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Author Topic: Some Old Hockey Odds and Ends  (Read 811 times)
JoeC
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« on: May 20, 2019, 08:43:28 PM »

- Never knew that Montreal offered Rocket Richard to the NY Rangers in a proposed straight-up trade for Montreal native Phil Watson. This was early in Rocket's career. The Rangers turned the trade down!!

- Was trying to recall NHL refs from the 1950s/early 60s. I could only remember Red Storey, Frank Udvari, and Art Skov. Drawing a blank on any others. Gordie Howe once said of Udvari -- "He's the second best ref in the NHL; all the others are tied for first."

- Watching today's playoffs, I'm reminded of how much more wide open the game was in the 1950s. Especially when you had two great skating teams like Montreal and Detroit playing. None of this continual "dump the puck into the corners and chase it." The players played their positions and their hockey skills, as opposed to physicality, were more on display. 
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Robb_K
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2019, 09:38:20 PM »

- Never knew that Montreal offered Rocket Richard to the NY Rangers in a proposed straight-up trade for Montreal native Phil Watson. This was early in Rocket's career. The Rangers turned the trade down!!

- Was trying to recall NHL refs from the 1950s/early 60s. I could only remember Red Storey, Frank Udvari, and Art Skov. Drawing a blank on any others. Gordie Howe once said of Udvari -- "He's the second best ref in the NHL; all the others are tied for first."

- Watching today's playoffs, I'm reminded of how much more wide open the game was in the 1950s. Especially when you had two great skating teams like Montreal and Detroit playing. None of this continual "dump the puck into the corners and chase it." The players played their positions and their hockey skills, as opposed to physicality, were more on display. 

I played at a high level in all of the 1950s and the first 3.5 years of the 1960s.  The Canadian government first made a national law that required all youth players wear a helmet starting in 1964 (for the 1964-65 season).  I left Canada at the very beginning of the 1963-64 season.  We had straight wood sticksalmost until that time.  I didn't like the new, composite sticks.  I didn't like a curve on the stick, as it made controlling the puck on the backhand, much more difficult.  We had the same problem as The NHL back then.  The superstars were so very, very much better than the "good" players, and the "above average players", and the average players (ALL of whom were in a lump, far below them).  They were enjoyable to watch, skating  from zone to zone, through and around opponent players like they were stuck in molassas.  Nowadays, the entire manpower of The NHL is much closer from worst to best, as ven the "worst" are extremely good athletes, well-trained, skilled, and smart related to their game.   I loved to watch Jean Beliveau skate through whole teams.  I do like the 1940s/'50s game better than the current game.  But, of course, the current players are, for the most part, bigger, faster, stronger, and even more skilled than most of the old-time players.  But, the old-time great players would also be great players now, if they had the advantages of modern training methods, diet, and equipment.  I'd take Gordie Howe WAYYYY above Gretzky, Crosby, Ovechkin, and the like.

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JoeC
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2019, 08:29:15 AM »

Robb,

What makes guys like Howe and Richard REALLY outstanding to me was that, even though there may have been the talent gap between superstars and the rest that you speak of, those guys always had a checker assigned to them, trying to skate along with them. So they really had to beat two or three guys regularly. Although, with as many stars as Montreal and Detroit had on the ice at the same time, I'm not sure how that realistically could have worked.

Dickie Moore once said Rocket was the strongest player in the NHL "from the blue line in." Any speculation on that qualifier Moore threw out?

Lastly, the talent disparity between the superstars and "the rest" that you feel isn't as great today. Even with the European pool of players and so many more Americans, there are 31 teams to stock, not just six. So, I'm not sure I'm convinced today's teams are more solid from the top star through the last layer on the roster than the 50s teams were. I know the Caps really only had two quality defense pairings this past season, and that was not due to injury. And that was a Division winning team. Think about the bottom tier squads.
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Robb_K
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2019, 02:46:23 PM »

Robb,

What makes guys like Howe and Richard REALLY outstanding to me was that, even though there may have been the talent gap between superstars and the rest that you speak of, those guys always had a checker assigned to them, trying to skate along with them. So they really had to beat two or three guys regularly. Although, with as many stars as Montreal and Detroit had on the ice at the same time, I'm not sure how that realistically could have worked.

Dickie Moore once said Rocket was the strongest player in the NHL "from the blue line in." Any speculation on that qualifier Moore threw out?

Lastly, the talent disparity between the superstars and "the rest" that you feel isn't as great today. Even with the European pool of players and so many more Americans, there are 31 teams to stock, not just six. So, I'm not sure I'm convinced today's teams are more solid from the top star through the last layer on the roster than the 50s teams were. I know the Caps really only had two quality defense pairings this past season, and that was not due to injury. And that was a Division winning team. Think about the bottom tier squads.

