HFBoards

Go Back   HFBoards > General Hockey Discussion > The History of Hockey
Mobile Hockey's Future Become a Sponsor Site Rules Support Forum vBookie Page 2
The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

Best defensive forward vs the best offensive forward

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old
04-09-2007, 05:13 PM
  #1
Randall Graves*
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Country: United States
Posts: 18,621
vCash: 500
Best defensive forward vs the best offensive forward

Now I am not saying Bob Gainey is Wayne Gretzky's equal or anything but if there were concrete defensive stats(tangible results) how would that change perception?

I mean it seems like we put much more premium on offense, but if there were stats to prove a players defensive dominance how would it change how we rank all time great forwards?

Randall Graves* is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-09-2007, 06:02 PM
  #2
VanIslander
Hope for better 2015
 
VanIslander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 19,155
vCash: 500
Bob Gainey is already considered a Top-100 all-time player. Guy Carbonneau would join the club.

Notice how fellow multi-Selke winners Lehtinen and Peca also are great in the playoffs: the best defensive forwards are competitive as hell and thrive on challenges.

In football the defensive secondary (cornerback and safety positions) gets more respect than does the defensive forward in hockey. Very sad, but true.

The Selke is supposed to help change all that, but in recent years it is said to have become an award to recognize scorers who play good d. I dunno if that's true, but third and fourth line checkers like Stephane Yelle and P.J. Axelsson don't seem to get enough consideration, and guys like Draper, Madden, Brind'amour seem to win in years that they shine offensively, not necessarily their best year defensively. An award meant to reward overlooked players has turned into another scoring line trophy, the argument goes. It has some weight.

VanIslander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-09-2007, 07:22 PM
  #3
Kyle McMahon
Registered User
 
Kyle McMahon's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Evil Empire
Country: Canada
Posts: 6,819
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
In football the defensive secondary (cornerback and safety positions) gets more respect than does the defensive forward in hockey. Very sad, but true.
And so they should. A defensive player in football will often directly prevent a score against. If he does his job right and keeps the receiver covered, he's potentially kept 7 points off the board. Defensive forwards in hockey do not directly prevent goals from going in (unless they block a shot that's headed for a wide open net or something). Goaltenders directly prevent scores against, which is why a great goaltender is far more valuable than a great defensive forward. Though not as big a role as the goalie, defensemen usually play a larger role than the defensive forward as well.

The fundamental role of a forward is to provide offense. Usually the checking line is made up of guys who's offensive abilities are limited to the point where they'd be of little value if they didn't take care of their own end. Very rarely is a potential 30 goal scorer asked to play defense and score 15 instead.

By no means is this meant to slag guys like Gainey and Lehtinen, who play(ed) important roles in their teams' success. But would anybody seriously say they were more valuable than Dryden and Robinson or Belfour and Zubov?

Kyle McMahon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-09-2007, 07:30 PM
  #4
MXD
Registered User
 
MXD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 22,457
vCash: 500
Well... a vert fast, smart, good stickhandler is likely to be a good to great defensive forward -- will be able to creates lots of turnovers. However, those guys might

- Not defensive-minded
OR
- Be good offensively too, so they end up being very good two-way players.

MXD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-09-2007, 08:36 PM
  #5
shawnmullin
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Swift Current
Country: Canada
Posts: 6,172
vCash: 500
Send a message via AIM to shawnmullin Send a message via MSN to shawnmullin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
And so they should. A defensive player in football will often directly prevent a score against. If he does his job right and keeps the receiver covered, he's potentially kept 7 points off the board. Defensive forwards in hockey do not directly prevent goals from going in (unless they block a shot that's headed for a wide open net or something). Goaltenders directly prevent scores against, which is why a great goaltender is far more valuable than a great defensive forward. Though not as big a role as the goalie, defensemen usually play a larger role than the defensive forward as well.

The fundamental role of a forward is to provide offense. Usually the checking line is made up of guys who's offensive abilities are limited to the point where they'd be of little value if they didn't take care of their own end. Very rarely is a potential 30 goal scorer asked to play defense and score 15 instead.

