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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
08-12-2013, 06:27 PM
  #201
Dark Shadows
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Something Stevens wasn't used to.
Now now
You are talking about his open ice hits

Along the boards, very few people could do to Stevens what Messier did there. Lindros was definitely one of them though.

Lindros' entire game was patterned after Messier. The major difference was Messier's body was flexible steel. Lindros' was hardened steel, that would break before it bent

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08-12-2013, 06:38 PM
  #202
Dennis Bonvie
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Now now
You are talking about his open ice hits

Along the boards, very few people could do to Stevens what Messier did there. Lindros was definitely one of them though.

Lindros' entire game was patterned after Messier. The major difference was Messier's body was flexible steel. Lindros' was hardened steel, that would break before it bent
Agreed.

Just trying to uphold my rep as the History section's Dale Hunter.

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08-12-2013, 07:29 PM
  #203
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Along the boards, very few people could do to Stevens what Messier did there. Lindros was definitely one of them though.
Add Sakic to the list, even if I doubt he could ever replicate it. The damndest thing I've ever seen.

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08-12-2013, 07:30 PM
  #204
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Stevens was fully braced delivering his own hit thinking usually that he could overpower most players and knock them off their feet with his hit. of course, a head on with Messier was almost always a loss for any player.
Not what I saw there at all.

Stevens was moving the puck on his backhand and then trying to brace himself for Messier oncoming.. but whatever.. any time Stevens got hit good is good in my books.

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08-13-2013, 02:21 PM
  #205
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Originally Posted by DisgruntledGoat View Post
Best season between the two? Messier.

Best playoff run between the two? Messier.

Best three-year run between the two? Messier.

Best five-year run between the two? Messier.

Best ten-year run between the two? Not even close.

Heck, best game between the two? Messier. (Did Lindros ever have a game like Game 4 in 1990 against Chicago? Or Game 6 in 1994 against New Jersey? Did he ever even come close?)

So I'm not quite clear on when this 'prime' was where Lindros was so much more dominant than Messier.

I agree with your point about flash and dash, but I think people are maybe forgetting just how physically overwhelming a prime Mark Messier was. Lindros had size and a freight-train mentality that Messier didn't, but 11's speed, balance, elbows, stick, craftiness and mean streak were no less effective.

To put it another way. Does anyone remember Igor Ulanov once saying that he liked playing against Lindros because, 'it was easier to hunt moose than bird'? Or Kasparitius saying he liked the challenge of matching up against Lindros? Did anyone ever say they liked playing against Messier?

I'd still give the edge in the physicality department to Lindros, but its not a huge edge. And then when you consider Messier's superior defensive play, clutch ability, leadership, consistency. . . virtually every other aspect of the game? It gets harder and harder to see a rational argument where Lindros wins this.
Ask Joel Otto and I'll bet he'd rather face Lindros over Messier. Lindros was more accident prone, more prone to screwing up. Messier was smarter and knew how to pick his spots better.



There is an example of things you liked more about Messier. Watch starting at the 47:00 mark. Yeah, Canada loses this game but Lindros is about to take the draw against Otto. He is about to get tossed out and Messier taps him, takes a look back at Coffey and wins the draw as clean as he possibly could. There was this confidence that Messier had that Lindros never seemed to get. You hoped he would eventually but he didn't. Messier just had that confidence in himself. Lindros knows this as well and he doesn't argue with Mess when he kicks him out of the faceoff dot.

Now, Otto may not have been licking his chops when he saw that it was Lindros he was going up against, but I'll bet when Messier stepped in he thought "Oh crap, here we go again."

So when you look at the whole picture we don't see anything that Lindros could do that Messier couldn't do just as well, except he was bigger and could hit a bit harder. Who do you want taking an important draw in a tight game? Messier or Lindros? It better be answered by now.

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08-13-2013, 05:52 PM
  #206
Dennis Bonvie
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Ask Joel Otto and I'll bet he'd rather face Lindros over Messier. Lindros was more accident prone, more prone to screwing up. Messier was smarter and knew how to pick his spots better.



There is an example of things you liked more about Messier. Watch starting at the 47:00 mark. Yeah, Canada loses this game but Lindros is about to take the draw against Otto. He is about to get tossed out and Messier taps him, takes a look back at Coffey and wins the draw as clean as he possibly could. There was this confidence that Messier had that Lindros never seemed to get. You hoped he would eventually but he didn't. Messier just had that confidence in himself. Lindros knows this as well and he doesn't argue with Mess when he kicks him out of the faceoff dot.

