ATD#7 Don Cherry Division Final: #1 Sabres vs. #3 Flyers

Discussion in 'All Time Draft' started by VanIslander, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    Buffalo Sabres

    Coach: Lindy Ruff

    Clark Gillies - Gilbert Perreault - Yvan Cournoyer
    Bert Olmstead - Jean Ratelle - Claude Lemieux
    Ryan Walter - Buddy O'Connor - Rick Vaive
    Nick Metz - Walt Tkaczuk - Anders Kallur
    Andre Lacroix

    Lionel Hitchman - Eddie Shore
    Andre Dupont - Sergei Zubov
    Calle Johansson - Ken Morrow
    Larry Hillman

    Johnny Bower
    Georges Vezina
    Don Edwards

    vs.

    Philadelphia Flyers

    Coach: Mike Keenan

    Brendan Shanahan - Bobby Clarke - Sergei Makarov
    Luc Robitaille - Kent Nilsson - Frank Foyston
    Chris Drury - Kris Draper - Steve Larmer
    Pat Verbeek - Vyachaslav Bykov - Willi Plett
    Andrei Khomutov

    Herb Gardiner - Mark Howe
    Eddie Gerard - Si Griffis
    Steve Smith - Petr Svoboda
    Darryl Sydor

    Martin Brodeur
    Roy Worters
    Ken Wregget​
     
  2. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Once again we'll look to go head-to-head matching the Clarke line up with Perreault. We've seen that match-up before and liked the way it worked in 75. Clarke gets a claer edge over Perreault, and Shanahan brings the size and toughness of Gillies, but is also a much better offensive player. Makarov and Cournoyer are both brilliant skaters and great goalscorers, but Makarov was also a brilliant playmaker.

    Keenan will look to use the Drury-Draper-Larmer line out against the Ratelle line. Draper will be all over Ratelle, using his speed to try and prevent Ratelle opening things up for his wingers. Drury and Larmer match up very well with the two-way play from Lemieux and Olmsted.

    The final match-up should be fun to watch as we go fire with fire. The two offensive lines against each other, which could produce some fireworks. I expect the Robitaille, Nilsson and Foyston line to have a big series.


    On defense I think this is where I have the big edge. Shore is clearly the best defenseman in the series, but after that I have a huge edge the rest of the way, with 4 Hall of Fame calibre defenseman and my 7th defenseman, Sydor, is a better player than both Dupont and Johansson.


    Brodeur assures that I never have to worry about the goaltending match-up. Both Brodeur and Bower are proven big game goalies, but Brodeur's puckhandling adds that extra dimension that could be a difference.

    I certainly respect Ruff as a coach, but he has yet to close the deal as a head coach, where Keenan has been able to deliver teams to the promise land at every level.


    Buffalo's two edges are Shore and Ratelle, but I feel my superior blueline depth, scoring depth from my wingers and superior top line, will be enough to allow me to advance to the Conference Finals.
     
  3. shawnmullin

    shawnmullin Registered User

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    Claude Lemieux vs. Clarke (when in Buffalo) to me is an interesting battle in my view. If I were Buffalo I'd see of Claude could get under Clarke's skin and cause him to take some bad penalties.
     
  4. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    More like Clarke, Verbeek and Plett getting under Shore's skin and getting him to do something he may regret. Also Clarke ws more disciplined than Claude. claude would likely be th eone to do something dumb and end up in the penalty box.
     
  5. LapierreSports

    LapierreSports Registered User

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    Wow....this is a really close one for me. Both teams have two great scoring lines, with a slight advantage to Buffalo. The Flyers have the advantage for the 3rd and 4th line. IMO, two very comparable offense.
    Will there be fireworks after Lemieux injures Draper ? How will that affect the series ?

    Defense: advantage Buffalo. Eddie Shore !!! Buffalo, the more I look at your team, the more I like it. Flyers, you have a good defense corp also and you have the slight edge in nets with Brodeur. Very tough matchup. Shore just might be the difference maker...
     
