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Coffey vs. Lowe vs. Smith

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Old
05-09-2010, 04:21 PM
  #26
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Originally Posted by Leafs Forever View Post
Though it is true that they often don't get recongnition, it's possible. Rod Langway for example. And we've seen offensive guys get shafted for their defence in AST's- Housley, for example, a guy who played around the time Coffey did. But do you really think that Lowe and Smith were ever top-4 defencemen overall in the league? Do you think many, if any, of Coffey's individual awards were unjustified?

Seriously? I get the idea of team needs, but Coffey is just way out of Lowe's league.

Lidstrom and Bourque are both better defencemen overall than Coffey anyway. Niedermayer is much better comparison wise than Lowe or Smith, but still quite worse than Coffey, and I don't understand why you'd take him (he may be better defensively, but I don't think he's a super defensive ace, and Coffey is far superior to him offensively)
Im not saying Lowe and Coffey are comparable. Check my first post.

I'd take Niedermeyer simply because he provides offense without risking too much on defense.

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05-09-2010, 04:30 PM
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Im not saying Lowe and Coffey are comparable. Check my first post.

I'd take Niedermeyer simply because he provides offense without risking too much on defense.
Niedermayer can't hold Coffey's jock offensively. The difference in offense is far greater than the difference in defense.

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05-09-2010, 04:31 PM
  #28
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Kevin Lowe actually did receive multiple Norris votes on 3 separate occasions:

81-82: 10th
87-88: 5th
88-89: 8th

Steve Smith didn't once.

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05-09-2010, 04:34 PM
  #29
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Niedermayer can't hold Coffey's jock offensively. The difference in offense is far greater than the difference in defense.
The difference in defense is still big enough for me to take him over Coffey unless I had Langway, Lowe, Smith, Huddy and Foote on D. Then I would take Coffey.

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05-09-2010, 05:15 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Kevin Lowe actually did receive multiple Norris votes on 3 separate occasions:

81-82: 10th
87-88: 5th
88-89: 8th

Steve Smith didn't once.
Interesting. Though, that record obviously pales into comparison with Lowe.

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Originally Posted by jkrx View Post
The difference in defense is still big enough for me to take him over Coffey unless I had Langway, Lowe, Smith, Huddy and Foote on D. Then I would take Coffey.
Coffey isn't that bad defensively at an NHL level, at least not as bad as you seem to be implying, where you need 5 great stay-at-home D-man for Coffey to be more effective than Niedermayer, who Coffey is a much better player than overall. The difference between the goals he will create and the goals against he will cause is a better number than the difference goals Niedermayer would create and goals he will cause. Basically, I think Coffey's contribution is greater than Niedermayer in any case.

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05-09-2010, 05:20 PM
  #31
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Plus, it's not like Scott Niedermayer was some defensive stalwart for most of his career.

He spent a decade in NJ paired with Ken Daneyko, whose job was to provide muscle and cover for Niedermayer's "whoops" moments.

Scott Stevens was always on different pair (with Shawn Chambers, then Tommy Albelin, then a parade of rookies, then Brian Rafalski), and he always got the tougher assignments.

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05-09-2010, 06:43 PM
  #32
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I think a lot of people are influenced by Coffey's last 5 years or so, when he was a major defensive liability and wasn't the force he once was. Don't let his slow deterioration fool you so much. I never thought I would say Paul Coffey is underrated, but some of the points against him and names that have been dropped as better than him are quite frankly absurd.

There are probably 2 or 3 defensemen, in the last half-century, in their prime, that I would take over a prime Paul Coffey. Bobby Orr and Ray Bourque are obvious picks, but after that, it gets pretty hazy. You could make a case for Larry Robinson and Denis Potvin. Keep in mind, I'm just talking about primes, and not entire careers, and if I were, I would definitely take Robinson and Potvin (better defensemen) over Coffey. Even then, there are probably only 6 or 7 defensemen whose career I would take over Coffey's. Let's face it, he's one of the ten best defensemen of all-time.

Between 1981-82 and 1990-91, Paul Coffey strung off arguably the most spectacular run by a defenseman not named Orr. Only Bobby Orr's prime, in terms of pure impact on the game, impresses me more from a defenseman in the last 50 years. As Big Phil said, on top of the raw numbers, the guy was a winner. When the stakes were biggest, he came through, both defensively and offensively. People really need to start to stop falling over themselves on the "Coffey sucks defensively" bandwagon. It was true once he hit the age of 30-31, which is about normal for any defenseman of his style of play. I rest my case with what SI said in 1985.

