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

Peter Forsberg was the most complete hockey player who ever lived.

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Old
03-16-2014, 01:37 AM
  #76
TheDevilMadeMe
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Originally Posted by Ishdul View Post
Physical play is a means to an end and if you can succeed in all phases of the game without it than you are no less a complete player. If should be given the consideration in its utility of helping you get goals, maintain puck possession, prevent the opposition from scoring, etc., but if you can do all those things anyways I don't think it makes you any less complete.

I also don't think the "part of hockey" rule works. Depending on how far you break it down you can say that no player is "complete". I don't think it works to disqualify all non-centres for not being good at faceoffs, despite that being a part of hockey.
First a general statement - I think that you are neglecting the long term psychological and physical effects that a physical hockey player can have on his opponents, especially over a long playoffs series.

As for Lidstrom, I have seen a few Red Wings fans like nik-jr say that his only weakness was defending the front of the net (the "crease" area), particularly on the PK due to lack of physicality in the era of "crease clearing," and that even though Lidstrom was great on the PK, Chris Chelios was noticeably better at that one specific aspect of the game when they were both Red Wings. (I am only going on what I have seen other posters say; I did not watch anything close to enough 2001-02 Wings to have such a nuanced view of them myself. And I would not be surprised if Fugu disagreed).

I think that physicality is less important than a lot of other aspects of the game, especially if you can cover for it in other ways (like Lidstrom can in most aspects of the game). But it is an aspect, nonetheless.


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03-16-2014, 01:47 AM
  #77
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It may have been a way that a majority of players learned or preferred to play that way-- especially in North America, but clearly it's not required to achieve a great level. That's why I call the rating of physicality as necessary to be faulty, and see it as a personal preference.
Fair enough. But physicality is comparable to speed, IMO. Both integral parts of the game and can help you to success.

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03-16-2014, 02:25 AM
  #78
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
First a general statement - I think that you are neglecting the long term psychological and physical effects that a physical hockey player can have on his opponents, especially over a long playoffs series.

As for Lidstrom, I have seen Red Wings fans like nik-jr say that his only weakness was defending the front of the net (the "crease" area), particularly on the PK due to lack of physicality in the era of "crease clearing," and that even though Lidstrom was great on the PK, Chris Chelios was noticeably better at that one specific aspect of the game when they were both Red Wings. (I am only going on what I have seen other posters say; I did not watch anything close to enough 2001-02 Wings to have such a nuanced view of them myself).

I think that physicality is less important than a lot of other aspects of the game, especially if you can cover for it in other ways (like Lidstrom can in most aspects of the game). But it is an aspect, nonetheless.
I think the psychological are 99% myth and the physical effects are predominantly related to injuries and not the wearing down/gassing which is commonly associated with it. Teams gas more from having top heavy ice times in a playoff overtime setting, for instance.

Chelios is, by my count, the best penalty killer of all-time and that particular aspect of his game held up longer than anything else so I don't think it's a strike against him that Lidstrom was worse, and I don't think it was a very long time of Chelios being a better PKer in Detroit (by 02-03 I think Lidstrom was better). As you said, Lidstrom was still a fantastic penalty killer, and I'd say he excelled in defending typical power forwards (with two notable playoff examples being Lindros and Bertuzzi). I suppose you could go into microanalysis and say that other Red Wings took on a more crease clearing role, but I think that kind of criticism is akin to calling out forwards who don't play the point on the powerplay as being incomplete, even if they're still elite powerplay performers.

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03-16-2014, 05:31 AM
  #79
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i dont understand this... so, if lidström adds a physical part of his game, he'll automatically forfeit his positioning?

if you want a prime exaxmple of how intimidating some players are, look at when lucic ran over miller. sabres just stood there staring at him. physicality is absolutely intimidating, people kept their head up if scott stevens was on the ice.

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03-16-2014, 05:51 AM
  #80
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It's neither about building your game around physical force nor is it necessary to put yourself out of position when you make a check (especially not in case of a player with the positioning IQ of Lidström). But to say it isn't an advantage to have that skill (body checking) in your repertoire on top of your other qualities is hard to understand.

Pavel Datsyuk is not a physical player. And yet he is capable of checking when opportune:


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03-16-2014, 07:20 AM
  #81
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Originally Posted by Ishdul View Post
I think the psychological are 99% myth and the physical effects are predominantly related to injuries and not the wearing down/gassing which is commonly associated with it. Teams gas more from having top heavy ice times in a playoff overtime setting, for instance.

