2nd Best Defenceman Of The 80s

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Boom Boom Bear, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. Boom Boom Bear

    Boom Boom Bear Registered User

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,654
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    artist
    Location:
    Coast Salish lands
    Taking into account only their play between the 79-80 & 88-89 seasons, who was the next best defenceman of the 80s after Ray Bourque?

    Denis Potvin
    Paul Coffey
    Chris Chelios
    Rod Langway
    Al MacInnis
    Doug Wilson
    Mark Howe
    Scott Stevens
    Larry Robinson
    Other
     
  2. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Messages:
    47,525
    Likes Received:
    1,818
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Awards:
    I think I would take both Slava Fetisov and Paul Coffey over Ray Bourque in the time frame given.

    Does that mean I should vote Coffey as 2nd to Fetisov? :)
     
  3. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Messages:
    28,146
    Likes Received:
    2,394
    Trophy Points:
    187
    Seriously? Bourque was a 1st team or 2nd team all-star EVERY SINGLE YEAR 1980-1989 :amazed: was considered the only defenseman better than Coffey in the NHL.

    They each won two Norris trophies that decade. Coffey had cups with Gretzky, Messier, Kurri and Bourque led his team to the Stanley Cup Finals once with no hall of fame types beside himself.


    Bourque:

    1979-80 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
    1980-81 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
    1981-82 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
    1982-83 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
    1983-84 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
    1984-85 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
    1985-86 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
    1986-87 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
    1987-88 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
    1988-89 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
    1989-90 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)

    Coffey:

    Honors
    1981-82 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
    1982-83 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
    1983-84 NHL NHL All-Star Team (2nd)
    1984-85 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
    1985-86 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)
    1988-89 NHL NHL All-Star Team (1st)

    Four times Bourque was 1st team all-star the same year Coffey was 2nd year all star (NOT including 1980 or 1990 though technically one of those two times should count, depending on where you slice the decade, so five times that decade however you slice it) and only ONCE was Coffey a 1st team all-star with Bourque on the 2nd team.

    Are there any history books that dare to assert baldly that Coffey was the greatest defenseman of the eighties? Coffey was my fav Oiler but I couldn't get anywhere trying to compare him to Bourque. Perhaps history needs to be revised.
     
  4. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Messages:
    47,525
    Likes Received:
    1,818
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Awards:
    Coffey missed too many games to be an AS in 1987 and 1988. The time frame in question also leaves out Bourque's 1989-90 season. If 1989-90 were included, Bourque's case would be much stronger obviously.

    From Dale Hawerchuk's LOH profile:

    Edit: To be fair, mid 1980s was basically Coffey's peak; Bourque was better from 1987 onwards.

    I just think it's far from a given that Bourque was the best defenseman of the 1980s, even in the NHL. I think if you are doing a poll for best defenseman of the 1980s, you could make an argument for a couple of guys and the OP shouldn't just assume Bourque would win.

    Edit: When the Bruins reached the finals in 1988, they also had Cam Neely (HHOF) and Rick Middleton (some argue he should be in). Definitely no Oilers, but not a patsy team without Bourque, either.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
  5. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Messages:
    26,380
    Likes Received:
    529
    Trophy Points:
    229
    For starters, in the time frame of 1979-'89 Coffey is awfully close to Bourque, and it can be said was arguably better. I'll give Bourque the edge though for being at the top from year one onwards, while Coffey needed a couple of years. Factor in the playoffs though and Coffey is very close to Bourque.

    But if Bourque is #1, and I'd likely pick that as well, then Coffey is a clear #2.
     
  6. Hardyvan123

    Hardyvan123 [email protected]

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Messages:
    17,552
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Do either of them top Fetisov though?

    from the guys listed I would take Ray, not sure who would be 2nd though, will have to think about it (assuming Fetisov isn't on the list).

    Potvin makes a pretty good case for the number 2 guy in that decade after Ray.

    Coffey has 2 things going against him IMO, he played with the 2 best offensives guys in that decade (and of all time) and his defensive game really was poor if you look closely at him.

