HFBoards

Go Back   HFBoards > General Hockey Discussion > The History of Hockey
Mobile Hockey's Future Become a Sponsor Site Rules Support Forum vBookie Page 2
Notices

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

How good was Coffey defensively?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old
02-11-2012, 02:27 PM
  #1
Sh00terMcGavin
#Leadership
 
Sh00terMcGavin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Pittsburgh
Country: United States
Posts: 6,838
vCash: 500
How good was Coffey defensively?

Unfortunately I wasn't alive to see Coffey play for the Pens. Obviously he was a beast on offense, but I'm just curious of how good he was in his own end.

Sh00terMcGavin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-11-2012, 02:45 PM
  #2
Helistin
Dustin's equilibrium
 
Helistin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Close to you
Country: Heard and McDonald Islands
Posts: 2,971
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sh00terMcGavin View Post
Unfortunately I wasn't alive to see Coffey play for the Pens. Obviously he was a beast on offense, but I'm just curious of how good he was in his own end.
Really hard to say since there are no records of him visiting his own end

Helistin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-11-2012, 03:19 PM
  #3
TheDevilMadeMe
Registered User
 
TheDevilMadeMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brooklyn
Country: United States
Posts: 45,407
vCash: 500
The general thought on Coffey is that in Edmonton, his D was average at best in the regular season, but he raised his defensive game in the playoffs and international tournaments.

When he started to slow down towards the end of his career, he went from acceptable on D to terrible.

TheDevilMadeMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-11-2012, 03:21 PM
  #4
edog37
Registered User
 
edog37's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Pittsburgh
Country: United States
Posts: 3,135
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sh00terMcGavin View Post
Unfortunately I wasn't alive to see Coffey play for the Pens. Obviously he was a beast on offense, but I'm just curious of how good he was in his own end.
he was um....a little defensively challenged.....

edog37 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-11-2012, 05:27 PM
  #5
Dennis Bonvie
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Connecticut
Country: United States
Posts: 10,922
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The general thought on Coffey is that in Edmonton, his D was average at best in the regular season, but he raised his defensive game in the playoffs and international tournaments.

When he started to slow down towards the end of his career, he went from acceptable on D to terrible.
He was still in his 20s in Pittsburgh and he was terrible defensively.

Dennis Bonvie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-11-2012, 05:37 PM
  #6
BackGroundMusic
hoc quoque finiet
 
BackGroundMusic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Country: Germany
Posts: 25,297
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helistin View Post
Really hard to say since there are no records of him visiting his own end


I loved watching old Oilers games, but yeah, he was a forward who just happened to line up at the blue line instead of center ice for faceoffs.

BackGroundMusic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-11-2012, 05:54 PM
  #7
Hardyvan123
tweet@HardyintheWack
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Vancouver
Country: Canada
Posts: 17,558
vCash: 500
More like a Rover, his defense for his entire career as a whole was less than average, how much so is debatable but his worth was strictly in the offense he could bring which was extremely high.

Probably the antithesis to Rod Langway since the 2 played at the same time.

Hardyvan123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-11-2012, 06:05 PM
  #8
Nalyd Psycho
Registered User
 
Nalyd Psycho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: No Bandwagon
Country: Canada
Posts: 24,188
vCash: 500
He could be a good to above average defensive player. But he never really wanted to.

__________________
Every post comes with the Nalyd Psycho Seal of Approval.
Nalyd Psycho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-11-2012, 08:41 PM
  #9
BraveCanadian
Registered User
 
BraveCanadian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Country: Canada
Posts: 10,767
vCash: 500
He was average defensively (but really encouraged to be a risk taker) and in big games he was above average.

In the playoffs and in the Canada Cups etc., he would play more physically and blocks shots much more so than the regular season.

Although the parrots repeating the party line on here will say otherwise and add a lot of lols, if you ask, and if they are truthful, most of them never saw him in his prime.

As far as defense goes, Coffey was so overwhelming offensively that teams had to back off him because of his ability to blow right by them with the puck or make long stretch passes. He is probably the best long passer in the history of the game. The thing about him is that he didn't play defense traditionally, he used his tremendous speed to his advantage.. TDMM is right that once he got old enough that he lost that big edge he suffered more than most.

That isn't unlike pretty much any other player who hangs on to age 40, he just gets disparaged more than most for it.

Here is a link to my ATD bio which includes a lot of contemporary articles about how Coffey really was in his prime.. they pretty much match my memory of having seen it:

Paul Coffey

BraveCanadian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-11-2012, 09:03 PM
  #10
John Flyers Fan
Registered User
 
John Flyers Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Country: United States
Posts: 22,397
vCash: 500
He was dreadful once he aged, but as an Oiler he was about average during the regular season, and much better during the playoffs (pretty much like the rest of their team).

