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  1. 3 points
  2. 2 points
    I glanced at the '95 manual once and i have to say it's kind of like a View Master edition of Mein Kampf.
  3. 2 points
    I was reading the NHL'94 Sega Genesis manual (I have a goal to read books this summer), and came across a few "clues" that can help us understand parts of the game we don't fully grasp yet. I found these to be of particular interest: During use (p.2) "Rest for at least 10 minutes per hour while playing a video game" Ummmm, this was before the 2v2 ROM was created, so they didn't know resting 10 minutes per hour was going to be impossible. The Face Off (p.18) "As you learn the game you will find that certain centers are tougher than others, and that some are more skillful with the stick. You will want to be aware of your center's particular strengths and weaknesses if you want to make full use of him on face offs" I feel like this suggests a players attributes (stick handling, awareness?) will lead to more faceoff wins. I think we generally believe button smashing is not key to winning and it's random, but perhaps not! The manual also doesn't say smash B to win. It says when the puck hits the ice it's live and you can "Hold the D-Pad in the directions you want to pass, then press B". Passing (p.20) "The best passing method is to press the B button, then press down on the D-Pad, then release the B button. The pass is launched when the D-Pad is pressed while the B button is down." What? I THINK I press the direction before a pass, not after. However, I did learn from @PlabaxV2 that if you hold the b button the player just holds the puck in a frozen motion until you release the button. Change/Remove Goalies (p.35) "In NHL Hockey '94, the goalie is chosen randomly for computer controlled teams in regular season games, when line changes are ON. Otherwise, the first string goalie starts" ORLY? Didn't know that. Hot and Cold Streaks (p.39) "The player ratings will vary hot and cold (+/- 10-30% in each category) depending on what kind of streaks the players happen to be on" We know this, but I like that the manual puts in a percentage range for us to verify Goalies / Def. Awareness (p.47) "Goalie's sense of what's going on around his net." Interesting, I think this attribute may help auto goalies position themselves better....just a hunch. Line Players (p.48) "Off. Awareness Player's offensive instinct Def. Awareness Player's defensive instinct Pass Accuracy Player's accuracy in passing the puck Stick Handling Player's overall skill with the stick Aggressiveness Player's likelihood of being penalized" Passing (what is called in-game) is categorized as pass accuracy. That's always been somewhat of a mystery. I also think the language around Stick Handling is related to the faceoff notes from earlier as well (skill with the stick). Crowd Meter (p.49-50) "The Crowd Analysis screen displays the statistics on decibels recorded from the crowd's cheering. These include the current decibel level, the average decibel level recorded over teh course of the game, and the highest, or "peak", decibel since the opening face off. Analysis of the crowd is based on readings of the Crowd Meter throughout a game. Don't just blow the Crowd Meter off - the higher the reading, the BETTER the teams play! If you break the Arena record, gameplay for both teams speeds up (about 10%)." Ok, clearly this Crowd Meter has some effect on players given the BOLD statement made at the end of the manual! I have done initial investigations on what moves the crowd meter, I have to check my notes, but I know winning a faceoff at home is an instant boost vs losing, etc. Now, we just have to figure out how it affects the teams. According to the manual, "gameplay" speeds up 10%. Timeout (p.50) "When playing with line changes off, the players do not lose vitality, and so the timeout has no real function." Still...momentum man. I will call timeout damn it.
  4. 2 points
    Just want to talk real quick about the self pass, and to a lesser extent, the flip pass. The former is somewhat misunderstood, the latter is something from the occult, black magic book of NHL'94. I wanted to make a video to narrate and demonstrate exactly what I'm referring to, but I don't have a decent mic so I'll just post a few videos and try to explain. Flip pass origins The Fins, namely @swos and @Mahavishnu, were the first to use the flip pass or "keg toss," that I'm aware of. A keg toss being Nordic strongman-parlance for an event when a keg is hurled backwards over a bar. The puck is flipped with the (A) button behind the net in an attempt to get an odd bounce or setup a forward for an easy goal. Seeing videos of the Fins scoring these goals with frequency led me to experiment with how the puck behaves when it's 'flipped' or rolling. One thing I noticed is that it's easier to score goals in some respects when the puck is like this and you can get some wild bounces in your favor that make it a dangerous play. Here's an old video with some self passes and two flip pass goals: The play is more of a parlor trick but does have a place in a 5on5 game, even in match-play once you learn that you can 'poke-stab' a rolling puck out of mid-air with your skater and shoot it in one motion. E.G. flip to self poke-stab rolling puck to gain possession flick a wrister with the rolling puck half-slap the rolling puck flick a pass for a one-timer while the puck is rolling @HABS doesn't demonstrate the poke-stab here, but he does show a good example of a flip pass goal: It's also, basically, a giant neon middle finger to your opponent who would love nothing more than to bury you into the boards and shove that puck back into your net for showboating. Self pass usefulness It actually does have a place in 5on5 for a few reasons, but first for anyone who doesn't understand how to do it: Get close to the boards pass the puck by holding the d-pad directly left or right right side is more effective going 'up' ice, or home. left side is more effective gong 'down' ice, or away. Try to angle your skater to retrieve the puck in stride. You can also do it at a standstill in the attacking zone. As a general rule, never ever do this in your own zone, unless you want to get burned badly or light a fire under your opponents ass. Disregarding the goal, here's a quick example of how to do it in stride. When the pass is made the skaters stick is pointing directly, to the right, at the boards. This is the most consistent way to pass the puck to yourself while moving up ice: So what, right? How is this anything more than hot-dogging, and what would ever be the point of trying this type of stunt when you can just try to capitalize on quality scoring chances? Well, it has a bit to do with how the CPU AI behaves in the game. I'll try my best to explain without a video or commentary. Computer controlled skaters behave as if offsides are enabled even if they're not. When you enter the attacking zone, if you have to drop the pass back to your D because you have no options or are about to get nailed, and the puck goes out to the neutral zone, then the rest of your team that is setup in the offensive zone will leave the zone to get onsides again. Once your team is setup in the attacking zone, and all 10 skaters are on that side of the ice, the computer controlled skaters, yours and the oppositions, will get into their "spots," for lack of a better term. They will basically stay here unless the puck comes near them by the puck carrier, whereby their attributes will basically determine how they will behave. If you want to try it out, play keep away in the attacking zone with a skater and just skate around and observe the behavior of the computer controlled skaters. Passing the puck to yourself plays a roll because when you release it for half a second to yourself, the computer controlled skaters behave as if there's a loose puck, and will get out of position by beginning to move. They "reset," so to speak. This may be all the space you need to generate a chance if your opponent had you locked down and has taken away the primary passing lane, or that one-timer lane that is most likely to result in a goal. This fraction-of-a-second, personal-pan-pizza-pass can open up clogged lanes. It can also let you sacrifice your forward by doing this quickly and then getting rid of a hot potato before getting crunched that can result in a fast goal. I plan to make a detailed video later, at some point, but I hope some of that made sense.
  5. 1 point
    With the empty net, Kevin Dineen gets denied by the post, and then his next shot stops right on the goal line. LOL.
  6. 1 point
    The random goalie starter thing is also a bit odd and surprising.
