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Round 2, Vote 2 (2009 update)

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Old
08-04-2009, 03:08 PM
  #101
Der Kaiser
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
Just one point I wanted to make earlier, but I didn't get to on the Lafleur front. And it's a comparison with Phil Esposito.

A lot of people here (myself included) hype Lafleur's six-year run from 74-80. We don't give Espo enough credit for his run. Just like Lafleur, Espo was a first-team all-star six straight years. (And Espo did it at centre). And Espo won a bunch of shiny things. Five Art Ross Trophies. A couple of Harts. A couple of Pearsons. He led the league in goals six times. Assists three times. (Second four times). He also won two Cups, and scored at nearly the same point per game clip in the post-season as Lafleur.

I don't buy the "product of Bobby Orr" nonsense spewed by some around here. Espo had a couple of assists titles before Orr really hit his stride. And in his first 100-point season (correction, first 120-point season), Orr wasn't a point-per-game player.

He absolutely dominated the 72 Summit Series. He was the unquestionable MVP of that tournament. I don't put a ton of stock into international tournaments - most of them are short tournaments that don't feature the worlds best players, and they use best-of-one formats instead of the vastly superior best-of-seven ultimate test of superiority. Summit was different. It was the first best-on-best tournament. It was a best-of-eight, not some one-and-done thing. And it was played in both Canada and the USSR, incorporating the differences between the NHL and the international game. Espo dominated. He carried that team on his back. In the grandest showcase the sport has ever seen, in the single-most important event in the history of hockey, Espo was the best player. Hands down.

I admit I'm part of the problem. I had Lafleur at 13 or 14, and Espo at 21 or 22. The more I look at it, I think I might be off. Should I have had Lafleur ahead of Roy? No. Ahead of Sawchuk and probably Mikita? Maybe not. Should I have Espo ahead of Messier or Hasek? Probably.

May or may not vote for Espo ahead of Hasek. I don't think Hasek needs my support. He'll get in anyways.

I think part of the issue is style points. Lafleur was stylish. He's probably the sleekest, most entertaining forward to watch in the last 35 years. He didn't have Gretzky's mind or eyes. Didn't have Mario's combination of skill and strength. But to watch Lafleur seemingly glide down the right wing and unleash a shot - he was breathtaking. A joy to watch. Espo? Not at all. He'd lumber down the ice, and get in front of the net. Probably the best player ever within five feet of the net. He wasn't fast, although he was very strong on the puck, he had such fantastic instincts, he was so strong, and he was almost unstoppable in tight. And he had the perfect complimentary player for his style in Wayne Cashman. Watching Lafleur was like watching a Ferrari at Monaco. Watching Esposito was like watch a beater in an Enduro race. I think that's a big difference in how we evaluate them. And I think it's a mistake.
I've come to the same conclusion recently. I had both Lafleur and Mikita listed in som kind of midlands between the forwards of the top10 and the forwards of 20-40 (esposito, trottier, bossy, messier, jagr, clarke etc. I have a very hard time spearating these.). Their place in that midlands is not at all as firm as it used to be. I'm thinking Esposito may very well top both of them. Esposito to Lafleur is really as you claim comparing an Enduro to a Ferrari. The interesting part is that they created the same offense using these different styles. Excellent scoring, and above average playmaking.

Comparing Bossy to Lafleur isn't that outlandish either, both excellent scoring right wingers with above average playmaking and both played on very succesful dynasties. Lafleur with a bit more of a playmaking touch, and Bossy with maybe a slight nod in goalscoring. Bossy had the longer peak, but the shorter career. Add Jagr with his long career with ups and downs to the mix and you're in for a really tough right wing choice.

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Old
08-04-2009, 03:26 PM
  #102
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I am continuously shocked at how poorly Hasek fares on some of these lists.

Even completely ignoring when he was the best goalie, and often even player, in Czechoslovakia, a time when Czechoslovakia was 2nd at the World Championships behind only the Soviet Union, he still appears better to me than Roy, statistically and from watching them play.

