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Name past (and current) players who were better than their stats indicated

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03-01-2013, 11:27 PM
  #1
Big Phil
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Name past (and current) players who were better than their stats indicated

Okay name some past players who you think were better than their stats indicated and are the types of players that you almost had to see to appreciate. Past names I'll throw out there include:

Serge Savard - Rarely made a mistake playing defense. On paper you'll look and see other players - even his teammates rack up more Norrises or all-star selections but Savard quietly made his stamp on that dynasty despite getting overshadowed. However, a fan who watched Montreal time and time again would appreciate Savard.

Grant Fuhr - Had a GAA higher than you would like but very much a product of the run and gun system of the Oilers. In fact Fuhr's reliability let them play that way.


And just to venture a guess here, in the future people who didn't see some current stars play might raise an eyebrow a bit at their stats and wonder. Here is a prime example of a player who I think is someone you need to watch to appreciate more:

Jonathan Toews - Never exceeded 76 points in a season. Never has had a point a game in a season. Has a career 0.90 PPG though with a Conn Smythe winning Cup victory. Yet he is a lot like Serge Savard as a forward. Rarely makes a mistake on the ice, always seems to be involved in a victory, is a clutch performer and is defensively responsible as well as good on faceoffs. Put it this way if your team is up 2-1 with a minute to go you want Toews on the ice. If your team is down 2-1 with a minute to go you want Toews on the ice. I think he could have a spike season on of these years where he cracks 100 points, if only once, but I have my money on him as a future HHOFer and I think the people who will watch him in this generation will agree despite not having as sexy of stats.

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03-01-2013, 11:47 PM
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Passchendaele
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Claude Lemieux?

He was a 25-30 goal scorer for most of his career, but once came playoff time, he'd be as clutch as they come. Scored 13 goals twice and 10 goals once in the postseason. Obviously, there's that 1995 Conn Smythe.

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03-01-2013, 11:52 PM
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Claude Lemiuex is the perfect example of a guy who choose to focus on the little things that lead to winning Hockey games. If he had spent his career on crappy no hope teams he would of easily been a 500 goal scorer and as backwards as it is he probable would have a better chance of getting in to the HOF.


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03-01-2013, 11:59 PM
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JaymzB
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Henri Richard

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03-02-2013, 12:04 AM
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Kent Nilsson

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03-02-2013, 02:19 AM
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WingsMike
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Currently, Datsyuk definitely comes to mind.

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03-02-2013, 02:36 AM
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Of the Finns, Jere Lehtinen and Teppo Numminen come to mind.

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03-02-2013, 03:12 AM
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Killion
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Of the Finns, Jere Lehtinen and Teppo Numminen come to mind.
Esa Tikkanen; Vastly under-rated. My favourite Finn of all time. Beyond Kurri. Tik' just brought it all, all attitude. Contagious sense of humour, guts. Exactly the kind of glue the Oilers & the great Finnish National Teams of his era needed. Absolute Classic & Winner. Had he not been a member of Sathers club, I doubt very much history would be kind. His contributions in keeping it together with his irresistible personality and off the wall sense of humour really cant be measured, appreciated without knowing.

Derek Sanderson; Possibly the most underrated player of all time. Branded a "flake". Partyboy. Well tell ya what, in his prime with the Bruins and if not for the fast lifestyle, which I respect btw, that he made it, lived at all, easily on par with an Henri Richard, Dave Keon, healthy dose of Ken "The Rat" Linesman and just about every other **** disturber who ever laced them up. That guy could play. Serious hockey IQ. No fear. Yes its a crying shame that he done what he did to himself, let it all unravel, never realized his full potential, but what was seen, exhibited through a glass darkly over maybe 5/6 years, pretty gutsy. The guy played face forward, led with his jaw and a smirk of deferential contempt. All mirth & magic.

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03-02-2013, 03:23 AM
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LeBlondeDemon10
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Gilbert Perreault comes to mind. He looked like a player who could dominate, and did to some extent, but not like his French Canadian peers, Lafleur and Dionne.

Igor Larionov. His stats looked deflated in the NHL. He did not get here until he was 29 though and his role was a little different on NHL teams than when he played for Russia. Same with Makarov. I won't even get into Krutov.

Bob Pulford. Great skater who couldn't shoot.

Esa Tikannen. Great all around player who scored a few in the regular season, but had some huge games in the playoffs.

Tim Connolly. Great puck control and passer. Too bad he won't be remembered.

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03-02-2013, 04:36 AM
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Killion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBlondeDemon10 View Post
Gilbert Perreault comes to mind. He looked like a player who could dominate, and did to some extent, but not like his French Canadian peers, Lafleur and Dionne.
Billed as the "next one" prior to the 1970 Draft, unless you grew up in Buffalo, wouldnt know it. You thinking had he been available to Montreal more would have been forthcoming?... rhetorical question of course. Im assuming your a Habs fan? Biased much?

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03-02-2013, 05:00 AM
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wunderpanda
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Mike Peca
Pierre Turgeon

currently, Bozak & Vermette

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03-02-2013, 07:16 AM
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ozzie
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Kirk Muller comes to mind for me, especially when he was the heart and soul of the Devils.

I'll also say Wendel Clark.

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03-02-2013, 08:16 AM
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Henri Richard,Bob Gainey, George Armstrong and Dave Keon. From their first game in the NHL to their last they never let-up, knew exactly what their offensive, defensive and team responsibilities when and how to execute them.

Honourable mention, Alex Delvecchio, Jacques Lemaire, Patrik Elias, Henrik Zetterberg, Guy Carbonneau, Pavel Datsyuk,

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03-02-2013, 08:25 AM
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pavel datsyuk, patriece bergeron

great topic...

