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The importance of an elite puck moving dman

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Old
07-30-2010, 07:01 PM
  #26
BraveCanadian
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
A couple of points.

1. You're really using Blair McDonald, a guy who only scored 40 goals because he was Gretzky's linemate as an example of "help" Gretzky got? Well then, I guess Thornton was lucky to have Jonathan Cheechoo inflating his stats in his Hart year.

2. In Gretzky's 3rd year at 21 years old, his 212 points were more than double his nearest teammate. Honestly, how can you say with a straight face that Gretzky's teammates had much of an effect on his stats? I mean, I'm sure it helped that he had Coffey to get pucks up to him, but the other forwards on the team?

3. You're bolding that the Oilers had 417 goals for... yet don't you think a big reason for that is that Gretzky got a point on more than half their goals?
Of course I think that Gretzky was the biggest reason Gretzky has 212 points.

But you will never convince me he scores 200+ points on a team with a bunch of plugs.

And you ask me if I can keep a straight face? Quite easily.

Those 120 assists had to be put in the net by someone, you know.

How can you guys keep a straight face trying to claim that players don't benefit from playing with other good players? That is just an obvious thing. Better chance of good plays being finished and good chances coming back your way.. it is undeniable. Quantifying it is hard but to completely write it off is madness.

My best guesstimate is that Gretzky playing with those great players (who were still getting better at that point) contributed in the neighbourhood of 30-50pts to his total over playing with completely average players.

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07-30-2010, 07:01 PM
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
A couple of points.

1. You're really using Blair McDonald, a guy who only scored 40 goals because he was Gretzky's linemate as an example of "help" Gretzky got? Well then, I guess Thornton was lucky to have Jonathan Cheechoo inflating his stats in his Hart year.

2. In Gretzky's 3rd year at 21 years old, his 212 points were more than double his nearest teammate. Honestly, how can you say with a straight face that Gretzky's teammates had much of an effect on his stats? I mean, I'm sure it helped that he had Coffey to get pucks up to him, but the other forwards on the team?

3. You're bolding that the Oilers had 417 goals for... yet don't you think a big reason for that is that Gretzky got a point on more than half their goals?
I think this is a good example here. It's naive to think Thornton didn't benefit slightly from Cheechoo. He found great chemistry with a really good goal scorer. They were benefitting from each other even if one was more so than the other. One would think he could score more with Heatley and Marleau as linemates. The reason he's not, is scoring is down a fair bit compared to that year after the lockout, and he clearly doesn't have the same type of chemistry with them as he had with Cheechoo in 05-06, and even 06-07.

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07-30-2010, 07:02 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by Ryan87 View Post
I think this is a good example here. It's naive to think Thornton didn't benefit slightly from Cheechoo. He found great chemistry with a really good goal scorer. They were benefitting from each other even if one was more so than the other. One would think he could score more with Heatley and Marleau as linemates. The reason he's not, is scoring is down a fair bit compared to that year after the lockout, and he clearly doesn't have the same type of chemistry with them as he had with Cheechoo in 05-06, and even 06-07.
Also Cheechoo unfairly gets thrown in the "fluke" column when really he suffered an injury that ruined his ability to get where he needed to be in time.

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07-30-2010, 09:05 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by JohnnyD View Post
Just out of curiousity...what are some of the "worst" #1 Dmen on Stanley Cup Winning Teams?

First teams that came to mind were the 70's Flyers, Hurricanes, and Lightning (although Boyle has turned out to be very good, I don't remember him being all that special when they won)
That's interesting...
Starting a new thread, ctually

Right away... Oilers, '90?

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07-30-2010, 09:12 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Ok lets just cut out all the semantic crap and try it like this in the most extreme version of the question I can answer:

Does Wayne score 215 points or does Mario Lemieux score 199 points at any point in their career if they don't have Coffey or any similar help and in general they play with players of this caliber:

Bill Berg on LW, Mike Craig on RW, Brad Marsh and Ken Daneyko on D.


