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08-25-2010, 09:05 PM
  #51
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Lafleur is better overall as an offensive player without question, but is it enough to overcome Trottier being outstanding defensively, winning faceoffs and a being a physically imposing player at the same time?
Some people would pick Trottier thinking he has enough to make up for that. Me personally I really value that peak of Lafleur's and compare it to some very elite players. Just a for instance, you could easily compare Jagr's peak to Lafleur's. I am not so sure you could with Trottier and Jagr, no offense to Trotts either.

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Also I agree that Lafleur is an easier choice as the best player on his dynasty squad but lets not forget that Dryden, Lemaire and the big 3 among others are no slouches either. And I think a convincing argument could be made for Trottier just the same.. even though I feel Potvin was most likely the guy for the Isles, personally
Both had great players with them but to be the guy who rises out of that pile of great players unanimously (haven't heard anyone say a Hab other than Lafleur was the most responsible for the Cups) makes it all the more special. Just my thought

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08-25-2010, 09:35 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Some people would pick Trottier thinking he has enough to make up for that. Me personally I really value that peak of Lafleur's and compare it to some very elite players. Just a for instance, you could easily compare Jagr's peak to Lafleur's. I am not so sure you could with Trottier and Jagr, no offense to Trotts either.
What about his peak is better than Trottier outside of averaging say 5-10 goals more?

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08-25-2010, 10:29 PM
  #53
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Rather Clever Misdirect

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Some people would pick Trottier thinking he has enough to make up for that. Me personally I really value that peak of Lafleur's and compare it to some very elite players. Just a for instance, you could easily compare Jagr's peak to Lafleur's. I am not so sure you could with Trottier and Jagr, no offense to Trotts either.



Both had great players with them but to be the guy who rises out of that pile of great players unanimously (haven't heard anyone say a Hab other than Lafleur was the most responsible for the Cups) makes it all the more special. Just my thought
Very clever misdirect. Let's introduce Mike Bossy into the discussion.
Bossy had a better peak or for that matter career(somewhat abbreviated than Guy Lafleur and Jaromir Jagr).

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...bossymi01.html

All three - Bossy, Jagr , Lafleur were RW. If we look at the entry of each into the NHL there are certain interesting quirks. Guy Lafleur - #1 pick over all took the longest to adapt to the NHL and shine. 1974-75 was his break thru season - 4th year, on a line with Pete Mahovlich and Steve Shutt, very successful until they ran into the Sabres and Luce/Ramsay/Gare in the 1975 playoffs. Since neither of the three Canadiens were close to defensively solid the Canadiens lost. Soon after Pete Mahovlich was phased out replaced by Jacques Lemaire, elite defensive center with a very solid offensive game. This elevated Lafleur and Shutt to the next level and contributed to four consecutive Stanley Cups.

Mike Bossy entered the NHL in 1977, late first round pick. Immediately he was placed on a line with Bryan Trottier and Gillies producing one of the greatest lines in NHL history and peak performance from Mike Bossy almost from the start. Beyond having the talent, there is only one reason why Mike Bossy performed at a peak level from the start and that is Bryan Trottier. Like Jacques Lemaire, Bryan Trottier brought elite defense to the line, simplifying Mike Bossy's entry into the NHL by limiting the defensive role that Bossy would have to perform. Bryan Trottier's elite level playmaking was an added bonus as it facilitated and enhance Mike Bossy strong offensive game. Note - in no way is this paragraph to be interpreted as a comparison between Jacques Lemaire and Bryan Trottier.

Jaromir Jagr entered the NHL at the start of the 1990-91 season just as the Penguins were getting ready to embark on a two consecutive Stanley Cup run. Somewhat held back by Bob Johnson, then Scotty Bowman, Jagr contributed to the two championship wins, building to a peak that started with his third NHL season.

Basically Mike Bossy has an edge on Guy Lafleur. Bryan Trottier gets the edge over Mike Bossy because he was the facilitator on the line. Trottier significantly over Lafleur. Introducing Lafleur while dodging Mike Bossy is a rather clever misdirect. Jagr would be in the Bossy > Lafleur mix. A discussion that is not part of this thread.