  6. Evil Speaker

    Evil Speaker Registered

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    I think the edge is quite small.
    Shore, Hitchman, Zubov and Morrow are a fine top 4. Dupont is a rock on defence with two cups (although I dont think he should get top 4 minutes) and I believe Johansson is a worthy #6. Hitchman-Shore is one of the scarriest duos in the draft and will make it hard on your forwards to get to the net. I think Shore is the only defenceman that can be a true game breaker on a consistant basis.
    Even though both Morrow and Zubov are right handed I think they should play as the 2nd unit. Morrow is a proven playoff warrior and will give room for Zubov to shine. As long as these top two units will get the majority of the ice time I think Buffalo's D may be able to keep up with yours.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2007
  7. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    My matchup plan differs from JFF's. My main objective is to put Walt Tkaczuk opposite Bobby Clarke as much as possible. In the three playoff series between Philly and the Rangers when they both played, Clarke had only 8 points in 17 games. Tkaczuk can limit Clarke's offensive effectiveness better than most. A Perreault-Clarke matchup is something I want to avoid because I know Clarke will win it.

    The advantage I have in my forward group is that my top 3 centres are all extremely gifted playmakers with a winger on their line who can score. Now Clarke's line and Draper's line can handle two of them, which leaves the third line open. I have a feeling the Nilsson/Robitaille may have more goals scored against them than they score themselves.

    As far as the defences go, Eddie Shore was one of those rare players who could singlehandedly dominate a game. I plan on giving him 35 minutes a game, with the other blueliners all around 15-20 minutes. On the Flyers defence, the key is Mark Howe: an outstanding player with the valuable combination of gifted skating ability and keen hockey sense. He could see openings on the ice and read the opposition like a book. However, I do believe he can be worn down with heavy physical play along the boards. He's going to see a lot of Gillies and Lemieux.

    Goaltending: it's closer than you think. Johnny Bower is possibly the most underrated goalie of all-time and deserves to be in the mix when the topic of the best goalies ever comes up. 3 Cups as a stater and a better career in save percentage (both regular season and playoffs) than Sawchuk, Hall or Plante. I will concede however that Brodeur's records speak for themselves and has a significant edge in conditioning and durability. Bower may not be able to last through this type of long playoff run (especially after a grueling 7 game series). Keep in mind though that Bower was the goalie of the winning team in the last ATD.

    Coaching: Mike Keenan is certainly the more accomplished of the two coaches, though his methods may not work with this team. Will Kent Nilsson or Sergei Makarov fit in with Iron Mike's disciplinarian style?

    Should be interesting. Best of luck to JFF.
     
  8. pitseleh

    pitseleh Registered User

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    I agree, I mentioned that when I did a review of Buffalo. Dupont is fine playing with Zubov in limited ice time, but I figured that Morrow would get a lot of time with Zubov as well.
     
  9. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Clarke will be playing 25 minutes a night, and we'll look to get him out against Perreault as much as possible, but if Tkaczuk edns up playing 20+ minutes a night, we're fine with that as it will limit the time your top two lines are going to play.

    As far as playmaking centers I aslo have three as well with Clarke, Nilsson and Bykov, but my group of wingers are much better goal scorers than the group you have.

    As for the Nilsson - Robitaille line giving up more than they score, I don't see it if they're out against your 3rd line. Both are primarily offensive lines, save for Ryan Walter, but my trio are much better offensive players than you trio.

    As for wearing down Howe, he routinely played 28 minutes a night in his prime and his great skating ability and hockey sense, made sure he never too a ton of punishment. This is also where Brodeur comes into play ... Brodeur's skating and puckhandling combined with the mobility of my defenseman are going to severely limit your ability to play a dump and chase game and wear down my defense.
     
  10. Spitfire11

    Spitfire11 Registered User

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    I picked their opponent to win in the first 2 rounds, but I think Philly might have the edge in this series. It's very close, and I see this one going to game 7.
     
  11. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    I thikn it comes down to Shore, and how dominant will he be in this series, because I just don't see anyway the Sabres win if Shore isn't just the best player in the series, but the best player but a mile.


