Friday, August 06, 2010

If There's A Goal That Everyone Remembers USSR 7 Canada 3



OK so 1972. The original international best on best series. It was supposed to be a walkover for Canada and instead it ended in almost the most dramatic way possible, last minute heroics from Paul Henderson clinching the series but just barely.

The series should never have come to that. The Canadians were woefully unprepared. Their scouting reports openly mocked the Russians and as a result the Canadians were mentally and physically lacking. Overconfident and in terrible shape they were unable to cope with a quality Russian side. Adding to the difficulties was the sheer size of the Canadian squad. A trimmed down roster that was ready to play likely would have done far better than the bloated (literally) club that faced off for Game One in Montreal. Throw in that they were missing the best player in the game in Bobby Orr and the best winger in Bobby Hull and one can make a case that there would have been no drama if they had been ready for what was coming and had both of those players on their roster.

No matter, the drama that resulted has created a legend and legends. The Mahovolich goal. Esposito's speech and leadership. The Clarke slash. Paul Henderson. The Canadians overcoming all odds - the deficit in games, poor officiating, their own shortcomings, the bad food, the internal strife - indeed from 72 nearly every Canadian international archetype has sprung with the exception of the big goaltending performance. Dryden wasn't really up to that.

From Esposito the leader came Messier and Mario Lemieux, Mike Richards and Scott Niedermeyer.

From Henderson came Sittler and Lemieux again, Crosby and Eberle who more than any Canadian has seemed to channel the 'clutch' international goalscorer.

Nearly every Canadian team has had the unsung heroes like Bill White and Pat Stapleton and Gary Bergman and Ron Ellis. Those who arrive as youngsters and relative unknowns like Clarke and Savard and depart as household names, guys like Keith and Toews. There are those who have their moment of glory and then fade away, especially in the juniors (remember John Slaney? Jimmy Waite?) just as Paul Henderson did, a workmanlike solid player for many years but never the star he was for that brief moment. Of course off the ice he never faded away.

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First was game one (naturally ;) ) and its an interesting one to watch. Plenty of the players who skated out in Montreal barely saw the ice again and for good reason. The Russians exposed plenty of players badly that night. Just as Brent Seabrook and Patrice Bergeron proved in Vancouver and others have proven in the past being a good or even very good NHLer might mean jackshit when you're facing international quality. And so it was for a long list of guys who got taken out to the back 40, as my Dad would say.

Sinden's roster for the first night was made up of the guys who had the best training camp. In some cases I would guess this to mean the most fit guys. This was an era where in training camp players actually got into shape and the offseason regimen was mostly golf, drinking and smoking (for those guys who didn't hold down summer jobs). Canada dressed four lines and five defencemen. After the first game they would dress six defencemen the rest of the way. The roster was as follows:

Defence - Bergman (2) - Brad Park (5), Don Awrey (26) - Ric Seiling (16), Lapointe (25)

Esposito (7) - Frank Mahovlich (27) - Cournoyer (12)

Ratelle (18) - Hadfield (11) - Rod Gilbert (8)

Clarke (28) - Henderson (19) - Ellis (6)

Berenson (15) - Peter Mahovlich (20) - Mickey Redmond (24)

Pat Quinn likely learned at the knee of Harry Sinden because Sinden just rolls them for the most part. I'm interested to see the results from later games because there is no attempt at linematching at all. As the game goes on by my eye the Clarke line (which follows Esposito) gets some defensive zone draws. Not sure if this is by design or not.

The power play generally included a forward on the point, either Esposito or Berensen (?) and while Park would be the guy you figure would be out there Seiling and Gary Bergman rotate in that fifth spot as well.

Shorthanded Berensen and Peter Mahovlich are one pair, Frank Mahovlich and Esposito are generally the other. Ellis and Clarke also see some duty.

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The game is an interesting one. The hockey is a lot different from today. There is a lot of one on one play from the Canadians. Also they take extremely long shifts. You will note in the charts that quite often one line will be on for a couple of events for and then suddenly they get bombarded or they are on for a goal against. They would be on for a couple of minutes and quite often be in the Russian zone and then the Russians would counterattack and it would be in the net. Also when the Russians got possession in the Canadian zone there would often be four or five shots directed at the net, maybe a chance or two as they both controlled the puck and retrieved it very well. The Canadians on the other hand might get a flurry of chances in close but usually the play in the Russian zone tended to be on the outside.

