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Did Gretzky benefit from a weak division?

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Old
05-01-2005, 11:13 PM
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reckoning
I`m going to explain this one more time. It was a balanced schedule in `79-`80 and `80-`81 so that means that Gretzky played those tough Eastern teams just as much those years as everybody else did. He played in Buffalo and Boston and Philly as much as Lafleur and Bossy did those two seasons, and won the scoring title by a wide margin as a teenager.

It switched to an unbalanced schedule after that. As far as no way he puts up big numbers playing 82 games in the East-well Bossy and Lafleur weren`t playing 82 games in the East either. Let me explain it to you using Bossy and Gretzky as an example:

- they both played the 5 teams in the Norris division 3 times, so that`s 15 games the exact same
- they both played the 5 teams in the Adams division 3 times, so that`s 30 games the exact same
- they played against each other 3 times, so that`s 33 games
- Bossy played against the 4 other Smythe Division teams 3 times each, so take 3 games that Gretzky played against each of them and that`s 12 more games the exact same for a total of 45.
- Gretzky played the other 5 Patrick division teams 3 times each, so take 3 games against each that Bossy played for 15 more , making 60.

That`s 60 games (75%) of the schedule the exact same. As for the remaining 20:

Gretzky had five extra games against one good team, Calgary, one average team, Winnipeg, and two lousy teams, Vancouver and L.A.
Bossy had four extra games against two very good teams, Philly and Washington, one average team, Rangers, and two lousy teams, New Jersey and Pittsburgh (those must have been real "hard fought" games in `84 when they were trying to lose so they could draft Lemieux.)
So if you cancel out the similar teams there, it`s only a slightly tougher schedule for Bossy. Not nearly enough to explain being 80 points behind Gretzky in the scoring race.

As for Lafleur, let`s look at his 3 scoring titles from `76 to `78. The format those years for him was:

6 games against the teams in his division, 5 games against the teams in the other division in his conference, and 4 games against the teams in the other conference. The top two defensive teams then besides Montreal were Philly and the Islanders, both of whom he was only playing against 4 times.

But what about Montreal`s division; who were the tough powerhouses Lafleur had to play more often than anyone else?

- Los Angeles, a .500 team with only two quality players
- Pittsburgh, a below average team
- Detroit, a far below average team, and last but not least....
- Washington, the worst team in the league
Tough schedule. Montreal definitely took advantage of it. In `75-`76 they were 20-2-2 against those four teams. In `76-`77 they were 19-0-5 against them. That explains the records.

The point is if you`re going to discredit Gretzky`s 80s totals based on his division, then you have to do the same with Lafleurs 70s totals. You can`t have it both ways.

That is unless you honestly believe that Al MacInnis and Jamie Macoun were easier to play against than Yvon Labre or Dennis Owchar.

Habs played their conference teams the same number of times they played any other team so that statement... is well wrong.

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05-01-2005, 11:19 PM
  #27
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Devil's Advocate time!!!(because deep down we all know this is a Wayne/Guy debate LOL) Guy has 6 seasons that dramatically stand out from the rest. Take a look at what Monreal's conference/division looks like framing those six years. Notice anything interesting?

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05-01-2005, 11:26 PM
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KOVALEV10
Habs played their conference teams the same number of times they played any other team so that statement... is well wrong.
His numbers do point out though that Guy Lafleur used bottom feeding teams as his personal whipping boys. It's a clear indication that he whooped it up against them and ran up his point totals against the bad teams thus clearly hugely inflating his stats.

It'd be interesting to see how Guy fared against teams that actually featured good defensemen...

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05-01-2005, 11:28 PM
  #29
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And wanna talk about teams with great defense? Go watch some playoff games buddy. Flyers one of the best defensive and dirtiest teams ever. Guy scored 2 game wining goals sweeping the Flyers in the finals in 76. Lafleur was in on all of his team's goals in the final 3 games of a 4 game sweep vs. Boston in 77. Who was the one who tied the game with just seconds left in 79 vs. Boston? In case you didnt know he also made two perfect plays before that goal too earlier in the period. Then again that's what happens when someone hasnt watched a single hab game of the 70-s.

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05-01-2005, 11:41 PM
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KOVALEV10
And wanna talk about teams with great defense? Go watch some playoff games buddy. Flyers one of the best defensive and dirtiest teams ever. Guy scored 2 game wining goals sweeping the Flyers in the finals in 76. Lafleur was in on all of his team's goals in the final 3 games of a 4 game sweep vs. Boston in 77. Who was the one who tied the game with just seconds left in 79 vs. Boston? In case you didnt know he also made two perfect plays before that goal too earlier in the period. Then again that's what happens when someone hasnt watched a single hab game of the 70-s.
I don't care though. Wayne has made brilliant playoff plays too. Dozens of them. So what?