Roy, with much better teams, simply can not compare to Hasek's regular season dominance and both goalies raised their games in the playoffs (one was just consistently on much better teams). Both times they went head-to-head (1998 and 2002) Hasek was easily the better goaltender, and there is no denying the older Hasek outshined Roy from the very moment he became a starter in the league.

I've taken a lot of time to look at these two, and Hasek comes out on top in almost every single metric (not based on quantity) I can find short of playoff OT win %.

3 Conn Smythes are incredible, and there is absolutely no denying it, but I fail to see how it trumps 3 extra Vezinas and 2 Harts. Am I missing something?

I really believe if Hasek was canadian he would be the unanimous choice as the greatest goalie ever, and especially the greatest modern goalie.

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Old
08-04-2009, 03:32 PM
  #103
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
I am continuously shocked at how poorly Hasek fares on some of these lists.

Even completely ignoring when he was the best goalie, and often even player, in Czechoslovakia, a time when Czechoslovakia was 2nd at the World Championships behind only the Soviet Union, he still appears better to me than Roy, statistically and from watching them play.

Roy, with much better teams, simply can not compare to Hasek's regular season dominance and both goalies raised their games in the playoffs (one was just consistently on much better teams). Both times they went head-to-head (1998 and 2002) Hasek was easily the better goaltender, and there is no denying the older Hasek outshined Roy from the very moment he became a starter in the league.

I've taken a lot of time to look at these two, and Hasek comes out on top in almost every single metric (not based on quantity) I can find short of playoff OT win %.

3 Conn Smythes are incredible, and there is absolutely no denying it, but I fail to see how it trumps 3 extra Vezinas and 2 Harts. Am I missing something?

I really believe if Hasek was canadian he would be the unanimous choice as the greatest goalie ever, and especially the greatest modern goalie.
I have them one after another at this point. Roy dominated in the late 80's to a very high degree in the regular season, and his post seasons are the stuff of legend. He is considered by many to be the best playoff goalie ever. Thus he is the first goalie on many peoples list. I dont think its so outrageous.

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Old
08-04-2009, 03:38 PM
  #104
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
I am continuously shocked at how poorly Hasek fares on some of these lists.

Even completely ignoring when he was the best goalie, and often even player, in Czechoslovakia, a time when Czechoslovakia was 2nd at the World Championships behind only the Soviet Union, he still appears better to me than Roy, statistically and from watching them play.

Roy, with much better teams, simply can not compare to Hasek's regular season dominance and both goalies raised their games in the playoffs (one was just consistently on much better teams). Both times they went head-to-head (1998 and 2002) Hasek was easily the better goaltender, and there is no denying the older Hasek outshined Roy from the very moment he became a starter in the league.

I've taken a lot of time to look at these two, and Hasek comes out on top in almost every single metric (not based on quantity) I can find short of playoff OT win %.

3 Conn Smythes are incredible, and there is absolutely no denying it, but I fail to see how it trumps 3 extra Vezinas and 2 Harts. Am I missing something?

I really believe if Hasek was canadian he would be the unanimous choice as the greatest goalie ever, and especially the greatest modern goalie.
When you post comments like the last paragraph, it completely undermines your credibility.

I think it's great that Hasek was a great player in Czechoslovakia. It doesn't change a damn thing in how I perceive the guy. Best player in Czechoslovakia? What percentage of those guys would have been good enough to make the show? Their best player in the mid-to-late 80s, Peter Stastny, was here already.

As I said in my Esposito post, World Championships don't do it for me. It's a short tournament that usually is determined by a best-of-one. In fact, I'll reiterate another statement I've made many times: hockey has the least relevant World Championship in professional sports. Any professional sport. They're not irrelevant. But it means the least of any sport.

I interviewed a top NHL player a few years ago just after he'd played in the World Championship for the first time. He said it was a great experience. And he hoped he would never play in it again. Any NHL player worth a damn will tell you the same thing.

World Championship accomplishments mean next-to-nothing to me in this process. It's not a best-on-best. It's never been a best-on-best. It'll never be a best-on-best, unless the tournament is moved to late June or early September, in which case, it would be a total joke.

