X is better defensively, Y is better offensively - the myth.

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by I Hate Chris Butler, Jul 25, 2011.

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  1. I Hate Chris Butler

    I Hate Chris Butler Backlund Fan Club

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    Inspired by the Lidstrom thread both in HoH and on the main board, can anyone name the defenseman or defensemen who were responsible for the myth in the title of my thread? It seems like a lot of people think just because Bobby Orr was so good offensively, that he was lacking on the defensive side. Or that his rushing would hurt teams in today's NHL. I say if no one scored while Orr was on the ice, who gives a damn?

    So who was/were the first defensemen to be good at offense, and mediocre defensively?

    I missed his prime and only caught the tail end of his career, but would Phil Housley be an accurate guess?
     
  2. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Flash Hollett

    Flash Hollett bears consideration.
     
  3. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    I don't know, but it really is foolish for anyone to think that Orr couldn't have played well defensively because he played too well offensively.
     
  4. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Harry Sinden thought Ray Bourque was better defensively than Bobby Orr...

    But anyway, on to your main question, Harry Cameron and George Boucher are probably the first examples of historically famous defensemen much more known for their offense than defense. I'm not sure if either was "mediocre" defensively, though considering the tiny number of players in leagues back then, they were probably mediocre defensively by comparison.
     
  5. The Sting

    The Sting Registered User

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    Sure would be interesting to know the context of all the quotes that get thrown around here.
     
  6. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Are you talking about the Harry Sinden thing?

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/columns/story?id=1914717
     
  7. The Sting

    The Sting Registered User

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    Interesting, though I can't help think that Sinden is being kind to Bourque. Really, what's he going to say in that situation. "Well he was no Bobby but he was still outstanding"? Because that would be the truth.


    A little off topic but here's what I did find interesting in this article:

    "He used the same style of glove, stick and skate right to the end."

    Old glove, old stick, old skates. Competed with guys who have now competed against the new crop Crosby, Ovie etc..
    This exaggerated evolution of players drives me nuts.
     
  8. Hardyvan123

    Hardyvan123 [email protected]

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    What exaggerated evolution?

    Do you think that Canada produces worse players today or that the equipment, especially for the goalies, and coaching and training hasn't changed since the NHL began?

    As for myths and exaggerations, some just throw stuff out there others provide data, thoughts ect to back up what they say.

    At the end of the day there is no right or wrong just an exchange of ideas and information here.
     
  9. Trottier

    Trottier Very Random

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    To suggest there is "no right or wrong" is gracious but belittles intelligence and informed commentary.

    And it implies that all that is uttered on this board is of equal truth, weight and standing.

    In that world, I can declare Mike Green = Bobby Orr and other nonsense....because, after all, as you state: no right or wrong.

    Hardly.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  10. Hardyvan123

    Hardyvan123 [email protected]

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    I worded that poorly and if you look at the preceding sentence it gives light to another point I was making on the bossy thread.

    In most of these arguments there is no absolute right or wrong but there are likelihoods and probabilities brought out by "beater or more plausible", ie. backed up arguments.

    Often guys start with a point of view then search out facts to back it up and other are always questioning and looking at what is the most likely answer to any question posed on these boards.

    Just my 2 cents on the topic.
     
  11. Trottier

    Trottier Very Random

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    No worries.

    Nuance is far too often lost on message boards, and I obviously was taking your words (too) literally.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  12. The Sting

    The Sting Registered User

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    You know, the stuff you spew every other sentence. Everything new is by default better than the old. Here, answer this. How much better is the average player today than the average player of the 70's and 80's?
     
  13. The Sting

    The Sting Registered User

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    Nah, you had it right in your first reply.
     
  14. Hardyvan123

    Hardyvan123 [email protected]

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    define better, that's a matter of opinion but it is a very different league with tons of changes and less scoring due mostly to those changes.

    See that's the main problem here instead of answering a direct I get the lazy responses that I'm saying something that I'm not.

    I don't care if it is "better" or not but what I do care about when comparing players is giving some context and the bottom line is that the league has changed and it's harder, one only has to look at the state of the goaltending, to score in post lockout NHL that it was in the late 70's and early 80's.

    Or perhaps you want to answer my original question.

