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Bryan Trottier

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08-26-2010, 08:51 PM
  #76
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Originally Posted by redbull View Post
Lafleur was definitely a tremendous player, as gifted offensively as anyone I've seen outside 99 and 66, great wheels, great shot, great passer a pure natural talent and a competitor.
And there in lies the reasoning. Lafleur was every bit as good if not better than the scoresheet dictated. He was a thorn in the side of the opposition. He never took a night off in his prime. He is on a short list of players who just wrecked havoc every time they were on the ice. Few players garnered as much attention as Lafleur when he was on the ice. That alone shows you that along with the numbers he was always the guy other teams keyed on.

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I agree Lafleur was considered the best (among the best) in the NHL in his prime - that is something.
It is a list that is extremely short. Who were the best players in NHL history at a given time. There aren't many who have occupied those spots. Lafleur is in great company.

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And would Lafleur look impressive had he played in the Gretzky era? or would he blend in with the Hawerchuks? Even Mike Bossy's pure scoring numbers were almost ignored at times. What's 50in50 when you get 50in39?
Nothing against good ol' Hawerchuk who is rather underrated himself, but he was never the player that Lafleur was in his peak. Lafleur would be the 2nd best player in the world after Gretzky.

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08-26-2010, 08:57 PM
  #77
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What about his peak is better than Trottier outside of averaging say 5-10 goals more?
The dominance and the attention he got from the second he stepped on the ice. His speed alone wrecked havoc as did his shot. His ability to elevate his teammates. Look at how fine players like Pete Mahovlich fared when they weren't with Lafleur. Is it a coincidence that once he was paired with him in 1975 that he hit 117 points and then 105 the next year? I've said before that Steve Shutt should bow down to Lafleur for giving him a spot in the HHOF. Honestly is there another time where a player can be credited with doing that?

Lafleur was also more dangerous on the ice than Trottier. Trotts had the better two-way game but Lafleur commanded more attention. Teams would build their game to stop Lafleur more so than Trottier. And again this is hardly a knock for Trotts

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08-26-2010, 10:37 PM
  #78
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Steve Shutt and the 1974 Playoffs

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
The dominance and the attention he got from the second he stepped on the ice. His speed alone wrecked havoc as did his shot. His ability to elevate his teammates. Look at how fine players like Pete Mahovlich fared when they weren't with Lafleur. Is it a coincidence that once he was paired with him in 1975 that he hit 117 points and then 105 the next year? I've said before that Steve Shutt should bow down to Lafleur for giving him a spot in the HHOF. Honestly is there another time where a player can be credited with doing that?

Lafleur was also more dangerous on the ice than Trottier. Trotts had the better two-way game but Lafleur commanded more attention. Teams would build their game to stop Lafleur more so than Trottier. And again this is hardly a knock for Trotts

Giving Guy Lafleur credit for Steve Shutt's success is absolute nonsense. During the first round of the 1974 playoffs against the New York Rangers, Scotty Bowman put together a line which had Henri Richard at center, Steve Shutt at LW, Claude Larose at RW although Cournoyer would double shift at times. Guy Lafleur - third year in the league, was basically the 10th or 11th forward:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/MTL/1974.html

The results are available for all to see in the playoff section of the above. Shutt lead the Canadiens in scoring while old Henri Richard was 3rd. Guy Lafleur contributed 1 assist in 6 games, game 6 playing with Richard and Shutt. Boxscores available via the HSP.

http://www.flyershistory.com/cgi-bin/hsppogames.cgi

Basically this was Steve Shutt's break thru moment. Also playing with Henri Richard he quickly learned about effort, defense and the proper way of playing hockey. Other than one assist Guy Lafleur contributed very little to the emergence of Steve Shutt.

The 1974-75 season saw the formation of the Lafleur/ P.Mahovlich/ Shutt. The line flourished offensively for most of two seasons. P.Mahovlich and Guy Lafleur(embarrased after the 1974 playoffs) were the more prolific offensively but Steve Shutt was the best of the line defensively and he also did all the important little things such as staying wide on the rush, keeping wide passing lanes,etc.
The lack of defense and disciplined play eventually caused Scotty Bowman to phase out Pete Mahovlich, replacing him with Jacques Lemaire. Playing with a defensively responsible center like Lemaire, one who could appreciate the little things that Shutt did offensively enhance Shutt's game as well as Lafleur's.