I gushed about Summit earlier, for the reasons I detailed earlier. Best-on-best. Best of eight. (B*stard number, but it's better than a best-of-one). Played in both Canada and the USSR, employing the stark differences in the two games.

Canada Cup gives somewhat of an accurate reflection, because it's a best-on-best, but it would be better if it used a best of seven (or even a best of five) instead of a best of one or a best of three. Olympics in their current format would be a better indicator, too, if they didn't use a best-of-one. But it's unrealistic to expect anything else.

And yes, you are missing something. You play the regular season to qualify for the playoffs. Your season, both individually and as a team, is ultimately based on how you play in the playoffs. Regular season is exactly that. Regular. Playoffs are when you build your legacy.

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Old
08-04-2009, 04:02 PM
  #105
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Taylor was the first player to make setting up a teammate one of his major scoring options. As evidenced by having more than 80% more assists per game then any other players once the PCHA started recording assists.

My response was to the bolded. Since the poster in question tried to be cute using percentages as opposed to links with hard data,I just grabbed the first available year on hockeydb and extrapolated

Taylor averaged app.8APG an assist during his PCHA career. 80% more assists per game means that the others did not surpass .444 APG during Taylor's tenure. During the season I refereed to the assists leaders per team averaged .57/.59/.70 APG. or respectively 12 / 13 / 17 assists. Even if you take the bottom .57 APG the 80% is an exagerattion

You mention that Taylor led the PCHA in assists 6 times meaning that during his 10 year PCHA career at least twice, since I will acknowledge the two partial seasons, he was not the leader while racking up prime type numbers. To get to the 80% claim the leader and all the other players would have had to be significantly under the 1920-21 totals which is very unlikely and points in the direction of an exagerration. Support the 80% claim with data as opposed to getting cute.

Overlap. Not a clearly defined concept.
Overlap: Taylor did not play pro hockey until the 1906 season, when he split the year between the Manitoba league and the IHL. He spent 1907 in the IHL and then finally joined the eastern syndicate in 1908 with Ottawa as a defenseman in the ECAHA. Russell Bowie played his final ECAHA season in that season. McGee played his final season two years before that.

Both were outstanding players but hockey changed a lot from that generation to Taylor/Malone/Lalonde's generation. The days of guys scoring 2-3 goals a game regularly were over.

So Taylor's career overlapped with McGee's for one season, but they were in different leagues. It overlapped with Bowie's for three seasons, only the last of which was in the same league. And he played 16 more seasons after that. So I would consider that a case of careers NOT overlapping. Wouldn't you? I'd say it's a concept that is clearly defined.

As for Taylor, as I understand it, you want me to prove that he was a dominant playmaker?

- In 1913 he tied for the league lead with 8.
- In 1914 he led with 15. Next best was Dubbie Kerr with 11, then Frank Patrick and Skinner Poulin with 9. He was just getting started...
- In 1915 he led with 22. MacKay and Dunderdale were the next-best, with 11 and 10.
- In 1916, he led with 13. Kerr had 12 and Patrick had 11.
- In 1917, he had 15, good for 3rd in the league, but dominant on a per-game level. On pace to 33. Stanley had 18 and Morris had 17.
- In 1918, he had 11, one behind Morris for the lead. Oatman had 10. (Taylor dominated this year with 32 goals, next best had 20)
- In 1919, he led in both goals and assists. His 13 assists topped MacKay's 9 and Morris' 8.
- In 1920, he played just 10 games but had 6 assists. This projects to 13, one behind Oatman's 14 and ahead of Harris' 10.

That's 8 straight years of being the best or second-best playmaker in the PCHA on a per-game level. Notice as well, that very few players are even mentioned multiple times above. Everyone had their moment as a #2 or #3 guy and then fell back into the pack, but Taylor was always the #1 guy.

