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Howe Vs Orr?

View Poll Results: Howe Vs Orr?
Howe 31 30.69%
Orr 70 69.31%
Voters: 101. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
06-11-2010, 10:42 AM
  #26
RabbinsDuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve141 View Post
I'm a bit surprised by the lack of arguments. Orr seems to be getting the peak vote unanimously, Howe the career vote.

I'm still waiting for anyone to argue that Howe had the better peak or that Orr had the better career. Otherwise it's just a matter of taste if you value peak or career.
Peak can go to Orr and career to Howe... but I think a very good case can be made that Howe's prime was better (much better).

Orr has 6 years where he was arguably the greatest player in the world and another 2 where he was the best defenseman.

Howe is in the same boat there, winning the Hart 6 times, dominating to a large degree and while you can easily argue Orr dominated to a larger degree - Howe is not far behind him.

But Orr's prime lasted 8 years -- Howe's lasted over 20 years.
Orr may have a slight edge for 8 years, but for 12+ years where Howe was still one of the best players in the world, Orr gets a big fat 0.

Beyond that, Howe has another 10 years where he was still a good player, vs. nothing again from Orr.

How on earth can a slight lead for 6-8 years make up for another 12+ years of great vs. nothing? In order to put Orr ahead of Howe you have to not only value career at ZERO, but heavily discount prime as well. I just do not see an argument for it.


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06-11-2010, 10:44 AM
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SidGenoMario View Post
I've always heard Orr's defensive play was good, how good was it? Would he win Norris trophies just on the strength of his defensive play?
Put it this way, in 70-71, he was +124, with 102 Pts

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06-11-2010, 10:49 AM
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TuukkaTime View Post
Put it this way, in 70-71, he was +124, with 102 Pts
I've always gotten the impression that a lot of his defensive play was because he would always keep the puck in the offensive zone. Kind of like Gretzky, but obviously with much better defense.

If Orr wasn't an offensive demon, if he tried playing a stay at home style, what would he have looked like?

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06-11-2010, 10:59 AM
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SidGenoMario View Post

If Orr wasn't an offensive demon, if he tried playing a stay at home style, what would he have looked like?
Probably Doug Harvey, with better skating.
Orr was better than solid defensively, even taking as many risks as he did -- w/o jumping into plays as often he had the smarts, speed & skating and grit to easily be one of the best defensive players of all-time.

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06-11-2010, 11:01 AM
  #30
TuukkaTime
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SidGenoMario View Post
I've always gotten the impression that a lot of his defensive play was because he would always keep the puck in the offensive zone. Kind of like Gretzky, but obviously with much better defense.

If Orr wasn't an offensive demon, if he tried playing a stay at home style, what would he have looked like?
Not neccessarily, just the other day I was watching a Leafs/Bruins game from 67' on NHL Network, Orr was pressing up in the offensive zone, got caught deep, came all the back to stop the breakaway with a headfirst slide and then took the puck, made the Leafs look like baffons, end to end and put one in the net, absolutely incredible.

It was his style of play though, the fearlessness that cut his career so short

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06-11-2010, 11:03 AM
  #31
SidGenoMario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
Probably Doug Harvey, with better skating.
Orr was better than solid defensively, even taking as many risks as he did -- w/o jumping into plays as often he had the smarts, speed & skating and grit to easily be one of the best defensive players of all-time.
Well there you go, Orr just won this debate for me. Being one of the best defensive players of all-time, AND having one of the most offensively dominant careers of all-time? IMO, that outweighs the longevity advantage Howe has.

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06-11-2010, 11:03 AM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SidGenoMario View Post
I've always gotten the impression that a lot of his defensive play was because he would always keep the puck in the offensive zone. Kind of like Gretzky, but obviously with much better defense.

If Orr wasn't an offensive demon, if he tried playing a stay at home style, what would he have looked like?
"Stay at Home" and Orr are somewhat of an oxymoron. I know you are posing a hypothetical, and it's a valid question, but Orr's style meant he was always on the move...and at least with him, he usually had the skill set to pull this off.

