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Best offensive defensemen?

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Old
11-07-2010, 09:06 AM
  #26
Dennis Bonvie
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Originally Posted by Marotte Marauder View Post
Having seen the entire career of both players, not giving adjusted point mumbo jumbo any credence... Larry Robinson was not a better OFFENSIVE defenseman than Doug Wilson.
I agree.

Perhaps the biggest shot of any left-handed Dman ever.

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11-07-2010, 11:12 AM
  #27
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If we are not talking only about NHL, then Jan Suchy (CSSR) deserves at least honored mention.

Most productive defensman in history of CSSR league, nicknamed "Bobby Orr from Europe" and one of the first defensmen which blocked the shots by his body - at least in Europe.

And if not - after everything is done and closed, I would like to see Leetch in TOP5.

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11-07-2010, 12:55 PM
  #28
vadim sharifijanov
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Just my opinion, but it seems to me Leetch & Housley are underrated here as offensive players and Bourque is overrated.

For a large part of Bourque's career he rarely rushed the puck. I'd attribute this to him realizing he was going to be continually overplayed by his coaches in order to carry the Bruin's from the back line. As a Bruins fan, I considered him a D first player who also had great offensive talent. But his huge numbers come from not only his longevity, but also his massive amounts of ice time during an era with massive amounts of points.

Strictly on offensive ability, I think Leetch and Housley were at least Bourque's equal.
leetch and housley each had one career season that topped bourque's in offensive production (housley edges him by one point). but bourque has the better 2nd, 3rd, and 4th best offensive season, based solely on points (all in the 90s).

90 point seasons by defensemen:

coffey - 7
orr - 6
bourque - 4
potvin - 3
macinnis - 2
housley - 1
leetch - 1
suter - 1

the other thing about bourque is he is, along with arguably macinnis, the best powerplay defenseman i have seen in my lifetime. no one kept the puck in the zone or moved it on the PP like bourque did. keeping the puck alive on the PP doesn't necessarily always show up on the scoresheet, but i do consider it a vital offensive skill for a d-man. also, his heavy wrist shot and his ability to get it off quickly and get it on net was second only to macinnis' point shot in his era.

at even strength, bourque didn't rush it like leetch or coffey did, but who had the best outlet passes of the last 30 years? bourque and lidstrom. they weren't always, or even very often, long bombs that resulted in breakaways, but they were almost always the safe play (you almost never saw these guys sending up suicide passes), and usually left their recipients in good position to engage the offense.

as you said, bourque played ridiculous minutes and had to conserve his energy. you watch pronger in last year's playoffs and how he moved as little as possible and played with such economy so he could be on the ice for 30 minutes a game. that was bourque's entire career. and, to my eyes at least, his outlet passing was at least as effective as rushing the puck up ice himself, and had the added benefit of helping him stay in position in case the play came back the other way.

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11-07-2010, 04:16 PM
  #29
TheDevilMadeMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Just my opinion, but it seems to me Leetch & Housley are underrated here as offensive players and Bourque is overrated.

For a large part of Bourque's career he rarely rushed the puck. I'd attribute this to him realizing he was going to be continually overplayed by his coaches in order to carry the Bruin's from the back line. As a Bruins fan, I considered him a D first player who also had great offensive talent. But his huge numbers come from not only his longevity, but also his massive amounts of ice time during an era with massive amounts of points.

Strictly on offensive ability, I think Leetch and Housley were at least Bourque's equal.
You make a good point about ice time.

The converse of what you said is that Phil Housley was basically a #4 defenseman on average during his career, because he was such a sieve in his own zone. So his overall offensive output is significantly lower than it would have been if his coaches trusted him enough to give him more minutes.

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Old
11-07-2010, 04:20 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
You make a good point about ice time.

The converse of what you said is that Phil Housley was basically a #4 defenseman on average during his career, because he was such a sieve in his own zone. So his overall offensive output is significantly lower than it would have been if his coaches trusted him enough to give him more minutes.
It probably means he was also more often playing against players easy to score points against.

