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Rod Langway "The Secretary of Defense"

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Old
01-18-2012, 11:59 AM
  #51
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Originally Posted by Nalyd Psycho View Post
Here's a question. In 83 was Langway more deserving of his Hart votes than his Norris votes?

If you ignore the individual stats, you'd be hard pressed to find a team change so overwhelmingly as the Caps did. And while yes other players were involved, Langway was the teams leader in both the locker room and on the ice.
Good point. Under the standards "old days" when Hart really went to most valuable player, I could see Langway a viable Hart runner up, but only a 2nd Team All Star.

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01-18-2012, 12:07 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by Zauper View Post

Howe also had his defensive partner to protect him so that he could play more aggressively (and so that he wouldn't get run). From an article on the Spectrum:

Does this mean that all of his own success offensively is "his"? How much does he "owe" to Cocher for getting him the space he needed to do his work?
Cocher was Glen Cochrane. Great fighter, but much more of a film than a good hockey player.

1,500+ PIMs and 89 points in his career. Attributing any of Howe's success to Cochrane is laughable.

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01-18-2012, 12:45 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan View Post
Cocher was Glen Cochrane. Great fighter, but much more of a film than a good hockey player.

1,500+ PIMs and 89 points in his career. Attributing any of Howe's success to Cochrane is laughable.
I'll respond more later, but Howe attributes his success to Cochrane (who was +42 in that first season with Howe, in spite of not putting up gaudy point totals himself...).

Again:
Quote:
In addition to myself, the team had just traded for Brad McCrimmon from Boston, added one of the best international defensemen in Miroslav Dvorak from Czechoslovakia, and there were already other quality players on defense like Brad Marsh and Glen Cochrane.

Cagey paired me with Cochrane. Everybody knows of Glen as a fighter – because he loved to do it, and he was good at it – but he was an underrated defenseman. We clicked together as a pairing right away, and he saved me a lot of wear and tear. I used to get run all the time when I was with the Whalers. In Philly, “Cocher” took it personally if someone hit me.

I’ll never forget when we had our preseason meetings with McCammon, and Cagey calls Cocher and me into his office.

“Mark, your job is to move the puck, start the rush, and run the power play,” he said. “Cocher, you make sure no one touches him.”

We left the office and Glen put this big paw on my shoulder. He was several inches taller than me and had hands like meat hooks, so I almost felt like I was his little brother, even though I’m three years older than him.

“Don’t worry, no one’s gonna lay a hand on you,” he said.

He meant it, too. Cocher used to get steamed if I’d get run. Before too long, other teams started to give me more space. I got the credit, but Cocher was a big part of my success.
Source: http://flyers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=436225
Quote:
"I got all the credit, but Glen was a very good partner and we had strong chemistry together. I never had to worry about where he was on the ice. The only way a defense pairing works is if both partners can work together. During the course of my career, I worked with some talented players but things sometimes just didn't click for whatever reason. I was fortunate in that regard with my partners in Philly. I didn't carry Glen. He pulled his own weight in our partnership," says Howe.
Source: http://flyers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=435643


Question: What kind of criteria did the coaches tend to use when voting for most valuable player? Was it the same sort of thought as the Hart voting?

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01-18-2012, 01:00 PM
  #54
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I'm well aware of what's in that book, I've read it multiple times.

That's Howe deflecting credit, like most hockey players are prone to do.

I watched the games as well, every one. I'm not just relying on stats or some quotes I found in a book.

Look what happened Cochrane after be stopped playing with Howe, did he ever have another season like that ??

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01-18-2012, 03:00 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe View Post
In addition to Langway, the Caps added many other good defensive players in the early eighties, plus a couple of good goalies. Houston, Vietch, Jarvis, Stevens, Duschesne, Engblom, Laughlin, Carpenter, Riggin and Jensen also contributed to vast improvement in Goals Against for the Caps. Langway was the leader, no doubt, but it was a team effort, not just one man.

In addition, while the caps were always considered a bad team for much of their existence to that point but with the accumulation of a lot of good young talent were due for a bump in the standings. Getting Langway, Engblom (who turned into Murphy) and Jarvis, sped up the process, but in was inevitable they were going to see an improvement, with or without the trade with the Habs.
Who was out on the ice for the Caps the most, in every situation. There is your answer.

One can always fall back on the - "but it is a team game" meme -for that is true. But it's misguided to equate the likes of Duschene (a good player, rest his soul, but a complimentary forward), Houston and Veitch in the same discussion as Langway. His impact dwarfed theirs and all others on that team.

