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Quebec Nordiques

Team Breakdown: While not among the top tier of teams in the league, Quebec is a team that can be utterly dangerous in the hands of a skilled and patient player. Despite lacking a player with blinding speed, the Nordiques are among the most adept at working the puck around the ice and finding the twine because of their offensive acumen and awareness. On the flip side, the defense can be utterly frustrating and limits Quebec’s ability to consistently challenge the Chicago’s and Montreal’s of the league

Forwards: Led by Joe Sakic, the Nordiques have an impressive mixture of players who can contribute on both ends of the ice in a wide variety of ways. The forwards will have to win the day, finding the right combo is crucial.

Young Guns


Mats Sundin: 7 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/5 shot, 4 sth & pass, 5/4 aware, Shoots: R

It’s funny how Sundin almost always has to fight for his spot on the starting unit despite his solid ratings across the board. A consistent early 2nd round pick in the GDL draft, Mats brings an impressive all-around offensive package to the table. His skating and awareness allows him to excel in the offensive zone and utilize his fantastic shooting and puck distribution skills to their fullest extent. Sure, he isn’t a speedster, nor does he have a booming shot like Kamensky, but the fact is Sundin produces consistently when given the chance.

Joe Sakic: 6 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/5 shot, 4 sth, 5 pass, 5/4 aware, Shoots: L

Sakic is an extremely versatile player as he is just as dangerous driving the play in the middle as he is setting up shop on the wing. Sakic works best in the middle with the support around him though as he is the best one-timing and one-on-one option available. No matter the style of offense, Sakic can produce at elite levels as he has had immense success under a wide variety of managers. On defense, Sakic isn’t a world beater, but he’s very respectable, his skating allows him to be relatively easy to handle for whatever the situation calls for.

Andrei Kovalenko: 3 weight, 3/4 skating, 3/4 shot, 3 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L

Kovalenko, or “The Terminator” as I like to call him, is the only player aside from Theo Fleury who sports a 3 weight among position players. This allows Andrei to barrel down the ice with aplomb on defense and dump truck most anything in his way. Unlike most grinders though, Kovalenko has just enough skill to make him a worthwhile two-way forward. He is a very opportunistic scorer as he has just enough skating, shooting, and awareness to be involved in the play and cash in on his chances. He is easily a top 25 forward and is equally as effective on the wing as he is in center.

For a smart and patient player, this line has all the tools to succeed. All three players can play each forward position with great ability; this allows the freedom of lining them up to match up with the other teams forwards while maintaining offensive chemistry.



Valeri Kamensky: 8 weight, 4/4 skating, 5/3 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: R

Personally, I don’t get all the hub-bub about Kamensky, but there is no dismissing the contingent of people out there who are in love with his powerful shot. It’s the obvious draw here, at 5 shot power he can score from anywhere inside the blue line, its just a question of if he’ll find the net. Something of a heavyweight, Kamensky is a great option as a release valve on the wing when things get hairy in the slot for Sakic. Keeping Kamensky on his off wing allows him to use his big slapper with greater frequency, just be sure to sub him out for the PK as his defense will quickly give back whatever offense he provides.

With Kovalenko running around, Kamensky’s defensive liabilities aren’t as big of a problem as they could be if it were Sundin on the opposite wing. Sakic can really max out his passing abilities here as Kamensky’s shot power bring a different element to the one-timer game.


Other Options: Quebec has probably the most consistent forward group when it comes to finding the back of the net; these guys do nothing to change that fact.

Mike Ricci: 7 weight, 4/4 skating, 3/5 shot, 3 sth, 4 pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: R

Ricci is essentially a heavier version of Stephane Lebeau and would start on a team with lesser talent up front. Plug him in the middle or on the wing and he should be able to provide some quality offense.

Owen Nolan: 8 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/4 shot, 4 sth, 3 pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: R

With above average ratings in almost every category, it’s hard to believe Nolan is the 6th best forward on the team. But there isn’t enough oomph in his offensive game to cover for the lack of defense he provides.

Claude Lapointe: 5 weight, 3/3 skating, 2/2 shot, 3 sth, 2 pass, 3/4 aware, Shoots: L

Pure weight bug option, but he isn’t totally helpless out there.

Forwards: 9/10

Defense: Looked at individually, the Nordiques seem to have a respectable corps. Unfortunately, their defensive team AI really hinders their ability to work together as a unit and prevent the opponent from getting some golden chances.