Yes or No?
Yes, let's just artfully dodge and skip the meat and potatoes of the conversation and assume we transplant a guy from a team he groomed into the winners they were to a team with nobodies and judge him by the first year.

It sure is a good way for you to avoid the points.

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07-30-2010, 10:15 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Yes, let's just artfully dodge and skip the meat and potatoes of the conversation and assume we transplant a guy from a team he groomed into the winners they were to a team with nobodies and judge him by the first year.

It sure is a good way for you to avoid the points.
I know I have you cornered now because you either have to say something preposterous to anyone who thinks about it for 1 second or you have to admit you are wrong.

So.. yes or no?

Could Gretzky score 215 or Lemieux score 199 points with those guys or will you finally admit that his teammates do help him?

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07-30-2010, 10:21 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
I know I have you cornered now because you either have to say something preposterous to anyone who thinks about it for 1 second or you have to admit you are wrong.

So.. yes or no?

Could Lemieux score 199 points with those guys or will you finally admit that his teammates do help him?
Again, with the artful dodging from you. You are the one backed into the corner and you keep trying to swap the onus to answer from yourself to me instead. I gave my detailed answer already, far before you tried this "Yes or no, no details" approach. You have ignored answering it EVERY TIME because you feel the need to throw a silly hypothetical with no details such as "If he suddenly got thrown into a team of bums", rather than the realistic trade and growth of players who would learn from him like a 4th round pick Jari Kurri did.

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07-30-2010, 10:28 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Again, with the artful dodging from you. You are the one backed into the corner and you keep trying to swap the onus to answer from yourself to me instead. I gave my detailed answer already, far before you tried this "Yes or no, no details" approach. You have ignored answering it EVERY TIME because you feel the need to throw a silly hypothetical with no details such as "If he suddenly got thrown into a team of bums", rather than the realistic trade and growth of players who would learn from him like a 4th round pick Jari Kurri did.
If you have an actual question feel free to ask me.

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07-30-2010, 10:53 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
If you have an actual question feel free to ask me.
Already did. Several times. The question was simply "Respond to these points. Instead of responding to the points, you avoided them and want a black and white "Yes or No", which is ridiculous given the context of the question.

Ill just repost for the third time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Adjusting to new coaches, team needs and systems are all pieces of the puzzle.

Who are you to say Gretzky would not be scoring in bunches had he first gone to the Devils instead of the Oilers and had decent coaching and scouting GM's who filled the teams needs? Had he gone to the Devils in the 79, many of his teammates would have learned from him, just like his Oiler teammates did, learning together their strengths and weaknesses and improving all the while, while the GM and Coach adjusted and worked with what they had all the while, building on their strengths and filling the holes that were their weaknesses. And by the time 1984 came around it would have been a completely different team. You have no idea how much a player like Gretzky builds a teammates confidence and swagger, and just how much they learn from each other and a good coach.

The devils/Rockies had terrible revolving door coaching for years, as well as continually changing teammates and no superstar like Lemieux or Gretzky to build on. If you think a young player will learn and develop the same into the NHL by continually having different coaches and systems, as well as teammates.....who knows what John MacLean or Pat Verbeek could have become under different circumstances.

Mario Lemieux was a rather soft, lazy player in his early years in the NHL playing off only his talent and not giving it his all, and he personally references the turning point in his career as playing with Gretzky for Team Canada and learning just how hard he worked and how he demanded excellence and hard work from himself and those around him.

Gretzky jumped into the league as a 137 point 19 year old player, and you could see his confidence and abilities improve each year, as well as those around him as he learned what he could and could not do in the league, and just how far he could push it. The next year, his point total spiked to 164, despite having only rookies on his team, none of whom scored more than 75 points or 32 goals. Rookies who ended up far exceeding their expectations due largely to the fact that they were playing with and learning from the best, with coaching that allowed them to work with their strengths.

By the time Gretzky left Edmonton, the team still had the swagger, hard work ethic and everything they learned with Gretzky and the coach about their strengths and weaknesses before he left.

