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How do today's dmen stack up to the Orr/Potvin/Robbinson era?

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12-15-2003, 09:42 AM
  #1
Darth Milbury
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How do today's dmen stack up to the Orr/Potvin/Robbinson era?

It has often been my impression that the cream of today's crop, for the most part, could not stack up to the better defensmen duirng the era when the Habs/Isles/Oilers took turns dominating. I would argue in fact, that guys like Park and Salming, who were probably not the best of their era, would be near the top nowadays.

I think there are few notable exceptions in today's NHL. Chris Pronger, at his best, is every bit as dominant as Potvin et al. were. I still consider Chris Pronger to be the best player in the NHL right now.

I also think that Lindstrom and Chelios would be competitive with any of the earlier greats.

Of course, if Borque was around back then, he'd probably be beating Potvin and Robbinson out for all star spots. And, Chelios in his prime was nearly as good. The only other player who I think could have been competitive with Robbinson et al. is Adam Foote, who is a nearly perfect defensive dmen on his best nights.

I'm less convinced by Gonchar, Blake, et al. I think those guys would have been in the bottom half of the top 10 back then.

What do you all think?

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12-15-2003, 11:54 AM
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Big Cat Davo
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Park?

Brad Park was a terrible defenseman . . . I thought he was easily the worst player on the ice for canada in 72. I would compare him to Sandish Ozolinsh, not even close to a top 10 dman. As for todays very best Borque, Blake, Chelios, Lidstrom and maybe even Scott Stevens I would say they rank even with the big names from the past era.

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12-15-2003, 12:39 PM
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LIdstrom is the most technically perfect defenseman since...Salming, I guess. He would easily have been able to play in any era. Pronger...maybe, just because he's mean with his stick (read: dirty), and that was more acceptable in the 60's. But he is NO Robinson, Potvin, or Serge Savard as far as ability goes.
Stevens...I HATE the guy, but he would be able to play in any era, and play well.
Chelios plays like the guys from the 50's and 60's already. And better than many of them.

Overall, I don't see many of the so-called "great" D-men of today being able to play in the late 60's-early 70's when Park, Robinson, Potvin, Orr, Salming, Savard, Lapointe, etc. were playing. But the game has changed a lot since then, and it is always hard comparing across eras. D-men back then were either "offensive" defensemen like Park and Orr, or they were "defensive" defensemen like Savard or Stevens is today. Today's D-men are a combination, for the most part.

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12-15-2003, 01:01 PM
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I think that the style of play and changes to the way in which the offensive game is dictated today contribute to the discrepancy in offensive statistics between yesterday's great dmen and the current group. To be sure, Bobby Orr transcends any argument, but otherwise, I believe Potvin, Robinson, etc. would have flourished in this day and age and Pronger, Leetch and Lidstrom, etc. would have been stars back in the day.


Last edited by Trottier: 12-17-2003 at 01:23 AM.
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12-15-2003, 04:08 PM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Cat Davo
Brad Park was a terrible defenseman . . . I thought he was easily the worst player on the ice for canada in 72. I would compare him to Sandish Ozolinsh, not even close to a top 10 dman. As for todays very best Borque, Blake, Chelios, Lidstrom and maybe even Scott Stevens I would say they rank even with the big names from the past era.

Dave

I couldn't disagree more about Park. IMO, he was only a notch or two below Potvin. Far superior to Ozo (who is just plain bad in his own end as well as being overrated offensively).

I agree with you about Borque, Chelios, Lidstrom, and Stevens (and I'd also add Pronger and Foote), don't agree with you about Blake. His defensive game is several notches below the other guys, IMO.

Trottier, you are right, hard to compare given the changes in the game. Still, if Potvin and Robbinson where around these days, I bet they be ranked one and two in the league.

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12-15-2003, 07:09 PM
  #6
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no love for Al MacInnis??

it is too hard to compare across eras. Orr is in a league by himself.


