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Round 2, Vote 1 (Stanley Cup Playoff Performers)

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Old
03-14-2017, 09:01 AM
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Seems as if many voters are forgetting Orr was a defenseman. He had a lot more to do than just produce points. The rest of the Bruins d-core wasn't exactly star caliber.

That said, only Gretzky & Mario average more assists per game and those 2 & Messier had more points per game.
That's why I wondered, because the defensive duties against terrible teams are usually minimal.

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03-14-2017, 09:03 AM
  #77
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I'm not really into this idea of "punishing" players for the fact that their teams were good. (It always seems to come up in discussions like this, if indirectly.) I sometimes feel that certain fans of certain players would rather his team was crappy and he scored 2 points per game than he scored 1 and his team won the Cup.

For example, the fact that Mario Lemieux's team won a playoff round without him should NOT be held against Lemieux. The fact that Ken Dryden played for maybe the greatest team ever should NOT be held against him. It should in NO WAY lessen our consideration of what these players achieved --- on the contrary, it should increase our appreciation of them. The goal is simply to win.

(As to the comment that Sakic's team wouldn't have gone anywhere without him -- are you sure about that? Because that same team didn't have Forsberg for the entire Finals and still won the Stanley Cup.)

I do have difficulty evaluating Mario in the playoff context. It's not because he missed games to injury, but more so because in his early prime he missed the playoffs every year (by the time he was 25 and a half, he'd appeared in 11 playoff games in his life -- this is Taylor Hall-ish) , and after the two great Cup runs he never again performed at peak level in the playoffs. Yet those two runs were superb. It becomes difficult to try to compare that to other (somewhat less individually talented) players who not only appeared far more times, but also performed at peak level far more times than Mario did. I dunno how to do it, frankly.


I wonder if Jean Béliveau isn't being a tad over-valued by people who are suggesting him at 4th? I absolutely love Béliveau, and I guess I'll defer to those who watched him play (I didn't), but having read his book and knowing his story and his stats, etc., I have a hard time seeing him that high. In his prime, he was outscored at least 6 times by teammates -- and sometimes by two or three teammates. Cournoyer, Lemaire, and Tremblay were outscoring him more often than Rocket Richard was. I guess when you play on such great teams and for a great franchise, you have more opportunities on the big stage, but it's also harder to distinguish yourself within those lineups.

I have no idea about how I'd compile a list. Eight of the players listed I didn't see play at all, or only barely (Potvin, Lafleur).

My thinking at present is that Gretzky and M.Richard are likely 1 and 2. But I've no idea, honestly...

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03-14-2017, 09:09 AM
  #78
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I wish I knew how to post tables. I'll try to describe what I did instead with my results below.

Going into this I had Lemieux > Messier > Howe. So I wanted to compare the 3 of them more in-depth.

In doing so, I picked each player's 6 best playoff runs (Lemieux only had 6 "deep" runs, so I used that as the standard). I did two things. I gave each individual selected run a grade on a scale of 1 to 10. I then also ranked each run against one another. I then tallied the results to see what I came up with.

Here are the runs I chose for each player, in order from best to worst.

Lemieux - 91, 92, 89, 96, 93, 01
Messier - 88, 84, 94, 90, 85, 87
Howe - 55, 49, 64, 63, 61, 56

Here are the ranks I gave each run in a head to head against the other players' best runs, in order:

Lemieux - 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3 - Total = 10
Messier - 3, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1 - Total = 10
Howe - 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 2 - Total = 16

I then gave "grades" to each run, which are as follows:

Lemieux - 10, 10, 9, 8, 8, 6 - 51
Messier - 9, 9, 8, 8, 8, 8 - 50
Howe - 9, 8, 8, 8, 7, 7 - 47

To be clear, i'm sure a lot of these runs are worthy of being given a 10 on 10 on their own. But when comparing them against each other, I had to pick the very best run as a 10, and put everything else in comparison to that. So while Messier's Smythe is obviously worthy of a 10 on 10, when comparing to Lemieux's "better" Smythe I actually only gave it a grade of a 9 on 10, and so on.

