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Who Was The Better Player Guy Lafleur Or Mike Bossy

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07-22-2010, 08:09 AM
  #26
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Originally Posted by Regal View Post
Doesn't change the fact that it was harder to score during Lafleur's best seasons.
So let me get this straight.

You state it was a harder period to score in but Lafleurs teams *still* scored more than the Isles did a few years later. Meanwhile individually Lafleur scored less than Bossy.

And this is an argument in Lafleurs *favour*????

Lafleurs team is more dominant compared to its competition, he scores less and is better. Gotcha.

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07-22-2010, 08:22 AM
  #27
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Originally Posted by revolverjgw View Post
You're defending a non-MVP who arguably wasn't even the best player on his team against a guy with 3 Pearsons and 3 scoring titles, who was ALWAYS the best player on his team, often the best in the entire LEAGUE, and you're surprised you're meeting resistance? Some people look for more than just goal totals.
Yes I agree that Lafleur was very lucky his prime was timed exactly when Orr was getting hurt so much and just before Gretzky showed up. And while the Canadiens were lapping the competition. That let him collect some individual awards. I'm not saying he didn't deserve them.. he was a great player. I am just saying his timing was impeccable.

Seriously look at the GF and GA of those Canadiens teams compared to the league during Lafleurs prime years. The drop off to the #2 team is like 50-60 goals

Marcel Dionne scored 122 points in Guy's best year .. only 14 pts less than Lafleur on an LA team that scored 271 goals.. yes thats right 116 goals less than the Canadiens team scored that year.

The Isles dynasty (and Trottier) were also (obviously) a great team but if you look at the spread between them and the rest of the league as far as scoring.. hell, in Bossy's best year they weren't even the top scoring team. In Lafleurs best year the Canadiens were by FAR the highest scoring team.

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07-22-2010, 03:14 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
So let me get this straight.

You state it was a harder period to score in but Lafleurs teams *still* scored more than the Isles did a few years later. Meanwhile individually Lafleur scored less than Bossy.

And this is an argument in Lafleurs *favour*????

Lafleurs team is more dominant compared to its competition, he scores less and is better. Gotcha.
They were the only team that scored that much because they were just that good. You can't look at how many goals a team scored and say "well, his team scored this many goals, he should automatically have more points than someone else whose team scored less"

During the dead puck era, Jagr won the Art Ross in 00-01 with 121 points, just beating out Sakic, but both of them dominating the rest of the league with no one else scoring 100 points. The Pens scored 281 goals that year, only three less than the Blackhawks in '87-88 when Savard scored 131. Does that make Savard a better player than Jagr?

The fact is that it was harder to scor during Lafleur's prime. Even with Montreal scoring that many goals, teams *still* averaged more than half a goal per game less than during Bossy's best season.

Also, there was a lot more than this in my post. As I said, you're focusing on ONE season by Bossy, than was an outlier. Bossy didn't outperform Lafleur outside of that one season even if you don't believe it was a harder era to score. After Bossy's best season, Lafleur has the next 3 highest point totals, then Bossy's second best, then two more by Lafleur. Here are their totals over their best 6 seasons:

Lafleur: 462 GP, 327 G (0.708 GPG), 439 A (0.950 APG), 766 PTS
(1.658 PPG)

Bossy: 465 GP, 373 G (0.802 GPG), 378 A (0.813 APG), 751 PTS
(1.615 PPG)

Obviously it's very close, with Bossy being the better goalscorer and Lafleur being the better playmaker. However, that's before you factor in the goal and assist finishes I put in my last post, even without Gretzky, the fact that Bossy had the best linemate in Trottier (who was actually finishing better in MVP voting) and one of the best offensive defenseman of all time in Potvin, and YES, played in a slightly higher scoring era. Even with Gretzky and Lemieux removed, Lafleur flat out dominated his era more, had better point finishes, had a more rounded offensive game, and was actually a factor in Hart and Pearson voting.

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07-22-2010, 03:24 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post

Seriously look at the GF and GA of those Canadiens teams compared to the league during Lafleurs prime years. The drop off to the #2 team is like 50-60 goals
I realize the Canadiens were stacked, but why do the number of goals scored by each team matter?

1. Lafleur always faced the best checkers of the opponent, just like Bossy. The fact that scoring depth on Montreal was better than NY doesn't change this.

2. Bossy had by far the best linemate between them - Bryan Trottier. Trottier was probably the best non-Gretzky playmaker in the league at the time and a tiny step below Bossy offensively.

