Best "half seasons"
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12-30-2012, 06:02 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Originally Posted by
Age 22 is not a draw, Jagr won his first Art Ross and finished 2nd in Hart voting.
Age 23 saw Crosby play 41 games and score 66 Pts while Jagr scored 149 in 82 games at 23-24.
What other aspects of the game? Is Crosby a better hitter? No way. Is he better at absorbing hits and keeping possession of the puck? Maybe only Lemieux was better at this than Jagr was.
Was he a better faceoff guy? Sure but Jagr plays wing. Was Crosby a better two-way player? Of course he was since Jagr is a wing and his job is to score goals. Jagr's offense more than made up for his lack of defense.
Crosby "was" (key word was and not "did") on pace to distance himself from the rest of the league, the thing is he never did. Had he remained healthy, what's to say that he doesn't slump a bit and slow down with his scoring pace? What's to say that someone like Stamkos doesn't catch up to him in scoring?
No matter how you try to bring this "other elements of the game" argument to the table, at the end of the day, Crosby has yet to reach Jagr's level of dominance.
Other than the fact that Jagr dominated the game offensively, he also was able to remain relatively healthy most of his career which is almost as important. Jagr had better +/- numbers, had much better 5-on-5 numbers and played during an era where players were hooking, grabbing, slashing and tripping him to try and impede is progress on the ice and most occasions Jagr left them in the dust.
Forsberg at his best was a better two-way player than Crosby has ever been and Forsberg put up some pretty good PPG seasons but even he never reached Jagr's level.
It still remains to be seen if Crosby can ever get to Jagr's level.
Age 22, Crosby wins the Rocket, barely loses the Art Ross and is third in Hart voting. Not much difference.
I don't think it's unreasonable to believe that the PPG pace Crosby has put up over the last two seasons is reality. He scored 120 as a 19 year old. He was due to step up those numbers as he got older. I think he would have had higher numbers if he only focused on offense like Jagr. Throw in his superior playoff numbers and yes, Crosby has reached Jagr's level.
Doing this while establishing a solid, if not very good, defensive game, is the difference. If he is able to put up a few seasons with legacy type numbers, I think his competitiveness and his ability to become elite in whatever facet of the game that is needed to win will place him among the very best.
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