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Why isn't Wayne Gretzky a 4-time Conn Smythe Trophy winner?

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07-01-2013, 09:28 PM
  #26
Dark Shadows
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Actually Yzerman was matched up against Gretzky quite often in that series but he also saw a lot of time against the Oilers 3rd and 4th lines.
Any line but Messier's, Demers didn't want #11 any where near Stevie.
Demers might not have wanted it, but it was happening. A lot

Edit: Overall, Yzerman was +2 game 1, Yzerman -4 in game 2. +1 game 3, -1 game 4, and -3 game 5.
-6 of those from when Messier was on the ice.
This idea that Yzerman "contained Gretzky" is a made up fantasy from a guy who did not even watch the series(I mean Eva, not you).

But the idea that Demers sheltered Yzerman from Messier and that Messier butchered the rest of the wings does not hold weight in the face of watching the games and highlights and seeing #11 on the ice for 6 ES goals with #19 also on the ice.


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07-01-2013, 10:02 PM
  #27
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That pretty much sums it up. As usual, brilliant summation. On a side note, it just continues to baffle me how someone (ie, Gretzky) can lead the playoffs in scoring with his assists alone, and we are still reading tripe about him somehow not being that effective. Now I've read it all.
My only real complaint about that 1987 playoff - aside from the concussion play - is that over 20% of his points came in one horrendous blowout game against Los Angeles. I don't think anyone lost sight that he was the best player in hockey, but there were other players going point-for-point with him in the final three rounds.

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07-02-2013, 10:07 AM
  #28
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My only real complaint about that 1987 playoff - aside from the concussion play - is that over 20% of his points came in one horrendous blowout game against Los Angeles. I don't think anyone lost sight that he was the best player in hockey, but there were other players going point-for-point with him in the final three rounds.
Fair enough, but that just shows why Gretz was better than the rest. No one else scored a record 7 playoff points that spring.


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07-02-2013, 01:24 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
My only real complaint about that 1987 playoff - aside from the concussion play - is that over 20% of his points came in one horrendous blowout game against Los Angeles. I don't think anyone lost sight that he was the best player in hockey, but there were other players going point-for-point with him in the final three rounds.
That happens with a lot of players though. It just becomes more obvious when it is Gretzky.

If another player has a 4 point game in a 7-1 blowout, and it was 20% of their total, nobody would bat an eyelash. They all tried running up the score back then. Some nights, you are just on

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07-03-2013, 04:04 PM
  #30
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Just a little side note, 1993 is one of those years that makes you think as well. 40 points in the postseason, 7 in 5 games in the finals including a single handed mauling of the Habs in Game 1. The final 4 games just 3 points though, which hurt his chances of winning the Smythe in a losing cause. Roy deserved it, I am just saying that Gretzky was probably closer to winning it in 1993 than he gets credit for.

As for the Cup winning years for the Oilers, I have always said that in 1984 he was overlooked. This isn't to take anything away from Messier's performance by any means, but even in Game 5 of the final that was a typical Gretzky clinic. Two goals in the first period. An assist in the second period. For all intents and purposes that game was over before it started and that was thanks to Gretzky. Remember, we look back on that game assuming that Edmonton was going to win anyway. Not true. They HAD to win Game 5 or else it was two games back in New York for 6 and 7.

You can point to Messier's goal that turned the series around and his all around play though. That shouldn't be overlooked either. As for 1987, he had "only" 34 points. Just 5 goals too. Not nitpicking, but we saw Gretzky do much better. Hextall certainly did great that year and even if the stats don't show it, he stood on his head while the Oilers just poured everything at him. Anderson wouldn't have been a terrible Smythe choice either. Scoring the insurance goal in Game 7 to seal the deal. That was huge. Again, it just may have been an opportunity for the media to spice things up and pick someone who wasn't Gretzky.

I will say this, in 2013 if Boston wins conventional wisdom suggests that Krejci gets the Smythe right? In my opinion had the Bruins won it would have gone to Bergeron. With the playoffs fresh in my mind I don't think anyone was more important to the all around success of that team than Bergeron. Clutch goals, strong defensive prescence, dominating the face off dot, etc. To me that more than made up for the offensive edge Krejci had. So in a way there is a little bit of Messier/Gretzky from 1984 to that if you wanted to understand it better.

