Lemieux vs. Gretzky

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Lemieux vs. Gretzky

Postby Sam's Drunk Dog on Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:29 pm

Career Stats
Player GP G G/GP A A/GP P P/GP
Mario Lemieux 915 690 0.7541 1033 1.1290 1723 1.8831

Wayne Gretzky 1487 894 0.6012 1963 1.3201 2857 1.9213

Lemieux's totals if he played 1487 games based on his career statistics.

Player GP G A P
Mario Lemieux 1487 1121 1679 2800

Remove Lemieux's last two seasons (2003-2004 & 2005-2006) when he was mostly injured. (GP=36, G=8, A=23, P=31)

Career stats look like.
Player GP G G/GP A A/GP P P/GP
Mario Lemieux 879 682 0.7759 1010 1.1490 1692 1.9249

Back to 1487 game comparison with above stats.
Player GP G A P
Mario Lemieux 1487 1154 1709 2862

Conclusion:

If Mario had been healthy there is a great possibility that he could have broken Gretzky's records.

Key:
GP = Games Played
G = Goals
G/GP = Goals per Game Played
A = Assists
A/GP = Assists per Game Played
P = Points
P/GP = Points per Game Played

Career statistics are from NHL.com

All calculations were computed using Microsoft Excel.
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Postby Shinoix on Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:34 pm

This has been beaten to death!!

I agree, but you'll never convince Gretzky fans of it, so why even bother. I once tried to prove my points and people won't even listen.

Just drop it, we as Pens fans have our own opinions of it and we should just leave it at that.
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Postby Sam's Drunk Dog on Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:40 pm

I agree the debate has been beaten to death. I just wanted to see the actual stats, and i thought some others might want to see it too.

I had never seen a stats comparison before.

And if you don't want to debate it, then respond in another forum or better yet don't respond at all. It's a free country so you can do what you want, but don't belittle anyone for posting.
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Postby DayWalker on Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:48 pm

The priamry problem for Mario is that he would have played a bulk of his career in the era of 1-0 games, which is why I do not think one can make the extrapolations regarding career projections as have been made here...

That said, I do believe that Mario was a superior player, and Gretzky's statistics-no matter how imposing they might be or how much they might dwarf others-are not at all dispositive in this debate...
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Postby ExPatriatePen on Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:50 pm

To be honest, I'd never seen it laid out that way before.

Very interesting.

I'm not sure projecting like that is fair, for a number of reasons, but it's still very interesting to see those stats.

Thanks
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Postby dman66 on Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:13 pm

good job, never seen it like that before even, but always wanted to do it myself. one thing that made me mad about lemieux coming back is that his points per game dropped below 2. when he retired the first time, he was the only player in nhl history above 2.

lemieux is the best player i have ever seen, but that only goes back to 93, damn for being born in 1986. there will never be another, and if he would have been on the oilers, he probably would have reached 300 points.

all ifs though, but we all know how great he was
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Postby FallenHero96 on Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:30 pm

dman66 wrote:good job, never seen it like that before even, but always wanted to do it myself. one thing that made me mad about lemieux coming back is that his points per game dropped below 2. when he retired the first time, he was the only player in nhl history above 2.


If we are going to project Lemieux's numbers to Gretzky, then we should project Gret's to Lemieux. Meaning, and I dont know if this is correct or not maybe someone could check, but if gretzky retired at the early age lemieux first did, would his PPG have been over 2 as well?
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Postby NittanyPensFan04 on Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:42 pm

There was an edition of the hockey news during the lockout that had this debate in it. I think they said it best when they said that "Gretz was the greatest player of all time, but Lemieux was the most talented".
I agree with this. Gretzky put up some amaaaazzing out of this world point totals, but did it with a stacked team, in a diffrent era and he was heathly. Mario missed something like five years with all the games he missed. Also he played those games hurt, on an awful team, plus getting mugged all night, in the "clucth and grab" era.
Plus I mean just watch the highlights: NOBODY, ever made the best players in the world look downright stupid like the Big Guy.
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Postby jdev28 on Tue Mar 28, 2006 2:26 pm

Those comparisons are very interesting. Comparing them though is so hard to do because of the many many different variables involved. It’s a no-win debate from both the Lemieux and Gretzky fan standpoint. However, those of us that got to see both players play in their primes are very lucky, and now that they're both gone from the game, it’s always fun to debate this issue, for the memories and nostalgia, if nothing else.

Here are some variables to think about that make a true comparison almost impossible.

Gretzky - Played in his young days on the Oilers with a dynasty team made up of all-stars like Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Esa Tikkanen, Glenn Anderson, Paul Coffey, Craig Mactavish, and Kevin Lowe.

Lemieux - The best players he played with in his younger days were guys like Moe Mantha, Mike Bullard, and Dan Quinn.

Gretzky - From entering the league until he was the same age as Lemieux when he retired the first time, he only missed significant playing time one season, playing only 64 games in 87-88 after suffering a broken wrist. He only missed 24 games during his first 9 seasons.

Lemieux - Missed 143 games in his first 9 seasons. Partial games, such as playing 1 or 2 periods and leaving with back spasms counted as a game played in the stats. It’s hard to judge the number of periods he missed out of the games he did play in those years.

We as Pens fans probably saw Lemieux play many times more than Gretzky. I know that I've seen Gretzky play a decent amount of time, but nowhere compared to how many times I saw Lemieux on TV and in person. So inevitably, any stunning or amazing move or goal Lemieux scored I saw. A lot of what I've seen from Gretzky has been from highlights. Meaning I may have missed something amazing from Gretzky that didn't have a major impact on the score.

And what about Bobby Orr. Can you even compare him to Lemieux and Gretzky? They played different positions. Or Glenn Hall on Patrick Roy. I don't think it would ever be fair to say that someone is hands down the greatest hockey player ever. Of course if someone asked me I wouldn't hesitate to say Lemieux, but that doesn't make it a fact. This debate will live on forever, and I think that's great!
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Postby ExPatriatePen on Tue Mar 28, 2006 8:10 pm

What I think is a shame, is the number of games that featured the Penguins with Lemieux and Gretz's Oiler/King/Rangers where one or the other wasn't able to 'suit up'.

I'm willing to bet there were more head to head games missed than played if you catch what I'm saying.

I remeber as a season ticket holder from 83-95 numerous, in fact too numerous to count, ocassion in Pittsburgh and on the road, where we looked forward to a Lemieux Gretz head to head match, only to be disappointed when one or the other didn't play!
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Postby NIN on Tue Mar 28, 2006 8:24 pm

Im not much into statistics but that pretty much confirms what I have felt all along. I have seen both players and to me it's obvious who was better. He could do everything Gretzky did but he was better one on one and his shot had more on it. I use to think it was more accurate but my thoughts today are that it's a draw in that area. Gretzky was an unearthly sniper but rarely did he catch a goalie wondering where it went because he shot it so hard. Lemieux did that alot more.
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Postby Paulie_Walnutz on Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:11 pm

Being Pittsburgh, born and bred, I will always say that Lemieux is the best ever. Sure, if Lemieux had played as much as Gretzky did, he would probably have close to 3,000 points by now. But some folks do consider longevity a factor.

If you look at skill, I'd say they were pretty different. Lemieux was large and looked slow, while Gretzky was small and looked fast.

However, no matter how you argue it, non Pens fans will always consider Gretzky as the best ever. To me, it's not even a point worth arguing anymore. I just feel privledged to having watched both of them when they were in their prime.
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