Best offensive defensemen?
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11-07-2010, 04:50 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Originally Posted by
Just my opinion, but it seems to me Leetch & Housley are underrated here as offensive players and Bourque is overrated.
For a large part of Bourque's career he rarely rushed the puck. I'd attribute this to him realizing he was going to be continually overplayed by his coaches in order to carry the Bruin's from the back line. As a Bruins fan, I considered him a D first player who also had great offensive talent. But his huge numbers come from not only his longevity, but also his massive amounts of ice time during an era with massive amounts of points.
Strictly on offensive ability, I think Leetch and Housley were at least Bourque's equal.
I suppose it depends on what people consider an offensive defenseman. Some people think only of the rushing aspects of an offensive defenseman, while others think of that as well as the ability to transition the puck from defense to offense in the blink of an eye with a brilliant breakout pass, or carrying the puck out, starting the offense going the other way(But not from end to end) as well as controlling the tempo of the game.
I think you are underrating Bourque's offense myself.
Leetch at his best was better offensively. Housley? I would disagree.
The Bruins system relied heavily on Bourque to generate any offense at all. From his ability to transition the puck, carry the puck(Yes, he did in fact rush less than those two, but he did it often enough at opportune times), keep the puck in, and most of all, his big shot from the point, designed to create chances in front of the net. He had such a varied arsenal of shot speeds and rebounds from the backboards that it kept the other team guessing.
His offense was generated differently than many offensive defensemen of the time, but he earned it nonetheless. His stamina and style also allowed him to log those big minutes to score all those points and should be considered a point in his favor.
Now if you are looking solely at "rushing" defensemen, then we can start to look at it from that angle.
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