ATD2011 William Northey Final: (1) New Jersey Swamp Devils vs. (2) Detroit Falcons

Discussion in 'All Time Draft' started by Velociraptor, May 8, 2011.

  1. Velociraptor

    Velociraptor Registered User

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    New Jersey Swamp Devils

    Head coach: Jaroslav Pitner (change forwards, implement left wing lock)
    Assistant coach: Larry Robinson (change defense, coach dmen, run PP)

    Tommy Phillips - Henri Richard (C) - Maurice Richard
    Herbie Lewis - Vyacheslav Starshinov - Boris Mayorov (A)
    Shane Doan - Clint Smith - Zigmund Palffy
    Fleming MacKell - Michal Handzus - Todd Bertuzzi
    Spares: Gregg Sheppard, Jiri Lala

    Bill Quackenbush - Art Coulter (A)
    Zinetula Bilyaletdinov - Babe Pratt
    Rick Ley - Dan Boyle
    Spares: Alexei Zhitnik

    Charlie Gardiner
    Sugar Jim Henry


    vs.



    Detroit Falcons

    Coach: Art Ross
    Assistant Coach: Lloyd Percival

    Anatoli Firsov (A) - Elmer Lach (A) - Cecil Dillon
    Vladimir Krutov - Tod Sloan - Vladimir Vikulov
    Don Marcotte - Kenneth Mosdell - Floyd Curry
    Eddie Shack - Aleksandr Almetov - Konstantin Loktev
    Spares: Sergei Kapustin, Johnny Gagnon

    Doug Harvey (C) - Fern Flaman
    Zdeno Chara - Bert Corbeau (A)
    Jerry Korab - Bobby Rowe
    Spares: Gilles Marotte

    Al Rollins
    Henrik Lundqvist​
     
  2. Velociraptor

    Velociraptor Registered User

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    New Jersey Swamp Devils

    PP1: H Richard*- Starshinov - M Richard - Pratt - Boyle
    PP2: Smith* - Bertuzzi - Palffy - Quackenbush - Boyle/Coulter
    *faceoff

    Penalty Kill:
    PK1: MacKell - Lewis - Quackenbush - Coulter
    PK2: Handzus - Doan - Bilyaletdinov - Pratt
    PK3: H Richard - Phillips - Quackenbush - Coulter

    Detroit Falcons

    PP1: Firsov - Krutov - Lach - Harvey - Chara
    PP2: Dillon - Sloan - Vikulov - Korab - Flaman

    PK1: Marcotte - Mosdell - Harvey - Chara
    PK2: Curry - Almetov - Corbeau - Flaman
    PK3: Krutov - Lach - Harvey - Chara
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2011
  3. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Here are the two teams bio'ed up:

    New Jersey Swamp Devils​


    Spares: Gregg Sheppard (C/LW), Jiri Lala (RW), Alexei Zhitnik (D)

    Powerplay (Click Link):

    Shutdown lines (end of game / defensive draw in last minute of period): Lewis - H Richard - Phillips, MacKell - Handzus - Doan

    VS​


    Detroit Falcons
    [​IMG]
    (1930-1932)

    Coach: Art Ross
    Assistant Coach: Lloyd Percival


    Anatoli Firsov (A) - Elmer Lach (A) - Cecil Dillon
    Vladimir Krutov - Tod Sloan - Vladimir Vikulov
    Don Marcotte - Kenneth Mosdell - Floyd Curry
    Eddie Shack - Aleksandr Almetov - Konstantin Loktev
    Sergei Kapustin, LW
    Johnny Gagnon, RW

    Doug Harvey (C) - Fern Flaman
    Zdeno Chara - Bert Corbeau (A)
    Jerry Korab - Bobby Rowe
    Gilles Marotte

    Al Rollins
    Henrik Lundqvist
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2011
  4. vecens24

    vecens24 Registered User

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    Best series of this round in my opinion....I think these are two of the top 5 teams in the ATD.
     
  5. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    one of them is, anyway.
     
  6. monster_bertuzzi

    monster_bertuzzi registered user

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    Im cheerin' for EB, but I think TDMM takes this. The Devils just have a more well balanced team.

    By the way guys, thanks for giving me last pick and throwing me into the fire in the same division as the past two champs. :p:
     
  7. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    My bad.
     
  8. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    First impressions and opening arguments:

    ADVANTAGES NJ

    1. Greater top end scoring

    A) Maurice Richard is a gamebreaker even at this level.


    Detroit has a lot of good forwards, but nobody who can flat out break a game open on his own.

    See this post from my previous series on Richard's playoff goal scoring:

    http://hfboards.com/showpost.php?p=32755490&postcount=5

    B) Every member of NJ's top line is better than his opposing forward on Detroit.

    Maurice Richard > Anatoli Firsov by a fairly substantial amount.

    Henri Richard > Elmer Lach by a lesser but still significant amount. Henri was probably the best even strength player in the league over a period of 12 years. Lach was superstar himself, but he was not consistently at that level for as long. Lach had good intangibles, but Henri had excellent intangibles.

    Tommy Phillips > Cecil Dillon by an unknowable amount. There is a good argument that Phillips was the best hockey player the world had ever seen before the great generation of Taylor/Nighbor/Lalonde/Malone/etc. Yes, Phillips played in a weak era, but that has to be better than a guy like Dillon, who was not quite a superstar within his own era, right? I'm just not sure by how much.

    C) How will the top lines deal with physical defenses?

    Neither top line has a dominant power forward, but neither really needs one, as none of the six men were shrinking violets. Still, I think NJ's top line is better equipped to deal with surly defensemen. The overall toughness and competitiveness of the Richard brothers is a thing of legend. Lach is probably the toughest member of the Detroit top line, which may or may not be a problem given his injury history.

