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Best defense pairings

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05-14-2005, 05:25 AM
  #1
Marcus-74
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Best defense pairings

Hellohellohello. The question of the best hockey lines has been discussed here many times I guess, but how about the best defense pairings? Here are some I could name with my limited knowledge.

Vyacheslav Fetisov - Alexei Kasatonov

Hey, these guys played well together even after they had stopped talking to each other! Both could make a transition from defense to offense and vice versa in a second. KLM was devastating as it was but these two made it even better. By all means the best ever European defense pair.

Larry Robinson - Serge Savard

Savard is one of my favourite players, but admittedly Robinson was THE MAN of the Big Three. These two were a great match with Robinson as the offensive guy and Savard taking care more of the defensive duties. You know, the late-70s Habs was such a well-balanced team that no wonder they dominated the NHL.

Bobby Orr - Dallas Smith

Nothing against Smith, but he´s not the reason why this pair is on the list. Still, he can´t be that bad since he played over 800 games for the Bruins. But yeah, had to put Bobby Orr somewhere here, so...

Al Macinnis - Gary Suter

A dangerous pair on Calgary´s power plays. Poor goalies and players who had to block their shots!


Last edited by Marcus-74: 05-14-2005 at 05:34 AM.
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05-14-2005, 09:38 AM
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus-74
Hellohellohello. The question of the best hockey lines has been discussed here many times I guess, but how about the best defense pairings? Here are some I could name with my limited knowledge.

Vyacheslav Fetisov - Alexei Kasatonov

Hey, these guys played well together even after they had stopped talking to each other! Both could make a transition from defense to offense and vice versa in a second. KLM was devastating as it was but these two made it even better. By all means the best ever European defense pair.

Larry Robinson - Serge Savard

Savard is one of my favourite players, but admittedly Robinson was THE MAN of the Big Three. These two were a great match with Robinson as the offensive guy and Savard taking care more of the defensive duties. You know, the late-70s Habs was such a well-balanced team that no wonder they dominated the NHL.

Bobby Orr - Dallas Smith

Nothing against Smith, but he´s not the reason why this pair is on the list. Still, he can´t be that bad since he played over 800 games for the Bruins. But yeah, had to put Bobby Orr somewhere here, so...

Al Macinnis - Gary Suter

A dangerous pair on Calgary´s power plays. Poor goalies and players who had to block their shots!
I agree with your first 2 totally. Larry and Serge played 30-40 minutes and Lapointe and x played the rest.

In a way Guy had the tougher role. Remember in the early seventies there were only 2 better defencemen in the nhl, Orr and Park. Guy was at a good weight and could fly and headman the puck. He also had a bullet shot. He was a second team allstar and a key member of Team Canada 72. He was often paired with Bouchard, (young)Engblom, Nyrop or occasionally Chartraw. He never won the Conn Smythe as opposed to Larry and Serge.

Curious why you are a big fan of Serge.

Team Canada 72 never lost a game in which he played. He was just recovering from a second broken leg the season before. The first broken leg cost him his foot speed and gave him a limping style of skating. He was a Smythe winner at 22 before the injury. His downfall was steeper than Larry and Guy - at 33 one night Anton Stastny made him look very very bad. And from then on the Forum fans booed him frequently. He had put a helmet on by then and would retire soon after. He came out of it at the behest of Fergie who got him to mentor the youngsters for 3 years in Winnipeg.

Tell us more about Fetisov. Did he not speak to Kasatonov over Tikhonov?

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05-14-2005, 10:48 AM
  #3
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Doug Harvey - Emile Bouchard

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05-14-2005, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus-74

Larry Robinson - Serge Savard

Bobby Orr - Dallas Smith
In the late 70's dynasty, Robinson was mostly with Bill Nyrop, and Savard played a lot with Lapointe. I also thought they - 19 and 18 - were both right-siders, so I don't know if they paired up when Robinson was young for the '73 Cup.

As for Orr, he and Dallas Smith were only partners one season, 1972-73, and that was when Orr's left knee was so gutted that he stopped skating backwards. Until then, he was with Don Awrey because they liked Awrey's breakaway speed to help cover Orr's end-to-end rushes.

