Greatest Skater all time = Bobby Orr?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by SwedishFire, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. SwedishFire

    SwedishFire Registered User

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Simple question :

    I see clips of bobby orr, and the thing that most standout was how incredble skater he was. He took red line to blue line in two strides. Stamkos does this with three strides - and i xcount him as a great skater.

    WAS Bobby Orr the greatest skater all time. Or(r) is he? :sarcasm:

    Contenders is Mike Gartner, Bure, Fedorov and .. who ever. Kharlamov?
     
  2. John Flyers Fan

    John Flyers Fan Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Messages:
    22,416
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Home Page:
    I would say Orr if it's in comparison to his peers.

    While Orr was great in a number of areas, his biggest advantage by far, was how much better a skater he was compared to the rest of the NHL at the time.
     
  3. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    17,148
    Likes Received:
    1,593
    Trophy Points:
    169
    Home Page:
    it's not just speed and it's not just acceleration with orr. other guys could do that and better (cournoyer, e.g.) but orr could change speeds while carrying the puck like no one else. he had such meticulous control of his skating.
     
  4. Hanji

    Hanji Registered User

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,460
    Likes Received:
    205
    Trophy Points:
    81
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Agreed about Orr if comparing a player to his peers.

    Overall I'd say Konstantin Koltsov. Best hockey skater I've ever seen....unfortunately that's all he was good at.
     
  5. 85highlander

    85highlander Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Harry Sinden provides a coach's commentary on some of Orr's skills, including skating at 1 minute 15 sec...


     
  6. kmad

    kmad riot survivor

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2003
    Messages:
    34,119
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    171
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Soviet scouts upon watching videos of Bobby Hull prior to the summit series asked if the tapes were playing on fast forward.
     
  7. SwedishFire

    SwedishFire Registered User

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    hahaha,

    but i got a harsh feeling of much of Bobby Hull was fishing stories, even Bobby said that bobby was better at skating than himself.
     
  8. revolverjgw

    revolverjgw Registered User

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    8,483
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    Damn cool video, I like that documentary style from back then. Nowadays a feature like this would be overloaded with quick cuts and obnoxious music
     
  9. DisgruntledGoat*

    DisgruntledGoat* Registered User

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2010
    Messages:
    4,301
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I believe its Paul Coffey, with a slight edge over Bobby Orr. Orr was always moving his feet. Coffey could glide and use his edges and he was still flying past guys.

    In the video below, check out the sequence that starts at approximately 0:48. Coffey collects the puck behind his own net, picks up speed in his own zone, and then glides through the neutral zone (I count two strides after he passes his own blueline). He essentially coasts from blueline to blueline in all of three seconds, and then finishes the sequence off with some fancy footwork to stay onside and avoid the defenseman trying to stand him up at the line.

     
  10. ShawnTHW

    ShawnTHW @ShawnTHW

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Messages:
    8,953
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0


    This guy. He loses nothing in his stride. Just amazing stuff.
     
  11. Rhiessan71

    Rhiessan71 Just a Fool

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Messages:
    11,621
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    161
    Location:
    Guelph, Ont
    Home Page:
    The thing about Orr is that he was only as fast as he had to be.
    Espo said this a 100 times, before he had his first big knee operation. You would think Bobby was beat and then he just wasn't. Unlike most guys who had an extra gear, Bobby had extra gears and Phil said as scary as this sounds, he's not sure he ever saw Bobby's full out top speed.

    There have been other articles from speed skating instructors talking about strides and the ability to use the inner edges of their skates instead of the outer or something like that.

    The other thing is Bobby wasn't just fast going north-south, he could literally jump 10 feet east-west in the blink of an eye at high speed.
    That is the biggest difference between him and the Gartner's, Coffey's and Fedorov's imo.

    The only player that really stands out in my mind that had that same kind of east-west change over was Bure.
     
  12. BillD

    BillD Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2004
    Messages:
    13,478
    Likes Received:
    322
    Trophy Points:
    154
    Interesting point that I do not remember noticing...........Espo said that Orr couldn't skate backwards, almost a must for defensemen. He would let a puck carrier or open man skate up to him, then turn and skate in the the same direction forward to his own net.
    I heard this from Espo on NHL Power Play show this season.
     
  13. BenchBrawl

    BenchBrawl joueur de hockey

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Messages:
    18,721
    Likes Received:
    1,720
    Trophy Points:
    156
    What about Guy Lafleur?
     
  14. Rhiessan71

    Rhiessan71 Just a Fool

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Messages:
    11,621
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    161
    Location:
    Guelph, Ont
    Home Page:

    Espo says a lot of things these days to the point where he even seems bitter.
    You get a real sense that Espo thinks Orr gets too much credit for his own accomplishments.
    Back in the early days though, Espo would talk of Orr's skating ability with absolute awe.
     
  15. kmad

    kmad riot survivor

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2003
    Messages:
    34,119
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    171
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Agreed, Esposito for all his legend is grossly unreliable for providing useful insight.
     
  16. 85highlander

    85highlander Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    66

    Watching Coffey skate with the puck was a beautiful thing -- fast, fluid, and seemingly effortless. For a comparable to Orr, there wasn't anyone closer than Coffey, imo...

