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

Howe or Lemieux

View Poll Results: Who was better?
Gordie Howe 52 46.85%
Mario Lemieux 59 53.15%
Voters: 111. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
03-01-2007, 08:53 AM
  #126
Stonefly
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Originally Posted by TheSniper26 View Post
Honestly, get over it. You need to get a grip if an opinion other than your own "gets your back up" whatever that means. One, I'm pretty sure I never said the golden era was "laughable". And two, the word "primitive", which I stand by, is hardly the all out offensive assault of a comment that you're making it out to be. I even made a point to say I respect your opinion and was very respectful to you in general. This is a message board. Differentiating opinion is basically the point. Have thicker skin. I'm not even going to waste my time with the other guy's post. Given the way he jumped to the insults, I'd imagine it would be like arguing with a child. And that is about as undignified as it gets.
I'm assuming you are referring to me when you say "the other guy". Talk about needing thicker skin. The insult you refer to was in fact a statement to make the point that you fall into a certain age group. Calling something "primitive" is every bit as insulting in the context you used it.
I would like to know why it is you think people are innately unable to be objective about the past. It's quite a bold, blanket statement to make, that everyone will glorify the past....it's human nature.
For instance, the cars of the 50's and 60's were fantastic, stylish machines. The 60's muscle car era was a really fun time. But do I glorify that time and say those cars were superior to todays? Not at all. In fact the worst car sold in North America today is better built than anything produced back then. Some of the styling today is a little bland but it's coming around in that area too. They are building some amazing machines today. Why is it I'm not glorifying the past if it's such an innate part of being human?
I would also like you to tell us all, what these things are that the players can do today that they couldn't in the past.

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Old
03-01-2007, 03:42 PM
  #127
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Originally Posted by willus3 View Post
I'm assuming you are referring to me when you say "the other guy". Talk about needing thicker skin. The insult you refer to was in fact a statement to make the point that you fall into a certain age group. Calling something "primitive" is every bit as insulting in the context you used it.
I would like to know why it is you think people are innately unable to be objective about the past. It's quite a bold, blanket statement to make, that everyone will glorify the past....it's human nature.
For instance, the cars of the 50's and 60's were fantastic, stylish machines. The 60's muscle car era was a really fun time. But do I glorify that time and say those cars were superior to todays? Not at all. In fact the worst car sold in North America today is better built than anything produced back then. Some of the styling today is a little bland but it's coming around in that area too. They are building some amazing machines today. Why is it I'm not glorifying the past if it's such an innate part of being human?
I would also like you to tell us all, what these things are that the players can do today that they couldn't in the past.
Well first, I don't need thicker skin because, well, your post had no effect on me and I didn't even address it. So I'm not sure how that remark even makes any sense in the least. Second, I didn't say EVERYONE glorifies the past. Only that it's very common. And yes it is human nature to do so. That's not my opinion. That's years of schooling in Psychology telling me that. People who do or watch something for a very long time start to come to the conclusion that it was better in the beginning. Why? They feel this way because they are glorifying the time it was introduced to them. Hell I'm not excluding myself here. Years from now I'll probably be claiming the early/mid 90's to be the glory days of the NHL. I'll be wrong though. Because it's more than likely that the sport of hockey and it's players, will be better by then too. Why is it considered such a bad thing that as time goes by, the game only gets better? It's sort of disconcerting that people rail against that.