Chelios is, by my count, the best penalty killer of all-time and that particular aspect of his game held up longer than anything else so I don't think it's a strike against him that Lidstrom was worse, and I don't think it was a very long time of Chelios being a better PKer in Detroit (by 02-03 I think Lidstrom was better). As you said, Lidstrom was still a fantastic penalty killer, and I'd say he excelled in defending typical power forwards (with two notable playoff examples being Lindros and Bertuzzi). I suppose you could go into microanalysis and say that other Red Wings took on a more crease clearing role, but I think that kind of criticism is akin to calling out forwards who don't play the point on the powerplay as being incomplete, even if they're still elite powerplay performers.
Don't you think players like Howe and Messier got more room because of their physical play?

I would take Larry Robinson, but best PK Dman is an impossible argument to make. I recall Tim Kerr saying that the toughest player for him to play against in front of the net was 5'9" Mike O'Connell. Kerr said no one could tie-up his stick like O'Connell did. For all we know Bucko McDonald may have been the best ever.

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03-16-2014, 11:30 AM
  #82
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Well, of at least this generation and Barring his battle with injuries.
So.. he isn't the most complete hockey player who ever lived.

Glad that has been cleared up.

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03-16-2014, 11:39 AM
  #83
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Originally Posted by Ishdul View Post
I think the psychological are 99% myth and the physical effects are predominantly related to injuries and not the wearing down/gassing which is commonly associated with it.
Yet the players who went head-to-head against guys like Chelios, Robinson and Potvin are quick to say that one of the worst parts of it was the pounding they took every time they went into a corner.

There's an awful lot of consensus around this "myth".

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03-16-2014, 11:46 AM
  #84
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Yet the players who went head-to-head against guys like Chelios, Robinson and Potvin are quick to say that one of the worst parts of it was the pounding they took every time they went into a corner.

There's an awful lot of consensus around this "myth".
Chelios in particular wasn't physical in the same way Stevens was, who could take you out with an open ice hit. Cheli was a stick-work specialist to some extent, cross-checking the crap out of anyone close to his crease. Pronger Physics anyone? This only works as long as the officials allow it.

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03-16-2014, 11:57 AM
  #85
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Yet the players who went head-to-head against guys like Chelios, Robinson and Potvin are quick to say that one of the worst parts of it was the pounding they took every time they went into a corner.

There's an awful lot of consensus around this "myth".
Another thing to keep in mind is that even if a player has the right mentality and isn't actually intimidated by the beatings they take -- in the sense that they don't start sticking to the outside or dumping the puck to avoid being hit again.. the physicality does take a toll over time in any case. Especially come the later rounds of the playoffs.

That is why I think players that can play physically but do so cleanly and not take a lot of penalties are very valuable.

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03-16-2014, 12:16 PM
  #86
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Haha really? Forsberg was an amazing player but you're overrating the crap out of him. Howe was the most complete forward of all time; as far as defenseman go I'm not gonna try to compare with forwards that's too difficult for me to do.

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03-16-2014, 12:25 PM
  #87
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Don't you think players like Howe and Messier got more room because of their physical play?
I'm not saying that physical play can't be an asset, because that's obviously not true, I'm saying that it's not a phase of the game onto itself that can not be replicated with other attributes of their play. I don't think other players eased off Howe or Messier though, if that's what you're asking, and a large part of their physical advantage was the ability to make room for themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Yet the players who went head-to-head against guys like Chelios, Robinson and Potvin are quick to say that one of the worst parts of it was the pounding they took every time they went into a corner.

There's an awful lot of consensus around this "myth".
The exact meaning of such statements are quite vague (are these players saying that would then refuse to engage Chelios/Robinson/Potvin in the corner by the later games?), it's hard to take all of the hockey quotes too seriously because they're often filled with platitudes and narrative explanations while being light on insightful analysis (like, when they're saying that the worst part about playing Potvin is the pounding in the corner, are they actually making a comparison to when Potvin sets up 2 goals in the third and they lost the game and the series?), and the observable elements do not always agree with these sentiments (lots of non-physical players and teams have excelled in the playoffs, lots of physical players and teams have been disappointing in the playoffs, the actual slowing down effect that should be present in any given long playoff series is largely unfounded with the slightest of scoring dips usually being accounted for by a lesser amount of powerplays).

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03-16-2014, 12:33 PM
  #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishdul View Post
I think the psychological are 99% myth and the physical effects are predominantly related to injuries and not the wearing down/gassing which is commonly associated with it. Teams gas more from having top heavy ice times in a playoff overtime setting, for instance.

