If Wayne Gretzky had never scored a goal...

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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby mikey287 on Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:32 am

- Less talented players with an absolute number of total league players lends itself to dilution existing. The best players that remained in the league could exploit the worse players and goaltenders more readily. So to answer your question, it's an emphatic yes.

Year ---- Goals per game average
1936-37: 4.93
1937-38: 5.06
1938-39: 5.07
1939-40: 4.99
--- Canada declares war on Germany ---
1940-41: 5.36
1941-42: 6.23
--- center red line introduced to reduce offense, two-line pass rule takes effect ---
1942-43: 7.22
1943-44: 8.17 (Richard's 50 goal season, and only two career 5-goal games; Highest GPG average in NHL history)
1944-45: 7.35
--- surviving players return from war ---
1945-46: 6.69
1946-47: 6.32
1947-48: 5.86
1948-49: 5.43
1949-50: 5.47
1950-51: 5.42

- Richard isn't a bad player, definitely one of the 15 best ever. But you aren't penetrating the top-four of all-time with no top point finishes, 2 5-goal games and some game winners...anecdotal evidence needs to be put aside here. Those things are nice as dressing on top of a great argument, they are a weak foundation for one though.
- Yeah, I think Butch Bouchard was captain for the other?
- Again, as illustated above, Richard had the benefit of playing in a higher scoring era before Howe was in the league. Howe wins the goal-scoring race (since the points scoring race isn't a subject that benefits Richard too much) directly against Richard 4 times, Richard wins it 3 times vs. Howe being fully established in the league, 4 times overall. So, again, he doesn't really gain any ground other than the fact that the raw numbers favor Richard early because you make no adjustment for era.

Hopefully there's some more tangible, hard evidence to be brought to the thread on behalf of Mr. Richard as the more *real* information we can get about a player, the more educational it is for everyone. He has no shot vs. Howe, but it'd still be nice to get away from things like partially-true claims of captaincy and his 6 playoff OT goals, with all due respect, P_G.
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby André on Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:09 am

mikey287 wrote:I see your points per game work and all that...well, here's some food for thought...

Here's a six year prime vs. peers of Mario Lemieux in his best six years

Player -------- GP - G - A - PTS
Mario Lemieux 423 387 554 941
Wayne Gretzky 423 189 513 702 (Lemieux 34% better)
Steve Yzerman 468 276 401 677 (Lemieux 39% better)
Mark Messier 448 213 373 586 (...61% better)
Luc Robitaille 468 253 305 558
Adam Oates 446 142 405 547
Doug Gilmour 467 174 365 539
Pierre Turgeon 474 210 328 538
Brett Hull 443 282 241 523 (...80%)
Pat LaFontaine 384 233 287 520 (...81%)

Here's a six year prime vs. peers of Gordie Howe in his best six years

Player -------- GP - G - A - PTS
Gordie Howe 420 254 269 528
Ted Lindsay 347 142 204 346 (Howe 53% better - Lindsay was his linemate)
Maurice Richard 316 167 133 300 (Howe 76% better)
Red Kelly 410 98 191 289 (...83% better)
Bernie Geoffrion 296 131 111 242 (...118% better)
Alex Delvecchio 323 78 152 230 (...130% better)
Sid Smith 350 116 110 226
Bert Olmstead 326 72 149 221
Doug Harvey 413 33 185 218 (...142%)

I think there's one less player on the Howe the list but still more HHOFers if I'm not mistaken...Howe is 76% than all non-full-time linemates in his prime. That 76% threshold (Howe vs. non teammates) isn't met by Lemieux until way down at Brett Hull and Pat Lafontaine (a fairly weak HHOFer).

Not too shabby I'd say...


Those are interesting stats. I assume it's the 6th highest scoring consecutive seasons for both compared to their competition those same years. Please clarify if not.

I still think the HHOF-card should be left out, as those nominations are based on alot more than capacity and production, and quite frankly are mind numbing at times.

