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2nd highest PEAK amongst defenseman?

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10-24-2010, 10:37 PM
  #1
RabbinsDuck
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2nd highest PEAK amongst defenseman?

Obviously Orr runs away with 1st but who is next best at their absolute best?
I tend to favor Potvin, but might give serious consideration to Kelly. Bourque, Shore, Harvey, Coffey, Lidstrom and even Fetisov or Robinson seem like they could be in the discussion. And as a darkhorse candidate what about Pronger, with a Hart season and a few Conn Smythe worthy post- seasons?

For means of measurement, I consider peak best 1-3 regular seasons plus best 1-3 playoffs. If a player is able to maintain his absolute best for more than one year it certainly should be weighed.

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10-24-2010, 10:45 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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My first thought is that I'd probably shore for the regular season, but in the postseason Harvey makes up ground and maybe then some. Potvin definitely has a case too.

But then I just have to wonder - just how statistically unlikely is it that in the last 35 years, we haven't gotten a defenseman who is as dominant as the guys in the 70s. Maybe it really is tougher to look dominant now, espeically as a defenseman? Then Bourque, Fetisov, and Lidstrom enter the conversation.

And if you're allowed to pick a regular season and playoffs from different seasons, I'd take Scott Stevens' peak over Chris Pronger's. I'd use the 93-94 regular season (when Stevens led the 2nd best team in the NHL in points and led the league in +/-, losing the Norris in the closest vote ever to one of Ray Bourque's best seasons) and 2000 playoffs, when he won the Smythe. You can add the 1995 playoffs too, when he should have won the Smythe IMO.

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10-25-2010, 01:56 AM
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For me, Potvin immediately came to mind.

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10-25-2010, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExtremeHockeyFan View Post
For me, Potvin immediately came to mind.
Ditto

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10-25-2010, 08:01 AM
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Bourque from '87 to '91.

Bubba's 89/90 season is the single most dominating season by a defenseman outside of Orr in my opinion.

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10-25-2010, 10:54 AM
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I'm going to have to say Shore.

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10-25-2010, 06:00 PM
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Bourque has the two most dominant non-Orr years as far as percentage of possible Norris Trophy votes received (stats taken from Hockey Outsider's chart in the Award voting thread)

#SeasonPlayer%
11989-90Ray Bourque100.0
21986-87Ray Bourque98.5
32007-08Nicklas Lidstrom98.0
41998-99Al MacInnis97.9
51999-00Chris Ponger97.4
61991-92Brian Leetch97.1
72000-01Nicklas Lidstrom96.8
81985-86Paul Coffey93.3
91994-95Paul Coffey92.0
101996-97Brian Leetch91.5

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10-25-2010, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
But then I just have to wonder - just how statistically unlikely is it that in the last 35 years, we haven't gotten a defenseman who is as dominant as the guys in the 70s. Maybe it really is tougher to look dominant now, espeically as a defenseman? Then Bourque, Fetisov, and Lidstrom enter the conversation.
I would say that the addition of elite defencemen from Europe and USA has made it somewhat more difficult for defencemen to stand out than it was in the 1970's. That being said, if you take out Orr for being an unreasonable comparison, the defencemen of the 70s aren't any more impressive than those in the 80s or 90s. The last decade was clearly worse for elite defencemen, but it would probably look a bit better if not for the lockout, or possibly even if Pronger hadn't been injured in 2001 and 2007.

As far as the actual topic, I would go with Harvey. Best defensive defenceman and elite offensive production.

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10-25-2010, 10:34 PM
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Kyle McMahon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
But then I just have to wonder - just how statistically unlikely is it that in the last 35 years, we haven't gotten a defenseman who is as dominant as the guys in the 70s. Maybe it really is tougher to look dominant now, espeically as a defenseman? Then Bourque, Fetisov, and Lidstrom enter the conversation.
I'm not sure what you mean by this. Obviously nobody has been as dominant as Orr, who is the best ever. But in terms of peak, I don't think there's a whole lot separating Potvin, Park, Robinson (70's) from Bourque, Coffey, and Lidstrom (80's/90's/00's). Certainly not enough to say the 70's generation was clearly more dominant. And that's before throwing HOFers Chelios, Stevens, Leetch, MacInnis, and probable Pronger into the mix.

I know he's not that popular around here due to his defensive shortcomings, but I'll nominate Paul Coffey for best post-Orr peak. In the three seasons spanning 1984 to 1986, Coffey averaged nearly 130 points a season, setting the mark for most goals in a season by a defender (came one point shy of Orr's points record). Coffey averaged over two points per game in the 1985 playoffs, scoring 12-25-37 in 18 games, with a +26 rating. Those are pretty respectable totals over an entire season. Probably one of the better playoff performances ever that didn't win the Conn Smythe (Gretzky took it).