He was still a physical presence in his own end, was very instinctive when blocking shots, and had the speed and agility to play a very sound positional game. And once he had the puck, look out....it was hard to predict what would happen. If winded, he would provide a very accurate outlet pass, or if his tank was full, he might try an end to end, knowing that he would also have to get back if this was negated.

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06-11-2010, 11:16 AM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SidGenoMario View Post
Well there you go, Orr just won this debate for me. Being one of the best defensive players of all-time, AND having one of the most offensively dominant careers of all-time? IMO, that outweighs the longevity advantage Howe has.
Having the 'potential' to be one of the best defensive players of all time is not the same as actually doing it. If Orr concentrated more on defense he obviously would not have been one of the greatest offensive players of all-time. I am sure if Gretzky played defense, he would have excelled there as well.... but that does not mean we give him credit for something he did not do.

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06-11-2010, 11:28 AM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
Having the 'potential' to be one of the best defensive players of all time is not the same as actually doing it. If Orr concentrated more on defense he obviously would not have been one of the greatest offensive players of all-time. I am sure if Gretzky played defense, he would have excelled there as well.... but that does not mean we give him credit for something he did not do.
Oh I misread your post. You're saying he'd be elite defensively ONLY if he would have stopped doing end to end rushes. But still, he was pretty darn good defensively as it was.

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06-11-2010, 11:40 AM
  #35
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Bobby Orr

Due to injuries Bobby Orr never finished the maturation process that a player goes thru over the course of a complete career.

Various d-men started as offensive forces then slowly matured and became defensive forces - Larry Robinson, Scott Stevens, Chris Chelios, to name a few.

This process is also evident in forwards, offensive force to complete player, - Jean Beliveau, Stan Mikita, amongst many. Gordie Howe made this transition over a period of two seasons - 1954-55/1955-56.

The unanswered question is how much would Bobby Orr have compromised of his offense? At the same time we could not ignore the possibility that he would have been moved up to forward, like Red Kelly. Personally doubt the last scenario.

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06-11-2010, 12:08 PM
  #36
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Orr:

Bob Orr...Howe shines by long, steady Year in Year out career.. but.....Orr was incredible...


Last edited by Axxellien: 06-11-2010 at 04:55 PM.
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Old
06-11-2010, 12:48 PM
  #37
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Gordie Howe.

Orr was the best per-game player in NHL history, but he did that for 9 complete seasons. Howe was the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th-most dominant player in history, but he did it for 25 years.

My arguments for Howe were well-outlined in the Lemieux thread and they still apply here. No need to post them again.

I would rate Orr solidly in 3rd, well behind Gretzky and well ahead of 4th-place Lemieux.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
How on earth can a slight lead for 6-8 years make up for another 12+ years of great vs. nothing? In order to put Orr ahead of Howe you have to not only value career at ZERO, but heavily discount prime as well. I just do not see an argument for it.
This is exactly how I feel.

If we want to be silly and indulgent about this, let's assign "points" for each season of a player's career to see what "value" they accumulated.

Let's call Orr's 8 straight Norrises "100" as they were pretty much as dominant as you could get (lack of Harts ignored for this purpose)

Orr's career would look like this:
65-100-100-100-100-100-100-100-100 (865)

We'll ignore his partials afterwards as they add very little.

How good was Howe's best? Well, some would say nowhere near Orr's best, but he was the best in the league six times. I'm not going to type out 30+ seasons of imaginary "scores" but if we call Orr's rookie season a 65, then Howe's hart seasons are at least 80s.

Let's say the six times he won the Hart, that's an 80 season. The six times he was a finalist, that's a 70. The four other times he was in the top-5 in voting, those are 65s, and then he had five other seasons not top-5 in Hart voting, but a postseason all-star. Let's call those 60s. Then he had five other complete NHL seasons and six where he starred in the WHA, but they don't immensely add to his profile. Let's call those 30s. Howe would have a career "score" of around 1790, over twice Orr's score.

