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

Forsberg vs. Clarke

View Poll Results: Peter Forsberg or Bobby Clarke
Clarke 72 79.12%
Forsberg 19 20.88%
Voters: 91. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
08-21-2010, 04:01 PM
  #51
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Originally Posted by Puck Scorer View Post
forsberg in his prime dominated the league and not clark
Forsberg was a Hart trophy finalist (top five) a grand total of one time in his career (2003). If he dominated the league, why wasn't he considered one of the best players in the league more often?

Clarke had a five year stretch of dominance that Forsberg never approached:

1973: won the Hart trophy (ahead of Esposito, Orr, Dryden, Perreault)
1974: 4th in Hart voting (behind P. Esposito, Parent, Orr; ahead of T. Esposito)
1975: won the Hart trophy (ahead of Vachon, Orr, Parent, Lafleur)
1976: won the Hart trophy (ahead of Potvin, Lafleur, Dryden, Park)
1977: 2nd in hart voting (behind Lafleur; ahead of Vachon, Salming, Robinson)

Forsberg was likely a better playoff performer than Clarke (clearly better offensively and probably more valuable all-around), which narrows the gap, but I don't see the argument that Forsberg was more dominant than Clarke.

(EDIT: I see you said "Clark". Did you confuse Bobby Clarke with Wendel Clark? Forsberg was clearly much better than Wendel Clark).

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08-21-2010, 04:37 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by Puck Scorer View Post
forsberg in his prime dominated the league and not clark
How is that so? Forsberg won the Hart once and the Art Ross once. Clarke won three Harts and captained two Cup champs. Neither player was the best player in the world save for one season (arguably) and that is 2003 for Forsberg and 1976 for Clarke. Both players always had someone playing in the NHL that was better than them at some time or another. Forsberg was always behind Jagr when Jagr was in his prime. Clarke was behind Orr and for a while Esposito. Then Lafleur took the reigns. Where did Forsberg dominate the NHL?

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08-21-2010, 05:15 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
Forsberg was a Hart trophy finalist (top five) a grand total of one time in his career (2003). If he dominated the league, why wasn't he considered one of the best players in the league more often?

Clarke had a five year stretch of dominance that Forsberg never approached:

1973: won the Hart trophy (ahead of Esposito, Orr, Dryden, Perreault)
1974: 4th in Hart voting (behind P. Esposito, Parent, Orr; ahead of T. Esposito)
1975: won the Hart trophy (ahead of Vachon, Orr, Parent, Lafleur)
1976: won the Hart trophy (ahead of Potvin, Lafleur, Dryden, Park)
1977: 2nd in hart voting (behind Lafleur; ahead of Vachon, Salming, Robinson)

Forsberg was likely a better playoff performer than Clarke (clearly better offensively and probably more valuable all-around), which narrows the gap, but I don't see the argument that Forsberg was more dominant than Clarke.

(EDIT: I see you said "Clark". Did you confuse Bobby Clarke with Wendel Clark? Forsberg was clearly much better than Wendel Clark).
While I agree with everything you said, I do have to point out that Forsberg and Sakic playing on the same team as basically equals likely really hurt them in Hart voting .

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08-21-2010, 06:42 PM
  #54
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If you take into account the adjusted points all time Clarke is 64th with 1137 points in 15 seasons and Forsberg is 75th with 1055 points in 12 seasons.

Forsberg's peak and prime are both much better than Clarke's offensively and his defensive play is not that much less than clarke's, it's just that back in Clarke's day not as many forwards were playing D hockey.

I took Forsberg and this is from a guy whose favorite player was Clarke growing up.

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08-21-2010, 07:08 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
If you take into account the adjusted points all time Clarke is 64th with 1137 points in 15 seasons and Forsberg is 75th with 1055 points in 12 seasons.

Forsberg's peak and prime are both much better than Clarke's offensively and his defensive play is not that much less than clarke's, it's just that back in Clarke's day not as many forwards were playing D hockey.

I took Forsberg and this is from a guy whose favorite player was Clarke growing up.
Forsberg's defensive play is nowhere near Clarke's level. And Plenty of forwards were playing fantastic defensive Hockey in Clarke's day.