Lafleur, on the other hand, played with good linemates in Shutt and P Mahovlich/Lemaire, but they weren't even close to his level offensively.

Both had all-time great offensive defensemen playing behind them. But Potvin was better than Robinson/Lapointe.

So if anyone was having his stats inflated by teammates, it was probably Bossy (though honestly, I think the effect was small).

3. (This one I'm less certain of): I'm pretty sure the 80s Islanders basically used only 1 PP unit, and Bossy was on it. The 1970s Canadiens with their depth ran 2 PP units. (Pretty sure overpass posted this in the last ATD). This gives Bossy an advantage of extra PP time over Lafleur.

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07-22-2010, 03:29 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by Regal View Post
They were the only team that scored that much because they were just that good. You can't look at how many goals a team scored and say "well, his team scored this many goals, he should automatically have more points than someone else whose team scored less"
Yes, you can. That is a crazy statement. If that isn't true then why are you adjusting for the goal scoring in different eras at all?


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During the dead puck era, Jagr won the Art Ross in 00-01 with 121 points, just beating out Sakic, but both of them dominating the rest of the league with no one else scoring 100 points. The Pens scored 281 goals that year, only three less than the Blackhawks in '87-88 when Savard scored 131. Does that make Savard a better player than Jagr?
For one.. Centers tend to score more. Two.. 87-88 to 00-01 is a little different than 76-77 to 81-82.. don't you think?

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The fact is that it was harder to scor during Lafleur's prime. Even with Montreal scoring that many goals, teams *still* averaged more than half a goal per game less than during Bossy's best season.
Other teams scored .5 goals a game less than during Bossy's best season. Lafleurs team scored more than the Isles in Bossy's best year. The fact the Canadiens were scoring at that level in comparison to their competition is mind boggling and yet you guys all dismiss it like it doesn't factor into how Lafleur himself performed.

That is like saying oh if we took Lemieux and put him on the 80s Oilers it wouldn't affect his point totals compared to the 80s Pens.
Absolute nonsense.

Quote:
Also, there was a lot more than this in my post. As I said, you're focusing on ONE season by Bossy, than was an outlier. Bossy didn't outperform Lafleur outside of that one season even if you don't believe it was a harder era to score.
Yes, and if you look at their second best seasons the Canadiens scored more goals than the Isles as well..

They were that close in their 6 peak years sure.. but Bossy peaked higher in goals, assists, points.. on a team that scored 2 less goals.. and his next best seasons destroy Lafleurs... and his playoff stats are also better.

Lafleur might have had better hair and been a better skater and more flashy... but Bossy is the better player based on results.

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07-22-2010, 03:51 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
I realize the Canadiens were stacked, but why do the number of goals scored by each team matter?
It doesn't because they were very close to equal.. the point I was trying to refute was that people were inferring that Bossy was inflated up by the average scoring in the league. That somehow a couple of years turned into a different "era".

I could see that if the Habs had scored 250 goals in Lafleurs career year and the Isles scored 350. But the fact is the Habs scored 387 in Guy's best year and the Isles scored 385 in Bossy's.

So comparing those two seasons based on what their teams did is basically dead even. People can say oh but Bossy had an easier time in the 80s .. but we can point out that the Canadiens team that year was one of the best ever, absolutely crushing the league and that certainly helped out Lafleurs totals too.


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Bossy had by far the best linemate between them - Bryan Trottier. Trottier was probably the best non-Gretzky playmaker in the league at the time and a tiny step below Bossy offensively.

Lafleur, on the other hand, played with good linemates in Shutt and P Mahovlich/Lemaire, but they weren't even close to his level offensively.
Trottier was the best linemate for sure but who had the best line?

Offensively I would have to say that 100 point scorers Shutt and Mahavolich are a bit better in that respect than Gillies. Even Lemaire is a point per game guy while being a defensive conscience for the line.

Quote:
Both had all-time great offensive defensemen playing behind them. But Potvin was better than Robinson/Lapointe.
I don't think the difference is drastic but ya Potvin was a bit better offensively.

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So if anyone was having his stats inflated by teammates, it was probably Bossy (though honestly, I think the effect was small).
I think it was pretty damn small when you see the margin the Canadiens had on the rest of the league.

I mean they are both dynasty teams so both teams are awesome but I think people are selling Bossy a bit short.

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07-22-2010, 04:03 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
\\



Trottier was the best linemate for sure but who had the best line?

Offensively I would have to say that 100 point scorers Shutt and Mahavolich are a bit better in that respect than Gillies. Even Lemaire is a point per game guy while being a defensive conscience for the line.
Check out Lemaire and Mahovlich's stats when the play with an without Lafleur. It's like night and day. If Mahovlich was a 100 point scorer, it was likely only because he played with Lafleur.

