Will we ever see a better player than Gretzky? Will we know it?
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02-25-2013, 05:53 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Originally Posted by
Mario 00/01 76 in 43 = 1.77PpG or 145 points/82 (NHL goal average: 5.51GpG)
Crosby 10/11 66 in 41 = 1.61PpG or 132 points/82 (NHL goal average: 5.59GpG)
Mario's scoring in 00/01 while better than anyone else today at that pace is still below his career average.
Crosby's scoring in 10/11 is higher than his career average.
Again, Mario gets the benefit of a doubt, Sid's is an anomaly until proven otherwise.
We can even go as far as this:
Mario in 2002-'03 - 91 points in 67 games for 1.36 PPG. That's on pace for 111 points. Now, I know you have to give the edge to Sid here but this was a 37 year old Mario on one of the worst teams in the league and it was as evident as possible that he wasn't the Mario of 10-12 years earlier. Yet he was dominating the NHL in the first half of the season and I think if you take Mario's first 41 games of that year you'll see how comparable it is to Crosby's:
Mario 2002-'03 first 41 games: 68 points
Crosby 2010-'11 first 41 games: 66 points
A couple things, I know Crosby had that 25 game point streak which was phenomenal but keep in mind one thing too, Mario was thrashing the NHL at least at the same pace as Crosby early on. Mario had 46 points in his first 22 games. I really don't think people appreciate just how dominant he was those first couple of months. He slowed down eventually because he just couldn't do it with his age and injuries anymore like he used to, but if you want to really see a glimpse of what Mario actually DID at an old age in the NHL then there it is. It still more or less equals a prime Crosby. That's just insane.
This is certainly not supposed to downgrade Crosby because he is a great player. But there is tons of evidence that Mario dominated at the beginning and end of his career. Gretzky probably would have done even better than he did in the 1990s if not for his back being injured by the Suter hit but I think he still did alright:
Points in the 1990s:
Gretzky - 1020
Oates - 927
Yzerman - 918
I'll leave with this thought. The people who watched Gretzky and Lemieux play knew they weren't normal superstars at the time. We also know that players since then haven't been in their ballpark either. I have to ask, what more would these guys have to do to convince people they'd still dominate in the NHL in 2013?
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