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Monday, November 22, 2021

OT - NHL Thread

We had one of these awhile back and at least one other person is interested so here is your place to talk Troy Terry, Connor McDavid and America’s Sweetheart Brad Marchand!

Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: November 22, 2021 at 01:26 PM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: chris drury, frozen pond, nhl

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   1. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: November 22, 2021 at 01:54 PM (#6054006)
It looks like the Leafs are playing well after an uneven start to the season. Their defense has been good and they are actually winning despite not scoring a lot of goals. Jack Campbell would probably be on the shortlist of Vezina candidates if the season ended today.

Doesn't really matter though, they will get eliminated in the first round.
   2. The Duke Posted: November 22, 2021 at 02:30 PM (#6054023)
The obvious question, which no one can ever seem to answer, is “why do players skate up to within millimeters of the red line and then shoot the puck in for icing?” These guys are the best in that world at what they do and I see 2-3 icings a game where they fail to clear the red line on a dump in.
   3. Obo Posted: November 22, 2021 at 03:22 PM (#6054043)
Usually it's because somebody is lined up to destroy them if they take one more step.
   4. The Duke Posted: November 22, 2021 at 03:37 PM (#6054044)
I’ve looked at that and from the eye test, I’ve seen a couple cases of that but mostly they just miss. And if you are going to be hit, why is icing the puck your first option ?
   5. John DiFool2 Posted: November 22, 2021 at 03:46 PM (#6054045)
Some chatter whether Ovechkin can break Gretzy's goal record, which in this day and age would be astounding. Nay: he's coming off of a 24 goal season, has missed substantial time last two seasons (Covid season didn't help any way you slice it), is still 150 short. Yea: He's got 15 in 19 games this year, and if he can pop out 50 goals this go-around he'll be ~113 short going into his age 37 season.
   6. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: November 22, 2021 at 04:23 PM (#6054060)
I’ve looked at that and from the eye test, I’ve seen a couple cases of that but mostly they just miss. And if you are going to be hit, why is icing the puck your first option ?


It's also a matter of getting the puck in quick. A lot of times someone else has put the hammer down and his heading for the blue line full speed in hopes of getting in deep first. If the player waits to dump it in that player is going to be offside.
   7. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: November 22, 2021 at 04:40 PM (#6054063)
Some chatter whether Ovechkin can break Gretzy's goal record, which in this day and age would be astounding. Nay: he's coming off of a 24 goal season, has missed substantial time last two seasons (Covid season didn't help any way you slice it), is still 150 short. Yea: He's got 15 in 19 games this year, and if he can pop out 50 goals this go-around he'll be ~113 short going into his age 37 season.
jaromir jagr scored 120 goals in his age 39-45 seasons.

given the similarity of their playing style, and given that ovechkin is still an elite scoring threat, i wouldn't bet against him.
   8. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: November 22, 2021 at 04:47 PM (#6054064)
The obvious question, which no one can ever seem to answer, is “why do players skate up to within millimeters of the red line and then shoot the puck in for icing?” These guys are the best in that world at what they do and I see 2-3 icings a game where they fail to clear the red line on a dump in.

playing hockey is exhausting, and when people are fatigued, they're prone to making mental mistakes.

90+% of the time, refs treat it like the neighborhood play at 2nd base, they give players the benefit of the doubt and life goes on. that leniency breeds the complacency that results in the other 5-ish percent of icing calls that do get made.
   9. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: November 22, 2021 at 10:04 PM (#6054133)
Some chatter whether Ovechkin can break Gretzy's goal record, which in this day and age would be astounding. Nay: he's coming off of a 24 goal season, has missed substantial time last two seasons (Covid season didn't help any way you slice it), is still 150 short. Yea: He's got 15 in 19 games this year, and if he can pop out 50 goals this go-around he'll be ~113 short going into his age 37 season.