Chelios is, by my count, the best penalty killer of all-time and that particular aspect of his game held up longer than anything else so I don't think it's a strike against him that Lidstrom was worse, and I don't think it was a very long time of Chelios being a better PKer in Detroit (by 02-03 I think Lidstrom was better). As you said, Lidstrom was still a fantastic penalty killer, and I'd say he excelled in defending typical power forwards (with two notable playoff examples being Lindros and Bertuzzi). I suppose you could go into microanalysis and say that other Red Wings took on a more crease clearing role, but I think that kind of criticism is akin to calling out forwards who don't play the point on the powerplay as being incomplete, even if they're still elite powerplay performers.
Lidstrom did not shut down Lindros or Bertuzzi on his own.
Lidstrom would box Lindros out instead of trying to hit him or engage him while a forward would backcheck the living hell out of him. It was a complete team effort. Without that extra help, Lidstrom would have been no more effective at shutting Lindros down than anyone else was.
It was the only way to keep Lindros in check. You could count the number of players that could take on Lindros one on one without getting run over on one hand.

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03-16-2014, 01:28 PM
  #89
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Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
It's neither about building your game around physical force nor is it necessary to put yourself out of position when you make a check (especially not in case of a player with the positioning IQ of Lidström). But to say it isn't an advantage to have that skill (body checking) in your repertoire on top of your other qualities is hard to understand.

Pavel Datsyuk is not a physical player. And yet he is capable of checking when opportune:

Why did Lidström not do it then? He was not massive but he was of decent size with little fat. Did any of his coaches ever ask him to be more physical? As a matter of fact, would he by adding an extra 20 pounds have been as good in his movement, would Scott Stevens by losing 30 pounds not have been better positionally and in his movement?

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03-16-2014, 01:44 PM
  #90
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Yet the players who went head-to-head against guys like Chelios, Robinson and Potvin are quick to say that one of the worst parts of it was the pounding they took every time they went into a corner.

There's an awful lot of consensus around this "myth".
You are referring to the younger Potvin?

Jean's younger brother was once asked, after he was retired, to name the one opponent he least liked to play against. Can anyone guess who he named? You might be surprised at his answer.

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03-16-2014, 04:21 PM
  #91
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In my opinion Sergei Fedorov was better as a two way player.

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03-16-2014, 05:35 PM
  #92
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In my opinion Sergei Fedorov was better as a two way player.
He might have been at his absolute peak but Foppa just produced and was a better and more consistent 2 way force, even with the injuries.

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03-16-2014, 05:45 PM
  #93
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Why did Lidström not do it then? He was not massive but he was of decent size with little fat. Did any of his coaches ever ask him to be more physical? As a matter of fact, would he by adding an extra 20 pounds have been as good in his movement, would Scott Stevens by losing 30 pounds not have been better positionally and in his movement?
I don't know, but for the record: my point is not that we should blame Lidström, it is that a player of Lidström's abilities and skills with some physical play on top would be more complete and better than Lidström.

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03-16-2014, 06:12 PM
  #94
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Interesting discussion, especially wrt the requirement that the player be physical. I must admit my instinct would be to put this as a key characteristic, but I think Fugu makes a good point for making it simply one component.

I only saw Howe play live a few times, but even as a grampa he was a nasty bit of business. If you do require significant physicality I'd say there is a very good argument to name him #1.

I'd be hard pressed to put Forsberg at the top in good part because his injuries limited his effectiveness over much of his career. His goal totals also hurt him in that regard.

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03-16-2014, 06:14 PM
  #95
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I don't know, but for the record: my point is not that we should blame Lidström, it is that a player of Lidström's abilities and skills with some physical play on top would be more complete and better than Lidström.
That's really subjective, would Wayne have been "better" if he played more aggressively?

Or Robinson, who was more of a presence than a really physical guy.

As to the OP, yes Forsberg should come up in the discussion of the "most complete guys ever" IMO.

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03-16-2014, 06:39 PM
  #96
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Interesting discussion, especially wrt the requirement that the player be physical. I must admit my instinct would be to put this as a key characteristic, but I think Fugu makes a good point for making it simply one component.

I only saw Howe play live a few times, but even as a grampa he was a nasty bit of business. If you do require significant physicality I'd say there is a very good argument to name him #1.

I'd be hard pressed to put Forsberg at the top in good part because his injuries limited his effectiveness over much of his career. His goal totals also hurt him in that regard.

