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Why was Ron Francis considered a top defensive forward?

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Old
03-23-2013, 09:49 PM
  #1
OriginJM
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Why was Ron Francis considered a top defensive forward?

He finished his career a -10 and only has 12 SH goals, while everyone else at the top is in the 40s, 50s+.

he was a great playmaker and pretty consistent but thats it

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03-23-2013, 09:50 PM
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JWells16
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...Did you watch him play?

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03-23-2013, 09:50 PM
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You must be young.

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03-23-2013, 09:51 PM
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Cursed Lemon
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Pavel Datsyuk shouldn't be in the HoF because he'll only have 1,000 points by the end.

Oh, wait.

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03-23-2013, 09:51 PM
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...Because he was...

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03-23-2013, 09:52 PM
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iPunch
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Hahaha

Somebody is talking about a player he's never watched.

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03-23-2013, 09:52 PM
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Samwise Gagner
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Because he was in fact a top defensive forward.


+/- could be a reflection of the fact that he was always on in defensive situations and therefore had to be on for the occasional goal against, despite playing very well in his role.

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03-23-2013, 09:52 PM
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Cursed Lemon
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Also, I don't think that Ron Francis is considered a "top" defensive forward, as in like, top 10 ever to play...but he was good enough to win a Selke.

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03-23-2013, 09:52 PM
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bathroomSTAAL
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What does SHG have to do with defense? Kind of the opposite really.

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03-23-2013, 09:53 PM
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OriginJM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
Pavel Datsyuk shouldn't be in the HoF because he'll only have 1,000 points by the end.

Oh, wait.
dats is a +222, hes an incredible defensive forward

i know there are tons of stat haters out there for some reason but fact is he was on the ice more for goals against than goals for on a crazy stacked team for years

just strange

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Old
03-23-2013, 09:54 PM
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Frank the Tank
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Magician on the draws. I remember watching him take and win a lot of important faceoffs over his career.

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03-23-2013, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samwise Gagner View Post
Because he was in fact a top defensive forward.


+/- could be a reflection of the fact that he was always on in defensive situations and therefore had to be on for the occasional goal against, despite playing very well in his role.
and if he was a top defensive forward then he would of succeeded in those situations and stopped the goal against

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03-23-2013, 09:57 PM
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Moskau
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He's not considered a "top" defensive forward in terms of all time. He was one of the better ones in the many years that he played however.

I think he was one of the first in the new guard of defensive forwards. He showed that you didn't have to hit everything in sight, that you didn't have to fight and get under the opponents skin to be considered effective in all 3 zones. Very similar to how the better two way players are today.

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03-23-2013, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginJM View Post
dats is a +222, hes an incredible defensive forward

i know there are tons of stat haters out there for some reason but fact is he was on the ice more for goals against than goals for on a crazy stacked team for years

just strange
You don't know what you are talking about.

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Old
03-23-2013, 09:58 PM
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Mike Farkas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginJM View Post
and if he was a top defensive forward then he would of succeeded in those situations and stopped the goal against
Like John Madden!

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03-23-2013, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginJM View Post
dats is a +222, hes an incredible defensive forward

i know there are tons of stat haters out there for some reason but fact is he was on the ice more for goals against than goals for on a crazy stacked team for years

just strange
He was on bad teams too, you know?

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03-23-2013, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginJM View Post
and if he was a top defensive forward then he would of succeeded in those situations and stopped the goal against
He was a forward, not a goalie.

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03-23-2013, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWells16 View Post
He was on bad teams too, you know?
I think he is talking about Datsyuk in that paragraph. Although it is difficult to tell because of the poor sentence structure and lack of punctuation.

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03-23-2013, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank the Tank View Post
I think he is talking about Datsyuk in that paragraph. Although it is difficult to tell because of the poor sentence structure and lack of punctuation.
yeah that must be it

no one has explained anything so far, everyone has just said no

figures

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03-23-2013, 10:03 PM
  #20
Mike Farkas
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I made this for a different project, might as well paste it here and hope maybe it aids in the discussion...This is just for his time in Pittsburgh, not his whole career!



