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HOF for 1980s Defensive Defensemen

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Old
10-23-2012, 07:43 PM
  #26
DickSmehlik
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Originally Posted by thom View Post
If you read the game By Ken Dryden he writes a less than rosy picture of Larry Robinson in terms of his play.Robison was a hof player and a good guy but maybe not as good that some think he was.
If I remember correctly (and it has been over 10 years since I read The Game) Dryden couldn't understand why more people didn't challenge Robinson has a fighter. I thought he mentioned Larry's reputation as a fearsome fighter was largely undeserved and that when people did challenge him, they usually won.

I also remember him saying Jacques Lemaire would try and act smarter than he was.

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10-23-2012, 08:14 PM
  #27
BubbaBoot
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I saw Larry Robinson as a Voyageur play against Terry O'Reilly and the Braves in the old Boston Garden. I still have the game program.

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10-23-2012, 08:23 PM
  #28
Morgoth Bauglir
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
He seemed to praise Robinson quite a bit in the copy that I read, talking about the massive impact he had both on the Canadiens and their opponents.
Yeah, I'm re-reading "The Game" right now and your impression is the same as mine.

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Old
10-24-2012, 02:10 AM
  #29
seventieslord
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Originally Posted by Dissonance View Post
My recollection is that between 1991 and 1996, Murzyn and Jyrki Lumme were the Canucks' top even-strength pairing, though I'd be curious to know what the time-on-ice figures show. (The one caveat here is that Murzyn obviously didn't see a lot of power play time, so his overall TOI numbers might be a bit lower.)
Here's where the TOI estimates have Murzyn every season in ES time:

1986: 6th on HFD (15.54)
1987: 2nd on HFD (19.32) - minute behind Ulf, big gap to 3rd
1988: 5th on HFD/3rd on CGY (15.83)
1989: 7th on CGY (14.13) - you could say he played most of the games that the top-6 missed, even though it didn't work out exactly like that.
1990: 6th on CGY (14.23) - clear 6th
1991: a writeoff (injuries)
1992: 1st on VAN (17.68) - it appears clear he and Lumme were the top pair
1993: 6th on VAN (15.15) - only 2.5 minutes separated Babych (1st) and Dirk (8th) though
1994: 1st on VAN (17.54) - it appears clear he and Lumme were the top pair
1995: 4th/5th on VAN before/after Slegr trade (15.60) - inconclusive about who he played with, but Babych and Lumme were the clear leaders
1996: 4th on VAN (15.95) - but only 1.4 minutes separated he and Babych (1st)
1997: 2nd on VAN (18.04) - it looks clear that he and Babych were the top pair
1998: when healthy, appeared to be the #4.

it looks pretty up-and-dowm, but he did have his moments. I think that you might have painted a rosy picture of him and vadim a dim one, but the truth was probably closer to what you were saying. Personally, I remember him being known as a tough, solid, honest player.

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Originally Posted by BubbaBoot View Post
That may be, and it also helps when you have a Bourque, Park, Hartsburg, etc.... as defensive mates. They played on some strong teams and they were known for their offense but they weren't slouches on defense either. They may not have paid attention to their end of the ice as they should've and probably caught up ice more than a few times but they weren't 3rd pairing / make-you-nervous defensively either, taking care of business efficiently enough when called upon.
I agree with the bolded 100%.

I just wouldn't say that necessarily makes them candidates for a thread about who'd make the hall of defensive play

Quote:
Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
to respond to a couple of names thrown around:

james patrick, i thought was defensively below average until he went to buffalo. i'm mostly thinking early 90s patrick, as i have no recollection of ever watching him in the 80s.

dana murzyn was awful. the defensive beasts on those '89 flames were mccrimmon and macoun. on the '94 canucks, you're looking at diduck and post-injury babych. murzyn has glamorous +/- stats because he was a guy that played easy minutes on high powered teams. and to look at his career you'd think he was the defensive rock that you paired with an offensive guy, but he was actually carried defensively by ramage and lumme.
You're the guy I was thinking of!

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Old
10-24-2012, 03:39 AM
  #30
Rob Scuderi
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Bill Hajt was very highly regarded as a defensive player and he has incredible GA stats to prove it as well.

Rochefort was considered good enough to get onto the 1987 Canada Cup team and it wasn't because of his offense.
I have a hard time figuring Rochefort out.

Part of it stems from this quote, which very well could be a minority opinion. (The question was who is the best d-man in Nordiques history so I guess that blurs things a bit with the defensive-focus in this thread)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JT Dutch* View Post
... I don't believe for a second that Rochefort was better than Marois because he was a pity pick in an All-Star series and a Canada Cup series. When the two of them were on the Nordiques together, Marois was the number one defenseman - and after Marois left, Randy Moller was. Rochefort was a 2nd/3rd defenseman on his best days.

