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Round 2, Vote 7

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Old
04-05-2008, 05:33 PM
  #51
BM67
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Since 93-94, when he won the Calder, Brodeur has more games played, minutes played, wins, shutouts and made more saves than any other goalie, both regular season and playoffs. His 3 Cups and 4 Finals appearances are equaled by only Detroit and no other goalie. He has over 100 more regular season wins than any other goalie.

Since 91-92, when he made his NHL debut, Brodeur is tops in all categories in the regular season, but still trails Roy in the playoffs in all but shutouts. Of the goalies in the top 10 in any category, only Hasek, Kolzig (playoffs only) and Roy (regular season only) have a higher SV%.

In 06-07 Brodeur became only the 3rd goalie, since the NHL started keeping SV% records in 82-83, to be top 3 in games, minutes, wins, shutouts, GAA, SV%, and total saves. The other two are Pele Lindbergh in 84-85 and Eddie Belfour in 90-91.

Brodeur has been top 5 in Hart voting 6 times. Hasek 5 times, and Roy 4 times. Brodeur is likely to add a 7th time this season.

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Old
04-05-2008, 06:30 PM
  #52
Dark Shadows
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amnesiac View Post
Does Fetisov really deserve to be this high?

I understand he was probably the best Russian dman of all-time, but when he came to the NHL I dont think he was nearly as dominant. Are we really going to rank him as the 7th or 8th greatest dman of all-time because he dominated in a league that wasnt as good as the NHL?

To me he wasnt nearly as good as a Robinson, Chelios, Langway, Stevens, Park, or even MacInnis IN the NHL.
Ill just cut and paste a post I made earlier this week.

Not to mention the extreme terrible treatment and prejudice the early Russian players faced after defecting to play in America. Their own teammates ignored, even mocked them, and a ton of the time, would not pass to them. For their first few years, they were treated very badly.

To say nothing of the fact that they had to come in and learn a completely new system and style of play then the team oriented Russian style that dominated the Russian league.

And yes, the Russian players did peak far quicker. In some cases, they were confined to barracks as many as 10 to 11 months of the year and forced to do nothing but eat, sleep, and breath hockey, even if they were married, they were not allowed to go home or see their family.

Nothing in North America compares to the rigorous totalitarian training the early Russians had to endure.

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Old
04-05-2008, 09:06 PM
  #53
ck26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thornton_19 View Post
Nothing in North America compares to the rigorous totalitarian training the early Russians had to endure.
I don't know how I feel about this ... as a fellow human being, I feel terrible sympathy for anyone who has to live under totalitarianism, but as a hockey player, living that way seems to have advantages. Getting to play club hockey and international hockey with largely the same team, playing with those guys year-round and living a life "free of distraction" helps average players look good and great players look legendary.

Of this list, I rate Robinson and Sakic clearly in front of the pack, and Geoffrion clearly behind. I'd like to read some arguments for Schmidt and especially Conacher.

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Old
04-06-2008, 02:52 AM
  #54
Howe Elbows 9
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Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
I would put sakic on the top of the list, i mean most greats burn out after 10 seasons. Last year was his 18th season and he was a top 10 scorer. How many times has he finished top 10, like 12 times.
Interesting. I'll list position in the top 10 and in case they're not in the top 10, I'll list the number of points needed to make top 10 (e.g. -18).

Steve Yzerman
Season #
1983-84 -18
1984-85 -13
1985-86 -63
1986-87 -5
1987-88 -4
1988-89 3rd
1989-90 3rd
1990-91 7th
1991-92 8th
1992-93 4th
1993-94 -17
1994-95 -15
1995-96 -12
1996-97 -3
1997-98 -10
1998-99 -15
1999-00 10th
2000-01 -37
2001-02 -29
2002-03 -77
2003-04 -28
2005-06 -59

Joe Sakic
Season #
1988-89 -36
1989-90 10th
1990-91 6th
1991-92 -5
1992-93 -18
1993-94 -7
1994-95 4th
1995-96 3rd
1996-97 -14
1997-98 -16
1998-99 5th
1999-00 8th
2000-01 2nd
2001-02 6th
2002-03 -27
2003-04 3rd
2005-06 -6
2006-07 7th

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Old
04-06-2008, 03:21 AM
  #55
Wings4Life
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Robinson STILL didn't make it?

Wow, I had voted him in at the top last round, behind Kharlamov.

