The Chicago Blackhawks win the 2013 Stanley Cup

Jonathan Willis
June 25 2013 01:08AM

The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup on Monday night. In so doing, they exposed many of the commonly accepted truths about what it takes to win in the playoffs as the lies they are.

The game has changed. Teams have to be big and tough to compete in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It’s great to have skill, but big teams, like Boston and Los Angeles, grind down opponents and are too hard to score on without big bodies. Physically punishing teams have an insurmountable advantage in anything-goes, prison-rules playoff hockey. These things, and things like them, have been written repeatedly in recent years.

The truth is that teams can win in different ways, and the game hasn’t undergone a fundamental shift with wins by the Bruins and Kings. The Blackhawks proved it, winning three series where they were the smaller team, often by a significant margin (numbers that follow are weighted for ice-time):

Team F Height F Weight D Height D Weight Tot. Height Tot. Weight
Chicago 6'1" 200.5 6'1" 204.0 6'1" 201.9
Minnesota 6'1" 201.0 6'1" 195.9 6'1" 199.0
Detroit 6' 201.3 6'2" 205.2 6'1" 202.8
Los Angeles 6'2" 210.5 6'2" 211.8 6'2" 211.0
Boston 6'1" 203.5 6'3" 215.2 6'2" 208.2

Worse than that, Chicago also did it without hitting very much; the Blackhawks barely hit by NHL standards. In the regular season, they were dead last in hits. In the post-season, they were 15th of 16 playoff teams in hits per game (just a sliver ahead of Detroit). They’re built on puck possession, which means they ended up getting hit a lot and don’t end up hitting the other team very much – it’s hard to hit the opposition when they don’t have the puck. It’s a style that served them well.

Their third and fourth lines, rather than being a collection of enforcers (only two teams in the league recorded fewer major penalties than Chicago this season) or dump-and-chase grinders, the Blackhawks mostly employed puck possession types – Viktor Stalberg, Michael Frolik and Marcus Kruger all got ice-time over players like Brandon Bollig and Dan Carcillo. Kruger – a 6’ centre who can’t win faceoffs and doesn’t hit – isn’t a guy most teams picture as the ideal fourth-liner, but he was trusted on the ice in the dying minutes of game five to protect a one-goal lead. How many fourth-liners can say they have the coach’s confidence in that role?

The Blackhawks, the league’s best team in both the regular and post-season, won in much the same way the Red Wings managed the same feat in 2008: with puck possession, with speed and skill, with offensive talent and defensive commitment, and with four lines that could win the chances battle. They did it without amassing a roster of lumbering forwards to clog up the ice, without hammering their opponent into submission with a physical game, and without icing a fourth line composed of Cro-Magnon men.

Obviously, for everyone on the team or involved with it - and certainly for the fans - this is a wonderful victory, but it's also good news for anyone who likes to see speed and skill triumph over size and strength.

Recently around the Nation Network

A fascinating story out of Vancouver: did the Vancouver Canucks inadvertently reveal their 2010 Draft list?

I also find it pretty fascinating that that the Canucks had two goaltenders ranked in the top-15 of their draft list. That's an illuminating nugget with respect to how the club views prospect goaltenders... Notable "wtf" features of this draft list include Charlie Coyle being ranked in the mid-70s on the list. Already in Coyle's young career he's proved that assessment to be way off the mark. The other massively questionable scouting decision? Jack Campbell at fifth overall. Yikes.

Click the link to read more, or alternately, feel free check out some of my other pieces here:

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 justDOit
June 25 2013, 11:14AM
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@madjam

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but isn't the PTW system built on the SMG (score more goals) system?

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#52 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
June 25 2013, 11:25AM
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@ 106 and 106

Gregor's response: "You are dreaming"

Don't see Boston making that trade at all. They'd be the clear losers of the "more coveted player" and wouldn't even dump salary in the deal (unless the Oil retained the max allowable amount of Hemsky's salary). Even then, I think it's a long shot...

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#54 Smokey
June 25 2013, 11:41AM
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Gaz wrote:

You are one interesting cat.

You'd probably get more discussion around your posts if they weren't longer than the original blog though.

NAS would get more comment if he was systematic, and made coherent logical sense. Some proper punctuation, sentence structure would help it be digestible too. I love the guy for trying. I honestly try to read it, but I can't.

This Billy Madison clip sums up my thoughts...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKjxFJfcrcA

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#55 LinkfromHyrule
June 25 2013, 11:44AM
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does anybody know when MacT's media availability is scheduled for?