I'd think you know better. But your last sentence suggests otherwsie in this case. To minimize in any way the Habs trade that brought them Langway+ is whitewashing history. Bigtime.

That trade was nothing less than a seachange for that franchise.

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01-18-2012, 03:12 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by Trottier View Post
Who was out on the ice for the Caps the most, in every situation. There is your answer.

One can always fall back on the - "but it is a team game" meme -for that is true. But it's misguided to equate the likes of Duschene (a good player, rest his soul, but a complimentary forward), Houston and Veitch in the same discussion as Langway. His impact dwarfed theirs and all others on that team.

I'd think you know better. But your last sentence suggests otherwsie in this case. To minimize in any way the Habs trade that brought them Langway+ is whitewashing history. Bigtime.

That trade was nothing less than a seachange for that franchise.
Exactly. Obviously Langway stood out to a huge degree. A degree that isn't going to be measured by looking back at the stats (which is how the majority of people who dis his Norris wins have to go on).
It wasn't just the NHL either, don't forget about his all-star nomination from the '84 Canada Cup. I don't care how you cut it, that's pretty impressive for a defense only D-man.

I remember him well and the best way I can put it is that he had the finesse and positioning of Lidstrom combined with the physicality and intimidation of a mid-00's playoff Pronger.

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01-18-2012, 03:38 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Exactly. Obviously Langway stood out to a huge degree. A degree that isn't going to be measured by looking back at the stats (which is how the majority of people who dis his Norris wins have to go on).
It wasn't just the NHL either, don't forget about his all-star nomination from the '84 Canada Cup. I don't care how you cut it, that's pretty impressive for a defense only D-man.

I remember him well and the best way I can put it is that he had the finesse and positioning of Lidstrom combined with the physicality and intimidation of a mid-00's playoff Pronger.
I wouldn't call him mean or intimidating. He was big, and a good skater, and took advantage of the rules at the time, clutching and grabbing etc.

He wad never a player that you feared physically like a Stevens, Pronger, Chelios or even Potvin.

He also failed to elevate his game in April and May once he moved to Washington. Despite many very good regulations seasons, they could never get out of the Patrick Division.

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01-18-2012, 03:50 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Exactly. Obviously Langway stood out to a huge degree. A degree that isn't going to be measured by looking back at the stats (which is how the majority of people who dis his Norris wins have to go on).
It wasn't just the NHL either, don't forget about his all-star nomination from the '84 Canada Cup. I don't care how you cut it, that's pretty impressive for a defense only D-man.

I remember him well and the best way I can put it is that he had the finesse and positioning of Lidstrom combined with the physicality and intimidation of a mid-00's playoff Pronger.
Langway had Lidstrom-like finesse? I've never heard that one before. I highly doubt he had the hand-eye coordination or passing skills of Lidstrom. How did their finesse games compare when it came to defending? You'd think if Langway was on that level it would translate into his offensive game more...you know, like it did for Lidstrom.

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01-18-2012, 03:52 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
Langway had Lidstrom-like finesse? I've never heard that one before. I highly doubt he had the hand-eye coordination or passing skills of Lidstrom. How did their finesse games compare when it came to defending? You'd think if Langway was on that level it would translate into his offensive game more...you know, like it did for Lidstrom.
Obviously I was talking about Langway's ability to stickcheck and separate players from the puck without always having to be physical.

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01-18-2012, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan View Post
I wouldn't call him mean or intimidating. He was big, and a good skater, and took advantage of the rules at the time, clutching and grabbing etc.

He wad never a player that you feared physically like a Stevens, Pronger, Chelios or even Potvin.
Actually, he was pretty feared physically. He was a very hard and heavy hitter. He just wasn't nearly as mean as those guys.

Quote:
He also failed to elevate his game in April and May once he moved to Washington. Despite many very good regulations seasons, they could never get out of the Patrick Division.

Errr...may want to take a look at who the Caps lost to 3 years straight from '83-'85

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01-18-2012, 03:59 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by Trottier View Post
Who was out on the ice for the Caps the most, in every situation. There is your answer.

One can always fall back on the - "but it is a team game" meme -for that is true. But it's misguided to equate the likes of Duschene (a good player, rest his soul, but a complimentary forward), Houston and Veitch in the same discussion as Langway. His impact dwarfed theirs and all others on that team.

I'd think you know better. But your last sentence suggests otherwsie in this case. To minimize in any way the Habs trade that brought them Langway+ is whitewashing history. Bigtime.