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11-07-2010, 04:47 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Starchild74 View Post
Everytime a list is made their are always players that we either forget about or to some their favourites are put higher then others. Now I will not say anything about your list before Orr. However I must ask after Orr did you forget or just feel that Larry Murphy didn't belong in the list

I would have it

Orr
Coffey
Bourque
Potvin
Murphy
MacInnis
Leetch
Park
Lidtsrom
Housely

Of course not complaining about your list was just curious about Larry Murphy that is all
No, I didn't forget Murphy, I just didn't think he was as good as the others guys. He was consistently solid to very good, even though he might not have been as flashy as some others guys, but I don't think he was really at the peak of any of the other guys.

I had Murphy in my next group with Doug Wilson (who perhaps should be in the top 10), and guys like Suter, Blake, Zubov, Gonchar, etc.

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Old
11-07-2010, 04:50 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Just my opinion, but it seems to me Leetch & Housley are underrated here as offensive players and Bourque is overrated.

For a large part of Bourque's career he rarely rushed the puck. I'd attribute this to him realizing he was going to be continually overplayed by his coaches in order to carry the Bruin's from the back line. As a Bruins fan, I considered him a D first player who also had great offensive talent. But his huge numbers come from not only his longevity, but also his massive amounts of ice time during an era with massive amounts of points.

Strictly on offensive ability, I think Leetch and Housley were at least Bourque's equal.
I suppose it depends on what people consider an offensive defenseman. Some people think only of the rushing aspects of an offensive defenseman, while others think of that as well as the ability to transition the puck from defense to offense in the blink of an eye with a brilliant breakout pass, or carrying the puck out, starting the offense going the other way(But not from end to end) as well as controlling the tempo of the game.

I think you are underrating Bourque's offense myself.

Leetch at his best was better offensively. Housley? I would disagree.

The Bruins system relied heavily on Bourque to generate any offense at all. From his ability to transition the puck, carry the puck(Yes, he did in fact rush less than those two, but he did it often enough at opportune times), keep the puck in, and most of all, his big shot from the point, designed to create chances in front of the net. He had such a varied arsenal of shot speeds and rebounds from the backboards that it kept the other team guessing.

His offense was generated differently than many offensive defensemen of the time, but he earned it nonetheless. His stamina and style also allowed him to log those big minutes to score all those points and should be considered a point in his favor.

Now if you are looking solely at "rushing" defensemen, then we can start to look at it from that angle.

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11-07-2010, 04:52 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
It probably means he was also more often playing against players easy to score points against.
Why would that be?

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11-07-2010, 05:11 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by Mahovlich View Post
I don't see a way to justify Potvin over Coffey.
Having watched both their entire careers, I could. But I said "arguably". And I recognize that mine is clearly a minority opinion.

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11-07-2010, 05:54 PM
  #35
Dennis Bonvie
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
I suppose it depends on what people consider an offensive defenseman. Some people think only of the rushing aspects of an offensive defenseman, while others think of that as well as the ability to transition the puck from defense to offense in the blink of an eye with a brilliant breakout pass, or carrying the puck out, starting the offense going the other way(But not from end to end) as well as controlling the tempo of the game.

I think you are underrating Bourque's offense myself.

Leetch at his best was better offensively. Housley? I would disagree.

The Bruins system relied heavily on Bourque to generate any offense at all. From his ability to transition the puck, carry the puck(Yes, he did in fact rush less than those two, but he did it often enough at opportune times), keep the puck in, and most of all, his big shot from the point, designed to create chances in front of the net. He had such a varied arsenal of shot speeds and rebounds from the backboards that it kept the other team guessing.

His offense was generated differently than many offensive defensemen of the time, but he earned it nonetheless. His stamina and style also allowed him to log those big minutes to score all those points and should be considered a point in his favor.

Now if you are looking solely at "rushing" defensemen, then we can start to look at it from that angle.


This is true.

For me, making a play out of your own end is part of the defensive game, not the offense. It can lead to offense, but so can a blocked shot or take away or a lifting of a stick at the right time.

You don't have to sell me on Ray Bourque's overall game. But offensively speaking, as I look at it, I think he's somewhat overrated.

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Old
11-07-2010, 06:07 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by Marotte Marauder View Post
Having seen the entire career of both players, not giving adjusted point mumbo jumbo any credence... Larry Robinson was not a better OFFENSIVE defenseman than Doug Wilson.
So are you saying that the NHL was the same in the 70's as in the 80's?

