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Why would Gretzky still dominate today? Here's the secret about Gretzky...

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Old
08-21-2012, 06:12 PM
  #376
Iain Fyffe
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
I actually just watched a couple of the games from the '83 and '84 finals not too long ago.
The difference between the '83 Oilers and the '84 Oilers to get "dirty" and go to the nasty area's was night and day.
Great, now do you have anything that can help with the shot quality question? Getting dirty's pointless unless it gets you better scoring chances.

Edit: looks like a couple of games from the 1983 final are on youtube. Unfortunately I don't see any 1984 games to compare them to.

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08-21-2012, 06:52 PM
  #377
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Great, now do you have anything that can help with the shot quality question? Getting dirty's pointless unless it gets you better scoring chances.
Dude, I don't know what to tell you.
They got "dirtier". They sacrificed to get more loose pucks, went to the net without the puck a lot more, got more rebound opportunities and, in general, made things much more difficult for Billy Smith.
Does shot quality go up for you if the goalie can't see the puck? I mean, what do you want to know?

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08-21-2012, 07:39 PM
  #378
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Dude, I don't know what to tell you.
They got "dirtier". They sacrificed to get more loose pucks, went to the net without the puck a lot more, got more rebound opportunities and, in general, made things much more difficult for Billy Smith.
That's exactly what you can tell me. If this is true, then their shot quality would have been higher. Can you quantify how much more they did it?

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08-21-2012, 07:41 PM
  #379
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Originally Posted by tazzy19 View Post
Yes, but he had at least 17 more points (than those 188 points) 4 times out of those 5, which included 2 out of those 5 being 24 and 27 more points (than those 188). And of course he had a 183 points another year (1987), and was on pace for pretty much exactly 188 points in 1988 before his 16 game injury. The fact remains that he beat Mario Lemieux by 74 points in 85-86, and everyone at the time said Mario had an amazing year (which he did). Gretzky would routinely win scoring titles by 60-70 points. During his 183 point year, he won the scoring title by 69%. Are we really supposed to believe that players like Mark Messier, Mario Lemieux (even of 1987), Jari Kurri, Doug Gilmour, and others, were simply not as good as the top players today, which is why Wayne dominated them by so much? Or should we admit that those players were perhaps just as good, but Wayne managed to exploit "the weak 1980s" by a FAR greater degree than any of them, despite how good they were? And if the latter is indeed the case, then how is it that these great players could not also destroy this weak 1980s era to such RIDICULOUS fashion? That's the crux of the issue here.
Both Moose and Gilmour were not pure offensive talents but played strong 2 way games.

All the arguments are still only restating what happened in the 80's and very little focus is being put on the difficulty of how hard it is to score in the post lockout era, in any league, NHL-Jr

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08-21-2012, 07:50 PM
  #380
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Originally Posted by alanschu View Post
None of this disputes that Gretzky's numbers were significantly higher than his peers.

That more people broke 120 is irrelevant when the statement was a relative one.
Not exactly sure what you are trying to say but it really sounds like you want to have it both ways and it doesn't work that way.

Either it's easier to score in the 80's for everyone and harder to score in the post lockout era for everyone or it isn't.

If it's easier to score in one it's also easier to have a larger gap, given the right circumstances of talent and opportunity.

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08-21-2012, 08:36 PM
  #381
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Both Moose and Gilmour were not pure offensive talents but played strong 2 way games.

All the arguments are still only restating what happened in the 80's and very little focus is being put on the difficulty of how hard it is to score in the post lockout era, in any league, NHL-Jr
And then what about the pure offensive talents of the time? How come they did not come within 60 to 70 points of Gretzky? Or do you mean to suggest there were no "pure offensive talents" in the 1980s other than Gretzky?

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08-21-2012, 09:18 PM
  #382
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Not exactly sure what you are trying to say but it really sounds like you want to have it both ways and it doesn't work that way.

Either it's easier to score in the 80's for everyone and harder to score in the post lockout era for everyone or it isn't.

If it's easier to score in one it's also easier to have a larger gap, given the right circumstances of talent and opportunity.
See, here's where you just screwed the pooch bigtime!.

It's actually EASIER to to have a larger percentile gap in today's lower scorer times than it was in the 80's.