  7. 1 point
    Tampa Bay Lightning Team Overview: Chemistry is one hell of a thing, there isn’t much to suggest that the Lightning would be a competitive team as they own the slowest and least skilled defense in the game and an unimpressive set of forwards after Brian Bradley. Yet, somehow, almost inexplicably, they manage to cobble together a lightweight lineup that does just enough to win their fair share of games. Forwards: To say that the Lightning are utterly bereft of top end talent after Bradley would be an insult to understatements. At the very least though, the lineup is littered with useful, light weight options that can stir up some trouble on defense and work the counter attack in their favor to cash in on some easy/garbage goals. RAPON!!!: Andersson-Bradley-Kasper Mikael Andersson: 6 weight, 2/4 skating, 2/2 shot, 3 sth & pass, 2/3 aware, Shoots: L Oddly enough, this no shot, straight line, burner-ish type player is the best offensive winger on the roster. Players don’t get much more unspectacular than Andersson, but he does the trick in many instances. Being the only player on the roster above 3 speed, Andersson’s ability to quickly move the puck up the ice is a vital change of pace in an otherwise sluggish attack. Thankfully, Andersson does have an average set of playmaking skills to go along with his speed so he isn’t just carrying the puck up the ice for his health. Scoring though, is something of an art with Andersson, his piddly shot wont strike the fear into any goalie as he is mainly an in close deker. While not the biggest of hitters on defense, he is still able to bring down the heavyweights with ease and it is nice to have one player on the ice with a bit of speed to run down players in open ice. Brian Bradley: 4 weight, 4/3 skating, 4/5 shot, 3 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: R One of the prevailing traits of an expansion team is a dearth of top end talent; this is not the case for Tampa as Bradley is a border line Round 1 pick in the GDL draft. The one obvious weakness about Bradley is his speed. Fine, it is what it is, pretty dang average, but it does not hamper him enough from being one of the games truly legitimate snipers. Bradley’s shot turns a pop gun offense into one that can hurt any team in the league as he is dangerous from almost anywhere inside the offensive zone. Despite his lack of speed, Bradley is still very capable of bouncing off a few body checks and driving the puck to the net in close for a floater or deke. What sets Bradley apart from several other sniping slugs is that he can really check the snot out of the opposition, which comes in real handy in helping to change the tide of a game. Steve Kasper: 5 weight, 3/3 skating, 2/3 shot, 3 sth & pass, 1/3 aware, Shoots: L Much like Andersson, on a standard team Kasper wouldn’t garner a 2nd look despite his ability to body check effectively. For the Lightning though, Kasper is a good wing option because he has just enough playmaking ability to feed Bradley consistently as he is rather adept at dodging and absorbing body checks to make the play. It is pretty rare for a forward to have such low offensive awareness, but this doesn’t hamper Kasper too much as he is still able to convert on the odd goal and he is very focused on defense, which isn’t a bad thing to have when the other two forwards are going to be doing a lot of work on offense. This is the most balanced line the Lightning can hope to ice as it provides some speed, some scoring touch, and a good deal of defensive ability. If either Andersson or Kasper can augment Bradley’s production, the Lightning becomes rather effective, and not in just expansion team terms, but league wide terms. TRAPON!!!: Kasper-Bradley-DiMaio Rob DiMaio: 5 weight, 2/3 skating, 2/2 shot, 2 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: R If all you wanted in your life was another guy just like Kasper, but less skilled, then you can stop your search. Strictly a weight bug option, DiMaio provides a bit more defensive edge then Andersson which could come in handy in an attempt to slow the game down and turn the neutral zone into a wasteland of turnovers and mutilated bodies. With the puck on his stick DiMaio is as unskilled as they come, but if he’s allowed to waltz right in on the goalie, he’s bound to convert on some of his chances. While this is in the running for slowest line in the league, it is an effective trap line because not many teams can match a line of 5-4-5 weight. It essentially eliminates the body check for the opponent as they are now reduced to poke checks and holds which may provide some problems. The scoring touch isn’t reduced all that much by a change from Andersson to DiMaio as Bradley is still the obvious go to player. Who’s the Fattie? Bradley-Kontos-Andersson/Kasper Chris Kontos: 8 weight, 3/3 skating, 3/5 shot, 3 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L While it may be a difficult decision to give up such a superior weight advantage, sometimes it’s useful plugging a little extra offense into the lineup against a heavier team if things start to go awry. Kontos greatest and only strength is his ability to finish. Kontos isn’t unfamiliar with the concept of filling the slot, and with a pair of flyweight options on the wing, they should be able to feed him enough chances to make him worth icing. Using Kontos in a one-on-one fashion is likely to end unsuccessfully as he has neither the skating ability or weight advantage to work his way into the danger areas, if this is a main mode of attack for the user, it’s likely best to put Kontos on the wing or just leave him on the bench entirely. No other expansion team has one player with a 3/5 shot or better, Tampa has two. If they can get chances, they are going to put some goals on the board. The defense takes a hit though, but against a heavier or slower team, it’s a trade off worth considering. Other Options: None of the players remaining on the roster are worth GDL consideration, hell; Kasper, Andersson, and DiMaio never get drafted. Still, it doesn’t hurt to talk about a couple of other bums. Marc Bureau: 7 weight, 3/3 skating, 2/2 shot, 3 sth, 2 pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: R Average skating middle weight with a sub par skill set, you didn’t expect anything good did you? Danton Cole: 7 weight, 3/3 skating, 2/2 shot, 2 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: R The thing about Danton Cole is... Forwards: 5/10 Defense: On paper, the Lightning have the worst rated and most unimpressive defense in the entire game...and they don’t play far from it. While not crippled by a brigade of heavyweights, the Lightning have the slowest top pairing defense in the league that is compensated by no other skill. Roman Hamrlik: 7 weight, 3/2 skating, 3/1 shot, 3 sth, 2 pass, 2/3 aware, Shoots: L Hamrlik garners nothing more than a shoulder shrug from me. He’s slow, isn’t a threat offensively, doesn’t give a good breakout pass, and he doesn’t do a good job of containing a light weight bearing down on him with speed. This is the Lightning’s #1 defenseman though, the price of having a legitimate forward on an expansion team is rather steep it seems. Marc Bergevin: 6 weight, 2/2 skating, 3/0 shot, 2 sth & pass, 2/2 aware, Shoots: L Things have already degraded down to this? Damn, that was fast. Bergevin is light and he is also light. Ignore his shot, he’s never going to use it and if he does, well, I don’t need to tell you how it’ll end. Bergevin is pretty good at dealing with slugs, mainly because he is light. Have I mentioned that Bergevin is light yet? Good, I just wanted to make it clear that Bergevin is indeed light. The main objective of the Lightning defenders is this. Don’t get caught out of your own zone, slow down the attack, and allow the forwards to mop up. If breakaways are limited and the Lightning defenders stay home, Bergevin and Hamrlik can do a fairly bang up job and contribute to the defensive game plan. If they get caught though, they won’t be able to do a thing about it. Also, don’t let them carry the puck for too long, they won’t intimidate anyone with their abilities. Other Options: The rest of the pairings I can suggest are of equal stink, so I’m not even going to bother breaking them down. Bob Beers: 9 weight, 3/3 skating, 2/2 shot, 2 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: R Bad ass name, bad player. If a heavy defenseman is going to be iced he has to have some skills, Beers possesses nothing worth mentioning though. Bergevin provides a similar skill set in a slimmer package, don’t keep this Beers on ice. Shawn Chambers: 9 weight, 2/2 skating, 2/1 shot, 2 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: L Hey, this is a major improvement from when he was rated a 1 overall in NHL 93, take what you can get. Chris Lipuma: 6 weight, 1/1 skating, 1/0 shot, 1 sth & pass, 2/1 aware, Shoots: L I mention Lipuma because he is a default sub, I’d suggest subbing him, but honestly, what’s the difference? At least Lipuma is light. Why does this sound familiar? Defense: .5/10 Goalie Zone: Wendell Young is not Glenn Healy, I can’t get much more positive than that without lying through my teeth. Wendell Young: 6 weight, 3/3 skating, 2/2 aware, 3 puck control, 3/2/3/3 save, Catches: L Young occasionally gets starting consideration in the GDL and Blitz leagues, he typically platoons at best though. Be prepared to use a lot of goalie control with Young, he isn’t very strong against most scoring tactics although he may provide a few surprising saves from time to time. Goalie: 2.5/10 Bottom Line: Despite a horribly rated defense and below average goaltending, the Lightning ought to be respected. Their ability to score and play team defense allows them to play a few different styles and adjust to their opponent as needed. Against a superior team in the hands of a skilled player, the uphill climb to victory will still be a daunting, yet not impossible task.
  8. 1 point
    St. Louis Blues Team Overview: One of the more overrated teams in the league, the Blues don’t have a single player on the roster that is free of a major weakness. The likes of Brett Hull, Brendan Shanahan, Nelson Emerson and Jeff Brown all have obvious deficiencies as players, but finding the right mix of these players with the other options on the bench can provide the Blues with a competitive line up that will frustrate opponents. Forwards: One main issue the Blues forwards are confronted with is a total lack of speed, which rules out using a one man slashing offense as an effective strategy. They also lack a masterful set up man and top tier sniper, making a traditional one –timer offense difficult to pull off. All that can be done is either submit to the weight bug strategy, or construct a jack of all trades line. Jack of All Trades: Shanahan-Hull-Emerson Brendan Shanahan: 10 weight 3/3 skating, 4/5 shot, 4 sth & pass, 5/4 aware, Shoots: R The fact that Shanahan has made the starting line up says more about the lack of skill on the bench then Shanahan himself. Lets not throw him completely under the bus though, in the right system, under the right circumstances, Shanahan can be a pleasant surprise as a scoring option from the off wing. He has 5 o aware, and will often times make a home in prime scoring areas along the wing leaving him wide open for easy one timers that he can convert with his 4/5 shot. What kills Shanahan though is his 10 weight and 3/3 skating, which makes him a weak puck carrier and defensive option, hopefully he provides enough offense to offset these flaws. Brett Hull: 9 weight, 4/4 skating, 6/3 shot, 5 sth, 3 pass, 5/3 aware, Shoots: R Due to the fact that the Blues don’t have a dangerous 1 on 1 forward, it becomes essential to put either Hull or Shanahan in the middle due to their shooting skills. But thanks to Hull’s 4/4 skating and 5 stick handle, he has some legitimate deke ability despite being saddled with 9 weight. Hull has some very high end offensive skills in his 5 o aware and his 6 shot power. One thing (aside from his weight) holds Hull back from being mentioned among the elite snipers, its his 3 shot acc. Because of that, Hull has very wild hot and cold streaks that can prove maddeningly frustrating and put the Blues in prolonged slumps on offense. Nelson Emerson: 4 weight, 4/4 skating, 3/3 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: R Aside from Emerson’s 4 weight and 4/4 skating, he is a rather ordinary option. Emerson has had some successful seasons but he has to be inserted into the right place. He is not a number one option due to his 3/3 shooting and 3 passing, he is a defensive specialist who can be pressed into playmaking duties when need be because of his ability to withstand punishment in the open ice. It is suggested that when the Blues are on the PK, that Emerson gets shifted over to the left in order to keep a defensive presence on the ice. The