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How good was Rod Langway?

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Old
02-23-2011, 10:30 AM
  #51
Zauper
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Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan View Post
I'm of the opinion that Langway is overrated due to those two (undeserved) Norris trophies.


Top 20 all-time defenseman ??? He's borderline top 20 post-expansion.

Just off the top of my head, the defenseman I'd take over Langway, post-expansion:

Chelios, Stevens, Bourque, Lidstrom, MacInnis, Coffey, Robinson, Fetisov, Blake, Neidermayer, Pronger, Howe, Leetch, Orr, Park, Potvin, Salming, Lapointe, and Savard
I'm still curious as to how his two Norris' were undeserved. As a reminder:
Caps became far better post-trade. Largely attributed to him. In addition to the ES improvement while he was on the ice, the caps improved drastically on the PK with him as the centerpiece, allowing nearly 30 fewer PPG per year.
2nd in Hart voting (behind Gretzky) in 1984.
2nd in Coaches poll for MVP (behind Gretzky) in 1984.
2nd in Players poll (by TSN) for MVP (behind Gretzky) in 1984.
Best defensive d-man (coaches poll) in 1984.
Can't seem to find Pearson finalists from that year.

Norris contender before and after those years as well, though never above 5th.

So, the players, coaches, and media all felt he was the best d-man in the league in 1984. They also felt he was the second best player in the league. But they were all wrong...why exactly?

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02-23-2011, 10:51 AM
  #52
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
but i do remember vividly being scared of langway, even after his norris-winning peak. he had an aura of invincibility to him, like your best offensive players were going to be shut down when you faced him.
But were those best offensive players shut down when it mattered most ??

During what would be considered his peak seasons the Caps never got out of the Patrick division come playoff time.

82-83 - 19 goals against in 4 games - Isles
83-84 - 5 goals against in 3 games - Flyers
83-84 - 20 goals against in 5 games - Isles
84-85 - 14 goals against in 5 games - Isles
85-86 - 4 goals against in 3 games - Isles
85-86 - 20 goals against in 6 games - Rangers
86-87 - 19 goals against in 7 games - Isles
87-88 - 25 goals against in 7 games - Flyers
87-88 - 25 goals against in 7 games - Devils
88-89 - 25 goals against in 6 games - Flyers

As a favorite (home ice) they Caps were 2-4
As an underdog the Caps were 1-3

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02-23-2011, 11:01 AM
  #53
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Originally Posted by Zauper View Post
I'm still curious as to how his two Norris' were undeserved. As a reminder:
Caps became far better post-trade. Largely attributed to him. In addition to the ES improvement while he was on the ice, the caps improved drastically on the PK with him as the centerpiece, allowing nearly 30 fewer PPG per year.
2nd in Hart voting (behind Gretzky) in 1984.
2nd in Coaches poll for MVP (behind Gretzky) in 1984.
2nd in Players poll (by TSN) for MVP (behind Gretzky) in 1984.
Best defensive d-man (coaches poll) in 1984.
Can't seem to find Pearson finalists from that year.

Norris contender before and after those years as well, though never above 5th.

So, the players, coaches, and media all felt he was the best d-man in the league in 1984. They also felt he was the second best player in the league. But they were all wrong...why exactly?
Langway got all the credit, but he wasn't the only change to the Caps in 82-83 season.

Alan Halworth and Doug Jarvis were key additions up the middle.
Brian Engblom and Scott Stevens were key additions on the blue line.
Pat Riggin was much better than Dave Parro

Bryan Murray was a big upgrade behind the bench.


Langway in 83-84 vs. the competition has been beaten to death, but there is no way that his defense made up for the 55-90 points points more that Bourque, Potvin, and Coffey brought.

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02-23-2011, 05:23 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan View Post
Langway got all the credit, but he wasn't the only change to the Caps in 82-83 season.

Alan Halworth and Doug Jarvis were key additions up the middle.
Brian Engblom and Scott Stevens were key additions on the blue line.
Pat Riggin was much better than Dave Parro

Bryan Murray was a big upgrade behind the bench.
1) Bryan Murray was not a new coach (came in 81-82)
2) Riggin was not a new goalie, and his stats improved substantially (15-20%; played 20+ games in 81-82)
3) Stevens was poor defensively, particularly as a rookie, because he tended to go out of place to make a hit
4) The rest of the defense was still AHL quality at best.
5) Jarvis did get credit (see: Selke)
6) None of this denies the 100+ goal swing btwn MTL and the Caps.
7) You forget that the Caps traded out their #1 dman (Rick Green), as well. At a minimum, this would offset the acquisition of Engblom.
8) The impact of Langway is particularly noticeable in the PPG allowed category, as mentioned previously.

Quote:
Langway in 83-84 vs. the competition has been beaten to death, but there is no way that his defense made up for the 55-90 points points more that Bourque, Potvin, and Coffey brought.
1) Media disagreed. (see: Norris, Hart results)
2) Players disagreed. (see: player poll voting)
3) Coaches disagreed. (see: coaches poll)

In particular, why do you think that the players who played against him, and the coaches who saw him play against them would be wrong about the value he brought? Both as the best defensive d-man in the league, and as the second most valuable player in the NHL behind Gretzky?

