HFBoards

Go Back   HFBoards > General Hockey Discussion > The History of Hockey
The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

Defensively: Serge Savard or Rod Langway

View Poll Results: Defensively: Serge Savard or Rod Langway
Rod Langway 13 59.09%
Serge Savard 3 13.64%
Too close to decide 6 27.27%
Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old
11-11-2010, 02:09 PM
  #1
Dark Shadows
Registered User
 
Dark Shadows's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Canada
Country: Japan
Posts: 7,905
vCash: 72
Defensively: Serge Savard or Rod Langway

A question I personally often flip flop on and call them "Even". Both of them were considered among the greatest defensive defensemen of all time. Certainly top 5 in that category.

I love both players and would like to hear others views on this.

Dark Shadows is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-11-2010, 02:18 PM
  #2
TheDevilMadeMe
Global Moderator
 
TheDevilMadeMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brooklyn
Country: United States
Posts: 38,194
vCash: 500
I leave it to people who saw both men play to make the subtle distinction. It's too hard to compare the defensive ability of two great defensive players you have never seen.

Two comments though:

1) Langway's Norrises and Hart votes tend to indicate he was probably more dominant defensively in the regular season, at least at his peak.

2) Langway's teams tended to choke in the playoffs, while Savard was well known as a stabilizing influence in big games (even before Robinson came to town and in the 72 Summit Series too).

I'm not sure who those two facts favor, when taken together.

TheDevilMadeMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-11-2010, 02:28 PM
  #3
LeBlondeDemon10
Registered User
 
LeBlondeDemon10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Canada
Country: Canada
Posts: 2,632
vCash: 500
I saw Savard play from about 77 to when he retired. In the last couple of years of his career, he was done. however, in the 1979 series against Boston, particularly game 7, he was the most valuable Canadiens defenseman. I saw Langway early in his career, but after he was traded to Washington, hardly saw him play. Savard had more ability to score than Langway and appeared to be more mobile laterally, which made him so good defensively. And that was after recovering from two broken legs early in his career. He is the author of the original Savardian Spinorama. I can't say much about Langway other than I was mad when the Habs traded him.

LeBlondeDemon10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-11-2010, 02:43 PM
  #4
BraveCanadian
Registered User
 
BraveCanadian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Country: Canada
Posts: 7,450
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post

2) Langway's teams tended to choke in the playoffs, while Savard was well known as a stabilizing influence in big games (even before Robinson came to town and in the 72 Summit Series too).
"Choking" against the dynasty Isles?

Also, on topic, I am a bit too young to have seen Savard properly and barely old enough to have seen Langway in his prime and make a good judgement.

Based on everything I do know though.. its a toss up for me.

BraveCanadian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-11-2010, 02:59 PM
  #5
VMBM
Registered User
 
VMBM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,597
vCash: 500
Too close.

Savard has been a long-time favourite; well, since I started to get some classic old games in the early '00s. He just had the poise and the ability to control the tempo of the game like not many others. For example, Brad Park may have been more efficient than Savard in the 1972 Series, but for my money, Savard was Canada's best Dman in most of the five games he played. And in spite of his reputation as a defensive defenseman, he could play some good offense too, even in his later years ("Too many men on the ice" game!). BTW, Savard's overall post-season PPG average is clearly higher than the regular season one.

Rod Langway is more of a mystery to me, even though when I've seen him, he has impressed me. However, it's hard to vote against him, because he has all that hardware/all-star selections over Savard (partly due to 'different climate' in the '80s, I'm sure), and because he somewhat made Washington Capitals, whereas Savard was just one of the key players on his team. Of course, they played a few seasons together on the Habs, but since they were in totally different stages of their careers, that comparison isn't particulary fruitful.

VMBM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-11-2010, 03:02 PM
  #6
Rhiessan71
Just a Fool
 
Rhiessan71's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Guelph, Ont
Country: Canada
Posts: 9,909
vCash: 500
Toss up for me as well.
I also only caught Savard's last few years.

One thing that always kinda stood out about Langer though was how he was still able to be as dominant defensively as he was despite the ridiculous scoring that was going on in the league at the time.
Talk about going against the grain and still coming out wildly successful.

Rhiessan71 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-11-2010, 03:47 PM
  #7
Starchild74
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 324
vCash: 500
Serge Savard was a great defenceman no question, and even though it is tough I have to go with Rod Langway.

Here is why I pick Langway:

He was a great leader for Washington. Now it is not all his doing but Washington had never made the playoffs and were at the bottom of there division. WIth him on their team the capitals never missed the playoffs.

