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Will we ever see a better player than Gretzky? Will we know it?

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Old
03-22-2013, 08:50 AM
  #751
Dennis Bonvie
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I see. Like just totally flat out offence? Irresponsibly skating crazy 8's between centre & his own blue-line waiting for a feed while his team mates are scrambling all out, pinched basically 5on4? Banging his stick on the ice in frustration waiting for the puck to cough?... cant think of anyone Mr.Bonvie. You? Pavel Bure pulled that act a lot but he wasnt contemporaneous to Gretzky... and what happened to that whole "From Ice to Slice" dealeo with Old Forge Pizza in West Pittston PA? I heard raves about it then bam, gone. Squared pizza pie. Tasty.
You have hit on the one comparable, Bure.

However, Bure was a winger, not a center. At least he was near where he should have been in the defensive zone, that is covering a point man. As you know, a center has more defensive zone responsibiltiy. So though Bure was comparable, its not quite the same due to position.

As for the Pa. days, they are in the past. Tonight I will be dining with my daughter at the beautiful Broome Country Arena in lovely downtown Binghamton where she attends Binghamton University (actually, in Vestal, down rte. 434.). Friday night AHL hockey, reminds me of the good old days of the New Haven Nighthawks, section 14. This will be my third time seeing the Sens, but most of the players I saw the first two times now reside in Ottawa.

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03-22-2013, 09:23 AM
  #752
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
You have hit on the one comparable, Bure.

However, Bure was a winger, not a center. At least he was near where he should have been in the defensive zone, that is covering a point man. As you know, a center has more defensive zone responsibiltiy. So though Bure was comparable, its not quite the same due to position.

As for the Pa. days, they are in the past. Tonight I will be dining with my daughter at the beautiful Broome Country Arena in lovely downtown Binghamton where she attends Binghamton University (actually, in Vestal, down rte. 434.). Friday night AHL hockey, reminds me of the good old days of the New Haven Nighthawks, section 14. This will be my third time seeing the Sens, but most of the players I saw the first two times now reside in Ottawa.
After the faceoff I don't think positions are really important as long as they are effective. Gretzky playing high in the defensive zone was probably because it was better to have him be the first to enter the offensive zone on a counter-attack, a winger was more responsible defensively and history has proven that it worked well that way.
But your should know since Bobby Orr played defense the wrong way carrying the puck into the offensive zone and even standing in front of the opponent net at times...

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03-22-2013, 03:11 PM
  #753
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
You have hit on the one comparable, Bure.

However, Bure was a winger, not a center. At least he was near where he should have been in the defensive zone, that is covering a point man. As you know, a center has more defensive zone responsibiltiy. So though Bure was comparable, its not quite the same due to position.

As for the Pa. days, they are in the past. Tonight I will be dining with my daughter at the beautiful Broome Country Arena in lovely downtown Binghamton where she attends Binghamton University (actually, in Vestal, down rte. 434.). Friday night AHL hockey, reminds me of the good old days of the New Haven Nighthawks, section 14. This will be my third time seeing the Sens, but most of the players I saw the first two times now reside in Ottawa.
I'm confused. I mean what are we talking about exactly? Not backchecking as hard as some? There really wasn't a whole lot of backchecking going on period in the 80's, certainly not a lot of hard backchecking anyway.
Cherry picking? Gretzky wasn't a cheery picker either, he would play high in the defensive zone for sure, putting pressure on the d-men but he was still in the D-zone. Would he jump early if he even sniffed a turnover, damned right but he wasn't floating out at center the whole time.
He could go from covering a D-man to getting open faster than anyone. THAT was part of what made Gretzky as dangerous as he was. Most of the time all he had to do was hang around a D-man at the point and no one would even think about passing it to that d-man or in that general area for fear of Gretzky. THAT'S the was it was.
I watched a highlight just the other day, it was mid 90's, LA vs NJ. He's covering a D-man at the point, there's a turnover. Before you can blink Gretz is already 2 steps past, open for a pass that comes right after and then on his horse. That d-man was Scott Stevens, so no chump. Then goes down and makes some guy named Brodeur look like a sieve.
What about forechecking? In his prime, he makes Dats' pocket picking abilities downright amateur by comparison.

