Do the Stars win the Cup without Nieuwendyk?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by I Hate Chris Butler, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. I Hate Chris Butler

    I Hate Chris Butler Backlund Fan Club

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    I was just looking through some old boxscores and got to thinking. Iginla pretty much operated at a similar pace to Nieuwendyk the year the Stars won the Cup. Nieuwendyk did win the Smythe, but what do you think the chances are the Stars would win the Cup if they did not trade for Nieuwendyk?
     
  2. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Very doubtful.
     
  3. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    too tough to say, being that one is a winger and one's a center. If Iginla was a center and you could plunk him in Nieuwendyk's place, I'd say sure, he was good enough to not screw it up if you replayed it all over again.

    But imagining Iginla on the right side behind Hull, and the Stars' 3rd and 4th line centers filling Nieuwendyk's void... I can't say for sure they'd be as good.... maybe, but probably not.
     
  4. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    i think that would have made corey millen dallas' second line center... naw, i don't think they win.
     
  5. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    It was Joe's team. Games revolved around him. When he was injured at the beginning of the postseason before their cup year it was obvious to all that Dallas' chance for a deep run would have to be postponed a year. (I always have believed that that would have been their year, that they'd be back to back cup champs if not for that injury). Avs had their Sakic-Forsberg, Wings their Yzerman-Fedorov and Stars their Modano-Nieuwendyk. A strong centre duo down the middle was the Dead Puck Era way, especially in the West. Getting Joe was exactly what the Stars needed. A brilliant move. A perfect fit.
     
  6. BraveCanadian

    BraveCanadian Registered User

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    Iginla was still getting his feet wet in 1999.. so no.

    Nieuwendyk was a big contributor to the cup win.
     
  7. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    It certainly wasn't "Joe's team." Hatcher was captain and Modano was the franchise player.

    That said, I pretty much agree with the rest of what you said. I can't see Dallas winning without Joe. Iginla wasn't an impact player yet and Joe's clutch scoring from the second line was definitely one of the keys to the Dallas victory.
     
  8. nik jr

    nik jr Registered User

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    imo, no

    loss of nieuwendyk was one of the main reasons dallas was not more competitive in '98 WCF.
     
  9. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    Hard to say, the team still had plenty of talent. Question though now becomes who wins the Cup in 1999 if Dallas didn't. Also could we have seen a showdown between Patrick Roy (colorado) and Dominik Hasek (Buffalo) in the Cup finals.
     
  10. quoipourquoi

    quoipourquoi Goaltender

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    Adding Joe Nieuwendyk to their playoff run might have given the Stars three straight Finals appearances; there were some close games in that series.

    Iginla instead of Nieuwendyk does not benefit the Stars, nor would I call their offensive paces similar. Nieuwendyk missed many games over those seasons, which is why the point totals look close, but when he was actually on the ice (for instance, the 1999 playoffs), he was a step ahead of Iginla at the time.
     
  11. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Absolutely not. Nieuwendyk was a central figure to that offense. I'm not sure how any Cup winning team fares without their Conn Smythe winner. Just since the lockout:
    2006 Ward - possibly, but unlikely
    2007 Niedermayer - might be the best chance there
    2008 Zetterberg - no way
    2009 Malkin - no way
    2010 Toews - nope

    Considering Joe scored 6 game winners I highly doubt it. That Colorado series was pretty even as it was.
     
  12. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    ^ i seriously doubt anaheim goes very far without niedermayer, unless you replace him with another d-man capable of playing half the game. beyond their top three, that was a very weak d corps, which is why nieds, pronger, and beauchemin each averaged more than 29 minutes a game in that playoffs. actually, just to drive the point home, pronger and beauchemin each averaged over 30 minutes, and niedermayer averaged 29:51. that leaves 30 minutes a game between the other three defensemen on the team.

    of conn smythe winners since the lockout, i'd say toews was probably the most dispensable. not to say that chicago would have won without him, but that was a very deep team and he wasn't exactly the motor behind the team in the finals. that said, you could just as easily argue that they wouldn't have even beat nashville in the first round without him.

    of smythe winners in the last 20 years, it seems crazy to say, but i'd argue that the penguins in '92 probably have the best chance to win if their conn smythe winner was injured the entire playoffs. that was just a fantastic team. they won three games against the president's trophy team (NYR) without lemieux. hell, once they got rolling, they won eleven straight to decisively take the cup, and lemieux missed the first four of those games.
     
  13. quoipourquoi

    quoipourquoi Goaltender

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    I wouldn't say they were weak (O'Donnell, as Pronger's defensive partner, certainly wasn't sheltered at 20:20), so much as there was no reason for Carlyle to put the Huskins-DiPenta pairing out on the ice unless the others were tired from one of their many penalty kills. They're not bad, per se; they're just not two of the three best defensemen of the decade.