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07-03-2013, 11:28 PM
  #31
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Just a little side note, 1993 is one of those years that makes you think as well. 40 points in the postseason, 7 in 5 games in the finals including a single handed mauling of the Habs in Game 1. The final 4 games just 3 points though, which hurt his chances of winning the Smythe in a losing cause. Roy deserved it, I am just saying that Gretzky was probably closer to winning it in 1993 than he gets credit for.

As for the Cup winning years for the Oilers, I have always said that in 1984 he was overlooked. This isn't to take anything away from Messier's performance by any means, but even in Game 5 of the final that was a typical Gretzky clinic. Two goals in the first period. An assist in the second period. For all intents and purposes that game was over before it started and that was thanks to Gretzky. Remember, we look back on that game assuming that Edmonton was going to win anyway. Not true. They HAD to win Game 5 or else it was two games back in New York for 6 and 7.

You can point to Messier's goal that turned the series around and his all around play though. That shouldn't be overlooked either. As for 1987, he had "only" 34 points. Just 5 goals too. Not nitpicking, but we saw Gretzky do much better. Hextall certainly did great that year and even if the stats don't show it, he stood on his head while the Oilers just poured everything at him. Anderson wouldn't have been a terrible Smythe choice either. Scoring the insurance goal in Game 7 to seal the deal. That was huge. Again, it just may have been an opportunity for the media to spice things up and pick someone who wasn't Gretzky.

I will say this, in 2013 if Boston wins conventional wisdom suggests that Krejci gets the Smythe right? In my opinion had the Bruins won it would have gone to Bergeron. With the playoffs fresh in my mind I don't think anyone was more important to the all around success of that team than Bergeron. Clutch goals, strong defensive prescence, dominating the face off dot, etc. To me that more than made up for the offensive edge Krejci had. So in a way there is a little bit of Messier/Gretzky from 1984 to that if you wanted to understand it better.
I personally preferred Bergeron too, beginning in game 7 of round 1. His points seemed to be of the more timely variety. It's not really an "offensive advantage" if the extra points are being piled up when they're not badly needed.

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07-04-2013, 01:22 AM
  #32
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It's not really an "offensive advantage" if the extra points are being piled up when they're not badly needed.
While that is true to a degree, we've seen teams mount some incredible comebacks, so I'd never say that extra points in a blowout are meaningless. The Oilers blew a 5-0 lead against the Kings to lose the series once. They nearly blew a 4-1 lead against the Islanders, until Messier scored a pretty demoralizing goal to secure the Oilers win. Anderson's "insurance" goal to secure their cup against the Flyers was mentioned too. And that's just the Oilers. I'm sure if you asked the Bruins how they would have felt this year about two or three "meaningless" goals in that final game to make it a 4 or 5 goal lead, they'd have taken them. And then Chicago wouldn't have had the opportunity to come back in the final 1:30 minutes of the game. We've all seen teams that had chances to put someone away and didn't, and then saw it come back to bite them. IMO there's no such thing as a meaningless goal, because unless you're up by 4 with 10 seconds left, anything can happen. Given how high scoring the game was then, and also given the Oilers tendency to forget about defense, I'd say it was even more important.

And not to beat a dead horse, but there's a psychological component too. If you beat a team 3-2 in OT, that tells them they could just as easily have won. They probably come into the next game feeling they should have had it even. But when you beat them 7-2, or 9-3, or something ugly, it's hard for them to feel they had a chance. And that carries over to the next game. And if they lose bad again, it could break their morale completely. I think we saw the 80's Oilers do that to the Jets a lot. There were games the Jets came out hard, and had some early chances, but then the Oilers weathered the storm, and started pouring in the goals. And suddenly that Jets team that looked so good early, looked like the same defeated team we'd seen get swept the year before. And probably the year before that. And maybe even the year before that. There's nothing wrong with scoring 5 points on an 8-2 blowout. If it stayed 3-2 all game, who knows what could happen in the last 5 minutes?

