March 15, 2016

100 Reasons To Love Bobby Orr

March 15, 1970. Boston Bruins defenseman Bobby Orr scores two goals and adds two assists in a 5-5 tie against the Red Wings. In doing so he becomes the first defenseman in NHL history to register 100 points in a single NHL season. He is only the fourth player in history to top the century mark, too.

On top of that, Orr became the first player in NHL history - regardless of position - to score 100 points and record 100 penalty minutes in the same season!

"He's the perfect hockey player."

Those are the words of Boston coach/GM Harry Sinden, who had the best look at Orr on a nightly basis and insists Orr is the best player ever because he blended extraordinary talent and a brand of toughness that no one else has ever possessed.

"(Gordie) Howe could do everything, but not at top speed. (Bobby) Hull went at top speed but couldn't do everything. The physical aspect is absent from (Wayne) Gretzky's game. Orr would do everything, and do it at top speed."

To make matters even more interesting, Orr was the sport's most dominant player, arguably its perfect player, and he did from the blue line. By doing so Orr revolutionized the game of hockey. His slick passing and playmaking and his end to end rushes were unheard of by a defenseman. Only the very very best forwards would try a solo effort. Orr did it seemingly effortlessly, and so convincingly, therefore forever changing the hockey landscape.

Perhaps the great writer Jack Falla sums it up best:

“Orr had broken scoring records by such huge margins and played with such creativity and abandon as to alter a half century of tactical hockey orthodoxy about the proper role of a defenseman.”

Here's the full Bobby Orr biography.

1 comment:

Chazac said...

As a Boston Bruins fan who grew up idolizing Numbah 4, there is no one else I put above Orr as a complete hockey player. When you stack up Orr's complete game compared to Wayne, Mario and Gordie the differentiator in my mind is the physical toughness of Orr compared to the other three. Question: If I combined all the fights that Gretzky, Mario and Gordie had in their careers would it be more or less than Bobby Orr's? The answer everyone give is LESS (because the figure Gordie must have had a lot of fights in his long illustrious career). The real answer is that Orr had more in his short career than the combined total of the other 3 combined. Gretzky (4), Mario (6), Gordie (22) while Orr fought an incredible 56 times!!! That 'toughness' combined with the tough-mindedness of going out there and playing on the knees he had and in constant pain for essentially his entire career overwhelms me. Yes Marion came back from Lymphoma and a bad back and Gordie Howe came back from a severe head injury but neither had to sustain and endure the constant pain that Orr had to for their entire career. Also, in watching those games over time, another difference in the other 3 versus Orr was that Gretzky would not take you out of your seat before the goal was scored. Mario would from the blue line in, while Gordie Howe was someone you watched off the puck as well as when he got it on his stick because of the room he created for himself but Orr .... well you watched Orr the entire time he was on the ice. Why? Because for the most part HE HAD THE PUCK THE ENTIRE SHIFT and the fact he would bring you out of your seat from the back of his own goal THROUGH THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE ICE!!! What other player did that? I saw Orr literally rag the puck for the ENTIRE 2 minutes of a penalty kill!!! No one of the other 3 did that. Orr was the complete and best hockey player I have ever seen in my 59 years of life and I don't anticipate seeing anyone like him again.