I'm just having a lot of trouble seeing anyone justify how Savard, Dionne, Nilsson or even Stastny were playing much more if any better defensively than Gretzky? Especially considering that Gretzky's forechecking abilities far exceeded any of them.


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Old
03-22-2013, 03:47 PM
  #754
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
You have hit on the one comparable, Bure. However, Bure was a winger, not a center...
Oh ya, no worries, I see where your goin here; dinner in Broome County as well, sounds terrif... Anyhoo, derogatorily as they should be called & in accordance with both The Hockey Dictionary & The Code, Goal Sucks;

*Ovechkin
Kovalchuk
Semin
Afinogenov
Kozlov
Samsonov
Anisimov
Lisin
Shirokov
Hagman
Gomez
Cogliano
Satan
Heatley
Vanek
Kessel
Kane
Kariya
etc

*Obvious improvement over the last 2yrs but look at the cost? Is it worth it? And Sean Avery. He makes the list because he was a Goal Suck, a Floater on top of just generally being an *******. Certainly not in the same league talent wise as Gretzky or Lemieux, Kane or Kariya but hey. Free shot at the guy, an excuse to do so. Right?... carry on.


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03-23-2013, 03:44 PM
  #755
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I'm confused. I mean what are we talking about exactly? Not backchecking as hard as some? There really wasn't a whole lot of backchecking going on period in the 80's, certainly not a lot of hard backchecking anyway.
Cherry picking? Gretzky wasn't a cheery picker either, he would play high in the defensive zone for sure, putting pressure on the d-men but he was still in the D-zone. Would he jump early if he even sniffed a turnover, damned right but he wasn't floating out at center the whole time.
He could go from covering a D-man to getting open faster than anyone. THAT was part of what made Gretzky as dangerous as he was. Most of the time all he had to do was hang around a D-man at the point and no one would even think about passing it to that d-man or in that general area for fear of Gretzky. THAT'S the was it was.
I watched a highlight just the other day, it was mid 90's, LA vs NJ. He's covering a D-man at the point, there's a turnover. Before you can blink Gretz is already 2 steps past, open for a pass that comes right after and then on his horse. That d-man was Scott Stevens, so no chump. Then goes down and makes some guy named Brodeur look like a sieve.
What about forechecking? In his prime, he makes Dats' pocket picking abilities downright amateur by comparison.

I'm just having a lot of trouble seeing anyone justify how Savard, Dionne, Nilsson or even Stastny were playing much more if any better defensively than Gretzky? Especially considering that Gretzky's forechecking abilities far exceeded any of them.
Gee, that sounds a lot like cherry picking to me.

As Warren Beatty said about what makes a woman good in bed, "She shows up." At least Savard, Dionne, Nilsson and Stastny showed up in defensive zone.

Don't know how much of Gretzky or Lemieux you saw, but in my lifetime of watching NHL hockey (going back to the 60s) I never saw another center play defensive like they did. Both played more D when they were older, granted. Be neither played much of it.

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03-23-2013, 03:52 PM
  #756
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Originally Posted by Irato99 View Post
After the faceoff I don't think positions are really important as long as they are effective. Gretzky playing high in the defensive zone was probably because it was better to have him be the first to enter the offensive zone on a counter-attack, a winger was more responsible defensively and history has proven that it worked well that way.
But your should know since Bobby Orr played defense the wrong way carrying the puck into the offensive zone and even standing in front of the opponent net at times...
Its always best for the center to be the first to enter the offensive zone, but no one has their centers up by the blue in the defensive zone to attain it.

Chara stands in front of the opponents net occasionally. So?

Are you really trying to compare defensive ability of Gretzky to Orr?

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03-23-2013, 04:30 PM
  #757
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Be neither played much of it.
They didnt have to in their primes. To even utter "2way" in referencing,
describing a Gretzky or Lemieux's game, in the same sentence? Oxymoronic.

