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kipwinger's Photo


Member Since 31 May 2011
Offline Last Active Aug 28 2014 03:41 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Lines Thread

28 August 2014 - 02:03 PM

I want nothing to do with a Zetterberg, Datsyuk, and Alfie (or Nyquist) top line.  It should be wildly clear over the last five or six post seasons that we don't have anyone scoring down low.  Giving another perimeter guy top line minutes is a recipe for failure.  I'd rather lose a little bit of offense but change the dynamic of our attack than keep throwing the same one dimensional attack at teams over and over and over.  Jurco showed a willingness to use his body to protect the puck, was strong in the corners, and had no problem creating offense in traffic.  Plus, despite rookie linemates, limited minutes, and no powerplay time, his offensive number projected very favorably to Alfie's over a full season (and should only increase with D and Z).


As such...






In Topic: What Might Have Been: Gretzky to Detroit?

14 August 2014 - 07:47 AM

His plus/minus would imply otherwise. The guy was a consistent minus player throughout the last decade of his career (ie the 90s), which at the most fundamental level tells me that the strength of his possession game wasn't enough to keep the puck out of his own zone, nor out of his own net. The opposition consistently outscored his line. And I know +/- is a team stat and blah blah blah, but you'd think for someone who holds almost every offensive record in the books, and continued to produce at an elite level up until his retirement, he would have been able to have at the very least a decent plus minus for half those seasons, especially because that negative +/- was pretty consistent over three different teams (and who knows how many linemates) in the 90s.
The guy was an offensive god, but his defense was little to non existent. The real question is had the Wings acquired him, would he have been Bowman's example for the Wings to adapt a two-way game as Yzerman did, or would he have continued to do what made him famous? The last part is why in retrospect, I would have stuck with Yzerman (although in 1989 I would have made the trade 10 times out of 10).


Firstly, I've heard you rail about how bad a stat +/- is about a thousand times.  So it seems like you're nitpicking stats that you'd otherwise argue aren't worth a damn.  But I'll play along...


In, the last decade of his career Gretzky had a negative +/- seven times.  Five of those times his team didn't make the playoffs (e.g. they were bad teams).  The fact that he drives possession doesn't mean he's going to make bad teams into defensive stalwarts, and I never claimed such.  But it does mean that on good defensive teams (like the 97 and 98 Wings) his "lack of defense" will likely be made up for by his contributions to possession. 


I think the reason why that seems less clear based on +/- stats is because increased possession leads to more powerplays (e.g. those Wings teams were on the PP all the time, hence "our PP is our enforcer), and the additional offensive zone time (and points) gained on the PP does not affect the +/-.  For example, if Gretzky was doing his thing in the offensive zone, creating offense on the cycle, and generally pressuring the opposition (like he did his whole career), the opposing team A) can't generate offense (so you're not playing defense) and B) has a greater likelihood of taking a penalty (so you're not playing defense).  When they do take penalties, and Gretzky's team scores, it won't affect his +/- but nevertheless his possession lead to A) scoring, and B) long periods of time in which his team didn't have to play defense.  He did this ALL THE TIME during his career. 


But don't just take my word for it.  Here's two time Stanley Cup winning coach Daryll Sutter making the EXACT same argument while explaining how Marian Gaborik's defensive shortcomings wouldn't matter to LA. 


"The game’s changed. They think there’s defending in today’s game. Nah, it’s how much you have the puck. Teams that play around in their own zone (say) they’re defending but they’re generally getting scored on or taking face-offs and they need a goalie to stand on his head if that’s the way they play,” said Sutter.



In Topic: What Might Have Been: Gretzky to Detroit?

13 August 2014 - 03:38 PM

While Yzerman has reached legendary status in Detroit, he was always humble, never showy and in the late 80's there wasn't really such a thing as a "two way forward."   Star players weren't killing penalties and back checking. You were either a scorer or a defensive specialist. I don't know what team some of you were watching in 1988, but Yzerman was definitely a star then.


Nobody said he wasn't a star.  Many people, however, have suggested (rightly) that he wasn't considered the untouchable, legendary, captain of a dynasty franchise until much later.


He was obviously a star.  He was scoring 100+ points a season at that point.

In Topic: Alfie wants to play

13 August 2014 - 03:11 PM







Those would be the 4 regular lines if I was the coach, at least to start the season and assuming everyone is good to go health wise.  Callahan would get one reserve spot, the other would be a toss up between Glendening and Joakim "Swedish Emmerton" Andersson, depending on if I wanted a tenacious but unskilled bull dog or a guy with some skill but zero grit as a spare center.  I'd probably go with Glendening.  If I felt really pressured, I'd play Cleary 5 minutes a night the first 10 games to get his bonus then demote him and recall Callahan.


I love Jurco on the top line.  Also, when old man Alf inevitably gets hurt Mantha gets that third line spot.  I also Iike the idea of giving one reserve spot to Callahan.


But what about the defense?  That's much tougher.

In Topic: What Might Have Been: Gretzky to Detroit?

13 August 2014 - 02:51 PM

Gretzky would have helped and made this team better up till the mid 90s. No doubt.  Past that in into the cup years....I have my doubts.


In regards to the later years, once Yzerman developed his defence and Wayne started to slow (a bit), I think our viewpoints basically come down to this...


Both: Detroit was the best puck possession team. No one else was close.


Kip: Gretzky, the best possession player of all time, would thrive in our system because of this and make us even stronger despite sacrificing Yzerman's defensive game.


SOW: We were already top of the league for possession...by far.  Why sacrifice other areas to further strengthen that area even further? The difference in outcome would be negligible.


Fun to think about...


I'd add that in getting Gretzky you wouldn't sacrifice team defense, only individual defense.  Individually he's worse than Yzerman, no doubt.  But he's so much better of a possession player that your team defense would improve simply by virtue of having to play in the defensive zone so much less. 


But other than that, I agree with most of what you've said above.