I don't think Moore meant that Richard was a liability on defence.  Although, he did sit back a lot waiting for breakout passes.  So, he wasn't more than average on defence.  But, rather, I'm sure he meant that Richard was the best in the league inside the offensive zone, because he was so wreckless in driving to the net.  He was so determined to score that he drove like a rampaging bull through players.  He was determined not to be denied scoring.  The players used to say that once he decided his path to the goal, he had fire in his eyes.  He was very tough to stop. He ran over and through defencemen, knocking them out of the way, like pinballs.  He didn't get too many penalties that way because it was hard to establish position in his way, because one never knew exactly where he would go.  He went in one direction (relatively straight, but made some small jukes.  He had great edgework, and could alter his direction on a dime.
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JoeC
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2019, 04:22:40 PM »

Thanks for that! Makes sense. Dickie Moore, from the interviews I've seen done, was a pretty impressive guy. Very successful businessman after his NHL career ended. I recall when his 18 year old son, his namesake, was killed in a car crash in the Laurentians.

I heard Rocket say in an interview that he often shot the puck without even glancing toward the net. Guess he had a pretty good idea where it was.

I also hadn't realized that there was a 15 year age difference between Henri and himself. Rocket was such an emotional, hot-headed hockey player whereas Henri seemed the polar opposite. I remember seeing Henri score goals at the old MSG and the expression on his face never changed. Always very stoic. Maurice spoke English well whereas Henri didn't speak a word of it in his first years in the league (Rocket was his interpreter); don't think Henri ever did master the language anywhere near as well as Maurice did.
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Robb_K
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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2019, 11:19:29 PM »

The Blues dominated OT and beat The Bruins in a great game.  Good series.  Now 1-1.  Should be a long, tough one, with 2 evenly matrched, similar teams, with a lot of big, tough players who like to hit hard, lots of forwards who can score, and mostly mobile defencemen who are active on offence and score a lot, and both have excellent goaltending, as well.
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jp05
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2019, 07:33:42 AM »

Game 6 tonight! It's been a bit of a throwback series, with more hitting and everyone moving at top speed. The Bruins dominated the preliminary rounds and are now trying to adjust to a more physical game. Should be an excellent game! Even though I lived in the Boston area for 30 years, I am not a Boston fan, but they do have an excellent team and very good depth. I suggest the keys to the game are if Boston's top line (Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrnak) can get going and how the defense perform against a physical team. The Blues I believe have less talent but more aggression. Who wins, tonight and the series? Thoughts?
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bklynmike101
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2019, 12:54:59 PM »

50-50. Not helpful but anybody's guess. On the one hand, I'd like to see an original 6 win it. On the other, it'd be nice for the city of SL after all these years to finally win one. Personally, I'm neutral.  Lips sealed
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Robb_K
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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2019, 03:56:44 PM »

50-50. Not helpful but anybody's guess. On the one hand, I'd like to see an original 6 win it. On the other, it'd be nice for the city of SL after all these years to finally win one. Personally, I'm neutral.  Lips sealed


It's The Blues' series to win, IF they can play their game, and be disciplined, not taking unnecessary penalties.  They've been better on the road than at home this season.  But they'll be in front of their home crowd, spurred on by them, and the knowledge that they don't want to go back to Boston, where The Bruins play better.  They also have one of their best forwards back, - Robert Thomas.  I think The Blues will win it.  I've been a Blues' fan since their start in 1967, as a neighbour of ours, Ab McDonald was on their team, and also my 2 favourite goaltenders, Glenn Hall and Jacques Plante.  I missed a chance to go there to see The Finals in person, because I didn't think this year's team would go past the 2nd Round, and booked cartooning storyboarding seminars to teach in libraries in Denmark, during June and July.  I will not make that mistake next season. 
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bklynmike101
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« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2019, 11:08:21 AM »

I'd bet on Boston now. But you never know - the eternal joy and thrill of sports.
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Robb_K
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2019, 03:32:16 PM »

I'd bet on Boston now. But you never know - the eternal joy and thrill of sports.

No way to know.  The Blues have won 2 of 3 games in Boston in this series.  They are 9-3 on the road in this year's playoffs.  They had a .679 win % on the road in the regular season, vs. only 57% at home in the regular season, and  .53% at home in the playoffs.  The Blues are the best road team in The Stanley Cup playoffs in a very long time.  They could easily win Game 7, Wednesday.  It's a complete toss-up.  A lucky/unlucky bounce could determine the winner.  Both teams will want it very badly.  The refs won't call many penalties.  My gut feeling tells me that St. Louis will win, but it will be too close to call.  Not being a gambler, I wouldn't risk money on either team.
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jp05
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2019, 05:21:14 PM »

I'm of course not sure of Wednesday's outcome, but it seems to me that the Blues have to return to a much more physical game. Game 6 was not particularly physical and  the Bruins looked better, had more opportunities and therefore won. A little more forechecking by the Blues and I think they win.