So the two main influences in Steve Shutt's NHL career were two centers - Henri Richard and Jacques Lemaire supported by the BIG 3 on defense who appreciated how his little game facilitated the transition and puck movement. Replace Guy Lafleur with a healthy Yvan Cournoyer and Steve Shutt also makes the HHOF.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 08-26-2010 at 10:40 PM. Reason: link
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08-26-2010, 11:04 PM
  #79
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Peak

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Nothing against Bossy or his wonderful career but this is more about Trottier vs. Lafleur. Also I think Lafleur was barely an inferior goal scorer to Bossy and was a much more supreme playmaker. I don't see any evidence of Bossy having a better peak than Lafleur even though I will maintain it is a good comparison.
Mike Bossy's peak started with his first shift in the NHL Guy Lafleur's started during his fourth NHL season.

Bossy was actually a better playmaker than Guy Lafleur. First five seasons Mike Bossy had 270 assists while Guy Lafleur had 233. On a per game basis / career Mike Bossy at .74 > .70 Guy Lafleur. The rebound assists would tend to wash since they were both great shooters.So your assertion that Lafleur was a "much more supreme playmaker" is not supported by data at any level.

After Jacques Lemaire started playing regularly with Guy Lafleur his assists went up. Basically a function of discipline by Lemaire, Shutt and the Big 3 creating wide passing lanes so the passing looked better. Bossy playing with Trottier and Gillies was on a line that featured a crash the net style from the LW so the passing did not look as spectacular but was just as productive.

Regardless of the spin and selecting favourable comparables Bryan Trottier was a much better hockey player than Guy Lafleur, while Mike Bossy was somewhat better. Guy Lafleur had more artistic flair and better press.

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08-26-2010, 11:24 PM
  #80
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Regardless of era it has been shown that one line teams are much easier to defend and stop.
You are, of course, absolutely correct.

A great example, ironically, is NYI, pre-Butch Goring. Come playoff time, if you tamed Gillies/Trottier/Bossy (and took the body on Potvin relentlessly), you beat NYI. It was proven multiple times in the late 70s.

This thread is at time HF at its very best, and at times, it's worst. We're talking about a guy who's considered by many in the game as the most complete player of his time...and we're going to narrow his on-ice value to a overly simplistic side-by-side offensive stat comparison with another great player, let alone one who's game was entirely different? Limiting a discussion of #19 to bean counter metrics (home runs and RBI, home runs and RBIs...the M.O. of the sabremeticians) is akin to evaluating Michael Jordan based exclusively for his field goal shooting. Or Willie Mays solely on home runs.

Guy Lafleur was a supreme offensive game breaker. Bryan Trottier was the classic complete hockey player. Like comparing a QB and wide receiver. One can do it (and it sure has been done here!) but it ultimately renders little in the way of insight. Just my opinion.


Last edited by Trottier: 08-26-2010 at 11:38 PM.
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08-27-2010, 12:19 AM
  #81
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Mike Bossy's peak started with his first shift in the NHL Guy Lafleur's started during his fourth NHL season.

Bossy was actually a better playmaker than Guy Lafleur. First five seasons Mike Bossy had 270 assists while Guy Lafleur had 233. On a per game basis / career Mike Bossy at .74 > .70 Guy Lafleur. The rebound assists would tend to wash since they were both great shooters.So your assertion that Lafleur was a "much more supreme playmaker" is not supported by data at any level.
I'm not so sure about the bolded statement. You gave 2 examples of first 5 years and career to make Bossy look better; however, if you look at it in other ways Lafleur will look better.

One way would be to only consider Lafleur's first 10 seasons since that is all Bossy played. This would not penalize Lafleur for being able to play longer. In that scenario Lafleur averages 0.80 assists per game, better than Bossy's 0.74.

Yet another way to look at it would be to consider the seasons in which they were both in the league (77'-78' to 84'-85'). In that scenario, Bossy averages 0.75 APG and Lafleur averages 0.81 APG.