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08-25-2010, 11:58 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Oh boy, you know when you are in a debate and you hate going against a player you admire and respect? This is the case. I love Trottier and in his prime he was magnificent, case closed. But I think Lafleur was a little bit better than flashy and exciting. He was those things for sure, but he often never gets enough credit for his playmaking. We all know his goal scoring was pretty much the best in his era (gotta give Lafleur the edge over Trotts there obviously) but he was an elite playmaker. How many guys are responsible for pretty much singlehandidly getting a guy into the HHOF? This is Steve Shutt we are talking about.




You have to also take into consideration that Trottier had an extra round of playoffs than Lafleur which started in 1980, the first year of the Isles dynasty. But in an overall ranking between the two players we can look at it this way. Where did they rank in playoff scoring in their 4 year dynasty?

Lafleur - 1, 1, 2, 3
Trottier - 1, 1, 3, (outside the top 10)

As far as being more central to that dynasty there is without a doubt no one more important than Lafleur hands down. While Trottier would likely get 2nd or 3rd at the worst (nothing wrong with that of course). I don't know, a prime vs. prime I still take the dominance of Lafleur
Lafleur was definitely a tremendous player, as gifted offensively as anyone I've seen outside 99 and 66, great wheels, great shot, great passer a pure natural talent and a competitor.

The rank in scoring though, means nothing.

You cannot reduce the impact Bryan Trottier had in TEAM WINS to goals and assists - he simply contributes in so many other ways that Lafleur would have to outscore him by far more than 5-10 (as BraveCanadian mentioned earlier). If you're going to bring up numbers at all, then it only hurts your point IMO (because they are far too close)

I agree Lafleur was considered the best (among the best) in the NHL in his prime - that is something.

But Trottier, in the shadows of the greatest offensive player in history (DOUBLED Lafleur's output) and his supporting cast.
The extra playoff round maybe resulted in more total points - but it also made it harder to achieve team success. That's an extra round that you have to win.
19 straight playoff series wins is a record that I believe will never be broken.

And would Lafleur look impressive had he played in the Gretzky era? or would he blend in with the Hawerchuks? Even Mike Bossy's pure scoring numbers were almost ignored at times. What's 50in50 when you get 50in39?

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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Basically Mike Bossy has an edge on Guy Lafleur. Bryan Trottier gets the edge over Mike Bossy because he was the facilitator on the line. Trottier significantly over Lafleur. Introducing Lafleur while dodging Mike Bossy is a rather clever misdirect. Jagr would be in the Bossy > Lafleur mix. A discussion that is not part of this thread.
You can't pick your spots either though.

Bossy did just as well without Trottier (when playing with Brent Sutter and John Tonelli in 84/85 when they magically hit 100pts that year)

All great players are able to elevate the play of their teammates (remember Bernie Nicholls scored 70 goals!)

I will not diminish the impacts of any of these legends of the game.

Trottier's ability to forecheck, take the puck, pass the puck, often leading to a goal is almost unparalleled in hockey. I don't recall anyone who could do that as well as he could.

Bossy's ability to score goals was equally unparalleled, especially when it really mattered.
------

Let's not forget the CRITICAL distinction in the numbers when you introduce the crucial context of team wins.
We see this everywhere on this board.

When a team is up a goal, the role of EVERY PLAYER is (should be) to protect that lead. Not to score again. That leads to team wins.
It's much easier to score a goal when you're up by four or down by four - but those goals don't matter as much. Ask Marcel Dionne.

Semin's 40 goals are very unimpressive.
I'll take Zach Parise any day over Semin - he scores when it matters (see: Olympics)

It's these moments that players define themselves.

That is too-often lost in the numbers game, unfortunately.

To me, the beauty of Bossy's game was in his consistency and his ability to score goals when the team needed goals.
For that reason alone, Bossy is the best goal scorer of all time in my, somewhat biased, opinion.

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Old
08-26-2010, 01:16 AM
  #55
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
You guys explain away way too much with that crutch. Trying to mash prickly facts into a dogma.

Lafleurs best seasons: 74-75 to 79-80

Trottiers best seasons: 77-78 to 81-82, and 84.

For those that are challenged that means that 3 of their career years overlapped.

Trottier won his Art Ross with a prime Lafleur as his competition (1 point behind Dionne in 3rd place that year). Lafleur also won an Art Ross where Trottier came 2nd. In the third overlapping season Lafleur was 3rd in scoring and Trottier 6th (this is the biggest gap).

