Best F-D-G combination ever?
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01-02-2013, 11:53 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
I think it is Howe-Kelly-Sawchuk. At the time of their peaks.... the early 50's... The Wings won Cups 4 of 6 years... Finished first in the regular season each year. Howe was at his peak posting almost Gretzky or Mario like dominance over other forwards. Sawchuk was at his peak... getting all of his 1st All-star nods. Kelly was at his peak... and considered to be the best defenceman in the NHL before and over Harvey. Harvey overtook him in the mid 50's and clearly had a higher peak but Kelly outshone him in the early 50's. So you have the best player and forward in the NHL, the best defenceman in the NHL and the best goalie in the NHL... all at the same time. And massive regular season and playoff team success as well.
Next you have Beliveau-Harvey-Plante... in the later 50's Hab dynasty. With great team success and Harvey and Plante the best D and G. Beliveau was the best some years and among the best every year... But early 50's Howe has a peak that is only surpassed by Gretzky on a consecutive year basis for multiple years.
Third I have Gretzky-Coffey-Fuhr. Fuhr is the weak link. But still a HHOFer. Peak Gretzky just dwarfs all other forwards. Coffey at his peak was basically the 2nd best offensive player in the world. Since we are talking peak... Fuhr is futher weakened by the fact that he really got his credit later in Coffey's Oiler's run and after. I think Fuhr's peak in recognition and play comes just after Coffey left the Oilers. Still a HHOF goalie and the sheer dominance of Gretzky lifts the pair so high.. and Coffey being one of the best if not the 2nd best offensive force in the world at the same time.
4th I have Lafleur-Robinson and Dryden. The sheer winningness of Dryden over his career at Lafleur's peak is absurd. The most winning performance of a team and a goalie ever. While Lafleur was the clear best forward in the NHL for 4 or 5 seasons. Robinson was the best of a dominating defence group and while he was 2nd at this time IMO to Denis Potvin... his performance was so winning and so dominant... like his plus minus... I often wonder how the 80's Oliers at their best could have lost so many regular season games. They were that good. No team ever just won every single game they could win like the Dryden led 1970\s Habs dynasty. They won EVERY game! I think a lot of that credit goes to Bowman... but it was just an absurdly winning team. It is one thing to be the best team in the NHL. It is another to actually win almost every single game. Honestly the regular season record of the Lafleur-Robinson-Dryden Habs more impresses me then the Playoff one. They simply won almost 90% of the time for years and years... it is absurd. Dryden had a ridiculously good team in front of him. He also had such a short career that he can't be considered the best ever.... but maybe he is? Or close. He just won... Every game.. every time... in big games and small. It is hard to win all the time... even with the best team. Dryden was a part of a team that won pretty much all the time. Not just in clutch times like the Islanders and Oilers... but in every game. Says a lot about Lafleur, Robinson and Dryden... to elevate their play and the teams in even meaningless regular season matchups.
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