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Sakic or Yzerman

View Poll Results: Sakic or Yzerman
Sakic 104 50.49%
Yzerman 102 49.51%
Voters: 206. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
05-01-2009, 11:29 PM
  #101
Go Habs Go
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Points are important but not everything. I wouldn't disagree if the concensus was that Yzerman was better or vice versa but to say that one is far better then the other or the comparison isn't close is ridiculous.

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Old
05-01-2009, 11:52 PM
  #102
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
And that is revisionist history. Again, you are ignoring the numerous quoted sources from the 80s speaking glowingly of Yzerman's defense. Yzerman went from great offensively and good defensively to good offensively and great defensively. The way many of you talk about him, it could be two completely different players, and that is not the case.

Yzerman was a regular on Bowman's PK.

I think Sakic's runner-up for the Selke in 2001 is worthy of being challenged as well, as perhaps a bit of the sign o' the times
There's no doubt that Yzerman's on-ice results changed a great deal between 1994 and 1995. Here are the % of his teams even-strength goals for and even-strength goals against that he was on the ice for throughout his career (partial seasons are adjusted to a full season.)

Year ESGF% ESGA%
1984 34% 34%
1985 37% 36%
1986 35% 32%
1987 39% 35%
1988 45% 37%
1989 51% 44%
1990 47% 48%
1991 41% 43%
1992 36% 36%
1993 44% 39%
1994 39% 44%
1995 26% 28%
1996 29% 27%
1997 40% 33%
1998 32% 38%
1999 37% 37%
2000 39% 29%
2001 38% 37%
2002 36% 33%
2003 35% 24%
2004 24% 25%
2006 22% 25%

Notice the huge drop in these numbers between 1994 and 1995, which continued into the following years. To further emphasize this, here are the average numbers for the seven years before and after this change.

Year ESGF% ESGA%
1988-1994 43% 42%
1995-2001 35% 33%

While these stats can't directly address Yzerman's skill, he undoubtedly played a more defensive role. This could be in ice time and/or style of play, but without ice time numbers it's not possible to distinguish between the two. In any case, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to regard the post-1994 Yzerman as almost a different player from the earlier version.

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Old
05-02-2009, 03:05 AM
  #103
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Originally Posted by Mjollner View Post
I canít believe this is even close, Yzerman is a much more talented player, and in his prime was one of the most lethal centers in hockey history. He was hampered by injuries, and also became a defensively minded player later on because of Bowman. How many 60 goal season doe Sakic have? Not a damn one, and he only had two over 50 for Christís sake. Yzerman has two 60 goal seasons, (65, 62), and five 50 goal +seasons (50 in only 62 GP, 65, 62, 51, 58). Maybe it is because most of you never saw him play in his prime, but itĎs not even close. And what is Sakicís best point total, 120? Come on, heís nothing more than a Crosby level player who had the luck of having a relatively injury free career, and playing his best years with a great surrounding cast, unlike Yzerman who had to pull the Red Wings from the gutter, and played his best years with a line mates of questionable ability.
This argument has already been firmly rebuffed.

Sakic played more of his prime in the dead puck era, when it was impossible to score the same numbers you could core in the late 80's. 118 points in 2000-2001 = 150+ points in 1988-89

Its much more important to look at where each finished in the scoring races. Which was done in this post.
http://hfboards.com/showpost.php?p=16818730&postcount=1
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Seventieslord's Definitive Objective Comparison and Analysis of the careers of Joe Sakic and Steve Yzerman

Sakic vs. Yzerman is bound to be a popular debate in the upcoming years. I thought of a multitude of categories to compare Yzerman and Sakic in, and naturally some are more important than others, but I wanted to be as complete as possible. Where applicable, I have accounted for the unfair interference of the generational talents Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux. This did affect Yzerman's place in hockey's pecking order, but, make no mistake - it affected Sakic too.


Offense, Regular Season:

Goal-scoring: The only way to fairly judge a player's goal-scoring prowess across history, is to look at where he ranked in the league season to season. Generally I speak the language of top-10 finishes, but since I wanted to be complete, I have extended the study to include all finishes in the top-15. So, here are each players' top-15 finishes in goals:

Yzerman: 2, 2, 3, 6, 6, 6, 11.
Sakic: 2, 5, 6, 6, 10, 15.

I like to eliminate the identical finishes to break down who did better. So, remove a 2 and two 6's from each side and you're left with:

Yzerman: 2, 3, 6, 11.
Sakic: 5, 10, 15.

Safe to say that Yzerman has been a better goal-scorer over time.