I'm sure i'm going to get a lot of flack for how "subjective" my ranks and grades are, and many others will disagree with my grades and ranks. I do feel as though this was a useful method for me to try and differentiate between the players.

Lemieux comes out on top in both type of rankings (tied with Messier on first, slightly ahead in 2nd).

Things to consider:

Messier. Outside of those 6 "best" runs, i'd say he has at least 5 more runs worthy of a passing grade of 6. Possibly 6-7 runs.

Howe. Outside of those 6 "best" runs, i'd say he has 3-5 more runs with a passing grade. At first glance, outside of those 6 runs I'd have Messier > Howe

Lemieux. Outside of those 6 runs, he only has 2 other runs, both 1st round exits where he put up decent numbers. Unlike the other 2, he has 0 "failures". No playoff year where he'd score a 5 on 10 or under. But he obviously does lack in number of runs.

Howe won 4 cups. Was absolutely amazing in 1955. In the other 3 cup victories, I don't think I ranked a single one of those 3 runs among his top 6, which is surprising. Lemieux was a lot more the "mvp" of his playoff runs than Howe it seems. Messier obviously played 2nd fiddle to Gretzky often, but did manage to shine on his own too often during cup runs (1990, 1994).

Based on all of this I think Howe ends up easily in 3rd place.
I'm a bit split on Messier vs Lemieux. Tempted to give Messier the edge because of longevity (more runs) - but the flip side of it is deciding how much importance to give to the fact that Lemieux had the "best" runs, and by "how much" were they better than Messier's best.

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03-14-2017, 09:21 AM
  #79
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bobholly

The problem with your post above is that you compare runs that are, in many cases, very close to each other, while ignoring :
+/- 8% of Lemieux's career playoffs
+/- 51% of Messier's career playoffs
+/- 63% of Howe's career ELIGIBLE playoffs


I can live with a fully assumed subjectivity, but dissociating Messier's and Howe's case from their longevity... I don't know, that's kinda like using goalscoring to evidence that Sakic is a better player than Doug Harvey.

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03-14-2017, 09:27 AM
  #80
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Colorado took out the Red Wings in 2000 with Sakic being close to nonexistent on the score sheet.

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03-14-2017, 09:30 AM
  #81
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Originally Posted by The Panther View Post
I'm not really into this idea of "punishing" players for the fact that their teams were good. (It always seems to come up in discussions like this, if indirectly.) I sometimes feel that certain fans of certain players would rather his team was crappy and he scored 2 points per game than he scored 1 and his team won the Cup.

For example, the fact that Mario Lemieux's team won a playoff round without him should NOT be held against Lemieux. The fact that Ken Dryden played for maybe the greatest team ever should NOT be held against him. It should in NO WAY lessen our consideration of what these players achieved --- on the contrary, it should increase our appreciation of them. The goal is simply to win.

(As to the comment that Sakic's team wouldn't have gone anywhere without him -- are you sure about that? Because that same team didn't have Forsberg for the entire Finals and still won the Stanley Cup.)

I do have difficulty evaluating Mario in the playoff context. It's not because he missed games to injury, but more so because in his early prime he missed the playoffs every year (by the time he was 25 and a half, he'd appeared in 11 playoff games in his life -- this is Taylor Hall-ish) , and after the two great Cup runs he never again performed at peak level in the playoffs. Yet those two runs were superb. It becomes difficult to try to compare that to other (somewhat less individually talented) players who not only appeared far more times, but also performed at peak level far more times than Mario did. I dunno how to do it, frankly.


I wonder if Jean Béliveau isn't being a tad over-valued by people who are suggesting him at 4th? I absolutely love Béliveau, and I guess I'll defer to those who watched him play (I didn't), but having read his book and knowing his story and his stats, etc., I have a hard time seeing him that high. In his prime, he was outscored at least 6 times by teammates -- and sometimes by two or three teammates. Cournoyer, Lemaire, and Tremblay were outscoring him more often than Rocket Richard was. I guess when you play on such great teams and for a great franchise, you have more opportunities on the big stage, but it's also harder to distinguish yourself within those lineups.

