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Gretzky 88-89 Even Strength

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Old
11-12-2010, 09:13 PM
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Why is it so hard to believe that a player can score a lot of points and not actually be an even strength benefit to their team?
I have a very hard time with this statement, especially in this particular case.
I am a huge fan of two-way play and would take an 85-point defensive stalwart over a 100-point all offensive player every single time. But I am not sure I could ever be convinced someone scoring 100 ES points in a season is in any way •not• a benefit.

In other words, I'm not sure even I (haven't played competitive hockey in 10+ years) could have the negative impact on the 5 other NHL players I would be on the ice with to equal 100 odd points against at even strength... unless I was literally tripping my own teammates when they weren't looking.

At some point you have to look at those other 5 players.


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11-12-2010, 09:15 PM
  #77
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
I have a very hard time with this statement.
I am a huge fan of two-way play and would take an 85-point defensive stalwart over a 100-point all offensive player every single time. But I am not sure I could ever be convinced someone scoring 100 ES points in a season is in any way •not• a benefit.

In other words, I'm not sure even I (haven't played competitive hockey in 10+ years) could have the negative impact on the 5 other NHL players I would be on the ice with to equal 100 odd points against at even strength... unless I was literally tripping my own teammates when they weren't looking.
who, hold on. No one ever said Gretzky caused all those goals against. No doubt, he caused most of the goals for. But he was as responsible for the goals against as other players on the ice, no more, no less.

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11-12-2010, 09:22 PM
  #78
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
who, hold on. No one ever said Gretzky caused all those goals against. No doubt, he caused most of the goals for. But he was as responsible for the goals against as other players on the ice, no more, no less.
But I don't think so - that's like saying a goalie is equally responsible for all the goals FOR while he was on the ice.

Gretzky did not play defense. Period. It wasn't his responsibility.

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11-12-2010, 09:25 PM
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And to a large degree, most of the time, defensemen are more responsible for GA than forwards are.

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11-12-2010, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
who, hold on. No one ever said Gretzky caused all those goals against. No doubt, he caused most of the goals for. But he was as responsible for the goals against as other players on the ice, no more, no less.
And finally, those other players on the ice with Gretzky were not anywhere close to being equally responsible for those goals for as he was. How is it reasonable to expect him to be equally responsible for goals against? It just seems we are setting a standard that does not exist in reality.

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11-12-2010, 09:55 PM
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord

Leaving Yzerman in 1990, Lemieux in 1996, Gretzky in 1989 and 1994, and Perreault in 1976.
Ultimately, instead of finding a way to blame one individual in each of these years (especially when they brought so much to the table offensively), I think it is far more closer to the truth to simply assume their linemates sucked, big time.

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11-12-2010, 11:36 PM
  #82
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
But I don't think so - that's like saying a goalie is equally responsible for all the goals FOR while he was on the ice.

Gretzky did not play defense. Period. It wasn't his responsibility.
A goalie's a goalie. Why on earth would we claim he has anything to do with goals for?

In case you haven't noticed, hockey is a fluid game. You are on offense and defense simultaneously when you play at even strength. Don't kid yourself, every player on the ice plays a part, big or small, in the creation or in the allowing of goals. No player can be expunged from this responsibility just because you say so.


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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
And to a large degree, most of the time, defensemen are more responsible for GA than forwards are.
Sure they are. But that logic applies to all four lines on the 1988-89 LA Kings, not just Gretzky. All four lines are just as responsible for the same "share" of goals against, whatever that may be. Now you could argue that all other things aren't equal and the goalies or defensemen just sucked more when he was on the ice, but why would that make any sense?

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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
And finally, those other players on the ice with Gretzky were not anywhere close to being equally responsible for those goals for as he was. How is it reasonable to expect him to be equally responsible for goals against? It just seems we are setting a standard that does not exist in reality.
Every. Player. Plays. A. Part.

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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
Ultimately, instead of finding a way to blame one individual in each of these years (especially when they brought so much to the table offensively), I think it is far more closer to the truth to simply assume their linemates sucked, big time.
Really? Lemieux in 1996? Perreault in 1976?

Did you notice that these players who came onto this list "honestly", meaning they didn't have an off-ice comparable who was close to their level and didn't play on an Orr team, weren't known as good two-way forwards? (Yzerman later was, but not really in 1990) - Is it really that unfathomable that if you score a lot, you might not be nearly as valuable as your scoring stats indicate if you're allowing a lot of goals too? It seems so.... elementary.

