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dudacek

Building the best Sabres team ever

Which of these coaches, in their prime, would you most want coaching your team?  

6 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of these coaches, in their prime, would you most want coaching your team?

    • Joe Crozier
      0
    • Floyd Smith
      0
    • Scotty Bowman
    • Rick Dudley
      0
    • Ted Nolan
      0
    • Lindy Ruff
    • Ralph Krueger
      0
  2. 2. Which of these GMs, in their prime, would you most want building your team?

    • Punch Imlach
    • Scotty Bowman
    • Gerry Meehan
      0
    • John Muckler
      0
    • Darcy Regier
      0


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McAdoo was an NBA MVP and was better than PLF, although not at the same historic level as Dominik, Bruce or OJ. 

Barry Sanders was the only RB I've seen that was in the same ballpark as OJ -- and I say that even though Thurman is my all-time favorite Bill.

OJ was probably about as dominant as Dominik -- in both cases their teams were built around them.

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14 hours ago, Eleven said:

McKee is probably second or third on my list of favorites.  That dude just shut stuff down.  He was the Sabres equivalent of Bruce Smith (my favorite Bill of all time).

Jay McKee and Bruce Smith in the same sentence?

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2 hours ago, Eleven said:

All three have been on the cover of SI.  One of them has been on the cover of SI six times.

 

2 hours ago, dudacek said:

Educate me on McAdoo.

My uninformed impression is that he was a Lafontaine-level guy, not in the argument for the best of all time in his sport, like the other three.

Sure.  This is kind of a fun debate because we are talking about great players for our teams.

Some biases:

1. My late parents' first friends after my Dad's post-doc were a defencive line coach and offencive line coach for a small college in Pennsylvania coal country.  Thus, I am of the opinion that RBs and QBs from before the 2-hand-touch QBs of our spread offence era were much more a product of their lines than most would think.

2. The NBA was a big man's game in McAdoo's era.  With no 3-point line, having a good centre was required to have a good team.  So the game was biased towards what your centre could do.  Even so, he often outplayed guys like Lanier, Cowens, Unseld, Abdul-Jabbar, and Hayes.  The Braves' success was largely predicated on McAdoo and Dr. Jack Ramsay.

3. I don't put too much stock in SI.  I can go on a long screed against their racism through the 1980's and their anti-hockey bias after the 1980's but I will spare you the details.  They only would have cared about Hasek if he had been in a big US market.

#1 should tell you that although OJ was undeniably great, he did have an excellent line from 1972-8 here.  In fact, you can also argue that it was better than we remember it because every time something good happened with the team, RCW Jr seemed to want to blow it up for whatever reason.  (I have reasons for thinking this was much worse on OJ than we were aware of at the time, but...)

#2 is why I elevate McAdoo.  The Braves were terrible their first few seasons.  McAdoo was great from his rookie year.  But he did something better than and more than all other Centres: he could hit open jumpers from anywhere reasonable, even beyond 10 feet.  He also was very tight defencively, which allowed other players to expand their games -- Randy Smith the main reason the league started tracking steals.

His career is overshadowed because he started in Buffalo, the Braves moved, Knicks fans resented that the Braves overtook them as Boston's biggest Eastern Conference rival, and he settled into supporting roles without complaining.  But players all knew he was an all-time great.

#3. is why I don't worry about Hasek vs. OJ in appearances in SI.

Writers for _The Hockey News_ once called them, "Hilariously inept aside from Hasek."  After watching some of the flashback games, I can't argue.  Unlike the last 10 years, they iced 4 NHL-calibre lines, albeit three third lines and a fourth line; they also prove that the number of Cup winners a player is on should not be held against him.  I can remember 2nd periods throughout this era where it seemed like the Sabres would never clear the zone.

This is not to downplay that those teams were "the hardest working team in hockey".  They also had great ensemble play.  Hasek bailing them out of every mistake helped them a lot more than we remember: like the last decade, they often could not string 3 decent consecutive passes together; unlike the last decade, he held them in there so that they could cash in when, on the off-chance, it did happen.

