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12-16-2012, 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
That was one of Savard's best years, I can't see him being anything but a 1st team all-star that year. Yzerman was too far behind. Many of those first place votes from Gretzky and Lemieux would be passed down to Savard. Savard was too far ahead of him points wise for Yzerman to make up the difference.
In actual real life, Yzerman was considered the Hart trophy favorite when his injury occurred in 1988. With no Gretzky or Lemieux in his way, would that feeling have held on through the end of the season? His scoring pace would have put him right alongside Savard.

Originally Posted by frontsfan2005 View Post
1984: Islanders would've won the cup easily, giving them five in a row. Who would they face in the finals, the Flames or North Stars? I think the Flames defeat Minnesota, but the Islanders are too much for Calgary to handle for the Cup.

1985: Flyers win the cup over Edmonton. Even without Gretzky, the Oilers would be strong enough to make it to the Cup Finals, coming up short though.

1986: Habs still win the cup, although it could be argued that the Flames grueling seven game series win over Edmonton took a toll on the team. They barely defeated the Blues in the third round and lost the cup in five games to Montreal. Without the Oilers being that good, they would've had an easier time winning, could've taken care of the Blues easier in the third round, and have more energy against Montreal. I still think the Canadiens win the cup, as Roy was outstanding during the playoffs.

1987: Flyers would've defeated Edmonton again.

1988: Boston VS Edmonton. I think the Oilers still defeat Calgary in the division finals without Gretzky, and win the Stanley Cup over the Bruins, giving the Oilers their first (and only) Stanley Cup in team history.
I'm going to argue that Detroit beats Edmonton in 1987 and 1988. In real 1987, Yzerman shut Gretzky down in the 1987 CCF and significantly reduced his effect in 1988, and Edmonton got past the Wings on superior depth. Without Gretzky, what happens? Yzerman is now against Messier in alternate universe, and there's no second star center on the Oilers. What happens?

Philly and Boston still win in the Finals, though.

1989: Calgary wins their first (prehaps second if they can win in 1986) Cup in team history.
I don't see how Gretzky or Lemieux affect Calgary's 1986 loss, unless you're suggesting that playing against Edmonton in round 2 weakened the Flames enough to lose to a team that was just as good in the regular season and riding a hot goalie?

1990: Hard to see the Oilers winning, as I think Winnipeg wins the first round matchup between the teams. I'd say the finals would be Boston VS Winnipeg, but then again, the Flames probably wouldn't lose to the Gretzky-less Kings. Hard to say, but I think Boston wins the Cup against either the Flames or Jets.
No way on Winnipeg. It would have been either Calgary (from the Smythe) or Chicago (Norris champion) representing the Campbell. I don't see either beating Boston, so Bourque gets a second Cup in three years.

1991: Again, very hard to know who wins, most likely Boston, but would the Flames have lost to Edmonton in the first round? Remember, the Oilers would not have been defending champs who always seemed to have the Flames number. Either way, Boston wins their second straight Stanley Cup, against either the Flames or North Stars.

1992: I think Chicago defeats Boston in the finals in seven games, a perfect way to end the NHL's 75th season with two original six teams in the finals.
I don't think Boston would have beaten Pittsburgh in 1991 or 1992, actually. Recchi had just broken out (and was then traded for Tocchet), Coffey and Murphy were doing well, Jagr proved even as a rookie that he could take over games when Lemieux was out, Cullen was traded for Ron Francis during the 91 season, Kevin Stevens was still a star power forward, Bryan Trottier had joined the team as a checking center, and Tom Barrasso was still an elite goalie.

That team was stacked and even without their MVP was still going to win those Cups.

It's impossible to say what would have happened if either Gretzky or Lemieux didn't exist, but it does appear the Flames, Bruins and Flyers would have won more than the one Stanley Cup combined between those three teams between 1984 and 1992. The Flames look like they had a chance to become a dynasty level team with multiple wins if Gretzky didn't exist throughout the 80's, while the Bruins could have been a dynasty level team in the early 90's. Same could be said for the Flyers, especially in 1986 if Lindbergh isn't in his car accident.
I've always questioned the idea of how great Lindbergh was. This is why:

1982-83 Lindbergh, PHI 7th Vezina, 6th AS Voting; Froese, PHI 8th Vezina
1983-84 Froese, PHI 7th AS Voting
1984-85 Lindbergh, PHI 3rd Hart, 1st Vezina, 1st Team
1985-86 Froese, PHI 2nd Vezina, 2nd Team
1986-87 Hextall, PHI 9th Hart, 1st Vezina, 1st Team, 2nd Calder

Now, in this same period:

1982-83 Howe, PHI 5th Hart, 2nd Norris, 1st Team (1st)
1983-84 Howe, PHI 10th Norris, 9th AS Voting
1984-85 Howe, PHI 6th Norris, 6th AS Voting
1985-86 Howe, PHI 3rd Hart, 2nd Norris, 1st Team (2nd)
1986-87 Howe, PHI 7th Hart, 2nd Norris, 1st Team (2nd)

Howe was dropped significantly in voting despite his play not varying much relative to peers during the first three years of this comparison. Also of note is the fact that Brad McCrimmon was present on the team, and Howe/McCrimmon formed the league's premier defensive tandem.

Was it really Lindbergh, or Froese, or Hextall? Or was it solid defense played by the guys in front of them?

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