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Orr vs. Gretzky (Vote and Head-to-Head Comparison)

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Old
11-12-2011, 02:28 PM
  #101
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Even standard adjusted points (which ignore how much more offensively the Bruins played than the rest of the league and tend to underrate 80s star players for reasons already mentioned, both factors in Orr's favor) have Gretzky regularly outscoring Orr's best seasons by 40-50.
If Orr was in the 1980's, he would be playing against 5 extra expansion teams every year, you seemed to left that out. Based on adjusted stats, Gretzky was putting up about 30-35 more points on an 80 game schedule, not 50. The Bruins were more offensively because they had the talent to pull it off, in order for a system to work, you need the player! You make it sound like Clarke and Perrault would be challenging orr in the scoring races if there coaches allowed them to take more risks.

Like seriously, bossy had multiple 120+ point seasons in the 1980s and he was only finishing 4th to 6th in scoring. I have a hard time beleiving that Orr wouldnt be 2nd in scoring from 1981-1985. Marcel Dionne had like 3 seasons of over 130 points, yet his scoring was much lower in the 70's, maybe because it was harder to score in that decade.

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11-12-2011, 02:53 PM
  #102
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Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
If Orr was in the 1980's, he would be playing against 5 extra expansion teams every year, you seemed to left that out. Based on adjusted stats, Gretzky was putting up about 30-35 more points on an 80 game schedule, not 50. The Bruins were more offensively because they had the talent to pull it off, in order for a system to work, you need the player! You make it sound like Clarke and Perrault would be challenging orr in the scoring races if there coaches allowed them to take more risks.

Like seriously, bossy had multiple 120+ point seasons in the 1980s and he was only finishing 4th to 6th in scoring. I have a hard time beleiving that Orr wouldnt be 2nd in scoring from 1981-1985. Marcel Dionne had like 3 seasons of over 130 points, yet his scoring was much lower in the 70's, maybe because it was harder to score in that decade.
[/QUOTE]

Gretzky scored between 155-170 "adjusted points" every year for 6 straight years. Orr scored between 117-129 adjusted points in the 5 of 6 years that he didn't miss significant games. Yeah, I guess if you take Orr's best season and the worst one of Gretzky's prime, then it's only 30-35 adjusted points....

And if you don't think the league was more unbalanced in the 1970s than 1980s, then I don't know what to say.

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11-12-2011, 02:56 PM
  #103
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Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
If Orr was in the 1980's, he would be playing against 5 extra expansion teams every year, you seemed to left that out. Based on adjusted stats, Gretzky was putting up about 30-35 more points on an 80 game schedule, not 50. The Bruins were more offensively because they had the talent to pull it off, in order for a system to work, you need the player! You make it sound like Clarke and Perrault would be challenging orr in the scoring races if there coaches allowed them to take more risks.

Like seriously, bossy had multiple 120+ point seasons in the 1980s and he was only finishing 4th to 6th in scoring. I have a hard time beleiving that Orr wouldnt be 2nd in scoring from 1981-1985. Marcel Dionne had like 3 seasons of over 130 points, yet his scoring was much lower in the 70's, maybe because it was harder to score in that decade.
Dionne had 121, 122, 130, 137 in 79-80, and 2 other seasons in the 80's with 135, 127, the difference is almost nothing, that doesn't even account for Orr playing with the Bruins. I'm not what point you're attempting here. Are you saying there was a whopping 7 point difference between Dionne's best in the 70's and the best Dionne in the 80's?

Much lower you say? If you count his first couple years as a rookie, sure. Pretty standard no? 121 points in his 4th season, which was smack dab in the middle of the 70's. Give or take a few points here and there to variance and there is barely any difference at all.

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11-12-2011, 03:04 PM
  #104
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Originally Posted by habsjunkie2 View Post
Dionne had 121, 122, 130, 137 in 79-80, and 2 other seasons in the 80's with 135, 127, the difference is almost nothing, that doesn't even account for Orr playing with the Bruins. I'm not what point you're attempting here. Are you saying there was a whopping 7 point difference between Dionne's best in the 70's and the best Dionne in the 80's?

Much lower you say? If you count his first couple years as a rookie, sure. Pretty standard no? 121 points in his 4th season, which was smack dab in the middle of the 70's. Give or take a few points here and there to variance and there is barely any difference at all.
Who were these bruins teams before arrived, oh yeah they were the joke of the league. You seem pretty convinced that Orr's points was a result of his team playing the most offensive minded system. Ok then, why didnt ratelle and park dominate the league in the mid to late 70's. Oh yeah forgot, Orr was no longer on the team. Its harder to dominate when the guy replacing orr isnt anywhere as good as him.

