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02-05-2011, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Spongolium View Post
You know the reason behind this though right?

Yzerman could of quite easily been in the top 3 for most points scored.
Not quite easily. Yzerman took on a more two-way game, but the less reported on aspect of all of that is that it directly coincided with the period when the vast majority of offensive players hit the wall on their elite years (and they tend to become better all-around players at the same time). This gets scooped up into a narrative of Yzerman becoming a better two-way player/captain and getting a Cup, but that's writing the nice narrative... rather than he just started to lose a step to his offensive game.

A 30 y/o guy is likely to produce less than his 23 y/o self, but that doesn't mean he's "worse" as a player... may very well be a better all-around player. Experience doesn't help you all that much offensively, but it absolutely helps you everywhere else on the ice (especially as your twitch muscles begin to slow down).

Yzerman (by his standards) had a terrible season when he was 29, posting 0.81 PPG. He followed that with 1.19, 1.05, .92, .93, 1.01, .96, and .92 before he was essentially in his twilight. He didn't cease being a very good offensive player, but he did hit the wall right when everyone seems to. He may have committed more to defense, but I very much doubt that accounted for the roughly 30% drop in offense from his peak to his early 30s in its entirety.

And when you go to per game, which is a lot more useful for these type of discussions... he's right up there (sadly they don't have an easy listing of it that I can see). However, the only guys ahead of him that had similar longevity would be Gretzky, and Dionne... Lemieux would be ahead of him (only 900 games... amazing).

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