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Gordie Howe

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12-02-2011, 07:03 AM
  #101
JuniorNelson
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Flawed comparisons. If Orr hadn't run out of knees, he might have been the best. If Gretzky had an ounce of jam, he might have been the best.

Howe was like a creature built in a laboratory to play hockey. He was like Iginla, i guess, but bigger. He is the heavyweight champ among top tier players, for sure.

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12-02-2011, 07:13 AM
  #102
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
You don't understand the human back very well. Most people will have back problems in their lives 9 out of 10 I believe is the number.

I think being 6'4" in a heavy crosscheck era may have contributed more to his back problems but are any of us medical experts here?

While poor conditioning may contribute to the higher likelihood of getting injuries I don't remember Phil "bring a case of beer into the sauna training camp guy" Espostio being any better at training than Mario was.
I think it's you who has a poor understanding of the human body. Of course getting cross checked and mugged plays a role as well. Maybe even more so, but the fact that Lemieux was out of shape contributed to the problem and piled it on.

Not every person is the same though, the fact that Esposito wasn't overly concerned about his conditioning and didn't suffer the same problems as Lemieux doesn't change my point.

9 out of 10 people are probably out of shape too. Not sure where you're going with that and don't believe 9 out of 10 people or even hockey players have chronic back problems. This wasn't a one off deal, it was his whole career.

If you don't think being in tip top shape can prevent these injuries to a degree, you're being fooled and naive. Being over weight can also contribute to back problems, especially when you're asking your body to due things it isn't normally accustom to for a bigger fellow.

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12-02-2011, 10:42 AM
  #103
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Besides all that, newfy, is the fact that you still seem to be discussing hypotheticals, which is what you came out hating when someone was using on-pace numbers. Or at least, that's what I guess you're doing, since I can't be sure. I'm trying to figure out the relevance of your posts to the discussion. Because they seem to be simply Lemieux-bashing rather than anything meaningful.

Let's say it's a given that Lemieux didn't have a love for the game or good training habits. What does that change about what he actually did on the ice? It might change what he could have done otherwise, but that's about as relevant as guessing what he might have done in those games he sat out. If he did have these things, maybe he would have had a longer and better career, and therefore would be given credit for them by looking at what he actually did in that case. As it is, we can only look at what he did do, not what we imagine he might have done.
I'm not trying to bash Lemiuex and didnt mean for it to come across like I was, I was more saying that you didnt have to deal with those things with Howe and what makes him a better player in my eyes.

All that garage league whining probably had some distraction in the dressing room and to the management to an extent, which is just something you didnt have to deal with with the other guys.

As for hypotheticals, I think pro rating all of Lemieux's stats is as hypothetical as you can get.

When a guy misses that many games, that means the games he is playing in he's more rested. On pace points are usually OK to look at, but you cant just assume that he would keep that pace all the time.

And all that comes back to his poor conditioning and comittment in his younger days. If you cant stay healthy and arent committed to fitness, while having similar dominance to a guy who played into his 50's than you can't be considered the better player

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12-02-2011, 11:14 AM
  #104
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Originally Posted by newfy View Post
I'm not trying to bash Lemiuex and didnt mean for it to come across like I was, I was more saying that you didnt have to deal with those things with Howe and what makes him a better player in my eyes.

All that garage league whining probably had some distraction in the dressing room and to the management to an extent, which is just something you didnt have to deal with with the other guys.

As for hypotheticals, I think pro rating all of Lemieux's stats is as hypothetical as you can get.

When a guy misses that many games, that means the games he is playing in he's more rested. On pace points are usually OK to look at, but you cant just assume that he would keep that pace all the time.

And all that comes back to his poor conditioning and comittment in his younger days. If you cant stay healthy and arent committed to fitness, while having similar dominance to a guy who played into his 50's than you can't be considered the better player
This is often very true. When a guy misses a long stretch of time for an injury or illness that doesn't necessarily require a rehab phase, he is giving his body time to heal from the everyday wear and tear that every active player has to go through. See Peter Forsberg coming back in the 2002 playoffs after missing the whole regular season from having his spleen removed, or Patrik Elias coming back in the second half of 2005-06 after sitting out with Hepatitis.