Lafleurs best season of 136 points comes on a team with 385 goals for in a league with an average of 6.64 goals per game.

Trottiers best season of 134 points comes on a team with 358 goals for in a league with an average of 7.00 goals for per game.

20% difference in league scoring isn't even in the ballpark when you are comparing absolute peaks. We're talking more about 5% between their two best seasons and that is penalizing Trottier 5% for being on a team that scored 27 less goals. Even if you do that ridiculous exercise Trottier is 127 points to Lafleurs 136 at their absolute peaks offensively.

You could say that Trottier's 82 and 84 seasons benefitted from some higher average scoring but even if you just plain throw those away.. at the very top of their games Trottier is competing with Lafleur offensively for production (obviously lacking in the flair department in comparison) and if that is the case.. he demolishes Lafleur overall as a player at their peaks.
Perhaps he does. But the offensive gap is much more than you painted it as by using raw totals.

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08-26-2010, 07:04 AM
  #56
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Perhaps he does. But the offensive gap is much more than you painted it as by using raw totals.
How so?

Half of their prime years overlapped and they were virtually neck and neck for offensive production. Lafleur is certainly a better goalscorer and did end up slightly ahead for points but not a lot better.

What better comparison could their be than going head to head during their primes?

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08-26-2010, 10:26 AM
  #57
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
How so?

Half of their prime years overlapped and they were virtually neck and neck for offensive production. Lafleur is certainly a better goalscorer and did end up slightly ahead for points but not a lot better.

What better comparison could their be than going head to head during their primes?
I don't know... I guess if you want to keep it simple and account for league scoring levels, just take their adjusted points in their best six-year stretch instead:

Lafleur: 283-384-667
Trottier: 202-356-558

That's a 20% difference, which is pretty sizeable.

of course, Trottier's six best seasons after adjusting didn't happen in a period of exactly six years, and if you were to take their next-highest four seasons not counted above, Trottier starts to close that offensive gap:

Lafleur (72, 82, 83, 84): 93-149-242
Trottier (76, 84, 86, 87): 106-212-318

Trottier has a 31% edge in those years.

With a 909-874 edge in best ten seasons, Lafleur holds an edge of only 4% in adjusted points.

Like I said, Trottier may be the better overall player. But you're selling Lafleur's peak offensive edge short. It is huge.

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08-26-2010, 11:06 AM
  #58
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Like I said, Trottier may be the better overall player. But you're selling Lafleur's peak offensive edge short. It is huge.
Then Trottier actually beating him during his "huge" offensive peak really must have been something.

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08-26-2010, 12:15 PM
  #59
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Then Trottier actually beating him during his "huge" offensive peak really must have been something.
What you're telling me is that Trottier's very best season was better than Lafleur's 3rd best. Great! It's not like he was some bum; this is a top-30 player we're talking about here. But lining up their best six seasons side by side a big gap starts to show.

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08-26-2010, 12:59 PM
  #60
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What you're telling me is that Trottier's very best season was better than Lafleur's 3rd best. Great! It's not like he was some bum; this is a top-30 player we're talking about here.
What I am telling you is that in Trottier's very best season he beat a prime level Lafleur, came in 2nd another time, and both were top 6 the third overlapping season.. that is pretty close. And frankly with 3/6 prime Lafleur seasons being close.. Lafleur is running out of road.

So while Lafleur is admittedly a better offensive player, Trottier isn't a long ways off offensively. What don't you get?

Even if you put him down for only beating Lafleurs 3rd best season (which is hilarious because Lafleur's 3rd best is only 7 points off his absolute best) you just finished telling me how "huge" Lafleur's peak was... so the simple fact that Trottier is even competitive in Lafleur's speciality is really a plus for Trottier.

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But lining up their best six seasons side by side a big gap starts to show.
Not really.

Trottier gets adjusted down in a big way due to the fact that average scoring was way up in the 80s.

The part that flies in the face of this argument though is that although average scoring was up in the 80s, if you compare Montreal and Isles scoring during each of Lafleur and Trottiers 6 best seasons you find this:

Habs Goals For / (Lafleur points)

374 (119)
337 (125)
387 (136)
359 (132)
337 (129)
328 (125)

So Montreal scores 2122 goals for during those 6 years and Lafleur has 766 points on them. Lafleur gets adjusted to 667.

