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Best divers in NHL History

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07-29-2005, 07:07 PM
  #1
Big Phil
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Best divers in NHL History

Here is a list off the top of my head of the best divers in NHL history.

Bill Barber - I think he comes to the top of everyone's list. He certainly is the innovator of the dive. Before Barber's day it was thought of as unsportsmanlike to dive. So he'd be the first one if memory serves me right. Barber wasn't the kind of guy who would lie on the ice as if he was shot out of a cannon, but he did I think as much as anyone over emphasize a hook or a trip. He didnt really have to either, he was a damn fine Hall of Fame player without it even.

Alexei Kovalev - My guess is he's second on most people's lists. Not only does he dive but he fakes injuries. Who can forget Game 4 vs. Boston in OT last year? I dont care if he was "hurt" or not, at least kick the puck away not bump into your defensman and have Glen Murray score the OT winner. His dive in '95 vs. the Nordiques arguably cost them the series. Sometimes you wonder what made him go down to the ice, the hooks or hits on him were THAT minimal.

Theo Fleury - Again a potential Hall of Famer. I loved Theo and to me his dives were like Barber's. A great player that just got underneath the other teams skin. The thing with Fleury is that you knew when he "fell" down 99% of the time he didnt have to. Again, he was a guy who didnt lie on the ice pretending he was hurt, he just made his falls dramatic in a comical way.

Claude Lemieux - Best thing about him was his facial expressions when he went down. I didnt mind him doing that so much but I hated to no end his turtling when someone wanted to fight him.

Peter Forsberg - They all say he's so tough and maybe he is, but I never thought a little hook would force a grown man to fall so hard so quick.

Dominik Hasek - He would often fall down like he was hung, I think the refs caught on eventually

HM - Mario dove a lot in his early years until he grew up, as did Gretzky but a little less than Mario I think. Slava Kozlov did the best dive ever. In the '95 playoffs vs. Chicago. He looked like he was hooked very lightly near the shoulder and went down and slid near the boards. He acted as if he was knocked out. But here's the catch: He scored the game winner!

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07-29-2005, 09:07 PM
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I terms of diving from what I have seen it has to be Theo Fleury at least from the 80s and 90s. There are so many damn instances of him being slightly hooked on the shoulder and them him spinning around acting as though he had been shot. The main reason that Fleury comes to mind though was it seemed that every time I went to a game I was able to see dive after dive after dive.

He was a tough bugger though I will give him that.

With C. Lemieux he did dive but what sticks out in my mind was needlessly staying down and claiming injury.

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07-29-2005, 10:02 PM
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Before Bill Barber, the primary 'diver' was Bobby Rousseau in the 60's while playing with Montreal. Barber gets credit as the first 'diver' but he wasn't. When Philly played their goon hockey in the 70's, they had a lot of penalties called against them (not nearly enough) and if referees were trying to 'balance' the penalty calls, then Barber's diving helped in that respect. That's one way of looking at it.

[QUOTE=Big Phil]Here is a list off the top of my head of the best divers in NHL history.

Bill Barber - I think he comes to the top of everyone's list. He certainly is the innovator of the dive. Before Barber's day it was thought of as unsportsmanlike to dive. So he'd be the first one if memory serves me right. Barber wasn't the kind of guy who would lie on the ice as if he was shot out of a cannon, but he did I think as much as anyone over emphasize a hook or a trip. He didnt really have to either, he was a damn fine Hall of Fame player without it even.

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07-29-2005, 10:06 PM
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Claude Lemieux was terrible. The worst was when he'd slash someone or do somehting to instigate a fight, back off, wait for the refs to get between them, then to the "chicken" taunt.

Neely kicking his ass when he was all turtled up was classic, he just grabbed the sweater and slammed him right into the boards.

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07-29-2005, 10:08 PM
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What about Steve Shutt?

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07-29-2005, 10:08 PM
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Mike Ribeiro is an up and comming diving specialist.

Not quite at the Forsberg/Barber level, but as he gains experience and confidence, he'll make it to the heights (depths?) of the craft.

Andrei Markov is also a tremendously talented embellisher. He can make a flicked ear seem like an attempted decapitation and after 4 or 5 minutes resting face down on the ice, he's always available to play on the ensuing powerplay.

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07-29-2005, 10:18 PM
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Be sure to differentiate between diving (embelishing a hook or a hold) and faking an injury.

Honestly, the best in recent memory was Ray Bourque. The guy was so good at it, he didn't do it a lot, but when he did it, it was at the right time in the game, and usually in his own zone, and usually it was a borderline call, so the refs always called it. Plus, Bourque was very respected by all in the game, and a good reputation always helps.

Mario was a terrible diver. When you're 6'4" and you dive, it's so obvious.

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07-29-2005, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
HM - Mario dove a lot in his early years until he grew up, as did Gretzky but a little less than Mario I think. Slava Kozlov did the best dive ever. In the '95 playoffs vs. Chicago. He looked like he was hooked very lightly near the shoulder and went down and slid near the boards. He acted as if he was knocked out. But here's the catch: He scored the game winner!
The best dive ever was Dainius Zubrus' pirouette.

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07-29-2005, 10:49 PM
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Mlatby is getting up there.

Hasek's worst was in game 6 of the 2002 WCF. one of the Russians backed into him and he started grabbing his head like Shatner did on Star Trek when every he had some kind of telepathic attack. Rolled on the ground for a good five minutes.

There was Kovalev's fake versus Quebec. I just remember Wendel Clark mock banging his stick on the ice.

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07-29-2005, 10:54 PM
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Jarkko Ruutu!

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07-30-2005, 12:43 AM
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Mike Foligno had some absolute beautoes in his highlight packages, outstanding stuff with spins, pirouettes and a somersault tossed in for good measure. Plus that helmet he wore was a beauty.

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08-01-2005, 08:11 AM
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Psycho Papa Joe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarge88
Mike Ribeiro is an up and comming diving specialist.

Not quite at the Forsberg/Barber level, but as he gains experience and confidence, he'll make it to the heights (depths?) of the craft.

Andrei Markov is also a tremendously talented embellisher. He can make a flicked ear seem like an attempted decapitation and after 4 or 5 minutes resting face down on the ice, he's always available to play on the ensuing powerplay.
In all honesty, I've only ever seen Ribeiro take one dive. Yes it was pathetic, but I don't think up to that point he was ever considered a diver.

Markov on the other hand, I agree, is getting out of hand. He needs a good talking to by Gainey.

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08-01-2005, 08:14 AM
  #13
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As per P. Joe's reminiscence, I've only seen the one dive from Ribiero. However, the sight of him rolling round the ice, flopping like a circus seal in heat, the contents of his purse strewn over the ice.. will probably stay with me for a long, long time. It was a bad decision on his part, for sure.

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08-01-2005, 08:17 AM
  #14
Psycho Papa Joe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Bucky
As per P. Joe's reminiscence, I've only seen the one dive from Ribiero. However, the sight of him rolling round the ice, flopping like a circus seal in heat, the contents of his purse strewn over the ice.. will probably stay with me for a long, long time. It was a bad decision on his part, for sure.
Hopefully he learned from it. I don't think Gainey is the type of guy to tolerate those type of shenanigans.

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