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07-04-2013, 01:25 AM
  #33
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I personally preferred Bergeron too, beginning in game 7 of round 1. His points seemed to be of the more timely variety. It's not really an "offensive advantage" if the extra points are being piled up when they're not badly needed.
In the play-offs, there's no such thing as goals that are "not badly needed."

And Bergeron doesn't get to be Mr. Clutch if Krejci isn't helping manufacture the goals that lead up to Patrice potting the winner, game tier, series clincher, etc.

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07-04-2013, 03:04 PM
  #34
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Ok guys, but what you're saying is that blowout goals are "sometimes" important. I agree they are. That doesn't change the fact that, on average, they tend to be less important.

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07-04-2013, 03:52 PM
  #35
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Show me another player who could tie (his own playoff record) with 7 points in one game, and be the only player in history to lead the playoffs in scoring with his assists alone, and still be chastised for not producing enough. Welcome to Wayne Gretzky's world -- a world where the bar is set so high that even doing two miraculous things -- forget about leading the playoffs in scoring (as that's just the norm) -- in one playoff year is still somehow not enough....

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07-04-2013, 04:03 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by tazzy19 View Post
Show me another player who could tie (his own playoff record) with 7 points in one game, and be the only player in history to lead the playoffs in scoring with his assists alone, and still be chastised for not producing enough. Welcome to Wayne Gretzky's world -- a world where the bar is set so high that even doing two miraculous things -- forget about leading the playoffs in scoring (as that's just the norm) -- in one playoff year is still somehow not enough....
Yeah... Not taking sides here, but Messier was kinda more complete then number 99.

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07-04-2013, 04:25 PM
  #37
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Yeah... Not taking sides here, but Messier was kinda more complete then number 99.
Yeah, so was Eric Lindros, Claude Lemieux, Trevor Linden......hundreds of players were actually far more complete than Gretzky ever was....like just about everyone on his entire team.

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07-04-2013, 06:13 PM
  #38
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Yeah, so was Eric Lindros, Claude Lemieux, Trevor Linden......hundreds of players were actually far more complete than Gretzky ever was....like just about everyone on his entire team.
I just feel that some things has been brought up in this thread here that may have made Messier a good candidate when voters were looking for someone else than Gretzky. His point scoring was not Gretzky-like in 84 and 87. In 87 he scored five goals, and in 84 Messier really did very good pointswise and perhaps his defensive prowess was really top-notch.

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07-04-2013, 08:23 PM
  #39
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Just a little side note, 1993 is one of those years that makes you think as well. 40 points in the postseason, 7 in 5 games in the finals including a single handed mauling of the Habs in Game 1. The final 4 games just 3 points though, which hurt his chances of winning the Smythe in a losing cause. Roy deserved it, I am just saying that Gretzky was probably closer to winning it in 1993 than he gets credit for.

As for the Cup winning years for the Oilers, I have always said that in 1984 he was overlooked. This isn't to take anything away from Messier's performance by any means, but even in Game 5 of the final that was a typical Gretzky clinic. Two goals in the first period. An assist in the second period. For all intents and purposes that game was over before it started and that was thanks to Gretzky. Remember, we look back on that game assuming that Edmonton was going to win anyway. Not true. They HAD to win Game 5 or else it was two games back in New York for 6 and 7.

You can point to Messier's goal that turned the series around and his all around play though. That shouldn't be overlooked either. As for 1987, he had "only" 34 points. Just 5 goals too. Not nitpicking, but we saw Gretzky do much better. Hextall certainly did great that year and even if the stats don't show it, he stood on his head while the Oilers just poured everything at him. Anderson wouldn't have been a terrible Smythe choice either. Scoring the insurance goal in Game 7 to seal the deal. That was huge. Again, it just may have been an opportunity for the media to spice things up and pick someone who wasn't Gretzky.

I will say this, in 2013 if Boston wins conventional wisdom suggests that Krejci gets the Smythe right? In my opinion had the Bruins won it would have gone to Bergeron. With the playoffs fresh in my mind I don't think anyone was more important to the all around success of that team than Bergeron. Clutch goals, strong defensive prescence, dominating the face off dot, etc. To me that more than made up for the offensive edge Krejci had. So in a way there is a little bit of Messier/Gretzky from 1984 to that if you wanted to understand it better.
Another vote for Bergeron ahead of Krejci here.

