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In Defense of “Dinosaurs” Originally posted 7/3/10 on St. Louis Game Time

July 3, 2010

There have been some theories that in order to win in today’s NHL, a team has to pack the lines with scoring forwards, and to hell with the defense.
The Washington Capitals have shown that this does not work, yet some are not convinced.
Read the original article (still written by me) on St. Louis Game Time

Defensive forwards have more than a place in this NHL, and really aren’t “dinosaurs”
Each of the Cup winners since the “New NHL” came into play after the lockout really haven’t had lines upon lines of forwards who can each score.

*****

2006: Carolina Hurricanes
Led by two-time Selke winner Rod Brind’Amour and Doug Weight, who averaged just a hair above .2 goals a game over his entire career, and just 4 goals in his 23 games with Carolina. Sure, he was a fine playmaker, but I would say he made his mark in his own end, averaging at .6 assists a game.
Eric Cole was a strong scorer, but far from what I’d call an elite-level player.
Same with Ray Whitney.
The only truly offensive forward was Eric Staal, and he’s responsible in his own end as well.

It’d be nice to have a bunch of Eric Staals playing both ends of the ice, but I think there’s only one, and he’s playing in Carolina.

2007: Anaheim Ducks
A piece brought up before as a mark to the older NHL.
They had Teemu Selanne as their gifted forward, as Getzlaf, Perry, and the rest haven’t really come to their own as players. In fact, he was the only forward to score more than 30 goals (with 48 tallies)

So far I’m not seeing a team with a bunch of “speedy, buzzing, shooting forwards”

2008: (fuck)Detroit Red Wings
God damn. They had to win. Of course they did.
Well, they had Pavel Datsyuk, who while no one can deny his offensive flair, is a 3-time running defending Selke Winner
Also Dallas Drake, never a good offensive skater
Those scoring forwards? Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, who is more recognized for play in his own end than offensive production.

With Babcock’s system, they were able to win with good, strong defense, IN SPITE OF Chris Osbad.

2009: Pittsburgh Penguins
Yea yea, Cindy Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
Bill Guerin is often counted in, but if you look at his production, he’s going at a just under 1/3 of a goal per game, and nearly the same for assists.
Miroslav Satan turns it on and off, and in 08-09, he was off.
Petr Sykora was a good scorer, but again not an elite talent.

This was the most skilled forward set we’ve seen so far, and only really had 2, maybe 4 elite forwards at the time, not 3 lines of them

2010: Chicago Black Hawks
I might give Troy Brouwer a nod here, he’s going to be dangerous in years to come, just not this year
Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, of course. Patrick Sharp, Kris Versteeg
Marian Hossa was stong, but a lot of his goals came short-handed.

What it comes down to is that Chicago was really the only ream to pack it on with the “ideal” set of forwards.

I don’t think that the Flyers were a really good offensive team, but they were able to really rack them up against Chicago. I think that if the Hawks played a team with better goaltending and defense, then there would be a different set of names on the Cup

So 80% of the cup winners had more focus on defense than offense.

The dinosaurs aren’t dead just yet.

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