As stated, Jari Kurri didn't miss a beat his first season without Gretzky.
Kurri's last year with Gretzky: 43 goals, 96 points in 80 games
Kurri's first year without Gretzky: 44 goals, 102 points in 76 games.

By your logic, Kurri should have suffered a large drop since the quality of center he had had just suffered a massive hit. But he did not. in fact, he improved.

Not only that, But Messier moving up to 1st line duties 2 years after the team lost Gretzky saw his greatest season ever.
This runs contrary to your line of thinking.

At another point, Paul Coffey missed a good chunk of time, and Gretzky's numbers while he was out actually improved. Small sample size, but again, contrary to your thinking.

I also seriously doubt Jagr would have become the player he became had he not learned playing with Lemieux. In fact, Jagr personally states this.

But to say silly things like "If player A was on team X with Players B and C, he would have scored Y more points". There are too many variables. Work ethic and team play. Attitude. Ability to adapt to different systems and develop chemistry. Coaching. A GM's job is to fit all of the pieces together to build a winner. Some do it better than others. A guy Like Yzerman was expected to be the go to guy when the Wings were not such a good team, and his personal numbers were staggering. However, when he finally did get much better linemates and defenseman with transition games, his personal numbers did not skyrocket as you suggest, but his all around game got much much better, as did his willingness to play to win at the cost of his personal numbers and icetime.

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07-30-2010, 11:08 PM
  #35
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1980 NHL Entry Draft

Let's get this thread back on track because an interesting topic is slipping away.

The 1980 NHL Entry Draft saw defensemen taken with 6 of the first 8 picks:

http://www.hockey-reference.com/draf...980_entry.html

#2 - Dave Babych, #4 Larry Murphy, # 5 Darren Veitch, were the high profile players on elite junior teams or memorial cup finalist teams, all high scoring, puck moving defensemen during their junior career.

#6 was Paul Coffey, dark horse, talented skater, offensive threat but on middling junior teams.

#7 Fred Arthur left hockey early in his NHL career to go into medicine.

#8 Rick Lanz had a reasonable NHL career as did Darren Veitch in spite of a promising start.Injuries played a role in both instances

Coffey and Murphy had HHOF level careers, while Babych suffered injuries and never reached his potential.

The interesting part is the synergy between the puck moving skills that they brought and the team they were drafted by. Coffey's skills meshed perfectly in Edmonton. Murphy never had the ideal support beyond an aging Dionne in LA, Babych once Winnipeg turned it around had the misfortune of injury curtail his career.

Fact remains their puck moving skills brought an offensive impetus and a defensive upside.

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07-30-2010, 11:09 PM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Of course I think that Gretzky was the biggest reason Gretzky has 212 points.

But you will never convince me he scores 200+ points on a team with a bunch of plugs.

And you ask me if I can keep a straight face? Quite easily.

Those 120 assists had to be put in the net by someone, you know.

How can you guys keep a straight face trying to claim that players don't benefit from playing with other good players? That is just an obvious thing. Better chance of good plays being finished and good chances coming back your way.. it is undeniable. Quantifying it is hard but to completely write it off is madness.

My best guesstimate is that Gretzky playing with those great players (who were still getting better at that point) contributed in the neighbourhood of 30-50pts to his total over playing with completely average players.
Depends on what you mean by "plugs." If you mean borderline NHLers (like the guys Crosby had on his wings last year), then I might agree. If you mean average NHLers or just guys who weren't anything special, then I disagree, as proven by the stats I provided, back when Kurri and Messier weren't anything close to stars.

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07-30-2010, 11:19 PM
  #37
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I don't see a question. Mostly what I see is you proving my point. I'll answer anyways..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Adjusting to new coaches, team needs and systems are all pieces of the puzzle.
Yes, I know. Teams affect production. That is my point.