So yes, I think that McAdoo and Hasek are in there with OJ.

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52 minutes ago, E4 ... Ke2 said:

 

Sure.  This is kind of a fun debate because we are talking about great players for our teams.

Some biases:

1. My late parents' first friends after my Dad's post-doc were a defencive line coach and offencive line coach for a small college in Pennsylvania coal country.  Thus, I am of the opinion that RBs and QBs from before the 2-hand-touch QBs of our spread offence era were much more a product of their lines than most would think.

2. The NBA was a big man's game in McAdoo's era.  With no 3-point line, having a good centre was required to have a good team.  So the game was biased towards what your centre could do.  Even so, he often outplayed guys like Lanier, Cowens, Unseld, Abdul-Jabbar, and Hayes.  The Braves' success was largely predicated on McAdoo and Dr. Jack Ramsay.

3. I don't put too much stock in SI.  I can go on a long screed against their racism through the 1980's and their anti-hockey bias after the 1980's but I will spare you the details.  They only would have cared about Hasek if he had been in a big US market.

#1 should tell you that although OJ was undeniably great, he did have an excellent line from 1972-8 here.  In fact, you can also argue that it was better than we remember it because every time something good happened with the team, RCW Jr seemed to want to blow it up for whatever reason.  (I have reasons for thinking this was much worse on OJ than we were aware of at the time, but...)

#2 is why I elevate McAdoo.  The Braves were terrible their first few seasons.  McAdoo was great from his rookie year.  But he did something better than and more than all other Centres: he could hit open jumpers from anywhere reasonable, even beyond 10 feet.  He also was very tight defencively, which allowed other players to expand their games -- Randy Smith the main reason the league started tracking steals.

His career is overshadowed because he started in Buffalo, the Braves moved, Knicks fans resented that the Braves overtook them as Boston's biggest Eastern Conference rival, and he settled into supporting roles without complaining.  But players all knew he was an all-time great.

#3. is why I don't worry about Hasek vs. OJ in appearances in SI.

Writers for _The Hockey News_ once called them, "Hilariously inept aside from Hasek."  After watching some of the flashback games, I can't argue.  Unlike the last 10 years, they iced 4 NHL-calibre lines, albeit three third lines and a fourth line; they also prove that the number of Cup winners a player is on should not be held against him.  I can remember 2nd periods throughout this era where it seemed like the Sabres would never clear the zone.

This is not to downplay that those teams were "the hardest working team in hockey".  They also had great ensemble play.  Hasek bailing them out of every mistake helped them a lot more than we remember: like the last decade, they often could not string 3 decent consecutive passes together; unlike the last decade, he held them in there so that they could cash in when, on the off-chance, it did happen.

So yes, I think that McAdoo and Hasek are in there with OJ.

I started following hockey as a toddler; I didn't start following the NFL until later and the NBA always has been a casual spectacle for me.  I don't remember McAdoo or OJ as actual players (well, I remember OJ as a Niner I guess) so this was an interesting read.

I've been told that one point, OJ was one of the most recognizable people in the world.  I know that speaks to celebrity rather than greatness, but that celebrity was built on something.

I do wonder whether, without the murder charge, OJ would be a "bigger name" than Hasek in, say, Central Europe today.

Edited by Eleven
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I’d watch Bob McAdoo drift outside to where three point lines are, today ...  Cowens’ eyes would groan chasing him out there.   Jabbar wouldn’t even bother.

”That’s twooOOooooo ... for MAC A DOOOOOOO”.

Edited by Neo
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Ok let's move this along.  Tim and Kerry aren't getting any younger.

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4 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

It looks like people here forgot how good Virta and and Van Boxmeer were in their primes.  

Actually, a LOT of us remember Van Boxmeer.  Which is why he isn't in the top 2 in his category.  Had his name being called out after a goal not been RJ's 1st truly distinctive goal call, he wouldn't even be 3rd.  He was a disaster in his own end.

