Team toughness - Fighting

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Tiger
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Team toughness - Fighting

Post by Tiger » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:09 am

Thought it might be better to post a separate topic than including these thoughts on the Rypien thread. The 2 Canuck teams who did make it to the Stanley finals were both physically tough and the 2 teams ( Anaheim and Chicago ) that knocked the present Canucks out of the playoffs and went on to win the cup both played tougher hockey than the Canucks.

82/83 Canucks - Tiger Williams , Curt Fraser, The Chief , Harold Snepts..
94 ,,, Mommeso, Gino, Tim Hunter.. Plus a captain that could play a tough physical game LINDEN !

Both Anaheim and Chicago manhandled the Canucks outhitting them , beating them on the boards and played a tougher brand of hockey.
Fighting ? has always been a part of hockey. Players that had a combination of hockey skills and fighting ability were and should be on every team. I don't remember when the " designated goon" came into play but think of Semenko with the Oil. A fighter that could skate a little and was hired to protect a star player. Gretzky maybe the reason for the goon making his appearance in the NHL.. Prior to that time the "Star" players - Gordie Howe, The Rocket etc. could and did hold their own in the toughness department. Most teams had a "policeman" to make sure the other team didn't take too many liberties but for the most part they were skilled hockey players. I think of John Ferguson and Larry Robertson in that category. Both skilled players who could fight if needed.
For the Canucks .. Tiger Williams who is best known as the most penalized player in NHL history was also a fine checker and goal scorer . The 82 Canucks made it to the finals without a lot of star talent but with one of the toughest teams in Canucks history.
The 94 Canucks whad more talent but still had a physically tought team. I think that is the part of the game that our present team is lacking and am sad to see Rypien leave the team. He brought and exciting edge and " don't mess with us" attitude to the rink every night.. ala Tiger Williams thought not quites as skilled.
Your thoughts ?
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Re: Team toughness - Fighting

Post by Farhan Lalji » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:49 am

While I lay awake for the 41st hour in a row, I will try and answer one of your questions:

Detroit Redwings: Pure skill.

Chicago and Anaheim: Pure skill was far more of a factor than their toughness and/or fighting ability. Anaheim's "goons" were often healthy scratches in the playoffs. Chicago and Anaheim won because they had atleast two "king pin" defensemen, and had two lines up front that had plenty of superstars.

Fighting doesn't mean much in today's NHL. Toughness is important, but it should only be a complement to speed and skill (which is what both Chicago and Anaheim had).

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Re: Team toughness - Fighting

Post by Cornuck » Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:35 am

I think the only time we need a good fighter in the playoffs is after Luongo gets run. The opposing team should receive a clear message about what will happen next time it happens. Other than that, I don't see a need.

As for team toughness, I think it should be higher, but we'll have to do with what we have. I think that if we had some like Oreskovich around last year to handle the size of Byfuglien , it would have helped.

Side note, Byfuglien is a point-per-game player in Atlanta now, with 9 goals.

In the end, I think if we're healthy, we'll have a very good chance to advance - moreso than if we have the undefinable 'team toughness'.
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Re: Team toughness - Fighting

Post by dr.dork » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:52 pm

I don't know if fighting is all that important in the playoffs. In fact fighting in the playoffs is pretty rare. The goons are sat, and fighting as a spectacle disappears. There is way more hitting though. And I think this is still where we might be a little weak but we're getting better. Malholtra and Torres are an upgrade in the hitting department. And Hamhuis and Ballard have thrown some nice ones recently.

The answer to someone running Luongo/Sedins is (a) run their goalie; and (b) run their stars. Hopefully you have a good PK and PP and the players that can hit.

In summary, the three keys to the playoffs are (1) hit; (2) hit; and (3) hit. Fighting is less of an issue.

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Re: Team toughness - Fighting

Post by the toucan kid » Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:31 pm

Fighting isn't important at all. Problem solved.

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Re: Team toughness - Fighting

Post by Tiger » Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:14 am

dr.dork wrote:I don't know if fighting is all that important in the playoffs. In fact fighting in the playoffs is pretty rare. The goons are sat, and fighting as a spectacle disappears. There is way more hitting though. And I think this is still where we might be a little weak but we're getting better. Malholtra and Torres are an upgrade in the hitting department. And Hamhuis and Ballard have thrown some nice ones recently.

The answer to someone running Luongo/Sedins is (a) run their goalie; and (b) run their stars. Hopefully you have a good PK and PP and the players that can hit.

In summary, the three keys to the playoffs are (1) hit; (2) hit; and (3) hit. Fighting is less of an issue.
Agree !! and we were outhit by both Anaheim and Chicago.. look at our lineup... not many forwards that can deliver hits or care too... The addition of Malholtra and Torres is good news but probably the subtraction of Rypien means we are in about the same shape as last year.

