Thursday, December 27, 2012

Before there were lockouts and strikes: Larry Robinson

1979-80 OPC # 50

The "Big Bird".  One of the "Big Three".  At 6'4" and 225 lbs, Robinson was a very smooth skater who had no problems clearing the front of the net.  I had always remembered him as a defensive force, and was very surprised when looking over his career stats to find out that he scored 208 goals, and was 5th all time for defensemen in total points when he retired.  (He has since slipped to 19th all time in defensemen points). 

Larry was the cog in what I still consider the greatest regular season any team has ever had.  In 1976-77, Montreal destroyed the NHL to a tune of 60 wins, 8 losses and 12 ties.  Of the 387 goals that Montreal scored that year, Larry was on the ice for 218 of them.  Opponents only scored 171 goals against Montreal that year.  They didn't keep stats for time on ice in his day, but I will bet that he played a lot of 30+ minute games. 

Scary stat:  +/- in 1976/77:  120  Only one player had a season better than that.  Bobby Orr in 70/71 was +124.
Scary stat #2:  Larry never finished a season with a negative +/-.  His lowest total was +1, at age 40.

There is a video on You Tube of a playoff game between the Canadiens and the Maple Leafs in 1979.  The teams at the time were in the habit of clearing the bench when ever someone scored a goal, which in itself is surprising. At the 7:55 mark of the video, Jacques Lemaire scores for the Canadiens, and the bench clears, except for Robinson, who is absolutely dog tired.  Almost every highlight featured Robinson. 

I could go on forever about how great a player Larry was...

Before there were lockouts and strikes, there was Larry Robinson

thanks for reading, Robert


  1. one of my all time favourite players. Thanks.

  2. He was such a great player(before my time, but I've seen video). And if I'm not mistaken, isn't he also #1 in career plus/minus?