Prime: Pronger or Leetch
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02-01-2013, 09:29 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Originally Posted by
That's a really narrow view of it. You won't find many people who think that Leetch was overall a better playoff performer than Pronger.
You mean, Leetch, the player who literally had one of the most explosive Conn Smythe runs in NHL history? He put up 34 points in 23 games a defense man. And he put up 97 points in 95 career games in the post season.
Now, I'm not saying Pronger wasn't outstanding in the playoffs, but the bottom line is that Leetch is one of the few players who has a Conn Smythe like that on his resume and averaged over a PPG in the post season. For Pronger, he never won one. And sure, that does have to be taken into consideration.
In terms of prime, I'd go with Leetch as a no brainer. Solid in his own defensive end, obviously not in the same class as Pronger, but he was in a completely different hemisphere offensively.
And no, Leetch wasn't like Green or Karlsson. He was much better than BOTH defensively (although Karlsson is much better than people give him credit for). The problem is, people see big numbers from a defender and they're like "WHOA! He isn't doing his job defensively." The thing that made Leetch so special in his prime, and even set himself apart from other elite offensive defense man was that he wasn't just average defensively, he was solid. You don't have to rattle bones to be an asset on the ice.
Prime Leetch was one of the best defense men ever. That said, his prime was short, and over the course of their career, someone can definitely make the claim that Pronger was better and I'd totally respect that. Pronger was one of the best all around defense men of his time and probably the best playoff performing defense man of his time. I just don't think his peak was where Leetch's was.
Sure, Pronger has a Hart and for a defense men that is monumental! But 2x Norris > 1x Norris. 1x Conn Smythe > 0x Conn Smythe. And Leetch also won a Calder over him too.
People always vote the Gritty North American and unfortunately, Leetch only has one of those. I'm sure most of the people voting for Pronger are also the people who voted Weber over Karlsson.
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