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What does Chris Pronger have to do to become a top ten defenseman of all-time?

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Old
08-30-2010, 09:05 PM
  #76
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Originally Posted by Epsilon View Post
Briere and Leino both should have been given serious consideration.
You're out of your bloody mind. Briere was barely a PPG player until the Chicago series, and was exposed defensively numerous times throughout the PLAYOFFS. For a player to be considered playoff MVP, he should at least be one of the best throughout.

Similarly, Leino managed twelve points prior to the Chicago series, and contributed little to the defensive effort. He wasn't an albatross like Briere, but he wasn't anywhere near as effective as say Richards who was, without a doubt, the Flyers' most consistent forward through the playoffs.

So, to recap, Briere and Leino were great during the Finals. Gagne was great in the Conference Semis. But Richards and Pronger were better throughout.
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Honestly, I thought Pronger's play last playoffs was a bit overrated. It seemed like appreciation for his past performances became inexorably intermingled with an evaluation of his current play. He played well against New Jersey to be certain, but I didn't feel like he was the key (or even a key) to the comeback against Boston. He was good against Montreal but so were pretty much all the Flyers, and he got exposed against Chicago as the series wore on.
Which is coincidentally at the exact same time Leighton had his meltdown. Funny how when Pronger was "good" the Flyers were getting solid goaltending from Leighton and Boucher. Didn't matter which one was in net, really.

----------------------------------------

I don't think Pronger will ever get into the top-10. There have been too many other defenders with a comparable defensive game, and a top-notch offensive game (Orr, Shore, Bourque, Harvey, Potvin, Lidstrom, etc.) That said, he's easily top-20.


Last edited by Clown Baby: 08-30-2010 at 09:11 PM.
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Old
08-30-2010, 09:15 PM
  #77
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Originally Posted by Stank Mahovlich View Post
I can't imagine someone else on Philly would have had a shot.
Briere was definitely in the discussion. I think Pronger might've deserved it more, but Briere was certainly spectacular.

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08-30-2010, 09:51 PM
  #78
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We can change the scope of the discussion a little:

Does Pronger pass Scott Stevens in the next few years?

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08-30-2010, 09:51 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
I play the what if game with Pronger winning the 2000 Hart every time someone else plays it with Pronger not winning the Conn in various years.
An infinite cycle I guess.

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08-30-2010, 10:37 PM
  #80
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Originally Posted by Stank Mahovlich View Post
We can change the scope of the discussion a little:

Does Pronger pass Scott Stevens in the next few years?
Tough call. At his best, I suppose you can look at Pronger as being able to combine being a shutdown defender and intimidating presence while having a very solid offensive game, while Stevens had to sacrifice his offense for to become that type of defender. But even with Pronger's recent run of playoff success, I think Stevens with the Devils was just such a dominant defensive presence for a multiple cup winner, and one of the best playoff performers of the dead puck era.

As well, while Pronger has been around for awhile, since he basically missed an entire season with injury, as well as the lockout, he's only really had 11 seasons as one of the better defenders in the league, and missed a good chunk of time in several of them. Stevens had 12 years just with New Jersey alone as one of the top defensemen, and a bunch of solid seasons before that, while being very durable.

Just looking at top 10 Norris finishes alone, we have:

Stevens: 2,2,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,6,7,10,10,10,10,10
Pronger: 1,3,3,3,4,5,5,7,8

Eliminating same finishes, we have:

Stevens: 2,2,4,6,6,6,10,10,10,10,10
Pronger: 1,3,3,8

So essentially, they're fairly even in elite seasons, with Stevens having a significant advantage of seasons in the 6-10 best defensemen range. I'd say Pronger needs to remain around his current level for another 3-4 seasons, and probably put in at least one more solid playoff run.

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08-30-2010, 10:39 PM
  #81
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He's in the top 20 for sure. I think he's bypassed Niedermayer by now and we all know Scott won't add to his resume anymore. Pronger is like a fine wine though, he is still an elite defenseman. I mean, even when he was struggling in the 2010 Olympics it was him who came up with a big game in the Gold medal. But let's look at a couple things first. How is his resume?

