Savard was the best defensively. He was an offensive defenseman before he broke his leg early in his career. He took care of D, that's why Robinson was able to take off on his rushes all the time. Later in his career, Robinson turned the puck over a lot and played very passively.
For those four Cup years in the 70's though, Robinson was probably the best defenseman in the NHL all-around.
You have to go with Robinson. He combined what the other 2 guys brought, he just had more physical abilities.
When you compare them, keep in mind how the team worked, how players played the role that the team needed. Savard was the smartest, most reliable, best positionally, but that's what they needed from him.
Robinson was the most spectacular, but probably made the most mistakes. He played with Savard and his job was to create offense, take chances. Of course he'd make more mistakes.
Lapointe was the more emotional player, had great skills, a hotter temper than the others. He also usually had the role of playing with the younger d men, whoever was the #4 guy that year, whether it be Nyrop,Engblom,Langway.
They all profited from being on the same team and playing with great talent. It's sometimes hard to judge them separately.
One thing I like to bring up is how Savard had to re-invent himself after breaking his leg twice. When he broke in, if he avoided those injuries, I wouldn't put him alongside Orr, but he'd be elbowing for space alongside the Harvey's,Bourque's, Potvin's and co. as #2 all time. I'm not saying he'd win, but he'd of been in the mix.
Even if Lapointe and Savard were great, they can't even compare to Larry Robinson.
I disagree. They were pretty closes to each other. Robinson was just more spectacular. Savard was super efficient. Lapointe was really underated. The guy could score, hit, play great defence. It's like having Lidstrom, Niedermayer and Pronger on the same team.
Lapointe is often forgotten/under-rated, but Robinson still takes this one. His sheer size and skill combo controlled all areas of the rink when he was on the ice. Film of him in the 78 playoffs is incredible to watch.