Foster Hewitt Division Round 2: #1 Montreal Canadiens vs. #4 Saskatoon Blues

Discussion in 'All Time Draft' started by God Bless Canada, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    The Montreal Canadiens will meet the Saskatoon Blues in the Foster Hewitt division semi-final. The Canadiens earned a first round bye via a first place finish in the regular season. The Blues defeated the Blackburn Stingers in four games in the preliminary round.

    MONTREAL CANADIENS

    Coach: Tommy Ivan​

    Paul Kariya - Adam Oates - Gordie Howe
    Johnny Bucyk - Doug Gilmour - Peter Bondra
    Dean Prentice - Hooley Smith - Bobby Rousseau
    Ryan Smyth - Doug Risebrough - Stan Smyl
    Brad Richards

    Sprague Cleghorn - Brad Park
    Chris Chelios - Jim Schoenfeld
    Stefan Persson - Charlie Huddy
    Ted Harris

    Johnny Bower
    Gump Worsley
    Mike Liut​


    Saskatoon Blues


    Coach: Ted Nolan​

    Cecil Dye-Jean Beliveau-Newsy Lalonde
    Butch Goring-Nels Stewart-Reggie Leach
    Rod Brind'Amour-Doug Jarvis-John Madden
    Bun Cook-Bob Bourne-Anton Stastny
    Marian Stastny

    Viacheslav Fetisov-Guy Lapointe
    Harry Howell-Al Iafrate
    Rob Ramage-Barclay Plager
    Kevin Hatcher

    Bernie Parent
    Mike Richter
    Chris Osgood
     
  2. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    If Saskatoon is going to win this, they're going to need career-defining performances from Parent and Beliveau. And there-in lies the problem: Beliveau and Parent are all-time great players, all-time great clutch players at that. So for them to play at a level not seen before is next-to impossible.

    This Montreal team is an outstanding well-rounded squad with no glaring weaknesses. I'll give Saskatoon the slight edge in net with Bower over Parent. Montreal has a definite edge when it comes to the No. 2 and 3 goalies. Richter's likely the worst back-up in the draft.

    Saskatoon has a great 1-2-3 punch on the blue line, but Montreal is better. Montreal's 1-2-3 punch of Chelios, Park and Claguehorn is the class of the draft. Montreal's 4-7 isn't great, but as long as the top three are healthy - or as long as Chelios and Claguehorn aren't suspended - the bottom three defencemen might average 12 minutes a night.

    Montreal's forwards have a clear direction behind them, which I think is a huge plus. Miscellaneous fourth lines are never a good idea. Montreal has one of the most well-rounded first lines in the draft, with Howe's combination of skill and toughness, Oates' two-way play and face-off ability, and Kariya's offensive skill. Gilmour's a great second line centre, and Bucyk's good enough to play on the first line. If there is a weakness among the forwards, it's Bondra in the second line RW spot. The third and fourth lines are chalked full with character and two-way ability. A guy like Smyth will also come in handy on the PP.

    I love the grit and savvy on Saskatoon's forwards, but I don't think they have enough offence. A lot of them are also miscast or out of position. When Bun Cook and Anton Stastny are your most potent offensive left wingers, you're in trouble.
     
  3. BM67

    BM67 Registered User

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    Coaching: Ivan won 3 Cups with Howe in Detroit. Nolan won 5 playoff games with Hasek in Buffalo. Got to go with the man with the Cups. Advantage: Canadiens

    Goaltending: Both Parent and Bower were key in back-to-back Cup wins, hard to favour one over the other. Parent has the 2 Conn Smythe trophies to take a slight advantage, but I'd take Gump over Richter. Advantage: Saskatoon gets a slight edge for Parents hot hand coming off the 1st round sweep.

    Defense: Two first rate top pairings, but I've got to give a slight edge to the Fetisov - Lapointe combo. On the 2nd pairing it's not as close, as Chelios is in a class of his own here, and Iafrate is too, saddly. The 3rd pairings are quite a contrast. Leather jackets for the Blues, vs silk suits for the Canadiens. The Canadiens have enough of the brute on their top two pairings, and more waiting in the wings with Harris, while the Blues could use the extra muscle. I'll call it even for the 3rd pairings. The contrast is also seen in the spares. Harris is a steady physical defender, while Hatcher is an explosive talent, but anything but steady. Advantage: Canadiens. They have the top end talent and are more consistent with their depth players.

    Forwards: The Jarvis line seems to matchup well with the Howe line, while I don't think either of the Canadiens' bottom lines match as well against the Beliveau line, but they do offer a little more offense of their own. On the 2nd lines, I'd have to give an advantage to the Canadiens. Their 2nd line has a solid makeup and all-around ability, with a digger/banger, gritty two-way playmaker, and a speedy sniper. The Blues 2nd line on the other hand has two snipers, one of them slow as molasses flowing up hill in January, and a two-way playmaker. Stewart will have to make up for it on the PP. The Blues fourth line is more offense than anything else, and are not likely to have an advantage no matter who they face on Montreal. Advantage: Canadiens. They have better balance on their 2nd and 4th lines and they should be able to contain Beliveau-Lalonde well enough to get by.

    Canadiens in 6.
     
  4. Nalyd Psycho

    Nalyd Psycho Registered User

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    I like the Hooley Smith/Nels Stewert match-up, just because both of them peaked as line-mates...
     

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