I am not sure whether or not Ovechkin will break the record but he is undoubtedly in my mind the greatest goal scorer in the history of the NHL. When you consider the fact that Gretzky scored most of the schools in the 1980s when offense was inflated, and that Alexander has done so during an era in which goal scoring is much more difficult, I do not think there is much argument that Gretzky is the better goal scorer. Alexander has led the NHL in goals 9 times and has been in the top 10 mind-boggling 14 times. Gretzky lead the league in goals 5 times and was top-10 ten times. Wayne was the best goal scorer in league for the first decade of his career but was relatively pedestrian after that. Alexander has been a goal scoring machine since he entered the NHL other than a brief period of time in which he was relatively pedestrian in 2011 and 2012.

What makes Gretzky arguably the greatest hockey player in history was that he was the best playmaker in NHL history who happens to have also scored more goals than anyone else.
   10. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: November 22, 2021 at 11:02 PM (#6054144)
The obvious question, which no one can ever seem to answer, is “why do players skate up to within millimeters of the red line and then shoot the puck in for icing?” These guys are the best in that world at what they do and I see 2-3 icings a game where they fail to clear the red line on a dump in.


Refs actually only call icing on that play maybe 10% of the time. Players get away with a LOT of dumping the puck from a foot behind the red line, that should be whistled for icing but isn't. It's hockey's version of the old neighborhood play around second base--it's kind of an unwritten rule that the refs will only call it if you make it so obvious that they have to.

So the answer to your question is, because the de facto red line is about a foot or two behind the real one.

Ovechkin has an excellent chance to catch Gretzky on goals, I think. Even if he can't really move anymore, he'll still be able to stand on the dot and sock 25 power play dingers a year when he's 45, most likely.

There is no question that Ovechkin is the best pure scorer in history. Crosby was the better player of the two when you consider defense IMO*, but just on offense Ovechkin has it all over him. His mere presence on the ice puts extreme pressure on the opposing defense even when he doesn't touch the puck, because if you lose track of him for two seconds he will score. There's never been anything like him.

* (Although Ovechkin has played 150 more games than Crosby, and that gap will likely widen, as Ovi is still going strong and Crosby has been hurt and is beginning to look old, so stay tuned.)
   11. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: November 22, 2021 at 11:06 PM (#6054146)
Also on the subject of ridiculously great players, an interesting factoid I saw last month is that Leon Draisaitl scored 21 points in his first 9 games--the first player to do that since Mario Lemieux.

What's interesting there is that Lemieux did it (the last of three times he did it, actually) in 2003--so this remarkable feat achieved by one of the best young players in the world who plays alongside the very best player in the world, Lemieux did that when he was 37 and his back was completely shot, playing on the worst team in the league, at the nadir of the dead puck/trap/clutch-n-grab era. Lemieux was ridiculous.
   12. The Duke Posted: November 23, 2021 at 09:06 AM (#6054204)
The Blues look like they’ve managed to recover from their horrible season last year. They’ll make the playoffs which was an open question. If they could get another big defenseman they could pair up with their smaller guys (Faulk, krug and Perunovich), they could be formidable. I always like Saad when he played in Chicago. Guy scores a lot by just being near the net.

Tarasenko is back and skating well but he just can’t score even though he takes a ton of shots. Just bangs them right into the goalies midsection all game long.

They really got screwed on their window. They were cruising in 2020 pre-Covid and then completely fell apart. I think their time has passed now but their play has been entertaining this year.
   13. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 23, 2021 at 01:04 PM (#6054259)
I am not sure whether or not Ovechkin will break the record but he is undoubtedly in my mind the greatest goal scorer in the history of the NHL.


I think there are three legitimate choices for "greatest goal scorer of all time":

Gretzky, Ovechkin, Bossy

It's hard to measure them because Bossy's career was derailed by a career-ending injury in this 10th and final season (bad discs in his back), but if you take the first 9 seasons of each of their careers, and use adjusted goals, Ovechkin comes out on top:

                                              
                                          Adju
Player            Tm From   To Active  GP    G
Mike Bossy       NYI 1977 1986      9 689  429
Wayne Gretzky    EDM 1979 1988      9 696  463
Alex Ovechkin    WSH 2005 2014      9 679  484