    You're right that the Ducks don't win without Niedermayer though. They needed a defenseman capable of carrying the puck (though Huskins was no slouch). It derailed their offense the next season when they didn't have Niedermayer to do the heavy lifting.


    Still, if we look at the 2001 Colorado Avalanche and 1992 Pittsburgh Penguins, it is possible for a team to thrive without their best offensive players, so I wouldn't put it past many teams to have success without a top-end forward. Defenseman or goalie? Probably never.
     
  14. Classic Devil

    Classic Devil Spirit of 1988

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    Absolutely no chance.
     
  15. Blades of Glory

    Blades of Glory Troll Captain

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    Absolutely not. But he was far from the most valuable player on that team. Modano, Belfour, and Hatcher played far more important roles in the 1999 playoffs. It is a mystery how a forward that played 16 minutes/game won the Smythe over an absolutely dominant goalie and another forward who led the team in playoff scoring while playing 24 minutes/game.
     
  16. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    No, it's not a mystery. It's called Game winning goals.

    Not that I agree with it in any way whatsoever.
     
  17. Regal

    Regal Registered User

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    That's basically how I feel. I don't think Iginla was a big step down as a player, though Nieuwendyk was still probably a bit better at everything, and provided veteran experience and leadership. That 1-2 punch down the middle was huge though, and I'm not sure if Iginla would have worked as well on the team. I know he's been tried at centre in the past, so it's possible he could have been moved there by the Stars though. At the same time, while his Conn Smythe is somewhat contested, Nieuwendyk still came up with a lot of huge goals during that run.



    I actually brought this up in a thread about who "won" the Iginla-Nieuwendyk trade, and most people were saying it was even or that Dallas won because they won the cup, but I suggested that while both teams wouldn't take back the trade, Calgary probably "won" because they got a long term franchise player who took them to the finals instead of an older, malcontented star, whereas Dallas got better in the short term, but may have had the same success with Iginla, and then had him contributing for longer than Nieuwendyk was there. I wouldn't say it's necessarily likely, but I think there's definitely a chance Dallas could have won in '99 or even '00 with Iginla instead of Nieuwendyk. While the Devils were great in '00, Dallas still took them to 6, and that was with Joe not providing all that much offense.
     
  18. No. And good on them for not being scared to go for it.
     
    Last edited by moderator : Feb 25, 2011
  19. blogofmike

    blogofmike Registered User

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    It is highly improbable.

    If it's a thought experiment where Nieuwendyk was replaced with another top centre, then sure, Dallas would be fine. But since it's subtracting Niuewendyk for no one who would provide immediate help, then no.
     
  20. overpass

    overpass Registered User

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    Also, Modano was playing the tough matchups all the way through the playoffs, and Nieuwendyk got the easier matchups.

    In Game 3 of the Finals, Nieuwendyk scored both Dallas goals while Peca was checking Modano. For the final three games, Lindy Ruff switched Peca to go against Nieuwendyk. Nieuwendyk didn't score a point in the final three games, and Modano assisted on all five Dallas goals (while playing with a broken wrist.)

    But even if Modano was better, no, it's very unlikely that Dallas wins without Nieuwendyk.
     
  21. BraveCanadian

    BraveCanadian Registered User

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    Game 4 June 15 1999:

    Q. You had be to really pleased of the reemergence of your physical game tonight?

    LINDY RUFF: Well, I thought rolling four lines and trying keep the shift short after two periods, I think the forward with the most ice time had nine or ten minutes. That is not typical with our hockey team. We tried to keep it short. We wanted everybody to finish. We wanted to make sure that every line got going and we didn't worry a lot about the matchups. We made sure we had Peca on Nieuwendyk obviously. After that Primeau or Brown on Modano and then we just let the other guys go.

    Q. You talked about Primeau and Brown covering Modano. Seemed like Primeau's line was on him more than Brown's. Seemed like they did a great job. Could you expound on how Primeau's line was able to hold down the Modano line?

    LINDY RUFF: I think the one thing that Randy, Wayne and Erik brought was some size and speed. Erik has great speed. Primeau has got great speed. For the most part they were against him. They tried to play physical. Erik has been our leading hitter throughout the Playoffs. We wanted to make sure we got some big bodies out there. Modano is a big man that can fly and we tried to crowd things through the neutral zone and then when we had a chance, we tried to finish him. The line went out and played well against him. We tried to keep that way most of the night.

    http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=25080


    EDIT-god I can't read sometimes

    Also I see an interview on the same site where Peca describes wanting to stay physical against Modano because he doesn't like it.

    And after game 3 Ruff talks about possibly making the switch that this interview here describes.

    Good stuff. Peca's line was a wet blanket on whoever they were matched against it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011

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