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05-09-2010, 06:45 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Blades of Glory View Post
I think a lot of people are influenced by Coffey's last 5 years or so, when he was a major defensive liability and wasn't the force he once was. Don't let his slow deterioration fool you so much. I never thought I would say Paul Coffey is underrated, but some of the points against him and names that have been dropped as better than him are quite frankly absurd.

There are probably 2 or 3 defensemen, in the last half-century, in their prime, that I would take over a prime Paul Coffey. Bobby Orr and Ray Bourque are obvious picks, but after that, it gets pretty hazy. You could make a case for Larry Robinson and Denis Potvin. Keep in mind, I'm just talking about primes, and not entire careers, and if I were, I would definitely take Robinson and Potvin (better defensemen) over Coffey. Even then, there are probably only 6 or 7 defensemen whose career I would take over Coffey's. Let's face it, he's one of the ten best defensemen of all-time.

Between 1981-82 and 1990-91, Paul Coffey strung off arguably the most spectacular run by a defenseman not named Orr. Only Bobby Orr's prime, in terms of pure impact on the game, impresses me more from a defenseman in the last 50 years. As Big Phil said, on top of the raw numbers, the guy was a winner. When the stakes were biggest, he came through, both defensively and offensively. People really need to start to stop falling over themselves on the "Coffey sucks defensively" bandwagon. It was true once he hit the age of 30-31, which is about normal for any defenseman of his style of play. I rest my case with what SI said in 1985.
I have Coffey 12th.

1. Orr
2. Shore
3. Harvey
4. Bourque
5. Lidstrom
6. Potvin
7. Kelly
8. Robinson
9. Fetisov
10. Chelios
11. Park
12. Coffey
13. Clancy
14. Pilote

Coffey has a case to be as high as 10th, but Chelios and Park also have good cases over Coffey I think. Everyone in the Top 9 is clearly better than Coffey careerwise.

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05-09-2010, 06:51 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I have Coffey 12th.

1. Orr
2. Shore
3. Harvey
4. Bourque
5. Lidstrom
6. Potvin
7. Kelly
8. Robinson
9. Fetisov
10. Chelios
11. Park
12. Coffey
13. Clancy
14. Pilote
I never really count Fetisov because I never really got to see him play when he was in his prime, outside of a few international tournaments. I know a decent amount from reading, especially on this board, and I have no doubt that he was a top ten defenseman of all-time, and definitely better than Coffey, but it's hard for me to rank him because I only really remember him in the NHL. So I just leave him out generally.

My list is pretty much the exact same as yours from 1-6 (though I have Harvey/Shore and Potvin/Lidstrom switched around), with Robinson at 7, Kelly at 8, Coffey at 9, Chelios at 10, and Park at 11. After that, I start to get a little indecisive. I don't think you can go wrong with Coffey, Chelios, and Park in any order, though. So maybe Coffey isn't a consensus top ten all-time, but I've always considered him, Chelios, and Park to be very, very close. I do tend to favor prime a little bit over career, and Coffey's prime is more impressive than Chelios' and Park's prime ( Park is debatable).

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05-09-2010, 07:19 PM
  #35
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I never rank em in a specific place but in bulk.

Top5

Orr, Lidström, Bourque, Shore and Potvin.

6-10

Harvey, Kelly, Robinson, Fetisov, Park.

11-15

Chelios, Macinnis, Salming, Pilote and Howe

16-20

Coffey, Murphy, Langway, Leetch and Laperriere

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05-09-2010, 07:34 PM
  #36
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Coffey's weaknesses as a defenceman are often exaggerated. From everything I've seen he was basically at worst average defensively, as his superior skating largely made up for his lapses and weakness along the boards/in front of the net. Coffey's incredible offensive contributions, which are really only behind Orr, made him a truly great defenceman. He is far ahead of Lowe and Smith, while Lowe is firmly ahead of Smith.

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05-09-2010, 08:03 PM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I have Coffey 12th.

1. Orr
2. Shore
3. Harvey
4. Bourque
5. Lidstrom
6. Potvin
7. Kelly
8. Robinson
9. Fetisov
10. Chelios
11. Park
12. Coffey
13. Clancy
14. Pilote

Coffey has a case to be as high as 10th, but Chelios and Park also have good cases over Coffey I think. Everyone in the Top 9 is clearly better than Coffey careerwise.
I think a case can be made for Horton, Seibert ahead of Coffey. If we go further back, a case can be made for Cleghorn as well. Either way, Coffey is just out of my Top-15. (Clancy, Seibert are interchangeable, same for Pilote and Horton).

