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05-16-2013, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Cake or Death View Post
Greg, in terms of what you're talking about with adjustments, that was about the only way I could get anything remotely close to a sort of apples to apples comparison. While nothing is obviously going to achieve that, the best way I could do it was to take adjusted year by year stats from hockey-reference for every player, then divide it by the number of seasons each guy played center, and come up with their average adjusted season. I like hockey references' adjusted stats as they work from a baseline, and adjust for era, schedule length, and roster size in a specific season. Anyways, when I did a guy's whole career and divided it by the number of seasons he played center, these were the figures I got:

Average Adjusted Scoring Season

Frank Boucher237295
Mark Messier264571
Phil Esposito293563
Jean Ratelle253762
Neil Colville233861
Buddy O'Connor203959
Don Raleigh153752
Clint Smith203151
Walt Tkaczuk173350
Phil Watson153348

To me, there are some interesting things there. One, Boucher is just out there - remove his goals, and his adjusted assists alone would rank first. Two, I was surprised how high Messier was, especially since his numbers took a bit of a hit from his second stint in NY. When you tack on Mess's Cup, Hart and the fact that I think he's the only player on the list outside of Bouchard to be named 1st AST, Mess looks a lot closer to Boucher, and at the worst perhaps a clear cut second. Three, I was impressed with Ratelle's numbers, because he did them for A LOT of seasons - Espo, Colville and O'Connor, who have similar numbers to Ratelle, did it for 6, 6, and 4 seasons respectively I believe.

There are many other considerations, obviously, and like Crease I put a lot of weight on playoffs also, where Ratelle's numbers do take a notable hit. But I complied this so I could have one list that kind of got away from era and top ten scoring finishes as criteria.

Explanation of hockey reference's adjustment process for anyone not familiar with it:
Great post. More than fair enough.

IMO, overall, great Ranger teams of late 60s early 70s (nixon years, ugh) got beat out by phenomenal Canadian teams, and 1 guy: Bobby Orr.

Orr was to hockey what Jordan was to basketball. Unstoppable. One game Villemure gave him virtually nothing, and once to his left and once to his right, he shot the puck sideways, FREAKIN sideways to beat us. And this was not his top thing, which was being the best skater forwards and especially backwards. Ever.

And those Hab teams were dominant because they practically had all stars at every position.

So I am more forgiving here on both Ratelle and Tkaczuk. Whatever they did personally on their shifts, my memory is typically they matched or outplayed the competition. To ask them to singlehandedly be difference makers vs that level of caliber of competition is too much to ask, IMO.

bernmeister is offline   Reply With Quote