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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, 11:07 PM
  #51
poise
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
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.
Good point, so taking the 1968-1969 season out as Orr didn't yet break out offensively though he was still 3rd in Hart voting, we have the situation that Orr won 3 Hart trophies and Esposito 1 during their concurrent primes.

However, Esposito won the Pearson in his season for the ages in 1971 and was quite a close second in Hart voting (151 points to 127). Furthermore, in 1973, Esposito was ahead of Orr in Hart voting 96 points to 63 (Clarke won). Orr did have a huge margin of win over Esposito in his breakout season in 1970. It must have been partly due to the historic nature of the season as well. The Hart wins in 1972 by Orr and 1974 by Esposito had similar margins over the other in terms of points.

It does suggest that Orr was still considered to be better/more valuable more often, but Esposito's Hart/Pearson record definitely asserts itself throughout the period strongly, only one season does Orr really blow Esposito out of the water.

Hart voting certainly isn't too big on my methods of judging, though for players I didn't see live such as these two it has to be relied upon more, but for those who do, I wonder why exactly Esposito seems to be discounted a lot as compared to Orr?

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06-11-2010, 11:30 PM
  #52
greatgazoo
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Scotty Bowman has said that Orr is the best he's ever seen. 'enuff said!

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06-11-2010, 11:48 PM
  #53
RabbinsDuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatgazoo View Post
Scotty Bowman has said that Orr is the best he's ever seen. 'enuff said!
Again, seeming to rate peak exclusively.


Last edited by RabbinsDuck: 06-12-2010 at 12:04 AM.
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Old
06-12-2010, 08:08 AM
  #54
Ward Cornell
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
Again, seeming to rate peak exclusively.
In which any coaches and GMs would take any day of the week!
(which also makes for a good poll!)

Myself and two other long long followers of hockey basically have the same top 5 of all time with some minor variances except at No.1.

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)
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)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
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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06-12-2010, 08:22 AM
  #55
revolverjgw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ward Cornell View Post
In which any coaches and GMs would take any day of the week!
(which also makes for a good poll!)
Especially with today's technology. It's been said that Orr's injuries would have been treatable with modern medicine and his career would have been greatly extended. A GM would be foolish not to take someone that can dominate like Orr did, he's the best player ever.

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06-12-2010, 08:29 AM
  #56
Canadiens1958
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Peak

Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
Again, seeming to rate peak exclusively.
Peak is what defines best. GMs and coaches have an ability to focus on what is necessary to win a game, a series or a regular season championship.

Unless you have a compelling argument why longevity should even enter into the mix when a GM or coach determines best your objection is vapid.

The counter argument to longevity is very concise. The player may have been top 10 for 20 years BUT for the most part he was towards the bottom of the top 10 so at any given point there were multiple players who were better.

Being recognizably the best for a significant stretch of seasons > 5
carries more weight.

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06-12-2010, 08:59 AM
  #57
Dennis Bonvie
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
Which sounds eerily like a Mario over Gretzky position.
And yes, that is my position on those 2 also.

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06-12-2010, 08:59 AM
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Peak is what defines best. GMs and coaches have an ability to focus on what is necessary to win a game, a series or a regular season championship.

Unless you have a compelling argument why longevity should even enter into the mix when a GM or coach determines best your objection is vapid.

The counter argument to longevity is very concise. The player may have been top 10 for 20 years BUT for the most part he was towards the bottom of the top 10 so at any given point there were multiple players who were better.

Being recognizably the best for a significant stretch of seasons > 5
carries more weight.
If you were arguing Lemiuex over Messier I would agree. But that's not what you are arguing is it?
Howe is universally recognized as the best for a significant stretch of time, and not in a watered-down, post-expansion + WHA torn league. And it's even debateable that Orr dominated to a larger degree than Howe who has more Cups and more Harts.

Instead of giving a concise hypothetical argument for player A over player B try giving an argument for Orr over Howe - which thus far vastly relies on opinion, which everyone has and vastly differ. Without more you come off as Stan Fischler, who has watched a heck of a lot more hockey, dating back to Shore, and he has Shore, Harvey, Kelly and Potvin all ahead of Orr.