    2). Goaltending

    This probably deserves its own post, but I think the advantage Charlie Gardiner gives me over Al Rollins is fairly substantial.

    3). Defensive depth.

    a) Dan Boyle is the best bottom pairing defenseman in the series, and gives NJ more options defensively, as he can take a bigger role than most #5s

    b) Every NJ forward line has at minimum one defensive presence, so the team doesn't have to worry too much about a line getting overwhelmed.

    Art Ross is going to really have to shield Detroit's second line, which has no defensive presence. Though having only one line that can't be relied upon defensively may not be all that big a deal.

    ADVANTAGE DETROIT

    -Defensemen

    a). Better defensemen at the top


    Both teams are built around a "big 3" on defense with a big gap between the Hall of Famers in the big 3 and the next 3. Detroit has the advantage with Doug Harvey and 2 great shut down defensemen in Flaman and Chara.

    *yes, i called Chara a Hall of Famer

    NJ's big 3 - Bill Quackenbush, Art Coulter and Babe Pratt - is very good in my opinion, but not as good. Though Coulter vs. Flaman is basically a tossup as #2s go, I think.

    2. Even more punishing defense

    The Falcons might have the most physical defense in the draft - only Rowe isn't punishing, intimidation is the key to Flaman's game and Corbeau was an especially feared bodychecker. However, NJ has a very physical defense too, with Coulter, Pratt, Bilyaletdinov, and Ley all making life miserable for opposing forwards.

    Differences in Philosophy:

    1) Secondary scoring


    NJ's offense is 3 lines deep, while Detroit concentrates its secondary scoring on the named second line.

    2) Defensive forwards

    Detroit has a dedicated checking line. Only Mosdell can really be called a "two way player" at this level, and in real life, his offense depended largely on the wings he was put with, I think.

    NJ doesn't have a dedicated checking line, preferring instead to have two-way players spread throughout the lineup, notably at left wing for the left wing lock, but also with Henri Richard at center. NJ does have two potential "checking" lines that can be put together "on the fly," so to speak in Lewis - H Richard - Phillips and MacKell - Handzus - Doan. Phillips and Doan can play both wings.

    ________________

    If anyone disagrees or needs me to support what I said above in more detail, I'll be happy to do so.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2011
  9. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Secondary scoring

    Just a brief note on secondary scoring:

    Having a top notch two-way center like Henri Richard gives the Swamp Devils one of the big advantages in the ATD - a top line that can match up against any line in the ATD and usually come out ahead.

    When one of your scoring lines can match up against anyone and be used in any situation, you don't need a dedicated checking line to give lots of minutes to - a philosophy used by multiple dynasties - the Canadiens with Henri Richard himself, the Islanders with Trottier, and the Rangers with Messier most recently. In the post-dynasty era, the Penguins used Francis in the role, the Red Wings used Yzerman/Fedorov and later Datsyuk/Zetterberg, the Avalanche used Forsberg/Sakic, the Stars Modano, the Canes Brindamour, etc. Indeed, Cup winners with dedicated checking lines like NJ in 2003 and Anaheim in 2007 are historically the minority.

    In addition to Henri Richard, we have Handzus to help with defensive zone draws, and each line has a defensive LW who will sit back in a locking position when the puck is in the neutral zone.

    Speaking of Detroit, here's what Steve Yzerman had to say about the 2001-02 Red Wings, picked by many as the best team of the past decade:

    2001-02 Red Wings were the best team of the decade


    Having two-way players like Yzerman and Fedorov on their top lines allowed the wings to use Brett Hull on their third line, the famous "two kids and a goat" line.

    The Falcons' second line may be dangerous on its own than either Swamp Devils secondary scoring lines, but I don't think it's enough to overcome the greater scoring depth of the Swamp Devils.

    Want an example of why it's such a benefit to have a first line center that is great defensively? If Pitner finds that Art Ross is hard-matching the Mosdell line against the Richards, he can just put out Henri Richard for every defensive zone draw... which puts the Falcons' offensively inept (relatively speaking) third line out there for every offensive zone draw. And, of course, increases the chances that the Falcons' defensively inept second line will be out for a defensive zone draw against one of the Swamp Devils scoring lines? (If a situation like this arises, The Rocket will find himself double shifted more often to get him out there in more offensive situations).
     
  10. EagleBelfour

    EagleBelfour Registered User

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    I thought I had one of the more balanced team in the draft :p:

    All four line are offensively adept and have a purpose, my defence corp is probably the best the draft has to offer. If by 'balanced team', you mean 'below-average starter', I agree, but my 22 skaters are fairly good and above average and well balanced, at least I think.

    Although it's a good and almost unbiased effort on your part TDMM, I do disagree with a couple of points. I don't have time to answer you tonight, as I have a supper with a couple of friends, but tomorrow I'm heading to Adelaide from Alice Spring in train: 24 hours ride! I will write down a big essay on our matchup during that time, so you'll see my first true appearance in that thread in about 36-to-48 hours.

    For now, good luck to you, and may the best team win :)
     
  11. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    "almost unbiased," heh. Good luck to you too.
     
  12. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    I'll try to get my last two major arguments posted by the time you get back, so you'll be able to see and hopefully respond.
     
  13. Sturminator

    Sturminator I voted for Kodos

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    Isn't there a natural expectation of bias in these playoff threads?
     
  14. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    GOALTENDING

    As I said above, I think goaltending is one of the big advantages that NJ has in this series.

    CHARLIE GARDINER

    I had a great profile of Gardiner almost done when my hard drive crashed. I did manage to piece together most of it during the assassinations. I do encourage everyone to read it.

