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The History of Hockey Relive great moments in hockey history and discuss how the game has changed over time.

Round 2, Vote 1 (HOH Top Centers)

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Old
10-27-2013, 12:12 PM
  #351
Hardyvan123
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Originally Posted by Rob Scuderi View Post
His peak is 6 Art Ross Trophies, most coming in the vaunted integrated NHL era. If someone else could claim this I'm sure they'd get the same treatment.
I'm not big for purely trophy counting, more of a big picture guy and a career guy, doesn't actual staying power count for something?

It sure does with other players coming up later in this project, who had more complete games BTW.

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10-27-2013, 12:13 PM
  #352
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
That's over a period of 504 games, outside of that time period his overall impact, in your terms of making a difference in winning games, wasn't elite.
Mario Lemieux wasn't elite outside after 1993?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
I'm not big for purely trophy counting, more of a big picture guy and a career guy, doesn't actual staying power count for something?
Depens on the player.
Selanne seems to get different treatment than Lemieux.

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...7&postcount=73


Last edited by unknown33: 10-27-2013 at 12:21 PM.
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10-27-2013, 12:38 PM
  #353
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post

It shouldn’t be that hard to believe. Put Morenz in Mikita’s place in the 60s and he finishes behind Howe and Hull in that poll as well. Put Mikita in Morenz’ place in the 30s and he’s still the best forward the game had seen until Richard.
There's no guarantee that Bobby Hull was better than Howie Morenz. Better goal scorer, obviously. Better overall? I don't think many people saw both Morenz and Hull - the gap in time between them was quite large - but a lot of people saw both Rocket Richard and Howie Morenz (Richard getting started only 7 years after Morenz's last game).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nels Stewart
They don't come like Morenz very often, about one in a century. He had everything, could rush, score goals, backcheck. You couldn't put the Rocket in the same breath as Howie, and that goes for everybody else, including Bill Cook. None of them were in the same stable.
King Clancy played against Morenz

Quote:
Originally Posted by King Clancy
He was the best. He could stop on a dime and leave you nine cents change. He was in a class by himself. And when he couldn't skate around you, he'd go right over you."

I seen 'em all score goals. Howe, wicked and deft, knocking everybody on their ass with his windshield-wiper elbows. Rocket Richard coming mad, guys climbing all over him. Hull, booming a slapshot like a WWII cannon. Wayne Gretzky mesmerizing the defence as he waltzes across the blueline, then wafting a feathery pass to a fast coming winger.....But I never saw anybody - nobody - score like Morenz on a furious charge down center.
Toe Blake played with both Howie Morenz (their careers overlapped by a couple years) and Maurice Richard:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe Blake
They (Morenz and Richard) had that flair that would just lift the people right out of their seats. That's the best way I can explain it. You can take any era of hockey and the stars of yesterday would be stars of today. And Morenz is right up there at the top of the class. I don't think from end to end I ever saw a guy like Morenz. He was small, stocky, with the most powerful legs you've ever seen. He'd make rush after rush - at least 20 a game - and it never mattered how hard he got hit. Most players, after they were hit, you'd think 'Oh, he can't take that again,' but it didn't matter with him. Shot up into the seats in one rush, by killers like Eddie Shore and Taffy Abel and the like, and he'd come right back as if they didn't exist. And I'll tell you another thing, one of the greatest backcheckers I ever saw. He was just a terrific hockey player.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie Shore
(Morenz) had a heart that was unsurpassed in athletic history and no one ever came close to him in the colour department. After you watched Howie you wanted to see him often, and as much as I liked to play hockey, i often thought I would have counted it a full evening had I been able to sit in the stands and watch the Morenz maneuvers. Such an inclination never occurred to me about other stars
http://habslegends.blogspot.com/2006...ie-morenz.html

I realize there is a lot of romanticizing of the older player going on here, but I do think it's worth noting that Morenz was held in similar esteem to Maurice Richard by players who saw both play.

