Discussion in 'Cardiff Devils & EIHL chat' started by kingmo19.1, Apr 14, 2018.
I don't think anybody wants an out and out knuckle dragger whose only contribution would be to fight and intimidate. Those days are gone. What I'd still like though is a tough guy who can play a bit - but more to the point (as Ocko has alluded to in recent posts), someone who is a bit more willing to drop the gloves when needed. We had some tough players last year but for whatever reason, they didn't seem to want to get involved too much in the rough stuff, when at times I would have liked them to and thought it was needed (and I'm not alone I don't think!). A Desbiens type player would be perfect - someone that can still play and contribute on whatever line Lord chooses, but that can still mix it with the big boys when he needs to. Faryna was willing and I applaud him for that but he's only a "middleweight" (!) really and took some big blows particularly against Gagnon (gave some back too). When you have had concussion problems, as he did last year, I don't really want to see him having to do that. There is space on our roster for that kind of player if Lord wants one, as I'm sure we'll see 3 or 4 not returning for various reasons.
Sheffield have been openly talking about trying to emulate us and our style, and it’s obvious that others will be trying to do so too. We did not have one recognised tough guy, and we ran away with the league. They have got rid of Fitzy already, and I doubt very much they’ll bring in someone else of his calibre of toughness.
Yes Fitzy was a decent defenceman in his own right, but they’ll be able to bring in someone who is less tough but a much better hockey player for the same salary. Same with Gagnon.
We are leading the way in this league of showing how winning hockey is played, and it’s only a matter of time that no team will have a guy with that level of toughness. Why would we want to go backwards to the old style when the direction we are currently heading is the correct way?
A team wins on the ice not from the penalty box or from the sidelines
What good did Steelers, Storm & Giants higher PIMs do them
Was it not Lawless who said hit them/retaliate where it hurts - in the goals
I'm fully with Devil94 as I don't need fights to be entertained. I want fast skilled hockey and winning!
Just Devils year on year comparison to see how they’ve changed
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Is the debate about willingness or entertainment factor?
Genuine question - not a dig....
How many fights would fans expect this willing/genuine tough guy to have every season? More than 5? More than 10? More than Faryna had this year?
Without putting words in people's mouths - i'm guessing that some would answer 'however many times is neccessary'.
I think Justin Faryna and Mark Louis are more than happy to go whenever is neccessary.
So for my money, we then get back to the issue of wanting more fights for entertainment purposes. That's a perfectly valid view (not one I subscribe to - but then I lose every fight to my wife anyway).
I'm just seeking clarification whether the debate is about having guys not willing to fight - or whether it's a debate about entertainment factor and wanting fights in (off the top of my head) 30% of home games because it makes the night out better?
Everyone has their different reasons for watching hockey/supporting the Devils. Mine is currently to chase down the 10 league titles that Sheffield has (we're 4 behind). I think that's a genuine ambition under the current ownership, but in terms of my enjoyment (and only my enjoyment) I don't care how it's done.
Paul Sullivan rightly teases me over my love of Rick Brebant - but I always use his quote from when Durham had to play in the regulation playoffs to maintain their position in the Premier.....
"If we score in the first minute and then ice the puck for the reamaining 59 I really don't care!".
I'm sure my extreme view wouldn't sell a lot of tickets - which is why I say again that this post isn't a criticism of how anyone else gets their enjoyment from hockey. However, being in the fortunate position of occassionally getting to chat to guys like Faryna and Louis - I would never doubt their willingness.
Also, Andrew Lord asks the guys to play smart - but there is certainly no leash.
You mention Faryna and Louis. Faryna had concussion problems last season - I’d rather he wasn’t one of the more willing guys ready to mix it with genuine heavies like Gagnon, purely for his own wellbeing. Louis hardly fought all year, not helped by his injuries which saw him miss half the season and I’m not so sure he wasn’t carrying injuries all last season to be honest, which probably restricted his willingness to fight too not surprisingly. For me, the only other willing combatant to Faryna, was Reddick, and all credit to him for that given his small stature. You’ll always get the counter argument that we won everything so we don’t need toughness and that’s difficult to argue against sometimes but there’s nothing wrong with having a tough presence on the roster, who can play and is a little more willing to drop the gloves than we were at times last year. I still felt it was needed in certain games even though we had a great year. And fighting is not about entertainment for me, it’s about making a stand sometimes when teams are taking liberties or doing something to change a game if that’s what’s needed. Steve King mentions they’re always interested in really tough players who can play and not take stupid penalties that hurt the team. Just be a little more willing to drop the gloves at the right time and that’s perfectly OK for me!