    Quick summary of what we already knew about him:

    -The first Postseason All-Star Team was for 1930-31 and Gardiner dominated the goaltending category for four straight years (First Team in 1931, 1932, 1934; Second Team in 1933) then died. This was over very good competition that included Worters, Hainsworth, Thompson, Connell, and Roach.

    -Gardiner had a fantastic final playoffs in 1934, complete with Roy-like guarantee to his teammates that they would only need one goal in the deciding game (won 1-0 in double OT), as Chicago won their first Cup in history.

    But very little was known about Gardiner's play before 1930-31 or his playoff's before 1934. Enter google archives. Full support for all the following in Gardiner's profile:

    Play before 1930-31

    -The hockey columnist for the Morning Leader picked a young Gardiner as the second best goalie in the league behind peak Worters for the first half of the 28-29 season.

    -The Montreal Gazette says that Chicago fans have "grown to expect" to see Gardiner "perform magic" at keeping the puck out of the net after Gardiner's team was otherwise outclassed in early 1929. If you click in the link provided in the profile, half the article is about Gardiner's amazing play that game and that season (28-29). Late 20s Chicago was the equivalent of an expansion team and Gardiner seems to have regularly prevented blowouts until he got some help.

    -An article from 1938 calls Brimsek the best looking rookie goaltender since Gardiner, which may indicate that Charlie was very highly thought of as a rookie. (Much weaker source than an actual article from Gardiner's rookie year).

    Conclusion: there is not enough to fully rank Gardiner vs his peers prior to 1930-31, but there is now evidence that he was considered a legit star, at least as early as 28-29, a full 2 years before his known 4 year run as the best goalie in the world.

    Playoffs

    -Gardiner was heavily praised in 1930 for keeping a much better Canadiens team (featuring Howie Morenz) at bay. He was called "the best player on the ice" and the subtitle of the game summary was: "only the miraculous goaltending of Gardiner saved the Hawks from overwhelming defeat."

    -Watching a few games of Gardiner in the playoffs in 1931 was all the president of the Regina Vics needed to declare Gardiner "the best goalie ever, better than even Hugh Lehman."

    -Gardiner was the only player listed in the St Petersburg Times headline: "Chicago Hawks Defeat Detroit in Cup Series, Chuck Gardiner plays big roll in team's 4 to 1 triumph," after the Hawks won the Cup in 1934 and before Gardiner was hospitalized. The HHOF gave Lionel Conacher the retro smyth for this year, but now we see why Pelletier was so full of praise for Gardiner's play.

    Conclusion: Gardiner was as good as Pelletier advertised in the playoffs in the Cup win of 1934, and he had at least two other outstanding playoffs.

    So what does it mean?

    The articles I found calling Gardiner "the best ever" or comparing the 40s goalies to him in particular (as if he were the standard) are great, but don't provide a complete picture until someone does the work for the other star goalies of the era (an interesting project).

    Still, his stock has to rise given that we previously knew virtually nothing about his play prior to 1930-31. Now we know he was a star for probably 2 of his 3 years prior to 30-31. We knew nothing about his playoff reputation other than the year he won it all, and now there is information about his spectacular play in losing efforts in 1930 and 1931.

    How high? I donno. I think there's a good chance Gardiner was on the same level as Benedict (or more accurately, on a slightly higher level for less time). But like Vezina, I think it's too early to put Gardiner in Benedict class. But I don't see why Charlie Gardiner should be considered worse than the great 40s trio of goaltenders (Brimsek, Broda, Durnan).

    This post has gotten quite long, so I'll save my assassination, I mean evaluation, of Al Rollins for my next post :naughty:
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2011
  15. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Al Rollins

    EB did a great job profiling Al Rollins. In the past, I though of Rollins as basically the O6 version of Mike Liut - a guy who won a single undeserved MVP (Liut won the Pearson over Gretzky somehow) and had no other credentials. I still don't think Rollins deserved the Hart - Red Kelly did, but the early 50s voters were tired of giving all the awards to Red Wings. But EB did a great job of showing that Rollins had 2.5 seasons as an elite goalie (despite never winning 1st or 2nd Team AS consideration) and a few other seasons of solid play.

    However, there are still reasons to think of Rollins as a bottom-tier starter. Other than lack of All Star nods (already covered):

    -Rollins is not in the Hall of Fame and the majority of longterm starting goaltenders of the era are in the Hall. Terry Sawchuk, Chuck Rayner, Harry Lumley are Hall of famers who all played in 1950-51 (Turk Broda on his last legs also played some games). In 55-56 (I realize I'm cherrypicking years), 5/6 starting goalies are now in the hall - Plante, Sawchuk, Hall, Worsley, and Lumley. Only Rollins is not. HHOF status certainly isn't the be-all-end-all of player evaluation, but it isn't meaningless.

    -Rollins never won a playoff series as the starting goaltender. In 1951, when the Leafs won the Cup, Rollins was injured and an aging Broda ended up starting the majority of games in the playoffs and ended up with significantly better playoff stats than Rollins. Not Rollins' fault he got injured, but Broda rightfully takes more glory for the playoffs in 1951, despite the fact that Rollins was the starter when healthy. Rollins would only play in the playoffs twice more and lost in the first round each time. Again, not really his fault as that Black Hawks team was terrible. But I think Rollins' lack of playoff experience has to be a concern playing against a team headlines by the playoff-savvy Richard brothers.

    Rollins' place

    EB undoubtedly disagrees, but I see Rollins as close to #40 among goalies. Not the worst starter in the draft, but not necessarily better than the truly elite backups like Kiprusoff, Vanbiesbrouck, or John Ross Roach.

