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01-31-2011, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
The point is that after the age of 30 (and after having left his dynasty club), Messier had 1 season over 20 points - the year the Rangers one the cup. Which admittedly was a pretty damn awesome performance.

After the age of 30 when Yzerman's teams started getting up to a comparable level he had all three of his 20+ point playoffs.

Now are you going to try and tell me 30+ year old Yzerman was a better point producer than he was in his offensive prime or are you going to admit that team factors a lot into playoff performance?

The problem with comparing their playoff performances by points is that when Messier (and his team) was at his best he was in his 20s on a high-scoring dynasty and when Yzerman (and his team) was at his best he was in his 30s in the dead puck era.

I don't think much separates them as playoff performers.
You know what? First, kudos for attempting to bring context to this discussion. There's nothing at all wrong with context; I'm all about context. And I should have been more clear from the start when making this point, but I thought it was obvious myself, that even after you adjust for age, GP, and league scoring levels, Messier is definitely the better playoff performer.

So here's what I did, it took me two hours, I hope you like it.

First, I took a spreadsheet with all playoff scoring in NHL history. I cut it down to 1980-2006.

I then added the league GPG average to each season's line (regular season, not playoffs, as that was readily available and is a better indicator of the league landscape anyway)

I then added up the average PPG by a player aged 18 years, 19 years, and so on, all the way up 40 years as that was Yzerman's age in his last playoff. So that there was less "noise" in this result, I averaged out, for example, age 25, 26, and 27 to calculate the average for age 26.

Then I removed all other players except Messier and Yzerman. I calculated their points per game in every playoff, multiplied by (3.32, the period average, divided by their year's league average) and multiplied by (0.405, the average PPG by all players in this time, divided by their age average).

Then I multiplied that age and era-adjusted PPG figure by GP again to arrive at an adjusted points total.

Messier: 254 points in 236 games.
Yzerman: 196 points in 196 games.

This is the best I can do to account for the fact that Messier played more games at a prime age for a good team.

Biggest caveats to this:

- Playing in round 3 and the finals tends to see a player's PPG total go down as checking gets even tighter and competition gets tougher. Messier was in 7 finals and 10 conference finals; Yzerman 4 and 6.
- It's generally thought that the other teams in Messier's Smythe division were pretty good but stuck behind the dominant Oilers. Yzerman is said to have piled up points in the "Snorris" playoffs of the mid- to late-80s. this obviously is not accounted for in the numbers but it probably means Yzerman had an easier time of it.

Both caveats benefit Messier, so my point stands. Messier produced, after adjustment, 8% more, and did so for 20% more games.

Can we talk about something else now? Please?

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