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Who would still be a star?

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Old
08-02-2014, 02:33 PM
  #151
Killion
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
...You know, knowing Gretzky how we do, the truth is with the butterfly style so prevelant in today's game, it could be possible that he would still score many of his goals top corner. Lemieux did this just by outwaiting the goalie and finding a hole and putting it top corner. Ovechkin routinely scores top corner, more there than anything. With the goalies going down quicker than ever my guess is a smart player like Gretzky would expose this for what it is and score more of his goals up high today rather than down low.
Bingo! Well said Phil. The greatest trait of any prolific goal scorer is patience. Let the defenders & the goalie make the first move & commit themselves then respond by doing the exact opposite. Take advantage of their mistakes in doing so. Goals scored are the result of total team breakdown, a rippling effect of a series of mistakes but ultimately its the Goalies responsibility to ameliorate those mistakes in seeing them unfold, staying cool, dealing with it through critical thought & positioning.

However, the way the positions played today with full on BF these guys go down on every single shot and before its even released because the players today in the vast majority of cases just let fly without even looking for an opening & targeting. They just put it on the net, wing and a prayer, very quick release. If it doesnt go in directly or get tipped, maybe a ricochet finding net, for sure theres going to be a nice juicy rebound because todays Goalies (vast majority) cant control those either giving up second chances. They dont "save" the puck, they "block" it. Playing the laws of average with size & coverage. Not art, its science. And its flawed. Badly. One dimensional.

The best offensive players in todays NHL take full of advantage of it. Let the Goalie do his thing in fully committing going down expecting an immediate shot, they instead hold onto the puck & either pass it or feint going for instead a deke, backhander or what have you. Once that Goalies down & committed in the BF, an un~natural physiological position, getting back up again isnt easy especially at super accelerated speeds in reacting to a fake or a deke. Their down, their out. At the mercy of the shooter & I dont care how big the Goalie & his equipment might be. A player who knows what he's doing & takes his time, is patient & can thread a needle with a shot, see ya. Thats goin in. Gretzky, Lemieux, so called Snipers like Bossy, so called "Garbageman" Phil Esposito who actually did look where he was aiming before letting fly, these guys would make minced meat of todays defensive system hockey & BF Goaltenders.

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Old
08-02-2014, 08:38 PM
  #152
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Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
You're not following along very well. I never said anything happens right away. That's actually the whole point here. Over 30, 40, 60 years things can and have changed a lot though. That's why simply pointing to someone like Horton and thinking he'd be at the same level of eliteness (top 5) in today's NHL isn't very realistic. There's a lot more competition among the top 20 or 30 defenseman right now than back then and there's really no denying it.
Thinking Tim Horton is going to be around the level Scott Stevens was is very realistic. Both never won a Norris and both are no-brainer HHOFers. Is Chara really better then either... despite actually winning Norris trophies?

There are a whole lot of great players that have played NHL hockey.... thinking that most of them are currently in the NHL is myopic.

I don't know why I post on this topic... but what the better training and better equipment and better defensive strategies can not change is sheer WILL and DETERMINATION. Rocket Richard is ALWAYS going to go to the net like A FORCE OF NATURE. Doug Gilmour is ALWAYS going to play like a man possessed in the playoffs. Gretzky is the greatest ever because he had the genius and talent but also the WILL and FOCUS and DRIVE to be the very best player ever. Gordie Howe likely had all the injuries every player gets and basically didn't miss but a handful of games except when his skull was broken for 25 years. That is the difference between the elite greats and the very goods. It is the unteachable part of the sport. Sure the average player works out a great deal now.... how many of them have thighs that look like Martin St. Louis's? There is a reason why a tiny guy thrives in the NHL whether it is Henri Richard or Martin St. Louis. Especially this is true of Goaltenders. Hasek would not give up goals in WARM UPS and PRACTICE. Roy would have been the fierciest competitor in any era. Think that Eddie Shore wouldn't carve you up or lay you out like Stevens or Chelios if he was born in the 1960's or 1970's or 1980's instead of the 1910's?

I really think that the fact that the AVERAGE player is much better does not mean Bobby Clarke or Bryan Trottier or Peter Forsberg would not be just as elite in 2030 or 2040 if you throw them in a time machine. You only get greatness by having the WILL to out compete everyone. Facing better competition is hardly going to drive the best competitiors in hockey's history down.. it would just make them even better.

Or take Bobby Orr. He took it easy on the incredibly inferior Western Conference Expansion teams once the Bruins got decent leads so as not to embarrass them because he was a gentleman. Imagine Bobby Orr playing full throttle all the time in the Salary Cap NHL when parity has even the weakest teams capable of beating the best teams on any given night.... he would be better... he might even score more... in a relative sense anyway.


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08-05-2014, 10:30 AM
  #153
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Did Bourque really "suffer" while playing in the 1980s and 1990s? I mean, the guy garnered 19 all-star team selections. Only Gordie Howe in the history of the NHL has more. How much better could it have possibly gotten for him? He was an all-star every year from 1980-'96. Then in 1999 and 2001. Doug Harvey doesn't have as many as that and he played in the O6 with supposedly weaker competition according to you. I think most of us consider Harvey better than Bourque slightly as well. So how did Bourque do any worse? Like Harvey, he waited a few years before his first Norris. Harvey won the Norris the second year it was in existence but I believe Kelly wins more of them pre-1954.

So you see what I'm saying here right? Bourque didn't really have a disadvantage at all.
Bourque lost out on several Norris trophies to American defenseman (Langway, Chelios, Leetch) and Lidstrom later on while there wasn't an American or European defenseman in sight to compete for the Norris with Harvey. That's a clear disadvantage for Bourque when looking back at his career because he was facing FAR deeper competition for that trophy, simply from this proof alone. Donít you think Bourque would be held in even higher regard if he had a few more Norrisí to his name? He was the top Canadian defenseman many more times than Harvey was.

You guys generally do rank Harvey higher because you follow this flaw of carrying the same weight for an all-Canadian league with a small talent pool as an international league with a much larger talent pool.

