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Peak: Jagr vs. Lidstrom

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Old
04-12-2012, 12:01 PM
  #1
Hawkey Town 18
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Peak: Jagr vs. Lidstrom

The 2 best players whom I've actually been able to see their entire careers (I watched some of Mario when he started but was really too young). At their very best...which of these two guys was better?

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04-12-2012, 12:05 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Very few players have ever reached the level Jagr did for three years from 1997-98 to 1999-00.

I'd take Lidstrom for career and probably length of prime (if consistency and longevity are factored in). But peak has to be Jagr

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04-12-2012, 12:23 PM
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Agreed. Lidstrom's career didn't really have a peak - it was just sustained excellence.

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04-12-2012, 12:40 PM
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jagr no question , he was simply a more talented player.Jagr's talent was pretty much endless offensively at some point , he could execute and create his own dekes at will , always had a terrific vision , good passes , very accurate and powerful wrist shot , good one-timer , extremely good/strong along the boards and in the corners , was a very powerful skater and was hard to stop , wasn't injury prone for the most part , he continued his great player in the playoffs , he was incredibly smart on the ice , one of the most flashy and spectacular player of all-time , 15 consecutive 30 goals season , 5 Art Rosses etc...

Of course Lidstrom had his defensive skills , but winning an Art Ross is harder than winning a Norris these days.And the fact remains , defensive play is definitely easier to do than offensive play , especially for so many years.What Jagr did was clear enough for me to say it was harder to produce than what Lidstrom did as a hockey player.


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04-12-2012, 01:13 PM
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Jagr easily imho.

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04-12-2012, 01:53 PM
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Just looking at GVT, Lidstrom hit a three year peak of 20.6 - 21.2 - 25.1 from 2005-06 to 2007-08. Jagr hit a peak of 23.6 - 24.9 - 33.3 from 1996-97 to 1998-99.

I would've gone with Jagr as well (because of those three years). Just thought it was interesting to try and bring in some sort of statistical comparison between the two.

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04-12-2012, 01:59 PM
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Jagr at his best was considered by some to be the best player in the league. Lidstrom never reached that level, he was among the top, but he wasn't recognized as even the best at his position until I think his late 20s.

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04-12-2012, 02:15 PM
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I rate Lidstrom's peak as being either 1999-2000 or 2005-06 - two seasons in which Jagr was a top-two player in the league and Lidstrom was not - so it follows that I believe that Jagr not only had a higher peak than Lidstrom (1998-99), but had several seasons better than Lidstrom's absolute best.

And for what it's worth, I don't think Lidstrom's consistency bridges the gap between them either.

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04-12-2012, 02:31 PM
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Jagr at his peak definitely, the thing with Jagr is that he didn't always have the same drive or consistency to him that Lidstrom has. So when Jagr was on there was maybe one other player in the entire league on par with him in Hasek. The problem was when he didn't feel like dominating it was basically hockey's version of Manny being Manny. You never saw that kind of inconsistency out of Lidstrom throughout his career, but you also never saw a peak that would dictate that he was the best player in the game.

But if I had to pick between the two players, in terms of their entire career, there's no question that I'd take Lidstrom over Jagr.

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04-12-2012, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
Jagr at his peak definitely, the thing with Jagr is that he didn't always have the same drive or consistency to him that Lidstrom has. So when Jagr was on there was maybe one other player in the entire league on par with him in Hasek. The problem was when he didn't feel like dominating it was basically hockey's version of Manny being Manny. You never saw that kind of inconsistency out of Lidstrom throughout his career, but you also never saw a peak that would dictate that he was the best player in the game.

But if I had to pick between the two players, in terms of their entire career, there's no question that I'd take Lidstrom over Jagr.
Out of curiosity, would you take Lidstrom's career over Hasek's career?

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04-12-2012, 03:11 PM
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That one's a lot closer, and it's a debate I go through a lot. I probably would but that's mostly due to later in his career Hasek had a very hard time staying healthy. The unfortunate thing with Hasek is that he wasn't able to come over to North America until the fall of the Iron Curtain and as a result he wasn't firmly established as a starter until he was nearly 30. That, at least to me, hurts his career value a bit, even if at his prime the only equal he had in the league was Jagr.