Adam Foote: 6 weight, 2/2 skating, 1/1 shot, 2 sth & pass, 2/4 aware, Shoots: R

Foote is a pure defensive defenseman and he has relished in his role on some GDL teams when plugged into the lineup. Obviously though, Foote is very limited in his offensive production. A lack of skating and puck skills limits him to simply moving the puck to the nearest teammate. If he isn’t sitting back and breaking up plays, don’t be afraid to yank him, all his value lies there.

Alexei Gusarov: 6 weight, 3/3 skating, 3/3 shot, 3 sth & pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: L

Steady as she goes, Gusarov provides no nonsense defense and a surprising offensive element to his game. 3 shot accuracy is rather rare for a defenseman, don’t be afraid to catch the opponent by surprise and drive to the net with Gusarov when the chance arises. His finishing ability allows him to capitalize on enough of those plays to make it worth while. Gusarov can struggle on defense when marking a top tier forward, but for the most part, he is able to handle himself well as his skating and weight package allows him to be an efficient defender.

Not the fleetest of foot pairing, but the weight advantage here allows them to take advantage of heavyweights and not be terribly overmatched when faced with faster lightweights. The issue though is whether or not the Quebec AI wants them to stay back on defense, if it doesn’t, there isn’t enough speed here to run down a breakaway.


Steve Duchense: 8 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/2 shot, 4 sth & pass, 4/4 aware, Shoots: L

Duchesne has all the making of a solid #2 d-man...if he would just play defense. The mobility and ability to move the puck up the ice quickly are extremely useful tools to have and compliment Gusarov really well. Duchesne is just maddeningly inconsistent in his defensive zone coverage.


Curtis Leschyshyn: 9 weight, 3/4 skating, 2/3 shot, 2 sth, 3 pass, 3/4 aware, Shoots: L

Leschyshyn is one of the lesser skilled 4 speed heavyweight defenseman in the league but he can still sneak his way into the lineup. Leschyshyn tends to play a bit more defense than Duchesne and still keeps a lot of the mobility that he would provide.

Other Option:

Mikhail Tatarinov: 8 weight, 3/3 skating, 5/1 shot, 4 sth & pass, 2/2 aware, Shoots: L

Here’s that sexy 5 shot power again, so mesmerizing. But the weight and average skating ability will make it tough to unleash on a regular basis. Don’t look at the awareness ratings...DAMMIT, I SAID DONT LOOK!!! Tatarinov needs signs to find his way back to the defensive zone.

If the wonky defensive AI can be overcome, we got ourselves a fairly good defense. But good gravy, that wonky AI can be relentless some games.

Defense: 3.5/10

Goalie Zone: This isn’t your father’s Ron Hextall here. He won’t be winning any Conn Smythe’s.

Ron Hextall: 7 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/4 aware, 4 puck control, 4/4/3/3 save, Catches: L

Hextall is the average dime a dozen 3rd-4th round GDL type pick. Middleweight, solid mobility and save ratings. Might panic if his net is set on fire, evaluate that as you will.

Stephane Fiset: 5 weight, 3/4 skating, 3/3 aware, 2 puck control, 2/2/2/2 save, Catches: L

Hello, old friend. I’m sorry, I won’t reminisce in ancient history any more. Fiset is a platoon option in the GDL for the most goalie inept teams. He is light enough to be decent in GC, just make sure to get the chest protector in front of the puck as those save ratings are pretty terrible.

Goalies: 6/10

Bottom Line: I don’t care what style you play, you will score goals with Quebec. If the defense can be sorted out, this team can battle with anyone. Just hope your tolerance for defensive ineptitude is high if you can’t.

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seems to me you are overrating this heavy team. and you pair Montreal with Chicago as top tier? really? I take it they benefit from the weight error, then. they are not a good team. I like Quebec on SNES.

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  • 2 years later...

CB Notes


Mats Sundin: With a tad more weight then Sakic, Sundin may now be the ideal center as he has many of the tools that make a great sniping center. Sundin is plenty flexible enough to play on the wing equally as effective so don't go out of your way to slap him in the middle. Remains a great offensive and respectable defensive option.