    Basically, I think Rollins is slightly better than his draft position - he was the last starter drafted and a couple of teams had picks backups already.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2011
  16. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    So to summarize:

    -The Swamp Devils clearly have better primary scoring due to the top line.

    -I think the Swamp Devils have better secondary scoring - I think the greater scoring depth outweighs any edge Detroit has in comparing their second line with either of my secondary lines

    -Swamp Devils have the better starting goalie, and I think it's by a pretty substantial amount.

    -Detroit obviously has the better group of defensemen, and my last major argument will be explaining how the Swamp Devils could attack them.
     
  17. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    how much has Bert Corbeau's greatness been established?

    In deciding how NJ's offense could attack Detroit's defensemen, I read over the profile of Bert Corbeau and was surprised at just how little is there that would indicate how good he is. No quotes comparing him to other players that I saw.

    He obviously doesn't have any All-Star record, as he played before the teams existed. I assume he never received a vote for the Hart Trophy, as I don't see any listed in the profile.

    It's not ideal, but in the absence of better evidence, we have to assume that he, as a non-HHOF, was behind contemporaries who actually made it into the Hall right? That would out him behind:

    Georges Boucher*
    Harry Cameron
    Sprague Cleghorn
    King Clancy (second half of Corbeau's career)
    Hap Day (second)
    Red Dutton (second)
    Eddie Gerard (first)
    Herb Gardiner (second)
    Joe Hall (first)
    Moose Johnson*
    Sylvio Mantha (end)
    George McNamara (beginning)
    Reg Noble*
    Lester Patrick
    Art Ross (beginning)
    Bullet Joe Simpson
    Babe Siebert (end)
    (undrafted amateur likely inducted as much for what he did off the ice as on it)

    How far behind? I'm not sure. There are a few quotes in the profile indicating that Corbeau was a difference-maker. So I guess he's okay as a #4 here, though I don't know if he's a particularly outstanding one.

    Nothing in his team record makes him look better - apparently he only played in the playoffs twice between 1917 and 1927, though he was involved a couple of times back when the NHL was still the NHA.

    How did he play?

    A lot of quotes in the profile rave about Corbeau's hitting ability. Ultimate Hockey calls him the best bodychecker of the 1920s. Okay, he can hit really hard.

    Is he good at defense? I may be missing something, but the only quote even mentioning Corbeau's defense is a description from a book about how Conn Smyth finally let him play against howie morenz, and he responded by sending Howie flying with a bodycheck. Pretty weak evodence of defensive ability. In fact, another quote talks about how Corbeau was "allowed to play more offensively," which indicates to me that defense wasn't his biggest concern.

    So how was his offense? Pretty mediocre for a guy who has multiple quotes about his offense and basically none about his defense. 5th-10th place finishes "among defensemen" in a split league (pre-1927) are not particularly impressive to me. His two third place finishes "among defensemen" in the split league are nice.

    So what kind of player was Corbeau? In the absence of more information, he was an extremely hard hitter with passable offense and a questionable defensive game.

    I realize there are questions about my Russian defrnseman with the long name, but I feel his defensive game is much better established (though his robust hitting likely isn't as robust and his offense is lower - that's what Pratt is for).
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2011
  18. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Attacking Detroit's lower defense pairs:

    Chara-Corbeau
    Korab-Rowe

    -At this point, Corbeau is just a hard hitter, so the burden of really protecting the goal on the second pair falls to Chara

    -I have a lot of respect for Chara, at this point, his Norris record is already superior to Scott Niedermayer's. But until he has a couple of good playoffs, he'll always be known as the guy who played well the whole game, until he got beaten clean to the outside by a faster forward at the worst possible time. If Chara had a steadier two-way guy next to him, he'd be a dominant force on a second pairing, but he does not have that!

    -I Love the matchup of the speed and skill of the Richards against either of Detroit's lower pairings, and for that reason, I'm sure Art Ross will make getting Harvey out there against the Richards his #1 priority.

    -If Art Ross hard matches Harvey against the Richards, it makes it easier for Pitner (Ross's strategic equal) to get favorable matchups against Detroit's lower pairs.

    -The Smith/Palffy line will then be put out against Chara to hopefully exploit his lack of footspeed. This would also allow Starshinov to overpower Rowe, the stay at home member of Deteoit's bottom pairing.

    -On the road, the Smith\Palffy line will get second line ice time to get their speed out there against Chara more often and allow Starshinov to beat up on Rowe.

    -When benches shorten, the versatile MacKell will take some shifts in place of Smith or Mayorov. His tenacious forechecking and Blazing speed will be very useful in this series, and he's known as a clutch playoff scorer.
     
  19. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    The Richards vs Harvey-Flaman:

    -First off, while this will be a common matchup, remember that NJ has home ice in 4/7 games and the coaches are about equal. So it won't be the matchup all the time.

    -Flaman is a solid #2, but I don't know if he'll be as effective against the Richards as he would against many forwards, because intimidation is such a big part of his game, and the fearlessness of the Richards is legendary. Regardless, he's a good partner for Harvey.

    -Harvey will reduce the effectiveness of the Rocket somewhat (shutting him down totally is impossible), but I think Henri Richard can reduce the effectiveness of Harvey himself, since Henri is uniquely capable of hindering Harvey's ability to control the pace of the game:

    1. Harvey can't control the pace when Henri has the puck.

    Henri Richard may be the greatest puck possession forward of all time. Every anecdote about Henri includes a story about how he always seemed to have the puck on his stick when he was on the ice. In Henri's first training camp, supposedly he got the puck and nobody (not even Doug Harvey) could strip it from him.

