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Mark Howe or Scott Niedermayer

View Poll Results: Who was better ??
Mark Howe 38 56.72%
Scott Niedermayer 29 43.28%
Voters: 67. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
11-10-2010, 04:21 PM
  #51
Dark Shadows
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Actually Neely and Lindros' injury plagued careers are the reasons that they are as borderline as they are for the HHOF. Forsberg did way too much in the postseason, as well as more in the regular season to be held back because of his lack of games.



No one specific per se, but when Howe is leading the polls 30-18 over a guy that I personally clearly see had a better career then I begin to wonder if sentiment plays a part in it



Remember, I am not going against Howe for the HHOF. I have stated that he deserves it in my opinion. I just feel that things just don't add up for me to put him ahead of Niedermayer. Howe was never shafted for the Norris, or shafted for the Cup or anything like that. I just don't see anything he did that gives him the overall career value of Niedermayer.
Is the topic on career value? Or overall including Peak?

My case for Mark Howe, which is a cut and paste from last time his name came up.
Even if you completely ignore his WHA years(Which you should not because he was a fantastic two way forward), his NHL resume is excellent.

Defensively? He was Rock solid. One of the best defensive defenders of his day. Offensively? He could make things happen out there all alone. He was a hell of a quarterback, able to Rush the puck, make the first pass. In fact, I would say he was one of the best 5 on 5 players in the NHL. He also did this playing a finesse game taking very few penalties.

His Norris Record? 5th, 2nd, 2nd, 6th, 2nd in his prime. Against some of the strongest competition ever to lace them up. Denis Potvin, Borje Salming, Larry Robinson, Ray Bourque, Paul Coffey, Rod Langway...........Even the next tier down were fantastic defenders, consisting of Doug Wilson, Larry Murphy, a Young Scott Stevens, Chris Chelios and Al Macinnis........

Howe also pulled out some strong consideration for the Hart Trophy. Against the Likes of Gretzky, Trottier, Bossy, Lemieux, Yzerman, Stastny, Messier, Howe was 5th, 3rd, and 8th for the Hart, and we all know defensemen have to do a hell of a job to get noticed for the Hart.

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11-10-2010, 04:37 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Is the topic on career value? Or overall including Peak?

My case for Mark Howe, which is a cut and paste from last time his name came up.
Even if you completely ignore his WHA years(Which you should not because he was a fantastic two way forward), his NHL resume is excellent.

Defensively? He was Rock solid. One of the best defensive defenders of his day. Offensively? He could make things happen out there all alone. He was a hell of a quarterback, able to Rush the puck, make the first pass. In fact, I would say he was one of the best 5 on 5 players in the NHL. He also did this playing a finesse game taking very few penalties.

His Norris Record? 5th, 2nd, 2nd, 6th, 2nd in his prime. Against some of the strongest competition ever to lace them up. Denis Potvin, Borje Salming, Larry Robinson, Ray Bourque, Paul Coffey, Rod Langway...........Even the next tier down were fantastic defenders, consisting of Doug Wilson, Larry Murphy, a Young Scott Stevens, Chris Chelios and Al Macinnis........

Howe also pulled out some strong consideration for the Hart Trophy. Against the Likes of Gretzky, Trottier, Bossy, Lemieux, Yzerman, Stastny, Messier, Howe was 5th, 3rd, and 8th for the Hart, and we all know defensemen have to do a hell of a job to get noticed for the Hart.
Usually when a poll is done like this you tend to look at career value. Or at least I do. Peak goes to Howe. Hard to pick a year where Niedermayer was as good as Howe in 1986. Career value in my mind goes to Niedermayer, not by a whole lot, but I have no problem giving him the edge.

The Hart voting is nice although no one was wrestling that Hart away from Gretzky we all know. I won't penalize Howe for that, but in the postseason I would still pick Niedermayer. It isn't as if Nieds had far superior team over Howe. The Devils played the 1995 Red Wings, 2000 Stars and 2003 Ducks in the final. Not to mention a losing cause to the 2001 Avs. Other than the Ducks, these are great teams. Niedermayer scored that end to end rush in the '95 final. He scored an even better goal against Sweden in the 1996 World Cup. Canada decides to shun him for the 1998 Olympics and their biggest problem I thought was speed, especially from the back end.

