Greater dynasty: Gretzky's Oilers vs Trottier's Islanders
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03-23-2013, 07:05 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Originally Posted by
Uh, the parallel you would be drawing by using the "best fighter" between Ali/Marciano would be 'Who was the best team" between the Isles/Oil. That is NOT the question asked in the poll. Is it that you wish the question to be "Who was the best team" so badly why you can't seem to wrap your head around the one that actually was; Which was the greater dynasty?
Who had the greater reign as champion, Muhammad Ali or Larry Holmes (20 straight defenses)?
Oh, by all means go ahead and "look into it" even though you're mostly answering a "best team" question in doing so. Some of us were there watching all those teams and playoffs. We knew the teams and players including the losers, not just the winners. And yes, I do seem to remember people debating "the quality of opposition" as one of many obvious factors to the very same question, but thanks anyway. Also, since those 2 dynasties weren't separated by decades but ran back to back, it wasn't like it was difficult research to do, and therefore, not very difficult to develop opinions on at the time. Why on earth would something you do now be more worthy than watching and living the entire picture then when it comes to forming an opinion?
And to reiterate, the opinion we're talking about here is "what was the greater dynasty".
IMO, after careful consideration of all factors including the strength of opposition (and thanks again for that Mr. Obvious. I hadn't forgotten it since 30 years ago but thanks all the same) the fact that the Oil lost after 2 Cup wins, and never won more than 2 in a row/couldn't defend its championship more than once each time represents vulnerability to it's dominance that was exploited. The Islanders managed 4 wins/3 defences before someone exploited theirs. If the Oil had won 4 in a row to match that record, or if the 2 dynasties were seperated by any great length of time, then other factors might carry more weight.
But as it was, the Oil proved vulnerable in only half the time the Islanders were shown to be.
To me, being more vulnerable and losing does NOT equate to being "greater", and any notion of weakness you attempt to assign other teams 25 to 30 years after the fact isn't going to turn losing into some sort of psuedo-win for the Oilers.
In my book, a bona fide winning streak of 4 Championships represents unblemished dominance and therefore a greater dynasty than a couple repeats separated by losing does.
Dynasties are greater when they're more dominant. Which is why it's odd that Edmonton has a higher winning percentage from 1984-88 (includes loss in 1986) than the Islanders from 1980-83 (or 1980-84) in both the regular season
So I can't say the Oilers were more "vulnerable" than the Islanders, if they were less likely to lose a playoff game. The fact that their "vulnerability" (scoring so much they score on themselves?) was "exploited" is a sign that they were actually tested for their title defenses.
An 89 point team isn't impossible, but the Isles onlys saw 4 of them after their first win, and 1 in 1981 and 1982 combined. The Oilers were 7-1 against 89+ point teams from 1985-88. The Oilers may have lost one to Smokin' Joe Frazier, but the Isles beat Marvis Frazier.
Dynasties are greater when they roll over the field. The Isles 81 run was their best playoff run. They went 15-3, playing the easiest schedule in the history of the 4-round playoffs (avg opponent: 76.5 points). The 85 Oilers went 15-3 against 4 winning teams and in 1988 went 16-2 against 3 90+ point teams (and Winnipeg).
Dynasties are greater if they last a long time. That's a big one. 5 years after the Isles' first Cup they were irrelevant. 6 years after the Oilers' first Cup, they won a fifth.
Dynasties are greater when they are resilient. Once their "vulnerability" was exposed Edmonton won 3 Cups in 4 years. When the Isles were exposed they were never relevant again. It's hard to defend a title, but it's also hard to reclaim it.
Dynasties are greater when they have to overcome difficult things. Not just on the ice, but off the ice. I know they happened right after each other, but the economics of the game changed. Economics forced Edmonton to break up. While the Isles stayed together and eventually lost, the Oilers had to lose their top defenseman after 3 Cups, and top forward after 4 Cups. The Isles never had to deal with that kind of thing.
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