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02-23-2011, 05:53 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by Zauper View Post
1) Media disagreed. (see: Norris, Hart results)
2) Players disagreed. (see: player poll voting)
3) Coaches disagreed. (see: coaches poll)

In particular, why do you think that the players who played against him, and the coaches who saw him play against them would be wrong about the value he brought? Both as the best defensive d-man in the league, and as the second most valuable player in the NHL behind Gretzky?
The likely reason that those players/coaches/media members selected Langway was because the trade before the season had made his "value" evident in terms of wins and loses. There were many reasons that Washington improved, and also that Montreal fared worse, but Langway was given the bulk of the credit by the media. Langway was very likely the biggest individual factor in these changes, but he alone was definitely not responsible for most of that change. It was faulty reasoning at the time, as it was easy to look at the standings and just say that it was Langway that was responsible instead of a wide range of factors. Langway was the relatively big trade and was easy to quantify, plus his defensive tenacity was very easy to notice. If you took someone like Bourque or Howe and traded them to a recently putrid team that was likely on the rise, I would think it likely that their previous team would have gotten worse and their new team would have improved, but to a degree larger than what happened in Langway's case. Langway was as good in his last few seasons in Montreal as he was once he arrived in Washington, but he hardly received the same accolades.

Do you honestly believe that Langway was a more outstanding defenceman in those seasons than every other defenceman in the NHL? Just considering the criteria for the Norris trophy, not the Hart which is partially dependent on team factors. Do you believe that his defensive contribution was so much larger than that of Bourque/Howe/Potvin/Coffey that it makes up for the huge offensive gap they had? Why would GVT rank Langway way below his contemporaries during his Norris seasons, but not any other winner since the Norris was introduced?

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02-23-2011, 06:51 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
The likely reason that those players/coaches/media members selected Langway was because the trade before the season had made his "value" evident in terms of wins and loses. There were many reasons that Washington improved, and also that Montreal fared worse, but Langway was given the bulk of the credit by the media. Langway was very likely the biggest individual factor in these changes, but he alone was definitely not responsible for most of that change. It was faulty reasoning at the time, as it was easy to look at the standings and just say that it was Langway that was responsible instead of a wide range of factors. Langway was the relatively big trade and was easy to quantify, plus his defensive tenacity was very easy to notice. If you took someone like Bourque or Howe and traded them to a recently putrid team that was likely on the rise, I would think it likely that their previous team would have gotten worse and their new team would have improved, but to a degree larger than what happened in Langway's case. Langway was as good in his last few seasons in Montreal as he was once he arrived in Washington, but he hardly received the same accolades.

Do you honestly believe that Langway was a more outstanding defenceman in those seasons than every other defenceman in the NHL? Just considering the criteria for the Norris trophy, not the Hart which is partially dependent on team factors. Do you believe that his defensive contribution was so much larger than that of Bourque/Howe/Potvin/Coffey that it makes up for the huge offensive gap they had? Why would GVT rank Langway way below his contemporaries during his Norris seasons, but not any other winner since the Norris was introduced?
Yes.

Who the hell is GVT?

I guess because the players from that era were inferior to today's players, it would make sense that the players, coaches, GMs and media didn't know as much about the game either. Certainly knowledgeable fans today know better who the best players were over 25 years ago.

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02-23-2011, 07:25 PM
  #57
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Rod Langway and Paul Coffey are almost mirror images of each other, and that year Langway's contribution was simply worth more in the eyes of pretty much everyone.

One has to remember that the Oilers' D was decidedly middle of the pack in those years, goals for and against came easy for those Oilers teams anyway. Their style and Coffey's style in particular was going to invite opponents to score as well. There was an obvious trade-off for all the fire power. It could be argued that Coffey took the scoring D-men trend to an unsustainable extreme which went the way of the dodo in the 90s for a reason. The two dominant D-men of the last decade, Pronger and Lidstrom are both defensive rocks even as they can add points.

It just feels wrong to disregard stay at home D-men in "best ever" discussions but to glorify the other extreme.

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02-23-2011, 10:15 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Yes.

Who the hell is GVT?

I guess because the players from that era were inferior to today's players, it would make sense that the players, coaches, GMs and media didn't know as much about the game either. Certainly knowledgeable fans today know better who the best players were over 25 years ago.
Who has mentioned anything about players from the past being inferior to players of today? I don't recall that sentiment coming up once in this thread. It is obvious now and it was obvious then that Langway was a great defensive defenceman, but he was not good offensively at all. There were a few other defencemen at the time who were great both offensively and defensively. In the case of Coffey you had almost the inverse of Langway, except Coffey was likely better defensively than Langway was offensively. If everyone just takes the popular opinion of the time as the absolute truth there would be little point to discussing players on here who played during the same eras.

