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Maurice Richard's Defensive Play

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Old
06-26-2009, 08:14 PM
  #1
seventieslord
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Maurice Richard's Defensive Play

Everyone knows Richard is one of the best goal scorers of all-time. He's one of the best at scoring in important situations. And was was tough, fiery, and intense.

But the few references I can find to his defensive game, indicate that he was not a defensive player by any stretch. Overall, little is said, but what I have found when reading bios and stories of old players, is that only the players who were among the worst defensively have anything mentioned about it - such as Nels Stewart, Babe Dye, Cy Denneny, Gord Drillon, Bronco Horvath and Bobby Bauer. That's not great company to be in. based on the frequency of mentions of defensive play in old bios, it's usually a safe assumption that a player was average to below-average defensively if nothing is said, and likely worse if anything negative is said.

It seems to be just understood that Richard was not a great defensive player. In ATD11, Sturminator, a very bright GM, joked in Richard's 2nd round series that he would circle around at center ice. Richard's GM responded with "yeah, Richard's not much for backchecking..."

I'm looking for cited references from books or magazines that describe how he was defensively, even if it's single-game accounts from a newspaper or old THN issue. Any quotes from online would be welcomed too. As for the opinions of hfboards members, I'd really like to hear from anyone old enough to comment, and anyone else can feel free to share the general impression they have about his defensive ability based on what has turned up in their research... kind of like I just did. I'd just like to get an accurate picture of where he really falls in the grand scheme of things.

I'm really not sure if you will confirm or contradict the impression I have but I'm open to it either way.

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06-27-2009, 04:05 AM
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Away from the net, Richard liked to double-back fairly deep into his own territory. He rarely, if ever, handled the puck in his own end and initiated bodychecks very infrequently. "I have found it usually shakes me up as much as the fellow I have checked," he wrote. Still, while a middling defensive player, Richard was far more diligent than the procession of superstars - Hull, Gretzky, Lemieux - who followed him and Irvin used him in defensive situations. On a turnover, he always headed back first to his own zone and once there he picked up his man. The Canadiens kept track in 1950-51; while Richard scored 43 goals, his check scored 11 times. Still, Richard rationed his strength for offense. He was, Jean Beliveau wrote, "a highly-tuned, specialized hockey instrument, not a well-balanced, all-around player."
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When, inevitably, Harvey got hold of the puck, opponents feared his passing touch and peeled back. The Canadiens' forwards, secure in the knowledge that Harvey would be beaten very rarely, were afforded the luxury of hanging higher in the defensive zone or even lurking in neutral ice. Harvey's natural skills bought him more room and, unimpeded by forecheckers (Harvey woul quickly lose anyone who challenged him), he was free to bring the puck up ice. "He was like a big glider moving with the puck," remembered television analyst Howie Meeker, a veteran of the Harvey era. "He controlled the play so well, his forwards could cheat."
- Canadiens Captains, Michael Ulmer


Last edited by BM67: 06-28-2009 at 05:16 AM.
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06-27-2009, 09:09 AM
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He was often said to be the"best player ever from the blueline in", which kind of leans toward saying his offensive skills to be greater on the finishing side as well.

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06-27-2009, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by BM67 View Post
- Canadiens Captains, Richard Ulmer
Hmmm... sounds like he wasn't that bad after all.

Just to add to this Beliveau as actually even more explicit in taking on Richard's critics.

"Every star has his critics and Maurice was not immune. It was said that he was a lousy backchecker, that he had little interest in the defensive game and that this shortcoming drove his coaches to distraction. It was baloney of course.

Admittedly the kind of all-out attack that Maurice launched at an opponent's net usually ended with him sprawled in front of the crease or over in the corner. He wouldn't be able to rejoin the play right away, esp if the other team transitioned to offense. Even when he scored he'd always have two defenders on top of him..."


In the same paragraph Beliveau says that Richard was the best player from the blueline in. But its meant as a compliment not as a backhanded slap.

