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How good was Rod Langway?

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Old
02-17-2011, 10:45 AM
  #1
AmericanDream
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How good was Rod Langway?

I remember watching him play for Washington as a young kid (with that silly mustache of his, and no helmet), but even towards the end of his career he was a rock out there, absolutely solid.

When it comes down to the all-time top 10 dmen is Langway in that top 10, or close to it? Now I know guys like Coffey and Housley changed the way the position was and is viewed, but Langway imo was the best shutdown dman of his time, and maybe all-time. Though I cant back that up, I just remember from what I saw and read about him.

Bottom line; is Rod Langway one of the best pure defensemen to ever play the game, and if so why is he hardly mentioned as such?

Thanks

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02-17-2011, 10:51 AM
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and honestly, how did this guy not end up as a full time coach in the NHL? You couldnt of asked for a better leader and teacher then him....I know he coached in the ECHL and AHL I believe, but man you would think he would be coaching somewhere these past 10 years.

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02-17-2011, 10:55 AM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Calling him a Top 10 defenseman of all time means that he would have to be better than Chris Chelios and I can't see that.

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02-17-2011, 11:26 AM
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Definitely not close to a top 10 defenceman ever, as there are plenty of defencemen with similar defensive contributions but far better offence. His longevity is nothing special ether. I've always thought that Langway played a somewhat flashy style of defence which caused people to overrate his abilities. He benefitted historically from getting sent to a Washington team which had been putrid for a long time. There is no way he should have won his Norris trophies over the likes of Bourque, Howe and Coffey in 83 or Bourque, Coffey and Potvin in 84. He is seemingly underrated for a guy with two Norris trophies, but considering I don't think he actually deserved them I wouldn't say he is underrated at all.

I don't know exactly what a pure defenceman is, but he is not among the best defencemen ever and that is why he is not mentioned as such.

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02-17-2011, 11:31 AM
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I was annoyed that he chose to play in the ECHL at the end of his career.

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02-17-2011, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
Definitely not close to a top 10 defenceman ever, as there are plenty of defencemen with similar defensive contributions but far better offence. His longevity is nothing special ether. I've always thought that Langway played a somewhat flashy style of defence which caused people to overrate his abilities. He benefitted historically from getting sent to a Washington team which had been putrid for a long time. There is no way he should have won his Norris trophies over the likes of Bourque, Howe and Coffey in 83 or Bourque, Coffey and Potvin in 84. He is seemingly underrated for a guy with two Norris trophies, but considering I don't think he actually deserved them I wouldn't say he is underrated at all.

I don't know exactly what a pure defenceman is, but he is not among the best defencemen ever and that is why he is not mentioned as such.
In 1984, Langway was 2nd in Hart voting as well. That's pretty remarkable in and of itself -- an era with ridiculous offensive numbers, and you have a purely defensive player finishing 2nd in hart voting? I think you forget just what kind of impact he had on the Caps team.

A few notes:
1) Caps had never made the playoffs before the trade.
2) Never missed them after (during Langway's tenure).
3) The team allowed 55 fewer goals the year they acquired Langway (83). They would allow another 50 fewer the following year. These are largely attributed to Langway.
4) He was getting Norris consideration before being traded to Washington, and continued to after the two years he won it. (He also has a 3rd, 2 5ths, 9th, and 11th finish)
5) A lot of why he is underrated (like in this post) is because he lacks substantial offensive numbers -- he was a purely defensive dman.
6) In addition to being runner-up for the Hart in 83-84, he was top 5 twice more: 4th in 82-83 and in 84-85.


Last edited by Zauper: 02-17-2011 at 12:02 PM. Reason: clarity
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02-17-2011, 11:59 AM
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One time before a Pens/Caps game in the 80s in Pittsburgh, my dad went to a bar and saw Rod Langway there. He was eating dry toast and soup. He told my dad that's his pre-game ritual. I'm not making this up!

Therefore he's probably the best defenseman of all-time.

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02-17-2011, 12:53 PM
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Langway gets pigeon holed as strictly a defensive defenseman, but during his prime he did score 30+ points five seasons in a row.

That's hardly puts him in the Coffey/Bourque stratosphere, but playing on a offensively challenged Washington squad makes it more impressive.