Hart Trophy - 2000
Norris Trophy - 2000
1st team all-star - 2000
2nd team all-star - 1998, '04, '07
1 Stanley Cup
2 more Cup final appearances
two or three really great runs to the Cup
2002 and 2010 Olympic gold
has two playoffs where he flirted with Conn Smythe consideration
Led a bad team to the final, led a great team to the final, helped lead a so-so team to the final

Not bad. His resume actually is worse than he really is. I am still very surprised that Pronger doesn't have more all-star nods to his name. He should have gotten one over Lidstrom this year though.

So let's look at his dominance and how he played the game. He was/is strong defensively. He was a mean SOB who did what he had to do to win. He could play the point on the power play. He was good offensively, made a good first pass. Had the size and strength to intimidate and would drop the gloves if he had to. Another thing with Pronger, he has almost never had a bad season when he was healthy. Teams are still scared to death to play against the guy.

There are some negatives. His fiasco when he left Edmonton. He was so-so in the postseason pre-lockout. He could and probably should have had another season like 2000. He had some injury problems. Despite his leadership he was outplayed by Duncan Keith in the 2010 final (although being outplayed by the Norris winner is fine). And like I said before he should really have more than 4 all-star nods to his name. Is it because he has had bickering with the media? Or is it because he isn't exactly Mr. Popularity? Who knows, but to be top 10 all-time I think you need more than 4 selections when you compare the other ones in the top 10. Luckily he is only 35 years old and has time.

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08-30-2010, 11:03 PM
  #82
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Chris Pronger

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
He's in the top 20 for sure. I think he's bypassed Niedermayer by now and we all know Scott won't add to his resume anymore. Pronger is like a fine wine though, he is still an elite defenseman. I mean, even when he was struggling in the 2010 Olympics it was him who came up with a big game in the Gold medal. But let's look at a couple things first. How is his resume?

Hart Trophy - 2000
Norris Trophy - 2000
1st team all-star - 2000
2nd team all-star - 1998, '04, '07
1 Stanley Cup
2 more Cup final appearances
two or three really great runs to the Cup
2002 and 2010 Olympic gold
has two playoffs where he flirted with Conn Smythe consideration
Led a bad team to the final, led a great team to the final, helped lead a so-so team to the final

Not bad. His resume actually is worse than he really is. I am still very surprised that Pronger doesn't have more all-star nods to his name. He should have gotten one over Lidstrom this year though.

So let's look at his dominance and how he played the game. He was/is strong defensively. He was a mean SOB who did what he had to do to win. He could play the point on the power play. He was good offensively, made a good first pass. Had the size and strength to intimidate and would drop the gloves if he had to. Another thing with Pronger, he has almost never had a bad season when he was healthy. Teams are still scared to death to play against the guy.

There are some negatives. His fiasco when he left Edmonton. He was so-so in the postseason pre-lockout. He could and probably should have had another season like 2000. He had some injury problems. Despite his leadership he was outplayed by Duncan Keith in the 2010 final (although being outplayed by the Norris winner is fine). And like I said before he should really have more than 4 all-star nods to his name. Is it because he has had bickering with the media? Or is it because he isn't exactly Mr. Popularity? Who knows, but to be top 10 all-time I think you need more than 4 selections when you compare the other ones in the top 10. Luckily he is only 35 years old and has time.
In the WHA thread you claimed that injuries are part of the game. Posting out of both sides of the keyboard now.

The teams are scared to death to play against the guy? Guess watching the 2010 finals against the Blackhawks was not on your to do list. First chance Dustin Byfuglien had he crashed the crease and the Hawks continued to do so every chance they had.Hawks win the cup. 2007 Senators do not crash the crease and the Ducks win the cup. Simple game if a team has players willing to play it.

Which is the basic weakness in Pronger's game. Let Pronger control the defensive slot and he looks like an elite defenseman. Challenge him for the slot on a regular basis and he competes at the next level down.

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08-30-2010, 11:19 PM
  #83
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
In the WHA thread you claimed that injuries are part of the game. Posting out of both sides of the keyboard now.