If you remove Gretzky and Lemieux from the equation and pretend they never existed, here's where they would have placed:

Yzerman: 2, 2, 2, 5, 5, 6, 11.
Sakic: 2, 4, 6, 6, 10, 14.

Playmaking: Same thing. Top-15 finishes:

Yzerman: 3, 3, 7, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15.
Sakic: 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 11, 12.

Eliminating equal finishes (3, 3, 11), we're left with:

Yzerman: 7, 7, 10, 13, 14, 15.
Sakic: 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12.

Sakic is definitely the superior playmaker.

For fun, let's eliminate the freaks of nature again.

Yzerman: 1, 1, 6, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14.
Sakic: 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7, 10, 10, 10, 15.

Yzerman could have led the NHL in assists twice if Gretz and Mario ceased to exist. But even with that, Sakic has him beaten 6-2 in top-5's and 11-6 in top-10's.

Point production:

Yzerman: 3, 3, 4, 7, 7, 10, 13.
Sakic: 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 8, 10, 14.

Eliminating the identicals (3, 4, 10), we're left with:

Yzerman: 3, 7, 7, 13.
Sakic: 2, 2, 5, 5, 6, 6, 8, 14.

Easy edge to Sakic.

Eliminating Gretz and Lemieux:

Yzerman: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 11.
Sakic: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 8, 8, 12.

I haven't done the eliminations at this stage in goals and assists, but let's eliminate the identical 1, 2, 3, and 5.

Yzerman: 6, 10, 11.
Sakic: 4, 5, 5, 5, 8, 8, 12.

You could say Yzerman's 6, 10, 11 could cancel out Sakic's 8, 8, 12, basically meaning Sakic has done everything Yzerman has done, PLUS 4th, 5th, 5th, and 5th place points finishes, even after accounting for Gretzky and Lemieux.

*If you're really perceptive, you might have noticed Sakic was credited with a scoring title with Gretzky and Lemieux eliminated, though he never finished as runner-up to either of them. The reason is Mario Lemieux's 2000-01 comeback. Everyone knows that Mario propelled Jagr to first in the scoring race. Jagr was languishing in mediocrity before Mario came back, and it's widely accepted that Lemieux earned an assist on that Art Ross. No Lemieux = Art Ross for Sakic.


Longevity of regular season offense:

Simple calculation - number of seasons between each player's first and last top-10 finish in goals, assists and points, as well as top-5 finishes.

Yzerman: Top-10 in goals over a span of 6 seasons
Sakic: Top-10 in goals over a span of 14 seasons

Yzerman: Top-10 in assists over a span of 11 seasons
Sakic: Top-10 in assists over a span of 15 seasons

Yzerman: Top-10 in points over a span of 12 seasons
Sakic: Top-10 in points over a span of 17 seasons

Yzerman: Top-5 in goals over a span of 3 seasons
Sakic: Top-5 in goals over a span of 6 seasons

Yzerman: Top-5 in assists over a span of 9 seasons
Sakic: Top-5 in assists over a span of 10 seasons

Yzerman: Top-5 in points over a span of 5 seasons
Sakic: Top-5 in points over a span of 10 seasons

Sakic's span is greater than Yzerman's in all six comparisons.


Offense, Playoffs

There will be no elimination of Gretzky and Lemieux for two reasons: 1) their effect on these two players' playoff rankings are fairly minimal, and 2) You have to advance to place high in the playoff rankings, and Gretzky and Lemieux are no longer individuals once the playoffs begin - it's still up to their teams to advance far enough for them to make the leaderboard.

Goal-scoring:

As usual, top-15 finishes:

Yzerman: 4, 8, 12, 12, 12.
Sakic: 1, 1, 2, 8, 10, 10, 12.

For lack of a better term, Sakic PWNS yzerman in this category. After eliminating 4, 8, and 12 from each side, we're left with:

Yzerman: 12, 12.
Sakic: 1, 1, 2, 10, 10.

Sakic is a FAR more accomplished playoff goal-scorer, completely turning the tables on the regular season gap, and then some.

Playmaking:

Yzerman: 1, 2, 7, 8, 15.
Sakic: 1, 2, 3, 4, 8.

Again, another clear victory for Sakic, because as you can see, after eliminating 1, 2, and 8:

Yzerman: 7, 15.
Sakic: 3, 4.

Point Production:

Yzerman: 1, 2, 6, 12, 12, 13.
Sakic: 1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 14.

Another clear victory for Sakic. After eliminating 1 and 2:

Yzerman: 6, 12, 12, 13.
Sakic: 1, 3, 4, 14.

Leading team in playoff goals or points:

You can't advance every single season. To be as fair as possible, I counted the number of times each player led (or tied for the lead) in playoff goals or points on their team.