Clancy also made this clearly-nostalgia driven statement (from Dreakmur's bio, not in the Pelletier article I lilnked):

Quote:
Originally Posted by King Clancy
Gretzky is one of the greatest. But I still say the greatest player ever was Howie Morenz. He could skate even better than Bobby Orr. He was just as great after you hit him as before.
Such is the esteem that Morenz's peers held him in.


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10-27-2013, 12:43 PM
  #354
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Originally Posted by bigbuffalo313 View Post
The last paragraph is what I am talking about. They are is much further above the others that defensive play shouldn't matter, yet people still criticize these two.
Sure what you say is true but how long for each player, people talk like their scoring overcame their lack of defense for their entire careers or something when it was much shorter for both guys in reality.

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10-27-2013, 12:49 PM
  #355
Rob Scuderi
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
I'm not big for purely trophy counting, more of a big picture guy and a career guy, doesn't actual staying power count for something?

It sure does with other players coming up later in this project, who had more complete games BTW.
It's not really trophy counting, just saying he led the league in scoring. No one's voting.

Doing that six times demonstrates staying power for me, no one but Gretzky was able to do it more times. Howe did it the same number of times and we know how long he played.

You can keep mentioning complete games, but we're talking about Lemieux not Syl Apps or Bill Cowley.

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10-27-2013, 12:56 PM
  #356
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Originally Posted by Rob Scuderi View Post
Doing that six times demonstrates staying power for me, no one but Gretzky was able to do it more times. Howe did it the same number of times and we know how long he played.
And Howe actually got beaten out for some Art Rosses when he was healthy.

Howe didn't quite have this consistent offensive dominance over his peers:

Points Per Game
1984-85 NHL 1.37 (9)
1985-86 NHL 1.78 (2)
1986-87 NHL 1.70 (2)
1987-88 NHL 2.18 (2)
1988-89 NHL 2.62 (1)
1989-90 NHL 2.08 (1)
1991-92 NHL 2.05 (1)
1992-93 NHL 2.67 (1)
1995-96 NHL 2.30 (1)
1996-97 NHL 1.61 (1)
2000-01 NHL 1.77 (1)
2002-03 NHL 1.36 (2)

Yes, this is all "per-game" stuff, but look at it - from 1986- 2001, as long as Mario met the minimum games requirement (which he did 10 times in those 16 years or 9 times in the 12 years from 1986-1997), he was guaranteed to finish way ahead of every other player in the league in PPG, other than prime Gretzky.

"Per-game" totals or not, when it's over that long a time period, I think it's safe to say that he really is that much better than everyone else.

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10-27-2013, 01:50 PM
  #357
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Originally Posted by bigbuffalo313 View Post
I know that they are light years ahead if the others, but there aren't many seasons where I would take a Selke winner over an Art Ross winner
No kidding.

But Lemieux & Gretzky don't compare well to any other centers defensively.

I'm sure they will still be ranked 1 & 2 on this list, though.

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10-27-2013, 05:22 PM
  #358
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Originally Posted by unknown33 View Post
Mario Lemieux wasn't elite outside after 1993?
In terms of overall impact no, in PP terms absolutely but his 5-5 play even with his points scored was no longer elite given that other than scoring he didn't bring a strong 2 way game like Feds for example over that time period.


Quote:
Depens on the player.
Selanne seems to get different treatment than Lemieux.

http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh...7&postcount=73

I have no idea on how Teemu is getting treated differently than Mario is, what was your point in my saying that he has a case for top 5 RW or belongs in the top 10? Mario is still a lock for my top 5 of the guys here.

Given that some people here don't have Teemu as the best Finn or better than Kurri, it doesn't really change the way we should look at Mario does it?

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10-27-2013, 05:37 PM
  #359
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There's no guarantee that Bobby Hull was better than Howie Morenz. Better goal scorer, obviously. Better overall? I don't think many people saw both Morenz and Hull - the gap in time between them was quite large - but a lot of people saw both Rocket Richard and Howie Morenz (Richard getting started only 7 years after Morenz's last game).



