Yzerman vs Sakic
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02-18-2013, 09:22 PM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Gibbons, Alberta
Originally Posted by
eva unit zero
Yzerman had 87-88, where he had 50-52-102 (equivalent to 63-65-128 on a full, healthy year and behind only Lemieux, Gretzky, and Savard on the full season. Yzerman obviously has his 88-89 season. In 89-90, he was right up there as well, with Messier jumping into the group after Carson walked out on the Oilers and ended up traded to Detroi, and Mess ended up basically centering two lines. And then Yzerman was still a top scorer over the next few seasons, despite being used in sort of a three-center platoon by Bryan Murray. 1992-93 is another notable year, and part of that is due to Carson being traded to LA and Yzerman reclaiming ice time.
I would agree with Yzerman having that quality, but I don't know if I'd judge a player based on it. Alexei Kovalev being "incredibly talented" is based on that idea. And in his prime, he did exactly that. He dominated the league and that was about the best way of describing his performance.
But at the same time, Alexei Yashin was capable of doing that kind of thing. And to continue with the Russian theme, there are guys like Alexander Radulov.
Do we rank those guys ahead of a Steve Larmer, Keith Tkachuk, or Mike Gartner who was at their best one of the league's top players but was never a "flashy" player (even despite Gartner's superhuman speed) who "made the opponent look stupid". But then I think that the best modern example I can think of for this is Henrik Zetterberg; he's not flashy, just incredibly effective. And I realize how underrated Zetterberg is compared to other players who bring more flash with their game.
So maybe it's true that a lot of what people think of in ranking players All-Time is based on flash. I certainly think that's the case with Messier, although his "flash" was his aggressive physical game - something unusual for top end centers.
And I think a lot of what people think in Yzerman vs. Sakic has to do with their recollection of the players. I know that other posters have hinted at this, but although Sakic only entered the league five years later (and left three later) his prime began seven years later. Yzerman's prime was ending twenty years ago, Sakic's was ending ten years ago. Twenty year old posters remember that Sakic was awesome and that Yzerman was "a future HHOFer who captained a great Wings team, but wasn't the star on it." A twenty-five year-old poster would have been twelve or possibly thirteen when Yzerman won the Selke and was named to the first-team in 2000, and only 8-9 when he was first nominated for the Selke. That means 7 or under when Yzerman was in his prime.
Chris Chelios is an excellent example of how younger posters remembering only last impressions of a great player who ended in decline can lower that player's ranking. I can tell you that Chris Pronger and Martin Brodeur will probably also see this effect. Sergei Fedorov seems to have suffered it pretty heavily as well, as the general opinion of him seems to have dropped considerably in the past couple of seasons.
Oh I know he had other great season, but let's face it, the one that stands out above anything else he or Sakic did when you look at everything is that 88-89 year. The rest you can compare at least closely with each other. I'm just saying I'm not taking that season and making it the tie breaker.
But something has to be the tie breaker, right? And for me that's it. Yzerman had that Gretzky-Lemieux type ability where he could take the puck and play keep away basically. Maybe that's how he came up with his 155 point season despite not having much help. He could just dominate on his own. Sakic wasn't really like that I don't think. Like I said, something has to be the tie breaker.
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