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Look at it this way. Lidstrom won 7 Norris Trophies. Harvey won 7. Almost everyone considers Harvey better. I would say having Red Kelly breathing down your neck is pretty darn good competition for the Norris don't you think? It is commonly believed that Lidstrom caught a bit of a break because once the 1990s defensemen retired or tailed off he faced a group over that decade that didn't quite have the top end competition for the Norris either. Kudos to him for winning 7, but let's just say you always have to look at who he is competing against, rather than just his birth certificate.
Almost everyone here considers Harvey better than Lidstrom and Bourque but no one seems to be sure why. It seems more like a type of dogma to me.

Harvey and Kelly sure get a lot of credit for being the top two guys in a Canadian-only league. Bourque and Lidstrom had multiple guys breathing down their necks every year, and often from different countries. I mean, how are you so sure Harvey and Kelly were any better than Bourque and Lidstromís and their competition?

So Lidstrom was at an advantage because Bourque, who wasn't at a disadvantage when compared to Harvey, (and his peers from the 90's) retired? Do you hear what you're saying? Talk about being inconsistent.

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Gretzky was outscoring Bossy significantly in the goal department, that's why I mentioned it. I'm pretty sure Bossy's game translates well into today's game. Unless someone would break his wrists and rob him of that quick release he had, I can't see how he isn't a bona fide sniper today as well. And as I said, all goal scorers generally decline around 30. In 1991 Gretzky had 41 goals and 122 assists. Do you really think Gretzky couldn't have made that 60 and 100 if he wanted to? It isn't as if he wasn't capable of it. He chose to focus on playmaking a lot more. Look at 1985-'86. He made a pact to average 2 assists per game at the beginning of the season. Just like that, POOF, it happens. Gretzky pretty much had the NHL on its ear back then, he did what he wanted. But the Suter hit in 1991 did remove a lot of his quickness, and that meant he became less of a threat to score against his own will.
Why stop at 60 goals and 100 assists, why not just 160 goals? Gretzky was amazing but he couldn't do anything he wanted. We have to go by what he did accomplish. He couldn't bring a cup to LA so, no, he wasn't a hockey god. He was a mere mortal just like everyone else.

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I thought I covered this pretty well in my last post, but I'll put it on paper more. Over the years regardless of the level of talent pool, there have always been more or less the same players year after year picking up all-star spots. I'll do a five year span in different decades:

1955 - Harvey, Kelly, Flaman, Goldham
1956 - Harvey, Gadsby, Kelly, Johnson
1957 - Harvey, Kelly, Flaman, Gadsby
1958 - Harvey, Gadsby, Flaman, Pronovost
1959 - Johnson, Gadsby, Pronovost, Harvey

More or less the same guys right?
Yes, by my count there are 6 Canadians listed here. Keep this in mind going forward.

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
1975 - Orr, Potvin, Lapointe, Salming
1976 - Potvin, Park, Lapointe, Salming
1977 - Robinson, Salming, Potvin, Lapointe
1978 - Potvin, Park, Robinson, Salming
1979 - Potvin, Robinson, Salming, Savard

More or less the same guys right? Bigger talent pool than the original 6 though, but pretty much same results.
Yes, by my count there are 6 Canadians and 1 European here. Obviously there are no Russians and it doesnít appear to be any elite American defenders yet. Salming took the place of what would be another Canadian in the past.

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
1990 - Bourque, MacInnis, Coffey, Wilson
1991 - Bourque, MacInnis, Leetch, Chelios
1992 - Leetch, Bourque, Housley, Stevens
1993 - Chelios, Bourque, Murphy, Iafrate
1994 - Bourque, Stevens, MacInnis, Leetch

So far, more of the same in each era right? The best rise to the top and it doesn't matter how many Eric Weinrich or Steve Smith's there are in the NHL. Just because there are more of those, doesn't mean the cream still won't rise to the top. Who is the unusual one there? Iafrate. Not sure he he got in there to be honest. Would anyone have taken him over Coffey? Either way, as you can see, each era has one defenseman that just sort of sneaks in there one season. But the 1990s group are in a 21-26 team NHL. Not 6, but they are similar.
No, this is not the same. There are 10 defenseman in total now, including 6 Canadians and 4 Americans. Why would you pretend this is the same? Your theory is not looking very good right now. Itís quite obvious that these elite Americans took the place of what would be Canadian defenseman in the past and increased the competition for the Norris, even winning a couple.

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
2010 - Keith, Green, Doughty, Lidstrom
2011 - Lidstrom, Weber, Chara, Vishnovsky
2012 - Karlsson, Weber, Chara, Pietrangelo
2013 - Subban, Suter, Letang, Beauchemin
2014 - Keith, Chara, Weber, Pietrangelo

Alright, now do you see a bit of a pattern there? Beauchemin and Vishnovsky are out of place for sure but no one else is.
This disproves your theory even further. There are now 13 defenders including 8 Canadians, 1 American, and 4 Europeans. Did the Canadian defenseman really get worse or did the non-Canadians just get better? Keith and Weber are amazing players so I donít think thereís a problem with Canadian defenseman at all.

I don't need help in this discussion but you just provided it. This shows exactly what I'm trying to point out to you. There are more guys in the discussion for the Norris lately, and to no oneís surprise it's not just Canadians anymore. That's proof for my argument. Now where's proof for your argument that adding more talent streams doesn't matter?

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I'll leave you with this question. Is it harder to win the Norris trophy in 2014 than ever before? Me personally, I found the Norris to be the hardest from the 1985-1995 era and from 1975-'80. Do you know why? Because the top end talent was at its best. Even better than today. I'll give the ones today credit, there are a lot of nice defenseman hitting their stride now and thank God a lot of them were on Team Canada at the Olympics. But I still think it was harder to win the Norris at other times. So it just goes to show you, even in a 30 team league you aren't necessarily going to have more top end defensemen.
Yes, it is generally harder to win the Norris now than during the O6. You can claim it was more difficult from í75 to í80 but you are just going by the famous names, you canít actually compare them with todayís great defenders - todayís defenders who come from very different and larger streams of talent.

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08-05-2014, 10:36 AM
  #154
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Oh no, I get what you're saying but you only look at one end of the spectrum.
There are more first liners in the league today but there's also a hell of a lot more 3rd and 4th liners as well.
Today's top players play against lower tier players a hell of a lot more of the time than players in the O6 did.

