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Gretzky, Lemieux and Crosby comparables

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Old
04-16-2013, 10:44 PM
  #251
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Do you have a yearly breakdown for those 12 years and does the peak end in 87?
I don't think ESGF/GA ratios are the most reliable on a single season basis, but here's what I estimated:

Year AES/82 ES On On/Off
1980 119 1.16 1.44
1981 119 1.48 2.09
1982 155 1.84 1.65
1983 142 1.61 1.23
1984 160 1.78 1.43
1985 161 2.05 2.14
1986 161 1.65 1.27
1987 150 1.78 1.71
1988 146 1.58 1.32
1989 128 1.13 1.27
1990 128 1.14 1.12
1991 137 1.53 1.10
1992 91 0.95 1.00
1993 83 1.24 1.23
1994 84 0.76 0.88
1995 56 0.68 0.74
1996 79 0.94 1.25
1997 92 1.19 1.06
1998 99 0.97 1.34
1999 61 0.69 0.78

AES/82: Adjusted ES points per 82 games
ES On: ESGF/GA ratio w/ player on ice
On/Off: On-ice ratio divided by off-ice ratio

You could argue that '87 was the last of his peak ES seasons, but it seems clearer that '91 was the last of his prime (or near-peak) ES seasons.

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04-16-2013, 11:01 PM
  #252
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
I don't think ESGF/GA ratios are the most reliable on a single season basis, but here's what I estimated:

Year AES/82 ES On On/Off
1980 119 1.16 1.44
1981 119 1.48 2.09
1982 155 1.84 1.65
1983 142 1.61 1.23
1984 160 1.78 1.43
1985 161 2.05 2.14
1986 161 1.65 1.27
1987 150 1.78 1.71
1988 146 1.58 1.32
1989 128 1.13 1.27
1990 128 1.14 1.12
1991 137 1.53 1.10
1992 91 0.95 1.00
1993 83 1.24 1.23
1994 84 0.76 0.88
1995 56 0.68 0.74
1996 79 0.94 1.25
1997 92 1.19 1.06
1998 99 0.97 1.34
1999 61 0.69 0.78

AES/82: Adjusted ES points per 82 games
ES On: ESGF/GA ratio w/ player on ice
On/Off: On-ice ratio divided by off-ice ratio

You could argue that '87 was the last of his peak ES seasons, but it seems clearer that '91 was the last of his prime (or near-peak) ES seasons.
Very well done. Thanks for the research. I find it interesting that 1983, 1986, and 1988 all have VERY similar ESGF/GA numbers. I guess that just shows that Gretzky never actually had any meaningful dip in this category after 1987 as was alluded to earlier.

Czech Your Math, I have a question for you: What would you say is the one biggest factor that Gretzky's AES and ESGF/GA numbers take such a dip after 1991?

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04-17-2013, 12:11 AM
  #253
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Originally Posted by tazzy19 View Post
Czech Your Math, I have a question for you: What would you say is the one biggest factor that Gretzky's AES and ESGF/GA numbers take such a dip after 1991?
It's possible there were a combination of factors, but given the large, sudden decline after '91, I think process of elimination suggests injury. The other factors shouldn't have caused such a sudden and dramatic decline from that exact time:

- age and chronic injury should lead to a much more gradual decline

- he was in the middle of several years with the Kings, so it wasn't a change in team

- league scoring was at least at similar levels in '92 & '93, not really starting to decline until '94 (one possible beginning of the DPE)

- I don't think linemates were a large factor (not sure exactly who he played with each year, but Robitaille was constantly available at LW... and Kurri was not there in '91, a bit rusty in '92, but better in '93 & '94).

- I don't think defensemen were a large factor (Duchesne & Blake in '91... Duchesne gone and Blake injured in '92... Blake healthy, Zhitnik added, Coffey 50 GP in '93... Blake & Zhitnik healthy in '94). He still had great seasons in '87 & '88 when Coffey missed > 1/4 of the season and then was traded, so it's hard to pin it on lack of offensive d-men.