    2. Henri is one of the very best forecheckers of all time.

    When Harvey does have the puck, he'll be forechecked hard by Henri. Henri Richard's forechecking against Bobby Orr was a substory to the Canadiens' famous win over the Bruins in 1971 (behind the main story of rookie Dryden stopping Esposito time and time again).

    Harvey is one of the least-mistake prone defensemen of all time, so I don't actually expect Henri to force many or any turnovers. The goal is to pressure Harvey to the point of taking away Harvey's deadly stretch pass - that first pass that sprung the "firewagon hockey" of the 1950s Canadiens. If Henri can pressure Harvey into making the safe play - dumping the puck over to his partner Flaman or waiting for responsible forwards like Lach to come back for a shorter breakout pass, I would consider one of Harvey's greatest strength's contained.

    Can Henri always prevent Harvey from controlling the pace of the game or making the long breakout pass? Of course not - this is Doug Harvey we are talking about. But this is also Maurice Richard we are talking about, and Harvey won't always be able to stop him either. I think that if the Swamp Devils even come close to breaking even here, that victory is assured, as we have greater scoring depth and better goaltending.
     
  20. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    That's it for my arguments, EB. The ball is in your court.

    I had a lot to say about this series and thought it was probably better to pile it on at the beginning, than later on when you might not be able to respond.
     
  21. EagleBelfour

    EagleBelfour Registered User

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    Some nice post there TDMM. I thought I was giving you a compliment by calling your argumentation 'almost unbiased'. Don't think it was a way to discredit you or anything like that. Anyway!

    I won't take time to cover all your post one by one, but I think I answer some of them in this post. I took over five hours to write it down in the train (9 1/2 pages in my book, and I write small!) and another few hours to re-transcript it in here. For a guy that he's suppose to be in vacation, I took far more time than I wanted on this ATD playoff. However, I wrote this before seeing all those new argument. Perhaps this will be my only post in this thread, although I guess I'll probably come back in this thread tomorrow or in two days to answer some question, but not in full length. I'm sorry if I cannot follow your pace TDMM, but this is my one big push, hopefully people will appreciate my effort.

    ---
    First line

    First of all, I will admit that I'm a very big fan of TDMM 1st line. I'm one of the biggest supporter of Tom Phillips, who's speed and overall offensive abilities, alongside being a good defensive player, is the perfect fit for the Richard's brother. Maurice is obviously the offensive cataclyst of the line and it's very well true what TDMM wrote on Maurice: don't underestimate just how dominant of an offensive player he was in the playoffs. The only thing I havn't fully bought is that Maurice played any sort of defensive game, but Phillips is around and Henri, the pocket rocket who not only the name fit well, but but the fact that his great playmaking and two-way abilities complete the line and Maurice perfectly. Well, it probably dosn't help my cause to praise that line so much, but even my twisted mind couldn't find much negative to say on them.

    Having said that, I do believe I do have an offensively potent and dangerous first line in his own right. Obviously, this line is primarly base on speed and the elite playmaking of Elmer Lach and I will try to use both of thse skills against TDMM slower defensive pairing. You also have to remember that I have Doug Harvey and Fern Flaman, two elite defenceman in the transition game, and when all five of them are together on the ice, this 5-man unit is perhaps the fastest in the draft, not really in term of pure speed, although it's a very fast line, but in term of transporting the puck from the defensive zone to the offensive zone. They can burn you by the crisp passing of Harvey, Flaman and Lach or the elite speed of Anatoli Firsov, especially, followed by Lach and Dillon. Talking about my first line individually, Anatoli Firsov is the fastest player in this matchup. He's also a prolific goalscorer, playmaker with good strenght and a ferocious backchecker. Elmer Lach is an elite playmaker who bring an array of skillset on the table: speed, goalscoring, toughness and defensive abilities. Such a complete hockey player who only injuries affected him to be considered alongside the best of the best. On the right side, Cecil Dillon goalscoring abilities, speed and defensive abilities is a good compliment to this line. All three of them can take faceoff and were renown playoff performer (or international performer). They were concern on TDMM part that this line was lacking toughness and could be in trouble against rough-and-tumble line (not that the Devils has a line of that sort), but I disagree. Yes, it's not a prototypical line with a designated powerforward ala Bert Olmstead or Punch Broadbent, but Anatoli is far from a player that can be pushed around. I think people underestimate just how tough of a customer Elmer Lach was. He's a punishing hitter with amazing strenght. He's probably the most forceful forward of all six first liner. I don't consider Dillon near as tough as the other two, but his style of play didn't seemed to hinder his play in the 1930's. Again, not the prototypical physical first line, but I have a hard time seeing them being pushed around, and if anything, I don't see any forward line or defense pairing on the Devils' team that can come close to intimidate them.

    Second line

    Interesting mix of player on that second line. Starshinov is definitely the offensive cataclyst of that line, Herbie Lewis the playmaker and defensive conscience and Boris Mayorov the rough partner, but I feel like there's a lack of playmaking to really use Starshinov at his best. His finishing twice 4th to never appear in the top-10 again in the 1930's good enough to support the entire playmaking department of a scoring line in the ATD? I also havn't seen anything on Mayorov as a decent playmaker. That it's why it's difficult to buils around Starshinov: he has to be the center of attention of the line and be surrounded by great playmaking and some defensive player and it's tough to do so when we are drafting an ATD team. The other thing about Starshinov is that he played a tough style of hockey and bullied his way through a defence to score goals. This quality, although still present at the ATD level, is much tempered down, as getting through an european 1960's team is a far much easier job that doing so against an ATD team. On top of that, he will have to pass through Doug Harvey, Fern Flaman, Zdeno Chara, Bert Corbeau and Jerry Korab, all five of them are either stronger or as strong as Starshinov himself. Don't get me wrong, I still think it's a decent scoring line, but putting together the fact that I think the line is a bit awkwardly built and I have the defensive corp talent and nastiness to stop that line biggest weapon, I think the Falcons will be able to rendered that line effectiveness to a minimum.

