They didn't have Forsberg the entire season, so their regular season isn't going to be as impressive either. I know Forsberg had a whale of a postseason, but he was impossible to stop that year, almost. Roy did play well until Game 6 and 7 of that series. Sakic had done better, but he wasn't invisible either. I still say the 2002 Avs could have won the Cup and were a difficult foe for Detroit.
The Avalanche were taken to 7 games in every series, and only made the playoffs by 7 points. The gap between Colorado and #8 seed Vancouver was five points. They weren't 2001 Avalanche minus Bourque, as they often get characterized. Even Sakic scored 39 fewer points in 2002! If they're the measuring stick for a difficult foe for the 2002 Detroit Red Wings, then I stand by my assessment that the Red Wings slowed down significantly at the end of the year and would have been vulnerable against better teams than the ones they faced.
I mean, we're comparing them to a Red Wings team that dominated the 1997 Avalanche and swept the 1997 Flyers.
Well, in hockey we have a 7 game series to decide it. If you can't win a best-of-7 and let the other team beat you 4 times, sorry, you aren't better. The 1993 Pens? A team that was way too cocky and played very sloppy against the Islanders. Were they the better team? They should have been. But were they? They weren't, because they didn't show it on the ice. The 1996 Wings? Same thing. But losing to the Avs is far less embarrassing. Hard to believe Scotty Bowman coached those two teams. How he couldn't finish it off is anybody's guess. So yeah, those teams do not belong. How can you say you are the best when all the evidence goes the other way.
Well obviously all the evidence doesn't go the other way, in fact the 82 games of the regular season and often the playoff series' prior to the loss plus more subjective things (like how they match up on paper) are go in their favour while what goes against them is 4 of 7 playoff games. I also think we're going way into amateur psychology to say that it was just the Penguins and Wings getting cocky, despite having probably the best coach of all time and no shortage of leadership (and in the case of the 96 Red Wings very little reason to be overconfident at the time given their recent time). I mean, we'd also have to include teams like the 86 Oilers, 79 Islanders, 71 Bruins, 51 Red Wings, etc. and I find it hard to believe that they we can attribute all these losses to temporary mental weakness. I think the evidence would more accurately suggest that even the best teams aren't locks to win it all and we shouldn't pretend as though they are.
Originally Posted by Big Phil
You mentioned the 2007 Patriots earlier. Here is a lesser known fact. The Patriots met the Giants in the regular season at the end of the year. They beat them 38-35. That's it. The Giants came the closest out of anyone to dismissing the perfect record. I know I am going to sound like a know it all, but as a guy who hated the Patriots I had a lot of interest in seeing them not have the perfect record. So I may have been one of the few people who said that the Giants had a good chance at beating them by looking at their style of play, how they played them in the regular season. Almost everyone else felt it was a coronation for the Patriots. It was an upset no doubt, but the Giants peppered Brady all game. The offensive line let him get sacked and knocked down constantly. Moss didn't catch a pass until the 4th quarter. Eli Manning was keeping them in the game as well. Throw in something like a miracle pass to Tyree where he catches the ball with his helmet and you've got your game. No, the Patriots were not the best team in the world that year. They SHOULD have been, but if you can't play your best game on the most important game of the year you don't deserve to call yourselves the best. And they weren't.
Right but this still very much shows the variability of a single game. If Samuel completes the interception, or the refs rule that Eli was in the grasp for the Helmet Catch, or any number of things that change the outcome of that game occur than I imagine the 2007 Patriots would be the consensus choice for best team of all time. And in this scenario they still wouldn't have played their best game at the most important time, people just wouldn't care because they won. There are good reasons why the 07 Patriots might not be considered the best team of all time: their cumulative 18-1 record isn't any different from the 85 Bears record, is worse than the 72 Dolphins and isn't much different than a numbers of teams that went 17-2 to win it all (there was a compelling argument for the 1992 Redskins being better, for instance), their best results came in the first half and they faded down the stretch, they got very lucky in the Ravens and Eagles games in particular and talent wise it's obviously a great team but not one that necessarily sticks out among the best in history.
Originally Posted by Big Phil
15 teams have scored more than 500 points in NFL history in a season. The 2007 Patriots lead the way with 589 (although that should be broken by the Broncos this weekend). Here's the kicker: 4 of them went on to win the Super Bowl. That's it. (Maybe the 2013 Broncos make it 5). If your offense can't continue playing when the chips are down and you aren't playing against the Jacksonville Jaguars or the Buffalo Bills then you simply do not deserve to win. Not sure why something so simple is always so complicating.
Despite the revisionist history that has been recorded, the Patriots also had a really good defense that was 4th in points allowed despite playing in very high paced games, and it did hold up during the playoffs. They weren't a one dimensional team, and they actually played a reasonably hard schedule. Also the Jaguars were good that year.