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05-09-2010, 09:56 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by jkrx View Post
I never rank em in a specific place but in bulk.

Top5

Orr, Lidström, Bourque, Shore and Potvin.

6-10

Harvey, Kelly, Robinson, Fetisov, Park.

11-15

Chelios, Macinnis, Salming, Pilote and Howe

16-20

Coffey, Murphy, Langway, Leetch and Laperriere
- Potvin over Harvey?

- macInnis over coffey?

- Seibert, Horton, Clancy and Cleghorn are definitely better than Salming, Howe, Langway, Leetch, and especially Murphy and Laperriere.

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05-09-2010, 10:29 PM
  #39
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Im not saying Lowe and Coffey are comparable. Check my first post.

I'd take Niedermeyer simply because he provides offense without risking too much on defense.
You do realise Coffey was routinely putting up 120+ point seasons in his prime, right? We ain't talking about some 60-point offensive d-man here. Until the latter portion of his career, Niedermayer was no better defensively than Coffey, while being light years behind him offensively. But oh wait, let me guess, 130 points in the mid 80's was really only equivalent to about 40 on the dead-puck era Devils.

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05-09-2010, 10:40 PM
  #40
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Is Laperriere even a Top 40 defenseman in history? (I could ask the same about Murray).

In the ATD against Nayld, he had Laperriere and I had Rob Blake, and I was pretty confident Blake was better than him overall, though I didn't make a big point of it.

Jacques Laperriere over Scott Stevens (both primarily defensive guys) is bizarre.

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05-09-2010, 11:03 PM
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrx View Post
I never rank em in a specific place but in bulk.

Top5

Orr, Lidström, Bourque, Shore and Potvin.

6-10

Harvey, Kelly, Robinson, Fetisov, Park.

11-15

Chelios, Macinnis, Salming, Pilote and Howe

16-20

Coffey, Murphy, Langway, Leetch and Laperriere

Salming, MacInnis, Howe over Coffey? Even Pilote is a little sketchy I think but it isn't out of the question.

Without looking at his offensive numbers you still have to say one thing about Coffey which is something that you never see on a stat sheet. It is how he controlled the pace of the game. Ditto for Harvey, which is why he is #2 on most people's lists. But Coffey would take that puck behind the net and he knew he was always the best skater on the ice. He would either make a pinpoint pass or rush the puck with such effortless grace. He could do that because no one could compete with him skating-wise. I never like to underestimate the value a defenseman has by controlling the pace of the game. Even today I think of a guy like Chara as perhaps still the best defenseman who can control the pace of a game, Pronger too. They do it a different way of course

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05-09-2010, 11:19 PM
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Salming, MacInnis, Howe over Coffey? Even Pilote is a little sketchy I think but it isn't out of the question.

Without looking at his offensive numbers you still have to say one thing about Coffey which is something that you never see on a stat sheet. It is how he controlled the pace of the game. Ditto for Harvey, which is why he is #2 on most people's lists. But Coffey would take that puck behind the net and he knew he was always the best skater on the ice. He would either make a pinpoint pass or rush the puck with such effortless grace. He could do that because no one could compete with him skating-wise. I never like to underestimate the value a defenseman has by controlling the pace of the game. Even today I think of a guy like Chara as perhaps still the best defenseman who can control the pace of a game, Pronger too. They do it a different way of course
Controlling the pace of a game is the greatest thing about Nicklas Lidstrom, and why I think he's closer to Bourque for #4 all-time than he is to Potvin/Kelly for #6 all-time.

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05-10-2010, 12:15 AM
  #43
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On the Ultimate Gretzky DVD set, they ask him who the best long passer was he ever played with. With no hesitation, he says "Paul Coffey. Without a doubt. No one else even comes close."

That's good enough for me.

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05-10-2010, 04:36 PM
  #44
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Coffey is the greatest offensive defenseman of all time. Most goals in one season. most points in 1 playoff season for a d, most goals in one playoff year for a d, Highest scoring defenseman in the playoffs, in 1995 at age 35 led the Detroit Red Wings in scoring over primed players like Federov, Yzerman etc. If he sits here with 6 norris trophies no one would even argue the point. If Orr is the greatest defenseman overall, Coffey is the greatest Offensive dman of all time. Mike Green can't hold his jockstrap.

