Orr v. Gretzky (Part 2)
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08-23-2010, 08:51 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Originally Posted by
There are some factual errors in this post, as well as some rather suspect conclusions.
Reg Fleming and Ed Westfall were wingers, not defensemen. Ed Westfall began as a Dman, but moved up front. He occasionally played D if needed, but he was a fixture at RW on the Bruins checking line and top PK unit with Derek Sanderson. This changes your numbers substantially. For instance, the runner up to Orr for goals in 70-71 was Guy Lapointe, with 15 (as compared to Westfall with 25). And J.C. Tremblay was the runner up in assists, with 52 (followed by Stapleton with 51), both of whom had more than Westfall's 34. You should re-do those total numbers, as they are misleading.
Why do you have such a dim view of Orr's contemporaries on defense? Potvin, Park, Savard, Lapointe, Salming, Robinson, Tremblay, Horton... these guys were great, great players.
And lets not forget that Orr consistently outscored an amazing collection of all-time great forwards such as Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Marcel Dionne, Guy Lafleur, Bobby Clarke, Gilbert Perreault, Frank Mahovlich, Jean Ratelle and Johnny Bucyk.
he did this even though he was a defenseman!
None of the above outscored Orr during his peak. Look at the scoring leaders from '70-75:
69-70: Orr 120, Esposito 99
70-71: Esposito 152, Orr 139
71-72: Esposito 133, Orr 117
72-73: Esposito 130, Clarke 104, Orr 101 (when Orr missed 15 games due to knee surgery)
73-74: Esposito 145, Orr 122
74-75: Orr 135, Esposito 127
The only player who ever actually outscored Orr was his teammate, Phil Esposito. And it was Orr, not Espo, who was the architect of the Bruins offense. As Jean Beliveau said:
"When the Bruins faced off in our zone, it didn't matter who they had up front - Esposito, Hodge, Cashman, Bucyk or McKenzie. How we lined up was dictated by one factor, the position of Bobby Orr. When the puck was dropped, everyone's attention was divided, with nervous glances in Orr's direction predominating."
-from Blades on Ice; pg 124-125
Beliveau's observation is confirmed when we look at the dramatic drop-off in Espo's point-per-game production after he got traded to the Rangers,
and away from Orr
72-73: 78 games, 55G, 75A, 130Pts for
73-74: 78 games, 68G, 77A, 145Pts for
74-75: 79 games, 61G, 66A, 127Pts for
-traded to the Rangers-
75-76: 62 games, 29G, 38A, 67Pts for
76-77: 80 games, 34G, 46A, 80Pts for
Everybody knows about Gretzky's scoring exploits. He was out of this world.
But Orr's numbers from the blueline are, in their own way, every bit as astonishing as Gretzky's. He left his fellow blueliners so far behind it's laughable. Not only that, he outscored all those HOF forwards too - except Espo, who was reduced to a mere mortal without him. And Orr put up all those incredible, record-obliterating numbers without abandoning his defensive responsiblities.
First of all I used hockey reference for the list and their are many errors. Becasue Westfall did once play defence and was their as I am not sure exactly when he changed to a winger. I wanted to keep him in there so that anyone who might later on say he played defence could not complain about the list. I never said this was an acurate list but as close as I could get because of the mistakes in hockey reference website.
As far as the list I used it was to show that Gretzky was just as dominant agaisnt centers as Bobby Orr was against defenceman if not more
All the defenceman you listed are great great and the best of the best of ever to play hoever one thing though. Horton was not a offensive defenceman. Savard and Robinson were as close to complete defenceman to a degree as Orr, Potvin was young and up and coming, Only Brad Park is talked about in the same breath of Orr during the years Orr was playing because offensively he was the closest for most of the years in Orr's prime, if you could say that. THe other ones you mentioned alot of people who were not born might not know these players and how good they were.
I did not want to get into scoring vs forwards it was a comparison against his own position. To try and show that Orr as great as he was had no one to compete agaisnt in his position really. Where Gretzky was beating the best of the best offensive players ever at his position That is why I also never included wingers against Gretzky because there are some great wingers Gretzky dominated also
Orr did outscore forwards and hall of fame forwards their is no debate about that but let's be honest here except for Orr and a few wingers in the history of the NHL the players who get the most points are Centers. Gretzky did not just beat them and get more points he dominated every one fo them. All HHOF ones. Like I said this is not an argument to prove Gretzky is the best ever. I never once said who was the best of the two. I am just trying in my way of showing that it is alot closer then some on here have said. If Orr is better or if Gretaky is better it is not by much. It is just that alot of posters on here have said Orr Dominated offensively like no other player ever, which is not true. I mean Paul Coffey scored more points then some forwards too. In the playoffs some defenceman have scored more points then forwards.
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