Ron Francis



Position: Center
6'3" / 200 lbs.
Shoots: Left

As a Penguin (Mar. 1991-1998): 533 GP 164 goals, 449 assists, 613 points - playoffs: 97 GP 32 goals, 68 assists, 100 points

2x Stanley Cup Champion (1991, 1992)

Team Captain: 1995, 1997-98

In Penguins history: 11th all-time in games played, 10th all-time in goals, 3rd all-time in assists (Lemieux, Jagr), 4th all-time in points. ||| 6th all time in points per game (Lemieux, Crosby, Jagr, Coffey, Malkin)

7 full seasons + 1 partial season = 8 total seasons as a Penguin

---

Hart: t-15th
Selke: 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 6th, 8th, 12th
All-Star Voting (center): 3rd, 3rd, 7th^, t-8th*, t-9th*

* - one vote
^ - to Mario

2x Lady Byng Winner
1x NHL All Star (1996)

---
Scoring verus the league:

Top-10 assist finishes: 1st, 1st, 3rd, 4th, 9th, 9th
Top-10 point finishes: 4th, 5th, 5th, 8th

Led the 1992 playoffs in assists with 19.
---

Scoring versus teammates (top-5):
1991-92: N/A
1992-93: 4th (2nd in assists)
1993-94: 2nd (1st in assists)
1994-95: 2nd (1st in assists)
1995-96: 3rd (t-1st in assists)
1996-97: 3rd (2nd in assists)
1997-98: 2nd (2nd in assists - 33% over third place)

---

Approximate Ice Time with the Penguins:
1992-93: 2nd among forwards, 4th in overall ATOI
1993-94: 1st among forwards, 3rd in overall ATOI
1994-95: 1st among forwards, 3rd in overall ATOI
1995-96: 2nd among forwards, 3rd in overall ATOI
1996-97: 2nd among forwards, 3rd in overall ATOI
1997-98: 2nd among forwards, 3rd in overall ATOI

- While his even-strength ice time (not used in above) is limited vs. the stars on the team. Francis was used copiously on both the power play and the penalty kill throughout his time here which led him to play a ton of minutes despite not always being a top liner. Only ever finished behind Lemieux or Jagr in total ATOI, except 1991-92. It shows how much the coaches trusted him to be a difference maker and if we had numbers regarding the quality of player he played against, I don't doubt that he faced a lot of top units especially early in his time here. Probably did quite a bit of heavy lifting in his early years.

---

NHL Players' Poll 1993 and 1994:

Best on faceoffs: 1st (1994), t-2nd (1993)
Best defensive forward: 3rd (1993), t-6th (1994)
Smartest Player: t-1st (1994)
Most Underrated: t-2nd (1993)
---

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
In Pittsburgh he played behind Mario Lemieux and a young Jaromir Jagr, but he took his game to another level. He became not only a goal scorer but one of the best passing centers and two-way players in the league. Pittsburgh won back-to-back Cup titles in 1991 and 1992, and Francis twice reached the 100-point plateau. He was equally consistent in the playoffs as in the regular season, and for 1994-95 he was named Penguins captain while Mario Lemieux recovered from injuries and missed the year. At the start of the next season, though, the captaincy was given back to Mario, and Francis just kept on leading by example. His sportsmanship paid off, for when Lemieux retired in 1997, the captaincy was once again sewn onto his sweater.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
Francis, like Gretzky, thought the game better than most. He somehow exceeded the sum of his parts. He was a choppy skater, deceptively quick but not pretty to watch. He had good size and used it effectively, but was anything but imposing. He was never a dazzling or charismatic player, just a greatly efficient one.

...Ron immediately had an impact in Pittsburgh. Francis played a huge part in helping the Penguins win back-to-back Stanley Cup championships, in 1991 and 1992. While continuing to be a top defensive center man, Ron enjoyed his finest scoring season in Pittsburgh. In 1995-96 he was often moved on to left wing with Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr. Francis would score 27 goals and lead the league with 92 assists for 119 points.