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Old
04-06-2008, 08:29 AM
  #56
BM67
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Here is a comparison of players to the guy who finished 2nd in the league in goals, assists and points each season. Consider it a shorthand version of adjusted points.

Example: Iginla 52 goals= 1.268293 points, Guerin, Sundin & Murray 41 goals= 1 point each, Naslund 40 goals= 0.97561 points

TG= Total goals value; HG= Highest single season goals value; H3G= Highest 3 consecutive years goals total; CAG= Career average goals, TG/years. A & P stand for assists and points. These are regular season numbers only.

PlayerTGHGH3GCAGTAHAH3ACAATPHPH3PCAP
Chris Chelios3.2636010.3571430.7610840.1429.7780130.751.908213 0.4257.8546820.51.53610.342
Charlie Conacher8.179171.443.6251850.6825.9499030.7037042.026620.4968.5611711.2127663.2932010.713
Viacheslav Fetisov Total5.8227330.6666671.7083330.2539.48159212.273810.412 8.5199250.8596491.9851930.37
Viacheslav Fetisov NHL0.6567410.1290320.3046920.0732.407390.4047620.9726060.2671.896360.3255810.7530460.211
Viacheslav Fetisov USSR5.1659920.6666671.7083330.3697.07420212.273810.505 6.6235650.8596491.9851930.473
Bernie Geoffrion10.696851.0416672.6419460.6699.1695370.9166672.6708330.57310.344071.0555562.668330.647
Larry Robinson3.5547050.3392860.8557550.1789.0764970.9565222.263160.4547.3734630.6967211.6944070.369
Joe Sakic11.7870212.5681820.65513.517370.9772732.8376010.75114.0733312.7588980.782
Milt Schmidt8.02348612.1902170.5019.7764681.0714292.6205360.6119.9598871.2093022.8002110.622
Steve Yzerman12.4153912.9285710.56413.62560.8752.2182840.61914.507530.9844962.7315430.659

For fairness, here are the defensemen compared to only the other defensemen each year.

PlayerTGHGH3GCAGTAHAH3ACAATPHPH3PCAP
Chris Chelios8.0752980.81.8551840.35113.463820.950822.7227850.58512.700140.9733332.4676520.552
Viacheslav Fetisov Total13.2772421.53.8636360.66414.5579881.253.2941180.72815.3492951.3611113.7211110.767
Viacheslav Fetisov NHL1.6815720.350.8307690.1873.3087380.5645161.418484 0.3682.9684150.5121951.2727970.33
Viacheslav Fetisov USSR11.595671.53.8636361.05411.249251.253.2941181.02312.380881.361111 3.7211111.126
Larry Robinson8.4634280.7916672.0635710.42312.323171.0892862.7595240.61612.02211.06252.7209010.601

The defenseman comparison for the USSR for Fetisov covers 11 years from 78-79 to 88-89.


Last edited by BM67: 04-12-2008 at 10:53 AM.
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Old
04-06-2008, 09:51 AM
  #57
reckoning
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Just a note about Conacher: In Frank Selke's autobiography (which I recently bought at a used book store for $1), while he has plenty of compliments for Conacher, he describes Joe Primeau as being the real workhouse of the Kid Line. Basically he says that Primeau was a master at drawing away the two defencemen then passing the puck to Conacher or Jackson for an easy shot on goal.

I just thought it was interesting that since there was so much talk earlier in the voting about players like Esposito or Bossy having their goal totals boosted by their teammates, that maybe it applies to Conacher. After Primeau left the game, Conacher's numbers did take a nosedive.

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Old
04-06-2008, 10:37 AM
  #58
Howe Elbows 9
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I thought I'd add yet more information by showing first- and second-all star team inclusions and which years they spanned. Fetisov didn't make any all star teams during his time in the NHL.

Name 1st AST 2nd AST 1st AST span 2nd AST span
Martin Brodeur 3 3 2003-2007 1997-2006
Chris Chelios 5 2 1989-2002 1991-1997
Charlie Conacher 3 2 1934-1936 1932-1933
Ken Dryden 5 1 1973-1979 1972
Bernie Geoffrion 1 2 1961 1955-1960
Larry Robinson 3 3 1977-1980 1978-1986
Joe Sakic 3 0 2001-2004
Milt Schmidt 3 1 1940-1951 1952
Steve Yzerman 1 0 2000

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Old
04-06-2008, 10:44 AM
  #59
BM67
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Conacher's production dropped more from injuries, than from a change in linemates. He played only 34 games over the next two seasons after Primeau left. Being a crease crasher when the nets didn't move was not good for your health.