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#56 Ducey
June 25 2013, 11:47AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Absolutely. And one of the things we've seen overt he last few years is different kinds of teams can win.

For the Oilers, I think the lesson is just that they need to pursue a style that works for their group - they don't need to imitate Chicago exactly or anything, but they also don't need to make a big purge of the skill players to add a bunch of 6'5" types (though I'll readily admit the team could use one or two of that breed).

I think the Oilers brass has been trying to re-create the '80's Oilers run and gun.

The defensive systems created since then pretty much make that a losing strategy

While different systems can win a Cup, I think if they keep pushing the "Boys on the Bus", they are doomed to fail.

Hopefully the Eakins hire means they are coming around to the fact they are going to have to play a heck of a lot better defense. I get the impression that MacT will let the skill guys do their thing but with a renewed emphasis on defense. It appears that the 3rd and 4th lines are going to be guys who can shut down the other team's top lines. Size helps to do this, but its still the checking and shutdown ability that matters.

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#57 Fresh Mess
June 25 2013, 11:59AM
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Flyers throw 25 million dollars out the window buying out the contracts of Brzgalov and Briere.

The owners need to start hiring business men rather than "good hockey" men to run their organizations. These guys keep giving out idiotic contracts.

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#58 Gaz
June 25 2013, 12:00PM
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@Smokey

Yeah - NAS's writing is almost stream-of-conscious-type writing.

I don't even think he's particularly insightful about hockey, but I bet he'd be a great guy to strike up a random convo over a beer with.

Interesting cat = weirdo (and in my books, weird is good)

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#59 Shredder
June 25 2013, 12:00PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Absolutely. And one of the things we've seen overt he last few years is different kinds of teams can win.

For the Oilers, I think the lesson is just that they need to pursue a style that works for their group - they don't need to imitate Chicago exactly or anything, but they also don't need to make a big purge of the skill players to add a bunch of 6'5" types (though I'll readily admit the team could use one or two of that breed).

I agree with you there. I personally would prefer the size on the back end though. It might be fun to have one of those types that can stand in front of the net, but I prefer it on the back end if possible...I know Chara lost the battle between him and Bickell, but Chara was still a stud on the back end.

I guess where I'm going with this is that our offensive style doesn't necessarily require a big forward to grind down other defensemen, as we can skate circles around most teams and wear them out that way. BUT we could still use a guy or two to clear the front of the net, as Smid is the only one on our team who is capable in that respect.

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#60 Oiler Al
June 25 2013, 12:28PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Grit in the sense of going to tough areas, absolutely. Not necessarily a hitting game, though - Kane, for example, had three hits all playoffs, and ended up winning the Conn Smythe.

Kane, should not have won the Conn Smythe! I think that Duncan Keith should have taken that trophy.

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#61 Oiler Al
June 25 2013, 01:30PM
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I hope that Eakin will show the guys how to get their noses dirty. Oilers rely too much on skill and speed,and not wanting much to go into the tough areas of the game. Too many "flyby players.

You dont have to be a giant to win puck battles. Guy like Shaw is smallish but plays hard on the puck.

Krug and Ference are not big, but play a big mans game.

With the Oilers there are many 6ft plus and 200 plus that dont play big. Think that mentality came from coaching.

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#62 Halt
June 25 2013, 03:55PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Grit in the sense of going to tough areas, absolutely. Not necessarily a hitting game, though - Kane, for example, had three hits all playoffs, and ended up winning the Conn Smythe.

Absolutley aGREE. You have to have grit in the sense that you do to the dirty areas (corners, front of the net etc.). However, you can use your agility and smarts to get there (Kane/Crosby) or your size and strength.

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#63 Quicksilver ballet
June 25 2013, 04:32PM
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@NewAgeSys

Two weeks ago you mentioned 5 teams that were using some/all of your, so called NHS. The Blackhawks were not on this list.

Do you change on the fly, just flat out lie, to pump your own tires whenever the opportunity presents itself?

Your "system" must not be at all effective if none of the original 5 teams you mentioned had any success. Your buddy Jarred Stoll and the Kings went teets up sooner than anticipated. are you going to take the fall for that debacle?

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#64 atleastwehavethekhl
June 25 2013, 05:21PM
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Gaz wrote:

Yeah - NAS's writing is almost stream-of-conscious-type writing.

I don't even think he's particularly insightful about hockey, but I bet he'd be a great guy to strike up a random convo over a beer with.