    I'm a fan of my second line, and I think that most who don't see Vladimir Krutov as the steroids filled, fat and greasy Russian, but rightfully as one of the best left winger of the 1980's will also think so. Vladimir Krutov was a great powerforward with an array of offensive skills. He could pass the puck well, but first and foremost he was a formidable goalscorer, with either a powerful slapshot ora wicked wrister. He was fast, strong as an ox, was on the first powerplay and penalty kill on his country. A veritable force and a privilege to have to be able to use him on secondary scoring line. At centre, Tod Sloan is a speedy goalscorer with great strenght and decent defensive abilities at most. On the right side, Vladimir Vikulov, the underrated, good goalscorer and even better playmaker, with decent defensive abilities. Although a swift skater, he was not a fast in-line skater. Vikulov will be the main playmaker of that line, feeding passes to his speedy linemate, who will use their strenght and speed to create chances and score goals. I've read concern of TDMM that this line was lacking any kind of defensive abilities, and again I wil have to disagree. That line dosn't have a designated defensive conscience, but this line defence is what I call: defence by committee. None of them can be considered twoway forward, but none of them are inept defensively. Krutov from what I've read and see played a decent defensive game and was Russia top pk player. We thought not long ago that Tod Sloan was a great two-way forward, and I've pretty much concluded that this was not the case. However, let not go the other way and say he was awful defensively. He was a decent defensive player in his scoring year with Toronto and end up the premier defensive centre of a Stanlet Cup champion later in his career. Vladimir Vikulov is just as good and commited to the defensive aspect of the game than Firsov. That's what I'm saying by ''defence by committee''. None stand out, but all three will do their part in the defensive zone. Adding to the fact that they will be covered most of the time by Zdeno Chara and Bert Corbeau, the defensive conscience of that line is not a concern for the Detroit Falcons.

    Third line

    Definitely not the typical third line assemble by the Devils, but one of the most offensively potent in the draft. It work very well with Smith the main playmaker, Palffy the main goalscorer and Doan doing the 'powerforward', although his not a true pôwerforward per say. It's a different strategy to use 3 offensive line like that, and I'm not sure how it work on the ice, but as far as the line goes all of them fit well together.

    On my part, I went in a more conservative direction and built a typical, two-way third line that the Detroit Falcons' team usually go for. All three of Don Marcotte, Ken Mosdell and Floyd Curry are strong defensive player that are used to play against the opposition best line. It's not a secret that in a perfect world, only my first and third line would be on the ice against the Richards. It's a pretty straightforward line, but I would like to point out something about the offensive production of that line. TDMM have claimed that only Kenneth Mosdell could be considered a two-way player at this level, and in the playoffs I disagree. I will even say that Mosdell is not even the best offensive player of that line. Indeed, let's not forget just how extremely impressive of a playoff performer Floyd Curry was. In fact, Curry was the 7th most productive goalscorer in the playoffs of the 1950's, only behind Geoffrion, Richard, Lindsay, Howe, Moore and Beliveau. Not too shabby of company! He and mosdell are a good two-way duo in the playoffs and all three are elite defensive player. Don't underestimate the fact that they could burn you on the offensive side of the rink if you're not careful.

    4th line

    It's easy to see that the Devils' 4th line was used as a throw-in of player that are used as special team specialist, which I believe was TDMM plan all along. However, as an ES line, I don't see it working very well. It's definitely an above average defensive line with Mackell and Handzus, but it dosn't bring much else. At the end, I'm pretty sure they will only play a handful of shifts at ES together, so I don't think it matter very much. Also, Mackell was a tremendous playoff performer, but his best offensive season came as a center with the Boston Bruins of the late 1950's. Seeing he's only use as a centre on the PK, I don't see the Devils using Mackell offensive potential to the fullest.

    My fourth line will play some more minutes than the Devils fourth line, mostly because they are better at ES and they also have multiple purposes in that regard. They will mostly be use sporadically as a momentum changer on two front: first of all, the Almetov-Loktev duo is perhaps one of the most dangerous offensive duo of any 4th line. They bring a throng of skills and will be able to bring some scoring chances the some goals that can change the face of the hockey game. Secondly, Eddie Shack, of the biggest pest around, a great fighter and a punishing hitter that can change the momentum of a game by playing his aggressive style of hockey. I'm not saying that this line will see heavy minutes, but at the proper time they will see some action. Considering everything I've written and the matchup at hand, especially the second lines, I believe the Detroit Falcons will have just as much offensive support of their secondary line than the Devils, while bring more defense and intangible.

    1st pairing:

    I'm a big fan of Bill Quackenbush. He's a fantastic two-way defenceman who do everything well. He's the least physical defenceman of all 14 in this series, but I will say that this dosn't affect his play one bit. On the other side, Art Coulter is a good defensive defenceman and a great leader. However, I'm unsure about Coulter speed and if he has enough wheel the fastest player in this matchup in Anatoli Firsov time after time.

    Maurice Richard is one hell of an offensive force, and one of the most dangerous in all the draft. With that in mind, he will have to face the second best defenceman of all-time in Doug Harvey. This is a perfect matchup for the Falcons, as you draft a franchise defenceman like Doug Harvey so that when he play against the cream of the crop, he's right there in their face each and every time. Make no mistake, when Maurice Richardis on the ice, Doug Harvey is also there, no question ask. At home, Art Ross will make sure 100% of the time, Harvey face Maurice. When the team is away, he cannot completely control that, but that's a great advantage to have probably the best #3 defenceman of All the draft in the big and strong Zdeno Chara. Talking about strong defenceman, Fern Flaman is an excellent defensive defenceman, also a mighty bruising one, who can support the attack if needed to.