    The time in Edmonton tends to hide how poor he was defensively.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  7. Boom Boom Bear

    Boom Boom Bear Registered User

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,654
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    artist
    Location:
    Coast Salish lands
    sorry, i just assumed Bourque was consensus #1
     
  8. Psycho Papa Joe

    Psycho Papa Joe Porkchop Hoser

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Messages:
    23,347
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Forensic Accountant
    Location:
    Cesspool, Ontario
    Home Page:
    Six best d-men in the world in the 80's as a body of work:

    Fetisov
    Bourque
    Howe
    Potvin
    Coffey (Probably the most talented, but I have a big bias against one dimensional guys when it comes to these rankings)
    Kasatonov
     
  9. kes81sel

    kes81sel Go MacT

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Red Deer
    I went with Coffey because of his sick offensive skills
     
  10. Sentinel

    Sentinel Registered User

    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    Messages:
    8,089
    Likes Received:
    1,094
    Trophy Points:
    109
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Home Page:
    Fetisov. Fix that poll, plz ;)
     
  11. BraveCanadian

    BraveCanadian Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Messages:
    11,868
    Likes Received:
    138
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Not only that, his peak was insane. The Bobby Orr comparisons were flowing at the time.

    Coffey kind of epitomizes the 80s firewagon era as well.

    I think for the whole decade it is close between Coffey and Bourque and some of the others listed here. Depending on your preferences.

    Peak is easily Coffey.
     
  12. Rhiessan71

    Rhiessan71 Just a Fool

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Messages:
    11,621
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    161
    Location:
    Guelph, Ont
    Home Page:
    He is. I mean despite the posts otherwise, if you polled a large group of people as to the top 3, Bourque‘s name would come up more than anyone elses.

    I even have to agree with Hardy here (remember this one folks) Coffey was by far the best offensively but he had a lot of advantages (Gretzky+Lemieux) and his defensive play was weak or maybe a better way of putting it, the effort he put into his defensive play was weak.
    Even on those Oiler teams reknown for lack of defensive effort in the regular season, he stood out. Especially in the playoffs when the rest of his team would pick up their defensive play, Coffey would only marginally increase his effort.

    Fetisov just has too many unknowns for me. His level of competition was not exactly top notch.
     
  13. Boom Boom Bear

    Boom Boom Bear Registered User

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,654
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    artist
    Location:
    Coast Salish lands
    was really just thinking NHL, didn't consider international players when making the poll
     
  14. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Messages:
    26,380
    Likes Received:
    529
    Trophy Points:
    229
    Both Bourque and Coffey are ahead of Fetisov. It is hard to judge Fetisov. The way the Russians played all year they faced relatively weak competition and were geared towards peaking at the Worlds or the Canada Cups. It is a lot easier to see your best in a two week span than over a full 80 game season. It doesn't mean Fetisov wouldn't have been a Norris threat in the 1980s, it just means we can't assume he would have. We do know that in the 1990s he wasn't anywhere near Bourque's level, and for that matter Coffey's. I'll take into account the culture shift to the NHL, the fact that he was 30,31 when he did it and the fact that Tikhonov drained them emotionally and physically. But on the flip side I can't say he was better than Bourque at this time or Coffey since both showed what they could do in the NHL and weren't exactly inferior in Canada Cups either.

    I don't think you can hold it against Coffey that he had Gretzky and then Lemieux. I'm not sure why stuff like this gets brought up, because if we are going to do that we should say the same thing about Fetisov and the Russian 5 in the 1980s. But I won't. Great players complement other great players, and what matters the most is how they do individually while judging them. I think it is obvious that Coffey was an integral part of that offensive attack and not exactly a Rob Brown type.

    Potvin comes to mind as well, but you almost want to do 1975-'85 for him. He misses one year in the 1980s due to retirement, and wasn't a threat for the Norris after 1984.

    Howe would lose the Norris to either Bourque or Coffey and never played consistently at their level for the decade.

    Still have to go with Coffey #2 here unless shown otherwise.
     
  15. BraveCanadian

    BraveCanadian Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Messages:
    11,868
    Likes Received:
    138
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Agreed.

    Potvin was awesome but his best doesn't match up with the time span in the poll.
     
