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The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

Mario Lemieux-Gordie Howe

View Poll Results: Howe or Lemieux
Mario Lemieux 39 35.14%
Gordie Howe 72 64.86%
Voters: 111. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
06-06-2010, 01:33 AM
  #101
finchster
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Originally Posted by kahlon66 View Post
most of you guys didnt even see Gordie Howe play, and the posts such as he led the playoffs scoring for 6 years well, there were only 6 teams and everyone made the playoffs and the level of competition is nothing close to what it was when Lemieux was playing, Gordie Howe didnt even fight much, Bobby Orr fought more than him, however people have that myth Gordie Howe hat trick.........Lemieux is in competition with Gretzky and above Howe
You are correct, Howe didn't fight that much. The problem was finding a willing combatant . Players were afraid to fight Howe because he was big, tough and above all, dirty.

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06-06-2010, 01:45 AM
  #102
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47-15 doesn't even do Howe justice. If I count only the names of posters who I can personally vouch for (as in, I've been in the ATD with them or I see them in this section all the time) it is 32-3 for Howe.

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06-06-2010, 02:10 AM
  #103
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
47-15 doesn't even do Howe justice. If I count only the names of posters who I can personally vouch for (as in, I've been in the ATD with them or I see them in this section all the time) it is 32-3 for Howe.
....yep, this poll has definitely been infiltrated by the main board, lol.

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Old
06-06-2010, 10:43 AM
  #104
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Gordie Howe suffered a fractured skull in game one of the 1950 semi-finals against Toronto.

PPG may give phantom points to players, but then so do adjustments and both fail to attribute the resulting points allowed.

Conversely the % boondoggle is no better. Percentages blend clear distinctions into equals. A 2-1 game becomes the equivalent of a 10-5 game yet it is no different than a 3-2 game but depending who is spinning the argument it is never about a raw one goal difference.You get all the spin. "The winning team doubled the score" or the losers scored 40% of the goals in the 3-2 game so they were better than the losers in the 2-1 game who scored only 33 1/3 % of the goals.Simple nonsense.
Your example suggests complete confusion about what I am saying. Your example has nothing to do with what I have said.

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06-06-2010, 10:58 AM
  #105
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
The second point is, points per game gives players credit for phantom points scored. Why should we credit players for what they "might have" done? If that is the case, we would have to do it for every player in the history of the league. What if Gordie Howe didn't suffer a fractured skull in 1947? How much better would he have been? We could talk what ifs forever, only what actually is should be considered. What if a guy picked up 3 points in his first NHL game and never played another? Is he the greatest of all time?
Only if you use them to prorate the PPG to a hypothetical total, e.g. saying that Lemieux would have scored 3327 points if he played as many games as Gordie. Nobody has said that, since it is obviously rediculous. But when you have a player who is so notoriously injured as Mario it's difficult to compare them on a season to season basis. You have to look at the actual games they played.

Obviously if you go by the original question Gordie has both the better Career Value and the better Peak Value, simply because he was on ice consistantly. The value of someone who doesn't play isn't very high. But the question is - who was the most dominant scorer when they actually played? In my view it's pretty close.

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06-06-2010, 03:02 PM
  #106
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Originally Posted by kahlon66 View Post
most of you guys didnt even see Gordie Howe play, and the posts such as he led the playoffs scoring for 6 years well, there were only 6 teams and everyone made the playoffs and the level of competition is nothing close to what it was when Lemieux was playing, Gordie Howe didnt even fight much, Bobby Orr fought more than him, however people have that myth Gordie Howe hat trick.........Lemieux is in competition with Gretzky and above Howe
If you want to lecture us, maybe you shouldn't proceed to revel in your ignorance in the same post.

1) Most of us have seen Howe play in old footage. He looks like a man among boys - bigger, stronger, faster, and smarter than everyone else.

2) Not everyone made the playoffs with 6 teams. How the hell would a 6 team playoff even work? 4 teams made it.

3) Gordie Howe fought a lot when he first came into the league - including knocking down Rocket Richard with one punch. As he got older, he realized that as the best player in the world, he was more valuable on the ice. But he could still beat up almost anyone if he felt like it, and the rest of the league knew it.

