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The value of a Hart Trophy...

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Old
11-12-2012, 01:07 PM
  #26
vadim sharifijanov
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
With Theodore not being nominated for the Lester B. Pearson (Sean Burke was) - and winning the Hart Trophy primarily because of his play from March 28th to April 9th - I'd say that Iginla in 2002 is more than arguable; it's the textbook example as to why one must wait until after the season to vote for these awards.
agreed. i just meant arguable in the sense that iginla wasn't passed in the scoring race in the last week or two of the season like those other examples but it is a similar situation where an end of year vote would have likely yielded a different result.

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11-12-2012, 01:36 PM
  #27
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I think the Ted Lindsay award should be better recognized, but.... Isn't.

Perfect example?
2005-06, Jagr won the Lester after leading a crappy Rangers team to the playoffs, setting team records and being dominant.
People predicted NYR that year to finish dead last, remember.

Hart was won by Joe Thornton on a stacked SJ team, after he edged out Jagr by a couple of points in the last few games.

Not to take anything from Joe, he was fantastic, and it wasn't "undeserved", just that Jagr (IMO clearly) was the best player in the league that year, and certainly the Most Vaulable.
dude, Jagr was great that year but this is 100% revisionist history. Those Sharks were the furthest thing in the world from stacked. Before Thornton, San Jose was 8-12-4, on a ten-game losing streak, and were dead last in the Western conference. Cheechoo scored all of seven goals in that span.

By comparison, the Rangers that season had two 30 goal scorers (Straka pro-rated) who weren't on Jagr's line, three players besides Jagr placing top-15 in +/- including Rozsival who led the league, and Lundqvist who placed top-4 in save%. Jagr was without a doubt the engine for that team but they certainly weren't crappy without him and the Sharks certainly weren't stacked without Thornton.

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Old
11-12-2012, 03:34 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by WarriorOfGandhi View Post
dude, Jagr was great that year but this is 100% revisionist history. Those Sharks were the furthest thing in the world from stacked. Before Thornton, San Jose was 8-12-4, on a ten-game losing streak, and were dead last in the Western conference. Cheechoo scored all of seven goals in that span.

By comparison, the Rangers that season had two 30 goal scorers (Straka pro-rated) who weren't on Jagr's line, three players besides Jagr placing top-15 in +/- including Rozsival who led the league, and Lundqvist who placed top-4 in save%. Jagr was without a doubt the engine for that team but they certainly weren't crappy without him and the Sharks certainly weren't stacked without Thornton.
Talk about revisionist history. First, you must have missed the fact that Straka (who, along with fellow > 30 y/o forward Nylander, could have been had for a song in 2004-5) was Jagr's linemate all year. They often weren't linemates with Pens, but they were that year (as well as being very good, long-time friends). Prucha was the only other player, besides Jagr with more than 23 goals on that team. He scored most of his goals on the PP, and most of those were probably with Jagr. Do you think Rozsival and Malik finishing near the top of plus-minus (and Straka/Nylander as well) had anything to do with playing with Jaromir Jagr?

I'm not going to disparage Thornton's '06 campaign, because both he and Jagr had tremendous seasons. However, it's a fact that the media picked the Rangers near last in the league, not even close to the playoffs, while the Sharks had made the WCF in the previous season. It was sort of an unusual season as well:

- Thornton was traded, which allowed him two extra games available (Sharks had two more games remaining than Boston at the time of the trade)

- Olympic year where Thornton's team bowed out in the QF, while Jagr sustained a brutal hit from Ruutu while not missing a game in route to a medal

I can understand your respect for Thornton's season, but let's not pretend the Rangers were going anywhere without Jagr that year. Without Jagr, 8-12-4 would probably have been considered a hot streak for that Rangers team.

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11-12-2012, 04:45 PM
  #29
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I've never understood why some people complain about Thornton's 2006 Hart win. How many people could turn Cheechoo into the league leader in goals? Let's also look at the 96 assists. Come on now, we're talking about a number that only Oates (once) Orr (once) and Gretzky and Lemieux surpassed in a season. This was a remarkable season and he was arguably the best player in the game this year and we certainly can't overvalue the impact he had on San Jose. He changed the entire make up of that team.