Potvin,Robinson,Salming and Park were all elite (esp the first two) but really Lidstrom,Bourque,MacInnis,Stevens,Pronger in my mind match up well...I think the fact that Potvin and Robinson both played on dynasties (and were huge parts of those teams I admit) helps their status....but I think if you put even Rob Blake with his size, shot and other attributes on the 76 Habs he ends up looking pretty good IMO

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12-19-2003, 05:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Cat Davo
Brad Park was a terrible defenseman . . . I thought he was easily the worst player on the ice for canada in 72. I would compare him to Sandish Ozolinsh, not even close to a top 10 dman. As for todays very best Borque, Blake, Chelios, Lidstrom and maybe even Scott Stevens I would say they rank even with the big names from the past era.

Dave
Wow.....not sure I am on board with this.......Park was a great dman

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12-19-2003, 05:28 AM
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oh man...Park was an outstanding defenseman..

If it wasn't for a guy named Orr, Park would have had a couple of Norris trophies to go along with his HOF career ...

I saw him ... alot... he was a player..

http://www.bruins-legends.com/P/park.htm

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12-19-2003, 01:20 PM
  #9
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A lot of today's D would have done extremely well back then imo. I don't think the reverse is true however. Today's D are a lot more skilled and mobile, come on.

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01-06-2004, 09:38 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Cat Davo
Brad Park was a terrible defenseman . . . I thought he was easily the worst player on the ice for canada in 72. I would compare him to Sandish Ozolinsh, not even close to a top 10 dman. As for todays very best Borque, Blake, Chelios, Lidstrom and maybe even Scott Stevens I would say they rank even with the big names from the past era.

Dave
I watched Brad Park play for years as a Ranger and Bruin he was an exellent defenseman, their is not a player on defense today that can compare to him.

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01-06-2004, 01:56 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raketheleaves
A lot of today's D would have done extremely well back then imo. I don't think the reverse is true however. Today's D are a lot more skilled and mobile, come on.

Your absolutely right. Comparing guys like pronger and lidstrom to the older guys isn't a good idea because they played in different eras with different styles of games.

However, when you start comparing the Bourques', Chelios', Mcinnis, they don't compare up to the older guys because they played during the same times when those older guys plade. Chelios was paired with Robinson and Bourque and Mcninnis were both i think drafted in 79 or right around there.

It's a different era and different style so its hard to compare.

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01-14-2004, 07:42 AM
  #12
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Now that I've (only) seen the first three games of the '72 series, I must say that the early 70's players would get killed in today's NHL. Equipment, speed, strength, skill, tactics...the game has developed enormously over the decades in just about every possible way - except for maybe entertainment wise. The amount of mistakes that the players made in that era was just incredible (especially considering all the time they had with the puck), not to mention the awkward techniques that the goalies had. No wonder Bobby Orr was so dominant back then! I would have loved to see him play in the series and I guess I'm not the only one...

That said, I've enjoyed to watch the games a lot. Attacking hockey, lots of scoring chances, lots of great individual efforts etc. And I'm not saying that the players were less talented, in fact I think many of the early 70's players had a lot more potential than what they managed to show on the ice (take Kharlamov for example...some of the plays he made were jaw-dropping, and some of them were just plain stupid. Less dipsy-doodling, and he could've destroyed Canada almost by himself). But today's players are just so much better trained that IMO, any current NHL team could have done well against either of the '72 teams.

And obviously, I can't comment on the late 70's/early 80's level of play at all.

And btw, anyone know where I could get the Canada Cup '87 videos/DVD's? Is it even possible?

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01-14-2004, 09:05 AM
  #13
Big Cat Davo
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Sorry

I did did not think there would be that amount of Brad Park sentiment on the board. I have watched the Summit series a few times, being only 25 it is the only hockey I have seen Park play in and out the of the six that played the most in the series (Savard, Lapointe, Goldsworthy, Stapelton, Park and Bergman) I would have to say that only Don Awrey and Rod Seiling played worse, and they played themselves right into the stands. Park was constanly out of position and was terrible in hs own end. He was carless with the puck and made very poor descsions regarding pinching and the like. He was what he was . . . a forward put on the blue line to provide the Rangers with a Bobby Orr of their own.

