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The all encompassing "players of today vs players from the past" thread

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Old
12-06-2010, 06:13 PM
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unknown33 View Post
I can smell the sarcasm, but I can't see it being mention here in this thread already.
Not sarcastic at all. I know approximately nothing about track and field history, and hadn't thought about how not only sneakers, but also track composition have been optimized for faster times.

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12-06-2010, 06:36 PM
  #77
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
Lidstrom was only a legitimate Norris threat during the last quarter of Bourque's career though.
It still doesn't change the fact that we're talking ten years of overlap in their careers. That is longer than most players whole careers.

If the competition was so poor why wasn't Bourque, who is universally lauded as being "an allstar when he started in the league and an allstar when he quit", winning Norris trophies at that time?

If the reason for that is that it was only because the competition was so poor then why does Bourque get credit for it at the same time Lidstrom gets taken down a notch? You can't have it both ways.

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12-06-2010, 06:41 PM
  #78
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
It still doesn't change the fact that we're talking ten years of overlap in their careers. That is longer than most players whole careers.

If the competition was so poor why wasn't Bourque, who is universally lauded as being "an allstar when he started in the league and an allstar when he quit", winning Norris trophies at that time?

If the reason for that is that it was only because the competition was so poor then why does Bourque get credit for it at the same time Lidstrom gets taken down a notch? You can't have it both ways.
The general idea is that, while Bourque, Chelios and Macinnis were still in the top norris discussions at age 40, few younger up and comers had taken to the ice to replace them.

Just about anyone who saw them play will vouch that those 3 were far superior players when they were 30 than when they were 40, and yet they were still beating out most of the new crop of defensemen while out of their primes.

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12-06-2010, 06:58 PM
  #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
The general idea is that, while Bourque, Chelios and Macinnis were still in the top norris discussions at age 40, few younger up and comers had taken to the ice to replace them.

Just about anyone who saw them play will vouch that those 3 were far superior players when they were 30 than when they were 40, and yet they were still beating out most of the new crop of defensemen while out of their primes.
Yes, so like I said. In general on the boards here, Bourque gets credit for those last few years where he was still all star capable but Lidstrom gets taken down for the lack of competition during the same time.

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12-06-2010, 07:15 PM
  #80
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
It still doesn't change the fact that we're talking ten years of overlap in their careers. That is longer than most players whole careers.

If the competition was so poor why wasn't Bourque, who is universally lauded as being "an allstar when he started in the league and an allstar when he quit", winning Norris trophies at that time?

If the reason for that is that it was only because the competition was so poor then why does Bourque get credit for it at the same time Lidstrom gets taken down a notch? You can't have it both ways.
The ten years overlapping is inconsequential since Lidstrom wasn't a Norris threat during those first few seasons. Let's say he became a legitimate threat in 1996. If we look at Lidstrom's competition from roughly 1996-2001 it was pretty strong, although not to the level of Bourque's competition from the mid 80s to the mid 90s. That part is an overlap worth considering. The portion of Lidstrom's career that is considered to be poor competition wise is basically the whole 2000s decade, when there were only really two other truly great defencemen, one of whom was an inconsistent and often injured Pronger, and the other was Niedermayer. So yes, only five years of overlap as elite defencemen (if you consider Bourque to be truly elite over this period) means that you can say that Bourque's competition was strong and Lidstrom's was weak.

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12-06-2010, 07:18 PM
  #81
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
So yes, only five years of overlap as elite defencemen (if you consider Bourque to be truly elite over this period) means that you can say that Bourque's competition was strong and Lidstrom's was weak.
Which means that TDMM is most likely right and people are giving that argument too much weight.

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12-06-2010, 07:48 PM
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Which means that TDMM is most likely right and people are giving that argument too much weight.
If people generally just say that Bourque's competition being superior to Lidstrom's competition implies that Bourque is superior to Lidstrom, then yes. Competition provides context in which to view their awards, but obviously does nothing to make one player superior to another. That being said, I do consider Bourque's competition to be quite a bit better than Lidstrom's... even though so many were 80s pylons.

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12-06-2010, 08:27 PM
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
If people generally just say that Bourque's competition being superior to Lidstrom's competition implies that Bourque is superior to Lidstrom, then yes. Competition provides context in which to view their awards, but obviously does nothing to make one player superior to another. That being said, I do consider Bourque's competition to be quite a bit better than Lidstrom's... even though so many were 80s pylons.
Well, you never punish wilt chamberlain for having rather weak competition at center, so why discredit lidstrom when he's on pace to win a norris at age 40?

