Oilers442

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Oilers442 last won the day on April 18

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  1. Thanks buddy; I appreciate your feedback and your thoughts on the Kings lineup. While I've honestly never used Carson on his off wing, I remember Fenty using him in that manner to great effect in the past. Carson's shot ratings are so good that having him on his off wing absolutely makes him a very dangerous one timer threat off the rush. I think Gretzky on either wing can absolutely work but the only downside is his lighter 172 lb. weight that to me, nullifies some of the Kings physical advantage over other teams. Add to that, Gretzky's weaker shot ratings very much reduce the overall one timer threat that the team's Forwards can pose. However, Gretzky does have a certain mobility that his smaller size and good speed and agility ratings seem to give him over that of the other Forwards. He's definitely a good option for rushing the puck into the offensive zone and then trying to deke the goalie or pass off to his teammates. Sandstrom at Center is definitely a winning option in my mind. I used him at Center in SDL 2 for the Edmonton Oilers after I took the team over 9 games into the season as I didn't feel like there were any better options that the previous coach had drafted. Sandstrom's excellent shot, good skating, and 212 lb. weight made him very effective in the role and so I can absolutely see him being similarly effective at Center in the Kings starting lineup. That's what I love most about the LA Kings in this game: so many options and so many different Forward and Defense combos that can be created to suit practically any play style.
  2. Vancouver Canucks Though the Vancouver Canucks would not make their run to the Stanley Cup Finals until the next calendar year, the 1993 release of NHL 94, and especially on the SNES, sees the team display some of the same characteristics and qualities that the real life NHL team would later come to embody. As such, while this 16 bit version of the Canucks will never be mistaken for one of the game’s elite teams, there are certainly plenty of reasons why this team is not only above average, but can absolutely perform well against the league’s toughest competition and even despite one notable weakness. Forwards Courtnall-Linden-Bure If you were asked to name the one defining trait of Geoff Courtnall’s game, I think the answer is relatively straight-forward: pure speed. It goes without saying that Courtnall’s presence on the ice will absolutely result in a healthy amount of breakaway chances for the Canucks. While he’s not necessarily a huge one timing threat due to relatively average shot ratings, Courtnall’s great speed/agility and 196 lb. weight simply make him an effective player on both sides of the ice and an essential part of the Canucks’ starting lineup even despite only being perhaps the team’s 3rd best Forward. Regardless of where he’s used, it’s hard to overstate just how much of a difference Trevor Linden makes to the Vancouver Canucks starting lineup. In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and state that Linden is arguably the best bench player in the entire game. In replacing Cliff Ronning, Linden’s 212 lb. weight adds much needed size and grit to a pretty light group of Forwards. In short, Linden’s size, combined with relatively good speed and agility ratings, makes him a very effective defensive forward and one that also can be used on the backcheck in rush situations. Even better, Linden’s good shot ratings make him a credible one timer threat and again, a strong upgrade over Ronning but also in the offensive zone. It’s always fun to remember Linden’s outstanding performance in the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals where he more than proved why he was deserving of the moniker “Captain Canuck”. It’s even more fun to recapture that same magic in using him as part of the Canucks lineup and letting him go off for some big games. In Pavel Bure, the Canucks possess a superstar Forward with excellent speed and agility and also good shot ratings. Whether it’s trying for breakaways, going 1 on 1 with defenders, or setting up for one timers, Bure simply adds that much more to the Canucks offense than what is already present with Courtnall and Linden. The only knock on Pavel Bure is that his 180 lb. weight will sometimes make him a target for the game’s larger forwards and defensemen. So while Bure can be used at Center, with sometimes very effective results, it’s probably best to keep him on the Wing where he can best use his speed to get by opposing defenders. Doing so also allows Trevor Linden to play a more physical game at Center and overall seems to help the Canucks offense flow a bit better in general. As mentioned previously, Cliff Ronning’s skills don’t quite match up to what is brought to the table by the Canucks three best Forwards. However, calling Ronning an ineffective bench option would be selling him short as he does possess great speed and agility ratings which make him an effective option for deking and rushing the puck into the offensive zone. The only thing holding Ronning back from being a more effective player and a starter in the Canucks lineup is being a target to the opposition at 180 lbs. and having mediocre shot ratings. Greg Adams represents the best of the Canucks remaining bench forwards as he weighs in at 196 lbs. and possesses good shot accuracy which can keep the Canucks dangerous in one timing situations. However, Adams can handicap the team in some instances due to mediocre speed and stick handling and so he is likely best reserved for spot duty in injury or maybe blowout situations. Defense Lidster-Lumme From here, things go somewhat downhill as we’re now faced with the Canucks biggest weakness in the form of mediocre Defensemen. It’s not that Doug Lidster and Jyrki Lumme are terrible by any means, but in comparison to the game’s best defensive pairs, the two Canucks starting Defensemen absolutely leave something to be desired. At 212 lbs., Lidster represents the more physical of the Canucks starting defenders, but lacks the skills necessary to be a real game changer due to very mediocre speed and agility ratings. Lumme, on the other hand, is the more mobile of the two Canucks starting Defensemen with a good agility rating, but lacks a higher speed rating that would make him a more coveted defender. Also, Lumme’s 196 lb. weight decreases his physical effectiveness against the game’s larger players and teams. The Canucks bench sees several similarly mediocre defensive options with the best of these coming in the form of Jiri Slegr and Gerald Diduck. Both players weigh in at 220 lbs. and can thereby bring some more physicality to the lineup. However, both players have similar average speed and agility ratings and thus do not improve the Canucks overall lack of speed on Defense. Worse yet, Slegr and Diduck’s average stick handling ratings could pose some problems for the Canucks transition and overall offensive game. In short, no matter if a coach decides to stick with the default Canucks Defensemen or make some substitutions, it’s probably best to expect at least something of an uphill battle in the defensive zone and know that it’s probably best to take a more conservative approach with usage of the team’s defenders. Summary A great group of Forwards with an average, at best, group of Defensemen puts the Vancouver Canucks at something of a middle tier in terms of best teams in SNES NHL 94. However, the team’s abundance of speed and skill on offense can certainly give opponents lots of trouble and be more than a match for even the most elite teams. While the Canucks defense is absolutely the team’s biggest question mark, overcoming, or at least working around this weakness can see coaches rack up a lot of victories in a manner similar to that of the team’s legendary real life 1994 counterpart.