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11-13-2010, 12:12 AM
  #83
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Ice Time

I'm curious as to how much you guys think the amount of ice time a player gets factors into this? The numbers show that Gretzky was not much different at even strength statistically compared to his teammates in L.A., but how many more minutes a game did he play? It is surely more difficult to maintain an X on/off ratio playing 25 minutes a game than it is to maintain the same X on/off ratio playing 12 minutes a game.

I'm betting that Gretzky played more minutes than many of those 129 top-3 scorers also.

This clearly doesn't explain everything, but is another factor that should be considered.

I would be interested to hear what Gretzky's estimated ice time per game numbers were for his last few years in Edmonton compared to his first few in L.A. Does anyone have these?

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11-13-2010, 12:46 AM
  #84
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
who, hold on. No one ever said Gretzky caused all those goals against. No doubt, he caused most of the goals for. But he was as responsible for the goals against as other players on the ice, no more, no less.
Exactly.

So tell me again how you go from that statement to a decisive conclusion about Gretzky's individual play at even strength again?

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11-13-2010, 12:51 AM
  #85
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[QUOTE=seventieslord;28911068]A goalie's a goalie. Why on earth would we claim he has anything to do with goals for?[\quote]
Then why would we lay any blame for goals against on Gretzky when he has absolutely nothing to do with it either? He didn't in Edmonton and he didn't in LA. The only difference in Edmonton was he had better linemates and better coaching who were able create lines to counter-balance his complete lack of defense.

[quote]In case you haven't noticed, hockey is a fluid game. You are on offense and defense simultaneously when you play at even strength. Don't kid yourself, every player on the ice plays a part, big or small, in the creation or in the allowing of goals. No player can be expunged from this responsibility just because you say so.[\quote]
it's the "big or small" I think you are failing to acknowledge. If a player is a big part of of offense on his line, I think it is more than fair that he is a small part of defense. That's just reality. Especially in the case of Gretzky and especially in the case of 80s to dead puck era.

Gretzky is clearly not "equally responsible" for goals allowed on his line when he is contributing such an extraordinary amount in the goals for area.




[quote]Sure they are. But that logic applies to all four lines on the 1988-89 LA Kings, not just Gretzky. All four lines are just as responsible for the same "share" of goals against, whatever that may be. Now you could argue that all other things aren't equal and the goalies or defensemen just sucked more when he was on the ice, but why would that make any sense? [\quote]
But you seem to be implying Gretzky played more defensively responsible in Edmonton than LA.
He didn't.
He just did not have a Kurri or Tikkanen playing next to him in their prime.
His Defenders were not as good and his goalie was not as good.

The only way Gretzky 'prevented goals' was by controlling the puck... and that made a difference, but not enough to compensate for lesser linemates, defenders and goalie.



[quote]Every. Player. Plays. A. Part.[\quote]
But not in equal part in all areas. Gretzky contributed an extremely unequal part of LA's offense that year. How is it fair to demand an equal part in preventing goals?
It's not.



Quote:
Really? Lemieux in 1996? Perreault in 1976?
I got lazy earlier and did not implicate coaching like I should have.
These player's lines were obviously more effective when paired with defensively responsible players. Those years it really did not happen - that's more on the coach than it is on Gretzky/Lemiuex/Perreault - they did their job, they scored points - their linemates and coach did a poor job of counter-balancing the fact these guys did not play defense.

Quote:
Did you notice that these players who came onto this list "honestly", meaning they didn't have an off-ice comparable who was close to their level and didn't play on an Orr team, weren't known as good two-way forwards? (Yzerman later was, but not really in 1990) - Is it really that unfathomable that if you score a lot, you might not be nearly as valuable as your scoring stats indicate if you're allowing a lot of goals too? It seems so.... elementary.
Not at that level of offensive play - just like today Ovechkin is not responsible for a lick of defense. You can argue Ovechkin would be a more effective player if he was scoring only 85 Pts but concentrating on backchecking, but as it is you can not fault him for GA when he has little to do with it.

It's why I feel +\- stats or any more advanced derivative really only applies to two-way players. The fact Ovechkin might have a great +/- has absolutely nothing to do with his defensive play, only the defensive play of his linemates, and of course more to do with his major individual focus on offense.

It just seems elementary to not blame a player for GA when be spends most of his effort on offense (and especially does great at it).... More fair to blame the linemates who should have been concentrating on defense.

