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Better offensively: Jagr vs. Howe

View Poll Results: Who's Better Offensively?
Jaromir Jagr 29 37.66%
Gordie Howe 48 62.34%
Voters: 77. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
07-30-2014, 09:45 AM
  #76
vadim sharifijanov
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i'm not really in favour of the "take out all non-canadians" method of cross-era analysis. but even if we pretend just this once that that method makes sense, and even if furthermore pretend that the population increase in canada between the 1950s and '90s would yield stronger competition from canadians also, i fail to see how these shenanigans could reasonably justify ranking jagr close to howe offensively.

i'm willing to hold out that i'm missing something in the pro-jagr argument here, so i invite corrections. but bear with me, this is how i understand the argument to work:

observation-- howe killed his competition offensively

counter-observation-- but howe played in a league that (1) was almost exclusively canadian and (2) drawing from a smaller canadian talent pool than it would later in the 90s

hypothesis-- if we insert the late 90s talent pool into the 1950s, howe's level of domination over the next best offensive player would diminish such that it is close to jagr's domination over his next best guy(s) in the late 90s


but we're talking about the best guy vs. the next best guy here. (presumably) raising the level of play makes it harder to score (presumably), because the average player is (presumably) a better player, but the best guy is still the best guy. during howe's peak, the second best offensive guy was either lindsay or rocket, and howe was outscoring them by 20-35% percent. even if the 90s talent pool that we add in produces a new second best offensive guy, how good can we reasonably imagine him to be? lindsay and rocket were first rate hall of famers.

i mean, let's say our hypothetical new second best player in the world is a little better than lindsay and/or rocket; howe still murders this imaginary player offensively at a level well beyond jagr's domination over forsberg ('98), selanne ('99), and sakic ('01), with only jagr's per game domination over sakic in '00 close to howe's margin year-in, year-out over lindsay/rocket from '51 to '53.

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Old
07-30-2014, 10:00 AM
  #77
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Just to get back to this and the bolded, nothing you say is new here and I 100% agree with the bolded. Fact is that the hockey-age native-born population of Canada has barely increased since Howe's time - the large majority of the overall increase in Canadian population is due to immigration (mostly from non-hockey countries) and aging. So I do think you are exaggerating the increase in talent. Obviously, the fact that the league is half non-Canadian is important.
Well, didn't Sakic's folks come from a non-hockey country? I mean, once immigrants are there, don't a substantial number often become accustomed to the new country's cultural practices (including athletics)? I don't think the population growth is mostly due to immigration. I think from the 50s to the 80s/90s, the hockey age population doubled. Are you saying half of the population growth in Canada over that period was immigration from countries that don't play hockey and refuse to learn?

I know you are familiar with the study I did on population and the hockey talent pool. You are right about the general population growth being due to aging in recent years. At some point in the 80s/90s, the hockey age population peaked and perhaps even declined at some point after that, but it's still much, much higher than during the 50s.

Quote:
But again, it comes down to this big picture question:

Gordie Howe: For the first 2/3 of the NHL's existence, no other player came close to his offensive dominance.
Jaromir Jagr: A distant third best for the last 1/3 of the NHL's existence and didn't necessarily distinguish himself from a few others.
I would disagree that Jagr didn't distinguish himself from a few others. I really don't think those other players can match his 5 Rosses, and 2 runner-ups... his peak adjusted point seasons... his offensive balance between goal-scoring and playmaking... his margins over mortal Canadians over 3-7 year periods.

The only one who really does is Esposito, and we've been through the Orr/Espo combo during the post-expansion years, and Espo's production w/o Orr in more than one other thread. I really don't want to rehash that here, except to say that it seems clear to me that without Orr and a diluted league, Esposito never would have consistently attained the offensive level he did.

You find it difficult to believe that third best offensive forward of the past 40 years was as good offensively as the best before that.

I find it difficult to believe that the best non-Canadian forward in history, by far... and the forward who was most dominant, other than Gretzky & Lemieux, during a 2-3+ decade period which was by far the deepest (and therefore very likely the most competitive), could not be in the vicinity of a player whose peak was during perhaps the least competitive period of the past 65 years.

I guess we'll have to leave it at that.