I think what happens is that when Richard gets compared to Gordie Howe (who seems to have been a very good backchecker) and folks answer by saying that Richard was the best from the blueline in and Howe was better overall, folks just assume that Richard was terrible defensively. Doesn't seem to be the case though from what I'm reading. Not great defensively is not the same thing as terrible. He just wasn't as good as Howe was and there's no shame in that. Bill Gadsby said Howe was a tremendous backchecker.

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06-27-2009, 11:39 AM
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This was a question I posed to Classichockey a little while back in a Maurice Richard thread about how complete a player Richard really was.

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Originally Posted by ClassicHockey View Post
Richard was certainly more than a 'one trick pony'. He was mainly known for him killer instinct when he got the puck in the offensive zone. It's been said that he would never try the same play in succession.
Richard could be a playmaker. I've seen him make great passes for goals and also important was the fact that when the opponents keyed on him, others were open.

Richard was fearless and was also an inspiration to his teammates.

As for defence, he wasn't known as a defensive player yet he was used late in games. Montreal always had great defensive players anyways.

I remember Red Kelly telling me about the time he was converted to forward from defence for the Leafs. In explaining a goal that he scored where he checked a Detroit player from the puck, Kelly explained that he used a defensive trick that Richard used to use on him. He explained how and I found it quite interesting.

But to answer your questions, the short answers are:
1. Did he backcheck? Yes he did . Did he forecheck? Yes he did.

2. Did he kill penalties? Rarely (didn't need to) Was he logging heavy amounts of ice time? Yes, for sure although maybe not as much as Howe because the Montreal teams were so powerful.

3. How was he regarded as a playmaker/skater/puckhandler? Great on all three.

4. How good was he without the puck? About average maybe - hard to say.

5. How was he regarded defensively? - He wasn't regarded as a defensive player which is obvious considering his offensive prowess. But you must remember that in the Original 6, all players had defensive responsibilities. It wasn't like recent times that players hung around centre ice. Those players doing that wouldn't have last another shift.


After Richard had his achilles heel injury and gained weight in later years, his skating slipped and he wasn't nearly as effective.

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06-27-2009, 12:55 PM
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Richard had a will to win more than anyone. It's impossible to think that this only included when he had the puck on his stick. I know there are times when he was on the ice for a crucial game winning goal ('54 Cup winner in OT, '51 Cup winner in OT Bill Barilko's goal). While when you watch the clip of the Barilko goal you can see Richard peel away from the net prior to Barilko shooting, which may have negated the goal had he stayed put. But this is only ONE clip. This was the original 6. Remember, Ted Lindsay was traded from Detroit just because he started union talk. One dimensional players didnt really apply back then. Players knew they could be shipped away. Richard was fine defensively, capable, might be the best word

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06-27-2009, 10:55 PM
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I took part in this debate on here previously, and was so ticked off by people who never saw him play saying, without any support, that he was lousy defensively that I've never bothered to comment here again. One jerk said Richard couldn't backcheck period. So I'm highly pleased to see this serious appraisal.

I saw Richard play many times, both live and on the television. His tremendous will to win did not magically disappear when the puck was possessed by the opposition and/or when the puck was on the Canadiens' side of the opposing team's blue line. Richard had tremendous upper body strength, and when it was necessary, he used it on defence. He was excellent defensively. Because of the Canadiens' overall strength, however, he was usually able to pick his spots in using his defensive capabilities. He was not a selfish player, by the way. More than anything, he wanted his team to win, and that meant doing whatever was necessary to see that it won. Because of his peculiar talents, that usually meant trying to score goals, but he could, and did, excel at other parts of the game, including playmaking and defending.

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06-28-2009, 02:58 PM
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I would say he was good defensively. Not great like his brother, but still good. Certainly not a liability in any way. You had to be at least Okay defensively to last in the NHL back then, or the coaches would send you down.