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11-12-2011, 03:10 PM
  #105
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Gretzky scored between 155-170 "adjusted points" every year for 6 straight years. Orr scored between 117-129 adjusted points in the 5 of 6 years that he didn't miss significant games. Yeah, I guess if you take Orr's best season and the worst one of Gretzky's prime, then it's only 30-35 adjusted points....

And if you don't think the league was more unbalanced in the 1970s than 1980s, then I don't know what to say.[/QUOTE]

What is your hypothesis? That in order for Orr's peak to be every bit as good as Gretzky's, the defenseman would have to get within 10-20 points of the more 'offensive minded' player. I think the two are awefully close, you seem to think Gretzky is clearly the better player between the two.

Also I was being a bit generous in the other examples. When Yzerman was in his peak, he was outscoring bourque by 30-60 points and there were years where lidstrom would be a first team all star or win the norris, but sakic would outscore him by 30-50 points in that same year. Its easier to put up more points if your a center. In these examples, the defenseman is ranked higher, yet being worse offensively by a massive margin. Yzerman scored 45 more points than Ray Bourque in Bourque's greatest season! When Lidstrom won the norris in 2007, Sakic outscored him by 38 points. In both seasons, it was the defenseman that was seen as the superior player.

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11-12-2011, 03:31 PM
  #106
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Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
Gretzky scored between 155-170 "adjusted points" every year for 6 straight years. Orr scored between 117-129 adjusted points in the 5 of 6 years that he didn't miss significant games. Yeah, I guess if you take Orr's best season and the worst one of Gretzky's prime, then it's only 30-35 adjusted points....

And if you don't think the league was more unbalanced in the 1970s than 1980s, then I don't know what to say.
What is your hypothesis? That in order for Orr's peak to be every bit as good as Gretzky's, the defenseman would have to get within 10-20 points of the more 'offensive minded' player. I think the two are awefully close, you seem to think Gretzky is clearly the better player between the two.

Also I was being a bit generous in the other examples. When Yzerman was in his peak, he was outscoring bourque by 30-60 points and there were years where lidstrom would be a first team all star or win the norris, but sakic would outscore him by 30-50 points in that same year. Its easier to put up more points if your a center. In these examples, the defenseman is ranked higher, yet being worse offensively by a massive margin. Yzerman scored 45 more points than Ray Bourque in Bourque's greatest season! When Lidstrom won the norris in 2007, Sakic outscored him by 38 points. In both seasons, it was the defenseman that was seen as the superior player.[/QUOTE]

I said there peak was close, I don't particularly believe Orr's was better, but an argument can be made for sure, however, Prime, Longevity, playoffs, internationals make it far greater to overcome.

Whether I think one has more skill than the other isn't the debate. If were discussing an all time sense, the arguments for Orr over his shortened career simply don't hold up imo. You have to give him credit for things he hadn't done and take away things Gretzky has done. Leading 4 best on best tournaments in scoring kinda takes way from the Gretzky only did things, because it was the 80's argument in my mind, no one else did the crazy things he did.

Orr played in one of the most watered down times in NHL history too.

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11-12-2011, 03:32 PM
  #107
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Gretzky's playoff resume is the best, but i think people are underestimating how good orr was in the playoffs. From 1970 to 1972, he was putting up very high numbers and this was before the wha expansion. In order for orr's 1970 and 1972 conn smythe's to be as good as Gretzky, would he have to average 2.3 points per game?

I think that if you take era and games into context, Orr's 1972 playoff run is the best that a defenseman ever had. I would easily take it over coffey's 37 point run or Leetch's 35 point run. The nhl was not as diluted from 1970-1972 as everyone wants to believe, 1973 and 1974 is when the talent was depleted.

As a matter of fact, from 1970 to 1975, Orr was the scoring leader in the playoffs. Can anyone seriously imagine Bourque or Lidstrom being the top playoff scorer over a 6 year period?

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11-12-2011, 03:36 PM
  #108
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Originally Posted by habsjunkie2 View Post
What is your hypothesis? That in order for Orr's peak to be every bit as good as Gretzky's, the defenseman would have to get within 10-20 points of the more 'offensive minded' player. I think the two are awefully close, you seem to think Gretzky is clearly the better player between the two.

