Here's who I think are the 5 best forwards so far this year
Here's who I think are the 5 best forwards
Knuble and Axelsson have been outstanding and Lapointe although not putting up points has played very tough and team oriented.
my grades so far based on performance and 'expectation'
Murray C- (has had some big assist streaks to get some points)
Lapointe B (points not there but has fought and played gritty)
Green C+ (has been gritty and played well in limited role)
McCarthy A- suprised me how much better than average goon
Tough, because most of us don't remember back past the 60's and a whole group of worthy players will be omitted.
I would go with
My grades for the current group would be
Jeez, I haven't even had a drink tonight and I already blew the question big time. The best 5 forwards ahem this year have been
Now it's time for that drink.
since I've been watching in the late 60's I'd say the 5 best forwards taking in their 5 best (not just points here I'm talking total package and defensive game/grit) years as a Broon are from 1967-2003
minimum 5 yrs (I've seen each play in person no less than 50 times-Espo)
two thru four you could go any way
2.Pederson (check out his first 6 years pt wise and stellar defense- if you think I'm nuts remember this- they came within 1 freakin point of getting Neely and the 2nd pick in the draft (Brendan Shanahan) for Mr inbetween the periods
3. Neely- second best powerforward of last 50 years only injuries prevented him from probably 600 goals- ask Dave Tippett a checker who hardest body checker ever played against; ask Chris Nilan a tough guy who toughest player played against; ask Patty Roy a goalie who toughest shooter ever played against was. Three outstanding specialists in one area would list Cam at or near top of any list. Come on HOF get a clue.
4. Rick Middleton- amazingly his defense was as good as his offense. An absolute big time player and as graceful on the ice as any forward I have ever seen. What a treat watching him- maybe the most underrated Broon of alltime. There are HOFs that could not carry his jock and they know it.
5. John Bucyk- outstanding in close LW. His early years when he could about do it all no one was watching, as he got older and surrounded with one of the handful of elite players in history he benefited immensely. Very solid and opportunistic- maybe money wise wasn't born in right era but no one other than Ken Hodge had better luck of being in right place at right time as the Chief.
And something the kids today just don't appreciate is that Bucyk also threw a mean hip check! Clean, but hockey the way it was meant to be played. Damn, I loved that team in the Orr years. My all time favorite sports memories, '68 - '73 or so. Also, collecting Johnny Unitas, Hal Lanier, Norm Cash, Emerson Boozer, Don Maynard blah blah blah cards.