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02-24-2011, 03:21 AM
  #59
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Coaches/players/media from any time are not above biases. They often don't differ much from the opinions of the fans. This is true in all sports. The Lester B Pearson/Ted Lindsay is voted on by the NHLPA and has produced some weird results, like Liut winning it in '81 and Ratelle winning it over Orr in '72. People rightfully have all sorts of issues with the Pro-Hockey Writers Association, both now and in any point in history. And there are very valid reasons why we might be able to better evaluate past seasons now as opposed to as they happened; we're not going to be as swayed by what happened in the moments, we have better statistics available and we have a better historical context of any individual season.

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02-24-2011, 08:23 AM
  #60
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Originally Posted by TheMoreYouKnow View Post
Rod Langway and Paul Coffey are almost mirror images of each other, and that year Langway's contribution was simply worth more in the eyes of pretty much everyone.

One has to remember that the Oilers' D was decidedly middle of the pack in those years, goals for and against came easy for those Oilers teams anyway. Their style and Coffey's style in particular was going to invite opponents to score as well. There was an obvious trade-off for all the fire power. It could be argued that Coffey took the scoring D-men trend to an unsustainable extreme which went the way of the dodo in the 90s for a reason. The two dominant D-men of the last decade, Pronger and Lidstrom are both defensive rocks even as they can add points.

It just feels wrong to disregard stay at home D-men in "best ever" discussions but to glorify the other extreme.
I can certainly understand the argument against Coffey in 1984. I think 1985 is the only year he should have won the Norris. I would have given it to Howe in 1986.

Like you said, he was the mirror image of Langway. I personally wouldn't have picked Coffey for the Norris that year. IMO it should have gone to Bourque, who was great offensively and played excellent defense as well. Yes, his defense wasn't as good as Langway's, but his offensive contributions were significantly superior to Langway's and any edge Langway had on defense, doesn't make up for such an offensive superiority in Bourque's favour.

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02-24-2011, 08:49 AM
  #61
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Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe View Post
My personal take. Mark Howe should have won in 83 and Bourque in 84. Mark Howe joined the Flyers in 83 and Philadelphia's GA also improved dramatically and he also contributed significantly more on offense. Did Langway provide better defense than Howe in 83 and Bourque in 84? Yes, but the offense those two provided over Langway, is significantly more than the additional defense Langway provided. For whatever reason there was a backlash against d-men who scored because the two previous winners, Carlyle and Wilson, weren't considered defensively elite. To be honest, I've always thought the writers dropped the ball on their selections for the Norris in the years 81 to 86. They either went with offensive guys or defensive guys and ignored the great all-round d-men of the era in Howe, Bourque, Robinson and Potvin.
The Flyers D back in the early to late 80's was exceptional led by Mark Howe. Doug Crossman, Brad McCrimmon, Brad Marsh, and Kjell Samuelsson rounded out the top pairings. These guys logged huge ice time. Howe could of won it a couple of times IMO.

Langway was a beast. One of the best defensive D I've seen play. He could shut down anyone back in the day.

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02-24-2011, 10:45 AM
  #62
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Originally Posted by Chumley View Post
Langway was a beast. One of the best defensive D I've seen play. He could shut down anyone back in the day.
Could he ??? .. Some quick data on the Flyers duo he would have been most concerned with (and usually played together). I would have checked Bossy/Trottier, but not sure where to find that data.

Starting with the 82/83 season through 88/89, only games that Langway played.

Regular season:

Propp - 44 games ... 21 goals - 20 assists - 41 points - .48gpg & .45 apg
Kerr - 37 games ... 27 goals - 9 assists - 36 points - .73gpg & .25 apg

Playoffs - 3 playoff match-ups (Caps were favored in all 3 series)

83- 84 season
Propp - 3 games - 0 goals - 1 assist
Kerr - 3 games - 0 goals - 0 assists

Caps dominated the Flyers. Flyers completing a 3 year stretch of being smoked in the first round.

87-88 season
Propp - 7 games - 4 goals - 2 assists
Kerr - 6 games - 1 goals - 3 assists

Kerr only played in 8 regular season games that year and was a shell of himself. Flyers blew a 3-1 series lead as Hextall fell to pieces, and the Caps scores 17 goals in the final 3 games of the series, capped off by a Dale Hunter game 7 OT winner. The end of the Keenan era in Philly

88-89 season
Propp - 6 games - 5 goals - 2 assists
Kerr - 6 games - 3 goals - 7 assists

Flyers returned the favor scoring 17 goals in the finals 3 games of the series after falling behind 2 games to one.

Playoff totals

Propp - 16 games - 9 goals - 5 assists - 14 points
Kerr - 15 games - 4 goals - 10 assists - 14 points

I had no idea what the numbers would say before I did the research.

At one point, Kerr had 22 goals in the first 24 games, before the shoulder injuries slowed him down a bit.