Yzerman led his team in playoff goals 7 times, and points 9 times.
Sakic led his team in playoff goals 7 times, and points 8 times.

In other words, Yzerman did it one more time, but his total is inflated by two seasons (1984 and 1985) in which he led the Wings in both goals and points in 3 and 4-game preliminary round losses. Given that, I'm calling this even.

Conclusion: Sakic's playoff offense has beaten that of Yzerman at every turn.


Career Per-Game Averages, Regular Season and Playoffs:

Normally I don't bother with stuff like this, but these two players are similar in style and played careers that overlapped by 17 seasons.

Regular season GPG, APG, PPG:

Yzerman: .46 .70 1.16
Sakic: .45 .74 1.19

Sakic has Yzerman beaten in points and assists, and is right with him in goals. However, there is more to it than that. The years in which their careers did not overlap show an even greater difference. Yzerman played 5 seasons in the wide-open 1980's before Sakic arrived. NHL goal scoring was at 3.79 GPG during these 5 years. In the three seasons (including this year) that Sakic has played in an Yzerman-less NHL, goal scoring has been at 2.79 GPG. Sakic is clearly at a disadvantage because of eras, but still comes out on top.

Playoff GPG, APG, PPG:

Yzerman: .36 .58 .94
Sakic: .49 .60 1.09

Sakic has Yzerman beaten in all three categories in the playoffs. This is an extremely decisive edge too, when you consider that Sakic played his first playoff game in 1993 when the wide-open era was coming to an end. By this time Yzerman had played in 50 playoff games, scoring 55 points from 1984-1992. He scored 130 in his final 146 playoff games (0.89), while Sakic scored 178 in 162 games during that same time (1.10).

Easy edge to Sakic, before you consider disrepancies due to era.


Clutch play:

For obvious reasons, only individual playoff achievements should count here. For simplicity, all I can really do is look at GWG and OTG.

- Yzerman has 12 career playoff GWG in 196 GP. (.06/GP)
- Sakic has 19 career playoff GWG in 172 GP. (.11/GP)

In other words, Sakic has been nearly twice as likely to score the game winner in his playoff games. Sakic is 4th all-time in playoff GWG.

- Yzerman has 1 career playoff OT goal.
- Sakic has 8 career playoff OT goals, which is two more than anyone else has in NHL history.

Easy edge to Sakic.


Clean Play:

Both these guys play a clean, hard game. The fewer penalties you take, the more often you can be on the ice helping your team and the less often your team has to kill a penalty.

Yzerman: .61 PIM/GP.
Sakic: .45 PIM/GP.

That works out to 50 and 37 PIM per 82 games. It's not a huge difference, but this means that in an average season, Detroit had to kill 6-7 more Yzerman penalties than Quebec/Colorado had to to for Sakic.

Edge to Sakic, though I admit it is small.


Durability:

I calculated durability in three ways: Percentage of games missed, percentage of games missed in 12 prime years, and percentage of playoff games missed.

% of games missed in career:

Yzerman: 13.8%
Sakic: 10.8%

% of games missed in 12 prime years (age 21 through 32)

Yzerman: 6%
Sakic: 9%

% of playoff games missed in career:

Yzerman: 13.7% (31 games)
Sakic 1.7% (3 games)

Sakic takes two of three categories, including the most important one.


Awards:

Looking simply at who won what and who didn't, is too simplistic. Since we have access to all old voting records for awards, we can take a look at how these guys did over the years. I'll go over the three awards most pertinent to these two players: The Hart Trophy as league MVP, The Selke Trophy as the top defensive forward, and the postseason All-Star Team position at Centre.

Both players have a well-deserved Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, and a Lester Pearson award as the players' MVP. They all cancel eachother out. Since voting records are not available for these awards, we will never know who was a runner-up or finalist for these awards and how many times. So the discussion about these awards ends here.

Hart:

Here are each players' Hart Trophy voting record:

Yzerman: 3, 4, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 13.
Sakic: 1, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 14, 14, 15.

Quite close. Sakic is the only one to have won the award. Eliminating identical finishes 7, 7, 7, 8, you're left with:

Yzerman: 3, 4, 8, 13.
Sakic: 1, 7, 14, 14, 15.

Amazingly close. But Yzerman's prime was blocked by the primes of the freaks. Eliminate Gretzky and Lemieux and you've got:

Yzerman: 1, 2, 5, 6, 6, 7, 8, 13.
Sakic: 1, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15.

Eliminate identical finishes 1, 6, 6, 7, 8, 13, and you're left with:

Yzerman: 2, 5.
Sakic: 7, 14, 15.