He was especially adept at that long breakout pass that Montreal used during their last dynasty.

The defenseman quickly cutting out in front of his own net and trying the home run pass near center ice to a streaking forward that had released early.

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02-17-2011, 01:05 PM
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JackSlater
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zauper View Post
In 1984, Langway was 2nd in Hart voting as well. That's pretty remarkable in and of itself -- an era with ridiculous offensive numbers, and you have a purely defensive player finishing 2nd in hart voting? I think you forget just what kind of impact he had on the Caps team.
It's a nice accomplishment, but I do not feel it was warranted. The voters fell in love with the idea of a throwback defenceman in a ridiculously offensive era. Langway also benefitted from that trade, as people attributed Washington's improvement mostly to him, thus making his supposed "value" easy to see. I don't attribute Washington's improvement solely to Langway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zauper View Post
A few notes:
1) Caps had never made the playoffs before the trade.
2) Never missed them after (during Langway's tenure).
3) The team allowed 55 fewer goals the year they acquired Langway (83). They would allow another 50 fewer the following year. These are largely attributed to Langway.
There were a lot of factors that can explain Washington's improvement in addition to Langway. There was a pretty good post on here a while ago that outlined quite a few of them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zauper View Post
4) He was getting Norris consideration before being traded to Washington, and continued to after the two years he won it. (He also has a 3rd, 2 5ths, 9th, and 11th finish)
He was just as good before he went to Washington, so it makes sense that he received votes before he arrived. I'm not saying he was bad or anything, just not close to top 10. Basically everyone that would be considered for top 10 has a better record than Langway as far as Norris consideration goes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zauper View Post
5) A lot of why he is underrated (like in this post) is because he lacks substantial offensive numbers -- he was a purely defensive dman.
Exactly. He was basically a complete defensive defenceman, while practically all of the all time great defencemen were great both offensively and defensively. I would say that Langway was more one dimensional than Coffey, and his defence was not as valuable as Coffey's offence. Bourque, Potvin and Howe at that time were practically Langway's equals defensively and were far ahead of him offensively.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zauper View Post
6) In addition to being runner-up for the Hart in 83-84, he was top 5 twice more: 4th in 82-83 and in 84-85.
He has very impressive Hart results, but I do not believe he deserved them, especially if we consider the Hart to be indicative of the best players and not just those that are most valuable. Voters were giving Langway too much credit for Washington 's improvement and voted accordingly.

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02-17-2011, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
It's a nice accomplishment, but I do not feel it was warranted. The voters fell in love with the idea of a throwback defenceman in a ridiculously offensive era. Langway also benefitted from that trade, as people attributed Washington's improvement mostly to him, thus making his supposed "value" easy to see. I don't attribute Washington's improvement solely to Langway.



There were a lot of factors that can explain Washington's improvement in addition to Langway. There was a pretty good post on here a while ago that outlined quite a few of them.


He was just as good before he went to Washington, so it makes sense that he received votes before he arrived. I'm not saying he was bad or anything, just not close to top 10. Basically everyone that would be considered for top 10 has a better record than Langway as far as Norris consideration goes.



Exactly. He was basically a complete defensive defenceman, while practically all of the all time great defencemen were great both offensively and defensively. I would say that Langway was more one dimensional than Coffey, and his defence was not as valuable as Coffey's offence. Bourque, Potvin and Howe at that time were practically Langway's equals defensively and were far ahead of him offensively.



He has very impressive Hart results, but I do not believe he deserved them, especially if we consider the Hart to be indicative of the best players and not just those that are most valuable. Voters were giving Langway too much credit for Washington 's improvement and voted accordingly.
you simply are a hater. thats as simple as I can put it. you pretty much diminish everything the man did, and claim that he didnt deserve his Hart votes as if "everyone else" had it wrong but you. It is pretty silly.

I wanted to get a solid gauge as to how good the man was, and in an era for ridiculous offense, he stood out to most everyone. He maybe isnt a top 10 dman, but he clearly is much better then you give him credit for.

Zauper gave facts as a way to back up the importance of Langway and how good he was, you simply bring heresay and your own personal opinions to the table. I welcome debate to this discussion, but your views really offer nothing but onesidedness.

