What made Gretzky so great?

craig44craig44 Posts: 3,286 ✭✭✭✭

the Orr discussion got me to thinking about this. now, I am not a hockey guy, and know very little about the nuance of the game. What skills made Gretzky ¨the Great one?¨ he wasnt that big, so I am guessing it wasnt size/strength. was he blazingly fast? was he the product of a goal scoring system? was it the way the game was played then? If it was a higher scoring era, what set Gretzky apart in that era?

follow up question. it seems that after the age of 30 or so, he lost the ability to be a big time goal scorer. what happened? was there an injury? It doesnt seem he would have gone off the cliff at that young age as his assist numbers stayed high.

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Comments

  • lawnmowermanlawnmowerman Posts: 19,486 ✭✭✭✭

    Pretty sure it was his ability to eat an entire large pizza in one sitting.

  • CoinstartledCoinstartled Posts: 7,873 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @lawnmowerman said:
    Pretty sure it was his ability to eat an entire large pizza in one sitting.

    And keep it down.

  • 1970s1970s Posts: 2,493 ✭✭✭✭

    It's a very simple answer to those of us who saw him play.

    1 - His hockey instincts. He would go to areas of the ice that he knew where the puck was going next, and the puck usually followed.

    2 - His edge work. He used the inside and outside edges better than anyone else during that era. No one could cut on a dime like Gretzky without falling. Now everyone can use their edges the way he used to. In other words, no one could cut and turn like him. He was shifty.

    3- He could see the ice like Orr, and because his edge work on his skates was so good, he could do things at high speeds. He did benefit from playing on some great teams in Edmonton, and he would often hang out at center ice waiting for a breakaway, and he also had a young Paul Coffey and other great players to help him to even greater heights.

    That's why those who say Mario Lemieux did even greater things because Lemieux did not have the supporting cast Gretzky had could be taken seriously. Mario was just as dominant as Wayne, even though Wayne had better numbers.

  • 1970s1970s Posts: 2,493 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 1, 2019 3:13PM

    Damn. Not sure why that got so big. Maybe it saw the picture of his daughter.

  • LarkinCollectorLarkinCollector Posts: 6,310 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @1970s said:
    Damn. Not sure why that got so big. Maybe it saw the picture of his daughter.

    It's the hash symbol, it triggers jumbo text here.

  • TomiTomi Posts: 574 ✭✭✭

    @1970s said:
    It's a very simple answer to those of us who saw him play.

    1 - His hockey instincts. He would go to areas of the ice that he knew where the puck was going next, and the puck usually followed.

    2 - His edge work. He used the inside and outside edges better than anyone else during that era. No one could cut on a dime like Gretzky without falling. Now everyone can use their edges the way he used to. In other words, no one could cut and turn like him. He was shifty.

    3- He could see the ice like Orr, and because his edge work on his skates was so good, he could do things at high speeds. He did benefit from playing on some great teams in Edmonton, and he would often hang out at center ice waiting for a breakaway, and he also had a young Paul Coffey and other great players to help him to even greater heights.

    That's why those who say Mario Lemieux did even greater things because Lemieux did not have the supporting cast Gretzky had could be taken seriously. Mario was just as dominant as Wayne, even though Wayne had better numbers.

    Gretzky was probably the smartest player ever. He was there to pass and shoot. The issue I always had was that players were not able to touch him. There was an unwritten rule that no one was allowed to check him or hurt him. Good luck finding video of anything physical about his game. He was surrounded by HOF'ers in Edmonton and had more support than any of the other mentioned stars. He was great for the sport but the numbers are just inflated like it was the baseball PED era. Teemu had 76 goals as a rookie. Enough said. If he played in Orr's brutal era he would be injured more than anyone. The video where they went after Orr's knees would have possibly ended Gretzky's career. He was just a small man and that would have destroyed his career in that era. I just think that people put too much emphasis on his all time numbers (very impressive) that would have been a fraction in another era. It's all about the physical game, and he had none while all these other players were doing more. If people want to say he had the best career ever then I'm fine with that, but to say he was the best player is just ridiculous.