Also I was being a bit generous in the other examples. When Yzerman was in his peak, he was outscoring bourque by 30-60 points and there were years where lidstrom would be a first team all star or win the norris, but sakic would outscore him by 30-50 points in that same year. Its easier to put up more points if your a center. In these examples, the defenseman is ranked higher, yet being worse offensively by a massive margin. Yzerman scored 45 more points than Ray Bourque in Bourque's greatest season! When Lidstrom won the norris in 2007, Sakic outscored him by 38 points. In both seasons, it was the defenseman that was seen as the superior player.
I said there peak was close, I don't particularly believe Orr's was better, but an argument can be made for sure, however, Prime, Longevity, playoffs, internationals make it far greater to overcome.

Whether I think one has more skill than the other isn't the debate. If were discussing an all time sense, the arguments for Orr over his shortened career simply don't hold up imo. You have to give him credit for things he hadn't done and take away things Gretzky has done. Leading 4 best on best tournaments in scoring kinda takes way from the Gretzky only did things, because it was the 80's argument in my mind, no one else did the crazy things he did.

Orr played in one of the most watered down times in NHL history too.[/QUOTE]

Yeah but International tournaments weren't exactly the norm in Orr's time. The only one he participated in, he was the MVP!

Like I said, 1973-1975 was a diluted time. The counter argument to that is, Bobby Orr played against a better crop of goalies.

Also, no one seems to mention that orr played in the 'dynasty habs' era. A dynasty that was long gone by the time gretzky started winning cups. Orr may have played in a weaker era, but from 1968-1971, he was playing a team in the playoffs that are considerably better than any team gretzky had to compete with. Those habs teams would beat the oilers head to head.

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11-12-2011, 03:37 PM
  #109
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I'm not sure what happened with the quotes, but everything is screwy now.

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11-12-2011, 03:39 PM
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Yeah, them Dynasty Islanders were pretty easy to contend with.

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11-12-2011, 03:48 PM
  #111
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Yeah, them Dynasty Islanders were pretty easy to contend with.
Yeah those islanders sure are as good as a team that had 3 hall of famers on defense, offensive depth on all 3 lines, the best checkers in the league, and then goalies that first consisted of worsley/vachon and then dryden.

Orr only won 2 cups because he was eliminated by the habs 3 times in the semi-finals, a team that was better than the islanders, i have no hesitation to say that.

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11-12-2011, 04:15 PM
  #112
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Yeah those islanders sure are as good as a team that had 3 hall of famers on defense, offensive depth on all 3 lines, the best checkers in the league, and then goalies that first consisted of worsley/vachon and then dryden.

Orr only won 2 cups because he was eliminated by the habs 3 times in the semi-finals, a team that was better than the islanders, i have no hesitation to say that.
Never said they were, but they were a pretty damn good team in their own right. Bringing up the fact Orr played against dynasties is rather pointless, since so did gretzky, whether one team was somewhat better than other doesn't mean a whole lot.

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11-12-2011, 04:27 PM
  #113
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Never said they were, but they were a pretty damn good team in their own right. Bringing up the fact Orr played against dynasties is rather pointless, since so did gretzky, whether one team was somewhat better than other doesn't mean a whole lot.
No it helps explain why Hull and Mikita only have 1 cup, why Howe never won a cup after 1955, why Orr only has two. The dynasty habs stopped those players from winning more cups, the greatest dynasty ever.

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11-12-2011, 07:40 PM
  #114
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No it helps explain why Hull and Mikita only have 1 cup, why Howe never won a cup after 1955, why Orr only has two. The dynasty habs stopped those players from winning more cups, the greatest dynasty ever.
I've never used a cup argument, where are you going here?

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11-12-2011, 08:34 PM
  #115
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No it helps explain why Hull and Mikita only have 1 cup, why Howe never won a cup after 1955, why Orr only has two. The dynasty habs stopped those players from winning more cups, the greatest dynasty ever.
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Yeah those islanders sure are as good as a team that had 3 hall of famers on defense, offensive depth on all 3 lines, the best checkers in the league, and then goalies that first consisted of worsley/vachon and then dryden.

Orr only won 2 cups because he was eliminated by the habs 3 times in the semi-finals, a team that was better than the islanders, i have no hesitation to say that.
The Habs stopped the Bruins 3 times. The Bruins also lost to the Rangers, Flyers and the Black Hawks.

Yes, I saw the YouTube clip. All three lines did score while #4 was watching. The Isles had enough scorers to fill three lines too, were known for their discipline of defense, and Billy Smith was in his prime.

Minor point, nut the Bruins got eliminated in the first round twice by the Habs and semis once. Not that it matters in the grand scheme of things.

Those Habs teams were not invulnerable. In 1971 they went to 7 against Boston AND Chicago that year. A better performace from Orr could have beat them. In addition to that clip of Game 2, there's this one about Game 7. The Habs were very good, but also very beatable.

