Posted on: May 31, 2012 4:35 am

Brodeur: All-time Great but Overrated Since 2003

One of the great things about this site is that you can find some good comedy on it from time to time. Of course this occurs when people post without thinking much beforehand about it and make fools out of themselves. We have all been guilty of this from time to time- including myself.

Today though, I will focus on the efforts of fellow member Beer is Good 77, who came up with an articulate, well thought out, rebuttal to a post I gave on the Stanley Cup Final Preview thread.

I was actually more complimentary of Martin Brodeur than the author of the blog was. You can see my comment here.

Cerveza I think took umbrage with my comment that I admitted that Brodeur hasn't accomplished squat since Nieds and Stevens left him. I'll let you decide for yourself, but look at his cogent well thought out rebuttal entitled "What Did You Say Toolbox?" here. It's always nice to know that you rate a special title from the writer! It's actually three entries after my aforementioned comment.

Now regarding my statement of accomplishing squat. I STAND BY IT.

Now, I will also say (I was silent in my original post), that Brodeur is clearly one of the ATG's, and is a first ballot HOFer. He's certainly one of the top 5 G's of the last 30 years (I have him at #4, but that is admittedly a matter of taste) and is even the second best G to come from Quebec during that era- which has produced some great G's to say the least.

For me accomplishment is defined by the post-season. You can have excellence in the regular season, but the post-season is where it's at. I think most of us, and most athletes in team sports, would think the same thing.

Cerveza brings up multiple 40 win seasons, shutouts, and two Vezina Trophies. I say "regular season". That's what all of these awards are for.

I can say that two Vezinas is noteworthy, b/c it's decided by the GM's and not the press. However, they typically have an East Coast bias b/c that award has only been given 4 times in the last 30 years to a G from the West even though the statistically decided Jennings has been won 11 times in the same period by the West (not counting STL winning this year).

Nieds and Stevens started with the Brodeur Devils in 1993-94. Nieds left after the 2004 playoffs and Stevens left before the 2004 playoffs started. I'm using 2003 as the pre-post cutoff, primarily b/c of the post-season impact (or lack thereof) by Stevens. The #'s below change a bit if the cutoff is a year later, but my conclusions (and I suspect those of others) don't change.

With the Big Two: 2.18 GAA, .912 Save Pct
(38777 minutes, 15950 shots, 1409 goals)
Post the Big Two: 2.27 GAA, .922 Save Pct
(27681 minutes, 12408 shots, 1048 goals)

Not too much of a dropoff here- if any at all. I pay attention to the post-season though for accomplishment (as opposed to excellence).

With the Big Two: 1.83 GAA, .922 Save Pct
(8670 minutes, 3376 shots, 264 goals)
Post the Big Two: 2.57 GAA, .912 Save Pct
(2546 minutes, 1238 shots, 109 goals)

Being with Nieds and Stevens is what has made Brodeur one of the true all-time greats. However, note the obvious dropoff in efficiency after they left.

Let's see if that translates into post-season failure.

With the Big Two: 18 Wins, 6 Losses, THREE Stanley Cups
Post the Big Two: 2 Wins, 6 Losses, ZERO Stanley Cups

They advanced to the second round twice. Period.

Furthermore, NJ seeds in the six "Post" years were #6, #3, #2, #4, #3, #2. They should have won SEVEN series if they played to their seed. Instead they won TWO including dropping home ice the last four times before this year.

This is hardly the stuff of legends I'm afraid. Evgeny Nabokov has won seven series over the same time period; Dwayne Roloson five. Antti Niemi and Cam Ward have won as many as Marty before this year.

Then there is the inconvenient truth of his ineffectiveness in the Olympics in 2006 and 2010. In 2002, he was lights out as he replaced Cujo and played a key role in bringing Canada the gold. 2006? Seventh place in Turin. 2010? Knocked out of the starting job after the US blitzed him in the round robin. Luongo took Brodeur's place (much like Brodeur took Cujo's place) and led Canada to the gold.

If you want to trumpet regular season laurels as a sign of greatness go ahead. I'm not buying. Two post season series wins in a seven season span is pretty average. A random draw should get any team 1.87 series wins over the same period.

Now, this year, Marty is looking better than he has since the Big Two left.

But I already acknowledged that before this blog.

In the meantime, I guess I'll just has to be satisfied with being a know nothing LA fan.

Category: NHL
Posted on: March 29, 2012 1:11 am

Every Goal Counts.........

As usual, the NHL playoff race is likely going to go down to the last weekend of the season, but in the West, it's particularly crazy- specifically in the Pacific Division.

4 teams have had the division lead in the last week. Of AVS, CAL, DAL, LA, PHX, and SJ, only 3 will see the post-season. Either DAL, LA, PHX, or SJ will be the 3 seed. Two other teams will most likely be 7 and 8.