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07-04-2013, 08:59 PM
  #40
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I just feel that some things has been brought up in this thread here that may have made Messier a good candidate when voters were looking for someone else than Gretzky. His point scoring was not Gretzky-like in 84 and 87. In 87 he scored five goals, and in 84 Messier really did very good pointswise and perhaps his defensive prowess was really top-notch.
Yeah, I guess so. I mean, Gretzky winning the series in 1984 in clutch fashion in game 5 with 2 goals and two assists before the game even started to clinch the Stanley Cup, and then winning the scoring title in 87 with his assists alone -- something no other player in the history of the game has ever done in the Stanley Cup playoffs -- is probably enough to convince most rational thinking people....but I understand what you're saying.

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07-05-2013, 08:43 AM
  #41
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I just feel that some things has been

brought up in this thread here that may have made Messier a good candidate when voters were looking for someone else than Gretzky. His point scoring was not Gretzky-like in 84 and 87. In 87 he scored five goals, and in 84 Messier really did very good pointswise and perhaps his defensive prowess was really top-notch.
I think that's being missed a little by the, 'well, they just wanted to give it to someone other than Gretzky' crowd.

In 1984, Gretzky had 35 points in 19 games. Messier had 26 in the same number of games.

That works out to roughly an extra point from Gretzky every two games. But in exchange, Messier was giving you tougher minutes, clutch scoring, a far superior defensive presence, and a bruising physical game.

The point at which those 'intangibles' start to outweigh the extra scoring is subjective, but its certainly not unreasonable to say that Messier had surpassed it in 1984.

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07-05-2013, 09:18 AM
  #42
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I think that's being missed a little by the, 'well, they just wanted to give it to someone other than Gretzky' crowd.

In 1984, Gretzky had 35 points in 19 games. Messier had 26 in the same number of games.

That works out to roughly an extra point from Gretzky every two games. But in exchange, Messier was giving you tougher minutes, clutch scoring, a far superior defensive presence, and a bruising physical game.

The point at which those 'intangibles' start to outweigh the extra scoring is subjective, but its certainly not unreasonable to say that Messier had surpassed it in 1984.
Creating an extra goal for his team every 2nd game in the Stanley Cup playoffs is HUGE. That outweighs any intangibles IMO.

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07-05-2013, 03:35 PM
  #43
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Creating an extra goal for his team every 2nd game in the Stanley Cup playoffs is HUGE. That outweighs any intangibles IMO.
Look at how easily the Islanders were able to control Gretzky in 1983 when Messier was playing with a separated shoulder and tell me you can't tell the difference in 1984 when Messier's "intangibles" were helping to run Potvin and Trottier into the ground and away from Gretzky. Gretzky had more room to score goals because Messier was checking Trottier instead of Trottier checking Gretzky the entire series. It's the major reason why Messier's offense slowed in the Finals, but it didn't make him less valuable than Gretzky; his role was different, but arguably more important.

And it's not an extra goal every 2nd game like clockwork; look at the quotes from Lowe and the scoring statistics depending on game situations in 1984. It's more like an extra one-two goals from Gretzky in every blowout when Messier stops looking to pile it on offensively and starts looking to pile it on physically. But when the Oilers were down, who scored more than anyone? Mark Messier.

Your argument here is basically to decide the Conn Smythe by looking at a scoring spreadsheet from thirty years ago without applying any context to the goals scored. Not every goal in a 13-3 game is going to be important.

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07-05-2013, 04:04 PM
  #44
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Look at how easily the Islanders were able to control Gretzky in 1983 when Messier was playing with a separated shoulder and tell me you can't tell the difference in 1984 when Messier's "intangibles" were helping to run Potvin and Trottier into the ground and away from Gretzky. Gretzky had more room to score goals because Messier was checking Trottier instead of Trottier checking Gretzky the entire series. It's the major reason why Messier's offense slowed in the Finals, but it didn't make him less valuable than Gretzky; his role was different, but arguably more important.

