Dennis Potvin vs. Larry Robinson

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by markrander87, Mar 17, 2011.

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  1. markrander87

    markrander87 Registered User

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    The title says it all. I'm probably going to get mocked but I'm curious to why Potvin is always ranked higher than Robinson on All time lists. By All-Time lists we include Peak and Longevity.
     
  2. JuniorNelson

    JuniorNelson Registered User

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    I saw Robinson play in Vancouver. He was dominant. The Habs would change with only him back and stuff like that. I don't think the Canucks registered a shot with him on the ice. An astounding performance.

    I think the offensive defencemen of the era shroud Robinson. Guys like Park and Orr were rewriting the record books, but they weren't shut down guys. I can't, off the top of my head, remember a better shut-down defenceman. Lidstrom, maybe.
     
  3. scribe114

    scribe114 Registered User

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  4. Mothra

    Mothra The Groovy Guru

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    Tough call for me...as I take either of these guys (after Orr) over any D I have ever seen play.
     
  5. markrander87

    markrander87 Registered User

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  6. markrander87

    markrander87 Registered User

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    I think that's the issue. Potvin does have the better offensive numbers, but was Robinson the better defensive dman? It's tough to determine that out. The real only way to judge that is by posters who have seen them both play.
     
  7. BenchBrawl

    BenchBrawl joueur de hockey

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    Offense , nastiness & Leadership , but Robinson is very similar to Potvin in a lot of ways.
    Potvin also was the cornerstone of the dynasty , not sayiong Robinson was not important.The truth is the differance is slim but you just have to give the edge to Potvin for a couple of small things.

    After Potvin , Robinson is the next on the list as far as physical all-around dman left.I know there are my 2 favorite dman , sure Orr is better but Orr doesn't count :)

    And I'm the biggest Big Bird fan there is , but we all know you're trying to pimp your franchise ATD player :naughty:
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  8. Joe Cole

    Joe Cole Registered User

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    I would say Robinson, but I am from Montreal, born in 1969 and Robinson was my childhood hero.

    ;) a bit biased

    I cannot think of a defenseman who controlled the play and tone of the game as well as he did.
     
  9. FiveForDrawingBlood

    FiveForDrawingBlood Registered User

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    I would go with Robinson. Career mark of +730, the NHL career record holder. With NHL record for playing 20 consecutive seasons in the playoffs.
     
  10. markrander87

    markrander87 Registered User

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    Haha im really not, im really curious on why it's so cut and dry that Potvin always goes/is ranked ahead of Robinson.

    Regarding the Cornerstone of a dynasty, everything I have read refers to Robinson as the MVP of those dynasty Habs teams. By the looks of this thread so far, a lot of the posters who have watched both of them play lean towards Robinson because of his ability to control the game.
     
  11. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    I highly doubt anything new has been uncovered about Denis Potvin and Larry Robinson since 2006. It's not like these are obscure players or guys that nobody here saw play.
     
  12. markrander87

    markrander87 Registered User

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    There were 20 responses to that. As well as thousands of new members who have joined HF since then. Perhaps they could have something of note to add.
     
  13. FiveForDrawingBlood

    FiveForDrawingBlood Registered User

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    Both are pretty close, I figure be 50/50 split.

    Potvin won 3 Norris and 4 Cups, Robinson won 2 Norris and 6 Cups. Robinson won a Conn Smyth, Potvin never. Potvin was on 7 All-Star teams, Robinson 6.
     
  14. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    okay, so i didn't see either of them play until the very very end of their careers, robinson moreso than potvin for obvious reasons.

    i am only going by reputation and anecdotal evidence, but my sense is that results-wise they are very close. but robinson gets docked a bit for circumstance. great +/-? so did everyone else on that team. shut down defenseman? his partner was one of the top 5 defensive guys of all time.

    if they traded places, who's to say? potvin was dominant from day one. you can't say the same about robinson, but again maybe robinson leads the blueline of a last place team instead of being eased in like lafleur. but only the oldertimes can tell us.
     
  15. Eisen

    Eisen Registered User

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    I wasn't watching when either of them was in their prime. But from ample footage I'd say Potvin had a higher peak. And that is not diminishing the accomplishments of Robinson.
     
  16. Rhiessan71

    Rhiessan71 Just a Fool

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    Potvin having the highest offensive peak of any d-man not named Orr is the deciding factor for me.
    Big Bird's longevity makes up some ground but not enough.

    Defensively they were pretty close but intimidation was also part of Potvin's game.
    If you pissed Larry off you were in for a world of hurt but with Potvin that was an every shift thing.
    Potvin hit like Stevens but was even meaner, scary mean if you talk to some of the guys he played against.
     
  17. RabbinsDuck

    RabbinsDuck Registered User

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    I think Robinson was better defensively, but not by enough to overcome the significant offensive edge Potvin has over Robinson, against the exact same competition.

    From 1974 to 1988 Potvin has 1,052 pts to Robinson's 847.