key to this line is letting Emerson carry the puck up the ice and finding the open option. He is merely competent on offense, but he is the best 1 on 1 option the team has. The problem with this though is if Emerson gets cut down deep in the offensive zone, the opponent can quickly counter attack on a team with no big hitting presence anywhere else on the ice. Finding the balance between creating with Emerson and keeping him available on defense is paramount. Bug Line: Bassen-Hull-Emerson Bob Bassen: 4 weight, 3/4 skating, 2/3 shot, 3 sth, 2 pass, 2/2 aware, Shoots: L Bassen is pure grit on the wing, at 4 weight and 3/4 skating, he provides more of the defensive tenacity that the Blues lack. The cost of having the extra defense is a huge drop off in offense from Shanahan. Unless your name is Kgman, then Bassen’s 2/3 shot and 2 o aware will make it a monumental task to light the lamp on a regular basis with Bassen. This is a faster line, more defensively conscious, but it takes the most consistent shooter off the ice. If Hull can pot 3 goals a game or so, then the extra defense added by Bassen to go along with Emerson makes it an intimidating line to go against. Other Options: Craig Janney: 7 weight, 4/3 skating, 3/4 shot, 4 sth & pass, 5/4 aware, Shoots: L Craig Janney is available off the bench, but he got shafted on his passing rating by receiving only a 4, couple that with lackluster 4/3 skating and you have player that possesses no unique skills to bring to either line and is better used as a depth option when injuries or penalties arise. Ron Sutter: 6 weight, 3/3 skating, 2/3 shot, 3 sth, 4 pass, 3/4 aware, Shoots: R A last resort option, Sutter brings some offensive acumen to the table that Bassen could only dream of having, but the downgrade in speed and checking power isn't really something St. Louis can afford to give up too much of. Forward Rating: (6/10) Defense: Aside from Jeff Brown, the Blues are truly expansion like along the blue line. A lack of mobility, skill, and checking leave the Blues with a below average defensive corps that has very few alternatives to make the situation better. Brown-Butcher Jeff Brown: 9 weight, 3/3 skating, 5/3 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/4 aware, Shoots: R A rare combination of two right handed shooters that goes against the grain of my typical defensive philosophy. If Shanahan is inserted on the left, this leaves Brown, an offensive minded d-man as his backup. Typically I’d steer clear of such a combination, but there isn’t an attractive enough alternative to shift Brown over to his natural right side. Despite Brown’s plodding 3/3 speed, he does posses a 5/3 shot and 4 passing ability that make him a legitimate threat inside the opposing blue line. Garth Butcher: 9 weight, 2/3 skating, 2/1 shot, 3 sth & pass, 2/4 aware, Shoots: R Butcher provides nothing special on the right, hes a competent 4 d aware and possesses 2/3 skating which is as good as it gets for a 2nd option on this team. The main issue with Butcher is that he is a 9 weight, he isn’t very effective in covering for Brown when he goes on his offensive rushes and hes not much of a puck handler in his own zone. Other Options: Doug Crossman: 7 weight, 2/2 skating, 2/3 shot, 2 sth, 3 pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: L A rather unappealing option off the bench, Crossman gives a slight weight advantage over Butcher, with neither being particularly skilled, this may be enough to warrant icing Crossman. Curt Giles: 5 weight, 3/2 skating, 1/0 shot, 2 sth, 1 pass, 1/3 aware, Shoots: L Despite appearing like a checking beast, Giles offensive skills are among the worst in the game. He could be playing a LOT of defense. Defense Rating: (4/10) Goalie Zone: Curtis Joseph: 6 weight, 4/4 skating, 4 puck control, 3/3/4/4 save There is a lot to like about Joseph, 4/4 speed, 6 weight, 4 puck control. It all looks pretty good until his save ratings are considered, 3/3/4/4 is fairly average for a goalie with a top 5 overall rating. More often than not, Joseph has surprisingly occupied the bottom levels of the goalie leader board in the stat keeping leagues around the community. Goalie Rating: (5/10) The Final Word: The problem with St. Louis is that they don’t truly excel in any one area, that problem is further compounded by the fact that Blues do have some legitimate weaknesses (speed, skating, defense). Quite simply a choice must be made, picking a line built around precision offense or defensive tenacity.
  9. 1 point
    Toronto Maple Leafs Team Overview: An often overlooked team, Toronto doesn’t catch the eye of most people due to their lack of an elite speedster, bone crushing d-man, or stone wall goaltender. What they do have though, is a top 10 forward with a serious mean streak, some slick wingers, a couple of booming slap shots, and a very competent goaltender that when all put together, creates a nice little squad. Forwards: The forward unit here has a handful of very useful options at the disposal of the user. None is more important than Doug Gilmour of course, he will be the centerpiece of any line created and should be a major force offensively and defensively. The last four options are Nikolai Borshevsky, Glenn Anderson, John Cullen, and Wendell Clark. None of these players are necessarily better than any of the others, which makes user preferences all the more important when constructing a line. Triple Threat: Borshevsky-Gilmour-Clark Nikolai Borshevsky: 6 weight, 4/4 skating, 3/4 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/2 aware, Shoots: L While not spectacular, Borshevsky is a solid support guy on the left. Possessing a respectable 3/4 shot, he is better used on the left where he can use his 4/4 skating and 4 passing to distribute the puck to Gilmour lying in wait in the slot or to deke an unsuspecting goalie. Borshevsky is no slouch on defense either, at 6 weight, he can effectively throw his weight around on the fore check to create turnovers and hopefully create an easy scoring chance. Doug Gilmour: 4 weight, 5/4 skating, 4/4 shot, 4 sth & pass, 5/5 aware, Shoots: L “Killer” is one of my most favorite players in the entire game because he can do it all. 5/4 skating, 5/5 aware, 4/4 shot, 4 pass, stick handle, and weight. No one is quite as balanced as Gilmour, he can play wing just as effectively as the middle and he will be a force all over the ice. His user friendly 5/4 skating means he will be fast enough to run down anyone, but no so fast that he is difficult to control in tight spaces. On offense, Gilmour is equally adept at one timers as he is slashing through another teams defense. The only negative Gilmour has is his penchant for taking penalties, lots of penalties, using him with discretion is advised. Wendel Clark: 8 weight, 3/3 skating, 5/3 shot, 4 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: L While I’m typically not a fan of plodding (3/3 skating), heavy (8 weight), and inaccurate power shooters (5/3 shot), there isn’t a much better place for a Wendel Clark to be inserted into a lineup. Clark, a left handed shot, is best suited on the right wing so he can unleash his cannon like slapper to rip twine and smash glass alike. While he may a bit on the hefty side, Clark can effectively dish the puck with his 4 passing to help keep the offensive breakout alive. Clark’s main weakness though is his defense, he isn’t going to lay many people out or run them down to apply the poke check, this problem is further compounded by the fact that Ellett is the ideal right defenseman, which leaves two heavy offensive minded players on the right. Every player on this line is a threat to score, which makes focusing the defense on Gilmour a bit risky for the opposing player. The issue here though is if Gilmour can help a defensively porous right side, if he can, then this line is in really good shape. Slow but Steady: Cullen-Gilmour-Borshevsky John Cullen: 7 weight, 4/3 skating, 3/4 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: R Something about Cullen makes this line really click. A lot of users can get really carried away with Gilmour and just try to play smash mouth hockey every time up the ice. Giving the puck to Cullen, can throw a massive change up into that game plan and keep the defense guessing a whole lot more. Cullen posses 4/3 skating, he is very nimble in close quarters, he can pull off a multitude of dekes, including being surprisingly adept at the backhand floater and he can finish those dekes off with his respectable 3/4 shot. Also, another thing to love about Cullen is that he can slow the pace of the game down to a crawl, which is perfect to Toronto’s typically frantic offensive pace. With his 4 passing, Cullen is very adept at feeding Gilmour or Borshevsky premium passes for easy scoring chances. While Cullen may be a bit of a middle weight (7 rating), he is resilient to far more players than Clark because of the amount of 6 weight players in the game. Cullen can handle a check from Joe Sakic, Clark cant. Other Options: Glenn Anderson: 7 weight, 4/4 skating, 3/3 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L Glenn Anderson is another perfectly acceptable player on this line in place of Cullen, at 4/4 speed Anderson is the better skater, but with that trade comes a less accurate 3/3 shot. The reason though that I prefer Cullen over Anderson though is Cullen is a bigger change of pace, with all the forwards going the same speed, it can be a bit easier for a defense to hone in and time their body and poke checks. Mike Krushelski: 9 weight, 3/3 skating, 2/4 shot, 3 sth, 2 pass, 3/4 aware, Shoots: L Being Gilmour's default sub, Krushelski could see a lot of playing time if Killer looses his cool out there. It would probably be best though to put a sub in since Mike is a plodding heavyweight who wont take advantage of too many short handed situations. Forward Rating: (7.5/10) Defense: While not in possession of a de facto stud on the back line, the Leafs do have a respectable enough trio of defenseman in Dave Ellett, Todd Gill, and Jamie Macoun to allow user’s to play a solid defensive game. Gill-Ellett Dave Ellett: 9 weight, 4/4 skating, 5/1 shot, 4 sth & pass, 3/4 aware, Shoots: L This is the more preferred pairing league wide, and with good reason. Ellett, although heavy with his 9 weight, is a solid d-man. 4/4 skating, 4 passing and a blistering 5/1 shot allow this left handed defenseman ample chance to unleash his howitzer whether it be off the rush or an offensive zone face-off. While not among the elite, Ellett is a very good option to have and is a must for any Toronto defensive pairing. Todd Gill: 6 weight, 3/3 skating, 2/2 shot, 2 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: L What he lacks in skills, Gill more than makes up for hit in hitting ability. While being woeful with the puck in all categories (2 across the board), his 6 weight, 3/3 skating and 4 checking allow Gill to not only be a hitting presence with user control, his computer AI also will put him into rampage mode as he is liable to lay anyone out in the defensive zone. Macoun-Ellett Jamie Macoun: 8 weight, 3/3 skating, 4/1 shot, 3 sth, 4 pass, 2/4 aware, Shoots: L Macoun is a solid sub, he is a far more gifted player than Gill, with his 4/1 shooting and 4 passing. But at 8 weight, he is more of the same mold of an Ellett, just slower 3/3 skating. If you don’t mind a bit more heft in order to get premium puck moving ability from the backend, then Macoun is a very solid option. Other Option: Dmitri Mironov: 7 weight, 3/2 skating, 3/2 shot, 3 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: L A default sub, Mironov is a pretty steady defenseman. Just don't try and get into too many foot races with him and he should be able to hold his own in spurts. Defense Rating: (7/10) Goalie Zone: Felix Potvin: 6 weight, 4/4 skating, 4 puck control, 4/4/4/4 save, Glove: L Potvin is always in the debate among top 5 goalies in the league, his 6 weight allows him to be nimble, but also be fairly resiliant to the ram tactic. With 4 and 5 ratings across the board, Potvin will typically play a fairly consistent brand of hockey that may steal a game on his own from time to time. Daren Puppa: 9 weight, 3/4 skating, 2 puck control, 2/2/3/3, Catches: R While Puppa may not see much time in classic with the Leafs, he is a 1A-1B option in the GDL. Puppa is a bit tricky to get a good game out of though. With such lackluster save ratings its really important to get his body in front of the puck, his clumsy skating and wretched rebound control do not aid him in this battle. Goalie Rating: (8/10) Bottom Line: I’m really very surprised that Toronto doesn’t get selected in more leagues, they are solid in all areas. Perhaps they just aren’t sexy enough because they don’t possess the ultimate speedster, pure sniper, or bone crushing d-man. Don’t let that fool you though the next time you play with them.
