HFBoards

Go Back   HFBoards > General Hockey Discussion > The History of Hockey
The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

Is Mario Lemieux a bit overrated?

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old
02-15-2013, 12:56 AM
  #76
Yamaguchi
Registered User
 
Yamaguchi's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 676
vCash: 500
It's hard to tell who had a better supporting cast - Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux.

Gretzky had Dave Semenko, and Lemieux had Jim Paek.

I miss those days....

Yamaguchi is offline  
Old
02-15-2013, 01:03 AM
  #77
tazzy19
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,634
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
I guess I could be the poster boy for overrating Mario.

When we voted for Top 100 (which turned into Top 70) I had Mario ahead of Gretzky. Based it purely on what I saw. He appeared to be the better hockey player. When you look at the numbers alone its hard to see. I understand that. But I still think Mario was at least the equal of Gretzky.
To appreciate Lemieux, it was easy. You just had to watch HIM. To appreciate Gretzky, it was not as easy: you had to watch everyone else, as well as the puck, SIMULTANEOUSLY.

tazzy19 is offline  
Old
02-15-2013, 07:43 AM
  #78
shazariahl
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,393
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by struckbyaparkedcar View Post
He's in that tier with Roy where certain fans of his completely ignore the prima-donna-y things he did throughout his career while seemingly holding comparable instances doubly against his closest competitors.

There's also a fair amount of ridiculous anti-Gretzky hyperbole that gets brought up by that crowd.

All that being said, there are legitimate arguments for him anywhere from 1-4 and most people stick to those, rather than resorting to the inconsistencies I mentioned earlier.
Well said.

shazariahl is offline  
Old
02-15-2013, 08:05 AM
  #79
JFA87-66-99
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA
Country: United States
Posts: 2,312
vCash: 500
The answer is NO!!!!

JFA87-66-99 is offline  
Old
02-15-2013, 11:44 AM
  #80
theicebox
#MonixWatch
 
theicebox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Pittsburgh
Country: United States
Posts: 1,776
vCash: 500
He is a god amongst men. Underrated.

theicebox is offline  
Old
02-15-2013, 11:53 AM
  #81
Bardof425*
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 3,028
vCash: 500
Absolutely. Great one on one skills. But he was a hanger. He would hang in the neutral zone while on the pk hoping for a breakaway. He was the ultimate hockey bully. When he had the advantage he could bury you like no other. But the little things escaped him alot of the time.

Bardof425* is offline  
Old
02-15-2013, 11:58 AM
  #82
madinsomniac
Registered User
 
madinsomniac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
Country: United States
Posts: 2,826
vCash: 500
People should remember that Lemieux only played a few seasons in the wide open NHL of the 80"s. by 89 teams were holding him non stop because there really was no other alternative. Those early years he wasnt exactly on all star loaded teams either. Combine that with a horrid health history, and you can see why he doesnt have the numbers of gretzky.

He was easily the most physically gifted player of all time. He played on the PP and killed penalties, so he would have a disadvantage to players who were defensive liabilities and didnt kill penalties and thus had more even strength time. Just look at his point totals during the clutch and grab era... absurd in comparison to the rest of the league. He really was a once in a lifetime talent. Its a shame his back and cancer robbed him of years of playing time. there really isnt anyone close to his talent level playing today. It was amazing that Gretzky and Lemieux's career's overlapped. Two remarkable players the likes of which we may never see again.

madinsomniac is offline  
Old
02-15-2013, 12:09 PM
  #83
Richard
Registered User
 
Richard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 608
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Rotter View Post
You don't realize it, but you are making the case for us Mario supporters. The ONLY way you could stop a in-his-prime Mario from scoring WAS by taking a penalty.

I would be interested in a stat showing was able to draw the most penalties in their career. Mario has to have it by a landslid.

Mario was an individualistic player, he scored and scored and scored. The only way to stop him was by hooking, holding and tackling him.

That is why Pittsburgh had more penalities than the Oilers. You had to take them to prevent sure goals against.

Richard is offline  
Old
02-15-2013, 12:50 PM
  #84
SoCalSharkzFan
Registered User
 
SoCalSharkzFan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: The True Man's World
Country: United States
Posts: 959
vCash: 500
By the time I got really into hockey, Mario was only capable of playing shortened seasons.

When I first saw him hit the ice, I was amazed at his talent level, he was playing the game on a different level.. a different "frequency" than his teammates or opponents.

The only other player like that in my early experiences watching hockey was Peter Forsberg. Mario and Peter weren't simply better than their peers, it was much more than that.

