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03-07-2013, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Basically this. The average 4th liner today is much better than the average 4th liner in the 1980s, but who cares about them, especially in this thread where we are talking about the 5th best player of all time? Guys like Gordie Howe, and Ray Bourque, and more recently Nicklas Lidstrom show that the elite talent can be successful 20 years after they got started if their bodies hold up.

Anyway, this is probably best saved for the "players of today vs players of yesterday" catch-all thread.
Consider the following 2012-13 4th line, Canadiens Colby Armstrong, Ryan White, Travis Moen combined 61 GP 3G 5A.

1988-89 Gilles Thibaudeau, effectively the 5th or 6th center outscored them in 32 games

1984-85 Mike McPhee 4th line LW behind Gainey, Naslund, Walter generated 70GP 17G 22A.

Effectively today the 4th line plays app 10 minutes with little offensive production while playing against the opponents 4th line so it is a wash for the most part.

Problem is that they are playing with the top pairing defensemen on their team and suppressing the offensive numbers of such defensemen, impacting how they will be viewesd in an all-time context. Likewise the opposite happens, they do not challenge the other teams goalies and defensemen to the same degree that previous generations 4th liners did, so the goalies and defensemen look better by comparison.

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