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04-12-2012, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
I rate Lidstrom's peak as being either 1999-2000 or 2005-06 - two seasons in which Jagr was a top-two player in the league and Lidstrom was not - so it follows that I believe that Jagr not only had a higher peak than Lidstrom (1998-99), but had several seasons better than Lidstrom's absolute best.

And for what it's worth, I don't think Lidstrom's consistency bridges the gap between them either.
Those weren't Lidstrom's best seasons. Nick was better the 3 seasons following both of those seasons than he was in either, IMO.

And as for the thread, I'm of the mind that the importance of defensemen has been severely underrated the last 20-30 years or so. Lidstrom was as good defensively as Jagr was offensively. But the inverse isn't even remotely close to be being true (ie Jagr being as good defensively as Nick was offensively).

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04-12-2012, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by norrisnick View Post
Those weren't Lidstrom's best seasons. Nick was better the 3 seasons following both of those seasons than he was in either, IMO.
I highly disagree with that. In 2000, he led defensemen in scoring by 9 points and also registered the most even-strength points (37) and goals (20). Was he so much better defensively in 2001 that it made up for scoring only 27 points at even-strength, 8 fewer overall points than the leader, and finishing sixth in goals? To me, whenever someone says that he was better in 2001 than 2000, it means that they're probably rating him relative to his competition in Norris voting... which is to say they are rating him relative to peak-Pronger (2000) and the field without peak-Pronger (2001).

In 2002, he scored only 9 goals (only 3 at even-strength, tying the lowest totals of his career), a full 17 behind the leader at his position. Again, what is it defensively from this year that sets him apart from his 2000 self, because he was clearly worse in the offensive sense?

2003 was more of the same, with him being outscored by Gonchar and a 39-year-old Al MacInnis, and a full half of his goals and points came with the extra-man. So what was it about his defensive play in this season that made it better than 2000?

In 2006, he was back to being the best offensive defenseman in hockey as well as the best defensive defenseman. He scored 80 points, 9 more than second-place Sergei Zubov.

In 2007, he was surpassed offensively by no fewer than five defensemen (Pronger, Niedermayer, Visnovsky, Gonchar, and Souray), with his best competition for the Norris missing 16 games. What was it about Lidstrom's 2007 that rivals his 2006?

2008 lacked the offensive gap between himself and his peers. He was being relied on for fewer minutes than he had seen since 1999. Had his defense really improved since 2006 to warrant a claim that this was a better year?

In 2009, he fell to 15th in even-strength scoring, and finished 15 goals behind the leader in his position with two fewer minutes than he had seen the season prior. So why would you say this was above 2006?


2000 and 2006 are clear above the rest (2008 being close) in the sense of offensive play, so is there some quantifiable defensive measure that strongly contrasts how much better he was offensively in these particular seasons, or do you simply believe him to have been worse enough defensively in 2000/2006 than 2001-2003/2007-2009 to deny he peaked in 2000/2006?

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04-12-2012, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
I highly disagree with that. In 2000, he led defensemen in scoring by 9 points and also registered the most even-strength points (37) and goals (20). Was he so much better defensively in 2001 that it made up for scoring only 27 points at even-strength, 8 fewer overall points than the leader, and finishing sixth in goals? To me, whenever someone says that he was better in 2001 than 2000, it means that they're probably rating him relative to his competition in Norris voting... which is to say they are rating him relative to peak-Pronger (2000) and the field without peak-Pronger (2001).

In 2002, he scored only 9 goals (only 3 at even-strength, tying the lowest totals of his career), a full 17 behind the leader at his position. Again, what is it defensively from this year that sets him apart from his 2000 self, because he was clearly worse in the offensive sense?

2003 was more of the same, with him being outscored by Gonchar and a 39-year-old Al MacInnis, and a full half of his goals and points came with the extra-man. So what was it about his defensive play in this season that made it better than 2000?

In 2006, he was back to being the best offensive defenseman in hockey as well as the best defensive defenseman. He scored 80 points, 9 more than second-place Sergei Zubov.

In 2007, he was surpassed offensively by no fewer than five defensemen (Pronger, Niedermayer, Visnovsky, Gonchar, and Souray), with his best competition for the Norris missing 16 games. What was it about Lidstrom's 2007 that rivals his 2006?