I dont know if there is a clear cut way to judge different eras and who should be top 10, but I damn well know that Rod Langway was one of the best dmen during his playing career, and is very much underrated by many who still use offensive numbers as a way to judge a defenseman.

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02-17-2011, 02:15 PM
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Rod Langway is the reason why defense isn't appreciated properly in hockey. In Basketball you have stats like rebounds, blocks and defensive rating to show how valuable a player contributed defensively. In hockey, the only stats that show up are goals and assists. Langway was the one on the capitals getting the mvp votes, not gartner, maruk or thier goalie. Allowing 55 fewer goals is a massive accomplishment, something paul coffey could never achieve.

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02-17-2011, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
It's a nice accomplishment, but I do not feel it was warranted. The voters fell in love with the idea of a throwback defenceman in a ridiculously offensive era. Langway also benefitted from that trade, as people attributed Washington's improvement mostly to him, thus making his supposed "value" easy to see. I don't attribute Washington's improvement solely to Langway.
It's not solely due to Langway, but a lot of it can be attributed to him. It's also worth mentioning that Montreal, who traded Langway to the Caps allowed what, 65 more goals the same year? So we're talking about a 100+ goal swing. And the largest component of it is Langway.
Quote:
There were a lot of factors that can explain Washington's improvement in addition to Langway. There was a pretty good post on here a while ago that outlined quite a few of them.
Can you find it? Jarvis and Engbloom are probably partially responsible as well, but that doesn't exactly explain the swing, particularly when you consider that Langway got the most minutes, etc -- and perhaps most importantly, that the defense and goaltending, as a whole, was still abysmal. You pretty much having them playing in front of two journeymen goaltenders (Riggin and Jensen, both of whom didn't stay in the league for more than what, 3-4 years and had no success outside of when they played with Langway), and a terrible defense -- Langway, Engbloom, Blomqvist, Theberge, Houston, Holt and a rookie Stevens. Rookie Stevens was decent, but would frequently go out of position making a big hit, and the Blomqvist/Theberge/Houston/Holt were bad. Blomqvist was a nobody. Holt was a fighter. Theberge was a minor leaguer.

On top of that, the Caps former #1 Dman went the other way in the trade (Green), so Langway would have taken on his minutes, and it seems he may have played additional minutes. The biggest improvement came on the PK, where the Caps allowed 29 fewer goals per season over the following two seasons compared to the prior two. (92 versus 150), where Langway saw the most minutes. You don't think that's a substantial improvement?
Quote:
He was just as good before he went to Washington, so it makes sense that he received votes before he arrived. I'm not saying he was bad or anything, just not close to top 10. Basically everyone that would be considered for top 10 has a better record than Langway as far as Norris consideration goes.
I don't think most people would consider Langway one of the top 10 dmen in the history of the league. I wouldn't. But that doesn't seem to be your argument -- your argument seems to merely be that he's overrated.
Quote:
Exactly. He was basically a complete defensive defenceman, while practically all of the all time great defencemen were great both offensively and defensively. I would say that Langway was more one dimensional than Coffey, and his defence was not as valuable as Coffey's offence. Bourque, Potvin and Howe at that time were practically Langway's equals defensively and were far ahead of him offensively.
The voters would disagree with you (as would I, from what I remember from seeing him, and the changes within the Caps organization)
Quote:
He has very impressive Hart results, but I do not believe he deserved them, especially if we consider the Hart to be indicative of the best players and not just those that are most valuable. Voters were giving Langway too much credit for Washington 's improvement and voted accordingly.
While your opinion is great, it doesn't seem to reflect anything that I can find, and you can't seem to express anything other than "I disagree", which is unhelpful. Did you see him play?

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02-17-2011, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Overpass
From I ran some numbers to compare Washington before Langway arrived and after. They seem to fit here, so I'll post them.

I'll compare Washington's numbers in the 2 year period before Langway arrived to the 2 year period after Langway arrived. Rick Green was the Capitals #1 defenceman before Langway arrived, played a similar defensive role, and left in the trade, so I'll compare Green's numbers to Langway's.

