Phil Housley

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by whcanuck, Oct 17, 2018.

  1. whcanuck

    whcanuck Registered User

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    I've read in multiple posts that Phil Housley isn't exactly thought of as worthy of the Hall of Fame. That may be true, but in the 80s and early 90s this guy was a very gifted offensive defenseman. Great passer and a great powerplay quarterback. 6 straight seasons of 20+ goals and 50 straight seasons with 70+ points, including those two monsters years in Winnipeg where he had 86 and 97 points back to back. I get the knock on him is that he wasn't very good defensively, but could he almost be called Paul Coffey-lite?
     
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  2. Mike Farkas

    Mike Farkas Grace Personified

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    Even if you don't adjust for the "funny money" years that he played in and you don't account for the time he spent playing wing because he was so bad at defense (yes, even worse than Coffey somehow), he's still not worth the offensive production (which was not beyond reproach, mind you) that came with being a complete liability defensively...

    Defense scoring from 1980 to 1993.
    1. Coffey 1201 pts
    2. Bourque 1097
    3. Murphy 835
    4. Housley 817
    5. D.Wilson 767
    6. MacInnis 740
    7. M.Howe 647
    8. L.Robinson 614
    9. D.Babych 609
    10. S.Stevens 594

    Yeah, he's on that list, but there's also some outstanding defensive players on there too...and they prevented a lot more than 100 points worth of offense against.

    He produces 1200 points and he's a -53. He was only a plus in one playoff year ever (a single 7 game series vs. the expansion Sharks...which he lost any way)...

    If you made a similar list for this era, Mike Green would fall roughly where Housley falls on this one I bet...and they're both heinous defensively...emphasis on anus...
     
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  3. decma

    decma Registered User

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    I agree with your conclusion that he does not belong in the HoF, but your table of D-man scoring is a little unfair given that it includes seasons when Housley wasn't in the NHL.

    From 1982/83 to any endpoint from 86/87 all the way to 00/01, Housley was 3rd in D scoring, behind only Coffey and Bourque. Even ff you include the last season or two of his career, he is still 4th (slipping behind MacInnis).
     
  4. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    He's one of the more controversial Hall of Fame inductees for sure. Personally I think he's a worthy inductee. One of the more pure offensive defensemen ever IMO.
     
  5. Dennis Bonvie

    Dennis Bonvie Registered User

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    Got to see him a lot when he was in Buffalo. Great offensive player. Bad defensive player. Should not be a Hall of Famer.
     
  6. Mike Farkas

    Mike Farkas Grace Personified

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    I mean, it's slightly more fair than putting around Housley's career entirely...1980 to 1993 is an era in some ways in my eyes...I was just take the post-merger, hyper-expansion, silly scoring era and putting it down as a boundary...the point wasn't to show off Housley, it's just to show, "hey, in this era, he wasn't even special offensively...and he was the worst of the bunch defensively..."
     
  7. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

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    "hyper-expansion"...?

    Are there are Calgary fans out there who regularly watched Housley with the Flames, esp. 1998-99 and 1999-00? I ask because it seems like he had a couple of solid late-career seasons there (esp. the first one), and it was a team coached by Brian Sutter.
     
  8. Mike Farkas

    Mike Farkas Grace Personified

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    Yes. NHL grew from 6 teams to 21 teams in about a decade. Then grew from 21 to 26 from 1991 to 1993. Added at least three roster spots in that time as well. 20 teams and at least 3 roster spots in 25 years after not doing diddly-poo in the 25 preceding it. And adding just 4, now 5 teams (and no roster spots) in the 25 years after that. Yeah, "hyper expansion" is gotta be about right...
     
  9. ehhedler

    ehhedler thus edler

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    Goodness. Another Housley thread? I feel he’s been up for discussion quite frequently recently. Why is he so interesting I wonder.

    If you want to watch Housley "in action" I think the 1992 Smythe Division semi-final between WPG and VAN is on YT, the highlights at least. WPG were up 3 games to 1 and had only let in 8 goals over 4 games in a relatively low scoring series (especially for the early 90s) up to that point.

    Then game 5 (in Pacific Coliseum) happens. Bure opens the scoring late in the 1st period, and then Jim Sandlak (of all people) scores with 4 seconds left of the period to make it 2-0. And it’s all downhill from there, for the Jets and Mr. HHOF.

    If you ever want to see an open ocean and a player PUZZLED in the defensive zone, this is a must watch.