Over the 7 seasons the Kid Line was together, Conacher only once played more games than Primeau, but Primeau only once out scored Conacher in points. In Primeau's last year, Conacher had more goals than Primeau had points.

Primeau might have been the key guy on the line, much like Olmstead was said to be the key guy on the top line in Montreal for much of the 50s, it is Conacher's health that was the main factor when the Kid Line struggled to produce in the playoffs. The Kid Line produced more points in the Final in Toronto's one Cup win than they did in their 3 Finals losses combined (16 to 9).

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Old
04-06-2008, 02:08 PM
  #60
Kyle McMahon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reckoning View Post
Just a note about Conacher: In Frank Selke's autobiography (which I recently bought at a used book store for $1), while he has plenty of compliments for Conacher, he describes Joe Primeau as being the real workhouse of the Kid Line. Basically he says that Primeau was a master at drawing away the two defencemen then passing the puck to Conacher or Jackson for an easy shot on goal.

I just thought it was interesting that since there was so much talk earlier in the voting about players like Esposito or Bossy having their goal totals boosted by their teammates, that maybe it applies to Conacher. After Primeau left the game, Conacher's numbers did take a nosedive.
I seem to remember Conn Smythe saying basically the same thing in his autobiography.

I'm thinking that if voting for Conacher in this round, it's pretty hard not to vote for Dryden as well. Both had short careers, but several all-star team selections in their primes. They seem about as comparable as a forward from the 30's and a goaltender from the 70's can be.

I'm actually surprised nobody's made a really strong case for Dryden yet considering he was a fairly recent player who backstopped a dynasty. I had him close to the top 35 on my list, so I'm definitely giving him some consideration in this round.

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04-06-2008, 03:01 PM
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reckoning View Post
I just thought it was interesting that since there was so much talk earlier in the voting about players like Esposito or Bossy having their goal totals boosted by their teammates, that maybe it applies to Conacher. After Primeau left the game, Conacher's numbers did take a nosedive.
Great playmakers tend to be a common theme with most of the top goal scorers, outside of Bobby Hull (which makes it even more impressive). Gordie had Abel then Delvecchio, Richard had Lach then Pocket, Espo had Orr, Bossy had Trottier, Cook had Boucher, Hull and Neely had Oates, Roy Conacher had Cowley, etc. It's nice to get information like that because it can be tough to separate who was helping who when looking back at players none of us saw.

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Old
04-06-2008, 04:57 PM
  #62
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We forget how dominant Chris Chelios was in his prime, probably because his longevity overshadshows everything else. (Same thing happens with Howe).

Nine times in ten years (1988-1997 minus 1989), Chelios finished no lower than 6th in Norris voting, winning it three times. This accomplishment is even more impressive because Chelios did it while facing quite possibly the strongest, deepest group of defensemen in NHL history. He finished top ten for the Hart three times and would go on to have two more top-six Norris finishes (bringing his career total to 11) in the 2000s.

Only five defensemen have more first-team spots than Chelios (5). These are arguably the five greatest defensemen of all-time (Orr, Shore, Harvey, Bourque, Kelly) and all are already on our list.

We all know that Chelios is excellent defensively, durable, and very tough but his offense is seriously underrated. He was a top-five scoring defenseman three times, and placed in the top ten 8 times. Chelios was surprisingly effective on the PP; he didn't have a great shot but he did know how to keep the puck in the offensive zone.

I don't think plus/minus is an especially useful statistic, but he lead the league once and his team four times. His +351 ratings puts him 19th all-time.

Chelios was a very underrated playoff performer. He was Montreal's #2 defenseman during their improbable 1986 Stanley Cup championship. In 1989, Chelios was the Habs' clear #1 defenseman as they advanced to the conference finals. Not only did he lead the team in scoring, he also received the toughest defensive assignments, shutting down the opponents' top lines night after night. He was the 7th-high scoring player (2nd among defensemen) that spring.

