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Is Mario Lemieux a bit overrated?

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Old
03-29-2013, 08:01 AM
  #126
Big Phil
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I like the post that described a hybrid between Crosby and Malkin. So true. Lemieux had Malkin's size and hands. Yet he was bigger than Malkin and had even softer hands. He had Crosby's vision and playmaking, at a higher level. I personally think he was as fast as either of them, even Crosby. Lemieux had gears and his long stride made it look like he wasn't going very fast when he actually was. Goal scoring ability Lemieux trumps both of them by a substantial margin. So really, you combine the best of the top two players in the game and they still aren't as good as Mario. How is it possible to overrate this guy?

I'll throw in another thing. After the 2002 Olympics I remember an article with Paul Kariya describing Lemieux. Kariya talked about how he was so surprised at how fast Lemieux was. His quote in the article was: "He can flat out FLY". This was an old Lemieux we are talking about as well and this was a speedster in himself talking about him.

I am not saying Lemieux is underrated at all, but I think he falls into a category of Jagr and Richard where you get the feeling he may have been robbed of more Hart trophies. Jagr and Richard won one each and Lemieux three. For a man who won 6 scoring titles you figure he could have won more than three Harts. Either way, 1989, 1992, 1997 are years that could have swung in his favour. 1990 was a year he had the Hart in the bag before his back injury.

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03-29-2013, 08:47 AM
  #127
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Originally Posted by TAnnala View Post
I think he was going for the thing that all those four have arguments for being #1. I have never seen a reasonable argument for any other than Howe, Gretzky, Orr or Lemieux.
I will throw Hasek in there, just for fun's sake.

As for Mario, he is only overrated by those who put him above Gretzky. Everything else is fine.

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03-29-2013, 09:18 AM
  #128
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Lemieux is as far from over-rated as is possible.

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03-29-2013, 09:44 AM
  #129
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Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
I will throw Hasek in there, just for fun's sake.

As for Mario, he is only overrated by those who put him above Gretzky. Everything else is fine.
Personally i would be inclined to agree, but reading through the threads in HOH goalie project it won't be a well recieved opinion. Roy and Hasek are so neck and neck on each other that if Hasek is in the mix so is Roy.

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03-29-2013, 10:13 AM
  #130
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Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
I will throw Hasek in there, just for fun's sake.

As for Mario, he is only overrated by those who put him above Gretzky. Everything else is fine.
Came here to say that. Gretzky was in a league of his own and you can argue that he helped develop much of the southern USA fanbase.

Huge fan of Mario..from a standpoint of domination against the players of thier times, gretz, mario, orr are the top 3. Howe was amazing for longevity... but he never "dominated" his conpetition quite like those three

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03-29-2013, 11:41 AM
  #131
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It's almost impossible to overrate Mario Lemieux. Anyone who watched him play in his prime would agree.

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03-29-2013, 11:51 AM
  #132
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Originally Posted by Mark Messier View Post
It's almost impossible to overrate Mario Lemieux. Anyone who watched him play in his prime would agree.
I saw his whole career.

He was under rated by most who tried to comment on him. Chiefly because they couldnt really describe the guy. Some nights he make his opponents AND his own team mates look like imbeciles .

The only time mario Lemiuex is over rated is when guys then sweat to spin his achievements into being better than Wayne Gretzky.

The spin is heavy and after a while looks silly. He never broke any of Gretzky's records but came close on a few of them.

The spin starts to include .......'most percentage of points of his entire team' blah blah .

How about goals, assists, points, cups hart trophies scoring titles longevitiy. Things that matter. Lemiuex never broke any of his records.

His only legitimate record he has that gretzky never did was scoring 5 different ways one game. That is truly remarkable.

So if you take away Gretzky , then you cant over rate Lemiuex. He was truly the second greatest player of his generation and one of the top 4 players ever to play the game.

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03-29-2013, 05:42 PM
  #133
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Originally Posted by stanleyorbust View Post
Came here to say that. Gretzky was in a league of his own and you can argue that he helped develop much of the southern USA fanbase.

Huge fan of Mario..from a standpoint of domination against the players of thier times, gretz, mario, orr are the top 3. Howe was amazing for longevity... but he never "dominated" his conpetition quite like those three
1950/51
Howe 1st 86 points, Richard 2nd 66 points
1951/52
Howe 1st 86 points, Lindsay (Howe's Linemate) 2nd 69 points, Lach 3rd 65 points
1952/53
Howe 1st 95 points, Lindsay (Howe's Linemate) 2nd 71 points, Richard 3rd 61 points
1953/54
Howe 1st 81 points, Richard 2nd 67 points

That's pretty dominate.