As an aside, for comparisons sake, what Propp & Kerr did against the NHL during the same time frame:

Brian Propp - 82/83 - 88/89 - 511 games - 252 goals - 336 assists - 588 points
Playoffs - 81 games - 39 goals - 42 assists - 81 points

Avg Regular season - .49 goals & .66 assists per games
Avg Playoffs - .48 goals & .52 assists per game

Tim Kerr - 82/83 - 88/89 - 405 games - 286 goals - 196 assists - 482 points
Playoffs - 59 games - 38 goals - 26 assists - 64 points

Avg Regular season - .71 goals & .48 assists per game
Ave Playoffs - .64 goals & .44 assists per game

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02-24-2011, 12:22 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
The likely reason that those players/coaches/media members selected Langway was because the trade before the season had made his "value" evident in terms of wins and loses.
Or perhaps the players/coaches noticed his impact on the ice? That would be where they experience his impact, at a minimum.
Quote:
There were many reasons that Washington improved, and also that Montreal fared worse, but Langway was given the bulk of the credit by the media. Langway was very likely the biggest individual factor in these changes, but he alone was definitely not responsible for most of that change.
Bolded is the most important statement here. It's going to be impossible to determine the relative value of each individual change.
Quote:
It was faulty reasoning at the time, as it was easy to look at the standings and just say that it was Langway that was responsible instead of a wide range of factors. Langway was the relatively big trade and was easy to quantify, plus his defensive tenacity was very easy to notice. If you took someone like Bourque or Howe and traded them to a recently putrid team that was likely on the rise, I would think it likely that their previous team would have gotten worse and their new team would have improved, but to a degree larger than what happened in Langway's case. Langway was as good in his last few seasons in Montreal as he was once he arrived in Washington, but he hardly received the same accolades.
Firstly -- I don't think there's a reason to believe that Bourque or Howe would have made a larger difference in 82-83 and 83-84.
Secondly -- Players and coaches are less prone to vote for random bias. While there are some odd player results (you pointed a few out), they tend to be more 'correct' (i.e. Iginla over Theodore, etc). I'm not sure of an example of coach poll bias.
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Do you honestly believe that Langway was a more outstanding defenceman in those seasons than every other defenceman in the NHL?
Yes.

Also, Langway received some Norris consideration while at MTL (5th in voting maybe? It's earlier in the thread), and after 84.
Quote:
Just considering the criteria for the Norris trophy, not the Hart which is partially dependent on team factors. Do you believe that his defensive contribution was so much larger than that of Bourque/Howe/Potvin/Coffey that it makes up for the huge offensive gap they had? Why would GVT rank Langway way below his contemporaries during his Norris seasons, but not any other winner since the Norris was introduced?
Not only are there several flaws with how GVT is calculated, but you are flat out wrong. I was certain about this, so I looked quickly. 2009 GVT results.
Norris voting:
Zdeno Chara (winner of the norris; 13th highest GVT for d-men and second on his team) - 12.4 GVT
Mike Green (most valuable skater, FYI) - 26.8 GVT
Lidstrom (second most valuable dman) - 20.7 GVT

Those are some substantial differences. Green had over twice the GVT of Chara. Do you believe Green deserved the Norris?

I believe that OGVT is substantially more accurate than DGVT, FWIW. First of all, I don't think there are TOI numbers for 82-83 and 83-84, which makes it hard to assess a TOI factor which goes into GVT. Secondly, DGVT relies heavily on +/- and shots allowed, which are problematic stats (qualteam / qualcomp reasons for +/-); quality of shots for shots allowed.

It's also worth mentioning that I think most people here would agree that, particularly in those two seasons, Langway was the best d-man defensively -- better defensively than Bourque, etc. Yet the DGVT numbers don't reflect that, which leads me to wonder why.

John - Your numbers re: the Flyers are interesting. It's somewhat problematic, again, without any indication of ES vs PP for the scoring, and without being able to match up how they did against the Caps with Langway on the ice vs off the ice. However, it looks like the Caps performed 10-15% better than the league average against them. That's pretty good.


Last edited by Zauper: 02-24-2011 at 12:40 PM.
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02-24-2011, 12:56 PM
  #64
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1) Bryan Murray was not a new coach (came in 81-82)
2) Riggin was not a new goalie, and his stats improved substantially (15-20%; played 20+ games in 81-82)
3) Stevens was poor defensively, particularly as a rookie, because he tended to go out of place to make a hit
4) The rest of the defense was still AHL quality at best.
5) Jarvis did get credit (see: Selke)
6) None of this denies the 100+ goal swing btwn MTL and the Caps.
7) You forget that the Caps traded out their #1 dman (Rick Green), as well. At a minimum, this would offset the acquisition of Engblom.
8) The impact of Langway is particularly noticeable in the PPG allowed category, as mentioned previously.
1) True, but this was his first full season with an off-season to prepare.

2) Riggin was new to the Caps. Parro seems to have been a lesser goalie, as he still let in goals in limited action for the 83 Caps.

3) Scott Stevens may have jumped out of position for a hit, but he was still good overall. An all-rookie selection, 25 points, and a +14 rating aren't bad stats for a #3 d-man. +14 is better than Langway's Even, and in 1984, Stevens would be better.

4) Only if you believe #3 is true. Langway + Engblom + Stevens is a fairly solid top three. Theberge was better than AHL. He wasn't an all-star, but SOMEONE on defence had to help on the powerplay.

Veitch was solid, but missed most of this period. Guys like Timo Blomqvist and Randy Holt playing at the top of the lineup is a serious problem, but not so bad as the bottom slots.

