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10-22-2013, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
I don't think there's any reason to suspect weakness of support to Mikita's defensive game. It's not exactly hard to come up with a plethora of sources that will lend credit to Mikita's performance on both sides of the puck. A quick search came up with a quote of interest from a former coach, Billy Reay:

"He could shoot, stick handle, make plays, and play defense... The two years in which he led the National Hockey League in scoring, he also had the best defensive record in the league." (source)

I'm sure "defensive record" has a lot to do with his faceoff record, but with a reputation for top-notch puck possession and winning faceoffs, as well as having faced top scoring lines (weren't he and Hull on different lines that early on?) while Hall backstopped back-to-back shutouts (pretty much "unheard of", as it was described in one account I've read) to dethrone the defending Cup champion Habs, it's not hard to imagine that he "epitomized" what it meant to be a top "2-way player" by any definition from the era - even/especially in his highest scoring days.
I have no idea what he means by "best defensive record in the league." Unofficial plus/minus? Yes, Mikita and Hull were usually on different lines at even strength. Mikita often went head to head against the top center of the other team, while Hull often went head to head against the top RW of the other team. From what I gather, the Hawks didn't really have any defensive specialists, so they often went strength vs strength.

Edit: Opposing teams all seemed to focus on shutting down Hull.

Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 10-23-2013 at 01:50 PM.
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