  10. 1 point
    Washington Capitals Team Overview: Aside from maligned superstar Peter Bondra, the Caps are a slow, heavy, and inadequately skilled squad that will wreak havoc on making effective line combos. In draft league formats, the Capitals do have some useful players to keep in mind to round out your squad, so don’t completely ignore this roster. Forwards: Creativity will be needed here to construct an effective line. Bondra is easily the best forward available, but his play style is so vastly different from the rest of the roster, that it will make it very hard to incorporate players such as Ridley, Khristich, or anyone else plugged in. Mish-Mash: Khristich-Bondra-Ridley Dimitri Khristich: 7 weight, 3/3 skating, 4/6 shot, 4/4 sth, 4/3 aware, Shoots: R Despite being wonderfully skilled, especially in shooting, Khristich is sort of a boat anchor that drags around the ice. On a regular team, Khristich’s average skating wouldn’t be such a big issue, but with Bondra flying around with reckless abandon, it’s going to be tough to keep Khristich involved. A one-on-one game isn’t ideal for Khristich either as he is a prime target for lightweight forwards to abuse on an aggressive back check. With that said, there aren’t too many better options available to put in over Khristich, when he gets his chances, he should be able to deposit them with consistency as he is a great one-time shooter and is money from inside the face off circles. Peter Bondra: 6 weight, 4/6 skating, 3/ 4 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L As far as players with 6 speed go, Bondra is at the bottom of the food chain due to his lack of agility and subpar skillset when compared to guys like Selanne, Bure, and Mogilny. Bondra is the best chance at instant offence though, he is very tough to bring down in open ice and his speed should do more than enough damage to most defenses on its own. Bondra is a bit of a mixed bag on defense, fast enough to get involved in almost any defensive play, but not agile or light enough to be used as a true human wrecking ball or tactical defensive player. Mike Ridley: 9 weight, 4/4 skating, 3/4 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L A bona fide heavy weight, Ridley is a little under skilled to be consistent force on the ice, but he should be able to assert himself well enough in most instances. A pass first player, Ridley should be on the lookout for a streaking Bondra or for Khristich parking himself in a one-timer spot since his own shooting and skating abilities aren’t tailor made for goal scoring. Typically I don’t suggest that heavyweights be an option for puck handling, but Ridley really does have the best combination of skating skill and playmaking acumen to facilitate a more patient style of offense. Even if he does get knocked off the puck, he is the least able of the Capital forwards on defense, his loss won’t be greatly missed. This line is a clusterfuck, the skills of these players don’t necessarily complement each other well but it does the best job of putting these players in their most natural positions. Bondra can work the one on one game, it just takes a bit more skill and know how to do so then with a typical super speedster. Khristich can snipe and Ridley can distribute. It’s just a matter of getting all these guys on the same page that is the real bugaboo. Bondra-Khristich-Carpenter Bob Carpenter: 7 weight, 4/4 skating, 3/2 shot, 3 sth, 4 pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: L While not a special player by any means, Carpenter does have some of the more important skills to be a decent assist man, skating and passing ability. Carpenter can dangle a bit more than Ridley and this should be put to use in order to give Khristich the time to lumber up ice and become available for a one timer. The shooting stats are not inspiring though, defenses will likely sag a bit more to the other options since Carpenter doesn’t need to be respected from range. While this line may not have as much high end potential as the first one, it should be a bit more consistent. Khristich can really rip the one-timers, if he gets his chances, he will produce. As for Bondra, putting him on his natural wing still allows him to be a dangerous player as he can use his wide array of dekes and float shots to assault opposing goalies. Also, when the need arises, he will now be on his forehand, which should help him pass the puck with more velocity and accuracy when the defenses converge on him. Other Options: There isn’t a lot of speed or skill on the bench for Washington, most of these guys are fringe GDL draft options. Kelly Miller: 8 weight, 4/4 skating, 3/3 shot, 4 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: L Sort of the in between option of Carpenter and Ridley, Miller is more of a plugger than anything else. The plus skills and skating get balanced out by the near heavyweight status, the definition of a fringe player. Pat Elynuik: 6 weight, 3/3 skating, 3/5 shot, 3 sth, 2 pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: R A one trick pony, Elynuik can snipe the biscuit, not a bad guy to stash in the 6th forward spot and hope never sees the light of day. Michal Pivonka: 8 weight, 3/3 skating, 3/3 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L Another statue with a slightly above average skill set. It’s good to know that if the Caps lose 3 of these guys in a game that there is still another one floating around. Forwards: 6/10 Defense: To further compound the frustrations of the Capitals roster, the two highest rated defenseman are nearly impossible to ice. Luckily, there is still a serviceable pairing to be found. Johansson-Cote Calle Johansson: 9 weight, 4/3 skating, 4/1 shot, 4 sth & pass, 3/ 4 aware, Shoots: L For whatever reason, Johansson seems to get much better reviews then another fellow heavyweight, Igor Kravchuk. Go back and look at Kravchuk’s ratings, I’ll wait. You back now? Pretty damn similar aren’t they? Johansson may not be fleet of foot, but he’s got it where it counts, he can move the puck, he can skate, and he’s a cerebral player that uses the poke check and holding to survive against on rushing forwards. He fits in nicely on his natural side and by not sticking him behind Ridley, it evens out the fatties on the ice by not isolating them together. Sylvain Cote: 6 weight, 3/3 skating, 3/2 shot, 3 sth & pass, 3/ 4 aware, Shoots: R The lone option on the blue line that isn’t at the mercy of the weight bug, Cote is a serviceable defenseman and a perfectly fine #2 option, but he’s stretched a little thin on the Caps. There isn’t a whole lot to say about Cote because of how unremarkable he is. He isn’t slow, but he’s liable to get ditched by speedsters. He isn’t fat, but he can’t exactly dominate the game physically. He won’t kill the team offensively, but he isn’t about to kick start an onslaught either. Cote is just a man, appreciate what he does, you could be a lot worse off. A perfectly capable duo, they just aren’t going to carry this underwhelming team to the promise land. They will need to be on their “A” game though as the goaltending situation isn’t something to be relied upon. Cote-Iafrate Al Iafrate: 11 weight, 4/4 skating, 6/2 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/4 aware, Shoots: L Who doesn’t love 6 shot power? I know I sure as hell love it, I just wish Iafrate came in a package that made it a bit easier to unleash it on a regular basis. Alas, with his super heavyweight status, Iafrate’s total skill package is very difficult to use as most any forward in the league can dump him on his keyster with a simple body check. As long as he stays on his skates though, Iafrate is easily Washington’s most skilled and dangerous defenseman. This setup leaves Ridley and Iafrate isolated together on the right, but putting Iafrate on his natural side doesn’t make any sense either since he can’t easily unleash his howler of a slapper. Other Options: Kevin Hatcher: 12 weight, 3/3 skating, 5/2 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/4 aware, Shoots: R Despite owning a well above average skill set for a defenseman, Hatcher is nearly impossible to ice due to his weight and sluggish skating. It’s a real shame, two 5+ slap shot power shooters on the blueline could really cause some problems for opposing goalies. Defense: 5/10 Goalie Zone: In dire need of a rock in net, the Caps have themselves the 2nd worst starting goalie among non-expansion teams. Don Beaupre: 4 weight, 3/ 4 skating, 3 puck control, 3/3/3/3 save, Catches: L A perfectly cromulent goalie, Beaupre is usually passable for a manual control goalie extraordinaire as he is lightweight and fairly mobile. In auto goalie mode though, Beaupre is a prime target for all types of offense and he won’t put up much objection. Goalies: 3.5/10 Bottom Line: Washington is amongst the most frustrating teams to use among the established franchises. A lack of chemistry, plus talent, and goaltending leaves Washington on the sidelines of almost every classic league. Want a challenge, win it all with Washington.
