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02-08-2014, 09:54 PM
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^^^ I think that might be a large part of it LBD, that and the fact that the 60's Dynasty Habs under Beliveau are sort of like the Islanders. The 60's Habs sandwiched between the late 50's & 70's Habs as the Isles are "forgotten" by some, sandwiched between the late 70's Habs & the Oilers. As for comparing Provost to Gainey, thats difficult for me to do. They were both Defensive Forwards but Gainey Id consider even more so, like to the nth degree, whereas Provost could be extremely opportunistic & therefore exciting and a more dynamic player to watch, heightened by the fact that he could skate like a blizzard, wasnt that big but played it big, and when he was on attack you had serious reason to be concerned because he could bury it. Gainey didnt have that component to his game to any large measure.

Interestingly in 1969 at the Draft, Montreal grabbed Rejean Houle & Marc Tardif 1&2. Both of them put up serious numbers in the QMJHL. Offensive juggernauts. But the Canadiens didnt want that from Houle, instead, as a Right Winger like Provost to take over his spot as a Defensive Shutdown Specialist. Houle adapting quickly, doing a real number on Hull in 71 after Provost had retired. Reggie there as you know eventually split for the WHA where he again put up some big numbers, 50+ goal seasons, back to offence, then returned to the Habs winning more Cups before retiring in I think 83. Gainey was never a threat offensively whereas Provost, Houle & later Carbonneau either had been in Junior or could be/were in the NHL.

It takes a special kind of selflessness to reinvent your game from being the Hero scoring 30 or 50++ goals a year while in Junior to being assigned a role of Shutdown Artist. Direct lineage here from Provost-Houle-Carbonneau. Gainey a bit of an outlier, very special & unique talent. Always was a Defensive Specialist.

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