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Top 25 Montreal Canadiens of all time: #1

View Poll Results: Out of this list, which of these hockey players has been the best while playing with
Jean Béliveau 50 16.08%
Yvan Cournoyer 0 0%
Ken Dryden 1 0.32%
Bill Durnan 1 0.32%
Bernard Geoffrion 0 0%
Doug Harvey 3 0.96%
Aurel Joliat 0 0%
Guy Lafleur 18 5.79%
Dickie Moore 1 0.32%
Howie Morenz 1 0.32%
Jacques Plante 0 0%
Henri Richard 7 2.25%
Maurice Richard 210 67.52%
Larry Robinson 2 0.64%
Patrick Roy 17 5.47%
Voters: 311. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
02-25-2008, 01:10 PM
  #51
mcphee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EagleBelfour View Post
Great list. Actually I have JB and first MR second, but our two top-10 really look alike. Geoffrion is a nice addition at n.9, but I might go with a goaltender, either Durnan or Dryden, at n.10. Still unsure about it.
I find it difficult to slot players by position against others. It's fun to do, but I don't know how to make an arguement that I'd believe in that Patrick Roy is better than Doug Harvey or vice versa.

I think Beliveau is clearly the best C. I believe Harvey is the #1 d man. You can argue Lafleur against Richard as the #1 rw'er but Richard's overall impact makes him #1.

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Old
02-25-2008, 01:23 PM
  #52
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Thanks for all the hard work you put in OP.

Lafleur is my favorite player of all time, but I went with the Rocket.

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Old
02-25-2008, 01:55 PM
  #53
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Great poll idea EagleBelfour and thanks for the invitation.

I think there's little doubt who the top 3 will be. The order may bring some debatable question.

I honestly believe that Jean Beliveau is the best player to ever play with the Montreal Canadiens. He may have been the closest player to Gordie Howe on Howe career's span (minus the cheap shots). On the other hand, Richard may simply be the greatest in the complete sense of greatness. I'll make a Beliveau vs. Richard comparaison on what I think is crucial to consider while judging two player's career.

Domination

Rocket is one of the most prolific scorer of all time. He led the league times in goals (only Bobby Hull and Phil Esposito did it more times). He wasn't much of a passer. Think Rick Nash but much more dominant. He was top-10 in points 11 times and 12 times top-10 in goals. Never get his hand on the Art Ross (damn suspension). Beliveau had a more complete set of skills but didn't acheive a lot more with it. He was a also top-10 in points 11 times and top-10 in goals 10 times. 2 Art Ross, second player to hit 1000 points.

Verdict : I think Richard outrageous scoring domination put him a hair over Beliveau's peak.

Consistency

Richard was a streaky player but always managed to end up near the top. We can argue that he benefited a lot from his teamates since he was more of a shooter type of guy. Beliveau excelled with any player he played with (Rocket included). Got a couple of years off because of injuries but was really consistent. It's hard to give an advantage to anybody. However, I think Richard's carreer had a second birth when Beliveau came in. Rocket also had more of a decline in the end of his career, and than at an age Beliveau was top-10 in points.

Verdict : Beliveau

Playoff/Clutch play

Richard held for more than 40 years the record for playoffs OT goals. He was CLUTCH HAS HELL and clearly at his best in the playoff. He was awarded 2 retro Conn Smythe. Beliveau's playoff prowess are often underesimated. He retired with over a PPG in the playoff and showed a much more regular production than Richard. He clearly raised his play. While Beliveau shows better number, Richard was there for the big ones.

Verdict : Richard

Recognition

Rocket has 1 Hart and was a 6 times finalist. Beliveau has 2 Harts and was a 7 times finalist. The fact Lach win the MVP the year Rocket put 50 in 50 tells something about his teamates.

Verdict : Beliveau by simple mathematics

Leadership

Beliveau was probably the greatest leader in hockey history. Not much to debate here. Richard was a leader on the ice. Gros Bill was a leader on and out of it. There's a lot of players that have been recognize as great leaders and Rocket is rarely in the discussion.

Verdict : Beliveau by a mile

Intangibles

Rocket physical play and temperament bring a lot to the table for those Champions teams. The guy had enough ardour and will to carry the whole team on his back. Richard was also bringing a level of intimidation very few player ever get. He could hit like a freight train and get as dirty as anyone in the game. Unfortunately, he sometimes put his team in a difficult position after taking his share of penalty. Beliveau on the other hand, was roughly what his stats show us. A great centerman. He reportedly was a great faceoff guy and had a great hockey sence.He was able to bring d-man attention to himself and thus creating space on the ice. Could be a very physical guy when needed.