I think Coffey gets unfairly slagged on these boards more than any other player. I would have to think by those that never saw him play a shift for the Oilers.

As a fan of a team that lost two Finals to the Oilers, he was without a doubt the second scariest player on those teams.

If I had the ability to remove one player from the Oilers giving my team the best chance to win he would have been a clear 2nd choice behind Gretzky. Well ahead of Messier/Kurri/Fuhr/Andy.

He was so fast, such a great passer, and had an excellent shot. Just an absolute devastating offensive force.

John Flyers Fan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-11-2012, 11:58 PM
  #11
Ogie Goldthorpe
Piloted Ogre Hog
 
Ogie Goldthorpe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: NS via BC
Posts: 3,377
vCash: 500
Housley was worse.

And if you go by the credo that a the best defense is a good offense... Coffey was great.

Ogie Goldthorpe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-12-2012, 06:38 AM
  #12
Sens Rule
Registered User
 
Sens Rule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Country: Canada
Posts: 19,706
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The general thought on Coffey is that in Edmonton, his D was average at best in the regular season, but he raised his defensive game in the playoffs and international tournaments.

When he started to slow down towards the end of his career, he went from acceptable on D to terrible.
After he left Detroit after a 15 year career he became terrible on defence. Before that he did exactly what he was supposed to do on defence. He was an offensive weapon... he was also gritty and a little dirty. He made the PK into a chance to score. He would skate back and break up plays often using his world class speed. Until he left Detroit his defence was unique, he was not playing the same role as Chelios or Bourque... he wasn't as good as them defensively but that wasn't what he was supposed to be doing on the ice. Though Bowman tried with some success to make Coffey a more typical defender and he won his last Norris trophy in Detroit in what was likely his best 2-way season.

Stupid jokes about Coffey not play defence are stupid. He wasn't a fool or a guy that didn't try on defence. He was a truly unique force on the ice. He played like no one else could or did in the world at the time. He was caught up the ice a lot because he was maybe the 3rd best offensive player in the world and he used that talent to it's maximum.

Sens Rule is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-12-2012, 08:53 AM
  #13
Dennis Bonvie
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Connecticut
Country: United States
Posts: 10,922
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan View Post
He was dreadful once he aged, but as an Oiler he was about average during the regular season, and much better during the playoffs (pretty much like the rest of their team).

I think Coffey gets unfairly slagged on these boards more than any other player. I would have to think by those that never saw him play a shift for the Oilers.

As a fan of a team that lost two Finals to the Oilers, he was without a doubt the second scariest player on those teams.

If I had the ability to remove one player from the Oilers giving my team the best chance to win he would have been a clear 2nd choice behind Gretzky. Well ahead of Messier/Kurri/Fuhr/Andy.He was so fast, such a great passer, and had an excellent shot. Just an absolute devastating offensive force.
Yet the season after he left Edmonton, the Oilers won the Cup and went 16-2 in the playoffs.

In Edmonton he was +271. Edmonton was the perfect storm for Coffey.

He was only 25 when he left. He was a +23 for the rest of his career. Considering he was the 2nd best offensive Dman ever and he played on strong teams throughout his career, you would think he might have had better numbers even if he were average devensively.

As for his aging hurting his defense, I'd say he was better defensively at 38 than he was in Pittsburgh in his late 20s. Aging hurt his offensive more than his defense.

And yes, I saw him play throughout his entire career.

Dennis Bonvie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-12-2012, 09:35 AM
  #14
cam042686
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Country: Canada
Posts: 352
vCash: 500
I saw a lot of Paul Coffey. Offensively he was close to Bobby Orr - not as good but close. Defensively he struggled. I saw him make some truly gross errors in his own zone that Bobby Orr, Brad Park, etc would never have made as midgets. Overall he wasn't close to being the "total package" that Orr or Park were. That being said his great play breaking up the Soviets 2 on 1 in O/T of the 84 Canada Cup was one for the ages.

Coffey was best if he was paired with a defensive partner who had good wheels and could focus on defense. In that case Coffey was a great weapon to have on your team.

Craig Wallace

cam042686 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-12-2012, 09:41 AM
  #15
BraveCanadian
Registered User
 
BraveCanadian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Country: Canada
Posts: 10,767
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Yet the season after he left Edmonton, the Oilers won the Cup and went 16-2 in the playoffs.
What did Coffey do to you? You bring up this useless point every time his name is mentioned in a thread.

They won without Gretzky too, so what?

Quote:
In Edmonton he was +271. Edmonton was the perfect storm for Coffey.
Agreed, he was actively encouraged by Sather to play the way he did to maximize the talent of the players they had.


Quote:
He was only 25 when he left. He was a +23 for the rest of his career. Considering he was the 2nd best offensive Dman ever and he played on strong teams throughout his career, you would think he might have had better numbers even if he were average devensively.
And since leaving St. Louis, Chris Pronger has the same +/- as Mike Green. During that time Pronger's teams made the Stanley Cup Finals three times.