Isles Goals For / (Trottier points)

334 (123)
358 (134)
281 (104)
355 (103)
385 (129)
357 (111)

The Isles score 2070 in those 6 years and Trottier has 704 points on them.

Now the standard HOH explanation (as you did earlier) is that Trottier's last 3 100 point seasons had higher average scoring so it was "easier" for him to score points and his 704 points get adjusted down more harshly to 574. Which illustrates the problem with adjusted stats looking at non-average teams. Should Trottier really be penalized because on average it was "easier" to score when comparing against a team that was so good in the lower scoring era that it still outscored his high scoring era team?

I think the argument could be made that the Habs were so good during this period that the advantages of playing on their team wash with the "higher average scoring" but I know that will just bring a whole pile more regurgitated responses so lets leave that for now.

Even if you don't do that and strictly look at their 6 best seasons, even when adjusted.. you are talking about an average of 15 points a season difference between them at their very best offensively. A noticeable gap but certainly not enormous.

Trottier averages 96 points adjusted a season while doing everything a hockey player can do at an outstanding level.

Lafleur averages 110 points adjusted a season while doing basically only offense.

And then, as you pointed out.. as soon as you leave those top 6 years and tack on another 4 or 5.. Trottier beats Lafleur, period.

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08-26-2010, 04:05 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Trottier gets adjusted down in a big way due to the fact that average scoring was way up in the 80s.

The part that flies in the face of this argument though is that although average scoring was up in the 80s, if you compare Montreal and Isles scoring during each of Lafleur and Trottiers 6 best seasons you find this:

Habs Goals For / (Lafleur points)

374 (119)
337 (125)
387 (136)
359 (132)
337 (129)
328 (125)

So Montreal scores 2122 goals for during those 6 years and Lafleur has 766 points on them. Lafleur gets adjusted to 667.

Isles Goals For / (Trottier points)

334 (123)
358 (134)
281 (104)
355 (103)
385 (129)
357 (111)

The Isles score 2070 in those 6 years and Trottier has 704 points on them.

Now the standard HOH explanation (as you did earlier) is that Trottier's last 3 100 point seasons had higher average scoring so it was "easier" for him to score points and his 704 points get adjusted down more harshly to 574. Which illustrates the problem with adjusted stats looking at non-average teams. Should Trottier really be penalized because on average it was "easier" to score when comparing against a team that was so good in the lower scoring era that it still outscored his high scoring era team?

I think the argument could be made that the Habs were so good during this period that the advantages of playing on their team wash with the "higher average scoring" but I know that will just bring a whole pile more regurgitated responses so lets leave that for now.

Even if you don't do that and strictly look at their 6 best seasons, even when adjusted.. you are talking about an average of 15 points a season difference between them at their very best offensively. A noticeable gap but certainly not enormous.

Trottier averages 96 points adjusted a season while doing everything a hockey player can do at an outstanding level.

Lafleur averages 110 points adjusted a season while doing basically only offense.

And then, as you pointed out.. as soon as you leave those top 6 years and tack on another 4 or 5.. Trottier beats Lafleur, period.
sorry, but my eyes glazed over as soon as you brought up the team offense argument again. It's a non-starter by now, as far as I am concerned.

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08-26-2010, 04:07 PM
  #62
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sorry, but my eyes glazed over as soon as you brought up the team offense argument again. It's a non-starter by now, as far as I am concerned.
I had the same reaction too. Leaguewide scoring matters, because it affects everyone. I fail to see how the fact that Montreal had more productive secondary scoring made it easier for their first line to score.

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08-26-2010, 04:33 PM
  #63
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I had the same reaction too. Leaguewide scoring matters, because it affects everyone. I fail to see how the fact that Montreal had more productive secondary scoring made it easier for their first line to score.
Averages don't apply simply to outliers.

All I'm saying is that something strikes me as odd when we run across cases like this one where we penalize a guy whose team scores less. It should strike you as odd too.

Was it really that much easier for Trottier to score on his team that scored less than it was for Lafleur on a team that scored more?

Obviously, you guys simply dismiss it with the average.. I think there is much more at work when comparing a team that was 60-8-12 than a league wide average.