Also I don't think it's a great pro-Orr argument to point out that he never could beat the Habs and only won Cups when the Habs weren't in his way.

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Who were these bruins teams before arrived, oh yeah they were the joke of the league. You seem pretty convinced that Orr's points was a result of his team playing the most offensive minded system. Ok then, why didnt ratelle and park dominate the league in the mid to late 70's. Oh yeah forgot, Orr was no longer on the team. Its harder to dominate when the guy replacing orr isnt anywhere as good as him.
Actually the Bruins did exactly the same. They were a dynamite regular season team that got trounced by the Habs in the playoffs. Orr would find that scenario fairly familiar. In 79 they got closer to beating Montreal than any Orr team ever did, and those Habs were even better.

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Yeah but International tournaments weren't exactly the norm in Orr's time. The only one he participated in, he was the MVP!
From 72 going forward these happened every 4 years, give or take.
Summit Series 72
Canada Cup 76
Canada Cup 81
Canada Cup 84
Canada Cup 87
Canada Cup 91
World Cup 96

It's a shame Orr wasn't healthy enough to play in 72 or 81. But it's a point for Gretzky that he had the health, talent, and longevity to lead the Canada Cup in scoring four times as opposed to only once.

If he had health and a 20 year career like Gretzky did, he would have had the chance to play in three by age 31, as opposed to Gretzky who played in his 4th at age 31.

But that never happened. Regardless of whether or not Orr had a chance to accomplish these things and the reasons why he did not do so, the point remains that Wayne Gretzky did what Wayne Gretzky did and Bobby Orr woulda, coulda, shoulda - but didn't.

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11-12-2011, 09:35 PM
  #116
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The Habs stopped the Bruins 3 times. The Bruins also lost to the Rangers, Flyers and the Black Hawks.

Yes, I saw the YouTube clip. All three lines did score while #4 was watching. The Isles had enough scorers to fill three lines too, were known for their discipline of defense, and Billy Smith was in his prime.

Minor point, nut the Bruins got eliminated in the first round twice by the Habs and semis once. Not that it matters in the grand scheme of things.

Those Habs teams were not invulnerable. In 1971 they went to 7 against Boston AND Chicago that year. A better performace from Orr could have beat them. In addition to that clip of Game 2, there's this one about Game 7. The Habs were very good, but also very beatable.

Also I don't think it's a great pro-Orr argument to point out that he never could beat the Habs and only won Cups when the Habs weren't in his way.

Gretzky fanboys should be happy that bobby orr didnt have a long career, if bourque and lidstrom maintained longevity, i cant imagine orr falling off the map. Then again, gretzky isnt the longevity king of hockey either, Gordie Howe is. I just love when people call orr a "coulda, woulda, shoulda". Yeah the best defenseman ever is a 'what could have been', that makes alot of sense.



Actually the Bruins did exactly the same. They were a dynamite regular season team that got trounced by the Habs in the playoffs. Orr would find that scenario fairly familiar. In 79 they got closer to beating Montreal than any Orr team ever did, and those Habs were even better.



From 72 going forward these happened every 4 years, give or take.
Summit Series 72
Canada Cup 76
Canada Cup 81
Canada Cup 84
Canada Cup 87
Canada Cup 91
World Cup 96

It's a shame Orr wasn't healthy enough to play in 72 or 81. But it's a point for Gretzky that he had the health, talent, and longevity to lead the Canada Cup in scoring four times as opposed to only once.

If he had health and a 20 year career like Gretzky did, he would have had the chance to play in three by age 31, as opposed to Gretzky who played in his 4th at age 31.

But that never happened. Regardless of whether or not Orr had a chance to accomplish these things and the reasons why he did not do so, the point remains that Wayne Gretzky did what Wayne Gretzky did and Bobby Orr woulda, coulda, shoulda - but didn't.
First of all, the arguments you are using doesnt make sense. Orr only lost to elite teams and he has 2 cups, Gretzky has 4 because the habs dynasty was long gone by the time he hit his prime. You keep bashing orr for getting eliminated by the habs, well the islanders werent beating them either, niether were the oilers.

You keep praising gretzky for his international play. There werent any international tournaments during Orr's first 6 seasons, when he was actually in his prime. The one time he did play, he was the mvp. If there were best on best tournaments between 67-72, im sure howe, orr, hull would all have done fine. Its not thier fault that these tournaments didnt exist in thier prime. Gretzky was 20 and 23 during the first two canada cups that he competed in, orr wasnt given the opportunity to compete in any tournament at those respective ages, so international tournaments are really an irrelevant comparison.