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03-23-2013, 04:46 PM
  #758
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Gee, that sounds a lot like cherry picking to me.
Dude, Bure wouldn't even come back into the D-zone, he would hang around the neutral zone floating. THAT is cherry picking!

Quote:
As Warren Beatty said about what makes a woman good in bed, "She shows up." At least Savard, Dionne, Nilsson and Stastny showed up in defensive zone.

Don't know how much of Gretzky or Lemieux you saw, but in my lifetime of watching NHL hockey (going back to the 60s) I never saw another center play defensive like they did. Both played more D when they were older, granted. Be neither played much of it.
I think we both saw the same Mario but we did not see the same Gretzky.

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03-23-2013, 05:07 PM
  #759
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Dude, Bure wouldn't even come back into the D-zone, he would hang around the neutral zone floating. THAT is cherry picking!
It was pretty hilarious to see live in person. The cameras' wouldnt have picked up on a lot of it, but ya, he'd literally just hang north of the blue line between centre, skating crazy 8's looking for that Hail Mary breakaway pass or the puck being coughed, errant pass to a point or whatever. It was really only during the Playoffs' that you'd see him hustling back, picking up his man and even then it depended on whether the Canucks were leading or behind.

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03-23-2013, 05:13 PM
  #760
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Its always best for the center to be the first to enter the offensive zone, but no one has their centers up by the blue in the defensive zone to attain it.

Chara stands in front of the opponents net occasionally. So?

Are you really trying to compare defensive ability of Gretzky to Orr?
Wow you didn't get it. Who cares if Gretzky is the only center in the history to play that way, he won the MVP 9 times so I guess he wasn't that bad... And I'm not comparing Orr and Gretzky's defensive abilities, I was just mentioning that Orr played out of position a lot.

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03-23-2013, 05:18 PM
  #761
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Wow you didn't get it. Who cares if Gretzky is the only center in the history to play that way, he won the MVP 9 times so I guess he wasn't that bad... And I'm not comparing Orr and Gretzky's defensive abilities, I was just mentioning that Orr played out of position a lot.
You ever notice though that with the true greats like Orr and Gretzky that it looks like they are playing out of position yet somehow the puck always seems to find their stick and then usually the back of the net.

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03-23-2013, 05:30 PM
  #762
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Gee, that sounds a lot like cherry picking to me.

As Warren Beatty said about what makes a woman good in bed, "She shows up." At least Savard, Dionne, Nilsson and Stastny showed up in defensive zone.

Don't know how much of Gretzky or Lemieux you saw, but in my lifetime of watching NHL hockey (going back to the 60s) I never saw another center play defensive like they did. Both played more D when they were older, granted. Be neither played much of it.
Watch the 1987 Canada Cup games and tell me Gretzky didn't come back into his zone. He was literally all over the ice. And when he played the "high game" (as did Mario Lemieux), Gretzky's offense was so good, that he could literally pull the opposition out of their own zones in order to cover for him. This in turn would open up the middle of the ice for Coffey and others to make the attack that much easier. Glen Sather actually wanted Gretzky to do this rather than play the typical "low game". It was for good reason.


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03-23-2013, 09:41 PM
  #763
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But shouldn't you ask yourself WHY the Oilers were the greatest offensive team of all-time? Take away Gretzky and they aren't. The proof is in the pudding here with the Oilers:

1983-84 - 446 goals
1984-85 - 401 goals
1985-86 - 426 goals
1986-87 - 372 goals
1987-88 - 363 goals (Gretzky missed 16 games)
1988-89 - 325 goals

Los Angeles
1987-88 - 318 goals
1988-89 - 376 goals (led the NHL with Gretzky's first season as a King)

I think Gretzky himself was rather responsible for this "perfect storm" here don't you think? Just by the stroke of a pen he was traded and the team he went to compared to the team he left literally swapped numbers