Chelios's finest moment was the spring of 1992 when he took the Blackhawks to the finals but ultimately lost to Lemieux's Penguins. Once again Chelios was 7th in playoff scoring (1st among defensemen) and was critical in shutting down Brendan Shanahan on St. Louis (Chelios was one of the few defenders who could match Shanahan's aggression and strength), Steve Yzerman (held to under a point per game in the playoffs despite scoring 100+ pts during each of the past five regular seasons) and Vincent Damphousse. Chelios and Belfour did the best they could against the Pens but they lost three games by a single goal. Chelios was Conn Smythe favourite, after Lemieux. Chelios had one more great playoff run in Chicago before being a key player during Detroit's 2002 Cup victory.

Overall I'd say that Chelios and Robinson are basically equals and both should be voted in the top 35.

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Old
04-06-2008, 05:08 PM
  #63
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chelios was also a fantastic PKer, maybe the best i've ever seen among D. (and still is a good PKer)

i think it was pnep who posted top 3 PK's for the last 40 years for both F's and D's. chelios showed up more than any other D.

i would be very tempted to put chelios ahead of robinson.


ps: lidstrom has more 1st team AS than chelios.

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04-06-2008, 06:32 PM
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM67 View Post
Not quite sure where you went off track, (The minutes are off but that's probably just rounding.) but your numbers for the backups is off. Your numbers for Brodeur are good, but I get 24.9/22.2/28.3 Shots/G for the backups.

Apologies, I messed up as well. Brodeur did face fewer shots/game over 02 to 08, but he still has faced fewer shots/game over his career. He has faced fewer shots/game in 8 of his 14 full seasons. If you just add up the yearly difference, he gets -1.18 shots/game, and if you total everything he sees -0.67 shots/game. Sample size for the backups is the major drawback to any study of this type of course.
Thanks for the numbers over Brodeur's career, BM67. I agree that sample size is an issue, and it's really only worth looking at several years worth of data for something like this. A difference of -0.67 shots per game over the career isn't definitive, but it seems to support the generally accepted view that Brodeur cuts down shots against. I just don't think it's a very big effect compared to his defensive support.

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04-06-2008, 07:01 PM
  #65
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Originally Posted by overpass View Post
Thanks for the numbers over Brodeur's career, BM67. I agree that sample size is an issue, and it's really only worth looking at several years worth of data for something like this. A difference of -0.67 shots per game over the career isn't definitive, but it seems to support the generally accepted view that Brodeur cuts down shots against. I just don't think it's a very big effect compared to his defensive support.
Combine it with the fact that Brodeur's backups generally only played against the weakest opposition. Obviously, the great Devils D cut down on shots a lot (6 shots by the Maple Leafs in a playoff game ), but Brodeur's stickhandling was a big part of the D.

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04-06-2008, 07:14 PM
  #66
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Kyle McMahon already wrote a couple of good posts in favor of Joe Sakicís inclusion this round, so Iíll take it a step further and present my argument why Joe Sakic should be ranked ahead of his contemporary, Steve Yzerman:

Greater playoff performer: For all the gushing that goes on about Yzermanís 2002 playoff performance, people seem to forget that Sakicís 1996 and 2001 playoff performances are greater than anything Yzerman has ever produced in the post season. While his 18 goals, 16 assists, 34 points (12 more than the second place scorer on his team) in 1996 leave little room for debate, itís worth noting that not unlike Yzerman a year later, Sakic played rounds two, three and four of the 2001 playoffs with a shoulder injury that would have kept him out of the lineup 4 to 5 weeks in the regular season, and still managed to deliver an MVP calibre performance in the process (I know Roy won the Conn Smythe that season, but Sakic would have been an excellent choice as well). Yzerman gets all the credit in the world and then some for leading his team to the Cup while playing injured. Why doesnít Sakic?

Now factor in Sakicís superior playoff statistics (178 points in 162 games for Sakic vs 185 points in 196 games for Yzerman), his NHL record 7 overtime playoff goals and his near unmatched ability to elevate his game to a whole new level during the postseason (I donít think even the most diehard Wings supporters would argue that Yzerman was a more clutch performer than Sakic), and the choice is quite obvious.

