angryjay93

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Everything posted by angryjay93

  1. probably looking at next tuesday evening since the next time i plan on being on before that is friday and possibly saturday.
  2. Yep, Seth called it. I'm right there with ya TK. At least I showed an emotion, it's progress.
  3. I think I'm obligated to take the Kings here...so I will.
  4. Remaining Games: Uncle Seth x2 Bo x2 Hokkee x2 kgman x2 skip x2 Ice x2 Fitzo x2 EA x2 1/3 Zeppelin x4 Being a west coast guy it's always a bit tougher to schedule with me since I don't get online until 930 EST at the earliest Monday-Thursday. This week I can do Tuesday or Wednesday after 930 so drop me a line if you plan on being around then. If not, then I'll have to look for you Friday, probably after 6 or 7 EST.
  5. thanks guys for helping me get all those games in. 20 in one day, whew! i'll keep my eyes open this saturday and see if many buds around. if yes then im willing to do another binge session.
  6. Hey guys I know I'm way behind in games played but I plan on fixing that in a jiffy. I should be online this Friday starting at around 6 EST. I hope a bunch of you other buds are around. I can also be around Saturday. Probably during the day time at some point. If you think you'll be around Sunday, leave me a message and we can try to figure something out.
  7. *shrugs* leave it the way it is. I get who I get in the playoffs.
  8. I've been playing a lot of games against the computer the last month and I've been doing some testing with CB checking. I think the game does use a slightly different value to calculate whether a check will be successful. It seems trying to CB a heavier player with a lighter one works more consistently then trying to C check a lighter player with a heavier one. Still, CBing a heavy player with a light guy isn't anywhere near as consistent as using it with a heavier player to hit a lighter one. Yes, it is true that Cam Neely has a tougher time checking Kirk Muller with a CB check than he would Brian Bellows. In Gens the game doesn't weigh speed as heavily as the SNES does so it is much trickier to overcome weight differences. Speed and agility only really come into factor if a player can mathematically check a player consistently to begin with. This is why Al Iafrate is a better CB checker then Dave Andreychuk despite having the same weight attribute.
  9. In a minor upset, it took me less than 4 months to include a CB section for every team. Hopefully this along with all the other articles and comments will be put to good use for the upcoming classic league. What I'd really love to see in the future, is people commenting in the teams section on any findings they come across or stats they accumulate while using the team in classic. I would love to get more hard data and varying opinions especially as more people with different play styles use each team. Hell, even if the SNES guys felt inclined to do this I'd have no qualms as the differences in the versions has been reduced with CB tech now taking hold in GENS. In the mean time I do have another project brewing although it is still quite some time from publication. I want to create a matchup chart/tier list which will hopefully help us solidify what teams rank where and identify notable matchups. Once we identify the games we want to focus on we can then break them down in a way where each team tries to exploit or mitigate a weakness in the matchup. I forget who suggested this idea but I think it's something we should dive into more of in the future. We have the ability to go back into the nhl94.com data as well as data from previous tourneys where records were maintained. The way to prepare for the future is to look at the past.
  10. CB Notes Forwards Wayne Gretzky: Elite skating is as good a counter as weight buggers can hope to have against CB checking and Gretzky has it in spades. Gretzky maintains his status as the best play maker in the game and will continue to feed the likes of Sandstrom and Robitaille for some juicy one-time chances. Creating his own offense is going to be a good bit tougher now, especially against teams who clog the slot with impunity as Gretzky's atrocious shot ratings minimize his scoring range. Defensively Gretzky remains extremely effective and should continue to be plopped right in front of Rob Blake for a deadly combo. Tomas Sandstrom: Taking Sandstrom off the ice has become much more difficult due to the fact that his largest weaknesses has been addressed. No longer a suck hole on defense, Sandstrom is an adequate CB checker with just enough skating to pressure an opponent into mistakes. Sandstrom is already a fantastic offensive weapon, being able to feed him easy goals off of turnovers can lead to some huge games. Luc Robitaille: Life remains largely the same here as Robitaille is still a great option on the wing or in the middle due to his well rounded skill set. Could be a bit of a CB pest against the likes of Joe Juneau and Andrei Kovalenko but he will need to keep his head up when strong skating heavyweights are roaming around. Tony Granato: Without a doubt Granato's speed remains his most critical skill and this should aid him in his fight against a slight CB check disadvantage. A great option who still warrants plenty of ice time in attack that focuses more on high flying antics than precision based tactics. Jimmy Carson: Despite a nice power up Carson falls victim to the numbers game. The only way he deserves a starting spot is if a right handed shot at RW is desired and Granato's speed isn't a part of the game plan. Be sure to keep Carson in mind in GDL drafts as his stock has skyrocketed. Corey Millen: Mostly a weight bugger, Millen's lack of agility and subpar skill set transform him into a bit of a liability on the ice. Jari Kurri: 8 weight, 4/3 skating, 4/3 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 4/4 aware, Shoots: R LA doesn't have a true CB champion upfront and due to some previous comments in this thread it seems Kurri is worth a mention. Kurri is a fine depth player who isn't sunk by any particular weaknesses but his game doesn't pop. He is built in very much the same mold as Ron Francis who is a perfectly fine player but can be easily outclassed by his teammates. Kurri suffers a little bit from positional purgatory, not fast enough to be a wing and not a skilled enough sniper to man the slot. Mike Donnelly: 6 weight, 4/4 skating, 2/3 shot, 2 sth, 3 pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L Another player mentioned by other people in the comments, Donnelly is another acceptable option but he doesn't do enough to kick anyone out of the starting line up. He's good depth and would be justifiable in a gritty type role. Defense Rob Blake: Not only has CB checking transformed Blake's play style it as has also transformed the Kings defense in a positive way. No longer is Blake restricted to poke checking and positional play, he can now bring the pain to an unsuspecting forward which should prove to be a deadly combo as Gretzky back checking will leave little room for the forward to operate. Unfortunately, with the puck on his stick Blake still maintains his cream puff ways but he has the ability to elude a check and push the puck up the ice. Alexei Zhitnik: No longer is Zhitnik relied upon for everything and this should come as a welcoming revelation. He was always a bit overwhelmed in the #1 spot with so many responsibilities but now he can focus on either being more of an offensive threat with using his speed to create plays or as a defensive stopper if he decides to humor us with some sound positioning. Marty McSorley: We found him! The ultimate CB champion is none other than Marty McSorley may he body many souls with his sufficient 3/3 skating. Among forwards, only Chris Simon and Jay Caufield can escape McSorley's wrath which allow him to go into CB mash mode when he finds a chance to annihilate his victim. Sadly, 14 weight falls into the overkill category as what is given up in acceleration, agility, and puck handling cancels out the CB gains. McSorley should be utilized purely as Blake's sub as icing both of them at the same time leaves the Kings back line far too hefty. Darryl Sydor: A much more balanced and bland CB option. Just live a little, let your hair down and have some fun with McSorley will ya? Brent Thompson: One of the least skilled weight bug players in the game should probably stay buried on the bench as he will be a nice snack for the CB monsters coming after him. Charlie Huddy: 10 weight, 3/2 skating, 3/1 shot, 3 sth & pass, 2/4 aware, Shoots: L Huddy takes over Thompson's role of emergency option if the Kings defenders decide to hold a meeting in the penalty box or medical room. A smart player with a reasonable skill set who can play a passable stay at home type game. Bottom Line Things are really looking up in LA as they benefit greatly on both sides of the puck. The offense remains versatile and can really push the tempo if needed to take advantage of a weak defender attempting to handle the puck. Even if stricken by injuries or penalties, there are still a few options waiting on the bench that most other teams would be ecstatic to start. Push the pace and make the other team commit some costly mistakes. While I wouldn't say the Kings are a great defensive team due to their inconsistent defensive AI, they have received a noticeable upgrade which will help them keep the puck away from Hrudey and hold onto some more leads than they had been accustomed to previously. They have a good balance of weight bug checkers and CB guys which should give them a great shot at winning a game regardless of matchup. The Kings are definitely on the rise and may even be pushing into the top 5 overall.