A couple of notes as well. Dryden was poor. I have the second Kharlamov goal as a non scoring chance, no screen, very top of the faceoff circle, it was a great shot but Tretiak was stopping that type of shot easily all night (and I did not grade those as scoring chances).

The game reminded me of a beer league game frankly. Not trying to be a dick when I say that either. There were long stretches of play with no whistles and a lot of quality play but it was, well, sloppy. Both teams played hard and there were a lot of blocked shots and chances seemed hard to come by. Lots of long shots that were easily stopped or missed the net. But when there was a chance it was generally a five bell one. That is why I have a few misses as chances, I know that's usually a no-no but in my mind if a guy is standing all alone and he whiffs on it or misses the net its still a scoring chance, essentially if he connects its in the net.

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So here is the data. Scoring Chances are shaded and marked as Y. My Excel skills are nonexistent so please forgive. I would say that is pretty accurate, give or take an addition error or two. The jist is there anyhow.

















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Scoring Chances breakdown



Scoring Chances (Canada first)



1st 6-3 ES, 7-3 PP, 0-1 SH

2nd 7-3 ES, 2-0 PP, 0-1 SH

3rd 9-10 ES, 1-0 PP, 0-0 SH
Total - 22-16 ES, 10-3 PP, 0-2 SH
32-21 Overall


And here's the corsi numbers.



Corsi

1st 13-19 ES, 13-4 PP, 0-5 SH
2nd 20-17 ES, 0-0 PP, 3-6 SH
3rd 21-23 ES, 3-0 PP, 0-0 SH
Total 54-59 ES 16-4 PP, 3-11 SH

Observations


The game was extremely close right until about there were eight minutes left in the third period and at that point the Canadians had outchanced the Russians by a decent margin, had had thirteen of the past fifteen Corsi events and had six straight unanswered scoring chances including the Clarke goal.



Overall Canada did outchance the Russians at EV and on special teams, though not by a huge margin but a combination of puck luck (at one point Hewitt makes a point of noting that Frank Mahovlich would have scored on a few chances but was showing rust) and poor goaltending by Dryden makes the difference. The goaltending battle was interesting. Tretiak's positioning was excellent and the reality is that he makes very few fivebell saves. The puck just hits him. He looks the modern goaltender. All angles covered and no holes. Dryden on the other hand scrambles everywhere. On a few of the goals he has little chance but then again he never stops anything. Russians score seven goals on twenty two chances. And we're not talking tap ins. They shoot it, Dryden is moving and it goes through him.



The Esposito line got dinged at the end of the game but overall they are absolutely dominant. They are pressing and then they get scored on and then they remain on the ice (this happens all of the time, a line gets scored on and Sinden leaves them on) and they get weary and the Russians bring it down the ice and score again. And then they are on for the last shift when Lapointe goes a little bananas (there's actually a throat slash gesture, perhaps the first) and they have five events against. Even with those two shifts they are positive for scoring chances by a big margin and also in Corsi (except Esposito who is a minus three). Throw out those two shifts (-5 SC, -9 Corsi) and they post the following:



Mahovlich SC +13 -1 Corsi +23 -10, Esposito SC +12 -2, Corsi +20 -14, Cournoyer SC +9 -1, Corsi +19 -7



Pretty damn impressive. They carry the play all night and Mahovlich is Canada's best player by far. Funny though that midway through the game the commentator says that he will be a big help as long as he wants to play. Sound familiar?



The Clarke line is interesting. They get dinged Corsi wise but come out on top in terms of scoring chances. As noted before by my eye they took more than their share of own zone draws, not sure if by design or because the Esposito line often took very long shifts that ended in their own zone. When the Russians got possession in these situations they invariably managed to direct shots at the net, quite often in bunches but they were usually from the outside or from distance. Clarke's line in exactly what the Oiler shave been missing since 2006 - three guys who checked hard, moved the puck in the right direction, won battles, minimized the damage when their opponents had the puck. Ellis is fantastic, extremely smart. And Bobby Clarke? Outstanding. I saw him in his prime but forgot what a player he was. Tenacious, vicious, smart, everything you want in a player. I'd take a team of Bobby Clarkes. Hell if the Oilers had one or two they'd be a playoff team. Seriously.



