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05-24-2013, 11:29 AM
Cake or Death
Posts: n/a
Originally Posted by Chief View Post
As for Tkaczuk, let me take the unpopular position that I think he's being too highly rated by some. In trying to compare his role on the team to a modern day player, I was thinking Patrice Bergeron. Would Patrice Bergeron warrant a high place on a list like this? Maybe. But if he did, you would bring up that Bergeron's strong two-way play helped earn the Bruins a Stanley Cup. Tkaczuk's efforts did not result in a Cup for the Rangers. You'd also probably mention that Bergeron has won a Selke Trophy. Tkaczuk never did. Granted, the Selke was only first awarded after the 77-78 season, which only gave Walt his last 4 seasons to compete for the award. In the end, I'm having a hard time placing Takczuk higher on my list than as one of the bottom of the top 10 spots.
Value Tkaczuk where you see fit, of course. For me, I place a lot of value on a guy who was with the organization so long and was not just solid offensively, but was also one of the best in the league defensively in his day. If you look at the 72 playoffs against Boston, Esposito said, "I don't think I scored a goal in that series, Walter Tkaczuk was all over me."

Holding Espo to zero goals in 6 games is no small feat. Espo entered that series averaging a goal a game in the playoffs (9 gls and 17 pts in 9 games). He led the league with 66 goals and 133 points that season, was in the middle of his peak where he led the league in scoring 4 times in a row, averaging 65 gls and 137 pts per season over a 5 season span. To shadow him and hold him without a goal for 6 games was almost super human. For similar reasons I gave Laprade a very high placement, as well. He and Tkaczuk are consistently mentioned by contemporaries, fellow players, and people that have seen them as among the very best defensive players in the league in their careers.

Last edited by Cake or Death: 05-24-2013 at 11:35 AM.
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