Bobby Hull: Two-Way Player?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Dreakmur, Feb 1, 2011.

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  1. Dreakmur

    Dreakmur Registered User

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    I'm looking for a little help with some information regarding Bobby Hull. It seems that some people around here believe he was a complete two-way hockey player. I have done quite a bit of research on the matter and have not found a single source that calls him good defensively. I have, on the other hand, found some sources that suggest the opposite.

    Anyone have any books or quotes that talk about Hull's defensive game?

    There is, apparently, a quote out there from Punch Imlach, but nobody seems to know the quote.


    I am not looking for your opinions about Hull. I am looking for evidence of his defensive play.

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. leoleo3535

    leoleo3535 Registered User

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    Most people view Stan Mikita as a 2 way foward....so do I.

    Back in the day they did not keep +- stats but they did starting in 1967/1968

    For the same period ....Hull vs Mikita

    1967/68 Hull +14 Mikita -3
    1968/69 Hull -7 Mikita +17
    1969/70 Hull +20 Mikita +29
    1970/71 Hull +34 Mikita +21
    1971/72 Hull +54 Mikita +16
    total Hull +115 Mikita +80
     
  3. Dreakmur

    Dreakmur Registered User

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    Hmm. I never even thought to look at their +/- before. Nice idea.

    The problem, I think, is that +/- is basically a useless stat. There are too many variable that determine the final numbe, and unless you can eliminate each variable, you really never know how much each influenced the result.

    Goals For
    Goals Against
    Overall Team
    Playing Situations (this is where it gets skewed for this comparison)
     
  4. BraveCanadian

    BraveCanadian Registered User

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    Overall team is the same obviously. For the years in question:

    Mikita
    TGF PGF TGA PGA +/-
    545 187 330 52 80

    Hull
    582 192 323 48 115

    You're going to have a hard time telling me Mikita was a lot better over those years. Something isn't adding up compared to their reputations. Especially the fact that Hull has roughly the same powerplay goals against.

    Even if Mikita perhaps took the tougher assignment in general, I know Hull relished playing against Gordie Howe for example.

    I'm pretty sure I remember in his legends of hockey interview him talking about how he loved competing head to head against Gordie and trying to beat him.

    Also, Hull definitely wasn't sheltered as far as ice time went.
     
  5. BM67

    BM67 Registered User

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    It should be noted that Mikita suffered a back injury in the middle of that period and wasn't quite the same after that.

    I'm not sure where I read it, but I recall Hull saying that he was tired of all the complaints about his defense and dedicated himself to a more defensive game for a season. He got no credit for it, (not sure if they gave him no credit for better D or complained about his offensive production) so he went back to his regular style.
     
  6. Dark Shadows

    Dark Shadows Registered User

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    I would tell you he was very good in that regard. His most dangerous asset was his speed. If he picked off a pass, he could turn on the jets and be in your end shooting the puck before you knew it.


    Since you are looking for evidence, Overpass once did scoring by game state from 61-62 to 66-67. Bobby Hull is one of the top PK scorers.
    http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=634046
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  7. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    - Dark Shadows, what you've provided shows that Hull was dangerous on the PK. But so was Pavel Bure and no one considers him useful defensively at all. Of course I am not saying Bobby Hull = Pavel Bure, but this is likely not the kind of evidence that Dreakmur was looking for.

    - As for Hull and Mikita, all anecdotal evidence points to Mikita being the superior defensive player, and it shouldn't even be close. I wouldn't use their +/- figures to prove anything other than Mikita faced the opposition's top scorers and Hull didn't.
     
  8. pirate94

    pirate94 Registered User

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    Outside of WHA play i'm not sure you're going to find some defining evidence, he was a great offensive player.
    as far as the Punch Imlach quote maybe it was this
    "like standing up at the plate while a baseball pitcher without control throws dust-off pitches at your head."
     
  9. leoleo3535

    leoleo3535 Registered User

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    Hull was matched against Esposito, Cournoyer, F. Mahovlich, Sanderson, Howe, H. Richard, Orr, Hodge, Bucyk.........
    His battles with Howe, Cournoyer, the boys from bean town were classics.
     
  10. BraveCanadian

    BraveCanadian Registered User

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    As I mentioned earlier, he particularly singled out playing against Howe in the interview he did for legends of hockey.

    You could tell he really liked competing against him.
     
  11. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    I'm sure that he played against Howe and all those others, but it's pretty contrary to his reputation and to Mikita's to suggest that he did on a regular basis, or that he did more than Mikita did.
     
  12. Dreakmur

    Dreakmur Registered User

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    Hull being used on the PK because he could counter-attack doesn't really support his defensive play.


    I'm mostly looking for quotes or video evidence.

