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04-20-2013, 12:00 PM
Big Phil
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Originally Posted by Form and Substance View Post
I know Lemieux is deemed untouchable on these boards (as he should be, the guy is a god on skates) but I would say that his 2001 playoff performance was mediocre by his standards. I've never seen any critical discussion of it either (probably because he'd just posted some ridiculous regular season numbers after a 3.5 year layoff and was way too venerated at that point for it to impact his legacy in any direction). I know Pittsburgh played more conservatively in the playoffs that year (I remember Hrdina and Hedberg having more influence on the results) and that neither jagr and kovalev performed up to their abilities, but it's just strange to see a legend like Lemieux drop below a ppg over such a significant stretch of games post retirement or not.
He did good the first two rounds. Dropped a little against New Jersey in the semis. Against Buffalo he scored the tying goal in Game 6 with a minute left. The Pens won in overtime and then won Game 7 in overtime. I guess a lot of it has to do with the fact that this is a 35 year old Lemieux. We saw him play good in the 2002 Olympics and 2004 World Cup. He did very well, but he didn't take things over like a prime Lemieux did. I don't think we should have expected a 2001 Lemieux to have a playoff like he did 10 years earlier.

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