You and Chooch have been accusing Wayne of whooping it up against weak teams and padding his stats. Well the shoe is on the other foot. That's what I'm saying.

Your accounts do nothing to deny the simple facts as previously stated in this thread about Guy's weak opposition.

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05-02-2005, 12:10 AM
  #31
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Originally Posted by DrMoses
I don't care though. Wayne has made brilliant playoff plays too. Dozens of them. So what?

You and Chooch have been accusing Wayne of whooping it up against weak teams and padding his stats. Well the shoe is on the other foot. That's what I'm saying.

Your accounts do nothing to deny the simple facts as previously stated in this thread about Guy's weak opposition.
Guy's "weak" oppositon? Guy played the teams in his conference the same number of times he played any other team. Gretzky played 8 times vs. teams in his conference which was double the number of other teams he played against. And let's see. Only time when Oilers actually played vs great defensive teams in 87. Winipeg, Detroit and Philly, Wayne scored what... 5 goals in 22 games? And I'm sure the majority of those 5 came in the first round vs. the poor LA Team.

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05-02-2005, 12:32 AM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KOVALEV10
Guy's "weak" oppositon? Guy played the teams in his conference the same number of times he played any other team. Gretzky played 8 times vs. teams in his conference which was double the number of other teams he played against. And let's see. Only time when Oilers actually played vs great defensive teams in 87. Winipeg, Detroit and Philly, Wayne scored what... 5 goals in 22 games? And I'm sure the majority of those 5 came in the first round vs. the poor LA Team.
You're right. I don't even know why they bother to keep track of those worthless assists.

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05-02-2005, 12:36 AM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KOVALEV10
Only time when Oilers actually played vs great defensive teams in 87.


Am I misreading this or are we once again totally discounting the fact that the Oilers faced a DYNASTIC New York Islander team three times in the playoffs, 1981, '83 and '84?

Those NYI teams knew a thing or two about defense, in case we forget.

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05-02-2005, 01:03 AM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KOVALEV10
Guy's "weak" oppositon? Guy played the teams in his conference the same number of times he played any other team. Gretzky played 8 times vs. teams in his conference which was double the number of other teams he played against. And let's see. Only time when Oilers actually played vs great defensive teams in 87. Winipeg, Detroit and Philly, Wayne scored what... 5 goals in 22 games? And I'm sure the majority of those 5 came in the first round vs. the poor LA Team.
So what you are saying is Guy was able to rack up a lot of points against those powerhouses the Blues, Scouts, Seals, Stars, Barons, Caps, Canucks, Flames, Islanders (yes they were terrible early on), Kings. Never mind the fact that the the rest of the original 6 were so dominating as well I mean where the Leafs and WIngs not in their primes, and the Bruins were pillaged by the WHA.

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05-02-2005, 02:37 AM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottier


Am I misreading this or are we once again totally discounting the fact that the Oilers faced a DYNASTIC New York Islander team three times in the playoffs, 1981, '83 and '84?

Those NYI teams knew a thing or two about defense, in case we forget.
Let's not forget the Flyers and Bruins in the finals as well...

Krusheylniski must have carried the line during those encounters I guess....

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05-02-2005, 02:40 AM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KOVALEV10
Guy's "weak" oppositon? Guy played the teams in his conference the same number of times he played any other team. Gretzky played 8 times vs. teams in his conference which was double the number of other teams he played against. And let's see. Only time when Oilers actually played vs great defensive teams in 87. Winipeg, Detroit and Philly, Wayne scored what... 5 goals in 22 games? And I'm sure the majority of those 5 came in the first round vs. the poor LA Team.
He played in hockey's toughest division...

You fell asleep during the 80s?

And for a guy who's spent so much time praising Guy Lafleur for his assists, you sure discount Wayne's quite easily...

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05-02-2005, 05:55 AM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KOVALEV10
Habs played their conference teams the same number of times they played any other team so that statement... is well wrong.
I don`t want to get in an argument, but they didn`t. It was 6 games against the four teams in their division, 5 games against the four teams in the other division in their conference and 4 games against the nine teams in the other conference. If you don`t believe me go to shrpsports.com; click on NHL, then click on results and punch in whatever team and season you want and it will give you the results.

They couldn`t have played the teams the same number of times because from `74-`75 to `77-`78 there were 17 teams besides Montreal in a 80 game schedule. Unless you`re using Lou Costello math, 17 doesn`t divide equally into 80.