    2nd pairing:

    Let's talk about Pratt first, who's obviously the Devils #3 defenceman. Big, strong offensive defenceman. His defence is definitely questionable, but he can be a dangerous offensive defenceman. We already talked alot about Bilayletdinov. My opinion is that he's a very good #4 defenceman who complement Pratt well. The pairing works very well.

    Zdeno Chara is probably the best #3 defenceman the drat has to offer. Another norris nomination this year and each playoff game this year add to his legacy. Excellent defensively, perhaps the most physically impressive defenceman in the draft. few secondary scoring lines has to play against that good of a defenceman. On the other side, you have ot face Bert Corbeau: decent offensively, decent defensively, decent wheel, great leader, but obviously his biggest strenght being one of the nastiest and best bodychecker of his generation. I'm not sure how a player like Herbie Lewis will play against those two defenceman. Mayorov and Starshinov have good to great strenght and are definitely no pushover, but they will have a hard penetrating that defence and keep themselves in front of the net.

    TDMM was writting that Dan Boyle was the best #5 defenceman of this serie and that this gave him more flexibility. First of all, I have a hunch that Bobby Rowe might have been just as good overall than Boyle, but I havn't had time to to research Rowe enough so I will agree with the first part of the statement. However, I'm a bit puzzle by the second part: what does having Dan Boyle as a #5 defenceman give you more option? He's what he is: an offensive defenceman, PP specialist. He's already playing on both the 1st and 2nd PP: how much Es minute do Boyle will play? I will need an explanation, because I don't see what Dan Boyle overall have on Jerry Korab, another offensive defenceman who's not as good offensively but far more physical.

    Goaltending:

    There's absolutely no doubt that the Devils have a decent edge in goals. Gardiner was an excellent goaltender with good crendentials. We know him him very well and talk alot about him in this draft.

    Al Rollins will have the chance this time to play behind an excellent defense, which will change him from playing behind the most mediocre defensive team of the original-six era. Make no mistake, Rollins is a low-end starter in this draft, but if you have an underaverage goaltender as your starter, the Detroit Falcons definitely have the defence corp to make him look better than he actually is. Little edit: I read your stuff on Rollins and I will just add that Rollins won the Stanley Cup as the starter of a team that was anchor in the last decade by one of the best playoff performer in goal of all-time. He was in goals when Barilko scored. I won't go in details again. I've made my claim, it's all there in my biography. At this point, just like Vladimir Krutov, everyone has enough information to make their mind.

    Spares:

    I don't have much to say, other than I'm convince that Gilles Marotte is a better #7 defenceman and can be use in more situation than Alexei Zhitnik. I'm pretty sure that Sergei Kapustin is the best 13th forward in this series, who bring tremendous speed, grit and offensive abilities. Jiri Lala, for all account, his also an excellent spare to have.

    Powerplay unit:

    Overall, I would say that the Devils owns the better PP. This first unit with Maurice is scary. I'm not a big fan of the second unit, but Quack and Boyle are great 2nd PP defenceman.

    For the Detroit Falcons, I think the first unit works very well together. Harvey and Lach, at both end of the ice, are the primary passers and are upmost elite at that. You can either use one of the heaviest shot of all-time in Chara or Anatoli Firsov great wrist shot while Krutov is the big body presence who can deflect shots, takes rebounds and screen the goaltenderé The second unit is more straightforward. Overall, edge to the Devils because Maurice Richard are Maurice Richard.

    Penalty Kill:

    I think the edge come to the Detroit Falcons by a decent amount in that matchup. I've been sold that to the fact that Fleming Mackell is an elite penalty killer and all other three on the first unit are fitting players. However, the Falcons boost probably the best set of PK in the draft. Doug Harvey and Zdeno Chara are elite PK player even at this level. Marotte and Mosdell are tremendous PK player. The second unit of the Devils is somewhat fitting, but unimpressive. On the other hand, Flaman is another elite pk player and crease clearer. Almetov is perhaps the best pk player in the history of Russian hockey. Floyd Curry and Bobby Rowe are fitting defensive player. Both the Detroit Falcons and the Devils use the same strategy for their third unit: strong two-way player that can take advantage of the fifth man coming out of the box. However, I think the Falcons are more dangerous in that regard. The lineup of Harvey, Lach, Krutov and Chara: Harvey being the elite transitional player, the elite passing of Harvey and Lach and the great speed of Lach and Krutov. Seeing as my opponent want to use Dan Boyle the full two minute, the Falcons think they will be able to take advantage of that fact.

    Coaches:

    I think both sets of coaches are very fitting to the style of play their team is playing. I won't go any further as I think this matchup is basically a draw.

    So that's it for my evaluation of this matchup. I trully believe that I have the best 2nd seed team in the draft and that the Detroit Falcons have all the tools and a favorable matchup to create a small upset (Actually, it's not really an upset, 1vs2 is basically on equal ground). However, the Devils is able an excellent team and it would be no shame losing against them. Hopefully, the voters will take the time to read my novel before voting. As I said earlier, I will try to be back to answer some question, but I'm unsure if I'll be able to. Honestly, I spent 10 hours half the world away from home, in holiday to write down this argumentation ... talk about my commitment to this draft and the ATD!

    PS. I'm so tired of writing down that I havn't even double-check what I wrote. Hopefully everything make sense!
     
  22. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    I'll respond to your other points in a bit, EB, but this misleading use of stats has to stop. Curry was 7th in playoff goals in the 1950s. Curry was 32nd in goals per game in the playoffs in the 1950s. He played more playoff games than almost anyone else in the decade because he was a longterm player for the Montreal Canadiens.
     