King Clancy played against Morenz



Toe Blake played with both Howie Morenz (their careers overlapped by a couple years) and Maurice Richard:





http://habslegends.blogspot.com/2006...ie-morenz.html

I realize there is a lot of romanticizing of the older player going on here, but I do think it's worth noting that Morenz was held in similar esteem to Maurice Richard by players who saw both play.

Clancy also made this clearly-nostalgia driven statement (from Dreakmur's bio, not in the Pelletier article I lilnked):



Such is the esteem that Morenz's peers held him in.
I like electrifying players as well, guys like Bure for instance but at the end of the day the raw stats should be something of a base point around a guy like Morenz as well.

As good a scorer as he was did he do enough to distinguish himself from other players in the league over his time?

From 24-37, Howie's time in the league another player actually scored more goals than he did. 283-271

He led the next best player by 21 goals.

Sure he had more points than anyone else over that time period but the giving of assists wasn't as uniform as it would later become and scoring goals is a more consistent way to judge players we haven't seen.

I'm not sure how to deal with Morenz fairly, and frankly I'd rather not have to do it because it probably is unfair to him and later guys but still his statistics don't have him sticking out enough to be a lock in my top 5 this round.

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10-27-2013, 05:45 PM
  #360
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
I like electrifying players as well, guys like Bure for instance but at the end of the day the raw stats should be something of a base point around a guy like Morenz as well.

As good a scorer as he was did he do enough to distinguish himself from other players in the league over his time?

From 24-37, Howie's time in the league another player actually scored more goals than he did. 283-271

He led the next best player by 21 goals.

Sure he had more points than anyone else over that time period but the giving of assists wasn't as uniform as it would later become and scoring goals is a more consistent way to judge players we haven't seen.

I'm not sure how to deal with Morenz fairly, and frankly I'd rather not have to do it because it probably is unfair to him and later guys but still his statistics don't have him sticking out enough to be a lock in my top 5 this round.
You're forgetting the fact that most of Morenz's prime was before the forward pass, when the NHL was much lower scoring, so his raw goal totals from that time wouldn't have been as impressive at first glance. You really have to separate pre-forward pass stats from post forward-pass stats. Morenz was a shell of himself after 1933, so he was really missing out on the highest scoring years in this time frame. Morenz was also 1st in GPG over the time frame, 0.86 over Nels Stewart's 0.83. And hey, if Nels Stewart wasn't a slow, cherrypicking goal suck, he'd probably be available pretty soon

Edit: As a comparison, if you compare careers of two equally talented guys who played between 1990 and 2005, the guy who peaked in the higher scoring early 90s will have more points.

But I'm not surprised that you are questioning Morenz, given how low your opinion of Eddie Shore was in the defenseman project. Why don't you just admit your problem is with the era?


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10-27-2013, 05:45 PM
  #361
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Originally Posted by Rob Scuderi View Post
It's not really trophy counting, just saying he led the league in scoring. No one's voting.

Doing that six times demonstrates staying power for me, no one but Gretzky was able to do it more times. Howe did it the same number of times and we know how long he played.

You can keep mentioning complete games, but we're talking about Lemieux not Syl Apps or Bill Cowley.
Okay so it's not trophy counting per say but we all know what kind of offensive talent Mario was, even I'm not arguing that.

What is not given is that his scoring at all time in his career was enough to give him an "elite" impact on his team winning games.

I have provided a lot of counterpoints to the popular view, if the fallback is always to how much he scored when healthy then it's up to people to decide how to judge him, hopefully other centers that were great when healthy and had much better 2 way games will be treated as fairly but that's out of my control.

Mario is a lock for my top 5, both Stan and Jean have enough "eliteness" and longevity to bump Mario and his scoring prowess IMO.

Simply put far too often in his career Mario was simply a much better fantasy guy than a guy who had an elite impact on the teams he played for IMO. If I was only judging careers and not balancing peaks and primes into the equation Mario wouldn't be in my top 10 frankly.

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10-27-2013, 05:51 PM
  #362
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
I like electrifying players as well, guys like Bure for instance but at the end of the day the raw stats should be something of a base point around a guy like Morenz as well.

As good a scorer as he was did he do enough to distinguish himself from other players in the league over his time?