WIth him leading the team on the back end and his great defensive play the Capitals who were one of the worst defensive teams in the leage before him were always in the top 10 for the fewest goals allowed in a season

He was big and strong and one of the best shot blockers ever. HE gave it all on the ice and played against the oppositions top stars every night doing a great job most nights. The same could be said for Savard too

I do not believe in taking a way from a player like Savard because he played on a great team nor do I like to give too much credit to a player because they weren't on a great team. However Langway was the main guy in Washington. He was the key to their success as far as good defensive defenceman go. Savard was Montreal's best defensive defenceman also but he did have more help

The biggest thing I think in Langway's favour is this. After Bobby Orr came into the league (Not blaming Orr) the Norris trophy changed. It seemed that defenceman that scored alot or were good offensively or at least had a decent offensive game were given more consideration for the award. Now Orr was just as good defensively as he was offensivley but after Orr it seemed like the voters for the Norris just seemed to think that is how a defenceman should be. Since Orr came into the league and started winning the Norris. Most of the winners not all were the top scoring defenceman in the league or one of the top scoring defenceman in the league. Now I know that historians on here will say that Pierre Pilote won the award as well and was a offensive defenceman and that Harvey's points were good as well. It i sjust that after Orr it just seemed that Defensive defenceman were under valued

Guys like Chelios, Pronger, Lidstrom were good defensivley but could also be an offensive force. In the 1980's Wilson, Carlyle, and after Langway Bourque and Coffey would win the award often. Langway is the last true defensive defenceman to win the award. In a time when scoring was high and offensive players were the marketable guys in the league. Langway was winning back to back Norris' based on his defensive play.

Now of course it's not Savard's fault for not winning a Norris I mean who could dethrone Orr in the 70's. Maybe Savard didn't get anough credit in the NHL I don't know but for 2 consecutive years Rod Langway was considered better then Coffey, Bourque and Potvin. 3 Defenceman who were the stars of the game and what the NHL was promoting. High scoring great skating offensive defenceman.

On the ice both were good I just give a slight edge to Langway there

This might not be considered too much of an argument for Langway but there just ins't much to say and there is no way honestly anyhone can put down either one of these guys they were both great.

Starchild74 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-11-2010, 04:58 PM
  #8
seventieslord
Moderator
 
seventieslord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Regina, SK
Country: Canada
Posts: 23,656
vCash: 500
Going strictly by reputation and limited instances of seeing them play, I say Langway. they were both similarly unimpressive offensively, but Langway's defense earned him two norrises and a great hart record, Savard can't say that. Plus, it was likely a whole lot easier to look great defensively on the dynasty habs than it was on Langway's caps.

seventieslord is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
11-11-2010, 07:13 PM
  #9
Hardyvan123
tweet@HardyintheWack
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Vancouver
Country: Canada
Posts: 12,107
vCash: 500
Langway better defensively but Serge might have been better overall.

Very close on both fronts though.

Hardyvan123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-11-2010, 07:31 PM
  #10
RabbinsDuck
Registered User
 
RabbinsDuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Brighton, MI
Country: United States
Posts: 4,728
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Langway better defensively but Serge might have been better overall.

Very close on both fronts though.
My thoughts as well.

Curious how Harvey and Lidstrom fare with these guys, defensively.

RabbinsDuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-11-2010, 09:46 PM
  #11
Canadiens1958
Registered User
 
Canadiens1958's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 10,760
vCash: 500
Savard / Langway

Interesting poll.

A few comments from someone who saw both play their complete NHL career and in the case of Serge Savard from junior on up.

Serge Savard is one of the rare HHOFers who did not have a peak - injuries robbed him of his peak.

Serge Savard became a defensive defenseman because it was his only alternative. His two broken legs and a knee injury suffered while still a junior player made the rushing style favoured in the seventies to high risk - a third broken leg would have surely ended his career. Prior to his first broken leg Savard had won a Conn Smythe and was starting to show the offensive potential would have put him in the class of offensive defensemen below Bobby Orr.

The Savardian Spinorama, nice ring, was fun to watch but was not original. Doug Harvey used the same move. Will dig-up a clip of Harvey executing a similar move in the late 1950's early 1960's.

Rod Langway had a fair amount of offense with the Canadiens during his brief tenure. He was viewed as an all around defenseman similar to Larry Robinson. Traded to Washington, he found himself on a team that had other defensemen capable of contributing the required offense on a team that lacked a defensive leader. Langway chose to focus strictly on the defensive aspects of his position and the results and accolades followed.

Comparing Savard and Langway as defensive defensemen is rather awkward. Project Serge Savard as healthy and Rod Langway as playing a complete defensive role and you may be taking top 5-12 all - time defensemen.

