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02-28-2013, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
The Devils didn't just score 180 goals a year either though. They led the NHL in goals in 2001 with 295. I think it is important to note that it was also easier to lead your team in points when Langenbrunner, Gomez, Sykora, Arnott, etc. are in the mix while Alfredsson had Hossa, Yashin, Spezza, Heatley to compete with. All you need to do is look up times Elias led the Devils in points despite having a rather low point total. Alfredsson was the better offensive player and also had a coach like Jacques Martin who wasn't exactly a fan of firewagon hockey either.
You're cherrypicking your data, Phil. The Devils were a fairly offensive-minded team in 1998-99 (Robbie Ftorek), 1999-00 (Ftorek/Robinson), 2000-01 (Larry Robinson) and the beginning of 2001-02 until Robinson was fired and replaced with the uber-defensive Kevin Constantine. After that, 2005-06 (Robinson again) was the only season they were allowed to play anything but defensive hockey until Pete Deboer became coach in 2011-12. If you look at it that way, Elias' peaks and valleys in scores correspond almost exactly to the many coaching changes of the team (the exception is 2003-04 when he finally adjusted his game to Pat Burns and a completely different offensive role due to roster changes). That's why hockey people love Elias - he was a coach's dream who would play any way the coach wanted him to. Lead the offense? He could do that. Be the defensive conscience for Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta (as Claude Julien had him do)? He could do that too.

Despite Jacques Martin's reputation, his teams were always pretty good offensively, at least in the regular season.

I don't think there's much to choose from between Elias and Alfredsson. I think the HHOF committee might prefer Elias because of Cups, but then again, Alfredsson played for a Canadian team, so they'll probably like that too.

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