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

Best defensive plays in history?

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12-23-2013, 10:53 PM
  #1
SnowblindNYR
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Best defensive plays in history?

So I was watching the Rangers play the Leafs and McDonagh pulled off one of the best defensive plays I've seen in my life, especially considering who it was against. Basically, he caught up with Kessel on the rush, lifted his stick, effortlessly stole the puck and passed it across the ice to Stepan who set up a good chance. It would have been really memorable if that turned into a goal. However, it seems plays like that never get noticed. Unless there's a bone crunching hit, seems like nice defensive plays don't get on youtube or remembered. So I'm wondering if anyone remembers some of the best defensive plays in NHL history, whatever you want to call it. Unfortunately there aren't many highlights of those and I don't know if any of those make history.

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12-23-2013, 10:59 PM
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VanIslander
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Coffey intercepting the two-on-one Soviet rush in the '84 Canada Cup comes to mind.


Last edited by VanIslander: 12-25-2013 at 09:02 AM.
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12-23-2013, 11:09 PM
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Kevin Bieksa makes a diving save on an empty net shot, and then scores the game-tying goal later in the shift.

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12-23-2013, 11:27 PM
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Canadiens1958
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Serge Savard, May 10, 1979.

Game 7, OT, semi-final Bruins vs Canadiens. Serge Savard strips the puck from a rushing Bruin and transitions to an odd man rush producing the winning goal by Yvon Lambert:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l22FV4105p8

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12-23-2013, 11:53 PM
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LeBlondeDemon10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowblindNYR View Post
So I was watching the Rangers play the Leafs and McDonagh pulled off one of the best defensive plays I've seen in my life, especially considering who it was against. Basically, he caught up with Kessel on the rush, lifted his stick, effortlessly stole the puck and passed it across the ice to Stepan who set up a good chance. It would have been really memorable if that turned into a goal. However, it seems plays like that never get noticed. Unless there's a bone crunching hit, seems like nice defensive plays don't get on youtube or remembered. So I'm wondering if anyone remembers some of the best defensive plays in NHL history, whatever you want to call it. Unfortunately there aren't many highlights of those and I don't know if any of those make history.
Pavel Datsyuk did this on Saturday against the Leafs too. And I'm sure he's done this at least a dozen more times in his career. In fact, he has often done this in the offensive zone which produced a goal. He may be the best I've ever seen at doing this. Lafleur also did this a lot in the neutral zone as he could quickly transition to back checking.

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12-24-2013, 12:37 AM
  #6
SnowblindNYR
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Originally Posted by LeBlondeDemon10 View Post
Pavel Datsyuk did this on Saturday against the Leafs too. And I'm sure he's done this at least a dozen more times in his career. In fact, he has often done this in the offensive zone which produced a goal. He may be the best I've ever seen at doing this. Lafleur also did this a lot in the neutral zone as he could quickly transition to back checking.
Yeah I think I've seen him do that in the offensive zone a number of times.

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12-24-2013, 05:41 AM
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silkyjohnson50
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Yeah Datsyuk is in his own league when it comes to taking the puck away in today's era. Although he's not quite as good at it as he once was due to losing some of his quickness, he's still leading the league at the moment. There was a stat that showed his dominance in this category between the lockouts. His lead to the next closest player was ridiculous.

This particularly defensive zone steal pretty much sums it up. It shows the skill level and why he's simply been the best at it. How quick he transitions is amazing to me:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DsI7gVpvRB0


One of my favorite defensive plays ever just in terms of "how'd he do that" was a steal by Lidstrom. A forward (can't remember who) was rushing up the right wing and Lidstrom was in his usual perfect position. As the forward got close to Lidstrom and was probably in between of whether to chip it in or attempt to beat him 1-on-1, Lidstrom stick checks him with his right hand only (fully extended), somehow manages to make the puck stick on his backhand, pulls it back so that he now has both hands on the stick and in a passing position, then makes a tape to tape pass to his own forward to transition the other way. It happened in the blink of an eye and he pulled it off so smoothly that it would have been easy to overlook, but I'll never forget that play. Basically made everything happen with one hand on his stick.

As far as all time, I'm sure there's an endless number of goal line saves by defenceman and even forwards that would make you say wow.