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03-29-2013, 05:48 PM
  #134
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To the OP, in a word, yes he is over rated.

Almost everyone looks at him only in his best light, ie offensive skill set and not his overall game or how much impact he had on his teams scoring.

Defensively he was quite a bit below average and he didn't win any cups until there was a massive influx of surrounding players.

He is probably the most talented guy I have ever seen play but his absolute status, in most peoples eyes, in the top 4 is an oversight and too limited a focus on only part of the game IMO.

I'm a huge career guy but can really see a legit argument for him being 5th or lower on the all time center list if everything is taken into account.

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03-29-2013, 06:00 PM
  #135
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
To the OP, in a word, yes he is over rated.

Almost everyone looks at him only in his best light, ie offensive skill set and not his overall game or how much impact he had on his teams scoring.

Defensively he was quite a bit below average and he didn't win any cups until there was a massive influx of surrounding players.
He is probably the most talented guy I have ever seen play but his absolute status, in most peoples eyes, in the top 4 is an oversight and too limited a focus on only part of the game IMO.

I'm a huge career guy but can really see a legit argument for him being 5th or lower on the all time center list if everything is taken into account.
Couldn't you say all of that about Gretzky?

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03-29-2013, 06:17 PM
  #136
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Couldn't you say all of that about Gretzky?
To some degree yes but to Mario even more so.

Mario had a lousy team but the Pens didn't make the playoffs till his 5th year.

Sid for example had them in the playoffs in his 2nd year, I know he had Malkin in the 2nd year, but his 1st 2 years and rookie year is more impressive than Marios's for example but one wouldn't think so looking just at the counting stats.

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03-29-2013, 06:29 PM
  #137
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
To the OP, in a word, yes he is over rated.

Almost everyone looks at him only in his best light, ie offensive skill set and not his overall game or how much impact he had on his teams scoring.

Defensively he was quite a bit below average and he didn't win any cups until there was a massive influx of surrounding players.

He is probably the most talented guy I have ever seen play but his absolute status, in most peoples eyes, in the top 4 is an oversight and too limited a focus on only part of the game IMO.

I'm a huge career guy but can really see a legit argument for him being 5th or lower on the all time center list if everything is taken into account.
All of this is bull. As asinine as it is that you are talking about defensive play with a forward like Mario Lemieux, I will still say something about that. In the 1992 finals, Scotty Bowman said Lemieux had been the Pens best defensive forward in the finals, so I fully believe Mario was effective defensively when it mattered in the playoffs. Also, silly to only put him in top-5 centers, as he has the 2nd highest career ppg of any player ever. Do you really put Messier or others over Mario because he wasn't a great defensive or physical player? Also, re: defensive play, the best defense is owning the puck and scoring in bunches, both of which Mario did. He almost single-handedly won playoffs series during the Penguins cup runs, most notably the Caps series in '92. Not to mention he lead an average Penguins team to the conference finals in 2001 after a 3 year retirement. Mario Lemieux overrated?

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03-29-2013, 06:42 PM
  #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
1950/51
Howe 1st 86 points, Richard 2nd 66 points
1951/52
Howe 1st 86 points, Lindsay (Howe's Linemate) 2nd 69 points, Lach 3rd 65 points
1952/53
Howe 1st 95 points, Lindsay (Howe's Linemate) 2nd 71 points, Richard 3rd 61 points
1953/54
Howe 1st 81 points, Richard 2nd 67 points

That's pretty dominate.

To add on,

2 players have won the Art Ross by 30% or more. Gretzky did it five times. Howe did it twice.

Lemieux peaked at 18%. Yes, injuries and Gretzky competition, but Howe dominated at a Lemieux-esque level.

If you give Lemieux's injuries the benefit of the doubt he peaks at 51.3%. For reference, Gretzky peaked at 69%.

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03-29-2013, 06:54 PM
  #139
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All of this is bull. As asinine as it is that you are talking about defensive play with a forward like Mario Lemieux, I will still say something about that. In the 1992 finals, Scotty Bowman said Lemieux had been the Pens best defensive forward in the finals, so I fully believe Mario was effective defensively when it mattered in the playoffs. Also, silly to only put him in top-5 centers, as he has the 2nd highest career ppg of any player ever. Do you really put Messier or others over Mario because he wasn't a great defensive or physical player? Also, re: defensive play, the best defense is owning the puck and scoring in bunches, both of which Mario did. He almost single-handedly won playoffs series during the Penguins cup runs, most notably the Caps series in '92. Not to mention he lead an average Penguins team to the conference finals in 2001 after a 3 year retirement. Mario Lemieux overrated?
Hang on a second here, he couldn't single handily get his team into the playoffs until his 5th year, but after that, with a better supporting cast he single handily won playoff series?