This shows that it is not as cut and dry as "Bossy was a better playmaker"

I think there is one thing we can agree on for sure though...the words "much more supreme" should not be used regardless of which side one takes.

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08-27-2010, 12:20 AM
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Mike Bossy's peak started with his first shift in the NHL Guy Lafleur's started during his fourth NHL season.

Bossy was actually a better playmaker than Guy Lafleur. First five seasons Mike Bossy had 270 assists while Guy Lafleur had 233. On a per game basis / career Mike Bossy at .74 > .70 Guy Lafleur. The rebound assists would tend to wash since they were both great shooters.So your assertion that Lafleur was a "much more supreme playmaker" is not supported by data at any level.
Actually, it is supported by the data at most levels that a stats-minded hockey fan would consider fair.

For example, you considered Lafleur's first 5 seasons even though he did very little in the first three. Bossy was good immediately (to his credit) but comparing 5 years that include what is by far Bossy's best, to a period that compares Lafleur's 5th and 6th-best years of his 6-year prime, and his three worst pre-comeback regular seasons, is obviously unfair.

Also, Lafleur peaked from 1975 to 1980. Bossy's nine-year peak was from 1978 to 1986. Overall, this was a much higher-scoring environment. And you did not account for this.

Finally, that you used their career averages is a real laugh. Lafleur's 0.70 average was maintained over 1126 games, including a 3 season comeback as a 37-39-year old. Bossy's 0.74 average was maintained over 752 games in a higher scoring era.

You didn't expect us to be fooled by your extremely misleading comparison, did you?

Here are some comparisons that are more fair:

Lafleur's top-8 seasons for assists: 80 77 75 72 69 66 57 49
Bossy's top-8 seasons for assists: 83 67 62 59 58 57 51 41

And since Bossy did play more of his prime in the high-scoring 80s:

Lafleur's top-8 seasons for adjusted assists: 72 65 65 64 60 58 52 40
Bossy's top-8 seasons for adjusted assists: 61 53 49 48 47 47 40 35

Lafleur's seasons as a top-10 playmaker: 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 5th
Bossy's seasons as a top-10 playmaker: 4th, 6th, 9th

Lafleur's career APG average from his age 21 to after his age 30 season (the ages Bossy played): 0.83 (this includes the 1973-1977 seasons, in which scoring was about 20% lower than the 1983-1987 seasons in which Bossy played)

So what were you saying?


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Originally Posted by Trottier View Post
This thread is at time HF at its very best, and at times, it's worst. We're talking about a guy who's considered by many in the game as the most complete player of his time...and we're going to narrow his on-ice value to a overly simplistic side-by-side offensive stat comparison with another great player, let alone one who's game was entirely different? Limiting a discussion of #19 to bean counter metrics (home runs and RBI, home runs and RBIs...the M.O. of the sabremeticians)
You often come in and make general criticisms like this without calling out any one poster in particular. Since something I said earlier on indirectly led to this comment, let me clarify, just in case your comment is for me.

Your post was in response to C1958 saying one line teams are easier to stop, which was his comment to the disagreement about adjusting player's stats due to the offensive strength of their teams, which was Brave Canadian's counter to my posting of Lafleur and Trottier's adjusted numbers in their peak, which was my response to his claim that they were practically even offensively.

They are not practically even offensively; Lafleur was definitely better. Overall I could be persuaded to give Trottier the edge because I do understand and respect everything else he brought to the game. I'm not a bean counter and I don't see much of that going on in this thread at all, to be honest. Any offensive comparisons being done, it is understood, only help to put together a piece of the puzzle and certainly not the whole thing.

Just in case you were talking about me.

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08-27-2010, 01:55 AM
  #83
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Adjusted Stats

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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Actually, it is supported by the data at most levels that a stats-minded hockey fan would consider fair.

For example, you considered Lafleur's first 5 seasons even though he did very little in the first three. Bossy was good immediately (to his credit) but comparing 5 years that include what is by far Bossy's best, to a period that compares Lafleur's 5th and 6th-best years of his 6-year prime, and his three worst pre-comeback regular seasons, is obviously unfair.