I'm sorry but playing against a Howe and/or a Harvey quality player a whopping 14/28 times a season is harder than what a Crosby has to contend with today.
Crosby faced the top 3 Norris contenders all of what, 5-6 times during the entire season?
There is more of everything, therefore there is more competition too. I'm glad you agree.

It doesn't matter which defenders Howe/Crosby faces when it comes to scoring titles/all-stars. It doesn't matter which forwards Harvey/Bourque faces when it comes to the Norris/all-stars. For those awards/nominations it does matter how many other elite players there are in those positions. That's my point.

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08-05-2014, 10:42 AM
  #155
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Bingo! Well said Phil. The greatest trait of any prolific goal scorer is patience. Let the defenders & the goalie make the first move & commit themselves then respond by doing the exact opposite. Take advantage of their mistakes in doing so. Goals scored are the result of total team breakdown, a rippling effect of a series of mistakes but ultimately its the Goalies responsibility to ameliorate those mistakes in seeing them unfold, staying cool, dealing with it through critical thought & positioning.

However, the way the positions played today with full on BF these guys go down on every single shot and before its even released because the players today in the vast majority of cases just let fly without even looking for an opening & targeting. They just put it on the net, wing and a prayer, very quick release. If it doesnt go in directly or get tipped, maybe a ricochet finding net, for sure theres going to be a nice juicy rebound because todays Goalies (vast majority) cant control those either giving up second chances. They dont "save" the puck, they "block" it. Playing the laws of average with size & coverage. Not art, its science. And its flawed. Badly. One dimensional.

The best offensive players in todays NHL take full of advantage of it. Let the Goalie do his thing in fully committing going down expecting an immediate shot, they instead hold onto the puck & either pass it or feint going for instead a deke, backhander or what have you. Once that Goalies down & committed in the BF, an un~natural physiological position, getting back up again isnt easy especially at super accelerated speeds in reacting to a fake or a deke. Their down, their out. At the mercy of the shooter & I dont care how big the Goalie & his equipment might be. A player who knows what he's doing & takes his time, is patient & can thread a needle with a shot, see ya. Thats goin in. Gretzky, Lemieux, so called Snipers like Bossy, so called "Garbageman" Phil Esposito who actually did look where he was aiming before letting fly, these guys would make minced meat of todays defensive system hockey & BF Goaltenders.
I saw a qouote from Mike Bossy recently where he said he would shoot as quickly as possible. Not worry about where it goes but just try to surprise the goalie. He was obviously a prolific goal scorer in his day. When he played the goalies didn't cover as much net simply due to their equipment and because generally they were pretty small guys. Would his theory work as well today?

I'll have to try to find that quote. I think it was in a book though, not online.

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08-05-2014, 10:44 AM
  #156
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The level of goaltending has changed dramatically over the last decade as well as the way teams play and sizes of players. The ice surface appears smaller because you have chara. Etc in the game. Teams play the trap. Every team has a good starting goaltender and a plethora of talent. I think bar the generational talents of the past. The rest would struggle to fit in. The game is too fast and physical today.

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08-05-2014, 12:14 PM
  #157
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Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
Bourque lost out on several Norris trophies to American defenseman (Langway, Chelios, Leetch) and Lidstrom later on while there wasn't an American or European defenseman in sight to compete for the Norris with Harvey. That's a clear disadvantage for Bourque when looking back at his career because he was facing FAR deeper competition for that trophy, simply from this proof alone. Donít you think Bourque would be held in even higher regard if he had a few more Norrisí to his name? He was the top Canadian defenseman many more times than Harvey was.

You guys generally do rank Harvey higher because you follow this flaw of carrying the same weight for an all-Canadian league with a small talent pool as an international league with a much larger talent pool.



Almost everyone here considers Harvey better than Lidstrom and Bourque but no one seems to be sure why. It seems more like a type of dogma to me.
by the same token, and i addressed this in a couple of related threads, by what logic can we assume that even if there were americans and europeans and more western canadians in the league in the 1950s that there would be players who could rival doug harvey? i'm not necessarily suggesting that it's impossible, because obviously it isn't. but you also can't take that for granted.

like, if we accept as general convention that einstein was the smartest person of his time, but in a hundred years aliens have emigrated to earth and some of those aliens are top level scientists on the same level as the best human scientists, would we retroactively say about einstein that maybe he is less smart in the grand scheme of things because he had no aliens to "compete" with? or was he just a next-level genius who would have been the smartest in any era?

the point is, we don't know. we only know the degree to which he was smarter than others during his time. and so we don't know whether harvey was just flat out better than everyone else, or whether an alternate reality scenario where europeans and americans had better hockey infrastructures and their best athletes both could and wanted to make a living in the NHL would have produced one or several players on harvey's level.

and the fact that we flat out don't know is the reason i think most of us follow the methodology of relativizing a player to his contemporaries. and by now, i think most of us account for certain geopolitical differences between eras-- say, the existence of high level USSR players in the 1970s and 80s-- because we can see tretiak and kharlamov and makarov play at a high level, and so we can at least compare kharlamov to reggie leach, or whomever. but we can't see or on any level even reasonably guess how good a hypothetical, bizarro-reality 1950s swedish superstar defenseman that is presumably supposed to cut into harvey's trophy case.

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08-05-2014, 12:38 PM
  #158
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
by the same token, and i addressed this in a couple of related threads, by what logic can we assume that even if there were americans and europeans and more western canadians in the league in the 1950s that there would be players who could rival doug harvey? i'm not necessarily suggesting that it's impossible, because obviously it isn't. but you also can't take that for granted.

like, if we accept as general convention that einstein was the smartest person of his time, but in a hundred years aliens have emigrated to earth and some of those aliens are top level scientists on the same level as the best human scientists, would we retroactively say about einstein that maybe he is less smart in the grand scheme of things because he had no aliens to "compete" with? or was he just a next-level genius who would have been the smartest in any era?

the point is, we don't know. we only know the degree to which he was smarter than others during his time. and so we don't know whether harvey was just flat out better than everyone else, or whether an alternate reality scenario where europeans and americans had better hockey infrastructures and their best athletes both could and wanted to make a living in the NHL would have produced one or several players on harvey's level.

and the fact that we flat out don't know is the reason i think most of us follow the methodology of relativizing a player to his contemporaries. and by now, i think most of us account for certain geopolitical differences between eras-- say, the existence of high level USSR players in the 1970s and 80s-- because we can see tretiak and kharlamov and makarov play at a high level, and so we can at least compare kharlamov to reggie leach, or whomever. but we can't see or on any level even reasonably guess how good a hypothetical, bizarro-reality 1950s swedish superstar defenseman that is presumably supposed to cut into harvey's trophy case.
Good post. We definitely don't know when comparing players across vastly different eras.