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03-01-2007, 05:47 PM
  #128
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Originally Posted by TheSniper26 View Post
Well first, I don't need thicker skin because, well, your post had no effect on me and I didn't even address it. So I'm not sure how that remark even makes any sense in the least. Second, I didn't say EVERYONE glorifies the past. Only that it's very common. And yes it is human nature to do so. That's not my opinion. That's years of schooling in Psychology telling me that. People who do or watch something for a very long time start to come to the conclusion that it was better in the beginning. Why? They feel this way because they are glorifying the time it was introduced to them. Hell I'm not excluding myself here. Years from now I'll probably be claiming the early/mid 90's to be the glory days of the NHL. I'll be wrong though. Because it's more than likely that the sport of hockey and it's players, will be better by then too. Why is it considered such a bad thing that as time goes by, the game only gets better? It's sort of disconcerting that people rail against that.
Yes, yes you even went out of your way to not address it by equating me with a child.
And concerning your 2nd rebuttal, here is what you actually said: "And my point is that, ANYBODY who has done something for 40 years, will say it was better at the beginning. That's not a shot at you at all. It's human nature." You even capitalized anybody.
And if the Dead Puck era we just went through is considered better hockey than what preceded it, then I will be content with my "glorified memories" I guess.
Also you still have not told us all what the modern players can do that the older players could not. Please inform us oh knowledgeable God of psychology and hockey.

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Old
03-01-2007, 11:03 PM
  #129
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Originally Posted by willus3 View Post
And concerning your 2nd rebuttal, here is what you actually said: "And my point is that, ANYBODY who has done something for 40 years, will say it was better at the beginning. That's not a shot at you at all. It's human nature." You even capitalized anybody.
You're right, poor choice of words. I should have said "Often most people...". Though I only emphasized that to reiterate that I was not making a personal judgement on pappyline. Rather that it was more a matter of what people in general do by nature. Fair enough point on your part though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by willus3 View Post
And if the Dead Puck era we just went through is considered better hockey than what preceded it, then I will be content with my "glorified memories" I guess.
Also you still have not told us all what the modern players can do that the older players could not.
It's not so much that they do any great amount of extra things, so much as they do all things better and more efficiently. I mean take a look at footage. The "great plays" made in those days were standard in nature compared to what is being done out there today. For example, how many goals were scored easily without even lifting the puck back then? Now, how many of those do you see today? The size and speed of the average NHLer is greater than it was back then. And people say "well those are the average NHLers, that doesn't mean the stars of that era were lesser!". But that's incorrect. To be a standout in your era, you simply have to be better than your peers. And the average players the "stars" of that era were playing against were nowhere near the talent level, relatively speaking, of the current "average" players. That makes a world of difference.

And all of that aside, there's still many issues I haven't even covered. Goaltending is much more sophisticated with the butterfly style as opposed to the flawed stand up style. Not to mention the fact that the goalies are massive compared to the past. Bordering on double the size. You think half of the goals scored then would have worked against today's goaltending setup? If you do, then you're arguing for the sake of arguing. Also, and this is a major point, the defensive systems are DRASTICALLY more sophisticated and tougher to play against. How anybody can deny that is beyond me.

Also, just for the sake of comparison, I took an old reel of a Toronto game from 1963 that my grandfather had saved. (On a side note, I wish I could have some of the people on these boards over to raid my grandfathers collection, nobody here even cares). And I put it side by side with a Pittsburgh/Blackhawks game from of couple weeks ago and the speed alone is so drastically different. Everything is moving so much faster out there.... Again I'm not trying to put down any era. The 50's were just another stepping stone in the evolution of the game much like today will end up being. It's a really good thing and I don't know why people look at it any other way.
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Originally Posted by willus3 View Post
Please inform us oh knowledgeable God of psychology and hockey.:bow
Again, why you insist on the insults is beyond me. I really don't get into the "let's cultivate an 'internet hardass' reputation" like some do around here. Have at it though.

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Old
03-01-2007, 11:11 PM
  #130
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The thing about it is, what was new then is average today because it was done then. Players will always build on what's been done before. But that shouldn't diminish those who did it first.

