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Strongest players in the history of the game, within the context of the game

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08-18-2013, 11:22 AM
  #76
billybudd
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Gordie Howe weighed 205 LBs. Boxing categories that are purely objective with no stake in hockey defined a heavyweight as a minimum of 175 lbs in 1961.

1961 SC Finalists and winners the Chicago Blackhawks featured 14 players who like Gordie Howe qualified as heavyweights > 175 LBs:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/CBH/1961.html
So what you're saying is that you believe a man who weighs 175 pounds has a similar amount of strength as a man who weighs 205? And your reasoning is that boxing used to have a lower endpoint on one of its divisions?


Last edited by Doctor No: 08-18-2013 at 12:08 PM. Reason: Pushing your luck
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08-18-2013, 12:05 PM
  #77
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Weight Difference

^^^ Suggest looking at the weight difference in some classic boxing heavyweight championship fights. Dempsey vs Willard, Baer vs Carnera, the significantly smaller boxer won handily.

Likewise in hockey. The big man wears down. It is not a one punch or a one shot competition but an endurance test. Players like Zdena Chara wear down faster and take longer to recover. Likewise Gordie Howe. After the age of 26, Gordie Howe and the Red Wings went to five SC Finals but never won. Howe was still a great player, the best in the league, but he could be played since the team pace revolved around his pace.

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08-18-2013, 12:21 PM
  #78
Dennis Bonvie
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Rather interesting based on curious criteria.

Today, I'll grant you all the modern training techniques, nutritional advantages but it still comes down to the ultimate test - who gets the long shifts in critical end of game situations?

Harvey, Horton, Orr, Potvin, Robinson, Chelios, Savard, Stevens, Pronger,Lidstrom would be fixtures on the ice in a tied game six, SC Final less than two minutes to go. Zdeno Chara was pulled, replaced by other defencemen when the winning goal was scored.
http://www.hockey-reference.com/boxs...306240BOS.html

Furthermore in all six SC Final games, Duncan Keith played upwards of three minutes more per game than Chara, in three of the games, totaling five instances other Bruin defencemen played more minutes than Chara.

Going back to the two pairing era, the #1 would easily play a minimum of 32 minutes based on shift rotation during playoff games.

So where is Chara's stamina represented in actual playoff game TOI? Duncan Keith certainly trumps him.
Has much more to do with ability than strength or stamina.

Chara was out there when the tying goal was scored with less than a minute and a half to play. Chara did not play well in the finals at all. Pairing of Bouychuk & Ference was playing better at that point.

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08-18-2013, 12:24 PM
  #79
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The anecdote about Tim Horton getting upset at a vending machine and carrying it down to the lobby and leaving it in protest after the hotel staff wouldn't refund his money for a soda stays with me whenever I think of "strong hockey player".

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08-18-2013, 12:33 PM
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Has much more to do with ability than strength or stamina.
Well, as Chara goes so to did the Bruins to a large extent. Chicago targeted Zdeno, deliberately dumping the puck in on his side, leading the rush right at him, hitting him, wearing him down on top of his already massive minutes. He was a spent force. Somewhat limited abilities highlighted & underscored as his tank emptied, no longer able to execute. Stamina depleted. No energy. Mind willing, body unable to comply.

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08-18-2013, 12:51 PM
  #81
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Super Bowl XXXII

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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Well, as Chara goes so to did the Bruins to a large extent. Chicago targeted Zdeno, deliberately dumping the puck in on his side, leading the rush right at him, hitting him, wearing him down on top of his already massive minutes. He was a spent force. Somewhat limited abilities highlighted & underscored as his tank emptied, no longer able to execute. Stamina depleted. No energy. Mind willing, body unable to comply.
Super Bowl XXXII, Jan. 25,1998. Denver beats Green Bay. Green Bay had a massive defensive line led by Reggie White. Denver simply ran the with a much smaller offensive line leading the way. By the middle of the third quarter the Packer defensive line was gasping for air between plays. Game over.

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08-18-2013, 01:07 PM
  #82
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To be fair, Chara was injured.

It's quite unfair to critique Chara's level endurance and strength solely based on the Chicago series without first knowing the extent of his injury.

For all we know his immense strength/stamina allowed him to continue competing whereas a typical player would have wilted like a flower under similar circumstances.

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08-18-2013, 01:26 PM
  #83
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To be fair, Chara was injured.
Yes I pointed that out in an earlier post on this thread, that Chara was indeed feeling some discomfort & not 100%, nature of injury not revealed. Still though Hanji quite a common practice & not just in hockey, tactically targeting the strongest links or link/player as you know, be it Kharlamov with downright dirty nasty tactics or in this past springs SC Finals, play the opponents best player to death, wear him out & down. He's huge, a Giant, but he's not Superhuman. Tire him, weaknesses will appear, his game breaks down, what was once an advantage becoming a disadvantage.