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Old
08-04-2009, 04:05 PM
  #106
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
When Kelly played, defencemen did not join the rush. You do know that, right? If you don't, you don't belong in this process.
I understand that, though I am not a voter... but maybe I misuderstood the "All posters are encouraged to participate in the debates and discussions"?

I don't pretend to know everything and am more interested in learning.

I think it is clear you do not have to join the rush to be effective offensively as a defenseman, and that defensemen who often did join the rush sacrificed actual defense.

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In 49-50, Kelly had 15 goals and 40 points. The criminally underrated Bill Gadsby was the only other one with at least 10 goals and 30 points.

In 50-51, he had 17 goals and 54 points. The next-closest in each category was Allan Stanley (seven goals) and Jimmy Thomson (36 points). The 2-3-4 defencemen in goals combined for 18 goals that year. Kelly had 17.

In 51-52, he had 16 goals and 47 points. One-year wonder Hy Buller was next with 12 and 35.
No question those were impressive years, but Gadsby and Harvey were also putting up 50+ points in the years I listed (Gadsby and Kelly doing it twice) and there were defensemen putting in more goals in the 30s and 40s (in less games).

Looking at the latter years I posted, only 4 defensemen put up 70+ points and Lidstrom did it 4 times.

Are you just assuming Gadsby, Harvey and Kelly would be putting up 100 points today? I just do not buy that and do not understand how those numbers figure.

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Old
08-04-2009, 04:18 PM
  #107
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post


15 players up for votes this round, 12 canadian and 3 european -- guess which three are dead last on his list? -- the only voter to do so (even God Bless Canada had Hasek 10th in this vote).
Maybe it's just that we have to pick amongst lots of players that played their NHL careers way before the first european contender came in? (and I exclude Salming... While a Top-100 contender for sure, he isn't exactly a Top-50 contender, let alone a Top-20)?

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But it is not just Lidstrom.

Hasek has negatives, but Roy does not?
Jagr is moody fuc*er, but Lafleur is just fine player?
It's just that Roy negatives were much less detrimental than Hasek's negative, and Jagr's negatives were much less detrimental than Lafleur's negatives (who cares that Lafleur smoked 3 packs a day, unless it caused a riot in the lockerroom and the retirement of Jacques Lemaire and Bill Nyrop?). Can blame him on his prima donna attitude, but bottom line is --- he still was the best player on a 4-cup winning team. Something Jagr doesn't have a sniff of a claim at. (for the record, I don't think Lafleur will be in my Top-20)

Geez, most NHA players did worst off-ice related things than Lafleur ever did, and that never, ever was an argument against them.

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.
The HOH project is not a penis measuring competition, mon frère.
(for the use of french here, not for the penis-measuring thing...)


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As the same time, there's something to be said for being the defining superstar of a generation. Among players who started their careers within a few years of 1920 like Morenz, only Cook can touch him. (and now I am starting to wonder how I had Cook down around 40th!)
Compare Nels Stewart to those guys, and you'll quickly realize that you didn't do anything bad by having Cook around 40th.

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Count me among the group of those who left Howie Morenz out of his top 10; count me also among the much-smaller group of those who won't rank him 11th (nothing I read in the first thread has convinced me, but I'm still all eyes).
Good to see somebody join my group.

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Old
08-04-2009, 04:24 PM
  #108
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Originally Posted by God Bless Canada View Post
When you post comments like the last paragraph, it completely undermines your credibility.

I think it's great that Hasek was a great player in Czechoslovakia. It doesn't change a damn thing in how I perceive the guy. Best player in Czechoslovakia? What percentage of those guys would have been good enough to make the show? Their best player in the mid-to-late 80s, Peter Stastny, was here already.

As I said in my Esposito post, World Championships don't do it for me. It's a short tournament that usually is determined by a best-of-one. In fact, I'll reiterate another statement I've made many times: hockey has the least relevant World Championship in professional sports. Any professional sport. They're not irrelevant. But it means the least of any sport.

I interviewed a top NHL player a few years ago just after he'd played in the World Championship for the first time. He said it was a great experience. And he hoped he would never play in it again. Any NHL player worth a damn will tell you the same thing.