The teams are scared to death to play against the guy? Guess watching the 2010 finals against the Blackhawks was not on your to do list. First chance Dustin Byfuglien had he crashed the crease and the Hawks continued to do so every chance they had.Hawks win the cup. 2007 Senators do not crash the crease and the Ducks win the cup. Simple game if a team has players willing to play it.

Which is the basic weakness in Pronger's game. Let Pronger control the defensive slot and he looks like an elite defenseman. Challenge him for the slot on a regular basis and he competes at the next level down.
To be fair, the Blackhawks are one of the best teams I've seen in recent times at crashing the crease. When they were on, it was truly a fantastic team effort to completely take the game to the goaltender, and they frequently made teams looks silly doing it (particularly Vancouver).

With the way the rules are now, I'm not sure any team with that mindset (and talent) can truly be stopped completely. If Pronger was allowed to actually battle it out and remove players from the crease like before he would probably look a lot better

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08-30-2010, 11:21 PM
  #84
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
First chance Dustin Byfuglien had he crashed the crease and the Hawks continued to do so every chance they had.Hawks win the cup. 2007 Senators do not crash the crease and the Ducks win the cup. Simple game if a team has players willing to play it.
Hawks won because they had a better team top to bottom. More skilled forwards, better top 4 defense, better goaltending and better coaching. Not because Byfuglien stood in the crease for 90 seconds each game.

Anaheim would have won in 2007 regardless of whether Ottawa's forwards stood in the crease. Anaheim was the best team in the world that year and nothing was stopping them.

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Which is the basic weakness in Pronger's game. Let Pronger control the defensive slot and he looks like an elite defenseman. Challenge him for the slot on a regular basis and he competes at the next level down.
I don't know about that. His size and strength in that area makes it one of his stronger points IMO. A part of the game that doesn't expose his mobility isn't going to put him at a disadvantage.

The biggest weakness in Pronger's game is his foot speed. He has a habit of sometimes getting burned by speedy wingers (like Patrick Kane or Paul Kariya). The only real way to beat him 1 on 1 is to speed past him, and even so, his reach and his positioning make that hard to do.

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08-30-2010, 11:31 PM
  #85
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Flyers

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Originally Posted by Regal View Post
To be fair, the Blackhawks are one of the best teams I've seen in recent times at crashing the crease. When they were on, it was truly a fantastic team effort to completely take the game to the goaltender, and they frequently made teams looks silly doing it (particularly Vancouver).

With the way the rules are now, I'm not sure any team with that mindset (and talent) can truly be stopped completely. If Pronger was allowed to actually battle it out and remove players from the crease like before he would probably look a lot better
The Flyers three main lines are pretty good as well. They managed to make the Canadiens and Halak look very ordinary. The key is the overall offensive team movement thru the slot. Planting a player at the lip of the crease is not very productive.

Very accurate assessment of the last two Chicago/Vancouver playoff series. The Hawks East/West game gave the Canucks problems, especially Luongo who is not very quick moving laterally.
Exposed the Canucks defense as slower than previously rated.

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08-30-2010, 11:39 PM
  #86
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2010 Capitals

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Originally Posted by Stank Mahovlich View Post
Hawks won because they had a better team top to bottom. More skilled forwards, better top 4 defense, better goaltending and better coaching. Not because Byfuglien stood in the crease for 90 seconds each game.

Anaheim would have won in 2007 regardless of whether Ottawa's forwards stood in the crease. Anaheim was the best team in the world that year and nothing was stopping them.



I don't know about that. His size and strength in that area makes it one of his stronger points IMO. A part of the game that doesn't expose his mobility isn't going to put him at a disadvantage.

The biggest weakness in Pronger's game is his foot speed. He has a habit of sometimes getting burned by speedy wingers (like Patrick Kane or Paul Kariya). The only real way to beat him 1 on 1 is to speed past him, and even so, his reach and his positioning make that hard to do.
Same applies when looking at the 2010 Washington Capitals but they stayed on the perimeter with little effort to challenge the slot and lost in the first round to a much weaker Canadiens team.