Advantage: Joe Sakic

More durable, longer lasting prime: As similar as Sakic and Yzerman will have been when all is said and done, their respective career patterns is the one area where they differ tremendously. Where Yzerman looks more like a conventional superstar, peaking offensively for a few years and then declining due to age and injuries, Sakic is one of those rare individuals gifted with Gordie Howe/Ray Bourque syndrome: that is, consistently elite, consistently at near peak value for a span of 20 years. For some this may come down to preference, but personally I think thereís something to be said for durability, which is why I see more value in the guy whoís work ethic, commitment to fitness and intelligent play helps him mostly avoid serious injuries and maintain an elite level of play for two decades (Sakic) than the guy whoís prime years come when heís young and go when age catches up to him (Yzerman). To further demonstrate Sakicís longevity, also consider that he is the only player in league history to record over 100 points in a season on a team that finished dead last, which he did twice in his second and third years in the league (1990, Sakic had 102 points, Quebec finished with 31 points, second worse team had 64, and 1991, Sakic had 109 points, Quebec finished with 46 points, second worse team had 57), and he is also the only player since Gordie Howe to record a 100 points season at age 37 or higher, which he did in 2007.

Advantage: Joe Sakic

More consistent, more well-rounded: To follow up on my previous point, the scale tips further in Sakicís favor when you consider that unlike Yzerman, Sakic never had to sacrifice his offensive game to become a good defensive player. As a matter of fact, nothing has ever really caused his offensive production to decline. Not a change in coaching style/team system, not a change in teammates, not a change in playing style (ie: a more defensively responsible game), not age, nothing. He is as ageless and as consistent a player as the league has ever seen.

(Slightly OT: Just look at his goal on the final game of the season against Minnesota today. A few months away from his 39th birthday and his positioning, control of the puck, quick release and shot accuracy are as good (or almost as good) as theyíve ever been)

Yzerman on the other hand was an offensive dynamo in his earlier years, but was also widely criticized for being a defensive liability (and I know Sakic wasnít particularly good in his own end in his first years either). As we all know he later became a more defensively sound player under the tutelage of Scotty Bowman, but by that point injuries had already started taking their toll and he had already started to decline physically, and for the remainder of both playersí careers (1995 onwards), Yzerman was always a notch or two below Sakic.

Advantage: Joe Sakic

Greater regular season performer, more individual accolades:

Joe Sakic:

GP: 1363
G: 623
A: 1006
P: 1629
PPG: 1.19

Stanley Cup (1996, 2001)
Conn Smythe Trophy (1996)
NHL First All-Star Team (2001, 2002, 2004)
Lester B. Pearson Award (2001)
Hart Memorial Trophy (2001)
Olympic Tournament MVP (2002)
Olympic Tournament All-Star Team (2002)
Won a Gold Medal (1994 World Championships, 2002 Olympics, 2004 World Cup of Hockey)
Won a Silver Medal (1991 World Championships and 1996 World Cup of Hockey)

Steve Yzerman:

GP: 1514
G: 692
A: 1063
P: 1755
PPG: 1.15

Stanley Cup: (1997, 1998, 2002)
Conn Smythe Trophy (1998)
NHL First All-Star Team (2000)
Lester B. Pearson Award (1989)
Frank J. Selke Trophy (2000)
Won a Gold Medal (2002 Olympics)
Champions at 1984 Canada Cup

With or without the team accolades I included above, Sakic holds a slight advantage, in terms of both individual hardware and statistics (should he play until 2010 as he has stated he would like to do, it is virtually certain he will pass Yzermanís mark). With this in mind, consider that Joe Sakic has achieved this by playing over 2/3 of his career in the dead puck era, whereas Yzerman played his entire prime years in the highest scoring era in NHL history. Consider as well that Sakic missed one and a half years of his prime thanks to the lockouts (Iím aware Yzerman was still active during the second lockout but he wasnít exactly padding his stats anymore by that time).

As for the argument that Yzermanís peak was greater than Sakicís, while Yzermanís 1989 season was undoubtedly phenomenal, if Yzerman supporters like to point to Steveís defensive play in the second half of his career as one of the main arguments in his favor, then they also must concede that Sakicís 2001 season was every bit as impressive as Yzermanís 1989 season if not more so due to the fact that Sakic was able to finish second in scoring while also being excellent defensively, as he finished second in Selke voting that season. Not to mention the fact that offensively the two seasons probably werenít that far apart either when you consider that teams were scoring 2 more goals per game in 1989 than in 2001. If any stats technicians out there would like to break down adjusted points totals using 1989 or 2001 as base years to compare, that would be great.