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06-28-2009, 03:30 PM
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I completely get the whole "if you played in the O6 era, you couldn't be bad defensively" thing. There were so few spots and so many players who wanted them. If you weren't pulling your weight you were outta there. I've seen this argument used in the ATD a few times and I'm not the only one who disagrees with it. The argument may very well be true, but in all cases of player comparison I am more interested in how a player ranked in comparison to his peers. Besides, if you're the rocket, I have a feeling you can get away with being mediocre defensively.

Below is a breakdown of every forward who made the NHL first or second All-Star Team from 1947 through 1967. I picked those years because 1947 completely eliminates wartime players from the equation, and 1967 is the end of the O6 era.

I've put them into defensive "categories" and left Richard out. Keep in mind that I have never seen any of these players play, and this is based solely on what I have picked up in my endless reading and through participation in the ATD with 20-30 other great hockey minds.

If Richard wasn't that bad, who was he better than? Indicate which category he would belong in. If you disagree with any of the other assessments, feel free to say so if you really have to, but keep in mind this was done in earnest and could never be 100% accurate anyway.

AMONG THE BEST OF ALL-TIME

Stan Mikita
Dave Keon
Claude Provost

EXCELLENT DEFENSIVELY

Milt Schmidt
Woody Dumart
Ted Kennedy
Ken Mosdell
Henri Richard
Don Marshall

GREAT DEFENSIVELY

Elmer Lach
Sid Abel
Gordie Howe
Tony Leswick
Bert Olmstead
Dickie Moore
Dean Prentice
Norm Ullman
Bobby Rousseau

GOOD DEFENSIVELY/RESPONSIBLE/SAID TO HAVE A "TWO-WAY GAME"

Bobby Hull
Alex Delvecchio
Doug Bentley
Bud Poile
Ted Lindsay
Fleming MacKell
Ed Sandford
Jean Beliveau


AVERAGE/NOTHING IS WRITTEN OF IT

Bernie Geoffrion
Max Bentley
Buddy O'Connor
Gaye Stewart
Roy Conacher
Sid Smith
Danny Lewicki
Tod Sloan (he started in the below category and ended up in the above category, he averages out here)
Camille Henry
Andy Bathgate
Ken Wharram

KNOWN TO HAVE AN AVERSION TO BACKCHECKING OR NOT GIVE FULL EFFORT

Frank Mahovlich
Bobby Bauer
Ed Litzenberger
Real Chevrefils
Bronco Horvath

My concern is that considering you can find short one-line references to Richard all over the place that say "best from the blueline ever" or "purely an offensive player" or "although not as good a two-way player as...", I think the "average" category is the highest I can place him.

But in the "average" category we have many players whose defensive games are rarely, if ever, mentioned. In the absense of contemporary opinions, my best guess is that they were average.

In this thread we have heard some semi-positive quotes, some semi-negative stuff, and a quote from Beliveau who of course would never, ever, say anything negative about a teammate. But even in the presence of these semi-positive comments about the rocket's defensive ability, just how far can we place him? Due to his intensity and fire, does he get the "benefit of the doubt" above players in the "average" category, of whom little to nothing is written? Or is he closer to a player in the bottom category by virtue of the less than flattering remarks that also exist about his backchecking?

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06-28-2009, 04:16 PM
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Perspective

Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
I completely get the whole "if you played in the O6 era, you couldn't be bad defensively" thing. There were so few spots and so many players who wanted them. If you weren't pulling your weight you were outta there. I've seen this argument used in the ATD a few times and I'm not the only one who disagrees with it. The argument may very well be true, but in all cases of player comparison I am more interested in how a player ranked in comparison to his peers. Besides, if you're the rocket, I have a feeling you can get away with being mediocre defensively.

Below is a breakdown of every forward who made the NHL first or second All-Star Team from 1947 through 1967. I picked those years because 1947 completely eliminates wartime players from the equation, and 1967 is the end of the O6 era.