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08-26-2010, 04:35 PM
  #64
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One Line Teams

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I had the same reaction too. Leaguewide scoring matters, because it affects everyone. I fail to see how the fact that Montreal had more productive secondary scoring made it easier for their first line to score.
Regardless of era it has been shown that one line teams are much easier to defend and stop. Teams with balanced scoring are much more difficult to stop since the opposition has to dedicate defensive resources to cover multiple lines.

LA Kings in the playoffs with Marcel Dionne being the prime example as the lack of secondary scoring stands-out but this is also true in other situations. The Oilers were much stronger and Gretzky was much more productive once their secondary scoring improved.

The late 1950's Canadiens had balanced scoring and over a period of seven seasons between 1955 - 61 three players from one line and two from another led the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull had his best pre expansion goal scoring seasons when the basic Hawk offense - Hull, Mikita, Pilote was augmented with Esposito and an second puck moving defenseman in Pat Stapleton.

Conversely a team like Columbus with a single offensive player - Rick Nash is easier to defend and the player's stats are not as impressive.

Just a few examples


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 08-26-2010 at 04:38 PM. Reason: addition.
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08-26-2010, 04:39 PM
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Was it really that much easier for Trottier to score on his team that scored less than it was for Lafleur on a team that scored more
Absolutely resounding YES! (Assuming we are comparing the non-overlapping years of the mid 70s with the early-mid 80s). By the 1980s, teams stopped caring about goals against so much as goals for. So it absolutely made it easier for everyone to score.

Obviously it doesn't affect Lafleur/Trottier all that much since their primes overlapped quite a bit.

But there is absolutely no way you are going to convince me (or most of the people here) that having better secondary scorers on your team has as much of an affect on your personal numbers as the opposition playing less defensively.

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Obviously, you guys simply dismiss it with the average.. I think there is much more at work when comparing a team that was 60-8-12 than a league wide average.
In a smaller league, I think you would have a point, but the effects on a larger league are most likely marginal. The main thing is that Lafleur didn't have to try to score on the Big 3 defense and Dryden, but with 17-20 teams in the league, the effect on his overall stats probably wasn't all that great.

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08-26-2010, 04:44 PM
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Regardless of era it has been shown that one line teams are much easier to defend and stop. Teams with balanced scoring are much more difficult to stop since the opposition has to dedicate defensive resources to cover multiple lines.


LA Kings in the playoffs with Marcel Dionne being the prime example as the lack of secondary scoring stands-out but this is also true in other situations. The Oilers were much stronger and Gretzky was much more productive once their secondary scoring improved.
Come on now. You actually saw the 1970s Canadiens. Are you trying to argue that teams used their best checkers on Dionne and Gretzky, but not on Lafleur?

Yes, secondary scoring is vital to TEAM success. I don't see it having much effect on the first line's personal numbers, especially when that first line has a guy like Lafleur was was by far the biggest target of opposing checkers.

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The late 1950's Canadiens had balanced scoring and over a period of seven seasons between 1955 - 61 three players from one line and two from another led the NHL in scoring.
Thanks for sharing, I knew this already.

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Bobby Hull had his best pre expansion goal scoring seasons when the basic Hawk offense - Hull, Mikita, Pilote was augmented with Esposito and an second puck moving defenseman in Pat Stapleton.
Esposito was Hull's linemate. And yes, having a competent linemate obviously helped Bobby Hull a lot. However, the linemate argument works for Trottier and against Lafleur here. Mikita and Hull only played together on the PP.

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Conversely a team like Columbus with a single offensive player - Rick Nash is easier to defend and the player's stats are not as impressive.
Conversely a team like Washington in 05-06 with a single offensive player - Alexander Ovechkin - is easier to defend, yet the player's stats are very impressive even as the team loses, because he is just that good.

Rick Nash's stats are not as impressive because he is frankly not that great as star players go.

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08-26-2010, 05:27 PM
  #67
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Match-ups, etc

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Come on now. You actually saw the 1970s Canadiens. Are you trying to argue that teams used their best checkers on Dionne and Gretzky, but not on Lafleur?

Yes, secondary scoring is vital to TEAM success. I don't see it having much effect on the first line's personal numbers, especially when that first line has a guy like Lafleur was was by far the biggest target of opposing checkers.



Thanks for sharing, I knew this already.



Esposito was Hull's linemate. And yes, having a competent linemate obviously helped Bobby Hull a lot. However, the linemate argument works for Trottier and against Lafleur here. Mikita and Hull only played together on the PP.