  11. 1 point
    Quebec Nordiques Team Breakdown: While not among the top tier of teams in the league, Quebec is a team that can be utterly dangerous in the hands of a skilled and patient player. Despite lacking a player with blinding speed, the Nordiques are among the most adept at working the puck around the ice and finding the twine because of their offensive acumen and awareness. On the flip side, the defense can be utterly frustrating and limits Quebec’s ability to consistently challenge the Chicago’s and Montreal’s of the league Forwards: Led by Joe Sakic, the Nordiques have an impressive mixture of players who can contribute on both ends of the ice in a wide variety of ways. The forwards will have to win the day, finding the right combo is crucial. Young Guns Sundin-Sakic-Kovalenko Mats Sundin: 7 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/5 shot, 4 sth & pass, 5/4 aware, Shoots: R It’s funny how Sundin almost always has to fight for his spot on the starting unit despite his solid ratings across the board. A consistent early 2nd round pick in the GDL draft, Mats brings an impressive all-around offensive package to the table. His skating and awareness allows him to excel in the offensive zone and utilize his fantastic shooting and puck distribution skills to their fullest extent. Sure, he isn’t a speedster, nor does he have a booming shot like Kamensky, but the fact is Sundin produces consistently when given the chance. Joe Sakic: 6 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/5 shot, 4 sth, 5 pass, 5/4 aware, Shoots: L Sakic is an extremely versatile player as he is just as dangerous driving the play in the middle as he is setting up shop on the wing. Sakic works best in the middle with the support around him though as he is the best one-timing and one-on-one option available. No matter the style of offense, Sakic can produce at elite levels as he has had immense success under a wide variety of managers. On defense, Sakic isn’t a world beater, but he’s very respectable, his skating allows him to be relatively easy to handle for whatever the situation calls for. Andrei Kovalenko: 3 weight, 3/4 skating, 3/4 shot, 3 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L Kovalenko, or “The Terminator” as I like to call him, is the only player aside from Theo Fleury who sports a 3 weight among position players. This allows Andrei to barrel down the ice with aplomb on defense and dump truck most anything in his way. Unlike most grinders though, Kovalenko has just enough skill to make him a worthwhile two-way forward. He is a very opportunistic scorer as he has just enough skating, shooting, and awareness to be involved in the play and cash in on his chances. He is easily a top 25 forward and is equally as effective on the wing as he is in center. For a smart and patient player, this line has all the tools to succeed. All three players can play each forward position with great ability; this allows the freedom of lining them up to match up with the other teams forwards while maintaining offensive chemistry. FORE!!! Kamensky-Sakic-Kovalenko Valeri Kamensky: 8 weight, 4/4 skating, 5/3 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: R Personally, I don’t get all the hub-bub about Kamensky, but there is no dismissing the contingent of people out there who are in love with his powerful shot. It’s the obvious draw here, at 5 shot power he can score from anywhere inside the blue line, its just a question of if he’ll find the net. Something of a heavyweight, Kamensky is a great option as a release valve on the wing when things get hairy in the slot for Sakic. Keeping Kamensky on his off wing allows him to use his big slapper with greater frequency, just be sure to sub him out for the PK as his defense will quickly give back whatever offense he provides. With Kovalenko running around, Kamensky’s defensive liabilities aren’t as big of a problem as they could be if it were Sundin on the opposite wing. Sakic can really max out his passing abilities here as Kamensky’s shot power bring a different element to the one-timer game. Kovalenko-Sundin-Sakic Other Options: Quebec has probably the most consistent forward group when it comes to finding the back of the net; these guys do nothing to change that fact. Mike Ricci: 7 weight, 4/4 skating, 3/5 shot, 3 sth, 4 pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: R Ricci is essentially a heavier version of Stephane Lebeau and would start on a team with lesser talent up front. Plug him in the middle or on the wing and he should be able to provide some quality offense. Owen Nolan: 8 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/4 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: R With above average ratings in almost every category, it’s hard to believe Nolan is the 6th best forward on the team. But there isn’t enough oomph in his offensive game to cover for the lack of defense he provides. Claude Lapointe: 5 weight, 3/3 skating, 2/2 shot, 3 sth, 2 pass, 3/4 aware, Shoots: L Pure weight bug option, but he isn’t totally helpless out there. Forwards: 9/10 Defense: Looked at individually, the Nordiques seem to have a respectable corps. Unfortunately, their defensive team AI really hinders their ability to work together as a unit and prevent the opponent from getting some golden chances. Foote-Gusarov Adam Foote: 6 weight, 2/2 skating, 1/1 shot, 2 sth & pass, 2/4 aware, Shoots: R Foote is a pure defensive defenseman and he has relished in his role on some GDL teams when plugged into the lineup. Obviously though, Foote is very limited in his offensive production. A lack of skating and puck skills limits him to simply moving the puck to the nearest teammate. If he isn’t sitting back and breaking up plays, don’t be afraid to yank him, all his value lies there. Alexei Gusarov: 6 weight, 3/3 skating, 3/3 shot, 3 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: L Steady as she goes, Gusarov provides no nonsense defense and a surprising offensive element to his game. 3 shot accuracy is rather rare for a defenseman, don’t be afraid to catch the opponent by surprise and drive to the net with Gusarov when the chance arises. His finishing ability allows him to capitalize on enough of those plays to make it worth while. Gusarov can struggle on defense when marking a top tier forward, but for the most part, he is able to handle himself well as his skating and weight package allows him to be an efficient defender. Not the fleetest of foot pairing, but the weight advantage here allows them to take advantage of heavyweights and not be terribly overmatched when faced with faster lightweights. The issue though is whether or not the Quebec AI wants them to stay back on defense, if it doesn’t, there isn’t enough speed here to run down a breakaway. Gusarov-Duchesne Steve Duchense: 8 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/2 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/4 aware, Shoots: L Duchesne has all the making of a solid #2 d-man...if he would just play defense. The mobility and ability to move the puck up the ice quickly are extremely useful tools to have and compliment Gusarov really well. Duchesne is just maddeningly inconsistent in his defensive zone coverage. Foote-Leschyshyn Curtis Leschyshyn: 9 weight, 3/4 skating, 2/3 shot, 2 sth, 3 pass, 3/4 aware, Shoots: L Leschyshyn is one of the lesser skilled 4 speed heavyweight defenseman in the league but he can still sneak his way into the lineup. Leschyshyn tends to play a bit more defense than Duchesne and still keeps a lot of the mobility that he would provide. Other Option: Mikhail Tatarinov: 8 weight, 3/3 skating, 5/1 shot, 4 sth & pass, 2/2 aware, Shoots: L Here’s that sexy 5 shot power again, so mesmerizing. But the weight and average skating ability will make it tough to unleash on a regular basis. Don’t look at the awareness ratings...DAMMIT, I SAID DONT LOOK!!! Tatarinov needs signs to find his way back to the defensive zone. If the wonky defensive AI can be overcome, we got ourselves a fairly good defense. But good gravy, that wonky AI can be relentless some games. Defense: 3.5/10 Goalie Zone: This isn’t your father’s Ron Hextall here. He won’t be winning any Conn Smythe’s. Ron Hextall: 7 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/4 aware, 4 puck control, 4/4/3/3 save, Catches: L Hextall is the average dime a dozen 3rd-4th round GDL type pick. Middleweight, solid mobility and save ratings. Might panic if his net is set on fire, evaluate that as you will. Stephane Fiset: 5 weight, 3/4 skating, 3/3 aware, 2 puck control, 2/2/2/2 save, Catches: L Hello, old friend. I’m sorry, I won’t reminisce in ancient history any more. Fiset is a platoon option in the GDL for the most goalie inept teams. He is light enough to be decent in GC, just make sure to get the chest protector in front of the puck as those save ratings are pretty terrible. Goalies: 6/10 Bottom Line: I don’t care what style you play, you will score goals with Quebec. If the defense can be sorted out, this team can battle with anyone. Just hope your tolerance for defensive ineptitude is high if you can’t.
  12. 1 point
    try this nose, it should work nose1.2b-2018.zip
  13. 1 point
    I'm a big fan of the PC DOS version of 94, named just NHL Hockey. It had its quirks, but the presentation was phenomenal if you had a sound blaster(gotta hear Ron Bar and all the sound effects), the game play decent for its time, and the ability to do full seasons was very appealing. I never became proficient at it, but it was enough to keep me interested in a sport I couldn't watch on TV till many years later.
  14. 1 point
    I played NHL 98 to NHL 2006 on PC. My favourite was 2003 (with Iginla on the front). That game was so much fun. I used to do fantasy drafts all the time. I loved the player icons (target icon for shot accuracy, hammer icon for big hitter, stick for hard shot). I think you could redirect shots and bat in rebounds out of the air. Good times.
  15. 1 point
    For those interested, I was able to find a page with some of the most useful editors for the NHL PC games. http://www.dsgambelluri.ignitiondomain.com/nhlrostertutorial.html A shame that running an archive search on some of the classic add-on sites turns up no results.