I'm not sure if this specifically applies to Maro though.

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12-02-2011, 11:20 AM
  #105
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
This is often very true. When a guy misses a long stretch of time for an injury or illness that doesn't necessarily require a rehab phase, he is giving his body time to heal from the everyday wear and tear that every active player has to go through. See Peter Forsberg coming back in the 2002 playoffs after missing the whole regular season from having his spleen removed, or Patrik Elias coming back in the second half of 2005-06 after sitting out with Hepatitis.

I'm not sure if this specifically applies to Maro though.
I think it does, at least some seasons. There were times Mario was specifically sitting out the 2nd game of back to back nights, which are the hardest ones to play.

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12-02-2011, 05:21 PM
  #106
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
This is often very true. When a guy misses a long stretch of time for an injury or illness that doesn't necessarily require a rehab phase, he is giving his body time to heal from the everyday wear and tear that every active player has to go through. See Peter Forsberg coming back in the 2002 playoffs after missing the whole regular season from having his spleen removed, or Patrik Elias coming back in the second half of 2005-06 after sitting out with Hepatitis.

I'm not sure if this specifically applies to Maro though.
As I was typing this I was thinking of Forsberg but didnt want to drag the thread off track, but ya thats another prime example.

Sitting out the second night of back to backs doesnt help your team at all, your on pace points dont matter when youre sitting out games like that. Something Howe never did

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12-02-2011, 05:51 PM
  #107
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As I was typing this I was thinking of Forsberg but didnt want to drag the thread off track, but ya thats another prime example.

Sitting out the second night of back to backs doesnt help your team at all, your on pace points dont matter when youre sitting out games like that. Something Howe never did
Good point. I'm looking at the standings for 95-96 and even with Mario sitting out the 2nd game of every back to back, they still won their division and finished 1 point behind Philadelphia for 1st in the East.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/leagues/NHL_1996.html

If Lemieux actually played those back to backs, I'm sure it would have made more than 1 point of difference in the standings. So the Penguins would have moved from the 2nd seed to the 1st seed in the playoffs. Would it change anything?

In the first round, the Penguins would have faced the Lightning and probably beaten them with slightly more ease than the Capitals. In the second round (assuming the 1st seed Flyers beat the Capitals), the Penguins would have faced the same Florida team that beat them in the Conference Finals in reality. So I don't see Mario playing back to back games helping the Penguins in this case - though in theory, that 1 spot difference in the standings could have helped.

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12-02-2011, 10:24 PM
  #108
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I think it's you who has a poor understanding of the human body. Of course getting cross checked and mugged plays a role as well. Maybe even more so, but the fact that Lemieux was out of shape contributed to the problem and piled it on.

Not every person is the same though, the fact that Esposito wasn't overly concerned about his conditioning and didn't suffer the same problems as Lemieux doesn't change my point.

9 out of 10 people are probably out of shape too. Not sure where you're going with that and don't believe 9 out of 10 people or even hockey players have chronic back problems. This wasn't a one off deal, it was his whole career.

If you don't think being in tip top shape can prevent these injuries to a degree, you're being fooled and naive. Being over weight can also contribute to back problems, especially when you're asking your body to due things it isn't normally accustom to for a bigger fellow.
It's great that a medical doctor has weighed in here.

Look we are all speculating on his back and even a doctor might not ahve a 100% diagnostic for his back issues either. What we do know is that Mario had injuries and didn't have a full complete career and it's best to judge what players actually did and guys like Wayne and Gordie did more plain and simple so people need to stop fudging at the corners with the "hypotheticals" all the time.

It's actually quite surprising that a sport with as long of a tradition and history like hockey does that there is a definite consensus on the top 4 players of all time regardless of their specific order, I don't believe this exists in the 3 other major sports in NA or football (soccer) either.