  11. CB Notes Forwards Valeri Zelepukin: New Jersey is pretty light on offensively threatening players which allows the crafty Zelepukin to maintain his starting spot. Zelepukin also brings a bit of weight bug presence on a team mostly bereft of it, his defense will remain a valuable commodity. Stephane Richer: Richer remains the resident shooter and main goal scoring threat as his 5 shot power gives him a wide array of ways to score the puck. Hopefully Richer's new found CB checking powers can help him get some more chances while up close and personal with the goalie. His shooting power makes it tough to switch over into manual goalie in time to make the quick reflex saves. Alexander Semak: A role reduction may seem in place for Semak as his play making ways seem a little redundant now. Semak is a little slow and not enough of a weight bug checker to be a pure defensive specialist meanwhile he will have issues getting to the net as he has evolved into a bit of a CB target. None of the rest of the Devils forwards are overwhelmingly better so Semak should still get his fair share of ice despite his shortcomings. Bernie Nicholls: Taking a bigger hit then Semak, Nicholls becomes mediocre depth fodder as his lack of skating and skills leaves him as a purely perimeter type player. His defensive game isn't robust enough to offset his lack of offensive effectiveness. Peter Stastny: What we have here is essentially the CB version of Semak. Stastny isn't as great as a fit on the RW due to him being on his off wing and the lack of speed makes it a bit tougher for him to crash the net for rebounds. With Stevens being the likely RD, it makes things on the right side of the ice awfully heavy if Stastny gets some run. It may be best to flip Zelepukin to the RW and Stasnty to the LW if he is indeed thrown into the fray. Bobby Holik: If you have to go CB upfront then Holik is likely the best bet because he can play his natural wing while leaving Zelepukin and Richer unaffected. A lack of elusiveness and puck skills could make those near post dekes awfully predictable to savvy manual goalie users. Claude Lemieux: Only useful if the Devils decide to sell out and play a total crash bang type of a game, Lemieux is an absolute CB bruiser up front with a set of hands best left unmentioned. He isn't likely to have his hands on the puck long anyways as he is an easy target for the defense to pick off. John MacLean: A center only option, MacLean getting ice time is likely an omen to rough seas ahead. He won't be helpless as he does have a little CB utility and sniping ability but it's gonna take some serious game play to get worthwhile production from him. Defense Bruce Driver: While a little light in the skill department, Driver should remain an important part of the Devil's D due to his light weight and heady play. Every other defender on the roster is on the very heavy side, Driver should help maintain checking balance and won't cost too much in the way of skill while doing so. Scott Stevens: Forwards ought to keep their heads up as some booming Stevens checks will be felt around the league. Blessed with plenty of skating ability at his 11 weight, Stevens should light up unsuspecting forwards and then be able to move the puck up ice quickly with his fine passing abilities. More of a defensive specialist, try not to get too carried away with CB checks while using Stevens as he is plenty able to use his poke check and skating to be plenty effective as a shadow on another teams top forward. Don't go crazy on offense with him, he will still be a breeze to take down while handling the biscuit. Scott Niedermayer: The time is no longer now for Niedermayer as he takes a good tumble down the depth chart. He shouldn't be starting over Driver due to having a similar skill set in a much heavier package nor should he be starting over Kasatonov or Stevens as they are better CB options with vastly superior skills. Leave him on the end of the bench in case emergencies pop up. Alexei Kasatonov: Another boffo puck mover, Kasatonov is an intriguing option to bring off the bench as he has plenty of CB ability to go along with his offensive abilities. New D-Pair: Kasatonov-Stevens With Driver being a bit ho-hum, icing a total CB monster duo such as this may be somewhat appealing. There is a complete lack of balance here and moving the puck may be a bit of a tricky affair against very aggressive fore checkers. On the plus side, this mobile duo can possibly reign some terror on teams that don't possess a bunch of elite skaters. Even a team like Winnipeg could struggle against this duo if they are on top of their game. Slava Fetisov: A lack of speed is the only thing that hinders Fetisov as he has all the other qualifications to be a CB beast of a defender. Definitely worth a look if his speed can somehow be overcome. Bottom Line Much like a litany of other teams, the Devils reap the CB benefits with an upgraded defensive unit. Stevens and Kasatonov should make things tough on opposing forwards as they are both mobile and skilled enough to assert themselves strongly on the outcome of a game. Driver remains relevant and there is enough of a balance of CB and weight bug checking ability in the front line to keep opponents guessing. Offensively, the Devils don't change much as they are still a pretty predictable team with only Richer's shot power capable of varying their scoring tactics. Wins will still be accumulated by attempting to put the opponent asleep as the Devils have only become better at what they already did best.
  12. CB Notes Forwards Dmitri Khristich: Not a whole lot of help has been provided for Khristich as his plodding ways will always make it tricky to get consistently high end performances from him. Washington is full of under skilled middleweights which allows Khristich to retain a hold on his starting spot somewhere in the mix of things. Peter Bondra: Remaining bottom man on the 6 speed totem poll, Bondra is still a straight line burner who may have issues dealing with the new influx of mobile CB checkers. Still a man without an ideal position, Bondra should be placed wherever the user feels most comfortable with him, his skill set should come in use somewhere. Mike Ridley: With some CB utility, Ridley remains the best of the rest of a mediocre forward unit in DC. He might be a better fit on his natural wing but feeding Khristich will be a whole lot easier from RW as Ridley's most useful trait is still his ability to pass the puck proficiently. Moving Ridley to LW and Bondra to C could warrant consideration as they are now the two most able forwards defensively if the Caps go down a man. Bob Carpenter: If Khristich seems a bit too slow for your liking give Carpenter a whirl as his speed will help him keep up better in quicker paced games. He is an able enough passer and his skating could give a slower 6 weight defender an issue from time to time and help open up some offensive chances that the Caps can take advantage of. New Line: Bondra-Ridley-Carpenter A more mobile line can not be constructed and there is enough talent here to make it work. Bondra and his lack of agility will always be more effective on his natural wing and Ridley is the second best one-timing option on the roster. Carpenter is on his off wing but he is there to mostly be a grinding nuisance a la Steve Thomas. He can use float shots to drive to the net for rebound chances if left unchecked. Washington has a tough time finding chemistry and this line may be the closest thing they come to in terms of a successful science project. Kelly Miller: A bit more talented than Carpenter and another reasonable RW option, Miller may just be a tad bit too heavy for the Washington lineup as the forward ranks become rather hefty without premium type puck skills to back it up with. Pat Elynuik: Still a one trick pony who is best used as insurance if Khristich bites the dust. Michel Pivonka: A lesser version of Miller, Pivonka will always be a bit player due to his lack of speed and elusiveness up front. He can be useful if given space but there aren't enough defenders in the league for him to take advantage of and he isn't a good enough shooter to be of consistent use. Defense Calle Johansson: In an odd development Johansson has received an upgrade as he is a useful CB checker and puck mover but he may have still lost his job due to others receiving bigger boosts. With that said, Johansson is easily the most balanced defender as his skills and defensive ability make him a solid 2 way presence Sylvain Cote: Despite a passable skill set, Cote is a bit of a bland option with the puck when considering the likes of Iafrate, Johansson, and Hatcher are also available. He still likely retains a spot in the starting duo due to the fact that Cote brings optimal balance to the table. The other options previously mentioned are all 9+ weight, this can make it too easy for opponents to hound the Caps with a ferocious fore check. Hence Cote's services must likely be retained. Al Iafrate: Sadly Iafrate won't have an easier time unleashing his cannon slap shot but there is some light at the end of the tunnel as Iafrate has become one of the most feared CB checkers in the game. 11 weight paired with 4/4 speed have increased his value ten fold defensively as very few players will be able to escape his wrath. The steady play of Johansson will likely fall victim to the higher ceiling play of Iafrate, not such a bad thing for the Caps as they have very few game breakers on offense or defense. Kevin Hatcher: CB tech just loves the Caps blue line as Hatcher is another big beneficiary but probably not enough so to warrant a starting spot. The downgrade in skating from Iafrate will be noticeable as the extra uptick in weight may prove a bit cumbersome, especially in open ice. Hatcher does remain a fantastic sub and could be a sleeper option in future GDL drafts if paired with the right teammates. Any starting combo among these four provide an interesting set of strengths and weaknesses. Don't be afraid to play to your style of play and the opposing lineup to find the optimal pair. Playing one pair 100% of the time downplays the effectiveness and versatility of this unit. Paul Cavallini: 10 weight, 3/3 skating 3/1 shot, 3 sth & pass, 2/3 aware, Shoots: L As the #5 option Cavallini wont see much if any ice time but he should be kept in mind for future GDL drafts. He brings a competent skill set and sufficient enough CB check presence to be a respectable option off the bench. Just don't go nuts with him and try to lead a Bobby Orr type of attack. Bottom Line While remaining a weird team with chemistry issues, the Caps do pick up a lot of ground with a vastly improved defense. With four starting options on defense and the appropriate game plan, they can limit the chances that Don Beaupre will have to face and that should aid them greatly in their designs of competing with superior teams. Not much help was gained offensively but the increased effectiveness in Ridley's defensive game could allow him to help create more chances which hopefully lead to easy goals that Khristich and Bondra should be able to cash in on. Still an underdog of a team, they should be a plucky group that keeps things close and wins their share of close games.
