Was Eric Lindros the most dominating player ever?
At first, it's an easy no. Wayne Gretzky could take over games. So could Mario, and Orr. But what I'm asking is not was he the most skilled player ever.
What I'm asking is, was there ever a player that just absolutely dominated (when healthy) the entire NHL the way Lindros did? He was bigger and stronger that every other player. Guys would line him up and he'd be like a brick wall and they'd go down.
He was probably the dirtiest player ever as well (maybe Bobby Clarke and Claude Lemieux were dirtier). Kicking skates out, leading with his fists/helmet to hit guys. Just doling out massive amounts of punishment.
Also, his size/strength also combined to his outstanding physical talents. He had an unbelievably quick release, was a top-notch passer, and could pick a corner as good as anyone not named Bossy. When he left Philadelphia, I think only Gretzky and Lemieux had higher PPG marks.
Of course, it ended sadly for him. The first Barnaby hit, the collpased lung on the Bob Boughner hit, and finally, the Stevens hit. He was never the same player after. But, for the 8 years from 92/93 to 99/00, he was able to play in a way that I've never seen duplicated. If you attacked him physically, he would beat you with his skill. If you tried to play him skillfully, he would run through you.
Again, guys like Gretzky, Lemieux, and Orr were players who could dominate games with their amazing talents. But was there anyone out there who could dominate a game so well and in as many different ways as Eric Lindros?
lindros is a poor mans lucic with less skills and a cheapness with him that everyone hated.
Everyone talks about, could have, should have. In his case - he didn't do. If he was such a Power Forward, why did he play with his head-down? If he was such a Power Forward how were little guys like Jeff Odgers able to beat the crap out of him in a fight.
He semi-dominated, he did not absolutely dominate. A more careful word selection might be in order. Lindros also did not have the softest hands, he often times club-footed pucks and open nets, like Thomas Holsmstrom did.
Jeff Odgers was an established fighter who already had 23 fights by the time Lindros entered the league. Lindros was never a good fighter because he relied on pure strength rather than technique. That's why he lost fights. It had nothing to do with power, it's that players in fights found ways to eliminate his power and reach and use better technique on him. When he lost to McSorely, the national commentators even said, "Eric is stronger, but Marty's better at this" at the beginning of the fight and, sure enough, McSorely won.
As for his head down, it was a bad technique born of his strength. In his junior days, he was so big that there were no players who could come close to him physically, so he didn't have to worry about it. He never kicked the habit and the rest is history.
To me, his 8 years on the Flyers was the most dominating player (when healthy) I've ever seen, and I've seen Gretzky, Lemieux, and everyone since. He had the ability to completely take over a game in so many ways that I've never seen matched.
Toughness is not about establishing yourself, it's about what you are capable of absorbing. McSorley was tough, but not the best fighter.
Guys like John Ferguson and Dave Schultz and Gordie Howe were Uber tough and good fighters.
Actually, most Flyers fans would argue Schultz. Schultz was the most willing, dirtiest, meanest fighter. He was feared because of that. He was tough and mean, but he probably only ranks top 5 in Flyers' history. I've never seen Howe fight.
As for strength to absorb, the player who probably was able to absorb the most punishment I've ever seen was Tie Domi, who was far from a power forward. That guy's head was made of iron. I don't really respect him much, but I'll give it to him that he was a top fighter for a guy who wasn't much taller than me.
Craig Cox is the toughest guy I ever saw fight, and then Dwight Bialowis. Bialowis was a First Nations kid with a set of magic hands, and he was not big. His brother Frank fought a lot more, but was not near as tough. When Dwight Bialowis fought he thought it meant fighting everyone on the other team, and not one at a time.
The toughest Flyer and the man to never lose a fight in Flyer history was Mel Bridgman, another not so big guy that could hit you 15 times before you got your fists up.
Dave Brown. Browny was scrawny and rangy and just loved the interaction.. To Dave Brown, fighting was like eating breakfast, delicious and anticipated.
In terms of dominating, Gordie Howe dominated. Never lost a fight, never came out on the wrong end of a collision, Had forearms like most people's thighs, and soft hands around the crease. Hence the origin of the term "Gordie Howe Hat Trick" a goal, an assist, and a fight
Dave Schultz had great hands and a decent shot, just like Tie Domi. Either of those two you'd want if trouble broke out in a bar, as they would throw guys through windows and think nothing of it.
Other guys were just plain Psycho - Link Gaetz, Wilf Paiement, and Kelly Chase come to mind. Paiement came from a family where all the males would stab each other with forks over the last Pork Chop.
Last edited by centrehice; 02-11-2013 at 02:26 PM.
Craig Cox was tough as hell, you're right. I also would have liked to see what Link Gaetz could have bee,
As for Flyers, Dave Brown was the toughest Flyer I ever saw live. He had a huge reach, and his hands are the size of my face. He had a devestating left hand. He was so big and lanky he looked funny sometimes, but he didn't lose much. Bridgman was tough as nails, and I'll take Behn Wilson in the mix as well.
I saw Frank "The Animal" Bialowas fight as a Phantom a few times. He was a normal AHL fighter who fought because there wasn't much else he could do. I think he actually has a rookie card (93/94 Parkhurst as a Maple Leaf). I'm not familiar with the stylings of Dwight Bialowas.
I met Howe when I was 9. In addition to his arms, he has calcium deposits on his elbows. One's golf ball sized and one's cue ball sized. I'd never want to go into a corner with him.
Schultz was a competent hockey player. He had a 20 goal season once, but he was smart enough to never envision himself as a premier offensive player. He got room out there because of his nastiness on the ice and made the most of it.
I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but I wouldn't want Tie Domi with me. For all of his toughness and all of his fights, the game where he ran from McCarthy and Berube, then hit Adam Burt when Kaberle had him down, then literally hid behind Kaberle from Luke Richardson, then went over and was talking to McCarthy when the ref had him held back made me lose all respect for him. And it all stemmed from Domi making a public remark about McCarthy's heritage (allegedly, it was a while ago and I don't remember exactly what it was).
Originally Posted by jmatchett
I am well aware. He broke my nose in a pick-up game in Melville, Saskatchewan in 1979-80 when he was 14-15 years old. He hit me about 100 times.
My roommate fought him to a draw 3 years later.
Last edited by centrehice; 02-11-2013 at 03:16 PM.