Bottom line is he was there for every win at the top level of international play, and other than 1996 was absent for every loss. Coincidence? Your call. When Canada struggled in the 2010 Olympics a lot had to do with Niedermayer's gaffes. the last couple games of the tournament he was gold. So was Canada. I just can't sweep stuff like that under the rug, and these things don't turn up on the scoresheet, but he was integral to a team winning. But those plays I mentioned were an excellent example of how Niedermayer could take over the ice if he wanted to. I wish he did it more often of course. Plus he played brilliant in the 2003 playoffs and is still talked about as possibly getting robbed of the Conn Smythe. This was at a time when Stevens was clearly on the decline (but still pretty good).

Also if you take their best 5 years or so, is there really an edge to Howe? If so, not a whole lot, and the intangibles of Niedermayer put him over the top IMO

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11-10-2010, 04:51 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Usually when a poll is done like this you tend to look at career value. Or at least I do. Peak goes to Howe. Hard to pick a year where Niedermayer was as good as Howe in 1986. Career value in my mind goes to Niedermayer, not by a whole lot, but I have no problem giving him the edge.

The Hart voting is nice although no one was wrestling that Hart away from Gretzky we all know. I won't penalize Howe for that, but in the postseason I would still pick Niedermayer. It isn't as if Nieds had far superior team over Howe. The Devils played the 1995 Red Wings, 2000 Stars and 2003 Ducks in the final. Not to mention a losing cause to the 2001 Avs. Other than the Ducks, these are great teams. Niedermayer scored that end to end rush in the '95 final. He scored an even better goal against Sweden in the 1996 World Cup. Canada decides to shun him for the 1998 Olympics and their biggest problem I thought was speed, especially from the back end.

Bottom line is he was there for every win at the top level of international play, and other than 1996 was absent for every loss. Coincidence? Your call. When Canada struggled in the 2010 Olympics a lot had to do with Niedermayer's gaffes. the last couple games of the tournament he was gold. So was Canada. I just can't sweep stuff like that under the rug, and these things don't turn up on the scoresheet, but he was integral to a team winning. But those plays I mentioned were an excellent example of how Niedermayer could take over the ice if he wanted to. I wish he did it more often of course. Plus he played brilliant in the 2003 playoffs and is still talked about as possibly getting robbed of the Conn Smythe. This was at a time when Stevens was clearly on the decline (but still pretty good).

Also if you take their best 5 years or so, is there really an edge to Howe? If so, not a whole lot, and the intangibles of Niedermayer put him over the top IMO
And I disagree

Mind you I also count Howe's WHA years among his resume. Not just NHL.

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11-10-2010, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Actually Neely and Lindros' injury plagued careers are the reasons that they are as borderline as they are for the HHOF. Forsberg did way too much in the postseason, as well as more in the regular season to be held back because of his lack of games.
And Howe lasted to a longer age (much longer, actually, with era considered) and played many more games. So what's the deal there?

Quote:
No one specific per se, but when Howe is leading the polls 30-18 over a guy that I personally clearly see had a better career then I begin to wonder if sentimnt plays a part in it
"sentiment" would favour the guy with the winning history. I see sentiment in your posts on this topic, and factual info in the posts in favour of Howe.

Secondly, the question is not who "clearly had a better career" - in the absence of a stated purpose I would interpret it as "who was better?" - I say Howe, for sure.

Last, what does the voting score have to do with it, really? You don't know how close everyone thinks it is, we had to simply vote for one of the other. It could be 48-0 for Howe, but we could all agree that it's razor thin, and it would be a closer vote than this one, in theory.

Quote:
Remember, I am not going against Howe for the HHOF. I have stated that he deserves it in my opinion. I just feel that things just don't add up for me to put him ahead of Niedermayer. Howe was never shafted for the Norris, or shafted for the Cup or anything like that. I just don't see anything he did that gives him the overall career value of Niedermayer.
Actually, losing to Langway for the Norris is getting shafted.

And being the best player on the second best team in hockey to gretzky's Oilers twice, is getting shafted for the cup.