  3. Los Angeles Kings It’s safe to say that for many SNES players, the Los Angeles Kings are easily among the sentimental favorite teams to use for a variety of reasons. Whether that reason is nostalgia, high end skill, destroying opponents with Marty McSorley, mimicking Fenty’s antics, etc., rarely are there ever any instances of the Kings not being used by at least a semi notable coach in any SNES classic league. Thankfully, the Kings of the early 90s possessed an abundance of top end talent at nearly every position that make this team an absolute joy to use and win with in NHL 94. Forwards (Minus) The Great One? Robitaille-Carson-Sandstrom Any time I ever describe SNES NHL 94 to someone in real life who has never played, the usual reaction is, “oh Gretzky must have been absolutely dominant in that game!” Unfortunately enough, this exclamation, while understandable, is far from the truth. Though Wayne Gretzky by no means handicaps the Kings, the main argument for not deploying #99 in the starting lineup is due to his mere 172 lb. weight and weak shot ratings that don’t benefit the Kings offense at all. I find it to be a real shame that the greatest NHL player and goal scorer of all time got the shaft when it came to arguably the most important ratings, but I suppose that’s a rant in itself for another day. One thing that is true though about Wayne Gretzky is that he’s a great option off the bench to be used at either Wing in the event of an injury or if a coach simply wants to change the look and feel of the Kings offense. It goes without saying that there’s still plenty of plus skating, deking ability, strong positional play, and reliability to be had from #99 in the lineup and so you certainly can’t fault any coach who still wishes to use him depending on the situation. Luc Robitaille is one of only a handful of players in NHL 94 to possess 100 shot accuracy and this fact alone makes for a strong argument to put him at Center where he can unleash deadly accurate one timers and single-handedly take over a game. In fact, I can’t even say that I don’t recommend this as the results don’t lie, both in mine and other coaches past experiences. It’s also very helpful that #20 possesses good skating abilities which absolutely make him a deking threat in most situations. Simply put, whether Luc Robitaille is used at Wing or Center, he is going to make an impact on the scoresheet and is an integral part of the Kings offense. For Jimmy Carson, SNES NHL 94, amazingly, represents possibly the only time he would ever be considered as better than Wayne Gretzky in some capacity. As longtime hockey fans will remember in the infamous trade that originally sent Gretzky to the Kings in 1988, Carson was the centerpiece of the package that went back to the Edmonton Oilers. However, even despite being a multi-time 50 goal scorer and a very skilled player in his own right, it was quickly determined that he would never match up to the accomplishments of Gretzky and thus Carson was written off and ironically later returned to the Kings almost as an afterthought in the team’s Stanley Cup run in 1993. However, Carson is far from an afterthought on the SNES as he weighs in at a dense 212 lbs., is a pretty decent skater for a larger player, and possesses shot ratings practically equal to those of players such as Craig Simpson, Teemu Selanne, etc… It goes without saying that Carson is arguably the Kings best options at Center due to his plus shooting and skating, and his size and ability to both withstand and effectively lay down body checks. For the Kings, the offensive riches do not end at Robitaille and Carson as there is also Tomas Sandstrom in the mix. Sandstrom plays very similarly to Carson due to weighing in at 212 lbs. and possessing good skating abilities. Like Carson, Sandstrom is also blessed with excellent shot ratings that make him one of the strongest one timing threats in the game. I sometimes believe that the true luxury in having players like Carson and Sandstrom comes from the ability to play strong two way hockey as these two players have more than enough size and speed to impose their will on most of the other players in the game and then use their great offensive abilities to light the lamp in most situations. Perhaps an even greater luxury is that these two players, along with Robitaille, can be used almost interchangeably to give opponents many different looks and make shutting down the Kings offense a real chore. On the bench, the Kings have the likes of Tony Granato and steady Hall of Famer Jari Kurri. Granato, in particular, possesses an elusive 100 speed rating but at times is known to fumble passes which can become problematic. However, if Granato’s pass receiving is steady in a given game, his speed can absolutely make him a breakaway threat and add another layer to an already strong Kings offense. While Kurri does not possess the same top end talents as the aforementioned recommended starters, he is another great bench option who can contribute positively at both ends of the ice and will not handcuff the team much, if at all, when he’s used. Defense Blake-McSorley In consideration of Marty McSorley, I remember thinking