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08-21-2010, 07:15 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Forsberg's defensive play is nowhere near Clarke's level. And Plenty of forwards were playing fantastic defensive Hockey in Clarke's day.
having watched both of them play I would disagree, like I said Clarke was my favorite player growing up.

IMO too much stock is put on this board about the 3 Harts, voters in all sports have shown that they vote on reputation and for all sorts of different reasons for some players and not for others.

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08-21-2010, 07:37 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
having watched both of them play I would disagree, like I said Clarke was my favorite player growing up.

IMO too much stock is put on this board about the 3 Harts, voters in all sports have shown that they vote on reputation and for all sorts of different reasons for some players and not for others.
Having watched both of them play, I think Clarke was one of the best defensive forwards I have ever seen, while Forsberg does not even crack top 50. Forsberg was a two way forward who could play good on both ends of the ice, but was not often noted for his defense over his offense. Clarke was an elite defense first forward who could finish top 10 in scoring more often than Forsberg did.

Bobby Clarke was far from my favorite player. In fact, I hated him with a passion. But I know one of the best ever when I see it.

Clarke's hart votes were very deserved. Granted he might not have deserved it over Orr a few times, but he most certainly deserved to be ranked top 2-3 in those particular years.

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08-21-2010, 09:11 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Having watched both of them play, I think Clarke was one of the best defensive forwards I have ever seen, while Forsberg does not even crack top 50.
This is obviously were we disagree, not even in the top 50?
IMO that is really low balling Forsberg big time.

Forsberg got 1.25 PPG in a tougher time to get points than Carke's 1.06 in a higher scoring period of play.

To me the two are closer on the defensive side than you are giving credit to Forsberg for and offensively Forsberg was much better.

Also if we include Swedish hockey and international play, like we all do with other players, Forsberg has the edge here as well as Clarke had (obviously since they played less international games during his day) impact and breadth of the body of work that Forsberg has with Sweden.

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08-21-2010, 09:32 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
This is obviously were we disagree, not even in the top 50?
IMO that is really low balling Forsberg big time.

Forsberg got 1.25 PPG in a tougher time to get points than Carke's 1.06 in a higher scoring period of play.

To me the two are closer on the defensive side than you are giving credit to Forsberg for and offensively Forsberg was much better.

Also if we include Swedish hockey and international play, like we all do with other players, Forsberg has the edge here as well as Clarke had (obviously since they played less international games during his day) impact and breadth of the body of work that Forsberg has with Sweden.
On a per game basis, Forsberg was a better scorer; however, Clarke had more top 10 points and assists finishes. This speaks to Clarke's durability. Only once in his career did he play less than 71 games, 62 in 81-82. A part of being great in actually being on the ice, getting raw numbers instead of relying on per game averages to extrapolate what may have been.

Bobby Clarke was also a 1st line PP and PK player for almost all of his career, outstanding defensively, a great penalty killer and was tough. I don't see how Forsberg was better than Clarke other than by extrapolating or adjusting or manipulating stats.

Bobby Clarke was a player that always showed up and did whatever was necessary to win.

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08-21-2010, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
This is obviously were we disagree, not even in the top 50?
IMO that is really low balling Forsberg big time.

Forsberg got 1.25 PPG in a tougher time to get points than Carke's 1.06 in a higher scoring period of play.

To me the two are closer on the defensive side than you are giving credit to Forsberg for and offensively Forsberg was much better.

Also if we include Swedish hockey and international play, like we all do with other players, Forsberg has the edge here as well as Clarke had (obviously since they played less international games during his day) impact and breadth of the body of work that Forsberg has with Sweden.
You really can't use career points per game to compare a player who barely played after his prime due to injuries with a guy who stuck around as a productive, but non-elite player after his prime.

Edit: Clarke for whatever reason was done as an elite scoring threat at the age of 28.


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08-21-2010, 09:39 PM
  #61
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Was just browsing through some old mags putting up my new office and came across hockey news yearbooks where in the 03-04 and 04-5 yearbooks Forsberg was ranked number one and also this tidbit about the 96 Florida- Colorado final series about a florida reporter who said

When told Joe Sakic had won the Conn Smythe, he shook his head: "Sakic is an excellent player, but we never even talked about him during the series," he said. " It was Forsberg who gave us all the trouble. Even before the series, Sakic had scored all of those goals , we were worried about Forsberg."