A Hart voting record of 3rd, 5th, 7th for a defenseman is incredible.

Quote:
The Hart voting is nice although no one was wrestling that Hart away from Gretzky we all know.
"although"? "although" is used to minimize the previous statement, what you said makes it more impressive, not less.

Quote:
Canada decides to shun him for the 1998 Olympics and their biggest problem I thought was speed, especially from the back end.
It's very easy to say that now. That's not really the problem. It was a bunch of checking forwards who couldn't score, and Dominik Hasek.

Quote:
Bottom line is he was there for every win at the top level of international play, and other than 1996 was absent for every loss. Coincidence? Your call.
Teams win.

Quote:
Also if you take their best 5 years or so, is there really an edge to Howe? If so, not a whole lot, and the intangibles of Niedermayer put him over the top IMO
Yes, absolutely there is an edge to Howe. Consider this: In his best 5-year period of complete seasons, commonly called his prime (1984-1988), Howe's teams had a GF/GA differential of 1.82 with him on the ice, and 1.09 with him off. maybe you can't see it when you watch him because he's so damned quiet, but that's an incredible level of efficiency that is impossible to ignore.

In the best 5-year period that I can find for Niedermayer (2002-2007), he took his teams from 1.17 to 1.33.

In those selected periods of time, Niedermayer's teams were better than Howe's teams when neither were on the ice. But Howe's teams were significantly better than Niedermayer's when both were on the ice.

And what do you mean by "intangibles" - that he was on a winning team? Doesn't count. He's one player, not a team. (generally intangibles refer to leadership, physicality, grit, etc, and neither player stands out very far ahead of the other in those regards)


Last edited by seventieslord: 11-10-2010 at 05:15 PM.
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11-10-2010, 05:36 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post

Yes, absolutely there is an edge to Howe. Consider this: In his best 5-year period of complete seasons, commonly called his prime (1984-1988), Howe's teams had a GF/GA differential of 1.82 with him on the ice, and 1.09 with him off. maybe you can't see it when you watch him because he's so damned quiet, but that's an incredible level of efficiency that is impossible to ignore.

In the best 5-year period that I can find for Niedermayer (2002-2007), he took his teams from 1.17 to 1.33.

In those selected periods of time, Niedermayer's teams were better than Howe's teams when neither were on the ice. But Howe's teams were significantly better than Niedermayer's when both were on the ice.
I think Niedermayer was in unique situations, where his comparables were very unusual - Scott Stevens and Chris Pronger played on seperate pairings for all but one year during this time. How did they affect Niedermayer's numbers?

Howe, on the other hand, has obscenely impressive numbers, no matter who the other guys were.

Quote:
And what do you mean by "intangibles" - that he was on a winning team? Doesn't count. He's one player, not a team. (generally intangibles refer to leadership, physicality, grit, etc, and neither player stands out very far ahead of the other in those regards)
Right, Niedermayer never had physicality or grit - even in his peak, he could be outmuscled - he was just so smart and fast in his peak that he rarely got into real physical battles.

When Scott Stevens went down early in the playoffs in 2003 (he did return after a couple fo games), it's like something clicked in Niedermayer's head and he became a pretty good leader, something he then took with him to Anaheim and Team Canada. Before then, he was pretty much a flake.

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11-10-2010, 05:41 PM
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even in his peak, he could be outmuscled - he was just so smart and fast in his peak that he rarely got into real physical battles.
Yeah, this describes Howe fairly well too.

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11-10-2010, 05:44 PM
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Yeah, this describes Howe fairly well too.
Amazing that Gordie's kid was so much smaller than his old man. I wonder if the HHOF committee holds it against him.

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11-10-2010, 05:46 PM
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Yeah, this describes Howe fairly well too.
Agreed. Howe was not overly physical - he was a mobile defenseman like Niedermayer.. but he was still more physical than Niedermayer in my recollection.

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11-10-2010, 06:58 PM
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I think Niedermayer was in unique situations, where his comparables were very unusual - Scott Stevens and Chris Pronger played on seperate pairings for all but one year during this time. How did they affect Niedermayer's numbers?