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12-06-2010, 08:36 PM
  #84
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Gretzky was alright, but he was no Sidney Crosby. He'd probably still have a prolific career in the the ECHL though.

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12-06-2010, 08:54 PM
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
Well, you never punish wilt chamberlain for having rather weak competition at center, so why discredit lidstrom when he's on pace to win a norris at age 40?
Your comment has no relevance to what I said, as I said that competition doesn't impact how good a player actually was, and I don't see what this even has to do with hockey, but...

Chamberlain dominated his peers to a degree that has not been matched by any centre. This includes Russell, whose career nearly completely coincided with Chamberlain's. He also dominated all time greats like West, Robertson, and Baylor whose primes coincided with his own but who played other positions. Discrediting Chamberlain due to his competition would be like someone discrediting Orr because the early 1970s lacked top end defencemen. If you wish to argue that Chamberlain only dominated because of a size advantage (which is an overblown critique) I will remind you of Yao Ming's domination of the NBA over the last decade. I don't feel any further need to discuss basketball in this thread though, so start up the other thread that related to other sports if you wish.

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Old
12-06-2010, 09:14 PM
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Teams don't even want overly talented players on their bottom lines today. They want fast players to perform defensive tasks that are cheap and fit into the salary cap.

If you're a talented player that can't crack a teams top 6, it's a real good possibility that you won't be dressing while you watch less talented, faster, much cheaper, more defensive minded players taking up the bottom 6 spots.

It's not that teams couldn't employ 3 scoring lines today like they did in the past, it's that they can't afford to.



This is by far the point that is lost the most on the "newer is better" crowd.
The point is not lost, better coached and faster players are all playing defense in todays league making goals harder to come by.

In every game today's skilled superstars are playing agasint entire teams playing defensive systems and the speed level or difference has narrowed big time making it much harder for the skilled players to seperate themselves from the pack.

Back in earlier days and even with Wayne and Mario, this simply was not the case or at least the level was lower. We can see this by just watchign most any game from the early 80's to most of the games today.

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12-06-2010, 09:21 PM
  #87
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Originally Posted by lazerbullet View Post
This is based on what? I would say that your average top defenseman, or forward is better trained and coached than x years ago. It's harder to separate yourself from the pack, if others can learn what is natural to you. It's harder to gain extra advantage in conditioning with that extra drive and natural willingness to take care of your body, if your average top player can hire a coach, who will keep pushing his lazy butt.

Will you still dominate? Yes, but the gap with others will be much smaller.
Exactly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Here's the other issue I have with people ready to put Crosby past all these other great players already.....he hasn't even passed a player that came into the league at the exact same time, trailing said player in points including a whopping almost 80 goals heh.
Crosby is exactly 9 points behind AO in 25 less games.


Sid must be readign your posts 7 points behind in 24 less games (assist on his superstar wingers goal tonight and GWG later in the game), on pace for 65-65-130 but I guess that will not impress you very much.

Add in the playoff record and Croby's emerging 2 way play and the fact that he is 2 years younger than AO, it's pretty clear who has been the better overall player so far IMO


http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...rder_by=points


Last edited by Hardyvan123: 12-06-2010 at 09:27 PM. Reason: Sid adding to his totals as we speak
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Old
12-06-2010, 09:28 PM
  #88
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1996 was the last year Bourque finished ahead of Lidstrom in Norris voting. Bourque was 35 at the time, Lidstrom was 25.
Lidstrom at the age of 35 went on to win 3 Norrisses, missed a lockout year and deserved another Norris in 09... And has a chance at another this year.

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Old
12-06-2010, 09:36 PM
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
This post sums everything up nicely. The changes in hockey over the last few decades are generally extraneous with regard to how good players are. Players today may have superior fitness, take shorter shifts and have access to superior equipment but this does not prove that players today are inherently better than players from the past. Some people may wish to compare players from previous decades with players today in an absolute sense, as in pulling them out of a time machine and dropping them into the game today, but to me this approach is pointless as it gives the more modern players many advantages. The relative approach is far more interesting to me, and I would also say that it is far more fair, provided the competition is taken into account.
Another thing that needs to be included is the training camps that Phil Esposito attende which consisted of taking a case of beer into the sauna at some point.