2008 lacked the offensive gap between himself and his peers. He was being relied on for fewer minutes than he had seen since 1999. Had his defense really improved since 2006 to warrant a claim that this was a better year?

In 2009, he fell to 15th in even-strength scoring, and finished 15 goals behind the leader in his position with two fewer minutes than he had seen the season prior. So why would you say this was above 2006?


2000 and 2006 are clear above the rest (2008 being close) in the sense of offensive play, so is there some quantifiable defensive measure that strongly contrasts how much better he was offensively in these particular seasons, or do you simply believe him to have been worse enough defensively in 2000/2006 than 2001-2003/2007-2009 to deny he peaked in 2000/2006?
The problem is your analysis is all offense, sorry pal but defense is way more important for defenseman than offense. Lidstrom was at his best defensively in 2003 and 2007-2008. In 2008 he was 4th in hart voting, that should suggest he was an absolute rock that year. In 2007 Lidstrom was a plus 40, while half of the guys you mentioned were minus players. His goals for/goals against ratio was phenominal. That is the main job of a defenseman, to make sure that his team scores at a higher rate when he is on the ice, not pad stats and ignore defense.

Doug Harvey would get outscored by Red Kelly, Bill Gadsby or Pierre Pilote, but he would always win the norris from 1955-1962 because his defensive contribution was much greater than thiers.


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04-12-2012, 03:55 PM
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The problem is your analysis is all offense, sorry pal but defense is way more important for defenseman than offense. Lidstrom was at his best defensively in 2003 and 2007-2008.
Well, gee whiz, do you think that's why I kept asking for defensive reasoning from norrisnick to contrast Lidstrom's offensive superiority in 2000 and 2006?


Quote:
Originally Posted by quoipourquoi
I highly disagree with that. In 2000, he led defensemen in scoring by 9 points and also registered the most even-strength points (37) and goals (20). Was he so much better defensively in 2001 that it made up for scoring only 27 points at even-strength, 8 fewer overall points than the leader, and finishing sixth in goals? To me, whenever someone says that he was better in 2001 than 2000, it means that they're probably rating him relative to his competition in Norris voting... which is to say they are rating him relative to peak-Pronger (2000) and the field without peak-Pronger (2001).

In 2002, he scored only 9 goals (only 3 at even-strength, tying the lowest totals of his career), a full 17 behind the leader at his position. Again, what is it defensively from this year that sets him apart from his 2000 self, because he was clearly worse in the offensive sense?

2003 was more of the same, with him being outscored by Gonchar and a 39-year-old Al MacInnis, and a full half of his goals and points came with the extra-man. So what was it about his defensive play in this season that made it better than 2000?

In 2006, he was back to being the best offensive defenseman in hockey as well as the best defensive defenseman. He scored 80 points, 9 more than second-place Sergei Zubov.

In 2007, he was surpassed offensively by no fewer than five defensemen (Pronger, Niedermayer, Visnovsky, Gonchar, and Souray), with his best competition for the Norris missing 16 games. What was it about Lidstrom's 2007 that rivals his 2006?

2008 lacked the offensive gap between himself and his peers. He was being relied on for fewer minutes than he had seen since 1999. Had his defense really improved since 2006 to warrant a claim that this was a better year?

In 2009, he fell to 15th in even-strength scoring, and finished 15 goals behind the leader in his position with two fewer minutes than he had seen the season prior. So why would you say this was above 2006?


2000 and 2006 are clear above the rest (2008 being close) in the sense of offensive play, so is there some quantifiable defensive measure that strongly contrasts how much better he was offensively in these particular seasons, or do you simply believe him to have been worse enough defensively in 2000/2006 than 2001-2003/2007-2009 to deny he peaked in 2000/2006?

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04-12-2012, 04:10 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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I pick Jagr for peak but Lidstrom absolutely was in the conversation for best player in the world for a few years

From another thread:

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Originally Posted by Epsilon View Post
The Hockey News rated him as the #1 player in the world in their yearbook after the 2001-02 season (not sure about after 2002-03 but I'd imagine he ranked highly). By the 2002-03 season, either the start or the end, Lidstrom was likely to be legitimately in the discussion for "best player in the world" (in as much as that designation matters) due to having 5-6 high-end seasons in a row (along with a Conn Smythe win), whereas a lot of the forwards at that time period (although certainly not all) were going through stretches where they'd have a great season for one year, then a down year or significant injuries in another.
I remember the Hockey News yearbook when it came out. It was very controversial on the old hockey boards I frequented back then, but I for one agreed at the time.