Quote:
Who are you to say Gretzky would not be scoring in bunches had he first gone to the Devils instead of the Oilers and had decent coaching and scouting GM's who filled the teams needs? Had he gone to the Devils in the 79, many of his teammates would have learned from him, just like his Oiler teammates did, learning together their strengths and weaknesses and improving all the while, while the GM and Coach adjusted and worked with what they had all the while, building on their strengths and filling the holes that were their weaknesses. And by the time 1984 came around it would have been a completely different team.
Yes I agree if the 84 Devils somehow had been the 84 Oilers wearing Devils jerseys.. Gretzky would have done the same. But they weren't.


Quote:
You have no idea how much a player like Gretzky builds a teammates confidence and swagger, and just how much they learn from each other and a good coach.

The devils/Rockies had terrible revolving door coaching for years, as well as continually changing teammates and no superstar like Lemieux or Gretzky to build on. If you think a young player will learn and develop the same into the NHL by continually having different coaches and systems, as well as teammates.....who knows what John MacLean or Pat Verbeek could have become under different circumstances.
Yes, I know. Teams affect production.

Quote:
Mario Lemieux was a rather soft, lazy player in his early years in the NHL playing off only his talent and not giving it his all, and he personally references the turning point in his career as playing with Gretzky for Team Canada and learning just how hard he worked and how he demanded excellence and hard work from himself and those around him.
Yes..once again. I know.. teams affect production. Mario learned from a different team and came back with a new attitude and eventually a great team was built around him. And Paul Coffey didn't hurt at all either.


Quote:
Gretzky jumped into the league as a 137 point 19 year old player, and you could see his confidence and abilities improve each year, as well as those around him as he learned what he could and could not do in the league, and just how far he could push it. The next year, his point total spiked to 164, despite having only rookies on his team, none of whom scored more than 75 points or 32 goals. Rookies who ended up far exceeding their expectations due largely to the fact that they were playing with and learning from the best, with coaching that allowed them to work with their strengths.

By the time Gretzky left Edmonton, the team still had the swagger, hard work ethic and everything they learned with Gretzky and the coach about their strengths and weaknesses before he left.

As stated, Jari Kurri didn't miss a beat his first season without Gretzky.
Kurri's last year with Gretzky: 43 goals, 96 points in 80 games
Kurri's first year without Gretzky: 44 goals, 102 points in 76 games.

By your logic, Kurri should have suffered a large drop since the quality of center he had had just suffered a massive hit. But he did not. in fact, he improved.
First of all, Wayne played only 64 games of that previous season so Kurri's totals weren't as high as they likely would have been based on the previous 5 years.

Secondly he was a hall of fame player in his own right, and his team fortunately happened to have a second hall of fame center that became a first liner that year. Not to mention a 100 point scoring center came back in the Gretzky trade in Carson.

Quote:
Not only that, But Messier moving up to 1st line duties 2 years after the team lost Gretzky saw his greatest season ever.
This runs contrary to your line of thinking.
Absolutely not. Unless your definition of team is just the jersey that was a different team. That is why one is called the 87-88 Oilers and one called the 88-89 Oilers. And starting with the 88-89 team like you say, they gave Messier received increased ice time and responsibility and he made the most of it.

Quote:
At another point, Paul Coffey missed a good chunk of time, and Gretzky's numbers while he was out actually improved. Small sample size, but again, contrary to your thinking.
Extremely small sample size and he still had a bunch of other pretty good teammates at the time if I recall.


Quote:
I also seriously doubt Jagr would have become the player he became had he not learned playing with Lemieux. In fact, Jagr personally states this.
Yes, teams affect production. Or was Mario not part of Jagr's team?


Quote:
But to say silly things like "If player A was on team X with Players B and C, he would have scored Y more points". There are too many variables. Work ethic and team play. Attitude. Ability to adapt to different systems and develop chemistry. Coaching. A GM's job is to fit all of the pieces together to build a winner. Some do it better than others. A guy Like Yzerman was expected to be the go to guy when the Wings were not such a good team, and his personal numbers were staggering. However, when he finally did get much better linemates and defenseman with transition games, his personal numbers did not skyrocket as you suggest, but his all around game got much much better, as did his willingness to play to win at the cost of his personal numbers and icetime.
Yes, teams affect production. When Yzerman was called upon to score and the team was arranged around that fact, he did. When the team philosophy changed his production changed. In this case it was the same name on the jersey but you're talking about drastically different teams over time.