Howe, on the other hand, has obscenely impressive numbers, no matter who the other guys were.
I've noticed that very few defencemen had strong adjusted plus-minus numbers in the dead puck/clutch and grab/trap era, from the late 90s to the lockout. If you look a Nicklas Lidstrom's plus-minus, it shot up after the lockout, especially compared to his teammates. Chris Pronger was the only defenceman in the top 20 players in adjusted plus-minus from 1997-2004. (Scott Stevens was second among defencemen over this time, just outside of the top 20 players.) From 1981-88, 6 of 20 players in adjusted plus-minus were defencemen (including 5 of the top 10, and 2 of the top 3.)

It's very possible that the game played during this time period made it very difficult for defencemen to stand out at even strength, especially compared to the 1980s. Niedermayer's game may have been a better fit for the open ice of the 1980s.

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Agreed. Howe was not overly physical - he was a mobile defenseman like Niedermayer.. but he was still more physical than Niedermayer in my recollection.
Bobby Clarke describing Mark Howe's physical play: "He's not real physical, but he doesn't have to be. He's so mobile he always gets a piece of you, just enough to throw you off the puck."

I found a couple of newspaper articles that describe Howe's style of play, for those who didn't see him play. Links, with excerpts.

Bill Lyon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb 26, 1986
:
It’s not just domination, it’s Howe he dominates

In a sport that sometimes flows with balletic grace and sometimes sounds like metal-on-metal on the freeway, Mark Howe has managed the remarkable feat of hiding himself.

To appreciate the impact and the influence of Mark Howe on a hockey game requires videotape, because what he does is so subtle that it often goes unnoticed in the passions and the collisions of the moment. For the purist, for the connoisseur of the sport’s intricacies, Howe is to be savored at leisure.

You want to settle back, wind the tape, let the play unfold in slow motion, and watch his true worth emerge; the 2-on-1 break that is casually defused, the quick, precise pass that generates the bust-out from your own end, the calm control of the puck while setting the proper power-play alignment, the anticipation and the interception while killing a penalty. Textbook stuff, all of it, clinical, complete.

For the last decade or so, it has been widely agreed that the best way to observe how one player can dictate the outcome of a basketball game while never dominating the ball is to watch Bobby Jones of the Philadelphia 76ers. Mark Howe of the Philadelphia Flyers is hockey’s version of this phenomenon. No wasted motion. No frills. No French pastry. No curlicues and flourishes. No flamboyance. No flair.

His game is clean, crisp, economical. It does not call attention to itself. Neither does he. His game face is always sternly in place, eyes squinting in study, face puckered in concentration, He is quiet, introspective.

If he threw off more rooster tail sprays of ice and trash-talk, maybe he finally would get some of the things that should be coming to him, like, for starters, the Norris Trophy as hockey’s most accomplished defenseman.

The problem is, Howe is not a specialist. He does everything well. And in an understated manner. A Paul Coffey, a Ray Bourque may have better offensive numbers, and a Rod Langway may be regarded as the prototypical defensive defenseman, but Howe is the more complete player, the all-round contributor. He can stem a rush with one flick of his stick, can accelerate himself end-to-end and turn a steal into a goal, can handle most any position on the power play, can kill off penalties adroitly, shrewdly.

That doesn’t leave much else.

But he remains one of those players whose stats forever sneak up on people.


Craig Wolff of the New York Times, April 21, 1987
:
Howe quietly making his mark

From where Mark Howe sees it in the deep end of the ice where he smoothly gathers up the puck, bodies are usually flying around in front of him, someone is usually falling over someone else, and maybe, someone is throwing a punch. Then he starts out.

If the opening is there, he will take the puck all the way in. If it is there for someone else, he will thread a pass. If there is no opening, he will perhaps circle, hang back, wait.

It is a patient game the non-star defenseman of the Philadelphia Flyers plays, a stop-see and do-whatever-is-called-for style. It is his style that is really the foundation of the Flyers. But unless you are tuned to it, you might only notice the more extravagant parts of the Flyers game – Tim Kerr knocking in pucks, the gritty center Dave Poulin weaving in, the goalie, Ron Hextall, clanging his stick on the goal pipes, or Dave Brown knocking over bodies.