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07-30-2014, 10:04 AM
  #78
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
Well, didn't Sakic's folks come from a non-hockey country? I mean, once immigrants are there, don't a substantial number often become accustomed to the new country's cultural practices (including athletics)? I don't think the population growth is mostly due to immigration. I think from the 50s to the 80s/90s, the hockey age population doubled. Are you saying half of the population growth in Canada over that period was immigration from countries that don't play hockey and refuse to learn?

I know you are familiar with the study I did on population and the hockey talent pool. You are right about the general population growth being due to aging in recent years. At some point in the 80s/90s, the hockey age population peaked and perhaps even declined at some point after that, but it's still much, much higher than during the 50s.



I would disagree that Jagr didn't distinguish himself from a few others. I really don't think those other players can match his 5 Rosses, and 2 runner-ups... his peak adjusted point seasons... his offensive balance between goal-scoring and playmaking... his margins over mortal Canadians over 3-7 year periods.

The only one who really does is Esposito, and we've been through the Orr/Espo combo during the post-expansion years, and Espo's production w/o Orr in more than one other thread. I really don't want to rehash that here, except to say that it seems clear to me that without Orr and a diluted league, Esposito never would have consistently attained the offensive level he did.

You find it difficult to believe that third best offensive forward of the past 40 years was as good offensively as the best before that.

I find it difficult to believe that the best non-Canadian forward in history, by far... and the forward who was most dominant, other than Gretzky & Lemieux, during a 2-3+ decade period which was by far the deepest (and therefore very likely the most competitive), could not be in the vicinity of a player whose peak was during perhaps the least competitive period of the past 65 years.

I guess we'll have to leave it at that.
Howe peaked in the 70s?

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07-30-2014, 10:14 AM
  #79
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
It's not that simple, because Howe didn't have to compete with Lemieux or a significant number of non-Canadian players.

As far as Jagr:

1996
2nd to Lemieux in goals, 3rd to Lemieux and his own linemate in assists

1999
2nd to a European in goals, led in assists by 16 (21 over nearest Canadian)

2000
Nolan was only Canadian to finish above him in goals (by 2), and he was 3rd in assists (9 from first), despite missing 19 games

2001
Sakic was only Canadian to finish above him in goals (by 2), and he tied for lead in assists

So I don't see this impossibly large gap in ability to be at or near the very top of similar competition in both goals and assists in the same season.
oh, Czech - I wasn't using this as the be-all reason that Howe is undeniably better than Jagr. I'm not even looking for that result, and like I said, I didn't even vote. In rereading my post THAT last bit comes off possibly as me not voting because it isn't even close enough to be worthy of a vote..... not what I meant, however.

I could write a small novella on what I actually 'think' about the progression of hockey, and how I 'feel' about the worth of numbers used to compare players over generations - when those numbers are constantly in flux and based off of varying defenses, coaching systems, blah blah blah.....

Its all subjective, arguable and basically, we all pick the guy our heart tells us we thought was better in the end. And half the guys on here will nearly always side with the oldtimers, and half will always go European-league. Howe dominated by so much that I am basically leaving my own biases/feelings out of this.

My whole goals & assists thing wasn't really to cement a point that I didn't even have, it was just a stat I'd never considered before, until I saw those bolded numbers on Howe's Reference page and thought, "wow. I wonder how often THAT'S been done."

As a fan of, and student of the history of, I think we should all consider that the greatest offensive achievement in a peak performance sense.

I mean, I knew Espo would get chucked under the bus on Orr's behalf - but when you really think of it (and ya, he's the guy that stands out as not quite in this elite club in my heart, too) HE STILL LED IN ASSISTS. Orr could have done all the leg work, and given him all the help in the world, but Espo STILL BEAT HIM IN HELPERS!

I don't really see a way this achievement can be downplayed. Even with using the 'he missed games' thing that you did, there. I mean, that's part of it. You get so many truly healthy years, and somehow you have to be the best scorer and playmaker at the same time, while staying healthy. Its phenomenal. And.... don't think I'm ignoring the greatness of players who afflicted with injury... I mean, watch me defend Forsberg to the bitter end!

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07-30-2014, 10:29 AM
  #80
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I agree with CYM that Howe's era was "weak," especially offensively, compared to the pre-DPE, "Booming 90s". For the first time in NHL history, Europens were welcomed into the league in large groups and they added a new dimension to an already-thriving offensive NHL.