    I think I have a significant edge depth wise both offensively and defensively, as well as smaller edges in goal and on the bench.
     
  12. Murphy

    Murphy Registered User

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    The puck drops in the Buffalo Aud to start off the Don Cherry division final and it doesn't take long for Bobby Clarke and Eddie Shore to introduce themselves to each other. 23 seconds in Clarke draws a highsticking penalty rushing into Shore's corner and the Flyers get the quick powerplay opportunity. Its a successful one when Shanahan puts away a rebound from a Mark Howe point shot. Less than a minute up into the game and on only their second shot the Flyers take an early 1-0 lead. The game settles down and the period is quite uneventful as the two teams feel each other out. The early goal stands as the only one and the period ends with Philly leading 1-0

    The second period starts and a more physical tone is set when Kent Nilsson is hit hard by Shore, the loose puck is picked up by Makarov and with the crowd still buzzing from the Shore hit, he meets a solid shoulder from Clark Gillies. Gillies sends a cross ice pass to Cournoyer in flight but is stopped by a solid hip check from Herb Gardiner, much to the delight of the Buffalo faithful. The next shift out just a physical as both sides respond to the hits. Perreault gets an golden opportunity when Gillies comes from the corner and feeds Perreault for what appears to be an open net. Steve Smith dives from the side and makes a great block but the loose puck is pounced on by Cournoyer and he fires a shot Brodeur who bobbles it with his glove. The Sabres converge on the net and the action is ferocious until the whistle blows the play dead. Brodeur is pushed back into the net and the crowd roars when he gets up to find the puck under him and in the net but the goal is ruled no-go as the whistle blew the play dead. The crowd rains down boo's and Ruff has some choice words for the ref but to no avail and the second period closes out with the score still 1-0. The telling stat of the period is Buffalo outhitting the Flyers 18-16 and Shore getting credit for 7 of them.

    The third starts off with some more great physical hockey and the intensity is cranked up. Every player to a man is paying the price with their bodies and the third is played in stark contrast to the first. Solid bodychecks, blocked shots and stellar goaltending from both sides keep the score close. A rare mistake from Ken Morrow though proves costly when the turnover is pounced upon by Steve Larmer who quickly lets a shot go that Bower can't get all of and the puck trickles past him. Fireworks erupt though when Shore comes off the bench for the next faceoff and yaps at Larmer while he's skating off. Clarke coming onto the ice himself rushes up to Shore and shoves him against the boards and a scrum ensues. Cooler heads prevail though and the scrum is broken up with both Shore and Clarke heading to the penalty box. They're not done talking to each other though and keep the yapping up while both are in the box. With four on four hockey Perreault and Cournoyer dominate their shift and it pays off with goal to Perreault with 3:18 left in the third. Buffalo pours it on at the end but its not enough and the siren sounds with Philly hanging onto the 2-1 lead and they take the first game of the series.
     
  13. Murphy

    Murphy Registered User

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    Game two starts off where game one left off. Buffalo applies the early pressure and both teams try to set the tone physically. The first six minutes is all Buffalo as they apply the pressure and there's flurry after flurry around Brodeur but nothing gets by him. Philly survives the early pressure and starts to amount an attack of their own but Bower turns aside everything he sees and the period settles into a see-saw affair. Kent Nillson is seeing the ice well and sets up Robitaille on a couple great chances and Jean Ratelle is getting to the open ice and is making himself a presence every shift. The period closes out with no scoring thanks in large part to Bower and Brodeur who both seem to be in the zone.

    The second period starts with both teams trading scoring chances. The Clarke/Shore battle flares up again when Clarke is sent flying while digging for a rebound. Brendan Shanhan comes to Clarkes defense and both of them tag team Shore with some after the whistle rough stuff. Shore is left knocked down to the ice but he's also drawn two penalties to his one. The penalty proves costly though as Buffalo finally solves Brodeur on the 4 on 3 when Ratelle sets up Bert Olmstead for the one timer and Buffalo goes up 1-0. The period closes out with a glorious chance for Chris Drury but Bower makes the big save and the period ends with Buffalo up 1-0.