SoCalSharkzFan is offline  
Old
02-15-2013, 01:01 PM
  #85
TAnnala
HFBoards Sponsor
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Oulu
Posts: 9,030
vCash: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
You don't realize it, but you are making the case for us Mario supporters. The ONLY way you could stop a in-his-prime Mario from scoring WAS by taking a penalty.

I would be interested in a stat showing was able to draw the most penalties in their career. Mario has to have it by a landslid.

Mario was an individualistic player, he scored and scored and scored. The only way to stop him was by hooking, holding and tackling him.

That is why Pittsburgh had more penalities than the Oilers. You had to take them to prevent sure goals against.
Was Mario really good enough for pulling 2.4 power-plays/game MORE than the Oilers with Gretzky? I sincerely doubt that it was only Mario.

TAnnala is offline  
Old
02-15-2013, 01:04 PM
  #86
tntkid
Registered User
 
tntkid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Country: Canada
Posts: 1,182
vCash: 500
Mario Lemieux is better than any of today's top superstars.

If not for the health & back problems he would have surpassed Gretzky.

tntkid is offline  
Old
02-15-2013, 01:35 PM
  #87
Uncle Rotter
Registered User
 
Uncle Rotter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Kelowna, B.C.
Country: Canada
Posts: 2,001
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
You don't realize it, but you are making the case for us Mario supporters. The ONLY way you could stop a in-his-prime Mario from scoring WAS by taking a penalty.

I would be interested in a stat showing was able to draw the most penalties in their career. Mario has to have it by a landslid.

Mario was an individualistic player, he scored and scored and scored. The only way to stop him was by hooking, holding and tackling him.

That is why Pittsburgh had more penalities than the Oilers. You had to take them to prevent sure goals against.
The pattern during the 1970s & the 1980s was that the stronger a team was, the fewer penalties they drew. Edmonton, the Islanders, Boston & Montreal were always near the bottom of the league. Was it because they were easier to stop than the California Golden Seals?

Uncle Rotter is online now  
Old
02-15-2013, 01:42 PM
  #88
Dangler99*
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,303
vCash: 500
The only forward in NHL history to play at Gretzky's level is not overated.

Dangler99* is offline  
Old
02-15-2013, 01:59 PM
  #89
Richard
Registered User
 
Richard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 608
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Rotter View Post
The pattern during the 1970s & the 1980s was that the stronger a team was, the fewer penalties they drew. Edmonton, the Islanders, Boston & Montreal were always near the bottom of the league. Was it because they were easier to stop than the California Golden Seals?
Again, the 1980's Pittsburgh Penguins were anything other than a powerhouse team, agreed. I watched them, I should know that.

However, Mario's style, unique to both him and Orr, was pure physical dominance and skill at unknown levels. Gretzky and Howe both had better careers and as a career defined league were the better players. In a one game series, give me Orr and Mario.

Mario physically attacked the oppositions blueline himself. You needed two, three sometimes four guys to stop him. Watch his highlights on youtube. There was literally a penalty (even for '80's reffing) on every play. Trying to stop him was just that Godawful.

Wayne picked the spots better than anyone I have ever seen or will see again I suspect. He was just three steps ahead of everyone. He drew penalties; mostly behind the net and hooking. He most certainly did not consistently challenge defenders-he simply didn't need to.

Richard is offline  
Old
02-15-2013, 02:08 PM
  #90
SteelFish87*
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 4,275
vCash: 500
he's underrated imo

he was more skilled than Gretzky

SteelFish87* is offline  
Old
02-15-2013, 02:54 PM
  #91
gary69
Registered User
 
gary69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Then and there
Posts: 2,926
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Again, the 1980's Pittsburgh Penguins were anything other than a powerhouse team, agreed. I watched them, I should know that.

However, Mario's style, unique to both him and Orr, was pure physical dominance and skill at unknown levels. Gretzky and Howe both had better careers and as a career defined league were the better players. In a one game series, give me Orr and Mario.

Mario physically attacked the oppositions blueline himself. You needed two, three sometimes four guys to stop him. Watch his highlights on youtube. There was literally a penalty (even for '80's reffing) on every play. Trying to stop him was just that Godawful.

Wayne picked the spots better than anyone I have ever seen or will see again I suspect. He was just three steps ahead of everyone. He drew penalties; mostly behind the net and hooking. He most certainly did not consistently challenge defenders-he simply didn't need to.
It shouldn't be forgotten that hockey is a team sport first and foremost, Gretzky was the best ever player in this regard (even later in his career when his goalscoring wasn't the same mostly because of injuries). Lemieux was probably "better" if one looks strictly individually, but that's not how you should really judge players in team sports.