Now, Otto may not have been licking his chops when he saw that it was Lindros he was going up against, but I'll bet when Messier stepped in he thought "Oh crap, here we go again."

So when you look at the whole picture we don't see anything that Lindros could do that Messier couldn't do just as well, except he was bigger and could hit a bit harder. Who do you want taking an important draw in a tight game? Messier or Lindros? It better be answered by now.
Couldn't it have just been a matter of Messier having a ton more experience against Otto than Lindros had?

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08-13-2013, 06:19 PM
  #207
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Couldn't it have just been a matter of Messier having a ton more experience against Otto than Lindros had?
My point was it is another example where you want Messier in that situation over Lindros. There are tons of these situations and a scarce amount where you would pick Lindros. I just believe the flash and dash of Lindros elevated his votes compared to the effectiveness of Messier. If I want to win, I pick Messier 8 days a week.

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08-13-2013, 06:26 PM
  #208
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
If I want to win, I pick Messier 8 days a week.
I've always said if I wanted to win I find some way some how to squeeze Messier onto my roster. Can't say I ever felt the same way about Lindros.

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08-15-2013, 01:42 PM
  #209
vadim sharifijanov
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i can't see any rational or provable criteria by which we can determine that prime lindros was more dominant than prime messier. i think there's one thing to pull out of this thread that goes beyond "lindros is overrated" or "messier is overrated" or "young people are young" or "old people are nostalgic": the very fact that so many people (here, a majority) would hold fast to the idea that prime lindros was more dominant than prime messier illustrates why lindros should be in the HHOF: he was singularly memorable in a way that transcends what he actually did in his career. which is to say, even with all of the negativity that accompanied his entire career, lindros falls into the category of neely, bure, and forsberg in the sense that all of those guys captured fans' imagination in a very special way. (i would add theo fleury.)

in the way that no reasonable observer would say peak neely was the equal (or even superior) of bourque in the same years but there were many boston fans between '90 and '91 that would make that argument, in the way that the numbers and most of the metrics point to sakic > forsberg but many of us (including myself at times) would argue the opposite, in the same way that i've heard many people talk about '93 gilmour as better than yzerman ever was, in the way that some of us romanticize bure to ridiculous levels and would hand him the '00 hart trophy even though it makes little sense (myself included), lindros' dominance and the way he played the game made it CONCEIVABLE that he was better than prime messier. it's not true, just like neely > bourque or '93 gilmour > peak yzerman, or bure = '00 hart aren't true, but the fact that many people imagine it does mean something.

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08-15-2013, 01:49 PM
  #210
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
i can't see any rational or provable criteria by which we can determine that prime lindros was more dominant than prime messier. i think there's one thing to pull out of this thread that goes beyond "lindros is overrated" or "messier is overrated" or "young people are young" or "old people are nostalgic": the very fact that so many people (here, a majority) would hold fast to the idea that prime lindros was more dominant than prime messier illustrates why lindros should be in the HHOF: he was singularly memorable in a way that transcends what he actually did in his career. which is to say, even with all of the negativity that accompanied his entire career, lindros falls into the category of neely, bure, and forsberg in the sense that all of those guys captured fans' imagination in a very special way. (i would add theo fleury.)

in the way that no reasonable observer would say peak neely was the equal (or even superior) of bourque in the same years but there were many boston fans between '90 and '91 that would make that argument, in the way that the numbers and most of the metrics point to sakic > forsberg but many of us (including myself at times) would argue the opposite, in the same way that i've heard many people talk about '93 gilmour as better than yzerman ever was, in the way that some of us romanticize bure to ridiculous levels and would hand him the '00 hart trophy even though it makes little sense (myself included), lindros' dominance and the way he played the game made it CONCEIVABLE that he was better than prime messier. it's not true, just like neely > bourque or '93 gilmour > peak yzerman, or bure = '00 hart aren't true, but the fact that many people imagine it does mean something.
Sure, he can be in the HHOF, even people like myself who picked Messier over Lindros on this poll can say that.

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Originally Posted by SaintPatrick33 View Post
I've always said if I wanted to win I find some way some how to squeeze Messier onto my roster. Can't say I ever felt the same way about Lindros.
I agree, if you are doing an all-time great team somehow you fit Messier in there and leave Lindros out.

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08-16-2013, 12:05 AM
  #211
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Even though I have an admiration for Messier, I have to give a slight nod to Eric Lindros, just for the sheer physical dominance that he displayed in his prime. He could certainly impose his will on the game either with the big hit or undressing the opposition with highlight-reel goals. And when he was placed with LeClair & Renberg on the Legion of Doom line, Lindros' physical prowess was magnified by the chemistry built by the trio.