Pronger and foot speed. True which is why you have to create movement through the slot which is what Byfuglien initiated, followed by the other Hawks. Standing plays into Pronger's strength, movement causes him to drift and he starts cheating on positioning because he cannot recover.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 08-31-2010 at 04:56 PM. Reason: typo
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08-31-2010, 12:00 AM
  #87
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Very accurate assessment of the last two Chicago/Vancouver playoff series. The Hawks East/West game gave the Canucks problems, especially Luongo who is not very quick moving laterally.
Exposed the Canucks defense as slower than previously rated.
I didn't really think about that until you mentioned it, but I think that's spot on. When the Hawks just sent Byfuglien to stand infront of the net, it was occasionally effective, but he could be contained. When they used their speed to play an East-West game through the crease, they started getting the defensemen and Luongo moving, and frequently caught them out of position.

Oddly enough, Luongo's lateral quickness used to be one of his strengths. Something's happened to him in the past year and a bit, and I'm worried he never fully healed from that groin injury in '08-09, though he was very good down the stretch and against St. Louis that year. For some reason, he's started lunging toward the puck when he's in the butterfly, limiting his lateral movement, exposing more of the net, and causing him to start making Hasek-like scrambles (only, not effective ones)

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Old
08-31-2010, 08:06 AM
  #88
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
He's in the top 20 for sure. I think he's bypassed Niedermayer by now and we all know Scott won't add to his resume anymore. Pronger is like a fine wine though, he is still an elite defenseman. I mean, even when he was struggling in the 2010 Olympics it was him who came up with a big game in the Gold medal. But let's look at a couple things first. How is his resume?

Hart Trophy - 2000
Norris Trophy - 2000
1st team all-star - 2000
2nd team all-star - 1998, '04, '07
1 Stanley Cup
2 more Cup final appearances
two or three really great runs to the Cup
2002 and 2010 Olympic gold
has two playoffs where he flirted with Conn Smythe consideration
Led a bad team to the final, led a great team to the final, helped lead a so-so team to the final

Not bad. His resume actually is worse than he really is. I am still very surprised that Pronger doesn't have more all-star nods to his name. He should have gotten one over Lidstrom this year though.

So let's look at his dominance and how he played the game. He was/is strong defensively. He was a mean SOB who did what he had to do to win. He could play the point on the power play. He was good offensively, made a good first pass. Had the size and strength to intimidate and would drop the gloves if he had to. Another thing with Pronger, he has almost never had a bad season when he was healthy. Teams are still scared to death to play against the guy.

There are some negatives. His fiasco when he left Edmonton. He was so-so in the postseason pre-lockout. He could and probably should have had another season like 2000. He had some injury problems. Despite his leadership he was outplayed by Duncan Keith in the 2010 final (although being outplayed by the Norris winner is fine). And like I said before he should really have more than 4 all-star nods to his name. Is it because he has had bickering with the media? Or is it because he isn't exactly Mr. Popularity? Who knows, but to be top 10 all-time I think you need more than 4 selections when you compare the other ones in the top 10. Luckily he is only 35 years old and has time.
When we submitted our lists last time for the top 100, Pronger was my 31st defenseman. He would move up considerably if I had to make that list again today, but he still wouldn't be in my top 20.

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08-31-2010, 08:46 AM
  #89
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What does Chris Pronger have to do to become a top ten defenseman of all-time?
Go back in time.

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08-31-2010, 11:58 AM
  #90
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I know they're jokes, but there's been a couple mentions of going back in time in the thread, which made me wonder, was it even really possible for Pronger to crack the top 10?

He had just won the Norris and Hart in '00. Now suppose he never has the injury problems after, and plays at a similar level until the lockout, pretty much establishing himself as the best defenseman after Lidstrom. He has a couple decent playoff runs with a good Blues team, including a trip to the finals. After the lockout he has a similar career to what he's done, except he stays healthy in '06-07, making a strong push for the Norris, then doesn't get suspended in the playoffs and wins the Conn Smythe.

Does he crack the top ten then? Most people seem to have Orr, Harvey, Shore, Bourque, Lidstrom, and Potvin as their top 6 in some order, and he's not gonna replace those guys. Then you have Kelly and Robinson, and I don't think he could really replace them either. Throw in Fetisov who many feel is in the top 10, and basically you're down to only one spot. Could he beat out Park, Chelios, Coffey, or whoever else for that spot? I think he'd be in tough.