And it's not an extra goal every 2nd game like clockwork; look at the quotes from Lowe and the scoring statistics depending on game situations in 1984. It's more like an extra one-two goals from Gretzky in every blowout when Messier stops looking to pile it on offensively and starts looking to pile it on physically. But when the Oilers were down, who scored more than anyone? Mark Messier.

Your argument here is basically to decide the Conn Smythe by looking at a scoring spreadsheet from thirty years ago without applying any context to the goals scored. Not every goal in a 13-3 game is going to be important.
I never said he was scoring an extra goal every 2nd game like clockwork. I was replying to the above poster who said all an extra 8 points amounts to is an extra point every 2nd game. I really don't believe Gretzky got those extra 8 points all in a 13-3 blowout either, however. And I do believe an extra 8 points in the playoffs is huge. But what really sways it for me is Gretzky's timely goals in the finals -- he scored two very important breakaway goals in games 4 and 5 as I remember. That's what really put the Islanders away.


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07-06-2013, 09:46 AM
  #45
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Anderson helped, but Messier was the reason the Oilers beat the Wings; Yzerman contained Gretzky, but Messier did an equal job on Oates. Each scored six points while their counterpart only scored one. Edmonton's superior offensive depth and goaltending made the difference.
shawn burr did most of the checking against gretzky as i remember. he was a center then. he also got some time against messier but was run over. then again, so was yzerman
he did so well as a rookie center checking gretz that year that he got noticed as a good defensive checker the next year

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07-06-2013, 12:08 PM
  #46
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I never said he was scoring an extra goal every 2nd game like clockwork. I was replying to the above poster who said all an extra 8 points amounts to is an extra point every 2nd game. I really don't believe Gretzky got those extra 8 points all in a 13-3 blowout either, however. And I do believe an extra 8 points in the playoffs is huge. But what really sways it for me is Gretzky's timely goals in the finals -- he scored two very important breakaway goals in games 4 and 5 as I remember. That's what really put the Islanders away.
not 8 but 7 of those points came in 2 blow outs, a 9-2 bombing of the Jets and a 7-1 drubbing of the Stars.
But to be fair, he had the eventual game winner in the Stars game.

Either way, Mess won the Conn because he completely dominated both ends of the ice in the Finals and, prolly most importantly, for the first time ever, made Potvin look human.
In the Finals the year before, Oiler forwards were scared ****less to go near Potvin or the front of the net when he was on. Messier went right at him and led the way for the rest to follow and follow they did.


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07-06-2013, 01:19 PM
  #47
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Look at how easily the Islanders were able to control Gretzky in 1983 when Messier was playing with a separated shoulder and tell me you can't tell the difference in 1984 when Messier's "intangibles" were helping to run Potvin and Trottier into the ground and away from Gretzky. Gretzky had more room to score goals because Messier was checking Trottier instead of Trottier checking Gretzky the entire series. It's the major reason why Messier's offense slowed in the Finals, but it didn't make him less valuable than Gretzky; his role was different, but arguably more important.

And it's not an extra goal every 2nd game like clockwork; look at the quotes from Lowe and the scoring statistics depending on game situations in 1984. It's more like an extra one-two goals from Gretzky in every blowout when Messier stops looking to pile it on offensively and starts looking to pile it on physically. But when the Oilers were down, who scored more than anyone? Mark Messier.

Your argument here is basically to decide the Conn Smythe by looking at a scoring spreadsheet from thirty years ago without applying any context to the goals scored. Not every goal in a 13-3 game is going to be important.
I suppose this isn't as bad as eva saying Yzerman was shadowing Gretzky in 1987, while that useless Oates was letting Messier light it up.

Game 1 1983 Finals

He may have had 0 points that game, but Gretzky wasn't easily controlled and Trottier wasn't shadowing him. Billy Smith did a lot more than you would have expected him to from your description, and that announcer at 1:08:25 seems awfully impressed by the way he's playing for a guy whose being so easily controlled.