    Against their peers (defensemen) top 10 finishes:
    1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9 = Potvin
    1, 2, 3, 5, 5, 7 = Robinson

    Norris voting is a lot closer which does seem to reflect Robinson's better defensive game and health:
    1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4 = Potvin
    1, 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 5 = Robinson

    Hard to give Robinson much of an edge in the playoffs as Potvin was unquestionably a stud, with no lack of Conn Smythe worthy performances.
     
  18. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Add to this the fact that Robinson always played with excellent forwards in his offensive prime, while Potvin actually led the Islanders in scoring multiple times before Trottier and Bossy got there, and you can really see that their offense really isn't close at all.
     
  19. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    A telltale sign of Potvin's dominance can be found in the 1979-'80 season. In 1978-'79 all of Bossy, Trottier and Potvin had huge years. The next year Potvin missed some time and there was a noticeable plummet in points from Bossy and Trottier. Bossy didn't even hit 100 points while Trottier just barely did. This tells me that Potvin was the glue of that team and our eyes don't lie to us.

    I think if you did a thorough investigation you would conclude that Potvin was the most important Islander on that dynasty. Better than Trottier and Bossy and for sure Smith (although not diminishing anything from them). He was mean, he was tough, he hit, he intimidated, he would start the rush and he would bowl over his first born to win. It's funny when you think of it that Potvin "only" had 7 all-star selections because our eyes would tell us a different story.

    Robinson also had "only" 6 all-star selections and surprisingly just two Norrises. But his 1977 season is awfully close, if not better than Potvin's 1979 year. That being said Robinson didn't have another year quite that good while Potvin had a couple other very similar. Robinson led the rush, was a remarkable hitter and his size alone intimidated people. You could trust him in all situations. Yet while Potvin is arguably the best Islander for that dynasty, there is no doubt this was Lafleur's Montreal team. Sure, Robinson would be a solid 2nd best player on the Habs dynasty but Lafleur was the backbone and took the team on his back more than anyone.

    At the end of the day, give credit to Robinson's longevity. But if I wanted a guy overall it's still Potvin
     
  20. BenchBrawl

    BenchBrawl joueur de hockey

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    yup , NO doubt about this quote.
     
  21. Blades of Glory

    Blades of Glory Troll Captain

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    Potvin was the best all-around defenseman that I have ever seen. He was equally elite in every fact of the game, and I think that sets him apart from everyone else. His vision and skating ability led the Islanders breakout at ES and quarterbacked their PP. Until injuries took a toll on him, he was a dangerous goal-scoring threat, especially on the PP. Robinson was a better skater, but Potvin was definitely the better offensive defenseman. In terms of defense, they are pretty even, IMO. Both were dominant and could shut down an entire offense. Robinson lived off his intimidating presence, but I actually have always thought Potvin was a more physical player in the defensive zone. He had a nasty side that made life hell for opposing forwards in front of the net. Phil Esposito said that the hardest hit he ever received was a Denis Potvin crosscheck in the lower back in front of the Islanders net.

    Potvin's performance against Gretzky in 1983 was one of the most spectacular shows of defensive dominance that I have ever seen. He was in Gretzky's nightmares that year. Every time Gretzky had the puck, Potvin would appear out of nowhere to poke it away. He devastated the high-flying Oilers' breakout by intercepting passes left and right. Both Potvin and Robinson were incredible defensemen, but I'll take Potvin's all-around elite ability over Robinson by a small margin. Big Phil makes a great point. The dynasty-era Islanders were Denis Potvin's team. Trottier and Bossy were obviously dominant players, but Potvin was the heart and soul of that team and his all-around ability keyed their defense, which was the most important part of Al Arbour's system, and their offense.
     
  22. Lafleurs Guy

    Lafleurs Guy RIP Fugu

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    I choose both.
     
  23. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

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    Potvin. For me he had the highest peak of any post-Orr defenseman. Robinson's longevity edge isn't enough to overcome that.

    I have Potvin #2 post-Orr, while Robinson is 4-6.
     
  24. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    Potvin was the better defenseman. Both where great defenseman but I think you can argue Potvin was in the top 5 all-time. Robinson maybe not so much.
     
  25. FiveForDrawingBlood

    FiveForDrawingBlood Registered User

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    The Hockey News recently released a list of the top 100 players all-time by position. Voted on by a panel of veteran hockey writers. Potvin was voted 6th best defenseman ever, Robinson was voted 8th best defensman ever. Best defenseman ever was Bobby Orr, Doug Harvey was voted 2nd best ever. Here are the top 10 -

    1. Bobby Orr
    2. Doug Harvey
    3. Eddie Shore
    4. Ray Bourque
    5. Nicklas Lidstrom
    6. Denis Potvin
    7. Red Kelly
    8. Larry Robinson
    9. Paul Coffey
    10. Chris Chelios

    Scott Niedermayer was voted 16th, Chris Pronger was voted 20th.
     

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