I don't think we should lose sight of the fact that most of the respondents here are North American, and as far as I can tell, predominantly Canadian. It's fairly well established that this group values physicality to a large degree than fans with different origins.

That's not meant as a criticism, but an observation of perhaps a bit of inherent bias and preference. This blog, while focusing on the Summit Series, captures the value placed on grit and physicality by our group (some of us who watched it live):

Quote:
Assuming it turns out to be the more honest portrayal described in the reviews, I’d be spending several hours hanging my head. I’d prefer not to be reminded that the series was not about the triumph of Canadian grit and Canadian will. It was about Canadian hubris, a woeful lack of preparation, several shameful incidents, the ugly side of Canadian hockey passion and in the end, a very fortunate victory. It was both thrilling and chilling to the thoughtful Canadian fan.
For as the Dunn-MacRury interpretation of the first great international hockey super-series makes clear, Team Canada won by employing a cruelty of purpose that was as chilling as the ice they fought on. ?There is no doubt in my mind that I?d have killed to win that series,? Phil Esposito would later tell a reporter. ?It scares me, but it?s true.?
If the series can be described as a war, our players could be fairly portrayed as war criminals, criminals who were wildly applauded by Canadian fans because they won. Any notion that hockey had a relationship to the playing fields of Eton was destroyed in September of 1972. How the game had been played was entirely irrelevant in the aftermath. Only the result counted.
I’ve often thought that Canadian hockey would have been better served if the Soviets had won the series. Bitter recriminations would have certainly followed and the legend would never have been written. Canadians would not have come to believe that grit and effort could trump talent. Alan Eagleson would not have emerged as the most powerful man in hockey. We would not have developed Canadian hockey xenophobia to the same degree.
Our game – and our society – would have been better for it.

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03-16-2014, 06:56 PM
  #97
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This blog[/URL], while focusing on the Summit Series, captures the value placed on grit and physicality by our group (some of us who watched it live):
Side note: I've been and I am still one of the more outspoken critics of the Canadian antics in the Summit Series, but that blog entry is nevertheless not very balanced and the suggestion that the 1972 Soviet team had more talent (Canadian victory showed "that grit and effort could trump talent") is more than questionable in my eyes.

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03-16-2014, 07:10 PM
  #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
I don't think we should lose sight of the fact that most of the respondents here are North American, and as far as I can tell, predominantly Canadian. It's fairly well established that this group values physicality to a large degree than fans with different origins.

That's not meant as a criticism, but an observation of perhaps a bit of inherent bias and preference. This blog, while focusing on the Summit Series, captures the value placed on grit and physicality by our group (some of us who watched it live):
I've said this before, if I have a bias, it's an NHL bias. Not a Nationality bias.
Rink size plays a big part as to how effective and just plain how many opportunities there are to establish and maintain physical play.

Euro posters are more "biased" to how the game is played on the big ice and what's most effective on that ice.
NA posters to the smaller ice and what is effective on it.

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03-16-2014, 07:24 PM
  #99
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Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
Side note: I've been and I am still one of the more outspoken critics of the Canadian antics in the Summit Series, but that blog entry is nevertheless not very balanced and the suggestion that the 1972 Soviet team had more talent (Canadian victory showed "that grit and effort could trump talent") is more than questionable in my eyes.
I remember being shocked beyond words at just how good the Soviets were. I also remember the Red Army vs Habs game in 1975 and felt that was some of the greatest hockey I'd ever witnessed.

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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
I've said this before, if I have a bias, it's an NHL bias. Not a Nationality bias.
Rink size plays a big part as to how effective and just plain how many opportunities there are to establish and maintain physical play.

Euro posters are more "biased" to how the game is played on the big ice and what's most effective on that ice.
NA posters to the smaller ice and what is effective on it.
I see the strongest arguments for physicality typically coming from Canadian posters on HF (and not just here in the HOH section). There's nothing wrong with it, just pointing out that's what I've seen over the years here.

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03-16-2014, 10:35 PM
  #100
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I see the strongest arguments for physicality typically coming from Canadian posters on HF (and not just here in the HOH section). There's nothing wrong with it, just pointing out that's what I've seen over the years here.
It's the way we were trained and brought up to play the game. It's what has made us as successful as we've been.
I watch the way the Russians, Swedes and Czechs approach the game, they tend to keep more with their European roots.
Then you watch the Fins, how they have adopted a more Canadian, physical, in your face style over the last decade and a half or so and how much success they have had with it.
It's gratifying to be honest.

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