Dave

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01-14-2004, 09:15 AM
  #14
looooob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Cat Davo
I did did not think there would be that amount of Brad Park sentiment on the board. I have watched the Summit series a few times, being only 25 it is the only hockey I have seen Park play in and out the of the six that played the most in the series (Savard, Lapointe, Goldsworthy, Stapelton, Park and Bergman) I would have to say that only Don Awrey and Rod Seiling played worse, and they played themselves right into the stands. Park was constanly out of position and was terrible in hs own end. He was carless with the puck and made very poor descsions regarding pinching and the like. He was what he was . . . a forward put on the blue line to provide the Rangers with a Bobby Orr of their own.

Dave
Bill Goldsworthy was a forward

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01-14-2004, 11:05 AM
  #15
Big Cat Davo
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Oops

It was Bill White, the other Blackhawk defenceman that played better D than Park. Damn Bill's.

Dave

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01-14-2004, 12:56 PM
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The fact of the matter is that players get bigger, faster and stronger over time.

Bobby Orr is the best defenseman in history - no d-man has ever been as dominant. But saying that, the players he was so dominant over would also be absolutely destroyed by today's talent. When watching games from the early 70’s (ex. Summit Series), it’s hard not to take notice of the skill level. Like Sampe has noted in his earlier post, the equipment, speed, strength, skill, and tactics of the players are almost laughable by today’s standards. Even simple things like skating mechanics seem pretty primitive.

Now, I still consider Orr the best defenseman in history…….
But I’m thoroughly convinced that if Lidstrom or Pronger were transported back in time to Orr’s era, they’d be every bit as dominant as Bobby was.

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01-14-2004, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zine
The fact of the matter is that players get bigger, faster and stronger over time.

Bobby Orr is the best defenseman in history - no d-man has ever been as dominant. But saying that, the players he was so dominant over would also be absolutely destroyed by today's talent. When watching games from the early 70’s (ex. Summit Series), it’s hard not to take notice of the skill level. Like Sampe has noted in his earlier post, the equipment, speed, strength, skill, and tactics of the players are almost laughable by today’s standards. Even simple things like skating mechanics seem pretty primitive.

Now, I still consider Orr the best defenseman in history…….
But I’m thoroughly convinced that if Lidstrom or Pronger were transported back in time to Orr’s era, they’d be every bit as dominant as Bobby was.

Pronger is a lot like Robinson and Potvin. At his best, he can completely dominant a game. He is probably the most complete defensemen in the NHL.

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01-15-2004, 12:29 PM
  #18
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I think defensemen from the '70s era were better than defensemen today. Personally, I would much rather have a Larry Robinson than a Chris Pronger. There were a lot of underrated d-men from the '70s. A guy like Serge Savard is probably the smartest d-man I ever seen play the game.

The top defenseman from both eras:
1. Bobby Orr - We have nothing close to him today
2. Larry Robinson - Could dominate at so many areas.
3. Ray Bourque - Over 20 years is amazing. Not playing on a Cup winner until late hurt him somewhat.
4. Denis Potvin - Lethal wrist shot with devastating hits.
5. Chris Pronger - Injuries have cut him down somewhat though. Never played well in the big games like the above have.

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01-16-2004, 01:20 AM
  #19
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I'd just like to add that, as said before, today's players' equipment, strength, skills, etc., are at a much higher level in so many ways...

...but if the players of previous eras were playing today, they also would have the added advantage of higher levels of equipment, training, and conditioning throughout their career... so how this might affect their play/stats? I think particularly conditioning might make a difference when comparing players from eras where if teammates were smoking and drinking on game day (or even between periods) not much was thought about it, versus the conditioning most current hockey players go through all year long...