The bolded would be a strict peer to peer comparison amongst ones own era. I'm fine with that if people would admit that's what they're doing. Fact is people here tend to say that's not what they're doing. In many cases they definitely are taking other factors into account but often I've found they stick with the peer to peer comparison but won't admit it.

I don't know how we could factor in someone like Harvey not facing any elite Americans or Europeans for the Norris without it being unfair to him. I do know that it's unfair to current players to be compared with Harvey when they do have to face other streams of elite talent, whether it's a larger talent pool in Canada or the new talent streams from the US and Europe. It looks pretty silly to see people denying that there isn't more competition for the top spots now though. It would be a huge anamoly if it wasn't true.

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08-05-2014, 01:34 PM
  #159
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Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
Good post. We definitely don't know when comparing players across vastly different eras.

The bolded would be a strict peer to peer comparison amongst ones own era. I'm fine with that if people would admit that's what they're doing. Fact is people here tend to say that's not what they're doing. In many cases they definitely are taking other factors into account but often I've found they stick with the peer to peer comparison but won't admit it.

I don't know how we could factor in someone like Harvey not facing any elite Americans or Europeans for the Norris without it being unfair to him. I do know that it's unfair to current players to be compared with Harvey when they do have to face other streams of elite talent, whether it's a larger talent pool in Canada or the new talent streams from the US and Europe. It looks pretty silly to see people denying that there isn't more competition for the top spots now though. It would be a huge anamoly if it wasn't true.
And if there was a 30 team League back then your argument would hold more water.
Even today, you could go back to a 6 team all Canadian League and it would not only be at a higher level than the current NHL, it would also be the most talented in the World.
Canada still has more elite talent than the rest of the world combined, Canada could've sent 2 teams to the Olympics and both would've still been considered favourites and both would've still been better than most of the other teams.

Harvey played well into his 40's, Howe his 50's.
Howe actually played through more "evolution's of the game" than most posters have even witnessed and he was successful from start to finish.
And looking up "The evolution of the game" in a hockey dictionary leads to pictures of certain players, one of which is of Harvey himself.
60 years later, that's 60 freakin years btw Dmen are still taught to play like Harvey. That's incredible period!!!

You give the increased participation/population too much weight. Yes, from time to time a country other than Canada produces an elite player but it's not even remotely close to equal of the growth rate.
Is there more competition in the top 2-3 ultra elite spots? Some years there is, some there isn't.
Take Lidstrom out of the equation, it means that prolly Pronger and Nieds have more Norris but it doesn't change the fact that neither of them win as many (if any at all) in the late 80's and early 90's, just like Lidstrom wouldn't have.

And you still dismiss the fact that those O6 Canadian players had a higher level of compete per game/per season due to the vastly condensed nature of a much smaller League.
There was no picking on the 3rd pairing Dman/4th line/backup goalie of the 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th place teams.

Look at a team like the 61/62 Wings. Howe, Delvecchio, Gadsby, Sawchuk yet they were a sub 500 team that failed to make the PO's. Does that mean they weren't one hell of a tough team to play against and beat? Of course they were!
And you had to play them 14 freakin times a year!


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08-05-2014, 02:05 PM
  #160
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And if there was a 30 team League back then your argument would hold more water.
Even today, you could go back to a 6 team all Canadian League and it would not only be at a higher level than the current NHL, it would also be the most talented in the World.
Canada still has more elite talent than the rest of the world combined, Canada could've sent 2 teams to the Olympics and both would've still been considered favourites and both would've still been better than most of the other teams.

Harvey played well into his 40's, Howe his 50's.
Howe actually played through more "evolution's of the game" than most posters have even witnessed and he was successful from start to finish.
And looking up "The evolution of the game" in a hockey dictionary leads to pictures of certain players, one of which is of Harvey himself.
60 years later, that's 60 freakin years btw Dmen are still taught to play like Harvey. That's incredible period!!!

You give the increased participation/population too much weight. Yes, from time to time a country other than Canada produces an elite player but it's not even remotely close to equal of the growth rate.
Is there more competition in the top 2-3 ultra elite spots? Some years there is, some there isn't.
Take Lidstrom out of the equation, it means that prolly Pronger and Nieds have more Norris but it doesn't change the fact that neither of them win as many (if any at all) in the late 80's and early 90's, just like Lidstrom wouldn't have.

And you still dismiss the fact that those O6 Canadian players had a higher level of compete per game/per season due to the vastly condensed nature of a much smaller League.
There was no picking on the 3rd pairing Dman/4th line/backup goalie of the 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th place teams.

Look at a team like the 61/62 Wings. Howe, Delvecchio, Gadsby, Sawchuk yet they were a sub 500 team that failed to make the PO's. Does that mean they weren't one hell of a tough team to play against and beat? Of course they were!
And you had to play them 14 freakin times a year!
You are giving far too much weight to the O6. It was basically Canadian only with a talent pool that came pre-baby boom. Weíre talking about a pool that came from kids who were born during two World Wars, with the Great Depression sandwiched in between. It was before the small population exploded and high birth rates occurred. That doesnít mean there couldnít be any great players, cause there were, but letís not pretend that it was chalked full of superstar level talents.

It was a small league with a small talent pool. The fact that it was only 6 teams suits the size of the talent pool and hockey in general at that time. Hockey had a lot of room to grow and it has. Itís supply and demand in terms of franchises, fans, and talent.

Many of the O6 guys are legends but some here are making them into myths.

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08-05-2014, 06:02 PM
  #161
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You are giving far too much weight to the O6. It was basically Canadian only with a talent pool that came pre-baby boom. We’re talking about a pool that came from kids who were born during two World Wars, with the Great Depression sandwiched in between. It was before the small population exploded and high birth rates occurred. That doesn’t mean there couldn’t be any great players, cause there were, but let’s not pretend that it was chalked full of superstar level talents.