Advantage: Joe Sakic (slight edge)

Final word: My one gripe with Yzerman is that much of his legend is based on overblown, romanticized tales of leadership that donít hold much substance in a legitimate debate such as this one. He is without a doubt one of the best players of the last 20 years, yet he is also one of the most overrated. Thankfully, from what Iíve seen so far, the trend in this project has been to cut out the fluff and break down the facts and only the facts. Iíve said this before and Iíll say it again, I have never ever heard a good argument in favor of Yzerman in this debate, ever. If someone would like to present one that isnít chockfull of points about how awe-inspiring it was to watch Yzerman play on one leg and that Sakic never could have done that (BS) or how Yzermanís leadership skills are so good that he could motivate someone to kill their own mother and that therefore he is a better leader than Sakic (conjecture), feel welcome. Otherwise, I hope the panel of voters will stay consistent with their approach of sticking to the facts by voting Sakic ahead of Yzerman, as they should.


Last edited by JSF1921: 04-06-2008 at 07:19 PM.
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Old
04-06-2008, 07:38 PM
  #67
overpass
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One measure that I like to look at is seasons where players combined great regular season performances and playoff performances. It's basically trying to find seasons where a player was "THE MAN" all year long for his team, especially for Cup winners.

Arguably no other player in this round had a season that was the equal of Joe Sakic's 2000-2001 season.* His accomplishments that year included.

Sakic 2000-2001
  • 118 regular season points, 2nd in the league to a Lemieux-assisted Jagr
  • +45, 1st in the league
  • Hart Trophy, with 53 of 62 1st place votes
  • Pearson Trophy
  • Lady Byng Trophy
  • 1st Team All-Star at Centre
  • 2nd in Selke voting to John Madden, 269-249 in voting points, with a 15-14 edge in 1st place votes over Madden
  • Led the playoffs in points with 26 points in 21 games
  • Won the Cup with a Colorado team that had lost Forsberg after the 2nd round.

Sakic's 1995-96 season was also huge, as he finished 3rd in scoring behind Mario and Jagr in the regular season and won the Conn Smythe with 18 goals and 34 points in the playoffs.

In contrast, Yzerman was typically out in the first round in his great offensive years, and his late-career playoff success came when he was no longer a top regular-season performer. In what was probably his best regular season in his defensive phase, the 1999-2000 season where he was 10th in league scoring with 79 points and won the Selke, he only had 4 assists in 8 playoff games.

Obviously looking at the best single season is only part of the story, but I think it also speaks to the larger point about Sakic and Yzerman. Yzerman may have been a better offensive player at his best (although the gap in adjusted points isn't that big). Yzerman may also have been the better defensive player at his best. However, Sakic's offensive and defensive primes were at the same time, and Yzerman's weren't. Sakic's best regular season and playoff years went together, and Yzerman's didn't. I think Sakic had the better peak and prime, and I'm voting for him over Yzerman this round.

*The other forwards in this group all had great regular season years and great playoff years, but they didn't go together. It's hard to compare goalies here, especially Dryden, but Brodeur's 2002-03 might be a contender, with a Vezina, 3rd in Hart voting, a Cup, and 7 playoff shutouts. Larry Robinson had a great year in 76-77, but Lafleur was the man for Montreal in that year. Chelios had a pretty great year in 88-89, with the Norris and 19 playoff points, although he didn't win the Cup. I would still take Sakic's 2000-01 ahead of either of those.

(Edit: I didn't see JSF1921's post before posting, where he makes a more thorough case for Sakic.)

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04-06-2008, 07:58 PM
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSF1921 View Post
As for the argument that Yzermanís peak was greater than Sakicís, while Yzermanís 1989 season was undoubtedly phenomenal, if Yzerman supporters like to point to Steveís defensive play in the second half of his career as one of the main arguments in his favor, then they also must concede that Sakicís 2001 season was every bit as impressive as Yzermanís 1989 season if not more so due to the fact that Sakic was able to finish second in scoring while also being excellent defensively, as he finished second in Selke voting that season. Not to mention the fact that offensively the two seasons probably werenít that far apart either when you consider that teams were scoring 2 more goals per game in 1989 than in 2001. If any stats technicians out there would like to break down adjusted points totals using 1989 or 2001 as base years to compare, that would be great.
BM67 has already posted adjusted stats using the 2nd leading scorer as a base, but this method may hurt Yzerman as he was going up against Gretzky and Lemieux. I've calculated adjusted points by taking the average points of the 6th through 10th scorers and normalizing it to 90. Here are the top 5 offensive seasons by this method for Sakic and Yzerman.