Now, this isn't a knock on Jagr's season either. Because in truth he had a Hart caliber year and it wouldn't be wrong for him to win it either. But I always get the feeling that when some people don't like "their" guy losing they tend to discredit the player who actually won. Think Messier and Bourque in 1990. Aside from the argument that there was a bias against Bourque let's not look past the fact that Messier had a scary-good season!

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11-12-2012, 05:03 PM
  #30
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I've never understood why some people complain about Thornton's 2006 Hart win. How many people could turn Cheechoo into the league leader in goals? Let's also look at the 96 assists. Come on now, we're talking about a number that only Oates (once) Orr (once) and Gretzky and Lemieux surpassed in a season. This was a remarkable season and he was arguably the best player in the game this year and we certainly can't overvalue the impact he had on San Jose. He changed the entire make up of that team.

Now, this isn't a knock on Jagr's season either. Because in truth he had a Hart caliber year and it wouldn't be wrong for him to win it either. But I always get the feeling that when some people don't like "their" guy losing they tend to discredit the player who actually won. Think Messier and Bourque in 1990. Aside from the argument that there was a bias against Bourque let's not look past the fact that Messier had a scary-good season!
I agree with you, but there's also no need to completely rewrite history. I mean, the Rangers had no semblance of offense without Jagr. Straka was not only on Jagr's line, he was basically hanging around at the end only because of that fact, before returning to Czech to play out his career. Nylander barely played about one NHL season on a 5 year(?) contract with the Caps, which he got based on his increased production playing on Jagr's line. Prucha had his career season as a rookie. I'm doubt it would have cost any team to obtain Straka, Nylander, Malik and Rozsival in 2005. A couple over 30 forwards who had injury problems, and weren't all-stars at their peaks, entering a new, faster NHL? A couple of decent d-men?

It was unusual season in a lot of respects, especially as it pertains to the Ross/Hart race between Jagr and Thornton. It's not that Thornton didn't have a great year too, but people actually suggest San Jose was a worse team than the Rangers. Those Rangers couldn't make the playoffs for several years with players like Gretzky, Messier, Leetch, Richter, Lindros, Bure, Fleury, etc. They were almost a complete rebuild in '06. How often do complete rebuilds make the playoffs in a 30 team league?

I don't put too much value in a single season of awards. The competition changes from year to year and esp. era to era. There is bias and uninformed voting, judging by some of the results. It's maintaining an established high level over multiple seasons that's most impressive. I'd take a player who finished top 3-5 a few times and was top 10 a few more times (whether awards/AS or scoring) over a player who won an award and had maybe another top 5 or 10 finish in his career. All that really tells me is that for one season he may have been the best, due to a few good bounces, a fortunate and relative lack of competition, or potentially biased voting.

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11-12-2012, 05:19 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
Talk about revisionist history. First, you must have missed the fact that Straka (who, along with fellow > 30 y/o forward Nylander, could have been had for a song in 2004-5) was Jagr's linemate all year. They often weren't linemates with Pens, but they were that year (as well as being very good, long-time friends).
Meant to say Sykora, not Straka. My mistake.

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Do you think Rozsival and Malik finishing near the top of plus-minus (and Straka/Nylander as well) had anything to do with playing with Jaromir Jagr?
certainly, hence why I gave him credit for it in the post you quoted. Even so Jagr is only one guy on the ice at any given time. Even when Jagr was racking up Art Ross trophies on those Penguins teams his linemates and teammates were never that high in the +/- column.

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I can understand your respect for Thornton's season, but let's not pretend the Rangers were going anywhere without Jagr that year. Without Jagr, 8-12-4 would probably have been considered a hot streak for that Rangers team.
Again, I think this attitude about 05-06 NYR is hyperbole. Even if you think an average RW replacement would have cost NYR by, let's say, 70 goals, that puts the Rangers goal deficit on the season at around 10th in their conference. I think those Rangers without Jagr miss the playoffs about about ten points.