It was a small league with a small talent pool. The fact that it was only 6 teams suits the size of the talent pool and hockey in general at that time. Hockey had a lot of room to grow and it has. It’s supply and demand in terms of franchises, fans, and talent.

Many of the O6 guys are legends but some here are making them into myths.

Like who?
Howe? He played into the 80's for Pete sake.
Orr? He WAS mythical!
Harvey? His legacy STILL lives on in the way kids are taught the game 60 years later.
Richard? The guy's goal scoring was legendary and his ability to score clutch goals was phenomenal, his PO game winning goal record stood for decades despite only playing 2 PO rounds back then. It took a modern player playing in the 4 round era most of his freakin career to top it.

Just what myths are we talking about exactly???


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08-06-2014, 01:57 AM
  #162
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Originally Posted by danincanada View Post
Bourque lost out on several Norris trophies to American defenseman (Langway, Chelios, Leetch) and Lidstrom later on while there wasn't an American or European defenseman in sight to compete for the Norris with Harvey. That's a clear disadvantage for Bourque when looking back at his career because he was facing FAR deeper competition for that trophy, simply from this proof alone. Donít you think Bourque would be held in even higher regard if he had a few more Norrisí to his name? He was the top Canadian defenseman many more times than Harvey was.
It doesn't matter what country they came from. Look at those original 6 names. Sure they are Canadian, but that does not matter at all to anyone but you apparently.


Quote:
Almost everyone here considers Harvey better than Lidstrom and Bourque but no one seems to be sure why. It seems more like a type of dogma to me.
Harvey controlled the game better. He is considered by many to be the most important player on a dynasty that featured a prime Jean Beliveau.

Quote:
Harvey and Kelly sure get a lot of credit for being the top two guys in a Canadian-only league. Bourque and Lidstrom had multiple guys breathing down their necks every year, and often from different countries. I mean, how are you so sure Harvey and Kelly were any better than Bourque and Lidstromís and their competition?

So Lidstrom was at an advantage because Bourque, who wasn't at a disadvantage when compared to Harvey, (and his peers from the 90's) retired? Do you hear what you're saying? Talk about being inconsistent.
Again, it doesn't matter what country they are from. It only matters what the top end competition looked like. There are some eras that were tougher than others to win a Norris. The 2000s were NOT among the top. Even the 2010s have been tougher. There are more to choose from at the top end right now I think. The early 1990s and late 1980s were incredibly competitive in that position. Just a logjam. Some eras have it more than others.

Quote:
Why stop at 60 goals and 100 assists, why not just 160 goals? Gretzky was amazing but he couldn't do anything he wanted. We have to go by what he did accomplish. He couldn't bring a cup to LA so, no, he wasn't a hockey god. He was a mere mortal just like everyone else.
Because the guy focused a lot more on playmaking as early as 1986 as we can see. Which can come at the expense of some goals. But then again, what am I thinking? I'm not going to get into an argument about how a 41 goal 122 assist season is anything but otherworldly.


Quote:
Yes, by my count there are 6 Canadians listed here. Keep this in mind going forward.
Doesn't matter, look at the names and look at the fact that the same names are generally popping up.

Quote:
Yes, by my count there are 6 Canadians and 1 European here. Obviously there are no Russians and it doesnít appear to be any elite American defenders yet. Salming took the place of what would be another Canadian in the past.
Doesn't matter. The same names are popping up. There is a reason for this. Carol Vadnais wasn't a threat to win a Norris. Even if there were 100 of them in the NHL he would never have been a threat. Those names I posted were. Let me know if those aren't some good names.

Quote:
No, this is not the same. There are 10 defenseman in total now, including 6 Canadians and 4 Americans. Why would you pretend this is the same? Your theory is not looking very good right now. Itís quite obvious that these elite Americans took the place of what would be Canadian defenseman in the past and increased the competition for the Norris, even winning a couple.
How is Orr, Park, Potvin, Robinson, Salming, Lapointe and Savard not similar at the top end to Bourque, Coffey, Stevens, Leetch, Chelios, MacInnis? All because there are Americans instead of Canadians? It doesn't matter. Besides, you are also counting Al Iafrate in this mix. Think about that. Al Iafrate. He was a 2nd team all-star once. That season was unusual for him, it was an abberation. He wasn't a threat to dethrone Bourque or Chelios in 1993. Not even close.

Quote:
This disproves your theory even further. There are now 13 defenders including 8 Canadians, 1 American, and 4 Europeans. Did the Canadian defenseman really get worse or did the non-Canadians just get better? Keith and Weber are amazing players so I donít think thereís a problem with Canadian defenseman at all.
As nice as the core is in 2014, they still are worse at the top level than the late 1980s and early 1990s and the mid to late 1970s. No question. Unless you want to find a way to say Keith, Weber, Chara, Subban, Suter, Doughty, etc. trump the top end on either of these other eras. I can't see it at all. That's what I mean about which era is "harder" to win the Norris in. I don't bother to look at their place of birth. It means little.

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I don't need help in this discussion but you just provided it. This shows exactly what I'm trying to point out to you. There are more guys in the discussion for the Norris lately, and to no oneís surprise it's not just Canadians anymore. That's proof for my argument. Now where's proof for your argument that adding more talent streams doesn't matter?
The names are the same though aren't they? Keith, Chara, Weber are the three prominent names aren't they? No other defensemen in a 30 team league have been able to compare with especially Chara or Weber's year in and year out consistency. Remember, this is a 30 team league and the best ones at the top end are generally still the same year after year until a shift happens. You'd be crazy if you think Harvey wouldn't be one of those names in there constantly.

Look, we've all talked about how when Lidstrom was winning his Norrises that there was less top end competition when he did it. He'd lose out to prime Potvin, Coffey, Orr and Bourque. Maybe even prime Robinson. All the likes of Chelios and Leetch would give him a run for his money too at their best. You could argue there is a 10 year span 1985-'95 where Lidstrom's best season still wouldn't win a Norris. Or 1970-'79 he doesn't win one either. Not even his best season. Do we penalize Lidstrom for this? No, because we saw how he played. He was great. It's that simple. But it is possible for their to be better top end talent in earlier eras than the current crop. Just because there are more teams, it doesn't mean there will be more top end defensemen year after year. If you can take one thing away from what I said, I hope it is that. This was the point of showing you the similarities between eras of the best defensemen. The cream always rose to the top whether it was the 1950s or 2014.

