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Thread: A little far fetched but:

      
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    Default A little far fetched but:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sport...rticle1830093/

    So let’s try and connect some thoughts here.

    Sidney Crosby is, by any measure, in the midst of an absolutely monstrous season. As Eric Duhatschek pointed out the other day, so far this year the Penguins star has temporarily muted what was a pretty spirited debate, one that gets waged at breakfast tables, bar stools and arena dressing rooms across the land: Sid or Ovie, who’s better?

    His conclusion is that unless Ovechkin does something special from here on in, Crosby at his current pace will separate himself from the competition in Gretzky-like fashion.

    Meanwhile James Mirtle veers away from the crowd around Crosby on the eve of the Leafs-Penguins game tonight and chats with his linemates/lottery winners, the otherwise undistinguished Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kunitz, neither of whom is on pace to score 50 points this season.

    And this is where I clumsily stick my nose in: How does what Crosby is doing this year – trouncing the competition with no-names for linemates – compare with Gretzky at his peak?

    At first glance it doesn’t. If he can keep it up Crosby is on pace to finish with 132 points – the most by someone in an Art Ross season not named Gretzky or Lemieux since Marcel Dionne in 1979-80 – but not in Gretzky’s league.

    In his prime, Gretzky would laugh at 132 points, given he scored that many or more for 12 straight seasons, and cracked 200 points, hockey’s statistical Everest, four times.

    But the numbers are closer than you’d think at least to this point this season (small sample size; small sample size!).

    And while numbers don’t make the hockey player, they have to be a big part of the story when you’re discussing Gretzky; they’re so overwhelming it almost seems pointless bring up anyone else not named Lemieux.

    Consider though Gretzky’s most ridiculous – in my mind – season; 1981-82 when he scored 92 goals, added 120 assists and finished with 212 points.

    It’s mind boggling, but it also goes without saying that goals were on sale back then. In 81-82, Gretzky averaged 2.65 points a game but teams were averaging 4.08 goals a night. The Oilers? Only 5.21 a game; that’s all.

    So far this season Crosby is averaging 1.66 points a game, but the league average is just 2.8 goals a game and the Penguins are averaging 3.13.

    Which means, by ratio, Crosby is tearing it up, even compared with what might be the most prolific season in hockey history.

    The ratio between Gretzky’s points per game and goals per game league-wide was 1.54 (2.65/4.08) -- the smaller ratio the bigger the impact the individual is having, in theory.

    The ratio between Gretzky’s and the Oilers team total was 1.96.

    Crosby? So far this year the ratio between his scoring and the league average is 1.68 or slightly less that Gretzky's. Put another way, Gretzky was having a bigger impact on league scoring overall.

    But then we get to how Crosby is affected by his team and it gets a little more interesting as the ratio between his point totals and the team’s goal scoring is 1.89.

    Translation?

    So far this season Crosby is having a bigger impact on his team’s scoring than Gretzky did on the Oilers at the peak of the fire wagon era, when they were the most effervescent offensive show the NHL has ever seen.

    Numbers can be twisted a lot of ways, but that kind of jumps out at me because it’s at least one sign that Crosby – when totals are adjusted to account for league and team averages – is better than Gretzky, or at least more more impactful.

    It feels weird to even write that.

    Which isn’t to say Crosby is better than Gretzky. There are many measures of an athlete and a hockey player and even if Sid the Kid does keep the pace this season, he’d need about five more like it before you could really make the case.

    But what it does say, and sadly I’d add, is that we may never know exactly the potential ceiling for Crosby.

    In his best years with the Oilers Gretzky always had two and sometimes as many as four teammates in the NHL's top-20 in points per game, we know who they are by rote: Kurri, Messier, Coffey, Anderson etc.

    This year so far the Penguins don’t have a single other player in the top-20 in points per game, though you’d think Evgeni Malkin will be eventually; he has before.

    But Crosby takes the ice mostly with Kunitz and Dupuis; that’s a long way from Kurri finishing you plays or having Coffey feeding you the puck on the power play.

    And in a hard-cap league the reality is Crosby is stuck; the cavalry isn't coming.

    Is Crosby better than Ovechkin? This year certainly.

    Is Crosby better than Gretzky? A few more seasons like this one and it might be worth the argument. The problem is as long as he’s playing with two guys named Mo -- his fate in a hard cap league -- it will be pretty hard to win it.
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    Good piece.

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    Default

    Very interesting stuff.

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    Default Re: A little far fetched but:

    I said on another thread that I was asked to rank Gretzky, Mario and Crosby. I said in time I'll have Crosby #1. This article pretty much described to a T my feelings, especially towards Gretzky.

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    Default Re: A little far fetched but:

    Quote Originally Posted by exNCite View Post
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    I said on another thread that I was asked to rank Gretzky, Mario and Crosby. I said in time I'll have Crosby #1. This article pretty much described to a T my feelings, especially towards Gretzky.
    Gretz was a statistical monster. That and his on ice vision will never be duplicated. His best season will remain the best hockey season in our lifetime, probably for a long long time after that as well... That said, he played with a better team in his day, also in a time with worse goaltending and no salary cap. Mario had it all but had health problems that probably affected him not being ahead or at least equal to Gretzky in terms of points... Sid is something in between. He has more physical talent than Gretzky yet he has similar playmaking skills. Overall, Sid is close to Mario with physical attributes because although he might not have the size, reach that Mario had, his skating is better, he's faster and can dominate corner play with those tree trunk legs and stability. The difference in their physical talents is apparent but both have their strengths and are/were supreme physical specimens. I still don't rank him ahead of either Gretzky or Lemieux, but at the end of his career he might be close. Very close.