    The third period starts off and Bobby Clarke breaks down the wing, cuts to center to let a shot go but its blocked by Shore. Clarke doesn't let up and goes for the puck which is at Shore's feet and they both end up tangled in the net along with Bower. The refs pull the bodies out of the net but the puck is kept outside the line by Bower. Clarke is playing like a man possesed and it seems to inspire the rest of the team as the Flyers take over momentum of the game. They get chance after chance but Buffalo blocks as many shots as get through and whatever gets through is dealt with by Bower. With 1:21 remaining the time out is called by Keenan and the go to work drawing up a plan to get the game tying goal. Its all for naught though when the puck is bobbled on the blueline and Claude Lemieux jumps on it and sends the long shot into the open net.

    Buffalo wins the hard fought battle to win the game 2-0 and even the series at 1-1.
     
  14. Murphy

    Murphy Registered User

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    Game three starts off in Philadelphia to thunderous applause from the home town fans. Its an intimidating scene but it doesn't seem to phase Buffalo. After some early pressure from Philly, Buffalo opens the scoring on a screened shot from Zubov that Brodeur doesn't see. The raucious crowd lets out a big selective groan when Buffalo scores again a 1:22 later on a goal mouth scramble by Ryan Walter. The first period closes out with Buffalo ahead by a score of 2-0.

    Philly applies some early pressure to start off the second but to no avail. To make matters worse Buffalo gets a goal from Gillies on their first shot of the period to take the 3-0 lead. Keenan has seen enough and out comes Broduer and in comes Roy Worters. The moves seems to work as Philly keeps the foot on the gas and are rewarded when its Bobby Clarke setting up Sergie Makarov and the crowd responds with a roar. Clarke skates by the Buffalo bench and the jawing between Clarke and Shore continues, Lindy Ruff gets in on the action with a few words of his own and everyone congregates towards the Buffalo bench and a scrum ensues. When the dust settles its the Flyers who find themselves with a man advantage and the ensuing pwerplay is all Philadelphia. They fire 6 shots at Bower but nothing gets by him. The period ends with Buffalo holding onto the 3-1 lead but Philly carring most of the play.

    The third starts with more of the same. Philly applies the pressure early but the Buffalo defense lead by Shore are getting in the way of everything. The Flyers forecheck and move the puck around but passes are blocked by sticks, shots are deflected wide and Buffalo is just content to clear the zone and waitt for the counter attack. Buffalo plays this game to perfection and the games ends with a 3-1 victory and they jump ahead to take the lead in the series 2 games to 1
     
  15. Murphy

    Murphy Registered User

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    Game 4 starts and much to Bobby Clarkes relief, Eddie Shore is a game time scratch due to a undetermined injury. Clarke and Shore have been waging a war with each other but Shore has been applauded with shutting Clarke down for the most part. It doesn't take long for Clarke to make his presence felt in this game when he breaks down the wing, cuts to center but makes a deft backhand to a streaking Si Griffis who one times it past Johhny Bower. Hillman gets a rude introduction to the series drawing in for Shore when he misses a hip check and crashes awkwardly into the boards. He's helped off the ice favouring his left knee and Buffalo are left with 5 defenseman. Clarke is playing like a man possesed much to the delight of the crowd and he engineers another goal setting up Shanahan for his second of the series with a goal mouth tap in. The period ends with the Flyers up 2-0 and in full control of the game.

    The news gets worse for Buffalo when Calle Johansson can't return to start the second and Buffalo is now down to 4 defenseman. Nick Metz is dropped down to help out but that move proves costly when Pat Verbeek is able to blast by him and scores on a nice deke. Lindy Ruff sensing that it's just not their night pulls Bower out with a mercy hook and in comes George Vezina to replace him. Its all Philadelphia though and they add another when Clarke deflects a Griffis point shot for his third point of the game. The period ends with the Flyers up 4-0.

