Actually, I said "not dominant" - which is a far cry from "not good". Is there a reason you try to put words in my mouth at every turn?

Debating Spuriously 101: Paraphrase other person's statements as more certain, absolute, or extreme than they are to make them easier to counter-argue.

The guy had 100 even strength points that year. That is a dominant even strength player. Heck, even if he hardly entered his own zone.

Gretzky was 2 even strength points behind Mario Lemieux in his best season..and Mario had 31 more points. And I think its safe to say that Mario wasn't exactly a defensive stalwart either.

Gretzky was still a force at even strength regardless of what a team stat may be interpreted to say about him individually.

His real drop off came after Suter wrecked his back. Gretzky's first 3 seasons in LA he averaged ~100 even strength points a year but after 91 he dropped off quickly to 60 something if I remember correctly.

How much of that gap is actually inflated because the first numbers is on pace while the second is actual points achieved?

With Gretzky's scoring pace, the two games he missed during his first year in LA mean in average 4 points, already reducing the gap to "only" 14 points.

Moreover, Gretzky was getting older at that point and had already played plenty of hockey. Would he been able to sustain that level of production through full 80 games schedule? After all, games missed by Gretzky did constitute quite considerable portion of the season, 20% of games, with Gretzky's pace 37 points. I would argue that using "on pace for" points for the previous season could pad the difference between Gretzky's last season in Edmonton and first in LA (even though he managed to keep up practically the same scoring pace through playoff in 1987-88 season).

I understand what you're saying, but I really don't buy the argument that at age 27 Gretzky was "getting old". Only one season prior in Edmonton he averaged 2.33 PPG (compared to Lemieux's Art Ross winning 2.18 PPG), and absolutely dominated the playoffs with 43 points (his 2nd highest ever) in only 19 games, earning another Conn Smythe trophy. I believe his drop off was more a function of changing teammates and changing cities and starting a new life. I also believe with that change came a lot more pressure, since now he focussed his attention on totally carrying the team, not just on the ice but off the ice. The psychological impact of that change must have been enormous.

Your assumption that icetime does not affect GF/GA ratios is incorrect, in my view.

If you get double-shifted to the extent that Gretzky was in 1989, your stamina will start failing you. Even a phenom like Gretzky gassed out towards the end of a long shift or game to a certain extent. This causes even such superstars to take shortcuts, which invariably leads to making mistakes.

Your assumption that icetime does not affect GF/GA ratios is incorrect, in my view.

If you get double-shifted to the extent that Gretzky was in 1989, your stamina will start failing you. Even a phenom like Gretzky gassed out towards the end of a long shift or game to a certain extent. This causes even such superstars to take shortcuts, which invariably leads to making mistakes.

Hence the negative impact on GF/GA ratio.

If his stamina started failing him do you not think him and his coach would have adjusted?

If his stamina started failing him do you not think him and his coach would have adjusted?

Also, an excuse like this makes Gretzky sound awfully "mortal". If your point is "he's only human", that's my point. Post-1989, it's possible that he was.

Also, an excuse like this makes Gretzky sound awfully "mortal". If your point is "he's only human", that's my point. Post-1989, it's possible that he was.

Exactly.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BraveCanadian

Only if they could have adjusted by bringing in some good depth players

I'd say more like Lemieux outscores Gretzky 90% of the time.

Canada Cup 1987, Points Leaders:

1 Wayne Gretzky - Games: 9 / Points: 21
2 Mario Lemieux - Games: 9 / Points: 18

I'll say it now, and I'll say it again: Put Gretzky and Lemieux during their primes on a team full of superstars, and Gretzky outscores Lemieux 90% of the time. Put them on a team full of average players, and Lemieux outscores Gretzky 90% of the time. A lot of people would want Lemieux, because he doesn't need superstars to perform at the same level. Personally I want the guy who gets the most out of superstar players around him...which was Gretzky during the 1987 Canada Cup. In game 2, with Lemieux playing the game of his life, Gretzky still outscored him 5 points to 3, despite setting Lemieux up for all 3 of his goals. Being focussed on playmaking, Gretzky would almost always outscore Lemieux in points if they both played on the same line/team together. Gretzky was a more prolific playmaker than Lemieux a goal scorer if we are to give a point to a goal as we do an assist.