  16. Fred Taylor

    Fred Taylor The Cyclone

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Messages:
    3,166
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    64
    I would go with Coffey here slightly over Fetisov.
     
  17. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    32,150
    Likes Received:
    1,122
    Trophy Points:
    169
    Location:
    Regina, SK
    I would not hesitate to go with Bourque as #1 but I agree it's a tad presumptuous to have him as the default #1 for this poll.

    TDMM: as far as 1988 is concerned, it depends on what your definition of a patsy is. Boston had an ES goal differential of just 1.06 without Bourque on the ice.
     
  18. Rhiessan71

    Rhiessan71 Just a Fool

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Messages:
    11,621
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    161
    Location:
    Guelph, Ont
    Home Page:
    Couple of things here per Bourque vs Coffey.

    1) Coffey started in 80/81 and was not what one would call an outstanding rookie. Bourque on the other hand was. So that‘s 2 seasons Bourque has on Coffey right off the bat.

    2) Coffey missed more time as well, as was already pointed out for his missing AS nominations.

    So really that‘s 4 seasons so it‘s Bourque and it should be clear that way.
     
  19. jkrx

    jkrx Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,337
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Fetisov
     
  20. jkrx

    jkrx Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,337
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The only time they were actually competing with each other in the '80s Fetisov outperformed Coffey (offensively and defensively), yet you claim Coffey was better. Fetisov was definitely better than Coffey and could definitely play consistently over a 80 game schedule. The only reason Fetisov would't have been a Norris threat in the '80s would be because he's russian.
     
  21. charliolemieux

    charliolemieux rsTmf

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2010
    Messages:
    9,715
    Likes Received:
    49
    Trophy Points:
    61
    For just the 80's decade Bourque is not #1. He establishes himself as one of the greatest during the second decade of his carreer.

    Vets like Potvin, and Robinson still dominated, and Coffey's lack of Defence is easily overlooked with five 100pts seasons between 80-81 and 89-90.

    Bourque might be the best to come out of the 80's, but during, I am not so sure.
     
  22. Rhiessan71

    Rhiessan71 Just a Fool

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Messages:
    11,621
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    161
    Location:
    Guelph, Ont
    Home Page:
    The Calder, 2 Norris, 6 First team All-star nods and 4 Second team All-star nods in those 10 years seems to say otherwise.

    As for Potvin and Robinson is, as was previously mentioned, that they fell off part way through the 80‘s.
    Like was mentioned, take the time frame of 75-84 into account and Potvin walks away with it pretty handily with Robinson bringing in second place.
     
  23. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Messages:
    47,525
    Likes Received:
    1,818
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Awards:
    Yeah. I think Bourque was easily the best defenseman of the 1990s (Chelios a distant 2nd), but I'm kind of reluctant to give him the 1980s too!
     
  24. Zine

    Zine Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2002
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    168
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Location:
    Rostov-on-Don
    From everything I've seen, Fetisov was the best from 1980-85. His 1985 car accident really effected is mobility from there onwards.

    From 1986-89 gotta give Bourque the nod as #1.
     
  25. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Messages:
    28,146
    Likes Received:
    2,394
    Trophy Points:
    187
    He was a HHOFer by 1990 with seven (7) first team all-star selections by then. Recent HHOFers like Niedermayer have no more than four their entire career.

    I have a lot of memories of the eighties, having watched hockey the whole decade as a teenager and young adult then, and while I was a Habs, Canucks and Oilers fanatic, I was in awe of Bourque, and he was certainly touted as the game's best time and again. Many game day storylines revolved around him. He excelled in all facets of the game throughout the decade. He was considered a complete defenseman. To say Coffey was the best defenseman of the decade (not just two or three years due to gaudy offensive numbers) sounds a bit like favoring Housley over Chelios based on scoring stats.

    Anyways, it appears there are some these days who think Coffey was better than Bourque so on this board at least, the poll doesn't reflect the opinions ideally of posters. Don't anyone start a 'Who's the second best center of all time' thread because Lemieux has his supporters.
     

Share This Page

monitoring_string = "358c248ada348a047a4b9bb27a146148"