    Do you think Canadian players are less talented than they were in the mid 70's and early 80's?

    Maybe there is no absolute truth in these questions but given what we know it's more likely that players are at least just as talented and that it is also harder to score today than during Bossy's playing days.
     
  15. Trottier

    Trottier Very Random

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    Disclaimer: Hardyvan, my comment below is offered in no way to incite or frankly change your or anyone else's mind. So please take it in the friendly spirit intended:

    You are unfortunately guilty directly above of the same type of generalization you accuse of others.

    True, if one watches YouTube videos of goaltending from the 70s and 80s, the style, the equipement, etc. clearly favored shooters much moreso than today. No debate there.

    But to stereotype all of that period under "the State of Goaltending" pays no homage - which is richly deserved - to the very few GREAT goaltenders of that era. To wit:

    Has any goaltender this side of Domick Hasek put up consecutive seasons to rival that of Bernie Parent, circa 1974-76? Now the stats (adjusted or otherwise) may not support that premise, but those around at the time (and still around today :laugh: ) will rightly put up a good debate.

    Has any goaltender since put up a more impressive four consecutive postseason goaltending run than Billy Smith, 1979-83? (Has any goaltender had a single greater SCF playoff game than Smith in Game One of '83?)

    Each of the examples above were in that period of goaltending you ridiculed. And while one can argue if they were the "very best" it is indisputable that they were among the best ever ...and, perhaps most impressively, they occured in a period that favored shooter and a timeframe of goaltending that you ripped in its entirety, out of hand. (Not uncommon here.)

    Exceptions to the rule? Fair enough. But for the sake of accuracy, we need best steer away from blanket stereotypes, lest we become, to borrow your own word "lazy".

    One can mock all of the above as an overdose of "nostalgia," but is such labeling any less boorish and disrespectful than one who dismisses adjusted stats out of hand?

    Again, nothing personal, and perhaps, ironically, I'm bolstering your earlier point about "no right and wrong"(!) :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  16. redbull

    redbull tomorrow is a new day

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    depends how you define "better".

    Players are bigger, faster, better physical shape, shoot harder with better equipment - but I'm not sure era alone matters much in determining who's better.

    Gretzky did NOTHING better than even the most talented players in HIS ERA. He didn't skate the best, had no power in his shot, was skinny, frail, not strong on his skates, never won a puck battle in the corner, I don't think he exercised in the off-season either.

    The instincts and pure hockey sense transcend eras, conditioning, modern equipment.

    But he's a clear outlier. The AVERAGE player today is probably better conditioned but I'm not sure they're better hockey players. There's a lot of hockey players today that have such a narrow role on a team, all that's asked of them is skate hard, hit hard, don't EFF-up and get the EFF-off.

    There are also a lot of "skilled" players who never would have sniffed the NHL in the 70s and 80s.
     
  17. Hardyvan123

    Hardyvan123 [email protected]

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    I would also add Ken Dryden and on a personal note would love to see the equipment go back, at least in size proportions to the mid 70's standard. Modern goalies can talk all they want about safety but the bottom line is that the equipment ballooned for one reason only and it wasn't safety.

    Some of favorite reflex goalies are from the 70's and I still think King Richard Broduer was the most exciting Canuck goalie ever in the playoffs.
     
  18. redbull

    redbull tomorrow is a new day

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    Mike Palmateer was the most exciting goalie I ever saw, but I was young so memory must have been hazy. I just recall the acrobatics, the cool masks and the Foster Hewitt/Bill Hewitt calls.

    Richard Brodeur was a blast to watch too, with that giant helmet.

    Grant Fuhr was so good in the playoffs, as was Billy Smith. There were some amazing goalie performances, exciting stuff.
    Brodeur was amazing. Grant Fuhr was fun to watch as well
     
  19. The Sting

    The Sting Registered User

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    No I don't think they are less talented.

    Why are you dancing around the question? I've read enough of your posts to know what you think. This PC stuff (no one is wrong) is a very recent affectation.
     
  20. gifted88

    gifted88 Dante the poet

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    "there's no defense like a good offense"

    So many variables here, it's a lot easier to look at the overall game rather than just one facet of it.
     

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