This piques my curiosity, though. In a head-to-head match-up between the two, who was more dominant? There's only a small sample size where Lindros & the Flyers and Messier & the Rangers encountered each other during the playoffs: 1995 & 1997. Flyers dethroned the defending Stanley Cup champion Rangers in a four game sweep of the semis while the Blueshirts were ousted in five in the Eastern Conference Finals two years later.

I think Lindros' prime intersects with Messier's prime during this time period. Messier's prime was prolonged due to his superior on-ice awareness and his ability to pick his battles wisely. In 1995-96 Mess had that 47g 52a 99pt season and followed it up with 36g 48a 84pt the next year. Lindros had a Hart-winning 70pt lockout season, then exploded for 47g 68a, 115pts in 1995-96 followed by 32g 47a 79pts in only 52 games in 1996-97!!!

What really stood out was Lindros' performance in the 1997 Eastern Conference Finals. He had the hat trick in Game 3, hooking Messier to get to the puck and shoot it into the empty net, and then scoring on a hard backhander with 7 seconds remaining for a GWG in Game 4.


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08-17-2013, 12:02 AM
  #212
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Originally Posted by Blue Seat Spartan View Post
Even though I have an admiration for Messier, I have to give a slight nod to Eric Lindros, just for the sheer physical dominance that he displayed in his prime. He could certainly impose his will on the game either with the big hit or undressing the opposition with highlight-reel goals. And when he was placed with LeClair & Renberg on the Legion of Doom line, Lindros' physical prowess was magnified by the chemistry built by the trio.

This piques my curiosity, though. In a head-to-head match-up between the two, who was more dominant? There's only a small sample size where Lindros & the Flyers and Messier & the Rangers encountered each other during the playoffs: 1995 & 1997. Flyers dethroned the defending Stanley Cup champion Rangers in a four game sweep of the semis while the Blueshirts were ousted in five in the Eastern Conference Finals two years later.

I think Lindros' prime intersects with Messier's prime during this time period. Messier's prime was prolonged due to his superior on-ice awareness and his ability to pick his battles wisely. In 1995-96 Mess had that 47g 52a 99pt season and followed it up with 36g 48a 84pt the next year. Lindros had a Hart-winning 70pt lockout season, then exploded for 47g 68a, 115pts in 1995-96 followed by 32g 47a 79pts in only 52 games in 1996-97!!!

What really stood out was Lindros' performance in the 1997 Eastern Conference Finals. He had the hat trick in Game 3, hooking Messier to get to the puck and shoot it into the empty net, and then scoring on a hard backhander with 7 seconds remaining for a GWG in Game 4.

To be fair, a 1995 or 1997 Messier is not a 1990 Messier or earlier. By the mid 1990s Messier had played a LOT of hockey and that shouldn't be thought of as his prime. What we have to look at is how each player carried their team in their prime. Lindros looked like he was going to do it in 1997 before laying an egg in the finals. Messier as we know took the 1990 team on his back and while he had help from Leetch, the 1994 team.

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08-17-2013, 01:36 AM
  #213
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Originally Posted by Blue Seat Spartan View Post
Even though I have an admiration for Messier, I have to give a slight nod to Eric Lindros, just for the sheer physical dominance that he displayed in his prime. He could certainly impose his will on the game either with the big hit or undressing the opposition with highlight-reel goals. And when he was placed with LeClair & Renberg on the Legion of Doom line, Lindros' physical prowess was magnified by the chemistry built by the trio.

This piques my curiosity, though. In a head-to-head match-up between the two, who was more dominant? There's only a small sample size where Lindros & the Flyers and Messier & the Rangers encountered each other during the playoffs: 1995 & 1997. Flyers dethroned the defending Stanley Cup champion Rangers in a four game sweep of the semis while the Blueshirts were ousted in five in the Eastern Conference Finals two years later.

I think Lindros' prime intersects with Messier's prime during this time period. Messier's prime was prolonged due to his superior on-ice awareness and his ability to pick his battles wisely. In 1995-96 Mess had that 47g 52a 99pt season and followed it up with 36g 48a 84pt the next year. Lindros had a Hart-winning 70pt lockout season, then exploded for 47g 68a, 115pts in 1995-96 followed by 32g 47a 79pts in only 52 games in 1996-97!!!

What really stood out was Lindros' performance in the 1997 Eastern Conference Finals. He had the hat trick in Game 3, hooking Messier to get to the puck and shoot it into the empty net, and then scoring on a hard backhander with 7 seconds remaining for a GWG in Game 4.