  16. 1 point
    Vancouver Canucks Team Overview: I have good news and I have bad news. First, the bad news, Vancouver’s defensemen are among the worst collective unit in the entire game. Now, for the good news, the forwards might be the best unit in the league on both sides of the puck. The forwards are so good in fact, that they can easily overwhelm any team in the league and be an unstoppable force. Forwards: Even the most insatiable thirst for speed can be quenched by the Vancouver forwards as they are the only team in the league that can ice 3 skaters with 5+ speed. While they aren’t the most skilled unit in the league, there is still plenty of talent to fill the back of the net with great ease. Slash and Burn: Ronning-Bure-Courtnall Cliff Ronning: 5 weight, 5/5 skating, 2/3 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L A plucky winger, Ronning is a pain in any opponents behind because of his ability to check, carry the puck, and skate like the wind. Sure, his shot ratings are pretty lackluster, he’ll never blow a slapper by a legitimate goalie, but he’s got just enough accuracy to be a useful one timer option from inside the face-off dots. Ronning is really the ideal support player for a superstar such as Pavel Bure. He can support Bure on offense with solid passing skills and is easily able to keep up with Bure’s frantic pace. Also, if Bure goes solo, Ronning is very capable of manning the fort on a counter attack and laying waste to the attackers. Pavel Bure: 5 weight, 5/6 skating, 4/4 shot, 5 sth, 4 pass, 5/4 aware, Shoots: L Speed, kills. That attribute alone may make Bure the single most dominant one-on-one force in the league...yes, perhaps even more so than JR. Give me a chance to explain myself here. Only two players in the league can consistently C check Bure, Andrei Kovalenko and Theo Fleury. Aside from that, the best way to stop Bure is with the poke check. It is a lot harder to stop Bure’s 6 speed than Roenick’s 5 speed with a poke, that and that alone is why I think Bure is tougher to stop with the puck on his stick. Bure is much more than just a deker though, he is a very complete player. He has the tools to snipe one timers and slappers from distance as well as play a dominating defensive game, especially against heavier teams. No doubt, Bure is a top 3 player. Geoff Courtnall: 7 weight, 5/5 skating, 3/3 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L The final burner of the line, Courtnall is the least effective of the three, but that isn’t to say he is ineffective. Courtnall can tend to get lost in the grand scheme of things due to Bure’s offensive acumen and Ronnings two-way dominance. He is yet another dangerous option with the puck on his stick due to his superb skating and playmaking abilities. While not the most gifted of goal scorers, he is plenty able to slice through an unsuspecting defense and light the lamp consistently if the opponent focuses too much on Bure and Ronning. Defensively Courtnall isn’t the best defender by any means, but he is plenty able to stay involved in a play or run down breakaways by C checking a heavier player or obstructing a lighter player with a poke check or hold. While some people may see all the speed on this line as a bit redundant, it really isn’t. There is a good reason why every 5 speed player not named Kevin Dineen or Randy Wood get drafted in the first 2-3 rounds of the GDL draft. It’s because speed is a rare commodity in the game, a commodity that can flat out dominate. Having three light, skilled players with 5+ speed can spell doom for the opponent if used competently. Three Pronged Attack: Ronning-Linden-Bure Trevor Linden: 9 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/4 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/4 aware, Shoots: R Here we have our resident slug for the one-timing crowd out there. Linden isn’t the most adept player in the league in finding the slot, but he does it plenty well enough to give the Canucks a very solid scoring option down the middle while he is flanked by some speedy wingers. You couldn’t really ask for a more ideal situation to put Linden in if Bure and Ronning are used in a playmaking capacity because the defense will have to respect the speed on the wing which should give Linden all the chances he needs to unleash his respectable one-timer. A bit of a black hole on defense, he does at least have decent skating in which to try to keep up and stay involved defensively on the fore check or a C check into the boards. This is a really fun line to use because Bure can now use his slapper to offset his net crash and floating tactics. Also if Bure gets clamped down he can now feed a dangerous shooter, an option the previous line didn’t have before. Ronning plays the same role as before except for maybe focusing a bit more on the defensive side of the puck now due to losing a small weight and speed advantage that was previously had with Courtnall’s presence. Other Options: Vancouver actually has some nice depth here, while these guys may never come into duty during a classic game, they usually come into play in GDL leagues to provide a solid first option off the bench. Murray Craven: 6 weight, 3/3 Skating, 3/4 shot, 3 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L If Craven is starting in the GDL, he is probably being asked to do a little too much, but he just might yet prove useful still due to his ability to set up shop nicely in the offensive zone and use his slightly above average shot. Craven is more ideal as a first option off the bench because he is a little on the slow side and not a super light weight that can throw his body around too aggressively. What makes him even harder to use on Vancouver is that he just does not keep up with the flow of the game at all and will easily be forgotten. Greg Adams: 7 weight, 3/3 skating, 3/5 shot, 3 sth & pass, 4/4 aware, Shoots: L This looks a little familiar to Craven, but this is more of a Chris Kontos wannabe. An able sniper when given the chance, but Adams chances are limited due to his porous skating and non-genius level awareness. He could fill in for Linden if he gets injured, but he might be a little too slow for Bure and Ronning to feed effectively. Again, another useful option off the bench, but some obvious warts keep him out of the starting lineup. Anatoli Semenov: 7 weight, 3/3 skating, 3/3 shot, 3 sth & pass, 3/4 aware, Shoots: L Could there be a more ho-hum player than Semenov? Semenov provides nothing attention grabbing, but he won’t sabotage a team with his play either. He could be a solid penalty killer and depth off the bench in the GDL. Petr Nedved: 5 weight, 2/2 skating, 2/6 shot, 3 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L Likely one of the most uniquely rated players in the entire game, Nedved is the complete all or nothing package. His weight and shot accuracy would give the indication that he could be an extremely useful player, especially in the middle where he could torture opposing goalies. Things really start to fall apart soon though once his speed and shot power are taken into account. Man that shot power is bad, it limits him to being a dead eye from inside the face-off dots, but at that point, who isn’t a dead eye from there? Could be a solid 5th Forward for a GDL team if his wretched skating can be overcome. Dixon Ward: 9 weight, 2/3 skating, 3/5 shot, 2 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: R Looking for a non toxic waste sniper to fill the 6th forward slot on your GDL roster? Ward just might be the answer...but let’s not get carried away. Ward’s weight, lack of skating and awareness make him a very mediocre option down the middle, but if your top sniper goes down and you need a 3/5 shot in the middle, Ward could possibly do his best Stephen Lebeau impression for a period. If I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Vancouver really has a dynamic front line, this is where the Canucks bread will be buttered if it is to make a championship run. Forwards: 9.5/10 Defense: How about them Canucks forwards huh? Is it ok if I just keep rambling on about them? What’s that you say? Seriously? Fine, I’ll talk about their defense. It isn’t catastrophically bad like say the Isles defense is, but let’s face facts, the Canucks defenders just barely pass the smell test. Lumme-Lidster Jyrki Lumme: 7 weight, 4/3 skating, 2/1 shot, 4 sth & pass, 3/4 aware, Shoots: L Hey!? What's this? All right, this isn’t so bad, a borderline #1 D-man option with some pretty nifty passing ability which will come in handy for those long homerun passes to the speedy forwards. While not a major physical presence, Lumme is fairly positionally sound and is still able to abuse heavyweights with a C check and hopefully hound some of the lighter/faster forwards with his decent agility. Just don’t get too brash with him when he has the puck on his stick. Lumme is a bit on the heavy and slow side for an attacking defenseman. Also, his shot is just plain laughable, Guy Hebert does not fear it. Doug Lidster: 9 weight, 3/3 skating, 3/1 shot, 4 sth & pass, 2/3 aware, Shoots: R Nothing too alluring here, Lidster is a fairly standard heavyweight defenseman minus the booming shot of an Al Iafrate or Dave Manson. Lidster is mainly starting because there just isn't anything that worthwhile behind him to push him out of the lineup. All that can be said here is to try and keep Lidster in a defensive position, he doesn’t have the tools to lead a rush nor should he considering the talent on the rest of the roster. All we ask for is a D-man who treads water and uses his plus passing to start some offense from the back. Ok, so maybe the Canuck defense isn't THAT bad, but you can't help but be a little disappointed that it at least isn't a little closer to the talent of the forwards. If it were, the Canucks would easily be the best team in the game. Lumme-Plavsic Adrien Plavsic: 7 weight, 2/2 skating, 2/2 shot, 2 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: L When lined up against a fat goal scoring slug in the middle, Plavsic is a capable defender because of his light weight and propensity to sit back in his own zone. When asked to mark the likes of a Selanne, Roenick, or Mogilny though, Plavsic quickly becomes a turn-style due to his lack of skating and checking power. With the puck, Plavsic is going to have major issues kick starting the offense with his skating or a homerun pass down the ice, he only gets mentioned because he is the lightest option on the Canuck D-corps. While this isn't a heavy hitting duo, they can throw some weight around if the likes of a Turgeon, Sandstrom, or Hull is iced in the middle. Lumme though is the only legitimate option with the puck on his stick and this might slow down the frantic Canuck attack a little more than desirable. Other Options: A couple of average skating, puck pounding fatties round out the useable portion of the Canucks defensive depth chart. Dana Murzyn: 9 weight, 2/3 skating, 4/1 shot, 2 sth & pass, 2/3 aware, Shoots: L The lighter of the two options, Murzyn is a pretty sub-standard option skill wise aside from that powerful shot. If shot power is a major concern, then he may be a very slight upgrade over Doug Lidster in that regard. Gerald Diduck: 10 weight, 3/3 skating, 4/1 shot, 3 sth & pass, 2/3 aware, Shoots: R Despite being the heaviest D-man mentioned, he may prove useful due to his shot and upgraded passing and stick handling ratings over Murzyn. Overall though, Diduck is a major stretch as a starting defenseman and will have to be sheltered by his teammates to cover up his glaring weaknesses. Defense: 5/10 Goalie Zone: The epitome of average, the goaltending situation in Vancouver lies somewhere between the greatness of the forwards and the mediocrity of the defense. Kirk McLean: 8 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/4 aware, 4 puck control, 4/4/3/3 save, Catches: L McLean is a standard goalie, he will occasionally make a quality save and then follow it up with a solid muff dive on a routine shot. There is no reason to make a stretch pick in the GDL for McLean, there are a handful of other goalies that are just like him. Goalie Rating: 6/10 Bottom Line: The Canucks win and lose with their speed. If they can dominate the puck possession and create useful chances on offense, they are an incredibly dangerous team that can become unstoppable. The flipside of that though, is that if the speed isn’t productive, this quickly becomes one of the most disjointed teams in the league and can easily get throttled.