Malkin had a 12% gap last year over 2nd place with only 12 more points.
If for example, the 2nd place scorer had 141, Gretzky would then need 158 points or 17 more points to maintain that 12% gap.
Whether it's easier to score or not, it still means that Gretzky would need a whopping 42% more points at that level to maintain the same 12% gap as Malkin.

At the end of the day, no matter which way you cut it, Gretzky was ridiculous and had ridiculous scoring gaps despite facing double the amount of 100+ point players and despite the fact that his points in the 80's were worth so much less than points are today.

The bottom line for me is that I truly believe that a prime Gretzky today would still produce 40-50% more points than anyone else in the game today.

Again, a shadow of his former self, with a bad back, at 37 years of age, in the DPE is still a 100 point player.
That alone should be enough to project that a prime, healthy Gretzky would still destroy the league today.

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08-21-2012, 10:02 PM
  #383
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Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
Then let's take a look at "the field" and compare the second to tenth best scorers in Gretzky's NHL and in today's NHL:

1981-1982:
147+139+136+129+119+117+114+106+106 = 1113 / 9 = 123.67 points per player (=100%)
Gretzky: 212 points (=171.4%)

1982-1983:
124+121+118+107+107+106+105+104+104 = 996 / 9 = 110.67 points per player (=100%)
Gretzky: 196 points (=177.1%)

1983-1984:
126+121+119+118+116+113+111+107+105 = 1036 / 9 = 115.1 points per player (=100%)
Gretzky: 205 points (=178.1%)

1984-1985:
135+130+126+121+117+105+105+103+102 = 1044 / 9 = 116 points per player (=100%)
Gretzky: 208 points (=179.3%)

1985-1986:
141+138+131+123+122+116+110+105+105 = 1091 / 9 = 121.2 points per player (=100%)
Wayne Gretzky: 215 points (=177.39%)

1986-1987:
108+107+107+105+103+100+96+95+95 = 916 / 9 = 101.78 points per player (=100%)
Wayne Gretzky: 183 points (=179.8%)

So prime Gretzky outscored the all-outscoring field by margins of 171.4-179.8%. "The field" in today's NHL:

2006-2007:
114+108+105+102+100+100+96+96+95 = 916 / 9 = 101.78 points per player (=100%)
*Exactly the same as in 1986-1987 when Gretzky scored 183 points!*
Prime Gretzky 171.4-179.8% = 174-183 points

2007-2008:
106+98+97+96+92+92+92+89+87 = 849 / 9 = 94.33 points per player (=100%)
Prime Gretzky 171.4-179.8% = 161-169 points

2008-2009:
110+103+97+94+91+91+89+88+88 = 851 / 9 = 94.56 points per player (=100%)
Prime Gretzky 171.4-179.8% = 162-170 points

2009-2010:
109+109+101+95+94+91+89+88+86 = 862 / 9 = 95.78 points per player (=100%)
Prime Gretzky 171.4-179.8% = 164-172 points

2010-2011:
99+98+94+91+86+85+80+80+77 = 790 / 9 = 87.78 points per player (=100%)
Prime Gretzky 171.4-179.8% = 150-157 points

2011-2012:
97+93+84+83+82+81+81+81+78 = 760 / 9 = 84.4 points per player (=100%)
Prime Gretzky 171.4-179.8% = 144-151 points

It looks as if prime Gretzky would be a perennial 150-170 points scorer in today's NHL when nobody else ever tops 115. And maybe a 180 points scorer in the two seasons after the lockout when Thornton, Jágr and Crosby hit 120.
Sure if you really believe that your formula used above is transferable which I don't think it would be and have stated why in numerous posts.

There is something mathematical I'm missing here because I'm very tired, and I'm not a statistician, but I'm pretty sure it has to due with the limited numbers you have used here (compared to overall).

The two fields were 77 (in 21 teams) and 25 (in 30 teams) over 7 year periods, your formula is something entirely different.

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08-21-2012, 10:38 PM
  #384
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
See, here's where you just screwed the pooch bigtime!.

It's actually EASIER to to have a larger percentile gap in today's lower scorer times than it was in the 80's.