Kent Nilsson is a prime example of a player who could have worked harder. There were lots like him, just like today there are lots like him. How many times have we complained about Mogilny, Semin, Kovalev, Green? Or even players like Malkin or Jagr who we often feel have all the talent in the world but have been known to play rather inconsistent hockey? Ask Leaf fans about Kessel. You seem to think that players mailing it in and not giving it 100% was exclusive only to the 1980s. Hardly. It was the same as today, there were some players with the desire to exceed and win more than others. Gretzky was one of them who never quit. Messier was another. Crosby is definitely one of those players today, as it Toews. But you seem to think players weren't trying in the 1980s.
Sure players were trying but defenses weren't working as hard and there were many "easier nights" back then too.

You are right with the 3 more recent guys you mentioned but on the other side the game is way more over coached and "defensive" in every sense of the word game in game out in the NHL post lockout compared to the 80's

People see the differences in basketball with the high scoring 70's compared to today, why is it so hard to acknowledge those differences in hockey?

Just ask players who played back then, Ray Ferraro has confirmed this on radio more than once and he isn't the only guy.

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03-23-2013, 09:46 PM
  #764
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Sure players were trying but defenses weren't working as hard and there were many "easier nights" back then too.

You are right with the 3 more recent guys you mentioned but on the other side the game is way more over coached and "defensive" in every sense of the word game in game out in the NHL post lockout compared to the 80's

People see the differences in basketball with the high scoring 70's compared to today, why is it so hard to acknowledge those differences in hockey?

Just ask players who played back then, Ray Ferraro has confirmed this on radio more than once and he isn't the only guy.
Atta girl, quote Ray Ferraro

If it was so easy back then why didn't Mr. Ferraro pot 70 or even 80 goals a season?

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03-23-2013, 09:49 PM
  #765
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With Gretzky, he got upwards of 50% of his team's points. When he went to LA, the team's scoring went up 18%.

Take a 270-goal team. Multiply by 1.18. Divide by 2. What do you get? 160 points..and that isn't even prime Gretzky.
That assumes that what took place in 89 could take place today.

Also the year before Wayne got to LA they scored 318 goals for which was good for 5th in the NHL.

The one looks more at the situation, Wayne, the Kings and NHL in 88 and 89 and the NHL today (pick your team), the 160 points needs a lot of "ifs" to work.

Wayne's total goals for ( as opposed to total goals against ) at age 28 is hardly world class either, he was on the ice for a league leading 169 Total goals against at age 28 which is still most players prime.

It will be very interesting to see how Sid's age 28 (or 29 for some counters) season stacks up in a couple of years

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03-23-2013, 09:50 PM
  #766
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Atta girl, quote Ray Ferraro

If it was so easy back then why didn't Mr. Ferraro pot 70 or even 80 goals a season?
Or 50 goals or 90 points.

It's easy to run your mouth, but Gretzky regularly doubled/tripled Ferraro's points.

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03-23-2013, 10:00 PM
  #767
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That assumes that what took place in 89 could take place today.

Also the year before Wayne got to LA they scored 318 goals for which was good for 5th in the NHL.

The one looks more at the situation, Wayne, the Kings and NHL in 88 and 89 and the NHL today (pick your team), the 160 points needs a lot of "ifs" to work.

Wayne's total goals for ( as opposed to total goals against ) at age 28 is hardly world class either, he was on the ice for a league leading 169 Total goals against at age 28 which is still most players prime.

It will be very interesting to see how Sid's age 28 (or 29 for some counters) season stacks up in a couple of years

Have you not been reading this thread?
I guess you missed the part where LA and Edmonton completely switched places for goal scoring in '88.
Edmonton dropped about 11%, LA went up about 11%
That's about 40 goals btw.

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03-23-2013, 10:04 PM
  #768
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I would agree that if Crosby manages to score 150 points while rest of the stars remain in 100-120 points range, he would definitely approach the "all-time greats" -category.

However, before we go there:
scoring 150 points > scoring at pace for 150 points > 1.6 points / game pace Crosby is scoring this season and before his injury
Well in this season he has 52 points right now 11 more than his team mate and 12 more than Stamkos.

