Would Orr's Bruins Have Won More Cups If...

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Hawkey Town 18, Apr 23, 2011.

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  1. Hawkey Town 18

    Hawkey Town 18 Registered User

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    Orr would have played a more defensive game?

    Unfortunately, I was not alive to watch this era of hockey, but it seems that the general consensus is that those Bruins teams should have won more than 2 Cups. Obviously you don't tell Orr not to rush the puck or contribute to the offense, that would be insane, but what if he did it a little bit less? Even Orr couldn't help getting burned once in a while because he was up on offense. Most say he was one of, if not the best, defensive defenseman in the league. Would it have been better if he concentrated a little more on preventing goals and took less risks?

    After thinking about it, this mostly comes down to coaching. Should Orr's coaches have used him in a different/better way or do you just let a player like that do what he does? Would they have been able to get him to play another way if they wanted it?

    If this is not the answer, then what could they have done to win more Cups?
     
  2. bruins309

    bruins309 Krejci Fight Club

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    If they had the ability to keep the WHA from starting, they probably would have won at least one more. They lost Cheevers and were stuck using a washed up Ed Johnston and Jacques Plante, along with career minor leaguer Ross Adams in '73. Also Derek Sanderson, but he was probably going to be self-destructing even had he stayed.
     
  3. Crosbyfan

    Crosbyfan Registered User

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    I would say yes. If he and the rest of the team had put more emphasis on defence they would have run into less troubles with the top playoff teams, Montreal in particular, who they never beat in any playoff series, even when favoured or fairly even.

    I think coaching was mainly the problem, I think they really hoped to out gun everyone with their incredible team offence that Orr quarterbacked.
     
  4. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Three Isuues

    Three issues plus a sidebar.

    The Bruin coaching was at best average - Harry Sinden to weak Tom Johnson, Bep Guidolin, Don Cherry when compared to contemporaries - Toe Blake, Claude Ruel, Scotty Bowman, Fred Shero and others like Al Arbour, Red Kelly to name a few.

    The only center that the Bruins had during Bobby Orr's tenure that could forecheck well enough to impact the oppositions transition game was Derek Sanderson. They won two Cups with Sanderson and Orr when they did not have to play the Canadiens in the playoffs. The Canadiens limited the Bruins and Orr with their forechecking centers - Beliveau, Henri Richard, Backstrom, Jacques Lemaire.

    Orr playing a more defensive game would not make the Boston Bruin forwards faster whereas his rushing created open ice for the various Bruins forwards. On the smaller Boston Garden rink the lack of Bruin forward speed was not evident but when they played on the larger regulation sized rinks this was a major obstacle for the Bruins especially against the Flyers with their slower defense in 1974.

    Even if Bobby Orr played a more defensive game he would not / could not play goalie.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
  5. Hardyvan123

    Hardyvan123 [email protected]

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    Very good points here and the main point is that it takes an entire team and total commitment to win a cup, not just talent.
     
  6. Ozz

    Ozz Registered User

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    Didn't Esposito say before that they'd have won a lot more if it weren't for cocaine?
     
  7. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    I think he said they'd have won more Cups if it weren't for their partying. Derek Sanderson is the only one he claims to have seen in his career who took cocaine.

    Come to think of it, had the Bruins won in 1971 they'd be considered a dynasty winning three in a row. Alas, they are not a dynasty and are just considered a great team for a few years rather than up in the Islander/Oiler/Canadien territory of dynasties
     
  8. Psycho Papa Joe

    Psycho Papa Joe Porkchop Hoser

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    Their biggest mistake as a franchise was trading Ken Dryden to the Habs for peanuts and not retaining Bernie Parent. I liked Cheevers, but if they keep Dryden and Parent, and keep them away from the Habs and Philly, they likely win at least 5 cups in the 70's.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
  9. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    when you look at the Bruins' GF/GA differential when Orr was on the ice, compared to when he wasn't.... it's really hard to say that Orr could have done anything more to bring more cups to Boston.
     