As for running their goalie or stars.. again we are short of the physical players to do that little chore :)

Sorry Toucan.. disagree completely.. Canadian hockey is a physical game and its always good to have a few fighters on the team to stand up when the stars ( Sedins or Luongo ) get cheap shots.. We are a bit short in that department..
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Re: Team toughness - Fighting

Post by Tciso » Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:38 am

Cornuck wrote:In the end, I think if we're healthy, we'll have a very good chance to advance - moreso than if we have the undefinable 'team toughness'.
I have to agree with you here. Our team toughness is high enough, but the last 2 years, we were decimated with injuries at playoff time. I'd say team toughness is actually higher this year than last year because of Torres and Malholtra. We now have a tough 3rd line, and a 4th line that can actually play real minutes (no offense intended to Hordi and Johnson - seriously. they have no offense between them). I do hope that Ripper comes back though. He does have an offensise side, and playing with guys like Glass and Tambellini/Hansen would help his game.
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Re: Team toughness - Fighting

Post by Tiger » Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:23 am

Our team toughness is high enough
hmm maybe you were not watching while Chicago completely outhit and out " toughed" the Canucks. or when the Sedins were targeted and not one Canuck had the jam to intervene.. resulting in the Sedin's taking bad penalties trying to retaliate and being for the most part ineffective.. Personally I like the changes in 3rd and 4th line but would like to see more protection for our star players. We didn't fight in the last playoffs but did in 94 and 82.. maybe the team needed a fighter like Tiger Williams out there ?
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Re: Team toughness - Fighting

Post by dr.dork » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:18 am

Tiger wrote:
hmm maybe you were not watching while Chicago completely outhit and out " toughed" the Canucks. or when the Sedins were targeted and not one Canuck had the jam to intervene.. resulting in the Sedin's taking bad penalties trying to retaliate and being for the most part ineffective.. Personally I like the changes in 3rd and 4th line but would like to see more protection for our star players. We didn't fight in the last playoffs but did in 94 and 82.. maybe the team needed a fighter like Tiger Williams out there ?
I agree on the Chicago thing. But our PK was horrific so retaliating usually meant the puck was in the back of our own net and if Chicago (or LA) took a penalty we couldn't score. Our PK and PP were both bad last playoffs and that hurt too.

As far as team toughness, it helps to have three things: (1) toughness; (2) a good powerplay; and (3) a good penalty kill. And maybe you don't need all three. But if you don't have toughness you better have a good powerplay. (i.e., Detroit doesn't have a ton of team toughness but they -- at least historically -- had a good powerplay).

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Re: Team toughness - Fighting

Post by the toucan kid » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:31 pm

The Hawks did NOT beat us with toughness. Size? Maybe in front of the net, but that's not the same thing.

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Re: Team toughness - Fighting

Post by Joe Rockhead » Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:18 am

Tocan the hawks did beat us with toughness.
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Re: Team toughness - Fighting

Post by Puck » Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:08 pm

I thought it was more the transition game (Keith and Seabrook) and finish, with a good helping of 'third-line' magic (Versteeg et al). They had really good puck-movement and that devastating 'other' line that can shut you down and score a crucial goal (remember Anaheim's 3rd line the year they won the Cup?) Chicago has toughness, but it's not the critical part of their success.

The more I think about this, the more I think the Canucks need a line (2nd or third) to significantly step-up their play during the playoffs to push the team over the top. It'll be a level of play we haven't really seen from them before. If they get that, I suspect toughness will take care of itself. Playoff toughness is mostly the ability to be half-dead and come out the next game and be the first star. (Recall how Linden looked at the end of game 6 in '94 before going on to score both Canuck goals in game 7 - one of them short-handed).

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Re: Team toughness - Fighting

Post by Tiger » Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:26 pm

hmmm Byflugien able to stand in front of Luongo all night and no one except SOB took a run at him and the Sedins getting chopped and banged around until they lost their cool and being outhit about 2 to 1 and you think Chicago's toughness had nothing to do with winning? Toucan you must be watching a different game.. Agreed they were the better team on transition and D.. But toughness played a large part in how that series was won.
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Re: Team toughness - Fighting

Post by Island Nucklehead » Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:36 pm

Well I think Toughness has to do with Tough players that can play a shift. Chicago kicked the shit out of us in that.

They scored ugly goals. They drove to (and into) Luongo. Our "D" couldn't do shit about it. Nobody up front cared to try.

There is no doubt in my mind that this season you will see Torres barrel into some VERY greasy areas on the ice in an attempt to score a playoff goal. It was painfully obvious. Burrows was obviously injured, Kesler ineffective and the third line... yeah.

Toughness doesn't have much to do with Fighting, but there is a link. Tough players can play AND fight. We're woefully weak on those. I think the Canucks were right to get bigger and "tougher to play against". Toucan is right (quote that brotha), in that we don't need (true) fighters in the playoffs. We need guys that aren't afraid to go to the net and get the piss kicked out of them if it means we have a CHANCE at a goal.

And in all honesty I'd rather keep a hot-head guy like Bieksa on the roster for the playoffs. Salo-Ehrhoff-Hamhuis don't exactly strike me as playoff-tough d-men. Ballard and Edler aren't very tough (physically solid between whistles though) and Rome/Alberts can't play real minutes. Bieksa isn't a bruiser, but you can bet he has a reputation around the league as a guy that will punch your teeth in if you piss him off.

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Re: Team toughness - Fighting

Post by the toucan kid » Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:50 pm

Toucan is right (quote that brotha)
Noted. :lol:

Anyway I just didn't see toughness as the problem last playoff or now. We had shadows of Kesler and Burrows, a bad D and a bad goalie (playing bad anyway), we couldn't have won no matter how many body checks we threw.

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