Furthermore in 1984, there's not much Trottier could have done if he was on the ice, as Gretzky's goals were on a breakaway, a 1 on 2 fast break after stealing a puck from a defenceman, another breakaway, and coming in as a trailer after a Trottier turnover (which obviously he was on the ice for, and didn't do much to help...)

As for timing, Gretzky had 6 points in the 84 Finals. The first put Edmonton up 3-2, the second put them up 1-0, the third was the 7th in a 7-2 blowout, and the last three were the first three goals in a 5-2 win. The last three were huge for reasons noted by Big Phil, but also give Gretzky 3 points in a game where the other Oilers weren't scoring at will. All 4 of Messier's points came in the 7-2 blowouts where every Oilers line was putting the puck past Smith. If you want to look up the boxscores from 1984 playoffs to see how valuable each of Gretzky's points were based on game situation, I think you'd find the opposite of what you're suggesting is true about Gretzky's extra points coming from blowouts.

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07-06-2013, 01:20 PM
  #48
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Oh good lord. What is it with you making things up as you go along?
Yzerman and Gretzky were not matched against each other regularly in that series, nor was Oates commonly out against Messier's line as you implied later. The only game I remember them on the ice against each other regularly was game 4. Ill upload games 2, 4 and 5 later if I find time. For the record, Stefan was playing great in net considering his team was getting outplayed. Goaltending was not really an issue that decided this series.

but yes, Messier was excellent in this series.


Gretzky's "mild" concussion was a result of Hawerchuk closelining him, knocking his helmet off before smashing the side of his head into the ice. He had a bump the size of a golfball on his head and had to be helped off the ice. He was definitely not in good shape for a few weeks following that head smashing
You don't mind if I use this next time someone claims that "no one was allowed to hit Gretzky"?

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Old
07-06-2013, 02:48 PM
  #49
quoipourquoi
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Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
I suppose this isn't as bad as eva saying Yzerman was shadowing Gretzky in 1987, while that useless Oates was letting Messier light it up.

Game 1 1983 Finals

He may have had 0 points that game, but Gretzky wasn't easily controlled and Trottier wasn't shadowing him. Billy Smith did a lot more than you would have expected him to from your description, and that announcer at 1:08:25 seems awfully impressed by the way he's playing for a guy whose being so easily controlled.
Never said he had a permanent shadow, and never said he didn't play well in Game 1. I said that the Islanders weren't able to be as physical with him in 1984 as they were in 1983 because the Islanders themselves were being worn down physically in a way they hadn't been in 1983. Sather directly addressed this in 1984 after they split the first two games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sports Illustrated, 1983
The tactic was hockey's version of the rope-a-dope—an experienced, patient team hanging on in the face of a furious assault. The Islanders allowed Edmonton to take long shots from poor angles, but cleared the rebounds and kept the front of the net open so Smith could see. Defenseman Denis Potvin was particularly adept at both tasks. No one was assigned to shadow Gretzky. Instead, the nearest Islander checked him as soon as the Great One touched the puck. New York checked. And checked. And checked.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Gregg, 1983
They're playing Wayne very well. They're taking his body every time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pittsburgh Press, 1984
None of which has escaped Gretzky, who does not have a goal in his last nine playoff games against the Islanders.

"If we lose and I don't score, I'm the goat. But if we win four games, 1-0, and I don't score, I'll be as happy as anybody else."

But it is difficult to be happy, let alone productive, when you're sharing a sweater with such persistent checkers as Bryan Trottier, Brent Sutter and Butch Goring. Their play limited Gretzky to four shots in the first two games.

"Trottier wasn't off the ice for the first six minutes of the second game," Oilers Coach Glen Sather said after practice at Northlands Coliseum yesterday. "We have to find a way to wear him down."
Enter Mark Messier. Now a center, and with a healthy shoulder.

And if you think I'm underrating Billy Smith, you can see where I rated him in the goalie project.