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08-21-2010, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Was just browsing through some old mags putting up my new office and came across hockey news yearbooks where in the 03-04 and 04-5 yearbooks Forsberg was ranked number one and also this tidbit about the 96 Florida- Colorado final series about a florida reporter who said

When told Joe Sakic had won the Conn Smythe, he shook his head: "Sakic is an excellent player, but we never even talked about him during the series," he said. " It was Forsberg who gave us all the trouble. Even before the series, Sakic had scored all of those goals , we were worried about Forsberg."
Insert joke about Florida sports reporters knowing nothing about hockey here.

Seriously though, Sakic in 1996 might have been the best playoff performance I've ever seen.

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08-21-2010, 09:48 PM
  #63
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This is obviously were we disagree, not even in the top 50?
IMO that is really low balling Forsberg big time.
I think you are confusing two way player with defensive player.

A two way player, to me, is a guy who plays a great offensive game, yet is responsible defensively. Offense is still their first priority.

A defensive forward is a guy who concentrates specifically on the defensive aspect of his game first, offense being a secondary priority.

Now, while Clarke was indeed an offensive force, he was more noted for his excellent Selke caliber shutdown defensive play being his priority. He would face the opposing teams top forwards, shut them down as only one of the best of all time could do, and score, while also being one of their top Penalty killers.

Forsberg was a guy who did not face the opposing teams top lines as much. Sakic got that duty more often than not, while Forsberg drew the opposing teams checkers more. Nor was Forsberg a Pker.

Forsberg might be on the top complete two way forwards list of all time, but he was not ever going to make a top defensive shutdown forward list and nothing anyone ever says can make me think that.

Clarke is on the top defensive forward list, and among the top 5 ever no less on most informed lists.

Forsberg would not even make top 50 defensive forwards on most informed lists. I stand by that.


Quote:
Forsberg got 1.25 PPG in a tougher time to get points than Carke's 1.06 in a higher scoring period of play.
And? I already said on a "Per game" basis that Forsberg is slightly better offensively. The gap in their defensive play is far larger in favor of Clarke.

His PPG matters relatively less than the fact that Clarke beat him in top 10 scoring finishes.
Clarke: 2nd, 2nd, 5th, 6th, 8th, 8th, 10th
Forsberg: 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th

Maybe had he been healthier, he could have finished in the top 10 more often. Sadly, injuries were a side effect of the game he played, despite the much more pampering modern Medical advances and better equipment.

Quote:
To me the two are closer on the defensive side than you are giving credit to Forsberg for and offensively Forsberg was much better.
No they are not, and no he wasn't except on a per game basis.

Overall, Clarke still has more top scoring finishes.

Quote:
Also if we include Swedish hockey and international play, like we all do with other players, Forsberg has the edge here as well as Clarke had (obviously since they played less international games during his day) impact and breadth of the body of work that Forsberg has with Sweden.
International play is why I hate Clarke's guts. His deliberate ankle break on Kharlamov to his butt end to the face of Frantisek Pospisil in an exhibition game.

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08-21-2010, 09:52 PM
  #64
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Insert joke about Florida sports reporters knowing nothing about hockey here.
Likewise. Whoever wrote that article does not know a thing about Hockey.

Just because Sakic played a straightforward, non-flashy game, and Forsberg played a flashy puck possession game.........

Sakic was most certainly much better than Forsberg that playoff run. The sort of people saying otherwise are also the sort who thought Hakan Loob was better than Mark Messier.

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08-21-2010, 10:50 PM
  #65
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
You really can't use career points per game to compare a player who barely played after his prime due to injuries with a guy who stuck around as a productive, but non-elite player after his prime.

Edit: Clarke for whatever reason was done as an elite scoring threat at the age of 28.
Well yes, scoring is part of it and all of this talk about them being close offensively just isn't quite true IMO. considering Frosberg s injuries his PPG during the time period he played in was quite incredible.