World Championship accomplishments mean next-to-nothing to me in this process. It's not a best-on-best. It's never been a best-on-best. It'll never be a best-on-best, unless the tournament is moved to late June or early September, in which case, it would be a total joke.

I gushed about Summit earlier, for the reasons I detailed earlier. Best-on-best. Best of eight. (B*stard number, but it's better than a best-of-one). Played in both Canada and the USSR, employing the stark differences in the two games.

Canada Cup gives somewhat of an accurate reflection, because it's a best-on-best, but it would be better if it used a best of seven (or even a best of five) instead of a best of one or a best of three. Olympics in their current format would be a better indicator, too, if they didn't use a best-of-one. But it's unrealistic to expect anything else.

And yes, you are missing something. You play the regular season to qualify for the playoffs. Your season, both individually and as a team, is ultimately based on how you play in the playoffs. Regular season is exactly that. Regular. Playoffs are when you build your legacy.
Do you dismiss the Soviets in the 80s as well? Because the Czechs were behind only them internationally. Are you comparing a single player's recent experience with the World Champinships to the atmosphere in the 80s, with the Iron Curtain still in place? The Czechs also have fared well at the Olympics, so to flippantly write off the best goalie and often best player from Czechoslovakia during this time seems incredibly myopic.

Regular season is the best way of measuring these players, as you are dealing with a much more level playing field. If you are not fortunate enough to be on a good team you simply are not going to win many Cups, make it that far in the playoffs or make it to the playoffs at all. I believe it has been stated here numerous times that players should be judged more by their actual playoff performances, versus how well their teams did. Dionne does not lose most of his points simply because he does not have a Cup, but more significantly because he failed to individually perform in the playoffs. Right?

I fail to see Roy's playoff performances (minus team accomplishments) as significantly greater than Hasek's performances.... certainly not enough to make up for the huge difference in regular season play.

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Old
08-04-2009, 04:27 PM
  #109
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I fail to see Roy's playoff performances (minus team accomplishments) as significantly greater than Hasek's performances.... certainly not enough to make up for the huge difference in regular season play.
...And you dare to say that Canadiens1958 and GBC are biased?

That's THREE Connie Smythes, with arguably the best all-time clutch goaltending display ever...

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08-04-2009, 04:30 PM
  #110
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I fail to see Roy's playoff performances (minus team accomplishments) as significantly greater than Hasek's performances.... certainly not enough to make up for the huge difference in regular season play.
Thats the difference there. Most people saw Roy's playoffs performances as some of, if not the best, of all time. Hasek never put up a comparable playoff in my mind.

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08-04-2009, 04:35 PM
  #111
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Thats the difference there. Most people saw Roy's playoffs performances as some of, if not the best, of all time. Hasek never put up a comparable playoff in my mind.
If not for the Hull offside goal...

Anyways, Hasek was awesome in playoffs too, but one player can only do so much. Roy's Montreal Cup winning teams were better than any Hasek's Buffalo. Once Hasek went to Detroit and faced another powerhouse - Avalanche and Roy, I belive Hasek outplayed him.
Also, in Nagano, Roy and significantly better Canadian team lost to Hasek and his Czech team.

Bobby Orr or Mario only won 2 Cups, yet I'd take them over Roy in playoffs. Playoff success is great, but one player never wins you a Cup. Not even Wayne could do it.

Hasek's rumored off-ice problems are way overblown around here. He never quit on any team as far as I know. He actually gave up money when he was unable to play. He is a weird guy with a very bad English, but that does not make him a team cancer or whatever you want to call it. He left for Detroit because he wanted to win badly. Just like Ray Bourque. I have never heard this used against Ray around here.


Last edited by Reds4Life: 08-04-2009 at 04:41 PM.
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08-04-2009, 04:37 PM
  #112
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...And you dare to say that Canadiens1958 and GBC are biased?
I guess I fail to see how Roy's playoff runs are significantly greater than Hasek's four lengthy runs in 98, 99, 02 and 07 -- Roy simply had the good fortune of being on largely better teams (as well as at younger ages) with deeper runs giving him a much better chance to shine. It definitely helps tip the scales in Roy's favor... but not enough to compensate for much less accomplishments on a more equal playing field in the regular season.