Or you sound like someone younger arguing for Lemieux over Gretzky simply because he "wowed" you more.

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06-12-2010, 09:02 AM
  #59
Dennis Bonvie
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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)
That was always my top 5 order also. But I've been swayed by the hockey History community here to go with Bobby Hull at #5.

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06-12-2010, 09:07 AM
  #60
RabbinsDuck
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At his best I think Fedorov was better than Sakic, but I would never rate him higher in all-time context.

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06-12-2010, 09:16 AM
  #61
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Followed them both and I put Howe above Orr.

Peak over career by the way? So most people here would rather have Yzerman around '89 than the '97 one?

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Old
06-12-2010, 09:17 AM
  #62
RabbinsDuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
That was always my top 5 order also. But I've been swayed by the hockey History community here to go with Bobby Hull at #5.
Gretzky at 4th is as ridiculous as the old-timers who still have the Rocket as the greatest player of all-time.

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Old
06-12-2010, 09:34 AM
  #63
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Orr and Gretzky are pretty even. Howe and Mario is a step after. It comes down to personal reference and feelings.

But if asked the question; "What player would you pay money to see again?". For me its a wash between Orr and Mario.


/Cheers

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06-12-2010, 11:08 AM
  #64
Ward Cornell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
That was always my top 5 order also. But I've been swayed by the hockey History community here to go with Bobby Hull at #5.
The Rocket or Hull?

Not much difference there.
I could easily have gone to the Forgotten Hull!.......
As I've heard some young kids say a few years ago....."You mean Brett's dad played hockey????"

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Old
06-12-2010, 12:53 PM
  #65
85highlander
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Never before accomplished, nor ever duplicated except by Bobby Orr:

1) Eight Norris Trophies
Howe doesn’t have any (“Wait, that’s not fair, Howe wasn’t a defenseman….”). But if the Hart argument is going to be held against Orr (and anyone would be disingenuous to argue that there isn’t a forward bias when presenting this trophy) then the lack of Norris trophies in spirit could be held against Howe. Except for his rookie year, Orr won this trophy every year he was relatively healthy.

2) Art Ross Trophy as a Defenseman
Bobby Orr remains the only defenseman ever to accomplish this feat, and he did it twice, as well as three runner ups and a third place finish (when he missed 20 games).
This is just SICK. Howe won plenty of Art Ross trophies as a forward, but forwards are SUPPOSED to win the Art Ross. The fact that Howe won is not shocking, the fact that a defenseman did is still so shocking because it has never been duplicated, or even close to being duplicated.

3) Multiple Hart Trophies as a Defenseman
Orr was the first defenseman to win this during the Norris trophy era, and did it three times. He remains the only multiple winner of the Hart trophy as a defenseman. (Chris Pronger is the only other defenseman to break into this camp, albeit only once).

4) Percentage over Peers by Positional Grouping in Scoring
This is where Orr’s dominance is off the charts. Orr topped the charts over his defensive peers at a far greater rate than any other positional player ever. In 69-70 he was 176% over the next d-man, 123% in 70-71, 88% in 72-73, 81% in 74-75.
Howe’s greatest percentage over positional peers was 58% in 51-52. For comparison, Gretzky’s highest percentage over his positional peers was 73% in 83-84 (Esposito holds the highest % at center with a 79% over positional peers in 70-71).

5) Plus/Minus TWICE as high as anyone else
A debated stat, granted. But the highest ranked players are all sure caliber HOFers.

Player +/- Per Game
Bobby Orr +1.01
Larry Robinson + .53
Mike Bossy + .51
Bobby Clarke + .44
Serge Savard+ .44
Denis Potvin + .43
Guy Lafluer + .40

No this is not a misprint. Orr's registered +/- per game is DOUBLE over the next closest (this stat was not officially taken during Orr's first year in the league).