When they got Carol Vadnais in the 71-72 trade, he played with Dallas Smith through the '72 Cup. When Awrey was let go after 72-73, Vadnais went back with Smith and Orr took on Al Sims as his left-sider. It pretty stayed that way until Sims fell out of favor early in 75-76. When Orr played his final 10 games as a Bruin in 75-76, he was with Brad Park, as the trade was completed so Park's first game with the Bruins was Orr's first of the season. They went 5-1-4 and the powerplay hit on 50 percent.

I consider Orr the best player I've ever seen, but I think the best pairing the Bruins have had in my lifetime is Bourque with Kluzak during the only healthy season the latter had as a veteran player, 87-88. They were the reason the Bruins finally beat Montreal in a playoff series and made the Cup finals.

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05-14-2005, 11:40 AM
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At the height of the Isles Dynasty, Denis Potvin was generally acknowledged as one of the best players in the game. He was paired with Ken Morrow, who was easily among the top defensive defensemen in the game, albeit for a shorter period of time, due to injury.

Potvin/Morrow certainly deserves recognition here.

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05-14-2005, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottier
At the height of the Isles Dynasty, Denis Potvin was generally acknowledged as one of the best players in the game. He was paired with Ken Morrow, who was easily among the top defensive defensemen in the game, albeit for a shorter period of time, due to injury.

Potvin/Morrow certainly deserves recognition here.
You took the words out of my mouth.

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05-15-2005, 07:59 AM
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Doc, Savard and Robinson both shot left but Savard played pretty exclusively on the right side. Lapointe was paired with Nyrop for the most part. The pairings would obviuosly change for injury but it was usually, 18&19, and Lapointe played with the best of the rest, whether it be Nyrop or whoever that particular year. Savard gets overlooked historically and sometimes gets lost in the shuffle of the big 3. I watched a lot of classic games this winter and appreciate Savard's game, probably more than I did at the time. When he came up, he was mentionned as one of the revolutionnary offensive d men along with Orr and Park, though 2 broken legs ended that talk. His reduced mobility forced him to change his game and he became as good positionnnally and as smart on the ice as anyone you could see. Also, if players needed business advice, he was the guy they'd go see. one of the brighter guys around.

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05-16-2005, 12:19 AM
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The homerisam in me saids Zubov and Leetch back in 94, only a year but they both put up more then impressive #'s, Zubov with 13 goals, 89 points in the season and Leetch with 23 goals and 79 points. The offense they produce was incredible. Ended up winning the cup that season with Leetch gettings 11 goals, 23 assists, 34 points in 22 playoff games earning him the Conn Smythe Trophy in the 94 playoffs. .....sorry I was just watching old playoff games from 94 ...

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05-16-2005, 01:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
Doc, Savard and Robinson both shot left but Savard played pretty exclusively on the right side. Lapointe was paired with Nyrop for the most part. The pairings would obviuosly change for injury but it was usually, 18&19, and Lapointe played with the best of the rest, whether it be Nyrop or whoever that particular year. Savard gets overlooked historically and sometimes gets lost in the shuffle of the big 3. I watched a lot of classic games this winter and appreciate Savard's game, probably more than I did at the time. When he came up, he was mentionned as one of the revolutionnary offensive d men along with Orr and Park, though 2 broken legs ended that talk. His reduced mobility forced him to change his game and he became as good positionnnally and as smart on the ice as anyone you could see. Also, if players needed business advice, he was the guy they'd go see. one of the brighter guys around.
I used to watch at the time too.. was it Lapointe or Savard the one who was the funny guy who would joke before a game to cheer up his teammates?

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05-16-2005, 03:43 AM
  #10
Marcus-74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chooch
I agree with your first 2 totally. Larry and Serge played 30-40 minutes and Lapointe and x played the rest.

In a way Guy had the tougher role. Remember in the early seventies there were only 2 better defencemen in the nhl, Orr and Park. Guy was at a good weight and could fly and headman the puck. He also had a bullet shot. He was a second team allstar and a key member of Team Canada 72. He was often paired with Bouchard, (young)Engblom, Nyrop or occasionally Chartraw. He never won the Conn Smythe as opposed to Larry and Serge.

Curious why you are a big fan of Serge.

