Discussion in 'By The Numbers' started by squaleca, May 20, 2017.
"4 blazing bullets!"
Gretzky was never thought of as having a weak slapshot. He was never a Macinnis but his velocity was above average
And it wasn't just "accurate" it was absurdly accurate.
Why are there so many threads from people trying to bring down how great Wayne Gretzky was? He was and is the best player of all time, both numbers (No one is even in his ball park) and watching him play prove this.
Because when you see greatness of that level you're in disbelief, jealous, and want to bring it down and make it seem as ordinary as possible. It's STILL happening with Gretzky. And he got used to this stuff early. When he was a child prodigy he regularly got booed around Canada too from parents who'd had enough.
I mean come on already. It looked at times like Gretzky was exhibiting telepathy. Nobody has performed on that level since.
1980s NHL Stats oh and look at the number of games played divide that by 80 thats 10 seasons and yes he has the highest gpg avg in the 80's
mario supporters are either to young to have seen wayne play in the 80's or simply dont remember
even if you change the order gpg from last to first waynes still at the top truly incrediable
look at the plus minus differential yikes
Gretzky and Kurri were excellent, but no better than the KLM line or the Sedins in this regard.
If KLM would be allowed to kept intact in the NHL, that would bring in another dynasty. And Krutov would likely still be alive.
its like people think that to be the greatest goal scorer ever or a 'pure' goal scorer he has to suck as a playmaker.
Wayne Gretzky is the greatest goal scorer of all-time, he is the greatest playmaker of all time.
It was obvious if you watched him play from '79 to '88, its obvious if you look at the numbers - its just plain obvious.
For christs sake as a 37 yr old with a broken back he finished 3rd in NHL scoring ahead of IN THEIR prime stars like Selanne, Forsberg, Leclair, Pallfy, Sundin, Bure, Sakic, and 10 pts back of the dominant Jagr.
When Gretz was in his prime, those equivalent stars (Savard, Dionne, Hawerhcuk, Bossy, Trottier, Stastny, Sittler, Lafleur etc etc etc) were buried 100pts behind him lol
Lets just look at the ten years he was an oilers
626 or 62.6 a year
I love it when people bring out two or three year periods--but from an academic point---ten years is better for making an argument stick because who have a long set of markers to compare.
The Bossy argument is hindered by the fact of his health.
I picked ten years as the marker because that is how long Bossy played for and scored 573 or 57.3 a year 62.6 is greater then 57.3--
when talking historical data you use hard facts and statistics-- "only ifs" are not factored into actual data comparisons. Both played at the same time and anyone who says Gretz was never roughed up never watched any battle of alberta games
Mario's first 10 years 494 or 49.4 goals a year vs 62.6 for Wayne and if you want to add the 11th is 680 wayne to marios 563
Both Mario and Bossy played the same time --you can say "only if they stayed healthy" as much as you like--but Wayne did stay healthy
It is not obvious at all if you look at the best goal-scorers of all-time and pitch Gretzky against them.
Here are the numbers of goal-scoring titles, as well as top3, top5, top10 finishes:
Howe: 5*1st, 12*top3, 14*top5, 19*top10
Hull: 7*1st, 10*top3, 12*top5, 13*top10
Richard: 5*1st, 9*top3, 13*top5, 14*top10
Ovechkin: 6*1st, 8*top3, 10*top5, 10*top10
Gretzky: 5*1st, 5*top3, 8*top5, 9*top10
Do you see how Gretzky is different from the other top5 goal-scorers ever? His goal-scoring arc is very Brett-Hull-esque: outside of his goal-scoring titles (and folks in this super-elite group have as many as he does, if not more) - outside of those 5 seasons, he is never in top3 again, sticks around in top5-top10 for much fewer seasons (unless you compare him to Ovechkin, who is not done yet), and then drops out of top20 for good after age 28, whereas the other four keep winning goal-scoring titles and collecting top3-top5 finishes after 30.