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04-12-2012, 04:40 PM
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Very few players have ever reached the level Jagr did for three years from 1997-98 to 1999-00.

I'd take Lidstrom for career and probably length of prime (if consistency and longevity are factored in). But peak has to be Jagr
This.

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04-12-2012, 06:53 PM
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I remember the Hockey News yearbook when it came out. It was very controversial on the old hockey boards I frequented back then, but I for one agreed at the time.
I think players get too much mileage out of that. They once had Rick Nash at #9 coming off of 54 points in 54 games in 2005-06. Tell me that wasn't a prediction rather than a reflection of what took place...

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04-12-2012, 07:12 PM
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Agreed. Lidstrom's career didn't really have a peak - it was just sustained excellence.
Exactly.

Jagr's point production without Lemieux in his era is staggering.

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04-12-2012, 10:06 PM
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The best I have ever seen a player perform post Mario is Jagr in 1999 or 2000ish. With the possible exception of what Hasek did over 2-3 seasons. Lidstrom was a rock but Jagr just reached heights that he couldn't hit. The big question here is, does anyone take any of Lidstrom's best years over Jagr in 1999? I don't.

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04-13-2012, 01:18 AM
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The best I have ever seen a player perform post Mario is Jagr in 1999 or 2000ish. With the possible exception of what Hasek did over 2-3 seasons. Lidstrom was a rock but Jagr just reached heights that he couldn't hit. The big question here is, does anyone take any of Lidstrom's best years over Jagr in 1999? I don't.
No, I couldn't either.
I couldn't even take Bourque's best years over Jagr's best.

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04-13-2012, 03:42 AM
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No, I couldn't either.
I couldn't even take Bourque's best years over Jagr's best.
How about denis potvin's 3 best? I think he compares well with jagr in a peak vs peak debate.

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04-13-2012, 03:57 AM
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How about denis potvin's 3 best? I think he compares well with jagr in a peak vs peak debate.
Yeah, that one is real close on an overall level but I think from a strictly offensive standpoint, the only d-men that really match up are Orr and Coffey.


Some don't agree with me but I have always felt that Potvin had the highest overall peak of any D-man not named Orr.
Just like Jagr had one of the highest overall peaks of any forward not named Gretzky, Lemieux or Howe.

Some of the younger guys at work ask me about Potvin and the best I have put it to them is to imagine if Scott Stevens had Brian Leetch's offense.
The offense they get right away but it always comes as a surprise when I inform them of just how much of a badass hitter or how mean and scary nasty he was.


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04-15-2012, 01:24 AM
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Yeah, that one is real close on an overall level but I think from a strictly offensive standpoint, the only d-men that really match up are Orr and Coffey.


Some don't agree with me but I have always felt that Potvin had the highest overall peak of any D-man not named Orr.
Just like Jagr had one of the highest overall peaks of any forward not named Gretzky, Lemieux or Howe.

Some of the younger guys at work ask me about Potvin and the best I have put it to them is to imagine if Scott Stevens had Brian Leetch's offense.
The offense they get right away but it always comes as a surprise when I inform them of just how much of a badass hitter or how mean and scary nasty he was.
I agree about Potvin, but not really Jagr... and I tend to think Jagr is typically underrated around here.

Jagr wouldn't even be in my top 10 for best 'peak' by forwards.

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04-15-2012, 01:31 AM
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The best I have ever seen a player perform post Mario is Jagr in 1999 or 2000ish. With the possible exception of what Hasek did over 2-3 seasons. Lidstrom was a rock but Jagr just reached heights that he couldn't hit. The big question here is, does anyone take any of Lidstrom's best years over Jagr in 1999? I don't.
It gets awfully close if you factor in playoffs. I can understand Jagr, but Lidstrom is getting a bit shafted as far as 'peak' goes. At his best Lidstrom was unarguably the best offensive defenseman in the world and one of the best defensive dmen in history. Add in that he was near superhuman in terms of health, rarely committed a penalty and actually 'upped' his play in the playoffs, and I absolutely question anyone who thinks 'Jagr, AINEC'

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