I know that I'm going out on a limb here but better condtioned atheletes could help make for faster and better defenders, both on defense and forwards.

I'm not comaporing players in the absolute sense but making the point that a great player like Orr, Wayne or Mario definetley could have taken advantage of inferior conditioned oppsition players comapred to what player encounter today.

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12-06-2010, 09:39 PM
  #90
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Interesting

Interesting thread in a quaint fashion.

Initially hockey was played at a marathon pace. Little if any substituion meant players were required to perform a complete range of skills under circumstances that not only matched skills but also tested stamina.

Gradually rosters increased and the game was played at a mid distance pace. Players were still required to have an extensive skill set BUT the skill levels dropped as you went down the roster from 1st to 3rd line. Example dynasty Canadiens with Beliveau, Henri Richard and Ralph Backstrom at center. Beliveau had a much better shot than Richard or Backstrom and if you would grade their overall skills they would come out as listed.

Today hockey is played at sprint speed - 30 second shifts, once or twice up and down the ice and the line changes. Overall skill beyond skating is rather limited. 3rd and 4th lines are players willing to play for a salary in the 500,000 - $1M range. Accept the salary and you play. Overprice yourself - Glen Metropolit and you play in Europe.Very few teams have anyone talented playing on the third or fourth line and most are hard pressed to put together two solid lines. Crosby has spent the last two seasons playing with slugs for the most part with some time with Malkin or a bit of supporting talent.

That being said, I fail to see the merit of comparing a sprinter to a marathon runner. Lidstrom is great at what he does in shorty spurts. Doug Harvey was great at what he did because he could pace the game at a middle distance speed going from slow to fast or fast to slow as the situation required. Shore was great because he was a beast who had the stamina to win a war of attrition if his rashness or temper did not do him in first. Bobby Orr was great because he did not simply skate better than any player but he could move on skates in a fashion no one had seen before or since.
After all why would Lidstrom play like Shore or vice versa?

Please appreciate this when looking at players over the full history of the game. Avoid the trap of rating or list simply because somehow we have this urge to fit everything into a top 10/25/50........... Lists are nice but far from absolute.

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12-06-2010, 09:49 PM
  #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
You keep talking about me building and knocking down the strawman and putting words in your mouth.
Yet YOU did state that Crosby is already past most of the greats and I seem to recall the statement that started almost all of this....that Crosby's skill set is just a good as Gretzky's.

So please, I don't have to put words in your mouth, you have been perfectly capable of doing that on your own along with a foot or two.

The only part of my arguments that I would change at this point is I have reconsidered how Sid stacks up against Yzerman and am willing to concede that Crosby does indeed hold the early edge.
Whether Crosby is capable of matching Stevie's peak or career value definitely remains to be seen.

As far as the rest of our issues...stronger and faster still doesn't mean more skilled or talented and I still believe that the increased speed of the game today does just as much to limit the actual incoming talent as roster spots did in previous era's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrx View Post
The only thing you can do is compare the player vs his peers and take into account for era, scoring, competition etc etc.
When we take into account for the difference in the state of the NHL Sid's peak is already on par with Stevie Y's.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...rder_by=points

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...yzermst01.html

compare the 2 guys with adjusted stats.

And once again I made the arguement that Sid is more in the ballpark with Wayne and Mario than the other guys you listed earlier which included Stevie Y.

And once again that was based on direct comparissons of each players 1st 5 years, not Sid's 5 years to thier careers which I never stated.

We can only imagine what Wayne or Mario would do with Sid's wingers this year.

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12-06-2010, 09:51 PM
  #92
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Exactly



Crosby is exactly 9 points behind AO in 25 less games.


Sid must be readign your posts 7 points behind in 24 less games (assist on his superstar wingers goal tonight and GWG later in the game), on pace for 65-65-130 but I guess that will not impress you very much.

Add in the playoff record and Croby's emerging 2 way play and the fact that he is 2 years younger than AO, it's pretty clear who has been the better overall player so far IMO


http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...rder_by=points
How is age relevant to what they have accomplished?

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12-06-2010, 09:55 PM
  #93
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post

We can only imagine what Wayne or Mario would do with Sid's wingers this year.
How much better are Blair MacDonald, Rob Brown, and Warren Young than Sid's wingers?