In addition, the American born players were peaking at the same time. The league talent pool had never been better IMO. You had the two greatest offensive juggernauts the game has ever seen in Gretzky and Mario. Emerging, young, offensive powers in Jagr, Lindros, Bure, Kariya, Forsberg, Fedorov, Mogilny, Palffy and Sundin. Plus a large group of highly-offensive weapons like Hull, LaFontaine, Oates, Sakic, Messier, Recchi, Turgeon, Roenick, Robitaille, Gilmour, etc.

Even on defense, you're looking at the greatest group of offensive titans (sans Orr of course) ever assembled - Bourque (1), Coffey (2), MacInnis (3), Housley (4), Murphy (5), Lidstrom (6), Leetch (8), Chelios (10). All that's missing from the top 10 all-time are Potvin and Robinson (7/9). If you want to go deeper, 6 of the next 10 are also from that same era.

Jagr had to produce against the greatest, collective group of offensive talent ever IMO - talent that hadn't been seen beforehand and hasn't been seen since, as a group. Not to mention the style of play in the NHL had evolved into a different animal altogether.

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07-30-2014, 10:36 AM
  #81
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Howe finished near the top in the scoring race against a prime Maurice Rocket Richard, Bobby Hull and Bobby Orr over 20 straight years of being top 5 in scoring.

He also won some of his scoring titles by huge margins. None of those guys were typical, run of the mill Canadians either.
I think we were talking about peak, which I would say is 3-5 seasons, maybe a little more, possibly consecutive... possibly not.

I don't think Hull, and especially Orr, really fall into Howe's peak for one thing. That's hard to say, because Howe had such incredible longevity. I just think it's almost like saying peak Jagr had to compete with prime Ovechkin.

I also don't believe Richard was that big of a threat for Rosses to players of the caliber of Gretzky, Lemieux, Howe, or Jagr. I don't really think Hull was either. Remember, we're talking about players who could, in many eras, possibly lead the league in goals & assists in the same season... and possibly more than once.

The only one who really threatens to be part of that group IMO is the Espo/Orr combo, which is difficult to separate since their peaks coincided so near-perfectly. It's really hard to say just how high Orr's offensive peak could have been, if he had been a forward. I'm more confident in saying that I don't believe Espo was quite in the same class as those 4... just as Jagr isn't in the same class as Gretzky... although the evidence isn't quite as clear cut.

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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
i'm not really in favour of the "take out all non-canadians" method of cross-era analysis. but even if we pretend just this once that that method makes sense, and even if furthermore pretend that the population increase in canada between the 1950s and '90s would yield stronger competition from canadians also, i fail to see how these shenanigans could reasonably justify ranking jagr close to howe offensively.

i'm willing to hold out that i'm missing something in the pro-jagr argument here, so i invite corrections. but bear with me, this is how i understand the argument to work:

observation-- howe killed his competition offensively

counter-observation-- but howe played in a league that (1) was almost exclusively canadian and (2) drawing from a smaller canadian talent pool than it would later in the 90s

hypothesis-- if we insert the late 90s talent pool into the 1950s, howe's level of domination over the next best offensive player would diminish such that it is close to jagr's domination over his next best guy(s) in the late 90s

but we're talking about the best guy vs. the next best guy here. (presumably) raising the level of play makes it harder to score (presumably), because the average player is (presumably) a better player, but the best guy is still the best guy. during howe's peak, the second best offensive guy was either lindsay or rocket, and howe was outscoring them by 20-35% percent. even if the 90s talent pool that we add in produces a new second best offensive guy, how good can we reasonably imagine him to be? lindsay and rocket were first rate hall of famers.

i mean, let's say our hypothetical new second best player in the world is a little better than lindsay and/or rocket; howe still murders this imaginary player offensively at a level well beyond jagr's domination over forsberg ('98), selanne ('99), and sakic ('01), with only jagr's per game domination over sakic in '00 close to howe's margin year-in, year-out over lindsay/rocket from '51 to '53.
I've already covered Richard. I just don't see him being that big of a threat for a Ross to the top several elite offensive forwards.

Lindsay... will he was Howe's linemate for one, and a fellow wing to boot. I mean Jagr outscored Francis, generally by large margins, despite Francis being a center on his line and also one of the top producers in history, even on an adjusted basis. Gretzky outscored Kurri. HOFers or not, I think that's the kind of thing that's generally expected of players of the offensive caliber of Howe or Jagr.