- The Kings were still good in '92 & '93 (even with Gretzky injured for almost half of '93), and they still had a good cast for Gretzky to play with in '94, yet he only had good ESGF/GA ratios during that time when he sat out the first 3 months of '93 and returned rested for the second half of the season. This too suggests that injury and/or fatigue were the main factor in his decline.

Now by '95, Gretzky is older (turned 34 that year) and has had further injury, the Kings are a mess and depleted (Robitialle traded, Kurri 34 and declining, Blake injured, Zhitnik traded), so it's no surprise that Gretzky would be substantially less effective at ES by that point. Maybe with the Kings being much weaker from '94-96, he felt pressure to "make things happen" (trade chances), since the rest of team was below average. Still, in '94 & '95 his On/Off ratio was less than 1, as he couldn't outperform his teammates at ES on a weak team.

I included the adjusted ES point data, because it's much clearer and generally much less prone to such season-to-season variability. IMO that makes extremely difficult to ascribe his decline to other factors at other points in time, rather than the injury in '91.

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04-17-2013, 12:13 AM
  #254
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tazzy19 View Post

Czech Your Math, I have a question for you: What would you say is the one biggest factor that Gretzky's AES and ESGF/GA numbers take such a dip after 1991?
Oh it was the changing tides, the addition of new talent streams and the evolution of the League of course


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04-17-2013, 12:23 AM
  #255
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
It's possible there were a combination of factors, but given the large, sudden decline after '91, I think process of elimination suggests injury. The other factors shouldn't have caused such a sudden and dramatic decline from that exact time:

- age and chronic injury should lead to a much more gradual decline

- he was in the middle of several years with the Kings, so it wasn't a change in team

- league scoring was at least at similar levels in '92 & '93, not really starting to decline until '94 (one possible beginning of the DPE)

- I don't think linemates were a large factor (not sure exactly who he played with each year, but Robitaille was constantly available at LW... and Kurri was not there in '91, a bit rusty in '92, but better in '93 & '94).

- I don't think defensemen were a large factor (Duchesne & Blake in '91... Duchesne gone and Blake injured in '92... Blake healthy, Zhitnik added, Coffey 50 GP in '93... Blake & Zhitnik healthy in '94). He still had great seasons in '87 & '88 when Coffey missed > 1/4 of the season and then was traded, so it's hard to pin it on lack of offensive d-men.

- The Kings were still good in '92 & '93 (even with Gretzky injured for almost half of '93), and they still had a good cast for Gretzky to play with in '94, yet he only had good ESGF/GA ratios during that time when he sat out the first 3 months of '93 and returned rested for the second half of the season. This too suggests that injury and/or fatigue were the main factor in his decline.

Now by '95, Gretzky is older (turned 34 that year) and has had further injury, the Kings are a mess and depleted (Robitialle traded, Kurri 34 and declining, Blake injured, Zhitnik traded), so it's no surprise that Gretzky would be substantially less effective at ES by that point. Maybe with the Kings being much weaker from '94-96, he felt pressure to "make things happen" (trade chances), since the rest of team was below average. Still, in '94 & '95 his On/Off ratio was less than 1, as he couldn't outperform his teammates at ES on a weak team.

I included the adjusted ES point data, because it's much clearer and generally much less prone to such season-to-season variability. IMO that makes extremely difficult to ascribe his decline to other factors at other points in time, rather than the injury in '91.
As usual, brilliant analysis. Your evidence is quite overwhelming, and points to what most rational people have believed for years. Thank you, Czech Your Math. I think the case is closed now.

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04-17-2013, 12:31 AM
  #256
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Oh it was the changing tides, the addition of new talent streams and the evolution of the League of course

Yes, because as all rational people "in the know" know, goalies and defensive systems magically evolved during that one, long September in 1991....so much so, that this magical overnight evolution took away 40 points off Gretzky's (Kings') seasonal average in a blink of an eye! This was indeed a history making summer/fall for the ages....