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05-02-2005, 06:08 AM
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KOVALEV10
Guy's "weak" oppositon? Guy played the teams in his conference the same number of times he played any other team. Gretzky played 8 times vs. teams in his conference which was double the number of other teams he played against. And let's see. Only time when Oilers actually played vs great defensive teams in 87. Winipeg, Detroit and Philly, Wayne scored what... 5 goals in 22 games? And I'm sure the majority of those 5 came in the first round vs. the poor LA Team.
Actually that year in the Final against Philly he had 11 points, so his points per game was pretty much the same in that series as the early rounds. BTW, in that final he assisted on the game-winning goal in all four of Edmonton`s wins.

Another fact about Gretzky- the four years Edmonton won the Cup he had 42 points in 22 and a half games. All those games were against very tough defensive teams from the East and of those 42 points, only 5 were scored when Edmonton was leading by two goals or more.

So much for whooping it up late in the game against weak defensive teams.

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05-02-2005, 11:30 AM
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMoses
Krusheylniski must have carried the line during those encounters I guess....

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05-02-2005, 11:44 AM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reckoning
Yes, Gretzky opponents were a little weaker defensively than the rest of the league
Were they? Did you factor in that those teams had to play more games against the highest scoring team in the league? You have to throw out the Edmonton games for the results to be truly balanced.

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05-02-2005, 12:00 PM
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYIsles1

Gretzky's Oilers remind me of the Blues teams that went to three finals after expansion in 1967. More a by-product of expansion combined with a very weak conference. A little like putting a very good team in the same Southeastern conference that Carolina won in 2001-02 with only 83 points.

Detroit, Toronto and Chicago were not good teams in that era. Atlanta moved to Calgary and immediately became a cup-contender because of the return of conference playoffs and were good enough to defeat Philadelphia once but were hardly on par with the best of the East and never a factor in Atlanta.
ok you've had some doozies before but this takes the cake! the Oilers on par with the Expansion era Blues? LOL. yes the West was weaker in the immediate post expansion era. of course that's true. but the Oilers arrived 13 years post expansion, give or take a year, and the difference between conferences had really washed out

I see you are at least now adknowledging one of my points about the Flames..the year they arrived in Calgary, they weren't even benefitting from a "Western" Schedule and they still made it to the semifinals, as you say beating Philly along the way

sure the Flames were bad in Atlanta, but the fact they were strong in the 80s wasn't so much about them all of a sudden moving to a weaker conference, maybe the team was just growing and improving. they drafted MacInnis,Vernon,Nieuwendyk,Suter,Roberts,Loob,Maka rov,Hull within 5 years...you trying to tell me that team couldn't compete no matter what division they were in?

if you are going to say the Oilers get off easy because of the slick ice in their building etc, what about the travel difference Western teams had to endure

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05-02-2005, 12:51 PM
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottier


Am I misreading this or are we once again totally discounting the fact that the Oilers faced a DYNASTIC New York Islander team three times in the playoffs, 1981, '83 and '84?

Those NYI teams knew a thing or two about defense, in case we forget.
Yeah I knoiw but I was looking at the cup winning years and in 84 who else did they have who was great defensively then NYI?

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05-02-2005, 01:10 PM
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KOVALEV10
Yeah I knoiw but I was looking at the cup winning years and in 84 who else did they have who was great defensively then NYI?
That and you'd like to ignore the 59 points in 25 games he put up in '81 and '83.

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05-02-2005, 01:38 PM
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by looooob
ok you've had some doozies before but this takes the cake! the Oilers on par with the Expansion era Blues? LOL. yes the West was weaker in the immediate post expansion era. of course that's true. but the Oilers arrived 13 years post expansion, give or take a year, and the difference between conferences had really washed out
How was this difference between conferences washed out thirteen years later in 1980 when Chicago was still the only other Western Conference team that even qualified for a final before Minnesota in 1981?

Quote:
Originally Posted by looooob
sure the Flames were bad in Atlanta, but the fact they were strong in the 80s wasn't so much about them all of a sudden moving to a weaker conference, maybe the team was just growing and improving. they drafted MacInnis,Vernon,Nieuwendyk,Suter,Roberts,Loob,Maka rov,Hull within 5 years...you trying to tell me that team couldn't compete no matter what division they were in?
Maybe you should review the Flames history because they were hardly a bad team in Atlanta.

http://www.sportsecyclopedia.com/nhl/atlflames/aflames.html

1978/79: The Flames would finish in last place in the 4-team Patrick Division. However, the Flames were not an ordinary last place team, nor was their season ruined. In fact with a 41-31-8 record the Flames would reach 90 points for the first time in franchise history while making the playoffs for the 5th straight season.