Two high finishes versus three moderate finishes. A very tight race, to be sure. I'd give a slight edge to Yzerman, though.

Selke:

Yzerman: 1, 3, 4, 5, 9, 11.
Sakic: 2, 9, 10, 13, 15, 15.

I'm not going to eliminate identicals here becauase then we'd be just eliminating a 9. Both guys have six top-15 finishes, but Yzerman has five top-10s to Sakic's three, and four top-5's to Sakic's 1. Plus he won the Selke and Sakic didn't. Definite edge in Selke voting goes to Yzerman.

All-Star team: A 1 or a 2 means he was actually voted to the 1st or 2nd all-star team, a 3-10 means he earned votes but was not top-2.

Yzerman: 1, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 6, 10.
Sakic: 1, 1, 1, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 6, 7.

Eliminate the 1, 3, 3, 4, 4, and 6, and you're left with:

Yzerman: 5, 6, 10.
Sakic: 1, 1, 4, 4, 7.

Looks to be an easy edge for Yzerman. Two more top-15s, Three more top-10s, and three more top-5s, plus three berths on the first team. But, remember there were healthy freaks back then and we must consider that. Eliminating The Great one and Le Magnifique:

Yzerman: 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9.
Sakic: 1, 1, 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5, 6.

After eliminating identicals again, (1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), we have:

Yzerman: 2, 9.
Sakic: 1, 3, 4, 4.

Sakic has a clear edge on Yzerman in All-Star team voting even after completely eliminating the Gretzky/Lemieux effect.


Team Success:

We can't hold them entirely responsible for their team's failures or completely anoint them their team's sole reason for victory. But, it's clear that these two greats had a lot to do with their teams' successes over the years. Early in their careers, they were not the captain of their team and I think it's only fair that we limit this to seasons after they became captains. A captain should be able to provide the leadership to prevent them from losing a series they should win, and of course getting them through a series that they had no business winning would be nice too. A "better" team is one that had 10+ points more than Sakic/Yzerman's team, a "worse" team is one that had 10+ points less. All other teams are "even" teams.

Yzerman's playoff series W/L record

vs. Better Teams: 1-3 (.250)
vs. Even Teams: 6-3 (.667)
vs. Worse Teams: 18-9 (.667) - Failures in 89, 94, 95, 96, 00, 01, 03, 04, 06.
Total: 26-15 (.634)

Sakic's playoff series W/L record

vs. Better Teams: 3-3 (.500)
vs. Even Teams: 7-4 (.636)
vs. Worse Teams: 9-4 (.692) - Failures in 95, 97, 98, 03.
Total: 19-11 (.633)

Very, very similar. What I see a difference in, is that Sakic has been able to lift his team to victory three times over teams Colorado shouldn't have beaten, while Yzerman could only do this once. Yzerman's wings also choked against an inferior team 9 times while Sakic's Nords/Avs choked just 4 times.

Head To Head:

What about head to head matchups between these players? Detroit and Colorado met five times in the playoffs - 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, and 2002. Colorado won 3 of these 5 matchups, and 17 of the 30 games. In addition, Detroit's regular season point differential versus Colorado in these five seasons was +27, -13, -8, +12, and +17, for an average of +8. Detroit was favoured to win more often, but won less often. For winning more often when being expected to win less often, Sakic gets the edge.

Cups/Finals appearances:

Let's not forget two other simple things, though - Yzerman has been to the finals two more times than Sakic, and won the cup one more time than Sakic.

Playing on Poor Teams:

Both players played on good teams for the majority of their careers. However, for short portions of ther careers, mostly at the beginning, Sakic and Yzerman had the misfortune of playing on some bad squads. Each played four seasons where their team had 70 points or less. For Sakic, it was his first four seasons. For Yzerman, it was his first three seasons and 1990. Sakic's Nordiques' point totals were 61, 31, 46, and 52. Yzerman's wings had 69, 66, 40, and 70.

During these periods of futility, both players were their team's main bright spot. Who shone more while languishing on a bad team?

Yzerman:
1984: Did not place top-15 in anything.
1985: 13th in assists.
1986: Did not place top-15 in anything. (was injured for 29 games but his per-game averages wouldn't have put him near the leaderboard either way)
1990: 2nd in goals, 10th in assists, 3rd in points.

Sakic:
1989: Did not place top-15 in anything.
1990: 12th in assists, 10th in points.
1991: 6th in goals, 11th in assists, 6th in points.
1992: 9th in assists, 14th in points despite missing 11 games.

