All Time Draft: Second Round-#2 St. Louis Eagles vs #3 Seattle Metropolitans

Discussion in 'All Time Draft' started by Nalyd Psycho, May 29, 2007.

  1. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    St.Louis Eagles

    Coach: Cecil Hart
    Captains: Mario Lemieux & Gordie Howe
    Assitant Captains: Valeri Vasiliev & Derian Hatcher

    Kevin Stevens - Joe Malone - Mario Lemieux
    Hec Kilrea - Phil Watson - Gordie Howe
    Mats Naslund - Cooney Weiland - Vladimir Martinec
    Don Maloney - Bruce MacGregor

    Valeri Vasiliev - Jimmy Thomson
    Carol Vadnais - Ott Heller
    Derian Hatcher - Jan Suchy
    Pat Egan

    Clint Benedict
    Viktor Konovalenko

    Reserves: Martin Lapointe, Michal Handzus and Henrik Lundqvist

    VS

    Seattle Metropolitans

    Coach: Pete Green
    Captain: Alf Smith
    Assitant Captains: Rod Langway & Bob Bourne

    Michel Goulet - Bryan Trottier - Tim Kerr
    Alf Smith - Bernie Federko - Jaromir Jagr
    Rick Meagher - Brent Sutter - Gary Dornhoefer
    Peter McNab - Bob Bourne - Tiger Williams
    Thomas Steen

    Bill Gadsby - Brad McCrimmon
    Rod Langway - Barney Stanley
    Craig Ludwig - James Patrick
    Dick Redmond

    Chuck Gardiner
    Hap Holmes
    Richard Brodeur​

    I'll make any edits you need.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2007
  2. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    This time I'm going with a semi-line format. I'll be rolling three regular lines with two extra players regularly cycled in for rest, variety, grit and defense.

    Line 1: The try and shut this down line:
    Stevens-Malone-Lemieux

    Massive firepower, good balance. Just a great scoring line. Will match against the Bourne and Trottier lines.

    Line 2: The counter-insurgency line

    Kilrea-Watson-Howe

    Tough, defensively sound, best checking line I can create. Also a damn good scoring line. They'll pair against the Federko line. Shut down Jagr while capitalizing on the lines mediocre defensive play.

    Line 3: The Mighty-Mites

    Naslund-Weiland-Martinec

    Solid all-round except size and toughness. Quick and offensively gifted while reasonably good defensively. This line will either be a decoy, send them out against your checking line, you can shut them down, and they'll force the checking line to play defence, but leave the big time scorers free from your best checkers. Or to play a fast pace turnover style defensive game against Trottier.

    Maloney will play alot against the Sutter line with the goal of playing a tough game and getting under their skin, wear them down so they can't do as good a job against my scorers.

    MacGregor will sub whenever a center or RW needs a break and will often replace Martinec when the Mighty-Mites are in a defensive role.

    Hatcher will match against Kerr and Vasiliev against Jagr.
     
  3. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    Breakdown:
    1st Line: St. Louis by a large margin
    2nd line: St. Louis by a not quite so large, but still large, margin
    3rd line: Apples and Oranges
    4th line: Also apples and oranges, but, Seattle by a large margin, of course, for the purpose of this, does Egan count as a 4th liner?

    1st pairing: Even
    2nd pairing: Seattle by a large margin
    3rd pairing: Seattle

    Goaltending: Even. Benedict gets the edge due to longevity, but Holmes is a superior back-up.

    Coach: Even

    Special teams: St. Louis by a large amount.

    Grit: Seattle

    Intangibles: Seattle
     
  4. Murphy

    Murphy Registered User

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    First glance of this one and I see St Louis with the big three up front with Lemieux, Howe & Malone. I see Seattle having a big four up front with Trottier, Jagr, Kerr & Goulet. I don't think the big four is as skilled as the big three but they're still quite formidable.

    Now the blueline advantage definitely goes to Seattle, they have top notch shutdown guys who will be relied on heavily to stop the big three and much better depth.

    I don't think St Louis ends up with a big powerplay advantage this time. Tim Kerr was just deadly in the slot and his powerplay points have to be up there with Lemieux's. Jagr of course is Jagr, both powerplays will be productive, its to bad neither team has an exceptional point guy, add one of them to either team and we'd be looking at two of the best powerplays of all time.

    This one is going to take some time to decide.
     
  5. pitseleh

    pitseleh Registered User

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    Both of these teams are very similar with huge offensive firepower, solid top to bottom defense corps and above average goaltending.

    I'd give Seattle a pretty big advantage on defense though. Gadsby is the best defenseman in the series, and I'd say McCrimmon, Langway and Ludwig are four of the six best defensemen in the series, personally (with Suchy being a wildcard).

    As sad as it is though, a team with Trottier, Jagr, Kerr and Goulet up frong doesn't have the best scoring. Against most other teams they would, but Lemieux, Howe, Malone, pylon would beat any team in the draft.

    Goaltending is very close, but I'd give Benedict the slight advantage.