I have no idea about how I'd compile a list. Eight of the players listed I didn't see play at all, or only barely (Potvin, Lafleur).

My thinking at present is that Gretzky and M.Richard are likely 1 and 2. But I've no idea, honestly...
Completely agree.

Hell, the Oilers won a Cup without Gretzky or Coffey. Why should that diminish how good they were when they were leading the Oilers to their earlier Cups?

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03-14-2017, 09:44 AM
  #82
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Originally Posted by Dennis Bonvie View Post
Completely agree.

Hell, the Oilers won a Cup without Gretzky or Coffey. Why should that diminish how good they were when they were leading the Oilers to their earlier Cups?
Huum... Because it evidenced that those teams could win the Cup without them, thus, making them not 100% integral to their Cup wins?

The following question is : how should that hurt them in our appreciation in this particular case (since Coffey isn't yet a case). I think "Not At All" is a very valid answer, but that's a very personnal take on the matter.

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03-14-2017, 09:53 AM
  #83
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Originally Posted by MXD View Post
Huum... Because it evidenced that those teams could win the Cup without them, thus, making them not 100% integral to their Cup wins?

The following question is : how should that hurt them in our appreciation in this particular case (since Coffey isn't yet a case). I think "Not At All" is a very valid answer, but that's a very personnal take on the matter.
I agree.

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03-14-2017, 10:15 AM
  #84
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Except

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That's why I wondered, because the defensive duties against terrible teams are usually minimal.
Except ignoring them leads to major upsets.

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03-14-2017, 10:16 AM
  #85
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Originally Posted by MXD View Post
Huum... Because it evidenced that those teams could win the Cup without them, thus, making them not 100% integral to their Cup wins?

The following question is : how should that hurt them in our appreciation in this particular case (since Coffey isn't yet a case). I think "Not At All" is a very valid answer, but that's a very personnal take on the matter.
Quote:
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I agree.
Or is it? Because from my perspective, if there's something we can say about the players that are reasonably close to Gretzky in this process (as far as I'm concerned, that means Patrick Roy, Jean Beliveau and Maurice Richard; others may disagree) is that the statement about Gretzky's integrality doesn't apply (or at least, apply quite the same) to those three players I mentionned.

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03-14-2017, 10:20 AM
  #86
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Point

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Completely agree.

Hell, the Oilers won a Cup without Gretzky or Coffey. Why should that diminish how good they were when they were leading the Oilers to their earlier Cups?
Not the point. Issue is how does such a fact enhance the value of the other players who played during such circumstances contributing to SC wins when Gretzky, Beliveau, Howe did not or hardly played.

Howe missing virtually all of the 1950 playoffs except for a a partial first game says alot about the rest of the Red Wings who went on to win the SC. Kelly, Lumley in particular.

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03-14-2017, 10:21 AM
  #87
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Except ignoring them leads to major upsets.
Possibly, but can we agree that it's totally moot, considering the closest thing to a terrible team the Orr Bruins' faced (and lost to) during his career were the '75 Chicago Blackhawks?

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03-14-2017, 10:25 AM
  #88
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Or is it? Because from my perspective, if there's something we can say about the players that are reasonably close to Gretzky in this process (as far as I'm concerned, that means Patrick Roy, Jean Beliveau and Maurice Richard; others may disagree) is that the statement about Gretzky's integrality doesn't apply (or at least, apply quite the same) to those three players I mentionned.
Not sure I understand what you mean.

Are you saying Roy, Beliveau & Richard were more integral or less integral than Gretzky? Or neither of those things?

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03-14-2017, 10:31 AM
  #89
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Not the point. Issue is how does such a fact enhance the value of the other players who played during such circumstances contributing to SC wins when Gretzky, Beliveau, Howe did not or hardly played.

Howe missing virtually all of the 1950 playoffs except for a a partial first game says alot about the rest of the Red Wings who went on to win the SC. Kelly, Lumley in particular.
I agree.

But that was not the point of the poster who stated Mario Lemieux's value was lessened because his team won a playoff series without.

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03-14-2017, 10:35 AM
  #90
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Not sure I understand what you mean.