As for Lemieux being overrated because of PP points instead of ES points, I wouldn't hold that against him. As you said, in a team sports, a viable and successful strategy is to force the opponent to draw penalties against your team and then capitalize on the power play. Obviously you'd want your best scorers to be on the ice during the PP. Any competent coach and player would try to achieve exactly this.

Another aspect of a team sports often overlooked by those who merely follow hockey (or mostly North American based sports), are the in-game strategies more prevalent in global sports like soccer.

The top teams in soccer often aim to outtire the lesser skilled opponents and score the winning goals towards the end of game. This is largely equivalent of looking to outscore your opponent on PP in hockey.

If those records exist, I'd like to see some analysis of how many penalties Lemieux's lines (or even Pittsburgh as a whole) drew on ES and then went on to capitalize on PP with Lemieux. Whatever the actual numbers, it was a shrewd strategy in a team sports, I'd say.


Last edited by gary69: 02-15-2013 at 04:17 PM.
gary69 is offline  
Old
02-15-2013, 03:49 PM
  #92
Richard
Registered User
 
Richard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 608
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by gary69 View Post
It shouldn't be forgotten that hockey is a team sport first and foremost, Gretzky was the best ever player in this regard (even later in his career when his goalscoring wasn't the same mostly because of injuries). Lemieux was probably "better" if one looks strictly individually, but that's not how you should really judge players in team sports.

As for Lemieux being overrated because of PP points instead of ES points, I wouldn't hold that against him. As you said, in a team sports, a viable and successful strategy is to force the opponent to draw penalties against your team and then capitalize on the power play. Obviously you'd want your best scorers to be on the ice during the PP. Any competent coach and player would try to achieve exactly this.

Another aspect of a team sports often overlooked by those who merely follow hockey (or mostly North American based sports), are the in-game strategies more prevalent in global sports like soccer.

The top teams in soccer often aim to outtire the skill lesser opponents and score the winnings goals towards the end of game. This is largely equivalent of looking to outscore your opponent on PP in hockey.

If those records exist, I'd like to see some analysis of how many penalties Lemieux's lines (or even Pittsburgh as a whole) drew on ES and then went on to capitalize on PP with Lemieux. Whatever the actual numbers, it was a shrewd strategy in a team sports, I'd say.

That is why I choose a one game sample size to make my argument. Mario was not a better NHLer than Wayne Gretzky, and it is impossible to make that case. Individually however, he could, and did achieve greater things on the rink. Mario was slightly worse than Wayne, for example in making his teammates better (however, very slightly, see Brown, Rob and Simpson, Quin, Dan)

Mario was the very best player, individually, to ever lace up a pair of skates. No question. He could and would do things noone else to every play the game could ever do.

Teams took bunches of Penalties against the big guy, and it was a successful strategy-the Pens powerplay was never about 30% and the Big Guy nailed his first six penalty shots and was well over 50% on prime scoring chances, (breakaways, two on ones).

There was an interview with the coach of the Wings? I think in the late 80's when asked how to stop Mario, replied "foul him."

Richard is offline  
Old
02-15-2013, 05:07 PM
  #93
blogofmike
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 524
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
That is why I choose a one game sample size to make my argument. Mario was not a better NHLer than Wayne Gretzky, and it is impossible to make that case. Individually however, he could, and did achieve greater things on the rink. Mario was slightly worse than Wayne, for example in making his teammates better (however, very slightly, see Brown, Rob and Simpson, Quin, Dan)

Mario was the very best player, individually, to ever lace up a pair of skates. No question. He could and would do things noone else to every play the game could ever do.

Teams took bunches of Penalties against the big guy, and it was a successful strategy-the Pens powerplay was never about 30% and the Big Guy nailed his first six penalty shots and was well over 50% on prime scoring chances, (breakaways, two on ones).

There was an interview with the coach of the Wings? I think in the late 80's when asked how to stop Mario, replied "foul him."
From another thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
I wholeheartedly disagree.

Unless you think the Gretzky Oilers have to finish #1 every year, they did as well as expected. With Gretzky the Oilers were at or near the top of the League in PP% even with so few opportunities.

The Pens always had an advantage in PPO, and that is the sole reason for their high PPG total in every year except 95-96 when they were indeed destroying teams. The Pens received an average number of PPO or an obsecenly high number. The Oilers received an average number of PPO, or as they did at their peak an obscenely low number of PPO (130 fewer than the Pens in 1986.)