    Seattle will have to take advantage of the Naslund-Weiland-Martinec line. Given that the checking line will play against Jagr, Trottier's line will have to make the most against that line. I can see Martinec being a liability on that line, and MacGregor or Maloney getting a lot of time in that spot.

    Gadsby-McCrimmon will have to try to contain that top line along with the Sutter line. Ludwig and Carlyle will have to do their best against Howe.

    The key matchup for St. Louis will be getting Derien Hatcher on Kerr. I see Vasiliev and Thomson getting a lot of ice time against Jagr's line, and Hatcher has the size to try to battle Kerr in the slot, especially on the PP.

    They will also need Howe and Stevens to be hitting the Seattle defense at every opportunity. With a big tough bunch of defensemen, those two players will be very important in creating space for their linemates.
     
  6. Frightened Inmate #2

    Frightened Inmate #2 Registered User

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    That is physically the weakest third line in the draft - Martinec was a player that you have to put on your top two lines or he becomes a significant liability. Even when he was in Europe it was widely known that if you play the body you will get him off of his game and I see Seattle as one of the teams that will be able to do that with ease.

    After that the big three on the Eagles forwards are impressive but looking at the lineup it is evident that is at the cost of a great deal of depth. Hec Kilrea as a second line winger? I know little of Phil Watson but from what I have read him as a second line player is questionable at best. Obviously you have the best player on the second line in the draft but past that your second line is well weak to be quite honest.

    I see the line breakdown as

    1st Line: St. Louis - Dominant firepower, the Metros is no slouch but you can't compete with Malone - Lemieux (points deducted for Lemieux being out of position though).
    2nd Line: Metros - Better line all around, Jagr when on is just about as good offensively as anyone I have ever seen and well as I said before past Gordie the second line doesn't do much for me.
    3rd Line: You were right apples and oranges, your line isn't much in terms of defense (Martinec especially) nor does it have any physical advantage. In terms of offensive abilities the third line for St. Louis takes it in a walk, in terms of everything else that a third line should be the Metros are the obvious choice.
    4th Line/Reserves: Trying to figure out why you have a twoman forward line - not that it matters though the Metros are much better.

    Overall - Will the top end talent win out over the superior depth?
     
  7. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    It might be best to swap the 2nd and 3rd lines. Yes the 2nd line will be weak, but, it will make comparisons more possible as the Howe line is to be judged as a checking line designed to score on the counter attack.

    Also, that unit up there is the home ice unit, as the mighty mites primary purpose is to be a decoy for Seattle's checking lines and defence pairings. That won't work on the road.

    On the road, I'll go with this unit:
    Stevens-Lemieux-Martinec
    Naslund-Malone-Howe
    Kilrea-Weiland-Watson
    Maloney-MacGregor-Lapointe

    and sit Egan.
     
  8. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    Kerr is great on the PP, and may match Howe, but Lemieux is a clear cut above Gretzky on the powerplay, he's the undisputed PP king. No one is in league with him. Jagr, is actually quite average on the PP. He's one of the best even strength scorers ever, which is why I'm focusing my even strength defense on him. But, he's just a normal offensive player on the powerplay.

    I'd say Gadsby and Vasliev are very close, if not equal. But, I'll give Gadsby a slight edge. Langway is the #3 d-man in the series by a sizeable margin. Ludwig is good, but I'm note convinced he's better than Hatcher or Heller.

    Against Trottier it would definitely be Maloney-Weiland-MacGregor, but the mighty mite line is primarily for use against the checking line. They've got the firepower to force the checking line to play them, but they will be shut down, but, by doing so, it makes things easier for Malone/Lemieux. I don't have a committed anti-Trottier line, which may hurt me.

    That's where home ice advantage is a huge factor for me. Hart is going to make sure Seattle doesn't get their ideal match-ups. This is also why I'm going with a quite different roster on the road.

    Absolutly, IMO, Hatcher is to PK what Kerr is to PP. Should be a long drawn out battle between those two. Vasiliev/Thomson is my top defensive pairing, but, they also have a strong transition game, which is why they'll be essential to the counterattack/shutdown strategy I'm using against Jagr.

    Very much so, I'll also fold Maloney into the line-up regularly for that purpose, and, on the road, Lapointe will get that job too. I won't in such a battle, but I can win enough smaller battles to create enough opportunities to win.

    I mean this honestly, I'd love to know your sources for Martinec, as I have searched very thoroughly and have found little to nothing on his physical game/intimidateability.

    It's a checking line, Kilrea is a low end checking liner and Watson a high end checking liner. Howe is a defensively strong high end first liner, so, it's the 2nd most important unit, but not a scoring first unit.

    I figure Egan is better than Lapointe, so I dress 7 d-men. Howe, Malone and Lemieux will get 25+ minutes a game anyway.
     
