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11-25-2012, 12:39 PM
  #149
Hockey Outsider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trentmccleary View Post
Sundin missed what? ... 20 of his teams' last 40 playoff games?

Alfredsson miraculously played every single playoff game during a 3-4 year stretch in which he was decimated by injuries in the regular season. Then he plays a couple more playoff games in 2008 after he was diagnosed with a season ending knee surgery. You can't expect a player to play injured and produce at 100%.

Regardless, I'm satisfied that Alfredsson matched or exceeded Sundin's postseasons... as he did in the regular season.

Sundin was stayed healthier and played longer; Alfredsson had a higher peak.
That was my point - if you want to talk about context, that's fine. But don't present the data that favours Alfredsson (goal-scoring and peak playoffs) while not presenting the data that favours Sundin (playmaking and consistency in playoffs) and pretend that it's a fair comparison.

That being said - even if we exclude Alfredsson's 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 playoffs (because he was injured in those regular season - though I don't remember if he was better by the playoffs), 2008 (played through injury) and 2012 (at age 39 - Sundin's last postseason was at age 37), Alfredsson has 71 points in 80 games (0.89 ppg), which is virtually even with Sundin's 82 points in 91 games (0.90 ppg). Even after we selectively remove Alfredsson's weaker playoffs, he's still only tied with Sundin in terms of offensive production.

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Alfredsson having a higher peak is debatable.

- Over their best three seasons, Alfredsson average 97 adjusted points per hockey-reference and Sundin averaged 95 points. Over their best five seasons, Alfredsson is ahead 93-92. I'd call this a virtual draw.

- Another way of looking at it: over their best five seasons, Alfredsson was 4th, 7th, 9th 15th and 17th in scoring (averaged between 10th and 11th place). Sundin was 4th, 7th, 11th, 11th and 12th in scoring (averaged 9th place). I'd also call this a virtual draw.

- Alfredsson was clearly better defensively. Advantage Alfredsson.

- Sundin did more with less. During his five best offensive seasons (based on the adjusted stats on HR) Alfredsson never led his team in scoring. During his five best offensive seasons (again, based on HR adjusted stats), Sundin led his team in scoring each time, by an average of 19 (unadjusted) points. Advantage Sundin.

- Neither was ever a serious contender for Hart. Each placed in the top ten only once (Sundin 8th in 2002, Alfredsson 5th in 2006). Advantage for Alfredsson, but it's small.

- Sundin was a second-team all-star twice (2002, 2004), Alfredsson was a second-team all-star once (2006). My research shows that Alfredsson was also a third-team all-star once (2008). Close, as Sundin did marginally better, and it was against tougher competition.

There are arguments in favour of both players but I see regular season NHL peak as a virtual draw.


Last edited by Hockey Outsider: 11-25-2012 at 03:12 PM.
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