when I was younger that he was too slow to be effective and was the weakest link in the Los Angeles Kings starting lineup. This, in turn, caused me to give a lot of starts to Alexei Zhitnik in my early days of playing online. Initially, Zhitnik appears to be the better option as he has the edge over McSorley in puck control and skating which can make a big difference in games where puck control and movement are of the utmost importance. However, where the difference between the two players becomes glaringly obvious is in weight and laying the lumber on the opposition. In short, McSorley’s weight of 236 lbs. versus 180 lbs. for Zhitnik, makes a massive difference in the way that both players will make contributions to the Kings lineup. Much like in real life, Marty’s ability to destroy and dominate opposing players and change the flow of a game with a huge hit cannot be understated and gives the Kings a true physical edge over most teams when combined with the overall size of the team’s top Forwards. While I personally give McSorley the nod over Zhitnik, I don’t think a coach can be faulted for choosing increased mobility depending on play styles and preferences. While it’s true that Zhitnik is more susceptible to a big hit and won’t be unleashing as many of his own, players who prefer the ability to deke and rush with a Defenseman cannot be criticized for starting him over McSorley. For the 2nd Defenseman, the choice is much easier. Rob Blake weighs in at 228 lbs. and possesses plenty of puck control and skating ability to make him among the most solid and steady Defensemen in the game. Whether it’s rushing the puck up the ice, strong and sound positional play, or imposing his own will over opposing players, Blake is absolutely the best Kings Defenseman and one that is hard to justify taking out of the lineup. For bench Defensemen, the Kings have other options in Darryl Sydor and Charlie Huddy, both of whom were longtime NHL Defensemen and enjoyed solid careers. While it will generally be rare to see either player used in injury situations, both will occasionally need to enter the game in Penalty Kill situations. Though neither player will light the world on fire with high end skill, crazy offensive rushes, or game changing contributions, both Defensemen can be relied upon to play a steady game until one of the Kings top defenders is ready to return from the penalty box. Summary Size, speed, strength, aggression, physicality, puck movement, great shooting ability… the Los Angeles Kings literally have it all in SNES NHL 94. Perhaps the only issue with the team is knowing which players to use in which positions. However, I would say this is a great problem to have as the ability to make changes on the fly and customize the team’s lineup based on preferences and/or gut feelings makes the Kings one of best teams in the game and one that is practically always a threat to win in the hands of a skilled coach.
  4. Loving this thread! Surprised about no mention of Sandis Ozolinsh for San Jose. Certainly better than Wilkinson and while not an all-star by any means, he can skate somewhat decently and doesn't fumble passes too overly often. I figure that has to count for something on a team as rough as San Jose. My experience with Brown and Butcher for St. Louis has always a bit different though in terms of speed. I've never felt like either skater was too slow to be effective and truthfully, I've always considered Brown's speed to be above average..I don't know his speed rating by memory though so I may be surprised when I actually pull it up. Admittedly, St. Louis is a team I haven't used as much over the years and my play style is more based on possession and passing, so maybe by default, I don't notice differences in speed as much as other players would.
  5. Brilliant goals Jeff! Here's a few of mine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyvA1J6lU88 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udMZG7_1Jh0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0k7XoIrvd4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22SA2G2fEGI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajKA_1BPaOo
  6. Sums up my thoughts exactly. A 220 lb player is never always guaranteed to bring down a 180 lb player in real life nor is it always guaranteed that the smaller player should always be unable to knock down a larger player judging by weight or checking ability alone. There are too many factors at work that I think the variance in stats and performance cover as closely as possible. Ex: Think about Doug Gilmour. He wasn't called "Killer" for nothing. One of the smaller forwards in the NHL, yet was nasty and took down players bigger than him on various occasions....
  7. Edmonton Oilers 1st Line LW - #19 Joe Sakic C - #18 Craig Simpson RW - #13 Mats Sundin LD - #34 Al Iafrate RD - #3 Zarley Zalapski X - #17 Mike Ridley G - #31 Curtis Joseph 2nd Line LW - #17 Mike Ridley C - #20 Alexander Semak RW - #12 John Cullen LD - #4 Kevin Lowe RD - #27 Teppo Numminen G - #35 Mike Richter ***Edited to include jersey numbers***
  8. ...and now the pick that everyone has been waiting for me to make...Simpson 3:16... Craig Simpson