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08-31-2010, 12:05 PM
  #91
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Originally Posted by Regal View Post
I know they're jokes, but there's been a couple mentions of going back in time in the thread, which made me wonder, was it even really possible for Pronger to crack the top 10?

He had just won the Norris and Hart in '00. Now suppose he never has the injury problems after, and plays at a similar level until the lockout, pretty much establishing himself as the best defenseman after Lidstrom. He has a couple decent playoff runs with a good Blues team, including a trip to the finals. After the lockout he has a similar career to what he's done, except he stays healthy in '06-07, making a strong push for the Norris, then doesn't get suspended in the playoffs and wins the Conn Smythe.

Does he crack the top ten then? Most people seem to have Orr, Harvey, Shore, Bourque, Lidstrom, and Potvin as their top 6 in some order, and he's not gonna replace those guys. Then you have Kelly and Robinson, and I don't think he could really replace them either. Throw in Fetisov who many feel is in the top 10, and basically you're down to only one spot. Could he beat out Park, Chelios, Coffey, or whoever else for that spot? I think he'd be in tough.
I think it was GBC that said after 2000, Pronger was poised to be the next Larry Robinson but injuries and inconsistency did him in.

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08-31-2010, 01:36 PM
  #92
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I think it was GBC that said after 2000, Pronger was poised to be the next Larry Robinson but injuries and inconsistency did him in.
The bottom line is that Pronger has produced maybe 5-6 outstanding years out of 16 and people want to bump him past other players that were outstanding more often and far longer.
Scott Stevens is basically the hump Pronger would need to get over and quite frankly that aint gonna happen.
You could knock off Steven's 5 best years and then take his next 5 best years and use them to go vs Pronger's best 5 and still have a fight.


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08-31-2010, 02:01 PM
  #93
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Same applies when looking at the 2010 Washington Capitals but they stayed on the perimeter with little effort to challenge the slot and lost in the first round to a much weaker Canadiens team.

Pronger and foot speed. True which is why you have to craete movement through the slot which is what Byfuglien initiated, followed by the other Hawks. Standing plays into Pronger's strength, movement causes him to drift and he starts cheating on positioning because he cannot recover.
Goalies and defenders have had to deal with big tough forwards in front of the net since well before I started watching hockey.

Pronger has played against better versions of Byfuglien such as Shanahan, Holmstrom, and Smyth and his teams have come out on top.

I dont think it would be as easy as challenge Pronger in the slot. I thought the second line guys like Hossa and Sharp did a number on Pronger when they were out against him.

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08-31-2010, 03:01 PM
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Pronger has played against better versions of Byfuglien such as Shanahan, Holmstrom, and Smyth and his teams have come out on top
That's kind of a weird example, especially given how many years the Blues fell to the Red Wings. Those series are a *large* part of the reason Pronger was considered a playoff choker for so long. Then there's the fact that the last time Pronger played the Wings in the playoffs, he lost. So I'm not sure you want to use Shanahan and Holmstrom as your gauges.

Pronger was good for Edmonton when they pulled the upset, but you could argue that Anaheim beat the Wings despite Pronger and his bone headed play getting himself suspended the year he beat them with the Ducks.


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08-31-2010, 07:00 PM
  #95
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I don't see him in the top 10 all time. That hart trophy should've been Jagr's too. That said, if we're talking top 10 playoff performers of all time, dude should be on the list and probably higher than number 10 too. He knows what to do to win.

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08-31-2010, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by TOOMUCHBREWER View Post
Goalies and defenders have had to deal with big tough forwards in front of the net since well before I started watching hockey.

Pronger has played against better versions of Byfuglien such as Shanahan, Holmstrom, and Smyth and his teams have come out on top.

I dont think it would be as easy as challenge Pronger in the slot. I thought the second line guys like Hossa and Sharp did a number on Pronger when they were out against him.
Second line guys on the most forward stacked team in the NHL though. Hossa especially is hardly your average second line guy. Pumps out 40 goal seasons like nothing, among other things.