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10-25-2010, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lextune View Post
Bourque from '87 to '91.

Bubba's 89/90 season is the single most dominating season by a defenseman outside of Orr in my opinion.
Barry Beck was known as Bubba. Don't give that nickname to anyone else.

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10-26-2010, 01:16 AM
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Blades of Glory
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I know this is going to make some people cringe, but the name Paul Coffey has to be thrown out there, at least for the sake of discussion. Forget about the disaster that he was after leaving Edmonton for a moment. From 1982-1986, a five year stretch in Edmonton, the man put up numbers that can only be described as ludicrous. He averaged 36 goals, 77 assists, and 102 PIM per season. Anyone who averages 113 points per season over 5 straight years deserves some consideration in this thread. Not to mention, he was dynamite in the playoffs in 1984 and was downright dominant in 1985. He has a good argument for the Smythe in 1985, built on his surprisingly strong defensive play and brilliant Cup Finals. Even Gretzky said, regarding the Conn Smythe, "From my heart I wish I could Paul's name next to mine". SI said that in the postseason, "Coffey played at a level unrivaled by any defenseman since Orr."

Aside from Orr, no defenseman has ever had an offensive peak like that.

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10-26-2010, 01:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by this. Obviously nobody has been as dominant as Orr, who is the best ever. But in terms of peak, I don't think there's a whole lot separating Potvin, Park, Robinson (70's) from Bourque, Coffey, and Lidstrom (80's/90's/00's). Certainly not enough to say the 70's generation was clearly more dominant. And that's before throwing HOFers Chelios, Stevens, Leetch, MacInnis, and probable Pronger into the mix.

I know he's not that popular around here due to his defensive shortcomings, but I'll nominate Paul Coffey for best post-Orr peak. In the three seasons spanning 1984 to 1986, Coffey averaged nearly 130 points a season, setting the mark for most goals in a season by a defender (came one point shy of Orr's points record). Coffey averaged over two points per game in the 1985 playoffs, scoring 12-25-37 in 18 games, with a +26 rating. Those are pretty respectable totals over an entire season. Probably one of the better playoff performances ever that didn't win the Conn Smythe (Gretzky took it).
I didn't mean to compare 70s to 80s guys. This is what I mean:

The period of time between when Shore started dominating (around 1930, maybe a little early) until when Orr starting dominating is 35-40 years. It's been about 35 years since Orr stopped dominating.

So in the 35-40 years before Orr, you have Shore and Harvey. And they are both better than any defenseman who came in the 35 years after Orr, despite the talent pool increasing by quite a bit? It's just statistically unlikely. That doesn't mean not true.

But at some point, there has to be a defenseman at least on the level of Shore or Harvey. And if one not as visibly dominant appears, we really do have to consider the possibility that it just isn't possible to be as visibly dominant in the modern game.

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10-26-2010, 01:28 AM
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Nicklas Lidstrom
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Gonna have a hard time convincing me that it's not Potvin.

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10-26-2010, 03:39 AM
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Eddie Shore

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10-26-2010, 04:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blades of Glory View Post
I know this is going to make some people cringe, but the name Paul Coffey has to be thrown out there
Doesn't make me cringe in the least. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. While his game was offense centric, that perfectly fit his team's style and strengths. And the guy was a damn exciting hockey player to watch.

I personally think Potvin, but there are other names mentioned in this thread who are quite viable. It really comes down to opinion and what a person's preferences are. On that, I say to each his own.

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10-26-2010, 08:15 AM
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It can't be Ray Bourque. If he had the 2nd highest peak, then he should beat Harvey and Shore in the all-time list.

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10-26-2010, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by CaliforniaSeal View Post
Barry Beck was known as Bubba. Don't give that nickname to anyone else.
I didn't give it to him ....he got it his rookie year and had it for 22 seasons.

....the real question is what compelled his teammates to give him the nickname Bubba...? Lol.

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10-26-2010, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazerbullet View Post
It can't be Ray Bourque. If he had the 2nd highest peak, then he should beat Harvey and Shore in the all-time list.
Not necessarily. The all-time list takes into account more than just peak.

....with that being said; I may have brought up Ray from 87 to 90, but truth be told, after sleeping on it, it probably has to be Shore.

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10-26-2010, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by lazerbullet View Post
It can't be Ray Bourque. If he had the 2nd highest peak, then he should beat Harvey and Shore in the all-time list.
or the conventional wisdom of bourque as 4th could be wrong.

i don't know why harvey and shore are more or less assumed to be better than bourque.

