Better peak: Howe vs Lemieux?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by steve141, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. steve141

    steve141 Registered User

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    I keep seeing people saying that they rank Howe over Lemieux based on Howe's longevity. Am I the only one who would also rank Howe over Lemieux for peak?

    In my book Howe was almost as good offensively as Lemieux, but better in almost any other aspect of the game: Defense, leadership, toughness, competitiveness etc.

    Who would you rather have on your team in a Stanley Cup final - Howe or Lemieux?
     
  2. K Fleur

    K Fleur Intangibles Per Game

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    As strange as it may sound; Lemieux never lead the finals in scoring. Finished behind teammates in both trips.

    As to who had the better peak. Heart says Lemieux, head says Howe.
     
  3. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    no

    howe
     
  4. Thenameless

    Thenameless Registered User

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    I would take Lemieux on peak.

    I would also take Lemieux in a Stanley Cup Final.
     
  5. daver

    daver Registered User

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    1991?
     
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  6. Ageless

    Ageless Registered User

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    Lemieux in both scenarios. Can't say no to a guy who beat Wayne Gretzky by 31 points in his prime
     
  7. Thenameless

    Thenameless Registered User

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    Good catch daver. Can't always trust what's written on here.
     
  8. K Fleur

    K Fleur Intangibles Per Game

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    Ah for some reason I thought Murphy lead that one.
     
  9. bobholly39

    bobholly39 Registered User

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    My answer is always to very, very quickly say Lemieux for peak (especially offensive peak).

    If someone loves all around play enough to offset the offensive domination of Lemieux and pick Howe....fine. Some people pick Toews over Crosby after all, so that's fine. What really bugs me is people who suggest Howe was better than Lemieux offensively at his peak.

    Especially when the only metric/argument they come up with is his domination over peers in his art ross winning seasons. Crosby is also above Lemieux in that sense. You need to apply a ton of proper context to use such a statistic in any Howe or Lemieux comparison and i've rarely seen anyone do so properly.

    To your question Lemieux for both.
     
  10. Cursed Lemon

    Cursed Lemon Registered Bruiser Sponsor

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    Based on how we typically describe "peak" around here, you can't not go with Lemieux.
     
  11. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    why is that? '53 howe had a larger lead over rocket richard than '89 mario had over yzerman.

    hell, '53 howe had a larger lead over ted lindsay, his own linemate, than '89 mario had over yzerman.
     
  12. bobholly39

    bobholly39 Registered User

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    So you bolded one sentence and purposefully ignored the next paragraph where i specifically address that?

    % domination over field is a lazy inaccurate method of counting domination. Needs a ton of context to be useful.
     
  13. Mean Gene

    Mean Gene Haters gonna hate

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    Healthy Lemieux is the best bet.
     
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  14. bobholly39

    bobholly39 Registered User

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    Okay. NM it is.

    I'll wait for you to edit your previous post and change your vote to Lemieux now that I convinced you then.
     
  15. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    I don't think it's unreasonable to make a case that Lemieux was better offensively than peak Howe. But even if he was, his lead over Howe would certainly be much smaller than Crosby's offensive lead over Toews. You know what Howe's best seasons were relative to his peers and you know what Toews' best seasons were relative to his peers. It's not close.

    IMO you have to at least rate Howe on par with Lemieux or at the very least close to him when you compare their overall peak play (offensive play plus everything else) even if you rate Lemieux the better offensive player. Howe obviously makes up a lot of ground with his all-around game and the difference offensively is nowhere near as large as Crosby vs Toews.

    Why don't you go ahead and tell us specifically what context is missed or not used properly by your opponents?
     
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  16. quoipourquoi

    quoipourquoi Goaltender

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    When presented with two equal or near equal talents, take the more violent player. Sometimes you play hockey, other times you play hockey. A player who can defend himself might save you a roster spot.
     
  17. daver

    daver Registered User

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    For everyone picking Howe, is the answer also Howe if Wayne is substituted for Mario? Just curious.
     