    So far, we have an 11 second video clip that actually shows as much good as it does bad. It does show that Hull could anticipate a play and intercept the pass. It also shows, however, that he could run out of position in his own zone.
     
    maacoshark likes this.
  13. Seanconn*

    Seanconn* Guest

    but what would be the point of the greatest players like bobby hull or Bure who went out of their position sometimes and scored an important goal. creating an offensive opportunity, especially on the PK is one the best things you can do to prevent letting the other team pass around the puck in your defensive zone.

    being good on the PK is totally a good stat, for your contribution to your team defensively. since when is creating offense a bad thing for defense?

    anything you do to prevent the other team from getting a good shot on goal...
     
  14. pappyline

    pappyline Registered User

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    Unlikely that Mikita was matched up against Howe much as Howe was a RW & Mikita was center. Hull was a LW so was matched up against Howe regularly.

    Used DVR to record a 65 Hawk/Wings playoff game from NHL.com. Hull & Howe were definitely matched up in that one. Hull was also double shifted on a 3rd line with Eric Nesterenko.

    Here is a quote from Bill Hay regarding Hull's line being assigned to check the Howe line though he is obviously mistaken about Howe's LW.

    About Christmas time, Bobby was playing with Ron Murphy and Eric Nesterenko, and they both got hurt. (Chicago coach) Rudy Pilous put Murray and I on the line with Bobby. We told Bobby how we’ll play the game: ‘Murray will get the puck out of the corner and bang it around, and I’ll fool around with it a bit, and you shoot it in the goal. That’s as simple as we can make it, Bobby.’ ’’
    The trio was simply sensational for the remainder of the season, which culminated when Chicago won the best-of-seven league final in six games.
    Appropriately, Chicago disposed of the Detroit Red Wings, who boasted another line of considerable repute.
    “After we had played together for about four games, Rudy said, ’When we go into Detroit, do you think you’ll be able to check the line of Alex Delvecchio, Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay?’ ’’ Hay recalls. “And I said, ‘Rudy, you go into their dressing room and ask them if they think they’ll be able to check our line.’ From then, we played well together. Bobby scored and Murray and I helped him score. Bobby got paid, and Murray and I just enjoyed it.’’
     
  15. pappyline

    pappyline Registered User

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    All I see from the clip is great anticipation by a great player.

    Hull was a regular on The PK during his prime & nobody was put on the PK in those days because they could counter attack. They were on there because they could play defense & stop the other team from scoring. Of course, players did score on the PK which was a bonus.

    This PK counter attack stuff started with Gretzky.
     
  16. Dreakmur

    Dreakmur Registered User

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    And therein lies the problem....

    [​IMG]
     
  17. pappyline

    pappyline Registered User

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    This site has the Highlights of the 71 Stanley cup final with some examples of Hull's defensive play. The first one is at the 8:20 mark of the games 1-5 video and shows what is described as the defensive play of the series. Hull catches Mahovlich on a breakaway and knocks the puck off his stick.

    Another play at .20 of the game 6 video shows Mahovlich on another breakaway and Hull is the only Hawk back.


    http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2010/6/8/1506713/tv-broadcast-highlights-from-the#storyjump
     
  18. Dreakmur

    Dreakmur Registered User

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    Once again, that top clip shows two sides, and I'm sure you didn't see the bad.

    Yes, Bobby Hull back-checked on that play. Yes, it was a great defensive play. The break-away, however, was caused by Hull, who made a poor decision that lead to the break-away.

    The second clip, he was playing the point, so it's not like he skated past others to be the first one back. Also, that break-away was aslo partially caused by Hull.
     
  19. pappyline

    pappyline Registered User

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    This is absolutely hilarious. What you really looking for is proof that Bobby Hull was poor defensively and are not really interested in proof the other way. So far both dark shadows and I provided video proof of hull's defensive play. I also gave you a quote from red Hay that states the Hull line was used to check the Howe line.

    However, none of this matches your unsupported opinion, does it.
     
  20. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    Surely you must know that by "Howe", "Hull", and "Mikita", I mean "The Howe Line", "The Hull Line", and "The Mikita Line".
     
  21. pappyline

    pappyline Registered User

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    about what I would expect from a clown.
     
  22. pappyline

    pappyline Registered User

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    I guess I misunderstood. I thought you were talking about specific player match ups.

    Anyway, I don't really remember the Mikita line being used as a checking line all that often. I know guys like Nasterenko and Reg fleming were used on a checking line. I have a leaf game from 62 where they were used against the Mahovlich line.

    Also, I provided a quote from Red Hay regarding the Hull line going up against the Howe line. I do remember the Hull/Howe match up being quite frequent. I have a 65 Hawks/Wings game where it is quite evident.
     
  23. BraveCanadian

    BraveCanadian Registered User

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    When it goes against the point that he's trying to reinforce.. which is that Hull was poor defensively. :)
     
  24. nik jr

    nik jr Registered User

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    that is ridiculous. that was a standard defensive play that every coach would support.



    i will read and post my findings.
     
  25. BraveCanadian

    BraveCanadian Registered User

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    Neither do the numbers (for the years available) above.

    Mikita and Hull had very similar TGA and even almost the same PGA.
    Which is very odd considering their reputations.

    Both were before my time and I never saw them live so I couldn't say for certain either way..
     

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