1 Wayne Gretzky - Games: 9 / Points: 21
2 Mario Lemieux - Games: 9 / Points: 18

I'll say it now, and I'll say it again: Put Gretzky and Lemieux during their primes on a team full of superstars, and Gretzky outscores Lemieux 90% of the time. Put them on a team full of average players, and Lemieux outscores Gretzky 90% of the time. A lot of people would want Lemieux, because he doesn't need superstars to perform at the same level. Personally I want the guy who gets the most out of superstar players around him...which was Gretzky during the 1987 Canada Cup. In game 2, with Lemieux playing the game of his life, Gretzky still outscored him 5 points to 3, despite setting Lemieux up for all 3 of his goals. Being focussed on playmaking, Gretzky would almost always outscore Lemieux in points if they both played on the same line/team together. Gretzky was a more prolific playmaker than Lemieux a goal scorer if we are to give a point to a goal as we do an assist.

In addition to that, I was curious to see how Gretzky and Mario compared to one another in even-strength goals/points. The numbers show just who the better player was in even strength play...

About 23% of Gretzky's 894 career goals were scored on the PP. Lemieux scored 34% of his goals on the PP.

Gretzky scored 8% of his goals shorthanded. Lemieux was at 7%, so they are just about equally a threat while shorthanded.

I think the major difference between the two is that Gretzky was better at utilizing his teammates than Mario, which helped both Gretzky and his linemates to achieve the numbers that they did.

While Lemieux certainly had a major impact on certain players' careers (namely Rob Brown, Kevin Stevens and Rick Tocchet), I would consider Lemieux to be a more dangerous player one-on-one.

Whereas Gretzky was a more cerebral player who drew attention to himself and bought time for himself and his teammates with his decision making and playmaking abilities.

Watching both players as linemates during the Canada Cup 87 was a thing of beauty. They both fed off of each other and Gretzky knew he can always count on Mario to put the puck in the net. Makes sense as to why they were the two scoring leaders during the series, with Gretzky leading the tournament in assists and points and Mario in goals.

Once era adjustments are made, the difference wouldn't be quite as high as you make it look above. Also, if you go by per game (which I admit moves the goalposts a bit...) Lemieux would be even closer.

It takes a bit of calculator magic, but here are their adjusted ESG in those seasons:

Gretzky: 50 44 43 38 35
Lemieux: 38 34 33 32 30

The 30 and 38 would have been 38 and 53 in full seasons. The bigger differences between the two, were Gretzky's better linemates and his ability to avoid injury.

Once era adjustments are made, the difference wouldn't be quite as high as you make it look above. Also, if you go by per game (which I admit moves the goalposts a bit...) Lemieux would be even closer.

It takes a bit of calculator magic, but here are their adjusted ESG in those seasons:

Gretzky: 50 44 43 38 35
Lemieux: 38 34 33 32 30

The 30 and 38 would have been 38 and 53 in full seasons. The bigger differences between the two, were Gretzky's better linemates and his ability to avoid injury.

But when you consider just how dominant Gretzky was in assists (having 11 of the top 12 assist seasons of all time, including the top 7, while Lemieux's best assist season is tied for Gretzky's 8th worst, and Gretzky being the only player ever to break 100 assists more than once, doing it 11 times!!), I would think that the difference in Gretzky's teammates in terms of Gretzky's goal scoring in judging his overall play vs Lemieux is really a wash, if not a moot point.

Considering that Gretzky won a scoring title in his rookie year with less than average players, THEN set an assist (109) and point mark (164) in his second year with NO other player with more than 75 points...I don't know if I can buy that, "Mario gets more points" arguements.

Last edited by Scott1980: 11-22-2010 at 12:28 AM.
Reason: better wording

... I know this thread died out over a week ago, but I have a bit of a minor issue with the arithmetic used to determine Gretzky's 88-89 R-ON and R-OFF numbers. Being a Kings' fan, I was messing around with their 88-89 numbers out of curiosity, and everything was matching up perfectly (with a minor/insignificant difference in the bit players) - except for Gretzky's and Nicholls' numbers.