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08-21-2010, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Likewise. Whoever wrote that article does not know a thing about Hockey.

Just because Sakic played a straightforward, non-flashy game, and Forsberg played a flashy puck possession game.........

Sakic was most certainly much better than Forsberg that playoff run. The sort of people saying otherwise are also the sort who thought Hakan Loob was better than Mark Messier.
Well it was a Florida writer but lets ask the question of who you would rather build a team around in their peak, or even 96 for that matter, Sakic or Forsberg?

Sakic was a great player but Forsberg brought a more complete game to the table and was the player teams would gear up against when they played the Avs even in 96 when Peter was 22 and Joe was 26.

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08-21-2010, 11:14 PM
  #67
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
I think you are confusing two way player with defensive player.

A two way player, to me, is a guy who plays a great offensive game, yet is responsible defensively. Offense is still their first priority.

A defensive forward is a guy who concentrates specifically on the defensive aspect of his game first, offense being a secondary priority.

Now, while Clarke was indeed an offensive force, he was more noted for his excellent Selke caliber shutdown defensive play being his priority. He would face the opposing teams top forwards, shut them down as only one of the best of all time could do, and score, while also being one of their top Penalty killers.

Forsberg was a guy who did not face the opposing teams top lines as much. Sakic got that duty more often than not, while Forsberg drew the opposing teams checkers more. Nor was Forsberg a Pker.

Forsberg might be on the top complete two way forwards list of all time, but he was not ever going to make a top defensive shutdown forward list and nothing anyone ever says can make me think that.

Clarke is on the top defensive forward list, and among the top 5 ever no less on most informed lists.

Forsberg would not even make top 50 defensive forwards on most informed lists. I stand by that.



And? I already said on a "Per game" basis that Forsberg is slightly better offensively. The gap in their defensive play is far larger in favor of Clarke.

His PPG matters relatively less than the fact that Clarke beat him in top 10 scoring finishes.
Clarke: 2nd, 2nd, 5th, 6th, 8th, 8th, 10th
Forsberg: 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th

Maybe had he been healthier, he could have finished in the top 10 more often. Sadly, injuries were a side effect of the game he played, despite the much more pampering modern Medical advances and better equipment.


No they are not, and no he wasn't except on a per game basis.

Overall, Clarke still has more top scoring finishes.



International play is why I hate Clarke's guts. His deliberate ankle break on Kharlamov to his butt end to the face of Frantisek Pospisil in an exhibition game.
Defensive forwards are guys like Doug Jarvis not guys like Clarke who centered the top line in Philly and played the PP.

For the record Clarke scored over 10 PP goals 6 years in a row from 71-76 and I'm sure he got plenty of assists on the PP despite being labeled a defensive 1st guy.

Look their roles were not as different on their teams like it is being made out to be here IMO.

Forsberg played enough on the PK to score 16 shorthand goals in his career, I don't have a breakdown of his exact playing time versus other teams but I don't recall Sakic being a shutdown defensive forward like this post suggests with the playing time in Col.

Also 1.25 PPG from 95-08 is far more impressive than 1.06 PPG from 70-84. If you look at their adjusted season best peaks instead of only looking at their top 10 finishes it gives a more clear and better picture of how the 2 fared against their piers and all time offensively.

Clarke had a longer career and had much better health, I'll give him props for that but it is also much easier to have top 10 finishes in a smaller league team wise (12-17 compared to 26-30 in their peaks)than a larger league as much as some guys don't want to do the math on this.

Look I understand why some people might pick Clarke over Forsberg but to put one in the teens to low 20's and the other in the 80's is a real disservice to Forsberg and how great a player he was.

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08-21-2010, 11:19 PM
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Insert joke about Florida sports reporters knowing nothing about hockey here.

Seriously though, Sakic in 1996 might have been the best playoff performance I've ever seen.
Even better than insert your Scott Stevens NJ cup win here year?

Look Sakic was the man offensively that year for the aVS in the Cup run but Forsberg had a great run that year as well.

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08-21-2010, 11:38 PM
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Even better than insert your Scott Stevens NJ cup win here year?