No the bruins did not do exactly the same, park and ratelle were scoring significantly fewer amount of points because neither has orr's talents.

Gretzky fanboys should be happy that bobby orr didnt have a long career, if bourque and lidstrom maintained longevity, i cant imagine orr falling off the map. Then again, gretzky isnt the longevity king of hockey either, Gordie Howe is. I just love when people call orr a "coulda, woulda, shoulda". Yeah the best defenseman ever is a 'what could have been', that makes alot of sense.


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11-12-2011, 10:34 PM
  #117
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I'm sure he was ashamed to the score the goal in that clip, lol.
Yeah, and after being "knocked out" by a glove to the helmet! Not only was he amazingly talented, but he apparently had great recuperative powers also

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11-12-2011, 11:28 PM
  #118
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First of all, the arguments you are using doesnt make sense. Orr only lost to elite teams and he has 2 cups, Gretzky has 4 because the habs dynasty was long gone by the time he hit his prime. You keep bashing orr for getting eliminated by the habs, well the islanders werent beating them either, niether were the oilers.

You keep praising gretzky for his international play. There werent any international tournaments during Orr's first 6 seasons, when he was actually in his prime. The one time he did play, he was the mvp. If there were best on best tournaments between 67-72, im sure howe, orr, hull would all have done fine. Its not thier fault that these tournaments didnt exist in thier prime. Gretzky was 20 and 23 during the first two canada cups that he competed in, orr wasnt given the opportunity to compete in any tournament at those respective ages, so international tournaments are really an irrelevant comparison.

No the bruins did not do exactly the same, park and ratelle were scoring significantly fewer amount of points because neither has orr's talents.

Gretzky fanboys should be happy that bobby orr didnt have a long career, if bourque and lidstrom maintained longevity, i cant imagine orr falling off the map. Then again, gretzky isnt the longevity king of hockey either, Gordie Howe is. I just love when people call orr a "coulda, woulda, shoulda". Yeah the best defenseman ever is a 'what could have been', that makes alot of sense.
It's wrong to demean Orr's post-season play, I think it is apparent he was great. The better approach is just to focus on the fact Gretzky was better - probably the best ever in the playoffs and international play - and that is still better than what Orr 'could' have done in different circumstances. I think you have even stated as much.

I put a lot of weight on post-season play, and that definitely is included in peak. Ignoring Cup-counting, Gretzky was flat-out better, and more often. I just don't think that Orr was •that• much of a better player during his regular season peak to offset the distinct edges Gretzky has in the playoffs and prime, plus the huge edge in career.

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11-13-2011, 12:42 AM
  #119
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It's wrong to demean Orr's post-season play, I think it is apparent he was great. The better approach is just to focus on the fact Gretzky was better - probably the best ever in the playoffs and international play - and that is still better than what Orr 'could' have done in different circumstances. I think you have even stated as much.

I put a lot of weight on post-season play, and that definitely is included in peak. Ignoring Cup-counting, Gretzky was flat-out better, and more often. I just don't think that Orr was •that• much of a better player during his regular season peak to offset the distinct edges Gretzky has in the playoffs and prime, plus the huge edge in career.
What you wrote is all true, but what will always stick out to me about Orr's peak is that he won an art ross by a big gap, while being named by the coaches as best DEFENSIVE DEFENCEMAN, the orr from 1970-72 was as complete of a player as there can be. Maybe gretzky could have been a selke candidate, but he never showed it.

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11-13-2011, 01:50 AM
  #120
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First of all, the arguments you are using doesnt make sense. Orr only lost to elite teams and he has 2 cups, Gretzky has 4 because the habs dynasty was long gone by the time he hit his prime. You keep bashing orr for getting eliminated by the habs, well the islanders werent beating them either, niether were the oilers.

You keep praising gretzky for his international play. There werent any international tournaments during Orr's first 6 seasons, when he was actually in his prime. The one time he did play, he was the mvp. If there were best on best tournaments between 67-72, im sure howe, orr, hull would all have done fine. Its not thier fault that these tournaments didnt exist in thier prime.