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06-06-2010, 11:38 PM
  #107
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Originally Posted by finchster View Post
I wouldn't take Lemieux because of injuries and his lack of desire to play hockey, illustrated by his retirement in 96-97. Lemieux and Howe are close offensively and Howe played more elite seasons. Howe also had everything you could ask, offensively, defensively, toughness, a legendary mean streak, a guy so tough people were afraid to fight him, you don't get the nickname Mr. Hockey for nothing, Howe is the ideal hockey player.
lack of desire, lol.


has there ever been someone who played through more chronic pain etc than lemieux, let alone to that kind of level?

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06-06-2010, 11:56 PM
  #108
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lack of desire, lol.


has there ever been someone who played through more chronic pain etc than lemieux, let alone to that kind of level?
Bobby Orr? Whooosh Slam dunk!

I am just curious what do you call retiring despite still being the best player in the NHL? Not wanting to play hockey even though he was physically able and still playing at the highest level of the NHL shows a lack of desire to play anyway you cut. I don't think you can argue he was unable to play hockey, he came back three years later and was still a very effective player.

I will repeat myself, I don't blame him at all, I never said he had no desire to play, but compared to Howe, Orr and Gretzky; Lemieux had the least desire to play hockey. That was one small reason in a very short explanation of why I would take Howe over Lemieux.


Last edited by finchster: 06-07-2010 at 12:07 AM.
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Old
06-07-2010, 03:23 AM
  #109
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LOL, 51-22. Someone is putting these kids up to it, to come in here and make it look close.

It's still 35-4 among those I can vouch for.

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Old
06-07-2010, 01:06 PM
  #110
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Voted Howe. Career obviously goes to him, offensive primes are close (the numbers are deceptive considering the overall level of scoring in their respective primes) and could go either way, but the overall play gives Howe the edge here as well.

It was quite something to see 46 years old Howe schooling superbly conditioned Soviet team of the 70's on which most, if not all players were in or near their physical prime and under 30 years old.

At their peak both certainly were the best players in the league by a good margin.

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06-07-2010, 02:33 PM
  #111
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Originally Posted by vulture77 View Post
It was quite something to see 46 years old Howe schooling superbly conditioned Soviet team of the 70's on which most, if not all players were in or near their physical prime and under 30 years old.
Mmmm, what?

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06-07-2010, 02:48 PM
  #112
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Mmmm, what?
Not sure what you need clarified.

Are you looking for the meaning of "schooling" in the context used?

Or are you unaware he more than held his own against the Soviets in 1974?

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06-07-2010, 03:12 PM
  #113
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Not sure what you need clarified.

Are you looking for the meaning of "schooling" in the context used?

Or are you unaware he more than held his own against the Soviets in 1974?
The former. To my NON-native English speaker's ears it just sounds like he was totally dominating them, and I don't think he was - not on the ice nor in the scoresheet. Obviously he played awesome, but hey, he was Gordie Howe! One of a kind, a freak of nature.

Yes, I know the series very well and have seen all the games numerous times, except the 5th one.

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06-10-2010, 02:04 PM
  #114
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I gave the edge to Howe based on the fear factor. He recieved a huge amount of respect and leeway from player's not wishing to be disfigured by those flashing elbows...

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06-10-2010, 03:47 PM
  #115
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Originally Posted by kahlon66 View Post
most of you guys didnt even see Gordie Howe play, and the posts such as he led the playoffs scoring for 6 years well, there were only 6 teams and everyone made the playoffs and the level of competition is nothing close to what it was when Lemieux was playing, Gordie Howe didnt even fight much, Bobby Orr fought more than him, however people have that myth Gordie Howe hat trick.........Lemieux is in competition with Gretzky and above Howe
I saw Gordie Howe play, many, many times. He dominated play, although he often played at a very leisurely pace because he was on the ice for the greater part of the game. Howe was a much, much physically stronger player than Lemieux. I'd take Howe over Gretzky and Lemieux any day. In hindsight, I'd take him over Orr, too, given Orr's bad knees. I say all this as one who loved Maurice Richard, still the greatest scorer and most exciting player to watch in my view, and as one who hated Gordie Howe, aka Mr. Elbows and Mr. Butt End of the Stick. Your comment about the level of competition during the Original Six years is just laughable and unworthy of this board.

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06-10-2010, 03:53 PM
  #116
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Im not taking a dig at Howe, Im just wondering that because of the insane amount of ice time he would recieve could have helped him put up bigger numbers? Im not saying its a negative just curious on the thoughts of playing upwards of 40 mins a night, as opposed to players from the 1970's on who would play max 25-30 a game.