My other issue is there doesn't seem to be anyone talking about how useful he was in '87. Did he hold his own or are we giving him extra credit two decades later because of the quirks of one team-building exercise?

I worry that's all that makes Rocehfort an ATDer, because he wasn't exactly killing Marios or Moller in TOI as the quoted post says and he wasn't valuable enough to pick up token AST votes as a defense-only guy.

Maybe it's just me needing to see more of him since defensive-minded guys are always the toughest to judge.

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Old
10-24-2012, 06:20 AM
  #31
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
dana murzyn was awful. the defensive beasts on those '89 flames were mccrimmon and macoun. on the '94 canucks, you're looking at diduck and post-injury babych. murzyn has glamorous +/- stats because he was a guy that played easy minutes on high powered teams. and to look at his career you'd think he was the defensive rock that you paired with an offensive guy, but he was actually carried defensively by ramage and lumme.
Murzyn was a fine player and possibly the most unfairly maligned guy I've ever seen. He didn't spend the better part of 5 seasons on the top pairing of a contending NHL team by accident.

He had one major weakness - getting burned wide on the rush. About every 10 games or so, a speedy opposition forward would blow past him. And when it happened, it looked terrible. And the fanbase would lay a collective egg about it.

Those few high-profile gaffes ended up completely overshadowing what a stellar defensive defender he was otherwise. One of the best I've ever seen at clearing shooting lanes for his goalie in front of the net - big, strong as an ox, and absolutely vicious with the lumber. Owned opposition forwards in battles in the corners. Excellent hockey sense and very positionally sound.

But he's definitely a '1990s' player in any case.

__________


The 1980s list of guys who were #1 or strong #2 guys based mainly on their defensive play is pretty short and obvious, and most have already been mentioned:

Langway
Ramsey
McCrimmon
Lowe
Rochefort
Engblom
Morrow (maybe)

And of course Bourque/Potvin/Howe who were elite at both ends of the rink.

Other guys like Macoun, Muni, Ludwig, Quenneville were a step down and more excellent 2nd pairing guys. Bill Hajt might have fit the top group in at the turn of the decade but spent most of the '80s as a #3-4 guy.

When listing 'one year wonders', it's almost exclusively Scott Bjugstad-esque forwards, but if there's a defensive defender equivalent it might be Tim Bothwell, who had a monster first-pairing defensive season in 1984-85 for St. Louis but was never more than a #4-type guy otherwise.

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Old
10-24-2012, 10:11 AM
  #32
vadim sharifijanov
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Originally Posted by MS View Post
Murzyn was a fine player and possibly the most unfairly maligned guy I've ever seen. He didn't spend the better part of 5 seasons on the top pairing of a contending NHL team by accident.

He had one major weakness - getting burned wide on the rush. About every 10 games or so, a speedy opposition forward would blow past him. And when it happened, it looked terrible. And the fanbase would lay a collective egg about it.

Those few high-profile gaffes ended up completely overshadowing what a stellar defensive defender he was otherwise. One of the best I've ever seen at clearing shooting lanes for his goalie in front of the net - big, strong as an ox, and absolutely vicious with the lumber. Owned opposition forwards in battles in the corners. Excellent hockey sense and very positionally sound.
too busy to respond in full, but i wanted to note that it's funny that we watched all the same games but it's like we saw them through two completely different sets of eyes. re: murzyn, jovanovski, naslund, and i feel like there have been a couple other former canucks recently that we've disagreed on.

but can we at least agree that diduck was a warrior?

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10-24-2012, 01:04 PM
  #33
TheDevilMadeMe
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Originally Posted by Bring Back Scuderi View Post
I have a hard time figuring Rochefort out.

Part of it stems from this quote, which very well could be a minority opinion. (The question was who is the best d-man in Nordiques history so I guess that blurs things a bit with the defensive-focus in this thread)



My other issue is there doesn't seem to be anyone talking about how useful he was in '87. Did he hold his own or are we giving him extra credit two decades later because of the quirks of one team-building exercise?

I worry that's all that makes Rocehfort an ATDer, because he wasn't exactly killing Marios or Moller in TOI as the quoted post says and he wasn't valuable enough to pick up token AST votes as a defense-only guy.

Maybe it's just me needing to see more of him since defensive-minded guys are always the toughest to judge.
Marois was an offensive/two-way defenseman though, while Rochefort was a pure defensive guy.