I think that says everything we need to about that particular statistic's ability to describe individual defensive play.

Quote:
As for his aging hurting his defense, I'd say he was better defensively at 38 than he was in Pittsburgh in his late 20s. Aging hurt his offensive more than his defense.

And yes, I saw him play throughout his entire career.
He was top 5 in Norris voting each season he was in Pittsburgh, including a 2nd place finish to a prime Chris Chelios, and he picked up a 1st and 2nd team all star during that time as well.

You can quibble about how much of it was for "offense" and how much of it was for "defense", but by all accounts Paul Coffey was still a very effective hockey player at that time.

Pittsburgh at the time was a team that traded chances with the opposition at even strength and made up for their shortcomings there with a devastating powerplay.

BraveCanadian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-12-2012, 11:06 AM
  #16
Dennis Bonvie
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Connecticut
Country: United States
Posts: 10,922
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
What did Coffey do to you? You bring up this useless point every time his name is mentioned in a thread.They won without Gretzky too, so what?



Agreed, he was actively encouraged by Sather to play the way he did to maximize the talent of the players they had.




And since leaving St. Louis, Chris Pronger has the same +/- as Mike Green. During that time Pronger's teams made the Stanley Cup Finals three times.

I think that says everything we need to about that particular statistic's ability to describe individual defensive play.



He was top 5 in Norris voting each season he was in Pittsburgh, including a 2nd place finish to a prime Chris Chelios, and he picked up a 1st and 2nd team all star during that time as well.

You can quibble about how much of it was for "offense" and how much of it was for "defense", but by all accounts Paul Coffey was still a very effective hockey player at that time.

Pittsburgh at the time was a team that traded chances with the opposition at even strength and made up for their shortcomings there with a devastating powerplay.
The title of this thread is "How good was Coffey defensively?"

You seem to want to turn that into "How effective was he?"

He was pretty effective. He's a Hall of Famer. He's the consensus 2nd best offensive Dman ever.

And he was below average defensively.

And he never had to do anything to me for me to have that opinion.

Dennis Bonvie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-12-2012, 01:02 PM
  #17
BraveCanadian
Registered User
 
BraveCanadian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Country: Canada
Posts: 10,767
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
And he was below average defensively.

And he never had to do anything to me for me to have that opinion.
Well, thus far among people who did see him in his prime, your opinion is the minority.

BraveCanadian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-12-2012, 01:20 PM
  #18
tombombadil
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: West Kelowna, Canada
Country: Canada
Posts: 1,029
vCash: 500
i don't think his opinion is in the minority, based off of all these posts.
I have no opinion on this, myself, but am enjoying reading the thread... the only thing I have to add was hearing that Lidstrom learned a lot about playing defense by being paired with Coffey.... because someone had to play defense.

I don't think anyone is saying he wasn't an effective, and elite player - just that he was below average defensively. If a guy is so far ahead in one area, it's ok, and even expected for him to be lacking somewhere else... you simply can't be everywhere at once.

tombombadil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-12-2012, 01:25 PM
  #19
Dark Shadows
Registered User
 
Dark Shadows's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Canada
Country: Japan
Posts: 7,986
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sens Rule View Post
After he left Detroit after a 15 year career he became terrible on defence. Before that he did exactly what he was supposed to do on defence. He was an offensive weapon... he was also gritty and a little dirty. He made the PK into a chance to score. He would skate back and break up plays often using his world class speed. Until he left Detroit his defence was unique, he was not playing the same role as Chelios or Bourque... he wasn't as good as them defensively but that wasn't what he was supposed to be doing on the ice. Though Bowman tried with some success to make Coffey a more typical defender and he won his last Norris trophy in Detroit in what was likely his best 2-way season.

Stupid jokes about Coffey not play defence are stupid. He wasn't a fool or a guy that didn't try on defence. He was a truly unique force on the ice. He played like no one else could or did in the world at the time. He was caught up the ice a lot because he was maybe the 3rd best offensive player in the world and he used that talent to it's maximum.
Ill just post an old quote from another member which pretty much sums up my opinion as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by willus3 View Post
Pretty much exactly what I always thought about Coffey.
He literally looked lost in his own end without the puck. Almost as if he didn't know what he should be doing. I remember watching him just stand there a few times and watch a guy score on them. He's a guy that would make me yell at my TV. He very rarely played the man and almost always played the puck which cost him a lot of errors.
When he got hold of the puck in his own however, he knew exactly what to do and could do it better than anyone since Orr.
I don't know how to rate him as anything other than a defenseman as that was his position. Offensively he was second to one. Defensively he was at very best, average.