Look Sakic was the man offensively that year for the aVS in the Cup run but Forsberg had a great run that year as well.
Forsberg did fine but he was no better than 3rd on the pecking order that spring. Sakic was the man in 1996 followed by Roy in his only non-Smythe winning Cup performance. Forsberg was probably 3rd being very close to Kamensky in terms of importance that spring. Forsberg was slightly under a PPG those playoffs.

By the way the other comment you made was a little far left. Clarke played goo defensively but there have always been other greats who have done the same regardless of era. In the original 6 there were no patsies who floated around and Clarke wasn't too far removed from that era. But even then guys like Keon, Ullman, Marcotte, Gainey, Trottier, Jarvis and others all excelled at that part of the game in Clarke's era. He wasn't the only one and he was still probably the best

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08-21-2010, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Defensive forwards are guys like Doug Jarvis not guys like Clarke who centered the top line in Philly and played the PP.

For the record Clarke scored over 10 PP goals 6 years in a row from 71-76 and I'm sure he got plenty of assists on the PP despite being labeled a defensive 1st guy.
That's what happens when you're also, quite simply, the best player on your team by a long shot. You're going to get played in those situations, too, and if you're decent offensively, you'll produce. Clarke was, and he did.

Don't be fooled by red herring like PP goals. Clarke was, simply, one of the best defensive forwards ever, whose offensive production doesn't really change the fact that the fundamentals of his skills and approach to the game was defense first.

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Look their roles were not as different on their teams like it is being made out to be here IMO.
I really don't see how they could be more different, if limiting the perspective to groups of players considered to be among their team's top 1 or 2 guys. Well, maybe that's not true. But Clarke being pretty much "alone" on his team (could be viewed differently if MacLeish had been better more consistently) differs greatly from a team that can roll Sakic/Forsberg/Drury, for example.

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Forsberg played enough on the PK to score 16 shorthand goals in his career, I don't have a breakdown of his exact playing time versus other teams but I don't recall Sakic being a shutdown defensive forward like this post suggests with the playing time in Col.
Well, he was never used like a John Madden, if that's what you're saying. He definitely played a lot of crucial minutes against teams' top units over the years. People play up Ovechkin's defense by playing the "best offense is a good defense", but Sakic was one of those perfect blends of THAT, plus "the best defense is, well, a good defense".

Also 1.25 PPG from 95-08 is far more impressive than 1.06 PPG from 70-84. If you look at their adjusted season best peaks instead of only looking at their top 10 finishes it gives a more clear and better picture of how the 2 fared against their piers and all time offensively.

Clarke had a longer career and had much better health, I'll give him props for that but it is also much easier to have top 10 finishes in a smaller league team wise (12-17 compared to 26-30 in their peaks)than a larger league as much as some guys don't want to do the math on this.

Look I understand why some people might pick Clarke over Forsberg but to put one in the teens to low 20's and the other in the 80's is a real disservice to Forsberg and how great a player he was.[/QUOTE]

In the end, though, all you can do is dream about what could have been, or how try to figure out how much extrapolations and what-ifs should factor into the rankings when talking about what Forsberg COULD have done to narrow the gap any further. There's a lot of good talent in the 20-80 range, and very few of them could be considered "iron men" who played full seasons for an entire era. How do rank everyone's "what ifs" fairly against all the players who, simply, went out and did?


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08-21-2010, 11:41 PM
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Defensive forwards are guys like Doug Jarvis not guys like Clarke who centered the top line in Philly and played the PP.

For the record Clarke scored over 10 PP goals 6 years in a row from 71-76 and I'm sure he got plenty of assists on the PP despite being labeled a defensive 1st guy.

Look their roles were not as different on their teams like it is being made out to be here IMO.

Forsberg played enough on the PK to score 16 shorthand goals in his career, I don't have a breakdown of his exact playing time versus other teams but I don't recall Sakic being a shutdown defensive forward like this post suggests with the playing time in Col.

Also 1.25 PPG from 95-08 is far more impressive than 1.06 PPG from 70-84. If you look at their adjusted season best peaks instead of only looking at their top 10 finishes it gives a more clear and better picture of how the 2 fared against their piers and all time offensively.