Are you saying Roy, Beliveau & Richard were more integral or less integral than Gretzky? Or neither of those things?
Roy was probably more integral to Cup wins than Gretzky was, and I believe the same applies to Beliveau (yeah, they won in 1973 without him). Not quite sure for Richard -- they went on a drought as he retired, but considering how '59 and '60 went for him, that seems more like a case of correlation without actual causation.

That doesn't make Roy or Beliveau or Richard better playoff performers than Gretzky, but I think every argument for the three players above vs. Gretzky probably has to start there.

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03-14-2017, 10:39 AM
  #91
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1971

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Possibly, but can we agree that it's totally moot, considering the closest thing to a terrible team the Orr Bruins' faced (and lost to) during his career were the '75 Chicago Blackhawks?
RS gap between 1975 Boston and Chicago was 12 PTS. 1971 between Boston and Montreal was 24. 1971 playoffs, Bruins gave-up more than 1 goal per game, 28 in 7 games than they did during the regular season = 4GAA/g. Likewise in 1975 the Bruins also gave up almost 1 more goal per game than during the RS. 12 in 3 playoff games. Similarly 12 GAA/G. Ignore the defensive game and pay the price. Similar patterns with other upsets.

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03-14-2017, 10:42 AM
  #92
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
RS gap between 1975 Boston and Chicago was 12 PTS. 1971 between Boston and Montreal was 24. 1971 playoffs, Bruins gave-up more than 1 goal per game, 28 in 7 games than they did during the regular season = 4GAA/g. Likewise in 1975 the Bruins also gave up almost 1 more goal per game than during the RS. 12 in 3 playoff games. Similarly 12 GAA/G. Ignore the defensive game and pay the price. Similar patterns with other upsets.
With regards, I just wanted to dispel the notion that Orr possibly got his points against terrible teams in the playoffs. Neither the '71 Habs or the '75 Hawks were terrible teams...

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03-14-2017, 10:45 AM
  #93
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Possibly, but can we agree that it's totally moot, considering the closest thing to a terrible team the Orr Bruins' faced (and lost to) during his career were the '75 Chicago Blackhawks?
Good point.

During the 80s & 90s it wasn't uncommon for the top seeds to play teams that were well under .500 in the first round. When the Bruins were upset by the Canadiens in the first round in 1971, Montreal was 19 games over .500. Canadiens had 8 future HOFers in that lineup, twice as many as Boston had.

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03-14-2017, 10:56 AM
  #94
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Roy was probably more integral to Cup wins than Gretzky was, and I believe the same applies to Beliveau (yeah, they won in 1973 without him). Not quite sure for Richard -- they went on a drought as he retired, but considering how '59 and '60 went for him, that seems more like a case of correlation without actual causation.

That doesn't make Roy or Beliveau or Richard better playoff performers than Gretzky, but I think every argument for the three players above vs. Gretzky probably has to start there.
Gotcha.

To me, Roy is not just the most integral but the #1 playoff performer. Have to wonder though if those 50s dynasty teams could have won Cups without Beliveau, Richard or both. They still had Plante, Boom Boom, Harvey, Moore, Olmstead, Pocket Rocket, Tom Johnson.....

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03-14-2017, 10:57 AM
  #95
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Gotcha.

To me, Roy is not just the most integral but the #1 playoff performer. Have to wonder though if those 50s dynasty teams could have won Cups without Beliveau, Richard or both. They still had Plante, Boom Boom, Harvey, Moore, Olmstead, Pocket Rocket, Tom Johnson.....
Probably, but...

There are Stanley Cup Wins, and Stanley Cup Wins. Those ones belong to the latter category.

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03-14-2017, 11:06 AM
  #96
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1973

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Originally Posted by MXD View Post
Roy was probably more integral to Cup wins than Gretzky was, and I believe the same applies to Beliveau (yeah, they won in 1973 without him). Not quite sure for Richard -- they went on a drought as he retired, but considering how '59 and '60 went for him, that seems more like a case of correlation without actual causation.

