Peter Forsberg: The Reality in Contrast With The Imagined, Romanticized Version.
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07-27-2014, 04:20 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Originally Posted by
Federov was far superior to Forsberg defensively, it's almost night and day. As some posters have mentioned, Forsberg was good defensively but because he played a physical game, it was perceived as being a "great two-way" game.
In regards to PK icetime, the data on NHL.com goes as far back as the 1997-98 season, some would argue that this was the season in which Forsberg was closest to Jagr during their primes. It's interesting that Forsberg (2:23 PK minutes per game) wasn't even among the top 60 players in the NHL in PK icetime per game, in fact it was another Colorado centerman (Stepahne Yelle) who was 13th overall in the league in PK icetime per game and who led all Colorado forwards in PK icetime per game. In fact Forsberg was only 9th on the Avalanche in PK icetime per game and only 4th among forwards on the team, Jari Kurri, Thomas Fitzgerald and Stephane Yelle all killed more penalties than Forsberg did according to the stats.
Now we have 1998-99, a season in which Forsberg and Sakic were pretty even in terms of performance. Joe Sakic led all Avalanche forwards with 3:32 minutes per game of PK while Forsberg was again 4th among Avs forwards (Stephane Yelle and Eric Lacroix and Sakic all getting more icetime on the PK than Forsberg did), Forsberg's PK icetime per game was 2:45. Sakic played a full 3/4 of a minute more per game.
In fact Sakic averaged more PK icetime per game in 1998-99, 1999-00 and 2000-01 and 2002-03.
When Forsberg won his lone Art Ross and Hart trophies, he averaged just 0:12 minutes of icetime per game on the PK. Forsberg was 13th among forwards on the Avs in that category that season. BTW in comparison, Sakic averaged 1:32 minutes per game on the PK that season. So clearly the voters were looking at something else than PK when they voted him 4th in Selke voting in 2002-03.
Forsberg also played 4:33 of icetime per game on the PP that season and his overall icetime was actually less than Hejduk's so it seems like Hejduk was more than capable of being a premier player on his own.
Forsberg was nowhere near the defensive player some are making him out to be. His Selke voting record is based on reputation and nothing more. He wasn't even his team's best two-way forward (that title belonged to Sakic) nor was he even among the top 3 best defensive forwards on the team, all of Yelle, Sakic and Hejduk played more on the penalty kill than Forsberg did.
As CzechyourMath mentioned, let Jagr rest up for a season and come back for the playoffs or regular season and he would have chewed the league up alive.
Any advantage Forsberg had with scoring per minute, was offset by the simple fact that those Avalanche teams were 4 lines deep and had so much more talent than those Lemieux-less Jagr led Penguins teams.
I love how in a thread comparing Forsberg to Crosby that you mentioned once that Forsberg had the defense of Bergeron and the physicality of prime Ovechkin, I actually remember you specifically saying that, but now that he's being compared to Jagr his defense and physicality are massively overrated.
Let's put it this way, even if he was just above average defensively, you combine that with a very physical game, and very good offensive and puck possession game which was second to Jagr's, then you have yourself one hell of an effective player. The problem is though that Forsberg was more than just above average defensively, he was basically elite defensively many seasons, you've even said it yourself when he was being compared to Crosby.
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