How do the peaks compare? Let's look at % leads over #10 in goals:
Brett Hull: 91-67-60-24-12-0-0-0
Well, the only guy Gretzky's peak goal-scoring compares favorably with is Ovechkin. Bobby Hull, Howe, Richard doubled or almost doubled #10's goals 2-3 times, Gretzky came close, but not as close as them twice, and after that they kept posting 60-70% leads for 2-3 seasons, and then had a few seasons with 40-50% leads over 10th, while Gretzky's leads declined much faster. 4th best season for Gretzky (in terms of % lead over 10th) would be 8th best for Hull and Howe, 7th best for Richard and 6th best for Ovechkin.
Now, it may be the case that leads over 10th were wider in the Original Six era. I once played with average % leads over 10th for the goal-scoring race winner, for the runner-up, etc., comparing Original Six to post-1996 low scoring era and concluded that the % leads today are about 60% of what they were back then (e.g., if Bobby Hull led the 10th place by 108% in his best season, today he probably would have led by 0.6*108%=65%).
1970-95, according to these calculations, are somewhere in between: goal-scoring % leads then were 10-15% larger than today, but 20-25% smaller than in the Original Six era. So let's do a crude adjustment that would favor Gretzky: let's multiply the % leads by Howe, Hull, and Richard by 0.7
Hull (adj): 76-65-65-55-49-44-39-33-22-16-13-13-11
Howe (adj): 102-73-67-58-41-40-37-32-22-21-19-16-13-12-11-6-3-0
Richard (adj): 82-70-61-56-53-51-41-28-26-25-12-10-9
Best three seasons are close now, but outside of that Hull, Howe, and Richard keep going and going, while Gretzky kind of keeps up for two more seasons (48-48 vs. 55-49, 58-41, 56-53) and then the spread just widens and widens.
Just to give you a benchmark: Iginla won his two Richards with the leads of 41% and 24% over #10. So, when we are looking at 6th best or 8th best seasons by Hull, Howe, Richard, Ovechkin and see the leads over 10th of >30%, those are meaningful leads, it is not like these guys are just hanging in there beating #10 by a few goals (in contrast to Gretzky, who did just hang in closer to the end of top10 in goals for a few seasons outside of his 5 best ones).
I know what you mean about the slapshot - this video posted earlier shows a lot of those types of goals. But I think one thing often overlooked about Gretzky's shot is what you just mentioned in your post - it often looks rather awkward. I think it's because he uses a lot of pauses to throw the timing off and freeze the goalie or the Dmen. He wasn't just accurate; Gretzky was like a great stage magician. He'd get you thinking pass, then he'd shoot. You'd think shot, and he'd pass. You'd KNOW he was going to shoot, but he'd hesitate just that extra half second at the top of his wind up, while also drifting slightly to one side, just to pull you a little farther that way, then shoot back against your momentum that half second later than you were expecting. He'd cross the D, then use that Dman as a screen. He'd cross both D, draw them both to him, then pass it off to someone who was now wide open. Its ridiculous how many of these slapshots he scores while moving laterally across the ice, pulling players one direction or another. And of course, there's the accuracy. Every single one of these shots is in the corner, or just inside the post, or right under the crossbar. It's ridiculous. There are plenty of people who had harder slapshots than Gretzky, but I don't think anyone ever had a better slapshot than him.
Some mentions of Bure, Selanne, Hull, and Bossy here, so I've used Zuluss' method to calculate the % leads for those players.
I posted this in another thread, so I will post the data and contextual information verbatim from the other thread.
Below are the calculations for Pavel Bure, Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux, and Phil Esposito. I've also included Teemu Selanne's results, considering his name is sometimes thrown into the same class as some of these other goal scorers.
Pre-1970 seasons have been adjusted at 60% as specified by Zuluss; 1970-71 to 1996-97 season have been adjusted at 90% as also specified.
At face value, one can conclude from these numbers that Mike Bossy and Teemu Selanne have the shortest, smallest peaks of the group.