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03-02-2013, 08:27 AM
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ot92s
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBlondeDemon10 View Post
Gilbert Perreault comes to mind. He looked like a player who could dominate, and did to some extent, but not like his French Canadian peers, Lafleur and Dionne.

Igor Larionov. His stats looked deflated in the NHL. He did not get here until he was 29 though and his role was a little different on NHL teams than when he played for Russia. Same with Makarov. I won't even get into Krutov.

Bob Pulford. Great skater who couldn't shoot.

Esa Tikannen. Great all around player who scored a few in the regular season, but had some huge games in the playoffs.

Tim Connolly. Great puck control and passer. Too bad he won't be remembered.
good call on lorionov and markarov. by the time they got over here they were in full "board play only when absolutely necessary" mode. but they were still in charge when on the ice.

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03-02-2013, 10:02 AM
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Big Phil
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Originally Posted by wunderpanda View Post
Mike Peca
Pierre Turgeon

currently, Bozak & Vermette
Peca I can see, although the two Selkes at least show why he was as revered as he was. I'm a little puzzled with Turgeon though. He was a fine player and if I were to venture a guess I'd say 10% of posters support him for the HHOF. But in all the discussions we've had on here it always gets brought up that Turgeon was sort of the opposite the player we are talking about here. In other words his stats made him appear to be an even better player than he was. Can you elaborate a bit?

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03-02-2013, 10:18 AM
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Very much agree on Serge Savard. It's not only about stats, but he was also snubbed in the AST voting. Having watched him later on (on tape/DVD/YouTube etc.), I'm a believer.

Bobby Clarke has nice stats, but they don't tell everything (in good and in bad!).

I think you definitely need to watch Gilbert Perreault to fully appreciate him (1976 Canada Cup is a good place to start )

I guess Bob Gainey, Graig Ramsay and the like would also be easy answers here.

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03-02-2013, 11:00 AM
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Savard, Tikkanen, Carbonneau and Elias are all great examples. Just to add a few not mentioned yet:

Terry O'Reilly: His stats suggest an average 2nd line RW who was tough and a consistent 20 goal scorer. But his play went far beyond that. Larry Robinson said in his book that for all the talents that played for Boston in the late70s-80s, O'Reilly was the heart and soul of the team. There's an article here where Fred Shero talks about how he felt O'Reilly was the reason for Boston beating Philadelphia in the playoffs.

Mark Messier: Every few months it seems like a topic will come up here claiming Messier was overrated because he won an award despite having less points than some other player. It totally misses the point that Messier's contributions went much further than statistics (though his stats were impressive). Possibly the most effective combination of speed and strength in the games history. GMs are still hoping to find the next Messier every year at the draft.

Dale Hunter: Remembered mostly as a very dirty player (which he admittedly was), but was also extremely effective. He could frustrate any opponent off their game, and had a knack for coming through in the clutch.

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03-02-2013, 12:23 PM
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Homer pick: Mike Modano

At least during his prime (96-03) I would have put him up head to head vs anyone. He didnt have the overall offensive numbers as counterparts like Sakic, Forsberg, and Lindros, (Stars system?) but head to head in a game he wasn't outmatched in the least. We look back and his numbers aren't as good and that's what people will see years from now, but I don't think that tells the story at all.

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03-02-2013, 01:09 PM
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03-02-2013, 01:19 PM
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ITM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozzie View Post
Kirk Muller comes to mind for me, especially when he was the heart and soul of the Devils.

I'll also say Wendel Clark.
Absolutely. You could regard him as an "enforcer" if only from his ability to fight. And you could regard him as a power forward and a sniper from his offensive abilities. He was in so many ways the essence of a heart and soul player, a true Maple Leaf. His body -- perhaps any player's body -- simply couldn't accomodate the demand. And to the surprise of many, his statistical accomplishments are modest in comparison to his legacy.

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03-02-2013, 01:25 PM
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ITM
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pavel datsyuk, patriece bergeron

great topic...
This is a tricky proposition. I think in Datsyuk's case there's an understanding of how obviously gifted he is, and his stats indicate that part of it. I think the intangible is that we haven't yet reconciled what he's done with that gift, while being a true sportsman and while being just as gifted on the other side of the puck. We know he's great...I don't think many of us truly grasp how great.

If that still fits in the thread, so be it, but I think there's another level here.

(Favourite player by far playing today,by the bye...)

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03-02-2013, 01:29 PM
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Might seem an odd choice but I think Hasek is a player who was better than his pure stats...at least the sum of them, cut short by a late entry/start to his career.

Sergei Fedorov is another...Kent Nilsson...Michel Goulet...Igor Larionov...Vladdy Konstantinov...

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03-02-2013, 01:36 PM
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LeBlondeDemon10
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Billed as the "next one" prior to the 1970 Draft, unless you grew up in Buffalo, wouldnt know it. You thinking had he been available to Montreal more would have been forthcoming?... rhetorical question of course. Im assuming your a Habs fan? Biased much?

Well here I'll show my bias - pre and post peak Lafleur. Never got the ice time early in his career and likely could have put up 80-90 pts. Post peak - too many distractions, drinking, injuries, etc...He was still on pace for 100 pt season in 80-81 and 81-82.

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03-02-2013, 03:29 PM
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Killion
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Never got the ice time early in his career and likely could have put up 80-90 pts.
Ya, agree with you on that one. The Habs however had so much depth, and back in the day "nurtured" their prospects & rookies the old fashioned way, some would say "the right way". A luxury of riches the rest of the league didnt enjoy.... but back to Buffalo, Danny Gare was another. Terrific player, actually displacing Rene' Robert from the French Connection Line on the PP on Right Wing, Robert moved back & playing the point. Gare also utilized heavily on the PK. Not a big guy, but smart, savvy.

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