Healthy Serge Savard, pre-broken legs was a much better skater than Langway was healthy. The spinorama testifies to this. A healthy Rod Langway was not the skater of even an oft injured Savard. Rod Langway played a more physical game than Savard who had to play a restrained physical game due to his leg injuries.

Canadiens1958 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-11-2010, 11:26 PM
  #12
Hardyvan123
tweet@HardyintheWack
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Vancouver
Country: Canada
Posts: 12,107
vCash: 500
What is a peak then?

Savard had 7 seasons of 67 plus games in a row from 73-79.

I do agree that injuries did take away from the totality of what his career could have been.

Hardyvan123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-11-2010, 11:29 PM
  #13
Hardyvan123
tweet@HardyintheWack
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Vancouver
Country: Canada
Posts: 12,107
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
My thoughts as well.

Curious how Harvey and Lidstrom fare with these guys, defensively.
Both Harvey and Lidstrom aged better than Savard and Langway and I would rate both better defensively, although I do not have a definitive top 10 defensive Dmen of all time list.

Hardyvan123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-12-2010, 01:14 AM
  #14
Dark Shadows
Registered User
 
Dark Shadows's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Canada
Country: Japan
Posts: 7,905
vCash: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
My thoughts as well.

Curious how Harvey and Lidstrom fare with these guys, defensively.
Harvey is the greatest defensive defenseman I have ever seen play.

Lidstrom I would rank 4th behind the 2 I have in the current poll defensively.

Dark Shadows is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-12-2010, 01:28 AM
  #15
TheDevilMadeMe
Global Moderator
 
TheDevilMadeMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brooklyn
Country: United States
Posts: 38,194
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Harvey is the greatest defensive defenseman I have ever seen play.

Lidstrom I would rank 4th behind the 2 I have in the current poll defensively.
I don't know if Lidstrom has anything on Scott Stevens if we are talking defense only. (Obviously Lidstrom combined his elite defense with also being the best offensive defenseman of the era, while Stevens had very little offense while his defense was at that level).

And for what it's worth, the coaches surveyed in the coaches polls seemed to rank Robinson over Savard as a defensive defenseman by a small margin.

TheDevilMadeMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-12-2010, 01:31 AM
  #16
MALKIN NTHE MIDDLE
█▀████╱█████▀█
 
MALKIN NTHE MIDDLE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: --_█-_-
Posts: 13,613
vCash: 50
Rod Langway

MALKIN NTHE MIDDLE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-12-2010, 07:07 AM
  #17
tony d
Thanks for memories
 
tony d's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Behind A Tree
Country: Canada
Posts: 34,321
vCash: 500
Rod Langway

tony d is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-12-2010, 07:14 AM
  #18
Nalyd Psycho
Registered User
 
Nalyd Psycho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: No Bandwagon
Country: Canada
Posts: 22,718
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Rod Langway had a fair amount of offense with the Canadiens during his brief tenure. He was viewed as an all around defenseman similar to Larry Robinson. Traded to Washington, he found himself on a team that had other defensemen capable of contributing the required offense on a team that lacked a defensive leader. Langway chose to focus strictly on the defensive aspects of his position and the results and accolades followed.
It's interesting that he mentored a young Scott Stevens, who had a similar, but even more dramatic transformation.

__________________
Every post comes with the Nalyd Psycho Seal of Approval.
Nalyd Psycho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-12-2010, 08:28 AM
  #19
Psycho Papa Joe
Porkchop Hoser
 
Psycho Papa Joe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Cesspool, Ontario
Country: Canada
Posts: 23,357
vCash: 500
Serge Savard is the best defensive d-man I've ever seen.

Langway quite simply did not deserve either one of his Norris Trophies. There were far better all round d-men in those two years, but the NHL writers were criticized for giving the award to offensive minded d-man the two previous years, hence there was a backlash against any d-man who could score the two years Langway won.

Psycho Papa Joe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-12-2010, 10:11 AM
  #20
seventieslord
Moderator
 
seventieslord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Regina, SK
Country: Canada
Posts: 23,656
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
And for what it's worth, the coaches surveyed in the coaches polls seemed to rank Robinson over Savard as a defensive defenseman by a small margin.
How much of that do you think was due to sheer visibility?

seventieslord is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
11-12-2010, 10:21 AM
  #21
Jacques Trap*
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: HHOF
Posts: 969
vCash: 500
Injuries, in Savard's prime years, may not had cost him alot of games, but it did alter his playing style alot. Tht's is when he rounded hi game out and showed the remarkable ability to from an elite pure offense guy to a great to way guy...but on pure defense no way was as sound/tough to play against than Langway.

