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01-25-2013, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Points per game top 10 finishes

Messier with Gretzky:

1982-83 NHL 1.38 (7)
1983-84 NHL 1.38 (10)
1986-87 NHL 1.39 (3)
1987-88 NHL 1.44 (8)

Messier without Gretzky:

1988-89 NHL 1.31 (10)
1989-90 NHL 1.63 (3)
1991-92 NHL 1.35 (7)
1995-96 NHL 1.34 (10)
1996-97 NHL 1.18 (7)

In 83 and 84, he was playing LW on the second line, but played with Gretzky on the PP. In 87 and 88 he was playing center on the second line, and thus facing the #2 unit in both cases.

His post-Gretzky explosion is not something that his Gretzky-era stats predict, even moreso if you include the Carson year. If you remove Carson's walkout and replace him with an equivalent center who doesn't quit, Messier likely is in the 1.30 range again.

The thing is... hitting that consistently is good. Maybe HHOF-worthy hitting it repeatedly over a long career. But not "all-time great, one of the best forwards ever" the way he gets treated. I guarantee you, if Messier had put up exactly the same offensive and defensive performances through 1992, but Gretzky wasn't on his team, he wins zero Hart trophies. It's been 21 years, and I still can't conceive of a logical justification for Messier to win in 1992, and the only logical justification I can think of for 1990 is the fact that the Oilers didn't have Jimmy Carson anymore. Which... just... come on.

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