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12-06-2010, 10:00 PM
  #94
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
How is age relevant to what they have accomplished?
I only point that out becasue if they for arguements sake age the same way Crosby will have 2 more seasons than AO at the end of the day than currently.

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12-06-2010, 10:10 PM
  #95
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
How much better are Blair MacDonald, Rob Brown, and Warren Young than Sid's wingers?
BJ only played with Wayne in his 1st year and Rob Brown, while not a complete player was a very talented scorer, watched him quite a bit with Kamloops.

In Mario's breakout year he had some other skilled guys around him but he was clearly the stud on that team, no doubt about it.
http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/PIT/1988.html


Last edited by Hardyvan123: 12-06-2010 at 10:15 PM.
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12-06-2010, 10:11 PM
  #96
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
I only point that out becasue if they for arguements sake age the same way Crosby will have 2 more seasons than AO at the end of the day than currently.
Oh yes, I agree that it makes it more likely that Crosby can maintain his current level for longer.

But I really don't see how anyone could put either man significantly above the other up until this point, based on their NHL careers to date.

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12-06-2010, 10:11 PM
  #97
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Change the Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
How much better are Blair MacDonald, Rob Brown, and Warren Young than Sid's wingers?
Change the question to how different are Sid`s wingers.

Basically Sid`s wingers are geared to play 30 second shifts while he does the skill work. Last year Guerin because that was all he had left, Kunitz because basically that is all that he can do. If you watched them last year they did not have the time during a shift to actually work at getting open. Two trips up and down the ice per shift with a longer stay in the offensive zone if Sid controlled the puck or a longer stay in their zone if the opposition controlled the puck.

Conversely Blair MacDonald with Gretzky, Brown and Young with Lemieux had limited skills beyond the offensive zone but if you gave them enough ice time to work against a specific checker or defense they would get open for that brief moment for a Gretzky or Lemieux to find them.

Regardless the life span of such a player with a superstar is usually very limited.

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12-06-2010, 10:20 PM
  #98
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Bill Russell

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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
Your comment has no relevance to what I said, as I said that competition doesn't impact how good a player actually was, and I don't see what this even has to do with hockey, but...

Chamberlain dominated his peers to a degree that has not been matched by any centre. This includes Russell, whose career nearly completely coincided with Chamberlain's. He also dominated all time greats like West, Robertson, and Baylor whose primes coincided with his own but who played other positions. Discrediting Chamberlain due to his competition would be like someone discrediting Orr because the early 1970s lacked top end defencemen. If you wish to argue that Chamberlain only dominated because of a size advantage (which is an overblown critique) I will remind you of Yao Ming's domination of the NBA over the last decade. I don't feel any further need to discuss basketball in this thread though, so start up the other thread that related to other sports if you wish.
Wilt did not come close to dominating Bill Russell. The championships speak clearly. Russell dominated Wilt unless there is some quaint definition of domination that favours losing.

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12-06-2010, 10:20 PM
  #99
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Sid must be readign your posts 7 points behind in 24 less games (assist on his superstar wingers goal tonight and GWG later in the game), on pace for 65-65-130 but I guess that will not impress you very much.
Too bad extrapolated stats don't mean all that much.


If I remember correctly, around this many games into 05-06, Marek Svatos was on pace to win the Calder over Ovechkin and Crosby. Don't put too much stock into Crosby's numbers until the season is farther in. Granted, he is playing a level above, but give it some time.


Last edited by Unaffiliated: 12-06-2010 at 10:44 PM. Reason: typo "into" --> "until" /shame
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12-06-2010, 10:35 PM
  #100
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Too bad extrapolated stats don't mean all that much.


If I remember correctly, around this many games into 05-06, Marek Svatos was on pace to win the Calder over Ovechkin and Crosby. Don't put too much stock into Crosby's numbers into the season is farther in. Granted, he is playing a level above, but give it some time.
Sid scored 120 points in his 2nd season, his current pace is maintainable IMO.

I'm betting that he gets 125-130 points if he stays healthy the whole season.

He won the scoring race with his 120 by 6 points, it might be larger this year but AO is bound to break out some point as well.

Not sure how close Stamkos is going to hang with the Kid though.

Should be a very interesting season.

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