  9. Wisent

    Wisent Registered User

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    I actually doubt that the checking line will be ever forced against the Martinec-Naslund combo. Sure they can score but what sane coach would rip his checking line when they know there is a completely doominant first line still there? In home games it might work (although I wouldn`t call it "forcing" then since you make the choice but on the road it will definitely not work at all.
    All in all this should be a quite close match up. I don`t see St.Louis` 2nd line as much better than the Metro's. Federko and Jagr are quite a pair and apart from Howe the Eagle`s line is not THAT dominant. And since you plan to use them as checkers you take away from Howe`s scoring.
    IMO the goalie edge goes to St.Louis there but the defense should go to the Eagles.
    Very close game.
     
  10. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    That's why i break up the line on the road and add the physical Maloney-MacGregor-Lapointe line.
     
  11. kruezer

    kruezer Registered User

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    Sorry I have not been able to provide much in this series so far, this has been a hectic week, but you have a very interesting team to battle for sure NP.

    Beginning with the road approach, on the road, Tiger will come out of the line up and Thomas Steen (who played every forward position from what I remember of him) will fill in on his spot to provide a secondary checking line that will avoid penalties so as to limit the effectiveness of that top St. Louis PP at home.

    This will give coach Green the option of three different lines to run out at the big line, either Trottier, Sutter or Bourne's line. The Jagr line will then be facing Howe's checking unit, and will attempt to sneak out of that matchup by changing on the fly when possible.

    All opportunities will be taken to get Trott's or Jagr's line out against the bottom line and 2/3 of a line of St. Loo, as we feel those lines can get abused by our top two lines.

    Also, on the road, Ludwig will play with Langway to provide two shutdown pairs that will play all of the even strength time against the Lemieux and Martinec lines as well as most of the time against the Howe line.

    Patrick-Stanley will come out behind whichever forward line is out to attempt to provide more offense, when the situation requires it.

    At home, The Tiger will be back in the lineup to provide more grit and a little more goal scoring than Steen, while sacrificing a bit of the defensive skill. Tiger will help to neutralize the effectiveness of the Eagles 4th line, which is not nearly tough enough to deal with him.

    The top line will play the Lemieux line at home, with the checking line focusing on the Howe line, allowing for the Jagr line to face the third and fourth lines, and occasionally the Howe line.

    Also, at home, Ludwig will continue to play with Langway, with that pairing drawing against the Howe line and McCrimmon/Gadsby playing against the Lemieux line.

    This is about as indepth of a strategy as I can provide right now.

    I think that my overall defensive skill is good enough to provide my skilled offensive guys the chance to get mismatches against the lesser players on the Eagles, since the offensive guys I have clearly out match the offensive guys of the Eagles last opponent (Detroit), I think the Eagles will have to look to the defense more and they don't have the players to neutralize my top two lines, and I have defensive guys who can contain the Howe/Lemieux/Malone triumvirate.

    Also, I think I have 5 stellar defensive defensemen, that can still handle the puck when they have it, and a rover to reek havoc when necessary, that will make it difficult for H/L/M, in the offensive zone at all times.
     
  12. Frank the Tank

    Frank the Tank Blue, you're my boy!

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    Game 1 - Late Penalty Costs Eagles

    ST. LOUIS, Missouri (AP) -- The Seattle Metropolitans made the St. Louis Eagles pay dearly for a sloppy line change Monday night.

    The Mets took advantage of a St. Louis too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty midway through the third period, as forward Michel Goulet tallied the game-winning power-play goal to lift Seattle to a 4-3 victory over the Eagles in Game 1 of their best-of-seven Foster Hewitt division semi-final series.

    The Mets lead the best-of-seven set 1-0 with Game 2 slated for Wednesday evening at the St. Louis Arena.

    Tim Kerr, Jaromir Jagr, and defenceman Rod Langway also scored for the Mets. Gordie Howe, Kevin Stevens, and Joe “Phantom†Malone replied for the Eagles.

    The game-winner was the third power-play goal of the night for the Mets. Forward Brian Trottier chipped in with assists on all three powerplay goals.

    "Anytime your best player gets on the scoreboard, you usually do win," Mets’ captain Alf Smith said of Trottier.

    "Trots finds a way to pick up points, and that's what your best players have to do to be successful. He makes great plays. He's got great speed, great vision. He's a scorer, he's a passer."

    A lot of the talk going into Game 1 centered on co-captains Mario Lemieux and Gordie Howe and their astounding ability to score and set-up their Eagles teammates. Instead, it was Trottier who stepped up as the top playmaker in the series opener.

    "He's good," Eagles blue-liner Derian Hatcher said of Trottier. "We've got to take passes away, take options away, take away shooting lanes."

    Both goaltenders were solid in their series debuts.

    Seattle netminder Chuck Gardiner stopped 31 shots for the victory. Eagles goalie Clint Benedict made 26 saves in a losing effort.

    There was a lot of pressure weighing on Gardiner entering Friday's contest. The Mets' goalie was facing some of the biggest scorers in hockey in Lemieux, Howe, and Joe Malone.

    The Wee Scot was up to the task in Game 1, making a handful of key saves, including a right-pad stop off Howe during a 3-on-1 St. Louis break.

    "The win hasn't quite really sunk in. But right now it feels good," Gardiner said. "We still have a lot of work to do, but getting the first one definitely is nice."