Conclusion: Sakic had 7 top-15 finishes in the three categories during his team's four worst years. Yzerman had 4. Sakic's Nordiques averaged 49 points in these seasons - Yzerman's wings averaged 61. Sakic clearly did better while on worse teams.


International Play:

Don't forget international play. Half the games are elimination games, and every player on the ice is highly skilled. Let's look at their individual and team successes.

Non-Best on Best:

Individual:

Yzerman: 44 Pts in 35 games in 4 tournaments. Top Forward and 1st All-Star Team of 1990 World Championships.
Sakic: 22 Pts in 25 games in 3 tournaments. No individual accolades.

Team:

Yzerman: WJC Bronze (1983), World Championship Bronze, Bronze, Gold (1985, 1989, 1990)
Sakic: World Championship Bronze, Gold (1991, 1994)

Best-On-Best:

Individual:

Yzerman: 11 Pts in 22 games in 4 tournaments. No individual accolades.
Sakic: 23 points in 30 games in 5 tournaments. Top forward and 1st All-Star Team of 2002 Olympics.

Team:

Yzerman: 1997 World Cup Silver, 2002 Olympic Gold.
Sakic: 1997 World Cup Silver, 2002 Olympic Gold, 2004 World Cup Gold.

Summary: Yzerman appears better in the small tournaments - He played in one more tournament, had more games, more points, more points per game, an individual accolade, and four medals to Sakic's two. Sakic, likewise, has the edge in best-on-best games. More tournaments, more games, more points, more points per game, was the Olympic MVP, and has one more team title than Yzerman. Given that the best-on-best tournaments are, oh, I'd say, about 10 times as important as the other tournaments, I have to give Sakic the edge here.


Intangibles:

Basically, don't give me this nonsense. Intangibles aren't nonsense; they're real. But show me a quote about Joe Sakic's intestinal fortitude, winning attitude, desire, heart, will to win, team-first philosophy, and I can find a quote about Yzerman that says the same thing. Like the Smythe and Pearson, they cancel eachother out. Trying to claim one is better than the other in this area is about as effective as peeing up a rope.


Summary:

Regular season Goal-scoring: Advantage: Yzerman.
Regular season Playmaking: Advantage: Sakic.
Regular season Point Production: Advantage: Sakic.
Longevity of regular season offense: Advantage: Sakic.
Playoff goal-scoring: Advantage: Sakic.
Playoff playmaking: Advantage: Sakic.
Playoff point production: Advantage: Sakic.
Leading team in playoff goals/points: Even.
Career regular season per-game averages: Advantage: Sakic.
Career playoff per-game averages: Advantage: Sakic.
Clutch play: Advantage: Sakic.
Clean Play: Advantage: Sakic.
Durability: Advantage: Sakic.
Hart Record: Advantage: Yzerman.
Selke Record: Advantage: Yzerman.
All-Star Team Record: Advantage: Sakic.
Total Playoff series W/L record: Even.
Pulling off playoff upsets: Advantage: Sakic.
Not being upset by inferior teams: Advantage: Sakic
Head to head matchups: Advantage: Sakic
Cups and Finals appearances: Advantage: Yzerman
International Play: Advantage: Sakic.
Intangibles: Even.

Sakic's decisive wins:
Clutch play
Regular season point production
Regular season playmaking
Longevity of regular season offense
Playoff goal-scoring
Playoff playmaking
Playoff point production
Career playoff per-game averages
All-Star Team Record
Head to head matchups
Playing on poor teams

Sakic's narrow wins:
Clean Play
Durability
International Play
Career regular season per-game averages
Pulling off playoff upsets
Not being upset by inferior teams

Draws:
Leading team in playoff goals/points
Intangibles
Total Playoff series W/L record

Yzerman's narrow wins:
Regular season Goal-scoring
Hart Record
Cups and finals appearances

Yzerman's decisive win:
Selke record


Conclusion:

Joe Sakic has had a career that is slightly yet decidedly and clearly better than that of Steve Yzerman. He scored wins in 17 of the 24 categories analyzed (11 decisively), while Yzerman won four categories, one decisively. Three categories were declared draws. keep in mind that some categories are much more important than others; however, Sakic wins most of the most important ones.

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Old
05-02-2009, 03:18 AM
  #104
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I like Jekyll's post.

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05-02-2009, 03:25 AM
  #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Shogun_ View Post
I like Jekyll's post.
It was seventieslord's post

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05-02-2009, 03:45 AM
  #106
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I chose Yzerman, but I'll take both either way.

(Also, love how both are from my area.)

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05-02-2009, 03:58 AM
  #107
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Yzerman!