All six players on the top two lines would play major roles in the rest of the Series but the same can't be said for the rest of the forwards. The Rangers GAG line of Ratelle, Gilbert and Hadfield fare okay numbers wise but they were pretty awful. They are supposed to produce offence but only have one scoring chance as a line and a handful of pucks directed at the net. They get caught deep a couple of times and the puck ends up in their net. Gilbert shows best of the three, Ratelle is ineffective and Hadfield is invisible. Hadfield would get one more game in and that is all. They are so poor that in the third when the Canadians are rolling and pressing for the equalizer they barely see the ice. Its the only time Sinden doesn't roll them straight.



The fourth line has mixed results. They are low event which is good and they end up even or minus one in Corsi. Redmond is a turnover machine at the blueline and he doesn't play another game. Berensen is solid but only plays one more game. He doesn't create enough offence to hold his spot I think. Peter Mahovlich shows the best of the three and he is the one guy who gets a regular spot in the lineup for the Series. Like his brother he is a big man and the Russians struggle to contain him. While the numbers are the same as his linemates he does have a strong game and thus earns his spot.



The backend is a mixed bag. Bergman and Park are quite strong and end up a plus in both metrics, they do get dinged late in the third a bit. Park is terrific and Bergman, an unheralded defensive defenceman, is solid, brekaing up a two on one easily, angling his men just fine. In other words although he benefits from playing with Park he holds his own and never looks out of place.



On the other hand the second pair gets smoked right from the start. Basically when Park and Bergman are on the ice the puck is in the right end and when Seiling and Awrey are on the ice its the opposite. Awrey, Bobby Orr's partner, is absolutely outclassed. His scoring chance numbers are not horrible but he is driving the results the wrong way, most notably when Kharlamov blows by him and scores the third goal on a pretty innocuous play. After that he barely sees the ice and Lapointe takes his spot.



Like Awrey Seiling struggles and is the cause of a lot of his own misfortune. Where Park and Bergman move the puck out quickly Seiling struggles with the Russians and quite often the puck ends up in the Canadian zone for lengthy periods of time because he loses footraces or puck battles. He is also left grasping for air a few times in one on one situations where the Russians open gaps and end up with scoring chances, a few which end up in the net. He is a team worst minus 14 in Corsi although Awrey would have lapped him as he is a minus nine in just over a period of play.



Seiling and Awrey get pulled from the roster. They reappear in game four - I am interested to see what their numbers are there. Strange that Sinden went in that direction after the Canadians won game two and should have won game three with a different roster. I guess we'll see what the numbers show.



As for Lapointe he shows well, a plus in scoring chances and a slight minus in Corsi. He cements his roster spot and forms part of the six guys who will play down the stretch in Russia.



As I said at the beginning this series created legends but it also created myths. Game One was supposedly about the Russians teaching Canada a lesson but Canada outchances the Russians and until about eight minutes left actually do so by a decent margin. Tretiak is good but not outstanding as the stories say, if anything the Canadians get some bad bounces, especially on the power play. Dryden on the other hand is poor. Even with Awrey and Seiling and some ineffective forwards and Dryden this is a game that Canada may very well have won handily. Interesting stuff and not what I expected at all.


39 comments:

Doogie2K said...

Dryden has since admitted that the Summit Series was pretty much the worst hockey of his career. After a game like you describe here, it's a wonder Sinden ever went back to him; I'd have stuck with Tony O the rest of the way.

Coming from a biomechanics background gives you an interesting perspective on stuff sometimes. Aside from the general reasons why big men look like they're stuck in second gear (long lever arms, bigger muscles generating more force in the same movement, etc.), it's also interesting to watch these 20, 30, 40-year-old games and see the mechanics of everyone's movement, and just how...I dunno, gangly and inefficient it looks. I mean, everyone's fast and has a good shot these days, relatively speaking, and it's not just because they're better-conditioned: they're executing their skills in a better way, much more fluid, and taking much greater advantage of everything their bodies have to offer. (The goaltending is also all-around hilarious-looking, whether it's '71 playoffs Dryden or '72 Summit Series Dryden, but that's a whole separate discussion.)

Kish said...

Interesting. I watched these games a few years back while hungover at a buddies cabin and thought the same thing: look like a beer league game.
Anyway, awesome stuff, kudos for doing this. I'm very interested to see the set of games and other comments.

rananda said...