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08-31-2010, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Pronger and foot speed. True which is why you have to create movement through the slot which is what Byfuglien initiated, followed by the other Hawks. Standing plays into Pronger's strength, movement causes him to drift and he starts cheating on positioning because he cannot recover.
What Byfuglien initiated was ineffective though. Matching a big, but slow forward against a big, but slow defenseman, played into Pronger's hands. It was when Quenneville discarded that matchup in favour of using his smaller, faster forwards against Pronger (Hossa and Versteeg mostly as I recall), that the series really turned. That's when Pronger was exposed, when the Hawks got the east-west game flowing. Byfuglien is much more north-south, and that won't often work against a 6'6 behemoth.

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08-31-2010, 07:46 PM
  #98
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Originally Posted by jcbio11 View Post
I don't see him in the top 10 all time. That hart trophy should've been Jagr's too. That said, if we're talking top 10 playoff performers of all time, dude should be on the list and probably higher than number 10 too. He knows what to do to win.
That's even more ridiculous than calling him a top 10 defenseman. He has won one Stanley Cup, and his playoff career is extremely uneven. He put in some really stinker playoff performances prior to the lockout, including years where the Blues had good teams and were favored to advance.

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08-31-2010, 07:59 PM
  #99
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
In the WHA thread you claimed that injuries are part of the game. Posting out of both sides of the keyboard now.
I'm totally lost like I often am about what point you are trying to make. I will try to analyze it here. I am not rewarding Pronger for his lost time anymore than I have for anyone else who is injured. Yes injuries are part of the game. So.............. you're going to have to tell ME where you were going with this one

Quote:
The teams are scared to death to play against the guy? Guess watching the 2010 finals against the Blackhawks was not on your to do list. First chance Dustin Byfuglien had he crashed the crease and the Hawks continued to do so every chance they had.Hawks win the cup. 2007 Senators do not crash the crease and the Ducks win the cup. Simple game if a team has players willing to play it.
The guy is a mean, dirty SOB. I can remember in the 1998 playoffs when he had a collision with Igor Larionov and on his way down he put the end of his stick in Larionov's ear. Intentional? Who knows. But when you look at the offensive side of the spectrum then Byfuglien hardly lit up the scoresheet in the final when you compare his play to Vancouver. Pronger stood up to him and it was really a battle of the two big men. Trust me, Byfuglien didn't want Pronger roughing him up in front of the net in the final, nor would anyone else. Since when is Pronger an easy guy to play against like I am assuming you are trying to say?

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08-31-2010, 08:30 PM
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Canadiens1958
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I'm totally lost like I often am about what point you are trying to make. I will try to analyze it here. I am not rewarding Pronger for his lost time anymore than I have for anyone else who is injured. Yes injuries are part of the game. So.............. you're going to have to tell ME where you were going with this one



The guy is a mean, dirty SOB. I can remember in the 1998 playoffs when he had a collision with Igor Larionov and on his way down he put the end of his stick in Larionov's ear. Intentional? Who knows. But when you look at the offensive side of the spectrum then Byfuglien hardly lit up the scoresheet in the final when you compare his play to Vancouver. Pronger stood up to him and it was really a battle of the two big men. Trust me, Byfuglien didn't want Pronger roughing him up in front of the net in the final, nor would anyone else. Since when is Pronger an easy guy to play against like I am assuming you are trying to say?
Look at the qualifiers and conditionals -"when he was healthy", you use to describe Pronger's injuries and the results that followed.

Does not translate into tough to play against, just means be prepared for the cheap and dirty stuff. Byfuglien role was simply to engage Pronger whenever possible, lead by example, keep the pressure on every shift, every game, wear him down. Any scoring was a bonus. The rest of the Hawk forwards then followed suit and went to the front of the net from all angles.

Usual flawed assumption. No one in the NHL is "easy" to play against - whatever that means. Fact is that to succeed you have to play against every opponent not choose spots. Simply when playing against Pronger or a similar defenseman you still have to challenge for the front of the net instead of accepting the safety of the perimeter.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 08-31-2010 at 08:32 PM. Reason: typo
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