Malkin had a 12% gap last year over 2nd place with only 12 more points.
If for example, the 2nd place scorer had 141, Gretzky would then need 158 points or 17 more points to maintain that 12% gap.
Whether it's easier to score or not, it still means that Gretzky would need a whopping 42% more points at that level to maintain the same 12% gap as Malkin.

At the end of the day, no matter which way you cut it, Gretzky was ridiculous and had ridiculous scoring gaps despite facing double the amount of 100+ point players and despite the fact that his points in the 80's were worth so much less than points are today.

The bottom line for me is that I truly believe that a prime Gretzky today would still produce 40-50% more points than anyone else in the game today.

Again, a shadow of his former self, with a bad back, at 37 years of age, in the DPE is still a 100 point player.
That alone should be enough to project that a prime, healthy Gretzky would still destroy the league today.
This is my belief too. When Gretzky's compared to his peers, going by raw points is obviously flawed. Saying he won by 70+ points doesn't mean much when points aren't worth what they are now (by which I mean winning by 70 pts today would be much more impressive than what Gretzky did). But expressed as a %, it shouldn't matter as much. If Gretzky was scoring 50-60% more points, that still translates well.

Arguements can be made that the competition is deeper now so leading by 60% is harder today - and to a point I believe that's true. But to think Gretzky would go from winning scoring races by 60% margins to only 10% seems to be rather much. If the league was really SO much better today, players from the 80's/90's wouldn't be able to compete at all. But when I see Chelios playing at age 46, Lidstrom winning a Noris when pushing 40, and Jagr/Selanne/Brodeur still all playing at 40 as well, I have a hard time believing the talent level has risen as much as many here believe.

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08-22-2012, 10:02 AM
  #385
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There are no Gretzky secrets or insights left for anyone to discover or unearth.

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08-22-2012, 11:30 AM
  #386
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A couple of thoughts after reading the past few pages, which have been highly enjoyable. Debates like this are why I keep coming back to the History board.

1) After all that has been said about St. Louis as a prospect, only in the last few posts was there a passing reference to his strange post-draft development.

Not one, but TWO organizations offered him the opportunity to prove himself on NHL ice, and sent him packing to free agency. That's TWO coaching staffs who considered that he might have NHL potential, put him on the ice against his peers, and were so unimpressed that they didn't even expect compensation for his rights.

That has to mean something, doesn't it? It's not like St. Louis was overlooked in the draft, arrived immediately in Tampa and took a normal development curve to stardom. He was a 20-30 point type of player in Calgary, which anyone would consider inadequate for a scoring winger.

So, and I say this with a tremendous amount of respect for Iain and the system he's developed, it's hard for me to take seriously the claim that the scouts "missed" on St. Louis. They didn't think he would be a successful player for whatever team drafted him, and they were right. It took 7 years and 3 teams for him to find his game, in an unconventional manner that is almost unique among active NHL players.


2) For all the talk about how scoring "translates" from the 80s to present, and how those translations apply to Gretzky, there have only been a few passing references to the possibility that such translation occurs on an individual level, not a universal one.

That is, Gretzky put up ridiculous numbers in the 1980s partially because he was the greatest offensive genius of all time, and partially because his genius was perfectly suited to a specific time and circumstance.

If Gretzky were playing in today's NHL, how much would his circumstances change? The Oilers are a lottery team, not a dynasty. The rules of the game are different. The dimensions of the rinks have changed. The geometry of the game has been altered to an extent.

Just using the eyeball test, a lot of Gretzky's tools have been rendered obsolete. Players don't just circle back to the blue line on a rush, and watch the defenseman glide away. Defenses aren't at a disadvantage when someone holds the puck behind the net. Goalies don't follow the puck-carrier so aggressively that they literally have to turn around and watch the backdoor forward score from behind them.

The key point here is that these were things that Gretzky exploited, but few others could even attempt. It's not at all unthinkable that his scoring rate would drop MORE than a Lemieux, Messier or Hull -- guys who scored their points in more or less the same way that they are scored today. In particular, Gretzky's assist totals would not necessarily translate at a universal rate.