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04-17-2013, 12:33 AM
  #257
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Yes, because as all rational people "in the know" know, goalies and defensive systems magically evolved during that one, long September in 1991.
Never underestimate the power of spin and the dreaded +/- argument

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04-17-2013, 12:56 AM
  #258
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its so hard to compare the greatest players esspecially the different eras sometimes. we all know the game has evolved and since the 80s players have gotten bigger faster stronger, the technology with the equipment has big time evolved, everything is lighter and way more effective. the game has changed, defensive systems have advanced, hockey has gotten more popular, there are way more hockey programs to develop players, there is way more talent to choose from, its very complex now.

with that said, no one will touch gretzkys records. and the numbers he put up in the 80s ridiculous. it really says a lot about how far a head of his time he was from everyone else.


which makes what crosby doing in todays game just as important. crosby was having another historical year and we get robbed again from seeing greatness by a fluke puck to.the face. he had what, 56pts in 34 games rbis year? that's amazing in todays game. hopefully he gets back for playoffs

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04-17-2013, 06:44 AM
  #259
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
I don't think ESGF/GA ratios are the most reliable on a single season basis, but here's what I estimated:

Year AES/82 ES On On/Off
1980 119 1.16 1.44
1981 119 1.48 2.09
1982 155 1.84 1.65
1983 142 1.61 1.23
1984 160 1.78 1.43
1985 161 2.05 2.14
1986 161 1.65 1.27
1987 150 1.78 1.71
1988 146 1.58 1.32
1989 128 1.13 1.27
1990 128 1.14 1.12
1991 137 1.53 1.10
1992 91 0.95 1.00
1993 83 1.24 1.23
1994 84 0.76 0.88
1995 56 0.68 0.74
1996 79 0.94 1.25
1997 92 1.19 1.06
1998 99 0.97 1.34
1999 61 0.69 0.78

AES/82: Adjusted ES points per 82 games
ES On: ESGF/GA ratio w/ player on ice
On/Off: On-ice ratio divided by off-ice ratio

You could argue that '87 was the last of his peak ES seasons, but it seems clearer that '91 was the last of his prime (or near-peak) ES seasons.
That really is stark.

Thanks for taking the time do do that.

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04-17-2013, 12:43 PM
  #260
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Care to address Czech your math's work here hardy? Or will you continue to stubbornly cling to your preconceived notions?

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04-17-2013, 01:32 PM
  #261
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Care to address Czech your math's work here hardy? Or will you continue to stubbornly cling to your preconceived notions?
I am trying to have faith, but my guess is the latter.... Even if you just use the "eye test", if you watch the Gretzky who played in the 1991 Canada Cup and then the one that played during the 1991-92 NHL season, it was like watching two different players. Gretzky was never the same after that tournament, despite some great performances (such as the 1993 playoffs). His mobility and speed had taken a big hit (no pun intended).

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04-17-2013, 02:22 PM
  #262
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Originally Posted by tazzy19 View Post
I am trying to have faith, but my guess is the latter.... Even if you just use the "eye test", if you watch the Gretzky who played in the 1991 Canada Cup and then the one that played during the 1991-92 NHL season, it was like watching two different players. Gretzky was never the same after that tournament, despite some great performances (such as the 1993 playoffs). His mobility and speed had taken a big hit (no pun intended).
Not exactly 1987 stats there though? 1981 and 1984 ones though. Perhaps the 1987 ones was an anamoly, which just happened to occur when playing much besides Le Magnifique.

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04-17-2013, 02:25 PM
  #263
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Not exactly 1987 stats there though? 1981 and 1984 ones though. Perhaps the 1987 ones was an anamoly, which just happened to occur when playing much besides Le Magnifique.
Hockey players are ageless now?

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04-17-2013, 04:21 PM
  #264
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Not exactly 1987 stats there though? 1981 and 1984 ones though. Perhaps the 1987 ones was an anamoly, which just happened to occur when playing much besides Le Magnifique.
You make it sound as though it was Wayne who benefitted more than Mario did, rather than the other way around. I don't suppose that #99 assisting on 9 of Le Magnifique's 11 goals (or 82% of them) had anything to do with his 11 goals, did they? Take away Gretzky, and Mario only has 2 goals in 9 games. Take away Mario, and Wayne still has 9 assists in 9 games. Given that they hardly played on the same line, I think these two stats are quite telling indeed....