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Yes, it is generally harder to win the Norris now than during the O6. You can claim it was more difficult from í75 to í80 but you are just going by the famous names, you canít actually compare them with todayís great defenders - todayís defenders who come from very different and larger streams of talent.
I'll tell Potvin and Orr the next time I see them that they wouldn't cut it in today's game

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08-06-2014, 02:44 PM
  #163
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The bottom line here is that if the premise is that if Crosby would be elite in any era, even if he wasn't trained by today's standards, wasn't using today's equipment or had today's medical advances then it's not about being a modern player, it's about talent and instinct.

Talent and instinct is the common denominator across all era's period!

The biggest problem I have with the whole "modern superman" hyperbole is that players today are taught in a much more strict and rigid structure where freedom to try things and be creative is suppressed at very early ages.

Defense can be taught, Offense can't.
Offense has to be nurtured, explored and tried.

Some people see bigger, stronger, faster "supermen".
All I see half the time is big, strong, fast skating robots that dump the puck, cycle, rinse repeat.

Some people see a better game today and I guess it is from technical standpoint but it's definitely not as entertaining or nearly as creative. Too many games today are like watching paint dry.

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08-06-2014, 03:14 PM
  #164
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
Some people see a better game today and I guess it is from technical standpoint but it's definitely not as entertaining or nearly as creative. Too many games today are like watching paint dry.
Ya. Bigger/faster/stronger. But better? No. The play & players micro-managed. Its not that they dont have creative streaks a mile~wide, its that its been Coached out of them, verboten. Rather like the Borg. You will be assimilated, resistance is futile and if you do resist, start skating around and playing outside of that box, the Cube, well, good luck.... wont make it out of single A unless a mind~blowing phenom. And if you are, God help you. Throw a saddle on your back, bridle & reins, break those habits real fast. And just way too much hockey at amateur & junior on the way up (Spring Leagues, Summer Leagues, Camps & Clinics) and upon arrival at the pro level. 82 Regular Season Games is too much, too many. Business model however relies in large part upon it. Over milk the cows, you get injuries, burnout, shorter & shorter careers. Older players just coming into their own gone & replaced by cheaper younger talent who's tool boxes arent exactly over~flowing. Puckchenko. And the beat goes on at an ever accelerating speed. Too much speed. No brakes both figuratively & literally. Removed them from the ice when they eliminated the Centre Ice Red Line. Messing with things they ought not have touched & from the ground up starting in Tyke.

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08-06-2014, 03:44 PM
  #165
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
It doesn't matter what country they came from. Look at those original 6 names. Sure they are Canadian, but that does not matter at all to anyone but you apparently.
It just proves that having more streams of talent matters when it comes to awards and all-star voting. The non-Canadians displaced the Canadians that would have been in those positions if it had still be the O6 era. You're going to have to accept this and deal with it, not keep sticking your head in the sand saying it doesn't matter.

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Harvey controlled the game better. He is considered by many to be the most important player on a dynasty that featured a prime Jean Beliveau.
Prove that Harvey controlled the game better. Lidstrom, who was basically a defense-first guy, produced more offensively in raw and adjusted stats than Harvey. Lidstrom is also considered by many to be the most important player in the Red Wings past 4 cups, which featured Yzerman, Fedorov, Zetterberg, and Datsyuk. In fact, he was the only constant superstar in all 4 championships.

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Again, it doesn't matter what country they are from. It only matters what the top end competition looked like. There are some eras that were tougher than others to win a Norris. The 2000s were NOT among the top. Even the 2010s have been tougher. There are more to choose from at the top end right now I think. The early 1990s and late 1980s were incredibly competitive in that position. Just a logjam. Some eras have it more than others.
Comparing the top end competition across vastly different eras is highly subjective. Unless you want to claim Canadian hockey has nose-dived to the point that the only reason why there are elite players from other countries now is because Canada is so bad at producing elite players then you'd better accept that having elite players from multiple nations has improved the top end competition. Is that what you're proposing?

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Because the guy focused a lot more on playmaking as early as 1986 as we can see. Which can come at the expense of some goals. But then again, what am I thinking? I'm not going to get into an argument about how a 41 goal 122 assist season is anything but otherworldly.
Not just some goals, a lot of goals. That's for another thread though.

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Doesn't matter, look at the names and look at the fact that the same names are generally popping up.
As I've clearly shown there are more names popping up as we go along, and from different nations which points to additional elite talent coming into the league.

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Doesn't matter. The same names are popping up. There is a reason for this. Carol Vadnais wasn't a threat to win a Norris. Even if there were 100 of them in the NHL he would never have been a threat. Those names I posted were. Let me know if those aren't some good names.
The "best are always the best". Let's not give it any context, I get it, nothing to discuss here, move along.

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
How is Orr, Park, Potvin, Robinson, Salming, Lapointe and Savard not similar at the top end to Bourque, Coffey, Stevens, Leetch, Chelios, MacInnis? All because there are Americans instead of Canadians? It doesn't matter. Besides, you are also counting Al Iafrate in this mix. Think about that. Al Iafrate. He was a 2nd team all-star once. That season was unusual for him, it was an abberation. He wasn't a threat to dethrone Bourque or Chelios in 1993. Not even close.
You're the one who said it's the same guys year after year. If you're upset that Iafrate was voted an AS then don't complain to me. Another way of looking at it is he wasn't a threat to dethrone Bourque or Chelios but he did take away an AS nomination from Coffey and Stevens that year.

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As nice as the core is in 2014, they still are worse at the top level than the late 1980s and early 1990s and the mid to late 1970s. No question. Unless you want to find a way to say Keith, Weber, Chara, Subban, Suter, Doughty, etc. trump the top end on either of these other eras. I can't see it at all. That's what I mean about which era is "harder" to win the Norris in. I don't bother to look at their place of birth. It means little.
First of all, most of the current guys still have long careers ahead of them so I think you'd better be careful pretending you know how good they are because that perception could change a lot as their careers progress.

Secondly, let me guess, you're basing this judgment of current elite defenders being somewhat inferior to past guys on your eye test? Or is it their offensive stats? Good luck with that. It's completely subjective and you'd have just as much luck going to scout an OHL game and predicting how a player would do in the NHL.