    Eagles forward Malone opened the scoring 4:12 into the first period. On a delayed penalty call to the Mets, Lemieux fed a cross ice pace to a streaking Malone who skated untouched into the Seattle zone and buried a low shot past Gardiner.

    But from that point on it was all Seattle for the rest of the period. The Mets tallied two power-play goals to snag a 3-1 edge at the first intermission.

    Kerr counted the first Seattle goal by tipping a Bill Gadsby point shot behind Benedict, who didn't appear to see the puck owing to Hatcher and Kerr battling at the front of the crease.

    After Jagr made it 2-1 midway through the frame knocking home a rebound off a Federko shot, Langway issued a late blow to the Eagles by scoring Seattle's second power-play marker on blast from the point with just 3.8 seconds remaining in the period.

    On a strong drive to the net, Howe re-directed a Vasiliev pass to score the lone goal of the second period, bringing St. Louis within a goal.

    The Eagles then fueled the loud St. Louis arena crowd by tying the game on a Kevin Stevens goal during a goal-mouth scramble at 10:31 of the period. Lemieux retrieved the loose puck from between defenceman Brad McCrimmon’s legs and then quickly fed the puck across the crease to Stevens who took advantage of a sprawled Gardiner. The assist was Lemieux’s second of the game.

    The bedlam didn't last long, however, as Goulet capitalized with the man-advantage, scoring at 12:06 of the third to give the Mets the win.

    The Mets finished an efficient 3-for-7 on the power play.

    "We've got to do a better job penalty killing," Eagles coach Cecil Hart said. "We need to continue to pressure them, but stay out of the box in the process."

    After Wednesday's Game 2, the series shifts to Seattle this weekend for Game 3 and Game 4 at the Ice Arena.
     
  13. Frank the Tank

    Frank the Tank Blue, you're my boy!

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    Game 2 – Howe’s hat trick propels Eagles

    ST. LOUIS, Missouri (AP) -- Gordie Howe can take responsibility for making dozens of St. Louis Eagles fans head home without their hats Thursday night. None of them really seemed to care, though.

    The St. Louis Eagles' co-captain counted another playoff hat trick to lead his club to a 5-4 win over the Seattle Metropolitans in Game 2 of their second round Foster Hewitt series.

    The Eagles tied the best-of-seven set at 1-1 and look to re-establish home ice advantage with a victory when the series shifts to Seattle for Game 3 on Friday.

    Howe's third goal of the night turned out to be the game-winner and caused a torrent of hats to rain down onto the ice. It was Howe's fourth marker over the past two games.

    "Gordie's our captain, and it just goes to show that he's been doing it and we've been following him all season long," said forward Don Maloney. "The bigger the game, the bigger he is as a player."

    Vladimir “The Fox†Martinec and Jimmy Thomson also scored for the Eagles, while Mario Lemieux and Joe Malone chipped in two assists apiece.

    Michel Goulet, Bill Gadsby, Bob Bourne and Jaromir Jagr responded for the Mets.

    The Eagles carried what seemed to be a commanding 5-2 advantage into the third period, but a couple of late Seattle goals made for a tense finale.

    "We finally started to play good hockey," Goulet said. "I felt we outplayed them 5-on-5, but penalties killed us."

    The Mets took seven minor penalties in the game, but a string of three straight infractions in the second period proved costly. Howe scored two power-play goals during that rash of minors including one during a patch of 5-on-3 play.

    St. Louis goalie Clint Benedict turned aside 26 shots, including some crucial stops in the final minute, to preserve the victory. Seattle netminder Chuck Gardiner made 19 saves in defeat.

    The Eagles opened the scoring at 7:03 of the first when Martinec tipped a Jan Suchy shot past Gardiner, who didn't appear to see the puck.

    The Mets drew even less than two minutes later on Goulet's power-play marker. Goulet took a crisp cross-ice pass from Brian Trottier before swiftly one-timing the puck behind Benedict to even the score after 20 minutes.

    The Eagles opened the second period killing off the better part of a high-sticking double-minor taken by Don Maloney in the closing minute of the first. Seattle didn't capitalize on the man-advantage, but soon after tallied their second even-strength goal of the series.

    Brent Sutter won a faceoff in the St. Louis zone before Rick Meagher passed the puck back to Gadsby, who blasted a point-shot past Benedict.

    The Eagles then exploded for three straight goals in just over a five-minute span.

    Howe potted a pair of power-play markers, the first with St. Louis on a 5-on-3 advantage. His second man-advantage goal came off a nifty feed from Lemieux, who waited for Mets defenceman Craig Ludwig to make a desperation slide to the ice before passing the puck to an open Howe in front of the crease.

    Thomson rounded out the St. Louis outburst midway through the frame by pouncing on a long rebound and ripping a shot past Gardiner for his first of the series.

    Howe resumed his inspired play in the final frame, counting his game-winning hat-trick goal at 4:13. The St. Louis co-captain finished a 2-on-1 rush with the speedy Hec Kilrea by slipping the puck behind Gardiner to set off a wild fan celebration.