That doesn't make Roy or Beliveau or Richard better playoff performers than Gretzky, but I think every argument for the three players above vs. Gretzky probably has to start there.
Check the 1973 series against the Flyers - Richard matched against Bobby Clarke.
Clarke 1G(PP) - 3A, Richard 3G - 1 A all at ES including two GWG. Enough said about the value of Richard post Beliveau.

As for Maurice Richard you lump 1959 and 1960 together. Fair enough. Injured or returning from injury. But look at his 1956 to 1958 playoffs when healthy and playing on a line with Henri Richard Compare to Gretzky :

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/p...y.php?pid=4550

Three of his best playoff series ooutside of 1944.

As for Gretzky. Post Edmonton on teams that could not/did not play well defensively. Gretzky's offensive contribution could not overcome this weakness. So much for the offence being the best defence position.

http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/p...y.php?pid=2035

Effectively Gretzky scored 36 points in 28 games while Maurice Richard scored 40 in 30 games looking at their contributions post age 35. Gretzky 0 SCs, Maurice Richard 5 SCs 35 and older. Who contributed more?

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03-14-2017, 11:15 AM
  #97
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Defensive Play

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That's an if that happened once, largely because of the 2001 ECF against New Jersey. Considering that Jagr vanished, it's a relatively small black mark on his record.

A strong point for Lemieux is that he produced strong scoring totals in a few years even in non-Cup years when his team wasn't all that strong. While Lemieux's Pens did win a few games when Mario was missing in 1992, the less competitive era of the Canadiens players above him on my list (Beliveau/Richard) allowed a team like the 59 Habs to win the Cup with 0 SCF games from an injured Beliveau, 0 SCF points from Rocket Richard, and a league average goaltending performance from Jacques Plante.

If I were to move Lemieux up, it would be because he did things that were more difficult to replicate. The Pens may have won a series without him, but it's not like someone would score 40 points in a year when he was missing. Marcel Bonin grabbed a pair of Rocket Richard's gloves and produced a year that is indistinguishable from peak Richard.


So to Bobholly's point about who had a peak year as good as Mario Lemieux, I'd say very likely yes for Beliveau '56, less certain but pretty sure on Howe '55.

However, I don't believe any of Richard's seasons were as good as Lemieux's best season.



Those teams wouldn't have been around in the playoffs, but the totals, while exceptional, aren't as lofty as Orr's RS totals. In the 3-round era Pat Stapleton had multiple 17-point years, and Potvin hit 19 in 13 games, and both of those guys were on teams with less offensive talent. Park hit 20 on a later Bruins team, and Robinson hit 21. Horton hit 16 in 12 games in the two-round era. Orr's offensive edge was relatively narrow compared to his RS totals.
Nice narrative about grabbing Maurice Richard's gloves. But did Marcel Bonin and the other players, Ab McDonald, Ralph Backstrom who replaced Maurice Richard and Jean Beliveau replace their defensive play?

Point about Lemieux and Jagr is that their defensive play was fairly easy to replace. Likewise Gretzky's. Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau and some of the other O6 players up for discussion could not be replaced defensively.

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03-14-2017, 11:20 AM
  #98
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Nice narrative about grabbing Maurice Richard's gloves. But did Marcel Bonin and the other players, Ab McDonald, Ralph Backstrom who replaced Maurice Richard and Jean Beliveau replace their defensive play?

Point about Lemieux and Jagr is that their defensive play was fairly easy to replace. Likewise Gretzky's. Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau and some of the other O6 players up for discussion could not be replaced defensively.
Wasn't Dickie Moore and bearing the brunt of the defensive duties anyways?

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03-14-2017, 11:24 AM
  #99
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I don't know that I feel comfortable holding the 1993 loss to NYI against Lemieux in any way. There are extenuating circumstances to be taken into account:

1. He did just come back from cancer treatment a few months early. Still had 18 points in 11 games, hardly an under-performance. He likely wasn't anywhere close to being 100% strength, but still managed to perform at a very high level.

2. It's a team sport. If we're holding team losses against a player, this opens up a big can of worms. We can go and nitpick at just about everyone's resume from the listed players and find at least 1 year (if not more) where they disappointed and their team lost because of it. If anything, Lemieux is likely to come out looking as the best of the bunch of players listed in terms playoffs where they disappointed/caused their teams to lose.