That trade was nothing less than a seachange for that franchise.
Misquote me all you like, but I listed more than just those three players. Obviously Langway was the leader on that team. I never said otherwise in any of my posts on the subject. I just said Washington was building a really nice nucleus and the trade sped up the process of becoming a playoff team. It was inevitable they were going to become a playoff team with the nucleus they were building.

BTW Duchesne was getting Selke votes. He was much more than a complimentary player. Same with guys like Christian, Jarvis, Gould ect. That team played terrific team defense for the era. The GA drop wasn't all Langway. There were alot of factors. Put Langway on the Pens prior to Mario and you certainly don't see the same effect.

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01-18-2012, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Exactly. Obviously Langway stood out to a huge degree. A degree that isn't going to be measured by looking back at the stats (which is how the majority of people who dis his Norris wins have to go on).
It wasn't just the NHL either, don't forget about his all-star nomination from the '84 Canada Cup. I don't care how you cut it, that's pretty impressive for a defense only D-man.

I remember him well and the best way I can put it is that he had the finesse and positioning of Lidstrom combined with the physicality and intimidation of a mid-00's playoff Pronger.
I saw him as very similar to a peak Norris trophy winning Pronger, with less intimidation and less offense, but smarter positional play. Both of them were octopusses in the defensive zone at their best. From that era, I think Mark Howe and Borje Salming were more similar to Lidstrom.

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01-18-2012, 04:49 PM
  #63
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Actually, he was pretty feared physically. He was a very hard and heavy hitter. He just wasn't nearly as mean as those guys.
Langway was 5th in the 1984 coach's poll for best bodychecker, in addition to being 1st for best defensive defenseman.

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01-18-2012, 06:55 PM
  #64
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In Winnipeg, Randy Carlyle was known as the Minister of Defense. Only in hockey can a secretary be better than a minister.

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01-18-2012, 07:05 PM
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In Winnipeg, Randy Carlyle was known as the Minister of Defense. Only in hockey can a secretary be better than a minister.
Secretary is the American version of Minister.

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01-18-2012, 07:22 PM
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Secretary is the American version of Minister.
...he played in Washington DC...I would of thought the SecDef reverence would of come more easily for some

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01-18-2012, 08:52 PM
  #67
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Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe View Post
Misquote me all you like, but I listed more than just those three players. Obviously Langway was the leader on that team. I never said otherwise in any of my posts on the subject. I just said Washington was building a really nice nucleus and the trade sped up the process of becoming a playoff team. It was inevitable they were going to become a playoff team with the nucleus they were building.

BTW Duchesne was getting Selke votes. He was much more than a complimentary player. Same with guys like Christian, Jarvis, Gould ect. That team played terrific team defense for the era. The GA drop wasn't all Langway. There were alot of factors. Put Langway on the Pens prior to Mario and you certainly don't see the same effect.
then maybe we can thnk of langway like nj scott stevens-- only langway was beating the same guys for norrises that stevens lost to.

it wasn't all stevens, there was holik, carpenter, daneyko, claude lemieux was an excellent shadow, later madden and pandolfo. but stevens was the general, like langway before him. i give extra points for that, like the hart voters seemed to.

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01-18-2012, 10:49 PM
  #68
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Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan View Post
I'm well aware of what's in that book, I've read it multiple times.

That's Howe deflecting credit, like most hockey players are prone to do.

I watched the games as well, every one. I'm not just relying on stats or some quotes I found in a book.

Look what happened Cochrane after be stopped playing with Howe, did he ever have another season like that ??
I also think the quote by Howe shows that he was gracious and a great teammate, i mean really is he supposed to say that he's a great player?

Well I guess a guy with a huge ego would say that but most hockey players are rather gracious.

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01-18-2012, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe View Post
Misquote me all you like, but I listed more than just those three players. Obviously Langway was the leader on that team. I never said otherwise in any of my posts on the subject. I just said Washington was building a really nice nucleus and the trade sped up the process of becoming a playoff team. It was inevitable they were going to become a playoff team with the nucleus they were building.

BTW Duchesne was getting Selke votes. He was much more than a complimentary player. Same with guys like Christian, Jarvis, Gould ect. That team played terrific team defense for the era. The GA drop wasn't all Langway. There were alot of factors. Put Langway on the Pens prior to Mario and you certainly don't see the same effect.
There were alot of factors and even guys like Stevens and Blomqvist were plus players.

I'm not arguing that they were better than Langway he was the most important change but some people are overplaying it quite a bit.

He wasn't out on the ice when all those other new players were in every situation.

Some of the new players actually contributed in quite a large way as well IMO.