Meanwhile, Howe is out there, moving in one of his several different speeds, and quietly. That’s why he’s the non-star, the players the Flyers trust will never break down.

“It is a very comforting feeling” said his coach, Mike Keenan, “that when I start writing down my lineup, I can start with Mark.”

“He really never does anything wrong,” said his general manager, Bobby Clarke, a former teammate. “And I’ve never seen a player who can bring his game to so many different levels. He’s like a base-stealer who steals only when it will help his team.”


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11-10-2010, 07:04 PM
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Yes, absolutely there is an edge to Howe. Consider this: In his best 5-year period of complete seasons, commonly called his prime (1984-1988), Howe's teams had a GF/GA differential of 1.82 with him on the ice, and 1.09 with him off. maybe you can't see it when you watch him because he's so damned quiet, but that's an incredible level of efficiency that is impossible to ignore.

In the best 5-year period that I can find for Niedermayer (2002-2007), he took his teams from 1.17 to 1.33.

In those selected periods of time, Niedermayer's teams were better than Howe's teams when neither were on the ice. But Howe's teams were significantly better than Niedermayer's when both were on the ice.
I'm curious though, what do the GF/GA totals for on/off the ice look like for a lot of 80s stars on good teams? There's been some talk lately about how it might be increasingly harder to be dominant in the NHL today than it has been in the past due to the increase in ability among the "average" players. It would stand to reason that if this is the case, it's increasingly harder to pull up a team's GF/GA ration by the same margins as before.

As well, Howe played the majority of his time with his teams second best defenseman in McCrimmon, whereas, as TDMM mentioned, Niedermayer played on opposite pairing of guys like Pronger and Stevens. It just seems odd that Niedermayer was putting up comparable offensive numbers, considering the eras, while also being very good defensively, and yet is blown away by Howe in that stat. I have a hard time believing Howe was that much better defensively. Though I suppose part of the problem is that it includes 2 "lesser" years of Niedermayer's. What would the numbers be for Niedermayer just in his last year in Jersey, and his first two years with the Ducks?

I give this to Howe, because I think he was able to be an elite defenseman for longer, but I always considered their peaks fairly similar, if a slight edge to Howe. I mean, Niedermayer put in a Conn Smythe level performance in helping Jersey win the cup, won the Norris the following year, misses a year in his prime due to the lockout, then finishes 2nd in the Norris two years in a row to Lidstrom, a top 5-6 defenseman of all-time, and wins the Conn Smythe as the Ducks win the cup. That's a pretty impressive prime, and I think if it weren't for the lockout, and him "retiring" for the first half of the '08 season, he'd be held in much higher regard


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11-11-2010, 12:35 AM
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I'm curious though, what do the GF/GA totals for on/off the ice look like for a lot of 80s stars on good teams? There's been some talk lately about how it might be increasingly harder to be dominant in the NHL today than it has been in the past due to the increase in ability among the "average" players. It would stand to reason that if this is the case, it's increasingly harder to pull up a team's GF/GA ration by the same margins as before.

As well, Howe played the majority of his time with his teams second best defenseman in McCrimmon, whereas, as TDMM mentioned, Niedermayer played on opposite pairing of guys like Pronger and Stevens. It just seems odd that Niedermayer was putting up comparable offensive numbers, considering the eras, while also being very good defensively, and yet is blown away by Howe in that stat. I have a hard time believing Howe was that much better defensively. Though I suppose part of the problem is that it includes 2 "lesser" years of Niedermayer's. What would the numbers be for Niedermayer just in his last year in Jersey, and his first two years with the Ducks?

I give this to Howe, because I think he was able to be an elite defenseman for longer, but I always considered their peaks fairly similar, if a slight edge to Howe. I mean, Niedermayer put in a Conn Smythe level performance in helping Jersey win the cup, won the Norris the following year, misses a year in his prime due to the lockout, then finishes 2nd in the Norris two years in a row to Lidstrom, a top 5-6 defenseman of all-time, and wins the Conn Smythe as the Ducks win the cup. That's a pretty impressive prime, and I think if it weren't for the lockout, and him "retiring" for the first half of the '08 season, he'd be held in much higher regard
I'll get to this tomorrow, but I've studied the numbers a lot and I can say with confidence that Howe's efficiency in this regard was almost unparalleled.