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Old
03-02-2007, 01:16 AM
  #131
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Originally Posted by Nalyd Psycho View Post
The thing about it is, what was new then is average today because it was done then. Players will always build on what's been done before. But that shouldn't diminish those who did it first.
But see what you just said is my exact point. Of course what was done then is average now. That's the way it is supposed to go. And no, I'm not diminishing the players of the past. My point all along has been that every era is a stepping stone in a game that is only getting better and better. What is so wrong with that? I've made it clear that I think comparing players of different eras is futile specifically because of the reason you just cited. Where I have a problem is when people say things like "Howe was just a better play than Lemieux". Because that just simply isn't logical at all.

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Old
03-02-2007, 01:17 AM
  #132
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Originally Posted by TheSniper26 View Post
This debate is sort of surprising to me honestly. Other than longevity and grit, Howe had nothing about his game that was ahead of Lemieux. Lemieux, on the other hand, was capable of numerous things, offensively, that Howe couldn't touch. Skating, shot accuracy, puck handling, vision, passing. Lemieux was vastly superior in all of these. Now I'm sure some will counter with "Those are all offensive attributes. Howe was better at both ends!". And yes that's true. But these guys are forwards folks. Defensive ability is a nice little bonus but the reality is that their primary function is offense. Why is it that if two guys are competing for the Selke, one who is great defensively and puts up points, and the other is just great defensively, the award will always go to the guy with points? Why is that the case if the award is about being the best defensive forward? Because as a forward, your primary job every time you step on the ice is still to attack offensively. The same thing applies to defensemen. A guy like Sergei Gonchar, no matter how many points he may put up, will never win the Norris. Why? Because as a defenseman, the primary focus, at the root, is still defense. Offense is only a great plus. Players are put into positions for a reason. And it's because they have attributes that apply to the expectations of that particualr position. Thus, when comparing two forwards, offensive ability should be the primary focus. And Lemieux was worlds ahead.

And the longevity argument is silly to me. Players should be judged on what they were capable of at their best. It amazes me that people, in regards to all sports, put so much weight on numbers. Numbers tell very little. If longevity and numbers were such a factor, would we all be calling Howe better than Bobby Orr? Messier better than Lemieux? I really doubt that.
Except Howe remained one of the very best players in the NHL until he was well past 40 years old. He was 5th in the NHL in scoring in his 20th season in 65/66. In his
21st season he was 4th in scoring. In his 22nd season he was 3rd in goals and points and during the season he turned 40 years old. Only Hull and Esposito outscored him. Then in his 23rd season he scored 103 points and 44 goals and was
3rd in scoring as a 41 year old. As a 42 year old in his 24th year he was 9th in scoring in 1969-70. He wan't just hanging around he was still a superstar player. And he played EVERY SINGLE game of the 1979-80 season - ten years after that and turned 52 before he actually retired.

Numbers tell a whole lot relative to the peers they played with. Mario is sertainly celebrated for his numbers. 199 points, ridiculous points per game in many seasons. But Howe was dominant for 25 years in the NHL before he retired. His career numbers are not due to his long career but through his sheer dominance.

Gretzky scored exactly ONE more pro goal than Howe did. (Playoffs/Regular season WHA and NHL). That Gretzky could score at the insane clip he did in a far, far higher scoring era and only beat out Howe by a single goal says a ton about the value of the numbers. Howe scored over 1000 goals. He played with Roy Conacher and Sid Abel and against Max Bentley, Bobby Bauer, Syl Apps, Bill Durnan and Turk Broda.
And he also played against Wayne Gretzky, Marcel Dionne, Guy Lafleur, Mike Bossy.

Gordie Howe was 42 years old when Ken Dryden led the Habs to a Cup as a Rookie. He was 51 when Dryden retired and then Howe went out and played one more season.

Gordie Howe was in his second season when Bobby Orr was born. He was in his 21st season in Bobby Orr's Rookie year (and was 4th in scoring). Gordie Howe was playing in the WHA and scoring 103 points in Bobby Orr's last season in Boston. Orr played 26 games over 3 seasons for Chicago. In 78-79 Orr played his last six games in the NHL and retired. Howe played the next season in the NHL and then retired in 1980.

