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11-11-2012, 09:50 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Originally Posted by
eva unit zero
In those two seasons, we saw a lot of Straka/Lang/Kovalev as a dominant second line taking heat off of Jagr. Jagr himself didn't have any elite linemates, but he wasn't facing nearly the amount of tough opposition that he saw in other years.
Michael Nylander and Martin Straka weren't exactly chopped liver.
Lemieux and Jagr didn't play on a line together, except for periods in Lemieux's last couple fractured seasons. Nor did Lemieux and Francis. Francis and Jagr were joined at the hip, though. The closest Lemieux/Jagr came to being regular linemates in a given season was the PP unit in 1995-96.
And how many would Fedorov have won if he had been focusing ONLY ON OFFENSE like Jagr? He played a defense-first style through the 90s, and displayed that he certainly had the talent to challenge for the scoring title.
Part of that is the fact that Fedorov and Forsberg played on powerhouse teams, so in a year they might have been a finalist on a weak team, they would lose Hart votes to teammates. Of course, the reliability of Hart voting is always questionable; after all, Kris Draper finished 28th in Hart voting (17th among forwards, 3rd among Detroit players) in 2004, while Jagr (and Lidstrom, oddly) received no votes.
No one is debating otherwise with any seriousness. But realistically, Jagr is closer to Fedorov/Forsberg than he is to Lemieux/Gretzky. Not offensively, certainly, but overall.
Do you realize that you've contradicted yourself in this argument?
You're saying that Jagr faced tougher opposition when Lemieux was there despite playing on different lines but when Lemieux retired, Jagr faced less of a competition?
So opposing teams during the Jagr and Lemieux days were more concerned on shutting down Jagr and Francis but leaving Lemieux to score hattricks every game? That to me seems a bit odd considering Lemieux is one of the 4 greatest players to ever lace them up.
Jagr consistently faced double teams, shadowing assignments and all that jazz in the days after Lemieux retired and usually made opponents look foolish. Straka, Kovalev and Lang didn't form this so-called dominant second line you bring up until the 2000-01 season. Straka was a decent player and was one of the top two-way centers of the NHL for a stretch of 2-3 seasons but he was nowhere near the player you seem to think he was. In fact until 2000-01, Lang and Kovalev never surpassed 70 Pts while Straka hit 83 in 1998-99 (the same amount of assists Jagr had that year coincidentally), yes in part due to his own good play but also because Jagr faced all the attention from opposing teams thus leaving Straka to have more space on the ice and face 2nd defensive pairings. Straka also racked up a lot of his points playing on Jagr's PP unit that season.
In contrast, this very same dynamic you claim Jagr benefited from is what Fedorov and Forsberg both benefited from playing most of their careers as the 1a, 1b option at center behind Yzerman and Sakic respectively. It was much harder to shut down both lines as you had to spread the defense against them because of the fact that they could roll 2 dominant lines not to mention in the case of Detroit and Colorado, very capable (offensively speaking) 3rd lines.
Another side to this whole argument is how these players that you have named (Straka, Lang, Kovalev, Francis and even Nylander) all had some of their best seasons and numbers playing either on Jagr's regular line, PP unit or just learning from him in practice and such. Jagr made players around him better.
Forsberg did this very well as well, Fedorov did this to a far lesser extent.
Jagr BTW is a lot closer to Gretzky and Lemieux overall than he is to Forsberg and Fedorov.
5 Art Ross trophies, 3 Pearson awards, 10 top 10 finishes, 1 Hart, 6 Hart finalists standings, 660 + goals, 1600 + Pts counting say so.
Last edited by livewell68: 11-11-2012 at
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