Quote:
Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
As for timing, Gretzky had 6 points in the 84 Finals. The first put Edmonton up 3-2, the second put them up 1-0, the third was the 7th in a 7-2 blowout, and the last three were the first three goals in a 5-2 win. The last three were huge for reasons noted by Big Phil, but also give Gretzky 3 points in a game where the other Oilers weren't scoring at will. All 4 of Messier's points came in the 7-2 blowouts where every Oilers line was putting the puck past Smith. If you want to look up the boxscores from 1984 playoffs to see how valuable each of Gretzky's points were based on game situation, I think you'd find the opposite of what you're suggesting is true about Gretzky's extra points coming from blowouts.
I did do a breakdown: Five of Gretzky's points came with the Oilers up by 3+ compared to just one of Messier's. Three of Gretzky's points were into an empty net compared to just one of Messier's. Twelve of Messier's points came with the Oilers trailing in the game compared to eight of Gretzky's.

And those 7-2 blowouts? They were 2-1 games when Messier got his points.

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07-06-2013, 04:10 PM
  #50
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Originally Posted by reckoning View Post
In 1987, Gretzky suffered a mild concussion in the last game of the Winnipeg series. Didn't miss any games, but any lingering effects from it may explain why he wasn't as dominant in the Detroit or Philadelphia series as he usually was throughout his career.
Gretzky had multipoint games in each of the first 4 games against the Flyers with 9 total points in those so he was clearly finding a way to produce against the Flyers with the concussion scoring at least as much in each of those games as he did in the entire series against the Wings

It seems pretty clear from what the media and Gretzky was saying about Detroit's play style in the conference finals, the clutching and grabbing D focused on him by Detroit seems to be the main reason why he wasnt scoring. The other thing seems to be that there were chances that just werent finished on which happens.

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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Thank you. That saves me from having to upload the whole games and watch them for refresher (Which takes hours hehe)

Throughout the highlights, I see #11 Shawn Burr being lined up against Gretzky at every opportunity, with the occasional Gretzky vs Yzerman. But *Gasp, Yzerman/Probert out there against Messier/Anderson/Nilsson much more than he is against Gretzky. See a lot of MacTavish when Yzerman is on the ice as well. The commentators never really talk about forwards defending forwards, but do mention a few times how Demers send out Delorme and Norwood when they see #99

Seems my memory was serving me well.
i went ahead and watched all 4 highlight vids and took notes on the lineups on each shift shown. It doesnt seem to be as you say at all. Despite the fact that these are highlights and so Gretzky's line would certainly be featured less than Messier's line proportional to the entire games since the latter was so much more productive it doesnt seem that Yzerman was matched with Messier much more than Gretzky at all.

Game 2:
First minute and half was two fights couldnt really see who was on ice for first fight but second one had Burr's line on and no Gretzky (looked like Messier skated in later) as it said "along over the boards comes 99" after fights
Around 1:55 they have Burr taking draw from Messier while Gretzky is on the ice and then making a change while the Messier skates up and scores. It was Yzerman who changed for Burr while Gretzky was on the ice...
The next shift shows Yzerman's line against the Oilers checking line. The commentators actually say that Demers had chances to take Yzerman's line off against Krushelnyski but kept him on so...
Next shift is Gretzky on the PK against the Wings top PP which is the same thing as their top line and they score a SH goal.
Next is Kocur/McSorley fight and cant see who is on ice.
Next is Probert's PP goal with Detroit top PP against Messier/Kurri PK.
Next shift shown at 6:50 is Yzerman's line against Gretzky's where Delorme goes into Edmonton bench.
Next shift shown at 8:00 is Yzerman's line against Messier's where Messier scores with 1:30 left.
Right after that shift Yzerman stays out against Edmonton's checking line.
After that shows Yzerman's line still out there against the Edmonton checking line scoring an EN goal.
Last seconds of game show Yzerman's line out there against the 4th line for Edmonton?

Game 3:
First shift shown is Oates line against what seems like a mishmash of Oilers Krushelnyski/McSorley/Tikkanen.
Next is McTavish's goal against what looks like Burr's line.
Next is Yzerman's line and i cant tell who the forwards are for the Oilers.
Next is Gretzky's line against Burr's line.
Next shows where Messier and Gretzky on the ice are talking to the ref and you can see Yzerman on the ice as well.
Next is Yzerman's line against Gretzky's line on the Wings no goal play.
Next is Probert's goal. The Yzerman line is out there against the Gretzky line.
Next is Yzerman's line making a play and i see Anderson on with the backcheck.
Then the announcers say "you know what theyve done to this man" referring to Gretzky.
Next is Oates line against Gretzky's line without Gretzky as McTavish is centering.
Next is a scrum with Burr's line out against Gretzky.
Next is the McSorley goal. Burr line on for Detroit and 4th line on for Oilers.