Now these figures are completely arbitrary but it does illustrate that someone who favours Orr over Howe is either extrapolating/assuming what would have happened in all those games Orr didn't play in, or they value peak immensely. If Orr's dominant 8 seasons are the 100-point benchmark, then you'd have to consider Howe's 6 Hart seasons and 6 others as a Hart finalist extremely inferior. To me, it's absurd.

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06-11-2010, 12:50 PM
  #38
vadim sharifijanov
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i'm just talking about peak vs. peak here:

someone mentioned in the howe vs. lemieux poll that howe's absolute peak may have been in a watered down league, competing against a weaker generation where a lot of guys were in the war, before the beliveau/hull generation came in. maybe that's a good point: maybe his dominance in the early 50s was somewhat inflated. maybe what he was in the second half of the decade, winning 3 hart trophies in 5 years, was closer to the true howe. an all-time great, still almost certainly a top 5 player all-time and still probably top 3, but maybe this means at his best, he was in a tier demonstrably below gretzky and orr's best.

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06-11-2010, 01:06 PM
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
i'm just talking about peak vs. peak here:

someone mentioned in the howe vs. lemieux poll that howe's absolute peak may have been in a watered down league, competing against a weaker generation where a lot of guys were in the war, before the beliveau/hull generation came in. maybe that's a good point: maybe his dominance in the early 50s was somewhat inflated. maybe what he was in the second half of the decade, winning 3 hart trophies in 5 years, was closer to the true howe. an all-time great, still almost certainly a top 5 player all-time and still probably top 3, but maybe this means at his best, he was in a tier demonstrably below gretzky and orr's best.
I think Howe himself destroys that perception. He was still a top player in the league in his 40s -- hard to imagine he was not exponentially better in his 20s; especially when he has the Harts, scoring titles and Cups to back it up.

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06-11-2010, 05:26 PM
  #40
Dennis Bonvie
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Orr was the best player I ever saw. Howe was the second best.

So I voted for Orr.

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06-11-2010, 07:08 PM
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Orr was the best player I ever saw. Howe was the second best.

So I voted for Orr.
Which sounds eerily like a Mario over Gretzky position.

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06-11-2010, 07:26 PM
  #42
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Since I've followed hockey since the 50's I feel like i can speak with some authority than just making my decision by stat's and a bunch of "what ifs".
As great as Gordie was it's Bobby Orr all the way for me and it's not even close.

From the players that I've seen play....
Bobby Orr #1
Gordie Howe #2
Mario Lemeiux #3
Wayne Gretzky #4
Rocket Richard #5 (moves up in the rankings for the playoffs)

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06-11-2010, 07:49 PM
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ward Cornell View Post
Since I've followed hockey since the 50's I feel like i can speak with some authority than just making my decision by stat's and a bunch of "what ifs".
As great as Gordie was it's Bobby Orr all the way for me and it's not even close.

From the players that I've seen play....
Bobby Orr #1
Gordie Howe #2
Mario Lemeiux #3
Wayne Gretzky #4
Rocket Richard #5 (moves up in the rankings for the playoffs)
blasphemy! Basing an opinion on what you saw is not acceptable. You must do it based on stats & hearsay.

I too have been watching since the 50's (mid) and my list is:

Orr #1
Lemieux #2
Howe #3
Gretzky #4
Hull #5

Admittedly, I never saw the Rocket at his peak and never saw Howe at his extreme peak (early 50's)

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06-11-2010, 08:17 PM
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pappyline View Post
blasphemy! Basing an opinion on what you saw is not acceptable. You must do it based on stats & hearsay.

I too have been watching since the 50's (mid) and my list is:

Orr #1
Lemieux #2
Howe #3
Gretzky #4
Hull #5

Admittedly, I never saw the Rocket at his peak and never saw Howe at his extreme peak (early 50's)
It's funny, but it seems like everytime I hear of someone who got to watch all of the big 4's career's rarely any of them seem to say Gretzky was the best out of them. Which I also do not think he is, my list goes Orr, Lemieux, Gretzky, Howe.