However you kind of crystalise my point that this is not a black and white debate.
You mention the point that people will always argue we don't need toughness when we win everything.
However, we did have toughness. We've agreed on Faryna and Lewis as a minimum (even if we don't throw the likes of Hotham and Batch into the mix).
So then we're getting back to level of toughness wanted..which I would link more to entertainment motives. Do we actually need the 'biggest dog in the yard' for strategic reasons?
I don't agree that Justin Faryna shouldn't be expected to lead the team in fights. I really like Justin as a player and a person...but in my view, as a Cardiff Devil, he will always be a (very good) bottom 6 role player. That's part of the role - and I would hazard a guess a part of the role he really enjoys.
The fact that he can put up 20+ goals from a bottom 6 position just shows what a superb coach we have in Andrew Lord as he has been able to recruit that much depth.
Whilst I understand we're talking hypothetically, it's almost impossible to answer your question without knowing who the hypothetical tough guy is?
If the tough guy is someone like Garret Klotz, then the answer would be I wouldn't cut anyone. If however, Steve King was to persuade fellow Albertan, Jarome Iginla out of retirement??????
I disagree completely on level of toughness and linking that to entertainment motives. There’s an argument that if you have the ‘biggest dog in the yard”, then that this could reduce the ‘entertainment’ level as you put it (again I dispute the term ‘entertainment’ in the context of fighting, although some won’t and I accept that). If you’ve got the ‘biggest dog’, then that could be viewed as a deterrent for opposing teams and reduce the occurrence of fighting or ‘entertainment’. And I didn’t agree with you on Louis either last year, he hardly fought or played the physical game that we’ve seen from him previously, although I’m hoping that was more to do with his injury problems and that we see him back to his best next season if he’s re-signed. We’ll have to disagree some more on Faryna too. I personally don’t think a guy with concussion issues should be anywhere near leading the team in genuine fights, particularly against the big boys, purely for his own health and well-being. Yes I think I agree that he’s a bottom 6 role player (and a damned good one) but he shouldn’t be the only one prepared to mix it with the heavies (especially as he’s not in that category). Nobody else really did that last year. Personally, as I’ve stated many times and I’m sure many will disagree with me, I’m hoping we can find (and sign!) a really big, tough, physical guy who can still play, who won’t take dumb penalties, but who is prepared to fight a little more for his team when needed. We thought we had it with Bordy but he forgot the last bit, and that was one of the main reasons he was brought over in the first place I assume!
All fair comments which I completely respect.
Couple of final thoughts from me....
Again, in terms of the 'greater willingness' to play tough and drop the gloves - approximately how many fights would be the magic number to demonstrate this?
Sometimes I think there is a perception that fights used to happen or should happen more than they actually did/do.
Going back to Finny's point...let's say for arguments sake that the role of 3rd line Centre is being looked at this summer. A name that's been thrown out as a signing is John Armstrong. I'd bite your hand off for John Armstrong. He'll bring size, toughness and skill - but no more fights. So you do go back to Finny's relevant question of who is the guy to make way? Let's say Layne Ulmer retires (I hope not). You're looking at needing to pick up a top 6 scoring forward as a replacement.
I'd happily see the 6 d-men who started the play-off final lace them up again in August...so not a lot of room there.
Personally, I hope the Morrisette debate doesn't rage again this summer. Boy he was superb last year.
Anyway, I don't venture to post on here too often so I appreciate the constructive chat.
When we had Bordeleau it felt like teams were intimidated but it didn’t stop Bowns being run more times that year than this?
When a fight breaks out most fans stand on their feet and cheer so I can understand the notion of ‘entertainment’. But does it help win games? It may occasionally change the direction of a game but not always and it definitely does not win championships, does it?
The best way to settle this argument is to ask the players on the roster especially the skilled guys. Were they intimidated this year? Did any team on any given night bully us so much that our skilled players no longer wanted to compete? I don’t think so.
I believe Lord has got the chemistry spot on this season between skill, speed, physicality, toughness, and hockey know how. Above all, the dressing room cohesion.
As for Kelman’s wish to improve the squad by 20% this off season? Wow that will be tough.
