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What most impressed you about Mario Lemieux?

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Old
03-23-2005, 10:45 PM
  #1
Big Phil
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What most impressed you about Mario Lemieux?

Since there was a post about this on Gretzky I want to make one of this for Lemieux. What most impressed you about Mario?

To me it was a lot of things but the ones that come to my mind are the fact that whenver he was on a breakaway you just knew he was going to score. There was always that deer in the headlights look form the goalie. Almost as if they curled up into a ball and just hoped that the puck would bounce off Mario's stick. Of course it never did. I liked the fact that when he was on a breakaway he just froze the goalie in his tracks. He could do anything he had so many weapons on a breakaway. My favourite was how he always roofed it in the top right hand corner, it'd always hit the top of the net and in. He did it so effortlessly.

Also what impressed me about him was the fact he won a scoring title after being diagnosed with cancer. He comes back after being down 20 points to Lafontaine and ends up with 160 points in 60 games!

Also his many tricks he had in his bag. The amazing plays he made for example '02 Gold Medal game when he "let" the puck go to Kariya, his split of the defense goal in the '91 Cup finals. His goal from in between the legs against Vancouver in '95. Many more just an amazing physical talent!

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03-23-2005, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
Since there was a post about this on Gretzky I want to make one of this for Lemieux. What most impressed you about Mario?

To me it was a lot of things but the ones that come to my mind are the fact that whenver he was on a breakaway you just knew he was going to score. There was always that deer in the headlights look form the goalie. Almost as if they curled up into a ball and just hoped that the puck would bounce off Mario's stick. Of course it never did. I liked the fact that when he was on a breakaway he just froze the goalie in his tracks. He could do anything he had so many weapons on a breakaway. My favourite was how he always roofed it in the top right hand corner, it'd always hit the top of the net and in. He did it so effortlessly.

Also what impressed me about him was the fact he won a scoring title after being diagnosed with cancer. He comes back after being down 20 points to Lafontaine and ends up with 160 points in 60 games!

Also his many tricks he had in his bag. The amazing plays he made for example '02 Gold Medal game when he "let" the puck go to Kariya, his split of the defense goal in the '91 Cup finals. His goal from in between the legs against Vancouver in '95. Many more just an amazing physical talent!
What impressed me most aside from him being IMO the greatest forward in history and his great passing and goal scoring ability, and of course his god like stickhandling was how he would purpousely shoot the puck from behind the net and score of the goalies skate. Its hard to explain but he just did it effortlessly.

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03-23-2005, 10:52 PM
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Sixty Six
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the thing that impressed me wasn't so much a skill but mario was always a top PKer top PP and top player, to be the best at all 3 is simply amazing

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03-23-2005, 11:18 PM
  #4
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Besides the obvious skill on ice, my lasting memory will be during the handshakes at the conclusion of the Philadelphia-Pittsburgh 1997 first round series when he hugged Eric Lindros and told him "It is your time" or something to that effect. It didn't turn out that way but it showed true sportsmanship and really what separates hockey from the rest of the sports.

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03-23-2005, 11:19 PM
  #5
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Old
03-23-2005, 11:37 PM
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Spitfire11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KOVALEV10
Its hard to explain but he just did it effortlessly.
yeah, he just made everything look so easy, like he wasn't even breaking a sweat.

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03-23-2005, 11:42 PM
  #7
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All great posts.

I concur with KOVALEV's assessment of #66's place among forwards, but will leave it at that, lest I incite a "who's better?" flame war.

There is a lot to like about #66 as both a human being and a player, if one will only take off the cynical glasses for a moment. I refer to the many guttersnipes who to this day assign unscrupulous motives to Mario's ownership of the Pens and who downplay/question his slew of injuries/illnesses.

This fan will NEVER forget how he toyed another alltimer, Raymond Bourque, on a single play in the '92 playoffs.

But most of all, when I think of #66, I am reminded of seeing him countless times simply dominate the opposition unlike any other forward. His combination of size and skill often left him literally looking like the best and oldest kid looked on your rink when you were growing up. A man among boys.

You simply don't see that talent disparity in the NHL. It was commonplace with #66.

Count me among one of the seemingly few who never wants a good thing to end: I hope Mario is back on the ice when the NHL returns.