Team Canada 72 never lost a game in which he played. He was just recovering from a second broken leg the season before. The first broken leg cost him his foot speed and gave him a limping style of skating. He was a Smythe winner at 22 before the injury. His downfall was steeper than Larry and Guy - at 33 one night Anton Stastny made him look very very bad. And from then on the Forum fans booed him frequently. He had put a helmet on by then and would retire soon after. He came out of it at the behest of Fergie who got him to mentor the youngsters for 3 years in Winnipeg.

Tell us more about Fetisov. Did he not speak to Kasatonov over Tikhonov?
Savard

I saw those Summit Series -games a couple of years ago and was very impressed by his coolness, passing skills and ability to control the tempo. He was also one of the more reliable players on Team Canada ´72. In games 3 and 6 he´s occasionally almost dominating the game! And one more thing; I always have sympathy for the "unsung heroes"/underrated guys for some reason.

Fetisov - Kasatonov

The story was that in the spirit of perestroika the Soviet players - especially Larionov and Fetisov - started craving more freedom and, basically, wanted to get rid of Tikhonov and his coaching style. But Kasatonov stayed loyal to Tikhonov and that caused the feud between him and the other guys on the Green Unit. I believe Fetisov suspected that Kasatonov was even spying on him for Tikhonov. So that was the end of a beautiful(?) friendship and I guess they still don´t want anything to do with each other.


Last edited by Marcus-74: 05-16-2005 at 03:56 AM.
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05-16-2005, 07:41 AM
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For NJ:

For many years the Niedermayer-Stevens Combo was pretty darn good .

Stevens and Daneyko during the playoffs of 95 were absolute shutdown

Vyacheslav Fetisov - Alexei Kasatonov: played in NJ together and they were terrible in NJ

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05-16-2005, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KOVALEV10
I used to watch at the time too.. was it Lapointe or Savard the one who was the funny guy who would joke before a game to cheer up his teammates?
Guy Lapointe was known for practical jokes though there was no shortage of clowns on that team.

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05-16-2005, 07:56 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottier
At the height of the Isles Dynasty, Denis Potvin was generally acknowledged as one of the best players in the game. He was paired with Ken Morrow, who was easily among the top defensive defensemen in the game, albeit for a shorter period of time, due to injury.

Potvin/Morrow certainly deserves recognition here.
Did Potvin not play a fair bit with Perrson ?

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05-16-2005, 09:00 AM
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I thought the Lidstrom - Murphy pairing was a good one back in the mid 90's.

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05-16-2005, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Bergeron47
Doug Harvey - Emile Bouchard
Game over!

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05-16-2005, 11:38 AM
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Two opposites who played together:

Paul Coffey and Charlie Huddy.

Complementary players and it was Huddy who allowed Coffey to take the risks that he did. That and the fact that Coffey could get back so fast.

Rod Langway - Brian Engblom.

Started in Montreal, and the Habs traded the pair together to Washington where they would absolutely lock down the Caps blueline for most of the early 80's with Langway earning a pair of Norris Trophies.

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05-16-2005, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malefic74
Two opposites who played together:

Paul Coffey and Charlie Huddy.

Complementary players and it was Huddy who allowed Coffey to take the risks that he did. That and the fact that Coffey could get back so fast.

Rod Langway - Brian Engblom.

Started in Montreal, and the Habs traded the pair together to Washington where they would absolutely lock down the Caps blueline for most of the early 80's with Langway earning a pair of Norris Trophies.
I wouldn't call Huddy a complete opposite, he did pot 20 goals one year.

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05-16-2005, 12:22 PM
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Brad McCrimmon-Mark Howe

+85 and +82 respectively in 1986.

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Old
05-16-2005, 05:16 PM
  #19
Trottier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
Did Potvin not play a fair bit with Perrson ?
Only on the PP, which was fairly lethal, as Potvin was the QB and had a lethal wrist shot - yes, wrist shot - from the point, while Persson was a superb passer.

Potvin's regular d partners through the better part of his career, far as I recall, were:

Gary Hart (up until about '80)
Jean Potvin (brother; mid-70s)
Bob Lorimer (periodically, 1980-82)
Morrow (through the Cup years)

I think Potvin also played also with Gerald Diduck in the mid-80s, until Potvin's retirement in '88. By then Morrow was suffering from an assortment of significant injuries that shortened his career.

Persson was virtually always paired up with Dave Langevin. A very solid second pairing, to be sure.

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