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

The greatest team ever assembled

View Poll Results: The best team ever iced
The Soviets ´79 21 14.19%
The Soviets ´81 10 6.76%
Team Canada ´76 19 12.84%
Team Canada ´87 71 47.97%
Team Canada ´02 11 7.43%
Czechs ´98 0 0%
Team Canada ´72 2 1.35%
Some other team 14 9.46%
Voters: 148. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
06-05-2006, 04:02 AM
  #1
Marcus-74
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The greatest team ever assembled

What is the best team (national team representing a certain country) that there has ever been? Not JUST on paper, but also on the ice as well. Here is my top 4:

1. The Soviets ´79

This is of course the team which triumphed in the Challenge Cup, but its not the only proof of their greatness. In the 1978-79 season their only loss was that 4-2 L to NHL All Stars and in the ´78 Izvestia tournament Czechoslovakia held them to a 3-3 tie and those two blots were certainly avenged (in the ´79 WCs silver medallists Czechs were beaten by scores of 11-1 and 6-1!).
I think that around this time the Soviets finally had a team which had four really strong lines and the young new defensemen like Bilyaletnidov, Babinov and of course Fetisov had brought much needed reliability in their own end. Okay, so they didn´t win, say, a Canada Cup, but there´s nothing suggesting to me that they wouldn´t have (if it had been held around this time).
KEY PLAYERS: Mikhailov, Petrov, Kharlamov, Balderis, Kapustin, Maltsev, Fetisov, Tretiak, Vasiliev, Makarov...

2. Soviets ´81

It´s only a couple years later, but this was different team than the one of ´79. After Lake Placid Tikhonov was forced to make some changes and, well, it worked! The Soviets were virtually unbeatable in the early 80s.
The big thing about them (along with their obvious skill) was their youth; many of the key players were under 25 years old...
Their crowning achievement was of course that ´81 Canada Cup and annihilation of Team Canada in the final. The team was young, hungry and ridiculously talented and Tretiak was probably giving his best goaltending at this time. How could you beat that?
KEY PLAYERS: Green Unit, Shepelev, Shalimov, Kapustin, Khomutov, Tretiak...

3. Team Canada ´76

On paper, they might be the best team ever assembled (certainly on defense!), but after seeing all their games (except vs. Finland) in the ´76 Canada Cup, I´m still not convinced that they would have beaten those aforementioned Soviet teams, especially best of 3.
Still, it´s the best Canadian team ever IMO and a brilliant blend of talent; from great work horses like Clarke, Gainey and Mcdonald to ultra-exciting skillsters like Perreault, Lafleur and of course Bobby Orr in his so called last hurrah. And older guys like Hull and Esposito were still pretty useful, on power play at least...
However, I think that many players should have raised their level of play in order to beat those Soviet teams. This Team Canada´s potential was unlimited, but they just didn´t give that sort of performance that would make them greatest team ever IMO. Even the 6-0 blowout of Czechoslovakia in the first final seemed to be more of a case of Czechs playing a lacklustre game than anything else.
KEY PLAYERS: Perreault, Orr, Potvin, Clarke, Vachon, Hull, Robinson, Sittler, Esposito...

4. Team Canada ´87

A team heavily dependent on Gretzky and Lemieux, of course. I think they´re maybe the Canadian team who played the best as a team, especially on power plays. Just compare their passing plays to those of the ´72 team, for instance, and it´s like from another planet!
However, I think that the team was slightly too unbalanced to be called the greatest ever. They beat the Soviets in the Canada Cup finals by the slightest of margins and it was not quite the Soviet team of ´79 or ´81. Many also feel that the refereeing was very biased in those finals...
Still, the team had without a shadow of a doubt the best combo in hockey ever (guess who!) and lots of other great players...
KEY PLAYERS: Gretzky, Lemieux, Messier, Coffey, Fuhr, Bourque, Gartner, Hawerchuk, Gretzky, Lemieux ...

Others:

Team Canada ´02
- Won the Olympic gold

Czechs ´98
- ditto

Team Canada ´72
- Won the Summit Series, but the best team ever? NO WAY!


Last edited by Marcus-74: 06-05-2006 at 12:06 PM.
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Old
06-05-2006, 04:52 AM
  #2
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2005-06 Boston Bruins...

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Old
06-05-2006, 05:03 AM
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Marcus-74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotwheels
2005-06 Boston Bruins...
You don´t wanna wait to get some perspective on the matter? Well, who knows, maybe they are!