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06-11-2010, 01:09 PM
  #117
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Originally Posted by markrander87 View Post
Im not taking a dig at Howe, Im just wondering that because of the insane amount of ice time he would recieve could have helped him put up bigger numbers? Im not saying its a negative just curious on the thoughts of playing upwards of 40 mins a night, as opposed to players from the 1970's on who would play max 25-30 a game.
I wouldn't compare him to players from the 1970s as that would make no sense, we are trying to compare him to his contemporaries, and them to theirs.

But as far as comparing him to his contemporaries - if Mikita, Bathgate, Beliveau, Moore, Richard, Hull, etc were able to handle those minutes and still be effective, wouldn't their coaches play them more often too? Howe was able to handle those minutes for 20+ years. This is a good thing, not bad.

Lemieux also played an extremely high number of minutes per-game, even post-comeback when the stat was tracked. Should we cut off 20% of his points because he played 20% more per game than the Bernie Nicholls and Jeremy Roenicks of the day? I don't think so.

More icetime shows you're better.

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06-11-2010, 01:13 PM
  #118
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
I wouldn't compare him to players from the 1970s as that would make no sense, we are trying to compare him to his contemporaries, and them to theirs.

But as far as comparing him to his contemporaries - if Mikita, Bathgate, Beliveau, Moore, Richard, Hull, etc were able to handle those minutes and still be effective, wouldn't their coaches play them more often too? Howe was able to handle those minutes for 20+ years. This is a good thing, not bad.

Lemieux also played an extremely high number of minutes per-game, even post-comeback when the stat was tracked. Should we cut off 20% of his points because he played 20% more per game than the Bernie Nicholls and Jeremy Roenicks of the day? I don't think so.

More icetime shows you're better.
I definitely agree that more icetime shows you're better. It's why I laugh at the argument that "Forsberg was better than Sakic because he got his points with less ice time."

But mark does have something of a point though. Howe played 40 minutes per game and got all those points vs. Beliveau who played maybe 30 minutes per game and got all his points.

Sure, being able to handle those minutes is part of what makes Howe a better player. But the difference in points isn't just the extra points Howe got in those 10 minutes. It's the difference between what Howe got in those 10 minutes and what an average replacement player would get.

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06-11-2010, 02:05 PM
  #119
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Does everyone agree that Gordie Howe really played 40 minutes a game on average? While he may have done so at times, it seems highly improbable to me that he averaged those minutes over a full season.

If Howe actually played those minutes, he would in fact be a below-average scorer, hurting his team for much of his career. Take the 1959-60 Detroit Red Wings. Suppose that they averaged 50 even strength minutes, 5 power play minutes, and 5 shorthanded minutes per game. The incidence of power plays back then was lower, so this seems reasonable. Suppose that Howe played all 5 minutes on the power play, 3 of 5 minutes shorthanded, and 32 of 50 minutes at even strength.

Howe scored 47 even strength points that season, or 15.4% of the 305 even strength points that Detroit forwards scored. If he played 32 even strength minutes a game, that would be 21.3% of the even strength minutes that Detroit forwards played, meaning that in this scenario Detroit was a better offensive team with Howe off the ice.

In general, I don't put a lot of stock in these reported average ice times. See this Sports Illustrated story from the 1981-82 season: "Still, Sather regularly calls upon Gretzky to take abnormally long, 1-to-two-minute shifts, which means he plays 32 to 38 minutes a game. Most first-line centers are on the ice about 22 minutes."

And then see this SI story from the next season: "People said I was tired at the end of the year, and they thought that was one reason we lost to the Kings," says Gretzky, who last season averaged a whopping 38 minutes of ice time a game, killing penalties and working the power play in addition to his regular shifts, which frequently run three minutes apiece, compared with perhaps a minute for mere mortals.

First, you can see how the estimates of ice time per game and shift length grew in the course of a year. Second, based on the goals for and goals against, one ice-time estimator has Gretzky playing 25 minutes a game that season. That seems a lot more reasonable. If Gretzky was playing 25 minutes a game (19 at even strength), based on his goals for and goals against at even strength he was a great offensive player and an average defensive player. (7.5 GF/60 and 4.3 GA/60, league average of 3.9 G/60) If he was playing 30 minutes a game at even strength, he was a good offensive player and the best defensive centre in the league. (4.8 GF/60 and 2.7 GA/60). The first estimate seems a lot more likely, and it seems very unlikely that Gretzky was playing more than 30 minutes a game on average.