From 24-37, Howie's time in the league another player actually scored more goals than he did. 283-271

He led the next best player by 21 goals.

Sure he had more points than anyone else over that time period but the giving of assists wasn't as uniform as it would later become and scoring goals is a more consistent way to judge players we haven't seen.

I'm not sure how to deal with Morenz fairly, and frankly I'd rather not have to do it because it probably is unfair to him and later guys but still his statistics don't have him sticking out enough to be a lock in my top 5 this round.
Will you judge Beliveau the same way?

In his long career he only led the league once in scoring and twice in goals. Morenz won more Hart trophies also. Yet it appears you are making the case for Beliveau being #2 but Morenz not a lock for top 5.

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10-27-2013, 05:58 PM
  #363
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You're forgetting the fact that most of Morenz's prime was before the forward pass, when the NHL was much lower scoring, so his raw goal totals from that time wouldn't have been as impressive at first glance. You really have to separate pre-forward pass stats from post forward-pass stats. Morenz was a shell of himself after 1933. Morenz was also 1st in GPG over the time frame, 0.86 over Nels Stewart's 0.83. And hey, if Nels Stewart wasn't a slow, cherrypicking goal suck, he'd probably be available pretty soon

But I'm not surprised that you are questioning Morenz, given how low your opinion of Eddie Shore was in the defenseman project. Why don't you just admit your problem is with the era?
http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...order_by=goals

Actually the other 2 guys have careers that virtually over lap Morenz.

I'm up front and admit there is a huge problem in ranking guys accurately that one has never seen, with guys we see we can always find their faults. Morenz died an early tragic hockey related death which just sadly feeds the myth about him.

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10-27-2013, 06:02 PM
  #364
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...order_by=goals

Actually the other 2 guys have careers that virtually over lap Morenz.

I'm up front and admit there is a huge problem in ranking guys accurately that one has never seen, with guys we see we can always find their faults. Morenz died an early tragic hockey related death which just sadly feeds the myth about him.
As I added to my other post: As a comparison, if you compare careers of two equally talented guys who played between 1990 and 2005, the guy who peaked in the higher scoring early 90s will have more points.

It's the same thing. If you take a long time frame, the guy who is at his peak in the part of the time frame when it is easier to scorer goals will look better. And the difference between scoring pre and post forward pass was a lot higher than the difference between scoring in the early to late 90s. Morenz only had 3 or so peak years left after the forward pass.

You're basically doing a significantly less rigorous version of what I already posted in post 150

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10-27-2013, 07:30 PM
  #365
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Will you judge Beliveau the same way?

In his long career he only led the league once in scoring and twice in goals. Morenz won more Hart trophies also. Yet it appears you are making the case for Beliveau being #2 but Morenz not a lock for top 5.
That's a good point and something that I haven't considered, like I said Morenz is a hard case to judge, at least there is a bit of a timeline link to Jean and more current players.

Jean does at least finish 1st in 5 different categories/seasons and his peers were probably better than Morenz, but once again that is a hard call to make.

Jean aged better and has that pre NHL star time that I will give him at least some credit for, kinda like guys from Europe pre NHL to some extent, and a superb playoff resume, the TDMM noted years aside.

Maybe Morenz deserves a top 3 or 4 spot, I'm frankly not sure at this point.

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10-27-2013, 07:48 PM
  #366
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Maybe Morenz deserves a top 3 or 4 spot, I'm frankly not sure at this point.


Tiers:

1. Gretzky
2. Lemieux, Beliveau
3. Morenz, Mikita, Messier
4. Trottier, Esposito, Clarke

THat's the most confident I am. Splitting hairs will determine order within tiers.

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10-27-2013, 07:55 PM
  #367
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As I added to my other post: As a comparison, if you compare careers of two equally talented guys who played between 1990 and 2005, the guy who peaked in the higher scoring early 90s will have more points.

It's the same thing. If you take a long time frame, the guy who is at his peak in the part of the time frame when it is easier to scorer goals will look better. And the difference between scoring pre and post forward pass was a lot higher than the difference between scoring in the early to late 90s. Morenz only had 3 or so peak years left after the forward pass.