Ovechkin has the lead at this point in their careers, and never lets it go against Gretzky.
The only one ahead of him in adjusted goals is Gordie Howe, and that's only because of the massive difference in games played:

                                                    
                                                Adju
Player           Tm   Pos From   To Active   GP    G
Gordie Howe     TOT    RW 1946 1980     26 1767  925
Alex Ovechkin   WSH RW/LW 2005 2022     17 1216  904
   14. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: November 23, 2021 at 06:53 PM (#6054347)
There's no question in my mind that Ovechkin is the greatest goal scorer the game has ever seen. And, barring a major injury that becomes chronic, he's a near lock to break the record. He never misses much time and his skills are suited to an old man style of game - he doesn't need to be fast or quick and if his hands start to go, he's still got his ridiculous one=time and snapshot. Father Time comes for everyone, so there's always a chance he falls off a cliff at some point, but my guess is he breaks the record early in his age 40 season, reminiscent of Aaron breaking Ruth's record.

For Ovechkin to do this in the era he has is incredible.

More interesting is to me is whether or not Connor McDavid is the greatest hockey player we've ever seen (or whether you think he can become that if you don't think he is already). He seems to have a very Mike Trout feel to him - a kid coming along and doing things at the highest level possible at an early age for a mediocre team while getting better every season. I just hope he doesn't run into the mid-career injuries like Trout has. The plays McDavid makes while going significantly faster than anyone else on the ice - it's simply breathtaking. I know Draisaitl is outscoring him right now, but I think McDavid winds up with 160 points this season.
   15. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: November 23, 2021 at 09:04 PM (#6054387)
More interesting is to me is whether or not Connor McDavid is the greatest hockey player we've ever seen (or whether you think he can become that if you don't think he is already).

Unless you are making the argument that players today are better than anyone could possibly be 40 years ago, there's no real argument for McDavid over Gretzky as a forward. There's certainly an argument that Mario Lemieux at his best might be better than anyone and Orr did amazing things as a defenseman.

Gretzky would have won 3 scoring titles with his assists alone, not counting his goals. He had a year were he broke the all-time record of goals and assists in the same year. Obviously, the eras are different but Gretzky was by far the best goal scorer and best setupman at the same time during a season. McDavid has never come close to leading the league in goals, his best showing in that regard a distant second last year behind Matthews (41-33).
   16. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: November 23, 2021 at 10:52 PM (#6054433)
I think if you frame the question as "you can have anyone at his absolute peak for one game or one playoff series, who do you want" then the answer is probably Mario Lemieux. If you stretch it out even as far as a season then it's probably Gretzky; any longer than that, it's definitely Gretzky.

IMO there is a pretty strong argument that Nicklas Lidstrom was the best defenseman ever.

What I like is the uniqueness of the 21st century crop of megastars. There has never been a player like Ovechkin; there has never been a player like Crosby; there has never been a player like McDavid.

If you get a chance, watch the Rangers sometime, in person if you can--Adam Fox is extremely good. He has that sixth sense that feels almost like clairvoyance that only the truly great ones have, and that I don't think I've seen in a defenseman since Pronger and Lidstrom retired.


Extra random thought: I have a theory that there is a level freakish athleticism in a big, musclebound body that no human body can possibly support for long; go over that threshold and your athletic career being shortened by severe injury is certain. Bo Jackson. Mario Lemieux. Mike Trout. J.J. Watt. Are there any counterexamples to this? Mickey Mantle, maybe. Eric Lindros rates an asterisk, since his career was ruined by concussions before any kind of bodily injury could get there. Jim Brown was an iron man but retired early, before it could happen to him. Oscar Charleston played forever with that kind of body, though he was much shorter and it was a very long time ago.