Now that you are done proving my point would you like to answer my simple hypothetical question?


Last edited by BraveCanadian: 07-31-2010 at 11:43 AM. Reason: Carson
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07-30-2010, 11:23 PM
  #38
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Depends on what you mean by "plugs." If you mean borderline NHLers (like the guys Crosby had on his wings last year), then I might agree. If you mean average NHLers or just guys who weren't anything special, then I disagree, as proven by the stats I provided, back when Kurri and Messier weren't anything close to stars.
I thought guys putting up 50 goal or point per game seasons generally were stars?

Wayne had 4 other players on his team over a point per game the first time he went over 200.

No way he hits that with strictly average players.

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07-30-2010, 11:35 PM
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I thought guys putting up 50 goal or point per game seasons generally were stars?

Wayne had 4 other players on his team over a point per game the first time he went over 200.

No way he hits that with strictly average players.
Given the era, those guys scoring 80-90 points were average players as scoring line players go.

Glenn Anderson's 105 points were good for 11th in the NHL. None of Gretzky's other teammates were in the top 20. This despite playing on an offensive-minded team with a guy who put up 212 points.

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07-30-2010, 11:47 PM
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Double Shifted

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Given the era, those guys scoring 80-90 points were average players as scoring line players go.

Glenn Anderson's 105 points were good for 11th in the NHL. None of Gretzky's other teammates were in the top 20. This despite playing on an offensive-minded team with a guy who put up 212 points.
Wayne Gretzky was double shifted regularly as was Mario Lemieux thereby impacting the offensive results of the various RW and LW on the team roster while skewing his own towards the upper end.

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07-31-2010, 12:08 AM
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Wayne Gretzky was double shifted regularly as was Mario Lemieux thereby impacting the offensive results of the various RW and LW on the team roster while skewing his own towards the upper end.
This is a good point. But on the other hand, doesn't it also show that his coach didn't think his teammates were stars in their own right?

Actually, maybe this is something more. Historically, great players score about the same number of points no matter who they play with. Yet it seems like better linemates should have more of an effect than they actually have.

Is it because when a superstar doesn't have star linemates, his coach double shifts him with everyone, and this results in him getting about as many points as if he played a regular shift with better linemates (like Kurri after Kurri had developed)? Interesting idea.

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07-31-2010, 05:32 AM
  #42
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Interpretation

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
This is a good point. But on the other hand, doesn't it also show that his coach didn't think his teammates were stars in their own right?

Actually, maybe this is something more. Historically, great players score about the same number of points no matter who they play with. Yet it seems like better linemates should have more of an effect than they actually have.

Is it because when a superstar doesn't have star linemates, his coach double shifts him with everyone, and this results in him getting about as many points as if he played a regular shift with better linemates (like Kurri after Kurri had developed)? Interesting idea.
Depending on the era - roster sizes, team composition, the opposition and the skill set of the individual players.

The points that a player scores is just as much a function of who the linemates are as who the opponents are.

Blend of all the variables.

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07-31-2010, 07:16 AM
  #43
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Given the era, those guys scoring 80-90 points were average players as scoring line players go.
And what did they average NHLer have that year?

Those 3 forwards were well above the average for forwards I am quite sure.

And Coffey the same for defensemen.

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07-31-2010, 07:18 AM
  #44
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Wayne Gretzky was double shifted regularly as was Mario Lemieux thereby impacting the offensive results of the various RW and LW on the team roster while skewing his own towards the upper end.
Excellent point.. I remember a quote from Wayne after being asked how he and Mario were so much better than everyone and he said something to the effect that "We're not twice as good we play twice as much."