Also, again (come on) look at the variation of games played on those lists. Same stats but with PPG:

Here's a six year prime vs. peers of Mario Lemieux in his best six years

Player -------- GP - G - A - PTS - PPG
Mario Lemieux 423 387 554 941 2.22
Wayne Gretzky 423 189 513 702 1.66 (Lemieux 34% better)
Steve Yzerman 468 276 401 677 1.45 (53% better)
Mark Messier 448 213 373 586 1.30 (71% better)
Luc Robitaille 468 253 305 558 1.19 (87% better)
Adam Oates 446 142 405 547 1.23 (80% better)
Doug Gilmour 467 174 365 539 1.15 (93% better)
Pierre Turgeon 474 210 328 538 1.14 (95% better)
Brett Hull 443 282 241 523 1.18 (88% better)
Pat LaFontaine 384 233 287 520 1.35 (64% better)

Here's a six year prime vs. peers of Gordie Howe in his best six years

Player -------- GP - G - A - PTS - PPG
Gordie Howe 420 254 269 528 1.26
Ted Lindsay 347 142 204 346 1.0 (Howe 26% better - Lindsay was his linemate)
Maurice Richard 316 167 133 300 0.95 (37% better)
Red Kelly 410 98 191 289 0.70 (80% better)
Bernie Geoffrion 296 131 111 242 0.82 (54% better)
Alex Delvecchio 323 78 152 230 0.71 (77% % better)
Sid Smith 350 116 110 226 0.65 (94% better)
Bert Olmstead 326 72 149 221 0.68 (85% better)
Doug Harvey 413 33 185 218 0.53 (138 % better)

Harvey stands out for Howe but I find it very likely he's up there much because of his total games played and that a few others were higher in PPG. Also, his drop in production compared to the others really is in line with my argument the top class being more numerous in Lemieux's era gave him more rivals (that not saying that top group were percentage capacity wise further away from the bottom group of their time).

All in all I think we can agree to disagree on the following:
- The gap in capacity between worst and best was more narrow in the 50s (you yes me no)
- You think PPG is too benefitial for some players who have missed alot of games while I find it alot more fair and accurate (when talking peak capacity and production) if said players have produced dominantly over many years

I think we can agree on:
- Lemieux outproducing his competition more than Howe did (altough Howe was closer than I thought)
- Howe outproducing his competition slightly less but over a longer period of time
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby André on Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:41 am

Oh I forgot. Do you have some great sites with different stats that I don't know of? I get a feeling you have =) Just that list of the NHL GPG for every year would be awesome to look at.
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby mikey287 on Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:05 pm

- Points per game fails to adjust for era. I mean, Howe plays in an era where it was usually 4.75 to 6 goals per game. Lemieux plays in an era that's largely 7-8 goals per game, which naturally falls as he nears his first retirement. I would hope Mario has a better points per game. Even percentage on points per game (skewed to heavily favor Lemieux) still doesn't do it for him - it's still not better than non-teammates. And even if it is close, it still doesn't account for the rest of Howe's game which trumps Mario's.

- I'm not sure how those stats produce the conclusion that "the top class [in the 90's] is more numerous" - is it the PPG? If so, scrap it. When you got teams scoring over 8 goals per game in 1982 and teams scoring 4 and three-quarters goals per game in 1952...naturally, you'll have higher scoring. Being that there's a correlation between higher scoring and expansion, and thus, dilution, in every era - it would not lend itself to suggest that the crop in a fast-expansion era is better than the crop of well-established NHLers that largely make the HHOF on merit.

- Of course there was less a gap between the best and worst in the 1950's. There were less players. Only the elite players could stay in the league. 12, 14 players per team x 6. We got 60 very good and elite players, 70 very good and elite players...instead of 600 players that range from elite to poor. Very few "poor" players survived in the 1950's...it's just natural selection. It can't make sense the other way. I mean, look at the idiots that have survived in this league for multiple seasons...

- Sure, whatever stats you'd like to know about, I can do my best to point you in the right direction...here's the GPG in a chart: http://dropyourgloves.com/Stat/LeagueGoals.aspx
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby Physical_Graffiti on Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:49 pm

mikey287 wrote:- Less talented players with an absolute number of total league players lends itself to dilution existing. The best players that remained in the league could exploit the worse players and goaltenders more readily. So to answer your question, it's an emphatic yes.

Year ---- Goals per game average
1936-37: 4.93
1937-38: 5.06
1938-39: 5.07
1939-40: 4.99
--- Canada declares war on Germany ---
1940-41: 5.36
1941-42: 6.23
--- center red line introduced to reduce offense, two-line pass rule takes effect ---
1942-43: 7.22
1943-44: 8.17 (Richard's 50 goal season, and only two career 5-goal games; Highest GPG average in NHL history)
1944-45: 7.35
--- surviving players return from war ---
1945-46: 6.69
1946-47: 6.32
1947-48: 5.86
1948-49: 5.43
1949-50: 5.47
1950-51: 5.42

- Richard isn't a bad player, definitely one of the 15 best ever. But you aren't penetrating the top-four of all-time with no top point finishes, 2 5-goal games and some game winners...anecdotal evidence needs to be put aside here. Those things are nice as dressing on top of a great argument, they are a weak foundation for one though.
- Yeah, I think Butch Bouchard was captain for the other?
- Again, as illustated above, Richard had the benefit of playing in a higher scoring era before Howe was in the league. Howe wins the goal-scoring race (since the points scoring race isn't a subject that benefits Richard too much) directly against Richard 4 times, Richard wins it 3 times vs. Howe being fully established in the league, 4 times overall. So, again, he doesn't really gain any ground other than the fact that the raw numbers favor Richard early because you make no adjustment for era.