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11-12-2012, 05:29 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by WarriorOfGandhi View Post
certainly, hence why I gave him credit for it in the post you quoted. Even so Jagr is only one guy on the ice at any given time. Even when Jagr was racking up Art Ross trophies on those Penguins teams his linemates and teammates were never that high in the +/- column.
It didn't seem like you were giving him much credit, given that his teammates' plus-minus suggested to you that the Rangers had other high quality players which would have still made them a strong team without Jagr.

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Originally Posted by WarriorOfGandhi View Post
Again, I think this attitude about 05-06 NYR is hyperbole. Even if you think an average RW replacement would have cost NYR by, let's say, 70 goals, that puts the Rangers goal deficit on the season at around 10th in their conference. I think those Rangers without Jagr miss the playoffs about about ten points.
Well, you could ask Rangers fans from that time who turned around that franchise after they couldn't make the playoffs for several years with various superstars.

I don't disagree with your estimate of the Rangers' finish without Jagr and see a large difference between a team that contended for the division and a team that likely would have missed the playoffs.

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11-12-2012, 05:38 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I've never understood why some people complain about Thornton's 2006 Hart win. How many people could turn Cheechoo into the league leader in goals? Let's also look at the 96 assists. Come on now, we're talking about a number that only Oates (once) Orr (once) and Gretzky and Lemieux surpassed in a season. This was a remarkable season and he was arguably the best player in the game this year and we certainly can't overvalue the impact he had on San Jose. He changed the entire make up of that team.

Now, this isn't a knock on Jagr's season either. Because in truth he had a Hart caliber year and it wouldn't be wrong for him to win it either. But I always get the feeling that when some people don't like "their" guy losing they tend to discredit the player who actually won. Think Messier and Bourque in 1990. Aside from the argument that there was a bias against Bourque let's not look past the fact that Messier had a scary-good season!
My biggest complaint was always that Thotnton played more than a 1/4 of the season with the Bruins and he certainly wasn't playing like an MVP. His lack of "focus" was what got him traded. If there was no one close to him I could see him getting the Hart. But there was one guy (Jagr) that was just as good.

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11-12-2012, 06:03 PM
  #34
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My biggest complaint was always that Thotnton played more than a 1/4 of the season with the Bruins and he certainly wasn't playing like an MVP. His lack of "focus" was what got him traded. If there was no one close to him I could see him getting the Hart. But there was one guy (Jagr) that was just as good.
Thornton had 33 points in 23 games for Boston. By far their best player. I would like to know how he wasnt playing like an MVP and had a lack of "focus".

And Jagr was amazing that year. But Lundqvist (a Vezina finalist) was another reason the Rangers made the playoffs that year. It wasnt all Jagr.

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11-12-2012, 06:23 PM
  #35
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Thornton had 33 points in 23 games for Boston. By far their best player. I would like to know how he wasnt playing like an MVP and had a lack of "focus".

And Jagr was amazing that year. But Lundqvist (a Vezina finalist) was another reason the Rangers made the playoffs that year. It wasnt all Jagr.
This was the season after the lockout, with all the rule changes. Teams were getting 7-10 power plays a night at the start of the season. Though Thornton had 33 points, at that point in the season he wasn't in the Top Ten of scoring. The Bruins had lost 9 of their last 10 games. And Joe was the Captain. Call it focus or call it effort, but it wasn't there.

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11-12-2012, 06:37 PM
  #36
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Thornton had 33 points in 23 games for Boston. By far their best player. I would like to know how he wasnt playing like an MVP and had a lack of "focus".