At best you can say Roy was out of this world in the playoffs, and Hasek was merely spectacular. If these were defensemen we were comparing, I doubt it would be enough to push a 3-time Norris winner over a 6-time Norris winner with 2 Harts.

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08-04-2009, 04:37 PM
  #113
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post

I fail to see Roy's playoff performances (minus team accomplishments) as significantly greater than Hasek's performances.... certainly not enough to make up for the huge difference in regular season play.
86 more playoff wins and 3 more Conn Smythe's would suggest a significant difference ... and I put much more emphasis on that as opposed to referencing a single Olympic game that came down to a shootout.

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08-04-2009, 04:41 PM
  #114
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Originally Posted by Reds4Life View Post
If not for the Hull offside goal...

Anyways, Hasek was awesome in playoffs too, but one player can only do so much. Roy's Montreal Cup winning teams were better than any Hasek's Buffalo. Once Hasek went to Detroit and faced another powerhouse - Avalanche and Roy, I belive Hasek outplayed him.
Also, in Nagano, Roy and significantly better Canadian team lost to Hasek and his Czech team.

Bobby Orr or Mario only won 2 Cups, yet I'd take them over Roy in playoffs. Playoff success is great, but one player never wins you a Cup. Not even Wayne could do it.
GEEZ... We're talking who was better than the other in the playoffs, through his career. The Sabres were a dreadful SC team. But according the some posters here (not from the HOH TOp-100, but anyways), the 86 and the 93 are the worst SC cup winners ever (we all know it's false, but we also know they're in the bottom quarter).

Hasek might have beaten Roy. But Roy had THREE DAMN CONNIE SMYTHES. Which is, if I'm not wrong, two more than his closest competitor at the position...

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08-04-2009, 04:44 PM
  #115
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
I guess I fail to see how Roy's playoff runs are significantly greater than Hasek's four lengthy runs in 98, 99, 02 and 07 -- Roy simply had the good fortune of being on largely better teams (as well as at younger ages) with deeper runs giving him a much better chance to shine. It definitely helps tip the scales in Roy's favor... but not enough to compensate for much less accomplishments on a more equal playing field in the regular season.

At best you can say Roy was out of this world in the playoffs, and Hasek was merely spectacular. If these were defensemen we were comparing, I doubt it would be enough to push a 3-time Norris winner over a 6-time Norris winner with 2 Harts.
...Hummm... How EXACTLY the 86 and the 93 teams were better than the 02 and 07 teams?

... And that 95 team was going down faster than Paris Hilton without Roy.

A defensemen with 3-Norris and 3 Connie Smythes would probably be a Top-15 in this list as well. ... Mind you, that would be 30% of the CS given to D-Men, which would be an utter domination at the position... Such positionnal shares of an award would be absolutely unheard of.

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08-04-2009, 04:44 PM
  #116
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Hasek might have beaten Roy. But Roy had THREE DAMN CONNIE SMYTHES. Which is, if I'm not wrong, two more than his closest competitor at the position...
Bernie Parent does have two Conn Smythe's ... back to back.

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08-04-2009, 04:45 PM
  #117
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Hasek's competitive drive should never be questioned --
He was famous for his work ethic, literally could not stay retired and came close to a Vezina in 2006 after retiring, as well as a great playoff run in 2007. Only Mario Lemieux returned from retirement playing at a similar level.

Hasek continued playing for years after Roy retired and is still trying to play back in the Czech Republic.

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08-04-2009, 04:45 PM
  #118
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Originally Posted by MXD View Post
GEEZ... We're talking who was better than the other in the playoffs, through his career. The Sabres were a dreadful SC team. But according the some posters here (not from the HOH TOp-100, but anyways), the 86 and the 93 are the worst SC cup winners ever (we all know it's false, but we also know they're in the bottom quarter).