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 3,286 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 1, 2019 6:29PM

    So am I understanding correctly that he was a product of a good system? It sounds like he was the larry bird of hockey. Not great physical skills, but great court/ice vision.

    Is lemieux considered a greater more dominant player?

    My other question from the original post was why such a drastic drop off in goal scoring at age 30? What happened?

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 3,286 ✭✭✭✭

    By the way, thanks for all the responses so far. I find this fascinating

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 5,193 ✭✭✭✭

    I agree with what is said above.

    Would like to add that he was an extremely accurate passer and shooter.

    His passes wouldn't make the other player slow down or speed up, so when they got the puck they were in a good shooting position. He also had some great scorers to pass to.

    His shot was also super accurate. Time after time I see players "beat" the goalie only to shoot the puck right into the goalie's body or fail to raise the puck and it goes right into a pad. When Gretzky had an opening he hit it.

    Of course he was on a great team during a time when scoring was encouraged, but he was able to put up points like no other.

    Too bad Lemieux had injury problems, he could have given Wayne a run for his money!

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • TomiTomi Posts: 574 ✭✭✭

    @craig44 said:
    So am I understanding correctly that he was a product of a good system? It sounds like he was the party bird of hockey. Not great physical skills, but great court/ice vision.

    Is lemieux considered a greater more dominant player?

    My other question from the original post was why such a drastic drop off in goal scoring at age 30? What happened?

    @craig44 said:
    So am I understanding correctly that he was a product of a good system? It sounds like he was the party bird of hockey. Not great physical skills, but great court/ice vision.

    Is lemieux considered a greater more dominant player?

    My other question from the original post was why such a drastic drop off in goal scoring at age 30? What happened?

    He went to the Kings, end of story. No support system. No one to pass to and very few scored when you passed to them. The Oilers were a HOF team.
    Yes, Lemieux was more dominant. Would you want to see a Lemieux coming at you full speed. Hell no. Even Orr said Lemieux was the most gifted player ever. He could hurt you if you were getting physical with him but Gretzky just avoided all that. Remember, Gretzky was a very small player and played the game and adapted to his ability. He was a VERY smart player. He did have a lot of skill and used it greatly, but it's like seeing a boxer never fight the best in their prime and being called the greatest. I just think Gretzky was just never "tested" as a player. He was never "hit".The physical aspect of the game takes it's toll on everyone, but it's just something he never had to deal with. Watch the videos I provided of Orr and watch the videos of Gretzky on Youtube and you will see the difference in the physical game.

    P.S. Wayne was still awesome

  • TabeTabe Posts: 3,292 ✭✭✭
    edited April 1, 2019 5:04PM

    OK...where to start:

    1) Gretzky led the league in scoring multiple times with the Kings. And won an MVP another year there.

    2) Yes, he had a ton of help in Edmonton. But he was the one putting up 200 points, not the other guys for Edmonton who had the same teammates.

    3) Gretzky wouldn't have been as good in another era? What about Orr? Orr was wildly successful because his skating stood out. It wouldn't today. You think he's putting up 100 points today? Try 70. Maybe.

    4) What made Gretzky so successful? Because he was a good enough skater. Had a good enough shot that was INCREDIBLY accurate. His passing was the best that's ever been seen. And he had a higher hockey IQ and vision than anybody ever. By a LOT.

    5) And the idea that Gretzky was never hit is just not true. There's plenty of videos out there of him getting hit. No one was running stars through the boards back then - it wasn't just Gretzky.

    Just for the record, though, if I'm picking one guy, I'm taking Mario Lemieux. He could do everything Gretzky could do - and was 6'4", 215lbs. And put up gigantic numbers while dealing with cancer and crippling back injuries. Sat out three full seasons then came back and scored nearly a goal a game in a half season (35 in 43 games).

  • 1970s1970s Posts: 2,493 ✭✭✭✭

    @Tabe said:
    OK...where to start:

    Orr was wildly successful because his skating stood out. It wouldn't today. You think he's putting up 100 points today? Try 70. Maybe.

