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Mid to late 70's Canadiens vs. Mid 80's Oilers

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Old
10-04-2008, 07:49 PM
  #1
SCORE4
 
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Mid to late 70's Canadiens vs. Mid 80's Oilers

I've been watching The NHL since the late 60's. The best team I have ever seen were the late 70's Canadiens. The closest thing I've seen to being invincible. Regular season, playoffs .... it didn't matter. If Montreal lost a game, it was headline news. The only other team I feel would have been able to possibly beat The Canadiens, would be the early '80's Islanders. I personally rate them as No.2.

The mid 80's Oilers were a great team, but I don't think they begin to compare to Montreal. Edmonton concentrated on offence, which left Grant Fuhr alone on many occasions. This would be their downfall.

The Canadiens were just as fast and had just as many great players as Edmonton .... Lafleur, Lemaire, Shutt, Mahovlich, Savard, Robinson, Lapointe, Dryden etc.

The Oilers never faced a defence like this, and I feel The Canadiens would have beat them. Any other opinions on this?

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10-04-2008, 08:06 PM
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I have to agree. The Oiler's dominanted the offensive dimension, but the 70's Habs were the most balanced attack ever.

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10-04-2008, 08:09 PM
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They would prolly lose, but I would pick the 1970's Central Red Army to beat the habs in a 7 game series.

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10-04-2008, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
They would prolly lose, but I would pick the 1970's Central Red Army to beat the habs in a 7 game series.
If it were an 8 game series, I would bet on a tie

That was a phenomenal game they had in the super series.

As far as the Habs vs Edmonton.............Habs in a heartbeat.

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10-04-2008, 08:48 PM
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montreal in 6

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10-04-2008, 08:50 PM
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Habs were a very balanced team but the Oilers were much more fun to watch. I remember having no worries if they were down 3 goals going into the 3rd they just turned it on and won. I think they had 11 ten+ goal games one season.

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10-04-2008, 11:44 PM
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Big Phil
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The Habs win this in 6 games. The Oilers offence is just too strong for them not to win a couple games but lets not forget that the peak for the '70s Canadiens was 387 goals which is respectably close to the 446 topper that the Oilers had in '84.

Here is a good way of determining things:

Goal: Dryden might have been a notch higher than Fuhr. The only thing that is mysterious though is how Dryden would have faced a much tougher offense rather than the 20 maximum shots a game he usually got. Fuhr was used to it, so if the Habs fired 35-40 shots he wouldnt bat an eyelash. Call it a draw.

Defense: Habs in a walk. Coffey had the most offense out of all of them but unlike the Habs he doesnt have a HHOF partner to back him up. Robinson, Savard and Lapointe all were great two way defensemen and Robinson may not have had the speed that Cof did but he coudl rush it up as well. The Oilers would never be able to trap against the Habs, but the Habs had the tools to be able to do it against the Oilers

Offense: Oilers win this one obviously, but the Habs are close behind. Gretzky, Kurri, Messier and Anderson beat out Lafleur, Shutt, Lemaire and Mahovlich/Larouche. But it's the secondary support the Habs have that beat out the Oilers. Tremblay, Lambert, an old Cournoyer, Riseborough etc. Plus the wild card is Gainey. He would have done a decent job keeping the Gretzky/Kurri line honest. Even the best defensive forward isnt going to stop Gretzky totally, but he would have limited him to an extent. I dont see a defensive forward on Edmonton that would compete with Lafleur though. Plus Gretzky would have to face the big three on defence as well. That being said it is still the Oilers that win in offense

Coaching: Bowman over Sather regardless. Somehow, someway Bowman would find a way to get the guys to win.

Overall, while the Oilers would still generate a ton of offense, so would the Habs, and they had the proper defenseman back there to bail them out, Edmonton didnt. The '70s Habs are too deep to lose this and Fuhr would be able to bail the Oilers out for only so long. Habs in six.

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10-05-2008, 12:27 AM
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Dryden would've been no match for Gretzky and the rest of the Oilers..as proven by the Russians in '72 and the New Year's game of '75.

The Russians were too fast for Dryden and the Oilers played the same way.
They would've exposed his stand-up style and really run up the score on him.

No contest..the Oilers with the Greatest player of all-time and the greatest goalie of the 80's win any best of 7 series against Bowman's Habs.

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10-05-2008, 03:48 AM
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Kyle McMahon
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I think the series would be a close one, but two things always seem to get ignored:

-These two teams did meet in 1981, and the Oilers crushed Montreal. That Habs team was a shadow of what it had been a few years ago (no Dryden hurt especially), but the Oilers were only a shadow of what they would become. They still had Gainey, Robinson, Savard, and Rod Langway as well (Guy Lapointe only played one game in the playoffs, injured I'm assuming), and that defense had no answer for a 20 year old Gretzky. He completely dominated them. A mid-80's Gretzky would dominate a late 70's Montreal team, just like he did every other team he faced in his career. It would be whether or not the rest of the Oilers could do enough for Edmonton to win.