Hasek might have beaten Roy. But Roy had THREE DAMN CONNIE SMYTHES. Which is, if I'm not wrong, two more than his closest competitor at the position...
Hasek has better GAA and SV in playoffs despite the fact that he played for worse teams overall.

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08-04-2009, 04:46 PM
  #119
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...Hummm... How EXACTLY the 86 and the 93 teams were better than the 02 and 07 teams?

... And that 95 team was going down faster than Paris Hilton without Roy.
All four were amonst the top in the league those years (as well as Roy's Colorado teams).

But we both know those Buffalo teams were nowhere even close.

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08-04-2009, 04:46 PM
  #120
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I think the difference between you and Rabbins as compared to most people here is you're giving Hasek credit that he would've put up legendary Roy-like playoff performances if he had been on better teams. It's very well possible, but Roy did it. Hasek didnt.

The flip side argument is this: given Roy's regular season dominance in the late 80's and early 90's, Roy never had the opportunity to play for terrible terrible teams and never had the chance to steal the show in the regular season.

edit: I guess Rabbins doesnt think Roy's 93 or 86 were above Hasek's runs so it's a moot point. I think they were two of the greatest playoff performances any player in history has had.

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08-04-2009, 04:46 PM
  #121
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It is pretty much agreed that Kelly and Lidstrom both played very sound positional defense. Both of them didn't tend toward physical play to contain the opposition. Given the acknowledged similarities in play and limited first hand accounts of Kelly's game, it become hard to separate the two in term of actual play. What separates one of the other to my eyes is the impact both gave to championship teams. I'll try to explain the best I can.

Given that the next input of d-men will likely include the likes of Chelios, Park, Pilote, Coffey, etc, I tend to separate high-end defensemen in two tier. Tier 1 comprise defensemen that appears to me as cornerstones of dynasty teams or perennial powerhouses. Guys like Orr, Shore, Bourque, Harvey, Potvin have many times in their career be the ''guy to go'' among very powerful teams. Those can been seen as locomotives of great teams for an extended period of time. I tend to add Lidstrom to that select group given the central point he held during the Wings tenure over the last 12 years. While guys like Yzerman, Federov or Zetterberg all shared their tremendous contribution to the team, I've always seen Lidstrom as, like the other greats mentioned above, the guy you got to contain to derail the whole train.

This is where I draw the line. Tier 2 appears to me like a group of tremendous d-men who, while being among the best of all-time, almost never acted as the cornerstone of their respective teams. Guys like Chelios, Park or Pilote. Players who while being intrinsic parts of powerhouses, never defined them or weren't the ones seen as gamebreakers. Some like Leetch or MacInnis reached a very limited tier 1 peak, not nearly long enough to put them over the top. This is where I draw the line between Lidstrom and Kelly. You got to be an incredibly great defenseman to act year in and year out as the focal point of a winning team. While Lidstrom seems like this focal point in a more or less dynasty team I fail to see that in Kelly, whose teams success were led (Howe aside) by a hot as hell goaltender and a heart and soul forward who played like his life was on the line. Kelly, while essential, don't seem to me like the guy you had to stop to pass through the Wings. Maybe my knowledge of Kelly isn't up to par but that's the first difference I see in those two greats. Don't hesitate to correct me or add other points.

By the way, comparing +/- between era without adjustment is like saying Dennis Maruk was better than Kovalchuk because he put up better numbers. It is looking to an already irrelevant stat with an irrelevant point of view : Useless to the debate.

Glad to finally enter the debate.
i have never been able to see games from the '50s DRW dynasty, so i can't add much about how crucial kelly was, but it is worth pointing out that DRW did not win again after he was traded.

it is also possible that the main reasons for that are the '50s habs dynasty and the decline of sawchuk. lindsay was also getting older in that period.
and the unlon movement was probably a very large source of conflict within the team.