    With Shore out its Claude Lemieux's turn to play antagonizer with Clarke and they both go off early in the third. Perreault and Cournoyer again dominate with more room out there and they connect again for their third goal of the series together playing 4 on 4. Its the only bright spot for Buffalo this night however when Philly responds with another goal. This time its Frank Foyston getting the honours and the crowd goes nuts when its announced Clarke gets a second assist. Clarke passed the puck off to Nillson, went for a change and earned his fourth point of the night while sitting on the bench. The game ends 5-1 but not without some more rough stuff at the end of the game between Lemieux and Clarke. Cooler heads prevail and the teams skate off the ice with the series ties 2-2 and heading back to Buffalo.
     
  16. Murphy

    Murphy Registered User

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    Game 5 opens in Buffalo much to relief of the hometown faithful when Eddie Shore is announced into the starting lineup. The fireworks erupt right off the first shift when Clarke goes after Shore with a quick slash to the knee. Its rumoured the knee is what kept Shore out of game 4 and it appears that Clarke wants to find out for himself if the rumour is true. The play is back and forth, reminicent of game three with both teams trading chances and physical play all over the ice. Both goaltenders however are back in the zone and neither let one by. The first period ends scoreless.

    The second period starts off much like the first with some great action and chances for both teams. With the first half of the period still scoreless the pace lets off somewhat. Both teams sense how important the first goal of the game will be and emphasize defensive play. The Buffalo Sabre's style of defense is picture perfect shot blocking. The second period closes out with 7 shots directed at Bower but only two getting through. Eddie Shore leads all defensemen in the series with 22 blocked shots despite missing game 4. The period closes out still scoreless and the game has morphed from end to end action to a defensive struggle.

    The third period starts off with scoring chances for both sides kept to a minimum. Gilbert Perreault gets a great chance on a Mario type move to split the defense but Brodeur makes a great glove hand save. The period remains scoreless until the 8:36 mark of the third when a rare turnover by Philly leads to a chance by unheralded Walt Tkaczuk who makes good on his opportunity and puts one by Brodeur who gets most of it with his arm but not enough as the puck trickles by. The Flyers respond by getting pressure in the Buffalo end but Buffalo consistantly collapses in front of Bower and they're not able to get many good opportunities. With Brodeur pulled, the Flyers mount an attack and swarm Buffalo's net but they're not able to get one by Bower and the game ends with Buffalo again taking the series lead 3-2. Johnny Bower rebounds from game 4 with his second shut out of the series.
     
  17. Murphy

    Murphy Registered User

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    Its game 6 back in Philadelphia. The crowd is loud after a rendition of God Bless America, its the same intimidating scene that is so common at the start of games in Philadelphia. Bobby Clarke, adept at using this emotion and getting away from the line matchups that Ruff likes and has two great opportunities to strat the game. The second one is particularily satisfying when he shoulders Shore off the puck in the corner and walks out himself to put one top shelf on Bower who went down early. The crowd is loud and Clarkes goal gives Philly the momentum. Drury and Draper work a great give and go to add another for the Flyers and they jump to a 2-0 lead. Its all Philadelphia and its Bobby Clarke leading a rush when Shore appears to stick out his leg which sends Clarke sprawling to the ice, clutching his knee. The hit sparks fireworks between Ruff and Keenan on the bench and both need to be restrained from climbing the glass partition. The period ends with the Flyers losing their momentum from the hit but holding onto the lead and in control of the game 2-0.

    The second period starts with Bobby Clarke back and on the bench ready to go. He provides more inspiration by blocking a point blast from Dupont but Clarke gets up and is limping noticablly to the bench. With Clarke on the bench trying to shake off the shot, Ratelle and Olmstead break out 2 on 1. Ratelle sends a perfect pass over to Olmstead who finishes off the play with a wide open net. The Flyers respond with more pressure and a great opportunity when Clark Gillies finds himself alone in front of the net. He tries the back hand deke but Bower comes up huge and denies Gillies. The period ends with the Flyers holding onto the lead 2-1.