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08-18-2013, 02:25 PM
  #84
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Yes I pointed that out in an earlier post on this thread, that Chara was indeed feeling some discomfort & not 100%, nature of injury not revealed. Still though Hanji quite a common practice & not just in hockey, tactically targeting the strongest links or link/player as you know, be it Kharlamov with downright dirty nasty tactics or in this past springs SC Finals, play the opponents best player to death, wear him out & down. He's huge, a Giant, but he's not Superhuman. Tire him, weaknesses will appear, his game breaks down, what was once an advantage becoming a disadvantage.
Or rather, Chicago benefited from a unique and rare situation; an injured giant. As recent history has shown us a healthy giant is unlikely to wear down. Chicago's game plan changes.

Again, judging a player's strengths/weaknesses by 1 single series is a little disingenuous.

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08-18-2013, 02:46 PM
  #85
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Playing the Giant

^^^ Only way to judge the situation. Chicago used the same approach against Chris Pronger in 2010 with success - a Stanley Cup victory. Comes with the territory. Darwinism101. Average or above average people adapt. Let's see if giants adapt.

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08-18-2013, 05:09 PM
  #86
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
^^^ Only way to judge the situation. Chicago used the same approach against Chris Pronger in 2010 with success - a Stanley Cup victory. Comes with the territory. Darwinism101. Average or above average people adapt. Let's see if giants adapt.
Adaptation is needed if Chara remains less than 100% with same injury. Otherwise, a healthy Chara, which is 95% of the time, has never worn down physically. Unlike Pronger.

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08-18-2013, 05:23 PM
  #87
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Originally Posted by Hanji View Post
Adaptation is needed if Chara remains less than 100% with same injury. Otherwise, a healthy Chara, which is 95% of the time, has never worn down physically. Unlike Pronger.
Has he ever been really pressed though Hanji, deliberately targeted as the Hawks executed? Seems to me most teams have deliberately tried to avoid his side of the rink as much as possible, rarely taking the body to him. Pushing him to his limits, wearing him down.

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08-19-2013, 02:12 AM
  #88
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The pairing of Serge Savard and Larry Robinson.

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08-19-2013, 03:52 AM
  #89
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
^^^ Suggest looking at the weight difference in some classic boxing heavyweight championship fights. Dempsey vs Willard, Baer vs Carnera, the significantly smaller boxer won handily.

Likewise in hockey. The big man wears down. It is not a one punch or a one shot competition but an endurance test. Players like Zdena Chara wear down faster and take longer to recover. Likewise Gordie Howe. After the age of 26, Gordie Howe and the Red Wings went to five SC Finals but never won. Howe was still a great player, the best in the league, but he could be played since the team pace revolved around his pace.
Primo Carnera was a paper champion whose victories came in fixed fights and Willard was old and shot. There's a maxim in boxing that's older than either of these fights: "a good big man will always beat a good small man." Though there are (extremely rare) exceptions, this was as true then as it is now. It's why the weight divisions became more granular with time. Heck, it's one of the reasons boxing historians hate Floyd Mayweather--the perception that he's always fighting smaller men (taking a welterweight fight with Marquez, a lightweight, when Paul Williams and Sergio Martinez were knocking on the door), and if they're not smaller, they're old or past their prime.

There's nothing magical about Howe being strong for his era. He was bigger than the vast majority of guys he was playing against. Case closed, mystery solved, end of story.

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08-19-2013, 09:38 AM
  #90
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Strength

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Originally Posted by billybudd View Post
Primo Carnera was a paper champion whose victories came in fixed fights and Willard was old and shot. There's a maxim in boxing that's older than either of these fights: "a good big man will always beat a good small man." Though there are (extremely rare) exceptions, this was as true then as it is now. It's why the weight divisions became more granular with time. Heck, it's one of the reasons boxing historians hate Floyd Mayweather--the perception that he's always fighting smaller men (taking a welterweight fight with Marquez, a lightweight, when Paul Williams and Sergio Martinez were knocking on the door), and if they're not smaller, they're old or past their prime.

There's nothing magical about Howe being strong for his era. He was bigger than the vast majority of guys he was playing against. Case closed, mystery solved, end of story.
Jess Willard. Fails to take into account why he managed to get to the point where he was old and shot. Major detail that does not fit your narrative.

Bigger. Again fails to take into account why historically smaller players are stronger than much bigger players. Be it Aurele Joliat at 135lbs, Henri Richard at 160lbs or Martin St.Louis at 175lbs smaller players are much stronger when strength is applied and considered in the context of hockey skills, then their contemporaries who were 30 or more lbs heavier.

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08-19-2013, 09:55 AM
  #91
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I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Johnny Bucyk to this point. The Chief was enormously strong, and hit like a truck.

Both Lionel and Charlie Conacher from the pre-war era are another couple of candidates for strongest players of their time. Lionel was a great all-around athlete and amateur boxing champion, and Charlie was just a man child.

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08-19-2013, 10:02 AM
  #92
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Someone already said it but Datsyuk is really strong for his size. There's video where he dumps Shea Weber like a rag doll.

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08-19-2013, 10:34 AM
  #93
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Strength

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Originally Posted by Sturminator View Post
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Johnny Bucyk to this point. The Chief was enormously strong, and hit like a truck.

