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My theory if Orr hadnt had bad knees

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07-26-2005, 10:06 PM
  #1
Big Phil
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My theory if Orr hadnt had bad knees

I read this in one of The Hockey News magazines a while back. It made a lot of sense. This is how much I think Hockey woudl change if Orr had been healthy for his entire career. And played at the level he always did. To me thiings would have been different, take a look.

Orr starts his career in 1966. Wins the Calder and wins the Cup in '70. He wins the Norris form '68 to '75. And two Art Ross Trophies. By 1976 his kness are done for. He is relatively healthy up until 1972.

If Orr had played in the '72 Summit vs. the Russians what woudl the difference have been? We still would have lost Game 1 since we were too cocky but IMO because of Orr's dominance and presence we wouldnt have lost another Game until Game 6. In the end we end up 6-2 against them. There's no Henderson heroics, in fact Game 8 is anticlimatic and we beat them 6-3. Add Orr to that '72 defense, with Park, Savard, Lapointe, White, Stapleton and Bergman. Looks a little flashier when Orr's there right?

The B's could have won the Cup in either '73, '74 '75. Meaning that Either the Habs or Flyers give up one Cup. The '74 final featured Orr slightly injured vs. the Flyers, giving them the Cup. Does a healthy Orr lose to the Flyers?

Orr also won the scoring title in '75. Lafleur won the next three. You think Orr doesnt win one of those again?

Then the Habs win four straight Cups in the 70s. In '77 and '78 the Habs meet the Bruins in the finals. In '79 they lose to the Habs in Game 7 OT. Don't you think Orr would have stolen one of those Cups all alone?

In 1979 the NHL All-stars play against the Russians. They split the first two games and then get thrashed 6-0 in the third. Orr would have been 31 by then, still young and still great. Would he have made the difference if he was playing and not retired?

Then Canada loses in the '81 Canada Cup to the Russians 8-1. It may have been a lopsided game but Orr is 33 by then and may have even still won the Norris that year. Does he help Canada win?

The Bruins wouldnt win any Cups in the 80s but in 1980 maybe the USA victory vs. the Russians wouldnt look so "Miraculous" if the Russians didnt look so invincible by beating the NHL All-stars the year before.

So in conclusion here is a brief conclusion of the revamped NHL history if Orr plays healthy and for a long career.

- Who's Paul Henderson? No hero, just an ex-Leaf
- The Russians? Yeah they have skill but WE thrashed them 6-2 in games. They are a long way from us, dont worry.
- Lafleur was great but Orr is still remembered as the best player from '75-80 after the Bruins won Cups in '78 and '79.
- What Broad Street Bullies? Those one year wonder Flyers who beat Buffalo in '75?
- Russians still look human as they lose to the NHL all-stars 2-0 in games.
- Miracle? Sure the Russians are good, its an upset but they are far from unbeatable
- Russia maybe still wins in '81 but not by 8-1. There is no need to panic in Canada. This is the only time Russia has ever threatened us.

Pretty neat eh? Gets you thinking how good he was and how he could have changed things.

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07-26-2005, 11:08 PM
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Injektilo
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yeah, i read that too. A much more fun "what-if" scenario than "what if ____ hadn't hit the post in that big game?"

And yeah, it does show the major impact a guy like Orr could have had on the game... well, even with his knees he still had a major impact, but he possibly could have impacted the game internationally.

How would Canada have reacted if we'd won the series 6-2 for example? Not that that would have definitely happend, but hypothetically speaking.... would we have changed the way we ran minor hockey in the 70's? How would htat have affected the game in the 80's, would there still have been the euro-influenced firewagon of the Oilers?


Another one might be "what if Gretzky had gone to Winnipeg instead of Edmonton in 1979?" Would Edm have moved to Phoenix and Winnipeg have a team still? Would he not have been traded to LA and thus started the hockey boom which eventually led to teams in the sun belt? Would Edm not have moved to Phoenix then?

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07-27-2005, 02:15 AM
  #3
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Had Canada easily won the 1972 serie, there probably wouldn't have been as much interest in playing other series against the russians. That could mean no 1974 USSR-WHA serie, no 1979 All Stars-USSR serie, and no Canada cup as well, which means that the NHL fails to take european hockey seriously until much later. The 1980 US olympic gold medal wouldn't look like such a big upset as the russians would have been a bunch of unknow players, thus failling to boost interest for hockey in the US.

Conclusion : If Orr plays an heathlier and longer career, the NHL remains mostly canadian until at least the early 90's.


Last edited by stv11: 07-27-2005 at 02:45 AM.
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07-27-2005, 02:30 AM
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If my mother had wheels she would be a car...

Sorry but I just can´t believe that one guy could make such a difference... no matter how great he is.

And of course I could counter with things like "if Anatoly Firsov had played in ´72 blah blah..."

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07-27-2005, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil

The B's could have won the Cup in either '73, '74 '75. Meaning that Either the Habs or Flyers give up one Cup. The '74 final featured Orr slightly injured vs. the Flyers, giving them the Cup. Does a healthy Orr lose to the Flyers?
Orr was very close to the top of his game in 1974. Can't take that away from Philadelphia. The Flyers got better goaltending and were the deeper team, eventually wearing Orr and Esposito down.