And Jagr was amazing that year. But Lundqvist (a Vezina finalist) was another reason the Rangers made the playoffs that year. It wasnt all Jagr.
are you just looking at the stats, or did you actually watch the bruins that year? from what i remember reading and hearing people saying at the time (i don't watch too many bruins games), thornton was completely failing to lead his directionless team and was putting up empty points... gunning for them, even.

the bruins were 8-13-5 with thornton in the lineup. they were 21-24-11 after the trade. still bad, but better. (the difference between a .473 winning percentage and a .404)

more importantly, the bruins went 16-10-4 immediately after the trade, before tim thomas (in his first full season) hit a wall and the team went 4-14-7 to end the season.

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11-12-2012, 06:40 PM
  #37
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Thornton had 33 points in 23 games for Boston. By far their best player. I would like to know how he wasnt playing like an MVP and had a lack of "focus".

And Jagr was amazing that year. But Lundqvist (a Vezina finalist) was another reason the Rangers made the playoffs that year. It wasnt all Jagr.
... and the Sharks had Cheechoo and Marleau and Nabakov.

Sure Lundqvist was a Vezina finalist that season and had a great year but Jagr was the engine that ran that team.

The fact that the Rangers got swept that playoff year against the Devils (Jagr dislocated his shoulder) was the prime example of Jagr's true value to that team. Even Lundqvist looked lost and shaky.

Jagr had a great year and most likely lost another 10-15 assists easily due to Nylander and Straka not finishing Jagr's great passes.

I remember countless occasions where Jagr sprung Straka and Nylander on breakways only for them to hit goal posts or get robbed by the goalie.

Jagr was the only player that season to finish top 3 in goals, assists and points. He carried that Rangers team from game 1 through game 82. He didn't have to get traded to a difference Conference during the season to start playing like an MVP.

I truly think the Olympics cost Jagr the Art Ross and Hart trophy. He got hit in the end and I presume he played with a concussion for the rest of the season in the NHL but never admitted it. Go check out the Ruutuu hit on youtube in the Olympics.

Thornton was even 2nd on his team in goals, both Cheechoo and Marleau had more goals than him. Jagr on the other hand had 24 more goals than his team's second leader scorer who was rookie Prucha. Prucha never would have a season like that again. He has Jagr to thank for that good rookie season.

Jagr was constantly being double teamed while teams playing the Sharks couldn't afford to that knowing they also had to contend against Marleau and co.

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11-12-2012, 06:45 PM
  #38
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are you just looking at the stats, or did you actually watch the bruins that year? from what i remember reading and hearing people saying at the time (i don't watch too many bruins games), thornton was completely failing to lead his directionless team and was putting up empty points... gunning for them, even.

the bruins were 8-13-5 with thornton in the lineup. they were 21-24-11 after the trade. still bad, but better. (the difference between a .473 winning percentage and a .404)

more importantly, the bruins went 16-10-4 immediately after the trade, before tim thomas (in his first full season) hit a wall and the team went 4-14-7 to end the season.
Not to mention that he did the same for the Sharks. Jagr was scoring at rates good enough to help his team win and was seldom stat padding. His mistake was not to try and embarrass teams more often when they were up 4-1, he should have gone for those extra easy assists or goals. He didn't though. Thornton on the other hand was stat padding.

I have no doubt in my mind that had Jagr scored 2 more goals (thus tying Thornton but winning on goal count) he would have won the Hart as well not to mention would have tied Cheechoo for the Richard.

It wasn't the first time either that Jagr was robbed from a Hart trophy. It was the 3rd time in his career where he lost to the popular "Canadian" player. Once to Lindros, once to Pronger and finally to Thornton.

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11-12-2012, 07:56 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
This was the season after the lockout, with all the rule changes. Teams were getting 7-10 power plays a night at the start of the season. Though Thornton had 33 points, at that point in the season he wasn't in the Top Ten of scoring. The Bruins had lost 9 of their last 10 games. And Joe was the Captain. Call it focus or call it effort, but it wasn't there.
Last minute of the third period, Boston vs. New Jersey, Thornton loses a defensive zone draw clean to John Madden (IIRC), pulled back to the point, shot, score, Devils win. Thornton was traded that night. The camel's spine was shattered.