  13. CB Notes Forwards Cliff Ronning: With his hard nosed and gritty play style, Ronning takes a bit of a hit on offense as he is a CB checking target once he starts to try and knife through the defense. Ronning should still be very effective out on the wing used primarily as a distributor where he can take advantage of some less crowded ice. With the reduced reliance on his offensive game, Ronning can now focus more on defense where he is still a bruising force as his weight bug checking will still be a vital piece of the Canucks strategy. Still a must start guy as no other player on the roster blows him away skill wise while still bringing tenacious defense. Pavel Bure: Is Bure still the most dangerous one on one player in the league? Hard to say as Mogilny's increased effectiveness vaults him into the conversation but Bure still has a valid argument. Putting Bure on the wing or in the middle is still largely reliant on user preference as he his a dangerous option regardless where he is. Still a dangerous checker, Bure will cause a lot of rushed decisions and Vancouver has plenty of speed in which to take advantage of Bure's defensive prowess. Geoff Courtnall: Not much new going on for Courtnall as his 7 weight doesn't change his play style all that much on either side of the puck. Still dangerous purely because of his speed, he is not immune from benching if looking for a bit of a different look to show an opponent. Trevor Linden: A legit CB option, Linden's utility has been greatly increased as he is mobile enough to be a positive contributor to the Canucks defense. He relies mostly on one timers as he is not all that capable of lugging the puck up the ice by himself, he'd probably be most effective against teams without their own share of lightweight speedsters. Linden could also warrant some consideration on his off wing in a similar capacity to Craig Simpson in Edmonton, just be sure to sub him off when going to the PK as both Bure and Ronning are still superior defenders. Murray Craven: A lack of speed leaves a bigger target on Craven's back as CB checkers should have a relatively easy time bringing him down. Downgrade him to 5th/6th forward status in GDL leagues. Greg Adams: Not a good enough skater to put his CB power to much use, Adams is still purely a sniping option who gives a little back on defense. Not a bad option, just limit expectations. Anatoli Semenov: Still an average player across the board, consistent if nothing else. Peter Nedved: An even bigger target than Craven, the sheer lack of any skating ability greatly limits Nedved's usefulness and ability to get into the dirty areas where his shot power comes into play. Dixon Ward: Essentially Adams's big brother, Ward's only plus skill is his sniping ability. Everything else is still an uphill battle for him. Sergio Momesso: 11 weight, 4/3 skating, 3/3 shot, 2 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: L All things considered, Momesso is a respectable option on the right side where he can come barreling in and try to clean up some garbage left behind by Bure and Ronning. Being on his off wing will allow him to follow his own rebound shots and pick up some cheap goals as defenses will surely not be focused on him. Slower weight bug style forwards and defenders should keep their eyes peeled as Momesso's mobility is just good enough to make him a physical factor as well. Defense Jyrki Lumme: Still the steadiest of all Canucks defenders, he will be a solid presence in his own zone who will benefit from more heady type play then pure physical aggression. Doug Lidster: Now a respectable #2 option, Lidster does receive a bit of an upgrade as having CB checking at his disposal will come in use from time to time. Don't get careless and start smashing the CB button combo as his skating ability doesn't give him as big of an upgrade as James Patrick received. Adrian Plavisc: Probably best to forget about Plavsic as most of the Canucks D-corps is now plenty adept at CB checking to make Plavsic irrelevant. His lack of skating and puck skills make it easy to leave him on the bench. Dana Murzyn: Tough to take advantage of Murzyn's new found ability to play physical with only 2 agility as his disposal. Lidster and Diduck remain better options to keep higher on the depth chart. Gerald Diduck: The new #1 sub, Diduck is very similar to Lidster and it might not be a terrible idea to start him against a team with an 8 weight forward as neither Lumme or Lidster can apply body checks consistently to those type of players. He is a competent enough passer to not notice much of a dropoff from Lidster. Jiri Slegr: 10 weight, 3/3 skating, 3/1 shot, 3 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: L It's easy to forget about Slegr as he doesn't do anything to make anyone take notice of his ability but he is probably best suited to be the new sub if Lumme becomes unavailable. He can play his natural side in a slightly more consistent and physical way then Murzyn and is a solid play behind a guy like Ronning whose weight bug ways balance nicely with Slegr's CB ability. Bottom Line Vancouver benefits from being a talented skating team as their main weight bug players remain largely unaffected. This offense is now accompanied by an improved supporting cast in the back and gives the Canucks a bit more recourse when the game turns into a gritty low scoring affair where mistakes can be costly. Still a very dangerous top 5 team whose forwards can control the tide of a game.
