Bowman, Potvin, Coffey, MacInnis on Lidstrom

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by steve141, Jan 8, 2011.

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  1. steve141

    steve141 Registered User

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    I thought some of you might appreciate this article:

    Red Wings' ageless wonder Lidstrom still special

    I think Scotty Bowman's quotes stick out especially:

    "Pre-expansion, nobody was as good as Doug Harvey,'' says Scotty Bowman, who coached Harvey, Larry Robinson, Coffey and Lidstrom during his unparalleled career. "Then Orr came along in '66 and changed the game. But Nick . . . look at all the trophies. He's been at the top for so long."

    "As to who's the best ever . . . it's tough to rate this guy here and that guy there. I will say I don't rate anyone AHEAD of Lidstrom, though.''


    I also chuckled at Bowman's stab at the old "he's not a defenceman, he's a forward" meme:

    "Nick's the best defenceman in the game today. Still. Who else this year? Byfuglien? He's not a defenceman, he's a rover."
     
  2. BraveCanadian

    BraveCanadian Registered User

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    Great find. I enjoyed the read especially with Coffey, Mac and Potvin weighing in because as top defensemen themselves their opinion of another carries a lot of weight.

    I'm curious though, what people here think of Scotty Bowman's opinion that Harvey was the best defenseman pre-expansion. I know some people have made that case previously too.

    We should all consider ourselves lucky as hockey fans to have a guy like Lidstrom still going like he is at 40.
     
  3. TasteofFlames

    TasteofFlames Registered User

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    Tangental, but as a Thrashers fan, I really hope that Byfuglien doesn't win the Norris.
     
  4. Dennis Bonvie

    Dennis Bonvie Registered User

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    "You hear about how the game today is better, all the guys are bigger and stronger and faster . . . OK, maybe they've got zero per cent body fat and they can bench-press the rink. Great. But they run around like maniacs for 40 seconds, they're beat, and they come off.

    "Not Nick. Nick looks as if he could play 40 minutes, not 40 seconds. He's smart. And smart never goes out of style.''

    I like that quote.
     
  5. BraveCanadian

    BraveCanadian Registered User

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    Yeah I thought that was a great quote as well. And it's true.

    Lidstrom is like the Gretzky of defense, not physical or overly big or overly fast.. but always in the right place at just the right time.
     
  6. Dark Shadows

    Dark Shadows Registered User

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    "I'd say Robinson was about the closest in terms of longevity. He went to L.A. and played pretty well, remember?"

    This comment struck me as odd from Bowman. Robinson's days as a top defenseman did not extend past the age of 35 and he had several gap years in which he was not a top defenseman.
     
  7. BraveCanadian

    BraveCanadian Registered User

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    I think he was speaking about longevity primarily - not that he was still a top shelf guy. Larry was just a good player 36-40.
     
  8. Dark Shadows

    Dark Shadows Registered User

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    No, he was talking about "being at the top for so long"

    Here is the full quote.

    "Pre-expansion, nobody was as good as Doug Harvey,'' says Scotty Bowman, who coached Harvey, Larry Robinson, Coffey and Lidstrom during his unparalleled career. "Then Orr came along in '66 and changed the game. But Nick . . . look at all the trophies. He's been at the top for so long. I'd say Robinson was about the closest in terms of longevity. He went to L.A. and played pretty well, remember? Larry. Potvin. Coffey. Bourque. Great, great players."
     
  9. Hardyvan123

    Hardyvan123 [email protected]

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    Isn't the English language great?

    One can read it both ways, especially with the period after the "being on top for so long" if he clearly was talking about being on top for so long and longevity as well a comma would have been used.

    At the end of the day though comments from former coaches and players, especially ones that played with said player need to be taken with a grain of salt as the hockey world is a very small place still.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
  10. BraveCanadian

    BraveCanadian Registered User

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    Yeah, what I said.
     
  11. Dark Shadows

    Dark Shadows Registered User

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    "Pre-expansion, nobody was as good as Doug Harvey,'' says Scotty Bowman, who coached Harvey, Larry Robinson, Coffey and Lidstrom during his unparalleled career. "Then Orr came along in '66 and changed the game. But Nick . . . look at all the trophies. He's been at the top for so long. I'd say Robinson was about the closest in terms of longevity. He went to L.A. and played pretty well, remember? Larry. Potvin. Coffey. Bourque. Great, great players."

    More like those two comments thrown together.
     