No the bruins did not do exactly the same, park and ratelle were scoring significantly fewer amount of points because neither has orr's talents.
Year Boston Points % Final Opponent % Result Round Record
1967 0.314
1968 0.568 0.635 Loss to Habs in 4 0-1
1969 0.658 0.678 Loss to Habs in 6 1-1
1970 0.651 0.566 CUP - Swept Blues 3-0
1971 0.776 0.622 Loss to Habs in 7 0-1
1972 0.763 0.699 CUP - NYR in 6 3-0
1973 0.686 0.654 Loss to NYR in 5 0-1
1974 0.724 0.718 Loss to Flyers in 6 2-1
1975 0.588 0.513 Loss to Chicago in 3 0-1
Total 0.677 0.636 9-6

If the 71 Black Hawks could take them to 7, the 80s Oilers and Isles would have a fair shot at beating the Habs, especially before Lafleur, Robinson, and Lapointe got there.

As for Orr only losing to elite teams, who else do you expect to find in the playoffs? Unlike the 72 Bruins, most Cup winners have to knock out one of the elite teams on their way to a championship. Or the 72 Rangers can do it for them. Most of the time though, Orr was ON the elite team.

Boston never beat a team that had a better record than them (granted there were less opportunities for that at their peak) and often lost to teams with worse records. The Bruins weren't the underdogs, they were the Goliaths who should have built a dynasty but just couldn't pull it off in the playoffs.

The 73 Rangers were a good team, but had a lesser record than Boston and were known for collapsing in the playoffs. The 74 Flyers weren't a dynasty, but were clearly very good, even if they had a lesser record than Boston. The 75 Hawks were neither elite nor were they dynastic. They were the 7th best team in their conference when 6 from each made the playoffs. There's no shame in losing to the Flyers, and upsets do happen. Orr played very well most of the time. But for these years, in absolutely no way shape or form were the Bruins prevented from winning a Cup by a Habs "dynasty" that won 2 of 6 Cups in Orr's prime.

If league scoring is normalized at 6.85 TG/G, which was the level with Orr's last full season in Boston, the next few years look like this for Boston's goal scoring:
74-75: 334 w/ Orr
75-76: 314 partially w/ Orr
76-77: 322 no Orr
77-78: 346 no Orr

Ratelle and Park didn't match individual scoring totals of Orr and Espo, but with 11 20-goal scorers in 77-78, the Bruins remained one of the top 5 offenses in the NHL for years. Either the Bruins got just as many chances as they did with Orr, or they managed to make their shots more accurate than Orr's 9% shooting percentage.

The loss of Espo was huge as well. When he lost Espo in the 73 playoffs, Orr vanished from the scoresheet (2 pts in 5 games, both in Game 5), so lesser Bruins couldn't have had an easy time of it. In any event, those 77 and 78 Boston teams lost in the Finals to the Habs while scoring a similar number of goals and registering a similar number of wins, so it's not exactly night and day, is it?

If you want to argue for Bobby Orr being the best d-man ever, you can go ahead and argue that point. I wouldn't argue very hard against that.

However, if you want to argue that Bobby Orr is better than Wayne Gretzky, well you just moved the goalposts by a lot and being the best at something is no longer good enough, it's how many miles are between you and the next guy. That's where Orr's playoff performance comes into question, when you decide that he needs to stack up against a guy who posted a 17-30-47,+28 line.

In any other debate Orr had a great Canada Cup in 76, and its a feather in his cap.

In this debate it can be dismissed because he only did it once. Besides 9 pts in 7 games is kind of average - Denis Potvin did it too. Scoring was higher in the 76 Canada Cup for the tournament and for Team Canada in 76 (4.71 GPG) than it was in 1987 (4.55 GPG). Even still Gretzky had 21 points in 9 games. Canada had 4.625 GPG in 1984 and Gretzky's 12 points in 8 games is still easily superior to Orr. In 1991 Canada was down to 4.125 GPG and Gretzky still had 12 points in 7 games, leading the tournament.

Like with Lemieux comparisons, Gretzky's third best is better than Orr's very best. And Orr doesn't have the longevity to make up ground, Gretzky has that too.

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Old
11-13-2011, 03:52 AM
  #121
ushvinder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
Year Boston Points % Final Opponent % Result Round Record
1967 0.314
1968 0.568 0.635 Loss to Habs in 4 0-1
1969 0.658 0.678 Loss to Habs in 6 1-1
1970 0.651 0.566 CUP - Swept Blues 3-0
1971 0.776 0.622 Loss to Habs in 7 0-1
1972 0.763 0.699 CUP - NYR in 6 3-0
1973 0.686 0.654 Loss to NYR in 5 0-1
1974 0.724 0.718 Loss to Flyers in 6 2-1
1975 0.588 0.513 Loss to Chicago in 3 0-1
Total 0.677 0.636 9-6

If the 71 Black Hawks could take them to 7, the 80s Oilers and Isles would have a fair shot at beating the Habs, especially before Lafleur, Robinson, and Lapointe got there.