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12-02-2011, 11:04 PM
  #109
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
It's great that a medical doctor has weighed in here.

Look we are all speculating on his back and even a doctor might not ahve a 100% diagnostic for his back issues either. What we do know is that Mario had injuries and didn't have a full complete career and it's best to judge what players actually did and guys like Wayne and Gordie did more plain and simple so people need to stop fudging at the corners with the "hypotheticals" all the time.

It's actually quite surprising that a sport with as long of a tradition and history like hockey does that there is a definite consensus on the top 4 players of all time regardless of their specific order, I don't believe this exists in the 3 other major sports in NA or football (soccer) either.
There's a consensus on #1 - Gretzky.

His number was retired league-wide and almost always ends up 1st on any "Top __" list. He still possesses the most NHL records by far and is easily the most famous hockey player in history. #s 2-4 are a pissing match - but I have found that typical of other major sports, including a loud minority pimping one of them for #1.

On topic: It does annoy me today when I see a lot of people referring to the Big 3 of Gretzky, Lemieux and Orr - completely leaving Howe out of the argument. When I start hearing arguments for Messier and Jagr for #4 I do a lot of teeth grinding.

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12-03-2011, 12:31 AM
  #110
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
There's a consensus on #1 - Gretzky.
Your definition of a consensus must be very different than mine. I know many more people who have Orr at #1 than have Gretzky first. People who never actually saw Orr play tend to favour Gretzky based solely on the numbers but among those who witnessed both careers there is nothing resembling a consensus.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 12-03-2011 at 11:18 AM. Reason: fixed the quotation issue
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12-03-2011, 12:54 AM
  #111
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
There's a consensus on #1 - Gretzky.
Your definition of a consensus must be very different than mine. I know many more people who have Orr at #1 than have Gretzky first. People who never actually saw Orr play tend to favour Gretzky based solely on the numbers but among those who witnessed both careers there is nothing resembling a consensus.
People you know personally?
Every compiled list I have seen has Gretzky as #1. A consensus is not 100%, it's just the clear majority time and time again, which Gretzky is.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 12-03-2011 at 11:17 AM. Reason: fixed the quotation issue
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12-03-2011, 04:27 AM
  #112
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Gretzky was #1 on both HOH Top 100 lists and the THN Top 100 list, but it was an extremely close vote over Orr all three times.

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12-03-2011, 10:28 AM
  #113
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post

People you know personally?
Every compiled list I have seen has Gretzky as #1. A consensus is not 100%, it's just the clear majority time and time again, which Gretzky is.
If Orr had the more recent career I have no doubt that he would be #1 on all the lists. People tend to discount players they've never seen. The same might be said for Howe. I saw most of his career but did not witness his greatest seasons in the 50's so I probably undervalue him somewhat.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 12-03-2011 at 11:17 AM. Reason: fixed the quotation issue
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12-03-2011, 10:31 AM
  #114
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
It's great that a medical doctor has weighed in here.

Look we are all speculating on his back and even a doctor might not ahve a 100% diagnostic for his back issues either. What we do know is that Mario had injuries and didn't have a full complete career and it's best to judge what players actually did and guys like Wayne and Gordie did more plain and simple so people need to stop fudging at the corners with the "hypotheticals" all the time.

It's actually quite surprising that a sport with as long of a tradition and history like hockey does that there is a definite consensus on the top 4 players of all time regardless of their specific order, I don't believe this exists in the 3 other major sports in NA or football (soccer) either.
Most soccer fans have Pele, Maradonna, Cryuff and Beckenbauer in some order.

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12-03-2011, 11:16 AM
  #115
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Originally Posted by Ed Wood View Post

If Orr had the more recent career I have no doubt that he would be #1 on all the lists. People tend to discount players they've never seen. The same might be said for Howe. I saw most of his career but did not witness his greatest seasons in the 50's so I probably undervalue him somewhat.
Funny, because pretty much the entire THN panel that put together their top 100 list in 1996 had seen Orr play.