Rochefort actually played in both the 1987 Canada Cup, and in Rendezvous 1987, which was a semi-best-on-best. According to legendsofhockey, he played very well at Rendezvous 87:

Quote:
Originally Posted by legendsofhockey
He anchored the Nordiques' blueline, which had a strong offensive orientation, for seven seasons until his little secret got out. He was invited to play at Rendez-vous '87 and the Canada Cup later that year. He surprised everyone as the steadiest defender at the tournament. From then on, Rochefort was on the NHL map.
In the final of the 1987 Canada Cup, he was matched against KLM:

Quote:
From game 2 Canada matched the line of Mark Messier, Mike Gartner, and Glenn Anderson linked with defensemen Rochefort and Crossman against the Soviets' main threat, the KLM line, to attempt to shut them down
The Canada Cup of Hockey Fact and Stat Book, by H.J. Anderson, page 115

http://books.google.com/books?id=Pp-...hefort&f=false

These are the stats of the Canadian defensemen in the Canada Cup:

Bourque: 9 GP, 2-6-8, +3
Murphy: 8 GP, 1-6-7, +8
Coffey: 9 GP, 2-4-6, +1
Rochefor: 9 GP, 1-2-3, +3
Hartsburg: 9 GP, 0-2-2, E
Patrick: 6 GP, 0-1-1, +1
Crossman: 8GP, 0-1-1, -4

Yes, I had Rochefort in the MLD before. http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...2&postcount=21

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Old
10-24-2012, 02:29 PM
  #34
seventieslord
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This doesn't mean I think he's better than Regehr, you realize

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10-24-2012, 03:05 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
too busy to respond in full, but i wanted to note that it's funny that we watched all the same games but it's like we saw them through two completely different sets of eyes.
It is funny, especially given the frequent claim that eyes are better than anything else in evaluating players, and yet different eyes see different things. If eyes see truth then there shouldn't be any variation in what is seen.

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10-24-2012, 04:22 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
too busy to respond in full, but i wanted to note that it's funny that we watched all the same games but it's like we saw them through two completely different sets of eyes. re: murzyn, jovanovski, naslund, and i feel like there have been a couple other former canucks recently that we've disagreed on.

but can we at least agree that diduck was a warrior?
It is interesting, eh? In Murzynís case, Iím well aware of what the general fan perception was. But again, if youíre as awful as heís perceived, you donít play the kind of ES/SH minutes he did, on a contending team, and get the results he did. Basically, to me, he was a guy who was poor at defending the rush but outstanding at defending contained/PK situations (where his footspeed wasnít such an issue, and he was very Regehr-esque), with the overall result being generally positive. But his weaknesses were far easier to see than his strengths.

Naslund I have a very high opinion of pre-2004 and a very low opinion of post-2004.

But yes, we can agree that Diduck was a warrior. And probably also that his wife was a pain in the ass.

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Old
10-24-2012, 11:08 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by MS View Post
Murzyn was a fine player and possibly the most unfairly maligned guy I've ever seen. He didn't spend the better part of 5 seasons on the top pairing of a contending NHL team by accident.

He had one major weakness - getting burned wide on the rush. About every 10 games or so, a speedy opposition forward would blow past him. And when it happened, it looked terrible. And the fanbase would lay a collective egg about it.
That's a great point. Sometimes it seems like it's better for a player to fail often in quiet, subtle ways than to fail occasionally in a very obvious way that everyone notices. Mason Raymond is sort of an weird inverse analogue to Murzyn today--perfectly decent player 90% of the time, but as soon as he botches a breakaway or trips over his own two feet, everyone notices and wants him run out of town.

I'm not the greatest at evaluating players, I'll admit, but my usual rule is that if a player seems terrible or severely flawed but is getting quality minutes on a contending team, then they're probably doing a lot of little things right. This is especially true for defenseman. Coaches that can win consistently aren't idiots, and tend to give ice time to players that deserve it. (Obviously this isn't always true--coaches do make mistakes or perversely stick with their favorites, but this probably happens a lot less than fans think. Myself included.)

That said, 100% agree with vadim on Diduck. And 1994-era Babych. Those were the days. Someone should start a '90s version of this thread.

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10-24-2012, 11:30 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Marois was an offensive/two-way defenseman though, while Rochefort was a pure defensive guy.

