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12-07-2010, 10:49 AM
Stray Wasp
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Too many posters just look on the surface with what Orr, Gretzky and Lemieux (and their dominance to their peers)did without looking at the context and makeup of the NHL and when each player played in them.

Gretzky is the prime example here. Age 21-25 he averaged pretty close to 200 points a game then dropped off to seasons of 183, 149(64 games), 168, 142 and 163 points in his age 26-30 seasons.

did he become a less great player in those seasons or did the league change (and his situation) ever so slightly to cause this drop off?

I think the latter is more likely.
Fair enough to look into all factors. For instance, we know that Gretzky's goalscoring cut back after 4-on-4 penalties disappeared in 85.

On the other hand, if a player scores so prolifically that his notching 142 points in a season can prompt dark mutterings of "dropping off", perhaps its worth bearing in mind that even genius has a shelf life.

I think its an interesting approach to examine Gretzky's career and devote much time into asking why he stopped scoring 200 points in a season, given everyone else's scoring peaks at the same time show that his breaking the 200 barrier was astounding. Even a "dropping off" Gretzky was putting more than ten points between himself and everyone not called Lemieux. When offensive peak Yzerman grabbed 155, Gretzky got 168. When offensive peak Messier got 129, Gretzky got 142. His margin of victory in 1994 was ten points. If we assume the league was changing all throughout his career, he surmounted one new challenge after another.

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