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11-13-2010, 12:51 AM
  #86
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Sure they are. But that logic applies to all four lines on the 1988-89 LA Kings, not just Gretzky. All four lines are just as responsible for the same "share" of goals against, whatever that may be. Now you could argue that all other things aren't equal and the goalies or defensemen just sucked more when he was on the ice, but why would that make any sense?
Of course the first and most obvious problem is that the different lines have different linemates, ice times, play in different situations and play against different competition generally.

I mean the amount of things not equal in the r-on and r-off is not something to dismiss at all. You're automatically implying that everything is equal with r-on and r-off but we know it isn't.

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11-13-2010, 12:53 AM
  #87
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Bah, I'm typing on my phone - I have no idea how I botched all the quotes - my apologies!

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11-13-2010, 01:02 AM
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More to the point, it is like holding a defensive defenseman accountable for a lack of goals for.

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11-13-2010, 01:25 AM
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyD View Post
I'm curious as to how much you guys think the amount of ice time a player gets factors into this? The numbers show that Gretzky was not much different at even strength statistically compared to his teammates in L.A., but how many more minutes a game did he play? It is surely more difficult to maintain an X on/off ratio playing 25 minutes a game than it is to maintain the same X on/off ratio playing 12 minutes a game.
I think that it is difficult for marginal players to maintain their level of play in higher minutes, but not the best, and Gretzky was obviously in that category.

I think the fact that he faced top checkers is more telling than the ice time, but there's no good excuse for Gretzky not overcoming this and posting a (much) better goal differential than his team did. Other top scorers did it all the time. And Gretzky himself did it for the past 9 years in Edmonton.

Quote:
I'm betting that Gretzky played more minutes than many of those 129 top-3 scorers also.
My icetime file has him at 26 minutes a game that season. High, but not obscene.

I would be interested to hear what Gretzky's estimated ice time per game numbers were for his last few years in Edmonton compared to his first few in L.A. Does anyone have these?[/QUOTE]

27, 26, 25 in Edmonton, 26, 25, 25 in LA.

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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Exactly.

So tell me again how you go from that statement to a decisive conclusion about Gretzky's individual play at even strength again?
Are you telling me that looking at a player's even strength goals aganst tells us nothing about them as a player? Are you telling me Gretzky had little to nothing to do with the goals scored on his team while he was on the ice?

Or did his wingers just always happen to be the worst defensively on the team?

Regardless of the reason, the Gretzky line was scored on - a lot. All other wingers on the team have a better GA/min average than him, so whatever combination of centers they were playing with, they got scored on more when he was on the ice. He was the common thread there.

It looks like Gretzky never really adjusted to how to play with a lesser team at even strength after leaving Edmonton. Backchecking was an afterthought.

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11-13-2010, 01:37 AM
  #90
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[QUOTE=RabbinsDuck;28911883]
Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
A goalie's a goalie. Why on earth would we claim he has anything to do with goals for?[\quote]
Then why would we lay any blame for goals against on Gretzky when he has absolutely nothing to do with it either? He didn't in Edmonton and he didn't in LA. The only difference in Edmonton was he had better linemates and better coaching who were able create lines to counter-balance his complete lack of defense.
He didn't, but he could have! That's a critical difference in this absurd goalie comparison you're making.

[QUOTE]
Quote:
In case you haven't noticed, hockey is a fluid game. You are on offense and defense simultaneously when you play at even strength. Don't kid yourself, every player on the ice plays a part, big or small, in the creation or in the allowing of goals. No player can be expunged from this responsibility just because you say so.[\quote]
it's the "big or small" I think you are failing to acknowledge. If a player is a big part of of offense on his line, I think it is more than fair that he is a small part of defense. That's just reality. Especially in the case of Gretzky and especially in the case of 80s to dead puck era.
OK, so we know the line was stellar offensively and poor defensively. It's your contention that it was Gretzky's fault it was good offensively, but the wingers' fault it was poor defensively? And Gretzky couldn't have helped in any way?

Quote:
Gretzky is clearly not "equally responsible" for goals allowed on his line when he is contributing such an extraordinary amount in the goals for area.
Absolutely he is. Especially being a center.


[QUOTE]
Quote:
Sure they are. But that logic applies to all four lines on the 1988-89 LA Kings, not just Gretzky. All four lines are just as responsible for the same "share" of goals against, whatever that may be. Now you could argue that all other things aren't equal and the goalies or defensemen just sucked more when he was on the ice, but why would that make any sense? [\quote]
But you seem to be implying Gretzky played more defensively responsible in Edmonton than LA.
He didn't.
He just did not have a Kurri or Tikkanen playing next to him in their prime.
His Defenders were not as good and his goalie was not as good.
...and he didn't adjust, at all.