What they were is a respectable team that made the playoffs. What did take them to the next level was the conference playoff format when they moved to Calgary against several unproven franchises not on the same level as the competition from the East in that era, which is no knock on the Flames.

Would those Flames teams become a contending Eastern Conference team with the players you mentioned later on... It's hard to say but it's doubtful they would have been in a situtation where you knew the winner of Calgary-Edmonton was going to the finals from the West.

Quote:
Originally Posted by looooob
if you are going to say the Oilers get off easy because of the slick ice in their building etc, what about the travel difference Western teams had to endure
Whee did I write Gretzky or the Oilers got off easy? What I did write is the
ice-surface to this day helps the Edmonton Oilers and benefited the style of hockey the 80's Oilers played. The travel difference is something that hurt the Westen Conference teams.


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05-02-2005, 01:49 PM
  #45
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The most competitive year in the Smythe was 1984-85, Edmonton had 109 points, Winnipeg had 96, Calgary 94 and LA 82. Winnipeg and Calgary would have won any division in the league except the Patrick. Pretty good division, no?

So, how many points did Gretzky get that year? Wait, let me check.... 208!!! And 47 more in the playoffs!

Quote:
Originally Posted by moneyp
Did you factor in that those teams had to play more games against the highest scoring team in the league? You have to throw out the Edmonton games for the results to be truly balanced.
EXACTLY! I've been waiting for someone to say this: the other Smythe teams were so weak because they had to play Edmonton (and to a slightly lesser extent, Calgary) so often. The chicken came before the egg, so to speak.

Face it, folks, the guy would have lit up the league no matter where he played. All this "evidence" to the contrary about the ice, the schedule, the divisions, the era in which he played, the refs (I'm stunned no one has brought up the "no one is allowed to hit Gretzky" conspiracy theory yet) are all meaningless. The dude dominated. We will never see his kind again.

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05-02-2005, 03:04 PM
  #46
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Originally Posted by jamiebez
Face it, folks, the guy would have lit up the league no matter where he played. All this "evidence" to the contrary about the ice, the schedule, the divisions, the era in which he played, the refs (I'm stunned no one has brought up the "no one is allowed to hit Gretzky" conspiracy theory yet) are all meaningless. The dude dominated. We will never see his kind again.
Your likely right, he still would have set most if not all of the records he currently holds and he did dominate. But whether you want to acknowledge it or not it's also likely we will never see that kind of competitive disparity between conferences again which did benefit Gretzkywith Edmonton.

After 1995 the West finally caught up to the East.

How many cups does Mario Lemieux win with the Pens as a Western Conference seed. How much would it have helped his numbers?

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05-02-2005, 05:24 PM
  #47
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The only place where Gretzky and the Oilers benefitted from is that they got to play the winner of the Norris Division in the semi's.

The Norris Division was clearly the weakest of the four divisions for a l-o-n-g time.

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05-02-2005, 05:30 PM
  #48
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Would have, could have, should have, yada yada yada. Fact of the matter is that Gretz ripped everyone a new one when he played. Whether it be West, East, Smythe, Norris, Patrick, Wales, it doesn't really matter. He tore it up. He was simply the greatest player the game has ever seen. I'm a Flyers fan and I even realize that if he were playing in the East, he'd probably do the same thing there as well.

Simply put, he was the greatest and he had ability that no other player has had. Give it up on trying to diminish his records because he earned every one of them. He tore apart teams in the East with the same fury and vigor he tore apart teams in the West.

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05-02-2005, 06:32 PM
  #49
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Originally Posted by NYIsles1
Your likely right, he still would have set most if not all of the records he currently holds and he did dominate. But whether you want to acknowledge it or not it's also likely we will never see that kind of competitive disparity between conferences again which did benefit Gretzkywith Edmonton.

After 1995 the West finally caught up to the East.

How many cups does Mario Lemieux win with the Pens as a Western Conference seed. How much would it have helped his numbers?
None..

It's not like Wayne played any worse against these supposed powerhouse teams.

Pkilly, NYI and Boston all went down to him in the finals...

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05-02-2005, 06:59 PM
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMoses
None..

It's not like Wayne played any worse against these supposed powerhouse teams.

Pkilly, NYI and Boston all went down to him in the finals...
Well Doc I'm gonna call you on that...do an analysis of 99's scoring east versus west. Regular season and playoffs.

The only thing I'll add is that by the time East played the Oilers in the playoffs the east was already tired and wore out from all the banging and hammering.

I know you didnt see any of the games but just do the above analysis.

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