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07-07-2013, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
So Gretzky outscored Messier even without the blowout points, with 25 points coming in tie games or games within 1 goal, and another 4 in 2-goal games.
Since when is the burden to show that Messier outscored Gretzky? Messier already won the Conn Smythe Trophy. The burden is to show that Gretzky provided more overall value than Mark Messier. Gretzky's nine-point lead that inspired this thread was shown to be inflated a full four-points by blowout games (scoring when the Oilers were already up by 3+), and we have a quote from their own teammate saying that Messier switches up how he plays in blowout games:

Originally Posted by Sports Illustrated, 1985
In Game 1 Messier hurt Chicago defenseman Keith Brown, hitting him with a clean crunching check that put Brown into the boards and out of the playoffs with a hip pointer. "He won't score in the blowouts," said Lowe after Messier failed to get a goal in the 11-2 Game 1 Oiler shootout, "but he and Gretz are the guys we look to when the game is close."
It's the weight of nine points (five truly valuable, four not so much) against everything that Messier could do that Gretzky could not. For instance:

Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
Furthermore, while Messier did a great job physically, he was not the sole cause of the Islanders being worn down and shouldn't get ALL the credit.
It certainly wasn't Gretzky contributing to Oilers' physicality. And again, when did I claim that Messier was the only scorer, only checker, etc. for the Oilers? We're discussing Gretzky/Messier rather exclusively, are we not?

Originally Posted by Paul Coffey
Mark hit Denis Potvin on the goal line just to the right of their net, and at that time when you hit Denis Potvin you just went down. We were all, "Wow, yeah, yeah." It really brought your emotion up. We said "Hey, we can play with these guys." Because up to that point the Islanders were so superior to our hockey club.
Physicality. They aren't exactly lining up to write ballads about blowout goals.

Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
I also don't see how 4 points in 4 games is Gretzky "easily contained" while 6 points in 5 games is Gretzky running around with lots of Messier-created empty space. A lot of the difference seems to be Billy Smith making some very good stops in 1983 that he was no longer making in in 1984.
Maybe you missed the memo, but Wayne Gretzky didn't score a goal against the Islanders in 1983, and didn't bury one until Games 4 and 5 of 1984 (when he collected all but one of his points). It wasn't The Wayne Gretzky Show until the Islanders were bruised and the floodgates were opening on Smith - the exact moment for the latter coming from one of Messier's goals in Game 3.

I know you liked to describe that goal as just another one of the "4 of Messier's points [that] came in the 7-2 blowouts where every Oilers line was putting the puck past Smith," but I think the Oilers do a slightly better job:

Originally Posted by Lee Fogolin
It really took the wind out of their sails. You could tell. They were just deflated. They sagged.
Originally Posted by Wayne Gretzky
It really took our team to a level of confidence where we never looked back.
Honestly, when you under-cut Messier's offense in the Finals, are you any less guilty of poor phrasing than I am? You're dogging me for equating controlling Gretzky with keeping him from scoring goals. Acting like Messier's goal in Game 3 was no different than the 7th goal of that same 7-2 game and deserved no extra commentary is a little worse, don't you think?

Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
As for points while trailing, it's silly to say "Messier should win the Conn Smythe because was the go-to-guy when they were down" because that amounts to "Messier should win the Conn Smythe because he scored 4 points from behind in a loss to Calgary in the 2nd round."

Messier's lead (and 33% of his points from behind) comes from a single game - Game 5 vs Calgary where he scored 4 points in a 5-4 loss. Admirable performance, but it's of little value, as is outscoring Gretzky 8-4 in losses.
Hey, it wasn't just the one game against Calgary. Messier scored a full seven points to help the Oilers come back in games against Calgary where they eventually lost - sending the game to overtime twice, and helping them climb to a one-goal loss in another (6-5, 5-4, 5-4).

Gee, I bet that's a high-percentage too - but wait? WHY IS THIS A BAD THING? Because it didn't directly contribute to their 4 wins? I could see that if he's the guy celebrating the single goal at the end of a 7-1 rout, but instead, he was the player making the biggest push to tie the score against their rivals in three separate games - games that the Oilers could have won.

Here's the kicker: You may remember Messier's star performances in losses in the Flames series, because in-between the sweeps of Winnipeg and Minnesota, it was the only time the Oilers faced real adversity during their Stanley Cup run (besides Game 7, where Messier injured three different Flames - or Game 3 of the Finals, where Messier scored that one goal to tie the game that Wayne Gretzky said gave the team confidence, yada yada yada).

Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
And why pay so much attention to points while trailing? Gretzky's 9-3 advantage in go-ahead points gives him the lead in tied or trailing 17-15. In wins, that goes to 13-7.
Another chapter in our saga of who can give the statsheet different context? With respect to Gretzky's lead in go-ahead points, I don't know that the Oilers were worried that they would get tied to death, but assuming we give points when trailing and points when tied equal weight (don't get me wrong, points when tied are worth a hell of a lot more than points when up by three), we have your 17-15 number with a two point edge for Gretzky. Messier injured more people than that.

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