Thirdly, I didn't say the current group trumps that past groups, although I think they are deeper (AKA more competition). I think they are very much comparable though at least, not inferior.

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
The names are the same though aren't they? Keith, Chara, Weber are the three prominent names aren't they? No other defensemen in a 30 team league have been able to compare with especially Chara or Weber's year in and year out consistency. Remember, this is a 30 team league and the best ones at the top end are generally still the same year after year until a shift happens. You'd be crazy if you think Harvey wouldn't be one of those names in there constantly.
Chara is an absolute freak of nature. Weber pretty much is too cause he's huge, mobile, and has great hockey sense. They'd be dominant players in any modern era.

Sure, Harvey could be one of those names, but would he be as elite as he was in his time? I doubt it, because there is more competition, and that's my whole point.

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Look, we've all talked about how when Lidstrom was winning his Norrises that there was less top end competition when he did it. He'd lose out to prime Potvin, Coffey, Orr and Bourque. Maybe even prime Robinson. All the likes of Chelios and Leetch would give him a run for his money too at their best. You could argue there is a 10 year span 1985-'95 where Lidstrom's best season still wouldn't win a Norris. Or 1970-'79 he doesn't win one either. Not even his best season. Do we penalize Lidstrom for this? No, because we saw how he played. He was great. It's that simple. But it is possible for their to be better top end talent in earlier eras than the current crop. Just because there are more teams, it doesn't mean there will be more top end defensemen year after year. If you can take one thing away from what I said, I hope it is that. This was the point of showing you the similarities between eras of the best defensemen. The cream always rose to the top whether it was the 1950s or 2014.
We've talked about it? You've claimed it, but you've also steered clear of claiming that for Harvey, and instead point to one guy breathing down his neck (Kelly), as if that's plenty of competition.

You're really underrating Lidstrom. His impact on the ice is hard to gauge in any particular season but the league has never seen a player that dominant who so rarely took penalties, rarely got injured, and rarely made mistakes, all while being a workhorse on the back end of a modern day dynasty. He was completely unique and if you didn't watch him every game you wouldn't realize how impactful he really was.

Chelios, who saw Lidstrom first hand, doesn't agree with you either:

Quote:
"You can't say there's anyone better," he said. "I played with Larry Robinson; I played against (Ray) Bourque. You go even further, Doug Harvey. It's just different eras. But in my opinion, there couldn't have been anybody better than Nick Lidstrom."
http://www.freep.com/article/2012060...lios-joe-kocur

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I'll tell Potvin and Orr the next time I see them that they wouldn't cut it in today's game
I never said those guys couldn't cut it in today's game or even be superstars. That's a very weak try at discrediting my argument.

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08-06-2014, 03:48 PM
  #166
Iain Fyffe
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Ya. Bigger/faster/stronger. But better? No. The play & players micro-managed. Its not that they dont have creative streaks a mile~wide, its that its been Coached out of them, verboten. Rather like the Borg. You will be assimilated, resistance is futile and if you do resist, start skating around and playing outside of that box, the Cube, well, good luck.... wont make it out of single A unless a mind~blowing phenom. And if you are, God help you. Throw a saddle on your back, bridle & reins, break those habits real fast. And just way too much hockey at amateur & junior on the way up (Spring Leagues, Summer Leagues, Camps & Clinics) and upon arrival at the pro level. 82 Regular Season Games is too much, too many. Business model however relies in large part upon it. Over milk the cows, you get injuries, burnout, shorter & shorter careers. Older players just coming into their own gone & replaced by cheaper younger talent who's tool boxes arent exactly over~flowing. Puckchenko. And the beat goes on at an ever accelerating speed. Too much speed. No brakes both figuratively & literally. Removed them from the ice when they eliminated the Centre Ice Red Line. Messing with things they ought not have touched & from the ground up starting in Tyke.
Not sure I've ever agreed with a post more than I agree with this one. In your own particular rambling style you've summed it up beautifully.

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08-06-2014, 03:58 PM
  #167
danincanada
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
The bottom line here is that if the premise is that if Crosby would be elite in any era, even if he wasn't trained by today's standards, wasn't using today's equipment or had today's medical advances then it's not about being a modern player, it's about talent and instinct.

Talent and instinct is the common denominator across all era's period!

The biggest problem I have with the whole "modern superman" hyperbole is that players today are taught in a much more strict and rigid structure where freedom to try things and be creative is suppressed at very early ages.

Defense can be taught, Offense can't.
Offense has to be nurtured, explored and tried.

Some people see bigger, stronger, faster "supermen".
All I see half the time is big, strong, fast skating robots that dump the puck, cycle, rinse repeat.

Some people see a better game today and I guess it is from technical standpoint but it's definitely not as entertaining or nearly as creative. Too many games today are like watching paint dry.
I've told you before, if you don't like todays NHL then go watch a lesser league. There are more mistakes and play more of a pond hockey style there. The NHL makes more money and has more fans then ever so you seem to be in the minority.

Has anyone even mentioned this other stuff in this thread? Today's players aren't supermen, but there are a lot more of them to choose from. NHL teams weed out guys they think won't cut it more than ever before.

If the talent pool has grown multiple times since the O6 then why wouldn't there be more to choose from in terms of physical attributes such as size, speed, and strength, as well as talent and instinct? That's your dilemma here. It's a numbers game when you get past all the advantages and disadvantages todays current players have. My claim is it's a numbers game your side can't win and you know it.

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08-06-2014, 04:00 PM
  #168
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Ya. Bigger/faster/stronger. But better? No. The play & players micro-managed. Its not that they dont have creative streaks a mile~wide, its that its been Coached out of them, verboten. Rather like the Borg. You will be assimilated, resistance is futile and if you do resist, start skating around and playing outside of that box, the Cube, well, good luck.... wont make it out of single A unless a mind~blowing phenom. And if you are, God help you. Throw a saddle on your back, bridle & reins, break those habits real fast. And just way too much hockey at amateur & junior on the way up (Spring Leagues, Summer Leagues, Camps & Clinics) and upon arrival at the pro level. 82 Regular Season Games is too much, too many. Business model however relies in large part upon it. Over milk the cows, you get injuries, burnout, shorter & shorter careers. Older players just coming into their own gone & replaced by cheaper younger talent who's tool boxes arent exactly over~flowing. Puckchenko. And the beat goes on at an ever accelerating speed. Too much speed. No brakes both figuratively & literally. Removed them from the ice when they eliminated the Centre Ice Red Line. Messing with things they ought not have touched & from the ground up starting in Tyke.
IF you really feel this way then you have to chalk it up to it being a disadvantage for the current player. If an O6 player were raised in this environment they'd have the same disadvantage.

