Thursday, May 28, 2009

Red Wings vs Penguins...first re-match in 25 years.

Detroit vs Pittsburgh. Re-match of last year’s six game final series. This of course is the first re-match of a previous year’s Cup final since the 1983 & 1984 finals between the New York Islanders and the Edmonton Oilers. There are many similarities between this year’s final and the re-match from 25 years ago. In each matchup the defending champs are searching for their fifth Stanley Cup in recent years, the Wings would be their fifth in twelve seasons and of course the Isles were going for their fifth consecutive. The challengers in each series each had the marquee player in the game in Gretzky and Crosby. The Islanders in 1984 had won a collective 58 Stanley Cups to the Oilers zero and the Wings have 30 collective Cups and the Penguins 3 (one each for Guerin, Kunitz, Sykora and Adams).

If one compares the rosters, we can pretty much match up player-to-player the rosters of the Islanders to the Wings and the Oilers to the Pens. Listed below are each Islander and Red Wing with GP-G-A-PTS in that season's playoffs.

Clark Gilles 21-12-7-19, Johan Franzen 16-10-9-19 Both squads are somewhat surprisingly led in scoring by big wingers with a playoff pedigree. Both 29 years old and 6'3", 220lbs.

Mike Bossy 21-8-10-18,Henrik Zetterberg 16-9-9-18 Proven snipers and previous Conn Smythe trophy winners.

Bryan Trottier 21-8-6-14, Pavel Datsyuk 13-1-6-7 High scoring, two-way centres both having a somewhat down playoff scoring wise.

Pat Flatley 21-9-6-15, Val Filppula 16-1-13-14
Relative youngsters providing unexpected secondary scoring.

Pat LaFontaine 16-3-6-9, Jiri Hudler 16-4-5-9 Shifty "water-bugs" breaking out, ready for the next step.

Brent Sutter 20-4-10-14, Marian Hossa 16-6-6-12
Not close in age, but are leaders and producers on each of their teams.

John Tonelli 17-1-3-4, Tomas Holmstrom 16-2-3-5
Both sparkplug type players known for clutch efforts.

Greg Gilbert 21-5-7-12, Dan Cleary 16-8-6-14
Each stepping up their scoring to fill in for others having down playoffs.

Butch Goring 21-1-5-6, Kirk Maltby 13-0-1-1
Veteran grit and leadership.

Bob Nystrom 15-0-2-2, Mikael Samuelsson 16-5-4-9
Both large bodied veteran Swedes with heart.

Duane Sutter 21-1-3-4, Darren Helm 16-3-0-3
Young role players that chip in when needed.

Denis Potvin 20-1-5-6, Niklas Lidstrom 14-4-9-13
Veteran, all-round defensemen. Multiple Norris Trophy winners both.

Tomas Jonsson 21-3-5-8, Brian Rafalski 11-2-6-8
Smaller, offense-first secondary d-men.

Stefan Persson 16-0-6-6, Niklas Kronwall 16-1-6-7 Persson listed at 6'1", 189lbs, Kronwall at 6'0'', 189 lbs.

Ken Morrow 20-1-2-3, Brad Stuart 16-1-6-7
Big, shut-down defenders.

Paul Boutilier 21-1-7-8, Jonathan Ericsson 15-2-3-5
Youngsters providing needed, surprise scoring.

Dave Langevin 12-0-4-4, Brett Lebda 16-0-6-6
Extremely serviceable third line d-men.

Chris Chelios 15-1-9-10,Chris Chelios 6-0-0-0
Chelly, 1984 playoffs with the Habs compared to this year...just because we can.

Billy Smith 12-8 2.72, Chris Osgood 12-4 2.30
Multiple Cup winning vets who never really got respect or consideration for national level squads.

Next come the 1984 Oilers and the current Pens.

Wayne Gretzky 19-13-22-35, Sidney Crosby 17-14-14-28 Each "The Face of the NHL" , outright superstars looking for their first Cup.

Mark Messier 19-8-18-26, Evgeni Malkin 17-12-16-28
Both, big-bodied game changers ready to step out from the shadow of their team-mate.

Jari Kurri 19-14-14-28, Bill Guerin 17-7-7-14
Both sniping right-wingers riding shot gun with the best in the game.

Glenn Anderson 19-6-11-17, Chris Kunitz 17-1-11-12 Speedy, hard-working secondary scoring contributors.

Ken Linseman 19-10-4-14, Jordan Staal 17-2-4-6
See above.

Pat Hughes 19-2-11-13, Maxime Talbot 17-4-3-7
Unexpected third line points.

Dave Hunter 17-5-5-10, Ruslan Fedotenko 17-6-5-11
Fiesty wingers that also provide big goals.

Willy Lindstrom 19-5-5-10, Miro Satan 11-1-5-6
Veteran extra scoring.

Kevin McClelland 18-4-6-10, Tyler Kennedy 17-3-3-6
Two-way specialists.

Dave Lumley 19-2-5-7, Matt Cooke 17-1-6-7
The diggers and sparkplugs.

Jaroslav Pouzar 14-1-2-3, Petr Sykora 6-0-1-1
Peripheral scoring from Czech veterans.

Dave Semenko 19-5-5-10 ,Craig Adams 17-3-2-5 Hard-working, less talented team players.

Paul Coffey 19-8-14-22, Sergei Gonchar 15-2-10-12
Power play quarter backs.

Kevin Lowe 19-3-7-10, Kris Letang 16-3-6-9
Secondary defenseman scoring.

Randy Gregg 19-3-7-10, Mark Eaton 17-4-2-6
Big, defenders that can point as well.

Charlie Huddy 12-1-9-10, Philippe Boucher 8-1-3-4
See above.

Lee Fogolin 19-1-4-5, Hal Gill 17-0-2-2
Big defenders that do NOT point as well.

Don Jackson 19-1-2-3, Brooks Orpik 17-0-4-4
See above.

Grant Fuhr 11-4 2.99, Marc-Andre Fleury 12-5 2.62
Young, goalies with a flair for the dramatic save.

By no means is this a scientific comparison between the 1984 and 2009 Stanley Cup re-matches, but I found it quite interesting how the teams favourably matched up with each other. Let's just hope this version of the Pens/Wings doesn't end in five games like the Oilers/Isles Part Two did.

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