Thursday, August 7, 2008

The team that dreams are made of - refined and corrected

So, having made a team for Puck Daddy's challenge, multiple folks brought it to my attention that my forward lines made no sense. In that I don't have any checking lines. Having reviewed my teams, I have acknowledged the fact that my Swede line would be an awful third line. And my Summit Series line would be an ineffective fourth line. And by ineffective, I mean awful. Four scoring lines can't be a good idea.

Just to clear up some confusion - my selections are based on immediate talent. I've chosen each player based on his prime, not his consistency. I've also based my selections almost entirely on individual skill and character, not team achievements.

So, here we go, my new and improved team. Most of my lines will stay essentially the same, I'll provide explanations for the ones that change drastically.

Line 1: Bobby Hull - Wayne Gretzky - Gordie Howe

Line 2: Luc Robitaille - Mario Lemieux - Maurice Richard

Line 3: John LeClair - Peter Forsberg - Cam Neely
Would anyone like to step up against this line? Really? Pretty epic third line. Though it could be construed as something of an insult to put these guys on a third line, they're all heavy handed scorers. Essentially, they can play pretty decent two-way hockey, and can stop pretty much anyone before they get to the defense. These three would make an amazing shut-down line, and could pop in a goal or two essentially on demand.

Line 4: John Ferguson Sr. - Phil Esposito - Wayne Cashman
Two of the toughest players in the NHL, and Espo. These guys would be awesome to watch. Ferguson, who played with the Habs to protect Jean Beliveau, was a beast. Espo was a greasy bastard who set up in front of goal and beat the shit out of anyone within a 5m radius. Lastly, Cashman, who went into the corners with a crowd and came out alone. They would be amazing in short shifts to give the scoring lines a break, but the fact that they can all put the puck in the net gives this team all kinds of depth.

Defensive Pairing 1: Niklas Lidstrom - Bobby Orr

Defensive Pairing 2: Scott Stevens - Al MacInnis

Defensive Pairing 3: Ray Bourque - Chris Chelios

Starting Goalie: Roberto Luongo

Backup Goalie(s): Patrick Roy/Martin Brodeur

My defensive pairings and goalies stayed the same so I wasn't bothered to put any explanations. Looking at this team compared to my last one, I've gone more for brawn than I have skill... that said there's a lot of skill. I'm not really sure how they'd do in the new NHL, but I'd imagine they'd do pretty well. Maybe not the fourth line, they're all relatively slow... but everyone else would be okay... probably.


Andrew Bucholtz said...

I like the inclusion of Neely on the third line: he'd be great there. I think Robitaille on the second line may be a bit of a reach: he was very good, but not in the calibre of Lemieux and Richard. If you're determined to keep people at their original positions, I'd put Ted Lindsay on the second line at LW, bump Robitalle to the fourth line, and replace LeClair with Mahovlich. Otherwise, I'd bring in a few more right wingers and shift them over. I liked the inclusion of Kharlamov on the first list: I'd rather have him and Robitalle play fourth line with Espo instead of Cashman and Ferguson.

Amrit Ahluwalia said...

I was trying to make the lines in the way that I'd actually want them, and I've always been a fan of smash'em hockey from third and fourth lines.

I still dispute that Robitaille wasn't good enough - dude still has the all-time season points record for LWs. Robitaille was an amazing player, stuck in a time of superstars (eer... supertstars and shitty defensemen).

I'd probably play my fourth line against an opponent's second line, my third against their first, so I'd need speed and toughness. While Kharlamov has speed and scoring skill - he's severely lacking in rock'em sock'em qualities. If he's not on a scoring line for me, he's a healthy scratch.

My fourth lines have scoring touch, with Espo and Cashman. Also, Ferguson has the ability to set up amazing goals (as he showed playing with Beliveau). My third line could absolutely set up and score goals too, so bringing Robitaille and Kharlamov down to provide scoring is unneccesary.