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11-11-2010, 01:28 AM
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Regardless of their hockey skills, I think we can all agree that Niedermayer's beard blows Howe's out of the water.

Even more impressive considering Howe played in the most inflated era in NHL history for facial hair

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11-11-2010, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Remember, I am not going against Howe for the HHOF. I have stated that he deserves it in my opinion. I just feel that things just don't add up for me to put him ahead of Niedermayer. Howe was never shafted for the Norris, or shafted for the Cup or anything like that. I just don't see anything he did that gives him the overall career value of Niedermayer.
He should have won in 1983 and 1986 IMO for being by far the best all-round d-man those two years. Instead the voters gave it to a one dimensional d-men in 1983 and a 4th forward in 1986.

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11-11-2010, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Regal View Post
I'm curious though, what do the GF/GA totals for on/off the ice look like for a lot of 80s stars on good teams? There's been some talk lately about how it might be increasingly harder to be dominant in the NHL today than it has been in the past due to the increase in ability among the "average" players. It would stand to reason that if this is the case, it's increasingly harder to pull up a team's GF/GA ration by the same margins as before.

As well, Howe played the majority of his time with his teams second best defenseman in McCrimmon, whereas, as TDMM mentioned, Niedermayer played on opposite pairing of guys like Pronger and Stevens. It just seems odd that Niedermayer was putting up comparable offensive numbers, considering the eras, while also being very good defensively, and yet is blown away by Howe in that stat. I have a hard time believing Howe was that much better defensively. Though I suppose part of the problem is that it includes 2 "lesser" years of Niedermayer's. What would the numbers be for Niedermayer just in his last year in Jersey, and his first two years with the Ducks?

I give this to Howe, because I think he was able to be an elite defenseman for longer, but I always considered their peaks fairly similar, if a slight edge to Howe. I mean, Niedermayer put in a Conn Smythe level performance in helping Jersey win the cup, won the Norris the following year, misses a year in his prime due to the lockout, then finishes 2nd in the Norris two years in a row to Lidstrom, a top 5-6 defenseman of all-time, and wins the Conn Smythe as the Ducks win the cup. That's a pretty impressive prime, and I think if it weren't for the lockout, and him "retiring" for the first half of the '08 season, he'd be held in much higher regard
During Gretzky's most dominant 5-year period from a goal differential improvement standpoint, he took his teams from 1.11 without him, to 1.69 with him. (1981-1985) Best 5 non-consecutive (81, 82, 85, 87, 96): From 0.94 to 1.59.

(wanna hear something strange I noticed? 1989 was actually the beginning of the end of Gretzky as a dominant even strength player. He was a Hart winner, yet his team was 1.15 with him off the ice, and just 1.10 with him on.)

Lemieux's best 5-year period (1989-1993): He took his team from 0.91 without him, to 1.47 with. In his best 5 seasons with at least 40 games (1987, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1997): From 0.85 to 1.55.

Bourque's best 5-year period (1983-1987): From 0.98 to 1.66. Best 5 non-consecutive seasons (80, 83, 84, 87, 94): From 0.99 to 1.80.

Trottier's best 5-year period (1980-1984): From 1.15 to 1.99. best 5 non-consecutive (78, 79, 81, 82, 84): From 1.25 to 2.36.

Trottier's 73% increase versus off-ice comparables is the best in this bunch, based on best 5 consecutive years. His 89% increase in his best 5 non-consecutive years is also the best here.

Howe's 67% increase would be the 3rd-best out of this group in his best 5 consecutive seasons, after Trottier and Bourque. In his best 5 cherrypicked seasons (81, 86, 87, 90, 92), it was from 0.84 to 1.90, a remarkable 126% increase, easily the best ratio in this group.

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11-11-2010, 10:39 AM
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Even more impressive considering Howe played in the most inflated era in NHL history for facial hair
Bring on the adjusted stats, or else it's just a worthless claim.


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11-11-2010, 12:06 PM
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(wanna hear something strange I noticed? 1989 was actually the beginning of the end of Gretzky as a dominant even strength player. He was a Hart winner, yet his team was 1.15 with him off the ice, and just 1.10 with him on.)
Doesn't that just happen to coincide with Nicholls having his monster year as a fellow center???