  10. Hawkey Town 18

    Hawkey Town 18 Registered User

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    This came to mind when I was typing the OP. Perhaps the real key was how the team played when Orr wasn't on the ice?
     
  11. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Orr on Ice

    Major difference between leading a league during the season and beating a team or teams during a best of 7 playoff series.

    The basic problem that the Bruins had during the Bobby Orr era was that they could never beat the Montreal Canadiens in the playoffs even though they had success against the Canadiens during the regular season.

    Basic reason for the Bruins failure was that their forwards when Bobby Orr was on the ice did not make the necessary adjustments to the Canadiens forechecking.

    The Canadiens always had excellent defensive centers led by Jean Beliveau a LHS and Henri Richard a RHS supported by the likes of Ralph Backstrom and Jacques Lemaire. both LHS. Playing against alternating LHS and RHS centers requires adjustments since the passing lanes change slightly. If the adjustments are not made properly then the attack is slowed down. Orr would have to look and delay passes long enough to make the relatively slow Boston forwards a bit slower and easier to contain.
     
  12. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    I doubt there would be any benefit to changing Orr's style of play. There is only so much a player can do. I do agree with the general idea that if Orr changed his style of play it should be the result in a change in the style of play of the whole Bruins team.
     
  13. Axxellien

    Axxellien Registered User

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    ..Turk:

    ..Bruins would have won more Lord Stanley, if Derek Sanderson had remained, stayed a lynchpin of Boston`s defensive attack,´counterattack...Ditto 1972 tournament Vs Soviets...Something called Spirit, Attitude, whatever!;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  14. Axxellien

    Axxellien Registered User

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    Derek:

    ..Turk would have turned on the Russians to caine & Wild, Decadent Western Women, prompting mass defections & pre-emptive staffing of several NHL & WHA teams!;)...Perhaps hastening the fall of the Sovietsky system by 15 years!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  15. Axxellien

    Axxellien Registered User

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    ..Only In Boston:

    ..WW2 Broke up a dynasty in the making, WHA hurt the Bruins in the 70s.. Goaltending was always an issue in Boston, dating back to the post Brimsek era of the early 1950s, the Jack Gelineau debacle.... Sugar Jim Henry...Thru the Sawchuk defection,.. Not playing Harry Lumley in the 58 finals...The Simmons sacking & godawful Gamble, Head, Perreault, Chadwick era..people forget how deep Eddie Johnston was in the Montreal system..Parent and Dryden, an intriguing supposition!
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  16. overpass

    overpass Registered User

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    I've also read that the Rangers in 1973 and the Flyers in 1974 successfully employed an aggressive forechecking scheme against Orr. Sounds like the team was too dependent on Orr for the transition game and when the opponents keyed on Orr, they didn't have the coaching or personnel to adjust. Another puck-moving defenceman might have helped, as well as quicker forwards like you said.
     
  17. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Esposito/Park Trade

    Your post is the start of an explanation of the Esposito / Park trade. Unfortunately injuries to Bobby Orr's knees precluded the possibility of an Orr Park led team.
     
  18. Axxellien

    Axxellien Registered User

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    heart & core:

    ..Another factor that is often ignored when analysing the Orr, Esposito era was the fact that the basis, the meat and potatoes of that grand team had entered & made their grades in the previous, bad ole era, the miserable early, mid 60s, Ted Green, Eddie Westfall, Dallas Smith, Don Awrey among others, all made their bones during the worst epoch of Bruins history...How much of an issue was this in the unfolding saga?
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
  19. King Woodballs

    King Woodballs Captain Awesome

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    if, they didnt have to play the habs all the time
     
  20. ForsbergForever

    ForsbergForever Red Rocket

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    I blame the Flyers...Bernie Parent, Reggie Leach and Rick Macleish all started as Bruins property, imagine them with Orr, Esposito, Hodge and the rest. Not to mention missing out on drafting Brad Park 1st overall in the 1966 draft.
     