Anyway, I should have been a bit clearer. I meant INTERNATIONAL teams... list would be way too long otherwise. But of course you can vote whatever you will, I guess...

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06-05-2006, 05:09 AM
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Hey the owner said himself it was the best Bruins team assembled. Had to point it out.


Ok well best team out of that list? Since i am not old enough for the older teams, i'll go with the '87 Canada team & the 98 Czech team in a tie.

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06-05-2006, 12:58 PM
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76-77 Canadiens


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06-05-2006, 01:08 PM
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The Red Machine without a doubt.

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06-05-2006, 01:18 PM
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The 1976-77 Habs were the best offensive and defensive team in the regular season and cruised through three rounds in the playoffs.

Internationally, the Canadian 1976 Canada Cup team was awesome. Imagine a defense with Orr, Potvin, Robinson, Savard & Lapointe and many Hall of Fame forwards.

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06-05-2006, 03:52 PM
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The 92-93 regular-season Penguins:

Presidents Trophy with 56 wins and 119 pts.
Ended season with 17 straight wins.

Key players:
Mario lemieux 160 pts, 69 goals
Kevin Stevens 111 pts, 55 goals
Rick Tocchet 109 pts, 48 goals
Ron Francis 100 pts, 76 assists
Jaromir Jagr 94 pts, 34 goals
Larry Murphy 85 pts, 63 assists
Joe Mullen 70 pts, 33 goals
Shawn McEachern 61 pts

Defense anchored by the two Samuelssons and Murphy

Tom Barrasso - 43 wins in 63 games, 4 SO
Kenny Wregget pulled out 13 wins as the consummate back-up

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06-05-2006, 04:19 PM
  #9
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Team Canada ´87

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06-05-2006, 05:42 PM
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Team Canada '87. Gretzky and Lemieux together, enough said.

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06-05-2006, 06:20 PM
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TeamCanada 87. NHL team..... The 1987 Edmonton Oilers.

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06-05-2006, 06:24 PM
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I will take any team with Gretzky, Bourque, Coffey AND Lemieux on it

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06-05-2006, 06:29 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovy1335
The 92-93 regular-season Penguins:

Presidents Trophy with 56 wins and 119 pts.
Ended season with 17 straight wins.

Key players:
Mario lemieux 160 pts, 69 goals
Kevin Stevens 111 pts, 55 goals
Rick Tocchet 109 pts, 48 goals
Ron Francis 100 pts, 76 assists
Jaromir Jagr 94 pts, 34 goals
Larry Murphy 85 pts, 63 assists
Joe Mullen 70 pts, 33 goals
Shawn McEachern 61 pts

Defense anchored by the two Samuelssons and Murphy

Tom Barrasso - 43 wins in 63 games, 4 SO
Kenny Wregget pulled out 13 wins as the consummate back-up
Not even close. They did not win the Cup, thus they do not even merit a passing thought. The 1991 and 1992 Penguins were better teams, but aren't the best teams ever assembled.

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06-05-2006, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go kim johnsson 514
I will take any team with Gretzky, Bourque, Coffey AND Lemieux on it
What if it is Keith Gretzky, Phil Bourque and Jocelyn Lemieux? Plus Paul Coffey

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06-05-2006, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by God Bless Canada
Not even close. They did not win the Cup, thus they do not even merit a passing thought. The 1991 and 1992 Penguins were better teams, but aren't the best teams ever assembled.
Okay, I did say the REGULAR SEASON 92-93 Pens, but anyway I think you are dead wrong. That team had by far the most and best talent of any Penguins teams.

How many teams win three straight anyway? Most of the players are the same ones who won the cup a year earlier.

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06-05-2006, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovy1335
Okay, I did say the REGULAR SEASON 92-93 Pens, but anyway I think you are dead wrong. That team had by far the most and best talent of any Penguins teams.

How many teams win three straight anyway? Most of the players are the same ones who won the cup a year earlier.
Talent? So what? It's how you play as a team during the most important hockey of the year that counts. Reality is the Penguins in 1993 did not get the job done. They did in 1991 and 1992. Thus the Penguins from 1991 and 1992 were the better team.