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03-24-2005, 01:41 AM
  #8
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Every game I saw Lemieux play he always showed me something different.........unlike with Gretzky whenever the Oilers had the powerplay you always knew where Gretz was headed too...right behind the other team's Net...But with Lemieux IMO he was more of an UNPREDICTABLE player and always full of surprises.....more exciting to watch compared to Gretz from a fan stand-point.

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03-24-2005, 02:12 AM
  #9
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I liked his ability to utilize his size to his advantage.

One of the main reasons he's the second best forward ever...

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03-24-2005, 11:45 AM
  #10
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very underrated shorthanded player. i believe he holds the SHG record in a season with 13.

the main thing that wowed me, that he along with Gretzky were SO far ahead of the rest of the NHLers it was scary. it was almost like they had superhuman skills. imagine today's superstars, and then imagine that Lemieux and Gretzky were literally twice as good as them.

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03-24-2005, 11:59 AM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottier
This fan will NEVER forget how he toyed another alltimer, Raymond Bourque, on a single play in the '92 playoffs.
That 1991-92 Bruins team allowed more goals than it scored over the course of the regular season, which illustrates how overused and exhausted Bourque was trying to do it all on a patchwork team for which no fewer than 55 different guys suited up. He was also in the conference finals for the third straight year and fourth in the last five; that's a lot of hockey for anyone logging his minutes.

And, even so, I covered the game and was nonetheless amazed that Mario could own him like that. That is forever etched in my mind as the hot button for the how good was Mario question.

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03-24-2005, 01:17 PM
  #12
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How a big man could stickhandle and move like he does/did.
How he could remain at a relatively high level of play into his mid-late 30's.
How he could return from illness, injuries, long layoffs, retirement and still dominate.
How he raised the level of play of those around him. See Warren Young and Rob Brown.
How he could lead a team to a cup with Barrasso as his goalie.
His pickpocket play of Bourque in 92
How so damn strong he is.
How a smoker could be so dominate.

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03-24-2005, 01:40 PM
  #13
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He did things I have never seen anybody else ever attempt. As far as measurable skills go, he may well indeed be the most gifted player to ever lace up skates.

His ability to create plays and manuever around defenders at will was amazing.

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03-24-2005, 02:02 PM
  #14
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To me the most impressive thing about him was his presence. His presence on the ice, he knew he could win games, the opposition knew he could win games, and they just couldn't stop him. He did so many things effortlessly, he is truly a top tier player

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03-24-2005, 02:19 PM
  #15
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wingspan and ability to control the puck so well using it. im 6'4" and ive tried to dangle all my life - i had to go with a shorter stick to really do the things i like to do (i play roller and ice) watching mario be as tall as me, using a stick that looks as tall as he is walk around the best defenders in the nhl and make it look so effortless has different meaning to me. it isnt easy being tall and being so coordinated on the ice.

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03-24-2005, 02:36 PM
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Lemieux's pure skill is the best of all-time IMO.

Just an incredible stick-handler. He could make goalies and defenseman look soooo bad.

Bure could beat guys with pure speed, Gretzky would kill you with patience, Mario however was just pure skill combined with the incredible wingspan.

Lemieux was so talented that he could break a cardinal rule of a forward on a breakaway/one-on-one situation. As a forward you're always taught to go at a goalie/defenseman full-speed, Mario would often come in gliding of half-speed and make them look so foolish.

I've never seen his backhand-forehand and slip it 5-hole, breakaway move ever stopped. With his wingspan he'd force goalies to open up, and he'd quickly slip it 5-hole. Occasionally he'd they and go glove side high and he'd score on about 80% of those, it was the only chance a goalie had on a Lemieux breakaway.

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03-24-2005, 02:50 PM
  #17
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His all around skills. The fact that he could score and pass and then kill penalties. He scored goals in every way possible. That's just a testament to how good he was.

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03-24-2005, 03:45 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doc5hole
That 1991-92 Bruins team allowed more goals than it scored over the course of the regular season, which illustrates how overused and exhausted Bourque was trying to do it all on a patchwork team for which no fewer than 55 different guys suited up. He was also in the conference finals for the third straight year and fourth in the last five; that's a lot of hockey for anyone logging his minutes.

And, even so, I covered the game and was nonetheless amazed that Mario could own him like that. That is forever etched in my mind as the hot button for the how good was Mario question.
Just to ensure clarity, by no means was my original post meant in any way as disrespect for Ray Bourque. On the contrary, that the play was made against Bourque, made it all the more remarkable.

