHL on TSN broadcast team.

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05-23-2011, 07:21 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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A couple of things:

•While much of what you said about Lewis / Gottselig is speculative, most of it is fair speculation that I do think everyone should consider. Except one thing: Herbie Lewis having his best seasons from 32-33 to 37-38. He was 26-31 years old between these years - a very typical age for a forward of the era to be in his prime. I'd chalk it up to being in his prime ad much ad anything else. This isn't Ron Francis suddenly having a breakout at age 30 with Jagr.

Even if Gottselig is the better offensive player (and you'd have to make a couple of favorable assumptions to think he was), Lewis is the better overall player, as his defensive advantage is quite strong. And it's not a deal breaker by any means, but Lewis is the one of the two players who is in the Hall of Fame.

•Fun fact: Doan and Palffy are the only members of the Swamp Devils top 9 forwards not in either the North American HHOF or the IIHF Hall of Fame.

•The Smith line and Starshinov lines are really a 2a / 2b situation with both receiving nearly identical ice time on average. Whichever line performs better in a game will get more ice time, particularly in offensive situations. I'll put up an estimated minutes chart later tonight.

•If the physical advantage of Ottawa's third line is a factor, so is the physical advantage of NJ's second line. Starshinov and Mayorov play a grinding in-your-face style, and I think they'll work together better than Nash and Bain.

•I certainly think NJ gets the advantage when Starshinov plays against Bain.

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05-23-2011, 07:30 PM
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I think Zetterberg is fine as the third best member of a first line playing between two top 100 players. His playoff experience is a lot more than Doug Bentley's, that's for sure. Bentley scored 12 of his 23 career playoff points in the war depleted 1944 postseason.

Back to Zetterberg, I think there's a good case that he was so good in the playoffs so consistently and for such a large sample size of games, that we can expect he'll play at his playoff level here. And that same logic is why Rocket Richard is a better player than Jagr here (though Jagr is very good, as well, obviously).


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 05-23-2011 at 07:37 PM.
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