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Most important position on a team

Discussion in 'New York Rangers' started by Nopuckluck, Jun 11, 2018.

?

Which position is most important on an NHL team?

  1. Goaltender

    24.3%
  2. Center

    64.1%
  3. Wing

    1.9%
  4. Defense

    9.7%
  1. Nopuckluck

    Nopuckluck Registered User

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    I’ll take it further. You need to be elite at 2 places out of the 3 (defense goal forward) to win cups. The caps were at forward and goal. Penguins forward and goal. kings defense and goal. Hawks forward and defense. We came up short in 2014 because we were only elite in 1.
     
  2. Nopuckluck

    Nopuckluck Registered User

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    I’m actually shocked too and I created the thread thinking it’d be a slam dunk. Look at the poll results. I’m flabbergasted
     
  3. eco's bones

    eco's bones Registered User

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    The Rangers haven't had a legit 1st line center in a long time. We went to the finals in '14 with 2 second line centers and a rookie 3rd line center with decent offense. Most important player we had to get us there was Henrik Lundqvist. Just saying. It certainly wasn't Rick Nash.

    It would have really been nice in 2014 to have had a legit 1st line center like Kopitar. It also would have been real nice to have a legit point producing No. 1 D like Doughty. It helps a lot in fact when you have real 1st line and 1st pairing D players and can put your players in propers roles that fit their skillsets. That said you're not going to win anything if you don't get at least pretty good goaltending.....and for the Rangers goaltending has usually been a strength......at least in my time following the team which goes back to Eddie Giacomin.

    Really all positions are very important and IMO arguments could be made for starting goaltender, 1st line center and a legit No. 1 d-man capable of challenging for the Norris trophy once in a while. I get why posters here think more in terms of 1st line center--it's pretty much because we haven't had a seriously good 1st line center since Messier in his first go round with us and Gretzky. One is always jealous of what one doesn't have especially when some teams have two of those and plenty of other teams have them all the time. Look at the Islanders last year though--Tavares and Barzal and **** goaltending.The Flyers are another team always underachieving because of goaltending. It's been a weaknesss down through the years for the Sharks, Blues and Canes. Teams with unreliable goaltending almost never overachieve. Teams that don't overachieve in the playoffs almost never win because they have to be so much better than the competition to start with.

    What the Rangers need is a goalie like Lundqvist, a legit No. 1 D and a legit No. 1 C + a bunch of other good players. Right now we just have the goalie and are working on the other ****. You got to start somewhere.
     
  4. RoarLionRoar

    RoarLionRoar Registered User

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    I decided to make things interesting and went with defense. The goalie isn’t as crucial when the defense is solid; the attack is much more fluid when defensemen can distribute well. Osgood and Crawford are hardly elite goalies, but they had great defenses in front of them when they won their cups.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  5. Nopuckluck

    Nopuckluck Registered User

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    I actually like the point made above a lot where eco bones said a lot of people here are going center because we haven’t had one in over 20 years. I think it makes sense and is clouding judgement.
     
  6. ReggieDunlop68

    ReggieDunlop68 hey hanrahan!

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    To be GOAT, you need the three pivots: center , Right[typically; not handed. Talking about play side ]D, and Goalie.

    In order of Center>>RD>Goalie

    If you have half of famers at each pivot, you have a dynasty

    Think 70s Montreal/80sIslandersOilers/Pre Cancer Lemieux Penguins/Recent Blackhawks and Penguins

    If you have 2 of 3, you have a decade power house.

    Think 90s Avalanche/Pre Lindros Concussion Flyers/late80s early 90s Blackhawks/Suter era Kings

    If you have 1 of 3, you are the 2014 Rangers as well as other teams with other unlucky backstops.

    Also think of recent San Jose Sharks, every game Hasek played in Buffalo, 80s Hawerchuck Jets, 93 Kings, and Dionne Era Kings [debatable].

    Reference: Stanley cup winning teams

    Edit:Had a brain cramp when thinking of the 90's Blackhawks who had Belfour for the second example.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  7. Synergy27

    Synergy27 I only like it when it's dimed out.