edit: the great defensive end Julius Peppers is a good counterexample, perhaps. And before him, Bruce Smith. But I'm not actually sure even those guys were at that level of athletic freakishness. Ehhhh, it's probably all just random and I'm grasping at the wind, my primate brain stubbornly insisting on creating narratives out of the uncaring chaos of the universe. :)
   17. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: November 24, 2021 at 04:26 PM (#6054507)
I think Mario Lemieux could have been the man if he'd been able to stay healthy. I know Gretzky's got all the numbers, but the game he played in was so different in the '80s. His dominance changed the way teams played defense. McDavid has done this in a league where the average team scores 2.9 goals per game. In Gretzky's day it was 4.0 goals per game. And just by the eye test - man, watching McDavid stickhandle through four guys at full speed and then lift a puck past a 6'5" goaltender taking up the entire net is so much more exciting than watching Gretzky skate unmolested into the offensive zone and take a slapshot from the circle past a guy who didn't know the butterfly would be a thing. I'm overstating it, I know.

I see what McDavid's doing in the league now and think it's just as impressive, if not more so, as what Gretzky was doing then. We'll see if he can put up a couple of transcendent seasons in the next few years, but he's on his way. Mario Lemieux put up 161 points in 95-96. No one has put up more than 128 in a season since. If McDavid can put up a few 150-point seasons I think he's in the discussion. From the eye test, he's already there for me.
   18. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: November 24, 2021 at 04:54 PM (#6054516)
I've seen the Gretzky stuff on the Twitterz today and there are some pretty silly comments there (not here). But one thing I haven't seen addressed is the elimination of the two line pass rule. While there are changes all over I think that's one that can't be ignored. That Gretzky did what he did with less space is remarkable.

The athleticism today is of course off the charts but that becomes a matter of how you want to do this exercise. I think if you drop 1984 Wayne Gretzky in 2021 he struggles comparatively. If you look at how much he dominated the game of his era that's a different matter. Look at Gretzky's best year relative to league scoring. 1985-86, 215 points in a league averaging 3.97 goals per game. 2018-19 (the last full season) was 3.01. Adjust that 215 by the 25% (roughly) difference and you get to 163 points. Just to put it into perspective only five guys have 150+ points in a season; Gretzky (8), Lemieux (4), Yzerman, Nicholls, Esposito.

Having said all that I think I'm with JAHV that the current NHL is just a treat. There is a level of quality overall that is so much fun to watch. Just watch some of those old highlights of Gretzky or anyone else. The speed of the game today is just ludicrous and the athleticism of goalies in particular is nonsense really.
   19. APNY Posted: November 24, 2021 at 05:14 PM (#6054522)
If you get a chance, watch the Rangers sometime, in person if you can--Adam Fox is extremely good. He has that sixth sense that feels almost like clairvoyance that only the truly great ones have, and that I don't think I've seen in a defenseman since Pronger and Lidstrom retired.


Incredible skater. Not in a Bure/Neidermayer speed way, but crazy body control/agility on skates. Hard to explain maybe, but it's like the one kid in street hockey game who can do crazy things cause he's on feet and everyone else is on blades.

Mike Bossy is a weird one for me - was always obsessed with the stat line - then Youtube came along - goaltending was really bad back then.
   20. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: November 24, 2021 at 06:43 PM (#6054533)
A rumor made the rounds a couple weeks ago that John Henry's FSG is looking into buying the Penguins. Weird if true. The Penguins are done as a serious Cup contender and are going to crash hard in the next 2-3 years. OTOH their majority owner (Ron Burkle) has been looking to sell for the right price, so maybe they're just the most available team for someone looking to buy into the NHL right now.
   21. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: November 24, 2021 at 07:40 PM (#6054541)
What I like is the uniqueness of the 21st century crop of megastars. There has never been a player like Ovechkin; there has never been a player like Crosby; there has never been a player like McDavid.

ovechkin: jagr.
crosby: forsberg.
mcdavid: yzerman.

all of this has happened before; all of this will happen again.
Ehhhh, it's probably all just random and I'm grasping at the wind, my primate brain stubbornly insisting on creating narratives out of the uncaring chaos of the universe. :)
yeah, probably.
Mike Bossy is a weird one for me - was always obsessed with the stat line - then Youtube came along - goaltending was really bad back then.
part of that is that the michellin men didn't show up until the 90s. another part is that the butterfly style of goaltending didn't become dominant until the 90s.
   22. APNY Posted: November 24, 2021 at 07:53 PM (#6054546)
I don't see ovechkin:jagr. More like a souped-up Shanahan.