6) Only Player to win FOUR major trophies in one year ‘69-70
Hart, Norris, Art Ross, and Conn Smythe ... plus scoring the clinching goal in the Stanley Cup!

7) Coolest Photo
The Goal – no description required

8) End to end Rushes whenever desired
Please show some footage of Howe going end to end through an entire team not just once, but dozens of times….

9) Three Zone Dominance
Because of winning both the Norris and Art Ross trophies, Orr has been recognized by his sport as excelling as the top player in both offensive and defensive categories.

10) Wow factor
Don’t know how to quantify this, but as one who has followed hockey for over 6 decades, there has never been another player who could do more on a hockey rink – skate, pass, shoot, defend, fight, etc than Bobby Orr.

Yes, Gordie Howe will always be Mr. Hockey, and rightly deserved. Howe was dominant for longer, and had the better career.

But Bobby Orr was all of hockey wrapped up in one player, the greatest and most all-around dominant player of them all, even if the style that made him such also resulted in a shortened, but electrifying career.


Last edited by 85highlander: 06-12-2010 at 03:07 PM.
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Old
06-12-2010, 01:13 PM
  #66
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I voted Orr, simply because I think he was the better player. I'm too young to have watched either play, so I'm going on stats, reputation, and the few games I've seen with them.

I think that on this board, when rating players that one hasn't seen, the tendency is to rate players by career rather than peak because it's easier to measure and compare. But I prefer to rate players by peak - or at least peak sustained over a few years - simply because I think it's the more interesting question. IMO, while I appreciate accomplishments and good play outside of a player's peak or prime, it doesn't have much to do with how I rank them. I reject the idea that a player can just keep adding to his greatness by playing for a long time.

I don't apologize for that, or think it's an unreasonable position. It's just my preference. And I think a lot of other hockey fans and hockey people take the same position. Why can't they rate players on peak? It's a perfectly reasonable and consistent position. The hockey fans who rate Orr or Lemieux ahead of Howe aren't necessarily irrational, they're just looking for different things than the career counters.

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06-12-2010, 02:53 PM
  #67
RabbinsDuck
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I can understand heavily discounting late career years where points may have been accumulated with little else of importance, but Howe is out of the stratosphere - remaining a superstar in the game for decades. Many of you seem to want to ignore it, or discount it because it simply makes him hard to compare to others.

Peak should be a large piece of the pie, but it is still only a piece and ignores other important charecteristics of what made the greats great. Lobbing off more than a dozen years where Howe was still one of the best players in the world, and dismissing it as "career" is disingenuous. That's "prime", and it should carry a ton of weight as well.

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06-12-2010, 03:16 PM
  #68
seventieslord
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
I can understand heavily discounting late career years where points may have been accumulated with little else of importance, but Howe is out of the stratosphere - remaining a superstar in the game for decades. Many of you seem to want to ignore it, or discount it because it simply makes him hard to compare to others.

Peak should be a large piece of the pie, but it is still only a piece and ignores other important charecteristics of what made the greats great. Lobbing off more than a dozen years where Howe was still one of the best players in the world, and dismissing it as "career" is disingenuous. That's "prime", and it should carry a ton of weight as well.
well said.

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06-12-2010, 03:21 PM
  #69
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
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.



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.
I will say that if you use this exact argument and say one player is 100 for 8 seasons and one is 90 for 20 seasons I would have no problem with picking the greatest/best. Iīd pick the 100 every time. the best is the best is the best.

I did not have the chance to follow their carrers but I have gotten the feeling from everything Iīve read that Gordie Howe was a great great player but that Bobby Orr was just special. I mean top 2 in scoring 5 times. only beaten by a temmate whose scoring we can assume he heavily influenced. as a defenceman. who only played over 70 games 5 times. who also was mean and good defensively. and probably the best skater ever.

and listening to people who did see them I see no reason to question this feeling.

Itīs why Maradona has his own religion. Not because he was the best the longest. but because he was the best.