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05-10-2010, 04:46 PM
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Coffey is the greatest offensive defenseman of all time. Most goals in one season. most points in 1 playoff season for a d, most goals in one playoff year for a d, Highest scoring defenseman in the playoffs, in 1995 at age 35 led the Detroit Red Wings in scoring over primed players like Federov, Yzerman etc. If he sits here with 6 norris trophies no one would even argue the point. If Orr is the greatest defenseman overall, Coffey is the greatest Offensive dman of all time. Mike Green can't hold his jockstrap.
Coffey is disinctively 2nd to Orr. It's hard to argue with Orr, who won two art ross trophies, 2nd another in points another 3 times, and third once. By Comparison, Coffey has 2, 3, 5, 6, 6, 9 in top-10 points finishes

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05-10-2010, 05:05 PM
  #46
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Coffey is the greatest offensive defenseman of all time. Most goals in one season. most points in 1 playoff season for a d, most goals in one playoff year for a d, Highest scoring defenseman in the playoffs, in 1995 at age 35 led the Detroit Red Wings in scoring over primed players like Federov, Yzerman etc. If he sits here with 6 norris trophies no one would even argue the point. If Orr is the greatest defenseman overall, Coffey is the greatest Offensive dman of all time. Mike Green can't hold his jockstrap.
Well, you are definitely right about the last sentence.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Controlling the pace of a game is the greatest thing about Nicklas Lidstrom, and why I think he's closer to Bourque for #4 all-time than he is to Potvin/Kelly for #6 all-time.
This is an interesting point. Lidstrom learned how to control the pace of a game by perfecting his positioning. He didn't have great skating ability. He didn't have a booming slapshot. But he taught himself how to anticipate what was going to happen and slow the pace of the game down to his speed. That's his greatest asset; his positioning.

I have always favored Potvin to Lidstrom, by a tiny hair, though. Potvin wasn't as well positioned as Lidstrom, but he didn't have to be, considering he was a gifted skater. Even then, Potvin was one of the first elite offensive defensemen to put an emphasis on positioning. In the 1983 Cup Finals, I can't tell you how many times Gretzky would receive a pass and out of nowhere, Potvin would appear and poke it away from him. He was like a recurring nightmare; everytime Gretzky skated to an open area, Potvin was already there. Factor in that Potvin's physicality was a game-changing asset, and I do side with him over Lidstrom, BARELY.


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05-10-2010, 05:53 PM
  #47
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Coffey slips because his adaption to the game was one of the worst transitions in the history. He started to show this already in the Pens days with -18 on a team that on the Cup and by far the worst on the team. His passing and skating didnt go sour until around 97 when he was a washed up veteran who wouldnt let go. He spiked at the age 38 with 40 points. People tend to have observational selection when it comes to Coffey. Many forget his shortcomings because of those wonderful years in Oilers. Many forget how he behaved in Whalers when he basically asked to be traded before he even got there. One of the greatest coaches in the leagues history gave him two chances and he ended up being traded both times. But ok I might put Murphy down to the lower bulk and put Coffey up.

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05-10-2010, 06:07 PM
  #48
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Are we really going to knock Coffey down for stuff that happened after he'd already been in the league 15 years? I guess you're part of the same crowd that thinks Messier's Vancouver stint somehow undoes what he'd accomplished in the previous 17 campaigns.

That greatest coach that traded him from the Penguins also had his players begging the GM to fire him, does that tarnish Bowman's legacy? And he brought him back a couple years later where he produced a Norris-calibre season in his mid-30's. Great players get traded all the time.

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05-10-2010, 06:19 PM
  #49
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Are we really going to knock Coffey down for stuff that happened after he'd already been in the league 15 years? I guess you're part of the same crowd that thinks Messier's Vancouver stint somehow undoes what he'd accomplished in the previous 17 campaigns.

That greatest coach that traded him from the Penguins also had his players begging the GM to fire him, does that tarnish Bowman's legacy? And he brought him back a couple years later where he produced a Norris-calibre season in his mid-30's. Great players get traded all the time.
Lidström just finished his 18th season....

Bowman didnt bring him back....

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05-10-2010, 06:55 PM
  #50
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Lidström just finished his 18th season....
Lidstrom is significantly better than Coffey, and everyone is 100% in agreement on that.

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