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11-08-2012, 01:24 AM
Czech Your Math
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Originally Posted by bambamcam4ever View Post
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.
Agreed. I just don't see Gretzky (or anyone else)today winning scoring titles by nearly the margins that he did in the 80s. There's just too much competition and the narrowing (compression) of the gap between the top and marginal players. However, I can envision the best players of the past 20 years playing in the 80s and scoring 150+ points in their peak seasons, when defenses were thin, disorganized and relied on goalies laden with small, heavy pads stood up and motioned at the puck with their legs (okay, I exaggerate slightly ).

Does Malkin have more offensive and defensive skill than your typical top 3 player from years gone by? Not significantly so IMO. Does the average lower line player today have more offensive and defensive skill than in the 70s or 80s? Definitely. What's he going to use that additional skill for? He's going to score more himself and/or help prevent top liners from scoring as much as they otherwise would. The former raises the league gpg without helping the top line player... the latter hurts the top line player. How does this combination suggest that lower line players are going to be hurt more than top line players in terms of adjusted points in an environment with compressed talent (talent pool which increases faster than league size)? It doesn't, it suggests the opposite. Compressed talent tends to lower scoring and diluted talent tends to increase scoring. I believe the compressed talent has led to the scoring decreases and has also made it more difficult for top players to stand out (e.g. in adjusted points) as well.

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