Last edited by John Flyers Fan: 07-27-2005 at 07:47 AM.
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07-27-2005, 07:43 AM
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mcphee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
Orr was very close to the top of his game in 1974. Can't take that away from Philadelphia. Te Flyers got bettr goaltending and were the deeper team, eventually wearing Orr and Esposito down.
I'm sure that if you were to poll,DKH and Wally and the rest of the B's fans old enough to remember, they'd admit that there were no excuses for that one, as painful as the admission might be. Right up to the final whistle, I believed that Boston would come back and win, I thought their team was better and I was proven wrong. I was picking for Philly as a Mtl. fan couldn't pick for the Bruins and we hadn't learnt to hate you guys yet. Philly just went out and did it. Question their style all you want, they won the games.

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07-27-2005, 08:02 AM
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John Flyers Fan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
I'm sure that if you were to poll,DKH and Wally and the rest of the B's fans old enough to remember, they'd admit that there were no excuses for that one, as painful as the admission might be. Right up to the final whistle, I believed that Boston would come back and win, I thought their team was better and I was proven wrong. I was picking for Philly as a Mtl. fan couldn't pick for the Bruins and we hadn't learnt to hate you guys yet. Philly just went out and did it. Question their style all you want, they won the games.
Ther Flyers played alot more players. During the lockout they replayed game 2 & game 6.

Things that stood out:

Espo's often took shifts in the 1:45-2:30 minute range. The Flyers often had 3 centers against Espo in a single shift.

Clarke dominated Espo in the face-off circle, winning somewhere near 80% of the draws.

How little passing there was when teams broke out of their own end - it was usually a player (Orr, Vadnais, Watson, MacLeish, Barber, etc.) lugging the puck from one end to at least the redline

A good scrap during the Finals - Schultz & O'Reilly in game 2.

Orr's skating ability, 2 steps better than anyone else, although by game 6 he was slowing down. The Flyers strategy was not to try and keep the puck from Orr, but to dump it into his corner every time, nd try and hit him nd wear him down as much as possible

The "Moose" Shuffle after tying game 2 with the goalie pulled.

Bruins fans yelling at Shero during the OT to put Schultz on the ice, he did and Schultz assisted on the game winner.

Johnny Bucyk with a clean breakaway in OT of game 2. Parent with the huge save, and Clarke scores seconds later.

Game 6 could have lasted 3 days and Parent wasn't giving up a goal.

Tim Ryan was the play-by-play man and Ted Lindsay doing the color.

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07-27-2005, 09:38 AM
  #8
Archijerej
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I always cringe when I hear those "what would happened to Russians if Orr was healthy". Russians could say "what would happened with Orr's legend if Anatolyi Firsov decided to play in Summit Series". You always say that 1976 Canada Cup team was "the real team" (with Orr, even not healthy) but you forget that 1976 Soviet team was experimental with many young players and without some key players (i.e. Kharlamov had his first car crash that time). I don't know, maybe Orr would make the difference but maybe not. Don't state that as obvious.

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07-27-2005, 08:27 PM
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JDB3939
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You can play the same game with Lemieux and his back/cancer.

The two greatest physical specimens the game have ever seen have both had their careers severly altered by injuries.

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07-28-2005, 04:22 AM
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EagleBelfour
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Another one ... Wayne Gretzky, what a player!! The SECOND best of all-time ...

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07-28-2005, 07:38 PM
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JDB3939
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EagleBelfour
Another one ... Wayne Gretzky, what a player!! The SECOND best of all-time ...
What are you talking about. Wayne is the best player of all time. But he definately wasn't the most physically gifted for the game.

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07-28-2005, 07:44 PM
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The thing about the Flyers series in '74 is that I've read that Fred Shiro's gameplan was to have his Broad Street Bullies pound Orr in every corner and hit him every time they could to slow him down.

If he was completely 100% healthy, does it affect the likes of Cheevers and Sanderson from jumping to the WHA? Does Orr possibly jump along with them?

A lot of questions come about, it's all interesting to think about.

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08-05-2005, 10:58 AM
  #13
brianscot
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Both Derek Sanderson and Gerry Cheevers jumped to the WHA after a Boston Stanley cup win in 1972. (Although Sanderson came skating back the very next season after his Philadelphia Blazers fiasco)

Interestlingly, the number one goalie on that Blazers team was Bernie Parent. Ahh, the irony of Stanley cup finals to come.

So I'm not sure Orr's knees can be used as a reason why any Bruins jumped ship after that season. It was more likely due to their marketability being high after winning 2 cups in 3 seasons.

For me, as a Bruin fan, the most fun specualtion is what would have happened if Bobby Orr and Brad Park had played more than 10 games together in 75-76.

With Montreal's huge edge in goal, I assume they would have still won the Stanley cup that year. Boston that year was overmatched by a Philadelphia team in the playoffs, but with a reasonably healthy Orr might have beaten a Flyer's team using Wayne Stephenson in goal over an injured Bernie Parent.

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