Gordie Howe was the oldest player ever to win the Art Ross when he turned 35 at the end of the 62/63 season. He was still playing in the NHL 17 years later.

In 1979-80 Gordie Howe played in all 80 games Hartford played in the regular season and all 3 playoff games. He turned 52 at the end of the season. Only 2 other players on the whole team played all the teams games, Mike Rogers and Gordie Roberts. Plus Howe played in the All-Star Game that year.

Gordie Howe never won the Calder trophy - He was runner-up to Howie Meeker in 46-47. The year Howe retired Ray Bourque won it. Howe retired after 22 players who won the Calder trophy during his career. Dave Keon who won in 1961 played 2 more season after Howe retired. Howe was a 15 year vet when Keon was a rookie. Keon played 1587 combined NHL/WHA games and had a 22 year career himself.

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03-02-2007, 01:30 AM
  #133
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Originally Posted by TheSniper26 View Post
But see what you just said is my exact point. Of course what was done then is average now. That's the way it is supposed to go. And no, I'm not diminishing the players of the past. My point all along has been that every era is a stepping stone in a game that is only getting better and better. What is so wrong with that? I've made it clear that I think comparing players of different eras is futile specifically because of the reason you just cited. Where I have a problem is when people say things like "Howe was just a better play than Lemieux". Because that just simply isn't logical at all.
The thing is the best players remain the best players - across era. Mario was great at 19 years old in the run and gun 1980's with stand up goalies. And he came back overweight not having played for 4 and 1/2 years at 35 years old and dominated the dead puck era as the best offensive player in the NHL. Bourque was an end of year all star as a rookie in 1980 and in 2002 in his final season. Howe was by far the best player of the very late 40's and early 50's and he was right there with Boby Hull in the 60's and in the very late 60's when he was 40 only Esposito and Bobby Hull were outscoring him. Chelios and MacInnis were Norris fianlists in their very, very late 40's. Lidstrom was one of the top 2 or 3 defenceman 10 years ago and he is still the best today and he will be 37 in April. Jagr was leading the NHL in points 10 years ago and he almost won the Ross last year and is still an offensive force.

The best players dominate as 20 year olds and as 35 year olds or even 40 year olds. Whether they play in a 6 team physical grinding low scoring era or the run and gun post 6 team expansion or the high flying 1980's or the dead puck era or now. Goalies are better today then ever before. They have bigger, lighter equipment, play a far better style and have far better coaching. But Bobby Hull or Brett Hull, or Mike Bossy or Phil Esposito or Gordie Howe or Gretzky or Mario would score a boatload of goals today just like they did in the time they played. They would still pick the corners and figure out how to beat goalies. Just like Crosby or Ovechkin or Lidstrom or Pronger would be great players whether they played in the 1980's or the 1950's.

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03-02-2007, 01:49 AM
  #134
Nalyd Psycho
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Originally Posted by TheSniper26 View Post
But see what you just said is my exact point. Of course what was done then is average now. That's the way it is supposed to go. And no, I'm not diminishing the players of the past. My point all along has been that every era is a stepping stone in a game that is only getting better and better. What is so wrong with that? I've made it clear that I think comparing players of different eras is futile specifically because of the reason you just cited. Where I have a problem is when people say things like "Howe was just a better play than Lemieux". Because that just simply isn't logical at all.
Thing is, I disagree, and the fundamental principles of the history section disagree.

You can compair players from different eras.

The key is to compair what they did with what was done before and what they did to improve upon that. Change eras, and a player does just as much with what is available to them.

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03-02-2007, 03:21 AM
  #135
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I just don't see how you can debate players who played against different peers and under totally different circumstances though. It starts to usher in things like "Well if he had this training..." or "If he had better equipment..." or "If he faced the smaller goalies...". If, if, if. It's too many hypotheticals. Someone might come to me and say "Well if Gordie Howe had the equipment and advancements in sports medicine Lemieux had, he'd have put up better numbers". And that's very possible. But it's also just as feasible to say, "If Mario Lemieux had played against the weaker, smaller goalies and the lack of a real defensive system, he would have scored 150 goals in a season". And that's also very reasonable. But neither can be proven so it just goes round and round pointlessly. I guess I'm just not much for hypotheticals. There's a logic behind the evolution of the game and it's players.

