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02-02-2013, 11:59 AM
quoipourquoi's Avatar
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Location: Hockeytown, MI
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Originally Posted by VladNYC View Post
Messier is a great player but I think his contribution to the NY Rangers cup is vastly over rated.

What is always glossed over is Sergei Zubov's contribution to the team. As a Defensemen, in his first full season, he led the team in points and had some huge moments for the team. Nemchinov's leadearship with the young Zubov(23 y/o), Kovalev(20y/o), and Karpotsev(23y/o) is never talked about either.

Then there is Brian Leetch's amazing play. I think Messier just gets the credit because of his status as a star coming in and the guarantee.
Points in 21 of the Rangers' 23 playoff games probably has something to do with him getting more credit than anyone but Brian Leetch.

Three 30+ point playoffs
Seven 20+ point playoffs

In the four-round playoff era, he's up on the Gretzky/Roy level. And the fact that his scoring finishes were largely affected by missing 5-10 games each season (in addition to his six Top-10 finishes, he has four more seasons - 1984, 1989, 1996, 1997 - with a Top-10 points-per-game placement) is offset by his teams consistently being significantly worse with him out of the lineup since 1987.

HFBoards underrates Mark Messier because most of HFBoards missed his prime. Here I am, defending his offensive numbers, but those don't even tell half of the story. He was as dangerous as Scott Stevens, excelled at both Left Wing and Center, and played to the score as well as anybody. He would call out his own teammates for diving, and by the accounts of his teammates, elevated their play because they knew they would have to answer to him. With all respect to Sakic and Yzerman, their teammates often credit someone else with being that presence (the former's goaltender and the latter's coach).

The biggest criticism one could make is that he enjoys money. I encourage anyone who didn't see him prior to the Dead Puck Era to get a subscription to NHL Vault and watch some Oilers games. I don't know if the Chicago series is on there, but THAT is the Mark Messier we rank inside the Top-12 of all-time; not the one you saw in 2002 or on the back of a hockey card.

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