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    I can't tell from your post what side you're arguing. Each team has 4 centers that play every night. There's only 1 goalie, so of course the list of centers is going to be deeper.

    An elite goalie can only do so much. They only impact one aspect of the game. And good goalies can and often do play at elite levels for long stretches (i.e., entire playoffs). On the other hand, how often does a third line center step up and provide Crosby like production for an entire playoffs? Never.

    This is the crux if the argument.
     
  8. eco's bones

    eco's bones Registered User

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    Those 60's--70's Canadiens team had almost exclusive rights to the best Quebec born players. Even after the amateur draft really kicked into gear with the 1968 expansion of the league from 6-12 teams they kind of grandfathered in a clause that in 1968 and 1969 allowed them to take the best two French Canadien born players in those respective draft years. After which Sam Pollock spent the next several years trading off various dregs from his organization to the gormless new expansion team GM's many of whom didn't know their ass from a hole in the ground. In 1968 they had three 1st rounders No.'s 1,2 and 3--in 1969 they had two--No.'s 1 and 2. In 1970 they had two more. In 1971 they had three including the No. 1 overall--Guy Lafleur who was to lead them to a bunch of Cups. They weren't picking No. 1 overall because they were the worst team in the league. Not even close and as luck would have it they picked up Larry Robinson in the 2nd round. That team was already carrying about 8 future Hall of Famers and they were going to add more. In 1972 three more including Steve Shutt another future Hall of Famer. In 1973 only one but it was Bob Gainey--another to be Hall of Famer. In 1974 5 first rounders. But that was Montreal and the league has always looked out for Montreal and Toronto but especially Montreal. Montreal by the way has hosted the NHL draft 26 times--the Rangers 0.

    The Islanders benefited from a bunch of shrewd 1st and 2nd rounders too. Their first three years when they were on the bottom they held on to those early picks. Bill Torrey actually did a great job putting that team together. Yeah--Denis Potvin falls into his lap but Bryan Trottier was a 2nd rounder and Mike Bossy was a 15OA. The Oilers are somewhat the same--getting to keep Gretzky when the WHA merged into the NHL was key though. I wonder how many people know that Wayne Gretzky was never drafted.

    I have problems with the Penguins legacy probably more than any other team. Their inclination to tank for Lemieux and later on for Crosby. Their fickle fans who disappear when things go south. It's not that great of a hockey town. Lemieux threatens Bettman with moving his team because not only his team got old and awful but also no one in the 'burg' was buying tickets to his ****show and the next thing you know the Penguins win the draft lottery and take Crosby. The Rangers who had more balls in the lottery gizmo end up something like 16th and have to trade up to take Marc Staal. ****ing typical and the Penguins winning that always seemed fishy to me. People think Crosby is a crybaby--he complains quite a lot for sure but I really don't get that that much and he's got more mature as he's gotten older. I get it from Mario though. He ****ing sucks AFAIC. Same with Bettman.

    The Rangers always try to put out a good product. They almost never complain--almost always take the high road like the Crosby draft when they ended up 16th. The NHL doesn't worry about the Rangers because the Rangers will always pay their own way--no one has to subsidize them like some of the weaker teams in the league. They're not going to threaten to leave town. They can always be taken for granted. The Cap handcuffs us and not really very many other teams.

    Anyway that's tonight's rant.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  9. ReggieDunlop68

    ReggieDunlop68 hey hanrahan!

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    I didn’t say they built the teams nicely.
     
  10. WeNeverGetaGoodCoach

    WeNeverGetaGoodCoach Registered User

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    Coach (coaching staff) is the post important position.
     
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  11. aufheben

    aufheben #WE’REHAVINGAFIRE.....Sale

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    This brings to mind Mike Milbury drafting Rick DiPietro #1 overall when they already had Roberto Luongo.
     
  12. ReggieDunlop68

    ReggieDunlop68 hey hanrahan!

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    Word?
     
  13. ReggieDunlop68

    ReggieDunlop68 hey hanrahan!

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    Mad Mike should get inducted into the HHOF under the builders category.
     