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Trottier's best 5-year period (1980-1984): From 1.15 to 1.99. best 5 non-consecutive (78, 79, 81, 82, 84): From 1.25 to 2.36.
Wow. Trottier was such a beast out there.

Although to be fair Gretzky/Messier/Nicholls, Lemieux/Francis doesn't really have the same drop off as Trottier/Bourne.

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11-11-2010, 01:13 PM
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Wow, this really is a tough one.

Howe, who gets underrated a lot for his time in the WHA and Neids, who, imo, gets overrated a lot.

Have to think on this one for sure.

I have an easier time picking Bourque over Lidstrom than deciding on these two.
You should just use the same formula you do with the Lidstrom/Bourque argument. Howe produced more offensively than Niedermayer in his prime years so he must be better, right? Just ignore that Howe played in a much much higher scoring era where the goalies were terrible and goals were easy to come by. If it works for one argument then it should work for the other.

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11-11-2010, 01:34 PM
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You should just use the same formula you do with the Lidstrom/Bourque argument. Howe produced more offensively than Niedermayer in his prime years so he must be better, right? Just ignore that Howe played in a much much higher scoring era where the goalies were terrible and goals were easy to come by. If it works for one argument then it should work for the other.
Or he could just objectively look at the evidence at hand, as well as his memory of both players and make the conclusion.

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11-11-2010, 01:58 PM
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Doesn't that just happen to coincide with Nicholls having his monster year as a fellow center???
Nicholls' monster year is often attributed to Gretzky though. I know they played together on the PP, but didn't he also play a lot on Gretzky's wing at ES? A review of the HSP would confirm this.

If I'm wrong about that, yes, it's possible (actually, it's true) that Nicholls vs. 2nd-tier checkers was actually getting a better GF:GA ratio than Gretzky was that year.

But keep in mind that if Nicholls was indeed the 2nd line center all season, he only represents about 40% of Gretzky's off-ice comparables, not all of it. the 1.15 I quoted is based on Nicholls' line, the 3rd line and the 4th line.

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You should just use the same formula you do with the Lidstrom/Bourque argument. Howe produced more offensively than Niedermayer in his prime years so he must be better, right? Just ignore that Howe played in a much much higher scoring era where the goalies were terrible and goals were easy to come by. If it works for one argument then it should work for the other.
Goals against were easier to come by as well, in the exact same proportion. So using figures such as GF:GA ratio doesn't have a lot of era bias, if any.

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11-11-2010, 02:33 PM
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Nicholls' monster year is often attributed to Gretzky though. I know they played together on the PP, but didn't he also play a lot on Gretzky's wing at ES? A review of the HSP would confirm this.

If I'm wrong about that, yes, it's possible (actually, it's true) that Nicholls vs. 2nd-tier checkers was actually getting a better GF:GA ratio than Gretzky was that year.

But keep in mind that if Nicholls was indeed the 2nd line center all season, he only represents about 40% of Gretzky's off-ice comparables, not all of it. the 1.15 I quoted is based on Nicholls' line, the 3rd line and the 4th line.



Goals against were easier to come by as well, in the exact same proportion. So using figures such as GF:GA ratio doesn't have a lot of era bias, if any.
Just because it is often attributed to Gretzky doesn't mean its true.

Nicholls was a talented player in his own right and a 100 point scorer without Gretzky. Granted, they did tear it up playing together on the PP that year and that is what boosted Nicholls even higher.

In any case you're wrong about your assertion that Gretzky was no longer a force at even strength starting that year.

This is the problem with trying to boil down complex play into simple stats. They always end up missing the bigger picture.

Gretzky and Nicholls were both in the top 5 even strength goal scorers that year.

Nicholls had 41 and Gretzky had 38 so based on the fact that Gretzky was 4th in even strength goals in the league and at that point in his career was by far more a playmaker than a scorer... he was definitely still a monster at even strength.

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11-11-2010, 03:52 PM
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I'm not sure what that proves besides Detroit had more depth. I mean especially when you consider Lidstrom and Bourque in their primes play half the game anyways.