And for the 27th time, goalies and defensemen not being as good as Edmonton is irrelevant, unless you want to claim the goalies or defensemen just sucked more when he was on the ice.

Quote:
The only way Gretzky 'prevented goals' was by controlling the puck... and that made a difference, but not enough to compensate for lesser linemates, defenders and goalie.
So... all the wingers' fault, then?


[QUOTE]
Quote:
Every. Player. Plays. A. Part.[\quote]
But not in equal part in all areas. Gretzky contributed an extremely unequal part of LA's offense that year. How is it fair to demand an equal part in preventing goals?
It's not.
Some players managed extremely dominant seasons at even strength where their R-on/r-off was over 2, and even approached 5, even on great teams. Gretzky could barely stay afloat in this regard in LA the whole time he was there, and LA wasn't even a very good team. Is it even possible to argue that a guy whose goal differential is the same on as off, helps a team at even strength more than guy whose ratio is 2.0 while playing top line minutes? I don't think so. The raw scoring stats lie if the same number of goals is going in the other net.


Quote:
I got lazy earlier and did not implicate coaching like I should have.
These player's lines were obviously more effective when paired with defensively responsible players. Those years it really did not happen - that's more on the coach than it is on Gretzky/Lemiuex/Perreault - they did their job, they scored points - their linemates and coach did a poor job of counter-balancing the fact these guys did not play defense.
That is possible.

These are also the best players of all-time we're talking about. We saw them do some amazing things on the ice. Is it asking too much for them do adjust to linemates to make sure they're an even strength benefit?


Quote:
Not at that level of offensive play - just like today Ovechkin is not responsible for a lick of defense. You can argue Ovechkin would be a more effective player if he was scoring only 85 Pts but concentrating on backchecking, but as it is you can not fault him for GA when he has little to do with it.
Except Ovechkin's goal differential compared to his team is outstanding. If it wasn't, I'd be sitting here telling you he's overrated because his team's fortunes don't actually improve with him on the ice.

Quote:
It's why I feel +\- stats or any more advanced derivative really only applies to two-way players. The fact Ovechkin might have a great +/- has absolutely nothing to do with his defensive play, only the defensive play of his linemates, and of course more to do with his major individual focus on offense.
It's not that his +/- is great, it's that it's even great for his team. Yes, he focuses on offense, but the end result is that he scores a lot more than he gets scored on. However that happens, doesn't matter. Gretzky wasn't doing that after leaving Edmonton. (he was in Edmonton, though)

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11-13-2010, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Of course the first and most obvious problem is that the different lines have different linemates, ice times, play in different situations and play against different competition generally.

I mean the amount of things not equal in the r-on and r-off is not something to dismiss at all. You're automatically implying that everything is equal with r-on and r-off but we know it isn't.
competition's not equal. linemates aren't equal. that's as easy as you can make it. But those still should not be excuses for Gretzky.

If Gretzky was playing against the best checkers and had the worst wingers on the team on his line, and the worst defensemen on the team always played with him (and two of those three things are clearly not true), I would still expect the supposed most valuable player in the league to be able to elevate the unit to be better than the average performance of the other units. Heck, you guys are arguing he did that to players he wasn't even on the ice with! Surely he would do it on the ice, too.

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11-13-2010, 02:00 AM
  #92
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Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Of course the first and most obvious problem is that the different lines have different linemates, ice times, play in different situations and play against different competition generally.

I mean the amount of things not equal in the r-on and r-off is not something to dismiss at all. You're automatically implying that everything is equal with r-on and r-off but we know it isn't.
Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
competition's not equal. linemates aren't equal. that's as easy as you can make it. But those still should not be excuses for Gretzky. If Gretzky was playing against the best checkers and had the worst wingers on the team on his line, and the worst defensemen on the team always played with him (and two of those three things are clearly not true), I would still expect the supposed most valuable player in the league to be able to elevate the unit to be better than the average performance of the other units. Heck, you guys are arguing he did that to players he wasn't even on the ice with! Surely he would do it on the ice, too.
BraveCanadian explains exactly why it's irrelevant to compare r-on/r-off stats within a team.