That said, as much as I really like this side of the forum and the discussions and posters who frequent it, I think I should probably stay out of it. My opinions of how the game has changed or progressed seems to be upsetting some. That wasn't my intention at all and if I came across as condescending, or as though I'm demeaning anything, my apologies.

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03-02-2007, 03:41 AM
  #136
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The format of the NHL used to be better. Much fewer teams, slightly fewer games, many fewer playoff rounds/games, much less travel. This would logically lead to better teams and probably more intense hockey. However, this doesn't mean the players back then were better or tougher.

It's too bad the NHL has become a diluted league, with an exhausting schedule, and confusion over rules enforcement that lead to an even worse product. Ideally, they would have 16-20 teams, with 8 teams making the playoffs and 3 playoff rounds. If this was the case, there would be very few people talking about how hockey was better in the original six era.

As far as Lemieux and Howe...

Regardless of whether players are better today (and they should be, generally), Gordie Howe was obviously some sort of mutant. Whether he grew up near a nuclear plant or resulted from alien cross-breeding, the man was a freak. It's amazing he could play such a long time at a relatively high level and that he could at times play 45 minutes in a game.

I must disagree with those who say Howe had better offensive skills or was more dominant offensively than Lemieux. It's basically impossible to have more offensive skills than Lemieux did. They appear to have been about equally dominant at their peaks. I give Lemieux the edge in terms of peak offense, for being equally dominant in fewer games and for competing against a much larger talent pool.

Howe was by all accounts a much more complete player than Lemieux, and certainly has a huge edge in terms of longevity and durability. Howe would be my pick on a career basis, but I'd take Lemieux at his peak, which he never really reached due to health issues.

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03-02-2007, 06:30 AM
  #137
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The 50's were just another stepping stone in the evolution of the game much like today will end up being. It's a really good thing and I don't know why people look at it any other way.

And yet you say baseball & music have regressed and this is also a good thing to you. This gives your hockey evolution premise absolutely no credibility.

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03-02-2007, 08:28 AM
  #138
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no one is close to marios offensive skill set...why that is even brought up in the first place is beyond me. the man hated practice, despised weights and was a smoker ( to his detriment)...but he was the definition of a natural.

gordies edge was in his defensive game and longevity. they were both dominant players. mario much moreso offensively- as i would give him the nod over any player ive ever seen.

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03-02-2007, 08:36 AM
  #139
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no one is close to marios offensive skill set...why that is even brought up in the first place is beyond me. the man hated practice, despised weights and was a smoker ( to his detriment)...but he was the definition of a natural.

gordies edge was in his defensive game and longevity. they were both dominant players. mario much moreso offensively- as i would give him the nod over any player ive ever seen.
Have you ever seen Howe play?

Take a look at the scoring races from 1950 - 1953. Then, look at any of Mario's seasons. Did Mario ever dominate like Howe did?

Of course, the answer is no. Domination means being better than your peers. Howe's numbers show that he was more dominant than Mario.

If you have another criteria, please share it.

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03-04-2007, 02:17 PM
  #140
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Im as big of a Lemieux fan as there is, he was definately "The Magnificent One" Gretzky was also as great hence being called "The Great One. However, when they call you "Mr.Hockey" then theres a reason for that, best overall force in a 25 year span the NHL has or ever will see. I never saw him play, im only 27 but its rather obvious hearing relatives talking about the ol Gordie hat trick, a goal, an assist and a fight in a game. Apparently he threw one of the meanest elbows on a game to game basis as well and not too many people were down with fighting him either, though like i said i never saw him play.

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