Dark Shadows is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-12-2012, 03:14 PM
  #20
oilexport
Registered User
 
oilexport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,088
vCash: 500
considering his outlet passes and carrying the puck out of his end, I would say above average. He would get caught up the ice a bit but usually got back in time due to his speed.

oilexport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-12-2012, 05:08 PM
  #21
Dennis Bonvie
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Connecticut
Country: United States
Posts: 10,922
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Well, thus far among people who did see him in his prime, your opinion is the minority.
I don't think so.

Dennis Bonvie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-12-2012, 05:20 PM
  #22
Hardyvan123
tweet@HardyintheWack
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Vancouver
Country: Canada
Posts: 17,558
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
The title of this thread is "How good was Coffey defensively?"

You seem to want to turn that into "How effective was he?"

He was pretty effective. He's a Hall of Famer. He's the consensus 2nd best offensive Dman ever.

And he was below average defensively.

And he never had to do anything to me for me to have that opinion.
I'll 2nd this.

I watched the Oilers destroy the Canucks in the early 80's so I got to watch Coffey quite a bit.

Plain and simple he wasn't very good defensively and was below average for his career in that department.

That's what the OP is asking here.

Hardyvan123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-13-2012, 05:09 PM
  #23
Big Phil
Registered User
 
Big Phil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Country: Canada
Posts: 23,741
vCash: 500
I think Glen Sather said it best:

"When I saw the Soviets come in on a two-on-one I didn't tremble and say 'oh no Paul Coffey is the one back there', I just though "Ah, Paul will take care of it.'"

This coming from Sather. And in all honesty, other than the time he accidentally put the puck into his own net in Game #1 of the Detroit/Colorado 1996 series I would like to hear a time when Coffey's defense clearly cost his team a game. By the way, in that game Coffey had two goals himself and the game ended up going into overtime, so hardly all on Coffey.


Like others have said, his defense was cranked up in the postseason. In fact, lots of people forget that when the Oilers had to tighten their belts, they did. All of them. In the regular season when you're in a 7-5 game maybe you aren't as strong defensively but it was the chances that Coffey would take to put his team up as well. That being said, he was rarely caught out of position. His speed put him back in play.

And lastly, on the 1984 Canada Cup play, I can't think of another player other than Orr that could have made that entire play. Remember, Coffey broke up the two-on-one and in one fluid motion counter attacked. He goes end to end, Tonelli fished the puck out of the corner back to Coffey and he wrists a shot home that Bossy tips. Honestly, who else in NHL history is capable of doing that so effortlessly other than Orr? The closest I could think of would be Brian Leetch and even then I don't think he could do it with such grace and confidence.

Big Phil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-13-2012, 05:13 PM
  #24
Bear of Bad News
Mod Supervisor
 
Bear of Bad News's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: San Angeles
Posts: 4,336
vCash: 663
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I think Glen Sather said it best:

"When I saw the Soviets come in on a two-on-one I didn't tremble and say 'oh no Paul Coffey is the one back there', I just though "Ah, Paul will take care of it.'"
Considering that Sather and Coffey were associated with one another for a very long time, it's not surprising that Sather would stick up for Coffey.

Bear of Bad News is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
02-13-2012, 05:43 PM
  #25
Dennis Bonvie
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Connecticut
Country: United States
Posts: 10,922
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I think Glen Sather said it best:

"When I saw the Soviets come in on a two-on-one I didn't tremble and say 'oh no Paul Coffey is the one back there', I just though "Ah, Paul will take care of it.'"

This coming from Sather. And in all honesty, other than the time he accidentally put the puck into his own net in Game #1 of the Detroit/Colorado 1996 series I would like to hear a time when Coffey's defense clearly cost his team a game. By the way, in that game Coffey had two goals himself and the game ended up going into overtime, so hardly all on Coffey.


Like others have said, his defense was cranked up in the postseason. In fact, lots of people forget that when the Oilers had to tighten their belts, they did. All of them. In the regular season when you're in a 7-5 game maybe you aren't as strong defensively but it was the chances that Coffey would take to put his team up as well. That being said, he was rarely caught out of position. His speed put him back in play.

And lastly, on the 1984 Canada Cup play, I can't think of another player other than Orr that could have made that entire play. Remember, Coffey broke up the two-on-one and in one fluid motion counter attacked. He goes end to end, Tonelli fished the puck out of the corner back to Coffey and he wrists a shot home that Bossy tips. Honestly, who else in NHL history is capable of doing that so effortlessly other than Orr? The closest I could think of would be Brian Leetch and even then I don't think he could do it with such grace and confidence.
You're talking about Paul Coffey?

Dennis Bonvie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Forum Jump


Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:42 AM.

monitoring_string = "e4251c93e2ba248d29da988d93bf5144"

vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
HFBoards.com is a property of CraveOnline Media, LLC, an Evolve Media, LLC company. 2016 All Rights Reserved.