Interesting cat = weirdo (and in my books, weird is good)

I think it's important to remember that a random convo can be good with someone that understands how to edit, and bad with a cracked-out blabbersplosion.

I guess it's about judging for yourself.

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#65 oilersRgonna
June 25 2013, 08:08PM
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if we all blogged the same it would be, well, mundane to say the least. cant u be a little more original than that? specially with that handle, and i wouldnt call it a conversation; really .

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#66 Dockstaff
June 25 2013, 08:31PM
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@Jonathan Willis

Willis, Bushed is on the money. Kane didn't need to hit, his line mates covered that role to give Kane the room to do what he does. Kane was most effective when he was with Bickell (good size and low skill) and Toews (great skill, avg size, heart of a lion). When Bickell parked infront of the net he drew in one or two defenders, opening ice for Kane to sneak in.

Where I think you are going Willis, is that Chicago's biggest asset is that every one of their players can stand up to a bigger team. And every one of their players has defensive skill which enables their team to regain possession.

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#67 NewAgeSys
June 25 2013, 09:17PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Two weeks ago you mentioned 5 teams that were using some/all of your, so called NHS. The Blackhawks were not on this list.

Do you change on the fly, just flat out lie, to pump your own tires whenever the opportunity presents itself?

Your "system" must not be at all effective if none of the original 5 teams you mentioned had any success. Your buddy Jarred Stoll and the Kings went teets up sooner than anticipated. are you going to take the fall for that debacle?

All the teams I listed and more are currently initiating NHS influenced adjustments to their systems.

The Hawks were the topic of the post I believe , I post a lot , beside so what if I am not 100% accurate. Get real.

In the last 3 years 2 of the Stanley Cup Champs have directly utilised the NHS influences and it is clearly documented.

I am not 100% sure it was Stolly who first accessed the NHS data and implemented it, but judging by his individual on-ice managment of the exact adjustments he is my guess. Every time I posted a counter he seemed to be the one reacting recognising and replying on-ice first by a large margin.

You have kept track of the NHS history, that is a good thing, it is nice to hear you mention Stoll and the Kings in the same post as the NHS, that is how it should be.

There is a media spot at the beginning of the year where Scotty Bowman states that his team was implementing some of the Oilers new transitional tactics into their own managment system. Those were NewAge Hockey System Intuitive Dynamic Managment tactics and philosophies, adjustments the Oilers were trying in vain to get figured consistantly without my help because they denied and suppressed the NHS. They were trying to keep it to themselves when they saw value, as LA did and as Chicago will. It matter not because all NHL teams have excellent scouting staff and they dont take long to pick up on new tactics and quickly implement them if they produce winning results.

But picking up on them and replicating them as opposed to actually creating them are totally different stories pal.

Dont accuse me of lying unless you can back yourself up. It isnt nice to be a cyber-bully.

Thanks for dropping by to plug the NHS it is appreciated but not really needed anymore.The NHS speaks for itself where it was intended to project itself and that isnt you. You are just beneficiary of all of my hard work directed at someone else, so dont get ahead of yourself.

Stoll had the brains to listen to what was goddam obvious which seems to be a lot more than can be said of a lot of others. None of this is rocket science. It is just new, can you feel that ? NEW!!!!

You like that new part dont you? Ha ha ha. Relax new things scare a lot of people especially if they are superior you arent out to make a million bucks some people just cant figure that one out eh? , ha ha ha, you can ruffle a lot of feathers, and you can do things your own way 100% of the time, no sell out, so do you understand the no sell out part, Slap-Happy?

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#68 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
June 25 2013, 09:33PM
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@NewAgeSys

Dont accuse me of lying unless you can back yourself up

i call bull$hit, and i have common sense to back me up.

however, i dont think you are lying, i think you honestly believe what you are saying is true. problem is, that doesnt make it true.

edit: a quick google search and i can only see posts from you dating back to july 2012. i didnt notice any posts from 2010 or 2011. was there another name you might have posted your theory under? i could have missed them too, i was watching storage wars and trying to multi task. if the last 3 years champs have used the sys, that means there should be posts from 3 or ever 4 years back laying the foundation.

i joined the nation oct of 2009, which is just shy of 4 years. im pretty sure i would be more annoyed with you if you were spouting this stuff since the diaper stages of the nation so i doubt it was here

where did you post the counter points for stoll to steal? i have google ready to verify.

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#69 Bushed
June 25 2013, 11:25PM
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@Jonathan Willis

Chicago as a team did not hit as much as Boston, but do you believe that a whole team of Kanes (pure speed and skill) would have won the series?

