Top 25 Montreal Canadiens of all time: #8 (READ THE OP!)
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03-17-2008, 01:57 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Originally Posted by
If Henri played today he would easily be the Habs' first scorer. He came up at a time when the well of Quebec-born players was astounding in quality and quantity. That's the only activity boys would do in those days. Minor leagues were stacked with talent and some of them could have even beat the Habs. And even with all this Henri made it in the league and with the league's elite club the Montreal Canadiens. I mean you would have to be uber-talented to accomplish this.
You really should have discussions with old timers. Everytime I bring up how great Maurice Richard was, they fire right back "but don't forget Henri, he was great too. He was as great...but different". I always question these words but I wasn't there, they were.
I got to see more than 1/2 of Henri's career, and I have a good sense of how good he was and like you, I had enough elders to tell me how great the generation before was.
Keep in mind that other teams had similar situations in terms of talent. Just from meory in the early 60's, 1-2 at center, Mtl had Beliveau-Richard, Toronto had Kelly-Keon, Detroit had Delvecchio-Ullman, Chicago had Hay-Mikita.
You could have rated Richard anywhere in that group, depending on what color glasses you were wearing.
I would never diminish Richard as a player. I've posted before how he had a lot of similarities to Koivu, just a different situation. Both guys were primarily play makers, feisty little guys, both had pride oozing out of every pore. For a lot of reasons, things developed differently for them, but there are some things in common.
I went with Dryden because of the way he just arrived in the NHL: and was dominant. Always. I just don't buy into teh arguement that he just happened to be on a great team. He had 1 cup that could be compared to 86 or 93, you know when you're an underdog . Maybe the 70's Habs in part were as great as they were because of great goaltending. The big 3 could join the rush if they knew Kenny would make the save. You can't use the team arguement to lessen Dryden's impact without doing it for the rest of the team. Did Lafleur have an inflated assist total because no one banged in rebounds like Steve Shutt ?
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