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09-11-2013, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Suggest looking at their complete careers from the pre NHL days onwards.

Jean Beliveau

Bobby Hull

1956-57 rule change concerning the two minute minor afforded the star players more protection so it was a different game when Hull entered the NHL.

Tougher, faster, stronger.

Tougher. Both played thru injuries as did Gordie Howe. Difference was that Howe and Beliveau were better at precluding the petty or unnecessary injuries. Also Howe and Beliveau would wear out the opposition physically. Hull never did. The clean checking skaters like Provost and Houle were allowed to play with him. Hull would not leverage them to create space given the opportunity.

Faster. Hull was faster but lacked the mobility and quickness to play center in the NHL. Henri Richard would control him head to head at center. Beliveau had the mobility and quickness to play center and rush up the middle or both wings. Hull could only rush up the middle or the LW. Like Ovechkin, on his off wing, the RW, with the puck exposed to the inside the league caught onto him.

Stronger. Hull would not leverage his strength like Howe or Beliveau would. Wouldn't even leverage his strength like Henri Richard, Dave Keon or Stan Mikita did. Howe would allow very few close to him(Harvey and Horton)so leveraging was not a consideration for the most part. Beliveau loved defensemen in close because with two exceptions - Horton and Stanley he could leverage or move them out of position very easily.
I have read a lot of game reports from the 1971 playoffs (when Rejean Houle was shadowing Hull) and Houle's entire strategy was to stay a few steps away from Hull because if he got too close, Hull would just knock him down. Houle was assigned to shadow Hull because he had the speed to keep up with him, but Hull was much physically stronger:

Originally Posted by Montreal Gazette, May 12, 1971
Bobby's frustration started to show in the period when he got physical to knock down Houle at every opportunity.

"Put yourself in his place," offered Houle about Hull's reaction. "I'm always on his back so he's got to put his elbows up to try to and get room once in awhile."

Houle, a lean 165 pounder explained he couldn't stay to close to 195 pound Bobby who is built like a bull.

"If I stay too close he'll just push me off and maybe break loose. I just worked a couple of steps away from him and then moved in when he was going to get the puck."
The Peanut Just Drives Bobby Nuts

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