For sustained success, the Pens never put together a 4-year stretch like the Oilers did between 82-83 and 85-86 where they were as good as the Habs dynasty. (The Habs did have a fairly imbalanced league to play in, as other top teams were hitting 30% too.) The only time they come close is 95-96 and 96-97, finishing at #1 and #2, but that's still not as good as two #1s and two #2s.

Lemieux was a great PP player, but his large PP totals are more the result of an unusually high amount of PPO than it is a high PP% (not that it was BAD or anything). Lemieux teams couldn't consistently outperform Gretzky teams in PP%, even in the 90s when Lemieux had the far stronger supporting cast.

Oilers Table
Year Oilers PP% Rank Pens PP% Rank NHL avg Oilers PPO Pens PPO Avg PPO Oiler Rk Pens Rk Gretzky GP Mario GP
79-80 21.63 10 19.85 14 21.86 282 262 280 10 18 79 0
80-81 22.19 12 23.00 11 22.53 347 400 340 8 2 80 0
81-82 25.22 5 24.50 8 22.85 341 404 320 6 2 80 0
82-83 29.25 1 22.63 9 22.92 294 358 310 15 2 80 0
83-84 25.47 2 20.59 16 21.91 318 340 336 15 10 74 0
84-85 25.26 2 17.08 21 22.20 293 363 321 19 2 80 73
85-86 26.44 1 21.88 12 22.08 295 425 370 21 1 80 79
86-87 22.01 7 19.58 14 20.98 318 378 344 19 3 79 63
87-88 21.89 7 22.00 6 20.29 437 500 402 16 1 64 77
88-89 19.81 16 24.24 3 20.99 419 491 403 7 1 0 76
89-90 20.64 12 21.34 10 20.77 407 403 367 3 4 0 59

Kings Table
Year Kings PP% Rank Pens PP% Rank NHL avg Kings PPO Pens PPO Avg PPO Kings Rk Pens Rk Gretzky GP Mario GP
87-88 21.73 8 22.00 6 20.29 474 500 402 5 1 0 77
88-89 20.76 11 24.24 3 20.99 395 491 403 11 1 78 76
89-90 22.16 8 21.34 10 20.77 343 403 367 17 4 73 59
90-91 20.46 6 22.94 3 19.44 391 388 366 5 7 78 26
91-92 19.22 10 21.75 4 19.24 411 423 402 11 6 74 64
92-93 20.12 11 23.86 2 19.57 507 440 443 2 14 45 60
93-94 20.72 7 18.81 14 18.64 444 404 407 2 16 81 22
94-95 17.50 13 19.00 10 17.73 200 221 209 19 7 48 0
95-96 17.96 14 25.95 1 17.93 401 420 413 18 11 62 70
96-97 13.61 25 21.83 2 16.27 338 339 336 12 11 0 76

Rangers Table
Year NYR PP% Rank Pens PP% Rank NHL avg NYR PPO Pens PPO Avg PPO NYR Rk Pens Rk Gretzky GP Mario GP
96-97 21.95 1 21.83 2 16.27 287 339 336 26 11 82 76
97-98 17.66 5 16.46 11 15.08 351 407 380 24 4 82 0
98-99 20.40 2 17.91 7 15.81 348 363 359 17 14 70 0
99-00 16.92 10 15.61 20 16.15 325 346 331 18 7 0 0
00-01 17.91 11 20.27 5 16.64 363 375 376 21 15 0 43
01-02 14.72 21 14.03 25 15.77 326 335 338 22 19 0 24
02-03 x x 18.33 7 16.43 x 360 363 x 16 0 67
03-04 x x 18.06 7 16.46 x 360 348 x 10 0 10
05-06 x x 18.99 6 17.68 x 495 480 x 11 0 26
06-07 x x 20.30 5 17.58 x 463 398 x 1 0 0
The facts show the Pens got lots of penalties even when Mario wasn't playing, both in partial seasons like 1991 or 1994 and the pre-Mario days where Bullard scored 51 goals. So your "fouling the big guy" argument holds absolutely no water.