    Orr's change of pace was unmatched. He could go from standing still to 60mph like no one
    else ever could.

  • electrodeelectrode Posts: 125 ✭✭

    Read the record books.

  • JustacommemanJustacommeman Posts: 18,858 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2, 2019 1:41AM

    1970’s and others have hit on it. He always knew where the puck was supposed to go and where in would be. Combine that with eyes in the back of his head, tough on his skates, great teammates and then it’s easy to see why he has all the records.

    Basically if you or I were on the ice with Gretzky and you put your stick on the ice in the offensive zone there’s a chance you would score a goal.

    m

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  • EstilEstil Posts: 5,624 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2, 2019 2:02AM

    The same thing that will get you into the NBA... :blush:

    My best friend Jamiee (born 7/14/12) and my dearly departed Tweetie (6/15/05 - 8/18/12):

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  • 1970s1970s Posts: 2,493 ✭✭✭✭

    The real answer to your question has not been touched upon yet.
    The real reason why Gretzky was so great was because of his passion for the game.
    All the hours upon hours he spent as a young boy playing the game. His unquenchable thirst for
    the game made him the great player that he was.

    I know this is not the "real" answer to your question, but it basically is.

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 3,286 ✭✭✭✭

    These are some great answers guys. While I dont know much about the sport, I can appreciate the athletic ability of the players. The Orr thread was interesting as I knew he was great and then was injured. I was always somewhat underwhelmed by his statistics compared to gretzky/lemieux etc. but it seems the 1980´s was a high scoring era unlike the time when Orr played.

    The Gretzky dropoff after 30 is still a mystery to me though. you would think he would still be in his prime at 30

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 5,193 ✭✭✭✭

    @craig44 said:

    The Gretzky dropoff after 30 is still a mystery to me though. you would think he would still be in his prime at 30

    Look at his shooting percentage after 1990-91.

    He also had some injuries it would appear. Obviously he was at his peak with Edmonton, playing with some all-time greats in a "scoring" era.

    Was still a great assist guy right until the end!

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 5,193 ✭✭✭✭

    I think this is it;

    "Gretzky, even at 31 and with 14 pro seasons—all of them his best—behind him, is back on the ice.

    About Wayne's back: The actual ailment is a herniated thoracic disk that radiates pain to his chest. The injury is most likely the result of his getting hit from behind for 14 seasons, a violence that has seemed to escalate against Gretzky in recent years.

    Doctors knew of no other athlete who had recovered from a herniated thoracic disk to play again. "We have no timetable for this program and will not speculate on a date for his return," said Dr. Robert Watkins, an orthopedic consultant.

    Doctors knew of no other athlete who had recovered from a herniated thoracic disk to play again. "We have no timetable for this program and will not speculate on a date for his return," said Dr. Robert Watkins, an orthopedic consultant."

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 5,193 ✭✭✭✭

    @Tabe said:

    Just for the record, though, if I'm picking one guy, I'm taking Mario Lemieux. He could do everything Gretzky could do - and was 6'4", 215lbs. And put up gigantic numbers while dealing with cancer and crippling back injuries. Sat out three full seasons then came back and scored nearly a goal a game in a half season (35 in 43 games).

    As a goal scorer only, maybe. Gretzky was a superior assist producer.

    Don't forget, Wayne averaged about a goal per game for 4 straight years!

    It really is too bad Mario had health issues, he was an AMAZING player. I remember him simply taking over games against my North Stars in the finals.

    Was CLEARLY the best player on the ice.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • craig44craig44 Posts: 3,286 ✭✭✭✭

    thanks joe! great info. it seems wayne had a very serious injury and was still able to play another 6 or 7 years. this would explain his lesser production.

  • DIMEMANDIMEMAN Posts: 19,088 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Gretzky was the Jordan of Hockey!


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  • 1970s1970s Posts: 2,493 ✭✭✭✭

    I still don't think people get it. Bobby Orr played the 1976 Canada Cup, the only tournament that he was "healthy" for. He could not play in any other international tournament if I remember correctly. His injuries got the best of him.