Last edited by tazzy19: 04-17-2013 at 05:25 PM.
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04-17-2013, 04:54 PM
  #265
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Not exactly 1987 stats there though? 1981 and 1984 ones though. Perhaps the 1987 ones was an anamoly, which just happened to occur when playing much besides Le Magnifique.
You do realize he's human and goes through the aging process like everyone else, right? Being the very best or being in the conversation as the very best for 12 years is huge.

I'm not sure how anyone who followed hockey during this time period could conclude that Gretkzy's decline was because the game changed sooooo in such a short span.

Remember, we're talking outliers here, Gretzky wasn't doubling only stiffs in the 80's like some seem to suggest. If he hadn't played during a time when one of the most offensively gifted players in history played (Mario) his numbers would be even more impressive.

I've got a question, if improved goaltending and the European influence is so important here, how come none of those Europeans won a scoring race prior to 1994-95 when Gretzky's play had already diminished? Sure, the talent pool grew, but it wasn't at the outlier/super elite level. These Euros were never Gretzky's direct competition, as he has shown during all the best vs best tourneys he would have lapped them too, as he had already done. In his prime, he only had one direct competitor and that was Mario, who, if healthy would of lapped them all too on a more regular basis.

These arguments are getting silly tbh. Gretzky declined as everyone does, but people talk as if the Wayne in St Louis/New York is the Wayne we should be remembering, he finally came down to other elite players level in the league.

I know it's hard to imagine a scrawny 180 pounder lapping the rest of the world, but he did it time and time again. So far so that there wasn't a man on the planet capable of out-producing, North American or otherwise. Even after his decline he was still a pretty good player

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04-17-2013, 05:30 PM
  #266
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well the Moose played in almost as many games by 27 and aged pretty darn well.

Actually he missed some game but then again he did play a more physical style than Wayne did.

Maybe the GP did wear him down but it sure wore down his plus/minus or ES play alot quicker than his offense raw or adjusted stats.
I don't think Messier aged better than Gretzky at all. Let's take a look at the last 10 years of Gretzky's career 1989-'99. There is only one season where Messier outscores Gretzky and that was 1994-'95 by a whopping 5 points. Technically he outscored him in 1993 too where Gretzky missed half the season. In all honesty, the final season of Gretzky's career in 1999 when we all knew he was just finished for good he still outscored Messier.

But in all honesty what is the big deal here? Is this really something new here to point out that as a player got older his 5-on-5 play drops? Look at all the all-time greats and tell me which ones have their even strength points increase in their 30s. I'll give you an example:

Phil Esposito
1971 - 99 ES points, 51 PP, 3 SH
1975 - 68 ES points, 54 PP, 5 SH
1980 - 50 ES points, 28 PP

1980 was his final full season. So we see a prime Esposito take a gradual drop in his even strength play. Not to mention his plus/minus started to drop as is expected and took a huge nosedive when he was traded to the terrible Rangers.

Esposito is one of the greatest players to have ever played. Mario is another good example. You can clearly see in 1995-'96 that his even strength play was dropping a bit.

Mario
1993 - 96 ES, 55 PP, 9 SH
1996 - 73 ES, 79 PP, 9 SH

After that he becomes even more reliant on the power play, but it doesn't take away from the fact that he was still great 5-on-5. Honestly, I don't know where you are trying to take this argument. Every player's ES play and totals are bound to drop over time. For whatever reason you seem to think you've unlocked a magic mystery. ES plays drops, it even did for Mario and Wayne..............as they got older.

However, if you really want to use this argument you have to spin it both ways. None of those guys had that type of difference when they were young:

Crosby 2006-'07: 59 ES, 61 PP................just saying, if you want to focus on it THAT much (and I don't) here are some stats.