By no means is this meant to slag guys like Gainey and Lehtinen, who play(ed) important roles in their teams' success. But would anybody seriously say they were more valuable than Dryden and Robinson or Belfour and Zubov?
They surely could have been. Your statements here are way off the mark IMO. So a cornerback gets full credit for stopping 7 points... even though the pass rush impacts that, the coverage of the other players impacts where the ball goes, etc. But a defensive forward doesn't get the same credit even though... for example... he could shadow the best player and shut them down, taking away that player as a scoring option. He can block shots, kill KEY penalties and pick up key coverage in the defensive zone.

The goalie is the final line, and guys like Belfour made great careers out of getting to see most of the shots because guys like Lehtenon made sure the chances against were low percentage.


Last edited by shawnmullin: 04-09-2007 at 11:09 PM.
shawnmullin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-09-2007, 10:14 PM
  #6
arrbez
bad chi
 
arrbez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toronto
Country: Canada
Posts: 12,610
vCash: 500
Send a message via MSN to arrbez
While the defensive aspect of the game is equally important as the offence, a great defensive forward is not as important as a great offensive star.

You can take any player with hockey sense, work ethic, and a good set of wheels and turn them into a great top-5-in-the-league defensive forward (draper, madden, lehtinen, etc).

However, you can't take that same player and make them talented. The truly elite offensive players are just born with it. For this reason, an offensive star will always be more valuable than a defensive star, just because they're harder to find. Defensive forwards usually fall into that role because they're unable to succeed offensively at the NHL level. There aren't many kids who dream of being Bob Gainey after they've seen Guy Lafleur.

arrbez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-09-2007, 10:20 PM
  #7
Kyle McMahon
Registered User
 
Kyle McMahon's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Evil Empire
Country: Canada
Posts: 6,819
vCash: 500
Say CB Champ Bailey is assigned to cover WR Marvin Harrison. If Bailey stumbles and Harrison blows by him, it's almost certainly a touchdown or a big gain as long as Peyton Manning delivers a decent pass. If Jere Lehtinen is assigned to shadow Markus Naslund, there's a MUCH larger margin for error. Maybe Naslund slips away from him a couple of times and gets a good scoring chance, but Luongo makes the save or Ohlund is there to swat the puck off his stick.

I hardly think great goaltenders like Belfour "made great careers" out of making easy stops thanks to good defensive play. Of course that plays a factor, but he's still got to make the save plain and simple.

So, hypothetically, do you think Vancouver would entertain the thought of trading Luongo to Dallas for Lehtinen right before their upcoming playoff series? Not a chance in a million. A great goaltender is more valuable than a great defensive forward plain and simple.

Kyle McMahon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-09-2007, 10:31 PM
  #8
Murphy
Registered User
 
Murphy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Edmonton
Country: Canada
Posts: 2,104
vCash: 500
Strong defensive players don't get the glory. Goals & assists are a much more glorious stat then quality of opposition factors or +/- but I think are just as important to winning than point scorers are.

If you play the game you know the guys that are chasing you down backchecking, never letting you get space or the defenseman thats impossible to beat one on one. Those are the hard to play against guys. You get a team of stars and hockey turns into shinny.

I think a good example of this was Peca's performance last spring. Without him, the Oilers don't get past Anahiem.

Murphy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-09-2007, 10:34 PM
  #9
VanIslander
Hope for better 2015
 
VanIslander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 19,155
vCash: 500
(1) Carbonneau stopped Gretzky in a playoff series.

(2) Carbonneau stopped Jagr in a playoff series.

(3) The postseason is the real season.

(4) Carbonneau is one of the greatest defensive forwards

therefore

(5) a great defensive forward can be worth as much as a great offensive forward

VanIslander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-09-2007, 10:50 PM
  #10
Spitfire11
Registered User
 
Spitfire11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Ontario
Country: Canada
Posts: 4,581
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murphy2 View Post
I think a good example of this was Peca's performance last spring. Without him, the Oilers don't get past Anahiem.
But without Hemsky, they don't make it past Detroit. No team gets far without offensive stars, but teams routinely win the Cup without great defensive forwards. They can only do so much, a good goaltender and defense goes much further in shuting down a star player than any "shadow". Pronger and Roloson were much more instrumental in shutting offenses down than Peca and Moreau. Do you think Vancouver fans are more worried about playing Lehtinen or Dallas fans more worried about playing Luongo? Defensive players have a role but star players willing to backcheck can be just as effective. Wouldn't the Oilers have been in even better shape with 2 Smyths rather than Smyth and Moreau?