And if 1984 counts, Larry Murphy turned around that 0-7 Caps team really fast when he came over. Way to save Langway's bacon Larry!

5) Jarvis should get credit. He helped that PK unit too.

6) Langway was a huge part of the 100 goal swing. But so were the other additions (subtractions for Montreal), like Engblom and the Selke-calibre Jarvis who are important in #8. Because Stevens and Engblom showed up, the old 2-3 d-men became 4-5 d-men. So the defense improves overall.

Also, if anyone was AHL-calibre, it was the guys playing on the 82 Caps. The 83 Caps had good health, with 18 skaters playing 60 or more games, and 26 total skaters playing 1 game. The 82 Caps had 11 60-game guys, and 41 total skaters. Fewer injuries means better players developing better chemistry.

A small part of the swing is Montreal's loss of Denis Herron, whose .912 sv%, 2.64 GAA and 3 shutouts led the 1982 NHL. It was a smaller part than the Langway/Jarvis/Engblom trade, but a brief outlier of a performance by Herron in 1982 was a part of it.

7) Engblom was a 2nd team All-Star in 1982, with Langway-like offensive stats. Engblom was not as likely to push you around as Langway was, but he was middle-class family's version of Langway (as opposed to poor man's.)
For 1983, Engblom was better than Green (though not in the long-term.) The loss of Green would be more significant had Langway gone 1-for-1 with Green. But Langway came with help...

8) Langway was a top penalty killer, but he wasn't the only one. Jarvis/Langway/Engblom were all Montreal imports and all logged a lot of time on the PK for both the 82 Habs and 83 Caps. The difference in PK% for the Habs was a drop from 80.07% to 73.85%. This difference between the teams is not just Langway, but the fact that a solid PK unit was imported to play alongside 1 Caps PK-Forward from the prior season's unit. From the PGA numbers it looks like it was Bobby Gould, who would kill penalties for the Caps for the rest of the decade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zauper View Post
In particular, why do you think that the players who played against him, and the coaches who saw him play against them would be wrong about the value he brought? Both as the best defensive d-man in the league, and as the second most valuable player in the NHL behind Gretzky?
Washington was a horrid team that had never made the playoffs. Langway was the most visible addition to a basement-dweller that was all of a sudden good. They got stronger elsewhere on the blueline, had fewer lost games due to injury, had a competent goalie replace an incompetent one, had 3/4 of a top PK unit to replace an incompetent one, and maintained their ability to score goals under a semi-new coach.

Langway brought plenty of value to the table, and no one should argue that Langway wasn't one of the top d-men in the NHL, but he was still overvalued as voters probably didn't account for factors like fewer injuries and the other new pieces.

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02-24-2011, 01:13 PM
  #65
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1) True, but this was his first full season with an off-season to prepare.
True, but I haven't been able to find a whole lot of information about whether he implemented a different system/etc.
Quote:
2) Riggin was new to the Caps. Parro seems to have been a lesser goalie, as he still let in goals in limited action for the 83 Caps.
Ah, you're right, I was thinking of Jensen for some reason, who played 40 games for the Caps in 82-83. (and 26 in 81-82. Either way, he played the "majority" of games in 82-83; Riggins played 38, their numbers were comparable. Jensen's numbers improved by 15-20% compared to 81-82).
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3) Scott Stevens may have jumped out of position for a hit, but he was still good overall. An all-rookie selection, 25 points, and a +14 rating aren't bad stats for a #3 d-man. +14 is better than Langway's Even, and in 1984, Stevens would be better.
He was a lot better offensively, and less defensively. Using +/- is generally a poor argument. Protected minutes, etc.
Quote:
4) Only if you believe #3 is true. Langway + Engblom + Stevens is a fairly solid top three. Theberge was better than AHL. He wasn't an all-star, but SOMEONE on defence had to help on the powerplay.

Veitch was solid, but missed most of this period. Guys like Timo Blomqvist and Randy Holt playing at the top of the lineup is a serious problem, but not so bad as the bottom slots.
IIRC, Stevens got PP time his rookie year. Houston was pretty terrible, IIRC. Theberge was literally an AHL player that they brought up because they didn't have puckmovers. Holt was largely a bruiser.
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And if 1984 counts, Larry Murphy turned around that 0-7 Caps team really fast when he came over. Way to save Langway's bacon Larry!
Murphy on the Caps wasn't great defensively (though he was solid)
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5) Jarvis should get credit. He helped that PK unit too.
He received a Selke. I would call that getting credit?
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6) Langway was a huge part of the 100 goal swing. But so were the other additions (subtractions for Montreal), like Engblom and the Selke-calibre Jarvis who are important in #8. Because Stevens and Engblom showed up, the old 2-3 d-men became 4-5 d-men. So the defense improves overall.
Yes, and Langway was the single biggest piece, and his defensive impact was rather substantial.
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Also, if anyone was AHL-calibre, it was the guys playing on the 82 Caps. The 83 Caps had good health, with 18 skaters playing 60 or more games, and 26 total skaters playing 1 game. The 82 Caps had 11 60-game guys, and 41 total skaters. Fewer injuries means better players developing better chemistry.

