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Eric Lindros vs. Mark Messier - Who was more dominant in his prime?

View Poll Results: Eric Lindros vs. Mark Messier - Who was more dominant in his prime?
Eric Lindros 159 67.66%
Mark Messier 76 32.34%
Voters: 235. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
12-26-2012, 01:07 PM
  #76
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Originally Posted by God Made Me View Post
Agreed. Messier's prime is really under rated for Lindros to have a 2 to 1 advantage in the poll. I realize this poll is just about prime but Messier went 28 in the last ATD and Lindros went 128!
I think Messier is wildly overrated but still voted for him on this one - mainly b/c I am very harsh on players who can not play a full season.

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12-26-2012, 01:36 PM
  #77
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Agreed. Messier's prime is really under rated for Lindros to have a 2 to 1 advantage in the poll. I realize this poll is just about prime but Messier went 28 in the last ATD and Lindros went 128!
Voting should be pretty close but what exactly are people treating as Prime for Moose?

I have him at a longer prime, heck you could make it 83-97 but part of the problem is that it's hard to find 7 consecutive seasons that really tops Lindros 1st 7 in the NHL.

Moose over the 83-97 stretch had 3 seasons where he missed a ton of time,85,86,91), the start of his prime was under Wayne's shadow and had a great supporting cast (arguably better than Lindros ever had) and he also had 2 seasons where he was a minus player, 89 and 93 and a couple of over less than we would expect given his teammates and situation despite his defensive responsibilities.

I'm more of a career guy but voted Eric for that incredible 7 season stretch to start his NHL career. I'm also very impressed with Eric's performance as a 19 year old at the WC with his 8-11-6-17 line and have no doubt that he could have had an 8th prime season if circumstances allowed him to play as an 18 year old.

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12-26-2012, 02:54 PM
  #78
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Voting should be pretty close but what exactly are people treating as Prime for Moose?

I have him at a longer prime, heck you could make it 83-97 but part of the problem is that it's hard to find 7 consecutive seasons that really tops Lindros 1st 7 in the NHL.

Moose over the 83-97 stretch had 3 seasons where he missed a ton of time,85,86,91), the start of his prime was under Wayne's shadow and had a great supporting cast (arguably better than Lindros ever had) and he also had 2 seasons where he was a minus player, 89 and 93 and a couple of over less than we would expect given his teammates and situation despite his defensive responsibilities.

I'm more of a career guy but voted Eric for that incredible 7 season stretch to start his NHL career. I'm also very impressed with Eric's performance as a 19 year old at the WC with his 8-11-6-17 line and have no doubt that he could have had an 8th prime season if circumstances allowed him to play as an 18 year old.
When looking at prime, I do not feel the seasons must be consecutive. Maybe that is where we differ.

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12-26-2012, 03:03 PM
  #79
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For me, Messier's prime is 1989-90 to 1995-96, when he won 2 Hart Trophies, was runner up for a 3rd Hart, and had 2 outstanding playoffs. Perhaps extend it back to 1986-87 when he started to break free from Gretzky's shadow.

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12-26-2012, 03:32 PM
  #80
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For me, Messier's prime is 1989-90 to 1995-96, when he won 2 Hart Trophies, was runner up for a 3rd Hart, and had 2 outstanding playoffs. Perhaps extend it back to 1986-87 when he started to break free from Gretzky's shadow.
Even when he was in Gretzky's shadow, he was an amazing player. once Gretzky was gone, he showed he was capable of even more if given the icetime and the role of franchise player.

But overall, Lindros at missed 23 games his first season, 19 his next, 30 in 96-97 at age 23, and 19 the next year, and then 27 games at age 26.

If you wanted to tell me you would take 50-60 games of Lemieux in his prime over Messier, then I would buy it. But Lindros? No way.

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12-26-2012, 05:16 PM
  #81
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
For me, Messier's prime is 1989-90 to 1995-96, when he won 2 Hart Trophies, was runner up for a 3rd Hart, and had 2 outstanding playoffs. Perhaps extend it back to 1986-87 when he started to break free from Gretzky's shadow.
I would definitely say 1987, 1988, and 1989 were part of Messier's prime, particularly when one considers how he handled himself in the playoffs. Those 1987 and 1988 playoffs are two of the strongest non-Conn Smythe runs we've seen in the post-merger era.