Of course this still doesn't mean he wouldn't simply find new holes to exploit in the modern game. Maybe he'd still score 200 by learning to bank shots off butterfly goalies' shoulders, who knows. But it does render these universal mathematical models somewhat useless when we take individual traits into account.

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08-22-2012, 12:27 PM
  #387
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
A couple of thoughts after reading the past few pages, which have been highly enjoyable. Debates like this are why I keep coming back to the History board.

1) After all that has been said about St. Louis as a prospect, only in the last few posts was there a passing reference to his strange post-draft development.

Not one, but TWO organizations offered him the opportunity to prove himself on NHL ice, and sent him packing to free agency. That's TWO coaching staffs who considered that he might have NHL potential, put him on the ice against his peers, and were so unimpressed that they didn't even expect compensation for his rights.

That has to mean something, doesn't it? It's not like St. Louis was overlooked in the draft, arrived immediately in Tampa and took a normal development curve to stardom. He was a 20-30 point type of player in Calgary, which anyone would consider inadequate for a scoring winger.

So, and I say this with a tremendous amount of respect for Iain and the system he's developed, it's hard for me to take seriously the claim that the scouts "missed" on St. Louis. They didn't think he would be a successful player for whatever team drafted him, and they were right. It took 7 years and 3 teams for him to find his game, in an unconventional manner that is almost unique among active NHL players.


2) For all the talk about how scoring "translates" from the 80s to present, and how those translations apply to Gretzky, there have only been a few passing references to the possibility that such translation occurs on an individual level, not a universal one.

That is, Gretzky put up ridiculous numbers in the 1980s partially because he was the greatest offensive genius of all time, and partially because his genius was perfectly suited to a specific time and circumstance.

If Gretzky were playing in today's NHL, how much would his circumstances change? The Oilers are a lottery team, not a dynasty. The rules of the game are different. The dimensions of the rinks have changed. The geometry of the game has been altered to an extent.

Just using the eyeball test, a lot of Gretzky's tools have been rendered obsolete. Players don't just circle back to the blue line on a rush, and watch the defenseman glide away. Defenses aren't at a disadvantage when someone holds the puck behind the net. Goalies don't follow the puck-carrier so aggressively that they literally have to turn around and watch the backdoor forward score from behind them.

The key point here is that these were things that Gretzky exploited, but few others could even attempt. It's not at all unthinkable that his scoring rate would drop MORE than a Lemieux, Messier or Hull -- guys who scored their points in more or less the same way that they are scored today. In particular, Gretzky's assist totals would not necessarily translate at a universal rate.

Of course this still doesn't mean he wouldn't simply find new holes to exploit in the modern game. Maybe he'd still score 200 by learning to bank shots off butterfly goalies' shoulders, who knows. But it does render these universal mathematical models somewhat useless when we take individual traits into account.
people need to read this, if they haven't.

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08-22-2012, 01:06 PM
  #388
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
2) For all the talk about how scoring "translates" from the 80s to present, and how those translations apply to Gretzky, there have only been a few passing references to the possibility that such translation occurs on an individual level, not a universal one.
Of course.
Anything I presented for Gretzky's totals should be taken with the same weight as Adjusted Stats.

Quote:
That is, Gretzky put up ridiculous numbers in the 1980s partially because he was the greatest offensive genius of all time, and partially because his genius was perfectly suited to a specific time and circumstance.
But was Gretzky a product of that time and circumstance or the creator of it?
This is the single greatest question to be answered in this entire thread to be honest.

Quote:
If Gretzky were playing in today's NHL, how much would his circumstances change? The Oilers are a lottery team, not a dynasty. The rules of the game are different. The dimensions of the rinks have changed. The geometry of the game has been altered to an extent.
When Gretz arrived in EDM, they were not a good team either. As for the rest, there were always changes, even in the 80's.

Quote:
Just using the eyeball test, a lot of Gretzky's tools have been rendered obsolete. Players don't just circle back to the blue line on a rush, and watch the defenseman glide away. Defenses aren't at a disadvantage when someone holds the puck behind the net. Goalies don't follow the puck-carrier so aggressively that they literally have to turn around and watch the backdoor forward score from behind them.