DRW declined offensively and defensively in the later '50s. they were around .500 from '58 to the post-howe dead things period.
they were 1st in '65, based on great seasons by crozier and ullman, but DRW were back to 4th in '66.

making judgements by looking at hart voting may not be a good idea, since hart voting was so different than it is today, but kelly was usually 2nd to howe and sometimes ahead of howe (in the early '50s) in hart voting. it is also notable that sawchuk and lindsay were usually not ahead of kelly in hart voting.

'51
1. Milt Schmidt, Bos C 40 (10-4-2)
2. Maurice Richard, Mtl LW 28 (5-4-5)
T3. Red Kelly, Det D 11 (1-2-4)
T3. Gordie Howe, Det RW 11 (0-5-1)

'53
1. Gordie Howe, Det RW 58 (9-4-1)
2. Al Rollins, Chi G 25 (3-3-1)
3. Red Kelly, Det D 25 (2-3-6)

'54
1. Al Rollins, Chi G 80 (50-30)
2. Red Kelly, Det D 74 (40-34)
3. Maurice Richard, Mtl LW 44 (20-24)
4. Gordie Howe, Det RW 33 (22-11)

'56
1. Jean Beliveau, Mtl C 94 (53-41)
2. Tod Sloan, Tor C 86 (14-72)
3. Lorne Worsley, NYR G 72 (55-17)
4. Red Kelly, Det D 25 (14-11)
5. Doug Harvey, Mtl D 11 (6-5)
6. Johnny Wilson, Chi LW 10
7. Gordie Howe, Det RW 8
T8. Andy Bathgate, NYR RW 6
T8. Maurice Richard, Mtl RW 6
10. T. Lindsay, Det LW 3



i think '54 is especially interesting, b/c rollins probably should not have won. he was not an all star, and played for the worst team in the NHL.
so kelly could be considered the rightful winner.


i don't know if frank boucher was still with NYR in the early or mid-'50s, but i remember reading that he said something like kelly was the MVP of DRW.

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08-04-2009, 04:49 PM
  #122
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
He was famous for his work ethic, literally could not stay retired and came close to a Vezina in 2006 after retiring, as well as a great playoff run in 2007. Only Mario Lemieux returned from retirement laying at a similar level.
Jacques Plante came back after a three year retirement and won the Vezina Trophy (w/Glenn Hall) in 1969 and led the Blues to the Stanley Cup Finals ... and then two years later at the age of 42 made the second All-Star team with the Leafs posting a league leading save percentage of .942, a mark that Hasek never matched in any season in his entire career.

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08-04-2009, 04:50 PM
  #123
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Bernie Parent does have two Conn Smythe's ... back to back.
Duh... Sorry C-1958, I always think the CS went Parent-Leach. (Leach indeed won the CS).

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08-04-2009, 04:53 PM
  #124
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[QUOTE=Canadiens Fan;20663644]
Quote:

Jacques Plante came back after a three year retirement and won the Vezina Trophy (w/Glenn Hall) in 1969 and led the Blues to the Stanley Cup Finals ... and then two years later at the age of 42 made the second All-Star team with the Leafs posting a league leading save percentage of .942, a mark that Hasek never matched in any season in his entire career.
C-1958... Obviously Hasek never matched, that's like the best season ever posted by a goalie, games notwithstanding.
It was interesting to note that the 2nd best season (according to the numbers from The Hockey Project) was posted by ... a french-canadian goalie hailing from Ste-Foy.

IF the "Roy played on a good team, so he could get the CS" argument can be used, why can't we use the "Roy played on good teams, so he could NEVER get the Hart"? I mean, he WAS the 1st AS in 2002. But was obviously not the most valuable goalie, nor the most valuable player. That was Theodore. Sorry for Iggy lovers. And unlike Hasek, we can be sure that Roy WAS considered the best goalie that year. Not that he WOULD BE considered the best playoff performer.

Also, it's not unheard of to give the CS to the goaltender of a losing team...


Last edited by MXD: 08-04-2009 at 04:59 PM.
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Old
08-04-2009, 04:55 PM
  #125
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Duh... Sorry C-1958, I always think the CS went Parent-Leach. (Leach indeed won the CS).
No problem ... and C-1958 and I are two different posters.

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