I don't think one can level the playing field enough, and factor in the competition fairly enough, to compare margins too closely. I used to make the same mistake when looking at Jagr's significantly better peak adjusted point seasons in comparison to Howe's. Once I realized that it's not as reliable comparing pre-Espo/Orr adjusted numbers to post-Espo/Orr adjusted numbers, I didn't place the same emphasis on those margins. And I think similarly of Howe's margins in the scoring race: they just aren't that reliable as indicators of superiority over players who had smaller margins decades later.

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07-30-2014, 10:56 AM
  #82
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Personally, I disagree with your view on the talent pool. IMO, it's probably about 2-3 times stronger now, based mostly on the influx of non-Canadian talent.
I haven't read the thread in detail, 2-3 times is what I assumed.

And looking at the different A-T lists I think it is considered to a lesser degree than 2-3 times by most people, me included btw.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Which wouldn't really come close to explaining why a player who is, at best, a distant 3rd since the expansion, and who really didn't separate himself at his peak from several others would be considered better offensively than a guy who dominated the sport in a way that nobody before Bobby Orr did.

I mean, a 40 year old Gordie Howe was 3rd in NHL scoring in 1968-69. That season, Bobby Orr won his 2nd Norris Trophy. I don't think Howe's accomplishments are as "ancient" as some posters are portraying.
Arguing Jagr's longevity against Howe involves a lot of projection solely based on the 'talent pool' argument.


Last edited by unknown33: 07-30-2014 at 11:02 AM.
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Old
07-30-2014, 10:56 AM
  #83
vadim sharifijanov
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post

I've already covered Richard. I just don't see him being that big of a threat for a Ross to the top several elite offensive forwards.

Lindsay... will he was Howe's linemate for one, and a fellow wing to boot. I mean Jagr outscored Francis, generally by large margins, despite Francis being a center on his line and also one of the top producers in history, even on an adjusted basis. Gretzky outscored Kurri. HOFers or not, I think that's the kind of thing that's generally expected of players of the offensive caliber of Howe or Jagr.

I don't think one can level the playing field enough, and factor in the competition fairly enough, to compare margins too closely. I used to make the same mistake when looking at Jagr's significantly better peak adjusted point seasons in comparison to Howe's. Once I realized that it's not as reliable comparing pre-Espo/Orr adjusted numbers to post-Espo/Orr adjusted numbers, I didn't place the same emphasis on those margins. And I think similarly of Howe's margins in the scoring race: they just aren't that reliable as indicators of superiority over players who had smaller margins decades later.

so then your position is that sakic, forsberg, and selanne would have outscored richard and lindsay?

and if so, how much do you think those three guys would have cut into howe's 20-35% scoring leads?

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07-30-2014, 11:05 AM
  #84
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
so then your position is that sakic, forsberg, and selanne would have outscored richard and lindsay?
Yes

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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
and if so, how much do you think those three guys would have cut into howe's 20-35% scoring leads?
If I had to guess, I would say significantly, but not mostly. So they wouldn't generally just shave off a percent or two, but Howe would maintain the majority of his lead probably.

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07-30-2014, 11:18 AM
  #85
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Yes



If I had to guess, I would say significantly, but not mostly. So they wouldn't generally just shave off a percent or two, but Howe would maintain the majority of his lead probably.
well, in his best three consecutive years, howe's lead was 20.6%, 24%, and 34.65%, with a fourth year of 16%. in jagr's best four consecutive years, his lead (in PPG) was 4.76%, 9.8%, 12.6% (this is the year he and the second place guy, sakic, both missed significant time), and 3.5% (if you don't count mario, who finished ahead of him in PPG).

even if you halve each of howe's leads, you're still looking at:

8, 10.3, 12, 17.3 vs. 3.5, 4.76, 9.8, 12.6

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07-30-2014, 11:22 AM
  #86
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Originally Posted by Boxscore View Post
I agree with CYM that Howe's era was "weak," especially offensively, compared to the pre-DPE, "Booming 90s". For the first time in NHL history, Europens were welcomed into the league in large groups and they added a new dimension to an already-thriving offensive NHL.