I've put them into defensive "categories" and left Richard out. Keep in mind that I have never seen any of these players play, and this is based solely on what I have picked up in my endless reading and through participation in the ATD with 20-30 other great hockey minds.

If Richard wasn't that bad, who was he better than? Indicate which category he would belong in. If you disagree with any of the other assessments, feel free to say so if you really have to, but keep in mind this was done in earnest and could never be 100% accurate anyway.

AMONG THE BEST OF ALL-TIME

Stan Mikita
Dave Keon
Claude Provost

EXCELLENT DEFENSIVELY

Milt Schmidt
Woody Dumart
Ted Kennedy
Ken Mosdell
Henri Richard
Don Marshall

GREAT DEFENSIVELY

Elmer Lach
Sid Abel
Gordie Howe
Tony Leswick
Bert Olmstead
Dickie Moore
Dean Prentice
Norm Ullman
Bobby Rousseau

GOOD DEFENSIVELY/RESPONSIBLE/SAID TO HAVE A "TWO-WAY GAME"

Bobby Hull
Alex Delvecchio
Doug Bentley
Bud Poile
Ted Lindsay
Fleming MacKell
Ed Sandford
Jean Beliveau


AVERAGE/NOTHING IS WRITTEN OF IT

Bernie Geoffrion
Max Bentley
Buddy O'Connor
Gaye Stewart
Roy Conacher
Sid Smith
Danny Lewicki
Tod Sloan (he started in the below category and ended up in the above category, he averages out here)
Camille Henry
Andy Bathgate
Ken Wharram

KNOWN TO HAVE AN AVERSION TO BACKCHECKING OR NOT GIVE FULL EFFORT

Frank Mahovlich
Bobby Bauer
Ed Litzenberger
Real Chevrefils
Bronco Horvath

My concern is that considering you can find short one-line references to Richard all over the place that say "best from the blueline ever" or "purely an offensive player" or "although not as good a two-way player as...", I think the "average" category is the highest I can place him.

But in the "average" category we have many players whose defensive games are rarely, if ever, mentioned. In the absense of contemporary opinions, my best guess is that they were average.

In this thread we have heard some semi-positive quotes, some semi-negative stuff, and a quote from Beliveau who of course would never, ever, say anything negative about a teammate. But even in the presence of these semi-positive comments about the rocket's defensive ability, just how far can we place him? Due to his intensity and fire, does he get the "benefit of the doubt" above players in the "average" category, of whom little to nothing is written? Or is he closer to a player in the bottom category by virtue of the less than flattering remarks that also exist about his backchecking?
Maurice Richard was a LHS playing right wing. This gave him various advantages offensively from the standpoint of shooting angles, his buttonhook move out of the RW circle/corner, etc. It also forced defensive adjustments as coming back on the off wing the stick positioning changes, likewise it is a bit harder for a LHS playing RW to cover a LHS defenseman on the point, and other little nuances.

From your comparables - some are out of line, Delvecchio was much better defensively than Rousseau, Ullman or Prentice.An old Beliveau and Henri Richard could shut down Orr something that Mikita and Hull had a hard time doing. and regularly got the better of Hull/Esposito and Mikita. Maurice Richard was better defensively than Geoffrion and Rousseau as he had more of a physical game on defense, was stronger and solid on his skates. Rousseau's defensive attributes were that he was a RHS that could play center. While a fast skater Bobby Rousseau was not very solid on his skates.

Based on your rankings Maurice Richard would be at least high average.

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06-28-2009, 04:28 PM
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seventieslord
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Maurice Richard was a LHS playing right wing. This gave him various advantages offensively from the standpoint of shooting angles, his buttonhook move out of the RW circle/corner, etc. It also forced defensive adjustments as coming back on the off wing the stick positioning changes, likewise it is a bit harder for a LHS playing RW to cover a LHS defenseman on the point, and other little nuances.

