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05-19-2013, 05:07 AM
I voted for Kodos
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Originally Posted by Dreakmur View Post
Any claim that Busher Jackson is even close to Andy Bathgate is an injustice. That's my point here. Bathgate >>> Jackson.
Eh, the scoring numbers are what they are. Bathgate vs. Mikhailov is actually the better comparison of wingers here. Bathgate is certainly the better scorer, but by how much? Mikhailov was the top scorer on those Soviet teams that terrorized NHL competition throughout the 70's, and he was grittier, and a much better off-puck player than Andy. Both of these wingers have been underrated to this point, for different reasons.

The 1st unit wings (and really the whole units) of these two teams are an interesting study in ATD philosophy. The wingers, specifically, were drafted quite close to one another, with Bathgate and Mikhailov going #70 / #73 and Jackson and Olmstead going #115 / #123. These selections seemed to follow two separate team-building models, the Pittsburgh model favoring maximizing talent early and backfilling with role players later, and the Montreal model favoring balance early and finishing the unit with the most talented player available.

Pittsburgh's choice of Bathgate to play with Beliveau left the AC with a top unit core that was light on grit and defense, which led to the selection of Olmstead. Montreal's selection of Mikhailov to play with Boucher left the Habs with a well balanced core, and in a position to take the most talented left winger available to round out the unit. In many ways, the wings on these lines should probably be compared as duos, as they exist in complimentary roles to one another, and the one pick led to the next.

Which pair of wings is the better of the two? Bathgate and Olmstead or Mikhailov and Jackson? I suppose it's debatable, but I think Montreal's wingers are pretty clearly the better set. The offensive gap between Jackson and Olmstead is very wide:

Top-7 weighted VsX for Left Wings (1926-2012):

Rank Player Rank
1 Bobby Hull 107.1
2 Ted Lindsay 106
3 Doug Bentley* ** 96.2
4 Toe Blake* 92.6
5 Alex Ovechkin 92.1
6 Sweeney Schriner 91.9
7 Busher Jackson 90
8 Roy Conacher** 88.8
9 Dickie Moore 88.6
10 Syd Howe* 87.9
11 Sid Abel 87.8
12 John Bucyk 86.3
13 Frank Mahovlich 85.5
14 Paul Kariya 85.4
15 Alex Delvecchio 84.9
16 Luc Robitaille 84.4
17 Ilya Kovalchuk 84.3
18 Markus Naslund 83.6
19 Paul Thompson 83.2
20 Aurel Joliat 83.1
21 John LeClair 82.1
22 Lynn Patrick* 81.2
23 Brendan Shanahan 79.3
24 Michel Goulet 79.3
25 Keith Tkachuk 79.3
26 Patrik Elias 79.2
27 Bert Olmstead 76.9
28 Daniel Sedin 76.9
29 Bun Cook 76.6
30 Herbie Lewis 75.6
...and that is before we get into the fact that Olmstead's peak seasons were spent as by far the worst offensive player on a line with two superstars (Lach - Richard early on, and Beliveau - Geoffrion later). Olmstead's offensive totals are as inflated by linemates as just about anyone's in history. Offensively, he is basically Bun Cook.

Using the new benchmarks for 1956-57 and 1957-58, here is how the right wings look:

Top-7 weighted VsX for Right Wings (1926-2012):

Rank Player Rank
1 Gordie Howe 127.2
2 Jaromir Jagr 114.6
3 Maurice Richard 105.7
4 Guy Lafleur 104.9
5 Andy Bathgate 101.3
6 Charlie Conacher 97.1
7 Bill Cook 96.6
8 Mike Bossy 94.4
9 Teemu Selanne 92.9
10 Bernie Geoffrion 91.4
11 Mark Recchi 88.6
12 Brett Hull 88.2
13 Jari Kurri 88.1
14 Gordie Drillon 88.1
15 Martin St. Louis 87.7
16 Jarome Iginla 87
17 Pavel Bure 86
18 Bryan Hextall 84.5
19 Marian Hossa 82.6
20 Daniel Alfredsson 82.6
21 Theoren Fleury 82.3
The question here is where do we think Boris Mikhailov would fall on this list had he played in the NHL? My best guess is that he'd probably come out somewhere in the 90 range (same as Jackson, actually), between Geoffrion and Recchi in scoring terms, and may be as high as Selanne. Anything below that seems a little irrational given the fact that Mikhailov was the leading scorer on what was a really scary offensive team. Bathgate was a great scorer, but there's almost no way that he was as far ahead of Mikhailov as Jackson is of Olmstead.

Pittsburgh has an advantage on the top line by virtue of having a top-10 pick at center; there's nothing much debatable about that. Montreal's wings, however, are better on the whole.

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