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11-13-2010, 02:17 AM
  #93
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
It just seems elementary to not blame a player for GA when be spends most of his effort on offense (and especially does great at it).... More fair to blame the linemates who should have been concentrating on defense.
Try looking at it this way. A pure offensive player still needs to contribute to his team outscoring their opponents - that's how hockey games are won. So for him, his GA are a bar that he has to clear on the offensive side to help his team win. If those GA come because he is playing more minutes, then he should be scoring or contributing to more GF in those minutes. If some GA come because his defensive contributions are lacking, then his offensive contributions must make up for it.

Gretzky had a very high bar to clear in LA, in terms of ESGA. In fact, higher than any forward in the modern NHL.

Most ESGA in 3 consecutive seasons by a forward since 1968
Years Player $ESGA R-ON R-OFF
89-91 Wayne Gretzky 299 1.23 1.18
93-95 Mark Recchi 291 0.99 0.94
89-91 Steve Yzerman 289 1.01 0.95
94-96 Wayne Gretzky 286 0.77 0.85
08-10 Martin St. Louis 277 0.92 0.73
$ESGA are adjusted to a constant scoring level of 200 ESG per team-season.

Of course he was still a valuable player because of his offensive contributions. But his offensive numbers would have been more valuable had they come with, say, 70 ESGA/year instead of 100 ESGA/year.

I posted a few points on the Kings' improvement earlier. I'll elaborate on that a little to try to identify how much of the team improvement can reasonably be attributed to Gretzky.

First, this wasn't a one-year fluke improvement. L.A. averaged 64 points in the three seasons prior to Gretzky's arrival, and 89 points in the three seasons following. So it was a legitimate 25 point improvement. Where did those 25 points come from?

1. Goaltending. The team SV% went from 0.862 from 86-88 to 0.882 in 89-91. More Kelly Hrudey, less Rollie Melanson and Darren Eliot. After adjusting for league average and converting to goals and points, this was worth about 9 standings points.

2. Even strength scoring. This rose by about 60 goals a year, translating to about 15 standings points.

3. Even strength goals against. This dropped by about 25 goals a year. But factor out the improved goaltending, and the team was about 3 standings points worse in this area.

4. Power play. Almost identical results. No change.

5. Penalty kill. This went from being very poor to slightly above average. Some of this credit goes to the goaltending, leaving 3 standings points left for the skaters.

I don't think it's reasonable to give Gretzky any credit for the goaltending improvement. Not that I think save percentage is entirely independent of skaters, but we're talking about a single offensive player here. That leaves about 15 standings points to attribute to Gretzky and any other changes to the team.

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11-13-2010, 02:33 AM
  #94
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Originally Posted by overpass View Post

I posted a few points on the Kings' improvement earlier. I'll elaborate on that a little to try to identify how much of the team improvement can reasonably be attributed to Gretzky.

First, this wasn't a one-year fluke improvement. L.A. averaged 64 points in the three seasons prior to Gretzky's arrival, and 89 points in the three seasons following. So it was a legitimate 25 point improvement. Where did those 25 points come from?

1. Goaltending. The team SV% went from 0.862 from 86-88 to 0.882 in 89-91. More Kelly Hrudey, less Rollie Melanson and Darren Eliot. After adjusting for league average and converting to goals and points, this was worth about 9 standings points.

2. Even strength scoring. This rose by about 60 goals a year, translating to about 15 standings points.

3. Even strength goals against. This dropped by about 25 goals a year. But factor out the improved goaltending, and the team was about 3 standings points worse in this area.

4. Power play. Almost identical results. No change.

5. Penalty kill. This went from being very poor to slightly above average. Some of this credit goes to the goaltending, leaving 3 standings points left for the skaters.

I don't think it's reasonable to give Gretzky any credit for the goaltending improvement. Not that I think save percentage is entirely independent of skaters, but we're talking about a single offensive player here. That leaves about 15 standings points to attribute to Gretzky and any other changes to the team.
This is very surprising to me. You would think with Gretzky on the PP it would have improved.

Are there numbers available for the difference in PP opportunities for the Kings? If they were getting more opportunities that could have been one of the ways Gretzky was contributing to the improvement.

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11-13-2010, 02:44 AM
  #95
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Adjustment

One of the things that really surprised me about this analysis is that Gretzky did not improve very much the following 2 years in the '89-'90 and '90-'91 seasons (especially after that EN goal adjustment for '88-'89). Any player can have a down season when they go to a new team. There has to be an adjustment period for playing with new players/finding chemistry, having new responsibilities, new coaches, etc. but you expect a player like Gretzky (whom many claim to be the smartest hockey player ever) to be able to change his game and adapt to the new situation after a whole year. It doesn't appear that Gretzky was able to do this, which IMO is even more telling than his '88-'89 season on it's own.