Conversely a team like Washington in 05-06 with a single offensive player - Alexander Ovechkin - is easier to defend, yet the player's stats are very impressive even as the team loses, because he is just that good.

Rick Nash's stats are not as impressive because he is frankly not that great as star players go.
Your points omit coaching match-ups, home ice advantage, back end support. Strong second lines help eliminate or neutralize such advantages.Strong back end sustains the transition game.

Lafleur always had one of the Big 3 on the ice even when he was double shifted

Hull and Mikita only playing on the PP illustrates my point. ES teams had to choose which of the two lines was assigned the checking line or split their best checking RW from their best checking center creating temporary lines. Until Stapleton came along Pilote at ES could not always play with both lines. With Stapleton and Pilote both lines had a puck moving d-man. Big difference.

Ovechkin in 2005-06 had an advantage with the new anti-obstruction rules. With more obstruction being tolerated lately but with better teammates he is up 10-15%PPG.

Big difference between being the biggest target and the only target.

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08-26-2010, 05:40 PM
  #68
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Ovechkin in 2005-06 had an advantage with the new anti-obstruction rules. With more obstruction being tolerated lately but with better teammates he is up 10-15%PPG.
Should we be surprised that his PPG went up from age 20 to age 21-24?

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08-26-2010, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Should we be surprised that his PPG went up from age 20 to age 21-24?
How a player progresses between the ages of 20 and 25 is interesting.

Ovechkin took a step back, second season, then rebounded with nice growth.

Some have roller coastered - Kopitar, Semin, Gagner.

Others have shown steady growth - Perry, M. Koivu, Kane, Toews.

Some will be at a plateau before a breakout - Lafleur being the classic example.

The reasons why at times may be surprising.

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08-26-2010, 06:23 PM
  #70
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Absolutely resounding YES! (Assuming we are comparing the non-overlapping years of the mid 70s with the early-mid 80s). By the 1980s, teams stopped caring about goals against so much as goals for. So it absolutely made it easier for everyone to score.
I know you are the reasonable one so I'm going to try and explain this again:

The fatal problem with using the league wide average scoring based adjusted stats when comparing teams or players from teams that are way out in front (or behind) is that those adjusted stats implicitly assume that the competition level across the league at all times is the same.

ie. It doesn't matter if you play for the 84 Devils or the 84 Oilers you get the same treatment by the adjustment for that year.

Now I agree that 84 was an up year for average scoring but if you are going to place the same penalty on the 84 Devils players who scored 230 goals as you do on the 84 Oilers players who scored 446 goals.. something really seems amiss to me.

Basically you are just straight up dropping all other factors from the equation.

It also doesn't matter if you play for the 84 Devils who scored 230 goals and gave up 350, you get adjusted down more harshly when in comparison to the 76-77 Habs players who scored 385 goals for and allowed 171.

If the Habs were quite far out in front of their competition as in the extreme case of 60-8-12, isn't it obvious just by that record that they actually weren't having a lot of problems scoring? That they were just that much better than their competition?

Then the question remains (and will be very difficult to ever figure out an answer): Was the level of competition in the mid 70s better or worse than the competition that Trottier faced in the early 80s?

It is possible that average scoring was up but that the average talent was also up as well, after all.

In fact I would put forward that the talent in the NHL got better progressively after bottoming out with the first expansion and WHA.. from the later 70s all the way through the 90s I feel it got better due to the influx and development of other countries.

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Obviously it doesn't affect Lafleur/Trottier all that much since their primes overlapped quite a bit.
Yes I agree but seventies seems convinced that in the 3 other years Lafleur is in a different league. 20% or something.

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But there is absolutely no way you are going to convince me (or most of the people here) that having better secondary scorers on your team has as much of an affect on your personal numbers as the opposition playing less defensively.
Actually, it is pretty well known that having secondary scoring helps both your a and b scoring options because opposing teams can't simply focus their defensive efforts against a certain player or line.

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08-26-2010, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
How a player progresses between the ages of 20 and 25 is interesting.

Ovechkin took a step back, second season, then rebounded with nice growth.

Some have roller coastered - Kopitar, Semin, Gagner.

Others have shown steady growth - Perry, M. Koivu, Kane, Toews.

Some will be at a plateau before a breakout - Lafleur being the classic example.