Frankly, I think Mahovlich was no better offensively than Brent Sutter, who had a career year when Trottier was hurt and he played with Bossy.

There are also quite a few people who think Lemaire and Shutt only got into the HOF because they got to play with Lafleur.

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07-22-2010, 04:09 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Check out Lemaire and Mahovlich's stats when the play with an without Lafleur. It's like night and day. If Mahovlich was a 100 point scorer, it was likely only because he played with Lafleur.

Frankly, I think Mahovlich was no better offensively than Brent Sutter, who had a career year when Trottier was hurt and he played with Bossy.

There are also quite a few people who think Lemaire and Shutt only got into the HOF because they got to play with Lafleur.
You could say the same thing about Trottier though.. of course your totals spike up playing with players of this kind of pedigree.

Although in 84-85 Trots only had 59 points and Bossy still put up his customary 50+ goal 100+ point season.. interesting..

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07-22-2010, 04:12 PM
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wow, BraveCanadian, this is a new and off-the-wall type of adjusted stat...

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07-22-2010, 04:14 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
wow, BraveCanadian, this is a new and off-the-wall type of adjusted stat...
I'm not adjusting anything.

I'm saying that in their (Bossy/Lafleur) career years, the Habs and the Isles don't really need an adjustment.

The Habs were so strong vs. their competition that I think it is a wash.


Does no one see where I am coming from here? I give up!


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07-22-2010, 04:33 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
You could say the same thing about Trottier though.. of course your totals spike up playing with players of this kind of pedigree.

Although in 84-85 Trots only had 59 points and Bossy still put up his customary 50+ goal 100+ point season.. interesting..
These one-sided "arguments" that you keep making are really getting tiresome. Why look at how much better Bossy was than Trottier after the dynasty and ignore how much better Trottier was than Bossy before the dynasty?

Bryan Trottier won a Hart Trophy... I guess that was all Bossy...

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07-22-2010, 05:01 PM
  #37
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Let's forget about stats for a second, since as we've seen, we can all spin them and use them in different ways. Let's look at it from another angle... Bossy was never an MVP runner-up, and in fact was nominated only once in his career, and he finished behind his center. Why would a guy supposedly on Lafleur's level struggle so much to get MVP consideration?

You can't blame it on Gretzky... Bossy was never the runner up. He was getting beat regularly by two of his own teammates! How's THAT for support? He was only top 5 twice! This shocked even me when I looked it up.

Personally I think Bossy's gaudy goal numbers have caused him to be overrated. Observers at the time obviously didn't think highly enough of him to put him up there with the absolute best players, yet I see people now comparing Bossy to guys like Lafleur and Jagr, and all they can cite is GOALS GOALS GOALS. Guys with Harts, Pearsons, Art Rosses, and tons of other nominations... and much better adjusted stats... yeah, I went there, but listen, the adjusted stats jive EXACTLY with how people following the game seemed to perceive these players and their contributions... Bossy's insane goal stat lines don't seem to be worth as much as some people think when you stand back and look at what was happening. I'm not trying to diminish him, he very well might be the best goal scorer ever... but he is NOT on the level of MVPs like Lafleur and Jagr. If you're not even considered to be as good as two of your own teammates, how can you hope to match guys like that?


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07-22-2010, 05:05 PM
  #38
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Prime Lafleur was better than Prime Bossy by a bit. I think Trottier at his best was a bit better than Lafleur though. Defense.

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07-22-2010, 05:07 PM
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I think there is some merit to the argument that Lafleur benefitted more from his teammates than Bossy did. I would argue that the relevant number isn't the total number of goals scored by each player's team, but the total number of goals scored while each player was on the ice.

If you look at Lafleur's prime (1974-75 to 1979-80), he scored 766 points and was on the ice for 1,075 goals, meaning that he was involved in 71.3% of his team's offence.

If we take Bossy's prime (which I guess I'll define as 1978-79 to 1985-86), Bossy had 960 points on 1,233 goals (77.9%).

I'd say those are fairly surprising numbers, especially since as the superior playmaker one would perhaps expect Lafleur to be carrying the puck more often. Counting goals only, Bossy has a very sizable edge (39.1% to 30.4%).

At Lafleur's peak, the Canadiens had better depth and were up against weaker competition than the dynasty Islanders. I think that resulted in the Habs playing more of the game in the other team's end of the rink, and as the team's #1 offensive option that would have been to Lafleur's benefit. Taking everything into consideration Lafleur may still have been the better player, but I think it was probably easier to rack up points with his ice time than Bossy's.