In addition, the American born players were peaking at the same time. The league talent pool had never been better IMO. You had the two greatest offensive juggernauts the game has ever seen in Gretzky and Mario. Emerging, young, offensive powers in Jagr, Lindros, Bure, Kariya, Forsberg, Fedorov, Mogilny, Palffy and Sundin. Plus a large group of highly-offensive weapons like Hull, LaFontaine, Oates, Sakic, Messier, Recchi, Turgeon, Roenick, Robitaille, Gilmour, etc.

Even on defense, you're looking at the greatest group of offensive titans (sans Orr of course) ever assembled - Bourque (1), Coffey (2), MacInnis (3), Housley (4), Murphy (5), Lidstrom (6), Leetch (8), Chelios (10). All that's missing from the top 10 all-time are Potvin and Robinson (7/9). If you want to go deeper, 6 of the next 10 are also from that same era.

Jagr had to produce against the greatest, collective group of offensive talent ever IMO - talent that hadn't been seen beforehand and hasn't been seen since, as a group. Not to mention the style of play in the NHL had evolved into a different animal altogether.
The O6 era was strong defensively. Not weak offensively. Otherwise there wouldn't have been any scoring records from that era.

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07-30-2014, 11:23 AM
  #87
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I am not a stat's geek, but isn't it "easier" to amass a large percentage lead in points over smaller amount of games. If you play 82 games and score around 120 points, it takes a larger statistical anomaly to make 5%/10%/X% chance than it does with 70 games and around 85 points.

Is that something that should be taken in to account when talking about % lead over peers?

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07-30-2014, 11:37 AM
  #88
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Howes peak seem to get hurt by his freakishly longetivity. Chelios is among some others treated that way. In the end Gordie won some Art Rosses in a dominating way like only two others. And even if Jagr accomplished something that none have since then, it got to be Howe by a fair margin here. Both peak, prime and career.
Howe having 1,2-1,3 PPG when only one or none broke the 1.0 PPG barrier is ridiculous. And thatīs against the very elite, the 10th player those seasons circuled around 0.7. Jagr PPG ainīt as dominating over the others as his pointleads give the apperance of.
And add that for me Jagrs feat, how incredibely it is, always has a little bit of a cloud around it as he was the only elite talent who could play relative healthy those seasons. Lemieux, Lindros, Kariya, Forsberg, Sakic and others if healthy and/or playing would probably have grabbed a couple of those art rosses or at least closed the gap.
Itīs spiced with a little more "what if" than most flavour than most would like, so it in the end has no bearing. Jagr did it, the others didnīt. Just my personal feeling.
On a side note, having goals as a tiebreaker before games played always seemed weird to me (94/95 Art Ross).

The talentpool-argument thatīs taking place above has been beaten to death. The only time I think it really is valid is the 70īs. During the original 6 era there where so few spots available that the greater talentpool today canīt justify that it was easier to play back then.

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07-30-2014, 11:44 AM
  #89
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Originally Posted by TAnnala View Post
I am not a stat's geek, but isn't it "easier" to amass a large percentage lead in points over smaller amount of games. If you play 82 games and score around 120 points, it takes a larger statistical anomaly to make 5%/10%/X% chance than it does with 70 games and around 85 points.

Is that something that should be taken in to account when talking about % lead over peers?
IN theory, yes - all other things being equal. And I think it has a lot to do with the seasonal fluctations in the scoring of the top players pre-WW2. However, there are other things to consider too - such as the fact that star players were treated quite brutally in earlier times.

And again, you come to the facts like the one where Gretzky has 8 of the top 20 Art Ross margins of All-Time, Howe has 4, and nobody else has more than 1.

I prefer to start with empirical observations and come up with theories to explain them, rather than the other way around. And the way I see it, nobody else in Howe's era came close to what he did

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07-30-2014, 11:45 AM
  #90
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Originally Posted by TAnnala View Post
I am not a stat's geek, but isn't it "easier" to amass a large percentage lead in points over smaller amount of games. If you play 82 games and score around 120 points, it takes a larger statistical anomaly to make 5%/10%/X% chance than it does with 70 games and around 85 points.

Is that something that should be taken in to account when talking about % lead over peers?
i don't know the answer to that question, but an interesting point.

but consider that howe was playing 70 game seasons in his four year peak. the one single year that jagr came kind of maybe close to howe's margin over the second guy, he played 63 games (i.e., 7 games less than howe).

the other three years of his art ross four-peat, jagr played 77, 81, and 81 games-- not that much less than howe.