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12-26-2012, 06:49 PM
  #82
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I would definitely say 1987, 1988, and 1989 were part of Messier's prime, particularly when one considers how he handled himself in the playoffs. Those 1987 and 1988 playoffs are two of the strongest non-Conn Smythe runs we've seen in the post-merger era.
I'm looking more at the regular season when I look at these things and while plus/minus isn't the most telling stat the moose with plus/minus at minus 5 and compared to team mates really stands out and not in a good way either.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/EDM/1989.html

His minus 6 with the rangers in 93 is also surprising given his reputation and that he would have better years at an older age (perhaps talent support driven or simple variation or a bit of both).

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12-27-2012, 01:34 AM
  #83
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
I'm looking more at the regular season when I look at these things and while plus/minus isn't the most telling stat the moose with plus/minus at minus 5 and compared to team mates really stands out and not in a good way either.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/EDM/1989.html
I don't think it's particularly shocking for a team with a 3.83/.876 goaltender to have a low even-strength goal differential (+5). Hell, Glenn Anderson was a -16. Though it's cool if people don't want to look at the playoffs - I mean, who cares if someone dominates there.

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12-27-2012, 08:16 AM
  #84
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
I would definitely say 1987, 1988, and 1989 were part of Messier's prime, particularly when one considers how he handled himself in the playoffs. Those 1987 and 1988 playoffs are two of the strongest non-Conn Smythe runs we've seen in the post-merger era.
I would say his 1990 and 1994 were as well.

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12-27-2012, 08:27 AM
  #85
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
I'm looking more at the regular season when I look at these things and while plus/minus isn't the most telling stat the moose with plus/minus at minus 5 and compared to team mates really stands out and not in a good way either.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/EDM/1989.html

His minus 6 with the rangers in 93 is also surprising given his reputation and that he would have better years at an older age (perhaps talent support driven or simple variation or a bit of both).
He had a terrible year in 1993. The statistics actually favor him.

He was a turnover machine, which started with the 1992 PDF's against Pittsburgh.

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12-27-2012, 08:50 AM
  #86
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Messier has two Harts to Lindros' one. Two Pearsons to Lindros' one. Two first-team All-Star births (against superior prime 99 and 66 competition) to one for Lindros (and one second-team). Messier finished in the top five of scoring five times to Lindros' once. And on top of that, Messier was the better leader, clutch performer (by a mile), and gives up only a slight edge in the physicality department (usually Lindros' ace-in-the-hole in these comparisons).

How in God's name is Lindros winning this poll?

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12-27-2012, 11:40 AM
  #87
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Originally Posted by DisgruntledGoat View Post
Messier has two Harts to Lindros' one. Two Pearsons to Lindros' one. Two first-team All-Star births (against superior prime 99 and 66 competition) to one for Lindros (and one second-team). Messier finished in the top five of scoring five times to Lindros' once. And on top of that, Messier was the better leader, clutch performer (by a mile), and gives up only a slight edge in the physicality department (usually Lindros' ace-in-the-hole in these comparisons).

How in God's name is Lindros winning this poll?

I was thinking the same thing. To me, Lindros is like Eric Dickerson or Dwight Gooden, in that the hype machine was churning well before their pro debut. They physically could have all been the greatest player their respective sport ever produced because of a few seasons of mind-numbing dominance.

Messier played with reckless abandon and was as durable as they come. If you sneezed on Lindros, he would miss time.

IMO that's what seperates Lindros from Messier.'Could have been" doesnt count for me. I know what I saw, and Messier as both an Oiler and as a Ranger he sustained being the complete package whereas Lindros could only do it over two full seasons (if you count 1995 as a full season)

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12-27-2012, 02:06 PM
  #88
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With all due respect to Messier, who obviously had the greater career and much greater longevity, this is Lindros.

Prime Lindros was one of the most dominant players I have ever seen. Physically imposing all around, an intimidating presence and very talented to boot.

Lindros was pretty much a bigger, stronger, more productive Messier.

It is too bad that a combination of everyone trying to take down the king of the hill as well as his own lack of vision at times led to Lindros' brain getting scrambled.
well said. this is where I stand as well. Mess was one of the best players I've ever seen, with the career/pedigree that lives on forever...but Lindros at his (brief) best was more impressive. I'm not sure Lindros really ever reached his peak, that's the sad thing. I think in his best seasons, he still had untapped upside.



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This is an Eric Lindros who played a crash and bang style and more often than not was responsible for his own injuries. Messier also played a crash and bang style, but moderated the damage his body took instead of going balls out.

Offensively, they are close. Defensively, Messier gets the nod. A regular Pker and powerhouse in head to head matchups(Although Lindros was not bad defensively, Messier was simply better). Physically, Lindros is ahead, but the reason he is ahead is also the reason he missed games and was unable to sustain it over a full season.

Lindros is one of those cases where the guy does deserved to be penalized for games missed.