From your comparables - some are out of line, Delvecchio was much better defensively than Rousseau, Ullman or Prentice.An old Beliveau and Henri Richard could shut down Orr something that Mikita and Hull had a hard time doing. and regularly got the better of Hull/Esposito and Mikita. Maurice Richard was better defensively than Geoffrion and Rousseau as he had more of a physical game on defense, was stronger and solid on his skates. Rousseau's defensive attributes were that he was a RHS that could play center. While a fast skater Bobby Rousseau was not very solid on his skates.

Based on your rankings Maurice Richard would be at least high average.
Interesting, I will take your comments to heart considering you were there.

I never thought Delvecchio was in that category, just your average two-way guy.

Beliveau I suspected was in that category, mostly from hearsay around here, but hesitated to place much higher because aside from a couple one-line references, never read anything published that painted him as great defensively.

Hull was an excellent penalty killer and I hear all the time how he was a strong backchecker but of course that doesn't provide a lot in terms of differentiation between the likes of Delvecchio, Ullman, Beliveau, etc.

Mikita is frequently referenced as one of the finest defensive players of his time. Again, while I respect what you're saying, his inability to shut down Orr doesn't tell us much, does it?

Geoffrion I only had in the average category as nothing is written. I can buy Richard being better if you say so, even though most of what is written on Richard defensively is on the bad side.

But Richard, better than Rousseau? Everywhere I look I read that he was a great checker and penalty killer. I know he was a bit soft, but strictly isolating defensive skills, he has to be in that "great" category. Doesn't he? Also, you say Richard had more of a physical game on defense but he said in the quote BM67 posted, that he rarely initiated bodychecks in his own zone.

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06-28-2009, 05:01 PM
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Specifics

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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Interesting, I will take your comments to heart considering you were there.

I never thought Delvecchio was in that category, just your average two-way guy.

Beliveau I suspected was in that category, mostly from hearsay around here, but hesitated to place much higher because aside from a couple one-line references, never read anything published that painted him as great defensively.

Hull was an excellent penalty killer and I hear all the time how he was a strong backchecker but of course that doesn't provide a lot in terms of differentiation between the likes of Delvecchio, Ullman, Beliveau, etc.

Mikita is frequently referenced as one of the finest defensive players of his time. Again, while I respect what you're saying, his inability to shut down Orr doesn't tell us much, does it?

Geoffrion I only had in the average category as nothing is written. I can buy Richard being better if you say so, even though most of what is written on Richard defensively is on the bad side.

But Richard, better than Rousseau? Everywhere I look I read that he was a great checker and penalty killer. I know he was a bit soft, but strictly isolating defensive skills, he has to be in that "great" category. Doesn't he? Also, you say Richard had more of a physical game on defense but he said in the quote BM67 posted, that he rarely initiated bodychecks in his own zone.
You have to look at the specifics. Hull was a good penalty killer because he had the speed and the intimidation factor of a breakaway going the other way.

Mikita individually he may have been excellent but within a team defense the results at times were lacking.

Bobby Rousseau was not effective going full time against big body left wingers like Mahovlich and Hull. Provost could do the job better and longer.Rousseau could do the job against a Doug Mohns or smaller LWs. His speed and quickness helped him on the PK but he was not Donnie Marshall quality defensively.

A number of players should also be considered. Gilles Tremblay who would play Gordie Howe head to head. George Armstrong, Bob Pulford of the Leafs who were very solid and instrumental with Keon and Kelly in shutting down the opposition during the Leafs four Stanley Cup wins in the 1960's, Eric Nesterenko who was effective but lacked a bit of speed.