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10-26-2010, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by nik jr View Post
or the conventional wisdom of bourque as 4th could be wrong.

i don't know why harvey and shore are more or less assumed to be better than bourque.
Much like the Big Four, the list of all time D-Men can be taken seriously as:

1. Orr

2a. Shore
2b. Harvey
2c. Bourque

In other words; depending on a number of factors, I don't think it is (too) crazy to have 2a, 2b, 2c in any particular order.

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10-26-2010, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by lextune View Post
Not necessarily. The all-time list takes into account more than just peak.

....with that being said; I may have brought up Ray from 87 to 90, but truth be told, after sleeping on it, it probably has to be Shore.
I mean that it's a common knowledge that Ray had a great career. His longevity is his strongest aspect. So if his peak is the 2nd best, then I just can't see how is he considered inferior to Shore and Harvey.

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10-26-2010, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by nik jr View Post
or the conventional wisdom of bourque as 4th could be wrong.

i don't know why harvey and shore are more or less assumed to be better than bourque.
Very true. I personally think that Shore is overrated. So he was the best player of his time and won bunch of Harts. So what? How strong was his competition?

Lidstrom has been the best player in the NHL for at least 10 years. He lacks Harts for various reasons. But meaning (voting) of this award have changed a lot. Yet, people love to point out that Lidstrom had a crappy competition.

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10-26-2010, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by lazerbullet View Post
Very true. I personally think that Shore is overrated. So he was the best player of his time and won bunch of Harts. So what? How strong was his competition?

Lidstrom has been the best player in the NHL for at least 10 years. He lacks Harts for various reasons. But meaning (voting) of this award have changed a lot. Yet, people love to point out that Lidstrom had a crappy competition.
Shore is the pinnacle of romanticizing old players and no I'm not saying that he wasn't one of the best. Im however 100% that if Norris trophy had existed in Shores days he would've won that instead of the Hart.

I would also argue that the competition on defense was equally weak for Shore as it is to Lidström. If you really could call it weak.

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10-26-2010, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by lazerbullet View Post
Very true. I personally think that Shore is overrated. So he was the best player of his time and won bunch of Harts. So what? How strong was his competition?

Lidstrom has been the best player in the NHL for at least 10 years. He lacks Harts for various reasons. But meaning (voting) of this award have changed a lot. Yet, people love to point out that Lidstrom had a crappy competition.
Well that is true of many of the older players.

I mean the game has completely changed since that time. Like.. literally changed. We'd hardly recognize it today if we saw them play it.

However comparing players across time is very difficult because of the changes in rules, equipment, talent pool etc.

Shore was very dominant vs. his competition and that was the only competition available at the time. So he has to get credit for that.

I definitely agree though that Ray Bourque, because of his entire career being top level, playing in a more stable league, and facing a greater talent pool almost assuredly was better.

It all depends on whether you rate players across eras based on something we can say for sure (how they did against their competition) vs. something we can only speculate about (how they compare to players in a different situation).

Its really tough.

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10-26-2010, 05:18 PM
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Kyle McMahon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I didn't mean to compare 70s to 80s guys. This is what I mean:

The period of time between when Shore started dominating (around 1930, maybe a little early) until when Orr starting dominating is 35-40 years. It's been about 35 years since Orr stopped dominating.

So in the 35-40 years before Orr, you have Shore and Harvey. And they are both better than any defenseman who came in the 35 years after Orr, despite the talent pool increasing by quite a bit? It's just statistically unlikely. That doesn't mean not true.

But at some point, there has to be a defenseman at least on the level of Shore or Harvey. And if one not as visibly dominant appears, we really do have to consider the possibility that it just isn't possible to be as visibly dominant in the modern game.
Ah, I see. I guess I'd counter with the fact that the two greatest centermen of all time managed to come along just a few years apart from each other. It seems statistically unlikely that we could go from the 1890's up until the 1980's without a center appearing that was even close to the level of Gretzky/Lemieux, but such was the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nik jr View Post
or the conventional wisdom of bourque as 4th could be wrong.

i don't know why harvey and shore are more or less assumed to be better than bourque.
There are a great many people who witnessed the full careers of both Harvey and Bourque, and the majority of them prefer Harvey. Collective opinion can't always be taken as gospel, but given the large number of people associated with the game who saw both and rank Harvey a shade higher, I don't have a problem trusting "historical canon" on the matter.

Shore vs Bourque would be trickier, as there is definitely a much smaller number of qualified people who saw and appreciated the full careers of both players. A direct comparison would be challenging to say the least. However, there would be plenty who saw both Harvey and Shore, so that comparison could be used to extrapolate a Bourque-Shore comparison.

It would be interesting to know what the opinion on Shore vs Harvey was back in the 60's or 70's, when there were still lots of people around who saw both and had stories to tell. When Orr came along and established himself as the best defender of all-time, who's throne was he stealing in the eyes of his contemporaries? Any insight from the posters in here old enough to answer this question would be much appreciated.

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