Round 2, Vote 1 (HFNYR Top NYR Defensemen)
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06-18-2013, 08:29 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
This is going to ruffle some feathers but here goes...Ching Johnson should be ahead of Brad Park.
5th, 8th, 9th
* Retro Norris (1931-32)
Eddie Shore, King Clancy, Lionel Hitchman, Lionel Conacher, Dit Clapper, Earl Seibert, Art Coulter
Bobby Orr, Carl Brewer, JC Tremblay, Serge Savard, Guy Lapointe, Borje Salming
* In terms of All-Star voting, they are very similar. However I think Johnson was competing against an overall better crop of defensemen during his career
* Johnson's got almost twice the amount of years of Rangers service
* Johnson is one of very few players in Rangers history to have 2 Stanley Cups, and he was a big part of both
Nels Stewart (1925-1940, 2x Hart Winner):
He calls Hitchman and
Ching Johnson the best defensive defensemen of his day. "Johnson broke every rule in the book
, using his tremendous strength to hold, maul, and smear up opposing plays" and that
he always got away with it.
He goes on to say that he never took advantage of his strength in a mean way but "if he did not break every hockey law he at least bent them all considerably".
Globe & Mail, April 20, 1933
Eddie Shore was not even regarded as the best defensive player of his era.
Although he was known as a good offensive player, even during his absolute peak (1933), contemporaries thought that there were several other defensemen in the league who were superior defensively (ie King Clancy, Lionel Hitchman,
Howie Morenz - Esquire's First Sports Reader - 1945
The toughest men I've encountered
are Eddie Shore of Boston and
of the New York Rangers. Both are husky and agile.
Montreal Gazette: 4-6-1928 - Game 1 of the 1928 finals
The two Cooks, with their flashy style, and the crafty Frank Boucher, continue as prime favorites here. But
Ching Johnson, 220 pounder on the Ranger defence, is still the local "hate."
Johnson plays a clean, robust game. He received as many spills as he handed out last night, particularly when he ran into Dunc Munro and was crashed to the delight of Maroon devotees.
Montreal Gazette: 4-9-1928 - Game 2 of the 1928 finals
Montreal fans still hold Ching Johnson, the big Ranger guard, as their chief "hate."
But Johnson plays a game that is much more to the book than the cross-checking style of Taffy Abel, who has a hard time keeping his stick down to the proper level.
Montreal Gazette: 4-11-1928 - Game 3 of the 1928 finals
Red Dutton took the final penalty of the match for chopping at Ching Johnson, Montreal fandom's chief "hate." Dutton objected to Johnson's ubiquitous elbows.
The crowd were shrieking for penalties against Ching Johnson, whose style of bringing up the elbow around the face practically every time he bodies an opponent was not to the liking of Maroon supporters.
Nashua Telegraph – Apr. 11, 1932 – Explaining the Rangers loss to Toronto in the 1932 Finals
Most of the Rangers had helped win the cup in the 1928 playoffs but the defense contained three "first year" men in Major League hockey and it was here that they developed a weakness.
Big Ching Johnson played a great game
and Goalie John Roach shone in the final game Saturday night but they
could not handle the job alone.
The Montreal Gazette – Apr. 4, 1933
Ching Johnson, defence star and rated one of the greatest “money” players in the game
, had five stitches on his forehead that were required after the stick of Ebbie Goodfellow, Detroit centre, struck him.
Great Defencemen: Stars of Hockey’s Golden Age By Jim Barber - 1933 Playoffs vs. Detroit
Detroit clamped down on defence, and ramped up the rough play in the second game of the series. Johnson was keeping the Falcons at bay, until Ebbie Goodfellow, whose name belied his violent actions that night, chopped him in the head.
While Johnson was in getting repairs, Detroit began to light the goal lamp. Ultimately, Johnson’s return and Dillon’s great offensive play carried the game and the series for New York.
* Johnson was part of the core on two of the four franchise championships.
* He was a hard-hitting, physical defensemen who was frequently in discussion for the best defense in his era
* Comparable style to the Devil's version of Scott Stevens, except rarely called for penalties
Johnson has him beat on longevity (as a Ranger). Has him beat in team success, and he didn't exactly ride his team's coattails. He was a driving force on those championship teams. Their All-Star voting records are almost identical. Park brought more offensively, but Johnson one of the best defensive-defensemen in NHL history and almost certainly the best in franchise history.
Last edited by Crease: 06-18-2013 at
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