    Seattle managed to make for an interesting final 10 minutes by tallying a couple of late goals.

    Jagr scored midway through the period by converting an odd-man rush with Federko after Eagles defenceman Carol Vadnais coughed up the puck on a pinch at the Seattle blue-line.

    Bourne made it a one-goal game by scoring in the final five minutes. The Mets cycled the puck around the boards before Bourne beat Benedict by tipping in a Barney Stanley point shot past him.

    The Mets pulled Gardiner for the extra attacker in the final minute and had a couple quality chances to send the game to overtime. But Benedict made a pair of clutch saves to even the second round series.

    "Down one goal, we felt like we had a chance," Trottier said. "We kept the pressure on. That's a little something to build on."
     
  14. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    Lemieux at right wing is just wrong!

    Mario has 2 assists. He'd be more of a factor in the series if he played one of the two positions he has experience at, though of course he's talented enough to get some scoring from any position. Against the best though, you usually got to play players where they play best.

    Howe beating the Metropolitans at their own game with a couple of the gritty goal crease variety.

    Frank the Tank, great stuff again. I nominate him to be the writer-upper for the eastern conference finals as well. Anyone second the nomination?
     
  15. kruezer

    kruezer Registered User

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    Great work Frank the Tank, definitely a nice way of reading how things have turned out thus far, looks like it will be a tight one.
     
  16. Frank the Tank

    Frank the Tank Blue, you're my boy!

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    Game 3 – Trottier lifts Mets over Eagles

    SEATTLE, Washington (AP) -- It took Bryan Trottier three games to score his first goal of the series, but the burly centre from Val Marie, Saskatchewan sure made it count.

    Trottier's power-play goal late in the second period lifted the Seattle Metropolitans to a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Eagles Monday night in Seattle.

    The win gives the Mets a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven Foster Hewitt division semi-final matchup.

    The series continues in Seattle for game 4 Sunday afternoon (3:30 p.m. EDT, 12:30 p.m. PDT).

    To the relief of the sold-out Ice Arena crowd, Trottier scored the game-winning goal with less than three minutes remaining in the second.

    With Jimmy Thomson off for interference, Trottier caught Tim Kerr’s wide shot, dropped it to the ice and snapped it home before goalie Clint Benedict and defenceman Valeri Vasiliev could cover the net.

    "We're paying the price and producing the effort to win," Trottier said. "I knew it was just a matter of time before I put one of my scoring chances in, but that penalty-kill was a big factor in this game. Every time I get on the ice I feel I can contribute, and a good defence is a good offence."

    The Mets then survived a late St. Louis charge with Benedict on the bench to ice the game.

    "By no means do we think we're out of it," St. Louis’ forward Kevin Stevens said. "We thought we played a game that was deserving of a win. We felt like the tide turned a little bit."

    The Eagles did a masterful job with their penalty killing, but took one too many that eventually cost them the contest.

    Showing little discipline through the first 40 minutes, St. Louis managed to kill off five straight Seattle power plays, including four in the first period with some terrific shot blocking.

    However, the Eagles simply ran out of good fortune after Trottier's goal.

    "We killed off a number of penalty-kills in the first (period) and then in the second," Bruce MacGregor said. "Eventually, it's going to bite you. ... We had a number of chances, but their goalie played well, and they played well defensively in keeping it to the outside.â€

    Despite the loss, Benedict was spectacular in net for the Eagles as he made 36 saves, including several with Mets’ players blocking his view.

    Meanwhile, Seattle goaltender Chuck Gardiner played a solid game, stopping 24 St. Louis shots.

    "Every time they do get a shot [on net] we've got a pretty good goaltender to save our butts," said Mets' forward Tiger Williams who coach Pete Green inserted in the line-up over Thomas Steen.

    The Eagles evened the game 1-1 at 15:23 of the second, moments after failing to score on a 5-on-3 power play.

    With a flurry of action in front of Gardiner, Eagles forward Mario Lemieux emerged from the crowd and beat the fallen Seattle goaltender with a high shot.

    It looked as though St. Louis missed a glorious chance to score seconds earlier with the two-man advantage as Seattle defenceman Brad McCrimmon was playing without his stick.

    Remarkably, St. Louis still couldn't get the puck past Gardiner.

    "The boys played solid in front of me on that kill," Gardiner said. "I saw pieces of sticks lying there, and that didn't help the situation. But we got the kill. I guess we got a little lucky."

    "You should be able to get a tap-in when you get a guy with broken stick like that," Eagles co-captain Gordie Howe said. "They played it pretty well, and we had some great chances point-blank. We needed a bit more patience."

    In a contest reminiscent of Wednesday night's Game 2 encounter, the game was filled with big hits, but none more vicious than the one Eagles forward Howe put on Seattle's Jaromir Jagr early in the second period.

    Jagr was skating across the neutral zone when he was leveled in the head by Howe's shoulder.

    Jagr remained on the ice for several minutes and was helped to the dressing room, but amazingly, he returned to action moments later.