-Sometimes people seem to choose the Habs based on their well-balanced team, assuming it would easily trump Edmonton's all-out offense. While that could be true, remember that the Islanders were an incredibly well-balanced team as well, and Edmonton's all-out offense managed to beat them soundly in 1984 after the Oilers themselves were beaten easily in 1983.

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10-05-2008, 05:55 AM
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Late '70s Habs in a cakewalk. That was the greatest team ever, I don't think any team will come close to 8 losses regular season.

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10-05-2008, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
The Habs win this in 6 games. The Oilers offence is just too strong for them not to win a couple games but lets not forget that the peak for the '70s Canadiens was 387 goals which is respectably close to the 446 topper that the Oilers had in '84.

Here is a good way of determining things:

Goal: Dryden might have been a notch higher than Fuhr. The only thing that is mysterious though is how Dryden would have faced a much tougher offense rather than the 20 maximum shots a game he usually got. Fuhr was used to it, so if the Habs fired 35-40 shots he wouldnt bat an eyelash. Call it a draw.
See 1970-71 when he stonewalled the potent Bruins offense before Montreal became the Dynasty they became in the mid 70's.
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Defense: Habs in a walk. Coffey had the most offense out of all of them but unlike the Habs he doesnt have a HHOF partner to back him up. Robinson, Savard and Lapointe all were great two way defensemen and Robinson may not have had the speed that Cof did but he coudl rush it up as well. The Oilers would never be able to trap against the Habs, but the Habs had the tools to be able to do it against the Oilers
Agreed

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Offense: Oilers win this one obviously, but the Habs are close behind. Gretzky, Kurri, Messier and Anderson beat out Lafleur, Shutt, Lemaire and Mahovlich/Larouche. But it's the secondary support the Habs have that beat out the Oilers. Tremblay, Lambert, an old Cournoyer, Riseborough etc. Plus the wild card is Gainey. He would have done a decent job keeping the Gretzky/Kurri line honest. Even the best defensive forward isnt going to stop Gretzky totally, but he would have limited him to an extent. I dont see a defensive forward on Edmonton that would compete with Lafleur though. Plus Gretzky would have to face the big three on defence as well. That being said it is still the Oilers that win in offense
Agreed

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Coaching: Bowman over Sather regardless. Somehow, someway Bowman would find a way to get the guys to win.
Agreed

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Overall, while the Oilers would still generate a ton of offense, so would the Habs, and they had the proper defenseman back there to bail them out, Edmonton didnt. The '70s Habs are too deep to lose this and Fuhr would be able to bail the Oilers out for only so long. Habs in six.
And agreed

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10-05-2008, 10:36 AM
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I echo most of Big Phil's points, and in particular, Bowman's in game adjustments would've made a difference. Having 4 options at C to match against Messier and Gretzky would've given him a lot of possibilities.

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10-05-2008, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Thornton_19 View Post
See 1970-71 when he stonewalled the potent Bruins offense before Montreal became the Dynasty they became in the mid 70's.
Didnt think of that, not a bad point he did hold up well against a team that fired shot after shot on him and had scored 399 on the year. But in general, with the strong defense the Habs had, it wasnt he norm

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10-05-2008, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Didnt think of that, not a bad point he did hold up well against a team that fired shot after shot on him and had scored 399 on the year. But in general, with the strong defense the Habs had, it wasnt he norm
Wasn't the norm, but he could do it

In that series, Savard missed the playoffs because of his leg, and Robinson and Gainey were not present yet, etc

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10-05-2008, 02:16 PM
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I'd say the habs team. They were very balanced and imo they were harder to beat.

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10-05-2008, 03:11 PM
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The Habs had an offense just a notch below the Oilers, but far better team defense, coaching and an edge in starting goalies. The Oilers had the edge in backup goaltending. The Late 70's Habs were both the best offense and the best defense of that era, something the Oilers were never close to accomplishing. The Habs goal differentials were far superior. They were simply more dominant and would never have lost in 7 games to a team the likes of the Calgary Flames smack dab in the middle of their dynasty.

As for the Oilers beating the Habs in 81, lots of teams with worse records were beating the Habs in the playoffs in the early 80's, so I'd take that with a grain of salt. The Habs had poor cluth goaltending (Put an 86 level Roy on the 81 Habs and that series would likely have been a different story), poor coaching, were weak down the middle and their stars were suffering from burn out, not unlike what happened after the Isles dynasty ended.

The Habs best team beats the Oilers best team in 7 beautiful to watch games.

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10-05-2008, 05:29 PM
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the Habs were more balanced, but the Oil had two elements the Canadians would not be able to match: the greatest player of all-time, and second most complete player of all-time. Gretzky and Messier were better than every player on the Habs, that means for most of every game, the best player on the ice would be wearing an Oilers jersy; that is a significant edge.

gotta go with the Oilers in a classic series.