    However, Orr was better end, to end, and to end once again as shown in the following video. If you watch from 4min 16 secs to the end of the video, you will witness Orr getting back after being caught up ice, turn the jets on, and then scoring a goal down low from Espo...all in the same sequence --- and then another goal where he just flies by everyone, including the goalie and the camera man and puts a backhander in the cleared out net...amazing:

     
  17. Killion

    Killion Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Messages:
    36,723
    Likes Received:
    2,914
    Trophy Points:
    156
    Actually, he's always had those propensities. Its all about Phil......:shakehead

    Generally scouts look at players speed laterally, straight ahead & with the puck. The thing about Orr was he was faster with the puck than the rest of his peers who were chasing him without it. Quickness is another measurement; being able to go from 0-60 in 2.5 strides, something Orr was constantly utilizing. Gliding skills, whereby he could glide by guys faster than they could keep up working their tales off. Many names mentioned earlier, Coffey certainly, along with Leetch, Kovalev, Bure', Geoff Sanderson & countless others post Orr were as quick, some faster even with the puck, but lacked the finish that Orr did in either setting up a teammate or putting the biscuit in himself. He was a complete player, the others lacking in one, two or three of the others. Its also interesting to note that Orrs' skating style was wide legged, almost bowed, keeping his center of gravity a little lower than was the norm back in the day, a style that was studied and advanced by skating coaches thereafter by the hundreds. Backwards, no, he wasnt the greatest, but he wasnt a "lane" defenceman in the style of a Bobby Baun or Allan Stanley. He was an early version & to some extent a pioneer of the "cycle" style that so shocked Canadian/American hockey sensibilities when first encountered as a team concept effectively coached & deployed by the Soviets in 72. The norm in todays game.
     
  18. Killion

    Killion Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Messages:
    36,723
    Likes Received:
    2,914
    Trophy Points:
    156
    I wonder what they wouldve' made of Derek Sanderson in his WHA days?. A beer, couple of quick drags on a butt in between shifts, good to go Baby..... :naughty:
     
  19. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    17,148
    Likes Received:
    1,593
    Trophy Points:
    169
    Home Page:
    very interesting stuff by a poster named "heat mcmanus" about orr and bure's skating style. apparently, this pushing off on the inside edge thing that they both did was terrible on their knees.

    and

    http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?p=14798202#post14798202
     
  20. pappyline

    pappyline Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Messages:
    4,519
    Likes Received:
    119
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Location:
    Mass/formerly Ont
    Obviously, you never saw Bobby Hull skate.
     
  21. lextune

    lextune I'm too old for this.

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    9,955
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    "Greatest" is subjective.

    Are we talking about pure speed? Agility? Acceleration? Some combination of them all?

    In any event the players that jump immediately to my mind are Orr, Fedorov, Coffey and Hull.
     
  22. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Messages:
    26,363
    Likes Received:
    523
    Trophy Points:
    229
    It really comes down to a two horse race I think and that's Coffey and Orr. The thing with Coffey is that he seemed to do things so effortlessly - or so it seemed. You don't see a defenseman skate end to end in the NHL right now and if anything it would be more favourable with the lack of obstruction.

    I've said this a few times on here. That play Coffey made in the 1984 Canada Cup vs. the Soviets by breaking up the 2-on-1 and then getting up on his feet swiftly in one stride and going against the grain the other way on an end to end rush (which resulted in him assisting on the winning goal) is something I've always felt only him and Orr could have ever been capable of doing in hockey history. The fluid motion of that play is nearly impossible to do but he did it, and Coffey did stuff like this all the time.

    Enough has been said about Orr on this thread and it's all correct. I think in the context of a game these two were better skaters than anyone else and you aren't wrong picking either of them
     
  23. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Messages:
    26,363
    Likes Received:
    523
    Trophy Points:
    229
    There are a couple of interpretations of "greatest skater" of all-time. First off, it comes down to different groups:

    Best skater based on pure speed (random order): Bure, Gartner, Cournoyer, Coffey, Orr, Bondra

    Best skater based on most beautiful fluid skater: Perreault, Lafleur, Coffey, Orr, Fedorov, Hull, Beliveau and maybe even Modano when Hitchcock let him

    Best skater based on who could use it best in the context of the game: Orr, Coffey, Fedorov, Hull, Beliveau, Lafleur


    The thing with Gartner and Cournoyer and even Bure and Bondra is that they flew like the wind but had more of a choppy style of skating I thought. Bure didn't use his speed to backcheck though so half the time he wasted it, but when he had the puck.........

    Perreault looked lovely the way he skated and I often feel that he played better than his point totals indicated (which were pretty good to start). Beliveau was another lovely skater as was Fedorov.

    To me, the "best skaters" fall into the last category. Guys who could use it the best in the confines of an NHL game vs. the competition. This is probably the most difficult thing to do in the NHL
     
  24. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    Best I've seen are Coffey and Bure.
     
  25. Reds4Life

    Reds4Life Registered User

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    3,795
    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Location:
    the Czech republic
    IMHO Sergei Fedorov is the best skater of all time.
     

Share This Page

monitoring_string = "358c248ada348a047a4b9bb27a146148"