  12. I R Baboon

    I R Baboon Registered User

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    Hehe. It's pretty clear over here that the great Scotty Bowman calls Lidström the greatest defenceman who ever lived. It's not like most people didn't realize that already but it's really funny to see it confirmed by the greatest coach of all time.
     
  13. overg

    overg Registered User

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    I've never been quite sure what to make of any Scotty Bowman quote when he starts talking about stuff like that. Not only is there the Robinson statement, but you'll notice he calls Coffey a "great, great player" and includes him in that list. That's not exactly what you'd expect to hear from Bowman.

    I often think Scotty is just kind of free associating when he gets in discussions like this. He just kind of thinks of some names and topics, and says them all without really trying to give you his real thoughts.
     
  14. Rhiessan71

    Rhiessan71 Just a Fool

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    No offense here but Orr is compared to Gretzky as the best player to ever play the game and only loses that battle by the slimmest of margins generally, mostly due to longevity (and not my opinion).

    Now it is hinted that Lidstrom should be considered even better than Orr due to that same longevity.

    Soooo...in other words, Lidstrom would get decimated in a straight up poll/vote going up against Gretzky yet somehow he should get the edge over Orr who can pretty much go blow for blow with Gretzky.

    Yep, sounds right to me....:shakehead

    Orr
    --
    --
    --
    Harvey
    Bourque
    Lidstrom
    Potvin

    That's my list in order and it won't change any time soon.
     
  15. FrozenJagrt

    FrozenJagrt Registered User

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    Nick Lidstrom's not a defenceman, he's a robot.
     
  16. Trottier

    Trottier Very Random

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    Oh sure. No question.

    ...If one was born in 1991. :shakehead

    No one is begrudging you or anyone else that opinion.

    Just please don't insult our intelligence with the hyperbole. Many of us, thankfully, possess a broader frame of reference.
     
  17. Crosbyfan

    Crosbyfan Registered User

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    If Byfuglien's not a defenceman but a rover then what was Orr?
     
  18. Gobo

    Gobo Stop looking Gare

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    That's true. But my list would be more like:

    Orr
    --
    --
    Harvey
    Lidstrom
    Bourque
    --
    Potvin

    Dunno why, but from what ive seen from Potvin he seems to be a slight step down.
     
  19. Trottier

    Trottier Very Random

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    Which begs the question: what did you watch?

    In his prime, Potvin was arguably the second most dominating dman ever. He was a enormous impact on both sides of the puck.

    That is not an argument for higher placement and Lidstrom and Bourque certainy have longevity over him (can't speak to Harvey and #4 is clearly the best dman, if not player, ever), since Denis simply decided to retire at a relatively early age. But the distance you perceive between the players is dubious, to be kind.

    Just my opinion, of course.
     
  20. CHGoalie27

    CHGoalie27 GWAAARRRRRRR

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    Explain why that makes sense for you to say.

    Who are you trying to appeal to here?

    If you're not grateful to have this guy, something severely wrong with you...and that's what it sounds like. Monster two way player, I'd LOVE to see him win the Norris.
    Side note, I think he deserved that Conn Smythe too. Pronger would've ate them boys alive without Byf.

    Lidstrom's getting it anyway. Like Frank Boucher, Lidstrom should be able to keep the Norris.


    ...and why no Scott Stevens love here? You wanna talk defensemen? As a goalie(and Rangers fan), I'd rather have nobody in history on D in front of me over Stevens.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
  21. overpass

    overpass Registered User

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    Orr didn't have a problem taking care of his defensive duties. For one, he was one of the greatest penalty killers ever, and you can't kill penalties as a rover. Byfuglien's coach won't let him on the ice when they're shorthanded. They weren't the same type of player.
     
  22. steve141

    steve141 Registered User

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    Don't misconstrue his words. If anything, he says it's hard to compare between eras. He says Harvey was the best pre-expansion, then Orr, and Lidstrom is the best of the current era.

    I'm not surprised considering Bowman's approach to coaching that he would put a high value on defensively responsible defencemen though.
     
  23. straka91*

    straka91* Guest

    A lot of Thrasher fans this year. Where were they last year?

    Interesting article. Lidstrom is a beast and the greatest player to play Post Lock Out hockey.
     
  24. habsjunkie2*

    habsjunkie2* Guest

    Gretzky and Lemieux killed penalties it wasn't really a testament to their strong defensive abilities now was it. Not saying Orr was terrible defensively, but the example doesn't mean a whole lot.
     
  25. Hardyvan123

    Hardyvan123 [email protected]

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    I understand why guys use the gaps but it's a false perception IMO
     

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