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04-22-2013, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Look, this is how I look at it. Judge the guy on a season per season basis. No season is equal. If they are constantly lapping the field then that means something. Look at Brett Hull, in 1991 he had 86 goals. The same players were competing against the same players and the next best was 51. Many could argue that is the best goal scoring season to date. Yes he had Adam Oates, but at the end of the day who won the Hart trophy? St. Louis was 4th in goals for that year. Was it their style, or the fact that Hull and Oates were just that good? Think about it, they all play the same teams more or less.
Oates was the better and more important player when they were together. But he missed significant time. He was on pace for 150+ points in the over 60 games he played. Outside of the five players who have done it, plus that year for Oates, I'm not sure I can think of another season where a player went 60+ games on pace for 150+ points.

So who was really missing in the 1980s? Makarov? That's about it. I also think it is highly debatable that he would have even been able to keep up to Bossy from a goals perspective. Plus more importantly who was he beating? He was beating Bossy who was the 2nd best scorer.
Makarov likely would have been able to produce comparable numbers to Bossy. While Adjusted numbers are not perfect as scoring distribution between top-sixers and bottom-sixers varies greatly through history, Bossy's final season (30 y/o) using HR's adjusted stats comes out to 32 AdjG. Makarov, who was playing in a depth role when he came over at age 31, scored 20 and then followed it up with 27 AdjG at 32. He put up another 27 AdjG at 35. Given normal career arcs, Makarov likely would have competed with and possibly outproduced Bossy based on the eye test and what statistics suggest. Bossy is one of the "lucky greats"; he was a great player, but he basically stepped right into a first-line scoring role on a deep team next to a Hall of Fame and Hart/Art Ross caliber two-way center with a 100-point top-ten all-time defenseman behind them. His prime coincided with the league's highest scoring period era (aside from the WWII years). He was in the perfect spot to break every known goal scoring role. If we eliminate Gretzky and Lemieux, and Bossy remains healthy, NYI keeps winning Cups with a first line featuring LaFontaine/Bossy, and Trottier moves into sort of a "Messier" role on the second line.

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