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06-28-2009, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
KNOWN TO HAVE AN AVERSION TO BACKCHECKING OR NOT GIVE FULL EFFORT

Frank Mahovlich
Bobby Bauer
Ed Litzenberger
Real Chevrefils
Bronco Horvath
I was a big Litz fan & take issue with him being included in this category. I know this came from an "Ultimate Hockey" bio. Anything in that book I would take with a grain of salt as they tend to grab quotes from Coleman & exaggerate them. Litz was my favorite player & I followed his career closely. I agree that in his early years he was more focused on offense (as Richard & other great offensive players also are) but that comes from being the only offensively skilled player on a perennial non-playoff team. Based on my observations, I considered him an excellent 2 way player in those years. The fact that he was captain of the Blackhawks & that Imlach added him to the Leaf cup dynasty speaks to his all round play. I have a game from the Leaf cup win in 1962 where Litz played a defense first role as LW on the Pulford line.

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06-28-2009, 07:36 PM
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Ed Litzenberger

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Originally Posted by pappyline View Post
I was a big Litz fan & take issue with him being included in this category. I know this came from an "Ultimate Hockey" bio. Anything in that book I would take with a grain of salt as they tend to grab quotes from Coleman & exaggerate them. Litz was my favorite player & I followed his career closely. I agree that in his early years he was more focused on offense (as Richard & other great offensive players also are) but that comes from being the only offensively skilled player on a perennial non-playoff team. Based on my observations, I considered him an excellent 2 way player in those years. The fact that he was captain of the Blackhawks & that Imlach added him to the Leaf cup dynasty speaks to his all round play. I have a game from the Leaf cup win in 1962 where Litz played a defense first role as LW on the Pulford line.
As a winger Ed Litzenberger was very effective defensively as evidenced by his role in 1962. As a center he lacked the speed and the lateral movement required to cover the smaller mobile centers that were his contemporaries.He more than held his own against the bigger centers or the average small centers.

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06-28-2009, 11:52 PM
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pappy, I just knew you'd come in here and defend Litz. I've got nothing against him, but that's what I have heard. I didn't get that from Ultimate Hockey, but from The Trail, Vol. 3. Now that you mention it, I see Ultimate Hockey says "he avoided backchecking like the plague" which is probably a gross exaggeration. But Coleman, in the Trail, says "he was more of an offensive than a defensive player... he was somewhat temperamental and did not always display his full talent"

However, I do also find that his being captain of the cup-winning Hawks somewhat contradicts this. You don't make a temperamental and somewhat lazy player captain... not usually, anyway.

I don't know just how old you are, but can you weigh in on Richard?

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06-28-2009, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
You have to look at the specifics. Hull was a good penalty killer because he had the speed and the intimidation factor of a breakaway going the other way.
I assumed as much, but there had to be more. I mean, you could say the exact same thing about Bure, and no one calls him a good penalty killer or good backchecker.

Quote:
A number of players should also be considered. Gilles Tremblay who would play Gordie Howe head to head. George Armstrong, Bob Pulford of the Leafs who were very solid and instrumental with Keon and Kelly in shutting down the opposition during the Leafs four Stanley Cup wins in the 1960's, Eric Nesterenko who was effective but lacked a bit of speed.
Agree, I'd rate all those guys highly but this excercise was based solely on first and seconf All-Star team members.

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06-29-2009, 03:50 AM
  #17
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Different Eras

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I assumed as much, but there had to be more. I mean, you could say the exact same thing about Bure, and no one calls him a good penalty killer or good backchecker.
Different PK requirements,styles, philosophies from different eras.Will not go into details about these differences but the common ground with Bure and Hull is their elite skating ability. In 4 on 5 the skating would compensate for other shortcomings. Also you have to ask the question - who else on the team would have been a better choice?

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06-29-2009, 12:00 PM
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All this talk about Hull's speed while on the PK had me thinking of this video I uploaded awhile back of Hull intercepting a pass and just how fast he could get going. I uploaded this clip of him when someone was asking me if he really was that fast.



I would not go comparing Hull to Bure though. Bure was an immense pain to any coach defensively, while Hull was very much better defensively, willing to backcheck and go deep into his own end to retrieve a puck. Bure was more of a blueline hanger.