This is exactly what I mean about being over rated.

As for him possibly being 5th on my centers list, I'm a huge career guy and you have to play to get credit.

The guys I'm considering over him are Wayne, of course, Jean, Mikita, Sakic, Yzerman and Taylor.

My main criteria goes like this, if I could have a guy for his entire career, ie actual games played exactly over again who do I take.

I also consider era, team mates, intangibles like leadership, toughness and playoffs and international play.

Peak, prime and career totals also coem into play.

The 2 biggest things knocking Mario down a bit are injuries/illness and his weak overall defensive game, a couple of games here and there aside.

As dominant as he was offensively he was still only a plus 20 in the playoffs and it's not like he was getting tough defensive assignment either.

It's a bit telling.

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03-29-2013, 06:58 PM
  #140
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Having watched Gretzky and Lemieux in their primes... Gretzky is the greatest. And Lemieux is the best player ever to play (forward).

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03-29-2013, 07:11 PM
  #141
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Hang on a second here, he couldn't single handily get his team into the playoffs until his 5th year, but after that, with a better supporting cast he single handily won playoff series?

This is exactly what I mean about being over rated.

As for him possibly being 5th on my centers list, I'm a huge career guy and you have to play to get credit.

The guys I'm considering over him are Wayne, of course, Jean, Mikita, Sakic, Yzerman and Taylor.

My main criteria goes like this, if I could have a guy for his entire career, ie actual games played exactly over again who do I take.

I also consider era, team mates, intangibles like leadership, toughness and playoffs and international play.

Peak, prime and career totals also coem into play.

The 2 biggest things knocking Mario down a bit are injuries/illness and his weak overall defensive game, a couple of games here and there aside.

As dominant as he was offensively he was still only a plus 20 in the playoffs and it's not like he was getting tough defensive assignment either.

It's a bit telling.
Re: Bolded- No, just no. Of all the people who have ranked players all time, I've never heard anyone put any of the bolded over Mario. Also, Terry Murray (capitals coach in 92) said the Capitals were, "beaten by one man". What would possibly motivate him to say that? Also also, the whole 5 years to get in the playoffs theory is just silly. 1. He won the hart trophy in 1988 when they didn't make the playoffs. 2. You are acting like any of the Pens teams from 84-88 were even remotely playoff caliber teams. His best support players in those years were Warren Young, Mike Bullard, Dan Quinn, Randy Cunneyworth, and Coffey, who only played 46 games in 87-88. Gretzky would not have got the 84-88 Pens into the Playoffs. The teams best finish with Mario before 89 was 4th in their division, no player in history or in the future would get them into the playoffs.You are kidding yourself.

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03-29-2013, 07:22 PM
  #142
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
As for him possibly being 5th on my centers list, I'm a huge career guy and you have to play to get credit.

The guys I'm considering over him are Wayne, of course, Jean, Mikita, Sakic, Yzerman and Taylor.
As Ricky said to Lucy: "You've got some 'splainin to do".

I could tolerate Beliveau being ahead of him even if I strongly disagree, but what would possess you to put Yzerman, Sakic or Cyclone Taylor ahead of him? You complain about players being unable to lift a team into the postseason and you ignore Sakic and Yzerman's early career when it comes to that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
To the OP, in a word, yes he is over rated.

Almost everyone looks at him only in his best light, ie offensive skill set and not his overall game or how much impact he had on his teams scoring.

Defensively he was quite a bit below average and he didn't win any cups until there was a massive influx of surrounding players.

He is probably the most talented guy I have ever seen play but his absolute status, in most peoples eyes, in the top 4 is an oversight and too limited a focus on only part of the game IMO.

I'm a huge career guy but can really see a legit argument for him being 5th or lower on the all time center list if everything is taken into account.
Hardy, come on now, 1991 and 1992 have got to be arguably the two most dominant individual playoff performances I have ever seen. Gretzky had a 2-3 as well of course but if you are talking about the impact he had on his teams how can you ignore the Cups? Those were Mario's in a nutshell. Nice supporting cast too that was built around him, but that team doesn't win without him. 1993? 17 wins in a row after Mario comes back from cancer. You can't write a script like that.

Sakic and Yzerman didn't win Cups either until they had some talent. That's not a knock on them either, because the teams they were playing against (sometimes each other) were great teams. But they took a long time to step up as well. Before 1996 Sakic wasn't anything worth mentioning in the postseason.