I see that you can value longevity higher than I do but I have yet to see that Howe at his best was close to Orr and thats enough for me.

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06-12-2010, 03:35 PM
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
I can understand heavily discounting late career years where points may have been accumulated with little else of importance, but Howe is out of the stratosphere - remaining a superstar in the game for decades. Many of you seem to want to ignore it, or discount it because it simply makes him hard to compare to others.

Peak should be a large piece of the pie, but it is still only a piece and ignores other important charecteristics of what made the greats great. Lobbing off more than a dozen years where Howe was still one of the best players in the world, and dismissing it as "career" is disingenuous. That's "prime", and it should carry a ton of weight as well.
Fair points, but Howe's latter-years don't close the gap for me. Orr's peak was just too dominant, and the caliber of hockey Howe played later in his career, even though it was still awesome and he kept it up for an unprecedented length of time, wasn't generational (scoring leader just once after 30, was outplayed by lesser greats routinely) and just doesn't count for as much to me as it obviously does for you.

Wayne Gretzky was great when he was 37, an all-star and assist leader, but those latter years have so little weight compared to his Oiler years when I consider his greatness. Honestly, it's barely of any significance at all to me when I compare his greatness to Orr's, and he could have done it for 3 or 4 more seasons and I wouldn't feel any different, it wouldn't pull him any farther ahead of/any closer to Orr. His position in hockey lore was already set during his prime. Stretches of extreme dominance like Gretzky and Orr had just totally overshadow everything else for me, and even Howe-like longevity can't close the gap. He had a incredibly long run of impressive seasons after his prime but it doesn't pull him any closer because at that point he was no longer head and shoulders above everybody else. And since we're not comparing mere mortals, seasons like that just aren't as valuable or telling, to me.

Dominance like Orr's was something else entirely and it's probably not even quantifiable in terms of "X amount of great seasons", or whatever. For me, Orr transcends that. But different strokes for different folks.

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06-12-2010, 03:37 PM
  #71
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I will say that if you use this exact argument and say one player is 100 for 8 seasons and one is 90 for 20 seasons I would have no problem with picking the greatest/best. Iīd pick the 100 every time. the best is the best is the best.

I did not have the chance to follow their carrers but I have gotten the feeling from everything Iīve read that Gordie Howe was a great great player but that Bobby Orr was just special. I mean top 2 in scoring 5 times. only beaten by a temmate whose scoring we can assume he heavily influenced. as a defenceman. who only played over 70 games 5 times. who also was mean and good defensively. and probably the best skater ever.

and listening to people who did see them I see no reason to question this feeling.

Itīs why Maradona has his own religion. Not because he was the best the longest. but because he was the best.

I see that you can value longevity higher than I do but I have yet to see that Howe at his best was close to Orr and thats enough for me.
One player gives you a great chance to win for 8 years, the other 20 years. Considering Orr only took a great team to the Cup 2 years I fail to see how a slightly higher peak cancels out 12 extra years of greatness.

If Orr was leading his team to the Cup every year you would have a point. But the fact is no player has been so singularly great to do so, and that includes Orr, playing with another all-time great.

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06-12-2010, 04:02 PM
  #72
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
One player gives you a great chance to win for 8 years, the other 20 years. Considering Orr only took a great team to the Cup 2 years I fail to see how a slightly higher peak cancels out 12 extra years of greatness.

If Orr was leading his team to the Cup every year you would have a point. But the fact is no player has been so singularly great to do so, and that includes Orr, playing with another all-time great.
So are you adding Stanley Cups into your comparables? If so, then by your math Orr won two Cups in 600+ games and Howe won four cups in over 1,700 games. I'm no math whiz, but wouldn't Orr have a far higher percentage than Howe using this criteria?

