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09-01-2009, 11:51 PM
Dark Shadows
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Originally Posted by FissionFire View Post
On this point I doubt we'll ever agree.
Probably not.

if only....could have....might have.....this is the same logic people apply to players who have shortened careers or injury plagued seasons. Maybe Richard outproduces Beliveau. Maybe the extra minutes take away from his even strength effectiveness. Not every player continues to excel with an expanded role. Of course, as a first line center he'd also be facing the other teams top defensive players, something that he did far less of playing second fiddle to Beliveau. So better linemates + tougher defensive forwards/defenseman + more PP time = Probably not a significant improvement statistically. Or maybe a huge jump. Or a huge drop. There is evidence supporting all three possibilites throughout hockey history so it's impossible to predict what "could have" happened.
Did he face lesser defensive forwards? Yes Without a doubt. But he also was spending more time defending against the opposing teams best forwards and defensemen. Most of the best defensemen in that era logged a ton of icetime and were often the best defensively and offensively. Gadsby, Harvey(After the trade), Kelly, Pilote, Stanley......all these defensemen played against both Beliveau and Richard, not just Beliveau.

The difference power play time has on a players statistics is generally very favorable. On average, 1/4 to 1/3 of a player's total numbers comes from the PP.

I know we disagree and I do not expect to convince anyone otherwise, but from what I saw of Henri Richard, I fully believe he would have had a sizable point boost had he been playing on every powerplay. His role on the team was crucial, and was a huge reason they won all those cups. I simply think that on another team, had he been the first center option and PP option, that he likely would have scored many more points, but fewer cups. Catch 22.

In the same Manner Messier's numbers jumped when he took over the helm as first line center in 1989-90, although the situation is quite different since Messier always got the PP time.

They aren't given credit in any era really, but I'd hardly call that season a slam dunk snub. The Beliveau and Horvath selections were both very defensible and arguably the logic picks.
Certainly. I see no reason to argue this point.

There you go giving credit for games not played again, or as commonly known the per game stat. If anything, Richard missing a game would hurt his team considerably by losing it's top ES offensive and defensive player. Him missing games isn't a plus, but a huge minus. A player not getting postseason awards because of missing games isn't something earth shattering. If voting was done on a per-game basis Chris Pronger would have a few more Norris trophies probably and Jagr would have Pronger's Hart. Thing is missing games IS a big penalty in voting, and rightly so. You are worse than the worst player on your team when you don't play.
Of course it is. I merely am trying to say that while he was playing, he was amazing. There is nothing wrong with that. He does not get points for games not played, but he certainly should be given props for his excellent complete game in the games he did play on a per game basis.

Competition is exactly why I never compared Lindsay and Richard using All-Star voting. Not sure why you brought it up. I merely stated that Lindsay had better numbers to back him up.
I was merely covering all the bases. People tend to look at point finishes, Hart record and all star selections.

Just out of curiosity, how do you think the standard for Hart voting was different in Lindsay's day in a way that impacted him? They seem to be very comparable in this instance. Both had higher profile teammates who were considered more valuable and finished above them in Hart Voting. Even though defensemen supposedly stopped getting the same consideration after the Norris came out, that does not truly impact Lindsay's case, as Kelly(And Harvey) were still getting plenty of Hart support after the Norris came out.

You are right. 30 spots isn't enough IMO. Lindsay was top 10 in goals 10 times (9 times top 6), top 10 in assists 8 times (also led the league twice), and top 10 in points 8 times (6 times top 5 + an Art Ross). Sure, his PP time helped but enough to explain this gigantic gap? Whatever gap Richard has in defensive play is nowhere close to the offensive gap between them. I don't see how you can tell me Lindsay and Richard are even close.
We can look at goals, assist and points individually, but I am just going to simplify it by looking at point finishes.

Yes, I do believe the PP time has a crucial impact on final numbers. Most players on average score 1/4 to 1/3 of their points on the PP. Sometimes much more.

Lindsay's top 10 point finishes:
1947-48 NHL 52 (9)
1948-49 NHL 54 (3)
1949-50 NHL 78 (1)
1950-51 NHL 59 (7)
1951-52 NHL 69 (2)
1952-53 NHL 71 (2)
1953-54 NHL 62 (3)
1956-57 NHL 85 (2)

Richard's top 10 point finishes:
1956-57 NHL 54 (9)
1957-58 NHL 80 (2)
1959-60 NHL 73 (5)
1960-61 NHL 68 (9)
1962-63 NHL 73 (4)
1965-66 NHL 61 (9)
1966-67 NHL 55 (10)

In many of these years, the difference between finishing top 5 and finishing 9th/10th is 5-10 points. Those 5 to 10 points are often less than 1/6 to 1/10th of his point total. Given how most top scorers score between 1/4 and 1/3rd of their points, thinking his point totals would have jumped is not outrageous to me.

People can ignore the what if's in this situation if they want. I do not expect to sway any opinions. But I saw what Henri Richard was capable of, and that performance is well above the sum of his statistics. Nearly every teammate or opponent who has ever commented on him will say the same.

You prove my point. All those players are comparable to Richard. A 20-30 spot game to me indicates a player is clearly better, and with Richard that is not that case. You can make a solid case for Keon, Ullman, Fedorov, or Nighbor as being the equivalent (or slightly better/worse) than Richard.
Nighbor is a player that I have not studied in enough detail to get a clear picture of. However, regarding the other two, I did see a gap, irrespective of what cases will be made for them. All the players between 50-80 are close no matter how you slice it. It comes down to what pleases each voter.

Keon was one of the few players I have ever seen who I would consider better than Henri Richard, and perhaps I did underrate him a bit. But Keon also did get the top line duties and top line PP time, but only has 2 top 10 scoring finishes(Both in 9th and 10th spots) to show for it.

Ullman was a very two way forward, but I would not put him in the same discussion with them defensively. Offensively, he did get the PP time, but his record is still not much better than Richard's offensively.

A case can be made that Keon was Richard's equal (or slightly better/worse). You can't really make the same case for Richard to Lindsay without delving into the hypotheticals. The only facet of the game that Richard could be argued to be better than Lindsay in is defense, and that's not a slam dunk by any means. I've yet to see anyone come up with any proof that Richard was clearly ahead of Lindsay in any other facet of the game.
I would say Richard was also as fierce a competitor as Lindsay without the dirtiness. Just as tenacious and always giving 110% with every stride.

The defensive gap between them to be is large. Not as Large as Lindsay's offensive edge mind you. But large enough that 30 spots between them is far too much(About 25 spots is right for me). Its not like I am trying to put them within 10 spots of each other or anything. I am not(I think you thought that was what I was intending, but it is not). But to me, Lindsay is 35th, Richard is 59th, possibly lower.

I had allowed people to talk me out of putting him so high last time that I overcompensated, but then I watched some old games and started remembering again just how damn great he was.

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