  17. 1 point
    Winnipeg Jets Team Overview: Although front loaded with superstars such as Phil Housley and Teemu Selanne, the Jets are not a premier team in the league. Their lack of depth and chemistry, chiefly at the forward position, allow opponents to key in on the speedy duo in an attempt to limit their damage. In the hands of a one on one specialist though, Housley and Selanne are as potent as any duo in the league. Forwards: After Selanne, the pickings get mighty thin in constructing a solid line. Most of the forwards are hampered by some skill that severely limits their effectiveness and possible chemistry with Selanne. With that in mind, building a line with the Jets isn't so much about building a line to work with Selanne, its more about building a line to cover for Selanne since he is one of the more potent weapons in the game. All Day Selanne: Davydov-Selanne-Borsato Evgeny Davydov: 6 weight, 4/4 speed, 4/4 shot, 3 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: R Evgeny Davydov is the man riding shotgun with Selanne, he is the only forward who has a chance of keeping up with Selanne's mad dashes because of his 4/4 speed. Pair that with a 4/4 shot and 6 weight, Davydov is actually a somewhat decent option because he can unload his right handed shot from his off wing and also lead an attack if the defense focuses too much on Selanne. The main issue with Davydov is that he just isn't very smart, he doesn't set up in the offensive zone too well, he isn't defensive minded, and his 3 passing leaves a lot to be desired. Teemu Selanne: 6 weight, 5/6 skating, 4/5 shot, 4 sth & pass, 5/3 aware, Shoots: R Let's face the facts, if Housley isn't carrying the puck up ice, Selanne likely will, and with good reason. With 5/6 skating and 6 weight, Selanne is able to slice and dice his way through some of the more stingy defenses in the league. Only true lightweights such as Don Sweeney, Gord Hynes, and Jeremy Roenick can knock down Selanne in the open ice. Selanne is also a pain to line up with the poke check due to his superior skating; he should really be the main puck handler in any and all situations. If he wasn't already dangerous enough, his 4/5 shot makes him a threat from just about anywhere inside the blue line, a valuable weapon that should keep defenses on there toes as he wont need to get on the door step to light the lamp. Luciano Borsato: 4 weight, 3/3 skating, 2/4 shot, 3 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: R The most surprising element of this line is Luciano Borsato. Modestly skilled, 3/3 skating, 3/3 awareness, 2/4 shot, 3 passing, Borsato wont make his mark on the score sheet. Where he will make his mark is on defense, with 4 weight, Borsato is able to knock down most any 6 or heavier player on a consistent basis. This skill can't be overvalued; Selanne will typically be off making offensive charges, as well as Housley. What better option to have on the right wing than to have a player who can throw his weight around and help out on defense? This is the most balanced line possible with the Jets for a one on one, deke specialist. While Alexei Zhamnov and Thomas Steen are more skilled than Borsato, neither are fleet footed enough to keep up with Selanne, nor will their puck handling and passing skills be needed because Selanne and Housley will be leading the rush so much. Team Concept: Davydov-Selanne-Zhamnov Alexei Zhamnov: 7 weight, 5/3 skating, 3/4 shot, 5 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L For those of us who are one-timing junkies and cant find success slashing through the other team with Selanne; this line will have to do the trick. Zhamnov is a skilled distributor of the biscuit with his 5 passing and stick handling; the trick though is finding a way to set up a one-timer with this combo. Zhamnov's 5/3 skating and 7 weight means he's fairly easy to handle, but an average straight line skater. Typically, once Zhamnov has entered the zone with the puck, Davydov is skating around aimlessly and Selanne has already skated through the prime one-timing areas and has to reset himself. With only a 3/4 shot, Zhamnov isn't quite dangerous enough in terms of skating or shooting to be a major goal scorer. There is also the temptation to put Selanne on the wing and allow Davydov to be the center for one timers, but there are some inherent problems with that strategy. Selanne is not a playmaker, he is a goal scorer, due to his speed, the other forwards lag behind him and thus Selanne will be waiting around for them to catch up and set up, not a great way to run an offense. Also, because of Davydov's low awareness, he doesn't set up well enough to be a major one-timing threat. Lastly, by putting Selanne on a wing, its easier for him to get isolated on one side of the ice and become more predictable when it comes to attacking the net, keeping him in the middle allows him to use the whole ice more effectively. Other Options: Thomas Steen: 8 weight, 4/3 skating, 3/4 shot, 4 sth, 5 pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L A second passing wizard, Steen suffers from the same exact problems as Zhamnov. Slow of foot, a tad bit too heavy for his skill set, and a non-intimidating shooter. It takes a very special touch to milk the offense needed out of Steen to offset his porous defense. Stu Barnes: 5 weight, 2/3 skating, 2/3 shot, 2 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: R If Borsato goes down, this is the weight bug back up option. Probably best to steer clear of Barnes since he doesn't seem too interested in offense. Forwards: (6.5/10) Defense: Winnipeg provides a unique set of defenseman that can be used effectively in a myriad of ways, because of this though; it can be a bit tougher to find the right combination to get the most out of the team. Balancing Act: Numminen-Housley Teppo Numminen: 7 weight, 4/3 skating, 3/2 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 3/5 aware, Shoots: R Aside from being right handed, Numminen is really ideal as a LD, his 5 d aware and 4/3 skating is sufficient enough for him to be considered a solid defenseman despite his middling 7 weight. The great thing about Numminen is that he is in good position quite often, which is critical considering who his partner is. Typically, the idea of the defense with Winnipeg is to either use Borsato or Housley, who ever is in defensive position to either shove the opponent off the puck or guide them into a situation where Numminen is lying in wait to either pick off a pass or apply a quick poke check. The key to Numminen is to never use him on offense, he does have decent skills, but his presence is so vital to the defense, that it would be very dangerous to get aggressive with him. Phil Housley: 6 weight, 6/5 skating, 3/2 shot, 6 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L I'm not the biggest fan of Housley, furthest thing from it probably, but many more people love him than loathe him and thus he must be a recommendation. Housley is one of the more unique defenseman in the game with his 6/5 skating, 6 weight, 6 passing and stick handling. He can really push the pace of the game whether it be rushing the puck up the ice or sending a perfect laser type pass to a streaking forward. On the downside, Housley is a pretty lackluster defender, he has 4/3 awareness, not too often does a d-man have better offensive awareness. Furthermore, due to his offensive excursions, Housley will typically be well out of position and unable to help out on defense. Housley's only offensive weakness is his pitiful 3/2 shot, meaning he can only deke the goalie and sneak a slapper by some of the softer goalies in the league. Use Housley at your own discretion and hope that by putting him on the right side of the ice with Borsato, that Borsato will be able to cover him enough to not cripple the defense. Physical Presence: Bautin-Housley Sergei Bautin: 6 weight, 3/3 skating, 3/1 shot, 3 sth & pass, 2/4 aware, Shoots: L Sergei Bautin is cut from a similar cloth as Numminen; he is a steady, defensive minded defenseman who has an acceptable skill set. Bautin has average 3/3 skating, 6 weight, and 4 d aware. The main reason to go with Bautin over Numminen would be to get that extra little weight advantage on defense, but it comes at the cost of a little bit of skating and defensive awareness. Say What!!!???: Bautin-Numminen The main complaint about Housley is that he is too fast to control on defense, this recommendation is tailor maid for users who don't like to use their defenders as offensive weapons. Bautin and Numminen are the best two options in respect to defense, why not put them out there together if that's all a user is looking for? Also, this allows a user to insert Zhamnov on the right wing because Housley wont be taking away from his touches. Although the Davydov-Selanne-Zhamnov-Bautin-Numminen isn't great in terms of gaining advantage through the weight bug, it can be an effective lineup for users looking to use a more traditional strategy. Other Options: Fredrik Olausson: 9 weight, 4/3 skating, 4/2 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: R A very unique player, Olausson brings a respectable offensive skillset to the table at a pace that may be a lot easier to handle than Housley's. He could be a great #2 man to Housley in an all out attack formation or the #1 O-dman with one of the bangers at his side. The weight is a bit of a concern, but Winnipeg isn't a very heavy team, so he should be ok out there. Defense Rating: (7.5/10) Goalie Zone: Bob Essenssa: 3 weight, 4/4 skating, 4 puck control, 4/4/4/4 save, Catches: L Bob Essensa is one of the more coveted middle-tier goalies in the game because he is solid across the board. 4/4 skating, 4 save ratings in all categories, and 4 puck handling. The only thing to be wary of is the crash the crease strategy, at only 3 weight Essensa has a tendency to get pushed back into his goal. Goalie Rating: (7/10) Bottom Line: Winnipeg has top end skill that can compare with most other teams in the league, if balance can be found in the other positions, then Winnipeg is a solid team. If the support players struggle, things can get ugly in a hurry.