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Jay McKee and Jaro Spacek will be our offensive and defensive situational specialists on the blueline.

139694003_ScreenShot2020-05-09at11_43_07AM.thumb.png.3058a254888139c5b1e410596f64717d.png

 

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Little bit of a departure for the new poll.

The Sabres have never really had a true #1 guy on the blueline, but they have had a bunch of multi-skilled but flawed guys who they could, and did, use in in multiple roles and situations. Some were loved and some were hated, usually dependent on their ice time in relation to the fortunes of the team.

No two, however, were quite alike and it was difficult to group them in the way we've done the other polls.

So today we have a single poll with 12 choices. I want you to pick THREE. They will fill out the blueline and serve as our mid-pairing guys.

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2 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Little bit of a departure for the new poll.

The Sabres have never really had a true #1 guy on the blueline, but they have had a bunch of multi-skilled but flawed guys who they could, and did, use in in multiple roles and situations. Some were loved and some were hated, usually dependent on their ice time in relation to the fortunes of the team.

No two, however, were quite alike and it was difficult to group them in the way we've done the other polls.

So today we have a single poll with 12 choices. I want you to pick THREE. They will fill out the blueline and serve as our mid-pairing guys.

New poll isn't up...maybe you're still working on it though?

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8 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Little bit of a departure for the new poll.

The Sabres have never really had a true #1 guy on the blueline, but they have had a bunch of multi-skilled but flawed guys who they could, and did, use in in multiple roles and situations. Some were loved and some were hated, usually dependent on their ice time in relation to the fortunes of the team.

No two, however, were quite alike and it was difficult to group them in the way we've done the other polls.

So today we have a single poll with 12 choices. I want you to pick THREE. They will fill out the blueline and serve as our mid-pairing guys.

Time to lock the poll.  The winners have been selected. 😛

With 1 vote each. 😉

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If I'm building the best Sabres team ever, Schoenfeld is on it and Hajt probably makes it too.

But if we're looking at specific roles, well, something more to think about.

Zhitnik's specialty, eliminating opposing fans, was nullified when they put the nets up around the boards, so he's probably out for me. 

Edited by Eleven

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Just now, Eleven said:

If I'm building the best Sabres team ever, Schoenfeld is on it and Hajt probably makes it too.

But if we're looking at specific roles, well, something more to think about.

Zhitnik's specialty, eliminating opposing fans, was nullified when they put the nets up around the boards, so he's probably out for me. 

Zhitnik had another specialty, cleaning up "clears it, ... not out's" myriad of screw ups per game.  He's in on that alone.  Plus, if he's forced to use the stick Ramsey made him use, he actually would have an accurate shot.  He did that 1 season he used it before Rammer left to be back home in Minny.

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3 minutes ago, Eleven said:

If I'm building the best Sabres team ever, Schoenfeld is on it and Hajt probably makes it too.

But if we're looking at specific roles, well, something more to think about.

Zhitnik's specialty, eliminating opposing fans, was nullified when they put the nets up around the boards, so he's probably out for me. 

I think Zhitnik will almost certainly be in for me. Dude was a horse.

But I haven't made up my mind yet. Think there are five I am considering, and two more that I like a lot.

A lot of "yeah, but" going on here for me.

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So I know I want a giant back there.  Someone who's just huge and tough to move around.  That's going to be either Krupp or Ristolainen.  Krupp has a little bit of an edge for me here, but this selection will also affect choice #3.

I also know I want a calm defenseman.  Someone who, no matter what, just doesn't lose focus and sticks with the play.  Can settle down the tempo of a game when needed.  That's going to be either Tallinder or Numminen, and this is an even tougher choice.

What happens with decisions 1 and 2 will affect my third choice.  If I go with Krupp and Numminen, I might need a better puck-carrier like Ehrhoff for the third slot.  If I go with  Ristolainen and Tallinder, I might have the flexibility to add more brawn and nastiness (Korab).