Most people don't consider 95-97 to be Messier's prime. He'd been in the league a long time by then.

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08-26-2013, 01:19 PM
  #214
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Lindros !

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08-27-2013, 07:10 PM
  #215
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
My point was it is another example where you want Messier in that situation over Lindros. There are tons of these situations and a scarce amount where you would pick Lindros. I just believe the flash and dash of Lindros elevated his votes compared to the effectiveness of Messier. If I want to win, I pick Messier 8 days a week.
This is it in a nutshell.

We were always waiting for Lindros' mental game to catch up to his physical game. Waiting for him to get that focus, will, and winning mentality to go with his awe-inspiring physical gifts. In short, we were waiting for him to become MORE like Messier. And then Stevens scrambled his brains and we all realized it was never going to happen.

I know this thread is about 'prime' but consider this: Lindros was 28 years-old when he barely made the Canadian Olympic team, and scored only one goal in the tournament while playing on the fourth line. Messier still had two 30+ point playoff runs awaiting him at that same age.

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08-27-2013, 09:55 PM
  #216
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This is it in a nutshell.

We were always waiting for Lindros' mental game to catch up to his physical game. Waiting for him to get that focus, will, and winning mentality to go with his awe-inspiring physical gifts. In short, we were waiting for him to become MORE like Messier. And then Stevens scrambled his brains and we all realized it was never going to happen.

I know this thread is about 'prime' but consider this: Lindros was 28 years-old when he barely made the Canadian Olympic team, and scored only one goal in the tournament while playing on the fourth line. Messier still had two 30+ point playoff runs awaiting him at that same age.
That's right. I know I've said it many times, but how many times have we said that Lindros could have, should have, etc. had a career like Messier's but didn't? The standard for Lindros throughout his whole career wasn't Gretzky or Lemieux but Messier since his game was patterned more after his than anyone else's but he was blessed with more size.

Even before Stevens hit him in 2000, it was clear Lindros was not the best player in the NHL anymore. Stevens hitting him just put him a whole other notch below and it was clear what I had suspected even then, that he wasn't the same anymore. Lindros played his last elite hockey at 27. And even during that time he was injured half the time.

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10-07-2013, 07:59 PM
  #217
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just saw a thread on the main board: alex ovechkin surpassed lindros in career goals last week. really kind of puts the lindros era in perspective, doesn't it?

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10-07-2013, 08:20 PM
  #218
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The issue of whether the Oilers team was Mes's or Gretz's was an OPEN question until Gretzky was traded: then everyone mourned the loss of Gretzky and the question was dropped, though Messier continued to captain a cup in Edmonton and lead one of the best teams in the league for several more years before his flight to NY.



Having watched both Lindros and Messier throughout their careers I can say without a shadow of doubt that this would be a laughable comparison if Gretzky hadn't been in the league (Messier was 2nd all-time in NHL scoring, would've been first; plus dominated games in the eighties most times when Gretzky wasn't on the ice: hence the dynasty, for the most part - really, Coffey and Kurri are distant third consideration).

Messier in his prime would have bulled over Lindros. Messier and Trottier were stronger than Lindros, and I swear I haven't heard anyone who was born before 1970 say otherwise! (Though some folks older than me say Howe was better or equal to Messier and Trottier, Harry Sinden being one of them who said so.)
The Oilers caught lightning in a bottle in 1990 and won the cup, but they were not one of the best teams in the league at any point after Gretzky left. They played great in the playoffs of 1990 but that was Bill Ranford not Messier.

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10-07-2013, 08:38 PM
  #219
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Messier played mean, scored goals, was a phenomenal playmaker and could keep his head up. Messier was 34/35 when Lindros was in his prime and was still one of the premier players in the NHL.

Messier in his prime won a Hart and Pearson over Mario Lemeiux, Ray Bourque, and Wayne Gretzky.

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10-07-2013, 11:30 PM
  #220
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Lindros lacked Messier's cruelty. If Messier had a two year old with him in a restaurant, and only had enough money for one meal, the two year old would go hungry. That's how Messier played hockey. Messier's willingness to play dirty served the same purpose as with Gordie Howe... it created space for himself to execute... and it's no coincidence Messier and Howe were both blessed with long careers and high career totals. Lindros was mean, he played hard, he could and would fight anyone. But that willingness to be vicious was the real terminator to a longer and more prolific career.

If they were both 20 years old today and coming into the league together, Messier's act wouldn't survive like it did in the '80s and '90s... suspensions would neuter his behaviour and remove that extra bit of space and time which are so important.