    He basically played on one leg in that tournament according to his team mates, could barely get out of bed in the morning, and was by far the best player on the ice in the whole tournament. Canada beat the Czech's 2 to 0 in the final (best of three). Canada was undefeated in the tournament, and beat the Russians 7-3.

    When Gretzky played the 1981 Canada Cup, Canada lost in the final 8-1 against Russia. This 1981 team was very similar to the 1976 Russian team.

    Bobby Orr was a freaking force on the ice. Just look at the Boston Bruins records before he came in 1966 to after he left in 1976. He basically put the entire franchise on the map all by himself, and led that entire franchise to hockey greatness. I'm not sure there is another player in hockey history that basically carried an entire franchise the way he did. He WAS THE MAN, and didn't need all star quality around him, even though it always does help. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Boston_Bruins_seasons

  • TabeTabe Posts: 3,292 ✭✭✭

    @JoeBanzai said:

    As a goal scorer only, maybe. Gretzky was a superior assist producer.

    Don't forget, Wayne averaged about a goal per game for 4 straight years!

    It really is too bad Mario had health issues, he was an AMAZING player. I remember him simply taking over games against my North Stars in the finals.

    Was CLEARLY the best player on the ice.

    Part of Gretzky producing more assists is that he simply had better teammates for much of his career. And he played in a slightly different era. Mario put up monster numbers even in the post-95 clutch & grab era. He was just super-dominant. I think his size makes him a success in any era.

  • TabeTabe Posts: 3,292 ✭✭✭

    @1970s said:

    Bobby Orr was a freaking force on the ice. Just look at the Boston Bruins records before he came in 1966 to after he left in 1976. He basically put the entire franchise on the map all by himself, and led that entire franchise to hockey greatness. I'm not sure there is another player in hockey history that basically carried an entire franchise the way he did. He WAS THE MAN, and didn't need all star quality around him, even though it always does help. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Boston_Bruins_seasons

    Let's not get crazy here. Bobby Orr had himself a pretty good teammate or two. Like Phil Esposito, who only led the league in scoring 5 times in 6 years, goals for 6 straight years, and set the single season scoring records. And just happened to leave in 1976 as well.

  • 1970s1970s Posts: 2,493 ✭✭✭✭

    @Tabe said:

    Let's not get crazy here. Bobby Orr had himself a pretty good teammate or two. Like Phil Esposito, who only led the league in scoring 5 times in 6 years, goals for 6 straight years, and set the single season scoring records. And just happened to leave in 1976 as well.

    You're being serious ? Please tell me you're not. Just take a peak at Phil Esposito's stats
    with Chicago (no Orr) and the NY Rangers (no Orr).

    Phil Esposito equal Bernie Nichols https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/e/esposph01.html

  • 1970s1970s Posts: 2,493 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2, 2019 3:17PM

    In other words, Bobby Orr all by himself turned Phil Esposito into a freaking all star. Without Orr, Phil Esposito was an average player. Look at Espo's stats the year after he left Orr. Guys like Peter McNabb and Danny Gare are right next to him.
    https://www.quanthockey.com/nhl/seasons/1977-78-nhl-players-stats.html

  • 1970s1970s Posts: 2,493 ✭✭✭✭

    Espo couldn't even beat Wilf Paiement the year after he left Orr. His stats don't get
    much better before or after Boston. Esposito was just an above average player at best. Above
    average in the offensive zone, and below average in the defensive zone. Guy was out of shape and not very fast like Lemaire, Gainey, or Schutt. Heck, Rick Middleton was a better player than Esposito, easily.

  • TomiTomi Posts: 574 ✭✭✭

    @craig44 said:
    These are some great answers guys. While I dont know much about the sport, I can appreciate the athletic ability of the players. The Orr thread was interesting as I knew he was great and then was injured. I was always somewhat underwhelmed by his statistics compared to gretzky/lemieux etc. but it seems the 1980´s was a high scoring era unlike the time when Orr played.