  18. daver

    daver Registered User

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    FWIW, peak Mario was more sustained than peak Howe.
     
  19. MIAtoBKLYN

    MIAtoBKLYN Registered User

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    We will see a Gordie Howe again. We will never see a Mario Lemieux again (nor a Wayne Gretzky or Bobby Orr).
     
  20. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    i see too many breaks in mario's peak years to reasonably call it sustained.

    1988 season

    1989 season

    1990 season up to mid-february

    1991 season starting at the end of january

    1992 season up to the beginning of january, picking up again near the end of january, taking another break for the entire first half of february, taking another break for the second half of march, and again for half of april (five playoff games)

    1993 season up to the beginning of january picking up again at the beginning of march

    1994 season up to the beginning of november, picking up again in february

    1996 season

    that is the equivalent of one hell of an awesome five and a half year peak though. five art rosses, three harts, two cups, two conn smythes. average of 180 points/season.

    but you are right that mario has more otherworldly peak than howe. if we pretend the 1990 and 1991 add up to one single season and throw out 1994 as noise, mario has five peak years, howe has four.

    but then obviously howe has so incredibly much more prime...
     
  21. bobholly39

    bobholly39 Registered User

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    I wasn't saying Toews is to Crosby what Howe is to Lemieux. I was saying if people can find a way to justify Toews above Crosby for being better "all around", the gap between Howe and Lemieux is much less than that so of course it can be done there too.


    Context. Offensive peak. Basically boils down to, in a vacuum, would Howe have topped 199 points in 1989 with proper era adjustments, or Lemieux have topped 95 in 1953? It's too lazy to just look at domination over #2 and draw an immediate conclusion. To me 199 in 1989 is much more impressive and unattainable than 95 in 1953.

    Competition. Richard 61 points. He had .87 PPG that year. That's his 2nd lowest in his career to date. He was also 31, 1953 was out of his peak. Howe benefited from weak competition (as Crosby in 14)
    Yzerman 1989. 155 points. Career year, both in points, and PPG. Anomaly, much greater than anything else he's come close to.
    Bernie Nichols? Again - career year. Anomaly. Howe's 1953 season is missing any anomalies.

    Is Sidney Crosby's 2014 season pretty great? What if Kane had peaked in 2014 instead of 2016 - does it make Crosby's season suckier? I think scoring 104 points in 2014 should be evaluated based on how much we decide 104 points in 2014 should be, and not draw drastically different conclusions based on 1 or 2 player's career season occurring at the same time. Is 95 points in 1953 = to 199 points in 1989? What if Beliveau plays in 1953 and has his 1956 season then, do you change your answer?

    In 1956 Beliveau scored 88 points. If Beliveau had been 3 years younger and had had his 56 season in 53 - do you think he scores 88 points? More? Less? Less than Richard's 61? Would Howe's peak have all of a sudden been that much weaker without changing a single thing to his own resume? You need proper context.

    when I ask whose offensive peak was better - I try to answer the question "If Howe had played in 1989, or 1993, and had his best year then, what would his point and PPG total have looked like vs Lemieux's, with all appropriate adjustments". And Vice Versa.

    There's a ton of context that needs to be considered.
     
  22. 66Lemieux

    66Lemieux Registered User

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    60 games 69-91-160
    76 games 85-114-199
    No one in NHL history besides Gretzky has beaten those numbers enough said.
     
  23. Dennis Bonvie

    Dennis Bonvie Registered User

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    Looks like your idea of context is a bunch of what ifs.
     
  24. Dennis Bonvie

    Dennis Bonvie Registered User

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    Talk about zero context.

    Joe Malone: 143 goals in 126 games for his career.

    Newsy Lalonde: 125 goals in 99 games, playoffs 15 goals in 7 games.
     
  25. 66Lemieux

    66Lemieux Registered User

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    199 points in 1 season who in NHL history has more it's not a tough question to answer.
     

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