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01-18-2012, 11:14 PM
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I also think the quote by Howe shows that he was gracious and a great teammate, i mean really is he supposed to say that he's a great player?

Well I guess a guy with a huge ego would say that but most hockey players are rather gracious.
Never read Espo's book I take it?

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There were alot of factors and even guys like Stevens and Blomqvist were plus players.

I'm not arguing that they were better than Langway he was the most important change but some people are overplaying it quite a bit.

He wasn't out on the ice when all those other new players were in every situation.

Some of the new players actually contributed in quite a large way as well IMO.
More revisionism. I'm not the one going back and re-writing history.
This is how players, coaches, GM's, fans and the media saw it all unfold. They all watched Langway take over that team, watched him play the hard minutes against the hard players and came out on top.
The blemish is that he and his Caps had to face the Islanders in the playoff's every year early on.

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01-18-2012, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Never read Espo's book I take it?



More revisionism. I'm not the one going back and re-writing history.
This is how players, coaches, GM's, fans and the media saw it all unfold. They all watched Langway take over that team, watched him play the hard minutes against the hard players and came out on top.
The blemish is that he and his Caps had to face the Islanders in the playoff's every year early on.
I was thinking of the Moose but Phil is one of those "character guys" for sure.

Look was Langway playing 60 minutes a game?

Others were quite involved in the turnaround as well and it's pretty much acknowledged that Langway was the main reason, at least defensively but his influence is getting greatly exaggerated as well by some in this thread.

I don't hold Langways playoff performance against him that much as teams win and lose series and losing to those NYI carries no shame.

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01-18-2012, 11:56 PM
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I think many years there are guys who have legitimate cases for saying they're the best at their position. I think it was amazing to see a D first guy take the honor, back when offense was the primary gameplan. A defenseman's job first and foremost is to defend, to prevent goals against. Langway was a horse physically. I remember that he would routinely pin 2 opposing players to the boards all by himself during board battles. He was dominant in his own end, in an era where they allowed more physicality. Langway legitimized the Caps. Many would contend that trade saved the franchise. Langway was just a beast.

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01-19-2012, 12:06 AM
  #73
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Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan View Post
I'm well aware of what's in that book, I've read it multiple times....Look what happened Cochrane after be stopped playing with Howe, did he ever have another season like that ??
Wow, with you on this one. Dear God. Glen Cochrane? Guy was a goon. A scary goon. That's Howe, admirably, being a respectful, modest teammate.

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Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe View Post
BTW Duchesne was getting Selke votes. He was much more than a complimentary player.
He was a third line player. Let's not misrepresent. A good complimentary player.

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Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe View Post
The GA drop wasn't all Langway....
And who said otherwise? Before accusing me of misquoting, best to not create strawman arguments.

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Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe View Post
Put Langway on the Pens prior to Mario and you certainly don't see the same effect.
And, if Mario played with the '80s Oilers, he would have been a 2nd line center. I mean what's the point? You're a lot better than that PPJ.

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There were alot of factors and even guys like Stevens and Blomqvist were plus players.
And, on cue, the "it's a team game, he didn't do it alone" meme. As if that is news? As if that dimishes Langway's enormous impact whatsoever?

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Langway was a horse physically....Langway legitimized the Caps. Many would contend that trade saved the franchise. Langway was just a beast.
Truth.

Want to debate his Norris trophies, fine. Don't revise his impact and play.

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Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan View Post
[Langway] also failed to elevate his game in April and May....Despite many very good regulations seasons, they could never get out of the Patrick Division.
True. No one on those Caps team did (though as noted, they faced a bonafide dynasty every spring). Thirty years later and that franchise tradition endures.


Last edited by Trottier: 01-19-2012 at 12:21 AM.
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01-19-2012, 12:12 AM
  #74
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I was thinking of the Moose but Phil is one of those "character guys" for sure.
Heh, for sure

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Look was Langway playing 60 minutes a game?
No but 30-40 for sure and when you take away the time he missed in the box and almost no PP time and almost never came off the ice while shorthanded....it means he played the vast majority of the even-strength time.

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01-19-2012, 12:16 AM
  #75
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Heh, for sure



No but 30-40 for sure and when you take away the time he missed in the box and almost no PP time....it means he played the vast majority of the even-strength time.
Can anyone verify the 30-40?

Playing close to 30 minutes is one thing but 40 seems improbable.

Even then there still are 20-30 minutes each game where others have to carry the team as well.

I'm with Psycho Papa Joe on this one in that the degree of impact is getting vastly overrated here, kinda like the 30-40 minute range overrated.

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