You're basically doing a significantly less rigorous version of what I already posted in post 150
I'm only looking at the top 3 guys here, the 3rd guy played in the exact same time period and the guy leading started 2 years later and had 2 significant seasons after 37 as well.

I just happen to feel that alot of the voters in that poll were influenced by the legend that grew after his death, can't back it up but really was he that much better than shore for instance if we are to take that poll at close to face value?

When other guys come up, that did poorly in that poll, ie everyone else, will that poll even be mentioned?

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10-27-2013, 08:01 PM
  #368
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Tiers:

1. Gretzky
2. Lemieux, Beliveau
3. Morenz, Mikita, Messier
4. Trottier, Esposito, Clarke

THat's the most confident I am. Splitting hairs will determine order within tiers.
Just curious as to what knocks each player down a tier from Wayne who is an obvious #1?

My list looks pretty close BTW but I would have Phil at a 5th tier as Clarke and Trottier both deserve to be ahead of him on my list.

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10-27-2013, 08:05 PM
  #369
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My list looks pretty close BTW but I would have Phil at a 5th tier as Clarke and Trottier both deserve to be ahead of him on my list.
Why? I'm at the point of splitting hairs.

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10-27-2013, 09:17 PM
  #370
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Jean Beliveau and Howie Morenz.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Will you judge Beliveau the same way?

In his long career he only led the league once in scoring and twice in goals. Morenz won more Hart trophies also. Yet it appears you are making the case for Beliveau being #2 but Morenz not a lock for top 5.
Very valid question.

Comes down to completeness, adaptability and diversity.

Jean Beliveau:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...belivje01.html

Howie Morenz:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...morenho01.html

Completeness. Allowing for the inevitable injuries, Jean Beliveau enjoyed a very steady career. Howie Morenz declined somewhat beyond the age of thirty.

Adaptability. Both played thru injuries where medically possible. Howie Morenz most notably in 1931 when he was able to contribute defensively and as a playmaker. Jean Beliveau in 1962 and 1964 where he allowed the team to compete by playing hurt.

Diversity. Big edge to Jean Beliveau who was at least excellent at everything a center could be asked to do offensively and defensively. This attribute does create problems at times since it is misunderstood.
Howie Morenz did not mature his game the way Jean Beliveau did. Jean Beliveau realized after his 1961 training camp knee injury that little adjustments were necessary as his career progressed.

Howie Morenz did not make concessions to the aging process and eventually the speed game that he loved led to the last hit.

Upthread a claim was made that Jean Beliveau was dominant on the PP. Support for the claim was limited to a study intended to support Henri Richard's ES performance and a select window. Many leading PP scorers were left out of consideration.

The following looks at PP data from 1963-64 thru 1970-71. Focuses on PP goal scoring. Few points. If a player is PP dominant then there are expectations that he lead the league and his team in PP goal scoring. Also if the player is injured or slumps then his teams PP goal output should suffer accordingly.

Sampling of NHL forwards(format regular season PP goals / total regular season goals).

Jean Beliveau - 50/197,Yvan Cournoyer - 89/189, Bobby Hull - 111/362, Stan Mikita - 75/265, Phil Esposito - 76/277, Frank Mahovlich - 61/243, Jean Ratelle - 42/163, Rod Gilbert - 54/190, Gordie Howe - 76/226, Norm Ullman 68/277,Phil Goyette - 44/141,Murray Oliver - 30/124, Johnny Bucyk - 68/225.

Montreal Canadiens PP goals per season, same time frame(format team PP goals / Jean Beliveau RS pts).

1963-64 - 46/78, 1964-65 - 57/43, 1965-66 - 61/77, 1966-67 - 50/38, 1967-68 - 50/68, 1968-69 - 43/82, 1969-70 - 57/49, 1970-71 - 71/76.

Individually and league.

Yvan Cournoyer dominated the Canadiens PP regardless of the center. Evident when individual PP goal scoring is reconciled against team scoring.

