Ok. So I'm a big hater of size prejudice at the NHL draft every year. How many Ennis' get passed up every year for Jessimans'? The league supports smaller players much more post lockout. Briere, St. Louis, Ennis, Desharnais, Kane, etc...all not only get by, but do well.
Here's my curiosity case this year...Nic Petan. 120 points in 71 WHL games for the Winterhawks. Listed as 5'8". This kid dominated a league, that from what I've heard is generally a more physical league than the other two CHL leagues. He also jumped from 35 points to 120 in one year. Kid knows how to play. Yet, he's listed at #42 in the THN Draft Preview.
I'm really excited for this draft. Super deep draft. We have the lowest pick I've ever personally seen us have. There should be a flurry of trade activity today.
Things I'm looking for...
-Flames GM Jay Feaster will do something dumb AND make at least one draft decision that makes people wonder why he's still an NHL GM
-Columbus trades one of thier 3 first round picks
-Colorado takes MacKinnon, Patrick Roy says something stupid at one point or another
-Florida takes Jones, Tallon personally thanks Colorado
-At least one team trades to get into the top 10
-Leafs do something dumb (this is partially a wish)
-Columbus has its best draft ever
That's part of it, but they're also much more athletic. Lateral movement is an actual thing now, not just standing around until it's time to stack the pads.
Butterfly goaltending basically didn't exist in the 70's, pads were very heavy and small, and goalies were ENCOURAGED to stay standing and not to go down. Couple that with a near complete lack of defensive and positioning structure at the time and you have a recipe for the unheard of point production of the 70's and 80's. Simply put...Lidstrom putting up 70 plus points in 2000 is like Orr putting up 115 or more in the early 70's. Except Lidstrom did it without rushing the puck like a forward...even if Orr was better, I don't think its near as far apart as some people will tell you.
Am I the only person here who thinks that Orr would not be able to score at all in today's game? Seriously, most of his goals were garbage. He was allowed to just skate around the O zone without anyone laying a body on him. Nobody blocked shots back then like they do today. Finally, goalies have improved a s*** ton since the '70s.
Its stuff like this that makes comparing players from different eras very hard. I think Orr would still be good but not otherworldly dominating good. Orr revolutionalized hockey for defenseman, he was a great skater, scorer, and he would fight. He was Wayne Gretzky on defense.
Your right though. The game has become incredibly more refined, coached, and defended. I think its starting to settle into the zone where it won't change much anymore without large rule changes because they've really exploited out the games deficiencies. That said, Lidstrom played during the end of the freewheeling era, the dead puck era, and the post cap era. His most clear dominance though was during the dead puck era when some teams top scorer would have 55 points. This guy was putting up 70 from defence without rushing the puck like Orr. He did all this while being the best defensive defenseman in the game with little to no physical game...I believe he was the best ever during the most refined era of hockey to date.
Dominance, having either the best PP or PK or both, Jiri Fischer, having tough players on our team, guys that just shoot and are actually good at it (Shanny and Hull), one timers, old time hockey, fights, the feeling that both teams are beginning to seriously dislike each other, real rivalries, a time when i felt like whoever won a series was actually the better team, and a time when i felt like there wasnt so much questionable influence from Bettman/the league in suspensions, playoff series, or the draft lottery. I miss Draper's ethic, Lidstrom's dominance, Shanny/Hull's slapshot, Yzerman's whole game, and Duschene's smile. I miss the "must see TV" feeling of Wings/Avs. I miss knowing that the Wings would get someone at the trade dealine. I miss real, physical play. When everybody hit everybody and you didnt see guys getting runned because they made a clean hit.
Yeah, you're right. I remember him for the same thing, and just regarded Homer as his successor.
I miss those Dino/Homer types.
Is there another player along those lines out there at the moment?
I miss Homer and Lidstrom and not just because we arent as good without them. I miss watching the way they played. I was 11 when Homer was entering the league and I was starting to get serious about my own play in hockey. I very much modeled my game to a Maltby/Homer hybrid as I wasn't a dangler but was a pest and scored garbage goals aplenty. I used to practice deflecting pucks for hours on end and loved filling that role on my team. Even after i stopped playing, I loved watching Homer be the best at what he did. I was always a forward, although i played on my various team's PK unit, growing up but as I got older I became much more interested in game philosophy and the defensive part of the game and thats when i started to really watch Lidstrom. To me, outside of Datsyuk, Lidstrom was the most fun player on the Wings to watch because of how utterly brilliant he was. I think you have to know the game pretty intimatly to really grasp what he could do and I think I had to get older (then when I was young teen) to even understand him.
"I just reread my Hockey News yearbook from last year that listed several forwards higher than him in the top 50 players. It also said his days of being a point per game player are over. What ignorance. Datsyuk is faster and just as creative as I've ever seen him. I would have liked to see what he could have done with the whole seasons worth of games."
toby91_ca replied..."Did the Hockey News really say that? After scoring 67 points in 70 games, surprising that they'd come out and say that his pointer per game days are over (perhaps you've paraphrased too much?)."
I had a hard time getting the pic up but here it is...
I have pretty much every THN Yearbook from 1999 to present as well as almost all the Draft Preview and Top Prospect annuals. I love THN but they biff with some regularity. I found my 2002-2003 Yearbook on the floor today (probably because my Son like to try and destroy my magazines at every opportunity). Found this little gem...
Now anyone who ever followed my posts should know Lilja was my whipping boy for a good stretch but I found this to be more optimistic than even the most staunch LGW Lilja supporters.
Lilly Pad on the first PP unit?!?!?! Offensive upside? Forward?!?
Anyway, I figured i'd make it a topic in case anyone has similiar contributions or I continue to find these (which I probably will just by chance) or i start looking for them to put in here out of boredom.
EDIT: Sorry they are sideways...if anyone can fix that, please do. Otherwise i'll have to figure it out. They were right side up when I previewed them before uploading.
Franzen really is only motivated from April on, isn't he? We just sit around and watch him float all year and then he becomes captain clutch, powerforward man overnight...and its like every year. So wierd.