Yzerman

1989 133
1990 108
1993 97
1991 93
1992 90
2000 87
1988 85
1997 84
1987 83
1996 78

Sakic
2001 117
1995 100
1996 99
2004 98
1999 94
1991 93
2007 92
2002 91
2000 89
1990 87

Yzerman's 1989 still scores higher than Sakic's 2001 like this, but Sakic certainly had the defensive and playoff edge. Also, other than the top two seasons, Sakic has the edge in adjusted points.

As a note, this method chops 40 points of Yzerman's 137 points in 92-93, which may seem unfair. However, if you look at the top 10 or top 20 in scoring that year, you'll realize that either every NHL scorer had his career year that year, or the expansion or something else made it easier for top scorers to score a ton of points.

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04-06-2008, 08:07 PM
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i agree that yzerman is generally overrated, especially by detroit fans.
sakic may be better, and may be better in the playoffs. i think eventually, sakic will be considered better.

sakic was never as good as yzerman defensively. i don't even think he's very close. sakic's defensive play i've always considered really overrated. his 2nd place in selke voting i think is nearly ridiculous.
sakic is/was solid defensively, but not selke caliber.
i don't think yzerman should have won, either, but he was quite a bit better than sakic.

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04-06-2008, 08:22 PM
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Interesting points all about Sakic. However It needs to be said while Sakic was more well rounded and a consistent 2-way player his whole career.. Yzerman had a better offensive peak for half a decade and defensive peak for another half a decade than Sakic had.

Longevity?

Well Sakic is impressive and has had a long career and at a pretty consistently high level like Bourque and Howe. Sakic has 1362 games and another 162 games in the playoffs. He just finished his 20th year.

While Yzerman has 1514 games and another 196 playoff games over 23 years. Giving him a very considerable 186 game lead over Sakic on his career. Longecity is hardly something one can criticize Yzerman for. 23 years is a long freaking time... nor was Yzerman ever a washed up player.. he was likely Detroit's best player down the stretch and in the playoffs in his final season.

It is really close. I still have Yzerman ahead. Sakic could retire after this year... or get 100 points next year... Sakic could play 1 or 2 or 3 more years and make me think he is better definitively than Yzerman but I am not convinced he is as of yet... but it is very, very close.

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04-06-2008, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSF1921 View Post
Iíll take it a step further and present my argument why Joe Sakic should be ranked ahead of his contemporary, Steve Yzerman
Very good post. I was planning on writing a post comparing Sakic and Yzerman, but you beat me to it. I'll just add a few points that are worth mentioning.

A common counter-argument is "Yzerman had no chance at the Hart or Art Ross due to Gretzky/Lemieux". Well, let's look at the details rather than making very vague, general statements.

In terms of the Art Ross, Gretzky/Lemieux affected Yzerman far less than most people realize. Here's what the Art Ross standings would look like if we pretend 99 and 66 never existed:

YearYzermanSakic
1st1989 
2nd19901996, 2001
3rd19932004
4th  
5th19921991, 1999, 2002

It's close, of course, but Sakic is a bit ahead offensively. It's not like Yzerman was finishing 3rd to Gretzky and Lemieux every year, he was still routinely beaten by players like Messier, Oates, Savard, etc. (Note that if we pretend Lemieux never existed, there's no way Jagr would have won the Art Ross in 2001, so I'm tempted to give Sakic credit for the scoring title in 2001).

Here are the Hart votes re-cast, assuming Gretkzy and Lemieux never played:

YearYzermanSakic
1st19892001
2nd1988 
3rd  
4th  
5th1987 
6th1990, 19921991,1996
7th19932002,2004
8th20002007
9th  
10th  

I'll give credit where it's due. Yzerman is ahead (basically he has one more 2nd place finish). Still, this is much closer than a lot of Yzerman supporters would have us believe by saying that Gretkzy/Lemieux stole Yzerman's Hart several times.

I really disagree that Yzerman had the better offensive peak, it only looks that way because his peak was in the late 1980s and Sakic's peak was in the early 2000s. Sakic was a top-ten scorer 12 times in his career versus 6 times for Yzerman. 118 points in 2001 (5.51 gpg) is better than 155 points in 1989 (7.48 gpg), though I do concede that Yzerman had awful linemates that year.