    The Mets got off to a 1-0 lead at 4:26 of the first period after a mad scramble in front of Benedict.

    With the Mets gaining control of the St. Louis zone, Benedict stopped right-winger Jagr in the slot, but couldn't smother the rebound.

    The puck then bounced out to defenceman Bill Gadsby, who snapped a quick shot past Benedict’s blocker for his second goal of the series.

    The ill-tempered Benedict was clearly frustrated with the amount of traffic in front of his net throughout the first period. His frustrastion resulted in a slashing penalty on Tiger Williams after the Mets winger shot the puck into the open net as the play had already been whistled dead.
     
  17. Frank the Tank

    Frank the Tank Blue, you're my boy!

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    Game 4 – Physical Eagles strike back

    SEATTLE, Washington (AP) -- The St. Louis Eagles flexed plenty of offensive muscle in regaining home-ice advantage over the Seattle Metropolitans.

    Mario Lemieux had two goals and one assist and Joe Malone tallied twice as the visiting Eagles skated to a convincing 6-3 victory over the Mets in Game 4 of their Foster Hewitt division semi-final series on Friday.

    The St. Louis win ties the best-of-seven series 2-2. Game 5 goes Tuesday at St. Louis Arena (8 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. PDT).

    "The whole team played a great game and we deserved a win tonight," said Malone, now with three goals in the series.

    Played before a capacity crowd at the Ice House in Seattle, the feisty affair featured 139 minutes in penalties (79 for Seattle), including seven misconducts and five fighting majors.

    "I thought we played aggressive early without taking penalties," said Eagles forward Gordie Howe, who set up two goals.

    Valeri Vasiliev impressed with one goal, two assists, and some big hits.

    "I was able to come out and contribute and I am happy about that," Vasiliev said through an interpreter. "We played well."

    Cooney Weiland had a goal and Mats Naslund picked up a pair of assists for the second-ranked Eagles. Keven Stevens provided two assists in support of goalie Clint Benedict, who made 35 saves.

    "I thought we were flying out there," Stevens said. "That magic that a lot of these guys like Gordie and Mario have, you could see it ... when we got chances, we buried them."

    Wingers Alf Smith and Jaromir Jagr led the third-seeded Mets with a goal and assist apiece. Rod Langway collected two assists, while center Brent Sutter opened the scoring for the Mets.

    Chuck Gardiner surrendered four goals on 20 shots before being pulled in favor of Hap Holmes, who stopped nine of 11 shots.

    "They came out strong," Holmes said. "They didn't seem to sit back and wait and see what was going to happen."

    "We played a little bit nervous and made some mistakes that burned us," added Mets forward Bernie Federko. "But it's over with.
    "We've had stinkers before and we'll have them again. It's how you rebound."

    St. Louis's forecheckers set a physical tone at the outset and it paid dividends as Lemieux scored his second goal of the series 5:20 into the contest, dancing around Brad McCrimmon by slipping the puck between his legs and beating Gardiner with a quick shot above the blocker.

    "We were more passive in the first two games," Eagles head coach Cecil Hart. "We allowed too much time and space for some of their more skilled players to attack us.

    "Tonight, we were quicker and tried to play more of an aggressive game."

    Tempers flared as Derian Hatcher and Valeri Vasiliev bodied everyone in sight and Howe charged into a scrum in front of Gardiner, flashing his elbows and inciting a skirmish that resulted in a St. Louis power play.

    Vasiliev promptly capitalized with the man advantage, notching his first of the playoffs on a slapshot through a crowd at 8:40 and stretching the Eagles’ lead to 2-0.

    St. Louis continued to forecheck with reckless abandon and was rewarded when Stevens knocked Rick Meagher off the puck and quickly fed Malone for a one-timer in the slot that beat Gardiner five-hole. The goal was Malone’s second goal of the series and fourth of the playoffs at 12:56.

    But the Mets struck back with 1:22 left in the first period to make it 3-1 as Langway's high slapshot struck the shaft of Sutter’s stick in a crowd and trickled into the net.

    After review, the goal was deemed legal and credited to Sutter, his first.

    The Eagles regained their three goal lead early in the second period as Jan Suchy sprung Malone, whose slapshot beat Gardiner to the far side at 2:17. That spelled the end of Gardiner’s evening as Pete Green replaced him with Hap Holmes.

    Jagr slashed the deficit to 4-2 twenty seconds into the third period, knocking down a clearing pass by Carol Vadnais and fooling Benedict with a slick backhand deke.

    Three minutes later, a broken play off the draw resulted in Lemieux scoring his second of the game, and third of the series, to stretch the Eagles’ lead to 5-2. Trottier won the draw clean, but the puck hit the skate of an unaware Goulet and bounced onto the stick of a waiting Lemieux who made no mistake with a shot to the far corner.