In any case, I could care less for what adjusted stats say in the case of best year vs best year. Lindros never ever had a year as good as Messier's 1990. As much as I hate that Messier won a hart over a more deserving player, he was a monster that year, beyond anything Lindros ever displayed.
I agree with your points but still vote Lindros because of my earlier point, that I don't thikn we ever even saw the best of Lindros. From what we DID see, Eric was a bigger, stronger, meaner version of Mess, with a better scoring touch. Not by much, mind you, but he had that level of dominance in the combination of physical play and offensive skill that I'd never seen before. (If that's the way Howe played, then he must have been something special to see as well!)

I hate to take injuries into account whether it's "reckless" or not. I don't fault Wendell Clark or Cam Neely or Bobby Orr or Mike Bossy or countless others....and I don't think it's fair to do so with Lindros....or Crosby (maybe!)

If Lindros simply had better on-ice awareness OR toned it down just a notch, he'd still be an imposing physical presence out there and might have achieved far more on the ice than even the glimpses we'd seen.

As an aside, I ran into Eric in a mall a week or two ago, I can't even imagine how intimidating he was on skates, with equipment, at his playing weight & fitness levels. I'm just under 6'3" and I had to look up at him. Wow.

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12-27-2012, 02:11 PM
  #89
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I don't understand the posts that say Lindros had a better scoring touch than Messier. Statistically, he really didn't.

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12-27-2012, 02:20 PM
  #90
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I don't understand the posts that say Lindros had a better scoring touch than Messier. Statistically, he really didn't.
I could see that actually. I don't know that Messier pushed himself offensively as hard as he could have in the regular season, hence the jump up in his playoff statistics relative to his regular season statistics (making him an absolute exception among the top scorers of all-time - and that's even ignoring his post-1997 career).

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12-27-2012, 02:23 PM
  #91
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
I could see that actually. I don't know that Messier pushed himself offensively as hard as he could have in the regular season, hence the jump up in his playoff statistics relative to his regular season statistics (making him an absolute exception among the top scorers of all-time - and that's even ignoring his post-1997 career).
Messier points finishes: 2, 3, 5, 5, 7, 10
Lindros points finishes: 1, 6, 7

Messier PPG finishes: 3, 3, 7, 7, 7, 8, 10, 10, 10
Lindros PPG finishes: 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 6, 9, 9

Lindros does have an advantage in regular season peak per-game finishes, though he competed against prime Gretzky and Lemieux less often than Messier did.


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12-27-2012, 04:40 PM
  #92
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well said. this is where I stand as well. Mess was one of the best players I've ever seen, with the career/pedigree that lives on forever...but Lindros at his (brief) best was more impressive. I'm not sure Lindros really ever reached his peak, that's the sad thing. I think in his best seasons, he still had untapped upside.





I agree with your points but still vote Lindros because of my earlier point, that I don't thikn we ever even saw the best of Lindros. From what we DID see, Eric was a bigger, stronger, meaner version of Mess, with a better scoring touch. Not by much, mind you, but he had that level of dominance in the combination of physical play and offensive skill that I'd never seen before. (If that's the way Howe played, then he must have been something special to see as well!)
Not sure about meaner. Bigger and stronger sure.

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I hate to take injuries into account whether it's "reckless" or not. I don't fault Wendell Clark or Cam Neely or Bobby Orr or Mike Bossy or countless others....and I don't think it's fair to do so with Lindros....or Crosby (maybe!)
When you recklessly stylistically cause yourself dozens of injuries and miss significant time, I consider it a bit different than missing time due to targeted dirty hits. But we can agree to disagree

Quote:
If Lindros simply had better on-ice awareness OR toned it down just a notch, he'd still be an imposing physical presence out there and might have achieved far more on the ice than even the glimpses we'd seen.
If Lindros had or did both of those things, the first player I would think of is Messier

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As an aside, I ran into Eric in a mall a week or two ago, I can't even imagine how intimidating he was on skates, with equipment, at his playing weight & fitness levels. I'm just under 6'3" and I had to look up at him. Wow.
Oh yes. The guy was huge

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12-27-2012, 04:54 PM
  #93
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I know I'm exaggerating here... But Messier's prime lasted longer than Eric's entire career.

Plus, Messier was able to lead his teams to the Stanley Cup...

Oh come on, they are not even in the same league...

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12-27-2012, 07:50 PM
  #94
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I know I'm exaggerating here... But Messier's prime lasted longer than Eric's entire career.

Plus, Messier was able to lead his teams to the Stanley Cup...