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04-17-2013, 05:41 PM
  #267
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Originally Posted by Darth Yoda View Post
Not exactly 1987 stats there though? 1981 and 1984 ones though. Perhaps the 1987 ones was an anamoly, which just happened to occur when playing much besides Le Magnifique.
Ummm...you realise the Suter hit happened in Game 1 of the Finals, knocking Gretzky out of that game and game 2 right?

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04-17-2013, 07:34 PM
  #268
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
I don't think ESGF/GA ratios are the most reliable on a single season basis, but here's what I estimated:

Year AES/82 ES On On/Off
1980 119 1.16 1.44
1981 119 1.48 2.09
1982 155 1.84 1.65
1983 142 1.61 1.23
1984 160 1.78 1.43
1985 161 2.05 2.14
1986 161 1.65 1.27
1987 150 1.78 1.71
1988 146 1.58 1.32
1989 128 1.13 1.27
1990 128 1.14 1.12
1991 137 1.53 1.10
1992 91 0.95 1.00
1993 83 1.24 1.23
1994 84 0.76 0.88
1995 56 0.68 0.74
1996 79 0.94 1.25
1997 92 1.19 1.06
1998 99 0.97 1.34
1999 61 0.69 0.78

AES/82: Adjusted ES points per 82 games
ES On: ESGF/GA ratio w/ player on ice
On/Off: On-ice ratio divided by off-ice ratio

You could argue that '87 was the last of his peak ES seasons, but it seems clearer that '91 was the last of his prime (or near-peak) ES seasons.
If one were to agree that 87 was his last peak season, in terms of plus/minus, it's not to say that he wasn't still elite offensively but rather that his overall impact, say for example being a huge 70 plus to a prorated 47 and less afterwards, was less overall after 87 right?

Some of the noise in the crowd is only focused on the GF and points part of the equation.

It would be one thing for one season to be an aberration but after 87 there was a clear downwards trend in Wayne's value as measured by plus/minus.

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04-17-2013, 07:46 PM
  #269
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If one were to agree that 87 was his last peak season, in terms of plus/minus, it's not to say that he wasn't still elite offensively but rather that his overall impact, say for example being a huge 70 plus to a prorated 47 and less afterwards, was less overall after 87 right?

Some of the noise in the crowd is only focused on the GF and points part of the equation.

It would be one thing for one season to be an aberration but after 87 there was a clear downwards trend in Wayne's value as measured by plus/minus.
Ok, so now we are jumping back to plus/minus since your argument about his ESGF/GA ratio was shown to be invalid?

You still haven't come up with a valid reason why his numbers dropped so dramatically after the Canada Cup..... If Gretzky was gently sliding down his post prime arch after 1987, as you suggest, then why oh why did he suddenly fall off the proverbial cliff after 1991??? I still haven't seen an answer from you on this one....

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04-17-2013, 08:00 PM
  #270
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Care to address Czech your math's work here hardy? Or will you continue to stubbornly cling to your preconceived notions?
see my last post.

There are some obvious reading comprehension or preconceived notion's going on I agree.

I have stated at least several times in the last couple of pages that it's not just the GF or points or ES points that we are talking about here but his whole games, ie plus minus, GF and GA at ES that peaked in 87, dipped quite a bit in 88 and then alot after that.

I'll state it again so that maybe it's clear, Wayne was still elite offensively after 87 but his impact at ES was much less after 88 given his ES plus minus number in total.

Why are some only focused on part of the picture?

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04-17-2013, 08:02 PM
  #271
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If one were to agree that 87 was his last peak season, in terms of plus/minus, it's not to say that he wasn't still elite offensively but rather that his overall impact, say for example being a huge 70 plus to a prorated 47 and less afterwards, was less overall after 87 right?

Some of the noise in the crowd is only focused on the GF and points part of the equation.

It would be one thing for one season to be an aberration but after 87 there was a clear downwards trend in Wayne's value as measured by plus/minus.
I honestly believe 1987 to be his absolute peak. He had a 183 point season on a team that was still the most offensive in the league but also focused more on preventing mistakes like Steve Smith the year before and creating a more responsible game. Then he won the Cup in 1987 with another fine performance and then the 1987 Canada Cup. Many of us will agree this was Gretzky at his finest. Almost impossible to top. But for a couple years he was right on that level. I would say the 1987 Canada Cup and the 1988 playoffs were as good as we ever saw him play. He was just as offensive as before, but more polished and refined. So it only makes sense that he would start a slow decline around 1987 and afterwards.