  14. CB Notes Forwards Esa Tikkanen: Opposing players around the league have been put on notice, Tikkanen is back with a vengeance and will be looking to announce his presence with some booming CB checks. 9 weight paired with 5/5 speed makes for a CB checking dream as his ability to pressure vulnerable defenders will help create more turnovers. While Esa will still have issues scoring his own chances he is plenty capable of setting up his line mates. The increase in defensive and offensive utility propel Tikkanen into must start status. Mike Gartner: The 'stache remains the centerpiece of the Ranger attack and his sublime skating should help him avoid any hefty opponents looking to body him off the puck. Gartner doesn't gain too much defense but he could make a living picking off unskilled weight buggers if an opponent loads up on them. Feel free to use Gartner as judiciously as he had before CB discoveries. Mark Messier: A game against the Rangers has become somewhat of a nightmare as Messier is another highly mobile CB checking monster. Neither side of the ice will be safe and it could be possible to really hem opponents in with a vicious fore check. Messier still has issues aplenty when trying to lug the puck up the ice as the art of elusiveness will be key to him staying on his skates. His main use lies within his ability to be a grinding play maker and not a flashy goal scorer. Tony Amonte, Darren Turcotte, Adam Graves, Alex Kovalev, Sergei Nemchinov: These guys are probably more qualified to fight in the clone wars than be starters on an effective line in '94. All of them take a small hit in effectiveness as none of these 6-7 weight forwards have enough skating or skills to impose their will on a game. None of them will sabotage the team on their own when they are called into duty so they do have some value. Ed Olczyk: Eddie may be the best option off the bench as his skill set is superior to the other bench warmers. On the flip side he wont get much CB checking going with piddly 4/3 skating at his disposal. Phil Bourque: 8 weight, 2/4 skating, 2/2 shot, 3 sth, 2 pass, 2/3 aware, Shoots: L Thankfully the Rangers are already loaded with CB checking options but Bourque is the best of the rest of the roster that can be called upon in the darkest of times. Bourque is a pretty clumsy skater but his straight line speed can be useful in open ice while on the PK. Defense Brian Leetch: It's entirely possible that Leetch has fallen out of the top 10 D man discussion but Leetch is still an important piece to a highly capable duo in Madison Square Garden. Leetch is still a slick skater who is plenty able of eluding some hard pressing fore checkers and then distributing an accurate pass up ice. Defensively Leetch's 6 agility and near weight bug status will continue to aid him in his defensive endeavors. James Patrick: No longer is Patrick a skilled defensive liability as his skating ability paired with his 9 weight allow him to be a CB presence on top of a skilled puck mover. While he may have issues dealing with Cam Neely, Tomas Sandstrom, Pierre Turgeon, etc., he still has plenty of skating ability to stay close and hound them with a poke check. As a duo, Patrick and Leetch perfectly compliment each other as at least one of them will be able to always play an opponent physically. Throw in the fact that they are both plus skaters, are highly skilled, and are playing on their natural side and this quickly becomes a high quality pairing. Sergei Zubov: While always being sort of a bland option, Zubov continues to be one as his 7 weight doesn't do a whole lot to affect his overall game plan. Keep him in mind as he is perfectly suitable to be in the rotation as a substitute. Kevin Lowe: While there isn't a spot for Lowe to start with the Rangers he should be kept in mind as a bottom tier #2 defenseman in GDL leagues due to his ability to CB check any player with 6 weight or less and his 4 agility should help him chase down a few more forwards than expected. Lowe should be considered as the replacement to Patrick if he becomes hurt as Lowe's 8 weight helps maintain some checking balance with Leetch as the partner. Peter Andersson: 9 weight, 2/3 speed, 2/1 shot, 3 sth & pass, 3/2 aware, Shoots: L Some CB depth, Andersson isn't a terrible option but he's also not a totally viable one. His lack of agility will not aid him in chasing down quicker forwards and his offensive awareness may cause him to go a little nuts with his positioning from time to time. Joe Cirella: 10 weight, 3/3 skating, 3/2 shot, 2 sth & pass, 2/2 aware, Shoots: R Slightly more mobile than Andersson but less skilled where it counts in the passing and stick handling categories, Cirella is another CB option to keep in mind if the Rangers start a parade towards the penalty box. Jeff Beukeboom: 11 weight, 2/2 skating, 2/0 shot, 2 sth & pass, 2/4 aware, Shoots: R For those who can't get enough of the CB check then Beukeboom is the place to look as he is the biggest goon the blue shirts can ice. Really hard to suggest him with such a pathetic skill set but perhaps he can channel his inner Chris Dahlquist with the 4 d. awareness at his disposal. Bottom Line Some of the Rangers ailments have been cured as the defense is now incredibly imposing albeit a little too heavily slanted towards CB checking as Leetch and Gartner are they only relatively light weight options on hand. The fact that every starting option is a plus skater will keep the opponent cautious in their attack. Offensively the Ranger still have the same issues they had before. A lack of shooting skill and a tough time carrying the puck up ice leave the Rangers highly dependent on quick goals created from turnovers and whatever Gartner can create on his own. Gritty, low scoring games, with opportunistic scoring is likely the most effective way to play with the Rangers and it should help them compete on a more consistent basis league wide.
  15. Currently I'm just an every day tax accountant who had a lot of vacation time saved up and found plenty of cheap flights to go with some cheap yet fantastic (usually) lodging options.
  16. Thank you and I wish I would have said something about me being in Quebec and Montreal post tourney. I do want to go back to Montreal sooner rather than later. I have indeed put in a lot of miles and seen a lot of amazing places this year and Montreal is near the top of the list for me. I really enjoyed Vilnius, Riga, Helsinki, and Quebec but I think Montreal may just have them all beat.
  17. Hey bud, thank you for coming to this part of the site and asking for some clarification. Raph pointed you in the right direction regarding what the numbers 0-6 mean for attributes. I'll clarify the presentation for you by starting with that none of the ratings are fractions, I just like to keep certain abilities grouped together when presenting a player. This is how a breakdown is laid out. Player Name: Weight, agility/speed, shot power/shot accuracy, stick handling, passing, o aware/d aware, Hand The rest of the ratings don't really come into play, especially in a game with no line changes. Every once in a while I will briefly mention a checking rating if it is relevant (typically players only with a 5 or 6 since their AI mode tends to be very aggressive). Hopefully this and the above posts explain things clearly enough. If not always feel free to ask more questions and we will be happy to answer.
  18. CB Notes Forwards Joe Murphy: Still a bit of a miscast as one of Roenick's wingers, Murphy doesn't lose much of his effectiveness but probably takes a very slight tumble down the depth chart as Christian Ruuttu's versatility has increased. It may be better putting Murphy at RW and Larmer at LW since Murphy has enough shot power to beat a goalie and allowing him to be on his off wing opens up the float shot to get some cheap rebound goals. Larmer is the more effective player overall and he should see as much ice as possible. Jeremy Roenick: CB developments have started to whittle away at Roenick's undisputed #1 status but he still remains a big part of the conversation. With 5 ratings across the board in skating and puck skills, Roenick is well equipped to offset his weight bug status and take the game to his opponents with his usual relentlessness. Defensively, JR remains a force as his crushing body checks will still register against most opponents which should lend a big hand in him getting some easy goals. Steve Larmer: An utmost professional and one of the most consistent players in the game should see a tiny bit of an advantage shift his way as his skating and defensive positioning should aid him in the CB game a bit more than other 7 weight forwards. Still a vital piece to the Chicago attack, if he can get rolling in tandem with Roenick then the Hawks can realize a more balanced attack which will help at high level play. New Line Combo: Larmer-Roenick-Ruuttu Christian Ruuttu: While the difference between Ruuttu and Murphy may not be large, the fact that Ruuttu can now CB check 6 weight players is a bit of a boon since there tend to be a lot of 6 weight players who get plenty of ice time. Chicago seems to be loaded with 7 weight players and having a little extra checking versatility should help their defensive chemistry. Kick in