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02-10-2013, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
During their overlapping seasons (1989-2006), the Wings were clearly superior offensively to the Nordiques/Avalanche. The Wings outscored Colorado 13 out of those 17 seasons and 9% overall (an average of 281 goals per season vs 257 goals). Your analysis tells me that Colorado had more top-end talent, but the Wings had vastly superior depth and were a higher-scoring team overall.
Guess what:

The Wings having more depth, and getting more offense from that depth, is an indication of the following:

The Wings' forward corps had more mid-range offensive talent (pretty obvious when you look at a roster) and because they had a lot of depth, they had to spread it out. Which means what, exactly, in this comparison? Yzerman and Sakic were both playing on 1A/1B lines, with Fedorov and Forsberg respectively. But Detroit's third line brought much more offense. Bowman rolled all of his lines much more evenly than other coaches did. Part of it is that he was able to due to the ridiculous depth on the team. But because of that action, the higher end players in Detroit saw fewer minutes, and as such scored less than they might have given the exact same quality opposition with more minutes.

What if Gretzky didn't play close to 30 minutes a game in Edmonton? Would he still be the "default" greatest player ever?

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