Hopefully there's some more tangible, hard evidence to be brought to the thread on behalf of Mr. Richard as the more *real* information we can get about a player, the more educational it is for everyone. He has no shot vs. Howe, but it'd still be nice to get away from things like partially-true claims of captaincy and his 6 playoff OT goals, with all due respect, P_G.

Just so we're clear: Gordie's definitely up there (as the best ever), I just feel Richard's name should be in the discussion.

I'm kind of discussing it for the sake of discussing it (I feel you're downplaying Richard too much).
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby mikey287 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:04 am

And just so we're clear on the flip side: Maurice's definitely up there (as the best ever), I just feel Gordie's name should be more well respected. (I feel you're downplaying Howe too much).

It just feels like because of the era (I guess?) that Howe isn't getting credit for some reason. For anyone to propose that anyone else is in the top 4 or someone in the top 4 doesn't belong is really quite questionable...really questionable, it's pretty cemented.

I mean, for Richard, there's tanglible evidence that Howe was as good a goal scorer as Richard or very close and then Howe ranged from better to way way better in everything else pretty much. It's tough to say that there's anything that would suggest Richard was better. You'd have a tough time saying that Richard was even the best Canadien ever (vs. Beliveau first and Harvey second). That'd be a better debate (Richard vs. Beliveau) than Richard vs. Howe because Howe really does blow him out of the water.

All that said, with my anti-Lemieux (vs. Howe) sentiment and my purported anti-Richard sentiment, I consider Lemieux the 4th best player ever and Richard is definitely top 12 or 15 or thereabouts. Nothing to sneeze at.
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby Rylan on Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:24 am

Who is the most talented player ever?
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby mikey287 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:24 am

Rylan wrote:Who is the most talented player ever?


Technical skill? Someone most likely to beat someone one on one? Or are we including smarts and anticipation?
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby The Snapshot on Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:59 am

Rylan wrote:Who is the most talented player ever?


That is #66 hands down. Gretzy a distant second. Orr third and Howe fourth.

All different players, but Lemiuex was the one of them that could beat you any way wanted. He didn't NEED teammates, although he raised all of their levels as well.
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby shmenguin on Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:05 am

comparing guys from different eras sure makes for some muddy water. it's counter intuitive to think of howe being better than lemieux since if you put them on the ice against common competition, you'd have to think lemieux would look decidedly more impressive.
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby columbia on Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:12 am

shmenguin wrote:comparing guys from different eras sure makes for some muddy water. it's counter intuitive to think of howe being better than lemieux since if you put them on the ice against common competition, you'd have to think lemieux would look decidedly more impressive.


Yep...even with a straight stick, Dupuis might have been able to put up 50 goals in 1950.
The cross-era comparisons can be pretty suspect....I believe that to be true about all sports.
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby Rylan on Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:24 pm

mikey287 wrote:
Rylan wrote:Who is the most talented player ever?


Technical skill? Someone most likely to beat someone one on one? Or are we including smarts and anticipation?


I am talking take out all the stats and numbers and all that stuff that can be construed to form an opinion.

What player was the most gifted, I am talking technical skill mixed with the smarts, vision and anticipation?
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby Physical_Graffiti on Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:25 pm

I see Crosby as that type of player, where as I see Ovy as an innovator.

Crosby has a plan, Ovy just makes things happen.
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby André on Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:48 pm

Food for thought on most skilled:



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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby André on Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:50 pm

columbia wrote:
shmenguin wrote:comparing guys from different eras sure makes for some muddy water. it's counter intuitive to think of howe being better than lemieux since if you put them on the ice against common competition, you'd have to think lemieux would look decidedly more impressive.


Yep...even with a straight stick, Dupuis might have been able to put up 50 goals in 1950.
The cross-era comparisons can be pretty suspect....I believe that to be true about all sports.