*As others have said anything after '90-'91 must take the Canada Cup Suter hit into consideration.

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11-13-2010, 02:59 AM
  #96
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4. Power play. Almost identical results. No change.
... Actually, the Kings declined on the PP from 87-88 to 88-89 relative to the NHL average, from 7% better than average to about 1% worse than average.

On the PK, the Kings improved from 3% worse than the league average to about 1.6% better than average. The Kings' shorthanded goals also doubled, from 11 to 22. Nicholls improved by one goal (from 7 to 8), but Gretzky scored 5 and Duchesne went from zero to 5.

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This is very surprising to me. You would think with Gretzky on the PP it would have improved.

Are there numbers available for the difference in PP opportunities for the Kings? If they were getting more opportunities that could have been one of the ways Gretzky was contributing to the improvement.
... The Kings had 81 fewer PP opportunities in 88-89 than they did in 87-88, and scored 21 fewer goals.

One of the huge factors was the loss of Jimmy Carson and his 22 PP goals in 87-88. Bob Carpenter went from 10 PP goals down to 3. Luc Robitaille went from 17 down to 10.

On the plus side, Gretzky scored 11 PP goals in that first season with the Kings, and Bernie Nicholls went up from 8 PP goals to 21.

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11-13-2010, 03:59 AM
  #97
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[QUOTE=seventieslord;28912248]
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post

He didn't, but he could have! That's a critical difference in this absurd goalie comparison you're making.
How many players have scored the equivalent of 168 Pts in 1989 and played any defense whatsoever?
The only answer is perhaps Gordie Howe and Yzerman in 89.

[QUOTE]

OK, so we know the line was stellar offensively and poor defensively. It's your contention that it was Gretzky's fault it was good offensively, but the wingers' fault it was poor defensively? And Gretzky couldn't have helped in any way?[\quote]
Since when did Gretzky help in any way in regards to GA??? He certainly did not in Edmonton.
Of course it was his wings and defensemen (and goalie) to focus more on GA.



[quote]Absolutely he is. Especially being a center.[\quote]
in 89?? Were you even watching hockey then?



[QUOTE]

...and he didn't adjust, at all.[\quote]
Ok, so what?
He scored 168 pts that year, on a crappy team.
What coach in the world was going to tell Gretzky to start backchecking when he had never done it in his career? Wouldn't it make more sense to play him with linemates that were capable of it, like in Edmonton?

[quote]And for the 27th time, goalies and defensemen not being as good as Edmonton is irrelevant, unless you want to claim the goalies or defensemen just sucked more when he was on the ice.[\quote]
So your contention is Gretzky was defensively responsible in Edmonton, right?
Anyone who watched the Oilers during that time will simply laugh at that suggestion.



Quote:
So... all the wingers' fault, then?
wingers, defensemen and goalie - ie. Those responsible for GA, which Gretzky was clearly not. Unless you have examples of offensive stars with 160+ points making any difference whatsoever on defense.


[QUOTE]

Some players managed extremely dominant seasons at even strength where their R-on/r-off was over 2, and even approached 5, even on great teams. Gretzky could barely stay afloat in this regard in LA the whole time he was there, and LA wasn't even a very good team. Is it even possible to argue that a guy whose goal differential is the same on as off, helps a team at even strength more than guy whose ratio is 2.0 while playing top line minutes? I don't think so. The raw scoring stats lie if the same number of goals is going in the other net.[\quote]
I'm just still looking for any evidence Gretzky ever played defense.
He didn't.
In your statistics, why on earth was he so much more efficient in Edmonton?
Are you really trying to imply he was playing defense in Edmonton?




[quote]That is possible.

These are also the best players of all-time we're talking about. We saw them do some amazing things on the ice. Is it asking too much for them do adjust to linemates to make sure they're an even strength benefit?[\quote]
That's a great question for the coach, isn't it?
I will say, however, if I have the greatest offensive player of all-time playing for me, I'm going to be ok with him spending his focus on offense. Gretzky adjusted by still scoring a ton of points with much lesser linemates than he had in Edmonton.