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07-30-2014, 12:01 PM
  #91
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Jagr has played in NHL when the players have became bigger, stronger and more professional in all means. NHL players from 60's couldn't probably make it even in AHL today. It doesn't mean that Howe couldn't be a good player in NHL if he'd born in the 70's and trained like Jagr has trained, but dominating during 50's and 60's tell nothing more than that he was one the best players of that era.

Ice hockey has developed a lot since that it's far more difficult to be a elite player in NHL in 21st century than it was 50 years ago. Players are so much better in general, and one reason for that is that the sport has gotten bigger. That's why I respect Jagr's achievements more.

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07-30-2014, 12:15 PM
  #92
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Jagr has played in NHL when the players have became bigger, stronger and more professional in all means. NHL players from 60's couldn't probably make it even in AHL today. It doesn't mean that Howe couldn't be a good player in NHL if he'd born in the 70's and trained like Jagr has trained, but dominating during 50's and 60's tell nothing more than that he was one the best players of that era.

Ice hockey has developed a lot since that it's far more difficult to be a elite player in NHL in 21st century than it was 50 years ago. Players are so much better in general, and one reason for that is that the sport has gotten bigger. That's why I respect Jagr's achievements more.
Even if Jagr was better than Howe if you sent him back in a time machine it doesn't really mean anything. Yes, players are better trained, fed and coached today. But Howe had access to the exact same nutrition and fitness as every other player in his era did, no better. The fact that Howe managed to age so well despite the world of fitness and nutrition a lot less advanced compared to today is a testament to how great he was in his time.

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07-30-2014, 12:24 PM
  #93
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
IN theory, yes - all other things being equal. And I think it has a lot to do with the seasonal fluctations in the scoring of the top players pre-WW2. However, there are other things to consider too - such as the fact that star players were treated quite brutally in earlier times.

And again, you come to the facts like the one where Gretzky has 8 of the top 20 Art Ross margins of All-Time, Howe has 4, and nobody else has more than 1.

I prefer to start with empirical observations and come up with theories to explain them, rather than the other way around. And the way I see it, nobody else in Howe's era came close to what he did
Oh yes, of course it is important to look at what happened and then try to form a theory of why than other way around. I was just pointing that out in pure mathematical sense. I do too think that the level which Howe dominated his peers is enough to pull him ahead in all comparison's.

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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
i don't know the answer to that question, but an interesting point.

but consider that howe was playing 70 game seasons in his four year peak. the one single year that jagr came kind of maybe close to howe's margin over the second guy, he played 63 games (i.e., 7 games less than howe).

the other three years of his art ross four-peat, jagr played 77, 81, and 81 games-- not that much less than howe.

Yeah. So in this case, the point I made is not even necessarily evident enough to look further in to. Just something I thought of.

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07-30-2014, 12:57 PM
  #94
tony d
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Jagr for me.

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07-30-2014, 04:52 PM
  #95
steve141
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Originally Posted by Boxscore View Post
I agree with CYM that Howe's era was "weak,"
This is getting wierd. Howe's prime was 1950-1969. This period is usually thought of as considerably stronger than both the preceding decade and the following decade. So far I've seen no evidence to the contrary in this thread.

When Howe won his Art Rosses he was beating out Richard x2, Beliveau, Hull, Mikita, Schmidt, Kennedy, Lindsay, Geoffrion, Lach, Bathgate, Mahovlich... Is the argument that Lindros, Forsberg and Kariya were that much better than all of these guys?

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07-30-2014, 05:47 PM
  #96
Czech Your Math
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As far as the huge margins by which Howe won his scoring titles, I look at it this way:

If our descendants were were discussing peak power hitters in another century, the name Babe Ruth would obviously still be in play.

However, would you say that in order to be considered as good of a peak power hitter, one would have to match or come close to Ruth's margins when he won some of his HR crowns? If so, that player would have to best:

Ruth 29, second 10 (best NL = 12)
Ruth 54, second 19
Ruth 54, second 29
Ruth 47, second 19 (best NL = 21)
Ruth 54, second 27 (best NL = 31)

If the Lord himself came down and put on a jersey and picked up a bat for 6 months, I severely doubt he would come close to those margins.