Yeah and Jesse Owens today has what? Say the 300th best time on 100 meters all time perhaps. So he's not top 300 all time? That's how you reason above. It's not relevant. You have to look at what a player did against the competition of his own era.
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby columbia on Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:51 pm

André wrote:
columbia wrote:
shmenguin wrote:comparing guys from different eras sure makes for some muddy water. it's counter intuitive to think of howe being better than lemieux since if you put them on the ice against common competition, you'd have to think lemieux would look decidedly more impressive.


Yep...even with a straight stick, Dupuis might have been able to put up 50 goals in 1950.
The cross-era comparisons can be pretty suspect....I believe that to be true about all sports.


Yeah and Jesse Owens today has what? Say the 300th best time on 100 meters all time perhaps. So he's not top 300 all time? That's how you reason above. It's not relevant. You have to look at what a player did against the competition of his own era.


Which is why you compare a player to his competition, not someone who retired 20 years before his birth.
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby André on Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:01 pm

mikey287 wrote:- Points per game fails to adjust for era. I mean, Howe plays in an era where it was usually 4.75 to 6 goals per game. Lemieux plays in an era that's largely 7-8 goals per game, which naturally falls as he nears his first retirement. I would hope Mario has a better points per game. Even percentage on points per game (skewed to heavily favor Lemieux) still doesn't do it for him - it's still not better than non-teammates. And even if it is close, it still doesn't account for the rest of Howe's game which trumps Mario's.


If GPGs of their time were at 4.75 to 6 for Howe at 1.25 PGP (during his 6 year prime) and 7 to 8 for Mario at 2.22 PPG during his 6 year prime their PPG relation to current GPG is about equal or actually Lemieux wins. I haven’t even mentioned that though, but thanks for giving me another argument.

And on "I would hope Mario has a better points per game.": I have never ever said anything about how Lemieux's PPG of course is better and used that alone as an argument. Why do you mention that? A fabricated assumption based on nothing.

I’m looking at which rate they outproduced their own competition. Had the league GPG been 12 during Lemieux’s era that’s still not relevant. Had that been the case and Mario scored at 4 PPG for 320 points and his closest competitor at 2.75 PPG for 220 points, or Mario at 2 PPG for 160 points with the second guy scoring at 1.375 for 110 points he’s still outproducing the second guy with 45.45% in both cases. Howe at a double GPG with a double PPG at 2.5 then still outscores Lindsay at 2.0 PPG during those six peak years with the same 25%. This is not opinion but simple maths. Looking at their prime PPGs and comparing those to their own competition is a relevant and accurate way to see who outproduced his competition more.

It’s that simple. The higher league GPG during Lemieux’s era doesn’t favour him. I’ve outlined this like three times now.

mikey287 wrote:- I'm not sure how those stats produce the conclusion that "the top class [in the 90's] is more numerous" - is it the PPG? If so, scrap it. When you got teams scoring over 8 goals per game in 1982 and teams scoring 4 and three-quarters goals per game in 1952...naturally, you'll have higher scoring. Being that there's a correlation between higher scoring and expansion, and thus, dilution, in every era - it would not lend itself to suggest that the crop in a fast-expansion era is better than the crop of well-established NHLers that largely make the HHOF on merit.

- Of course there was less a gap between the best and worst in the 1950's. There were less players. Only the elite players could stay in the league. 12, 14 players per team x 6. We got 60 very good and elite players, 70 very good and elite players...instead of 600 players that range from elite to poor. Very few "poor" players survived in the 1950's...it's just natural selection. It can't make sense the other way. I mean, look at the idiots that have survived in this league for multiple seasons...


Ehm. This completely ignores how much more the game was established 40 years later. How greater the influx of players from different leagues and nations was. Yes the league was only half or a quarter as big in Howe’s era, but the numbers of players competing for a spot in the NHL 40 years later was what? Tenfold? Fiftyfold (I'm not sure this is an exaggeration)? That a lot of players were worse than the best back then was of course true then as well. All put in relation to total number of players of course. Looking at how Harvey with his PPG was 7th in overall scoring during Howe’s top six years really show how quickly things dropped of after that top group (and that’s compared to the other stars too and not just compared to Howe).

I’ve clearly outlined this and you simply choose to ignore it. You've phrased your reply as if I've never posted the above. Back to square one. Not very constructive arguing. I'm disappointed.

mikey287 wrote:- Sure, whatever stats you'd like to know about, I can do my best to point you in the right direction...here's the GPG in a chart: http://dropyourgloves.com/Stat/LeagueGoals.aspx


Awesome :fist:
Last edited by André on Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby Physical_Graffiti on Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:38 pm

columbia wrote:
André wrote:
columbia wrote:
shmenguin wrote:comparing guys from different eras sure makes for some muddy water. it's counter intuitive to think of howe being better than lemieux since if you put them on the ice against common competition, you'd have to think lemieux would look decidedly more impressive.