I'd love to see this done for the '87 Canada Cup final. To my eyes, Russia was absolutely dominant in those games (particularly when Gretzky/Lemieux weren't on the ice) and if not for comically and clearly biased officiating (Hawerchuk's interference setting up the series winning goal is the apex), the series would not have been all that close.

Bruce said...

Outstanding work, Pat. Delighted to see you are following through on this project.

I look forward to closely following the Summit Series all over again!

dstaples said...

Good work, strong analysis.

I started doing something on this myself -- breaking down the the play in my own way -- but never followed through.

Seiling, Awry and Dryden were bad in this game. But that Kharlamov, he was also damn good.

And, of course, it was interesting to hear the comments about Mahovlich. Some players often look bad, but play really well, and their numbers show it, as many Oilers fans have learned with Dustin Penner.

Black Dog said...

Thanks everyone.

Rananda! lol, I promise that if I can get my hands on a copy of that then I will do the same for that series and we will see what we get so we can hash out this argument once and for all.

Both Mahovlich brothers had a reputation much like Lemieux and Penner, as two examples. Watch this game though and there is no doubting their quality, especially Frank's. He's the guy driving the bus, creating and getting the chances. Terrific game for him.

I'm interested to see the results for the remaining games. I was expecting Canada to get badly outplayed in game one. They did not and they probably deserved to win. Imagine how different it would have been in they had won games one and two and held the lead in game three. Might have turned into a whitewash. I was really surprised.

dawgbone said...

Dryden was historically awful against the Soviets.

He wasn't particularily good against the Red Army when they toured the NHL teams, and was simply brutal in the '72 series.

Olivier said...

"As I said at the beginning this series created legends but it also created myths. (...) Interesting stuff and not what I expected at all."

Welcome to the world of scoring chances. You do that, you tabulate the records and... Well, you realize the play-by-play man's job is about creating a feeling through a narrative, not about factually describing the game. It's amazing (and I can't tell if the guys working the 72 series were doing that or not) how often they go off the rails somewhere in the first 5 minutes and never, ever come back.

I mean, I remember watching last season's last Habs -leafs games with friends; we were more or less paying attention and so were relying on COle to give us a feel of the game. We all considered the game (a 4-3 habs loss in OT) a depressing outmatch.

So I come around next day, fire up the DVR and actually score the game (I'm a dedicated fella, see?)... Corsi events 58-39 for the habs, SC +24/-10, +19/-7 at ES.

I think you could take at least half of the games I scored, you compare the numbers with whatever the PBP man said, it's night and day.

Eagerly awaiting the follow-up. This is quality work, so take your time, it's not like they are playing the 8th game tomorrow...

Jonathan Willis said...

Absolutely tremendous work, Pat.

Black Dog said...

Thanks JW.

Olivier - well I wrote the introduction to this post before I watched the second and third periods and tabulated the results and you can see my acceptance of the general myths there. And in the commentary for the game they begin talking about the Canadians' lack of fitness and the Russians' superior teamwork in the second period after Kharlamov scores on a couple of pretty individual efforts which are poorly played by Awrey and Dryden respectively. But the die has been cast at that point.

The Russians did excel in one area definitely and that was possession in the offensive zone. If you look at the charts you will see that they rack up events in bunches, they would fire the puck at the net four or five times in 60 to 90 seconds.

Of course this belied another myth, that the Russians would pass and pass and pass until they had the tap in goal. They directed a lot of pucks at the net from all over.

Vic Ferrari said...

Off the hook, brother. Wonderful writing.

Sounds like lowetide was right, it was no picnic playing the shift after Espo. You take the rough with the smooth with a guy like that, I know, still ...

I've just glanced at the numbers, and it's going to take at least a few games for the dust to settle on those, I suspect. At some point, if you want, I can convert them to HTML tables and post them at timeonice.com, so that you can link to them. And that way anyone who wishes to can copy and paste hem into a spreadsheet and apply their own understanding of the game to them. I'm sure that all the folks who record scoring chances, at least, have some ideas about what makes things tick.

If someone has a better idea (and I imagine someone does) they should voice it.


I'm not usually one to post "Atta Boy!" comments, and there's so much good insight in this post that I wouldn't know where to start, anyways. Anyhow ... Atta boy!

Black Dog said...

Thanks Vic. And yes I will take you up on that offer, I would really appreciate it. My skills in these matters are pretty rudimentary.