Also, Lafleur peaked from 1975 to 1980. Bossy's nine-year peak was from 1978 to 1986. Overall, this was a much higher-scoring environment. And you did not account for this.

Finally, that you used their career averages is a real laugh. Lafleur's 0.70 average was maintained over 1126 games, including a 3 season comeback as a 37-39-year old. Bossy's 0.74 average was maintained over 752 games in a higher scoring era.

You didn't expect us to be fooled by your extremely misleading comparison, did you?

Here are some comparisons that are more fair:

Lafleur's top-8 seasons for assists: 80 77 75 72 69 66 57 49
Bossy's top-8 seasons for assists: 83 67 62 59 58 57 51 41

And since Bossy did play more of his prime in the high-scoring 80s:

Lafleur's top-8 seasons for adjusted assists: 72 65 65 64 60 58 52 40
Bossy's top-8 seasons for adjusted assists: 61 53 49 48 47 47 40 35

Lafleur's seasons as a top-10 playmaker: 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 5th
Bossy's seasons as a top-10 playmaker: 4th, 6th, 9th

Lafleur's career APG average from his age 21 to after his age 30 season (the ages Bossy played): 0.83 (this includes the 1973-1977 seasons, in which scoring was about 20% lower than the 1983-1987 seasons in which Bossy played)

So what were you saying?




You often come in and make general criticisms like this without calling out any one poster in particular. Since something I said earlier on indirectly led to this comment, let me clarify, just in case your comment is for me.

Your post was in response to C1958 saying one line teams are easier to stop, which was his comment to the disagreement about adjusting player's stats due to the offensive strength of their teams, which was Brave Canadian's counter to my posting of Lafleur and Trottier's adjusted numbers in their peak, which was my response to his claim that they were practically even offensively.

They are not practically even offensively; Lafleur was definitely better. Overall I could be persuaded to give Trottier the edge because I do understand and respect everything else he brought to the game. I'm not a bean counter and I don't see much of that going on in this thread at all, to be honest. Any offensive comparisons being done, it is understood, only help to put together a piece of the puzzle and certainly not the whole thing.

Just in case you were talking about me.
Basically only Guy Lafleur is responsible for the results produced at various times of his career. Effectively they reflect what they reflect.

Adjusted stats. Nice try. 1979-80 season would be the benchmark. Scoring went up and the Canadiens scoring kept pace - some seasons outscoring their four season dynasty run. Guy Lafleur's assist - per game did not follow suit, they went down so while the club was scoring more he was contributing less as a playmaker. At the same time Mike Bossy saw his assist -per game, go up keeping pace with the the scoring trends and sustaining his playmaking position.

So you are effectively giving Guy Lafleur credit where none is due in a situation where his performance did not reflect what was happening on the ice. At the same time you are penalizing Mike Bossy for keeping pace or surpassing what was happening on the ice.

Does not work very well.

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08-27-2010, 07:07 AM
  #84
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Originally Posted by Trottier View Post
This thread is at time HF at its very best, and at times, it's worst. We're talking about a guy who's considered by many in the game as the most complete player of his time...and we're going to narrow his on-ice value to a overly simplistic side-by-side offensive stat comparison with another great player, let alone one who's game was entirely different? Limiting a discussion of #19 to bean counter metrics (home runs and RBI, home runs and RBIs...the M.O. of the sabremeticians) is akin to evaluating Michael Jordan based exclusively for his field goal shooting. Or Willie Mays solely on home runs.
The point I have been trying to push a bit in this thread is exactly what you are saying.

Basically, the fact that Trottier was so good offensively (in addition to everything else) that at his peak he was most likely a better overall player than someone like Guy Lafleur (as an example). Lafleur was better offensively, but not better in that one area by a degree that it beats all the other things Trottier can do.

(Sorry Guy, I am always beating up on you!)

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08-27-2010, 07:10 AM
  #85
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Basically only Guy Lafleur is responsible for the results produced at various times of his career. Effectively they reflect what they reflect.

Adjusted stats. Nice try. 1979-80 season would be the benchmark. Scoring went up and the Canadiens scoring kept pace - some seasons outscoring their four season dynasty run. Guy Lafleur's assist - per game did not follow suit, they went down so while the club was scoring more he was contributing less as a playmaker. At the same time Mike Bossy saw his assist -per game, go up keeping pace with the the scoring trends and sustaining his playmaking position.