    The Gretzky dropoff after 30 is still a mystery to me though. you would think he would still be in his prime at 30

    Orr only had a couple of "prime" years because he retired so young. Orr in his "half career" had a higher +/- than Gretzky had in a full career. The second half of Wayne's career was pretty much a minus almost every single year. When Orr was on the ice, your team scored and you were not scored on. Hell, in 1969 Orr won every award that there was. The only player in the sports existence to do so. Scary to think what would have happened if the knees never gave out, just like Mantle in baseball.
    Gretzky's drop off after 30 is not that mysterious. It's a brutal sport that takes a lot out of you. He played smart and had a long career where Orr played very physical and destroyed his body.

  • TabeTabe Posts: 3,292 ✭✭✭

    @1970s said:

    @Tabe said:

    Let's not get crazy here. Bobby Orr had himself a pretty good teammate or two. Like Phil Esposito, who only led the league in scoring 5 times in 6 years, goals for 6 straight years, and set the single season scoring records. And just happened to leave in 1976 as well.

    You're being serious ? Please tell me you're not. Just take a peak at Phil Esposito's stats
    with Chicago (no Orr) and the NY Rangers (no Orr).

    Phil Esposito equal Bernie Nichols https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/e/esposph01.html

    Yeah, 42 goals at 36 years old. He was awful.

    Orr was obviously better than Espo. All I'm saying is Boston wasn't a one-man show.

  • 1970s1970s Posts: 2,493 ✭✭✭✭

    @Tabe said:

    Orr was obviously better than Espo. All I'm saying is Boston wasn't a one-man show.

    All I'm saying is that Orr WAS a one man show. Mario needed to wait until Ron Francis, Jagr, Tocchet, and Stevens came to his aid. Gretzky had a hall of fame cast around him. Bobby Orr came in and made everyone on that team better because of him, and he did it right away. He didn't need anyone to join him. The Bruins were going to win no matter who else played on that team. That's how dominant Orr was. Orr had the puck until he didn't want it anymore. Like Bobby Hull said to a ref once, "You may as well throw another puck out there, because we ain't getting the other one off of that kid."

  • MLBdaysMLBdays Posts: 602 ✭✭✭✭✭

    His mother's cooking.....behind every legend is a legendary mom.

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 3,286 ✭✭✭✭

    @Tomi said:

    @craig44 said:
    These are some great answers guys. While I dont know much about the sport, I can appreciate the athletic ability of the players. The Orr thread was interesting as I knew he was great and then was injured. I was always somewhat underwhelmed by his statistics compared to gretzky/lemieux etc. but it seems the 1980´s was a high scoring era unlike the time when Orr played.

    The Gretzky dropoff after 30 is still a mystery to me though. you would think he would still be in his prime at 30

    Orr only had a couple of "prime" years because he retired so young. Orr in his "half career" had a higher +/- than Gretzky had in a full career. The second half of Wayne's career was pretty much a minus almost every single year. When Orr was on the ice, your team scored and you were not scored on. Hell, in 1969 Orr won every award that there was. The only player in the sports existence to do so. Scary to think what would have happened if the knees never gave out, just like Mantle in baseball.
    Gretzky's drop off after 30 is not that mysterious. It's a brutal sport that takes a lot out of you. He played smart and had a long career where Orr played very physical and destroyed his body.

    So it seems Orr is hockeys version of Jordan. The greatest two way threat ever. is the only reason he is ranked below Gretzky, Lemieux, Howe etc because of their higher scoring? or is it because Orr had a small sample size?

    had Orr played offense only, could he have been a goal scorer, facilitator to the level of a gretzky/Lemieux?

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 3,286 ✭✭✭✭

    this is great info. maybe I will become a hockey fan, or at least a historian of the sport

  • JustacommemanJustacommeman Posts: 18,858 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 3, 2019 7:25AM

    My first hockey game was in Detroit in 1967. I was so young I sat on my dads lap. I was already playing youth hockey at 4 and I remember thinking my Dad was taking me to heaven. It was Boston vs The Red Wings. As soon as I saw Orr skate my Dad said that’s all I could talk about for weeks . I wanted to be Bobby Orr.

    Plus Bobby Orr had great hockey hair. He had a helmet made of hair.