  18. 1 point
    San Jose Sharks Team Overview: One of the more beloved expansion franchises, the Sharks enjoy the benefit of having a couple decent skaters and some solid defensive options. Despite this fact though, the Sharks have a legitimate lack of skill, especially up front. Couple a lack of skill with subpar goaltending and the Sharks strengths don’t quite have enough gusto to carry them much beyond a mediocre team. Forwards: One of the typical issues encountered with an expansion team is finding a way to make the offense dangerous enough to be respected. Since San Jose doesn’t quite have the puck skills to be respected, their skating strengths must be utilized to an even greater degree. With that in mind, Kelly Kisio, the most skilled player, will now become a spectator on the bench due to his woeful 2/2 skating. Crash the Net: Gaudreau-Falloon-Berezan Or Berezan-Gaudreau-Falloon Or Falloon-Gaudreau-Berezan Why 3 combos you ask? Depends on your style of play, the first combo is designed for users who are deke masters and slashers. The second combo is more for one timer specialists who like to use speed on the wings to generate offense. Lastly, the third line is much like the second, but puts the bigger slap shot on the off wing with Falloon. Pat Falloon: 7 weight, 4/4 skating, 3/2 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 3/2 aware, Shoots: R The most dangerous of these 3 forwards is Pat Falloon, he has the speed, 4/4 skating to attack the opposing defense and hopefully create some space for himself and his teammates. While not the most hearty player coming in at 7 weight, Falloon is still able enough to either be used as a sniper in the middle or a playmaker in the wing. The issue with either of these strategies though is Falloons porous skills. With only a 3/2 shot he really has to come up with some nifty moves to score consistently, thankfully he has the 4 stick handling to aid him. Conversely, Falloon has a merely average 3 pass rating, he can use his superior handling skills to dance around on the outside and hopefully he can make a nice tape to tape pass to feed the open man. Perry Berezan: 7 weight, 4/4 skating, 2/2 shot, 2 sth, 3 pass, 2/2 aware, Shoots: R Perry Berezan is much the same as Falloon, in respect to being right handed, 7 weight, and 4/4 speed. Berezan though, is even less skilled than Falloon, with a 2/2 shot, 2 o aware, 2 stick handle, and 3 passing. On most teams Perry wouldn’t warrant any consideration at all, but San Jose doesn’t have another skater of the same caliber as him and no other player aside from Kisio has substantially better skills. What Berezan brings to the table though is a second guy who can lead the offensive push with respectable speed. Rob Gaudreau: 6 weight, 3/3 skating, 3/3 shot, 2 sth, 3 pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: R A 3rd right handed shot on this line, Rob Gaudreau supplies steady 3/3 skating and 3/3 shot at 6 weight. Due to his lack of skating and deke skills, Gaudreau is best used on the off wing for in close slap shots and slam dunk one timers. For one timing specialists though, he has the most consistent shot on the ice and may be best utilized in the middle where most of the premium one timing opportunities pop up. Defensively, these three aren’t much to talk about. Falloon and Berezan will typically be the ones carrying the puck up the ice, if one of them gets rubbed out and the puck is turned over, there is only one other player who might be able to run down the opposition from behind. Gaudreau, while light, isn’t much of a skater and that will limit his effectiveness. Other Options: Kelly Kisio: 6 weight, 2/2 skating, 3/4 shot, 3 sth, 3 pass, 4/4 aware, Shoots: R Despite being painfully slow, Kisio can still be worth icing because he does possess some good puck and mental skills on a team that is bereft of both. Try to avoid the one on one game though, Kisio isn't about to break anybodies ankles out there. Johan Garpenlov: 7 weight, 3/3 skating, 2/3 shot, 3 sth, 2 pass, 4/2 aware, Shoots: L Garpenlov may be the best of a shoddy selection of 3 speed subs on the Sharks, but that doesn't mean hes useful. Hopefully he sets up on the back post often enough to slam home some easy one-timer, otherwise Garpenlov's skill set isn't tailor made for any other sort of game plan. Mike Sullivan: 6 weight, 2/3 skating, 2/1 shot, 2 sth & pass, 2/3 aware, Shoots: L 6 weight, 3 speed, expansion team sub, has a pulse, could be worse. John Carter: 4 weight, 2/2 speed, 2/1 shot, 2 sth & pass, 2/2 aware, Shoots: L I found something worse, moving right along... Forwrad Rating: 3/10 Defense: While not star studded, Doug Wilson, Sandis Ozolinsh, Neil Wilkinson, and Tom Pederson give the user a plethora of options to choose from and construct a defense to suit their style. Balanced Defense: Wilkinson-Wilson Doug Wilson: 7 weight, 4/3 skating, 6/1 shot, 4 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: L Wilson’s biggest strength is his 6/1 shot, it’s a weapon that must be used on this team due to the forwards lack of shooting acumen. Thus, it is paramount to have Wilson on the right side of the ice so he can unleash his left handed laser beam. With 4/3 skating and 4 passing, Wilson is an excellent offensive weapon on a team in desperate need of one. While not a big hitter with his 7 weight, Wilson can be a fine defenseman in his own zone as well when he isn’t focusing on rushing the play up the ice. Neil Wilkinson: 7 weight, 3/3 skating, 2/0 shot, 3 sth, 4 pass, 1/3 aware, Shoots: R Although right handed and playing left defense, Wilkinson is the most balanced option to be Wilson’s counterpart. Wilkinson’s main strengths are his solid 3/3 skating, 1/3 awareness, and 4 passing. That 4 passing helps make up for him being on his off side and allows him to still dish the puck effectively for breakout passes. Another 7 weight option, Wilkinson doesn’t bring big hitting to the table, but he is typically in fairly decent position to break up passes and apply the poke check. Rush the puck: Ozolinsh-Wilson Sandis Ozolinsh: 7 weight, 3/3 skating, 3/2 shot, 3 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: R Ozolinsh is much more offensive minded than Wilkinson, but that doesn’t mean Ozolinsh is a major offensive weapon. Ozolinsh has the same skating and weight as Wilkinson, but Ozolinsh isn’t as attentive on defense as his 3 o aware will keep him in the offensive mindset more often. Ozolinsh also only posses 3 passing and a 3/2 shot, neither are big enough weapons to make an average skating defenseman a true offensive weapon. Smash Brothers: Pederson-Wilson Tom Pederson: 4 weight, 1/2 skating, 2/2 shot, 2 sth, 3 pass, 3/2 aware, Shoots: R One smashes the puck, the other smashes skulls. Pederson is a flyweight option at 4 for the biggest weight bug whores of us all. That’s all the good news about Pederson though, the bad news is that Pederson has pathetic 1/2 skating, 2/2 shot, and 2 defensive awareness. But if you cant get enough of the weight buggers, this is your guy. Other Options: Jay More: 7 weight, 3/2 skating, 4/1 shot, 3 sth & pass, 1/3 aware, Shoots: R A bit of a lead foot, but a secondary puck pounder on the back line could come in handy for a forward unit that is incapable of such feats. Defense Rating: 5/10 Goalie Zone: Arturs Irbe: 5 weight, 2/4 skating, 3 puck control, 3/3/2/2 save, Catches: L Being the 23-25th best rated goalie in the game, Irbe always seems to be a starting option on the most goalie inept teams in the GDL. Ultimately, users find his 2/4 skating to be too hard to handle in the goal crease as Irbe tends to move around like a semi-truck. Irbe doesn’t really have a saving grace, so typically he loses his starting job and becomes a platoon guy at best. On the Sharks though he is by far the best option, just don’t expect too many game saving stops from him. Goalie Rating: 2.5/10 Bottom Line: The Sharks are vastly under skilled, but they do posses decent skating, decent weight, and a puck pounding defenseman that all opponents must respect. If the user can maximize their assets, the Sharks can be a somewhat dangerous team and steal some wins from some of the better teams in the league.
  19. 1 point
    An answer is long overdue here and this is my short answer...depends. Now, for a far more detailed answer. What it depends on for me personally is, whats my personnel? Do i have a big shooter in the middle, a powerful shot on the wing, gifted skaters, a combo, defensive specialist, etc.? Here are some examples I've used over time and my reasoning for doing so. GDL 1: Carson (R )-Turgeon(L)-Recchi(L) All 3 have 4/5 shots, Carson and Turgeon are 4/4 skaters, Recchi a 5/4. I have a big shooter in the middle, and big shooter on each wing. Carson is a bit heavier, its tough to get to the net with him consistently, so its more useful to be able to feed him where its easier to do one-timers and let go of his slap shot. I liked Recchi on his forehand as well because he carried the puck a lot, so i wanted the slapshot as an option to keep the defense honest, also, hes fast enough to deke and his shot is strong enough to where the backhander isnt an issue. GDL 3: Hawerchuk (L)-Sandstrom(L)-Robitaille(L) Hawerchuk is a playmaker, not much of a shooter, so its pretty useless to keep him on his off wing to utitlize his slapper. Guys would typically sag off of Hawerchuk, try to take away passing lanes to my two snipers, so when there was open ice it was much easier and efficient to attack the net on hawerchuks natural side. Another strength to him playing his natural side was that he could use his forwhand pass to feed Sandstroms forehand...5 passer to 5/5 shooter can be devestating. Robitiaille was used on his off wing for similar reasons to Recchi/Carson. Blitz 1: Kelly Miller(L)-Kontos(L)-Holik (R ) Miller had 4/4 speed and 3/3 shot, again, fairly useless to try and utilize his slapper a lot, much easier to use his skating to either crash the net or feed Kontos. Also, if i wanted to cut into the middle for a floater, i could do so, or i could fake the floater and stuff it in far post with a quick backhander. As for Holik, he was just a guy who could take and give a hit, and skate a little, he had no stand out skills with the puck. The most effective thing with Holik was crash the net and get a near post deke goal, much easier to do on his forehand than his back. Classic Spring 09: Turgeon(L)-Baker(L)-Smail(L)/Lazaro(L)/Lamb(L) Some different reasoning here then the other all Lefty line. Turgeon has 4/4 speed and 3/2 shot, not much reason for him to be on his off wing or in the middle. Easier for him to have the room to use his speed and make plays on his natural wing. Baker has the best shot, thus he goes into the middle. The other 3 are more or less the same player, average skaters, lack of shooting. The reason to put them on their off wing? Due to their inability to slap shot effectively or deke consistently, its easier to feed them one-timers if they get into position since theoretically, they are shooting on a goalie who will more likely be out of position than not. In general, what my constant goal was with my offense was being able to attack in as many ways as possible. If you got a big shooter who can go on a wing, put him there, open that option up, but, if there is a dearth of shooters on the wing, dont pigeon hole your self into difficult situations by putting them on their off wing.