the fact that Ruuttu is able to stick handle his way through some issues in order to set up Roenick for a one timer should also help the offense vary their attack enough to keep things unpredictable. Michel Goulet: Still a center only option due to his pitiful passing rating and speed, Goulet doesn't get enough of a boost to warrant serious ice time. It'd be wise to let his shot accuracy sit on the bench until Roenick AND Larmer get hurt because they are superior center options with enough competent wings left over to support them. Dirk Graham: As an out and out defensive specialist, Graham isn't a terrible fit on the wing but his 8 weight doesn't give him enough CB power to overcome the guys ahead of him. A nice player to have around and should be kept in mind for the later rounds in the GDL. Brent Sutter: Despite the unique rating set, Sutter is really hampered by his 2 speed and his non elite checking ability. Brian Noonan: There are simply too many other good options on the LW for Noonan to get any sort of ice time as he doesn't have the skating required to open up his own lanes to unleash his slapper. Could be worth a look on the right if looking for a natural handed winger but I'd suggest sending Graham over the boards first due to his extra CB ability. Jocelyn Lemieux: 9 weight, 3/4 skating, 4/2 shot, 2 sth, 1 pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: L Chicago is absolutely bereft of major CB presence up front hence the article here about Lemieux. Lemieux seems to be an off brand version of Esa Tikkanen and will likely be a very frustrating guy to use on offense with shot power being his only passable skill. Chicago tends to have an issue playing physical against teams loaded with 6-7 weight players but its probably best to keep it that way since Lemieux would be too easy of a target to pick off. The reward is simply not worth the risk. Defense Chris Chelios: Pavel Bure watch out as it seems Chelios has a bit of payback in mind after all these years. 4/4 skating defenders are always a great thing to have and Chelios will use that as much as he can to push the CB checking into his advantage. Some bigger forwards may try to take some liberties with Chelios but his elusiveness and passing ability should be able to keep the pressure off of him. Chelios remains a premier defender and Chicago's AI tendencies could vault him into the discussion for #1 D-man in the game. Steve Smith: One of the biggest benefactors in the entire game from CB development is indeed Steve Smith. Few guys in his weight class have the ability to skate and move the puck with the level of proficiency that Smith does. Goal scoring slugs such as Hull, Turgeon, and Sandstrom must now keep their head up in the slot which wont be an easy task to do with Roenick trying to pressure with his back check. Smith's awareness ratings can make him do some weird stuff positioning wise but the Chicago AI presets will help limit that and keep him in more optimal positions. These positive developments make Smith a nearly must start player. Cam Russell: If Smith looks to be having a terrible game don't be afraid to resort to Russell if needed as his weight bug checking game is still applicable in a lot of match ups. Chicago has enough skill to carry Russell to the finish line but an opponent could make it a point to attack him when he has the puck which could lead to a lot of ugly turnovers and easy goals against. Brian Marchment: Chicago's D depth falls off a cliff in a jiffy and Marchment is a clear example of that. Mercifully he is mobile enough to avoid being a complete disaster when he gets on the ice. Bottom Line Don't look now but Chicago has just become demonstrably better as a team especially on defense. With Smith seeing his game upgraded vastly the Blackhawks may now very well have the #1 defensive duo in the game paired along with the best goalie and a fantastic weight bug checking option in Roenick. Good luck lighting the lamp against these guys as this defense should prove to be imposing. Offensively the Hawks don't take much of a hit as Roenick is still an animal and his supporting cast remains largely intact. They can still be reduced to a bit of a one trick pony but that shouldn't bother Chicago too much as they are perfectly constructed for low scoring affairs.
  19. CB Notes Forwards Pat Falloon & Perry Berezan: Let's be very clear here, most of this article will say the same thing over and over again so excuse me for being repetitive from the get go. Both Berezan and Falloon possess 7 weight and not much changes for these two as they are still must start options due to their skating ability. Heavy defenders can push them around and they can show a little CB flex on anyone 5 weight or less. Rob Gaudreau: Takes a small hit as his 6 weight and 3 speed isn't an ideal package for evading the likes of Ray Bourque. Still probably the best bet as the 3rd forward but it may be wiser to keep him on the wing as his one on one skills have deteriorated further. Kelly Kisio: Same deal as with Gaudreau except the 2/2 skating for Kisio really hurts him. Even the slow and clumsy defenders such as Uwe Krupp should have a fair chance at dragging down Kisio with a CB check. Tough to use on the wing as speed is very important to have in that position. Johan Garpenlov: Garpenlov may have just become the new first man off the bench as his 3/3 skating and 7 weight make him a bit more palatable option over Kisio. Nothing much should be expected as the 2 passing and 2 shot power will make it crucial for him to work in close on offense, not an easy spot to get to for the likes of Garpenlov. Mike Sullivan: A tough sell for ice time before CB tech, an even tougher sell with it as his dearth of skill is now further combined with this susceptibility to CB checkers. John Carter: No one above him has a must ice skill set but John Carter does at least have weight bug defensive potential. Possible poor man's Keith Acton which could be useful in specific match ups such as against Hartford. Jeff Odgers: 9 weight, 1/2 skating, 2/3 shot, 1 pass, 2 sth, 3/2 aware, Shoots: L San Jose's CB king does not inspire much confidence due to some beyond porous skating ratings and underwhelming skills. Extremely difficult to recommend Odgers for any situation but he is there if there situation ever arises. Ed Courtenay: 9 weight, 2/2 skating, 1/3 shot, 2 pass, 1 sth, 3/3 aware, Shoots: R *stares off into the distance...* Sorry about that, zoned out for a second. The nice thing about Courtenay is that his player sprite takes up just as much as space as any other in the game. The top 3 from before are probably still the best bet for success. Just gonna take a little more finesse and know how to get them into scoring position. Defense Doug Wilson: 7 weight and 4/3 skating, not much new here for Doug as he is still a critical component to the Sharks defense. Perhaps a slight downgrade in offense is needed to due to his new susceptibility to being back checked by heaver and faster forwards. Neil Wilkinson: Same story different verse, probably not a good enough skater to gain a huge advantage from CB checking. Not a poor enough skater or passer to be a huge liability with the puck in his own zone. Sandis Ozolinsh: Solid enough sub and a reasonable enough starter. 7 weight blah blah blah CB check. Tom Pederson: Probably a pretty good option against a team with average skating 6-8 weight forwards. Aside from that he's just a weight bugger with a minor league skill set who wouldn't be miscast in the PK rotation. Jay More: 7 weight...my eyes hurt. Doug Zmolek: 12 weight, 2/2 skating, 2/1 shot, 2 sth & pass, 2/3 aware, Shoots: L San Jose is kind of a weird team in that they have a bunch of right handed defenders which can make it tricky to put Wilson on his off hand side. Zmolek may just be a fine remedy for that dilemma as he is the closest thing the Sharks can ice to a real CB option. If Zmolek can stay home in front of his own goalie he may just prove useful in games against some goal scoring slugs in the middle or a non elite skating winger. The skill set is pretty poor but it isn't demonstrably worse than Pederson who is an acceptable weight bug defender. Probably not a starter in most cases, Zmolek could be useful guy to keep in the rotation none the less. Peter Ahola: 9 weight, 2/2 skating, 2/1 shot, 2 sth & pass, 1/3 aware, Shoots: L Ahola is a near carbon copy of Zmolek skill wise but a little bit less of CB overkill. The reduction in weight should bring a slight increase in mobility which could prove to be useful against a team stocked with 6 & 7 weight forwards. It'd probably be advisable to start Pederson in those match ups if you stray from the main pair but Ahola might be less likely to venture up ice with his more preferable awareness ratings. It is not advisable to try incorporate Ahola offensively, he's a bit of a tire fire outside of his own zone. Bottom Line If anything the Sharks take a slight hit as they aren't talented enough skating or skill wise to be truly unaffected despite their cavalry of 6-7 weight players. None of the CB options banging on the managers door are worth anything more than the occasional spot start. Things remain tough in SJ but they can still provide problems with a skilled coach at the helm.