I like Crosby:Forsberg.

There's been plenty of McDavid types, he's just better.
   23. Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms Posted: November 24, 2021 at 09:14 PM (#6054557)
Bruins and Sabres want to get home for thanksgiving. They have been playing long stretches without a whistle. In the 2nd they had an 11:02 stretch where the only stoppage was for a penalty shot. Advertisers couldn’t have been happy.
   24. John DiFool2 Posted: November 24, 2021 at 09:43 PM (#6054568)
I know Gretzky's got all the numbers, but the game he played in was so different in the '80s. His dominance changed the way teams played defense.


I watched some of the 1984 Finals awhile back. I was struck by how disorganized and undisciplined defenses were-and often this was the Islanders I am alluding to. Players abandoning their zone willy-nilly leaving yawning gaps in the defensive scheme. Mess and Gretz just ate them alive when they did that.

another part is that the butterfly style of goaltending didn't become dominant until the 90s.


One quick question since I only got into the sport (spectating) in the mid-80s; how do you defend against the low shots along the ice if you don't do the butterfly drop down thing? Seems you have to depend on those little flaps in front of your skates to stop them, or your stick blade.


   25. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: November 25, 2021 at 05:08 AM (#6054599)
One quick question since I only got into the sport (spectating) in the mid-80s; how do you defend against the low shots along the ice if you don't do the butterfly drop down thing? Seems you have to depend on those little flaps in front of your skates to stop them, or your stick blade.


It was basically just using your stick. There was also a lot of stacking the pads, particularly on shots where the player was moving laterally in front of the net. But there were goalies who could also make the ol' "kick save and a beauty!" with the toe of their skate.

It seems like my Ducks have decided to revert to the form everyone thought they'd take before the season started. At least we had that nice eight-game run.
   26. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 26, 2021 at 02:07 PM (#6054676)
The thing about the 1980s is that defensemen were pretty much allowed to maul forwards in the slot. Brad Marsh would essentially turn into a backpack and drape himself over forwards. You could grab their sticks, or hook their sticks and entangle them without the puck being anywhere nearby. Multiple crosschecks to the back and shoulders were common place, and if you knocked a guy down in front, well, that was just "good defense".

The two-line-offside rule killed long breakouts, and defensemen doing micro-hooking on the skating player's hands (or sometimes out-and-out "water ski hooks"), whether they had the puck or not, murdered speed except for the exceptionally skilled.

Add an opportunity to perform human-torpedo type hits to anyone who touched a puck in the previous 10 seconds ("finishing the check"), including head shots, cheap shots, and blind shots.

Almost all of that has since been outlawed from the game in one way or another.
   27. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 26, 2021 at 02:15 PM (#6054677)
Eric Lindros rates an asterisk, since his career was ruined by concussions before any kind of bodily injury could get there.


If he doesn't have concussion issues, I think his combination of speed, skill, size, and "truculence" would have put him in the discussion of top 5 in NHL history by the time his career is over.
   28. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: November 26, 2021 at 05:21 PM (#6054694)
RTG #26: Great post. One of the reasons 80s hockey was the way it was is just as you say: there was a lot of stuff you couldn't do out in open ice because if you tried you'd get annihilated and the refs, the media, and your coaches would say "getting knocked unconscious was your own damn fault, keep your head up, meat" that you can do now because we now understand that concussions aren't cool.

When players weren't allowed to play defense by playing the man anymore, they switched to playing the puck--which might be less manly, but it turned out to be far more effective.

About goaltending, I don't know. I think goalies Before Roy played the way they played (i.e. standing up 95% of the time) because of the equipment of the day--a goalie getting his head any closer to the ice than absolutely necessary was considered suicidal. My best guess it that it was suicidal until about the early 80s, but it wasn't until Patrick Roy in the late 80s that someone conclusively demonstrated it wasn't--at which point the butterfly became ubiquitous extremely quickly.