Adjusted stats help us a ton here especially in the post Orr era 67 and beyond because the state of the NHL with expansion and the introduction of European and US college players in greater numbers starting in the 80's and maxing out in the 90's till today greatly alters the offensive landscape under which certain players played.

Adjusted stats don't tell us the whole story but they give a better indication of true value when comparing players from the 80's to other times, especially afterwords and more current ones.

One guy not getting mentioned enough, and his career was cut short by injury is Paul Reinhardt IMO.

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11-07-2010, 06:25 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Why would that be?
I thought the same thing sometimes 3rd liners are harder to play against if that was the thought behind the original post.

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11-07-2010, 06:31 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by Trottier View Post
Having watched both their entire careers, I could. But I said "arguably". And I recognize that mine is clearly a minority opinion.
I agree that a case could be made putting Potvin and Coffey closer than some people might on these boards.

Especially when he led his team in scoring the 1st 4 years for NYI who had a truly horrible team for a while.

Coffey had the higher peak but he played in better situation to pad his stats as well.

I would still put Coffey ahead as Potvin changed his game after his age 26 season and was more rounded and less impressive statwise in the high scoring 80's.

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11-07-2010, 06:32 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
So are you saying that the NHL was the same in the 70's as in the 80's?

Adjusted stats help us a ton here especially in the post Orr era 67 and beyond because the state of the NHL with expansion and the introduction of European and US college players in greater numbers starting in the 80's and maxing out in the 90's till today greatly alters the offensive landscape under which certain players played.

Adjusted stats don't tell us the whole story but they give a better indication of true value when comparing players from the 80's to other times, especially afterwords and more current ones.

One guy not getting mentioned enough, and his career was cut short by injury is Paul Reinhardt IMO.
Robinson and Wilson's careers overlap for 12 seasons.

I think the point was, Marotte Marauder saw them both play and feels confident Robinson was not as good an offensive player as Wilson.

And you are correct, Paul Reinhardt was a hell of an offensive Dman also.

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11-07-2010, 07:52 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Robinson and Wilson's careers overlap for 12 seasons.

I think the point was, Marotte Marauder saw them both play and feels confident Robinson was not as good an offensive player as Wilson.

And you are correct, Paul Reinhardt was a hell of an offensive Dman also.
I realize their careers overlapped but Wilson losses over 1150 points on adjustment as he played in the most offensive seasons the NHL has ever seen.

Robinsons best offensive season also happened in 76-77 were his line was 19-66-85 (17-60-77 adjusted)

Wilson's Norris year line was 39-46-85 but only 28-34-62 adjusted.

The adjusted stats show more of the story IMO. Robinson isn't the 1st guy that comes to mind when I think about a offensive Dman and Wilson might actually be ahead of him on that count but neither are in my top 10.

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11-07-2010, 08:15 PM
  #41
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paul reinhart

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11-07-2010, 08:30 PM
  #42
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....


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Old
11-07-2010, 08:56 PM
  #43
Kyle McMahon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Just my opinion, but it seems to me Leetch & Housley are underrated here as offensive players and Bourque is overrated.

For a large part of Bourque's career he rarely rushed the puck. I'd attribute this to him realizing he was going to be continually overplayed by his coaches in order to carry the Bruin's from the back line. As a Bruins fan, I considered him a D first player who also had great offensive talent. But his huge numbers come from not only his longevity, but also his massive amounts of ice time during an era with massive amounts of points.

Strictly on offensive ability, I think Leetch and Housley were at least Bourque's equal.
I agree with the general premise of this. It could apply to Lidstrom as well, and others. I certainly don't think of Lidstrom as an offensive defenseman, despite his high point totals. While his offensive ability is no doubt better than most, the fact that he gets a lot of icetime (and PP time) by virtue of being the best d-man on his team (or in the league) is a big reason for his point totals. Not to say of course that any player could put up those totals with lots of ice time, few could. But it seems odd to have "defensive d-man who get a ton of points" ranked ahead of a guy who made a HOF career out of his offense in Leetch.

Edit: Should add that Pierre Pilote needs a little more love in here. Going strictly on how his numbers compare to his contemporaries, he had seasons that were as dominant as some of Paul Coffey's. I'd ask of those who saw him, was it a case similar to the one outlined above with Lidstrom/Bourque, ect? Getting lots of ice time with Hull and Mikita simply because he was great overall and piling up points that way, or was he actually an offensive catalyst out there? (As much as one could be in the pre-Orr era.)