So you are effectively giving Guy Lafleur credit where none is due in a situation where his performance did not reflect what was happening on the ice. At the same time you are penalizing Mike Bossy for keeping pace or surpassing what was happening on the ice.

Does not work very well.
Yes, the problem is that the adjusted stats drop every factor in favour of an average which makes it progressively worse the farther a player/team is from the league average in the years being compared.

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08-27-2010, 09:55 AM
  #86
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Basically only Guy Lafleur is responsible for the results produced at various times of his career. Effectively they reflect what they reflect.

Adjusted stats. Nice try. 1979-80 season would be the benchmark. Scoring went up and the Canadiens scoring kept pace - some seasons outscoring their four season dynasty run. Guy Lafleur's assist - per game did not follow suit, they went down so while the club was scoring more he was contributing less as a playmaker. At the same time Mike Bossy saw his assist -per game, go up keeping pace with the the scoring trends and sustaining his playmaking position.

So you are effectively giving Guy Lafleur credit where none is due in a situation where his performance did not reflect what was happening on the ice. At the same time you are penalizing Mike Bossy for keeping pace or surpassing what was happening on the ice.

Does not work very well.
Once again you got caught presenting misleading data and you can't handle it. Not my problem.

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08-27-2010, 11:03 AM
  #87
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Guy Lafleur and Playmaking

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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Once again you got caught presenting misleading data and you can't handle it. Not my problem.
You are the one presenting misleading data since you are trying to show that what was happening on the ice was not happening.

Taking Guy Lafleur's two best playmaking seasons - one from each period in question where the other Canadiens scored approximately the same number of total goals.

1976-77 Guy Lafleur 56G/80A. Montreal Canadiens scored 387 goals. Effectively the other players scored 331 goals and Lafleur assisted on 80 of them or 24.2%.

1981-82 Guy Lafleur 27G/57A playing only 66 games. Montreal Canadiens scored 360 goals. Effectively the other players scored 333 goals. Not adjusting for the missing games Lafleur assisted on 57 of them or 17.1%.

Spin it whatever way you want, adjust to your heart's content but you will not avoid the fact that Guy Lafleur's playmaking skills were diminishing. His playmaking dropped significantly even though the players on his team were scoring more and did not miss him when he was not playing.

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08-27-2010, 12:42 PM
  #88
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
You are the one presenting misleading data since you are trying to show that what was happening on the ice was not happening.

Taking Guy Lafleur's two best playmaking seasons - one from each period in question where the other Canadiens scored approximately the same number of total goals.

1976-77 Guy Lafleur 56G/80A. Montreal Canadiens scored 387 goals. Effectively the other players scored 331 goals and Lafleur assisted on 80 of them or 24.2%.

1981-82 Guy Lafleur 27G/57A playing only 66 games. Montreal Canadiens scored 360 goals. Effectively the other players scored 333 goals. Not adjusting for the missing games Lafleur assisted on 57 of them or 17.1%.

Spin it whatever way you want, adjust to your heart's content but you will not avoid the fact that Guy Lafleur's playmaking skills were diminishing. His playmaking dropped significantly even though the players on his team were scoring more and did not miss him when he was not playing.
So at the age of 30 and in his 11th NHL season Guy Lafleur's playmaking skills were starting to diminish. I don't think anyone would be suprised by that. It is also especially irrelevant when comparing to Bossy as his APG numbers took a dip at age 30 (his 10th season) also.

You also did not address my earlier post about Lafleur having better per game numbers if you only look at his first 10 seasons (the same number played by Bossy) and better numbers again if you only look at seasons where him and Bossy were both playing in the NHL.

This comparison is not as black and white as you are making it out to be. The two are very close in playmaking abilities.

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08-27-2010, 01:33 PM
  #89
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So at the age of 30 and in his 11th NHL season Guy Lafleur's playmaking skills were starting to diminish. I don't think anyone would be suprised by that. It is also especially irrelevant when comparing to Bossy as his APG numbers took a dip at age 30 (his 10th season) also.