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06-29-2009, 12:16 PM
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That's what I thought too, Jekyll. I was only bringing up Bure because Canadiens1958, deliberately or not, made it sound like Hull's value defensively, was only in a Bure sort of way. This was of course clarified in post 17.

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06-29-2009, 12:44 PM
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Different Eras

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Originally Posted by Jekyll View Post
All this talk about Hull's speed while on the PK had me thinking of this video I uploaded awhile back of Hull intercepting a pass and just how fast he could get going. I uploaded this clip of him when someone was asking me if he really was that fast.



I would not go comparing Hull to Bure though. Bure was an immense pain to any coach defensively, while Hull was very much better defensively, willing to backcheck and go deep into his own end to retrieve a puck. Bure was more of a blueline hanger.
In the 1950's and 60's(pre Bobby Orr) it was common for the defenseman to set-up the puck for a forward circling with a full head of speed from behind his own net. Bobby Hull favoured this tactic as did a number of others - Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard, Frank Mahovlich, and others.

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06-29-2009, 12:53 PM
  #21
Canadiens1958
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Definitely fast...............

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jekyll View Post
All this talk about Hull's speed while on the PK had me thinking of this video I uploaded awhile back of Hull intercepting a pass and just how fast he could get going. I uploaded this clip of him when someone was asking me if he really was that fast.



I would not go comparing Hull to Bure though. Bure was an immense pain to any coach defensively, while Hull was very much better defensively, willing to backcheck and go deep into his own end to retrieve a puck. Bure was more of a blueline hanger.
Definitely fast. 5 on 5 situation. But would like to know what Hull, a left winger, was doing at the top of the right face-off circle in that situation leaving a man uncovered in the slot?

High risk , high reward but his instincts could be used against him as well.

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06-29-2009, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
pappy, I just knew you'd come in here and defend Litz. I've got nothing against him, but that's what I have heard. I didn't get that from Ultimate Hockey, but from The Trail, Vol. 3. Now that you mention it, I see Ultimate Hockey says "he avoided backchecking like the plague" which is probably a gross exaggeration. But Coleman, in the Trail, says "he was more of an offensive than a defensive player... he was somewhat temperamental and did not always display his full talent"

However, I do also find that his being captain of the cup-winning Hawks somewhat contradicts this. You don't make a temperamental and somewhat lazy player captain... not usually, anyway.

I don't know just how old you are, but can you weigh in on Richard?
Being more an offensive player than a defensive player probably describes 95% of all great offensive players so I wouldn't infer anything from that statement. As far as being tempermental & not displaying his full talent, Where would Coleman get that kind of info & what was the context of his statement? I certainly never heard anything of the sort when litz was an active player and it certainly doesn't jive with what I saw..

I really can't comment on Richard as he was on his last legs when I started watching. Now there was a tempermental player.

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06-29-2009, 05:30 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Definitely fast. 5 on 5 situation. But would like to know what Hull, a left winger, was doing at the top of the right face-off circle in that situation leaving a man uncovered in the slot?

High risk , high reward but his instincts could be used against him as well.
Looks like he anticipated the play & moved from left to right to pick off the pass.

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06-29-2009, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pappyline View Post
Looks like he anticipated the play & moved from left to right to pick off the pass.
Pretty much exactly how I saw it. His defenseman moved to cover the slot when he saw Hull going anyways.

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06-29-2009, 06:08 PM
  #25
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Set Play

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Originally Posted by pappyline View Post
Looks like he anticipated the play & moved from left to right to pick off the pass.
The more I watch the video the more convinced I become that it was a set defensive play relying on excellent team defense.

#7 Norm Ullman is on his backhand coming out from behind the net and along the boards towards the point. The Chicago forwards basically collapse towards Ullman in the right face-off circle. One prevents the retreat or pass back into the corner, one takes the defenseman at the boards leaving Ullman with the option of a weak backhand pass across ice.The 2 d-men play the backhand pass eliminating passing lanes.Hull recognizing that a backhand pass will not get to where his check is going goes for the interception and the rest is history.

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