  20. I'm thinking to save my massive wall of text for more of a look at my entire year of playing NHL '94 abroad. In this space I'm going to try and focus on my king of 94 journey through the bracket, shout outs, and observations. Should still be plenty of text for those looking for it. AJ's tournament path I started out in group D which was widely considered the group of death for the Gens bracket because it included myself, King, Sebe, Evan, and Uncle Buck. A couple of dark horses in Mikey, Maitrefun, and Inamorata were also present and looking to really shake up the bracket. It was obvious that at least one legitimate threat was going to be on the sidelines before the final group so I knew that a good start was going to be imperative to me avoiding an upset. Game 1: AJ (Tor) vs. Chris S. (PHI) Waiting around all morning for an afternoon game was not easy on my nerves although I didn't seem to show it. I had a few guys come up to me during the morning and tell me I didn't look like I had a worry in the world. Truth is, I spent hours considering my first matchup against an unknown opponent. I didn't want to face an unstoppable machine such as Roenick or Bure and get lamed out after falling behind early as I tend to do against unknown opponents. I also didn't want to fall behind in an expansion match up and have to press for goals with a lineup not suited to score them. I finally settled on Phi-Tor and ended up picking that matchup after winning the toss. I wanted to make a point and jump on the guy but he managed to weather the storm for the first few minutes and hold me back on the score sheet. I had to remind myself to be patient and take the early possession dominance as a sign of future success, which there was plenty to be had. It became quickly apparent that my opponent didn't have much experience and I started swarming him with slappers, floaters, and rudimentary one-timers. I ended up subduing him via the mercy rule early in the 3rd and shook hands with him after that. Chris was a great sport the entire time and seemed to be enjoying himself regardless of the action on ice. He was a good bud and I felt a little sheepish doing him like that after realizing he'd only played the game a few times. I was rooting for him the rest of the way to sneak out a win which unfortunately wasn't able to do. But he did hang around for the entire day and I'm hoping we hooked him since he seemed to enjoy his time. Result: AJ 10 - Chris S. 0 Game 2: AJ (Dal) vs. Paul O. (CGY) After scratching out a come from behind overtime victory over Mikey I faced off against Paul O. who seemed to be a local bud as he was wearing a home town Blue Jays jersey. Another good spirited competitor he managed to make me battle in a very tight game for the first two periods as I was only up 4-3 heading into the 3rd. He no longer had the services of Fleury as I had injured him very late in the 2nd and this was his death knell. He no longer had an offense to counter me and I was able to dominate the 3rd. If he had been able to hang on to Fleury who knows what may have happened, he had some respectable offensive skills and could have pulled off an upset. Result: AJ 9 - Paul O. 3 Game 3: AJ (NYI) vs. Sebe (WSH) My first legitimate test of the day was the humble yet competitive Sebe. I respected him going into the match but I felt confident I could get a win especially considering I enjoy using the Islanders. This was a fantastic see-saw battle as Sebe never allowed me to pull away when I got the lead. He battled me hard and found the chemistry with Washington to keep my defense guessing. I fell behind late but ended up forcing OT in the dying seconds of the game. Sebe was resilient and pulled it out in OT. I thought I had played a pretty good game so in that regard I was happy with myself but I was unhappy with the fact that I had now made things tougher for myself to qualify. Result: Sebe 8 - AJ 7 (OT) Game 4: AJ (HFD) vs. Uncle Buck (NJ) Not much of a gimmie match up here as I was forced to play another quality player after a tough loss. Buck won the toss and picked HFD-NJ hoping I would go with NJ after he saw me pick them in an exhi with his brother the night before in the hotel. I had seen an earlier game in the tourney where Buck smacked a guy around with HFD and I wasn't about to let him have them, plus I much prefer HFD anyway. The game couldn't have gone better for me and it was good to see I didn't allow my previous tough loss to affect my play. The mercy rule came into effect very late in the 3rd but I knew not to get too high about this victory as I had a haunting feeling I'd have to play Buck later on and I knew that would be a different beast. Result: AJ 10 - Buck 0 Game 5: AJ (Bos) vs. Evan (Wpg) This was the first real pressure game of the tournament for me. Win and your in, lose and face elimination in your next game. Evan's a great dude and I'm gonna get to that later in my shoutout section but at that moment I wanted nothing more to win our game. I put out my checking line formation with Boston and I had a specific game plan in place. Jump out to an early lead and then cut him down and trap him in neutral zone to limit his chances. The plan worked, I was in sync and not much if anything at all went wrong in this game. This was where Evan coined the moniker of "The Machine" for me since I showed no emotion to anything on the ice and was relentless in my play. He said I could have been up by 8 or down by 8 and no one could tell by the look on my face. After the game I wished Evan luck in his to qualify for the next round and I was truly rooting for him because how could you not? Unfortunately he would fall to Buck in the 4th place game and his run was over. Result: AJ 6- Evan 1 Game 6: AJ (SJ) vs. Sebe (TB) Despite this being a rematch from earlier, I wanted to give myself a chance to breath a bit and have some fun with a lighthearted expansion team match up. I still wanted to win the game obviously but I found it more important to get myself a little breather after having to play a couple of games to keep me away from the elimination bracket. I felt I played another solid game against Sebe but his manual goalie was on point and his offense was more timely than mine. I was still a little frustrated with losing but I knew I still had room to step my game up and I tried to look at it as a positive that I've already had to deal with losing to a tough opponent. Result: Sebe 4 - AJ 2 The Intermission: I didn't get much of an intermission as the final bracket took place immediately after my group stage. At this point I was starting to suffer a bit from lack of food, hydration, and exhaustion. I loaded up on some fruits and water down at the grocery store near by to help fuel me for the final stage. I also took this time to pump myself up a little bit. I felt there were times I showed my opponent a little too much respect and that I needed to be more assertive in my play. The other guys in the tournament are dangerous but so am I and I needed to put them on their heels more often. Essentially my mantra was this "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. I'm going to punch them in the mouth." Game 7: AJ (Que) vs. Uncle Seth (LA) As the #3 seed from my group I was set to face #2 seeded Seth, a tough draw but I figured he thought I might be one of the last guys he'd see in the #3 slot. I wanted to make him panic early if I could and ride that to victory. I won the toss and picked two teams I liked but I figured he would pick LA so I made sure to throw in a team with Low Away Ice Disadvantage, hence Quebec. I jumped on Seth hard to start and quickly built a 4-1 lead in the 1st. Seth used the intermission to adjust his lineup and started finding some success battling his way back to a 4-4 tie at the end of the 2nd. I drew a penalty midway through the 3rd and quickly capitalized to go up 5-4 and I made life difficult for the LA offence until the waning seconds of the game. Gretzky managed to turn my defender inside out and had a good chance to deke Hextall, which he did but a collection of my defenders skate and Hextall's baby toe managed to keep the puck out with 1 second left and I clung on to my 5-4 victory. A tough game, I was happy with my performance but also hated my 2nd period. I was too soft with the lead and it nearly cost me. Result: AJ 5 - Seth 4 Game 8: AJ (Dal) vs. Zeppelin (Wpg) I must admit, I liked my chances in this game. I love Dallas, despise Winnipeg, and felt I was the more skilled player. Talk about being in for a rude awakening. Zeppelin showed some obvious growth in his game since the last time I was up against him a few months ago. I don't remember many of the details but I think the game was tied 5-5 with less then 2 minutes in the 3rd and Modano had a glorious float chance which he turned into devastating miss because Zep took the puck and made me pay dearly for that miss with a goal of his own. I had lost another close game I could have taken and made my path to the finals that much more daunting. Result: Zeppelin 6 - AJ 5 Game 9: AJ (Mtl) vs Uncle Buck (Det) Well what do you know, my earlier feelings were correct as I ended up running into Buck again. Looking back, I have no idea why i picked the game I did because I feel Detroit has only one tough match up and it's against Montreal. Looking back, I should be thankful Buck took Detroit as I got the much tougher game from him that I was expecting. I think I carried most of the game and Cheveldae made some pretty sweet saves to keep things close and interesting. Buck managed a push at the end but Roy stood tall and helped me move on past a determined opponent. Result: AJ 3 - Buck 1 Game 10: AJ (Edm) vs. EA (Phi) And now we enter the part of the program where I begin to have very specific team selection and game plans based on who I'm using. Me and EA go way back, so far back we used to fight for scoring titles in GDL 1-3. Due to this history I knew EA could score at a high level