Messier Vs Yzerman
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12-14-2012, 05:30 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Originally Posted by
I'd like to hear your analysis of that though. Because since you look at the whole "team stats" thing being overrated I can assure you it wasn't. Yes, Gretzky was the man in those 4 Cups. Messier did win the Smythe in 1984 vs. Gretzky (agree with that or not if you will) and he was captain of both the 1990 and 1994 champs. He played a pivotal role in those two wins. There was no Gretzky to shoulder the responsibility here. He thrived on it.
Well there was a dozen other veteran recent Cup winners on those teams. Not saying Messier wasn't a great Captain those years but 1990 was on a post dynasty Oiler's team filled with vets and the Rangers might have well been with all the ex-Oilers. Of course Yzerman had some great stars later on and Bowman.
The one big thing you can say for Yzerman in his younger offensive peak is he was a one man force. Few superstar centres end up at their peaks with wingers like Gallant and Probert. His contempories like Savard and Statsny had far better linemates. He never even had a Paul Maclean like Hawerchuk. Messier was a winger with Gretzky and once he was a centre he had Anderson.
I do think Messier was better. But imagine Yzerman as the second centre on the Oilers of the middle 80's. He would have, in my opinion, scored far more goals and points then Messier did.
The Oiler's were FAR better in the playoffs then the regular season. Some of it was Messier but in my opinion it was Gretzky. I think Gretzky taught ALL the Oiler's how to win and how to be the best. He gave them swagger because he was the best. Messier took that swaggar with him after Gretzky left the Oiler's and after Messier left for New York. I think giving TOO much credit to Messier for 1990 is a common occurance. The playoff 1990 Oilers were a playoff machine. Player's like Tilkanen and tons of others were playoff warriors. It is easy to lead a team that is already a united team of playoff veterans.
If anything Messier's actual play is underrated and his leadership is overrated. In my opinion. Yzerman's ability to difuse ego and become a cog in the machine later in his career in Detroit and be effective as Messier demanded he take over the whole show in Vancouver as he was declining and really should have only been a cog in the machine turns the leadership argument towards Yzerman.
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