Thread: Bryan Trottier
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08-27-2010, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Bossy was an all-star at the same stage of his career that Lafleur was trying to break into the top two lines or beyond 10th / 11the forward status in the playoffs.

If we go eight or ten years.

Lafleur: 6 - 1st AST member.
Bossy: 5 - 1st AST and 3 2nd AST member.

Edge to Bossy.

Bossy may not have had the same flash but he was more effective than Lafleur especially come playoff time.During the four consecutive Stanley Cup Championship runs of each team Bossy marginally out performs Lafleur on a PPG basis 1.54 > 1.50.Overall inc the 4 SC runs for each Mike Bossy has a 1.24 to 1.05 PPG edge. Assists a virtual wash scoring edge to Bossy.
You keep bringing up Bossy being better earlier in his career, but I still fail to see how it matters in the grand scheme of things. It's impressive, yes, but it doesn't affect who they both were as players. There's lots of players who were great as young players who aren't even in the same league as guys who took longer to take off. Is a guy like Barry Pederson better than a guy like Adam Oates? Is Jimmy Carson better than Joe Thornton? And while Bossy still came into a team that was solid, and had made the semi-finals the year before, he only had to beat out Billy Harris and Bob Nystrom for first line icetime. Good players, sure. But Lafleur had to crack a lineup that won the Stanley Cup the year before and had Yvon Cournoyer entrenched as it's top RW. And he still put up very respectable numbers considering his ice time.

While Bossy was obviously an elite player longer, as evidenced by his All-Star nods, I personally don't think an extra 2-3 years makes too much of a difference when you're looking at players with short longevity (Lafleur actually played for awhile, but he wasn't too much of an impact player in many of those seasons). I think with both of them, it makes more sense to just look at what they did over an extended stretch in their prime.

In this case, you mention the 4 cup runs, and they actually match up surprisingly well. While Bossy did play in a higher scoring era, if we want to include team effects and the shorter playoffs for Lafleur and just take into account raw values, they're basically even. Realistically, a 0.04 PPG edge is negligible (and if we include both of their next best playoff seasons, Lafleur wins) Both won a Conn Smythe during the runs, and came up with clutch goals. I think career playoff points is basically meaningless, as you're punishing Lafleur for playing longer when he was on the decline, as well as winning a cup while being a young player who wasn't a major factor (which as I stated above shouldn't really matter in the grand scheme of things). In all I think their playoffs are a wash.

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