Spitfire11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-09-2007, 11:12 PM
  #11
shawnmullin
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Swift Current
Country: Canada
Posts: 6,172
vCash: 500
Send a message via AIM to shawnmullin Send a message via MSN to shawnmullin
Quote:
Originally Posted by arrbez View Post

You can take any player with hockey sense, work ethic, and a good set of wheels and turn them into a great top-5-in-the-league defensive forward (draper, madden, lehtinen, etc).
That's just ignorant arrbez. I'm sorry, that's an ignorant statement. I don't even know where to begin when you make it sound so easy.

shawnmullin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-09-2007, 11:31 PM
  #12
shawnmullin
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Swift Current
Country: Canada
Posts: 6,172
vCash: 500
Send a message via AIM to shawnmullin Send a message via MSN to shawnmullin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire11 View Post
But without Hemsky, they don't make it past Detroit. No team gets far without offensive stars, but teams routinely win the Cup without great defensive forwards. They can only do so much, a good goaltender and defense goes much further in shuting down a star player than any "shadow". Pronger and Roloson were much more instrumental in shutting offenses down than Peca and Moreau. Do you think Vancouver fans are more worried about playing Lehtinen or Dallas fans more worried about playing Luongo? Defensive players have a role but star players willing to backcheck can be just as effective. Wouldn't the Oilers have been in even better shape with 2 Smyths rather than Smyth and Moreau?
Really, teams routinely win the Cup without strong defensive forwards?

Carolina: Brind'Amour, Adams and Adams
Tampa Bay: Taylor (though I wouldn't say he's elite defensively)
Devils: Madden, Langenbrunner and pretty much the whole team
Red Wings: Draper, Maltby, Larionov, Federov
Avalanche: Yelle, Keane
Devils: Holik, Madden, etc.
Stars: Carbonneau, Lehtinen, Langenbrunner, Keane, who is gonna score!?
Red Wings: Draper, Maltby, Larionov, Federov
Red Wings: Draper, Maltby, Larionov, Federov
Devils: Holik, Madden, Lemieux, Rolston
Rangers: Tikkanen, Mac T
Canadiens: Muller, Keane, Carbonneau
Penguins: Francis, Errey
Penguins: Francis, Errey
Oilers: Tikkanen, Mac T

Is that far enough to rule out the "routinely" comment?

shawnmullin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-09-2007, 11:31 PM
  #13
Ogopogo*
 
Ogopogo*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Edmonton
Country: Canada
Posts: 14,214
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by RallyKiller View Post
Now I am not saying Bob Gainey is Wayne Gretzky's equal or anything but if there were concrete defensive stats(tangible results) how would that change perception?

I mean it seems like we put much more premium on offense, but if there were stats to prove a players defensive dominance how would it change how we rank all time great forwards?

Not much. Great offensive dominance is always more valuable at the forward position.

Ogopogo* is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-09-2007, 11:33 PM
  #14
shawnmullin
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Swift Current
Country: Canada
Posts: 6,172
vCash: 500
Send a message via AIM to shawnmullin Send a message via MSN to shawnmullin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
Not much. Great offensive dominance is always more valuable at the forward position.
Why is it defensive vs. offensive?

1) You clearly need a balance of both
2) Two-way players are more valuable than someone who can only play one aspect of the game

Shouldn't that pretty much be an obvious hockey truth?

shawnmullin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-09-2007, 11:36 PM
  #15
Spitfire11
Registered User
 
Spitfire11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Ontario
Country: Canada
Posts: 4,581
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnmullin View Post
2) Two-way players are more valuable than someone who can only play one aspect of the game
I believe we are arguning the same point

Spitfire11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-09-2007, 11:40 PM
  #16
Ogopogo*
 
Ogopogo*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Edmonton
Country: Canada
Posts: 14,214
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnmullin View Post
Why is it defensive vs. offensive?

1) You clearly need a balance of both
2) Two-way players are more valuable than someone who can only play one aspect of the game

Shouldn't that pretty much be an obvious hockey truth?
So, Kirk Muller is more valuable than Wayne Gretzky?