3. The Penguins *had* just won back to back cups, in 91 and 92. No one since has won 3 back to back, so it was a monumental challenge to begin with, even if they were obviously favorites.

Wayne Gretzky scored 215 points in 1985-1986. He even made it known ahead of time he was shooting for a personal goal (2 assists per game), which might have come at the detriment of team success. And his team didn't win the cup that year. Gretzky was also healthier in 86 than Lemieux was in 93. I don't think anyone here is really holding 86 loss against Gretzky though, and I think a similar argument applies for Lemieux.

I'm sure if I were to go look at other players' listed records, i'd find many worst performances than Lemieux in 93 too.

I don't mind holding certain failures against players - but it has to be sensible. 18 points in 11 games gets a pass for me. 12 points in 7 games for Orr in 71 also looks pretty damn good tbh.

It almost feels like you're saying "Lemieux and Orr in those series they lost weren't playing as the best player ever in the history of hockey - and so it's a negative". If that's the standard we're holding them to, i think it's completely unfair and unrealistic.
You make some reasonable counter points.

Guys like Lemieux and Orr though, these were guys that were capable of grabbing the bull by the horns and pushing their team to victory. Same with Gretzky and the other candidates for the top 5. I wouldn't rank Lemieux below a Sakic-level player who didn't have that raw ability in the first place. But among the guys who did have that ability, I think a blown series against a weaker opponent in a year you were otherwise unstoppable should raise am eyebrow. I believe Lemieux had 9 points in the 7 games against the Islanders. Not a spectacular performance by any means.

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03-14-2017, 11:32 AM
  #100
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Huum... Because it evidenced that those teams could win the Cup without them, thus, making them not 100% integral to their Cup wins.
It evidenced no such thing. To use the Gretzky example, the Oilers were eliminated by Gretzky's team the first year he left them. Only the next year, after an entire line was created to replace Gretzky (Graves, Gelinas, Murphy -- all obtained via the Gretzky 'trade') did the Oilers win again, and immediately thereafter became only a .500 team before falling out of contention. And the leading scorer in the whole 1990 playoffs was Craig Simpson -- the guy they got for Coffey.

Now, if an injured Gretzky had been sitting on the sidelines in 1984 or 1988 or whatever, and the Oilers had won the Cup without him playing at all and no replacement / changes to the team (i.e., with a minor-league player called up to replace him), then you might almost have a valid point.

Again, you're trying to punish teams for having good players, which is bogus. The first time Mario Lemieux missed most of the season, the Pens improved by 16 points. The season after Guy Lafleur retired, the Canadiens won the Cup for the first time in 7 years. Were those teams capable of winning Cups without those guys, in their heyday? Were they my a**.

The fact that Edmonton -- after trades, and two years of line-up shuffling -- won a Stanley Cup in 1990 in no way suggests that they could have won even one Stanley Cup without Gretzky six years earlier.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Not the point. Issue is how does such a fact enhance the value of the other players who played during such circumstances contributing to SC wins when Gretzky, Beliveau, Howe did not or hardly played.
Yes, I guess it's fair to give some extra oomph to players' careers if you can show that they got things done in the playoffs even with the team superstar out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MXD View Post
Roy was probably more integral to Cup wins than Gretzky was
Hmm... no.

Roy was clearly integral to the 1986 Cup win and the 1993 Cup win. I believe that if almost any other goalie (at the time) was in net then, those teams do not advance as far they did. (Though, actually, both those Habs' winners faced tired, mediocre teams in the Finals... the one time they faced a really strong team in the Finals -- 1989 -- they lost.)

In 1996? We're talking about a powerhouse Colorado team with Sakic and Forsberg in bloom. The team was already 1st overall in the NHL before Roy even got there. And in 2001, despite his Conn Smythe, it's one of the stronger line-ups in modern NHL history (I wouldn't have given him the Smythe in 2001, certainly).

Let's pause to remember that Gretzky joined the NHL on an expansion team with 3 other protected players from the WHA. That was the team he came in on -- 4 pro hockey players, and four years later they're in the Cup Finals.

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