so I wasn't about to pick a high octane match nor was I gonna try to lame him out with expansion teams. I went with Edm-Phi because I know EA loves him some Recchi and Eklund but I felt I could limit them with Edm's staunch defense. If Ea surprised by picking Edm I was ready to cut down Klima the entire time. Once he picked Phi my strategy was clear, forecheck him into mistakes and pressure him all game long with my offense. His offense wont be imposing if I can keep him out of my zone. My game plan was very successful and I pinned EA in his zone nearly the entire time. Tommy Soderstrom was playing his "A" game which he can get from time to time on home ice. This kept things very tense and low scoring but my tactics were sound and I was able to move on. EA was a class act and a formidable opponent, I always enjoy my matches with him and I look forward to more in the future. Result: AJ 3 - EA 1 Game 11: AJ (Fla) vs TomKabs (Anh) Obviously I was able to pick the game here as I had already had planned long ahead of time that I would attempt to drag TomKabs through my torture 101 class. I wasn't concerned with what team I'd get because my strategy was the same regardless. I wanted to drag the speed of this game to the minimal amount and make TomKabs as uncomfortable as possible. It seemed to have worked as Tomkabs played into my strategy as he tried to push the pace of the game as best he could. All I wanted to do was stretch his formation out and then counter when possible. It did take a while but I was able to get out to a 2-0 lead before TomKabs found an answer late in the 2nd period to make it 2-1 heading into the third. I stuck to my guns and never allowed a quality chance in the 3rd as I was able to successfully stymie TK into submission. A tough game indeed as TK fared better than I had expected but I felt I was really finding my groove at this point as any team I picked was playing well. Result: AJ 2 - TK 1 Game 12: AJ (Pit) vs. Zeppelin (Bos) The rematch I was salivating for and had now received. I wanted to make Zeppelin play my brand of hockey this time and I felt compelled to use my classic league darling Penguins to make a point. I was ok with giving Zep Boston because I felt Pittsburgh could keep up with them and Zeppelin's defensive game is a bit more passive so I wasn't worried about Sweeney and Bourque beating up my front line. I drew first blood but Zep proved he wasn't to be trifled with and went a couple of goals up after the 1st. I wasn't happy with what I was seeing from Jagr so I went to the little used Martin Straka to give my line a bit of a different look. It sort of worked but I was still down 6-4 with just a couple minutes to go in the 3rd. I'm not exactly sure what happened but I think Zep laid off the accelerator ever so slightly and allowed me to fight my way back into it with a pair of late goals to force OT where it didn't take long for me to get a breakaway and seal the deal. After this win I was emotionally exhausted and starting to feel the toll physically of a long day behind the controller. There was still more work to do and I had to overcome. Result: AJ 7 - Zeppelin 6 (OT) Game 13: AJ (Edm) vs. Kingraph (Que) I felt this game was mine for the taking because I was hot coming off 4 straight wins where I played some great hockey and King was possibly reeling after an 8-1 loss to KGman in the previous round. I got to pick a game I was comfortable with and felt like I had the best player on the ice. It's games like these where two guys play a really even game but a little thing here or there can determine the game. I was on the wrong end of the little things and King made me pay for it. I didn't adjust to addition of Kamensky to the lineup fast enough and paid with a rough 2nd period which left me a couple goals behind. I had some grade A chances in the 3rd including an empty net scrum which ended with me somehow coming up empty handed. My inability to cash in when needed allowed King to really put the screws to me in the end and increase his lead to an insurmountable amount. I got the game I expected from King, a cerebral match up where tactics were thrown back and forth at each other. I played a good game but King was just as good and possibly slightly better. Result: Kingraph 6 - AJ 3 Game 14: AJ (Chi) vs. TomKabs (Buf) To say that TK wanted to give me some pay back would be a bit of an understatement. The guy was out for blood and his team selection showed it. I decided to give Roenick a shot as I felt he would be tougher to deal with than Mogilny considering the supporting cast for each team. I've watched a lot of TK's tape with high skilled players at his disposal and it can get a bit graphic what he does to his opponent. I wasn't going to allow myself to be a victim and I've actually been developing very specific tech to deal with TK and I have to say it worked wonders in this game. I jumped out to a fast lead and never allowed TK to get all that close. I kept him guessing as to what to do on defense and didn't let Mogilny get much open ice to work with. This was the exact kind of game I needed to get me back on track and feel confident going into the top 3. Result :AJ 5 - TK 2 Game 15: AJ (Van) vs. Kgman (Det) Taking place under the bright lights of the documentary crew cameras this battle of the titans determined who would meet Kingraph in the grand finals. I won the toss and felt compelled to pick a highly skilled match because I thought KG would be a little uncomfortable having to deal with me having so much speed and talent at my disposal. This may have been my mistake as in looking back perhaps I should have made him uncomfortable with his own team by picking a STL-PIT game. In the end, I dont have regrets with what I picked as I played back and forth hockey with KG. I think we put a hell of a show on where we matched wits the entire time. The guy who I feel decided the game was Tim Cheveldae as KG had him working magnificently in user control during the beginning of the game where he was able to make some saves that I never knew he was capable of making. Then CPU Chevldae turned up the heat later in the game as he thwarted my offense with more amazing saves. KG was on top of his game and that combo was too tough for me to beat as he squeezed a couple more goals out of his team than I could manage. Result: KG 3 - AJ 1 Wrap up: After the final whistle against KG I was really disappointed with finishing 3rd. I honestly thought I could win the whole thing and in a lot of regards, I really did play well enough to do so. It took me a couple seconds to realize it before shaking KG's hand but in a tournament like this with how many top level players were there I also felt really fortunate to win 3rd. I beat a lot of great players in some very tense games where a lot of things did go right for me. My teams took few penalties, I usually had good AI, and I did get my share of puck luck. To win a tournament like this, you have to have nearly everything go right for you and be on top of your game. I had a lot of both, King and KG had a tiny bit more of each and there is no shame losing to two guys like that who play great 94 and are fantastic people as well. Observations -Everybody there (except for Wu-Tang guy) was a class act and a pleasure to be around. I think we got our live scene out on the right foot with this one. -Things got off to a bit of a rough start in terms of finding guys to play but we eventually ironed that out and got things going pretty smoothly. -I still can't believe a non-forum guy won SNES but perhaps I'm wrong in that belief. The SNES is more about the mind games involved and less skill because I think there is less differentiation in that part of the game. -I'm really salty that a non-forum SNES guy won King of 94. Mikhail is a fantastic and deserving champion with an incredibly compelling story. I just would have love to have had a shot at him in the system battle. -After 15 games I was personally beat emotionally and physically and I think a lot of the guys were in the same boat, especially those who had an afternoon group. I would have loved to have had a little time to eat a real meal and recuperate for the final group. -I loved being able to watch games when I had a chance, I just wish we could have done a little bit more recording because some absolute gems were played. -It was very humbling to see how many people were consulting my Line Building material online or consulting their own notes that may have been influenced by what has been written in that section of the site by all of us. It brings a lot of joy to me to see that the information is being put to good use and elevating our level of play. -Defense seemed to be very important throughout the day. This was probably due to the majority of games being played between two evenly matched teams. I know I at least felt goals were at a bigger premium than usual. -Maybe next year we can rent an activity room at one of the universities near by? Evolution, the major fighting game tournament held its first few editions of the tournament at local colleges in So Cal. I know it might be harder to get tv's to find for the event but it may end up being far cheaper and helps us from getting kicked out at the end of the night. Then again we probably wont be able to consume alcohol which is something to take into consideration. Shoutouts Mikey- You're the best thing that could have happened to the community at this time. You have organized us and given us a microphone to speak through to spread the love for this game. What you did to get this tournament put together will not be forgotten and I will definitely not forget the part you've played in me playing NHL 94 this year. Whether it be picking me up at the airport at 1 AM, or driving me 14 hours round trip to play in the Saskatoon Smashfest, to helping me get out to Hartford, and finally putting this Toronto tournament together you've always been there for me and for that I am thankful. I