Francis became the glue of a very talented Pittsburgh Penguins team. Playing in the huge shadows of scoring sensations Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr, it was Francis' defensive contributions and quiet offensive genius that was the missing ingredient in Pittsburgh. The Pens' two Stanley Cup victories were largely, but typically quietly, due to Ron Francis.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultimate Hockey
Before Francis arrived, the Penguins were an offensive juggernaut with a tendency to strain under the tight checking required in the playoffs. Francis changed the complexion of the team almost overnight, bringing aboard leadership and a two-way conscience... As a Penguin, the big man played inspired hockey.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penguin Profiles
The Penguins veteran comes close to perfection. he reminds one of athletes from a bygone era with his refreshing approach and appeal... He is dedicated to succeed... was admired by teammates, management, and fans alike... Francis says "I was brought up that if I spoke to much 'me' and 'I' stuff, I got a real tongue lashing. I was taught to be team-oriented and to be family-oriented. I was told to do whatever I was doing as well as I could do it, but to share the credit."... Francis was a fantastic #2 center in Pittsburgh, a two-way player who contributed in so many ways, on the ice, in the clubhouse, outside the rink... He is an accomplished penalty killer and can play defense like a man who truly cares. "I don't know where we'd be without him", said a former coach.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Scouting Report 1992-93
Francis is a player of fine two-way skills, which is why he always seems to be there when danger is to be created offensively or averted defensively... he is an excellent defensive player who is depended upon to win the key defensive zone faceoffs - especially the first draw in penalty killing situations. Francis has a nice touch on the draws, and good hands also enable him to feather a pass to a breaking teammate. He also has a long reach, and he uses it.

Francis is strong on his feet, which helps him keep his legs going in the scrums. Good balance enables him to tie up his opponent, then kick the puck to a teammate... He is a responsible player who is as dilligent in front of his net as he is in the attacking zone. He has above average drive and determination, and will not hesitate to dive toward a puck - to block a shot, to sweep the puck from the goal mouth, to chop it away from an opponent... He sees the ice well, distributes well and takes the hits to spring a teammate with the puck.

Francis does not shy away from the painful places on the ice, the places where you get bruises. He goes in front of the net for deflections and rebounds, uses his strength and balance to gain position, keeps plugging away... He doesn't bury people. But he uses strength in the faceoff battles, does his best to lock up his man on offensive zone draws, fights hard to get to his point those rare times he loses a draw in the defensive zone.

Francis inspires a sense of confidence in his teammates because he is such a dependable player. And he was an absolute tower of strength in the playoffs last spring, stepping into the gap and playing a huge leadership role when Mario Lemieux was injured... Francis may not seem to show much emotion on the ice, but he has tremendous desire to win and is an extremely gritty competitor. He may not be much for the spotlight, but his persistence and contribution to victory are laudatory.

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Old
03-23-2013, 10:06 PM
  #21
OriginJM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
I made this for a different project, might as well paste it here and hope maybe it aids in the discussion...This is just for his time in Pittsburgh, not his whole career!



Ron Francis



Position: Center
6'3" / 200 lbs.
Shoots: Left

As a Penguin (Mar. 1991-1998): 533 GP 164 goals, 449 assists, 613 points - playoffs: 97 GP 32 goals, 68 assists, 100 points

2x Stanley Cup Champion (1991, 1992)

Team Captain: 1995, 1997-98

In Penguins history: 11th all-time in games played, 10th all-time in goals, 3rd all-time in assists (Lemieux, Jagr), 4th all-time in points. ||| 6th all time in points per game (Lemieux, Crosby, Jagr, Coffey, Malkin)

7 full seasons + 1 partial season = 8 total seasons as a Penguin

---

Hart: t-15th
Selke: 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 6th, 8th, 12th
All-Star Voting (center): 3rd, 3rd, 7th^, t-8th*, t-9th*

* - one vote
^ - to Mario

2x Lady Byng Winner
1x NHL All Star (1996)

---
Scoring verus the league:

Top-10 assist finishes: 1st, 1st, 3rd, 4th, 9th, 9th
Top-10 point finishes: 4th, 5th, 5th, 8th

Led the 1992 playoffs in assists with 19.
---

Scoring versus teammates (top-5):
1991-92: N/A
1992-93: 4th (2nd in assists)
1993-94: 2nd (1st in assists)
1994-95: 2nd (1st in assists)
1995-96: 3rd (t-1st in assists)
1996-97: 3rd (2nd in assists)
1997-98: 2nd (2nd in assists - 33% over third place)