Ogopogo* is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-09-2007, 11:44 PM
  #17
VanIslander
Hope for better 2015
 
VanIslander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 19,155
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
So, Kirk Muller is more valuable than Wayne Gretzky?
A Muller is more valuable than a Datsyuk in the playoffs

Sometimes in playoff hockey a Carbonneau is AS VALUABLE AS a Gretzky... but there are not many Carbonneaus and to think that there are plenty of players who can do what he did is just plain... contrary to all I've seen. But I've watched Carbo a lot and dropped my jaw often just like watching a star goalie.

VanIslander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-09-2007, 11:49 PM
  #18
Spitfire11
Registered User
 
Spitfire11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Ontario
Country: Canada
Posts: 4,581
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
A Muller is more valuable than a Datsyuk in the playoffs
We'll see this year....

Datsyuk's turned into a darn good two-way player under Babcock.

Spitfire11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-09-2007, 11:52 PM
  #19
shawnmullin
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Swift Current
Country: Canada
Posts: 6,172
vCash: 500
Send a message via AIM to shawnmullin Send a message via MSN to shawnmullin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire11 View Post
I believe we are arguning the same point
Except the part where you said teams routinely win without great defensive forwards.

shawnmullin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-09-2007, 11:53 PM
  #20
shawnmullin
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Swift Current
Country: Canada
Posts: 6,172
vCash: 500
Send a message via AIM to shawnmullin Send a message via MSN to shawnmullin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
So, Kirk Muller is more valuable than Wayne Gretzky?
Well for one I don't personally believe Gretzky was a liability defensively, he just wasn't a strong pressence.

shawnmullin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-09-2007, 11:54 PM
  #21
VanIslander
Hope for better 2015
 
VanIslander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 19,155
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnmullin View Post
Two-way players are more valuable than someone who can only play one aspect of the game
Sounds logical but is only true if a two-way player plays defense as well as a defensive forward... but that's not true for the most part... defensive forwards make different DECISIONS than does an offensive-minded player. Chase the puck into the corner? or shutoff the outlet pass should the opponent gain possession. Move a turnover up ice? or dump the puck out of your zone. Join a 2-on-2 rush to have an odd-man advantage? or cover the first opposing forward back to limit the opponents' possible transition play. Leave your man and head for open ice looking to get a pass? or finish your check.... there are PLENTY of decision differences between a two-way player and a defensive forward... a team needs both. A player like Tikkanen shifts between the two roles, especially come playoff time. But let's not confuse the fact that there is a difference for the most part.

VanIslander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-10-2007, 12:02 AM
  #22
Spitfire11
Registered User
 
Spitfire11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Ontario
Country: Canada
Posts: 4,581
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnmullin View Post
Really, teams routinely win the Cup without strong defensive forwards?

Carolina: Brind'Amour, Adams and Adams
Tampa Bay: Taylor (though I wouldn't say he's elite defensively)
Devils: Madden, Langenbrunner and pretty much the whole team
Red Wings: Draper, Maltby, Larionov, Federov
Avalanche: Yelle, Keane
Devils: Holik, Madden, etc.
Stars: Carbonneau, Lehtinen, Langenbrunner, Keane, who is gonna score!?
Red Wings: Draper, Maltby, Larionov, Federov
Red Wings: Draper, Maltby, Larionov, Federov
Devils: Holik, Madden, Lemieux, Rolston
Rangers: Tikkanen, Mac T
Canadiens: Muller, Keane, Carbonneau
Penguins: Francis, Errey
Penguins: Francis, Errey
Oilers: Tikkanen, Mac T

Is that far enough to rule out the "routinely" comment?
Well you did a good job eating me alive for that one line, but you avoided everything else in that post. Plus, half these guys you listed are offensive players that backcheck, like I said. Obviously every team is going to have a couple role players, no team has had the $$ to fill all 4 lines with scorers. Having a crappy time getting my point across......check out the Selke winners that havn't won a Cup and compare it to the Art Ross winners that havn't won the Cup.