I think the warts Mario had would be his attitude in the pre-cancer pre-Cup teams. Sometimes getting the reputation that he was lazy or unable to carry his teams very far or that he didn't have the heart. I actually agree with some of that because in many ways Mario was a complainer in the eyes of many, sort of a spoiled child, and he had Gretzky as his comparable and he had done everything there was to do in the hockey world while Mario hadn't yet. But my perception of him changed when he dominated in the 1991 and 1992 playoffs. Then the cancer hits and he still wins the scoring title. A lot of people still thought he was a whiner after that but I never did and I saw him in a much different light. Before 1991 he was a guy I thought was hugely talented but not intense enough on the ice. But once he showed he could do it all it changed for me.

So I think taking all of that into account I still would put him as the #2 center. Despite the fact he wasn't a very good defensive player. I think we all take that into account when ranking him. However when you look at a season like 1993 when he wins the Art Ross playing in only 60 games it looks even more impressive when you consider that he had 2.67 PPG that year with the next player (Lafontaine) getting 1.76. You just can't buy that kind of dominance and with all due respect we never saw Beliveau do that.

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03-29-2013, 07:25 PM
  #143
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Mario- 1723 points > Beliveau- 1219 points Mikita- 1467 points Sakic < Yzerman- 1755 points.
I understand you value career, but only one of the guys you listed actually scored more than Mario, so do you give players credit for playing, but not scoring? Also, Stevie Wonder's monumental 32 more career points than Mario came in 599 more games. Saying your opinions are silly is being kind.


Last edited by NewAgeOutlaw: 03-29-2013 at 07:27 PM. Reason: put Dave Taylor's stats instead of Cyclone Taylor, won't post his due to vastly different eras.
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03-29-2013, 07:40 PM
  #144
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Yeah he's overrated. You know, like Johan sebastian bach & ludwig von beethoven are overrated.

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03-29-2013, 07:45 PM
  #145
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Just a little side note here, when Mario had that 5 goal game in 1993 against the Rangers in a 10-3 romp it was during the Pens 17 win streak. Lemieux had come back from cancer, was going to win the Art Ross and Hart and was part of a team that was two-time reigning Cup champs at the time. What he was doing was miraculous and the colour commentator with Mike Lange after his 5th goal said something along the lines of "what a game from the greatest player in history".

Now, he got caught up in the moment and the Pens were heavy favourites to win 3 in a row at that time and who would have thought they wouldn't? So he may have been getting ahead of himself a bit.

However, this just goes to show everyone just where Mario stood in the NHL at this time. He was an unstoppable force especially from 1988-'93. The only thing that stopped his 46 point streak was his back injury. He beat cancer, gets 56 points in his final 20 games to reclaim the scoring lead. With the exception of Gretzky, no one had ever had a string of seasons quite like that. I think it shows you just how much reverence he had from people around this time. So I personally don't forget this and I know others don't either. It just doesn't seem possible but there was a player who was doing things like this at the time. Once a player is gone you either know how dominant they were because you saw them or you either learn about them and study their impact or you ignore it and say "Meh, different era, different game". The former is better than the latter.

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03-29-2013, 09:46 PM
  #146
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I have the DVD of that game, at the time he was definitely playing like the greatest of all-time.

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03-30-2013, 02:29 AM
  #147
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Mario Lemieux is overrated in the sense that people say he was better than Gretzky. That's about it.

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03-30-2013, 09:24 AM
  #148
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Funny you mention that, because I've always felt the same way. But many Lemieux fans complain about Gretzky's lack of size, something they can't say about Orr and Howe, both of whom were far more physical than Lemieux. I think for them, Gretzky just doesn't fit the mold of what a hockey player "should" be. Lemieux was bigger and had more obvious physical gifts, which to many of his supporters is more important than Gretzky's superior statistical dominance.

I actually think Lemieux vs Orr is a much more interesting debate. Both dominated when healthy but lost significant amounts of time due to injury. Orr was the better two way player, but he lasted even less time than Lemieux did. He also had a dominant team for a lot longer, yet only managed to win 2 cups, just like Lemieux.

Personally, I put Orr above him. But I think there are a lot more similarities between Mario's career and Bobby's, than between him and Wayne.
It should be noted that Orr wasn't any bigger than Gretzky when he entered the NHL.

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03-30-2013, 09:25 AM
  #149
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Having watched Gretzky and Lemieux in their primes... Gretzky is the greatest. And Lemieux is the best player ever to play (forward).
I get this.

Well said.

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03-30-2013, 10:27 AM
  #150
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Mario is overrated the same way Sid the Kid is. PROJECTION of the mind's eye!!!!

(Gretzky, on the other hand, left it all on the table, our mouths gaping...)

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