Jacques Trap* is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-12-2010, 12:17 PM
  #22
Canadiens1958
Registered User
 
Canadiens1958's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 10,760
vCash: 500
Doug Harvey Spinorama

For those interested a clip - early 1st game 1960 Finals of the Doug Harvey Spinorama as promised earlier.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUjYYB0A4R0

Canadiens1958 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-12-2010, 01:23 PM
  #23
vadim sharifijanov
Registered User
 
vadim sharifijanov's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 8,860
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Interesting poll.

A few comments from someone who saw both play their complete NHL career and in the case of Serge Savard from junior on up.

Serge Savard is one of the rare HHOFers who did not have a peak - injuries robbed him of his peak.

Serge Savard became a defensive defenseman because it was his only alternative. His two broken legs and a knee injury suffered while still a junior player made the rushing style favoured in the seventies to high risk - a third broken leg would have surely ended his career. Prior to his first broken leg Savard had won a Conn Smythe and was starting to show the offensive potential would have put him in the class of offensive defensemen below Bobby Orr.

The Savardian Spinorama, nice ring, was fun to watch but was not original. Doug Harvey used the same move. Will dig-up a clip of Harvey executing a similar move in the late 1950's early 1960's.

Rod Langway had a fair amount of offense with the Canadiens during his brief tenure. He was viewed as an all around defenseman similar to Larry Robinson. Traded to Washington, he found himself on a team that had other defensemen capable of contributing the required offense on a team that lacked a defensive leader. Langway chose to focus strictly on the defensive aspects of his position and the results and accolades followed.

Comparing Savard and Langway as defensive defensemen is rather awkward. Project Serge Savard as healthy and Rod Langway as playing a complete defensive role and you may be taking top 5-12 all - time defensemen.

Healthy Serge Savard, pre-broken legs was a much better skater than Langway was healthy. The spinorama testifies to this. A healthy Rod Langway was not the skater of even an oft injured Savard. Rod Langway played a more physical game than Savard who had to play a restrained physical game due to his leg injuries.
when savard won his smythe, how was his defense? could he have been as good defensively as he became if he had played a two-way game? or would he have had to give up some defense to also be a top offensive threat?

vadim sharifijanov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
11-12-2010, 03:20 PM
  #24
seventieslord
Moderator
 
seventieslord's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Regina, SK
Country: Canada
Posts: 23,656
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
Are these rankings based on having a time machine and having each player demonstrate their defensive skills against this vast ocean of athletes we have today with Europeans and Russians and a much deeper talent pool of hockey players overall, so we could actually compare them in reality, or... just versus their peers when they played? Serious question.

Cause there's this one guy in my rec league who is just awesome. He dominates us defensively more than any of those 4 ever did in the NHL. If it's versus peers I'd have to rank him # 1. Don't know his name though - I'll have to find out. I'm not sure how he would look in the NHL but he sure kills us so he must be pretty good.
I'm sure he means in relation to peers. But "peers" really means "the best opposition in the world at the time". I'm sure your a decent rec league player but I'm guessing you're not the best opposition in the world for this guy, you're either the best opposition he can play against, or the opposition he's choosing to play against.

seventieslord is online now   Reply With Quote
Old
11-12-2010, 04:30 PM
  #25
Canadiens1958
Registered User
 
Canadiens1958's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 10,760
vCash: 500
Serge Savard's Smythe

Quote:
Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
when savard won his smythe, how was his defense? could he have been as good defensively as he became if he had played a two-way game? or would he have had to give up some defense to also be a top offensive threat?

The game was different as other than Bobby Orr the rushing defenseman was not a factor.Serge Savard was good enough defensively. The 1969 Semi Final against Bobby Orr and the Bruins proved this beyond doubt. A quick check of the HSP project clearly shows how talented Serge Savard was before the first of his broken legs.

The Canadiens beat the Bruins in six games in 1969, mainly due to their team defense and the ability of their d-men to handle the Bruins forwards while limiting Bobby Orr's ability to generate offense from the point.Serge Savard was a leader in this regard.

An offensive comparison for the six game series shows tha Bobby Orr tallied 1G / 3A. Serge Savard tallied 3G / 4A including key plays on game tying or winning goals.

Serge Savard was a very deserving winner of the 1969 Conn Smythe.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 11-12-2010 at 04:31 PM. Reason: typo
Canadiens1958 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Forum Jump


Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:25 AM.

monitoring_string = "e4251c93e2ba248d29da988d93bf5144"
Contact Us - HFBoards - Archive - Privacy Statement - Terms of Use - Advertise - Top - AdChoices

vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
HFBoards.com is a property of CraveOnline Media, LLC, an Evolve Media, LLC company. 2014 All Rights Reserved.