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10-08-2013, 01:27 AM
  #221
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Ask Dackell if Lindros was cruel.

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10-08-2013, 02:07 AM
  #222
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
That's right. I know I've said it many times, but how many times have we said that Lindros could have, should have, etc. had a career like Messier's but didn't? The standard for Lindros throughout his whole career wasn't Gretzky or Lemieux but Messier since his game was patterned more after his than anyone else's but he was blessed with more size.

Even before Stevens hit him in 2000, it was clear Lindros was not the best player in the NHL anymore. Stevens hitting him just put him a whole other notch below and it was clear what I had suspected even then, that he wasn't the same anymore. Lindros played his last elite hockey at 27. And even during that time he was injured half the time.
And remember that last season before having to sit out a whole year? He passed Messier, Propp, Howe, Tkachuk (who I believe is a year older), Neely, and Sakic for goals by that age, and I believe Howe may be the only one to have won a Hart by that age. He basically equaled/surpassed them in terms of "standards" after a solid 8 seasons of hockey, but simply lost the marathon to career value (particularly impacted by lack of a championship).

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10-08-2013, 03:18 AM
  #223
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The Flyers in the mid 90s should have tried to build a more stable team around Lindros, a bit less top heavy, because no matter how dominant you are you still need good support players to win in a team sport like hockey where top forwards are not even on the ice most of the time. Messier had great support players and teams everywhere he went. The usual suspects in Edmonton, many of whom were later brought along to New York where, in my opinion, Leetch was the best and most dominant player, plus guys like Richter, Zubov, Kovalev, Larmer.

Do you "If I would like to win I take Messier all days a week" guys in this thread believe the Flyers would have won the Cup against Detroit in 97 if you only switched Lindros for a 23 year old Messier? I don't know about that. Flyers in 97 wasn't a super shallow team or anything but it certainly didn't have the depth of the 80s Oilers or the 94 Rangers and, in my opinion again, depended a bit too much on one line. Detroit was a better team than the Flyers in 97, and Colorado too, much like the Rangers was a better team than Vancouver in 94.

In a way the mid 90s Flyers is reminiscent of the mid 00s Flyers where all the eggs in the basket were put on Peter Forsberg, and without much help at all except from Simon Gagne the team plummeted to the last place in the league. Or the 10s Flyers where Richards and Carter were gutted out and all the eggs in the basket were put on new wonder kid Giroux. That didn't work out very well either. It seems to be a pattern with Ed Snider.

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10-08-2013, 03:46 AM
  #224
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Messier.

Way too much talk about pushups and fights in this thread. In their respective primes Messier made his teams win, Eric did not.

I'd be happy with either of them on my team for the record.

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10-08-2013, 06:36 AM
  #225
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The Flyers in the mid 90s should have tried to build a more stable team around Lindros, a bit less top heavy, because no matter how dominant you are you still need good support players to win in a team sport like hockey where top forwards are not even on the ice most of the time. Messier had great support players and teams everywhere he went. The usual suspects in Edmonton, many of whom were later brought along to New York where, in my opinion, Leetch was the best and most dominant player, plus guys like Richter, Zubov, Kovalev, Larmer.

Do you "If I would like to win I take Messier all days a week" guys in this thread believe the Flyers would have won the Cup against Detroit in 97 if you only switched Lindros for a 23 year old Messier? I don't know about that. Flyers in 97 wasn't a super shallow team or anything but it certainly didn't have the depth of the 80s Oilers or the 94 Rangers and, in my opinion again, depended a bit too much on one line. Detroit was a better team than the Flyers in 97, and Colorado too, much like the Rangers was a better team than Vancouver in 94.

In a way the mid 90s Flyers is reminiscent of the mid 00s Flyers where all the eggs in the basket were put on Peter Forsberg, and without much help at all except from Simon Gagne the team plummeted to the last place in the league. Or the 10s Flyers where Richards and Carter were gutted out and all the eggs in the basket were put on new wonder kid Giroux. That didn't work out very well either. It seems to be a pattern with Ed Snider.
I eluded to this upthread.

At 23 Lindros was better in the playoffs than Messier was at 23.

Messier was great, gets a lot of credit for a hit on a past his prime Potvin, but 3rd on his team in scoring.

If anything that demonstrates how much help he had in winning his first cup.

Meanwhile, Lindros gets put down for "not being able to deliver" or whatever, but if you put Messier as a 23 year old on that team they don't win either. They were mostly a one line team in Philly.

After 23, Lindros basically didn't have a playoff career because it was completely derailed.

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