For me Paris was a huge disappointment from day one in Nottingham. Lacks pace, slow to turn, not a great skater, and defensively naive much of the time. For a big guy he found it hard to move forward away from the crease. Great guy but I don’t think good enough for next season.
Crowder sometimes seemingly had glue on the end of his stick but he rarely showed glimpses of his passing prowess. In the final few games I saw a different side to his play as he began to hit everything in sight. Did he do enough through the season? Not for me, so he’s another that may not be back.
Ulmer is just pure class. His age and knees means he struggles for pace and long shifts but even so game in game out he produced for us. I’d be worried about his fitness if he decided he still had another year in him, but at the same time would be happy to see him back. Personally I think he’ll call it a day.
Lord is now a bench coach. Period.
So if we carry one spare next season then it’s 2 forwards and a choice of a D or F for the extra player.
Is that 20% improvement I guess not. But I would find it difficult to move any other of those players on.
Anyway, I’m glad I don’t have those decisions to make! Lol
That’s my personal review.
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Not for entertainment value would go to a circus for that, I just feel we have a need for one tough nut, don't think it would actually take away anything from the team being as skillful and successful as last season.
Yes we won almost everything last season with what was called team tough but we should always be looking to improve year on year to stay one step ahead and that to me includes tough guys and skill guys.
Is it fact that Squealers are trying to emulate us on the playing front? yes they've had a clear out but who will come in? let's wait and see.
For me I like a fight like the next fan but I also like the speed and skill type of hockey we're now playing, personally I think we need an all round guy, who will drop the mitts when really nessesary and warranted, but can also contribute on the scoreboard. There were games last year when cheap shots weren't called and we didn't respond apart from Faryna stepping up on some occasions. People say Lordo doesn't have a leash so you have to wonder how or why the likes of Hotham, Strachan, Batchy for example who can all look after themselves didn't step up when possibly they should have?..
So some players did not step up when "possibly" they should have?
Maybe we should trust them to do the right thing on the ice in order to win. Playing smart within an overall team objective has got to be the way to go
Maybe some players felt aggrieved/bullied/whatever, maybe some did not step up "for the team". I would guess that lifting 3 bits of silver soon put that behind them
Very popular thread this and a lot of differing views, can't beat a good debate..
I've always been a fan of tough players. But I have to say, with a powerplay like we had, retaliating more and going 4 on 4 would imho be dumb, in terms of game management. One game against Belfast in March I believe we went 4 for 7 on the PP - that's insane, and I wouldn't swap any of those goals for fights.
Much like many others, I'm VERY glad I don't have to make these calls.
I think this point plays in to a wider theme. We simply have the puck more than the opposition these days. You don't throw a hit when you have the puck, so the perception sometimes is that we aren't hitting enough. But there are less reasons to do it these days.
I love so many of G's teams that he built, but there was a reason we had so many mad moments, it's because we were frustrated during games a lot of the times, and G instilled so much passion into us that when your chasing games that spilled over. How many times in the past year were we really meaningfully behind? (sans one night of magic in the challenge cup)
The complexion of our organisation and the complexion of the entire hockey world is so different these days to past years, that I think we are getting it right these days with the balance we have.
I think August04 has given a very good case for maybe adding one addition in the mold he has described, but i would see that as a luxury/added bonus to our team and organisation rather than a necessity.
A very fair point.
But are there any players in the EIHL at the moment who fit that bill?
If the likes of Nottingham, Sheffield, Belfast had players who could fit and score 20+ goals then yes - we should be looking for one too. But they don't. Unless of course I'm missing someone?
The best person I can think of who fits that would be.... Faryna.
In Ice Hockey what is the purpose of two players slugging it out?
To me there are a number of reasons for two guys to go for it, (1) as a motivational gesture if that team is trailing by a couple of goals (a fight will generally get the crowd going which in turn can motivate the players). (2) to remind the opposition that we have someone who will not tolerate any nonsense from them and they will have to answer for their actions. Rarely do you see fights to see who has the bragging rights between 2 players.
When fights occur it usually ends up with both players in the box so generally no p/p or p/k, players spend more time in the box for hooking/slashing etc imo.
It has a place and a purpose in the game imo even though to a lesser extent that in the past..probably cos we don't get the bragging rights fights now like we used to.
Just my thoughts on it..tough game requires tough players.
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