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Old
11-08-2010, 01:01 AM
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Why would that be?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
I thought the same thing sometimes 3rd liners are harder to play against if that was the thought behind the original post.
Because we know from the GF/GA figures that Housley was a #4-6 defenseman as often as he was a #1-2 defenseman. In those seasons where he wasn't getting many minutes, you can be sure they were "sheltered" minutes - not against the best players.

3rd liners are often better defensive players than 1st liners, but they aren't better overall players. Housley had to have benefitted from this.

All things being equal, offensively, I'd take the guy who played tough minutes over the guy who played easy minutes and got the same number of points.

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11-08-2010, 06:34 AM
  #45
Marotte Marauder
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
I realize their careers overlapped but Wilson losses over 1150 points on adjustment as he played in the most offensive seasons the NHL has ever seen.

Robinsons best offensive season also happened in 76-77 were his line was 19-66-85 (17-60-77 adjusted)

Wilson's Norris year line was 39-46-85 but only 28-34-62 adjusted.

The adjusted stats show more of the story IMO. Robinson isn't the 1st guy that comes to mind when I think about a offensive Dman and Wilson might actually be ahead of him on that count but neither are in my top 10.
I have been involved in the game for 40+ years-player-coach-recruiter, long enough to know that stats are one thing and watching players for a long time is quite another.

Case of what are you going to trust? Your lying eyes or the stats.

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11-08-2010, 03:58 PM
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
leetch and housley each had one career season that topped bourque's in offensive production (housley edges him by one point). but bourque has the better 2nd, 3rd, and 4th best offensive season, based solely on points (all in the 90s).

90 point seasons by defensemen:

coffey - 7
orr - 6
bourque - 4
potvin - 3
macinnis - 2
housley - 1
leetch - 1
suter - 1

the other thing about bourque is he is, along with arguably macinnis, the best powerplay defenseman i have seen in my lifetime. no one kept the puck in the zone or moved it on the PP like bourque did. keeping the puck alive on the PP doesn't necessarily always show up on the scoresheet, but i do consider it a vital offensive skill for a d-man. also, his heavy wrist shot and his ability to get it off quickly and get it on net was second only to macinnis' point shot in his era.

at even strength, bourque didn't rush it like leetch or coffey did, but who had the best outlet passes of the last 30 years? bourque and lidstrom. they weren't always, or even very often, long bombs that resulted in breakaways, but they were almost always the safe play (you almost never saw these guys sending up suicide passes), and usually left their recipients in good position to engage the offense.

as you said, bourque played ridiculous minutes and had to conserve his energy. you watch pronger in last year's playoffs and how he moved as little as possible and played with such economy so he could be on the ice for 30 minutes a game. that was bourque's entire career. and, to my eyes at least, his outlet passing was at least as effective as rushing the puck up ice himself, and had the added benefit of helping him stay in position in case the play came back the other way.
Leetch is the youngest member of that list and played half his career in the dead puck era.

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Old
11-09-2010, 08:14 PM
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marotte Marauder View Post
I have been involved in the game for 40+ years-player-coach-recruiter, long enough to know that stats are one thing and watching players for a long time is quite another.

Case of what are you going to trust? Your lying eyes or the stats.
I always trust first hand accounts ie. "what me eyes see" but that isn't possible for every player and every time period obviously.

My main point was that raw stats need to be taken into context and adjusted stats does that to a degree.

I still don't think that either Wilson or Robinson should be in the top 10.

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11-09-2010, 08:25 PM
  #48
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Scott Stevens doesn't belong on the list at all.

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11-09-2010, 10:11 PM
  #49
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Originally Posted by habsjunkie2 View Post
Scott Stevens doesn't belong on the list at all.
Agreed, he got some points being on the PP but he was hardly an offensive wizard.

A tougher version of Robinson IMO.

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Old
11-09-2010, 11:54 PM
  #50
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Orr
Coffey
Bourque
Potvin
Harvey
Kelly
Shore
Leetch
MacInnis
Lidstrom
Housely
Robinson
Park

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