I think it's fair to say that Crosby and Ovechkin are generally regarded as the 2 best players in the game right now, and quite a bit ahead of the pack.
What other times in history has there been 2 players that were relatively even (please no comments on who is better between Crosby/Ovechkin) and/or considered the 2 best in the game while there being a distinct gap between them and the rest of the league?
Gretzky/Lemieux is an obvious example. What are some others? Feel free to break it down by position as well (ie: these were the consensus 2 best defenseman in the league) Perhaps Bourque/Coffey would be a good example for a stretch in the 80's?
Also, this should be obvious, but this is not meant to be on a scale of one single year. It certainly takes more than that to be considered a "consensus best" at any position.
Last edited by Hawkey Town 18: 08-26-2010 at 11:57 PM.
This is a good example. For those that are familiar with the era...I know Richard started a few years before Howe. At what point did Howe catch up/they were considered equals, and at what point did Howe surpass Richard as the consensus best in the league?
I was thinking about this as well while reading the thread about whether they've cracked the top-100 list yet. I think they're actually incredibly unique in how they've not only established themselves as the top 2 players in the game and near-equals, but also came into the league at the same time, so there's no league factors to consider in comparing them. They're like the Bird/Magic of the NHL (though, now we need some team playoff success for Ovie)
For some other players, it seems like Espo and Clarke were pretty much the top 2 centres in the game for a few years, though both had very different games.
As well, Plante and Hall I think were pretty much the consensus top 2 goalies for awhile after Sawchuk's initial peak.
Without thinking too much, I feel every other period had more or less than 2 clear cut top-player. Lalonde/Malone had (in the NHL) Denneny/Benedict/Nighbor close. Guys like Cook and Conacher had Shore and Morenz winning Hart Trophies over them. 30's and 40's were inconsistent. In the late 70's you could pick anyone from Trottier, Lafleur, Dryden, Potvin, Bossy. The early 2000's saw 5 different Hart winners in 5 years before Sid and Ovie came along. You could make a case for Lidstrom and Brodeur but guys like Thornton and Iginla were sporadically good enough to rank beside or ahead of them.
Last edited by Weztex: 08-27-2010 at 04:16 AM.
Reason: Spelling mistake