As for Orr only losing to elite teams, who else do you expect to find in the playoffs? Unlike the 72 Bruins, most Cup winners have to knock out one of the elite teams on their way to a championship. Or the 72 Rangers can do it for them. Most of the time though, Orr was ON the elite team.

Boston never beat a team that had a better record than them (granted there were less opportunities for that at their peak) and often lost to teams with worse records. The Bruins weren't the underdogs, they were the Goliaths who should have built a dynasty but just couldn't pull it off in the playoffs.

The 73 Rangers were a good team, but had a lesser record than Boston and were known for collapsing in the playoffs. The 74 Flyers weren't a dynasty, but were clearly very good, even if they had a lesser record than Boston. The 75 Hawks were neither elite nor were they dynastic. They were the 7th best team in their conference when 6 from each made the playoffs. There's no shame in losing to the Flyers, and upsets do happen. Orr played very well most of the time. But for these years, in absolutely no way shape or form were the Bruins prevented from winning a Cup by a Habs "dynasty" that won 2 of 6 Cups in Orr's prime.

If league scoring is normalized at 6.85 TG/G, which was the level with Orr's last full season in Boston, the next few years look like this for Boston's goal scoring:
74-75: 334 w/ Orr
75-76: 314 partially w/ Orr
76-77: 322 no Orr
77-78: 346 no Orr

Ratelle and Park didn't match individual scoring totals of Orr and Espo, but with 11 20-goal scorers in 77-78, the Bruins remained one of the top 5 offenses in the NHL for years. Either the Bruins got just as many chances as they did with Orr, or they managed to make their shots more accurate than Orr's 9% shooting percentage.

The loss of Espo was huge as well. When he lost Espo in the 73 playoffs, Orr vanished from the scoresheet (2 pts in 5 games, both in Game 5), so lesser Bruins couldn't have had an easy time of it. In any event, those 77 and 78 Boston teams lost in the Finals to the Habs while scoring a similar number of goals and registering a similar number of wins, so it's not exactly night and day, is it?

If you want to argue for Bobby Orr being the best d-man ever, you can go ahead and argue that point. I wouldn't argue very hard against that.

However, if you want to argue that Bobby Orr is better than Wayne Gretzky, well you just moved the goalposts by a lot and being the best at something is no longer good enough, it's how many miles are between you and the next guy. That's where Orr's playoff performance comes into question, when you decide that he needs to stack up against a guy who posted a 17-30-47,+28 line.

In any other debate Orr had a great Canada Cup in 76, and its a feather in his cap.

In this debate it can be dismissed because he only did it once. Besides 9 pts in 7 games is kind of average - Denis Potvin did it too. Scoring was higher in the 76 Canada Cup for the tournament and for Team Canada in 76 (4.71 GPG) than it was in 1987 (4.55 GPG). Even still Gretzky had 21 points in 9 games. Canada had 4.625 GPG in 1984 and Gretzky's 12 points in 8 games is still easily superior to Orr. In 1991 Canada was down to 4.125 GPG and Gretzky still had 12 points in 7 games, leading the tournament.

Like with Lemieux comparisons, Gretzky's third best is better than Orr's very best. And Orr doesn't have the longevity to make up ground, Gretzky has that too.
12 points in 8 games is easily superior to 9 points in 7 games, do you like to ignore the overall contribution a defenseman makes?

I argue Orr as better than Gretzky because Wayne would have games where he would rack up 3 assists and look invisible the entire game. Orr would dominate games whether the score was 8-0 or 2-1.

I am fully convinced that Boston would have won the cup in 1968, 1969 and a 50/50 shot in 1971, if the dynasty habs were not in the league. In my opinion, gretzky benefitted from the fact that the dynasty habs were not around in his career. I am of the opinion that the 1968-1971 habs are better than any team gretzky had to deal with.

I also think Orr at his best is the better player because in my opinion he is more versatile. He would make a better forward than gretzky would make as a defenseman. As a matter of fact, orr would probably have more art rosses and harts if he chose to be a center and only play half the rink. I am not going to punish him for that because he did the opposite and revolutionized the game from defense and made coaches change thier systems in the process.

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Old
11-13-2011, 04:06 AM
  #122
TheDevilMadeMe
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The Habs had a dynasty in the late 60s and another in the late 70s. There was no Habs dynasty in the early 70s - the team was still great, but was in a state of transition.

Losing to an (on paper) inferior Montreal team is definitely a point against Orr.