Verdict : Richard for the emotional boost he brings to the game

Franchise/cultural significancy

If were looking for the BEST player, this aspect is totaly usless. However, if we're searching for the GREATEST player, we can't get away without it. That's the part that put Trevor Linden in the top 3 Canucks of all-time. The cultural influence of Richard is absolutely huge. It trancends sports. The Rocket is a symbol of perseverence and hard work for many entire generation. Whereas Beliveau has a huge place in the franchise history and pride, the Rocket significancy is at a national and political state. He's simply a bigger legend to the fans as proved the historical Forum ceremony.

Verdict : Rocket

Overall

Judging only by on ice talent, Beliveau is clearly the better of the two. However when judging on a greatest player status, we got to look beyond stats and acheivements. That is those assets who take a guy like Maurice Richard and put him over the top. He is one of those players that stats tend to underate him. He can't be define by only stats. Beliveau is my all-time favorite Habs and to me the most talented and classy individual to ever wear the Sainte-Flanelle. But in the end, Maurice probably did more, brought more, and meant more, and bleed more for this franchise than anybody else.

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Old
02-25-2008, 01:57 PM
  #54
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Oh...and add Elmer Lach

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02-25-2008, 02:00 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by Weztex View Post
Oh...and add Elmer Lach
Good point. Also, you don't see enough kids named Elmer these days.

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Old
02-25-2008, 02:11 PM
  #56
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Larry Robinson 883
Guy Lapointe 572
Doug Harvey 447
Serge Savard 412
Jean-Claude Tremblay 363
Patrice Brisebois 342
Chris Chelios 304
Jacques Laperrière 282
Jean-Guy Talbot 245
Tom Johnson 230
*sniffle*

Going to come up 13 PTS shy of 4th. (He's at 350 now).

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Old
02-25-2008, 02:16 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by natey2k4 View Post
*sniffle*

Going to come up 13 PTS shy of 5th. (He's at 350 now).
fixed...

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Old
02-25-2008, 02:29 PM
  #58
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fixed...
Ahh right.

My mistake.

Still though, even though he is my favourite player.. He has had a pretty impressive career despite be labeled as never being good.

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Old
02-25-2008, 02:37 PM
  #59
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Maurice Richard

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Old
02-25-2008, 02:50 PM
  #60
Marc Bergevins Suit
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Where's Hossa??

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Old
02-25-2008, 02:55 PM
  #61
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Who The **** Voted Patrick Roy?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old
02-25-2008, 03:04 PM
  #62
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Maurice Richard.

Everyone listed in the poll was a great player, but the Rocket is an icon.

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Old
02-25-2008, 03:07 PM
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chomsky View Post
Who The **** Voted Patrick Roy?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i'm guessing their 12 years old, and to them Roy's amazing performances in the '93 Cup run, means his a legend, an old Habs player and worthy to be mentioned alongside some true greats!!!

thats my guess, but who knows....


oh wait i voted for Roy....


JK


Disclaimer: for those who don't get sarcasm, please find a dictionary, or read above statement.



Also i was thinking about this after i wrote my vote (Harvey - for those interested). I think it is a lot harder to think of certain players of the last 2 decades who can honestly be classed as greats (obvious exceptions Gretzky/Lemieux) due to the fact that i personally believe the talent level is somewhat diluted now (expansion teams).

Back in the 50's/60's/70's the number of teams were less, its known as the pre-expansion era and therefore as a player you'd be always playing against great opposition so couldn't afford to take a shift off. Does anybody else feel the same way????

So in perspective the likes of Guy, Maurice, Jean will always have a great pull towards greatness and the term Legend. I mean could you imagine the smile on Maurices face when he gets to play against an O'Bryne type player for 10 minutes in a game??? Just throwing that thought out there folks, would love to hear your views...

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02-25-2008, 03:14 PM
  #64
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Originally Posted by English Hab View Post
i'm guessing their 12 years old, and to them Roy's amazing performances in the '93 Cup run, means his a legend, an old Habs player and worthy to be mentioned alongside some true greats!!!

thats my guess, but who knows....


oh wait i voted for Roy....


JK


Disclaimer: for those who don't get sarcasm, please find a dictionary, or read above statement.



Also i was thinking about this after i wrote my vote (Harvey - for those interested). I think it is a lot harder to think of certain players of the last 2 decades who can honestly be classed as greats (obvious exceptions Gretzky/Lemieux) due to the fact that i personally believe the talent level is somewhat diluted now (expansion teams).

Back in the 50's/60's/70's the number of teams were less, its known as the pre-expansion era and therefore as a player you'd be always playing against great opposition so couldn't afford to take a shift off. Does anybody else feel the same way????

So in perspective the likes of Guy, Maurice, Jean will always have a great pull towards greatness and the term Legend. I mean could you imagine the smile on Maurices face when he gets to play against an O'Bryne type player for 10 minutes in a game??? Just throwing that thought out there folks, would love to hear your views...
I guess you could say it was harder to make the league then, less jobs obviously. Then again, the talent base was 100% Canadian. I tend to make all comparisons relative to their impact in the league while they played. The game is so different now, the pace is faster, the athletes are bigger,stronger, more fit.