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11-12-2012, 08:08 PM
  #40
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This was the season after the lockout, with all the rule changes. Teams were getting 7-10 power plays a night at the start of the season. Though Thornton had 33 points, at that point in the season he wasn't in the Top Ten of scoring. The Bruins had lost 9 of their last 10 games. And Joe was the Captain. Call it focus or call it effort, but it wasn't there.
A team goes 1-9 + Joe is the captain= Joe is the reason for the Bruins being so bad. Am I right?

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are you just looking at the stats, or did you actually watch the bruins that year? from what i remember reading and hearing people saying at the time (i don't watch too many bruins games), thornton was completely failing to lead his directionless team and was putting up empty points... gunning for them, even.
No I didnt watch Bruins games that year. I honestly dont have the time to watch every team's games to analyze their players. If you didnt watch the Bruins either why are you criticizing me for not watching them either?

Isnt it Thornton's job as a 1st line player to put up points? Which he did. So if he puts up points and his team is still bad how is it his fault?
And how do you know he wasnt a good leader? Were you in the Bruins dressing room after each loss?

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... and the Sharks had Cheechoo and Marleau and Nabakov.
You mean the Cheechoo who's previous career high was 28 goals suddenly scored 56 when Thornton arrives The Nabokov who had a GAA of 3.10 and a save % of 88.5 And Marleau who's career high in points was previously 57 and then with Thornton traded to San Jose gets shifted to the 2nd line away from top checking lines/D pairings and is finally a PPG player.



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Sure Lundqvist was a Vezina finalist that season and had a great year but Jagr was the engine that ran that team.
Jagr pretty much was the Rangers offence. But the Rangers were 11th in goals scored and 4th in goals allowed. So Lundvist was just as much the engine of the team as Jagr.


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The fact that the Rangers got swept that playoff year against the Devils (Jagr dislocated his shoulder) was the prime example of Jagr's true value to that team. Even Lundqvist looked lost and shaky.
The playoffs have nothing to do with the Hart.

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11-12-2012, 08:27 PM
  #41
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No I didnt watch Bruins games that year. I honestly dont have the time to watch every team's games to analyze their players. If you didnt watch the Bruins either why are you criticizing me for not watching them either?
whoa, calm down there little buddy. i wasn't criticizing you, i was asking if you'd seen those games or whether you were just looking at the stats sheet because what you said goes against everything i (and others in this thread) have read about, heard about, and in some cases saw from thornton in boston that year. if you had seen some of those games, i would have liked to hear some stories about how he'd played and that might possibly have changed the way i understand the thornton trade.

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11-12-2012, 09:01 PM
  #42
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A team goes 1-9 + Joe is the captain= Joe is the reason for the Bruins being so bad. Am I right?



No I didnt watch Bruins games that year. I honestly dont have the time to watch every team's games to analyze their players. If you didnt watch the Bruins either why are you criticizing me for not watching them either?

Isnt it Thornton's job as a 1st line player to put up points? Which he did. So if he puts up points and his team is still bad how is it his fault?
And how do you know he wasnt a good leader? Were you in the Bruins dressing room after each loss?



You mean the Cheechoo who's previous career high was 28 goals suddenly scored 56 when Thornton arrives The Nabokov who had a GAA of 3.10 and a save % of 88.5 And Marleau who's career high in points was previously 57 and then with Thornton traded to San Jose gets shifted to the 2nd line away from top checking lines/D pairings and is finally a PPG player.





Jagr pretty much was the Rangers offence. But the Rangers were 11th in goals scored and 4th in goals allowed. So Lundvist was just as much the engine of the team as Jagr.




The playoffs have nothing to do with the Hart.
Did you watch any of the Rangers games that year? The reason why the Rangers played so well defensively is: 1, Renney installed a team effort defense which every player bought into including Jagr as he did a lot of defensive zone forechecking that season and 2. Jagr's puck position game (he basically double shifted and averaged over 21 minutes a game) was a large part of the reason why the Rangers were so good at keeping the puck out of their net. Jagr's offense was his defense that season.