Washington in 1980-81 and 1981-82
Player | ESGF | ESGA | +/- | Ratio
Rick Green | 146 | 172 | -26 | 0.85
NoGreen | 276 | 308 | -32 | 0.90

Washington in 1982-83 and 1983-84
Player | ESGF | ESGA | +/- | Ratio
Rod Langway | 187 | 175 | 12 | 1.07
NoLangway | 266 | 200 | 67 | 1.33

Langway's on-ice numbers are better than Green's. His +/- was higher by 38 over 2 years. However, the team improved to an even greater degree with their #1 defenceman off the ice. There are two possible reasons for this improvement.

A: The forwards and goalie were responsible for the improvement, and Langway's apparent advantage over Green is an illusion.

B: The rest of the defence corps improved to the same degree that Langway improved over Green.

Given Langway's reputation, I'd guess that the second reason explains most of the off-ice improvement. Even so, most of Washington's improvement at even strength took place with the rest of their defence corps on the ice, not from Langway.

One area that Langway certainly improved was the penalty kill. In the two years before he arrived, the Caps allowed 150 PPGA. In his first two years in Washington, they allowed 92 PPGA. This is a huge impact, and clearly Langway's defensive ability shone through in a purely defensive situation.

On the other hand, I think his overall impact is overrated. He was better than Green at even-strength, but not by a huge amount. This may be because his offensive game cost his team goals, even as his defensive game prevented the other team from scoring. While he was very highly regarded at the time, it's possible that his average offensive skills weren't given proper weight by observers alongside his great defensive play. I agree with TANK200; Langway's impact is overrated and he should have been a 2nd team all-star at best.
The numbers seem to fit with JackSlater's assertion that Langway was very, very one dimensional. He was a great defender, but provided almost nothing on the other end of the ice.

Langway was very good, and he certainly passes the "I would really want to avoid playing that guy in the corner" test, but he may have been overrated.

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02-17-2011, 06:01 PM
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Dennis Bonvie
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
Definitely not close to a top 10 defenceman ever, as there are plenty of defencemen with similar defensive contributions but far better offence. His longevity is nothing special ether. I've always thought that Langway played a somewhat flashy style of defence which caused people to overrate his abilities. He benefitted historically from getting sent to a Washington team which had been putrid for a long time. There is no way he should have won his Norris trophies over the likes of Bourque, Howe and Coffey in 83 or Bourque, Coffey and Potvin in 84. He is seemingly underrated for a guy with two Norris trophies, but considering I don't think he actually deserved them I wouldn't say he is underrated at all.

I don't know exactly what a pure defenceman is, but he is not among the best defencemen ever and that is why he is not mentioned as such.
Did you see him play?

Just wondering. Sounds like you didn't, but if you did I respect your opinion.

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02-17-2011, 06:49 PM
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Kyle McMahon
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you simply are a hater. thats as simple as I can put it. you pretty much diminish everything the man did, and claim that he didnt deserve his Hart votes as if "everyone else" had it wrong but you. It is pretty silly.

I wanted to get a solid gauge as to how good the man was, and in an era for ridiculous offense, he stood out to most everyone. He maybe isnt a top 10 dman, but he clearly is much better then you give him credit for.

Zauper gave facts as a way to back up the importance of Langway and how good he was, you simply bring heresay and your own personal opinions to the table. I welcome debate to this discussion, but your views really offer nothing but onesidedness.

I dont know if there is a clear cut way to judge different eras and who should be top 10, but I damn well know that Rod Langway was one of the best dmen during his playing career, and is very much underrated by many who still use offensive numbers as a way to judge a defenseman.
Not sure why you started a thread asking for people's opinions. Clearly, your mind has already been made up.

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02-17-2011, 06:55 PM
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He was very good, but he's also quite over rated.

Never should have won the two Norris trophies. Certainly not a to 10 defenseman of all-time, he's not in the top 25 of all-time.

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02-17-2011, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
It's a nice accomplishment, but I do not feel it was warranted. The voters fell in love with the idea of a throwback defenceman in a ridiculously offensive era. Langway also benefitted from that trade, as people attributed Washington's improvement mostly to him, thus making his supposed "value" easy to see. I don't attribute Washington's improvement solely to Langway.



There were a lot of factors that can explain Washington's improvement in addition to Langway. There was a pretty good post on here a while ago that outlined quite a few of them.


He was just as good before he went to Washington, so it makes sense that he received votes before he arrived. I'm not saying he was bad or anything, just not close to top 10. Basically everyone that would be considered for top 10 has a better record than Langway as far as Norris consideration goes.