am always ready and willing to help you do whatever is needed for this movie or anything you do in the future. Halifax- The most interesting bud in the community, you made me feel welcome in Saskatoon from the minute I stepped into the same room as you. Your never ending desire to keep this community organized and focused is something that cant go understated. You did a fantastic job administrating the tournament despite being under the weather. I couldn't even tell you were fighting sickness, you were so focused to make sure everything went as smooth as possible that only your selfless nature could be recognized. Evan- The godfather of NHL94.com is one of the good natured and charitable people you could meet. I just want to thank you again for giving us all a place to come together and continue to play this timeless game. You're a little quiet like I am in person but it's your actions that speak the loudest and that's a commendable trait to have. I hope we can cross paths again as I enjoyed spending time around you and your wife. KG- To a worthy adversary and a deserving champ. We got off to a tiny bit of a rough start when you trash talked me the second I sat down at the lunch on Friday. I wondered to myself who the twerp was with the big mouth on the opposite side of the booth. Once I found out it was you I couldn't help but smile at the fact that the KG online is similar to real life KG. I enjoyed hanging out with you on Friday and getting to know who the mysterious KG was. Congratulations on winning, you are a class act bud. Kingraph- Another amazing bud who was great to be around in person you played some sublime 94 to get yourself in a situation where you had a chance to be the King of 94. Thank you for letting me use your controller throughout the tournament as without it I may not have been able to make the run I did. After losing all these tough games to you in person you have motivated me to go into the lab and figure out some new tech in which to attack you with. Thank you for allowing your and Chaos's suite to be used as party central station. Coach Mac- My west coast brother you were always there getting my back and being supportive to me and I'm very appreciative of that. You welcomed me to your home a few months ago as if you had known me for years and it's easy to see why your high school football teams seem to perform at a very high level. You command respect, accountability, and integrity. Being the human wall between SNES and GENS during the top 3 matches showed that no matter who you were rooting for, you wanted the best player to win regardless. I look forward to more tourneys in Minden and maybe next time you can exceed your expectations again and qualify for the final group in next years competition. TK- I took your intense competitive streak in good nature and I look forward to our future matches as I think they can evolve into some real masterpieces. EA- You represented the old guard extremely well and was an absolute blast to be around. You're rekindled interest in the online community is a fantastic development as it gets one of the big name players back in the thick of things. Welcome back and hang onto Jill if you can, any girl who can watch NHL '94 all day, be engaged, and a delight to talk to is a keeper bud. Brutus- You didn't turn out to look anything like I thought you might but talk about a dude who just loves to have a good time. I appreciate you inviting me into your room for the git go to play some 94 and your ability to rally the troops in getting our Friday night organized is to be commended. If I'm in Chicago I know I'll be calling up you and EA. Pittsburgh crew (Vocal, BOK, Witt)- Didn't get much time to talk to any of you separately but you guys should be on youtube with your antics and nonsensical banter. A battle of the systems between me and BOK probably would have went live to Vegas with some intriguing odds. Zeppelin- The community needs to keep their eyes peeled for you bud as I think you're on the upward swing. You impressed me the most out of anyone at the tourney and I think you are on to big things in the future. Uncles Buck and Seth- Seth, I hope you've talked your brother into joining online as he's got the goods to compete. It was also my pleasure to play a couple of good exhibitions with you on Friday as I felt it was the least I could do after stiffing you a few years ago when I couldn't get my online play working. I think we have some big games ahead in our future. Egg- The first lady of NHL '94 is definitely someone to talk to at the next event if you missed it. She's smart, witty, caring, and easy to talk to. She's always got fantastic takes and funny stories to tell about life in New York and when she really gets going you can hear that accent start to roll which only adds to the experience. The pleasure was all mine Mrs. First Lady. Smozoma- Probably the softest spoken of all the forum members at the tournament but a fierce competitor who finished 6th, a strong showing indeed where he did a lot of damage in the elimination bracket. Pretty smart bud too what with being the originator of the Blitz league database, EARE, the triple elimination bracket spreadsheet, and countless other things I'm probably omitting. The type of info we have been able to gather due to your stat extraction has helped this communities understanding of the game grow tenfold. Sebe- Respectable dude and classy as hell. A fairly quiet individual who will surprise you with his competitive streak if you let him. Good to have you back in the fold bud. Icestorm- Didn't get much 1 on 1 time with you despite playing some exhi in Brut's room. You're basically what I figured you'd be a good dude with childhood joy for this game still beating inside of you. I was relieved to not have had to run into you in my bracket as I still have no clue what match I'd go with. Chaos- A man who doesn't get enough praise as he is a great ambassador for both systems and helps us keep all of our leagues running smoothly on the website. Always organized and always down for a good game. Addison- It was good to meet the man who was the adversary in my first ever online game. It may have only been a Tuesday to you but I still remember the result from that game you(edm) 7-2 me (dal). You were the first person to help me develop my game and get to the next level. I have you to thank for getting me out on the right foot, vets should aspire to handle noobs the way you did back in 2007. Shaftman- A real evenflow type of guy with a strong compete level but also a strong sense of community as he did what he could to assist Halifax and Chaos with the flow of the tournament. An all around cool bud that I met over at the SNES hotel party. Annatar- A very cerebral guy and articulate to boot. He and the other SNES boys made me feel welcome at their get together but he is not a very welcoming opponent as he gives no quarter. Congratulations on second place your hunger to win should only make you a more dangerous foe in the future. Bob Kudelski- Anybody who loves the nondescript expansion team players is always a good guy in my book. I think we both feel a little raw about finishing third but are still very happy with the way we played to get there. I think its pretty bad ass that your wife and mother came out to watch you play '94, sounds like you got a good support system there bud. I hope for some more playoff battles with you in future SNES leagues and I bet you hope for the same. Saskatoon Boys (stheads, thejacket, tylerdeanhill)- Thank you for hosting the SNES guys and welcoming me to you room. I haven't had much one on one time with any of you guys but you made me feel welcome in Saskatoon and you made me feel welcome again in Toronto. You guys are tough competitors and great to be around, I hope to make another trip to Saskatoon in the future. The Video Guy- Another familiar face from Saskatoon as he was the man behind the camera for my 4:30 AM interview. A real good natured bud who never has a smile far away from his face. Even after a tough loss he usually finds something to smile about. To those who I have forgotten and anyone else who was partook in the even I just want to thank you for coming out and making the experience a memorable one for me. I hope there is a next year where we can get together again.
  21. Keep me posted on any future Chicago stuff. I loved hanging out with you guys in Toronto and hopefully I should have some free stuff coming my way from United after I had my flight home from Montreal cancelled. They've cancelled two flights on me in the last month, I'm hoping for a big compensation package.
  22. At first I thought it was a bit over powered to have the coin toss loser get home ice and team selection but after the matchups I picked when I won the coin toss I realized that I did have a lot of power. Id try to pick teams with low home Ice advantage or two teams that fit a style of Matchup that I wanted. I don't really understand where plabax thought process lies. First thing he said was to avoid picking good teams so cheesers get powered down but then runs over the fact that I picked anh/fla.do you want cheesers to be powered down or guys to be able to pick Chicago 100% of the time? Pick a hole. Plus, what I remember from fifa ranked matchups is that you played games against like rated teams and even then you still got plenty of unfair matchups. I always picked teams like Porto, Palermo, boca Jr's, etc., and I always ran up against a train of Barcelona, Madrid, and Brazil national teams. Id have to play s**t tier teams to get truly even matchups. All I can say plab is show up to the next tournament. No one had large gripes with the format except for you and you weren't there. The hell do you know. If you don't like me or think that my game is a joke based on a collection of gimmicks then I insist you come to the next event and settle things with you and I sitting in front of a TV with controllers in our hands.