It should be a great game!
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JoeC
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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2019, 05:25:57 PM »

That bouncing puck goal by Brandon Carlo was NASTY!
 
In the little I played (HS team in NY), what shots I ever got stayed on the ice surface or were elevated toward the goalie. Was Carlo trying to shoot the way it turned out (double bounce), or did he mis-hit the puck? Seems like if you could consciously shoot like that it could be an effective weapon and you'd see more of it.
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Robb_K
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« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2019, 06:39:47 PM »

That bouncing puck goal by Brandon Carlo was NASTY!
 
In the little I played (HS team in NY), what shots I ever got stayed on the ice surface or were elevated toward the goalie. Was Carlo trying to shoot the way it turned out (double bounce), or did he mis-hit the puck? Seems like if you could consciously shoot like that it could be an effective weapon and you'd see more of it.

It was over 80 degrees F in St. Louis Sunday.  The ice was in miserable condition.  It had ruts and ridges.  The puck took several unexpected bounces.  I believe that one was knocked upward by a high spot.  It's difficult to keep ice smooth for long in those kinds of temperatures in over 85-90% humidity.  That's one reason why I don't like all those NHL franchises south of 40 degrees Latitude.  Get rid of L.A./Anaheim, San Jose, the Florida teams, Carolina, Nashville, Arizona, Dallas, Las Vegas, etc.   Move those franchises to Quebec, Saskatoon, Regina, Victoria, Portland (Oregon), Milwaukee, Hamilton, 2nd Toronto team, 2nd Montreal team, Halifax, London (Ont.). Thunder Bay (Ont.), Seattle (coming next year), Hartford, St. Paul, 2nd Chicago team, 2nd Detroit team, 2nd Boston team, Cleveland, Baltimore, Rochester, and Providence.

In fact, I think USA should drop all those areas.  Give The US Southwest back to Mexico (there are mostly Mexicans there, anyway).  Make The southeastern US into a separate country, except Florida, which can form a union with Cuba, Puerto Rico, and The Dominican Republic.
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bklynmike101
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« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2019, 07:12:06 PM »

What about Yellowknife?     Cool
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JoeC
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« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2019, 07:32:58 PM »

Other ideas (that aren't happening):

 - Shorten reg season to 60 games; keep playoffs unchanged

 - Set schedule so Stanley Cup Final ends o/a May 1

 
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bklynmike101
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« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2019, 09:50:05 PM »

For the first 15 minutes or so, the Bruins were dominant. But Binnington was very sharp. I guess good goaltending beats good pitching.  Grin

Somewhere, the likes of Plante, Hall, Moore, Arbour et al are smiling.
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jp05
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« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2019, 04:55:42 AM »

Binnington stood on his head, the rest of Chicago played hard, Rask was shakey and the Bruins first line (Bergeron, Marchand, Pastrnak) were basically MIA. I thought that only McAvoy and Krug played hard, but the supporting cast was deficient. All in all, a good game, the refs put the whistles away and the action was good, but not great.

Congratulations to the St. Louis Blues!
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JoeC
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« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2019, 08:03:46 AM »

Congrats to the Blues. Having seen the immediate impact last year of winning the Cup on a non-hockey town like Washington, St. Louis fans and natives are in for a treat!

Huge downtown parade, The Washington Post reported every day on which player, trainer, asst coach, etc. had the Cup for that day! Is that a tradition, i.e., a member of the team given personal access to the Cup for a day or two? That lasted for MONTHS!
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bklynmike101
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« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2019, 12:02:24 PM »

I think it's become more or less common. I seem to remember when The Kings won a few years back that the cup was brought to a Redondo Beach restaurant/bar frequented by Kings players and fans (avec poutine). 
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Robb_K
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« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2019, 08:12:06 PM »

Binnington stood on his head, the rest of Chicago played hard, Rask was shakey and the Bruins first line (Bergeron, Marchand, Pastrnak) were basically MIA. I thought that only McAvoy and Krug played hard, but the supporting cast was deficient. All in all, a good game, the refs put the whistles away and the action was good, but not great.

Congratulations to the St. Louis Blues!

The Blues get o respect.  They FINALLY win The Stanley Cup, and people forget in which city they are located!!!  St. Louis...... Chicago.... if it's not New York, Boston, Philadelphia, or Washington, it must be one of those Midwestern cities you fly over to get to L.A., San Francisco or Las Vegas (or Hawaii)!   
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jp05
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« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2019, 06:10:54 PM »

Oops! Sorry about Chicago. I'm sitting here in my home office looking at the famous flying Bobby Orr (signed by him for my son) which clearly shows the St. Louis defenseman (Barclay Plager as I recall) looking at him. I viewed the Blues beating the Bruins as payback from about 50 years earlier!
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doctordoowop
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« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2019, 10:58:50 PM »

Are  we down to less than 5 posters? Cry Cry
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