Clarke had a longer career and had much better health, I'll give him props for that but it is also much easier to have top 10 finishes in a smaller league team wise (12-17 compared to 26-30 in their peaks)than a larger league as much as some guys don't want to do the math on this.

Look I understand why some people might pick Clarke over Forsberg but to put one in the teens to low 20's and the other in the 80's is a real disservice to Forsberg and how great a player he was.
Actually, looking at top 10 finishes gives the better picture how they fared against their peers, not adjusted stats.

Also, you seem to be making a big deal about PPG. Bobby Clarke averaged 76 games a year. The guy didn't miss games and played in a really rough and violent era. Health and playing in games has more to do with toughness than luck or chance. You can't produce anything when you aren't playing. Clarke was able to play and produce throughout his career. When he was not an elite scorer any longer scoring 60-65 points a year at the end of his career, he was still playing every night and winning a Selke. Forsberg was playing 39, 60, 57 and 9 games. That leaves a lot to be desired in terms of ACTUAL production, not projected, manipulated, extrapolated, adjusted production.

Also, looking at what they were able to produce on average per season, it isn't a whole lot different. Discounting the truncated lockout season and even discounting his last 9 game regular season, Forsberg scored 821 points in 10 potential full seasons. Clarke had 1210 points in 15 potential full seasons. Yet another example of how ACTUAL production is nearly identical due to Clarke's durability.

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08-21-2010, 11:41 PM
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Forsberg did fine but he was no better than 3rd on the pecking order that spring. Sakic was the man in 1996 followed by Roy in his only non-Smythe winning Cup performance. Forsberg was probably 3rd being very close to Kamensky in terms of importance that spring. Forsberg was slightly under a PPG those playoffs.

By the way the other comment you made was a little far left. Clarke played goo defensively but there have always been other greats who have done the same regardless of era. In the original 6 there were no patsies who floated around and Clarke wasn't too far removed from that era. But even then guys like Keon, Ullman, Marcotte, Gainey, Trottier, Jarvis and others all excelled at that part of the game in Clarke's era. He wasn't the only one and he was still probably the best
Forsberg was definitely better than Kamensky. The Kamensky-Forsberg-Lemieux line was one of the best in the league for a long time, but everyone knew Forsberg was the key. Forsberg was a clearcut #3 on the team in 1996.

What makes Sakic's 1996 run so impressive to me is that his even strength linemates (Deadmarsh and I believe Scott Young) were not nearly good at the time as Forsberg's.

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08-21-2010, 11:45 PM
  #73
JackSlater
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Defensive forwards are guys like Doug Jarvis not guys like Clarke who centered the top line in Philly and played the PP.
Clarke loses defensive credibility with you because he also happened to be an elite offensive player? Clarke was elite both offensively and defensively, the two are not mutually exclusive. Forsberg was elite offensively and dependable defensively.

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08-22-2010, 12:10 AM
  #74
Hardyvan123
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Originally Posted by JackSlater View Post
Clarke loses defensive credibility with you because he also happened to be an elite offensive player? Clarke was elite both offensively and defensively, the two are not mutually exclusive. Forsberg was elite offensively and dependable defensively.
he doesn't lose credit with me, I was responding to a quote that said he was a defensive rather than a 2 way forward. IMO he was more the later but it is subjective as the original poster would go with the former.

i would also say that Forsberg was quite a bit better offensively and when you factor in playoffs and international play and his play in Sweden of what he actually did and when he did it, I take Forsberg.

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08-22-2010, 02:13 AM
  #75
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Insert joke about Florida sports reporters knowing nothing about hockey here.

Seriously though, Sakic in 1996 might have been the best playoff performance I've ever seen.
forsberg and sakic had the same number of points in the finals, 5 each, but forsberg had 3g and sakic had 1g.

game 1
forsberg: 1 secondary assist (ES), +1
sakic: 0p, +0

game 2
forsberg: 3g (1 ES, 2 PP), +2
sakic: 4 PP assists (1 secondary), +0

game 3
forsberg: 1 secondary assist, +1
sakic: 1g (ES), +1

neither had any points in game 4, or were on the ice for krupp's goal.


i think sakic was better in all other rounds, though.

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