As for the playoffs having nothing to do with the Hart, I know this but my point was that the weak play by the Jagr-less Rangers in the playoffs really showed Jagr's influence and value to that team.

Jagr accounted for more of the Rangers overall offense (49% to be exact) than Thornton did overall for the Sharks.

A true MVP is not someone who comes in just picks up an already great team that was just in a slump but rather a player that puts his team on his back from day one and just carries them all season long.

Jagr outscored his nearest teammate (Nylander) by 44 Pts while Thornton outscored Cheechoo by 32 Pts. As for Cheechoo's career high only be 28 the season before, he was a sophomore then playing on the 2nd and 3rd lines and had a lot of potential.

In the grander scheme of things Cheechoo unfortunately turned out to be a bust but if not for his injuries was looking like he would have a solid, even All Star type career.

Give Jagr a better goalscoring linemate that season and he not only scores 54 goals but also gets 75-85 assists. He really was that good that season.
By that definition Jagr was the true MVP. He took an original 6 team and brought them back to respectability.

New York also played in the tougher division that season having to face the Devils and Flyers 8 times each (he had to face another Vezina candidate goalie 8 times in Brodeur).


Last edited by livewell68: 11-12-2012 at 09:08 PM.
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11-12-2012, 09:23 PM
  #43
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are you just looking at the stats, or did you actually watch the bruins that year? from what i remember reading and hearing people saying at the time (i don't watch too many bruins games), thornton was completely failing to lead his directionless team and was putting up empty points... gunning for them, even.

the bruins were 8-13-5 with thornton in the lineup. they were 21-24-11 after the trade. still bad, but better. (the difference between a .473 winning percentage and a .404)

more importantly, the bruins went 16-10-4 immediately after the trade, before tim thomas (in his first full season) hit a wall and the team went 4-14-7 to end the season.
The Bruins were a pretty crappy team and how can Joe be putting up empty points on a 8-13-5 team?

Isn't the focal point of the #1 Center to generate offense?

The way the Bruins handled the trade is more telling of the times in boston than blaming it all on Joe.

Of course they have drafted really well and gotten better so most is forgotten except for Joe it seems.

Joe isn't the worst Hart trophy winner in recent times by a longshot.

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11-12-2012, 09:29 PM
  #44
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The Bruins were a pretty crappy team and how can Joe be putting up empty points on a 8-13-5 team?

Isn't the focal point of the #1 Center to generate offense?

The way the Bruins handled the trade is more telling of the times in boston than blaming it all on Joe.

Of course they have drafted really well and gotten better so most is forgotten except for Joe it seems.

Joe isn't the worst Hart trophy winner in recent times by a longshot.
No he's not but he is one of the least deserving Hart winners in recent times. The reason he wasn't the worst winner is because the Hart race itself was quite impressive that season.

Jagr and Thornton put up the 2nd and 3rd best seasons (from a pure scoring perspective) since 1995-96, coincidentally enough the best season since 1995-96 was Jagr in 1998-99 when he scored 127 Pts.

Any other year post-lockout season Thornton would have won the Hart in a landslide (including 2006-07 and 2007-08) but to many including myself, we felt Jagr was the stronger Hart candidate and better fit the true meaning of Most Valuable to his team.

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11-12-2012, 09:39 PM
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No he's not but he is one of the least deserving Hart winners in recent times. The reason he wasn't the worst winner is because the Hart race itself was quite impressive that season.

Jagr and Thornton put up the 2nd and 3rd best seasons (from a pure scoring perspective) since 1995-96, coincidentally enough the best season since 1995-96 was Jagr in 1998-99 when he scored 127 Pts.

Any other year post-lockout season Thornton would have won the Hart in a landslide (including 2006-07 and 2007-08) but to many including myself, we felt Jagr was the stronger Hart candidate and better fit the true meaning of Most Valuable to his team.
Alot of Jagrs argument seems to rest on his playing for a less impressive team (at least offensively) which is pretty weak in my books.

Plus Jagr had won it before it must have been on some voters radar. Joe also made a good player into the goal scoring champ which is extremely incredible IMO.