Oh come on, they are not even in the same league...
There are a few freaks in the world who are not only physically gifted, but their body can take ridiculous amounts more punishment than other people. Guys who play a hard nosed game like the Howe's, Messier's, and Chelios', but play well beyond what most players can and still be useful.

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12-28-2012, 01:18 AM
  #95
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You dont need arguments when remembering Erics status in 1996 do you?
I don't know about anyone else, but I don't need to be reminded of it. However, I also don't need to be reminded of what I consider Messier's greatest season and that would be 1990.

Put a 1996 Lindros next to a 1990 Messier. Man, that is one tough call. Overall you know that Lindros was more feared from a physical perspective but let's look at things clearer here, who carried their team further? Messier.

Lindros had a bad knack of self destructing. We saw this enough times in the postseason in his career. Messier never self destructed in the postseason. We saw him win a Hart, get 129 points and win a Cup in 1990. What he did against Chicago in the 1990 playoffs was truly epic and you wonder why a physical specimen like Lindros couldn't do that against New Jersey in 1995 or Florida in 1996 or Detroit in 1997. Honestly, other than the Wings, Chicago in 1990 was at least as good as the other teams.

Look the more I talk about it the more I pick Messier. Sorry, I want to have a captain that will not only dominate on the ice but will win.

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12-28-2012, 12:00 PM
  #96
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I don't know about anyone else, but I don't need to be reminded of it. However, I also don't need to be reminded of what I consider Messier's greatest season and that would be 1990.

Put a 1996 Lindros next to a 1990 Messier. Man, that is one tough call. Overall you know that Lindros was more feared from a physical perspective but let's look at things clearer here, who carried their team further? Messier.

Lindros had a bad knack of self destructing. We saw this enough times in the postseason in his career. Messier never self destructed in the postseason. We saw him win a Hart, get 129 points and win a Cup in 1990. What he did against Chicago in the 1990 playoffs was truly epic and you wonder why a physical specimen like Lindros couldn't do that against New Jersey in 1995 or Florida in 1996 or Detroit in 1997. Honestly, other than the Wings, Chicago in 1990 was at least as good as the other teams.

Look the more I talk about it the more I pick Messier. Sorry, I want to have a captain that will not only dominate on the ice but will win.
I don't think anyone disagrees with Messier being the better player, better career, better leader and no doubting achieving more in the game, injuries notwithstanding.

Lindros was more dominant when he was at his best and more feared. Even though he didn't achieve as much. (not sure if that makes the sense I want it to make but I'm sticking with it, for now)

One thing Mess did far better than Lindros was make those around him better. He was a better team leader and a big reason why he's the legend he is today. Individually, Lindros was bigger, stronger, more feared and could put up goals/assists like Mess though.


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Not sure about meaner.
If Lindros had or did both of those things, the first player I would think of is Messier
fair point!

It's an interesting question (the OP) - who was more "dominant" and "feared" in their prime.

I just don't see Messier winning in these two areas. I see Lindros as more dominant and more feared.

Was he more successful? no way
Did he ever even reach is prime? I'd say no, except one might consider his best offensive seasons his prime. I always felt Lindros was capable of more if he could stay healthy.

And I understand your stance on his recklessness was partially his own fault in him not reaching his prime.

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12-28-2012, 01:17 PM
  #97
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I don't think anyone disagrees with Messier being the better player, better career, better leader and no doubting achieving more in the game, injuries notwithstanding.

Lindros was more dominant when he was at his best and more feared. Even though he didn't achieve as much. (not sure if that makes the sense I want it to make but I'm sticking with it, for now)

One thing Mess did far better than Lindros was make those around him better. He was a better team leader and a big reason why he's the legend he is today. Individually, Lindros was bigger, stronger, more feared and could put up goals/assists like Mess though.




fair point!

It's an interesting question (the OP) - who was more "dominant" and "feared" in their prime.

I just don't see Messier winning in these two areas. I see Lindros as more dominant and more feared.

Was he more successful? no way
Did he ever even reach is prime? I'd say no, except one might consider his best offensive seasons his prime. I always felt Lindros was capable of more if he could stay healthy.

And I understand your stance on his recklessness was partially his own fault in him not reaching his prime.
Check out Roenick's recent biography to see how feared Messier was. In that famous 1990 game four, JR says that Messier was 'breathing fire' from the opening faceoff and that he was so intense Roenick had trouble looking him in the eye.

Lindros never reached that level. Yes, he was a scary package and some nights walked right over teams on his own. But he was also a guy that many, many times ended shifts in big games by skating to the bench with his head down and his shoulders slumped. Every time Lindros was tested, he failed; playoffs, international play... Messier was the exact opposite.