Game 4:
Cant see much of who is on during first shown shifts with elbows, looks like Kocur hit Messier before he hit Fuhr going to bench?
The first goal starting around 1:50 shows Messier's wingers without Messier against Yzerman and Gallant but not Probert. Detroit had just made a line change.
Next Burr scores and it looks like Messier and Anderson are on.
Next Gallant scores though Yzerman isnt on but Oates/Ashton. McTavish is the only forward i can tell for Oilers.
Next is the Messier line scoring against Burr's line.
Next is Gretzky on but not with Kurri/Tikkanen but with Krushelnyski scoring against Burr's line. The announcers say this is an example of Gretzky being doubleshifted.
Immediately after at 5:30 is Yzerman facing off against Messier.
Then the announcers talk about how Gretzky only had 1 assist (2 counting the game) so far and how it is difficult to play against Detroit's teamstyle, referring to congestion here.
Next is Oates and Klima against the Oilers checking line.
Next is the announcers talking about Gretzky's nose on the bench while the Wing's top line faces off against some line without Gretzky obv.
Next is the announcers saying Tikkanen not on bench and Krushelnyski played on Gretzky's LW last shift.
The last 20 seconds is Yzerman facing off against Messier. Gretzky was shown on the bench. Lines seem different Hunter is on for Oilers while Klima is on for Red Wings.
Gretzky's interview has him saying that the Wings playing defensive clutch and grab style game. He was surprised in his own team's D. He says that he felt he was playing well enough though not scoring and cant be too critical of himself.

Game 5:
First shift shown is Wings top line scoring on PP against Hunter/McTavish.
Next is Coffey scoring. Yzerman is on the ice as against Anderson/Kurri. Third F on the left is hard to tell. Doesnt look like Gretzky/Messier. Nilsson?
Next Ashton scores as Oates line out against Gretzky line.
Next shows Gallant's shot on Fuhr. Krushelnyski is only Oiler F i can see. Yzerman was on ice.
Next is the announcers taking about Sather switching Gretzky as needed before he faces off against Yzerman and his line. Gretzky is playing with Krushelnyski.
After talking about hockey sticks they show Gretzky on the bench and Yzerman on ice for a faceoff.
Next is Burr who might have changed and Ashton/Higgins out there against McTavish's line.
Next is Yzerman's goal. Doesnt look like he is on his regular line skating with Ashton/Klima. Gretzky is on the ice with Krushelnyski.
Next is the MacTavish line scoring while Yzerman/Klima/Higgins? are on.
Next is the Gallant shot that hurts Fuhr. You hear Kurri by the announcers and it looks like Anderson is the guy who takes a swing at Yzerman when he starts out from his own zone. Cant tell if thats Gretzky getting tackled in front?
Next is Messier's goal where it is Messier's line out against Yzerman's line.
Next is Messier's goal where it is Messier's line out against Burr's line.
Next is Smith's EN goal. Yzerman/Messier lines on the ice.
Next is Nilsson's EN goal. Messier's line is out. I see Klima/Gallant cant tell the other Detroit Fs.

The 87 Red Wings played a tight defensive style that continued in the playoffs and kept all 4 losses against the Oilers close, late/EN goals make the scores in game 2 and 5 look much more lopsided. And Yzerman was certainly a big part of that team style and this is documented.

He did it despite a Red Wings' commitment to a strict defensive style that limits scoring opportunities.

"We're going to play the same style, try to check and check and wait for our breaks," said Detroit captain Steve Yzerman, the man credited with doing most of the work to keep Edmonton's Wayne Gretzky away from the goal on Tuesday.

Steve Yzerman was paired up against the Oilers' Wayne Gretzky.

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