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07-22-2010, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by revolverjgw View Post
Let's forget about stats for a second, since as we've seen, we can all spin them and use them in different ways. Let's look at it from another angle... Bossy was never an MVP runner-up, and in fact was nominated only once in his career, and he finished behind his center. Why would a guy supposedly on Lafleur's level struggle so much to get MVP consideration?

You can't blame it on Gretzky... Bossy was never the runner up. He was getting beat regularly by two of his own teammates! How's THAT for support? He was only top 5 twice! This shocked even me when I looked it up.

Personally I think Bossy's gaudy goal numbers have caused him to be overrated. Observers at the time obviously didn't think highly enough of him to put him up there with the best players, yet I see people now comparing Bossy to guys like Lafleur and Jagr, guys with Harts, Pearsons and tons of other nominations... and much better adjusted stats... yeah, I went there, but listen, the adjusted stats jive EXACTLY with how people following the game seemed to perceive these players and their contributions... Bossy's insane his goal stat lines don't seem to be worth as much as people think when you stand back and look at what was happening. I'm not trying to diminish him, he very well might be the best goal scorer ever... but he is NOT on the level of MVPs like Lafleur and Jagr.
Agreed. If people are going to use the stacked teams arguments, they have to realize Lafleur won 2 consecutive Hart trophies on those teams. Bossy like you say was top 5 in Hart voting twice. Also, if Gretzky never existed Bossy would have 1 Art Ross. Lafleur won 3. Looks like we can't use that argument either.

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07-22-2010, 05:19 PM
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I think there is some merit to the argument that Lafleur benefitted more from his teammates than Bossy did. I would argue that the relevant number isn't the total number of goals scored by each player's team, but the total number of goals scored while each player was on the ice.

If you look at Lafleur's prime (1974-75 to 1979-80), he scored 766 points and was on the ice for 1,075 goals, meaning that he was involved in 71.3% of his team's offence.

If we take Bossy's prime (which I guess I'll define as 1978-79 to 1985-86), Bossy had 960 points on 1,233 goals (77.9%).

I'd say those are fairly surprising numbers, especially since as the superior playmaker one would perhaps expect Lafleur to be carrying the puck more often. Counting goals only, Bossy has a very sizable edge (39.1% to 30.4%).

At Lafleur's peak, the Canadiens had better depth and were up against weaker competition than the dynasty Islanders. I think that resulted in the Habs playing more of the game in the other team's end of the rink, and as the team's #1 offensive option that would have been to Lafleur's benefit. Taking everything into consideration Lafleur may still have been the better player, but I think it was probably easier to rack up points with his ice time than Bossy's.
Can I see that broken down by situation?

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07-22-2010, 05:20 PM
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Center Shift View Post
I think there is some merit to the argument that Lafleur benefitted more from his teammates than Bossy did. I would argue that the relevant number isn't the total number of goals scored by each player's team, but the total number of goals scored while each player was on the ice.

If you look at Lafleur's prime (1974-75 to 1979-80), he scored 766 points and was on the ice for 1,075 goals, meaning that he was involved in 71.3% of his team's offence.

If we take Bossy's prime (which I guess I'll define as 1978-79 to 1985-86), Bossy had 960 points on 1,233 goals (77.9%).

I'd say those are fairly surprising numbers, especially since as the superior playmaker one would perhaps expect Lafleur to be carrying the puck more often. Counting goals only, Bossy has a very sizable edge (39.1% to 30.4%).
This is very interesting. The counterargument that I can think of is that Lafleur was often the guy carrying the puck up the ice, while Bossy's offense comes mainly from what he did around the net. So in that sense, Lafleur's puck carrying ability might lead to more offense that won't necessarily show up as a personal statistic.

Quote:
At Lafleur's peak, the Canadiens had better depth and were up against weaker competition than the dynasty Islanders. I think that resulted in the Habs playing more of the game in the other team's end of the rink, and as the team's #1 offensive option that would have been to Lafleur's benefit. Taking everything into consideration Lafleur may still have been the better player, but I think it was probably easier to rack up points with his ice time than Bossy's.
Just the Robinson/Lapointe 1/2 punch meant the Canadiens were likely to spend a lot of time in the opponent's end of the ice.

Also, as you said, the 70s had an incredibly unbalanced distribution of talent, even moreso than the 80s.

To me, it still doesn't overcome the fact that Lafleur was practically the consensus best overall player in the league in the late 70s, while Bossy was far from it at any point in his career.

