Thread: Sergei Fedorov
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11-12-2012, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Ohashi_Jouzu View Post
Oh, no mistake, props to Yzerman for that 155 point season, and there's no ignoring that which I watched for myself. Only thing is, I have trouble putting too much emphasis on numbers accumulated during a time when the top performing goalies in the league included John Casey, Kari Takko, Mike Vernon, and Steve Weekes, who were posting save percentages of 0.900, 0.899, 0.897, and 0.893 respectively at the top of the stats tables. Even Roy, the league leader, only managed 0.908.

Adjusted for league scoring, that season still holds up against Fedorov's big season of 120 points, but I watched both seasons, and know there was a difference in goaltending by '93/94, when guys like Hasek, Beezer, Roy, Brodeur, and Joseph all posted save percentages between 0.930 and 0.911. Yzerman noticed, too, and never topped 100 points again after the league scoring craziness of '92/93, despite not facing his serious knee problems for nearly another decade.
Yzerman scored 82 point in 58 games that year (pace for 119) and 95 points two year later (with a Selke nom). Scoring had diminihed, and Yzerman's role had changed, but he was definitely still an effective scorer (see his top ten finish in 2000). Also, his first serious knee injury wa in the 64th game of the 1987-88 season, when he was driving full-speed at the net with the puck and a defenseman basically rodeo-ed him into going knee-first into the goal post.

Literally the only thing that Forsberg was better at "offensively" than Fedorov was using his linemates. Fedorov was the better skater, the better shooter, and just as comfortable with the puck on his stick. Maybe a bit more imagination/creativity when it came to things like penalty shots, I suppose. Forsberg played a more physical style of initiating lots of contact which was no doubt entertaining to watch, but realize that even in Forsberg's best seasons (be it his 116 points in '95/96, or his 106 in '02/03), Fedorov was scoring ~10 more goals than him, and playing that style was part of Forsberg's "downfall" in the end, kind of like Lindros. Even playing that style, Forsberg was unable to get himself into nearly as many good scoring opportunities as Fedorov.

As such, there's only so much credit you can really give Forsberg for "what could have been" when it's realized that his career value doesn't quite stack up to Fedorov's, and efforts must be made to boost the profile of his prime. Double the goals on slightly over double the number of shots over these guys' careers, and Fedorov ends up with the extra Cup ring as well. That's just part of what I'd consider a strong case for Fedorov vs. Forsberg.
You forget the fact that Forsberg had better linemates to begin with. Fedorov's best linemate was Kozlov. Forsberg had assemblages of Hejduk, Drury, Tanguay, Deadmarsh, and at one point he even played LW for Sakic.

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