The guy nearly averaged 3 PPG after having radiation therapy for cancer. The PO cluster **** takes nothing away from this ludicrously elite accomplishment. I cried when we lost to that Islanders team. Even at 9 I understood that there was no excuse to lose to a **** team whose best player was out. We were good enough to beat that Isles team with Turgeon. But Borasso **** the bed and the hockey gods **** on us.
There was a time a couple of years ago when I claimed Scotty Bowman's time as the premiere coach in hockey was at an end because of the way he single-handedly crushed the Penguins' hopes at three-peating as Stanley Cup Champs. Amongst the rationales I had for this somewhat unorthodox claim was the way he ran goaltender Tom Barrasso into the ground by having him start the last third of the season in quest of a relatively meaningless unbeaten streak record. Sure enough, Barrasso went cold in the second round as the Penguins lost to the lowly Islanders, and Bowman had allowed Ken Wregget to practically atrophy by not playing him.
It has to be top 10. From a PPG standpoint it is amazing. Plus, being part of the best team in the NHL, a 17 game winning streak still standing (or the Pens of 2013 beat it) and to top it all off 160 points is 160 points. Made even more amazing with the cancer interruption and the fact that he still led the NHL in points.
However, from a PPG level 1989 is the same. 199 points in 76 games equals 2.62 PPG
160 points in 60 games in 1993 equals 2.67
So same thing in a way. Mario of 1989 just like 1993 had some eye popping games. Lots of multi point games, 5 goal games, 6-8 point games. He had them in both seasons. And like 1989 he lost in the second round in 1993. Both times they should have won, and it was a travesty that they lost in 1993 even to this day. I don't think I can put it up there with Gretzky's 200+ and Cup winning years. Even Orr in 1970 or 1972. Beliveau in 1956 is close too. These guys won Cups and still had remarkable regular seasons. Mario had so many chances in that Game 7 to put the game to bed. Yeah, Glenn Healy stood on his head for the only time in his NHL career but how could that team have lost like that? No Cup stops me from putting this season #1. Overall I can't see how 1992 is much worse for him despite being a little less dominant.
Yeah, i get a clear feeling that the only season Lemieux was really physically healthy while also being in his prime was in 1988-89. All other seasons while he was supposed to be in his prime falls in the "what if" category, while he of course still did those 160 in 60 in 1992-93 and 161 in 70 in 1995-96.