To the title of the post. The first tiebreaker after total points is Regulation/Overtime Wins (ROW).

DAL will likely win the tiebreaker there with any of the other teams as they 3 up (35 v 32) their nearest competition.

The second tiebreaker is head to head points vs other teams. Too many permutations there, but LA does have head to head advantage against all of the other teams except AVS. They have completed play against all of these EXCEPT SJ.

That's where the third tiebreaker comes in- overall goal differential for the season. LA has 32 ROW and SJ has 31 ROW. LA has 5 points so far this year against SJ and SJ has 4 against LA. However, the two teams close out the season with a home and home (LA/SJ).

Last night the Kings got an empty net goal, putting them at +13. Last night, the Sharks were assessed a goal against when Dan Boyle was ruled to have intentionally knocked the net off the stanchions in the closing seconds of an empty net opportunity. That made the score 3-1 and not 2-1 and now SJ is +12, not +13. I think the call was pretty chintzy myself.

What if this was the difference between one of these two clubs making the post-season?

That doesn't even get to the Kings-Columbus game on Feb 1.
Posted on: March 23, 2012 11:43 am

Norris and Great Defensemen

Well, this should get everybody upset at me I reckon.

In terms of 11 years, Lidstrom is the man. If we are talking 9 yrs, Orr is the man. Consistency...... consistency. Orr was injured for the last two years.

Lidstrom really did not get the top pairing until Konstantinov went down after the 1997 Cup. He and Fetisov were the Men on the blue line in Hockeytown until then. Lidstrom took full advantage of the opportunity presented to him AFTER that tragedy.

I don't like comparing eras either, but you can make a great case the Bourque was a better d-man even for his era. He had a better 20 year career, but Lidstrom had a better prime. I say that b/c when you look at the D partners that Lidstrom had, it was FAR superior to anything Bourque had to work with. I've seen both play probably dozen times up close on the glass. I have a preference for Bourque b/c of what he did away from the puck- including communicating with his teammates while play was going on; but I totally realize that these decisions are personal choices. Tough to go wrong with either frankly.

In terms of scoring, the GPG during Orr's prime and Lidstrom's prime are virtually identical. So, I don't buy the scoring (dead puck) argument for Lidstrom.

To me, Orr is the best to ever play the game (including Gretzky, Lemieux, and Howe), even with his so-called defensive deficiencies. He literally changed the way the game was played and how it is played today. When Orr came into the league, forwards scored 90% of the goals, now they score 85%. How d-men even come close to the scoring title much less win them like Orr did?

In terms of Norris voting for this year, SensArmy, I see your point. Since the hockey writers only get to vote for (I believe) 5 people, I get what you're driving at. I still might put Yandle in the top 5, but I can be on board with you.

redwings1969: So, did Lidstrom deserve the Norris based on his work for 2010/11?   
Category: NHL
Posted on: July 1, 2011 1:39 am

What to Look for in the NHL on July 1....

Forget about the UFA sweepstakes. There's only a few players out there that are potential game changers.

No, the action will be in the RFA market. There are TONS of names out there, and they will get action, particularly if the pay is under $3.2 mil per year.

Here is the RFA offer sheet compensation table for this year (in $mil per year)....

Under 1.1: Nothing to be given
Under 1.6: 3rd round
Under 3.2: 2nd round
Under 4.7: 1st and 3rd
Under 6.3: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd
Under 7.9: 2 x 1st, 2nd, and 3rd
Over 7.9: 4 x 1st

Now, teams have to have THEIR OWN picks available to sign offer sheets. That will take some teams out of the mix immediately.

Another factor will be teams that are under the floor. They will be a major players for these guys. Given that the RFA's are relatively younger, it won't be about winning a Cup for them as much as it will be "securing your financial future" which a 4 year, 8 million contract could do.

I mention 3.2 b/c notice that the compensation is merely a 2nd round pick. I can someone like Wayne Simmonds getting 3 per for 3 (3 x 3). 3 mil would put a lot more pressure on the Flyers cap sitch than 1.7 for example. If clubs start paying near the top of the compensation range for RFA's from better clubs with tight cap space, then those better clubs have tough roster decisions to make.

As I'm a Kings season seat holder, I ask "how much to re-sign Doughty?". Yea, he's an excellent D-Man, but could L.A. do better with a 1st/2nd and 3rd (or even FOUR 1sts) and the 8 mil per saved, particularly if an Eastern Conference team signed him that might not make the post-season? Should L.A. target somebody like Keith Yandle instead and put the pressure on a financially strapped team like the Coyotes? They could get 4 1st for a 1st/2nd/3rd, save 3 mil per and swap out Doughty for Yandle?

I'm sure you can play the same games with the teams that you follow. So many personnell decisions are made with the cap in mind. Remember this as you play GM over the upcoming fun and loving few days!
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