***

Not to go OT, but since you brought it up, those late 80s/early 90s Bruins teams were interesting, at least to this observer. Seemed like the whole was always greater than the parts. You seemingly had Bourque, Neely (and a solid Moog in net)...and a lot of lunchpailers. The latter were solid players in their own right, but not too many memorable names. Yet they were solid contenders for several years running.

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03-24-2005, 04:31 PM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottier
Just to ensure clarity, by no means was my original post meant in any way as disrespect for Ray Bourque. On the contrary, that the play was made against Bourque, made it all the more remarkable.

***
that to this day may be my favorite goal ever. it was one of the more dominant displays of overwhelming talent ive ever seen. of course, i was a whaler fan who despite respecting ray for who he is despised him as a rival. i was overcome with joy to see bourque schooled at the time - but over the years have come to appreciate how dominant ray was and how great mario had to be to make him look like that.

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Old
03-24-2005, 04:44 PM
  #20
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Originally Posted by Trottier
All great posts.

I concur with KOVALEV's assessment of #66's place among forwards, but will leave it at that, lest I incite a "who's better?" flame war.

There is a lot to like about #66 as both a human being and a player, if one will only take off the cynical glasses for a moment. I refer to the many guttersnipes who to this day assign unscrupulous motives to Mario's ownership of the Pens and who downplay/question his slew of injuries/illnesses.

This fan will NEVER forget how he toyed another alltimer, Raymond Bourque, on a single play in the '92 playoffs.

But most of all, when I think of #66, I am reminded of seeing him countless times simply dominate the opposition unlike any other forward. His combination of size and skill often left him literally looking like the best and oldest kid looked on your rink when you were growing up. A man among boys.

You simply don't see that talent disparity in the NHL. It was commonplace with #66.

Count me among one of the seemingly few who never wants a good thing to end: I hope Mario is back on the ice when the NHL returns.
Good post there. That was about it. Mario simply looked alot better then anyone else on the ice. Its hard to pick one thing that impressed the most. He could skate around guys. Skate thru guys. He could score from anywhere on the ice from the faceoff circle to the end boards. The powerplay was fun to watch. No matter what a defender did he would burn em. I miss the days he used to set up camp behind the net. He should go back to that.

Hes still capable of some games when hes feeling his oat's where hes the best player in the world. I think next season(knock on wood) we will see him in the race or leading it for the scoring title. Hes had a couple fluke injuries past couple years. Those were fixed in surgery and should be good as new now. His back was the big worry and that seems to be holding up. Im sure there are some cynical skeptics here who will disagree with this. As long as hes healthy, hes still has the best vision,mind and skills package of anyone in the world.

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Old
03-24-2005, 07:39 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
I've never seen his backhand-forehand and slip it 5-hole, breakaway move ever stopped.
I did. 1996 All-Star Game, skills competition, breakaway relay. Belfour stopped it, and even stopped the rebound

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Old
03-25-2005, 12:09 AM
  #22
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I don't even know where to start with this one. I mean, the guy just had so many weapons. I guess if I had to pick the one thing that blew me away most about Mario it was his ability to make goalies and defensemen look utterly foolish with his stickhandling and speed while 2 or 3 guys hung off of him. Unbelievable. Even today's strongest power forwards have a tough time dragging defenders around and playing through being held and hooked the way Mario did.

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03-25-2005, 12:11 AM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicious Vic
I don't even know where to start with this one. I mean, the guy just had so many weapons. I guess if I had to pick the one thing that blew me away most about Mario it was his ability to make goalies and defensemen look utterly foolish with his stickhandling and speed while 2 or 3 guys hung off of him. Unbelievable. Even today's strongest power forwards have a tough time dragging defenders around and playing through being held and hooked the way Mario did.
Are you kidding me? Tough time? NOBODY WOULD BE ABLE TO DO IT! ONLY MARIO!

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03-25-2005, 12:16 AM
  #24
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His level of skill was sick. He is widely thought of as the most skilled player ever...but just watching some old games of his...you really appreciate how talented he was.

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03-25-2005, 05:45 AM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire11
yeah, he just made everything look so easy, like he wasn't even breaking a sweat.
I used to describe it as a calmness. Often it was like he was doing ti-chi. Like Steven Segal doing some martial art stretches in the morning. It was erie.

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