Monday, March 2, 2009

Cycle like the Sedins presents: The All-Decade Team

(It's been a long, winding road but now we can take a deep breath and unveil the All-Decade Team. To be as fair as possible, we decided to allow reader polls to decide the categories that were tied among the pundits. The next paragraph features links for each author's post and their blog. If you'd like my take, here it is.

We'd like to take another moment to thank
Deirdre, Chris Kontos, Kent from Five Hole Fanatics, the dynamic duo at Puck Huffers, Greg Wyshynski from Puck Daddy, Eric McErlain from NHL Fanhouse/Off Wing Opinion, and Joe Pelletier from Greatest Hockey Legends for their All-Decade team picks. Also, don't forget Earl Sleek's fantastic "Niedermayer vs. Pronger" post as well as the Joe Sakic (Jibblescribbits) and Joe Thornton (Couchtarts) point/counter-point.

Individual pick abbreviations: Deirdre - DS; Chris Kontos - Kontos; Five Hole Fanatics= Kent; Greg W from Puck Daddy = PD; Eric McErlain = Eric; Joe Pelletier = Joe P; Puck Huffers are PH; James O'Brien = me. And for those tie breakers, poll winners = THE PEOPLE.

Feel free to post your own All-Decade team in the comments.)

Center: Peter Forsberg (Kontos, DS, Kent)

Others receiving votes: Joe Sakic (Me, Joe P, THE PEOPLE); Joe Thornton (PD, Eric) Mario Lemieux (PH)

What a stunner! Don't get me wrong, Peter Forsberg's a great player but the expectation was that it would be Sakic vs. Thornton. Forsberg came out of nowhere and took three straight All-Decade team picks to steal the Center spot.

(Insert "Foppa would trade this award for a spleen/non-wonky groin/healthy foot joke" here.)

Wings: Jarome Iginla (Me, PD, Kent, Joe P, Eric, THE PEOPLE) and Jaromir Jagr (Me, Joe P, Dre, THE PEOPLE)
Others receiving votes: Alex Ovechkin (PD, Kent); Martin St. Louis (Dre, Kontos); Oldmanahan (Kontos); Cal Clutterbuck (PH); Daniel Alfredsson (Eric) Rick Nash (PH)

The poll for All-Decade wingers shows that the blog's been growing a bit. Forgot to close the poll from voting and it ends up generating WAY more votes than any other poll on the site. Iginla and Jagr won those categories by far, so it feels about as fair as it's going to get. Iginla seemed to have a pretty strong majority, while Jagr was quite a polarizing figure (shocking).

Defense: Nicklas Lidstrom (everyone but the Puck Huffers haha) and Scott Niedermayer (Dre, PH, Eric, Kontos, Joe P, THE PEOPLE)

Others receiving votes: Chris Pronger (Me, PD); Zdeno Chara (Kent); Sergei Gonchar (PH)

Picking Lidstrom might be the no-brainer of the decade.

If there's one thing I've learned from the All-Decade Team process is that people really, really love Scott Niedermayer. And really, really hate Pronger. Niedermayer won by a landslide and definitely won the war on Puck Daddy's comments.

Goalie: Martin Brodeur (Just about everyone except Kent)
Other receiving vote: Dominik Hasek (Kent) Steve Mason (PH)

Although Martin Brodeur won quite easily, it gives me some relief that Kent voted for Hasek. There is a sentiment among many NHL thinkers that Brodeur might just be a good goalie in an incredibly lucky situation. While I respectfully disagree (though I acknowledge he is in a great situation) it's not that crazy to question Brodeur's numbers. Kent was the man to do just that.

Coach: Mike Babcock (Me, PD, Dre, Joe P, Kontos, THE PEOPLE)
Others receiving votes: Jacques Lemaire (Kent); Herb Brooks (PH)

Babcock won by a very healthy margin. But it's nice to see Lemaire get a little love, although I'm partial to Barry Trotz when it comes to funny-looking coaches who managed to make something out of nothing. To each his own.

Figher: Donald Brashear (Me, THE PEOPLE)
Others receiving votes: Derek Boogard (Joe P), Georges Laraque (PD), Chris Simon (Dre), Tie Domi (PH)

Some strange but amusing choices on Fighter of the Decade. Ultimately, it seems fair enough to defer to the Hockey Fights forums where Brashear was the near-unanimous winner. Seriously, no one else was even close. Laraque was an extremely distant second. Brashear is a scary, scary man with a mile-wide mean streak. BGL is a fearsome man but seems to have an acute understanding of the potential life ruining potential of his punches. That gives DB the edge with the Hockey Fights guys.

Loudmouth: Sean Avery (Me, PD, THE PEOPLE)

Others receiving votes: Jeremy Roenick (Dre, Kent); Don Cherry (Joe P); Matthew Barnaby (PH); Brian Burke (Kontos)

This was a really close one, but Avery's mouth got the most headlines. Plus, let's face it folks, Roenick got one-upped by Patrick Roy in a war of words. That, to me, disqualifies you from ever being the All-Decade Loudmouth. Sure, that might have happened around the end of the 90s/early 00s but the stench of defeat lingers.


Avery, Iginla, Brashear and Jagr all dominated polls, so the tie breakers seem fair enough to me. Got any complaints? Your own picks? Normally I'd say shove 'em, but my lawyer says "tell them to leave comments." He's kind of a pussy.


debrisslide said...

hey, PH picked Steve Mason as their all-decade goalie! Just sayin'. ;)

jamestobrien said...

Oops I'll fix it. Thanks homie.

Joe said...

Forsberg for center?!?!?!

Maybe if we were talking All Decade from 95-05. I don't think I can take that as a serious pick for 00-09. I couldn't stand Gary Thorne's throbbing boner for the guy back on ESPN, and considering that he's been more newsworthy for his "will he or wont he" antics than his actual play on the ice for the last 3-4 years, I think that's a pretty bad pick for an all-decade team. I'd give it to Thornton narrowly over Sakic, and thats mostly just a reflection of Sakic coming to the very end of his career on a very bad team.

I'd also take Ovechkin over Jagr, but I have much less problem with that pick. Jagr has a bigger body of work this decade, but Ovechkin's skill and style I think are better. Plus, can you imagine how awesome a team with Iginla and Ovechkin on the wings would be? That'd be a pretty mean first line, and thats before you get to the fact that they can snipe like nobody's business.

Frankly, if I were building a team to try to win, I'd pick Pronger over Niedermayer, especially with Lidstrom already there for a partner. That said, for an award, as far as I'm concerned, Pronger can go to hell.

How does no one vote for Luongo for goalie of the decade though? Steve Mason gets a vote, Hasek gets one for being largely irrelevant or worse for the bulk of the decade, and Brodeur gets to ride with a loaded team (not that he isn't a good goalie, but he does have an advantage in the team he plays for), and Luongo got no love? As far as I'm concerned, he is easily the best in the league right now, and has been for several years.

Also, damn its been a long time since I posted on blogspot, since both Mirtle and BoC moved to SBN.

jamestobrien said...

Good stuff, Joe.

(Whispers: I was a little surprised Peter Forsberg won, too. But he actually had a solid quality over quantity decade. Meh, what can you do?)

Luongo might not have gotten any votes, indeed. But in my "can anyone beat Brodeur?" post Luongo was the other name floating by.

Hey, it's my fault the list is silly. My silly-ness just seems to spread via osmosis I think.

The Puck Stops Here said...

I was never asked, but I found it an interesting enough concept that I posted my picks a few days ago.

Puck Stops Here picks