Obviously a bit of an exaggeration but they definitely did get double shifted fairly often..

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07-31-2010, 12:16 PM
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When Ovechkin and Crosby broke into the NHL in 2005, they were on teams that were cellar-dwellers and had little top-notch offensive help from teammates. Last year, those teams were among the best in hockey, and had assembled a much stronger supporting cast for their stars. So you'd expect a huge inflation in AO's and Sid's numbers:

Ovechkin 2005-06 PPG: 1.31
Ovechkin 2009-10 PPG: 1.51

Crosby 2005-06 PPG: 1.26
Crosby 2009-10 PPG: 1.35

Their numbers are higher, but not by all that much. And how much of that improvement could be attributed to just becvoming more experienced. Everybody scores more in their fifth season than in their rookie year.

It would be an interesting research project to take all top line players who were traded mid-prime from a bad team to a good one (or vice-versa) and see what effect it had on their point totals.

For the record, Paul Coffey only factored in on 7.5% of Gretzky's career points.

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07-31-2010, 12:45 PM
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The Slug Element

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Originally Posted by reckoning View Post
When Ovechkin and Crosby broke into the NHL in 2005, they were on teams that were cellar-dwellers and had little top-notch offensive help from teammates. Last year, those teams were among the best in hockey, and had assembled a much stronger supporting cast for their stars. So you'd expect a huge inflation in AO's and Sid's numbers:

Ovechkin 2005-06 PPG: 1.31
Ovechkin 2009-10 PPG: 1.51

Crosby 2005-06 PPG: 1.26
Crosby 2009-10 PPG: 1.35

Their numbers are higher, but not by all that much. And how much of that improvement could be attributed to just becvoming more experienced. Everybody scores more in their fifth season than in their rookie year.

It would be an interesting research project to take all top line players who were traded mid-prime from a bad team to a good one (or vice-versa) and see what effect it had on their point totals.

For the record, Paul Coffey only factored in on 7.5% of Gretzky's career points.
Very interesting post. Let's take things a bit further and look at Sidney Crosby's main linemates this past season.

Bill Guerin
http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...gueribi01.html

a veteran way past his prime who managed to score more playing in New Jersey or with system teams like Dallas then he did with Crosby.

Chris Kunitz
http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...kunitch01.html

a fringe player who scores in the .6-.65PPG whether playing with Crosby or with Anaheim and a lesser center.

Conversely look at the relationship between Bobby Orr and the dramatic increase in points shown by a veteran - John Bucyk or a fringe player John McKenzie, two players who contributed a much greater skill set to the stars" presence.

Given the time and opportunities wasted playing with the slug elements the points actually scored by Sidney Crosby and the slight PPG increase is impressive.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 07-31-2010 at 12:47 PM. Reason: wording
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07-31-2010, 01:56 PM
  #47
BraveCanadian
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I think Gonchar being hurt a fair bit the last two years hurt Sidney as well as having plugger linemates.

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07-31-2010, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reckoning View Post
When Ovechkin and Crosby broke into the NHL in 2005, they were on teams that were cellar-dwellers and had little top-notch offensive help from teammates. Last year, those teams were among the best in hockey, and had assembled a much stronger supporting cast for their stars. So you'd expect a huge inflation in AO's and Sid's numbers:

Ovechkin 2005-06 PPG: 1.31
Ovechkin 2009-10 PPG: 1.51

Crosby 2005-06 PPG: 1.26
Crosby 2009-10 PPG: 1.35

Their numbers are higher, but not by all that much. And how much of that improvement could be attributed to just becvoming more experienced. Everybody scores more in their fifth season than in their rookie year.

It would be an interesting research project to take all top line players who were traded mid-prime from a bad team to a good one (or vice-versa) and see what effect it had on their point totals.

For the record, Paul Coffey only factored in on 7.5% of Gretzky's career points.
Also GPG was down by half a goal that year compared to last, so their improvement is a bit better than that shows.

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