Zuluss states that 44% is the baseline for what would be considered an average goal-scoring lead over the 10th-placed scorer in each respective season.
Selanne and Bossy each have only one of those; Selanne's top-ranked season is not his 1992-93 season -- it is instead his 1997-98 season that is his best, according to these calculations. Selanne has the lowest peak, while Bossy has the biggest drop-off after one season despite playing on a dynasty team.
Brett Hull has three -- all of which were played alongside Adam Oates, who seems to have been the catalyst for his success.
Mario Lemieux has only one, although Zuluss' instructions here only account for end-of-year totals.
Pavel Bure has three, all of which were post-injury finishes (1997-98, 1999-00, 2000-01) on notoriously bad teams with virtually no help. His top-ranked season, the 1999-00 season, was tallied in 74 games played (a pace of 64 goals in 82 games). His second-highest ranked season is his 1997-98 season. All three of these seasons were in a lower-scoring period than Ovechkin's peak (1997-98: 2.64 GPG, 1999-00: 2.75 GPG, 2000-01: 2.76 GPG vs 2007-08: 2.78 GPG).
NHL League Averages | Hockey-Reference.com
Phil Esposito has four, although these all took place during Bobby Orr's peak with the Boston Bruins -- as with Brett Hull, perhaps another case of a goal scorer capitalizing on the abilities of a high-end teammate.
There seems to be the notion that Bure is in a tier with Brett Hull, Teemu Selanne, and Mike Bossy -- that debate needs to be resolved before we move on the argument of where Bure places among the top-tier scorers (and it could only ever be an argument based on peak dominance). Even with Oates on his line, Brett Hull's second-and-third best seasons are not better than Bure's best based on these numbers; take Oates away and I'm not sure even two of those seasons stay above the 44% threshold. Selanne and Bossy are well below both in terms of the lack of dominant goal-scoring seasons that they had (just one each) and, with regards to Bossy especially, based on the talent that they played with.
We need to first be clear that Bure was a better goal scorer than Bossy, Selanne, and Brett Hull were.
@Wondercarrot: Bure was forced to play an individual style of game based on the teams that he played for and the linemates that he was often with. Recently, I tallied the primary assist totals on his goals by teammates for several of his seasons. More often than not, his forward linemates were the players with the most primary assists. Over the course of his career, 60 to 65% of primary assists on his goals were awarded to forwards, while only 20 to 30% went to defencemen; in contrast, Teemu Selanne's 1992-93 season is the epitome of forwards being less important overall to a player's success -- forwards had a primary assist on only 44% of his goals (less than half!) while defencemen had a high 40%; Phil Housley led the team in primary assists on Selanne's goals. The distribution of primary assists on Bure's goals more closely match those on Brett Hull's.
I am on the verge of developing a four-game scouting package centered around Pavel Bure's rookie season. He played with Igor Larionov that year. One significant difference in his game with Larionov on his line was that he often relied on Larionov to carry the puck and dictate the play -- Bure would often make a head-man pass to him off the rush, and in the offensive zone would sneak into open ice while Larionov looked to create a play with the puck on his stick.
Below is the data:
Here are the goal-scoring logs for Bure from the seasons 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1999-00, and 2000-01, as well as from Bure's time as a New York Ranger.
The goals are in no particular order.
Here is the goal-scoring log for Bure during his time as a New York Ranger. I have combined the two seasons due to the small sample size of each season; first, his goal-scoring log:
Here are the breakdowns of the primary assists on every Bure goal from those seasons:
22 primary assists by forwards = 64.71%
7 primary assists by defencemen = 20.59%
39 primary assists by forwards = 65.0%
15 primary assists by defencemen = 25.0%
34 primary assists by forwards = 56.67%
22 primary assists by defencemen = 36.67%
37 primary assists by forwards = 63.79%
14 primary assists by defencemen = 24.14%
35 primary assists by forwards = 59.32%
1 primary assist by goalie
18 primary assists by defencemen = 30.51%
Pavel Bure as a New York Ranger (2001-02; 2002-03):
19 primary assists by forwards = 61.29%
8 primary assists by defencemen = 25.81%
Notice that, on average, 63% of primary assists on Bure's goals are awarded to forwards -- 1993-94 is slightly lower at 56.67% -- and only 25% go to defencemen. This is a very consistent statistic over the course of Bure's most respected seasons.
