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The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

Bigger Revolution:

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Old
08-07-2006, 09:23 PM
  #1
Whatever Man*
 
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Bigger Revolution:

What was the bigger revolution in Hockey?

The creations of the slap shot, and curved stick?

Or

The offensive defenseman?

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Old
08-07-2006, 10:08 PM
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raleh
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I would say the slap shot and curved stick. This is due to the fact that you can trace these things back to one or two people (Bathgate/Geoffrion and Mikita/Hull). The offensive defenceman does not really have a starting point. Many say that Orr completely changed the game with his rushes but just as many argue that Eddie Shore started it. Ted Lindsay credits Red Kelly and Doug Harvey as the first rushing defencemen. Since the begining of the offensive defenceman is so aribitrary I hardly think it can be considered a "revolution".

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08-07-2006, 11:15 PM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raleh View Post
I would say the slap shot and curved stick. This is due to the fact that you can trace these things back to one or two people (Bathgate/Geoffrion and Mikita/Hull). The offensive defenceman does not really have a starting point. Many say that Orr completely changed the game with his rushes but just as many argue that Eddie Shore started it. Ted Lindsay credits Red Kelly and Doug Harvey as the first rushing defencemen. Since the begining of the offensive defenceman is so aribitrary I hardly think it can be considered a "revolution".
Well, Shore was the only one until the forties. Then in the mid-late forties two others, Harvey and Kelly started to set themselves apart until the late 60's. Then came Orr, followed by the likes of Potvin, Coffey, Bourque, Macinnis. It seems to be having a snowballing effect, whatever it is.

But I think it would be safe to start with Shore.

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08-08-2006, 03:29 AM
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Nalyd Psycho
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I'd say shot changes, because the rushing d-man was an inevitability the moment the rover stopped being used.

Although, I'd say allowing forward passing was the biggest revolution.

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08-08-2006, 01:55 PM
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Malefic74
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Unfortunately the changes to slapshots and curved sticks killed the lost art of the backhand shot which is still one of, if not the, hardest shot to stop.

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08-08-2006, 07:43 PM
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Nalyd Psycho
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If it was so effective, wouldn't more players use it though?

I'd say a good wrist shot is the hardest, players like Naslund and Sakic can get both the velocity and accuracy necissary to make it so that the goalie simply doesn't have enough reaction time to stop the puck.


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08-08-2006, 07:51 PM
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RUSqueelin
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Equipment change. Both stick/skate (heck even things like shoulder pads) technology and goalie equipment changed the game the most. - really started to change in what, the early 90's. I'd say it's about 85% of the reason the game is played at a "higher level" then you see the "old foggie's" play in those old video's.

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08-09-2006, 08:18 AM
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I think 67-68 expansion changed the game forever. The talent gap widened and teams were forced to find ways to win with inferior personel. Systems sprung out of this and the concept of playing not to lose. Teams had won with shut down schemes before, but it became epidemic.

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08-10-2006, 10:51 AM
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Malefic74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nalyd Psycho View Post
If it was so effective, wouldn't more players use it though?

I'd say a good wrist shot is the hardest, players like Naslund and Sakic can get both the velocity and accuracy necissary to make it so that the goalie simply doesn't have enough reaction time to stop the puck.
Because regardless of how quick a release is on a slap, snap or wrist shot you still can see where it is going by the changes to the angle of the stick. Backhanders give absolutely nothing away going to the left or right. And the reason more players don't use it is the curves on their blades make it difficult to control. The only two players I can think of who use it consistently are Kovalev and Sundin, and Sundin's is lethal from about 4' in to the net.

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08-10-2006, 12:21 PM
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Great point by malefic. I've always maintained that the backhand is the most dangerous shot, for the reasons he stated above. But do you honestly think a guy like Kovalchuk is going to be able to execute a backhand? Players love the big, heavy slapshot. It's a glamour thing, much like the home run in baseball or the slam dunk in basketball. But geez, within five feet, the backhand is incredibly difficult to stop. (BTW, Gretzky was another player who always worked on his backhand).

I think the curved blade and the slapshot are the bigger innovations. But honestly, it's the sort of thing that didn't take a special person to try it. Stan Mikita's discovery of the curved stick was essentially a fluke, at least according to the Legends of Hockey videos. Boom Boom Geoffrion introduced the slap shot, but again, it probably would have been created anyways.

Bobby Orr changed the way the game was played in only a way that Bobby Orr could. His speed, savvy, instincts and all-round game was a major starting point for the run-and-gun NHL. It opened doors to play the game in a way in which it hadn't been played before for defencemen. That, in turn, opened the game up as a whole. The run and gun 80s probably don't happen without Orr. A lot of defencemen over the last 30 years probably don't get work in the NHL without Orr coming along.

It's hard to say why so many good defencemen were drafted in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Six current or future HHOF defencemen were drafted from 1978 to 1982: Bourque, Coffey, Murphy, MacInnis, Chelios, Stevens. All six were very good to excellent offensively. (Stevens and Chelios don't get enough credit for their offensive abilities). Were they inspired by Orr? Perhaps. But they wouldn't have attained the offensive success that they had if Orr didn't come along.

The offensive defenceman wasn't a complete foreign concept when Orr arrived. Guys like Cyclone Taylor (before he moved to forward), Harry Cameron, King Clancy, Eddie Shore and even Pierre Pilote were fine offensive defencemen. It's just that defencemen weren't encouraged to jump into the rush, at least from about 1940 to Bobby's arrival. Guys like Harvey, Kelly and Horton had outstanding offensive skills. It's just they weren't encouraged to use them. If you were a defenceman, you stayed back. Your points were generated off making a pass from the defensive zone, or shooting the puck from the point. You'd never see a defenceman pinch down low. But when Orr arrived on to the scene, it opened the doors for the "offensive defenceman" in ways that had never been seen before.

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Old
08-10-2006, 10:47 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malefic74 View Post
Sundin's is lethal from about 4' in to the net.
Sundin has, bar none, the best backhand in the league. I've seen that guy roof a backhand from the blueline like it were a slapper.

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Old
08-11-2006, 04:17 AM
  #12
Nalyd Psycho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malefic74 View Post
Because regardless of how quick a release is on a slap, snap or wrist shot you still can see where it is going by the changes to the angle of the stick. Backhanders give absolutely nothing away going to the left or right. And the reason more players don't use it is the curves on their blades make it difficult to control. The only two players I can think of who use it consistently are Kovalev and Sundin, and Sundin's is lethal from about 4' in to the net.
I just think it's not coincidence that the backhand phased out around the same time the butterfly phased in.

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Old
08-11-2006, 04:34 AM
  #13
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Modano is the reigning king of backhanders. Hardest shot to read from a goalie, combined with the fact that its from close in, makes it lethal to someone profficient. But nowadays with set plays and big shots from the point you really dont see it.

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08-11-2006, 10:11 AM
  #14
Malefic74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nalyd Psycho View Post
I just think it's not coincidence that the backhand phased out around the same time the butterfly phased in.
Actually the guys with good backhands eat butterfly goalies for breakfast. The butterfly depends on taking the lower half of the net away. By default this leaves the upper half open which is where guys like Sundin, Kovalev and I guess Modano (I confess I hadn't noticed his proficiency before) go to work. These guys are roofing their backhanders, not trying to dribble them five hole. Butterfly makes no difference at all.

And the backhand started to disappear noticeably in the 80's; long before the butterfly was popularized and cookie-cuttered.

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