Rick Tocchet or Owen Nolan?
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01-06-2013, 02:13 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Originally Posted by
Here it is per game
952 points in 1144 games (.83)
892 adjusted points in 1144 games (.78)
112 points in 145 playoff games (.77)
32 points in 26 playoff games with Mario Lemieux (1.23)
80 points in 119 playoff games without Mario Lemieux (.67)
885 points in 1200 games (.74)
949 adjusted points in 1200 games (.79)
40 points in 65 playoff games (.62)
They are virtually identical in the regular season before you take a couple of seasons of Lemieux into account, and I think the difference in playoffs is entirely explained by Lemieux and era. I mean, Owen Nolan scored 8 goals in 10 playoff games in 2000. Is it his fault that Steve Shields put up a ..889 save percentage through 2 rounds?
2000 was his career year, and nolan's only good playoffs. maybe the sharks put up more of a fight against dallas in the second round had nolan not missed two games. if we're talking about a five year peak of
owen nolan, then i don't think we're entertaining a nolan vs. tocchet comparison.
but he was only that guy for one year. otherwise, he was generally a disappointing playoff performer. the stats may not show the separation between him and tocchet to be a stark as it was, but it was stark.
i think those per-game playoff stats are misleading. you have to remember that tocchet made the finals as a third liner as a rookie (20 years old), almost made the finals again as a 35 year old, and his team was in a complete scorched earth rebuild as he hit his peak years (after the '89 playoff run, until he was traded to pittsburgh). so if you also take out those two pittsburgh years, his playoff per-game averages exclude his entire peak and overrepresents two long runs that were clearly outside of his prime.
ultimately though, whatever the per-game playoff numbers (with or sans mario) tell us, tocchet has a well-earned reputation as a playoff warrior. he wasn't cam neely, but he was still a game-altering destructive force on the forecheck and he put up good points. as a rookie playing an energy role or as first liner with mario, he made a visible difference. whereas nolan played a first line role for most of his playoff career and in most of those years no matter how many points he got (and it usually wasn't very many), we remember him being disappointing. we remember wishing he had more of tocchet's fight and timely production in him.
now we know tocchet couldn't do nolan's job as well as nolan did it. scorched earth or not post-'89, it was pretty clear that a team with tocchet leading the offense was not a competitive team. but neither could nolan do tocchet's job, assuming that we remember tocchet primarily as a first/second line tweener power forward. that was nolan's role on the leafs at age 30, and he disappointed mightily. at 35, on the '00 flyers, tocchet was still getting it done.
which gets me back to my original point: is a career of mid-season all-star nods and first round exits in a starring role more valuable than a career of deep runs in a secondary role? rick vaive or john tonelli?
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