I realize that your argument is, 'Lindros at his very best was better even if Messier had the better career' but Mess at his very best was a dominating, physical clutch-scorer capable of absolutely carrying teams. Lindros was a guy with the most breathtaking package of physical tools we may ever have seen, but he never put it together to a level that Messier did.

To use a bit of a weird analogy: to me, Lindros' game is iron ore. Raw and valuable but also flawed. Messier was tempered steel. Which has more value?

And I realize 'feared' is a subjective thing and that we're veering off the beaten path a little but... Messier is a guy that once sent two Flames to the hospital in a game seven. A guy who, in the 1987 Canada Cup, prompted the Czechoslovakian coach to threaten to withdraw his team if he didn't quit playing so rough. Joel Otto has said he owed his career to the fact that he was the only player the Flames could find who was big and tough enough to not get run over by Messier. I don't know if Moose gives up much to anyone ever in the intimidation department.


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12-28-2012, 02:07 PM
  #98
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Check out Roenick's recent biography to see how feared Messier was. In that famous 1990 game four, JR says that Messier was 'breathing fire' from the opening faceoff and that he was so intense Roenick had trouble looking him in the eye.
He had those Rocket Richard eyes.

One of my favorite parts from The Boys on the Bus is when he starts showing them off to Wayne Gretzky as they argue over dinner!

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12-28-2012, 02:38 PM
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I don't think anyone disagrees with Messier being the better player, better career, better leader and no doubting achieving more in the game, injuries notwithstanding.

Lindros was more dominant when he was at his best and more feared. Even though he didn't achieve as much. (not sure if that makes the sense I want it to make but I'm sticking with it, for now)

One thing Mess did far better than Lindros was make those around him better. He was a better team leader and a big reason why he's the legend he is today. Individually, Lindros was bigger, stronger, more feared and could put up goals/assists like Mess though.
No, I know what you are trying to say. It makes sense. But when you use the word "dominance" it combines so many qualities. You can physically dominate, you can intimidate, you can score in bunches, etc. Lindros hit like a Mac Truck and that scared people. Messier was more like Gordie Howe. He scared you sitting on the bench. He scared you when he "wasn't" doing anything. He'd elbow you, he'd spear you and he was downright mean. So was Lindros, but for whatever reason Messier seemed to use it better in the context of a game. There was room Messier had on the ice that a normal player just wouldnt get.

I'll still stick with Messier here. I just never saw him play at the level of a 1990 Messier. In all fairness, Lindros perhaps has his best season in 1996 when he finished 3rd in Hart voting. The guy who finished 2nd at that time was Messier. I am not saying Messier was still that same caliber of player but I think we also tend to romanticize about Lindros a bit. Not saying he wasn't dominant, because he was, and not saying he can't make the HHOF, because he can. But when you compare him to someone like Messier at his best I just think he loses. Messier in 1990 wins the Hart and then he steamrolls through three playoff rounds while playing still good in the final. I got to hand it to Mess here, he was more dominant at his best and when the stakes were high he delivered.

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12-28-2012, 03:08 PM
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Dark Shadows
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Originally Posted by DisgruntledGoat View Post
Check out Roenick's recent biography to see how feared Messier was. In that famous 1990 game four, JR says that Messier was 'breathing fire' from the opening faceoff and that he was so intense Roenick had trouble looking him in the eye.

Lindros never reached that level. Yes, he was a scary package and some nights walked right over teams on his own. But he was also a guy that many, many times ended shifts in big games by skating to the bench with his head down and his shoulders slumped. Every time Lindros was tested, he failed; playoffs, international play... Messier was the exact opposite.

I realize that your argument is, 'Lindros at his very best was better even if Messier had the better career' but Mess at his very best was a dominating, physical clutch-scorer capable of absolutely carrying teams. Lindros was a guy with the most breathtaking package of physical tools we may ever have seen, but he never put it together to a level that Messier did.

To use a bit of a weird analogy: to me, Lindros' game is iron ore. Raw and valuable but also flawed. Messier was tempered steel. Which has more value?

And I realize 'feared' is a subjective thing and that we're veering off the beaten path a little but... Messier is a guy that once sent two Flames to the hospital in a game seven. A guy who, in the 1987 Canada Cup, prompted the Czechoslovakian coach to threaten to withdraw his team if he didn't quit playing so rough. Joel Otto has said he owed his career to the fact that he was the only player the Flames could find who was big and tough enough to not get run over by Messier. I don't know if Moose gives up much to anyone ever in the intimidation department.
I like that Analogy. Thinking of Iron as hard, but gets brittle

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