Rochefort actually played in both the 1987 Canada Cup, and in Rendezvous 1987, which was a semi-best-on-best. According to legendsofhockey, he played very well at Rendezvous 87:



In the final of the 1987 Canada Cup, he was matched against KLM:



The Canada Cup of Hockey Fact and Stat Book, by H.J. Anderson, page 115

http://books.google.com/books?id=Pp-...hefort&f=false

These are the stats of the Canadian defensemen in the Canada Cup:

Bourque: 9 GP, 2-6-8, +3
Murphy: 8 GP, 1-6-7, +8
Coffey: 9 GP, 2-4-6, +1
Rochefor: 9 GP, 1-2-3, +3
Hartsburg: 9 GP, 0-2-2, E
Patrick: 6 GP, 0-1-1, +1
Crossman: 8GP, 0-1-1, -4

Yes, I had Rochefort in the MLD before. http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...2&postcount=21
This is the type of post I was looking for.

Good call on Rendezvous, he wasn't just a CC one-off like I suggested.

All I remembered about him was Kamensky's goal against in game 2, but the numbers definitely don't show him as being a poor performer.

My floor on him was a good MLD defender, but if he could hang with that Soviet team despite descriptions of being a weak skater then ATD spare seems fine.

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Old
10-25-2012, 12:20 AM
  #39
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Originally Posted by Dissonance View Post
That's a great point. Sometimes it seems like it's better for a player to fail often in quiet, subtle ways than to fail occasionally in a very obvious way that everyone notices. Mason Raymond is sort of an weird inverse analogue to Murzyn today--perfectly decent player 90% of the time, but as soon as he botches a breakaway or trips over his own two feet, everyone notices and wants him run out of town.

I'm not the greatest at evaluating players, I'll admit, but my usual rule is that if a player seems terrible or severely flawed but is getting quality minutes on a contending team, then they're probably doing a lot of little things right. This is especially true for defenseman. Coaches that can win consistently aren't idiots, and tend to give ice time to players that deserve it. (Obviously this isn't always true--coaches do make mistakes or perversely stick with their favorites, but this probably happens a lot less than fans think. Myself included.)
Exactly.

There are the big mistakes everyone sees, and the little good things nobody really notices.

Murzyn was a Regehr-esque force down low in the defensive zone ... but nobody notices when Kirk McLean has to face an unscreened shot because the opposition forward in front of the net has been moved 5 feet out of the way. 20,000 people all notice when you get pyloned 1-on-1.

Same with Brent Sopel, another unfairly maligned guy. Had a knack for making making really high-risk plays with the puck near his goal at bad times, or unluckily scoring on himself. But was the best defender I've ever seen in terms of pinching at the offensive blueline - absolutely unreal success rate, created so much more possession for the team.

Sopel also had a TV commentator (John Garrett) who absolutely hated him and took every opportunity to point out every single thing he could possibly be blamed for, no matter how much of a stretch - and of course that influences public perception. I remember in particular one play where Ohlund made a terrible turnover in the offensive zone, Sopel busted his ass to get back and make it a 2-on-1, and Garrett then tore Sopel to shreds for not preventing the pass on the 2-on-1 which led to a goal.

And like you say with Mason Raymond, the fact that he generates chances and then misses them makes him take more criticism than a similarly productive player who just blended into the woodwork and nobody noticed.

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10-26-2012, 10:07 PM
  #40
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Exactly.

There are the big mistakes everyone sees, and the little good things nobody really notices.

Murzyn was a Regehr-esque force down low in the defensive zone ... but nobody notices when Kirk McLean has to face an unscreened shot because the opposition forward in front of the net has been moved 5 feet out of the way. 20,000 people all notice when you get pyloned 1-on-1.

Same with Brent Sopel, another unfairly maligned guy. Had a knack for making making really high-risk plays with the puck near his goal at bad times, or unluckily scoring on himself. But was the best defender I've ever seen in terms of pinching at the offensive blueline - absolutely unreal success rate, created so much more possession for the team.

Sopel also had a TV commentator (John Garrett) who absolutely hated him and took every opportunity to point out every single thing he could possibly be blamed for, no matter how much of a stretch - and of course that influences public perception. I remember in particular one play where Ohlund made a terrible turnover in the offensive zone, Sopel busted his ass to get back and make it a 2-on-1, and Garrett then tore Sopel to shreds for not preventing the pass on the 2-on-1 which led to a goal.

And like you say with Mason Raymond, the fact that he generates chances and then misses them makes him take more criticism than a similarly productive player who just blended into the woodwork and nobody noticed.
He was a so so goalie but his hockey career is God like compared to his commentary skills (or complete lack of them).

Sopel is one of those guys that would have thrived on the right team in the 80's but his skill set, especially skating, was always better than his hockey sense.

Raymond is just another in a long line that has great speed and can look good at times but he quite simply isn't a finisher and his hockey sense is average at best IMO.

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