The key point here is that these were things that Gretzky exploited, but few others could even attempt. It's not at all unthinkable that his scoring rate would drop MORE than a Lemieux, Messier or Hull -- guys who scored their points in more or less the same way that they are scored today. In particular, Gretzky's assist totals would not necessarily translate at a universal rate.

Of course this still doesn't mean he wouldn't simply find new holes to exploit in the modern game. Maybe he'd still score 200 by learning to bank shots off butterfly goalies' shoulders, who knows. But it does render these universal mathematical models somewhat useless when we take individual traits into account.
Exactly, if he was scoring points in ways no one else was or even attempted to back then, why would that change today?
With the rigid systems almost every team employs defensively today, I have very little doubt that Gretzky would exploit every little hole each system has.

Either way, how a player with his vision plus the fact that he had absolutely incredible accuracy in both passing and shooting doesn't translate to today's game is beyond me.

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08-22-2012, 01:13 PM
  #389
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
2) For all the talk about how scoring "translates" from the 80s to present, and how those translations apply to Gretzky, there have only been a few passing references to the possibility that such translation occurs on an individual level, not a universal one.

That is, Gretzky put up ridiculous numbers in the 1980s partially because he was the greatest offensive genius of all time, and partially because his genius was perfectly suited to a specific time and circumstance.

If Gretzky were playing in today's NHL, how much would his circumstances change? The Oilers are a lottery team, not a dynasty. The rules of the game are different. The dimensions of the rinks have changed. The geometry of the game has been altered to an extent.

Just using the eyeball test, a lot of Gretzky's tools have been rendered obsolete. Players don't just circle back to the blue line on a rush, and watch the defenseman glide away. Defenses aren't at a disadvantage when someone holds the puck behind the net. Goalies don't follow the puck-carrier so aggressively that they literally have to turn around and watch the backdoor forward score from behind them.

The key point here is that these were things that Gretzky exploited, but few others could even attempt. It's not at all unthinkable that his scoring rate would drop MORE than a Lemieux, Messier or Hull -- guys who scored their points in more or less the same way that they are scored today. In particular, Gretzky's assist totals would not necessarily translate at a universal rate.

Of course this still doesn't mean he wouldn't simply find new holes to exploit in the modern game. Maybe he'd still score 200 by learning to bank shots off butterfly goalies' shoulders, who knows. But it does render these universal mathematical models somewhat useless when we take individual traits into account.
I don't think that these moves you name were the central, defining characteristics of Gretzky's game. He used them because they worked at the time in the game he was playing. He adapted his game to the conditions of his time. His defining characteristic was his ability to study the game and know it well enough to exploit the tendencies and holes that others were unaware of.

So it depends what question you are asking. If you are dropping a 22 year old Gretzky into 2012, he'll have an adjustment period where he sees how the game has changed and how he'll have to change to adapt. Some changes he could make immediately, others might require him to work on specific skills over time. But if you are dropping a 12 year old Gretzky into 2002 and giving him the ability to develop his game in the modern game, I think he'd have some different signature moves, exploit different tendencies, and still be extremely successful.

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08-22-2012, 06:04 PM
  #390
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Of course.
Anything I presented for Gretzky's totals should be taken with the same weight as Adjusted Stats.

Exactly. And that's one of the big weaknesses of adjusted stats -- they apply universal translations onto individuals. We can use them effectively to judge how much a particular point total is "worth" in modern times, but they do not have a predictive value, which is unfortunately how they are often used.


Quote:
But was Gretzky a product of that time and circumstance or the creator of it?
This is the single greatest question to be answered in this entire thread to be honest.
And a terrifically difficult question to answer.

Here's my stab at it: Gretzky was as far ahead of his peers as the numbers imply. He produced offense at a rate that we would consider impossible if he hadn't actually done it. BUT, a large factor in that production was the style of game that existed in the 1980s -- not just the statistical scoring rate, but the nuts and bolts of how hockey was played. Some of that has changed, which makes it hard for me to say confidently that he would still be statistically as far ahead of his peers in 2012 as in 1987. It's a case where the stats don't necessarily have a 1:1 relationship with the quality of performance.

I think you touched on this concept earlier, but from a slightly different angle (because everyone was talking in purely statistical terms at that point).