Yep...even with a straight stick, Dupuis might have been able to put up 50 goals in 1950.
The cross-era comparisons can be pretty suspect....I believe that to be true about all sports.


Yeah and Jesse Owens today has what? Say the 300th best time on 100 meters all time perhaps. So he's not top 300 all time? That's how you reason above. It's not relevant. You have to look at what a player did against the competition of his own era.


Which is why you compare a player to his competition, not someone who retired 20 years before his birth.

:fist:
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby Sarcastic on Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:10 pm

This is the most bizarre thread on lgp. All the fun numbers and percentages aside (that are mostly irrelevant for comparison), you can't compare players from different eras. Mighty Bobby Orr would not have done as well in today's game. Even Pens' cup winning teams.. I think we would have a problem watching them today because the game is so much faster. It is crazy watching games from even 15-20 years ago, because of how much it has changed. Speed. Player size. Equipment. Different rules. Level of competition. And that's just 20 years, forget 30 or 40 or 50.
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby shmenguin on Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:12 pm

the stats aren't exactly helping sort this out. if you're that confident in either guy, you're doing it wrong.

guy who says lemieux is better: you never experienced howe in his prime
guy who says howe is better: you never experienced howe in his prime

seems like you need to have been around, following hockey closely while each player was actually playing. there are few if any around here who followed both players during their prime years.
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby mikey287 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:55 pm

Rylan wrote:
mikey287 wrote:
Rylan wrote:Who is the most talented player ever?


Technical skill? Someone most likely to beat someone one on one? Or are we including smarts and anticipation?


I am talking take out all the stats and numbers and all that stuff that can be construed to form an opinion.

What player was the most gifted, I am talking technical skill mixed with the smarts, vision and anticipation?


When you mix anticipation and vision into it, you make it really close to Gretzky. And you might even have to go with Gretzky. The most technically skilled player, the guy most suited to go one on one with you and come away with a goal was Mario Lemieux.
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby mikey287 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:00 pm

columbia wrote:
André wrote:
columbia wrote:
shmenguin wrote:comparing guys from different eras sure makes for some muddy water. it's counter intuitive to think of howe being better than lemieux since if you put them on the ice against common competition, you'd have to think lemieux would look decidedly more impressive.


Yep...even with a straight stick, Dupuis might have been able to put up 50 goals in 1950.
The cross-era comparisons can be pretty suspect....I believe that to be true about all sports.


Yeah and Jesse Owens today has what? Say the 300th best time on 100 meters all time perhaps. So he's not top 300 all time? That's how you reason above. It's not relevant. You have to look at what a player did against the competition of his own era.


Which is why you compare a player to his competition, not someone who retired 20 years before his birth.


And then you compare how much he dominated his competition vs. how much this other guy dominated his competition. The numbers say Pierre Turgeon was better than Nels Stewart. When you look at what Nels Stewart did to his peers vs. what Turgeon did (or didn't) do to his peers you gain perspective. At the other similar comments that are beginning to sprout up in the thread - save it. It's not 24 hours with a time machine. Yeah, if you plucked Eddie Shore out of the 1928 season and dumped him with no helmet, a heavy, flat, crude, wood stick with his dull leather skates into game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals he'd look like an idiot. No ****. That's not the game. That shouldn't be difficult to understand, with all due respect to the people I'm talking to. Yeah, I'm sure Pascal Dupuis born in 1980 or whenever could go back and lead the league in goals in 1910. No ****. Pascal Dupuis (the same guy) born in 1880 would not, he wouldn't make the league because there were no third liners back then.
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby columbia on Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:59 pm

You appear to be taking this discussion too seriously.
Chill out.
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby mikey287 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:54 pm

columbia wrote:You appear to be taking this discussion too seriously.
Chill out.


I'm not aggravated, it's just silly to see so many historical threads (a rarity here, as expected) with "well, anyone could play in the 1940's! Those guys sucked!" without any knowledge or context...it's very disrespectful to the game. That's all I'm saying.
mikey287
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Re: If Wayne Gretzky had never taken a single shot on goal..

Postby columbia on Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:11 pm

Alternately, you truly don't understand the foolishness of trying to compare players from radically different eras, yet constantly insist on doing so.
columbia
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