Please discuss, limiting your responses to 1000 words or fewer.

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1 minute ago, Eleven said:

So I know I want a giant back there.  Someone who's just huge and tough to move around.  That's going to be either Krupp or Ristolainen.  Krupp has a little bit of an edge for me here, but this selection will also affect choice #3.

I also know I want a calm defenseman.  Someone who, no matter what, just doesn't lose focus and sticks with the play.  Can settle down the tempo of a game when needed.  That's going to be either Tallinder or Numminen, and this is an even tougher choice.

What happens with decisions 1 and 2 will affect my third choice.  If I go with Krupp and Numminen, I might need a better puck-carrier like Ehrhoff for the third slot.  If I go with  Ristolainen and Tallinder, I might have the flexibility to add more brawn and nastiness (Korab).

Please discuss, limiting your responses to 1000 words or fewer.

If you are thinking big picture, remember you already have Ramsey, and McKee as your shutdown guys and Dahlin and Spacek as your puckmovers. Also, Larry Playfair is on the roster.

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1 minute ago, dudacek said:

If you are thinking big picture, remember you already have Ramsey, and McKee as your shutdown guys and Dahlin and Spacek as your puckmovers. Also, Larry Playfair is on the roster.

Yes, I am keeping that in mind.  A "settle-down" guy is not the same as a shutdown guy to me.  For example, Mike Peca would shut someone down.  Jochen Hecht would settle down the game.

It's that "seventh defenseman" slot that will be determined by the result of Numminen/Tallinder and Krupp/Ristolainen, so I'm not going to obsess over it.  On the other hand, we have nothing else to do right now.

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I think I have to take Krupp as my "big body."  Ristolainen just seems to have a maturity / lack of seriousness / something issue that I can't quite put my finger on.  I like him, and I would be loath to see him go without an appropriate return,  but Krupp's going to be my guy who takes up space and can't be moved.

Now I have to think about the other two, both of whom were among my favorites of their era.

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Bodger, Zhitnick, and Krupp.  3 heavy minutes guys.  2 who could play any role asked (Bodger and Z) and one huge guy who took care of things in his own end and get the puck out safely.  We missed Krupp badly when we traded him as part of the LaFontaine deal.

All 3 could be physical.  All three played big minutes.  Bodger and Z would fit in today's game.  Krupp was more of a stay at home guy.

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Zitstink?

who couldn’t hit the net ever?

really?

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35 minutes ago, spndnchz said:

Zitstink?

who couldn’t hit the net ever?

really?

My hockey number is 44 because of him. Don’t know enough about the older guys, but I think he’d get my vote.

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I went with Zhitnik and Bodger because I think they are the two best all around guys on the list. Either could be a complementary guy on the first pair, or boost the 3rd pair, or be a good 2nd pair together.

I don’t know that he is the 3rd best Sabre on that list, but I just love the way Teppo Numminen played defence. He was so smooth and assured. I think we’re tough enough that we don’t need Ristolainen, or Korab’s edge, and big enough and steady enough to live without Krupp.

So it came down to Tallinder or Teppo, and it was the thought of how good Teppo would be for Dahlin that swayed me.

Edited by dudacek

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2 hours ago, spndnchz said:

Zitstink?

who couldn’t hit the net ever?

really?

Depends on which net.  Again, if it is the net above the glass, he was an expert.

I don't know how or why he gets any love around here, especially from posters whose opinions I respect.

He was a heavy skater at both ends, and that's it.  He couldn't clear his zone, he couldn't run a power play, and he sure couldn't shoot.

Edited by Eleven

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23 minutes ago, dudacek said:

So it came down to Tallinder or Teppo, and it was the thought of how good Teppo would be for Dahlin that swayed me.

This is good reasoning.  But why would Teppo be better for Dahlin than Hank?

Edited by Eleven

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