Defensively: Serge Savard or Rod Langway
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11-11-2010, 09:46 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Savard / Langway
A few comments from someone who saw both play their complete NHL career and in the case of Serge Savard from junior on up.
Serge Savard is one of the rare HHOFers who did not have a peak - injuries robbed him of his peak.
Serge Savard became a defensive defenseman because it was his only alternative. His two broken legs and a knee injury suffered while still a junior player made the rushing style favoured in the seventies to high risk - a third broken leg would have surely ended his career. Prior to his first broken leg Savard had won a Conn Smythe and was starting to show the offensive potential would have put him in the class of offensive defensemen below Bobby Orr.
The Savardian Spinorama, nice ring, was fun to watch but was not original. Doug Harvey used the same move. Will dig-up a clip of Harvey executing a similar move in the late 1950's early 1960's.
Rod Langway had a fair amount of offense with the Canadiens during his brief tenure. He was viewed as an all around defenseman similar to Larry Robinson. Traded to Washington, he found himself on a team that had other defensemen capable of contributing the required offense on a team that lacked a defensive leader. Langway chose to focus strictly on the defensive aspects of his position and the results and accolades followed.
Comparing Savard and Langway as defensive defensemen is rather awkward. Project Serge Savard as healthy and Rod Langway as playing a complete defensive role and you may be taking top 5-12 all - time defensemen.
Healthy Serge Savard, pre-broken legs was a much better skater than Langway was healthy. The spinorama testifies to this. A healthy Rod Langway was not the skater of even an oft injured Savard. Rod Langway played a more physical game than Savard who had to play a restrained physical game due to his leg injuries.
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