To add some more context to the numbers:

A shift for Esposito's line usually ended up in the Russians' end for a period of time but this line and he in particular took ridiculously long shifts so what happened a few times is the Russians would end up pushing the puck the other way. The wingers had the sense to get off the ice a lot sooner than Espo but often the shift ended with him sucking wind and a faceoff in Canada's zone.

At which point Clarke's line would come on. The numbers are misleading for these guys. The vast number of events against were the result of the Russians gaining possession on the draw and then getting it at the net multiple times. Invariably Clarke and Henderson and Ellis would get the puck and they would move it the other way effectively.

And keep it there.

At which point the GAG line would come on and live up to their name. They would do very little and then the puck would end up back in Canada's zone. The numbers actually don't reflect how awful they were. Just absymal.

Doogie2K said...

Black Dog: Be interesting to see ZoneStart and ZoneFinish for this thing at the end.

Vic Ferrari said...

At the risk of seeming like world's biggest dink ... it would be cool to know who was on the ice for the faceoffs as well. Going by this post, it's really starting to look like that's going to be material. I wouldn't have thought it would be that big a deal, coaching being what it was in those days.

The correct answer to this request is, of course, "Fuck off, Vic". And maybe this will be less of an issue as the series moves on, I dunno.

If nobody with this DVD box set volunteers ... I'll buy it and fast forward to all the faceoffs and record them.

Coach pb9617 said...

Sick.

This is amazing stuff, I can't wait until this series is complete.

Axeman said...

Outstanding. Among other things you've verified some things I remember noting at the time that haven't gone away ... like the low end goaltending from Dryden. I'm interested in your comments about Tretiak, we'll see how they stand up over the series. In my mind, all goalies of that era, more than any other positions, absolutely bite compared to today. The coaching and technique is a world apart.

As for some of the other things - the comments that it looks like beer league hockey ... it is, comparatively. I watch a bunch of the old (50's- 60's) games that are on ESPN Classic and NHL Network, the quality compared to today is a world apart. I played major Junior and minor prof in the IHL and EHL way back a that time - and there is no comparison. I went to a Vancouver Giants game a year ago, and can't believe I was ever as good as them. I don't think I was, I think the level of play today is as far away from 1972 as an 11 second 100 meter man is from Usain Bolt. The thing is, beer league guys in 1972 were worse than we are today.

Other - I didn't see anything about face-off wins, that might be interesting as well. Glad you liked Ellis, I was always a big fan back then, and thought that series showed how good he was.

This is wonderful stuff you're doing, keep it up!

Axeman

Black Dog said...

Thanks Derek.

Thanks Axeman - The game has changed a ton but when I said beer league I was referring more to the sloppiness and the lack of a system. Nothing at all like today and I mean that in a bad way. The game was a lot more creative, individual play was encouraged, breakdowns were frequent.

There's no denying the change in the size and speed and talent of all of the players but the lack of the modern system and technique makes it terrific fun to watch.

Black Dog said...

Vic and Doogie - you guys are like my kids - I give you everything and still you want MORE!!! ;)

ok so here is the deal, I have three others working with me on this and I know that Mr. D and Julian have each finished at least one game so I'm not going to ask them to go back and rerun the game.

But I will definitely run through all of them to get this info. So any other requests put them in now and I will do what I can. I'm going to try and watch G2 tonight and tomorrow night when we are en route to PEI, probably in a hotel bathroom in Riviere Du Loup while I wait for the kids to fall asleep. Then hopefully post early next week. Then I'm on vacation on the Island but hopefully we will get the remainder of the games posted in the next two weeks or so.

When we get back Jenn has to pay the piper for vacation and will be working a lot of shifts so I will be able to go back and get the faceoff and zonestart data.

spOILer said...

Wow, Pat.

That's just an awesome summary. What fantastic content to provide in the dog days of hockey-less August.

Couple of things about Seiling...

Doesn't he go on to score a hat trick in Game 3 (and not Gm 4)?

IIRC, he made the team mostly because NYR had made it to the finals against the Bru's the prior spring and he had been a real leader for the Rags. His career took a pretty pronounced downswing thereafter though. That SCF appearance probably explains using the entire GAG line too.

spOILer said...

I was not a happy camper when Jean Ratelle became a Bruin at the jolly old age of 35, btw.

Fantastic guy, but a stab in the hearts of fans.