We can compare this with the 1992-93 season of a player who, early in his career, relied more on defense than forwards to a much greater degree than Bure -- Teemu Selanne. Teemu was a player who one rightfully could claim would benefit more from elite defence than forward linemates:
Teemu Selanne (1992-93):
34 primary assists by forwards = 44.74%
1 by goalie
31 primary assists by defencemen = 40.79%
We can see just how different the percentages are compared to Bure's. Less than half of Selanne's goals that season featured primary assists from forwards, and the defencemen were within just a few percentage points.
Phil Housley led the group with 15 primary assists, while Alexei Zhamnov had 12, Fred Olausson had 10, and Keith Tkachuk had 8.
This was a much more skilled group than Bure ever worked with, and we can also see just how much more important defencemen were to Selanne's production that season. The myth that Bure would have been better with an elite defenceman than an elite forward should be put to rest. Bure's game required more partnership and teamwork with other forwards even when those forwards were not elite.
Housley: 15 primary assists on Selanne's goals
Now, let's look at which forwards on Bure's teams received the primary assists on his goals during the sampled seasons so that we understand the caliber of players that Bure worked with:
Larionov: 10 primary assists on Bure's goals
Adams: 11 primary assists on Bure's goals
Courtnall: 9 primary assists on Bure's goals
Kozlov: 13 primary assists on Bure's goals
Kozlov - 7 primary assists on Bure's goals
Nilson - 5
Niedermayer - 5
Greg Adams - 3
Shvidki - 3
Whitney - 2
Mellanby - 2
Kevyn Adams - 1
Larionov - 1
Barrie - 1
Worrell - 1
Prospal - 1
Bure as a New York Ranger (2001-02; 2002-03)
Lindros - 6 primary assists on Bure's goals
Nedved - 3
Petrovicky - 3
Barnaby - 2
Murray - 2
Rucinsky - 1
Dvorak - 1
Lundmark - 1
The forward who tallied the most primary assists during Bure's first three seasons in Vancouver was his most consistent linemate: Greg Adams. Over the course of two-and-a-half seasons with Bure, Adams tallied 19 primary assists. Ranked either first or second in each of these seasons was his primary center during that campaign: Igor Larionov (1991-92), Anatoli Semenov (1992-93), Murray Craven (1993-94), and Viktor Kozlov (1999-00). Gino Odjick and Jimmy Carson, who each spent time on Bure's line in 1993-94 -- Odjick spent most of that season with Bure --, tallied a handful of primary assists.
I also used Mark Messier as the basis for a comparison of the effect on his goal totals with Bure on his line as opposed to others throughout his career.
The conclusion is that Bure's ability to record a primary assist on Messier's goals was no worse than third-best out of any player that Messier ever played with. Bure had 10 primary assists on Messier's goals in 1997-98; in 14 seasons sampled, only Pat Verbeek (11 in 1995-96) and Wayne Gretzky (12 in 1981-82) had more in a single season. The dropoff in Messier's goals in 1997-98 had everything to do with the team's lack of scoring depth:
I will link to that post here: http://hfboards.mandatory.com/posts/138409373/
Now, let's examine Hull's 1990-91 season, the only one that is distinguished to any significant degree from Bure's best totals in our calculations based on Zuluss' method.
Brett Hull (1990-91):
Oates: 27 primary assists on Hull's goals
Gino Cavallini: 5
Paul Cavallini: 4
Now, consider that Courtnall and Ronning had a similar number of assists on Bure's goals in each of his seasons with Vancouver as they did on Hull's goals in 1990-91.