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12-03-2011, 12:14 PM
  #116
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Originally Posted by JaymzB View Post
Most soccer fans have Pele, Maradonna, Cryuff and Beckenbauer in some order.
But sometimes its the same thing there. People tries to argue for Christiano Ronaldo as top 4. *shivers*

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12-03-2011, 12:30 PM
  #117
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If we're taking out players, how about look at Yzerman from 88 to 93 if Gretzky and Lemieux are gone? He's about 17% ahead of LaFontaine, who is second. He's second in GPG behind Hull, fourth in APG behind Coffey, Oates, and Moose.

Maybe Yzerman is the third-best player of All-Time and was simply [mod edit] blocked by Gretzky and Lemieux?
Or maybe not. In 88, 91, and 92 Yzerman wasn't even top 5 in points. In 93 he would have finished 3rd removing Lemieux. 1989 is the only year he would have finished first excluding Gretzky and Lemieux. 1990 he would have finished second. Howe does that compare to 6 scoring titles, 4 by huge margins?

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12-03-2011, 12:43 PM
  #118
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I think most football fans would agree that the GOAT is either Jim Brown, Jerry Rice or even Joe Montana.

And I'm not a huge basketball fan, but I'm pretty sure there is a definite consensus in that sport as well.

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12-03-2011, 01:23 PM
  #119
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I think most football fans would agree that the GOAT is either Jim Brown, Jerry Rice or even Joe Montana.

And I'm not a huge basketball fan, but I'm pretty sure there is a definite consensus in that sport as well.
in basketball isnt the top-4 often Abdul-Jabbar, Jordan, Magic Johnson and Chamberlain with Shaq, Irving and Bird as outsiders?

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12-03-2011, 02:39 PM
  #120
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Originally Posted by JaymzB View Post
Most soccer fans have Pele, Maradonna, Cryuff and Beckenbauer in some order.
Why isn't the 'brazilian' ronaldo in the conversation? It seems like every sport the GOAT is always some guy that played in either the 60's or 80's.

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12-03-2011, 03:04 PM
  #121
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Why isn't the 'brazilian' ronaldo in the conversation? It seems like every sport the GOAT is always some guy that played in either the 60's or 80's.
Cruyff and Beckenbauer played a big part in the 70s and most of their successful years as well.

Edit: And for your Ronaldo question. Football is biased to midfielders being the most important and this is represented in this votes. Hockey has that too.


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12-03-2011, 03:31 PM
  #122
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Why isn't the 'brazilian' ronaldo in the conversation? It seems like every sport the GOAT is always some guy that played in either the 60's or 80's.
He'd probably be similar to a Maurice Richard/Bobby Hull in hockey. Someone considered an All-Time great, but not quite in the conversation for the greatest. He was a great goal scorer, but many feel Pele was better, while Maradonna and Cryuff were great goal scorers who were amazing "creators" too. Beckenbauer simply dominateed all over the pitch, even if he did not score much, due to his position.


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12-03-2011, 09:10 PM
  #123
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in basketball isnt the top-4 often Abdul-Jabbar, Jordan, Magic Johnson and Chamberlain with Shaq, Irving and Bird as outsiders?
Where is Bill Russell?

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12-03-2011, 09:38 PM
  #124
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I think most football fans would agree that the GOAT is either Jim Brown, Jerry Rice or even Joe Montana.

And I'm not a huge basketball fan, but I'm pretty sure there is a definite consensus in that sport as well.
Johnny Unitas? Barry Sanders?

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12-03-2011, 09:51 PM
  #125
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Or maybe not. In 88, 91, and 92 Yzerman wasn't even top 5 in points. In 93 he would have finished 3rd removing Lemieux. 1989 is the only year he would have finished first excluding Gretzky and Lemieux. 1990 he would have finished second. Howe does that compare to 6 scoring titles, 4 by huge margins?
And Phil Esposito wins two more Art Ross trophies if Bobby Orr isn't around; or maybe he wouldn't have.

Gordie Howe was the best player to play the game. He dominated offensively just as much as Gretzky did, and he was a physical and defensive beast.

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