Exactly. He was basically a complete defensive defenceman, while practically all of the all time great defencemen were great both offensively and defensively. I would say that Langway was more one dimensional than Coffey, and his defence was not as valuable as Coffey's offence. Bourque, Potvin and Howe at that time were practically Langway's equals defensively and were far ahead of him offensively.



He has very impressive Hart results, but I do not believe he deserved them, especially if we consider the Hart to be indicative of the best players and not just those that are most valuable. Voters were giving Langway too much credit for Washington 's improvement and voted accordingly.
Very good post here, basically Langway the legend is greater than Langway the player was.

Not sure where he ranks on an all time Dman list, somewhere in the top 30 probably would be my guess.

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02-17-2011, 09:04 PM
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…basically Langway the legend is greater than Langway the player was.
It wasn't just the success of Washington which played into "the legend", but the demise of Montreal as well. And it wasn't Langway alone, but the inclusion of Brian Engblom in the trade to Washington. Langway and Engblom were Montreal's top two +/- defensemen in '81-82, and their absence was part of the Canadiens becoming playoff orphans until the arrival of Roy. The trade was highly debated when it happened. Two years afterwards, it was quite obvious that Montreal screwed themselves royally. Langway and Engblom were the heir apparents to Robinson/Savard/Lapointe, and Montreal gutted themselves in trading the two away. The Caps flipped the defensive Engblom for Larry Murphy after a season and a bit, Murphy going on to a Hall of Fame career as well as Langway.

Langway's legend is worth full marks. He played great on a strong Habs team, he helped elevate a weak Caps team. For me, this trade is right behind the Bruin's acquiring Esposito from Chicago. The change of fortunes between Montreal and Washington were too hard to ignore.

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02-17-2011, 09:24 PM
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you simply are a hater. thats as simple as I can put it. you pretty much diminish everything the man did, and claim that he didnt deserve his Hart votes as if "everyone else" had it wrong but you. It is pretty silly.
I must be the one person who feels strongly either way about Langway since I hate him apparently. Thinking that he is overrated historically and that he did not deserve the accolades he received (and disagreeing with your opinion) do not constitute hating the guy.

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I wanted to get a solid gauge as to how good the man was, and in an era for ridiculous offense, he stood out to most everyone. He maybe isnt a top 10 dman, but he clearly is much better then you give him credit for.

Zauper gave facts as a way to back up the importance of Langway and how good he was, you simply bring heresay and your own personal opinions to the table. I welcome debate to this discussion, but your views really offer nothing but onesidedness.
He showed how Langway's team improved, but he did not say as much about how good Langway himself actually was. He did post some good stuff though. I apologise for offering onesidedness, but as one person that is the most I can really offer.

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I dont know if there is a clear cut way to judge different eras and who should be top 10, but I damn well know that Rod Langway was one of the best dmen during his playing career, and is very much underrated by many who still use offensive numbers as a way to judge a defenseman.
Why would you not use offensive numbers to judge defencemen? That is a big part of the game. I have not based my valuation of Langway solely on offensive numbers by any stretch. Langway was a great defensive defenceman, arguably the best in the world for a few years, but he was putrid offensively. Bourque, Howe, Potvin and Coffey brought more to the table, even in the years that Langway won his Norris trophies (in the case of Howe and Potvin they brought more in the respective years that they were healthy). Just considering offence and defence, even if Langway was let's say a 10 out of 10, Bourque, Howe and Potvin were 9s. Offensively they were maybe 8s or 7s and Langway was basically a 3. Even Coffey, who would be a 10 offensively in this admittedly highly flawed system, is probably at least a 5 defensively. Langway just was not as good as those guys, and that's only considering peak years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zauper View Post
It's not solely due to Langway, but a lot of it can be attributed to him. It's also worth mentioning that Montreal, who traded Langway to the Caps allowed what, 65 more goals the same year? So we're talking about a 100+ goal swing. And the largest component of it is Langway.
I agree with that for the most part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zauper View Post
Can you find it? Jarvis and Engbloom are probably partially responsible as well, but that doesn't exactly explain the swing, particularly when you consider that Langway got the most minutes, etc -- and perhaps most importantly, that the defense and goaltending, as a whole, was still abysmal. You pretty much having them playing in front of two journeymen goaltenders (Riggin and Jensen, both of whom didn't stay in the league for more than what, 3-4 years and had no success outside of when they played with Langway), and a terrible defense -- Langway, Engbloom, Blomqvist, Theberge, Houston, Holt and a rookie Stevens. Rookie Stevens was decent, but would frequently go out of position making a big hit, and the Blomqvist/Theberge/Houston/Holt were bad. Blomqvist was a nobody. Holt was a fighter. Theberge was a minor leaguer.
blogofmike quoted the post I was thinking of. There were more posts somewhere that tried to figure out just how large Langway's impact was I think. Obviously it's impossible to figure out just how large his individual impact was, but most numbers seem to indicate that it was not as large as was perceived at the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zauper View Post
On top of that, the Caps former #1 Dman went the other way in the trade (Green), so Langway would have taken on his minutes, and it seems he may have played additional minutes. The biggest improvement came on the PK, where the Caps allowed 29 fewer goals per season over the following two seasons compared to the prior two. (92 versus 150), where Langway saw the most minutes. You don't think that's a substantial improvement?
It is quite an improvement. We seem to disagree on how much of that improvement should be attributed to Langway, or perhaps more so how valuable that contribution was compared to the other elite defencemen he was competing against.