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05-02-2009, 04:14 AM
  #108
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Joe Sakic is one of the most clutch players when it matters in sports. At the last minute of a game, theres not many other players in hockey history I'd want out there.

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05-02-2009, 09:01 AM
  #109
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Sakic

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05-02-2009, 09:30 AM
  #110
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You're right Thornton_19/Jeckyll -- I'm a complete homer for stating Yzerman had a better 'peak', while you yourself have them a whole one spot away from each other overall. Sakic clearly had better longevity than Yzerman, so how do you have them so close if you do not also consider Yzerman's peak to be better?

You ignored the comparison of the teams they played for in favor of bashing Yzerman defensively in the 80s. The whole idea of the "radical change" Yzerman went through has been a result of a mythology perpetuated to accentuate the importance and sacrifice of Yzerman for the team, IMO. Bowman changed his game - absolutely - but the knee did just as much.

Yzerman did everything attributed to him, he sacrificed points for two-way play -- but it was not to the huge extent that is popular to believe today. Yzerman actually killed penalties on the top PK line in the 80s, and that is different from other superstars at the time, who would be on the ice towards the end of a PK, hoping to take advantage of a turnover.

Just about every quote you put up there comes well after the 80s, when the quotes posted earlier in the thread, praising his defensive play came directly from the 80s. And it was not just teamates and coaches quoted.

Sakic was better defensively in 2001 than Yzerman was in 1989. Scoring was higher in 1989. This would all serve to balance out their peaks, but only if we ignore the teams they were on... which you seem to determined to do so.

How many players have put up the points Yzerman did in 1989 (normalize them, of course), with the kind of talent he had? That is an honest question, because I am not trying to assume it never happened. Yzerman was playing with a third liner (whom he made into an all star), a borderline 1st/2nd liner, and with Chiasson and some nobodies on defense. He was working with next to nothing, which also meant he was the number one focus for every team playing the Red Wings.

I just find that awfully rare in the NHL and I can not think of another time when someone had a season like that playing with such downright awful talent. That was an awful team that overachieved to get 80 points.

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05-02-2009, 09:32 AM
  #111
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I vote for Steve Sakic. He was real goooood!

HM: Joe Yzerman

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05-02-2009, 02:10 PM
  #112
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very close poll

i vote sakic

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05-02-2009, 03:27 PM
  #113
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I just tipped the favour to Yzerman by one vote, 75-74

There really is no wrong answer though. Both good BC boys that I wish could've played for the Canucks...

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05-02-2009, 03:31 PM
  #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
You're right Thornton_19/Jeckyll -- I'm a complete homer for stating Yzerman had a better 'peak', while you yourself have them a whole one spot away from each other overall. Sakic clearly had better longevity than Yzerman, so how do you have them so close if you do not also consider Yzerman's peak to be better?
I think I already said this, but Ill repeat.
For "peak single year, I consider Sakic a hair ahead.
For "best 5 Years", I consider Yzerman a hair ahead.
Best 10 year prime? Razor close. Best 15 years? Still Razor close. After that, yes Sakic takes the lead.

Overall. Sakic was better all around defensively when looking at his career as a whole(Other than his first 3 years). Yzerman was not as good defensively as Sakic in the first half of his career(10 years), but then took a significant lead in the latter half of his career when he started focusing solely on two way play, but then his numbers dropped to below Sakic's, thus, canceling each other out and making it very close.

In any case, the 5 guys I have immediately after Yzerman on the list are Vladislav Tretiak, Viacheslav Fetisov, Martin Brodeur, Milt Schmidt and Brad Park. I personally think Yzerman has a better case than all 5, thus, he is next on the list after Sakic.

Quote:
You ignored the comparison of the teams they played for in favor of bashing Yzerman defensively in the 80s. The whole idea of the "radical change" Yzerman went through has been a result of a mythology perpetuated to accentuate the importance and sacrifice of Yzerman for the team, IMO. Bowman changed his game - absolutely - but the knee did just as much.
Sakic also played for a terrible team in the early years of his career(In fact, worse than the Wings).

Whether you like it or not, he just happened to have his best year before a great team showed up, and I do not feel he would have had a better year with better teammates. Quite the opposite. I feel that the reduced icetime he would have had splitting time would have reduced his numbers that year. I already said this, many times.
The Radical change in his game you seem hell bent on ignoring is documented history that people like me witnessed and I fully back it up. Even Yzerman credits Bowman with it.


