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11-08-2012, 12:18 AM
  #237
bambamcam4ever
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Quote:
Originally Posted by habsfanatics View Post
I agree with this, but I tend to think that the creativity of the newer players with the focus on team defense and systems isn't as strong as it has been in the past. With the current preaching of system and focus on not making a mistake to win games, I don't think it's a reach to say there may never be someone as talented as Orr, Gretzky or Lemieux ever again.
The creativity of players has not diminished as the league has become more defensively oriented. They are just not as easily able to show their talent or creativity as they are afforded less time and space by the well-executed systems of today coupled with the narrowing of the gap between upper and lower end players. It has nothing to do with the elite players being trained to be more risk-averse, instead it is that they often simply don't have room to make any play other than what the defense gives them. This is why it is becoming harder for truly elite players to stand out.

For example, women's soccer often appears to be more free flowing and offensive than the men's game so at times it can look like the women are more skilled. This is not because women soccer players are more talented, it is because the gulf between the defensive abilties between men's and women's soccer is much, much greater than the offensive one. This is obviously not the same as the different eras in hockey, but definitely has some similarities to the changes between the high-scoring 80s and the lower scoring NHL of the past decade and a half.

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