A small part of the swing is Montreal's loss of Denis Herron, whose .912 sv%, 2.64 GAA and 3 shutouts led the 1982 NHL. It was a smaller part than the Langway/Jarvis/Engblom trade, but a brief outlier of a performance by Herron in 1982 was a part of it.
Chemistry is a decent point.
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7) Engblom was a 2nd team All-Star in 1982, with Langway-like offensive stats. Engblom was not as likely to push you around as Langway was, but he was middle-class family's version of Langway (as opposed to poor man's.)
For 1983, Engblom was better than Green (though not in the long-term.) The loss of Green would be more significant had Langway gone 1-for-1 with Green. But Langway came with help...
Right, which means if you assume Engblom and Green's contributions are a wash, you're looking at the addition of Langway, Jarvis, and some goaltender changes. Which was my point.
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8) Langway was a top penalty killer, but he wasn't the only one. Jarvis/Langway/Engblom were all Montreal imports and all logged a lot of time on the PK for both the 82 Habs and 83 Caps. The difference in PK% for the Habs was a drop from 80.07% to 73.85%. This difference between the teams is not just Langway, but the fact that a solid PK unit was imported to play alongside 1 Caps PK-Forward from the prior season's unit. From the PGA numbers it looks like it was Bobby Gould, who would kill penalties for the Caps for the rest of the decade.
Engblom didn't log time on the 83-84 (obviously; was traded for Murphy) caps PK unit -- who was the other dman on it?
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Washington was a horrid team that had never made the playoffs. Langway was the most visible addition to a basement-dweller that was all of a sudden good. They got stronger elsewhere on the blueline, had fewer lost games due to injury, had a competent goalie replace an incompetent one, had 3/4 of a top PK unit to replace an incompetent one, and maintained their ability to score goals under a semi-new coach.

Langway brought plenty of value to the table, and no one should argue that Langway wasn't one of the top d-men in the NHL, but he was still overvalued as voters probably didn't account for factors like fewer injuries and the other new pieces.
I would agree that they probably didn't account for fewer injuries, but they clearly did account for the other pieces. I don't see how you could say that they didn't when one of them also received an award for their contribution?

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02-24-2011, 01:20 PM
  #66
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Originally Posted by Chumley View Post
Langway was a beast. One of the best defensive D I've seen play. He could shut down anyone back in the day.
Gretzky v. Langway, Head-to-Head
Date Score G A PTS
November 24, 1982 Caps 3, Oilers 3 1 1 2
February 23, 1983 Caps 3, Oilers 6 2 1 3
March 2, 1983 Oilers 5, Caps 3 1 1 2
November 2, 1983 Caps 3, Oilers 11 2 3 5
November 11, 1983 Caps 4, Oilers 7 1 4 5
February 5, 1984 Oilers 2, Caps 9 Did Not Play
5 Games Oilers 4-0-1 w/Wayne 7 10 17

In his Norris seasons, Langway may have stopped mere mortals, but it seems he wasn't able to stop Gretzky very well. It's a good thing Langway wasn't sent to the Smythe Division. Of course, demanding a trade out of Canada helped avoid that.

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02-24-2011, 02:08 PM
  #67
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- It appears that Stevens and Murphy split time with Langway immediately after Engblom left. Stevens would get more PK time later on (84-85), but not in the relevant timeframe. Murphy was Langway's regular even-strength partner on the top unit.

- Stevens played very few minutes in the PP in 83. Played significant minutes in 84, though.

- Yes Jarvis got a Selke. I wasn't trying to counter this point, just acknowleding it from the list, which is why #5 is all of ten words.

- I don't know that I'd call Engblom for Green a wash, especially since he transforms into Larry Muphy in 1984. Green was a good player, but the others were better. Langway seemed to like Engblom coming over with him: "To give Washington improved defense on two of its three shifts, Poile and Coach Bryan Murray have split up Langway and Engblom, a move that—temporarily anyway—seems to have reduced the effectiveness of each. "It takes half a second longer to adjust to a new partner," says Langway, who has played much of the season with 22-year-old Darren Veitch. "Sometimes you make a play that, if Brian were there, would be the right one, but instead you look bad. They want us to help out with the younger players."http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1126070/index.htm#ixzz1EuJwYIx7

- I imagine the Caps became more responsible defensively under Murray. Even Maruk would be gone soon in favour of the bigger, more defensively-oriented Dave Christian. David Poile came in the summer of 82 and built a new team as fast as he could.

Looks like Murray/Poile wanted to change styles, looking at personnel. "Of the players who began last season with Washington, only forwards Dennis Maruk, Bobby Carpenter, Mike Gartner and Bengt Gustafsson remain."