Gretzky was on the ice for 213 total goals, and 72 PP goals. The difference is 141.
The SH goals for is estimated as (PPGA/TmPPGA)*TmSHGF. So, (43/80)*22 = 11.825.
So, Gretzky's F-ON is 141-11.825, which is 129.175, which rounds off to 129.2.
Gretzky was on the ice for 169 total goals against, and 43 PP goals against. The difference is 126.
The SH goals against is estimated as (PPGF/TmPPGF)*TmSHGA. So, (72/82)*13 = 11.414.
So, Gretzky's A-ON is 126-11.414, which is 114.586, which rounds off to 114.6.

The Kings scored 294 non-PP goals, and 22 shorthanded goals. The difference is 272.
The Kings allowed 255 non-PP goals, and 13 shorthanded goals. The difference is 242.
Gretzky's F-OFF is 272-129.2, which is 142.8. Gretzky's A-OFF is 242-114.6, which is 127.4.
The R-ON ratio for Gretzky is 129.2/114.6, which is 1.127, and that rounds off to 1.13.
The R-OFF ratio for Gretzky is 142.8/127.4, which is 1.12.

So, Gretzky's ratio was 1.13 on, 1.12 off ... not 1.10 on, 1.15 off. The R-NET should be 1.01, not 0.96.

With Nicholls, (and I'll just shorthand this one) his estimated SH goals for is 10.45, estimated SH goals against is 9.988. So 194-63-10.45=120.55, rounding to 120.6, and 139-38-9.988=91.012, rounding to 91.0.
Nicholls' F-OFF is 272-120.6=151.4. Nicholls' A-OFF is 242-91.0=151.0.
Nicholls' R-ON is 120.6/91.0, which is 1.32. Nicholls' R-OFF is 151.4/151.0, which is 1.00.

So, Nicholls' ratio is 1.32 on, 1.00 off ... not 1.29 on, 1.03 off. The R-NET should be 1.32, not 1.25.

Now, Overpass - if there are numbers regarding Gretz and Bernie that I'm not aware of, let me know. Or, check me on this? It's just a minor adjustment, but it's more of a matter of wanting to have correctness more than anything.

... I know this thread died out over a week ago, but I have a bit of a minor issue with the arithmetic used to determine Gretzky's 88-89 R-ON and R-OFF numbers. Being a Kings' fan, I was messing around with their 88-89 numbers out of curiosity, and everything was matching up perfectly (with a minor/insignificant difference in the bit players) - except for Gretzky's and Nicholls' numbers.

Gretzky was on the ice for 213 total goals, and 72 PP goals. The difference is 141.
The SH goals for is estimated as (PPGA/TmPPGA)*TmSHGF. So, (43/80)*22 = 11.825.
So, Gretzky's F-ON is 141-11.825, which is 129.175, which rounds off to 129.2.
Gretzky was on the ice for 169 total goals against, and 43 PP goals against. The difference is 126.
The SH goals against is estimated as (PPGF/TmPPGF)*TmSHGA. So, (72/82)*13 = 11.414.
So, Gretzky's A-ON is 126-11.414, which is 114.586, which rounds off to 114.6.

The Kings scored 294 non-PP goals, and 22 shorthanded goals. The difference is 272.
The Kings allowed 255 non-PP goals, and 13 shorthanded goals. The difference is 242.
Gretzky's F-OFF is 272-129.2, which is 142.8. Gretzky's A-OFF is 242-114.6, which is 127.4.
The R-ON ratio for Gretzky is 129.2/114.6, which is 1.127, and that rounds off to 1.13.
The R-OFF ratio for Gretzky is 142.8/127.4, which is 1.12.

So, Gretzky's ratio was 1.13 on, 1.12 off ... not 1.10 on, 1.15 off. The R-NET should be 1.01, not 0.96.

With Nicholls, (and I'll just shorthand this one) his estimated SH goals for is 10.45, estimated SH goals against is 9.988. So 194-63-10.45=120.55, rounding to 120.6, and 139-38-9.988=91.012, rounding to 91.0.
Nicholls' F-OFF is 272-120.6=151.4. Nicholls' A-OFF is 242-91.0=151.0.
Nicholls' R-ON is 120.6/91.0, which is 1.32. Nicholls' R-OFF is 151.4/151.0, which is 1.00.

So, Nicholls' ratio is 1.32 on, 1.00 off ... not 1.29 on, 1.03 off. The R-NET should be 1.32, not 1.25.