I don't think people are very good at estimating average ice times for star players, and Gordie Howe is no exception.


Last edited by overpass: 06-11-2010 at 02:11 PM.
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06-11-2010, 02:17 PM
  #120
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Originally Posted by legendsofhockey
Apart from his forbidding temperament, Howe's athletic and savvy playing style also contributed to his longevity. He never wasted energy if he didn't need to, especially after he cut down on the number of fights he'd take part in early in his career. He was economical with his movements, anticipating when and where the play would intersect with his effortless progress around the ice. He often played 45 minutes of a game when the average total was 25. Observers noticed that when his exhausted line returned to the bench, Howe was the first to recover and raise his head, ready for another shift..
Notice the word "often." It doesn't say average. As far as I know, the estimate of Howe's ice time is based entirely off that quote.

You're right though - 45 minutes seems way too high on average, but I do have no doubt that he played more than stars on the Canadiens, who had a much deeper set of forwards.

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06-11-2010, 02:33 PM
  #121
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More Ice Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
I wouldn't compare him to players from the 1970s as that would make no sense, we are trying to compare him to his contemporaries, and them to theirs.

But as far as comparing him to his contemporaries - if Mikita, Bathgate, Beliveau, Moore, Richard, Hull, etc were able to handle those minutes and still be effective, wouldn't their coaches play them more often too? Howe was able to handle those minutes for 20+ years. This is a good thing, not bad.

Lemieux also played an extremely high number of minutes per-game, even post-comeback when the stat was tracked. Should we cut off 20% of his points because he played 20% more per game than the Bernie Nicholls and Jeremy Roenicks of the day? I don't think so.

More icetime shows you're better.
More ice time shows you're better is a rather simplistic observation that neglects certain realities.

Gordie Howe played in an era with smaller game rosters 15-16 players per game so effectively teams played with 3 forward lines and two defensive pairings with two substitutes that played during the PK or rotated thru the 4th d-man slot or third line depending on requirements and strengths and weaknesses.

Depending on the strengths of a team, the direction that a game took it was not uncommon that the 1st and 2nd defensive pairings would show 35/25 minute splits. Likewise if a team was trying to comeback the first line would be used in a 1/2/1/3/1 type rotation plus PP time and double shifting of certain players. This would drive the first lines minutes upwards of 40 in certain circumstances.

Another consideration was that until the start of the 1956-57 season, two minute penalties were served completely regardless of the number of PP goals scored. The resulting offensive minutes were usually played by the first line.

Conversely in blow-out games, wins or loses the star players would be rested as the game would be played-out with the bottom half of the roster getting more ice time.

Gordie Howe was one of the rare stars of his era who would play significant PK time, especially in the late 1950's and 1960's. The Red Wings of the era lacked depth so he soldiered on.

More ice time then and now was not a function of merit rather necessity and like all choices came with a price down the road.

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06-11-2010, 02:58 PM
  #122
seventieslord
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
More ice time shows you're better is a rather simplistic observation that neglects certain realities.

Gordie Howe played in an era with smaller game rosters 15-16 players per game so effectively teams played with 3 forward lines and two defensive pairings with two substitutes that played during the PK or rotated thru the 4th d-man slot or third line depending on requirements and strengths and weaknesses.

Depending on the strengths of a team, the direction that a game took it was not uncommon that the 1st and 2nd defensive pairings would show 35/25 minute splits. Likewise if a team was trying to comeback the first line would be used in a 1/2/1/3/1 type rotation plus PP time and double shifting of certain players. This would drive the first lines minutes upwards of 40 in certain circumstances.

Another consideration was that until the start of the 1956-57 season, two minute penalties were served completely regardless of the number of PP goals scored. The resulting offensive minutes were usually played by the first line.

Conversely in blow-out games, wins or loses the star players would be rested as the game would be played-out with the bottom half of the roster getting more ice time.

Gordie Howe was one of the rare stars of his era who would play significant PK time, especially in the late 1950's and 1960's. The Red Wings of the era lacked depth so he soldiered on.

More ice time then and now was not a function of merit rather necessity and like all choices came with a price down the road.
I realize it's very simplistic but this is arguably the best player of all-time we're talking about.

In all likelihood, overpass is correct. Howe may have played more than anyone else, but certainly not 45 when others were averaging about 30.

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