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06-11-2010, 08:31 PM
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
This is a very close poll, much closer than Howe vs. Lemieux in my opinion.
I agree.

....but I voted for Bobby.

My 'Big Four' has looked look like this:

Gretz
Orr
Howe
Lemieux

....for quite some time.

Coincidendantly, just as our HOHTop 100 voting came out.

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06-11-2010, 08:41 PM
  #46
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Bobby Orr

Having seen them play, since the early/mid 1950's Howe and M.Richard past prime

My rankings would be:

#1 Bobby Orr
#2 Gordie Howe
#3 Wayne Gretzky
#4 Mario Lemieux
#5 Maurice Richard by the thinnest of margins over Jean Beliveau.

There are three main reasons. Pure raw talent - skating and hockey skills. If you have to choose a player to win one game or series who do you choose? Whose talent intimidated other talent?

The answer in all three instances would be Bobby Orr, ever so slightly.

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06-11-2010, 09:06 PM
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revolverjgw View Post
The only explanation for Orr's low Hart count is his position and lame "MVP" semantics. He should have won it unanimously every year. He was a tier above everybody else.
But the fact is that Esposito won the Hart twice himself during Orr's prime, and the Pearson twice as well. The 'MVP semantics' have got to be thrown out at that point and if they are kept than it has to be admitted that the group of writers who voted on the award though Espo more valuable than Orr on the same team.

The other argument against Orr's lack of Hart/Pearson trophies is the "forward bias" which is probably stronger than the MVP idea here but still not fully explanatory (defensemen have done better in Hart voting than is acknowledged around here post 1954, and every forward who has won it over a defensemen in recent memory has certainly been more than deserving.

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06-11-2010, 09:48 PM
  #48
Canadiens1958
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Upon Further Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by poise View Post
But the fact is that Esposito won the Hart twice himself during Orr's prime, and the Pearson twice as well. The 'MVP semantics' have got to be thrown out at that point and if they are kept than it has to be admitted that the group of writers who voted on the award though Espo more valuable than Orr on the same team.

The other argument against Orr's lack of Hart/Pearson trophies is the "forward bias" which is probably stronger than the MVP idea here but still not fully explanatory (defensemen have done better in Hart voting than is acknowledged around here post 1954, and every forward who has won it over a defensemen in recent memory has certainly been more than deserving.
Esposito won the Hart in 1969 after setting a new regular season points record of 126 points, shattering the previous mark in the process. Bobby Orr won the Norris BUT he was only 4th on the Bruins in scoring with 64 points despite playing a near complete season. Hodge and Bucyk were ahead of Orr. Not surprising that Orr did not get Hart consideration.

In 1974 when Esposito won his second Hart, he had his second best regular season and was seen as the difference as the Bruins finished first in their division.

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06-11-2010, 10:50 PM
  #49
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It sounds like most if you did not see Gordie at his peak in the early 50s, and you certainly do not have the proper context to have been watching the game in the 30s and 40s to place just what Howe was doing in the proper historical progression of the game. Articles from the time repeatedly were amazed by Howe's play and how he did "something new" on a per game basis. There are enough people out there to swear about "what they saw" and it differs from guy to guy -- My father has seen them all and he swears by 1) Howe 2) Gretzky 3) Orr 4) Lemieux -- at some point you need to back it up and go beyond your opinion.

No one has denied that Orr probably reached greater heights at their peaks, but that seems to be all several of you want to base this on... Literally ignoring the dozens of years Howe was still playing.

Gordie Howe simply brought more value as a hockey player. He was better all-time and all the stats in the world back it up, as well as first person observations. If Orr was that much better at his peak he should have been able to lead a great Bruins team to the Cup more than he did, or at least as much as Howe did.


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06-11-2010, 10:53 PM
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TuukkaTime View Post
Put it this way, in 70-71, he was +124, with 102 Pts
What does that have to do with defensive play?

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