I see the r-on and r-off creeping into more and more discussions on here and I really don't see why... linemates, defense partner, goaltender, situations etc. would massively affect these differences.

Its an interesting indicator but it doesn't really tell me anything for sure about an individual.
I agree with you for the most part. It's not like Bourque's numbers are better than Lidstrom. All it shows me is that Detroit without Lidstrom was a lot better than Boston without Bourque - so what? Doesn't make Lidstrom a worse player simply by playing on a better team.

Anyway... the only reason I'm responding to this is that it's relevant to the discussion about Mark Howe, since R-on and R-off numbers were posted about him. His numbers are so high they definitely mean something, but it's really hard to directly compare them to guys in different situations.

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11-11-2010, 04:01 PM
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I'm not sure what that proves besides Detroit had more depth. I mean especially when you consider Lidstrom and Bourque in their primes play half the game anyways.

I see the r-on and r-off creeping into more and more discussions on here and I really don't see why... linemates, defense partner, goaltender, situations etc. would massively affect these differences.

Its an interesting indicator but it doesn't really tell me anything for sure about an individual.
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I agree with you for the most part. It's not like Bourque's numbers are better than Lidstrom. All it shows me is that Detroit without Lidstrom was a lot better than Boston without Bourque - so what? Doesn't make Lidstrom a worse player simply by playing on a better team.

Anyway... the only reason I'm responding to this is that it's relevant to the discussion about Mark Howe, since R-on and R-off numbers were posted about him. His numbers are so high they definitely mean something, but it's really hard to directly compare them to guys in different situations.
I agree. I think it is a good indicator of how important a specific individual was to his team(Thus, it is probably good in, say, Hart discussions and discussions about team depth and why player A did not win more cups while player B did), but not a good indicator of overall value when comparing to another defenseman in a more favorable situation.

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11-11-2010, 05:03 PM
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Just because it is often attributed to Gretzky doesn't mean its true.

Nicholls was a talented player in his own right and a 100 point scorer without Gretzky. Granted, they did tear it up playing together on the PP that year and that is what boosted Nicholls even higher.

In any case you're wrong about your assertion that Gretzky was no longer a force at even strength starting that year.

This is the problem with trying to boil down complex play into simple stats. They always end up missing the bigger picture.

Gretzky and Nicholls were both in the top 5 even strength goal scorers that year.

Nicholls had 41 and Gretzky had 38 so based on the fact that Gretzky was 4th in even strength goals in the league and at that point in his career was by far more a playmaker than a scorer... he was definitely still a monster at even strength.
Your definition of a "force" is different from mine. If he was allowing just as many goals as he was producing, that's not a force.

Think about what these numbers are saying. Gretzky: 1.1 GF:GA ratio. Rest of the team combined: 1.15. You rarely see that for a team's top forward, and certainly not someone who was 2nd in the league in scoring and an MVP winner.

With the exception of 1996, Gretzky was never a major difference maker in his team's even strength regular season performance again. And the 1996 Kings were so lousy that Gretzky had no choice but to stand out there.

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11-11-2010, 05:07 PM
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I agree. I think it is a good indicator of how important a specific individual was to his team(Thus, it is probably good in, say, Hart discussions and discussions about team depth and why player A did not win more cups while player B did), but not a good indicator of overall value when comparing to another defenseman in a more favorable situation.
Agree 100%

Well said, and much more concise than I was in my post.

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11-11-2010, 05:23 PM
  #75
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Your definition of a "force" is different from mine. If he was allowing just as many goals as he was producing, that's not a force.

Think about what these numbers are saying. Gretzky: 1.1 GF:GA ratio. Rest of the team combined: 1.15. You rarely see that for a team's top forward, and certainly not someone who was 2nd in the league in scoring and an MVP winner.

With the exception of 1996, Gretzky was never a major difference maker in his team's even strength regular season performance again. And the 1996 Kings were so lousy that Gretzky had no choice but to stand out there.
How many MVP winners have had Kelly Hrudey and Glenn Healy as their goaltenders on a team that gives up 335 total goals?

You're mixing up individual performance with group stats again.

Try having a good goal differential when you're most played goalie has a save percentage of .873

.873

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