Quote:
Exactly, if he was scoring points in ways no one else was or even attempted to back then, why would that change today?
With the rigid systems almost every team employs defensively today, I have very little doubt that Gretzky would exploit every little hole each system has.
I agree. The trick, though, is whether today's systems/style/overall game play would actually permit a player to exceed his peers' scoring rate by a ludicrous amount. It was possible in the 1980s and early 1990s, but the underlying philosophy of hockey has shifted since then. So I wonder - and don't claim to have a definitive answer - whether even a "god mode" player could maintain 160-80 point seasons in the NHL. Having seen the best of Crosby and Mario in the past decade, my gut says it would only be possible as a one-off, rather than something that could be sustained for 5 years.

It's comparable to asking whether Napoleon could win a war in the modern world. Of course he could! Whether he could conquer most of Europe is a different question.

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Originally Posted by overpass View Post
I don't think that these moves you name were the central, defining characteristics of Gretzky's game. He used them because they worked at the time in the game he was playing. He adapted his game to the conditions of his time. His defining characteristic was his ability to study the game and know it well enough to exploit the tendencies and holes that others were unaware of.
Absolutely. He would still be the best offensive player by a significant margin.

The question I find intriguing here is whether the geometry of the game has changed in such a way as to prevent certain kinds of scorers from taking advantage of high-percentage weaknesses. Just as an example, Claude Julien teams play the percentages on shots-against in a way that I don't recall seeing a decade ago; the Rangers cover shooting lanes in a way that will undoubtedly spread to other systems. These aren't just your normal reactionary micro-evolutions; they're the result of a mathematical mindset with regard to shooting percentages, angles, and so forth. This is one of the ways that one could legitimately argue that contemporary defense is objectively "better" than the past, in much the same way that butterfly goaltending is objectively "better" than stand-up.

So in my mind there's a lingering question of whether it's appropriate to simply imagine Gretzky finding new holes in modern defenses and exploiting them at the same rate that he did in the 1980s. It's quite possible that Gretzky-like exploitation is simply not possible on a tactical level.

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08-22-2012, 06:18 PM
  #391
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post

So in my mind there's a lingering question of whether it's appropriate to simply imagine Gretzky finding new holes in modern defenses and exploiting them at the same rate that he did in the 1980s. It's quite possible that Gretzky-like exploitation is simply not possible on a tactical level.
But you're hitting the nail on the head without even realising it.
Today's systems are geared to the percentages, that is, the highest yielding scoring opportunities are the ones focused on the most.
The lowest % plays are all but left alone.
Basically the belief is that if a player can thread a perfect pass over and through 4 sets of legs and sticks, then all the power to them.
Coaches do not believe it can be done with enough frequency to worry about.

Que Mr. Gretzky, the most ridiculous and most accurate passer in the history of the game that has in the past and still today IMO, could routinely make the low % plays and passes that no system does or really can protect against.

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08-22-2012, 06:47 PM
  #392
tazzy19
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But you're hitting the nail on the head without even realising it.
Today's systems are geared to the percentages, that is, the highest yielding scoring opportunities are the ones focused on the most.
The lowest % plays are all but left alone.
Basically the belief is that if a player can thread a perfect pass over and through 4 sets of legs and sticks, then all the power to them.
Coaches do not believe it can be done with enough frequency to worry about.

Que Mr. Gretzky, the most ridiculous and most accurate passer in the history of the game that has in the past and still today IMO, could routinely make the low % plays and passes that no system does or really can protect against.
Also Gretzky would have exploited the butterfly goalies with his top shelf shots. Whether he needed a backhand, a forehand, or a slapshot, has there ever been a player as good as Gretzky at hitting the top corner? Remember the game tying goal he scored in 1993 against Patrick Roy in game 3 of the finals? Puck went in and out of the top corner so fast, Patrick Roy couldn't even get his arm up in time to stop it. And he was one of the best butterfly goalies of all time. And he scored a similar goal against Dominik Hasek in 1999. If he were in his prime playing against butterfly goalies, he'd been doing these things with far more regularity. I always thought that had he been chosen for the 1998 shootout in Nagano, he would have either taken a slapshot from the hashmarks straight to the top corner, or he would have gone in with a simple wrister (as he would do against Martin Brodeur later that year on a breakaway) -- also to the top corner. He would not have shot it along the ice as did every single other Canadian shooter. You do not beat goalies like Dominik Hasek along the ice.