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12-24-2013, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Game 7, OT, semi-final Bruins vs Canadiens. Serge Savard strips the puck from a rushing Bruin and transitions to an odd man rush producing the winning goal by Yvon Lambert:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l22FV4105p8
Not just "a rushing Bruin" but Nifty Middleton, the Bruins best stickhandler, who was playing such an amazing game (2 G, 2 A). That check and outlet pass by Savard is so top class.

When I saw the OP I thought of Savard's save on Stan Jonathan during that game. Serge was on another level that whole game.

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12-24-2013, 11:48 AM
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Not necessarily the greatest, but pretty awesome if you ask me.

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12-24-2013, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
Coffey intercepting the two-on-one Soviet rush in the '87 Canada Cup comes to mind.
This immediatly comes on my mind

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12-24-2013, 12:04 PM
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Not necessarily the best, but given the importance of the game, Zetterberg tying up Crosby's stick on the 3 on 5 in the '08 finals is a pretty nice play.



Another Swedish 3 on 5 play, nothing overly special, just a nice couple of blocks:


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12-24-2013, 12:35 PM
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Dennis Bonvie
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Michael Ryder glove save. Game 5 (series 2-2) against Canadiens.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-oqMBTfLTc

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12-24-2013, 01:56 PM
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Either Kirk Maltby blocking 3 shots on the PK with no stick or Sergei Fedorov stealing the puck off Gretzky in Game 7 1996 Semi's. Both got a big reaction from the crowd.

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12-24-2013, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
Coffey intercepting the two-on-one Soviet rush in the '87 Canada Cup comes to mind.
That was 1984 but yes, that's what I thought of as soon as I saw the title of the thread.


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12-24-2013, 05:31 PM
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Big Phil
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It has to be plays that are in a critical moment in an important game. So if that is the case, how about Phil Esposito in Game 8 of 1972? Start at 14:00. The score was 5-3 at that point for Russia. That seemingly easy tap in would have made it 6-3 and would have made the Canadians have to do the impossible. I know Coffey's break up of the two-on-one has been mentioned but in all honesty has there been a more vital and important defensive play in hockey history than Esposito's? This was nearing the end of the 2nd period.


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12-24-2013, 05:34 PM
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VanIslander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disengage View Post
That was 1984 but yes, that's what I thought of as soon as I saw the title of the thread.
Gawd I'm getting old and senile! I remember watching that game and thinking how huge it was. Mixing up that play from '84 with '87 and even thinking it was in the final not semifinal (beating the Soviets was that important; losing to the Swedes in the final not such a big deal), ugh.

The video quality is eroding,... eroding! I remember it as being quite good. But thanks for the link. It rekindles memories of 29 years ago!

Whether you were there or not, check it out now:
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12-25-2013, 12:27 AM
  #17
goeb
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I have quite a few but hard to find clips of them.

http://youtu.be/GeP3MP85lcE?t=13m14s

^Just watch 20 seconds of this, sorry not sure how to condense it.

http://youtu.be/VFXloML4Z10?t=8m30s


Watch a bit of this, Mironov save

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHFAZFOJBSY

Can't seem to properly you tube embed, grr

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Old
12-25-2013, 02:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Michael Ryder glove save. Game 5 (series 2-2) against Canadiens.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-oqMBTfLTc
Brilliant. One of a kind. And of course as a habs fan, crushing.

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12-25-2013, 03:22 AM
  #19
HF007
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Don't like the Redwings but the topic reminds me of this video.

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12-25-2013, 04:36 AM
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FinHockey
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There are a few youtube montages off Nick Lidström's top defensive plays


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12-25-2013, 05:57 AM
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silkyjohnson50
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Originally Posted by FinHockey View Post
There are a few youtube montages off Nick Lidström's top defensive plays

Yeah he was special. Whenever people talk about Lidstrom's game what's the first things usually brought up? His IQ and positioning. And understandably so. But his skill is almost always overlooked and his stick skills were elite. Stealing the puck, knocking pucks out of the air (which he often did both when players would attempt to chip it past him on the forecheck and when players would attempt to clear the puck when he was standing the offensive blueline), and his ability to handle the puck so cleanly couldn't be done with just IQ and positioning.

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12-25-2013, 11:27 AM
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SnowblindNYR
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Originally Posted by FinHockey View Post
There are a few youtube montages off Nick Lidström's top defensive plays

That was beautiful, thanks. I like that as much if not more than big hits. Just smart plays.

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12-25-2013, 12:31 PM
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There are a few youtube montages off Nick Lidström's top defensive plays
Second to none. Absolute marvel.

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