So essentially, Ruth is automatically the best peak power hitter of all-time, not even worthy of debate. No one has, nor ever will, come close to him as a peak power hitter. Is that correct? Because let's be honest, no one will ever come remotely within shouting distance of those margins. So it's basically de facto impossible for anyone, even Ruth himself via time machine, to be better than Ruth was as a peak power hitter.

Also, what to make of a season like this?

Ruth 60
Gehrig 47
(3rd place 18)
best NL 30

So did Gehrig have a run of the mill season by elite standards, because he was second that year?

Does this look familiar?:

Lemieux 161
Jagr 149
Sakic 120

But if you finish second, your season is basically worthless, all that matters is finishing first and by how much, right?

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07-30-2014, 05:52 PM
  #97
seventieslord
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shocked that it's this close!

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07-30-2014, 05:59 PM
  #98
Czech Your Math
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Originally Posted by steve141 View Post
This is getting wierd. Howe's prime was 1950-1969. This period is usually thought of as considerably stronger than both the preceding decade and the following decade. So far I've seen no evidence to the contrary in this thread.

When Howe won his Art Rosses he was beating out Richard x2, Beliveau, Hull, Mikita, Schmidt, Kennedy, Lindsay, Geoffrion, Lach, Bathgate, Mahovlich... Is the argument that Lindros, Forsberg and Kariya were that much better than all of these guys?
Howe had a freakishly long prime, practically his entire career.

However, the last time he finished higher than 3rd in points was win he won his Ross in '63, finishing 5 points ahead of Bathgate. Before that, the last time was '57. So I would consider '51-'57 his peak years. He certainly wasn't winning Rosses by large margins in '57, nevermind '63.

Do I think the period following the early-mid 50s was stronger in terms of talent, and particularly talent at forward than was that era? Yes, very much so.

Was the period preceding the 50s weaker than that era? Well, it was a period of the same or lower population, the same or lower popularity of hockey, etc., with the added bonus of a war and its inevitable aftermath. Of course it was weaker, how could it not be? That doesn't make the 50s particularly strong in comparison to the next 50-60 years.

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07-30-2014, 06:24 PM
  #99
vadim sharifijanov
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
As far as the huge margins by which Howe won his scoring titles, I look at it this way:

If our descendants were were discussing peak power hitters in another century, the name Babe Ruth would obviously still be in play.

However, would you say that in order to be considered as good of a peak power hitter, one would have to match or come close to Ruth's margins when he won some of his HR crowns? If so, that player would have to best:

Ruth 29, second 10 (best NL = 12)
Ruth 54, second 19
Ruth 54, second 29
Ruth 47, second 19 (best NL = 21)
Ruth 54, second 27 (best NL = 31)

If the Lord himself came down and put on a jersey and picked up a bat for 6 months, I severely doubt he would come close to those margins.

So essentially, Ruth is automatically the best peak power hitter of all-time, not even worthy of debate. No one has, nor ever will, come close to him as a peak power hitter. Is that correct? Because let's be honest, no one will ever come remotely within shouting distance of those margins. So it's basically de facto impossible for anyone, even Ruth himself via time machine, to be better than Ruth was as a peak power hitter.

Also, what to make of a season like this?

Ruth 60
Gehrig 47
(3rd place 18)
best NL 30

So did Gehrig have a run of the mill season by elite standards, because he was second that year?

Does this look familiar?:

Lemieux 161
Jagr 149
Sakic 120

But if you finish second, your season is basically worthless, all that matters is finishing first and by how much, right?
i don't think anybody was suggesting that a second place doesn't matter. (but let's be clear here: if we pretend there's no mario in '96, jagr's margin over the next guy's P/G is still only 15%.)

but as for the babe ruth point, are you then suggesting that there's a statute of limitations on early achievements? say, if in 2064 no one has come close to gretzky's records, should we say: "it's basically de facto impossible..." and therefore disregard it?

as for howe's dominance over #2, it isn't impossible to replicate. gretzky and mario both surpassed it. jagr didn't approach it. i'm sorry.

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Old
07-30-2014, 06:40 PM
  #100
seventieslord
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If I was knowledgeable about baseball and was looking at the best power hitters of all-time, I'd certainly do the same thing I do in hockey and look at a player versus his peers; therefore, it's quite likely I would call Babe Ruth the greatest of all-time.

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