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08-22-2012, 07:14 PM
  #393
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
But you're hitting the nail on the head without even realising it.
Today's systems are geared to the percentages, that is, the highest yielding scoring opportunities are the ones focused on the most.
The lowest % plays are all but left alone.
Basically the belief is that if a player can thread a perfect pass over and through 4 sets of legs and sticks, then all the power to them.
Coaches do not believe it can be done with enough frequency to worry about.

Que Mr. Gretzky, the most ridiculous and most accurate passer in the history of the game that has in the past and still today IMO, could routinely make the low % plays and passes that no system does or really can protect against.
Thats the thing people don't understand. Gretzky was made for this era like he was made for the 80s.


Cut and dry, black and white systems are just waiting to be picked apart by another Gretz or Mario, or another orr.

I mean no matter how I break it down I know he's at least getting 50 goals. I know he's getting 100 assists.

I know he's the greatest goal scorer ever so I have no reason to believe he woudn't hit 65-70, 125 assists and could top out at 190. And no, i'm not gonna sit here and pretend thats impossible, because thats what people did before Gretz and Mario came along.

All these power plays? Dat no redline? The office? No Gretzky rule?

Lets not mention that he was the best in the game at making his line mates better.

Or the fact that the NHL is a copycat league and only became the offensive generation as we know it because the two greatest players to ever play the game happened to coincide with each other.


And everyone laughs at his slap shots. But with new technology? It would be a deadly enough, not only that, but combined with his accurate it would be a nightmare for any situation with traffic in front of the net.

Everyone lauds the Sedins because they always know where each other are? Well than why is it so difficult to imagine how great someone is who treats every teammate near him as a Sedin brother?

---

The whole line of thinking that hockey has become too refined for someone to really stand out just makes me want to shed a tear for the young ones who say that (and it is only the young ones).

"Coaching is too good"

"Bottom line players too skilled"

"Game is too fast"

"Players are too big"

"Goalies are too big"

"Too much parity"

"He was made for the 80s"

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08-22-2012, 08:31 PM
  #394
tarheelhockey
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
But you're hitting the nail on the head without even realising it.
Today's systems are geared to the percentages, that is, the highest yielding scoring opportunities are the ones focused on the most.
The lowest % plays are all but left alone.
Basically the belief is that if a player can thread a perfect pass over and through 4 sets of legs and sticks, then all the power to them.
Coaches do not believe it can be done with enough frequency to worry about.

Que Mr. Gretzky, the most ridiculous and most accurate passer in the history of the game that has in the past and still today IMO, could routinely make the low % plays and passes that no system does or really can protect against.
This is a compelling answer to the "Gretzky was an 80s player" argument, in my opinion.

In this view, the fact that the game has become more structured plays into Gretzky's hands, not against him.

Perhaps this was why he was SO good at an advanced age?

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08-22-2012, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
But you're hitting the nail on the head without even realising it.
Today's systems are geared to the percentages, that is, the highest yielding scoring opportunities are the ones focused on the most.
The lowest % plays are all but left alone.
Basically the belief is that if a player can thread a perfect pass over and through 4 sets of legs and sticks, then all the power to them.
Coaches do not believe it can be done with enough frequency to worry about.

Que Mr. Gretzky, the most ridiculous and most accurate passer in the history of the game that has in the past and still today IMO, could routinely make the low % plays and passes that no system does or really can protect against.
On the other hand, and this goes towards tarheel's point, if Gretzky was born in 1980, does he ever develop the creativity that defined him? Or does he go through the modern system and become a drone like everyone else.

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08-22-2012, 09:42 PM
  #396
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Right. Because nobody large ever tried to hit him during his long career.
well hitting and contact is way up today so it's not an inconceivable notion is it?

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08-22-2012, 09:53 PM
  #397
Rhiessan71
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On the other hand, and this goes towards tarheel's point, if Gretzky was born in 1980, does he ever develop the creativity that defined him? Or does he go through the modern system and become a drone like everyone else.
He was playing against players so much older and bigger than himself at a very young age and that wouldn't change today.
And genius is genius.
Like the line from Good Will Hunting...."I can just play."