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11-12-2012, 09:51 PM
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Alot of Jagrs argument seems to rest on his playing for a less impressive team (at least offensively) which is pretty weak in my books.

Plus Jagr had won it before it must have been on some voters radar. Joe also made a good player into the goal scoring champ which is extremely incredible IMO.
When the season unfolded, it did seem more like a weak argument but only because Jagr made that Rangers team "that good". I think so many forget just how weak that Rangers team looked on paper. During training camp most projected the Rangers to battle for the lottery pick and asked Jagr how it felt for him to play on a rebuilding team and his response was "I don't think we will be a rebuilding team, I think I can challenge for the Art Ross and in doing so help my team make the playoffs". He made good on that promise 100%.

As for Jagr having already won the Hart before, that was a poor reason not to vote for him. It's sad that Jagr will most likely enter the Hall with just 1 Hart when he easily deserved 3 (1999-00 and 2005-06) with possibly 1994-95 being another deserving season and to a lesser extent 1997-98.

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11-12-2012, 10:44 PM
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Jagr pretty much was the Rangers offence. But the Rangers were 11th in goals scored and 4th in goals allowed. So Lundvist was just as much the engine of the team as Jagr.
Agreed. I don't really understand the "Jagr turned the Rangers around by himself" narrative. The Rangers had one journeyman goalie after another after Richter retired, then Lundqvist came out of nowhere and was a Vezina finalist. I couldn't tell you which one was more important.

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11-12-2012, 11:05 PM
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I just wish they would officially change the definition of the Hart trophy. I just care about the most valuable player in the league, not to "his team", which is subjective as hell and more of a topic for a message board. Usuaally it goes to the best player, but the literal definition still continues to muddy the water.

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11-12-2012, 11:55 PM
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Agreed. I don't really understand the "Jagr turned the Rangers around by himself" narrative. The Rangers had one journeyman goalie after another after Richter retired, then Lundqvist came out of nowhere and was a Vezina finalist. I couldn't tell you which one was more important.
He didn't do it by himself, but he and Lundqivst basically did it by themselves. I doubt there was another player on that roster with substantial immediate value to another team. Nylander and Straka were both signed as free agents after combining for 44 points in the NHL in 2004. Malik and Rozsival were signed as FAs as well, with Rozsival injured (?) for the entire 2004 season. Rucinsky had been traded 3 times in 3 seasons, playing for 5 teams in the process.

At least the Rangers substantially improved from a bottom dweller to a division contender and playoff team. The Sharks went from 43-27-12 with a 1.20 GF/GA ratio in '04 to 43-31-8 with a 1.13 GF/GA ratio in '06 (thru OT). Yes, the Sharks stumbled out of the gate in '06 and may not have adjusted as well to the post-lockout rules. However, while they improved substantially after acquiring Thornton, much of that improvement was defensively as well. Nabokov had a really bad season in '06, and was still mediocre after Thornton arrived... I'm not really sure what that was about.

If one's attributing the Rangers improvement in large part to defense, must due so with the Sharks as well. The main difference to me is that it was well established that the Rangers were bottom dwellers given almost no chance at the playoffs, while it's more difficult to tell what the Sharks' true level was, given their success in '04 and that 24 games pre-Thornton in '06 isn't exactly a conclusive sample. The other difference, as pointed out, is that Jagr played 82 games for the Rangers, while Thornton only helped the Sharks improve for 58 games (the Bruins went from 8-16-2 thru OT to 19-29-8 after Thornton left, which was a decent improvement).

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11-13-2012, 04:51 AM
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the hart is somewhat over-rated simply because so many hockey writers let subjective and personal considerations come into play. Was Bobby Clarke as valuable to his team as Bobby Orr was to the bruins? Was he in the same galaxy as orr as a player? No and No - yet each won 3 harts. When you consider the bias against d-men, the obvious favouritism towards elite scorers, and the fact that the hart has occasionally been little more than a popularity contest......you'd have to say its somewhat overrated as a bauble.

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