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Old
11-13-2011, 07:35 AM
  #123
Up the Irons
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Orr 'could have'
Gretzky did.

99

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Old
11-13-2011, 07:40 AM
  #124
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Originally Posted by BobbyAwe View Post
Yeah, and after being "knocked out" by a glove to the helmet! Not only was he amazingly talented, but he apparently had great recuperative powers also
Whatever, it shows you have no arguments against him if that is all you got.

He scored the tying goal, lol. Nice clip BTW.

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Old
11-13-2011, 10:47 AM
  #125
shazariahl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
Year Boston Points % Final Opponent % Result Round Record
1967 0.314
1968 0.568 0.635 Loss to Habs in 4 0-1
1969 0.658 0.678 Loss to Habs in 6 1-1
1970 0.651 0.566 CUP - Swept Blues 3-0
1971 0.776 0.622 Loss to Habs in 7 0-1
1972 0.763 0.699 CUP - NYR in 6 3-0
1973 0.686 0.654 Loss to NYR in 5 0-1
1974 0.724 0.718 Loss to Flyers in 6 2-1
1975 0.588 0.513 Loss to Chicago in 3 0-1
Total 0.677 0.636 9-6

If the 71 Black Hawks could take them to 7, the 80s Oilers and Isles would have a fair shot at beating the Habs, especially before Lafleur, Robinson, and Lapointe got there.

As for Orr only losing to elite teams, who else do you expect to find in the playoffs? Unlike the 72 Bruins, most Cup winners have to knock out one of the elite teams on their way to a championship. Or the 72 Rangers can do it for them. Most of the time though, Orr was ON the elite team.

Boston never beat a team that had a better record than them (granted there were less opportunities for that at their peak) and often lost to teams with worse records. The Bruins weren't the underdogs, they were the Goliaths who should have built a dynasty but just couldn't pull it off in the playoffs.

The 73 Rangers were a good team, but had a lesser record than Boston and were known for collapsing in the playoffs. The 74 Flyers weren't a dynasty, but were clearly very good, even if they had a lesser record than Boston. The 75 Hawks were neither elite nor were they dynastic. They were the 7th best team in their conference when 6 from each made the playoffs. There's no shame in losing to the Flyers, and upsets do happen. Orr played very well most of the time. But for these years, in absolutely no way shape or form were the Bruins prevented from winning a Cup by a Habs "dynasty" that won 2 of 6 Cups in Orr's prime.

If league scoring is normalized at 6.85 TG/G, which was the level with Orr's last full season in Boston, the next few years look like this for Boston's goal scoring:
74-75: 334 w/ Orr
75-76: 314 partially w/ Orr
76-77: 322 no Orr
77-78: 346 no Orr

Ratelle and Park didn't match individual scoring totals of Orr and Espo, but with 11 20-goal scorers in 77-78, the Bruins remained one of the top 5 offenses in the NHL for years. Either the Bruins got just as many chances as they did with Orr, or they managed to make their shots more accurate than Orr's 9% shooting percentage.

The loss of Espo was huge as well. When he lost Espo in the 73 playoffs, Orr vanished from the scoresheet (2 pts in 5 games, both in Game 5), so lesser Bruins couldn't have had an easy time of it. In any event, those 77 and 78 Boston teams lost in the Finals to the Habs while scoring a similar number of goals and registering a similar number of wins, so it's not exactly night and day, is it?

If you want to argue for Bobby Orr being the best d-man ever, you can go ahead and argue that point. I wouldn't argue very hard against that.

However, if you want to argue that Bobby Orr is better than Wayne Gretzky, well you just moved the goalposts by a lot and being the best at something is no longer good enough, it's how many miles are between you and the next guy. That's where Orr's playoff performance comes into question, when you decide that he needs to stack up against a guy who posted a 17-30-47,+28 line.

In any other debate Orr had a great Canada Cup in 76, and its a feather in his cap.

In this debate it can be dismissed because he only did it once. Besides 9 pts in 7 games is kind of average - Denis Potvin did it too. Scoring was higher in the 76 Canada Cup for the tournament and for Team Canada in 76 (4.71 GPG) than it was in 1987 (4.55 GPG). Even still Gretzky had 21 points in 9 games. Canada had 4.625 GPG in 1984 and Gretzky's 12 points in 8 games is still easily superior to Orr. In 1991 Canada was down to 4.125 GPG and Gretzky still had 12 points in 7 games, leading the tournament.

Like with Lemieux comparisons, Gretzky's third best is better than Orr's very best. And Orr doesn't have the longevity to make up ground, Gretzky has that too.
Excellent post.

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