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I don't think most people would consider Langway one of the top 10 dmen in the history of the league. I wouldn't. But that doesn't seem to be your argument -- your argument seems to merely be that he's overrated.
To be honest I don't think he is all that overrated today because he seems to have faded from memory more than other players. I do believe that he was overrated at the time though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zauper View Post
The voters would disagree with you (as would I, from what I remember from seeing him, and the changes within the Caps organization)

While your opinion is great, it doesn't seem to reflect anything that I can find, and you can't seem to express anything other than "I disagree", which is unhelpful. Did you see him play?
Yes I saw him play. To me Langway was almost the antithesis of Lidstrom, at least in terms of defensive style. He was a big strong guy who was physical and agressive. He caught your eye pretty easily while playing defence, which I believe helped him in terms of popular opinion at the time. In a historical context I would probably put him a little behind Serge Savard among defencemen. As far as some actual evidence, here are some GVT numbers just from Langway's Norris seasons. GVT is not perfect, but I find that it is very rarely far off the mark when it comes to assessing players.

Langway 83: 8.8 in 80 GP with OGVT=1.6 and DGVT=7.2
Langway 84: 11.9 in 80 GPwith OGVT=1.4 and DGVT=10.5

Now assuming that the people who calculated the GVT are not haters, those numbers reflect what actually happened on the ice with respect to goals for and against. Here are the numbers for Langway's contemporaries in those years.

Potvin 83: 16.8 in 69 GP with OGVT=9 and DGVT=7.8
Potvin 84: 20.5 in 78 GP with OGVT=14 and DGVT=6.5

Bourque 83: 23.2 in 65 GP with OGVT=12.5 and DGVT=10.7
Bourque 84: 28.8 in 78 GP with OGVT=17.1 and DGVT=11.7

Howe 83: 19.1 in 76 GP with OGVT=10 and DGVT=9.1
Howe 84: 14 in 71 GP with OGVT=8.5 and DGVT=5.5

Coffey 83: 22.5 in 80 GP with OGVT=18 and DGVT=4.5
Coffey 84: 29.2 in 80GP with OGVT=25.2 and DGVT=4

Now all of those guys played on stronger teams than Langway (only marginally so in some cases) which would slightly boost their numbers in this area, but the gaps are still really huge. If Langway was really the best defencemen in those years, I cannot imagine why he was getting doubled in GVT in some cases by contemporaries. I am sure that since the trophy was first awarded it has never happened, other than in Langway's two Norris years. That to me implies that he may have been overrated at the time.

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02-17-2011, 09:58 PM
  #20
seventieslord
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you simply are a hater. thats as simple as I can put it. you pretty much diminish everything the man did, and claim that he didnt deserve his Hart votes as if "everyone else" had it wrong but you. It is pretty silly.

I wanted to get a solid gauge as to how good the man was, and in an era for ridiculous offense, he stood out to most everyone. He maybe isnt a top 10 dman, but he clearly is much better then you give him credit for.