Now, Overpass - if there are numbers regarding Gretz and Bernie that I'm not aware of, let me know. Or, check me on this? It's just a minor adjustment, but it's more of a matter of wanting to have correctness more than anything.

I'll pipe in before overpass does - I think your calculations are solid. It's not that I overlook SH goals, but because of their relatively small impact for and against (that usually come close to washing out) it is easier to just assume everything non-PP was ES, even though that's not the case.

Beyond all the stats, this is what history is going to remember about Gretzky's first year with the Kings: One of the greatest playoff upsets of all time in which the best player was taken off a dynasty team, and that very same player beats his old dynasty team the very next season while playing for the previous year's 4th worst team...How much more proof can you have than this? And here's the video:

... I know this thread died out over a week ago, but I have a bit of a minor issue with the arithmetic used to determine Gretzky's 88-89 R-ON and R-OFF numbers. Being a Kings' fan, I was messing around with their 88-89 numbers out of curiosity, and everything was matching up perfectly (with a minor/insignificant difference in the bit players) - except for Gretzky's and Nicholls' numbers.

Gretzky was on the ice for 213 total goals, and 72 PP goals. The difference is 141.
The SH goals for is estimated as (PPGA/TmPPGA)*TmSHGF. So, (43/80)*22 = 11.825.
So, Gretzky's F-ON is 141-11.825, which is 129.175, which rounds off to 129.2.
Gretzky was on the ice for 169 total goals against, and 43 PP goals against. The difference is 126.
The SH goals against is estimated as (PPGF/TmPPGF)*TmSHGA. So, (72/82)*13 = 11.414.
So, Gretzky's A-ON is 126-11.414, which is 114.586, which rounds off to 114.6.

The Kings scored 294 non-PP goals, and 22 shorthanded goals. The difference is 272.
The Kings allowed 255 non-PP goals, and 13 shorthanded goals. The difference is 242.
Gretzky's F-OFF is 272-129.2, which is 142.8. Gretzky's A-OFF is 242-114.6, which is 127.4.
The R-ON ratio for Gretzky is 129.2/114.6, which is 1.127, and that rounds off to 1.13.
The R-OFF ratio for Gretzky is 142.8/127.4, which is 1.12.

So, Gretzky's ratio was 1.13 on, 1.12 off ... not 1.10 on, 1.15 off. The R-NET should be 1.01, not 0.96.

With Nicholls, (and I'll just shorthand this one) his estimated SH goals for is 10.45, estimated SH goals against is 9.988. So 194-63-10.45=120.55, rounding to 120.6, and 139-38-9.988=91.012, rounding to 91.0.
Nicholls' F-OFF is 272-120.6=151.4. Nicholls' A-OFF is 242-91.0=151.0.
Nicholls' R-ON is 120.6/91.0, which is 1.32. Nicholls' R-OFF is 151.4/151.0, which is 1.00.

So, Nicholls' ratio is 1.32 on, 1.00 off ... not 1.29 on, 1.03 off. The R-NET should be 1.32, not 1.25.

Now, Overpass - if there are numbers regarding Gretz and Bernie that I'm not aware of, let me know. Or, check me on this? It's just a minor adjustment, but it's more of a matter of wanting to have correctness more than anything.

All of your calculations are correct. The issue you're running into is in the estimated shorthanded goals for. I have used actual shorthanded points for players where SHP > estimated SHGF.

In practice Wayne Gretzky is the only player who this affects significantly, because he was such a prolific shorthanded scorer. It does hurt his even strength numbers, but it's basically an accounting matter of moving credit from even strength to shorthanded, so it doesn't change anything overall.

Beyond all the stats, this is what history is going to remember about Gretzky's first year with the Kings: One of the greatest playoff upsets of all time in which the best player was taken off a dynasty team, and that very same player beats his old dynasty team the very next season while playing for the previous year's 4th worst team...How much more proof can you have than this? And here's the video:

That is also what makes it interesting in this case:

The results don't match what you'd possibly expect based on the measures people are using frequently here.

The team was certainly much better that year. Gretzky was certainly producing huge at even strength (100 ES points that year).

It seems it was a case of him playing all out to win and it worked out more often than not in the games that the Kings won.. and the offensive gamble backfired in games they lost.