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08-06-2014, 04:30 PM
  #169
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IF you really feel this way then you have to chalk it up to it being a disadvantage for the current player. If an O6 player were raised in this environment they'd have the same disadvantage.
It's both a disadvantage and an advantage, depending on what you're looking at.

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08-06-2014, 04:51 PM
  #170
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You're really underrating Lidstrom. His impact on the ice is hard to gauge in any particular season but the league has never seen a player that dominant who so rarely took penalties, rarely got injured, and rarely made mistakes, all while being a workhorse on the back end of a modern day dynasty. He was completely unique and if you didn't watch him every game you wouldn't realize how impactful he really was.
Because lighter hockey sticks made it easier in this generation to play the puck than play the body, thereby keeping Lidstrom from the type aggressive defending that would lead to injuries and mistakes (which he did make when he would pinch in on offense throughout the 1990s). It's no different than the way lightweight goalie pads changed the way a player could consistently make certain types of saves in this generation.

Give credit to Lidstrom for absolutely being the best at it pokechecking in this generation, but it's not fair to past generations to give Lidstrom credit for not getting hurt as often, because if his stick was heavier, his one-handed pokechecks would be less efficient, and he'd have to take the body more than he did. I don't know that he had the physical presence to be the best defensive defenseman in another era.

More than that, he wasn't exactly a top shot-blocker of this era, so that really preserves the body.

2005-06 - Defensemen
Andreas Lilja, 134
Mathieu Schneider, 119
Chris Chelios, 117
Nicklas Lidstrom, 82

2006-07 - Defensemen
Niklas Kronwall, 99 (68 GP)
Andreas Lilja, 95 (57 GP)
Nicklas Lidstrom, 95

2007-08 - Defensemen
Andreas Lilja, 114
Niklas Kronwall, 79 (65 GP)
Nicklas Lidstrom, 70

2008-09 - Defensemen
Niklas Kronwall, 109
Brad Stuart, 98 (67 GP)
Andreas Lilja, 92 (60 GP)
Nicklas Lidstrom, 67

2009-10 - Defensemen
Brad Stuart, 133
Brian Rafalski, 101
Nicklas Lidstrom, 82

2010-11 - Defensemen
Niklas Kronwall, 129
Brad Stuart, 114 (67 GP)
Ruslan Salei, 109
Nicklas Lidstrom, 92


It wasn't the most physically demanding job in the NHL.

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08-06-2014, 05:35 PM
  #171
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You CANNOT be writing off Nick Lidstrom's superior positional intelligence and predictive abilities as a matter of stick weight. Unless you're JUST commenting on his durability, in which case whatever.

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08-06-2014, 05:57 PM
  #172
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You CANNOT be writing off Nick Lidstrom's superior positional intelligence and predictive abilities as a matter of stick weight. Unless you're JUST commenting on his durability, in which case whatever.
Just commenting on durability, and I already said he's the best pokechecker of his generation.

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08-06-2014, 06:02 PM
  #173
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I saw a qouote from Mike Bossy recently where he said he would shoot as quickly as possible. Not worry about where it goes but just try to surprise the goalie. He was obviously a prolific goal scorer in his day. When he played the goalies didn't cover as much net simply due to their equipment and because generally they were pretty small guys. Would his theory work as well today?

I'll have to try to find that quote. I think it was in a book though, not online.
Yes, Ive heard or read that before so I can save you some time in having to look it up. Phil Esposito has also said same. Many of the prolific goal scores state it & yes, absolutely. Old "axiom" if you cant see what your shooting at, a hard target of open twine, 5 hole, top shelf or whatever, just shoot it on the net. Maybe you get lucky maybe not but when in doubt, no pass available, scramble, just get it on the net. That however your panic last resort type move, and while Bossy & Esposito did wrack up a lot of points that way, these guys were serious Marksmen as well. World Class. Gold Medalists. In todays game you see guys who have the time & space to look up but they dont. Its been drilled into their heads "just get it on the net". Rather small percentile of those in the NHL who do pick their spots & can nail them. Have the the patience of old.

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IF you really feel this way then you have to chalk it up to it being a disadvantage for the current player. If an O6 player were raised in this environment they'd have the same disadvantage.
They would yes, absolutely. Different form of indoctrination from an early age.

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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
It's both a disadvantage and an advantage, depending on what you're looking at.
Yes. There are a considerable number of serious advantages over lets say coming up through the 50's, 60's & 70's as a kid, through the various levels. But also disadvantages for the players from the mid~70's through to 2014. One of the biggest barriers is cost of course. Very expensive at the AA through AAA elite amateur levels where they'll receive the best training & coaching. Lack of access to free outdoor community facilities another, as its there, schoolyard rinks & so on that players are free to be creative, gaining confidence in their abilities through trial & error, practice, just having fun. Once they hit the system everything Regimented, overly so from the way it was in Canada at the amateur levels until about 75 or so... in Quebec, they have actually consciously moved back to a far less regimented fun first offensively oriented approach to the game, so the pendulum will swing back I believe as others follow suit. Now, Major Junior, Finishing School if you will, thats another beast altogether....

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08-06-2014, 07:01 PM
  #174
joseph_kerr
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Just commenting on durability, and I already said he's the best pokechecker of his generation.
What's the difference in the stick weight between say a Harvey and Lidstrom? Over a pound?

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08-06-2014, 08:16 PM
  #175
Morgoth Bauglir
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Too much speed. No brakes both figuratively & literally. Removed them from the ice when they eliminated the Centre Ice Red Line. Messing with things they ought not have touched & from the ground up starting in Tyke.
Worse, the short-shift. No need to pace yourself anymore just go balls-to-the-wall for 30-45 seconds. No need to pace yourself but also no time to be creative: Only time to execute a pre-choreographed pattern that doesn't require time to think, just execute reflexively.

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