Zauper gave facts as a way to back up the importance of Langway and how good he was, you simply bring heresay and your own personal opinions to the table. I welcome debate to this discussion, but your views really offer nothing but onesidedness.

I dont know if there is a clear cut way to judge different eras and who should be top 10, but I damn well know that Rod Langway was one of the best dmen during his playing career, and is very much underrated by many who still use offensive numbers as a way to judge a defenseman.
Jack's post was very fair and balanced, and in no way diminished Langway.

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02-17-2011, 11:09 PM
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I was annoyed that he chose to play in the ECHL at the end of his career.
I might agree with you tarheel if he was doing so out of some sense of vainglory narcissism, however, he only did so as the team had been decimated by injuries & couldnt find replacements. He returned & played for honorable reasons, mentoring the players, a stabilizing factor on the ice & in the dressing room.

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Langway's legend is worth full marks. He played great on a strong Habs team, he helped elevate a weak Caps team.
Agreed. The guy had a fantastic work ethic & was a tremendous shot blocker & defensive specialist, very much old school in that regard. The kind of guy you could count on when things got tight & scary. Didnt lose his head. Top 10?. Pretty damn close & for sure top 20 in terms of defensive defencemen. Very reliable.

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02-17-2011, 11:54 PM
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Normally great defensive defencemen play on good defensive teams. Langway transformed a team into a good defensive team.

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02-18-2011, 08:14 AM
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Normally great defensive defencemen play on good defensive teams. Langway transformed a team into a good defensive team.
There were alot of key additions in the first two years that contributed to the Caps reducing their GAA so dramatically. Langway was a big part of it, but additions such as Jarvis, Engblom, Duchesne, Houston and Riggin also made significant contributions from the defensive standpoint. Langway was the Leader, no doubt, but it was the coaching staff and managment that were the keys to the transformation with a very solid building plan.

In addition, anybody who watched the Caps the year before the 'Trade', knew they were a team that was on the verge of a breakthrough. Trade or no trade, the Caps were going to improve. Obviously the trade made them improve by more than they were projected to.

Personally, I didn't think he was the best choice for either one of his Norris Trophies, since I think a number of the other contenders were much better all-round players, but there was a bit of a backlash against d-men who were scorers given the two previous winners, Carlyle and Wilson. People felt that defense wasn't being rewarded enough and Langway, being the best defensive d-man, was the beneficiary of the backlash. Funny thing is, Serge Savard, who at his peak IMO was better defensively than Langway, never finished very high in Norris Trophy voting.


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02-18-2011, 08:31 AM
  #24
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It wasn't just the success of Washington which played into "the legend", but the demise of Montreal as well. And it wasn't Langway alone, but the inclusion of Brian Engblom in the trade to Washington. Langway and Engblom were Montreal's top two +/- defensemen in '81-82, and their absence was part of the Canadiens becoming playoff orphans until the arrival of Roy. The trade was highly debated when it happened. Two years afterwards, it was quite obvious that Montreal screwed themselves royally. Langway and Engblom were the heir apparents to Robinson/Savard/Lapointe, and Montreal gutted themselves in trading the two away. The Caps flipped the defensive Engblom for Larry Murphy after a season and a bit, Murphy going on to a Hall of Fame career as well as Langway.

Langway's legend is worth full marks. He played great on a strong Habs team, he helped elevate a weak Caps team. For me, this trade is right behind the Bruin's acquiring Esposito from Chicago. The change of fortunes between Montreal and Washington were too hard to ignore.
The Habs were already, 'Playoff Orphans' the last three years of Langway's tenure. Trade or no trade, the Habs were a team in decline and badly in need of a significant rebuild. In addition, there biggest issue during this decline stage was goaltending, not team defense. Once they caught lightning in a bottle with Penney in 1984 and Roy joined in 1986, their playoff fortunes changed significantly.

The Trade actually eventually paid dividends for the Habs. Walter and Green were key contributors for the Habs in the mid to late 80's when they won a cup and went to another final and were consistently contenders in the East. Personally, I'd take Green for the 85-90 period over Langway.


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02-18-2011, 08:52 AM
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If you look at defense as you know defense and not "taking the puck and flying into the offensive zone with it", he has a solid argument for top 10.

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