So, I look at a Beliveau and try and judge how he dominated his time as opposed to how another C did in his era. I hate to add or subtract due to the era.

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02-25-2008, 03:21 PM
  #65
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Very nice poll, you did a damn fine job. I went with the Rocket, add Savard. Thanks.

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02-25-2008, 03:26 PM
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee View Post
I guess you could say it was harder to make the league then, less jobs obviously. Then again, the talent base was 100% Canadian. I tend to make all comparisons relative to their impact in the league while they played. The game is so different now, the pace is faster, the athletes are bigger,stronger, more fit.

So, I look at a Beliveau and try and judge how he dominated his time as opposed to how another C did in his era. I hate to add or subtract due to the era.
I obsoultely agree with you on the game being different due to the fact of the athletes playing are, faster, bigger stronger, etc. However the reason that players are faster, bigger. stronger can be placed solely upon the advancements in Research, training methods, equipment design and many other factors.

could you imagine a permantely healthy Maurice, a player who would have had the medical attention that spoilt (i know this is a rather generalized statement, sorry) athletes get today. Could you imagine how hard these older generations players shots would have been. Yes i can definately hear you out Mcphee when you make your point, but personally the advancements in the game today would only in my eyes have made the older legends BETTER players....

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02-25-2008, 03:39 PM
  #67
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Originally Posted by English Hab View Post
I obsoultely agree with you on the game being different due to the fact of the athletes playing are, faster, bigger stronger, etc. However the reason that players are faster, bigger. stronger can be placed solely upon the advancements in Research, training methods, equipment design and many other factors.

could you imagine a permantely healthy Maurice, a player who would have had the medical attention that spoilt (i know this is a rather generalized statement, sorry) athletes get today. Could you imagine how hard these older generations players shots would have been. Yes i can definately hear you out Mcphee when you make your point, but personally the advancements in the game today would only in my eyes have made the older legends BETTER players....
I use your arguements against those who dismiss the players of past generations. In today's game, the Rocket would be 6 ft. 210 lbs. Jean Beliveau would be Mario Lemieux and then some.

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02-25-2008, 04:06 PM
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee View Post
I use your arguements against those who dismiss the players of past generations. In today's game, the Rocket would be 6 ft. 210 lbs. Jean Beliveau would be Mario Lemieux and then some.
could you imagine a 6 2 210lbs Maurice.....

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02-25-2008, 04:36 PM
  #69
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I voted Richard for the impact he made to all the Québécois.

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02-25-2008, 05:29 PM
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Right call with Maurice leading. It may be debateable who was better between Maurice, Beliveau and Harvey, but Maurice Richard is the icon of the organization.

I'd rank the top 10:
1. Maurice Richard
2. Doug Harvey
3. Jean Beliveau
4. Jacques Plante
5. Howie Morenz
6. Guy Lafleur
7. Patrick Roy
8. Newsy Lalonde
9. Larry Robinson
10. Ken Dryden

So, I'd suggest adding Lalonde next.

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02-25-2008, 05:40 PM
  #71
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patrick roy is the best goalie ever to play the game.
Brodeur has been more consistent and just as spectacular at times.

Ken Dryden's statistics are absolutely unparalleled in hockey history. Whoever has lots more ties than losses, over a whole career???

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02-25-2008, 06:28 PM
  #72
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Georges Vézina, George Hainsworth and Didier Pitre could be considered for a Top 10 or Top 20 (with Lalonde, mentionned earlier)

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02-25-2008, 07:06 PM
  #73
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Richard easily. He is the ultimate Habs.
Add Émile Butch Bouchard

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Old
02-25-2008, 07:07 PM
  #74
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Never saw Richard or Beliveau so I went with the best player I saw...

Lafleur.

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02-25-2008, 08:37 PM
  #75
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Originally Posted by Weztex View Post
Great poll idea EagleBelfour and thanks for the invitation.

I think there's little doubt who the top 3 will be. The order may bring some debatable question.
Amazing analyses Weztex. Great to read. You're right on almost every point, but I would argue that Beliveau wins the intangible contest. Having a leader of the quality of Beliveau always have the effect of having your whole team playing better. Beliveau was a guy who could bring a team together and work in the same direction.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Weztex View Post
Oh...and add Elmer Lach
Lach should also be considered to be add ... wow so much great one

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chomsky View Post
Who The **** Voted Patrick Roy?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Seriously? Thirteen user voted for Roy, but none of them explained their reasoning ub this thread, would be nice to hear from them.

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Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
Never saw Richard or Beliveau so I went with the best player I saw...

Lafleur.
To be honest, that argument is VERY poor.

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