Black Dog said...

thanks spOILer

Nope Seiling didn't play G3. I keep saying I am interested to see how all of this plays out and I really am. Watching G2 now and I think they went with a similar lineup in G3 which they had in hand until late in the third where they lost the lead. Surmising here but I think they made changes based on that and went back to a few of the guys who had failed in G1. And then G4 was lost as well. Can't wait to see if the culprits in G1 and G4 were the same.

Good point about the Rangers, the GAG line was quality and I think Seiling was too but they were overmatched, certainly Hadfield and Seiling were. Gilbert and Ratelle drew back in later on though.

spOILer said...

Holy crap, I just went and looked up the scoring summaries and now I have no idea where or how I thought a Canadian defenseman had scored a hattrick. Thanks, Pat.

Julian said...

So, I did Corsi and scoring chances for G3, but I didn't do it for individual players.

I couldn't come to nearly the conclusions you did after all this Pat, so I'll go and do it again, tracking all the Canadian players as well. If we're gonna do this, may as well do it right eh? I'll wait till I'm back home and can hook it up to the big screen though, so I'm not balancing a laptop at the same time I'm taking notes.


I'd love to do the 1987 Canada Cup as well. I just got a book on it by Ed Willes, and while the book isn't anything fascinating, it makes me wanna watch the series again, carefully. Lots of mythmaking going on in that one too.

Black Dog said...

Julian you're awesome and I appreciate it so much. Just did G2 and once you get the hang of it its a lot easier. Sorry to throw the curve at you but this sucker seems to be getting a mind of its own. If you wouldn't mind tracking fos as well, just looking for where they are and who is on for them just so we can see if there is any pattern there. If that's too much or any of this let me know and I'll pick up the slack.

E said...

doing G7 today. i'll try to track face-offs as well as shots and chances. fuck it, i got time, i'll try to keep track of the russians too.

unless i pass out from the opium syrup.

Julian said...

Ok, doing this in excel would make it much easier. Did you find you had to rewind a lot of times to make sure you knew exactly who was on the ice for all of the events? At least their numbers on their backs are big, too bad their names aren't on there though.

By faceoffs, what do you mean exactly? Tracking ZS and ZF? Or just who is on for each Off and Def. zone faceoff?


I'll give this a proper going over next weekend when I've got time. If my battery can hold, I may even try it on my 15 hour flight on Tuesday.

Lowetide said...

This is beautiful. I loved this post and the comments too, just terrific to re-live that series through today's lens.

I loved watching Frank Mahovlich play hockey. They always used words like "lumbering" when he skated and the commentators would always say "don't wake up Mahovlich."

But in those years, the Big M could impact a game plenty. The only Habs teams I can ever remember cheering for were Mahovlich's Canadiens.

Then again, hockey kind of ended in my house when Imlach traded Mahovlich, so it would have been hard for me to hate the guy with so much propaganda about. :-)

Hadfield went home after G4 if I recall, by that time Sinden was on to him and (iirc) Parise had stolen the job.

Phil Esposito. There were games when you could SEE him flagging during a long shift but if the puck was heading in the right direction he wasn't coming off. Used to play through all sets of Bruins wingers and then get off the ice the second time Cashman and Hodge had their turn.

Next series for you, Pat: Bruins versus Flyers SCF 1974. Philadelphia had Clarke, MacLeish, Kindrachuk and Clement rolling at center (I don't recall Crisp playing a lot in that series) while the Bruins had Esposito, Sheppard, Esposito, Savard, Esposito.

And by 1974 Phil wasn't the 1972 Phil, either. But man he could score goals, I think that 70-72 version of Phil might have been one of the four or five best offensive centermen ever. Ridiculous.

Black Dog said...

E - don't worry about the Russians, seriously. Appreciate it but no need to double the work.

Julian - I think you'll find it easier on the next viewing, I struggled on the first game but G2 was a breeze even though Sinden didn't just roll them and there were a lot quicker changes

For faceoffs I just recorded each one, where it was and who was on for the draw. Just to give us an idea of what's happening.

Black Dog said...

Thanks LT. Yeah Espo is something else, he likes his icetime for sure. ;) But I was surprised at how good he was. I pictured Tim Kerr but he makes everything happen out there.

And Mahovlich was a beauty too. I don't think I ever saw him play until he other night. Whata player.

KDM said...

Pat and everyone. Wow. This is just incredible stuff and wanted to thank you all.
Not only is it good writing and informative stats wise, but the insight and the comprehension in the comments is wonderful.