    From having let in only 8 goals over the first 4 games of the series, the Jets gave up 8 goals in each of game 5 and 6 (losing 2-8 and 3-8). In game 6, at home ice, with a chance to seal the deal, so to speak, Housley is –5 in a performance perhaps best described [by empty space]

    Then game 7, another belly splash in the Coliseum, 0-5 and good-bye. To Housley’s defence though he was plus/minus 0 in both game 5 and 7.

    But, game 6, Phil. At home ice.

    If you’re giving enough room for slowmotion Sandlak to score 5 points in the closing 3 games of your playoff series, you’re probably not HHOF worthy at least on that side of the puck.

    Fredrik Olausson (also had a thread here recently) was –4 in game 7, so him and Housley took turns looking out of place when push came to shove.
     
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  10. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

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    Well, I thought you were referring to the 1980-1993 period. As you know, from 1980 to 1991, there was no expansion.
     
  11. Normand Lacombe

    Normand Lacombe Registered User

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    What would the consensus be had Housley been moved to forward early in his career by Scotty Bowman? I think Housley could have been an excellent playmaker that excelled in the transition game, while still being a premier PP quarterback. Housley could have easily garnered more than a few 100 plus point years in the 80's to early 90's as a forward. Just keep off the ice on PK and late in games when his team was leading. Likely would not have made the HHOF as a forward, but I never thought Housley had a chance to get in as a defenseman.
     
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  12. streitz

    streitz Registered User

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    Coffey carried the puck to generate offense, Housley used perfect breakout passes.



    Make no mistake I despise Housley, he was soft and lazy defensively and is one of the only players who actually made me angry to watch unless he was setting up Selanne. I don't think he belongs in the HHOF.


    Frankly I think he would of been better as a center then a Defenseman and it boggles my mind that no coach ever tried to move him there.
     
  13. streitz

    streitz Registered User

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    In the last Housley thread a posted a video that's etched in my brain since I saw it live.


    One of the russians who was paired with Phil went to get the puck in the jets corner, Housley is in front of the jets net and immediately takes off up the ice(without the puck) as if his flight or fight response just kicked in and leaves a canuck completely open, boom 5 or 6-0 after a turnover.



    Que 15 year old me cussing at the TV
     
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  14. Iron Mike Sharpe

    Iron Mike Sharpe Registered User

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    Probably the weirdest thing about Housley is that he was drafted & developed by Scotty Bowman, of all people. His lack of defensive capabilities confounds when you consider it was Bowman who brought him into the NHL.
     
  15. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    i once recapped that game, which i call the phil housley game. ten year old me going nuts.

    the screenshots i took to accompany the play by play are long gone but you get the point.
     
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  16. ChrisK97

    ChrisK97 Registered User

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    Although let's not give Tabaracci a free pass for that game. He still should have stopped some of those shots regardless of Housley's defensive defincincies.
     
  17. ehhedler

    ehhedler thus edler

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    In this case a question mark probably says more than a thousand screenshots.
     
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  18. streitz

    streitz Registered User

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    No one gives ol Tabaracci a pass, especially since in 92 they sat Essensa so they wouldn't have to pay him.
     
  19. a79krgm

    a79krgm Registered User

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    Wow. No support even from a Buffalo fan. Personally, I'm conflicted on this subject. I can see arguments from both sides. Offensively, I think Phil's play was a model for how a defenseman are supposed to play. He moved the puck so smartly. .. and that year in Winnipeg ('91-92') … he was at his best.
     
  20. streitz

    streitz Registered User

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    By concentrating solely on offense to pad his stats and not playing defense at all?
     
  21. ChrisK97

    ChrisK97 Registered User

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    If Housley had been converted to forward, would his defensive deficiencies have been easier or harder to cover up?
     
  22. Mike Farkas

    Mike Farkas Grace Personified

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    Easier. You cannot hide a defenseman. Wingers can be hidden rather easily...
     
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  23. Kevs Security

    Kevs Security inmateMack/CanesMack/LeafMack/elMacko

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    Yes, this has been on my mind too... Why didn't anyone try to move him to forward position? It's often asked about Orr, Coffey, probably Bourque too. But in their case I understand it clearly, they operated from the defenseman position, it suited their style better. But with Housley who obviously had no business whatsover in his own defensive zone, what's the risk? You can still use him as a powerplay weapon on the blueline all you want.
     
  24. blogofmike

    blogofmike Registered User

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    I thought Bowman did use him at forward sometimes in his rookie and perhaps second season in Buffalo.
     
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  25. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Housley definitely played some forward in Buffalo.
     
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