    FYI this takes zero away from Gretzky or Howe. I wouldn’t argue much for anyone who had either as GOAT.

    m

    Walker Proof Digital Album





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  • hammer1hammer1 Posts: 891 ✭✭✭

    @Justacommeman said:
    My first hockey game was in Detroit in 1967. I was so young I sat on my dads lap.
    m

    Glicker?

  • TomiTomi Posts: 574 ✭✭✭

    @craig44 said:

    @Tomi said:

    @craig44 said:
    These are some great answers guys. While I dont know much about the sport, I can appreciate the athletic ability of the players. The Orr thread was interesting as I knew he was great and then was injured. I was always somewhat underwhelmed by his statistics compared to gretzky/lemieux etc. but it seems the 1980´s was a high scoring era unlike the time when Orr played.

    The Gretzky dropoff after 30 is still a mystery to me though. you would think he would still be in his prime at 30

    Orr only had a couple of "prime" years because he retired so young. Orr in his "half career" had a higher +/- than Gretzky had in a full career. The second half of Wayne's career was pretty much a minus almost every single year. When Orr was on the ice, your team scored and you were not scored on. Hell, in 1969 Orr won every award that there was. The only player in the sports existence to do so. Scary to think what would have happened if the knees never gave out, just like Mantle in baseball.
    Gretzky's drop off after 30 is not that mysterious. It's a brutal sport that takes a lot out of you. He played smart and had a long career where Orr played very physical and destroyed his body.

    So it seems Orr is hockeys version of Jordan. The greatest two way threat ever. is the only reason he is ranked below Gretzky, Lemieux, Howe etc because of their higher scoring? or is it because Orr had a small sample size?

    had Orr played offense only, could he have been a goal scorer, facilitator to the level of a gretzky/Lemieux?

    Orr is usually ranked #2 behind Gretzky on most lists. Having a short career is probably why. All of the players you mentioned had statistically better careers, but I just can't put anyone ahead of Orr as a better "player".

    You asked if Orr would have had Gretzky and Lemieux numbers offensively if he just played offense, I just don't see his numbers being much higher in the era he played in. Scoring 50 goals in Orr's era was a major accomplishment, but in the 80's and 90's it was an average season.

  • TomiTomi Posts: 574 ✭✭✭

    @craig44 said:
    this is great info. maybe I will become a hockey fan, or at least a historian of the sport

    There are many great characters in Hockey history. Enjoy the stories, maybe start with Eddie Shore.

  • TabeTabe Posts: 3,292 ✭✭✭
    edited April 3, 2019 4:24PM

    @Tomi said:
    Scoring 50 goals in Orr's era was a major accomplishment, but in the 80's and 90's it was an average season.

    First part is true. Second part is not. For example, in 1983/84 when Gretzky scored 87 goals, a total of 8 guys scored 50. And 2nd in the league was 56. So Gretzky had 55% more goals than the second-best total. 50 goals was more common but it was not, and never has been, "an average season" by any means.

  • TabeTabe Posts: 3,292 ✭✭✭

    @craig44 said:

    So it seems Orr is hockeys version of Jordan. The greatest two way threat ever. is the only reason he is ranked below Gretzky, Lemieux, Howe etc because of their higher scoring? or is it because Orr had a small sample size?

    had Orr played offense only, could he have been a goal scorer, facilitator to the level of a gretzky/Lemieux?

    Jordan didn't win anything by himself either. He needed a lot of help, too. Like Scottie Pippen.

  • TabeTabe Posts: 3,292 ✭✭✭

    @1970s said:

    All I'm saying is that Orr WAS a one man show. Mario needed to wait until Ron Francis, Jagr, Tocchet, and Stevens came to his aid. Gretzky had a hall of fame cast around him. Bobby Orr came in and made everyone on that team better because of him, and he did it right away. He didn't need anyone to join him. The Bruins were going to win no matter who else played on that team. That's how dominant Orr was. Orr had the puck until he didn't want it anymore. Like Bobby Hull said to a ref once, "You may as well throw another puck out there, because we ain't getting the other one off of that kid."