Thanks once again guys, and keep it up.

Scott Reynolds said...

Superb work Pat. Canada was up 9-2 in Corsi at EV with the score tied, but got murdered to the tune of 16-6 at EV when they had the lead. I haven't watched so don't really know, but did it look like they were sitting back at all once they got ahead? The Russians held a 41-39 Corsi advantage when leading, but that includes the big run at the end when the result was no longer in doubt. Did the Russians seem to be playing to the score at all? Thanks again for the hard work.

Black Dog said...

Thanks KDM appreciate it.

Scott - naw I wouldn't say that the Canadians were playing to the score at all in the first once they got up. It came down to a lot of Seiling and Awrey as well as a couple of lines that struggled. And in a couple of cases the Clarke line were out for a DZ faceoff, lost it, and then saw the Russians rack up a quick +5 in Corsi. No real chances but a lot of shots directed at the net, many of them blocked.

In the same vein I don't think the Russians played the score at all either. In the third when the Canadians had their nice run which included the Clarke goal Sinden didn't run out the GAG line at all and Awrey had been on the bench since early in the second. Lapointe did pretty well, Park and Bergman were out a lot and Park was very very good and up front it was a lot of the Espo line and a lot of the Clarke line and the Russians struggled against both.

Finished game two, have to compile the results and then hopefully post them this week. Vacation after Tuesday so it might be tough. A lot of great shit in that game.

Mr DeBakey said...

Did you find you had to rewind a lot of times to make sure you knew exactly who was on the ice for all of the events?

Oh yeah, back & forth.
The Soviets didn't mix up their lines at all. So if 10 & 17 are on the ice, you know 18 is too; even if you can't see that guy over there's number.

Meanwhile, stupid me, I did both teams.
So for G4 & G5 we have numbers for both the Commies and the Free People.

I haven't done face-offs though.
I may if I can scrape together the time.

Black Dog said...

Mr D. you're making me look bad ;)

Don't worry about the draws if you can't get to them, I can pick those up. Posting G2 tomorrow hopefully. Don't forget your commentaty on both 4 and 5 if you can get the time, Julian and E, I presume you will want to do writeups as well. If not let me know but I will post whatever you want to share.

Doogie2K said...

The appearance of a large number of Rangers seems rather akin to the heavy representation of Oilers and Flyers in '87, given that Keenan had just coached or coached against most of those guys in the Finals a few months earlier.

Mr DeBakey said...

The GAG Line in 71-72:
Jean Ratelle 109 Pts
Vic Hadfield 106 Pts
- Incl 50 Goals
Rod Gilbert 97 Pts

Ratelle 2nd amongst Centers
Hadfield & Gilbert were both 1st at their respective positions.

Park was considered 2nd best D-man in the league after the injured Orr.

Black Dog said...

Doogie - you are right, these guys had just been seen good but as Mr D points out they weren't slouches. Seiling was considered pretty good as well I believe. Their trip to the finals certainly didn't hurt but the GAG guys would have been there regardless. Park too.

Julian said...

Jesus this is difficult. I tried putting together a system for tracking this on the plane, but it had some flaws, so I tried it again with a different way and there were still some flaws. I'll have to do it at home, possibly on two different computers.

Pat, when you were tracking which players were on, did you just assume the lines stuck together if you couldn't see them? There's been a couple times in the first few minutes of P1 of G3 where I would see Espo on, for example, but not be able to tell who his LW was, or who one of the D was on the ice.

And for faceoffs, you just want the player and the number of Ozone and Dzone faceoffs he was on for? Like Henderson : 12Oz 6Nz 14Dz? Nothing about whether they were put out there for it or caused it to move in the right way or anything? That would require even more tracking I would think...


I tell you, if they'd just broadcast this game in widescreen HD, this would be a lot easier... I'll do G3 properly this weekend though. Wish I had better Excel skill though.

Black Dog said...

lol Julian, yeah no kidding on the HD widescreen

yeah if I could not see who was on then I assume its a certain player, they tend to run the lines out without changing them up, having said that I maybe did that for two or three instances

as for FO just mark down where it is and who is on for it - so Defensive zone and all five players, then we can parse it from there, if you note someone coming out for a draw and then getting off the ice it would be nice to know that, other wise we're just looking at the basics

away until tomorrow night so any questions best to email