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Best team ever?

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05-28-2004, 12:15 AM
  #1
Big Phil
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Best team ever?

I saw a post like this on the World Cup talk. Someone was sure that the 1987 team Canada was the best of all time. I like them dont get me wrong, a team that had Gretzky, Lemieux, Coffey, Messier, Fuhr, Bourque and Hawerchuk in their primes is a great team. And they beat a very good Russian team in '87 no doubt. But I believe they are the 2nd best team of all time. I think they would have beaten the 1972 Canadian team. They would have beaten the 2002 Canadian Team for sure. They would have barely beaten the '79 Russian Challenge team or Russian '80 Olympic Team which is just as good I think. But Team Canada 1976 was better I think. Heres my case:
I will give the '87 team the edge in net however, since Grant Fuhr was better than Chico Resch, Rogie Vachon and an over the hill Gerry Cheevers. But then oyu look on defence. I'll take Orr, Potvin, Robinson, Savard and Lapointe over the '87 tandem of Coffey, Bourque, Murphy. The rest of those '87 d-men were good but none were Hall of Famers by any means. So without a doubt the '76 team wins that.
Up front I still give the '76 team the edge. They had Lafleur (125 pts. in '75-76), Clarke (119 pts.), Perreault (113) Barber(112) and Sittler all in their primes. Not to mention Leach (61 goals) and Hull and Esposito. Dionne wa also in his prime as was Pete Mahovich. Rick Martin, Danny Gare and Lanny MacDonald were also forces. Throw in Bob Gainey and Steve Shutt and you hae a formidalbe group of forwards. Now its close but despite Gretzky (183 pts.) and Lemieux ( 107) and Messier (107), Gilmour (105) and Hawerchuk (100), there seems to be more of a drop off in talnet I think than the '76 team. Goulet, Anderson, Tocchet, Gartner, Propp, Sutter were good players but I just dont see them matching up against the '76 boys. I'm sorry but even a team that had Mario and Wayne on it isnt as good as the 1976 Canada Cup team. That team was the best ever formed I think. A lot of careers were flourishing at that time and it was just the right time.

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05-28-2004, 10:59 AM
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The best team ever was my novice team .We had a record of 34-0.

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05-28-2004, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by pei fan
The best team ever was my novice team .We had a record of 34-0.
Oh yeah!?!

Well my Minor Peewee AAA team went 40-0-2 that season!! SO THERE, FANCY PANTS!!

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05-28-2004, 11:33 AM
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I remember going through this before regarding the '87 team, but I actually prefer the '02 Gold Medal team to it.

No Gretzky or Lemieux in his prime, but consider the massive, massive differences between the pipes and on the blueline.

No doubt Bourque was very good, but could he truely match Pronger in 2002? I have my doubts. Consider also the goaltending - I'd take both Brodeur and Belfour over any '87 netminder, nevermind the fact that Roy didn't go also.

At forward, '87 has an edge, but is it that much of an edge? I'm not so sure. '87 had a lot of high powered scorers, but '02 had a lot of clutch guys too.

For my money, the 2002 Gold Medal Canadian Olympic team was the best hockey team ever put together.

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05-28-2004, 11:40 AM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
I saw a post like this on the World Cup talk. Someone was sure that the 1987 team Canada was the best of all time. I like them dont get me wrong, a team that had Gretzky, Lemieux, Coffey, Messier, Fuhr, Bourque and Hawerchuk in their primes is a great team. And they beat a very good Russian team in '87 no doubt. But I believe they are the 2nd best team of all time. I think they would have beaten the 1972 Canadian team. They would have beaten the 2002 Canadian Team for sure. They would have barely beaten the '79 Russian Challenge team or Russian '80 Olympic Team which is just as good I think. But Team Canada 1976 was better I think. Heres my case:
I will give the '87 team the edge in net however, since Grant Fuhr was better than Chico Resch, Rogie Vachon and an over the hill Gerry Cheevers. But then oyu look on defence. I'll take Orr, Potvin, Robinson, Savard and Lapointe over the '87 tandem of Coffey, Bourque, Murphy. The rest of those '87 d-men were good but none were Hall of Famers by any means. So without a doubt the '76 team wins that.
Up front I still give the '76 team the edge. They had Lafleur (125 pts. in '75-76), Clarke (119 pts.), Perreault (113) Barber(112) and Sittler all in their primes. Not to mention Leach (61 goals) and Hull and Esposito. Dionne wa also in his prime as was Pete Mahovich. Rick Martin, Danny Gare and Lanny MacDonald were also forces. Throw in Bob Gainey and Steve Shutt and you hae a formidalbe group of forwards. Now its close but despite Gretzky (183 pts.) and Lemieux ( 107) and Messier (107), Gilmour (105) and Hawerchuk (100), there seems to be more of a drop off in talnet I think than the '76 team. Goulet, Anderson, Tocchet, Gartner, Propp, Sutter were good players but I just dont see them matching up against the '76 boys. I'm sorry but even a team that had Mario and Wayne on it isnt as good as the 1976 Canada Cup team. That team was the best ever formed I think. A lot of careers were flourishing at that time and it was just the right time.
AGREE!!
1976 greatest team ever!!
1981 canada Cup Team had the greatest line (Perrault,Gretzky,Lafleur) and with a goalie would be up there too.

