Forsberg vs. Clarke
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08-30-2010, 12:35 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Originally Posted by
Man wildly different opinions on how Clarke played internationally. Bringing up the international play was not unfair to Clarke it was just another place to show that Forsberg was really good and had quite a string of games in both international and Swedish play were he performed very well over time.
Clarke had a chance to participate in only one, and the first all-time best-vs-best tournament, which his team won. No olympics for the pros (bar the Soviets), even the weaker WC's were open for NHL players missing playoffs only after 76 and Flyers usually had rather deep playoff runs even after that, barring Clarke from participating.
Forsberg had 5 best-vs-best tournaments, 96, 98, 04, 06, 10. Of which he won 1. In addition numerous WC's and the olympics in 94 (although it was not best-vs-best).
I can't really penalize Clarke as he simply was not able to participate in international competition as much as Forsberg and when he did in the highest possible level for all participants, his team won.
It should be quite clear that Clarke was much better defensively, evidenced by how few goals were scored against his team when he was on the ice. Offensively and per-game basis Forsberg has the edge, but the edge is small, their best seasons offensively virtually even, and any offensive edge Forsberg has is also offset by his weaker durability over full seasons.
Forsberg has more impressive playoff numbers, but when their teams actually won Stanley Cup, 74, 75 and 96, 01 (Forsberg injured), Clarke was definitely bigger factor for his team in both, offensively and defensively, however you wish to compare their victory runs. Colorado was able to win without Forsberg in lineup, I don't think Philadelphia would have without Clarke.
When their teams didn't win, Forsberg has the offensive edge but if Clarkes defence was anywhere near his regular season play, I don't think playoffs close the gap between the players nearly enough, if at all.
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