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    Default Re: A little far fetched but:

    What a fantastic thread, X. I loved the ratio stats and numbers simply because that is one of the only ways to truly compare players of different eras. It';s not perfect but still a bit more accurate.

    Here's another one... compare Mario's 1988-89 seasosn where he racked up 199 points. that Pens team was nowhere close to being as good as the 81-82 Oilers or the 10-11 Pens. They didn't score nearly as much. I wouldn't doubt that Mario has a bigger impact on his teams scoring than Gretzky or sid has. Also considering what Mario was surrounded with....

    It's why Mario IMO will always be the greatest hockey player of all time. Gretzky could never have done what Mario did with the players and teams Mario was on and the abuse Mario physically took. Gretzky was insulated and shielded with a team of enforcers. Mario was beat on and he was a big man. Imagine that abuse happening to a pipsqueak like Gretzky?
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    Default Re: A little far fetched but:

    Quote Originally Posted by Xterratu View Post
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    Gretz was a statistical monster. That and his on ice vision will never be duplicated. His best season will remain the best hockey season in our lifetime, probably for a long long time after that as well... That said, he played with a better team in his day, also in a time with worse goaltending and no salary cap. Mario had it all but had health problems that probably affected him not being ahead or at least equal to Gretzky in terms of points... Sid is something in between. He has more physical talent than Gretzky yet he has similar playmaking skills. Overall, Sid is close to Mario with physical attributes because although he might not have the size, reach that Mario had, his skating is better, he's faster and can dominate corner play with those tree trunk legs and stability. The difference in their physical talents is apparent but both have their strengths and are/were supreme physical specimens. I still don't rank him ahead of either Gretzky or Lemieux, but at the end of his career he might be close. Very close.
    Mario had deceptive hands. He probably out of the 3 had the most pure scoring talent. Considering how he made bums like Young and Brown look like top NHL talent, I mean, Mario was as gifted a natural scorer as I've seen. What was great about Mario's hands is that he was a slow cumbersome looking guy. He was a big 6'4" body that was right handed with amazing hands that schooled defenders and goalies that were so used to defending lefties.

    Sid always reminded me more of a Gretzky type than Mario. their size is similar, their skating and such seems more similar. Sid is far more physical. Gretzky was one of the sofftest players who could be with the protection he was always surrounded with. I always felt that Gretzky was the best playmaker, had the greatest vision. His goal scoring got all of the attention because of the era of the league and also the talent he was around but his and sid's games are similar to me in that aspect. Mario I always felt was more natural goal scorer.

    all in all I think all 3 are pretty different in a lot of ways that really impacts their play and a lot of situations as well. Nobody will ever match Gretzky's stats. Until that stat you posted about what the goals per game average today and in 81-82 come a little closer, you'll likely never see that sort of statistical output
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    Default Re: A little far fetched but:

    How would a season posted in today's NHL by Sid of say 70 goals 150 points be viewed in a ranking of all time best seasons. It would have to be right up there IMO.

    Gretzky had all the cards working for him. His team won the cup without him FFS. Not too take anything away from Wayne but the circumstances were perfect for him. Mario had the most finesse of anyone. I disagree a bit with Mario making 50 goal scorers out of scrubs. Mario's wingers were good at one thing and that was getting open and shooting. Other than that they were useless. Sid is the best athlete out of them and probably has the best all around game. Sid is a different animal. Sid can basically play with two guys that want to work hard and he can get it done. Sid has a more blue collar game than Mario and Wayne. Sid, the blue collar superstar.

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    Default Re: A little far fetched but:

    Quote Originally Posted by PSmitty View Post
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    How would a season posted in today's NHL by Sid of say 70 goals 150 points be viewed in a ranking of all time best seasons. It would have to be right up there IMO.

    Gretzky had all the cards working for him. His team won the cup without him FFS. Not too take anything away from Wayne but the circumstances were perfect for him. Mario had the most finesse of anyone. I disagree a bit with Mario making 50 goal scorers out of scrubs. Mario's wingers were good at one thing and that was getting open and shooting. Other than that they were useless. Sid is the best athlete out of them and probably has the best all around game. Sid is a different animal. Sid can basically play with two guys that want to work hard and he can get it done. Sid has a more blue collar game than Mario and Wayne. Sid, the blue collar superstar.
    I couldn't agree more, I was just saying that same **** to my buddy. But **** comparing guys, just enjoy it. It amazes me how Sid just seems to step it up a notch every year. What is he going to be like in 5 years? Scary.

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    Default Re: A little far fetched but:

    Quote Originally Posted by Beezy View Post
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    What is he going to be like in 5 years? Scary.
    Hopefully a 7 time Stanley Cup winner.

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    Default Re: A little far fetched but:

    I think a more accurate look at things would be to compare how close the 2nd and 3rd place finishers in points to the leader. I think trying to say his stats are better cause if there are other players putting up similar numbers it better shows how much better a player is doing. Right now Sid has 7 more points than the next guy, who has 7 more than the next. In 81-83 Gretzky with finished 65 points more points then the next. If Sid opens up that kind of space in this era it would be very impressive. It is only a little over 1 goal a game difference in the 2 eras so I think if you scaled down Gretzky's stat to this eras level I still think he would have legendary stats.

    As for the team around him no doubt Gretzky had the best ever.
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    Yeah I dunno I personally think that is even less accurate but anyway you want to try to do it, it's not going to be right and maybe you might want to weight until Crosbys career is over anyway. To me what makes Crosby great is not just the stats but that he is proving to not be the next whoever he is who he is for future players to be compared against.

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