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02-24-2011, 02:58 PM
  #68
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Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
Gretzky v. Langway, Head-to-Head
Date Score G A PTS
November 24, 1982 Caps 3, Oilers 3 1 1 2
February 23, 1983 Caps 3, Oilers 6 2 1 3
March 2, 1983 Oilers 5, Caps 3 1 1 2
November 2, 1983 Caps 3, Oilers 11 2 3 5
November 11, 1983 Caps 4, Oilers 7 1 4 5
February 5, 1984 Oilers 2, Caps 9 Did Not Play
5 Games Oilers 4-0-1 w/Wayne 7 10 17

In his Norris seasons, Langway may have stopped mere mortals, but it seems he wasn't able to stop Gretzky very well. It's a good thing Langway wasn't sent to the Smythe Division. Of course, demanding a trade out of Canada helped avoid that.
Lets be fair though.. who did limit Gretzky in his prime.. I mean outside of one finals series against the Isles?

And that was a dynasty club itself

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02-24-2011, 03:39 PM
  #69
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Or perhaps the players/coaches noticed his impact on the ice? That would be where they experience his impact, at a minimum.
They did not give him nearly the same consideration for awards until after the trade, even though they regularl faced him on the ice and he was basically at the same level for a few years prior.

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Originally Posted by Zauper View Post
Bolded is the most important statement here. It's going to be impossible to determine the relative value of each individual change.
I agree.

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Originally Posted by Zauper View Post
Firstly -- I don't think there's a reason to believe that Bourque or Howe would have made a larger difference in 82-83 and 83-84.
They were pretty close to Langway defensively and way better offensively. I would say that makes it pretty obvious that they make a larger difference, but clearly it cannot be definitively proven.

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Originally Posted by Zauper View Post
Secondly -- Players and coaches are less prone to vote for random bias. While there are some odd player results (you pointed a few out), they tend to be more 'correct' (i.e. Iginla over Theodore, etc). I'm not sure of an example of coach poll bias.
I don't really care about player votes because the results are often quite strange. Coaches results are useful though I must agree.

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Originally Posted by Zauper View Post
Yes.

Also, Langway received some Norris consideration while at MTL (5th in voting maybe? It's earlier in the thread), and after 84.
He was fifth and ninth the two years preceeding his trade. His big jump in support (when he didn't actually improve significantly over the period) seems to me to have come because of the trade, although I suppose the argument could be made that the trade just forced voters to notice Langway and his impact... not that I would agree with it.

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Originally Posted by Zauper View Post
Not only are there several flaws with how GVT is calculated, but you are flat out wrong. I was certain about this, so I looked quickly. 2009 GVT results.
Norris voting:
Zdeno Chara (winner of the norris; 13th highest GVT for d-men and second on his team) - 12.4 GVT
Mike Green (most valuable skater, FYI) - 26.8 GVT
Lidstrom (second most valuable dman) - 20.7 GVT

Those are some substantial differences. Green had over twice the GVT of Chara. Do you believe Green deserved the Norris?
On my source the numbers are different for 2009, and Chara is not doubled by any defenceman. Where are your 2009 numbers from? In any event, I did not believe that Chara should have won the Norris either, for reasons similar to those of Langway. I would have given Lidstrom the Norris over Green, and I suppose proably Green over Chara. It is hard to know how much of Green's offence was impacted by his teammates though (a similar problem exists with Coffey).

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Originally Posted by Zauper View Post
I believe that OGVT is substantially more accurate than DGVT, FWIW. First of all, I don't think there are TOI numbers for 82-83 and 83-84, which makes it hard to assess a TOI factor which goes into GVT. Secondly, DGVT relies heavily on +/- and shots allowed, which are problematic stats (qualteam / qualcomp reasons for +/-); quality of shots for shots allowed.
I don't really believe that these are huge factors at least with Langway vs Bourque, Potvin and Howe. As far as I know they were all receiving similar minutes and played against the opposition's best. The quality of their teams is important, but thee isn't a huge gap between any of them in tis regard, and nowere near enough to explain why Langway is so far behind. Langway would be somewhat negatively impacted by probably facing the worst ratio of offensive/defensive situations, although that is also a reflection of him as a player.

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Originally Posted by Zauper View Post
It's also worth mentioning that I think most people here would agree that, particularly in those two seasons, Langway was the best d-man defensively -- better defensively than Bourque, etc. Yet the DGVT numbers don't reflect that, which leads me to wonder why.
I agree that the numbers clearly are not perfect and that Langway was better than Bourque defensively. One possible reason is that puck possession would be a significant factor in the calculation, and while Langway was better in his own zone defensively he contributed little offensively, which would lead to his team having to play defence more often. Either way, even if you add 2 or 3 to his DGVT, which puts him basically at the hghest level any player has reached in that metric, he still falls far below a few other defencemen in total GVT. These numbers are obviously not perfect, but they very rarely deviate substantially from popular opinion and historical canon. Langway represents possibly the largest deviation of any skater since WW2.


Last edited by JackSlater: 02-24-2011 at 04:24 PM.
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02-24-2011, 03:50 PM
  #70
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John - Your numbers re: the Flyers are interesting. It's somewhat problematic, again, without any indication of ES vs PP for the scoring, and without being able to match up how they did against the Caps with Langway on the ice vs off the ice. However, it looks like the Caps performed 10-15% better than the league average against them. That's pretty good.
I could go back and figure out PP info, but not when they were actually on ice vs. each other.