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07-22-2010, 05:28 PM
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Prime Lafleur was better than Prime Bossy by a bit. I think Trottier at his best was a bit better than Lafleur though. Defense.
This might be true. Like I said, "Maybe we should be comparing Trottier to Lafleur, not Bossy"... but I'd have to think about that one a lot more. And it would be harder to do because of their position and style.

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07-22-2010, 05:37 PM
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Also, as you said, the 70s had an incredibly unbalanced distribution of talent, even moreso than the 80s.
This is what I have been trying to say forever in this thread.

In any case it is food for thought.

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07-22-2010, 05:37 PM
  #45
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Puck Movement

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
This is very interesting. The counterargument that I can think of is that Lafleur was often the guy carrying the puck up the ice, while Bossy's offense comes mainly from what he did around the net. So in that sense, Lafleur's puck carrying ability might lead to more offense that won't necessarily show up as a personal statistic.



Just the Robinson/Lapointe 1/2 punch meant the Canadiens were likely to spend a lot of time in the opponent's end of the ice.

Also, as you said, the 70s had an incredibly unbalanced distribution of talent, even moreso than the 80s.

To me, it still doesn't overcome the fact that Lafleur was practically the consensus best overall player in the league in the late 70s, while Bossy was far from it at any point in his career.
The Canadiens offensive game from the mid 1950's thru the 1980's was about speed,puck movement and creating odd man or open ice situations. Lafleur rarely carried the puck, he moved the puck.

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07-22-2010, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Can I see that broken down by situation?
From Overpass' special teams numbers, which don't quite match up with the Hockey Reference totals but are close enough, here are the percentages each guy was involved in his team's goals by situation:

Bossy: 79.3% even strength, 71.3% power play
Lafleur: 73.8% even strength, 63.9% power play

(Even strength goals on ice includes shorthanded goals for, since it was estimated by TGF-PGF, but since neither player killed penalties often that shouldn't make much of a difference).

I'd agree that Lafleur probably would have done more than Bossy to move the puck up ice, but the Canadiens still apparently scored a lot of goals that didn't go through Lafleur. It could also be that Lafleur had more ice time, and spent more time coasting or not being involved in the play, but even if so that would speak to his getting prefential opportunity.

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07-22-2010, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Center Shift View Post
From Overpass' special teams numbers, which don't quite match up with the Hockey Reference totals but are close enough, here are the percentages each guy was involved in his team's goals by situation:

Bossy: 79.3% even strength, 71.3% power play
Lafleur: 73.8% even strength, 63.9% power play

(Even strength goals on ice includes shorthanded goals for, since it was estimated by TGF-PGF, but since neither player killed penalties often that shouldn't make much of a difference).

I'd agree that Lafleur probably would have done more than Bossy to move the puck up ice, but the Canadiens still apparently scored a lot of goals that didn't go through Lafleur. It could also be that Lafleur had more ice time, and spent more time coasting or not being involved in the play, but even if so that would speak to his getting prefential opportunity.
Just to clarify this is the % of goals for by their teams when they were on the ice and registered a point on the goal, correct?

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07-22-2010, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Just to clarify this is the % of goals for by their teams when they were on the ice and registered a point on the goal, correct?
That's correct.

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07-22-2010, 06:05 PM
  #49
Canadiens1958
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Originally Posted by Center Shift View Post
From Overpass' special teams numbers, which don't quite match up with the Hockey Reference totals but are close enough, here are the percentages each guy was involved in his team's goals by situation:

Bossy: 79.3% even strength, 71.3% power play
Lafleur: 73.8% even strength, 63.9% power play

(Even strength goals on ice includes shorthanded goals for, since it was estimated by TGF-PGF, but since neither player killed penalties often that shouldn't make much of a difference).

I'd agree that Lafleur probably would have done more than Bossy to move the puck up ice, but the Canadiens still apparently scored a lot of goals that didn't go through Lafleur. It could also be that Lafleur had more ice time, and spent more time coasting or not being involved in the play, but even if so that would speak to his getting prefential opportunity.
Canadiens made much better use of the complete offensive zone. When they had two of the Big 3 d-men on the offense would not favour one side or the other like the Islanders would - favouring Denis Potvin's side. As a result the scoring was more balanced.

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07-22-2010, 06:06 PM
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Center Shift View Post
That's correct.
Wow that is fairly significant when you think about the level both these guys were playing at.


Last edited by BraveCanadian: 07-22-2010 at 06:13 PM. Reason: brain fried that didn't make sense
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