Even if I didn't know the numbers, I wouldn't WANT to give Lemieux a powerplay. Given his Gretzky-esque high production in 5-on-4 hockey, he had to be far less effective than Wayne Gretzky was at 5-on-5 hockey.

blogofmike is offline  
Old
02-15-2013, 06:26 PM
  #94
Hardyvan123
tweet@HardyintheWack
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Vancouver
Country: Canada
Posts: 12,111
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by fish7 View Post
I have to comment on the Bobby Orr post about lack of Euros and WHA players; in the 1969-70 season there were 12 teams in the NHL and it was before the WHA, he won the Hart, Smythe, Norris, and Ross trophies! It might have been a mostly Canadian league, but the level of competition was much higher
Much higher than when?

Hardyvan123 is offline  
Old
02-15-2013, 06:35 PM
  #95
BROOKLYnKNIGHTS
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3,370
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
That is why I choose a one game sample size to make my argument. Mario was not a better NHLer than Wayne Gretzky, and it is impossible to make that case. Individually however, he could, and did achieve greater things on the rink. Mario was slightly worse than Wayne, for example in making his teammates better (however, very slightly, see Brown, Rob and Simpson, Quin, Dan)

Mario was the very best player, individually, to ever lace up a pair of skates. No question. He could and would do things noone else to every play the game could ever do.

Teams took bunches of Penalties against the big guy, and it was a successful strategy-the Pens powerplay was never about 30% and the Big Guy nailed his first six penalty shots and was well over 50% on prime scoring chances, (breakaways, two on ones).

There was an interview with the coach of the Wings? I think in the late 80's when asked how to stop Mario, replied "foul him."
If I were going to build a team today I select Super Mario #1. Mario was a great playmaker as well as the greatest individual scorer I have ever seen. It was a pleasure to be able to watch these two guys in their prime.

BROOKLYnKNIGHTS is offline  
Old
02-15-2013, 07:00 PM
  #96
Hardyvan123
tweet@HardyintheWack
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Vancouver
Country: Canada
Posts: 12,111
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by blamebettman View Post
His 199 point season was the greatest single season in NHL history. Better than Gretzky's 215 pt masterpiece in 85-86

compare who he played with relative to who Gretzky played with.

Plus Mario played 4 fewer games (76 to Wayne's 80)
Mario played with some pretty good offensively minded players in 89 in a system that catered to his skill set.

I'm one guy who thinks that Mario is over rated as a hockey player. He is hands down the most skilled guy I have ever seen but his game was all about scoring and that was it.

Wayne had better production and is known as a winner while Mario doesn't have that reputation, mainly because he wasn't as concerned about winning as Wayne was.

If he had paid more attention and cared about the overall game and winning he might have had more team success, it's only speculation of course.

As it was I wonder if he wins any Cups without the massive airlift of players in for the 92 and 93 SC's.

Hardyvan123 is offline  
Old
02-16-2013, 12:57 AM
  #97
Hab-a-maniac
Registered User
 
Hab-a-maniac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Toronto via Calgary!
Country: Canada
Posts: 11,156
vCash: 500
IMO the only way to make Lemieux is overrated is to call him the greatest player in the history of the sport by far (I personally don't even put him #1, he's 3rd behind Gretzky and Orr for me but anyone saying he's the best can make a good case for sure). Otherwise, anything said about his dominance is 100% true.

Hab-a-maniac is offline  
Old
02-16-2013, 01:01 AM
  #98
ot92s
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 737
vCash: 500
forget #s. that would be like asking if beethoven or bach were overrated.

ot92s is offline  
Old
02-16-2013, 01:07 AM
  #99
fish7
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: st. louis, mo
Posts: 82
vCash: 665
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Much higher than when?
I should have said the competition for jobs was higher. That was in response to a post saying Bobby Orr dominated in a watered down era because there were no Europeans. I don't think you could call the pre 1972 NHL watered down. Orr dominated in the 12 and 14 team NHL.

And I should add that there is no way Mario is overrated.

fish7 is offline  
Old
03-28-2013, 02:08 PM
  #100
StoneColdFlower*
El Sid
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Country: Canada
Posts: 539
vCash: 500
Underrated. His performance in 92 - 93 of 160 points in 60 games AFTER RECOVERING FROM CANCER is the greatest accomplishment in NHL history. Gretzky and his record breaking season is only number two. In terms of career value value though, Gretzky is clearly the GOAT.

StoneColdFlower* is offline  
Closed Thread

Forum Jump


Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:11 PM.

monitoring_string = "e4251c93e2ba248d29da988d93bf5144"
Contact Us - HFBoards - Archive - Privacy Statement - Terms of Use - Advertise - Top - AdChoices

vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
HFBoards.com is a property of CraveOnline Media, LLC, an Evolve Media, LLC company. 2014 All Rights Reserved.