I am also not in the camp that his early knee injury hitting the goal post(87-88) hampered him at all other than for that season. He made a fully recovery after surgery and had a terrific season just the next year and did not look slower, or to be showing any signs that the injury ever happened(And had 5 fully healthy seasons after that, missing only minor time for a completely unrelated knee injury in 90-91 playoffs, and 3 games in 91-92) His dipsy doodling through traffic often lead to those collisions which caused them later, much like all players who deke through traffic. Obviously each injury made it easier to aggravate it the next time, but that's life. You do not get free points for "What if's in hockey" unless it is an obvious what if, like "What if WorldWar2 didn't happen and Schmidt did not miss 3 prime years".

In the end, Sakic had several injury plagued stretches in his prime as well, but he gets no points for what if's either.

Like it or not. I am an unbiased outside observer who just loves the game and does not have a favorite team. I look at players objectively and call it as I saw it.




Quote:
Yzerman did everything attributed to him, he sacrificed points for two-way play -- but it was not to the huge extent that is popular to believe today. Yzerman actually killed penalties on the top PK line in the 80s, and that is different from other superstars at the time, who would be on the ice towards the end of a PK, hoping to take advantage of a turnover.
My opinion having watched it firsthand is that it was a night and day difference.

Quote:
Just about every quote you put up there comes well after the 80s, when the quotes posted earlier in the thread, praising his defensive play came directly from the 80s. And it was not just teamates and coaches quoted.
Like How Keenan said "We have enough offensive guys" when he cut Yzerman from team Canada in favor of Brent Sutter? Right after Yzerman was 12th in points too.

Quote:
Sakic was better defensively in 2001 than Yzerman was in 1989. Scoring was higher in 1989. This would all serve to balance out their peaks, but only if we ignore the teams they were on... which you seem to determined to do so.
You seem hell bent on just detracting all success based on who was on each team. News flash. After Yzerman had a fantastic team and was healthy just 2 years later, he also never matched that total.

He would have scored near the same no matter who his linemates were

Quote:
How many players have put up the points Yzerman did in 1989 (normalize them, of course), with the kind of talent he had? That is an honest question, because I am not trying to assume it never happened. Yzerman was playing with a third liner (whom he made into an all star), a borderline 1st/2nd liner, and with Chiasson and some nobodies on defense. He was working with next to nothing, which also meant he was the number one focus for every team playing the Red Wings.
Nobody is taking props away from him for his scoring. It was fantastic and he made Gallant a career year. But superstars make their own points and he would have scored near that amount no matter who he was playing with. Like I said, I give around a 5-10 point variance based on teammates, but that's it. I have seen just as many many examples of Superstar players who have done better with less help as vice versa.

Example: Everyone predicted Oates was going to plummet without Hull on that starless forward squad Boston had, and he put up 142 points playing with Joe Juneau(Who was nothing after he left Oates) and Dmitri Kvartalnov(A real nobody). Especially since Neely was out the whole year.

Gilmour actually went to worse linemates in Toronto, but got increased icetime over what he had previously been given and he ended up with that Monster two way season with 127 points when nobody else on the team even had 75 points or 35 goals.

There are plenty of instances where a player asked to do more himself comes out with more than he would have if splitting responsibilities and icetime.

Quote:
I just find that awfully rare in the NHL and I can not think of another time when someone had a season like that playing with such downright awful talent. That was an awful team that overachieved to get 80 points.
I don't think the team was that awful. Merely average(They were easily the best in their division that year. Awful division the Norris in the 80's). They had a good one/two punch down center with Yzerman/Oates, and despite what you say about Maclean being a "Borderline first liner", Maclean would have been a first line goal scorer on most teams. He was top 12 in points(and goals) among RW's multiple times before joining the wings and there were 21 teams in the league with 3 forwards slots on their first line(16 of them playoff teams). That makes him a first liner. Chiasson was a good defenseman. Lee Norwood was a good, if injury prone defenseman and so was Mike O'Connell and Rick Zombo. Not norris winners obviously, but also not bottom feeders.

Yzerman gets props for hitting 155 with non-superstar talent. But my personal opinion from long experience is that superstars make their own points no matter who they play with.

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05-02-2009, 04:14 PM
  #115
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close, but i'm gonna have to go with stevie Y.

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05-03-2009, 08:12 AM
  #116
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Since we're talking career-wise my vote has to definitely go to Sakic. Right now, Yzerman is the better play though, obviously.

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05-03-2009, 10:40 AM
  #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jekyll View Post

The honest truth is, as an outside observer who loved both players but cheered for neither team, I will give a clear and free unbiased account of what I saw in my decades of watching Hockey.

You, as a Red wings fan, will likely have a tilted view biased towards your teams own players and against your hated rival teams captain.
Yet you said Sakic and Forsberg NEVER played on the same line, which they quite often did in big games, especially under Hartley and especially when behind. Frankly I think perhaps your memory isn't all it's cracked up to be.