I'm not sure many would agree.

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#70 NewAgeSys
June 26 2013, 11:22AM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:
Dont accuse me of lying unless you can back yourself up

i call bull$hit, and i have common sense to back me up.

however, i dont think you are lying, i think you honestly believe what you are saying is true. problem is, that doesnt make it true.

edit: a quick google search and i can only see posts from you dating back to july 2012. i didnt notice any posts from 2010 or 2011. was there another name you might have posted your theory under? i could have missed them too, i was watching storage wars and trying to multi task. if the last 3 years champs have used the sys, that means there should be posts from 3 or ever 4 years back laying the foundation.

i joined the nation oct of 2009, which is just shy of 4 years. im pretty sure i would be more annoyed with you if you were spouting this stuff since the diaper stages of the nation so i doubt it was here

where did you post the counter points for stoll to steal? i have google ready to verify.

Start with the Oilers home site , posts by Moma2.

Look at the Game day posts, look at the threads for anything by Moma2. I am not sure how much acess you will get to my original posts there as I had a falling out with the site managment. I do know that many of my posts were re-posted by other members and available on threads under other posters names and those ones are still there to acess.

Use google terms like"Jarret Stoll moma2" or LA Kings Moma2 NewAge Hockey System" you might need to fish around there are a lot of different posts, probably over a thousand scattered around. Try their playoff opponents names with Moma2 as well.

But the data all began with Moma2 on the Oilers home site.

I see what you want, you want to see some action, ha ha ha, thats great, dont give up you wont be disappointed.

Just keep in mind the data was created for and given to the Oilers who decided to not validate me as source on the site the data was presented on after they had already double-dipped. All I required was validation where the data was posted. My reaction was to post more of the NHS adjustment data online for other teams besides the Oilers to access while holding back the full and complete NHS to provide to the Oilers when they woke up and I did just that. I chose to show them the impact of the NHS via other teams as a shot across the bow. But I kept the full NHS off-line, no one has ever had the full data base. That is intellectual property and it needs to be sought out as such.

And to let you know the Hawks have optimized the NHS influenced Adjusted-Hybrids performance envelope and they will pick up next year without missing a beat unlike LA. They followed EVERYTHING IN SEQUENCE and in detail that was posted regarding the NHSs applications to their existing system.

The NHS is superior, the System the Hawks are using is essentially the base of the NHS, ha ha ha. It was born from the NHS and it is dead meat on the ice facing its origin

However the NHS does to the Adjusted-Hybrid what it does to a Hybrid system, it takes it apart at the seams. There is only one solution to the Hawks System now and that is the NHS, nothing else will stop them, and they can lose players and it wont matter like people think, they truly won based on their system.

Nothing can produce offense like the NHS.

All you need to do is go to the Playoff games LA was in and find those dates and use google and the terms "Moma2 LA Kings Stoll" or whatever works for you. I engaged after the 1st round, I generally gave LA the first game to do as they wanted before I blitzed their opponents with NHS data from Moma2, it will be easier for you to enter dates along with your terms in Google, pick the playoff games the entire way through and pay close attention to the neutral zone adjustments the Kings are making. Particularly Jarret.

Look at all of the Kings games starting with about 25 games left to go in the regular season that is where you will see the first influences of the NHS begin to show up.

You will need to find tapes of the games in question and you will need to play the tapes and look at the times and then co-ordinate them with my real-time posts online and specific player and team reactions on the ice.

You wont be able to miss the dynamic adjustments during Oilers games because the GDTs allowed me a direct conduit to the Team that was reliable to a high degree and as the data produced better and better results it was adhered to closer and closer by the team on the ice. Unconventional but effective until someone got pissed off I was cyber-influencing their NHL hockey team and kiboshed me. To bad we have missed 2 Cuos and counting, the defining adjustments both LA and the Hawks made that led them to the Cup originated from the NHS and the Oilers site.

And you cant miss the exact adjustments LA makes during their playoff run although my ability to provide data was piece-meal at best .

If you really want to get the proper data you need to post to me on ATS, google "Moma2s NewAge Hockey System" and follow the posts where you will find the data you want. I cant post enough here without disrupting the blog.

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#71 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
June 26 2013, 02:24PM
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@NewAgeSys

START YOUR OWN BLOG THEN.

yes, NHL players and teams poached a successful system based on the ramblings of a random dude going by the handle Moma2 on the Oilers site.

cool story bro

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