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06-12-2010, 04:18 PM
  #73
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Originally Posted by 85highlander View Post
So are you adding Stanley Cups into your comparables? If so, then by your math Orr won two Cups in 600+ games and Howe won four cups in over 1,700 games. I'm no math whiz, but wouldn't Orr have a far higher percentage than Howe using this criteria?
I'm saying if Orr's dominance was to the degree many of you claim, he should have led the Bruins to more Cups. It's not like the Bruins were chopped liver at the time. I believe someone who truly transcended hockey should have been able to lead teams much worse than Boston of the time to more than 2 Cups. Orr wasn't 'that' good... No one has been.

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06-12-2010, 04:43 PM
  #74
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
One player gives you a great chance to win for 8 years, the other 20 years. Considering Orr only took a great team to the Cup 2 years I fail to see how a slightly higher peak cancels out 12 extra years of greatness.

If Orr was leading his team to the Cup every year you would have a point. But the fact is no player has been so singularly great to do so, and that includes Orr, playing with another all-time great.
but I donīt think that is a good way to judge greatness. if you go down that road you could probably argue Bourque over Orr. definitely Beliveau over Lemieux.

and you would be wrong.

so yes. you can have that opinion. but I donīt think itīs hard to understand my opinion.

and I wonīt go into the cup-counting argument. hockey is a team game. as you said, nobody has ever singlehandidly won a cup and I donīt think anybody ever will. so I donīt think that says anything. I mean, you speak about Howes greatness as giving his team greater chances of winning longer and yet he did not win a cup in his last 17 seasons. most of them in a 6 team league at that.

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06-12-2010, 04:44 PM
  #75
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Still Waiting.............

Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
I can understand heavily discounting late career years where points may have been accumulated with little else of importance, but Howe is out of the stratosphere - remaining a superstar in the game for decades. Many of you seem to want to ignore it, or discount it because it simply makes him hard to compare to others.

Peak should be a large piece of the pie, but it is still only a piece and ignores other important charecteristics of what made the greats great. Lobbing off more than a dozen years where Howe was still one of the best players in the world, and dismissing it as "career" is disingenuous. That's "prime", and it should carry a ton of weight as well.
Still waiting for you to come up with a compelling argument why Gordie Howe's longevity brought the same value to the rink as Bobby Orr's peak.

Both players - Howe and Orr entered the league at the age of 18 and their peak ran roughly from their 4th season to their 9th season

Peak vs Peak
Gordie Howe 1950 - 1955, a forward peaked at 95 points, 68/86/86/95/81/62 rather interesting Bell curve effect

Bobby Orr 1970-75, a defenseman peaked at 139 points, 120/139/117/101/122/135, given the time missed due to injury a fairly consistent peak. Regardless of how the stats are adjusted or explained, Bobby Orr had a significantly better peak from an individual standpoint.Given that the numbers were generated by a defenseman it is even more impressive.

Longevity
Due to injury Orr did not have longevity. Gordie Howe(1956-1971) had longevity and along the way won a few Hart and Ross trophies BUT during this time even if he was a superstar he was a playable opponent.Teams no longer had to defense him specifically. Just make sure that you had physical defensemen out against Howe.

The Hart Trophies were for carrying an under manned Red Wing team beyond projected finishes, making the playoffs when not expected, while the Art Ross trophies were unspectacular - never came close to matching his peak of 95 points during the rest of the O6 era.

By the mid 1960's his skating was not strong enough to cover the elite left wingers - Bobby Hull and Frank Mahovlich.Red Wings turned to Bryan Watson to cover Bobby Hull.In the 1966 finals against Montreal Howe was a non factor. 6GP 1G 1A = 2PTS. Specifically a goal at 19:59 of the third period of a 4-2 loss and a PP assist.

After 1966 the Red Wings did not make the playoffs until 1970. Gordie Howe put up some interesting numbers 103 points in 1969 at the age of 40 is impressive at first glance but playing on a line with Frank Mahovlich and Alex Delvecchio on a non-playoff team puts things in context.

So while the longevity and the numbers from 1956 - 1971 are interesting, impressive and representative of a superstar they do not represent an ultimate difference maker.

Conversely during the 1976 Canada Cup, Bobby Orr, hampered by knee injuries stilled managed to produce like the ultimate difference maker that he was.

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