Quote:
Except Ovechkin's goal differential compared to his team is outstanding. If it wasn't, I'd be sitting here telling you he's overrated because his team's fortunes don't actually improve with him on the ice.
So you believe Ovechkin makes a significant impact on GA while he is on the ice?
Of course he doesn't - the only area he directly affects is GF.



Quote:
It's not that his +/- is great, it's that it's even great for his team. Yes, he focuses on offense, but the end result is that he scores a lot more than he gets scored on. However that happens, doesn't matter. Gretzky wasn't doing that after leaving Edmonton. (he was in Edmonton, though)
Again, your implication is Gretzky was playing defensively responsible hockey with the Oilers. Which is absurd to anyone who watched that team.
Just like it is absurd to think Ovechkin has much to do with his GA with Washington.

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11-13-2010, 04:12 AM
  #98
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Of course it's about the most valuable player. But doesn't it stand to reason that the most valuable player will outperform the rest of the team?



No, they originally showed this. After adjusting for ENG, it appears the Kings were about 5% better with Gretzky on the ice; still, this is a very weak rate of improvement. Of course he was their best scorer and drew top checkers, but every best scorer draws top checkers and they still manage to have better goal differentials than the other lines on the team, generally.



I don't understand. Didn't he take the attention off of other players when he was in Edmonton? He murdered the team's goal differential in his Oiler years - destroyed it! And that was a better team, with much better players making up the off-ice comparables, Mark Messier and Glenn Anderson to start with.

Removing the 3rd and 4th lines because they are the least significant, in order to make a simplistic statement, Isn't keeping outperforming Bernie Nicholls' line by 5% a lot less impressive than exceeding Mark Messier's line's performance by 22-96% the four years before?



So they stopped worrying about being scored on? Which, in a roundabout way, means they started playing more offensively and less defensively. This doesn't result in more wins for a team, typically. Besides, we're talking about ratios. If a player is operating at a 1.00 clip and starts to focus more on offense and less on defense, the most logical outcome is that he allows and scores about the same number of extra goals and still ends up at 1.00.

Besids, your theory says that these players expected that no matter what happened on their shifts, Gretzky's shift would get better results and the team would be ok. Gretzky's line did get better results - about 5% better on average.



That doesn't explain their ratios. If Gretzky made them open it up then they would score and allow more goals. Anyone who's played hockey understands the tradeoff you make.
So you are sayign that Gretzky didn't out perform the rest of his team. That Gretzky had no barring on the Kings success that year. That he didn't improve the team. That without Wayne Gretzky on that team the Kings would have been just as good.
Also only even strength ratio should be used to determine who is more important. What if a guy scores 75 goals in a season and 50 come on the powerplay does that mean he wasn't important or even deserving of the Rocket Richard Trophy.

Yes generally the best player in the game has a better totals then the other teams lines. But there is one thing about your stats that has a hole in it. Wayne Gretzky was double shifted often. Who is to say that some of the goals that were credited to the second or third lines, Gretzky was on the ice for. That while the opposition was scoring Gretzky was leaving the ice. Now I am not saying that is the case for every even strength goal but how many were this the case. How many times did Gretzky prevent by breaking up a pass. How many times was Gretzky floating at center ice when the opposition scored. These are all things that +/- and your ratio doesn't tell us. It doesn't tell us how he played even strength. It doesn't tell us how bad he might have played even strength. When Gretzky was on the ice was the puck in the attacking zone more often or were the Kings on their heels defending. Your stats don't tell us that. So it is a thoery of yours and a cool idea of figuring these stats out. However in the greater scheme of things. I rather go by how a player performed on the ice then by +/- or your ratio to determine how well he performed on the ice compare to his teamates


It is definately less impressive no question there. There is no question that Gretzky's best years were in Edmonton. If you are trying to state the fact that Gretzky was not as dominant even stregth as he was is Edmonton.

Yes they stopped worrying about being scored on. They played loose. Have you ever watched players who are uptight or gripping their sticks too hard, because they aren't scoring or are worried about being scored on or making a mistake. They usually make the mistakes as the puck skips off their stick etc... What I meant is that with Gretzky those same players were able to play loose not worry so much. THis can affect players greatly. It will not make average players good or bad players average but it will give them a little mor confidence. Having a guy like Gretzky on your bench like some other great players gives you that confidence to not be afraid and in the end those players usually perform better, The proof is that for the most part the Kings from top to bottom were an improved team then the year before