Both Lionel and Charlie Conacher from the pre-war era are another couple of candidates for strongest players of their time. Lionel was a great all-around athlete and amateur boxing champion, and Charlie was just a man child.
John Bucyk was bigger than Gordie Howe:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...bucykjo01.html

Not nearly as strong nor with the same stamina. Could not establish or maintain much of a security perimeter. Being a smoker did not help.

A fair number of early NHLers boxed besides Lionel Conacher. - Lynn and Muzz Patrick, Red Kelly, Henri and Maurice Richard, most of the Montreal area players from the SW district - Griffintown, Point, St.Henri into the sixties, Palestre Nationale players into the sixties.

Today - Milan Lucic and Evander Kane have boxing backgrounds, others incorporate boxing training routines into their off ice, off season training routine. Going on since the eighties.

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08-19-2013, 11:22 AM
  #94
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There's a maxim in boxing that's older than either of these fights: "a good big man will always beat a good small man."
And like most boxing cliches it's misleading as hell. Remember Mike Tyson? In his prime he was quite a bit smaller than the vast majority of his opponents. He was also practically always the stronger man in the ring.

Size doesn't equal strength. There's a lot of things that go into a body being strong and size is just one relatively small factor.

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08-19-2013, 11:33 AM
  #95
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And like most boxing cliches it's misleading as hell. Remember Mike Tyson? In his prime he was quite a bit smaller than the vast majority of his opponents. He was also practically always the stronger man in the ring. Size doesn't equal strength. There's a lot of things that go into a body being strong and size is just one relatively small factor.
True. Look at Bruce Lee. Bobby Hull was a very strong player and in terms of today's players Crosby has huge legs and is the strongest player on his skates and hardest to knock off the puck today.

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08-19-2013, 11:34 AM
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True. Look at Bruce Lee. Bobby Hull was a very strong player and in terms of today's players Crosby has huge legs and is the strongest player on his skates and hardest to knock off the puck today.
Boxing was my first sport. Been following it for longer than I have hockey

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08-19-2013, 01:04 PM
  #97
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Jess Willard. Fails to take into account why he managed to get to the point where he was old and shot. Major detail that does not fit your narrative.

Bigger. Again fails to take into account why historically smaller players are stronger than much bigger players. Be it Aurele Joliat at 135lbs, Henri Richard at 160lbs or Martin St.Louis at 175lbs smaller players are much stronger when strength is applied and considered in the context of hockey skills, then their contemporaries who were 30 or more lbs heavier.
You're basing your point on exceptions to the rule. An exceptionally strong smaller player might be stronger than a larger player who only has average strength for his size. Was Henri Richard as strong as Gordie Howe? Why not? Because those are two players who are both strong for their size, in which case the larger man is stronger. Same with a smaller and bigger player who both have average strength for their size...who would usually be stronger?


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08-19-2013, 01:14 PM
  #98
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And like most boxing cliches it's misleading as hell. Remember Mike Tyson? In his prime he was quite a bit smaller than the vast majority of his opponents. He was also practically always the stronger man in the ring.

Size doesn't equal strength. There's a lot of things that go into a body being strong and size is just one relatively small factor.
Cus D'Amato and Tyson's subsequent handlers were notorious for cherrypicking opponents with little head movement and no jab as lambs to the slaughter for Tyson. He beat Holmes, but the second time (and all subsequent times) he fought a taller, heavier guy with reasonable (but not crazy) skill and power who jabbed and moved his head, he got wrecked.

And in any event, Tyson's career is the exception and not relevant, unless you're trying to say everyone smaller than Howe in the 50s and 60s (which is basically everyone) had outlier speed and ferocity compared to everyone else in the league at the time, which is, by definition, impossible.

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08-19-2013, 01:24 PM
  #99
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Jess Willard. Fails to take into account why he managed to get to the point where he was old and shot. Major detail that does not fit your narrative.

Bigger. Again fails to take into account why historically smaller players are stronger than much bigger players. Be it Aurele Joliat at 135lbs, Henri Richard at 160lbs or Martin St.Louis at 175lbs smaller players are much stronger when strength is applied and considered in the context of hockey skills, then their contemporaries who were 30 or more lbs heavier.
I'm sorry, Martin St Louis is stronger than 205 pound men? Since when? He's strong for as small as he is, but his career is not now, nor was it ever, based on overpowering anybody. Insofar as he wins battles, he wins them by using his truly awesome edgework to change directions in tight quarters and make people lose body position.

And I think you've confused your own point, here. Jess Willard got to where he was in large part because he was a big heavyweight, which fits what I'm saying, not what you're saying (you'd have me believe he'd "wear down like Chara," whatever that even means). He lost to a smaller guy in your example partially because Dempsey was very good, but also because Willard was old as Hell fighting a great fighter at his apex.

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08-19-2013, 01:30 PM
  #100
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Peter Forsberg can hold the pucl and have a coffee at the same time. The dude was insanely strong. Mustve been all that raw oatmeal

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