This comparison is not as black and white as you are making it out to be. The two are very close in playmaking abilities.
I'm not debating your overall point.

But with regard to the boldfaced sentence above: you do realize that in his 10th season, Mike Bossy was playing with a major back injury, correct? One that forced his premature retirement.

Again, stats in context.

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08-27-2010, 01:47 PM
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This comparison is not as black and white as you are making it out to be. The two are very close in playmaking abilities.
That was actually his point.

He was originally responding to someone who was trying to say that Lafleur was in a different stratosphere altogether as a playmaker than Bossy.

I think Lafleur was certainly better at it.. but I don't think it was a huge gap.

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08-27-2010, 01:52 PM
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Once again you got caught presenting misleading data and you can't handle it. Not my problem.
Agreed. Comparing Lafleur's 1st 5 years with Bossy's 1st 5 years is a brutal comparison, but not as bad as comparing Lafleur's career stats per game with Bossy's career stats per game, for reasons that you said.

The idea that Bossy was a better playmaker than Lafleur is laughable.

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08-27-2010, 02:03 PM
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That was actually his point.

He was originally responding to someone who was trying to say that Lafleur was in a different stratosphere altogether as a playmaker than Bossy.

I think Lafleur was certainly better at it.. but I don't think it was a huge gap.
In my first post I said that I agreed that there was not a huge gap between the two. I was making a response to his statement where he said "Bossy was actually the better playmaker" and gave first 5 year and career APG numbers to "prove" that. I was disputing that statement and the way he went about proving it and instead saying the two are actually very close to each other.

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08-27-2010, 02:05 PM
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I'm not debating your overall point.

But with regard to the boldfaced sentence above: you do realize that in his 10th season, Mike Bossy was playing with a major back injury, correct? One that forced his premature retirement.

Again, stats in context.
Yes I am aware Bossy was injured. That was the point actually. I was trying to illustrate how silly it is to cite Lafleur's decline in performance in his 11th season as a reason why he wasn't as good a playmaker as Bossy, when Bossy couldn't even physically make it to an 11th season.

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08-27-2010, 02:18 PM
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Basic Point

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Originally Posted by JohnnyD View Post
So at the age of 30 and in his 11th NHL season Guy Lafleur's playmaking skills were starting to diminish. I don't think anyone would be suprised by that. It is also especially irrelevant when comparing to Bossy as his APG numbers took a dip at age 30 (his 10th season) also.

You also did not address my earlier post about Lafleur having better per game numbers if you only look at his first 10 seasons (the same number played by Bossy) and better numbers again if you only look at seasons where him and Bossy were both playing in the NHL.

This comparison is not as black and white as you are making it out to be. The two are very close in playmaking abilities.
Many older players as they reach 30 see their playmaking skills improve as their games approaches completeness. Prime example amongst wingers would be Frank Mahovlich.

The basic point remains the same. The playmaking distinction between Guy Lafleur and Mike Bossy is interchangeable depending on the comparisons and spin that anyone chooses, which goes against the beyond supreme edge that posters were trying to attribute to Guy Lafleur.

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08-27-2010, 02:21 PM
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Interesting discussion.

I am surprised at the comments listing Bossy as a more important piece of the Isle's dynasty than Trottier. As much as I respect Bossy, I would not have said this. No doubt he was going to score, but for me I always had the sense that to beat the Isle they two keys were Trottier and Potivin.

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08-27-2010, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Many older players as they reach 30 see their playmaking skills improve as their games approaches completeness. Prime example amongst wingers would be Frank Mahovlich.

The basic point remains the same. The playmaking distinction between Guy Lafleur and Mike Bossy is interchangeable depending on the comparisons and spin that anyone chooses, which goes against the beyond supreme edge that posters were trying to attribute to Guy Lafleur.
Agree

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08-27-2010, 02:29 PM
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I really don't see how anyone can possibly argue Bossy as a an equal or better playmaker than Lafleur, unless you really believe he was a much better overall player than Lafleur, which goes against the general perception of history.