As I said, I think the media likes to tout the Yzerman transformation under Bowman because it makes for a great story. Fact is most of what it takes for a forward to be good defensivley is heart and hustle, something Yzerman always had. He was always blocking shots, always backchecking. Under Bowman the entire team became a defensive machine. The best offensive players became the best defensive players. Yzerman never had to go from bad to to great defensively.


Last edited by Artz19: 05-03-2009 at 12:53 PM.
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05-03-2009, 01:09 PM
  #118
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Originally Posted by Artz19 View Post
Yet you said Sakic and Forsberg NEVER played on the same line, which they quite often did in big games, especially under Hartley and especially when behind. Frankly I think perhaps your memory isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Oh come on. Don't take everything literally. Its obvious what I meant

Sakic and Forsberg played together about as Often as Yzerman and Oates did that 88-89 year. Which is almost exclusively on the PP and exceptionally rarely at even strength, except in last minute need a goal situations.

You can basically count the amount of games they played together Even strength in 9 years on one hand.


Quote:
As I said, I think the media likes to tout the Yzerman transformation under Bowman because it makes for a great story. Fact is most of what it takes for a forward to be good defensivley is heart and hustle, something Yzerman always had. He was always blocking shots, always backchecking. Under Bowman the entire team became a defensive machine. The best offensive players became the best defensive players. Yzerman never had to go from bad to to great defensively.
Except that its not a "great story" exageration. It a true story. Yzerman before Bowman did not focus on defense. He focused on offense. Took chances which lead to turnovers(Chances he never would have taken under Bowman after 95), and he was just not as polished or remotely close to being elite defensively until h began to focus 100% on maintaining a great 2 way game. He made dangerous passes exiting the zone instead of the safe chip outs, or he tried to beat other players one on one skating the puck out, which he could do much of the time, but also which caused turnovers and giveaways some of the time.

I personally never said he was "Bad defensively. I said he was average/okay, but not elite like he was in his later years and not as polished as Sakic was at maintaining his high end offense while playing that stronger top of the league defensive game.

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05-03-2009, 07:45 PM
  #119
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I voted Yzerman....just to tie it up

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05-03-2009, 08:20 PM
  #120
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Although sakic is better i disagree with those that use adjusted stats to say Sakic would score 150 points in 1989. He played several high scoring seasons from 1990-1996, and came nowhere near the 155 point plateau.

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05-03-2009, 08:32 PM
  #121
Dark Shadows
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Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
Although sakic is better i disagree with those that use adjusted stats to say Sakic would score 150 points in 1989. He played several high scoring seasons from 1990-1996, and came nowhere near the 155 point plateau.
He also was not as good in any of those years as he was in 2000-2001. He took his game to that extra level that year he never hit before or after, much like Yzerman did in 88-89.

I think 150 points is quite likely if moved to the 80's for Sakic's single standout best year. He was very good in 1995-96, but was a level above that in 2000-01.

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05-03-2009, 08:41 PM
  #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jekyll View Post
He also was not as good in any of those years as he was in 2000-2001. He took his game to that extra level that year he never hit before or after, much like Yzerman did in 88-89.

I think 150 points is quite likely if moved to the 80's for Sakic's single standout best year. He was very good in 1995-96, but was a level above that in 2000-01.
I think its more accurate to say 89 Yzerman scores 120 or less in the 2001 season than Sakic scoring 155 in 1989. He was pretty much the same type of player throughtout his career, meh thats my opinion. Sakic would have to put up 100 assists to get those amount of points.

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05-03-2009, 10:01 PM
  #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
I think its more accurate to say 89 Yzerman scores 120 or less in the 2001 season than Sakic scoring 155 in 1989. He was pretty much the same type of player throughtout his career, meh thats my opinion. Sakic would have to put up 100 assists to get those amount of points.
Probably 80-85 assist would be enough. He did have 54 goals in 2000-01, which was good enough for 2nd overall, despite larger goaltender equipment, clutch and grab trap Hockey, etc
Twice as many players had over 50 goals in 88-89, so its safe to say that 54 of Sakic's would be close to 65 in 88-89.

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05-10-2009, 09:29 PM
  #124
lawless and lulu
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yzerman

i loved watching him in the 2002 playoffs playing with one good leg. that was one of the best things i have seen in hockey.

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05-10-2009, 11:34 PM
  #125
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Probably the most balanced poll I've seen in my couple of months on this board. Both absolutely amazing players and you shouldn't really be upset if either one loses. However, I picked Sakic just because of how clutch he is.

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