Thread: Bryan Trottier
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08-25-2010, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post

So despite the advantage Trottier had with defense, physical play etc. it just isn't right to suggest Trottier had a better prime. Lafleur was the toast of the NHL, he won scoring titles, he won MVPs, he won the Conn Smythe and could have won three to be honest. He was as clutch as they came in every darn Cup he played in on that dynasty. That makes up for the fact that he was nothing special defensively because the way I look at it, Lafleur falls into the category of a player who was the focus of everyone else when he was on the ice. There are precious few players you would say this about, today Ovechkin is a good example perhaps or Sid. So even when you go beyond the numbers you can just see the dominance that Lafleur had over the NHL during that time, he was peerless and I don't think there was ever a time when Trottier was peerless to the NHL. So that's why I rate Lafleur higher, that ridiculous peak! Now compare them solely OUTSIDE of their peaks and it's a clear edge for Trottier IMO
But during Trottier's peak, he had to compete against the high-powered Oilers and stop players like Gretzky, Coffey, Messier, Kurri - that's something Lafleur never had to face in his prime.

I don't want to downplay Lafleur's impact on the NHL, the Canadiens and diminish his accomplishments - but the fact that Lafleur was arguably the best player in hockey at the time is almost a reason why Trottier's accomplishments are that much more impressive.

Trottier's performance in the playoffs against that level of competition is extremely underrated.

While Lafleur was the toast of the NHL in his prime....Gretzky (and the Oilers) were the toast of the NHL in Trottier's prime. Trottier should not be penalized for this - quite the contrary, he should be recognized for this (Bossy as well)

It's one thing to lead your team to a cup when you face-off against Mike Richards (no offense to Richards - another player who's much better than stats could ever show) but lining up against a 200 point player, and supporting cast, raises the stakes and can be insurmountable by many elite hockey players. That context is very significant.

Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Not to hijack this Trottier thread, but we all know Toews has never scored more than 69 points in a season and while he isn't in Crosby or Ovechkin or even Malkin's league the truth is because of what else he brings to the table in terms of being a very flawless hockey player (reminds me of Keon in the way that he never seems to have a bad game even if he didn't have a GREAT game, or make glaring mistakes). Not to mention his uncanny knack at such a young age for scoring goals at the right time. Look at the Olympics, I nearly hit the roof when he scored the first goal in the Gold medal game and you got the feeling a guy like him would do that. And we all saw his 2010 playoffs. Bottom line is, the kid could play on my team anyday and I'll forgive him as a 22 year old for not scoring 70 points yet. That offense will come my friends.
I've tried making this point in other threads - still tough to get through to people! Are Nik Antropov's 67 points in Atlanta the same as Toews in Chicago? Are they "equal" in ANY POSSIBLE WAY?

Although it's hard to quantify that difference with a number or any kind of metric, they are vastly different players that bring completely different attributes to a team. Is Paul Stastny better than Toews? Would Chicago trade Toews for Semin, who scored 40 goals and 84 points?

The fact he was named captain so young (not unlike Sid), the fact he was SELECTED to the Olympic team, the fact he scored some big goals, the fact he ended up winning a cup, Conn Smythe at that age is an incredible accomplishment on so many levels outside the scoresheet.

Interesting you use the term "never seems to have a bad game" - I heard Denis Potvin (or maybe Billy Smith - damn memory!) make that comment about Mike Bossy in his HHOF video tribute. Bossy was consistent in effort and output game after game for his whole career. Consistency is something coaches love, fans (typically) underestimate and rarely found in a young player.

In an era where Linus Omark has a following on HF (thanks to shootouts and Youtube) and, at the same age as Toews, is treated by some as the next great NHL star is embarrassing. Real accomplishments at these young ages (Sid, Toews) are so incredibly rare. To reduce arguments to numbers misses the point entirely IMO.

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