The reasons why at times may be surprising.
Yes, but simple biology and history tell us that a player should be expected to outscore his 20-year old self at age 21 to 24. So how can Ovechkin's increased production be confidently attributed to anything other than his maturation as a player?

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08-26-2010, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Yes, but simple biology and history tell us that a player should be expected to outscore his 20-year old self at age 21 to 24. So how can Ovechkin's increased production be confidently attributed to anything other than his maturation as a player?
I don't think you can say for sure either way but I tend to agree that Ovechkin has benefited from no longer being the only option.

In particular most top players are past their best goal scoring seasons by 25-27 so he needs those other options to continue to produce.

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08-26-2010, 06:41 PM
  #73
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Are you actually arguing that Lafleur didn't face the opposing teams' best defensive forwards and defenseman every night? Those Montreal teams had depth, but there was no Joe Sakic playing on the line behind Lafleur. How anyone could think he wasn't the focal point is baffling.

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08-26-2010, 06:43 PM
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Maturation As a Player

Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Yes, but simple biology and history tell us that a player should be expected to outscore his 20-year old self at age 21 to 24. So how can Ovechkin's increased production be confidently attributed to anything other than his maturation as a player?

Simple biology and history are not player specific nor is the maturation process. All players are subject to these effects but the results are not all the same so obviously there are other factors which include variables like teammates, systems, rules, injuries amongst others. In Ovechkin's situation the addition of quality teammates has been the biggest variable while the Caps system, NHL rules have been constant and he has been spared significant injuries that impact on play - no major knee, ankle injuries requiring surgical procedures and extended rehab.


Last edited by Canadiens1958: 08-26-2010 at 06:44 PM. Reason: typo
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Old
08-26-2010, 08:42 PM
  #75
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Very clever misdirect. Let's introduce Mike Bossy into the discussion.
Bossy had a better peak or for that matter career(somewhat abbreviated than Guy Lafleur and Jaromir Jagr).

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...bossymi01.html

All three - Bossy, Jagr , Lafleur were RW. If we look at the entry of each into the NHL there are certain interesting quirks. Guy Lafleur - #1 pick over all took the longest to adapt to the NHL and shine. 1974-75 was his break thru season - 4th year, on a line with Pete Mahovlich and Steve Shutt, very successful until they ran into the Sabres and Luce/Ramsay/Gare in the 1975 playoffs. Since neither of the three Canadiens were close to defensively solid the Canadiens lost. Soon after Pete Mahovlich was phased out replaced by Jacques Lemaire, elite defensive center with a very solid offensive game. This elevated Lafleur and Shutt to the next level and contributed to four consecutive Stanley Cups.

Mike Bossy entered the NHL in 1977, late first round pick. Immediately he was placed on a line with Bryan Trottier and Gillies producing one of the greatest lines in NHL history and peak performance from Mike Bossy almost from the start. Beyond having the talent, there is only one reason why Mike Bossy performed at a peak level from the start and that is Bryan Trottier. Like Jacques Lemaire, Bryan Trottier brought elite defense to the line, simplifying Mike Bossy's entry into the NHL by limiting the defensive role that Bossy would have to perform. Bryan Trottier's elite level playmaking was an added bonus as it facilitated and enhance Mike Bossy strong offensive game. Note - in no way is this paragraph to be interpreted as a comparison between Jacques Lemaire and Bryan Trottier.

Jaromir Jagr entered the NHL at the start of the 1990-91 season just as the Penguins were getting ready to embark on a two consecutive Stanley Cup run. Somewhat held back by Bob Johnson, then Scotty Bowman, Jagr contributed to the two championship wins, building to a peak that started with his third NHL season.

Basically Mike Bossy has an edge on Guy Lafleur. Bryan Trottier gets the edge over Mike Bossy because he was the facilitator on the line. Trottier significantly over Lafleur. Introducing Lafleur while dodging Mike Bossy is a rather clever misdirect. Jagr would be in the Bossy > Lafleur mix. A discussion that is not part of this thread.
Nothing against Bossy or his wonderful career but this is more about Trottier vs. Lafleur. Also I think Lafleur was barely an inferior goal scorer to Bossy and was a much more supreme playmaker. I don't see any evidence of Bossy having a better peak than Lafleur even though I will maintain it is a good comparison.

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