  14. Deacon Blues

    Deacon Blues Weapon of the Soul

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    for being the worst builder ever. 70% center!?! I have failed you, Anakin, I have failed you.
     
  15. ReggieDunlop68

    ReggieDunlop68 hey hanrahan!

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    Sir...

    I will need counter examples for the importance of centers based on the success rate of such players if you want those who voted for center to join you on your part of the multiverse where center isn’t the most important position.
     
  16. Nopuckluck

    Nopuckluck Registered User

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    An elite center like you talk about is worth about 1.5 goals scored per game for his team (points wise). Even less than that in today’s game. How many goals does a goalie prevent from being scored on his team? I would argue more than 1.5. Easy
     
  17. Spirit of 67

    Spirit of 67 Registered User

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    I picked goal but it's a bit of a strange situation as I see it.

    You have to get quality goaltending. If you don't have any goaltending, you don't have anything. But you don't need anything better than above average goaltending to succeed.
    Whereas you need higher end play from your C's.
     
  18. Off Sides

    Off Sides Registered User

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    Cup winners have some group of forwards that usually includes a center that puts up ~ a point per game per playoff game or more. Sometimes those are the players often thought of as elite, sometimes they are Justin William.

    Usually they also have some defender who can log nearly half a game and do well with that.

    The goalies are a bit different. In this era I think it's easier to find a goalie who can stop the vast majority of shots that should be stopped for the 16-28 games it would take to win a Cup versus finding the forwards or D who can put up those points per game, or do well with that TOI per game.
     
  19. Edge

    Edge Kris King's Ghost

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    Interesting enough, I really don't view the debate at Center vs. Goalie.

    I tend to view the debate as Center vs. Defenseman.

    I think if you were to talk to people in the sport, I think 50 percent would say center and 40 percent would say defenseman, the remaining 10 percent would be divided among goalie, wing, and no opinion.

    But the ability to control play, the tempo of the game, and transition would be listed as the focus areas. In those instances, a lot of opinions would skew toward centers-defensemen.
     
  20. eco's bones

    eco's bones Registered User

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    The other thing though is hockey is a game of mistakes---every time the puck turns over something didn't work right or the way it was supposed to.

    Now a goalie unlike any other positional player is on the ice the entire game. A couple or three mistakes from him and you've lost the game. A goalie doesn't have anywhere near the same leeway to be making mistakes as other players. He's got to be on the ball all the time.
     
  21. darko

    darko Registered User

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    1. C
    2. D
    3. W
    4. G
     
  22. East Coast Bias

    East Coast Bias Registered User

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    To me elite goalies is only a handful of guys. So in that sense, no you don't need an elite goalie. MAF, Murray, Crawford, Quick, Holtby to me are a step below elite. Some further than others. So you can argue you need elite performances, but not an all time goalie. Look at Holtby this season - he was at best average, but his stats show below league average. He was poor. Even his playoff stats are good but not world class.

    That said, I think we're biased as Rangers fans, having had Hank, as to how much goaltending matters. We've taken it for granted and emotionally say that b/c we didn't win, it's not that important and/or the model for success. Some of the posts you see now from Rangers fans have swung the pendulum to the other extreme on how you just plug a hot goalie in and win.
     
  23. Edge

    Edge Kris King's Ghost

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    In today's NHL, I think it's easier to win with goaltending that is "merely" good.
     
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  24. pld459666

    pld459666 Registered User

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    Center not close.
     
  25. Thordic

    Thordic StraightOuttaConklin

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    I never played hockey, but as a lifelong defenseman in soccer and lacrosse, I had to pick D. Stand-out #1 d-men can make a huge impact on a team, and are generally on the ice more than your #1 center.

    That being said, I'm going to contradict my own vote here in my comment because I think it's a hell of a lot harder to win without a #1C than a #1D. You CAN successfully defend by committee. Scoring by committee is possible too, of course, but when you look at NHL teams with top d-men but no top center they generally don't perform that well.

    Honestly goalie might be the least important - while an elite goalie can steal games, tons of mediocre goalies have won cups with the right mix of players in front of them. The gap between goalies is so small that it doesn't seem to have as big an impact in the big picture.
     
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