The other element of that was the pads--goalies Before Roy, who were mostly smaller than skaters whereas After Roy goalies quickly came to be bigger than skaters, valued mobility more than space coverage and used smaller pads. Better pads were developed by, again, the late 80s that enabled a goalie to wear gigantic pads and still be able to move, and then Roy and others demonstrated that wearing the biggest pads you can get away with, going into the butterfly and staying mostly stationary was a far superior strategy than standing up and relying on your reflexes to stop shots.

These trends were, of course, interlinked: as the game rapidly grew faster, goalies became no longer able to survive on their reflexes; their first weapon had to be their positioning and coverage of the net.

The above is the best of my understanding. Please enlighten me if any of that is wrong. I'm a historian on this, I wasn't actually there as an active hockey fan before about 1990.

One last thing: skaters lying down to block shots. You'd have to be suicidally insane to try this with the equipment of anytime before about 1990. But with the advent of universal helmets and much better body armor, players and coaches quickly learned you could (mostly) safely do this, so now it's universally done. I wish the NHL would adopt a rule making any skater intentionally lie down on the ice a penalty, because (1) we could use a few more goals, and also (2) players still get hurt blocking shots pretty regularly. But I also wish penalties could be broken down further than just 2/4/5 minutes so it and a few other things could be 45 second or 1 minute penalties.
   29. we all water; we all 57i66135 Posted: November 26, 2021 at 05:54 PM (#6054699)
The above is the best of my understanding. Please enlighten me if any of that is wrong. I'm a historian on this, I wasn't actually there as an active hockey fan before about 1990.
i think you also have to account for the change from wood sticks to composites, which started in the late 90s. slap shots did not used to be the heat seeking missiles that they are today.
Add an opportunity to perform human-torpedo type hits to anyone who touched a puck in the previous 10 seconds ("finishing the check"), including head shots, cheap shots, and blind shots.
aside from the semi-occasional line brawls, pre-1990 hockey was a lot less violent than the modern NHL.
   30. John DiFool2 Posted: November 27, 2021 at 08:22 PM (#6054935)
The stats do show a large drop in power play opportunities (as well as success rates).
   31. The Duke Posted: November 29, 2021 at 11:58 AM (#6055147)
Yeah, banning the “lying down on the ice” thing would be good. I’d happily trade that for less penalties on flipping the puck into the stands. Can’t there be a bit of discretion here. There’s way too many of these penalties. The refs probably don’t want discretion but their whole job is discretion - a bright line rile like that seems too harsh

I had one question on the delayed offsides call after a goal. Is there any time limit on a goal being called back? I saw one where it seemed like the offense had the puck in the zone for 30 seconds, goal finally gets scored and the goal is then taken away from something that happened so far back in time. Seems like there should be a time limit on this. If you can’t get the puck out of your zone you can hardly blame the original infraction for your troubles.
   32. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: November 29, 2021 at 12:21 PM (#6055152)
There's no time limit on that that I know of, no.

FSG (John Henry)'s purchase of the Penguins is official. Very interesting. They've bought a sinking franchise and will soon have some fascinating decisions to make, but their track record is of course very strong.

One thing I will say: up through this morning I would have put the probability of Sidney Crosby ever playing for any other franchise on terms other than a very end of career handful of unfortunate games at 0.000%. But given FSG's willingness to let Mookie Betts go, you can no longer be too sure.
   33. The Duke Posted: November 30, 2021 at 10:18 PM (#6055479)
Binnington gives up two goals in 5 seconds. Second goal on a face off dump in from center ice INTO THE CORNER. Picks hits the boards rolls to Binnington who doesn’t appear to be able to track it and it just rolls into net. Amazing
   34. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: December 01, 2021 at 11:23 PM (#6055756)
The Leafs are just killing people right now. 15-2 in their last 17 games, and have won their last 5 games on a Western trip by a combined score of 26-7. This will make their inevitable first round exit even worse.

Crazy stat: The last time the Leafs won a playoff round, Alexander Ovechkin had yet to score a single NHL goal.

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