    With ten minutes remaining, Mets enforcer Tiger Williams squelched any chance of a comeback as he was assessed 19 minutes in penalties, resulting in a four-minute power play for the Eagles. Afterwards, Williams said he was responding to a Howe hit on Mets star Jaromir Jagr in Game 3. The resulting powerplay produced a goal by Weiland at 10:28, staking the Eagles to a 6-2 lead.

    Neither Howe nor Hatcher finished the contest as they took part in a brawl sparked by Hatcher's boarding infraction on Gary Dornhoefer.
    As Howe tussled gamely with Craig Ludwig, Hatcher briefly traded blows with Dornhoefer until they wrestled each other to the ice.

    "We said to ourselves we have to play hard and fight for every inch on the ice," Hatcher said.

    Seattle got a late wrap-around goal from captain Smith who squeezed the puck between Benedict’s pad and the post, assisted by Jagr and Langway, with 3:42 remaining.



    That's all I have for today. Too nice of weather to stay indoors and write anymore.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2007
  18. Frank the Tank

    Frank the Tank Blue, you're my boy!

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    Game 5 - Top line leads Mets to victory

    ST. LOUIS, Missouri (AP) -- Coming off a poor performance, the Seattle Metropolitans' top line bounced back in a big way.

    Bryan Trottier, Michel Goulet and Tim Kerr, who combined for two shots and no points in Seattle's sluggish 6-3 loss at home in Game 4, racked up seven points in Game 5 Tuesday evening to propel the Mets to a 4-3 win over the Eagles.

    The victory gives the Mets a 3-2 series lead in the Foster Hewitt division semi-final series, with a chance to wrap-up the series at home in Game 6 set for Thursday at the Ice Arena.

    Kerr scored two goals Wednesday to give him a three goals this series, while Trottier assisted on each of his linemate's goals and Goulet added a goal and a helper.

    The performance came a day after Mets head coach Pete Green challenged the trio to improve its play in Game 4.

    "I don't think Pete needed to tell us anything after the way we played our first game at home," Trottier said. "We knew we had to improve our play tonight and make a bigger difference."

    Green provided the line every opportunity to bounce back, giving it the most ice time among Seattle's forwards.

    "They had a real big night for us in all areas," Green said. "If we're going to win, they need to play like that. It was great to see."

    Two goals by the Mets top line came during a seven and a half minute stretch early in the second period that saw Seattle open up a 3-1 lead.

    The Mets' stellar second period, in which they outshot the Eagles 18-9, was capped by a goal by Bernie Federko that put Seattle up three after 40 minutes.

    "I thought we probably played our best period of hockey in the second period," said Green. "I don't know if we've played that well this series."

    Mets goaltender Chuck Gardiner made 24 saves in the game and thwarted a St. Louis flurry in the final seconds to preserve the win.

    Mario Lemieux scored twice and Gordie Howe added a late goal for the Eagles, who were outshot 33-27 after severely outplaying the Mets in Game 3.
    Eagles starting goaltender Clint Benedict was pulled after allowing the Mets' fourth goal mid-way through the second period and replaced by Viktor Konovalenko, who made seven saves in relief.

    "The second period really did us in tonight," said St. Louis head coach Cecil Hart.

    The game opened with a slew of penalties, four by the Mets and three by the Eagles, a day after Hart and Green both said their teams needed to play within the rules and show more discipline.

    St. Louis opened the scoring at even strength 14:07 into the first period as Lemieux tried a pass from the corner that hit the stick of Mets defenceman Barney Stanley and went in.

    Seattle tied the game on a power play with 30 seconds left in the first when Kerr scored his second of the game by sharply redirecting a point shot from Gadsby.

    The Mets took the lead 1:02 into the second. With St. Louis's Hec Kilrea off for a penalty taken in the final seconds of the first, Goulet collected a rebound of a Trottier shot and flipped a backhand shot over Benedict.

    Kerr struck again 7:26 later. Sprung for a breakaway by Goulet, Kerr surprised Benedict with a quick snap shot that beat the St. Louis goalie high to the glove side.

    Seattle took a 4-1 lead 4:27 later. With the referee's arm up for a delayed penalty, Rod Langway knocked down Craig Ludwig near the Seattle blueline to steal the puck and passed to Jaromir Jagr, who set up Federko in the slot for a one-timer that found its mark between Benedict’s legs.

    Federko's goal capped a 15-shot barrage by the Mets in the second period. It also spelled the end for Benedict.

    Backup Konovalenko, who had yet to see action this series, had to be sharp immediately in relief of Benedict, stopping shorthanded breakaways by Brent Sutter and Peter McNab.

    The Eagles cut their deficit to two late in the period when Lemieux swooped in to convert a rebound on a Malone shot for his second goal of the night.

    The goal extended Lemieux's series scoring streak to 5 games, he has totaled five goals and five assists for ten points so far this series.

    Howe then put St. Louis within one with just over four minutes to go in the third as he blasted a shot past Gardiner with the Eagles on a power play.

    With Konovalenko out of the net in the final seconds, the Eagles used an extra attacker to put pressure on the Mets.

    St. Louis had several chances to score, including a point-blank opportunity by Joe Malone, but couldn't beat Gardiner for the tying goal.
     
