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12-07-2010, 10:59 PM
Hockey Outsider
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Guys are still avoiding on how Mario peaked at age 23 with 199 points and Gretzky dipped after the age of 25.

Both were still great players and led the league in scoring after that as well but their dominance diminished. I think that maybe one of the reasons why is that the NHL changes from year to year and has been getting more competitive until the level of were it is now.
One of the reasons for this is that the league scoring levels decreased as these players aged. For example, Gretzky scored 97 points in 1997, which looks like a huge decrease in production compared to his 1986 peak of 215 points. If you adjust this it works out to something like 135 points. That's still a big drop, but a significant component of the perceived drop in Gretzky's peak is simply due to the fact that the league as a whole became lower-scoring as he aged.

In other words: his adjusted stats decreased over time, but at a much slower rate than the decrease in his unadjusted stats.

Also, the human body deteriorates with age. The fact that Gretzky scored less at 35 compared to 25 is not at all surprising -- all other things being equal, age alone would cause him to score less with age even if he played in leagues of the same quality. Not sure how old you are, but you will experience this yourself as you age and pass your physical peak.

Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Mario and even more so Wayne were enver asked to play deefesne and played all out offesne
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Something else I was thinking about today was the number of empty net points that Wayne got, it was a lot more than happens today and part of that is because the game has changed quite a bit since Wayne's last superhuman peak season in 87.
I'm confused - you said that Gretzky was never asked to play defense. Then you say he scored a lot of empty net goals - typically players can only do this when they're on the ice to protect a lead late in a game. Which is it?

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