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06-06-2006, 01:38 AM
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I don't understand why people are voting for the 87 Team Canada over the 76 Team Canada. If you compare the two teams the 76 team is better. Goaltending is pretty even. Vachon played extremely well as did Fuhr. Defence isn't even close. The 76 defence was much better than the 87 team. They had better depth and they had more top end talent than the 87 team. Even though the 87 team had Gretzky and Lemieux on it the 76 team had better forwards as well.

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06-06-2006, 03:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canucksfan
I don't understand why people are voting for the 87 Team Canada over the 76 Team Canada. If you compare the two teams the 76 team is better. Goaltending is pretty even. Vachon played extremely well as did Fuhr. Defence isn't even close. The 76 defence was much better than the 87 team. They had better depth and they had more top end talent than the 87 team. Even though the 87 team had Gretzky and Lemieux on it the 76 team had better forwards as well.
I agree, the '76 team was much better. The '87 squad tends to get vastly overrated -- mainly due to the excitement and heroics in that CC. In fact, the Soviet team they barely beat in the finals was one of the weaker 'A' teams the Soviets ever iced. The USSR had no depth at any position whatsoever.
The '76 team was absolutely stacked top to bottom.

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06-06-2006, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canucksfan
I don't understand why people are voting for the 87 Team Canada over the 76 Team Canada. If you compare the two teams the 76 team is better. Goaltending is pretty even. Vachon played extremely well as did Fuhr. Defence isn't even close. The 76 defence was much better than the 87 team. They had better depth and they had more top end talent than the 87 team. Even though the 87 team had Gretzky and Lemieux on it the 76 team had better forwards as well.
Agree. The way Vachon played in that tournament and with the team in front of him I would stack that team up against any I have seen.

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06-06-2006, 09:11 AM
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NY Islanders....5 consecutive Stanley Cup appearances and 19 consecutive playoff wins.

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06-06-2006, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by God Bless Canada
Talent? So what? It's how you play as a team during the most important hockey of the year that counts. Reality is the Penguins in 1993 did not get the job done. They did in 1991 and 1992. Thus the Penguins from 1991 and 1992 were the better team.
That's in the playoffs, maybe. But there is no question the 92-93 pens were better in the regular season. And that's all I said in the first place.

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06-06-2006, 11:33 AM
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Nothing against Vachon and Watson, but if Dryden, Parent and Park had been available, this topic wouldn't be worthy of discussion.

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06-06-2006, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovy1335
That's in the playoffs, maybe. But there is no question the 92-93 pens were better in the regular season. And that's all I said in the first place.
What surprises me about those Pens teams is how poorly (relatively) they were in the regular season. How could teams as hugely deep and talented as the 91 and 92 Pens only get like 90 points. Even though Mario missed 2/3 and 1/3 of each season it shouldn't have mattered that much with a team like that.

I think that defensive depth hurt them the most. They really hada poor defence after the top 2 or 3 D-Men they had.

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06-06-2006, 12:19 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cup2006sensrule
What surprises me about those Pens teams is how poorly (relatively) they were in the regular season. How could teams as hugely deep and talented as the 91 and 92 Pens only get like 90 points. Even though Mario missed 2/3 and 1/3 of each season it shouldn't have mattered that much with a team like that.

I think that defensive depth hurt them the most. They really hada poor defence after the top 2 or 3 D-Men they had.
firewagon hockey with lots of defensive miscues. in '90-91 they won the patrick division even though they were the only team to allow 300+ goals. they allowed 300+ goals again in '92. they were scoring about 350 goals a season though. the 92-93 team really was the best team the pens ever had. they scored 370 goals and only allowed 270, but they couldn't get the job done.

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06-06-2006, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Metamorphosis
firewagon hockey with lots of defensive miscues. in '90-91 they won the patrick division even though they were the only team to allow 300+ goals. they allowed 300+ goals again in '92. they were scoring about 350 goals a season though. the 92-93 team really was the best team the pens ever had. they scored 370 goals and only allowed 270, but they couldn't get the job done.
Defence was the biggest reason why the Oilers dynasty was better than the Pens cup runs. Obviously Lemieux's many injuries and medical issues were a huge factor but an even bigger one was the Oilers ability to play good defence. The Oilers defence was very underrated. They had good defence depth and could and did play pretty good team defence in the playoffs. They had top forwards and bottom forwards who were excellent defensively.

That is the biggest reason for the difference. The Pens had a similar level of top forwards at least for 3 or 4 seasons but never had the depth and the defence the Oilers had.

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