---

Approximate Ice Time with the Penguins:
1992-93: 2nd among forwards, 4th in overall ATOI
1993-94: 1st among forwards, 3rd in overall ATOI
1994-95: 1st among forwards, 3rd in overall ATOI
1995-96: 2nd among forwards, 3rd in overall ATOI
1996-97: 2nd among forwards, 3rd in overall ATOI
1997-98: 2nd among forwards, 3rd in overall ATOI

- While his even-strength ice time (not used in above) is limited vs. the stars on the team. Francis was used copiously on both the power play and the penalty kill throughout his time here which led him to play a ton of minutes despite not always being a top liner. Only ever finished behind Lemieux or Jagr in total ATOI, except 1991-92. It shows how much the coaches trusted him to be a difference maker and if we had numbers regarding the quality of player he played against, I don't doubt that he faced a lot of top units especially early in his time here. Probably did quite a bit of heavy lifting in his early years.

---

NHL Players' Poll 1993 and 1994:

Best on faceoffs: 1st (1994), t-2nd (1993)
Best defensive forward: 3rd (1993), t-6th (1994)
Smartest Player: t-1st (1994)
Most Underrated: t-2nd (1993)
---
thanks for this, this is the stuff i wanted to read

not everyone just going "haha youre young and wrong"

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Old
03-23-2013, 10:25 PM
  #22
Mike Farkas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginJM View Post
thanks for this, this is the stuff i wanted to read

not everyone just going "haha youre young and wrong"
Sure, now just understand the flip side of this. You go onto a board that tries its best to hold mature and detailed discussion and a lot of research (of all kinds) is done here...in depth stuff, really great stuff.

You come in, make a thread, cite two completely bogus stats AND make a conclusion. ("but thats it"). You don't ask a question in the text and the question in your title takes on a completely different meaning when you provide such a limited viewpoint in the text of your "argument"

Needless to say, you aren't gonna be met with open arms and people ready to stop productive discussion to entertain your random statistical misreads.

If I went to the Flyers board and said, "Why is Giroux considered one of the best players in the league?" "He's not even a point per game and doesn't lead his team in goals, assists or points...lol he's solid and that's it."

I don't expect to get a single serious response. Why waste the time? I clearly don't have a clue, and there isn't a detective that's gonna wanna help me find one with that attitude.

Just so you understand what it looks like from the other side...

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03-23-2013, 10:48 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
It's good to read this. Francis was my favorite player when I first discovered hockey.

Quote:
Francis became the glue of a very talented Pittsburgh Penguins team. Playing in the huge shadows of scoring sensations Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr, it was Francis' defensive contributions and quiet offensive genius that was the missing ingredient in Pittsburgh. The Pens' two Stanley Cup victories were largely, but typically quietly, due to Ron Francis.
Recently Adam Oates gave a pre-Caps/Pens-game interview in which he talked about about Francis, Lemieux and Jagr and made it plain that he considered Francis to be as important as the other two to the success of those Penguins' teams.

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Old
03-24-2013, 12:21 AM
  #24
Hardyvan123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginJM View Post
yeah that must be it

no one has explained anything so far, everyone has just said no

figures
Did you ever watch him play?

If not go ahead and do so watch where he goes on the ice, the players he is out against, his line mates and you will get the whole picture.

From a guy that did he was a very good defensive player, responsible and very good in the face off circle.

There is a difference in just looking just at stats and coming to conclusions and doing more research.

Stats and the eye test will tell a lot more.

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Old
03-24-2013, 01:31 AM
  #25
shazariahl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginJM View Post
yeah that must be it

no one has explained anything so far, everyone has just said no

figures
One would think his +/- would have benefited just from playing with Lemieux and Jagr though, but it's also worth noting that Lemieux scored a disproportionate amount of points on the PP, which didn't help anyone's +/-, and the Pens gave up a lot of even strength points due to their wide open playstyle. Combined with Lemieux and Jagr not being exactly noted for their defensive effort, this caused some successful seasons where the Pens gave up a lot of even strength scoring, but made up for it on the PP.

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