I also think it's harder for any player, defenseman or otherwise, to dominate as much these days...

Having said that, I'm partial to Potvin and Robinson.

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01-16-2004, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Milbury
Pronger is a lot like Robinson and Potvin. At his best, he can completely dominant a game. He is probably the most complete defensemen in the NHL.
Pronger, while a large fellow, is in no way in the same league as a Denis Potvin or Larry Robinson. Both of them were far better puck carriers than Pronger, who sometimes looks like he's got a hand grenade at the end of his stick. And while Pronger IS a big hitter at times, Potvin did it EVERY GAME, not just once a week or so. And Robinson scared the beejeezes out of players in the 70's and 80's with his hits.
Lidstrom is far and away the most complete defenseman in the NHL today. He out-thinks you, instead of trying to blast you through the boards and taking yourself out of the play completely. Even Chelios is smarter than Pronger IMO.
I think if you took the best players of that era and moved them to today's game, they would be SO dominant it would be sick. Give Potvin the equipment of today and watch what would happen! But conversly, if you took some of today's so-called "best" and put them back in 1970's skates, equipment, and straightbladed wood sticks, they would fall all over themselves. Not the very top guys, they would do alright, but the middle-tier D-men who rely on the "chip the puck out" routine would not last long in that league.

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01-22-2004, 02:34 AM
  #21
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PAST
1) Orr ( Robert Gordon is in a league of his own)
2) Potvin (his name is still chanted at MSG)
3) Robinson (great 2 way Dman)
4) Park (orr took alot of norris away from him)
5) somling

Present

Bourque (just great, even at 40)
Pronger (dominates)
Macinnis (he shoulda won the norris last year)
Lindstrom (solid)
Leetch


i think that these players stack up well against each other. if i had to chose i would take the past just because of ORR, but other wise i would take the present

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01-30-2004, 07:05 PM
  #22
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a little something on Orr...

http://www3.telus.net/Orr/

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01-30-2004, 09:37 PM
  #23
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Of course I'm biased but I still think Bourque is #2 all time because of how consistently great he remained as the league changed in a huge way from 1979-2001.

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02-10-2004, 07:37 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zine
The fact of the matter is that players get bigger, faster and stronger over time.

Bobby Orr is the best defenseman in history - no d-man has ever been as dominant. But saying that, the players he was so dominant over would also be absolutely destroyed by today's talent. When watching games from the early 70’s (ex. Summit Series), it’s hard not to take notice of the skill level. Like Sampe has noted in his earlier post, the equipment, speed, strength, skill, and tactics of the players are almost laughable by today’s standards. Even simple things like skating mechanics seem pretty primitive.

Now, I still consider Orr the best defenseman in history…….
But I’m thoroughly convinced that if Lidstrom or Pronger were transported back in time to Orr’s era, they’d be every bit as dominant as Bobby was.
Yo Zine.....just wondering, how many of your great D-men of today have won the Arty Ross trophy????????? How many have come close????????

Have a nice day.

If #4 played today who knows what #'s he'd put up, todays players could actually keep up with him. Now figure in his creativity and TALENT.....

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03-02-2004, 10:06 AM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zine
The fact of the matter is that players get bigger, faster and stronger over time.

Bobby Orr is the best defenseman in history - no d-man has ever been as dominant. But saying that, the players he was so dominant over would also be absolutely destroyed by today's talent. When watching games from the early 70’s (ex. Summit Series), it’s hard not to take notice of the skill level. Like Sampe has noted in his earlier post, the equipment, speed, strength, skill, and tactics of the players are almost laughable by today’s standards. Even simple things like skating mechanics seem pretty primitive.

Now, I still consider Orr the best defenseman in history…….
But I’m thoroughly convinced that if Lidstrom or Pronger were transported back in time to Orr’s era, they’d be every bit as dominant as Bobby was.

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