  23. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    I'll respond to your post in bullet point form. Hopefully voting doesn't start until noon tomorrow, so you'll be able to make another post.

    •Flaman is not an elite transition defenseman. He is barely better than Coulter at it. Both have quotes about their strong transition games. Flaman points among defensemen: 4, 5, 5, 10, 10. Coulter points among defensemen: 6, 6, 8, 8, 9. Both played in relatively strong eras for offensive defensemen. At this level, Flaman is slightly better with the puck on his stick than Coulter, but neither is close to elite at transition. Harvey is elite at transition . Quackenbush and Pratt are very good, not elite. Flaman is pretty average.

    •Firsov is not the fastest player in the matchup of first lines. Phillips was the fastest player of his era. When your assistant Percival actually clocked players in real life, a 30 year old Henri Richard was the 2nd fastest player in the league without the puck after a prime Bobby Hull, and 5th fastest with the puck. I doubt Firsov is even in their class, let alone faster.

    •Most physical play happens between forwards and defensemen. And NJ does have physical defensemen. Your line isn't soft, but Lach will be hit often. It may or may not matter. You're right than Lach is not a soft player at at when he played.

    •You have to be joking about the lack of playmaking on the second line. Mayorov was Starshinov's primary playmaker on his real life line and there are quotes to this effect in Mayorov's profile. I made a minireach to grab the guy who actually did dig the puck out of corners and feed Starshinov in front of the net in real life because he was the perfect fit with a hard to build around center. And Lewis spent a good part of his career as a playmaking winger for a goalscoring center in Marty Barry.

    •Starsh was incredibly physically strong, arguably stronger than Mikhailov. He'll be fine against Korab.

    •Will Corbeau even have the positional discipline to fight with Starsh in the crease? Seems like a guy who would run around looking to hit guys. He was the leading penalty getting of his era....

    • I realize Chara is a bad matchup for Starsh, which is why I want to get Starsh out against your bottom pair, basically treating his line like the "third line."

    •You actually want Harvey and Flaman to play against Starsh? Enjoy seeing the Richards light up Corbeau and your bottom pair! Edit: saw your later post about them always being out against the Richards. If they are hard matched against the Rocket, they obviously aren't factors against Starsh.

    •This is a higher level of competion. Any line without a defensive presence is below average defensively. Your second line would be torched by the Rocket.

    •Krutov and Vikulov grew up in the Russian system, where one forward always played defensively. Sloan is NOT a defensive center.

    •LOL @ calling Doan "not a true power forward."

    •I agree that MacKell is better offensively at center than wing. *I'm ok with that. He'll see the odd shift at center in Smith's place as said above.

    •Yeah, the Russians on your 4th line could score if given enough ice time to get into rhythm... Given the strength of my top lines, I'd rather not take away ice time from them in offensive situations.to help at the fourth line...

    •Michal Handzus is better offensively than Marcotte in all likelihood.*

    I'll respond to the rest of your post when I have a chance.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2011
  24. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    •The left wing lock was specifically created by Pitner to stop the Soviet left wings in particular from entering the zone with speed. Quackenbush (who is very fast) will be in the middle of the ice ready to back up Coulter, the right side defenseman. Basically, Coulter will almost never be in a position to be one on one with Firsov in the neutral zone. Not that there's any reason to actually believe Coulter was slow.

    •I'd be more worried about Phillips-H Richard torching Flaman to be honest ;)

    •Babe Pratt's defense is MUCH better substantiated than Corbeau's. Despite your best efforts, there is literally NOTHING to indicate that Corbeau was competent at playing defense.

    •LOL at your "hunch" that Rowe may be as good as Boyle. If he was that good, he'd be in the Hall of Fame, given the lower standards of the era.

    •Boyle's Norris record: 4th 5th, 6th. And another strong season this year. Korab's: NONE. Boyle is 3rd in defenseman points behind Lidstrom and Gonchar over the past 8 years. He was the #1 puck mover of the 2003 Cup winners and Cognition hopes he's a few weeks away from repeating that. Korab? KORAB CAN'T HOLD BOYLE'S PROVERBIAL JOCK.

    •Herbie Lewis (argubaly the fastest player of his day) would beat Chara wide, of course! Heh. Heh. Meanwhile, Corbeau would be busy trying to punch Mayorov in the face.

    •Agree for the most part on PP, but...Boyle is NOT playing the whole PP! I have no idea where you got that! He'll sometimes stay on longer than his parter, that's all.

    •Your first unit PK is absolutely elite, except at one place: your most important penalty killer, Al Rollins! Given the gap in goaltending, I'm not sure who has the better first unit PK. Coulter is as elite a PKer as they come.

    •Corbeau of course is the most out of place player on either PK, by far. AGAIN, there is nothing to indicate he more than Phaneuf with worse offense. Overall, it makes up for Flaman's awesome presence there IMO.

    •Your team's great EB. Wish you could have been more present to debate. Good luck! *You'll need it.... muahaha
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2011
  25. EagleBelfour

    EagleBelfour Registered User

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    Haaa! I'm litterally twitching on my chair to answer some of your comment, but in such a hurry! I'm going away in 10 minutes and probably won't have access to the Internet for all the rest of today and tomorrow (it's 16:30 in here). I will surely have time in about 36 hours to answer all those point. Will the voting open at that time?

    If anything, I love your team TDMM and it's all in good fun and hopefully this series could start a friendly rivalry. I still think I've got the team to beat you, but if anything it's ought to be a close contest, whoever takes the series.

    I'll try my best to be present one more time and answer those points one by one :crossfing
     

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