  21. Axxellien

    Axxellien Registered User

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    Flyers:

    ..Doernhoffer also played for the Bruins..They also could have kept Orland Kurtenbach, Pat Stapleton....Parisé.... Goldsworthy...Gary Doak...
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
  22. BubbaBoot

    BubbaBoot Registered User

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    It was the arrival of Orr and the Esposito trade that put the Bruins over the hump.
    Through the early to mid 70's they had developed some nice young talent in Don Marcotte, Terry O'Reilly, Gregg Sheppard, Andre Savard, Stan Jonathan

    and some timely FA pickups and trades, Mike Milbury, Peter McNab (compenasation), Rick Middleton, John Wensink, Bobby Schmautz, Dave Forbes, etc....

    But it wasn't enough.

    What bought the team down, in a roughly two year period, (72-74):

    A) The WHA defections
    They lost:
    - Gerry Cheevers
    - Johnny McKenzie
    - Mike "Shakey" Walton
    - Ted Green

    B) Expansion draft
    They lost:
    - Ed Westfall
    - Dan Bouchard

    C) Derek Sanderson imploding

    D) Lousy Trades
    - Fred Stanfield for Gilles Gilbert (needed to replace Cheevers but Stanfield was an unheralded cog)
    - Ivan Boldirev for Rich Leduc and Chris Chris Oddleifson (Boldirev would score 361 NHL goals)
    - Don Awrey for Jake Rathwell and 2nd round pick (Mark Howe, who opted for the WHA instead)
    - Rick Smith and Reggie Leach for Carol Vadnais and Don O'Donoghue (Vadnais was good but Leach would score 381 NHL goals)
    - Derek Sanderson for Walt McKechnie (who lasted but 53 games)

    E) God damn Canadiens and Flyers
    After the B's last Cup in 1971-72 they lost the Finals against:
    - Flyers in 73-74 - the first of the only two Cups (in a row) that the Flyers ever won.
    - Canadiens in 76-77 and 77-78, arguably some of the best ever Canadiens teams.
     
  23. BubbaBoot

    BubbaBoot Registered User

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    Parent was lost in the expansion draft.
    Leach was actually traded to the Seals.
    MacLeish was traded to the Flyers for Mike Walton.
     
  24. BubbaBoot

    BubbaBoot Registered User

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    - Kurtenbach (who scored 18 goals in two Bruins seasons) and Stapleton, (who had been in the farms for 3 full seasons) were traded back in 1965....who knew they'd develop as they did?

    - Parise was in the farms, playing only 21 games over two seasons before being lost to the Seals in the expansion draft.

    - Goldsworthy was also in the farms playing sporadically with the Bruins before being claimed by Minnesota in the draft.

    - Doak was claimed by Vancouver in the draft and later came back in a trade for Garnet Bailey.

    The B's lost in the 67 expansion draft alone was devastating:
    - Bernie Parent
    - Doug Favell
    - Joe Watson
    - Bob Woytowich
    - Wayne Conelly
    - Ron Schock
    - Terry Crisp
    - Ted Irvine
    - Bill Goldsworthy
    - JP Parise
    - Ron Harris
    - Gary Dornhoefer
    - Ron Stewart

    But other teams lost big also:
    Cesare Maniago, Gary Smith, Roy Edwards, Jimmy Roberts, Bob Baun. Dave Balon, Real Lemieux, Lou Angotti, Rod Seiling, Leon Rochefort, Leo Boivin, Noel Price, Darryl Edestrand, Mike Corrigan, Tracey Pratt, Bryan Watson, Bill Flett, Bryan Hextall.

    Bruins lost in the 1970 draft:
    - Tom Webster
    - Gary Doak
    - `Barry Wilkins

    Others lost:
    Orland Kurtenbach, Tracey Pratt, Pat Quinn, Jimmy Watson, Rosie Paiement, Mike Corrigan, Craig Cameron, Gerry Meehan, Dunc Wilson, Wayne Maki

    Bruins lost in the 1974 draft:
    - Mike Bloom

    Others lost:
    Michel Plasse, Ron Low, Simon Nolet, Yvon Labre, Gary Croteau

    It was a very weak draft.
     

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