Spitfire11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-10-2007, 12:12 AM
  #23
arrbez
bad chi
 
arrbez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toronto
Country: Canada
Posts: 12,610
vCash: 500
Send a message via MSN to arrbez
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnmullin View Post
That's just ignorant arrbez. I'm sorry, that's an ignorant statement. I don't even know where to begin when you make it sound so easy.
How so?

There's hundreds of cases of players working hard and becoming great defensive players. Steve Yzerman (one of the best offensive players of his era) worked his ass off, and went from a great offensive player to a great two-way player. Same with Modano, same with Sakic, etc. A great hockey player, if willing to put in the work, can become a great defensive player.

It doesn't work the other way around. No matter how hard Mike Peca (one of the best defensive forwards of his era) works on his offence, he's never going to score 100 points.

My point isn't that a Steve Yzerman is easy to come by, but just that there's plenty of evidence that a player can move from a purely offensive game to winning the Selke with smarts and determination. There's no evidence that I know of a guy going from an elite defensive game to winning the Art Ross. They would if they could, but they can't.

I think it's fairly obvious that your average player can come a lot closer to being Jere Lehtinen than they can to being Sidney Crosby. Not as good as, but certainly closer. People find it somehow insulting to these defensive players, but it's true.

There's a reason the guys making the big money are star offensive players. GM's aren't stupid. They realize that defensive players are just as important, but a whole lot easier to come by.


Last edited by arrbez: 04-10-2007 at 12:20 AM.
arrbez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-10-2007, 12:19 AM
  #24
shawnmullin
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Swift Current
Country: Canada
Posts: 6,172
vCash: 500
Send a message via AIM to shawnmullin Send a message via MSN to shawnmullin
Quote:
Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
Sounds logical but is only true if a two-way player plays defense as well as a defensive forward... but that's not true for the most part... defensive forwards make different DECISIONS than does an offensive-minded player. Chase the puck into the corner? or shutoff the outlet pass should the opponent gain possession. Move a turnover up ice? or dump the puck out of your zone. Join a 2-on-2 rush to have an odd-man advantage? or cover the first opposing forward back to limit the opponents' possible transition play. Leave your man and head for open ice looking to get a pass? or finish your check.... there are PLENTY of decision differences between a two-way player and a defensive forward... a team needs both. A player like Tikkanen shifts between the two roles, especially come playoff time. But let's not confuse the fact that there is a difference for the most part.
Except that when you look at he ultimate examples... Gainey and Carb... they could both score.

I mean yeah, they wern't anywhere close to point a game guys. But Garb put up 660 plus points and Gainey 500 plus points. This is the NHL, if you can do that, you are a GOOD offensive player. Not elite, but good.

To me that qualifies them for two-way player status and more than simply a defensive specialist.

That's more what I mean, I want a player who - while they may be better at one aspect of the game - they can execute both.

shawnmullin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old
04-10-2007, 12:21 AM
  #25
shawnmullin
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Swift Current
Country: Canada
Posts: 6,172
vCash: 500
Send a message via AIM to shawnmullin Send a message via MSN to shawnmullin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire11 View Post
Well you did a good job eating me alive for that one line, but you avoided everything else in that post. Plus, half these guys you listed are offensive players that backcheck, like I said. Obviously every team is going to have a couple role players, no team has had the $$ to fill all 4 lines with scorers. Having a crappy time getting my point across......check out the Selke winners that havn't won a Cup and compare it to the Art Ross winners that havn't won the Cup.
By that last sentance are you trying to say that an offensive superstar can do more to carry a team than a defensive superstar?

I might be willing to agree with that. There are certainly more examples of one offensive superstar or one goalie carrying a team on their back than their are defensive forwards.

HOWEVER, defensive play by a forward is much harder to analyze objectively and qualify.

And ultimately, the point I was getting at in responding to you is that there are almost no circumstances where teams win without having very strong defensive forwards. That's hard to dispute.

shawnmullin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Forum Jump


Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:31 AM.

monitoring_string = "e4251c93e2ba248d29da988d93bf5144"
Contact Us - HFBoards - Archive - Privacy Statement - Terms of Use - Advertise - Top - AdChoices

vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
HFBoards.com is a property of CraveOnline Media, LLC, an Evolve Media, LLC company. 2015 All Rights Reserved.