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11-11-2012, 12:29 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Originally Posted by
Sure, overall, most people are going to peg Yzerman as the best player over those total years. Thing is, though, how much further down a rankings list can you put a guy who was not only undisputedly and clearly better than him on the same team over a meaningful chunk of that decade + (whether Yzerman was "better" for the "majority" or not), has almost the same number of accumulated points (and more playoff points - gap somewhat equivalent to the difference in their regular season production), and won more individual awards during their period together?
I don't know maybe because you can't ignore what Yzerman did before Fedorov arrived. Or the fact that He had more top 10 point finishes in that time period. Yzerman only had one less Selke and had a Conn Smythe. Yzerman was the leader of the team played at an elite level for longer.
People are going to emphasize what they like when contemplating career or "overall" value, or whatever, but I probably rank them Yzerman/Sakic (I can never decide between these guys "overall"), Fedorov, Forsberg. If it was just a "best player" ranking, I'd probably go Fedorov, Yzerman, Sakic, Forsberg. Forsberg gets too many "what if" points for his partial seasons when discussing his peak/prime, and for his early pseudo-retirement, imo, but he was a beast. Fourth on that list is not a slight by any means, though.
No matter what way you rank them I don't see the argument for Fedorov above Forsberg. Forsberg was just so much better offensively. What is the argument for Fedorov on your "best players" list? That fact that he had one amazing season? I think Sakic, Forsberg and Yzerman all Better and longer primes with similar peaks.
Originally Posted by
eva unit zero
Yzerman and Sakic are often put on lists as inseparable twins in the manner the Sedins are. The thing is, that's folly.
Over the course of the overlapping portion of their careers, Yzerman and Sakic were virtually identical in terms of offensive output. Yzerman began this period as a solid defenive player and ended it having won a Selke (and contended for it for a decade). Sakic started his career as a pretty one-dimensional player; he wasn't a solid defensive player until the late 90s.
For the overlap period from 88-89 to 05-06, Sakic scored the most points and Yzerman was third.
Per-82 scoring went like this:
That's in seasons both of them played in. It does not include Yzerman scoring 50-52-102 in 64 games (63-65-128 over a full 80) in 1987-88, or Sakic's 36-64-100 in 82 the year following Yzerman' retirement.
During the 90s rivalry, they were comparable level players. Sakic was putting out a bit more offense, but Yzerman was an elite defensive player at that point as well a being a PPG center.
Fedorov and Forsberg is a similar comparison, but it's closer because Forsberg has a notable lead over Fedorov offensively. Forsberg was never the elite defensive player Fedorov was, but overall they were of comparable level. A matter of taste in that respect. I would rank it Yzerman, Sakic, Fedorov/Forsberg. Fedorov would come first on a list if I had to choose because of superior durability and longevity; his per-game offensive numbers were hurt by the fact that he played through many of the same kind of minor injuries Forsberg would often sit out a game or two for. And having him on the ice, not scoring, still helped the team. A recent example of this is Marian Hossa in the 2009 playoffs. He wrecked his shoulder and basically couldn't shoot, but he played the whole run and did a wonderful job at everything but scoring goals. When the Wings lost (and ever since) Hossa took a lot of flak, but he was one of the team's best players (5th on the team in scoring, 6 points ahead of Datsyuk).
You make some good points but there's a few I have to disagree on. Yzerman also came into the league as a fairly one dimensional player. He wasn't really great defensively until the late 90s as well so you can't fault only Sakic for that. Fedorov may have been more durable for his career compared to Forsberg but I think your questioning Forsberg's character if you say he would just sit out through an injury if he could have played.
If Fedorov had focused on offense-first like Lafleur did, or his former linemate Bure for that matter, he would have dominated the scoring lists.
yeah that's quite a stretch. For a guy that has two top 10 point finishes it hard to say he would dominate. Also then couldn't I say if Lafluer focused on defense he would have won Selkes to go along with his Art Rosses? It's all speculative and kind of impossible to say had he focused on offense he would have just dominated. I don't think he was that good offensively.
You say the difference between Lafleur and Fedorov is bigger than that of Datsyuk and Kovalchuk?
Hmm. Let's use HR's adjuted stats to do some testing of your theory.
Datsyuk 732GP, 261-504-765 (29-56-85)
Kovalchuk 779GP, 445-401-846 (47-42-89)
Lafleur 1126GP, 480-681-1161 (35-50-85)
Fedorov 1248GP, 508-718-1226 (33-47-80)
Looks like it's about the same difference. It's a wider gap by a very tiny margin, but Fedorov IMHO was better defensively than Datsyuk.
So your question. Would you take Datsyuk or Kovalchuk? The answer might tell you whether you would take Fedorov or Lafleur.
If you believe in adjusted stats I hope you think Jagr is a top 3 offensive player of all time. Or that Doug Gilmour was better than Bobby Hull. Adjusted stats are good but limited. They look even but Lalfuer was the one winning Hart trophies and scoring titles over HOF players. As Czech Your Math said the difference between Fedorov and Datysuk is not as great as Kovalchuk and Lafluer. I would take take Datsyuk over Kovalchuk slightly but I would easily take Lafluer over Fedorov. Although you brought up Kovalchuk, not me.
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