Propp & Kerr scored at basically the exact same rate vs. the Caps as they did against the rest of the NHL. Both of them sat a drop in their assist numbers vs. the Caps.

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02-24-2011, 04:43 PM
  #71
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Jack:
http://www.puckprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=191 was my source for the 08-09 GVT. I do recall there being discussion about Wideman being ahead of Chara for GVT on their team that season, though. Where are your GVT numbers from?

As far as the question of notice; I would say it's probably a bit of both. He moved from a (relatively) good team to a (relatively) bad team where he stood out more. That said, I don't recall being able to find earlier season (80-81, 81-82) coach voting results to look at how they were thinking of Langway.

As far as the question of qualteam/qualcomp and the situations in which they played; if they all received equal TOI, and Langway wasn't playing on the PP while the others were, he would have more ES/SH minutes, which could influence numbers (particularly since only ES minutes really have a substantial consequence on +/-), and he could be playing more 'clutch' defensive minutes (defensive draws/whatever) which would be more likely to have a negative impact on his +/-, compared to 'clutch' offensive minutes played by the others -- which is part of the issue of using +/- to rate players; it doesn't mean that Langway had less of an impact, just that it was less measurable and DGVT relies on +/- and shots. (shots are also largely a symptom of the system, do they give up a lot of perimeter shots? fewer but higher quality shots? etc)

I'm going to have to disagree with you on popular opinion and GVT, again, however -- a lot of folks around here were strong believers in the "chara was the best dman" argument, and Chara was far behind the other two finalists in GVT.

John:
On a quick look, Propp and Kerr's point/game numbers dropped which is what I noticed. You're right re: goals vs assists, though. Except for the oddity in the playoffs, where Propp outperforms in goals and Kerr underperforms in goals. Small sample size?

What happens if you compare 80-81 and 81-82 to 82-83 and 83-84?

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02-24-2011, 07:07 PM
  #72
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Lets be fair though.. who did limit Gretzky in his prime.. I mean outside of one finals series against the Isles?
You are right of course, but Gretzky did score more per game against Langway than he usually did. (of course this is really too small a sample size to conclude anything. It's possible Langway dominated Gretzky, and Gretzky got a bit lucky, or got some points on shots that shouldn't have gone in)

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02-24-2011, 07:34 PM
  #73
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I watched Langway play throughout his entire career and I always thought that he was overrated. I never understood why some people raved about him and for whatever reason his reputation seemed never to be questioned. Looking at this thread I see I'm not alone. You can quote all the stats that you want. He just wasn't that good.

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02-25-2011, 04:33 PM
  #74
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Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
Gretzky v. Langway, Head-to-Head
Date Score G A PTS
November 24, 1982 Caps 3, Oilers 3 1 1 2
February 23, 1983 Caps 3, Oilers 6 2 1 3
March 2, 1983 Oilers 5, Caps 3 1 1 2
November 2, 1983 Caps 3, Oilers 11 2 3 5
November 11, 1983 Caps 4, Oilers 7 1 4 5
February 5, 1984 Oilers 2, Caps 9 Did Not Play
5 Games Oilers 4-0-1 w/Wayne 7 10 17

In his Norris seasons, Langway may have stopped mere mortals, but it seems he wasn't able to stop Gretzky very well. It's a good thing Langway wasn't sent to the Smythe Division. Of course, demanding a trade out of Canada helped avoid that.
Not many D did shut down Gretzky. I should of stated he could shut down most anybody.

Even big Langway had problem clearing out Tim Kerr. Could anyone D at that time move Tim Kerr out from in front of the net.

Sometimes, again let me point out the word sometimes, that stats can be misleading.
I'm just going on my memory as I don't have a video library of the Cap's games back in those days. Do you?

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02-25-2011, 08:53 PM
  #75
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Lets be fair though.. who did limit Gretzky in his prime.. I mean outside of one finals series against the Isles?

And that was a dynasty club itself
Quote:
Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
Gretzky v. Langway, Head-to-Head
Date Score G A PTS
November 24, 1982 Caps 3, Oilers 3 1 1 2
February 23, 1983 Caps 3, Oilers 6 2 1 3
March 2, 1983 Oilers 5, Caps 3 1 1 2
November 2, 1983 Caps 3, Oilers 11 2 3 5
November 11, 1983 Caps 4, Oilers 7 1 4 5
February 5, 1984 Oilers 2, Caps 9 Did Not Play
5 Games Oilers 4-0-1 w/Wayne 7 10 17

In his Norris seasons, Langway may have stopped mere mortals, but it seems he wasn't able to stop Gretzky very well. It's a good thing Langway wasn't sent to the Smythe Division. Of course, demanding a trade out of Canada helped avoid that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
You are right of course, but Gretzky did score more per game against Langway than he usually did. (of course this is really too small a sample size to conclude anything. It's possible Langway dominated Gretzky, and Gretzky got a bit lucky, or got some points on shots that shouldn't have gone in)
I wonder if there is some weird stat out there of any Dman who had any type of success against Wayne?

Jack Slater makes some really good points about Langway and the way he was perceived as well IMO.

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