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10-05-2008, 06:01 PM
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the Habs were more balanced, but the Oil had two elements the Canadians would not be able to match: the greatest player of all-time, and second most complete player of all-time. Gretzky and Messier were better than every player on the Habs, that means for most of every game, the best player on the ice would be wearing an Oilers jersy; that is a significant edge.

gotta go with the Oilers in a classic series.
Messier was not better than Lafleur. We are talking peak here, and at his best, Lafleur was above Messier. Messier was also only a hair above Robinson. Different position I know, but since you are talking about who had the better tools, it comes into play.

Goaltending would be a chief position in a game such as these, and Dryden is a world above Fuhr.

Defense was a country mile in Montreal's favor. Robinson, Savard, Lapointe absolutely demolish anything Edmonton has to offer. Coffey was the second best Dman in this situation behind Robinson(Offensively at least), and Savard and Lapointe were a head and shoulders above any other Dman on the Oilers.

Offensively a good portion of the habs offense generated from their Defense and their strong two way game. Coffey might have been the best one dimensional offensive scoring Dman, but the big 3 were not that far behind him, and at the same time were incredibly adept defensive Dmen, above and beyond Emonton's capabilities.

When talking about forwards, let's look at this from 3 standpoints. Scoring forwards and Checking forwards and Intangibles.

Scoring Forwards. Advantage Edmonton. Gretzky, Kurri, Messier, Anderson. A potent force of scoring power. However, it was not that far ahead of the Habs scoring power. Lafleur is easily the next best scorer after Gretzky, and they had Shutt, Lemaire, Mahovlich, Cournoyer, and a stronger host of auxiliary scoring from Risenbrough, Tremblay and Lambert.

Defensively at forward, the Oilers were behind. Messier, for all accolades people love to pile on him, was never a Selke caliber forward. He was merely physical, and not a liability. Kurri WAS a very good Defensive player, but Gainey is one of the best in history, and Lemaire was around Kurri's equal in that regard.

Intangibles. I am sure the first thing people will say is "Messier", but in truth you should have a look at the kid line. Risenbrough, Lambert and Tremblay. An excellent defensive line that would force the other team into foolish penalties and could score quite well. Semenko would not intimidate this line I tell you that much.

Also, since people brought up coaches, does anyone else find it amusing that Sather would be on the ice for Montreal in this series, yet coaching the Oilers?

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10-05-2008, 06:42 PM
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the difference is defence. montreal was 100 times better. i can see this going 6 games max. game scores: game 1: 3-2 mnt game 2: 4-3 mnt game 3: 6-4 edm game4: 5-4 edm game 5: 3-1 mnt game 6: 3-2 mnt
montreals defence shuts down edmontons offence. and yes guy lafleur may be the best player on either side

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10-05-2008, 07:07 PM
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Oilers were easily the greatest offensive machine I've ever seen, with the Pens of the early 90s second.

However, both those Habs teams of the 70s (best I've ever seen, period) and the Isles dynasty were superior teams.

Just my opinion, of course.

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10-05-2008, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by wilkrogers View Post
the difference is defence. montreal was 100 times better. i can see this going 6 games max. game scores: game 1: 3-2 mnt game 2: 4-3 mnt game 3: 6-4 edm game4: 5-4 edm game 5: 3-1 mnt game 6: 3-2 mnt
montreals defence shuts down edmontons offence. and yes guy lafleur may be the best player on either side
Gretzky is undisputed best on either side. But Lafleur is easily the second best.

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10-05-2008, 07:36 PM
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The Habs have better depth and the consensus superior team, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Oilers pulled it off. After all, Gretzky's the most intelligent and devastating offensive player ever to grace a sheet of ice. That's a hefty trump card, even matched against Montreal's Big Three.

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10-05-2008, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by doctordark View Post
The Habs have better depth and the consensus superior team, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Oilers pulled it off. After all, Gretzky's the most intelligent and devastating offensive player ever to grace a sheet of ice. That's a hefty trump card, even matched against Montreal's Big Three.
carbo shut down gretz in 93 and gainey would've done it too

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10-05-2008, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SCORE4 View Post
The Canadiens were just as fast and had just as many great players as Edmonton .... Lafleur, Lemaire, Shutt, Mahovlich, Savard, Robinson, Lapointe, Dryden etc.
Montreal had MORE top end talent overall but Edmonton had dazzling topend talent in Gretzky, Coffey and Messier.

I remember the Habs as the best team I've ever seen but when the Oilers came along I quickly saw utter genius I'd never seen before.

It was like switching from the finest wine to crack cocaine.

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10-05-2008, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
Montreal had MORE top end talent overall but Edmonton had dazzling topend talent in Gretzky, Coffey and Messier.

I remember the Habs as the best team I've ever seen but when the Oilers came along I quickly saw utter genius I'd never seen before.

It was like switching from the finest wine to crack cocaine.
Lafleur was better than Messier by a hair
Robinson was better than Coffey by a hand.

The only real dazzling top end talent in comparison was Gretzky

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