You are looking far too much into the plus/minus stat. It really isn't that big of a drop off from 1987 to 1988. A player's personal points totals are the most important stat, and they didn't change at all from a PPG basis. Plus/minus is a nice stat, but it is more like a side dish. More of a cherry on top. You seem to be using it as more of a stat that tells the entire story.

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04-17-2013, 08:04 PM
  #272
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Ok, so now we are jumping back to plus/minus since your argument about his ESGF/GA ratio was shown to be invalid?

You still haven't come up with a valid reason why his numbers dropped so dramatically after the Canada Cup..... If Gretzky was gently sliding down his post prime arch after 1987, as you suggest, then why oh why did he suddenly fall off the proverbial cliff after 1991??? I still haven't seen an answer from you on this one....
Your obsession on the 91 hit is noted.

The ESGF and Ron/off and plus/minus are measuring different metrics.
Haven't you read what I've been talking about the last couple of pages?

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04-17-2013, 08:04 PM
  #273
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Ok, so now we are jumping back to plus/minus since your argument about his ESGF/GA ratio was shown to be invalid?

You still haven't come up with a valid reason why his numbers dropped so dramatically after the Canada Cup..... If Gretzky was gently sliding down his post prime arch after 1987, as you suggest, then why oh why did he suddenly fall off the proverbial cliff after 1991??? I still haven't seen an answer from you on this one....
I don't expect a confession here. Hardy, has wrongly argued his point for years now, I doubt a few more facts getting in the way will sway his opinion. Better goaltenders, European influence, yadda, yadda. Not a single Euro won an art ross until jagr, Gretzky was already on his way down by then.

Plus minus means nothing, especially when you leave a dynasty and go to LA. I often hear him talk about comparing apples to apples. He isn't even comparing fruit here. 10-20 point range in +/- when you're around plus 70 is nothing more than random variation. Some people shouldn't post about numbers they know nothing about. Gretzky wasn't 23 yr old gretzky in 1987, but he was still the best player on earth.

Basing someone's decline on a variation of 20 points in +/- is the definition of grasping. Of course when he went to LA his +- would take a hit, the team was almost in last place before his arrival. His +- was still very, very good as an Oiler, I'm not sure where the goalpost will move next. I'm here for the ride though. lol


Last edited by habsfanatics*: 04-17-2013 at 08:13 PM.
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04-17-2013, 08:09 PM
  #274
tazzy19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
see my last post.

There are some obvious reading comprehension or preconceived notion's going on I agree.

I have stated at least several times in the last couple of pages that it's not just the GF or points or ES points that we are talking about here but his whole games, ie plus minus, GF and GA at ES that peaked in 87, dipped quite a bit in 88 and then alot after that.

I'll state it again so that maybe it's clear, Wayne was still elite offensively after 87 but his impact at ES was much less after 88 given his ES plus minus number in total.

Why are some only focused on part of the picture?
So his last peak year is now 1988, not 1987 anymore?? You mention GF and GA, but neglect the ESGF/GA stats that Czech Your Math posted, and still neglect to come up with any valid reasons why these stats have a dramatic drop off after 1991.

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04-17-2013, 08:12 PM
  #275
habsfanatics*
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
see my last post.

There are some obvious reading comprehension or preconceived notion's going on I agree.

I have stated at least several times in the last couple of pages that it's not just the GF or points or ES points that we are talking about here but his whole games, ie plus minus, GF and GA at ES that peaked in 87, dipped quite a bit in 88 and then alot after that.

I'll state it again so that maybe it's clear, Wayne was still elite offensively after 87 but his impact at ES was much less after 88 given his ES plus minus number in total.

Why are some only focused on part of the picture?
So we moved from 87-88, baby steps. Will it be 89 tomorrow?

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