The search for balance

©The Associated Press

The final of the Stanley Cup gives rise to the hockey of a very high level. The Predators and the Penguins are not gifts, there are sometimes hits the limits, but nothing compares to the disappointing semi-final that has brought the Preds in the final, not without lame…

The two teams offer hockey as an aggressive, intense, but no one is beyond the pale, at least until now. The quality of the show is outstanding.

There’s our friend P. K. Subban, who disturb my colleagues present to cover the final with a few statements and a history of mouthwash mis-used, but good, P. K, it’s P. K.

What we notice, more seriously, it is the composition of the two teams on the ice. It is difficult to establish a recipe to win, Preds and Penguins the only possible models leading to the victory. It would be a mistake. We must still admit that these two teams have a certain balance. This is what all general managers are trying to achieve. In a world of salary cap, the magic does not exist, but there is a way to find balance.

Let’s start with the Preds, built solidly in the nets and on the blue line. The attack has experienced a few hiccups, but this has not prevented Nashville to get to the finals. The name of Frédéric Gaudreault comes top of the list when one speaks of magic, but its success relies on its speed…

The Predators have a very interesting balance scattered on the four trios. The contribution of players such as Sissons, Arvidsson, Neal and Watson in the attack, in addition to Freddie Gaudreault, give some balance to the attack. To the defense, the undeniable contribution of Roman Josi compares favourably to any attacking player in the NHL. The Preds also get a certain balance with an evident passion in their game and are led by a goalie (Rinne) mission.

The recipe of the Penguins is a little different. Crosby and Malkin lead the game, but more of a recovery since the beginning, Jake Guentzel and Phil Kessel have put hand to the dough with several important purposes. To this day, moreover, Guentzel is the best scorer of the series. What a surprise! Here also, not to forget the contribution of great players like Crosby and Malkin, there is a balance to be caused by players doing a job outstanding, night after night. We are not talking about future candidates for the hall of fame, even if we consider Guentzel as a possible winner of the Conny Smythe. It is that the players I mentioned are not likely to be at the Temple at the end of their career.

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Regardless of who wins the victory, the players for this balance as desired and of paramount importance will played a very large role.

A bit of history

The survey held with 3.6 million fans on the official website of the NHL on the greatest teams in the champions Cup after 100 years, is revealing. The Oilers of 84-85 and the Penguins 91-92 have topped the incredible team of Canadian 76-77.

It is difficult to draw parallels between today and those times. It may seem lame to a certain extent, given the differences in the sport.

The Oilers and the Penguins have represented the current championship teams with great stars and an offensive force impressive. In spite of everything, in a time where hockey was very offensive, there was a balance, behind Lemieux and Gretzky, the great leaders.

The edition 76-77 of the CH, do I remember it, had lost only eight regular parts this season. Sixty wins and a domination almost complete during the four rounds of the series leading to the Cup.

This machine gives us some interesting insights. Even if most of the key players of this team are the Temple, the center line of CH was composed of Jacques Lemaire, Pierre Mondoux, Doug Risebrough and Doug Jarvis. Without forgetting Peter Mahovlich. Of this group, only Lemaire is at the Temple.

The perfect balance of CH was based on a line from a centre of effective, but of course, a rear-guard of the first order. Goalkeeper Ken Dryden was protected by one of the greatest trios of defenders ever gathered in one team: Guy Lapointe, Larry Robinson and Serge Savard were the law.

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Unlike the champions that were Pittsburgh and Edmonton, the CH has been dominant thanks to its balance and to a group of players dedicated to doing his job and surrounding properly attacking players like Lafleur and Shutt, which have sown terror in the territories, opposing this year. The recipe of Scottie Bowman was the balance. It appears to be difficult in the reality of today to copy this famous recipe, but when you get close, it is at this time that all may be allowed.

The next few weeks to be very busy thank you

I remind you that an expansion draft is coming soon. The Golden Knights of Las Vegas will make their entrance soon officially in the national League.

Some observers, behind the scenes, predict the month of June and very hot in the NHL. Between the 17 and 21 June, the only team authorized to conduct movement of personnel will be the Golden Knights. This is before, this might be interesting.

A protection list of 11 players, it is hard to concoct, in a world where everybody is in search of talent and balance. Some teams will leave cabbages, fatty food.

Information gleaned in the course of last season, with a source sound led to the belief that the Golden Knights will be looking to build a bank of choice a last chance for the auction for 2017 and 2018. In addition to starting at zero and building a team, George McPhee intends to steal a few choice last chance to his opponents to speed up its construction process and allow Mr Foley, the owner, to make it profitable in a reasonable future the $ 500 million paid out to get the 31st NHL team.

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In Canada, a few questions remain unanswered. Is that Marc Bergevin will protect Nathan Beaulieu, Alexei Emelin, or Jordie Benn? Is this so obvious that an attacker first order will not be swapped to protect others?

Without noise, because our friend P. K occupies the whole of the media role during the final, the folder Galchenyuk is more interesting. The young man still has not signed a contract with the CH. He who pocketed $ 3.1 million last year and boasts a season of 30 goals in 2015-2016. It is not nothing.

You know my fondness for the talent of Galchenyuk. However, Marc Bergevin is in front of a situation that will require a lot of tact. Is it appropriate to sign the Russian now and attach it to the long term with the CH? To do this, it will be necessary that the salary of Galchenyuk to be adjusted to those of Max Pacioretty and Alexander Radulov, that is to say, to the best of the team. If the young player wants to find it profitable to engage in the long term, now, he must find his account. The bet of the one-year contract, is also interesting, but it is not said that in the end, the CH will really be a winner.

The other option with which you can flirt Bergevin is the transaction. Y a-t-he market a team that can offer what the CH wants in return for Galchenyuk? This option is certainly tested, it would have been irresponsible not to have done his homework.

We hear no more of Radulov because the hot issue is that of Galchenyuk. It is a turning point. The contribution of a young hockey player talented like him is also a guarantee of balance in the CH.