Once again you are using your ratio to say that Gretzky's line only improved by 5% but that is your stats and your ratio. If you are right then Wayne Gretzky did nothing to help the Kings. Without him they would have only been 5% worse in the standings and as a team. Also a player in the dressing room does not sit there and say "Wow I am playing on the 3rd line and our line is only producing at x% less then Gretzky's line. We are screwed. He is doing nothing out there to help us" How players play with a player like Gretzky on their team is quite differently then when they don't have a player like that in their lineup

It is the same with a goalie. You can take an average goalie and if you are only scoring 2 goals a game. He will feel pressure to not make a mistake because if he does then the team will lose. Now if a team is averaging 5 goals a game he knows that if he does let in a bad goal, the team still has a chance. What usually happens to average goalies or good goalies when this happens. Nothing special they just seem to play better. It is the same for any player when you have a guy like Gretzky

I will give you this analagy to explain what I am getting at. You take a young defenceman if he is playing on a team without a star defenceman sometimes they can get rattled and mkae mistakes in their own end. Case in point was Luke Schenn last year. Now let's say that young defenceman has a defenceman on his team like Chris Pronger, what will happen is that Pronger plays so much the young defenceman will not have to play as much . So now the kid might only need to play 10 minutes a game. Now that he doesn't have to play as much he will have more confidence and be put out on the ice at certain times that will be easier on him. THe same can be said for an average defenceman as well. It is the same with a guy like Gretzky. The 4th line the pluggers play better when given the chance to go on the ice because their job is to cycle the puck keep the puck in other teams end. It is easier to do this if you have a good team. Your energy is up. if you are constantly losing it is harder for the 4th line to be productive. It is hard for the 4th line of a bad team to work hard and sacrifice yourself when alot o ftimes it is meaningless. But if you have a good or a above average team, it is easier to do this. THe Kings with Gretzky were a better team they had more energy, the fans had more energy. From the top line down to the 4th line they were a better team because of Gretzky

You can try and spin it anyway you want. Wayne Gretzky was the best player on th ice for the Kings and even if you ratio says otherwise it doesn't matter. You tell the Edmonton Oilers of 1989, The Calgary Flames of 1989 that the Kings weren't a better team with Gretzky then without him. See what they say

Also if you open it up it doesn't mean it becomes even more goals for more goals against. It could mean more goals for or more goals against. You are assuming that if a line opens it up that in the end it will even up.

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11-13-2010, 04:15 AM
  #99
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I have been following this thread and was wondering the point of it. I thought it was interesting the stats you were coming up with and they are cool. Never thought about the stats the way you used them.

Then you made that statement.

In 1988-89 Wayne Gretzky won the Hart trophy because of what he did for the Kings. Alot o fthe players on the Kings that year had career years up to then and led Kings to the playoffs

The Hart trophy for the most valuable player to his team is not about who outperformed his teamates the most. It isn't about who scored the most points in the season or at least it shouldn't be. It is about how imortant a player is to a team. Now I know by your stats you are using the argument that the Kings by your stats were statistically better when Gretzky was off the ice.

The thing is though that those stats do not take into account what Gretzky meant to the team. He took attention off the other players. The focus was on him. The opposition had to make sure they stopped Gretzky that others on the team were able to relax and be secondary scorers.

Another thing the stats don't tell is how the players on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th lines were able to play relaxed and not worry so much if they were scored on. When you have a player like Gretzky on your team. Rightfully or wrongfully players feel that if they make a mistake and the opposition scores He(Gretzky) will help get that goal back.

A lot of the NHL game is psychological. WHen players are tight and are worried about making a mistake and getting scored on, they usually have problems scoring themselves. With Gretzky on your team it was at that time felt that no matter what the situation is Gretzky wil get us the win

Gretzky also brought credibility to the team. He brought a winning attitude to the Kings they never had. Once again that can have a positive effect on the team.

That was the main reason why he was given the Hart Trophy that year. Now you might disagree and that is your opinion but what Wayne Gretzky did for the Kings that year can not be discounted by any stats
You're saying some controversial pretty things in this post...

1) Hockey is a game played by human beings, and human psychology can't completely be captured by mathematics.

2) Hockey is a team game, and each player isn't playing on an island where a fancy formula can perfectly capture every aspect of his personal performance.

I'm sure this post isn't going to be very popular among a certain crowd....

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Old
11-13-2010, 04:19 AM
  #100
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Correct me if I am wrong, but Seventies, are you actually implying the 89 Kings would have been better off without Gretzky? Or at least on a similar level?

As well as those Lemiuex/Yzerman/Perreault teams?


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