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12-26-2012, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
I would tend to agree with this but have been looking at Mario in a different light and much like when I was younger I had this feeling as well.

Mario is the most skilled player I have ever seen and probably of all time.

That being said he didn't come across as a winner and while piling up the points he was at even strength not as strong as one would think a guy like Mario should be.

I guess it comes down to how much his scoring outpaces him from other excellent 2 way centers and actually playing.

He has 6 seasons of 70 plus games and then 67,64,63,60,59,43,26,24,22,10 game seasons.

The 2 Pens teams that won those 2 cups had to really load up on additional talent and experience to get them over the top and win those cups against Minny and Black Hawks (good but were they great teams?).

One could certainly start making arguments for him being out of the top 5 but I would guess most would shoot them down as they remember Mario at his absolute peak.

His peak is probably his 1st 6 seasons and while extremely impressive all time in terms of offense, was his impact greater than guys like Lindros/Crosby during that time in actual making their teams better and winning games? there are questions about that IMO.
The first part in bold, yes the Blackhawks were a great team and were on an 11 game winning streak when they ran into Pittsburgh.

The second part has as much to do with the teams they played for as much as it does for the individual player.

The Flyers were an up and coming team and were destined to regain their status among the elite of the NHL.

As for the Penguins with Crosby, they missed the playoffs in his first season, then they got Malkin, Staal and Fleury and they only got better. They were the deepest team at center and probably one of the deepest teams the NHL has ever seen at center. Crosby was a big part of the puzzle but he was nowhere near as instrumental to his team's success (in his first 7 seasons) as Lemieux was to his.

I don't mean to nitpick at your Crosby arguments but are you really trying to sell Crosby's first 7 seasons as this "legendary on pace to greatness" first 7 seasons?

He only has 1 Cup, 1 Art Ross, 1 Hart and Rocket Richard and has played 3 season in which he missed 29 games or more.

Crosby's first 7 seasons in terms of PPG is great (playing less games does that for you) but his award count and actual dominance over his peers is vastly overrated and exaggerated.

Malkin, Ovechkin, Jagr, Lindros, Lemieux, Bossy, Orr and Gretzky have all had a better 7 seasons starts to their careers than Crosby has had.

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