  19. Frank the Tank

    Frank the Tank Blue, you're my boy!

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    Game 6 – Seattle closes out St. Louis at home

    SEATTLE, Washington (AP) -- Seattle's second line bailed out veteran goaltender Chuck Gardiner to lead the Mets to Foster Hewitt division finals.

    The trio of Jaromir Jagr, Bernie Federko and captain Alf Smith shone on home ice at the Ice Arena, combining for five points in a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Eagles on Thursday night.

    Jagr led the way with a goal and an assist as Seattle prevailed 4-2 in the best-of-seven Foster Hewitt division semi-final.

    The Mets will meet the Detroit Falcons in the Foster Hewitt division final, with Game 1 set for Monday (7:30 p.m. ET).

    "It was a big game. We were pretty excited," Alf Smith told the Seattle Times, referring to his line.

    "Jags came out with his best effort of the playoffs probably and when he's going he's a force out there."

    Smith added he wasn't sure what enabled the threesome to have such a stellar showing. They each finished with a plus-1 rating and combined for six shots, five hits and two blocked shots.

    Gardiner, who stopped 36 shots in Games 4 and 5 against St. Louis, made 26 saves to improve his record to 6-2 in nine series-clinching games.

    The Eagles didn't go quietly as Mario Lemieux score a power-play goal and set up another by Stevens in the second half of the third period to cut into a 4-1 Seattle lead.

    But solid play from Gardiner and a strong Mets penalty-kill in the final minutes of regulation with Rod Langway in the box for hooking sealed the victory.

    "I think we kind of sat back a little bit too much at the start of the third period, let them come at us," said Gadsby, who also had a strong game with an assist and +2 rating. "It caused us to take a few penalties we didn't want to take."

    Bob Bourne, Bryan Trottier and Alf Smith had the other goals for Seattle.

    "It's an good feeling to close out the series at home," said Mets right-winger Tim Kerr, "With all the big names they have we did not want to take trip back to St. Louis."

    Joe Malone opened the scoring for St. Louis at 3:15 of the third period, while Gordie Howe counted two assists.

    Clint Benedict had another stellar performance in the Eagles net, making 25 saves and keeping his team in the game with the Mets dominating the first period.
    The home side came out full of energy following its 4-3 win Tuesday in St. Louis and established a strong forecheck, led by Rick Meagher, Brent Sutter and Gary Dornhoefer.

    "We didn't want to go back to St. Louis," said Sutter. "You never know what can happen. This was our barn, our fans, our chance."

    Bourne got credit for Seattle's first goal — a shorthanded marker — when a Bill Gadsby shot from the point deflected off his leg and past Benedict, who was standing about three feet above his crease.

    After Bourne won the draw cleanly back to Brad McCrimmon, the Mets' defenceman dished a cross-ice pass to Gadsby, who one-timed a shot towards the St. Louis net.

    "St. Louis plays high in its own zone and is hard on the defence, so when I get it a lot of the times I'm able to slide the puck across to Bill and he's got that heavy shot," McCrimmon said. "We've been working on it all year and tonight was the first time it resulted in a goal so we couldn't have picked a better time."

    Eagles coach Cecil Hart said some early mistakes cost his team.

    "They got a short-handed goal early and I thought we lost our composure a little bit," said Hart. "I think we wanted to win so bad it got in the way of our poise and our execution."

    After Smith scored his second of the series midway through the second period on a shot from the slot, Jagr gave Seattle a seemingly comfortable 3-0 lead at the 18:33 mark when he pounced on a loose puck at the side of the St. Louis crease and lifted a backhander into an open net.

    In the second, the Mets scored twice and held a 12-6 edge in shots.

    Less than three minutes after Malone made it 3-1 early in the third period on a nice backhand pass from Lemieux, Trottier restored the three-goal lead with his third goal of this series.

    Three stars of the series as voted on by the All-time hockey draft managers
    1) Mario Lemieux - 6G, 7A – 13pts.
    2) Bryan Trottier – 2G, 7A – 9pts.
    3) Jaromir Jagr – 4G, 5A – 9pts.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2007
  20. kruezer

    kruezer Registered User

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    Excellent :D.

    Congrats on a great series Nalyd.
     
  21. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    Mario Lemieux and Gordie Howe wasn't enough...

    against a Metropolitans team built admirably for gritty, hard-working defensive and playoff success.

    I'd pegged the Mets to win the division and they're proving themselves capable of it!

    Congrats. Here's to Rod Langway as obviously a factor in the series :handclap: and may King Brodeur get at least one start! ;)
     
  22. pitseleh

    pitseleh Registered User

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    Congrats to Seattle. I thought this was the tightest battle of the second round and though I had St. Louis ahead by a slight margin, both teams were excellent and it's unfortunate that one had to be eliminated so early.
     
  23. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    Puck!

    Ah well.

    Congratulations kruezer, good series. I'd like to think I could have won against any other possible opponent, but, I met you and you earned a victory. I think I've learned alot for next time and am pleased to go down swinging.
     

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