Finally, a lot of people forgot that Sakic was able to dominate before the Nordiques/Avalanche were great. At age 20, he scored 102 points (10th in scoring) on a team that won just 12 games. He led his team in scoring by a staggering 40 points. In 1991, Sakic scored 109 points (6th in the league), leading his team by a 50 point margin on a 16-win team. Needless to say, Sakic also proved that he could dominate on a strong team.


Last edited by Hockey Outsider: 04-06-2008 at 08:45 PM.
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04-06-2008, 09:00 PM
  #72
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Great posts on Sakic, you may have me convinced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by overpass View Post
Here are the top 5 offensive seasons by this method for Sakic and Yzerman.

Yzerman

1989 133
1990 108
1993 97
1991 93
1992 90
2000 87
1988 85
1997 84
1987 83
1996 78

Sakic
2001 117
1995 100
1996 99
2004 98
1999 94
1991 93
2007 92
2002 91
2000 89
1990 87

Yzerman's 1989 still scores higher than Sakic's 2001 like this, but Sakic certainly had the defensive and playoff edge. Also, other than the top two seasons, Sakic has the edge in adjusted points.
I think in terms of peak offensive ability, Yzerman was easily the superior player. Looking at those tables, their personal highest scoring seasons appear to be fairly close, but I think its important to see that Yzerman's best occurred before he really had much of a supporting cast and before the Wings became a power house. Sakic on the otherhand had far more help during his peak offensive years.

Looking at Yzerman's best 3 seasons, in 1989 he finished with 155 points (most by anyone not named Gretzky or Lemieux). Second on the Wings was Gerard Gallant with 93. In 1990 he had 127, Gallant was second again with 80. 1993 he had 137, Ciccarelli was second with 97. All three years he had 40 or more points more than second place on his team and though the 1993 team was better, he really had little to no help in 89 and 90. He was an unstoppable scoring force during these years, and seemed to have probably had a Lemieux/Gretzky like effect on guys like Gallant.

Sakic had his best offensive years on the Avs who were one of the top teams in the league. His top 3 were seasons in which Peter Forsberg played a good number of games. Forsberg may have been considered the better offensive player during some of these years and faced the tougher defensive pairings/forwards while Yzerman's best 2 years came before Federov arrived.

In 2001 Sakic had 118, Forsberg had 89 in 9 less games. In 1995 he had 62 and Forsberg had 50. And in 1996 he had 120 and Forsberg had 115. Sakic was great offensively, but his best years aren't as impressive considering there was another player on his team very close to him at the same time. Now I'm not implying that he needed other great players to produce (see his 90, 91 seasons) but I'm sure playing with other talented players helped.

In terms of peak offensive ability it isn't really close IMO. Yzerman was the better scorer, though Sakic had the better consistency and two way play. I also think Yzerman had a better peak defensively than Sakic.

The good thing about comparing these players is that their careers are so recent that everyone should have seen them play quite a bit. When players are so close in terms of accolades/awards, I think its best to just put the results aside for a bit and just judge them on what you actually saw them do.

EDIT: Wow, I never realized how high Sakic was in the overall scoring race during those 90 and 91 years. I really didn't give him enough credit for those seasons.


Last edited by maxpowers: 04-06-2008 at 09:17 PM.
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04-06-2008, 09:45 PM
  #73
FissionFire
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Some good arguments for Sakic but talk about some HUGE holes in them and a few poor assumptions. I'll try to find the time to address them this week before the vote but there's at least an hour worth of typing for me and 3 tests this week so I may not. I hope someone else can take up the banner if I can't.

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04-07-2008, 02:55 AM
  #74
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I'm going to get my vote over with before the playoffs begin, so I'll send it in today. Man, I had really forgot how good Chelios was in his prime.

31. Viacheslav Fetisov - Russian Bobby Orr? I don't know about that, but there's no doubt he was a great defenseman.

32. Milt Schmidt - One of the best of his generation (I believe I might have said that about some other player as well).

33. Larry Robinson - It's time to include him on the list, don't you agree?

34. Martin Brodeur - More than just a product of a defensive system and really consistent.

35. Chris Chelios - Five first-all star teams? That's impressive, if you ask me.

Here's how I currently would rank the other five:
Ken Dryden
Bernard Geoffrion
Joe Sakic
Steve Yzerman
Charlie Conacher

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04-08-2008, 07:43 PM
  #75
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People just burned out or not much to say about this group? Shortest discussion thread by a longshot so far.

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