League there were better better PP scorers eithe raw numbers or percentage. Given an opportunity that he did not enjoy in Montreal, Phil Goyette scored a high % of his goals on the PP. This does not make him the PP go to guy or dominant. Just a player filling a role when opportunity comes calling.

Jean Beliveau, pre 1963-64 played on a PP that featured a selection from Maurice Richard, Dickie Moore, Bert Olmstead, driven by Doug Harvey and Bernie Geoffrion at the point, later Talbot and Geoffrion. There was substitution and experimentation.He scored his share of PP goals just like the other players did. But he was not dominant.

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10-27-2013, 09:22 PM
  #371
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Howie Morenz did not make concessions to the aging process and eventually the speed game that he loved led to the last hit.
Blaming the victim? You imply that his style of play led to his death.

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10-27-2013, 09:28 PM
  #372
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I'm only looking at the top 3 guys here, the 3rd guy played in the exact same time period and the guy leading started 2 years later and had 2 significant seasons after 37 as well.

I just happen to feel that alot of the voters in that poll were influenced by the legend that grew after his death, can't back it up but really was he that much better than shore for instance if we are to take that poll at close to face value?

When other guys come up, that did poorly in that poll, ie everyone else, will that poll even be mentioned?
It's like you aren't even reading what I'm typing. Or do you really not understand that peaking mostly in a lower scoring era would hurt a player's raw stats in comparison to a player who peaked in a higher scoring era? The 1930 rule changes are a bright line and raw stats from beforehand should never be mixed with raw stats afterwards.

And why can't you admit that your problem is with pre-WW2 players and not with Morenz in particular?

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10-27-2013, 09:34 PM
  #373
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958
Upthread a claim was made that Jean Beliveau was dominant on the PP. Support for the claim was limited to a study intended to support Henri Richard's ES performance and a select window. Many leading PP scorers were left out of consideration.

The following looks at PP data from 1963-64 thru 1970-71. Focuses on PP goal scoring. Few points. If a player is PP dominant then there are expectations that he lead the league and his team in PP goal scoring. Also if the player is injured or slumps then his teams PP goal output should suffer accordingly.

Sampling of NHL forwards(format regular season PP goals / total regular season goals).

Jean Beliveau - 50/197,Yvan Cournoyer - 89/189, Bobby Hull - 111/362, Stan Mikita - 75/265, Phil Esposito - 76/277, Frank Mahovlich - 61/243, Jean Ratelle - 42/163, Rod Gilbert - 54/190, Gordie Howe - 76/226, Norm Ullman 68/277,Phil Goyette - 44/141,Murray Oliver - 30/124, Johnny Bucyk - 68/225.

Montreal Canadiens PP goals per season, same time frame(format team PP goals / Jean Beliveau RS pts).

1963-64 - 46/78, 1964-65 - 57/43, 1965-66 - 61/77, 1966-67 - 50/38, 1967-68 - 50/68, 1968-69 - 43/82, 1969-70 - 57/49, 1970-71 - 71/76.
Wow, if Beliveau was below Henri Richard at even stength and Cournoyer on the PP, I guess we should rate him last this round

Are you actually trying to prove anything other than me wrong?

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10-27-2013, 09:51 PM
  #374
Canadiens1958
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Pulmonary Embolism

Quote:
Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
Blaming the victim? You imply that his style of play led to his death.
Howie Morenz died from a pulmonary embolism just like many people who did not play hockey at all.

http://www.webmd.com/lung/tc/pulmona...topic-overview

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10-27-2013, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanIslander View Post
Tiers:

1. Gretzky
2. Lemieux, Beliveau
3. Morenz, Mikita, Messier
4. Trottier, Esposito, Clarke
I don't vote- but right now I'm thinking:

Tier 1: Gretzky, Lemieux (edge to Gretzky)
Tier 2: Beliveau, Morenz (edge to Beliveau, but open to reasessment)
Tier 3: Trottier, Messier, Esposito
(could be any order- have to study it some more)

Mikita and Clarke for Lantern Rouge in this grouping- leaning towards lodging Mikita in the caboose.

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