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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
well hitting and contact is way up today so it's not an inconceivable notion is it?
So what! You have to be under the assumption that players didn't try and hit Gretzky for this to matter and that was definitely not the case.
It was never that you couldn't make contact with Gretz, it was you could never make meaningful contact with him.
That was the key.

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08-22-2012, 10:23 PM
  #398
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1986%E2%80%9387_NHL_season

I say, let's look at the 1986-87 season. Compared to some previous years, it was an off year for Gretz. But he never hit 200 points again (or greater than 180). He was a 27 year old Wayne, not old by hockey standards, but certainly not in the prime of most players production, either. His next competition was his linemate (who obviously fed off of him), and 2 of the best players of all time, which you can say is argueable, but not so much, as both players played well into the 2000's (one rejoined out of retirement, and still was a top scoring threat). The level of play in 2004 (a year both Lemieux and Messier competed in) is not that far off from today, and there are 11 more teams than the 86/87 season. Teams were also starting to realize that defence will win you games. Patrick Roy/Brian Hayward were both putting under 3.00 GAA, and winning the Jennings. A lot of that has to be contributed to team defence. I could go on, but my point is, so many intangibles have to be considered, and if there was a time machine, Wayne Gretzky would be leading the league in scoring at this time with the authority that he did in the high scoring 80's, if he were in his early/mid 20's. I just think his production would tail off faster, a la Ovechkin, in today's game, but he would still surpass Howe's all time mark with ease.


Last edited by BruceOp: 08-22-2012 at 10:29 PM.
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08-22-2012, 10:48 PM
  #399
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So what! You have to be under the assumption that players didn't try and hit Gretzky for this to matter and that was definitely not the case.
It was never that you couldn't make contact with Gretz, it was you could never make meaningful contact with him.
That was the key.
That's the thing with the popular myth that no one wanted to hit Gretzky. Personally that type of comment alone is an utter insult to the likes of Denis Potvin, Bryan Trottier, Clark Gillies, Bob Nystrom, etc. In 1983 we saw Trottier drill Gretzky pretty hard in the final. Gretzky was held goalless in the sweep. In 1984 Gretzky helped take things over and the Islanders were just out of the series by the end. Basically if anyone is saying that no one wanted to hit Gretzky you are basically saying that Potvin in his pursuit of 5 Cups in a row would have let Gretzky do his thing in 1984 just "because". That idea is absurd.

Gretzky was the smartest hockey player who ever lived. He was also 170lbs and smart enough to let his brain and his skill - not his brawn - do the talking on the ice. He stayed out of the trolley tracks and the danger areas because of his anticipation and the fact that he didn't need to. This wouldn't change today. No one in the game today has his hockey sense.

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08-22-2012, 11:07 PM
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That's the thing with the popular myth that no one wanted to hit Gretzky. Personally that type of comment alone is an utter insult to the likes of Denis Potvin, Bryan Trottier, Clark Gillies, Bob Nystrom, etc. In 1983 we saw Trottier drill Gretzky pretty hard in the final. Gretzky was held goalless in the sweep. In 1984 Gretzky helped take things over and the Islanders were just out of the series by the end. Basically if anyone is saying that no one wanted to hit Gretzky you are basically saying that Potvin in his pursuit of 5 Cups in a row would have let Gretzky do his thing in 1984 just "because". That idea is absurd.

Gretzky was the smartest hockey player who ever lived. He was also 170lbs and smart enough to let his brain and his skill - not his brawn - do the talking on the ice. He stayed out of the trolley tracks and the danger areas because of his anticipation and the fact that he didn't need to. This wouldn't change today. No one in the game today has his hockey sense.
Alexei Kasatonov took some big runs at Gretzky in the 1987 Canada Cup. He never caught more than a piece of him. Gretzky was incredibly shifty.

Kasatonov had every incentive to hit Gretzky and no reason not to. No Semenko protecting Gretzky, no lords of the NHL banishing from the league a la Bill McCreary Jr. None of the usual myths and excuses applied. He just couldn't catch Gretzky squarely.

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