    The third period starts with some early pressure from the Flyers but more blocked shots deflected out of the way of Bower and they aren't able to generate many opportunities. A point shot from Gerard is blocked and the puck bounces off Hitchman and out to center ice where Cournoyer and Griffis race to the open puck. Cournoyer gets a step on Griffis and breaks in alone on Brodeur who makes good on his opportunity and the game is tied 2-2. With neither team willing to give up the next goal both teams settle into a strong defensive game and scoring chances are rare. The period ends with the score tied 2-2 and for the first time in the series the two teams head off to overtime.
     
  18. Murphy

    Murphy Registered User

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    Overtime starts up in game 6 with the Flyers trying to stave off elimination. Eddie Shore was credited with 14:09 of ice time in the third and 37:16 of total ice time for the game. He's out there to start off the overtime period as well. The Flyers get the first good opportunity when they break out 3 on 2. Nillson to Foyston who completes the play to Robitaille but Bower comes up huge. Its Brodeurs time for heroics when Shore lets a blast go from the point and the rebound is pounced on by Claude Lemieux. He lets a shot go to the open top corner but Broduer lunges and catches it with his shoulder. The puck drops to Olmstead who gets a whack at it but Brodeur is able to get an arm on it and the play is whistled dead. With 5:23 remaining the Flyers break out 2 on 1. The crowd sensing this is it, roar as Shanahan breaks out with Makarov. Shanahan sends the pass over to Makarov who lets a blistering one time go but Bower catches it with his skate. The rebound comes to a trailing Mark Howe but Shore scrambling back, catches Howe's stick just before he can get his shot off and Shore fires the puck down the lenght of the ice to kill the play. The first overtime ends scoreless and both teams file off the ice to prepare for a second overtime.

    Clarkes ice time was limited to 3:12 in the first overtime and its become obvious that he's injured. However its Clarke who's out there to take the opening faceoff to start the second overtime period. He wins the faceoff back to Howe who dishes off to Shanahan. Shanahan gains the line, works it to the net but swivels to set up Clarke for the one timer. Clarke gets the shot away and its off the crossbar and into the stands. The play settles down from that point on and scoring chances become few and far between again. With a game of dump and chase it's Zubov who sends one into the end zone. Brodeur comes out to play the puck and sends a pass along the boards up to Larmer who's surprised by Claude Lemieux's speed and isn't able to chip the puck out of his zone. Lemieux gets the puck, fakes a shot and slides it over to a streaking Jean Ratelle who one times it past a a scrambling Brodeur. Jaen Ratelle is the overtime hero with Assists to Claude Lemieux and Sergie Zubov.

    The Buffalo Sabres defeat the Philadelphia Flyers in 6 games to win the Don Cherry Division.

    First star of the series is Eddie Shore, who logged the most ice time of all the players and was credited with 29 blocked shots.

    Second star of the series is Bobby Clarke with 2 goals and 4 assists for the series.

    Third star of the series is goaltender Johnny Bower with 2 shutouts, a 1.81 gaa and a .942 save percentage.
     
  19. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Congrats to Buffalo.

    Can't say I agree with the outcome, but it appears that the one superstar won out over, what I felt was my superior depth advantage.



    Hopefully next time we'll draw higher than the 25th overall selection.
     
  20. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    It was a tough series to pick, and considering how close the series was in the writeup the voters must've been split fairly evenly on it.

    Congrats to JFF on putting together a very solid team. Thanks to Murphy for the very descriptive game summaries; though I find it hard to believe that Lindy Ruff would ever complain to a referee about something.

    Something about Johnny Bower in these ATD playoffs. I bet he gets drafted a lot earlier next draft.
     
  21. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    I thought I had enough to beat you, but I didn't match up well against either Detroit or Seattle in the conference Finals, so hopefully you can represent the division well.
     
  22. Hockey Outsider

    Hockey Outsider Registered User

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    I noticed the same thing. Bower is good enough to steal games on a fairly consistent basis, but he can be drafted late enough to allow the GMs to pick top talent (Howe, Chelios & Park for me last time and Shore & Perreault for you). Then again, I doubt that Bower will be drafted so late in future drafts.
     

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