We know Bossy was the better finisher. We know that he was a better backchecker (though not as good as his linemates). Yet Lafleur is usually ranked higher... because he is an all-time great playmaker. Am I missing something? It seems that a brutal manipulation of stats (comparing Bossy's prime with Lafleur's pre-prime years or using "per game" stats that including Lafleur's awful comeback years) is the only way you can say they are close when it comes to playmaking.

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08-27-2010, 02:47 PM
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The Contrary

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Agreed. Comparing Lafleur's 1st 5 years with Bossy's 1st 5 years is a brutal comparison, but not as bad as comparing Lafleur's career stats per game with Bossy's career stats per game, for reasons that you said.

The idea that Bossy was a better playmaker than Lafleur is laughable.
Actually comparing the first five years of a players NHL career to anothers is a very legit comparison.

In this specific case both Lafleur and Bossy were goal scorers in junior whose goal totals significantly surpassed their assists.Guy Lafleur was a #1 pick overall out of the QMJHL while Mike Bossy was a late first round pick out of the QMJHL. One of the reasons why Bossy was picked so late was that Guy Lafleur took at least three seasons to adapt to the NHL game and teams were skeptical about Mike Bossy ability to adapt. Contrary to Guy Lafleur, Mike Bossy adapted very quickly not only as a goal scorer but as shown previously as a playmaker as well. Bossy had played on a very weak Laval team that produced fringe NHL players, Yvon Vatour, Glen Currie, Patrick Daley from amongst their regulars.

Guy Lafleur played on a Quebec team that included other NHL first round picks - Jacques Richard, Andre Savard and a fair number of future WHA players.

In the context of how each player progressed thru the league, how and when each impacted the first five years are significant. Evidenced today by the Ovechkin v Crosby discussions.

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08-27-2010, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I really don't see how anyone can possibly argue Bossy as a an equal or better playmaker than Lafleur, unless you really believe he was a much better overall player than Lafleur, which goes against the general perception of history.

We know Bossy was the better finisher. We know that he was a better backchecker (though not as good as his linemates). Yet Lafleur is usually ranked higher... because he is an all-time great playmaker. Am I missing something? It seems that a brutal manipulation of stats (comparing Bossy's prime with Lafleur's pre-prime years or using "per game" stats that including Lafleur's awful comeback years) is the only way you can say they are close when it comes to playmaking.
I really don't see it either. Ignoring this only comparing first 5 years (where Bossy obviously wins, and should definitely get credit for adapting right away, but is basically pointless for judging Lafleur's prime as a playmaker) and ignoring raw point totals that favor Bossy's higher scoring era, I think assist finishes work best in their comparison.

Lafleur: 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 5
Bossy: 4, 6, 9 (3, 5, 9 if we eliminate Gretzky)

And Lafleur's were over 6 consecutive seasons, whereas Bossy's had a couple years in between them, suggesting they were less indicative of his level of play.

When you figure that over his peak Lafleur had the potential to lead the league in assists any of the seasons (he led the league in assists and APG over his top 6 years), and Bossy really didn't, I don't think it's all that close. As well, Lafleur was the primary puckcarrier and top playmaker on his line, which was more Trottier's role with the Isles.

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08-27-2010, 04:00 PM
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I really don't see it either. Ignoring this only comparing first 5 years (where Bossy obviously wins, and should definitely get credit for adapting right away, but is basically pointless for judging Lafleur's prime as a playmaker) and ignoring raw point totals that favor Bossy's higher scoring era, I think assist finishes work best in their comparison.

Lafleur: 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 5
Bossy: 4, 6, 9 (3, 5, 9 if we eliminate Gretzky)

And Lafleur's were over 6 consecutive seasons, whereas Bossy's had a couple years in between them, suggesting they were less indicative of his level of play.

When you figure that over his peak Lafleur had the potential to lead the league in assists any of the seasons (he led the league in assists and APG over his top 6 years), and Bossy really didn't, I don't think it's all that close. As well, Lafleur was the primary puckcarrier and top playmaker on his line, which was more Trottier's role with the Isles.
Its true that Lafleur was the best playmaker in the league during his prime.

It is also my opinion that he didn't have as much competition. He had a nice gap between Orr and Trottier/Bossy/Gretzky all to himself.

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