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05-28-2004, 05:26 PM
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This is a good topic for debate...........

I remember just how great that 1976 really was..........Rogie Vachon was great Goalie so I wouldn't underestimate him either...........If he had played his best years of hockey elsehere like Montreal for example instead of the L.A. Kings he would have gone down in history as one tof the best ever to play at his position..........

When I first read the title of this here thread I was assuming that you were only talking about NHL clubs but it's good that you're including the National teams of Canada and the Soviets as well.........cause if you're talking about NHL clubs then for me it would have to be the Montreal Canadiens dynasty team from the 1970s.......everytime people talk about that team they always mention the "Big three" that they had playing on their defence and these 3-guys also played for that 1976 team Canada; Robinson, Savard and LaPointe.........PLUS add to the fact that on the 1976 Canadian squad you have the best ever to play in that position; Bobby Orr and another great from those 1980s New York Islanders dynasty; Denis Potvin..........when you have studs on defence like these 5 you can have an average or over-the-hill Goalie playing for your team like Gerry Cheevers and still be ranked as the best hockey team ever assembled..........

I remember seeing the 1976 Canadian squad on television when I was a kid.........and in person here in Hamilton at the Copps Coliseum I saw the 1987 Team Canada at the Canada Cup.......what that team had in their favour was the two greatest scorers in the history of the game play for them........Wayne Gretzky in his prime and it was at this tournament here in Hamilton that we saw for the very first time the player that Mario Lemieux was destined to become.......Lemieux today admits that playing together with Gretzky back in 1987 forced him to raise his game to another level..........a level that only he and Gretzky only know...........these 2 Hall-of-Famers were surrounded by a good supporting cast of players BUT even though the 1976 squad didn't have a 1-2 scoring punch like the 1987 squad had with #99 and #66 what the '76 team had instead was a better overall cast of players........their talent level I believe was deeper and they had more weapons at their disposal..........

If it were somehow possible to have these two teams playoff against one another in a best of 7-series I believe that 1987 team would offer a good fight BUT at the end the tournament the 1976 team would come out on top.........both teams were great offensively but where the 1976 team comes out ahead is the team's defence......and it's not just those 5-guys on their blueline that I've outlined at the start of the post here we're also including here 4-time Selke trophy winner Bob Gainey and the guy that centered that famous line of the 1972 team Canada with Ron Ellis and Paul Henderson on his wings; Bobby Clarke of the Flyers..........one point regarding Bob Gainey needs to be made here and it's this.......some say the greatest game ever played was an exhibition game in 1976 on New Years Eve pitting Les Canadiens against the Moscow Red Army team at the old Montreal Forum........the game ended in a tie and afterwards Moscow coach Viktor Tikanov was asked who he thought was the best player on that 1976 Montreal team and most people would have come up with names like Guy LaFleur and Larry Robinson but not him......Tikanov said that Bob Gainey was the best player on the Habs cause of the way he was able to neutralize the top offensive stars from that Red Army team of his...........

One more point..........the 1984 Team Canada wasn't too shabby either having the dynasty players from both the Edmonton Oilers and the New York Islanders.............Gretzky, Bossy, Messier, Tonelli, Coffey, Potvin, Fuhr, Brent Sutter, etc, etc.......

Cheers!~

monkey_00

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Old
05-30-2004, 11:51 PM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jyroe Habs Fan
AGREE!!
1981 canada Cup Team had the greatest line (Perrault,Gretzky,Lafleur) and with a goalie would be up there too.
I don't know how that is better than the Lemieux-Gretzky-Messier line in 1987.

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05-31-2004, 05:26 AM
  #8
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THe best team was CCCP in 1987!

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05-31-2004, 06:54 AM
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it will be itneresting to see how lemieux plays in the world cup this fall

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05-31-2004, 10:22 AM
  #10
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Is this best team assembled based on the team's success? Like are we considering winners or just plain star power.

If the former, i didnt see how the russian '80 team got that nod, though im going with the dummy pick with what happened in the 'miracle on ice'

the latter?

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Old
05-31-2004, 01:22 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
I remember going through this before regarding the '87 team, but I actually prefer the '02 Gold Medal team to it.

No Gretzky or Lemieux in his prime, but consider the massive, massive differences between the pipes and on the blueline.

No doubt Bourque was very good, but could he truely match Pronger in 2002? I have my doubts. Consider also the goaltending - I'd take both Brodeur and Belfour over any '87 netminder, nevermind the fact that Roy didn't go also.

At forward, '87 has an edge, but is it that much of an edge? I'm not so sure. '87 had a lot of high powered scorers, but '02 had a lot of clutch guys too.

For my money, the 2002 Gold Medal Canadian Olympic team was the best hockey team ever put together.
It's not close IMO.

1987 had a huge edge at forward.

2002 had a slight edge in goal. Fuhr in his prime was not significantly different than Brodeur.

Defense

2002 had a deeper defense, and were better at the 3-6 spots.

1987 Ray Bourque was every bit as good as Pronger was in 2002.

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