Joe Sakic: With his 5 passing, Sakic could now be an ideal RW to help set up the right handed Sundin for some quick hitting one-timers while keeping defenses honest with his potent slapper. Regardless of where Sakic is placed on the line, he will produce offense. Just be mindful of the slick skating heavyweights as Sakic is simply a good skater, not a great one and he must outwit the defenders a little more than he has in the past.

Andrei Kovalenko: Previously, Andrei deserved consideration to be a center in the GDL and possibly even in Quebec, that time has ended as he is now too light and not mobile enough to fit at center. A better fit would be putting Kovalenko at LW where he can get his chances with quick near side post dekes and easy one-timers. Quebec isn't blessed with a lot of great CB options, this makes icing their biggest weight bug checker more of a necessity.

Valeri Kamensky: At 8 weight, a player is just starting to become CB relevant as he can body check anyone 6 weight or less. Kamensky is clearly a superior offensive player to Kovalenko and his powerful shot can catch some goalies off guard with some quick passing setups. Defensively Kamensky still lags behind and it may be a bit of overkill icing 3 great forwards while leaving the lineup a little thin on CB AND weight bug checking.

Mike Ricci: Nothing more than a great sub off the bench, Ricci is largely unchanged and is a good fit anywhere on the forward unit.

Owen Nolan: See my spiel about Kamensky and drop some of the shot power off for a bit more accuracy. Nothing wrong with icing Nolan but he's pretty ho hum while everyone else has above him has an obvious strength to their game.

Claude Lapointe: A purely weight bug option that is safe to leave on the bench.

None of the CB forwards (Cavallini, Simon, & Twist) have the skating and/or puck skills worthy of getting ice time, even in a line change matchup. If you're lineup gets overcome by scurvy, or shingles, or leprosy, then dip into the likes of Scott Young, Martin Rucinsky, and Mike Hough.


Adam Foote: Forget about him, Gusarov is plenty fine as the weight bug option for the Nordique blue line. Save the second spot for someone more capable of giving a CB check as the forward unit is largely incapable of that.

Alexei Gusarov: Still a sneaky offensive contributor, Gusarov will still be tasked with bringing down the heavy centers as his partner will be unable to lay the body to the majority of them. Speedy wingers like Esa Tikkanen can really make life rough for a guy like Gusarov, try to make sure you can quickly locate your outlet passes to avoid costly turnovers.

Steve Duchesne: With all of the up ice excursions Duchesne tends to go on, being able to CB check from behind is a rather useful tool. If the power of Duchesne cane be harnessed then give him some ice time as he will provide the offense to balance Gusarov's more weight bug like nature.

Curtis Leschyshyn: Slightly more qualified for the true CB roll, Curtis is the more defensive minded option among the unit. The puck skills are a little lacking which keeps him from being a must start player. He could find his niche playing against teams like Buffalo whose main player, Alexander Mogilny is a 7 weight. No other Quebec defender can play him physically but Leschyshyn can as his 9 weight can CB check Mogilny.

Mikhail Tatarinov: Fantastic puck skills, possibly a more potent version of Fredrik Olausson in Winnipeg. The skating is a little meh and he isn't quite heavy enough to be a true CB champion. Tatarinov doesn't quite do enough to demand a starting spot but with how tenuous the depth chart is, it wouldn't be wrong to start him.

Bottom Line

Not a big net change here in Quebec as they rely on a balanced offensive attack that is led by a contingent of middle weight players. None of their matchups change all that drastically either as they aren't quite fast enough to run roughshod over the lighter teams nor put at too much of a disadvantage when going against the heavier ones. Use the wealth of options to construct a team that best suits your strengths while countering the opponents weaknesses as best as possible.

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  • 2 years later...

Hey Everybody, I know its been a couple weeks since I posted my most recent video but I hope the wait will be worth it as I have changed some things up.

The most obvious change is the new overlay and I hope people like it. I think it captures my love for the San Jose Sharks and being a California native pretty well. It'll be nice to have some palm trees brightening up the cold winters most of you experience. 

I also added time links in the description. I still haven't figured out a great way to shorten these videos up to 20-25 minutes while maintaining quality content. As I try to figure out I hope the time links to certain parts of the video makes things a bit easier for people to view.

I'm also trying to do a better job of building up a lineup of videos so that even when I get really busy with life, I still have videos to post on a more regular basis. 17 days between videos is far too long and i acknowledge that.

As always, feel free to voice any feedback and I hope you enjoy these visual team breakdowns!

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