IN a full season that works out to 133 points for Sid to 105 for Kunitz and 109 for Stamkos which is extremely impressive.

Some might put the silly * beside a 48 game season but that's not Sids fault either it's a full season in 13.

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03-23-2013, 10:08 PM
  #769
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Well in this season he has 52 points right now 11 more than his team mate and 12 more than Stamkos.

IN a full season that works out to 133 points for Sid to 105 for Kunitz and 109 for Stamkos which is extremely impressive.

Some might put the silly * beside a 48 game season but that's not Sids fault either it's a full season in 13.
Gretzky was on "pace" for 246 points after 51 games in 83/84.
Too bad that wasn't a strike shortened season eh

Like do you honestly believe Sid is remotely close to that level???
(That's a rhetorical question btw)

153 points in 51 games! Sid is just barely on "pace" for 130 for 82 game for pete's sake. 80's high scoring level or not, that's ****ing ridiculous!

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03-23-2013, 10:13 PM
  #770
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No, I'm not kidding.

None of those guys were even close to the level of non-defensive play Gretzky & Lemieux exhibited.
Of course you are right here, a simple look at each players TGA (total goals against) will hint to this and their total offense games, and lack of defense, meant their total impact was less in the late 90's than early to mid 80's and after Wayne was traded to LA especially.

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03-23-2013, 10:21 PM
  #771
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Wow you didn't get it. Who cares if Gretzky is the only center in the history to play that way, he won the MVP 9 times so I guess he wasn't that bad... And I'm not comparing Orr and Gretzky's defensive abilities, I was just mentioning that Orr played out of position a lot.
Fine.

The only point I'm making is that both Gretzky & Mario were not good defensively. What exactly am I not getting?

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03-23-2013, 10:23 PM
  #772
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Have you not been reading this thread?
I guess you missed the part where LA and Edmonton completely switched places for goal scoring in '88.
Edmonton dropped about 11%, LA went up about 11%
That's about 40 goals btw.
That's great, but it's still both teams circa 89 and LA was 5th in goals the year before (88) Wayne with 318, the logic and implication simply doesn't just transfer over time and space.

It's possible but all of the other relevant numbers suggest it's highly unlikely, even close to impossible.

But you can fall back to the old stand by "but it's Wayne..." and forget context.

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03-23-2013, 10:27 PM
  #773
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Gretzky was on "pace" for 246 points after 51 games in 83/84.
Too bad that wasn't a strike shortened season eh

Like do you honestly believe Sid is remotely close to that level???
(That's a rhetorical question btw)

153 points in 51 games! Sid is just barely on "pace" for 130 for 82 game for pete's sake. 80's high scoring level or not, that's ****ing ridiculous!
Trying to remember which year Denis Maruk had 136 points but ya that was because of Wayne right?

Wayne also played defense like Sid in the years compared right?

Sure Wayne is higher and so he should be.

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03-23-2013, 10:32 PM
  #774
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Watch the 1987 Canada Cup games and tell me Gretzky didn't come back into his zone. He was literally all over the ice. And when he played the "high game" (as did Mario Lemieux), Gretzky's offense was so good, that he could literally pull the opposition out of their own zones in order to cover for him. This in turn would open up the middle of the ice for Coffey and others to make the attack that much easier. Glen Sather actually wanted Gretzky to do this rather than play the typical "low game". It was for good reason.
I will not do that.

Clearly an aberration. Besides, Mario was on his line so one of them had to venture into the defensive end.

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03-23-2013, 10:48 PM
  #775
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Already saw a better player than Gretzky....Orr.

Will we see a better player than Gretzky since Gretzky?....Yes, it's inevitable given enough time and players.

How will we know it?...Like porn, we'll know it when we see it and there will be gobs of supporting evidence that will outweigh his probably-unsurpassable scoring records.

What will this evidence be past stats, awards, and the eyeball test?...beats me. Maybe they'll have invented a Best-o-Meter by then.

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