    What you're saying is simply not true. The team got worse his first year. Yes, he was an 18-year old rookie but "right away" is right away. His 2nd year, Boston improved by 40 points. Perhaps not coincidentally, Phil Esposito joined Boston that same year. Did Orr make Espo better? Of course. That's what great players do. But there's also absolutely no question that Espo made Orr a better player as well. That's what great players do.

    Hard to make a case for Orr as a one-man show when he multiple HOFers for teammates.

    Again, to be clear, Orr is definitely a top 3 or 4 guy for me, if not #2. Mario is my guy at #1.

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 5,193 ✭✭✭✭

    @Tabe said:

    @1970s said:

    All I'm saying is that Orr WAS a one man show. Mario needed to wait until Ron Francis, Jagr, Tocchet, and Stevens came to his aid. Gretzky had a hall of fame cast around him. Bobby Orr came in and made everyone on that team better because of him, and he did it right away. He didn't need anyone to join him. The Bruins were going to win no matter who else played on that team. That's how dominant Orr was. Orr had the puck until he didn't want it anymore. Like Bobby Hull said to a ref once, "You may as well throw another puck out there, because we ain't getting the other one off of that kid."

    What you're saying is simply not true. The team got worse his first year. Yes, he was an 18-year old rookie but "right away" is right away. His 2nd year, Boston improved by 40 points. Perhaps not coincidentally, Phil Esposito joined Boston that same year. Did Orr make Espo better? Of course. That's what great players do. But there's also absolutely no question that Espo made Orr a better player as well. That's what great players do.

    Hard to make a case for Orr as a one-man show when he multiple HOFers for teammates.

    Again, to be clear, Orr is definitely a top 3 or 4 guy for me, if not #2. Mario is my guy at #1.

    You don't seem to get it.

    Even ONE Orr on the ice ALONE would have beaten most teams, and that's without a goalie too!

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 5,193 ✭✭✭✭

    I put Gretzky and Howe at 1 and 1a.

    Lemieux and Orr 2 and 2a because of shorter careers.

    Pure talent; Orr, Lemieux, Gretzky, Howe really too close to call.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • JustacommemanJustacommeman Posts: 18,858 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @hammer1 said:

    @Justacommeman said:
    My first hockey game was in Detroit in 1967. I was so young I sat on my dads lap.
    m

    Glicker?

    Don’t hold the fact that we are both from Detroit against me! ( and we are both Mark’s)

    mark

    Walker Proof Digital Album





    Fellas, leave the tight pants to the ladies. If I can count the coins in your pockets you better use them to call a tailor. Stay thirsty my friends......
  • craig44craig44 Posts: 3,286 ✭✭✭✭

    there are no one man shows in team sports.

  • 1970s1970s Posts: 2,493 ✭✭✭✭

    @craig44 said:
    there are no one man shows in team sports.

    Except when it came to Bobby Orr. His 9 seasons of NHL hockey saw him at a PLUS +574.

    That averages out to a PLUS +64 per season for Bobby Orr.

    Gretzky was a PLUS +26 per season.

    Lidstrom was a PLUS +24 per season.
    Larry Robinson was a PLUS +36 per season.

    Larry Robinson is the 2nd best PLUS MINUS player in history per season behind Orr, and
    Larry Robinson played on MANY Stanley Cup teams with Montreal and MANY hall of famers.

    If you take out Orr's rookie season at age 18 when he was a +1, then he averaged
    +72 per season., which is DOUBLE Larry Robinson's totals.

  • TabeTabe Posts: 3,292 ✭✭✭

    @JoeBanzai said:

    You don't seem to get it.

    Even ONE Orr on the ice ALONE would have beaten most teams, and that's without a goalie too!

    I read once that Orr didn't do push ups, he pushed the earth down.

  • JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 5,193 ✭✭✭✭

    @Tabe said:

    @JoeBanzai said:

    You don't seem to get it.

    Even ONE Orr on the ice ALONE would have beaten most teams, and that's without a goalie too!

    I read once that Orr didn't do push ups, he pushed the earth down.

    Yes, you are correct.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
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