However, instead of Oates, Bure had Semenov, Adams, Odjick, Craven, and Carson as linemates in his two best years with the Canucks.
Hull's success had much to do with Adam Oates. He had nowhere near the same amount of success with Craig Janney or Wayne Gretzky.
I think St. Louis had the over-simplified notion that putting a playmaker and a goal-scorer together would be successful, and they underestimated Oates' ability to play off of Hull's tendencies. In 30 games together, regular season and playoffs combined, Wayne Gretzky had the primary assist on only 4 of Hull's 15 goals. Corson to Hull happened 5 times.
Brett Hull: February 29, 1996 to May 16, 1996 (30 games with Gretzky):
Corson - 5 primary assists on Hull's goals
Gretzky - 4
Khmylev - 1
Baron - 1
Pronger - 1
Their styles of play did not suit one another at all. In addition to the Bure video package, I am in the midst of forming a Gretzky shift-by-shift scouting package, and the tendencies I've noticed from Gretzky are that he loved to play high in the zone and wait for the outlet pass; he stayed high in his own zone when the puck was in the defensive end; when the play started going the other way, he would head up the ice, and if the Oilers were looking to break out with the opponent backed off, he would wait at the opposing blue line for one of his teammates to carry it in. Once he received the head-man pass, he would either take it in if there was room, or he would circle back and bring the opposing checker(s) towards him, opening up space in the neutral zone for someone to streak through the neutral zone at full flight.
It took Adam Oates to elevate Hull to another level.
Brett Hull's only noteworthy seasons in terms of % lead had much to do with Adam Oates piling on an abnormal number of primary assists. Even with Oates on his line, two of Hull's top three seasons were matched by a post-injury Bure. Without Oates, Hull's peak is probably not that interesting.
With regards to Bure vs Ovechkin (peak season):
I think that the only argument one could make in Bure's favor is with regards to peak.
Bure, unfortunately, had too many injuries and too disjointed a career to determine what could have been possible had he been healthy.
In terms of peak, however, Bure's best two seasons are his 1999-00 season and his 1997-98 season.
Let's once again look at their % lead numbers:
Here are Ovechkin's numbers.
Here are Bure's.
Bure simply did not have the longevity to compete in terms of career finishes. However, numerous factors must be taken into account with regards to his peak. All three of his seasons in which we finished above 44% (1999-00, 1997-98, 2000-01, in that order) occurred after injuries began to become seriously detrimental to his abilities. Bure was not healthy when he recorded his peak numbers.
In terms of peak season, Bure's 1999-00 season (61% lead) and Ovechkin's 2007-08 season (63%) both cross the 60% plateau. Ovechkin played 82 games in 2007--08 and recorded 65 goals; Bure played just 74 games and recorded 58 goals. Bure's pace over 82 was 64 goals -- very significant based on the % leads system. The 10th-placed finish in 1999-00 scored 36 goals.
If Bure had scored 59 goals, his % lead at face value would have been 64% -- higher than Ovechkin's. If he had finished at 64 goals, his % lead would have been 78%. He missed 8 games.
We also must consider that Bure accomplished this with less talent to work with than Ovechkin that season. Ovechkin was surrounded by Michael Nylander, Niklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin and Mike Green. Viktor Kozlov, who also played with Ovechkin in 2007-08, was Bure's most important teammate in 1999-00. Bure had far less to work with.
Considering those factors, one can conclude that Bure in 1999-00 was a more dominant player than Ovechkin in 2007-08. Peak-wise, there is a strong argument to be made about Bure over Ovechkink, especially since he was 1) damaged, having needed two knee reconstructions before that season; 2) on a lesser team than Ovechkin played with; 3) missed 8 games in 1999-00.
Three crucial factors negatively impacted his season, and yet he was still just one goal shy in eight fewer games of having a more dominant season than Ovechkin's 2007-08 campaign.
In terms of their careers, Bure was robbed of one, so there isn't much point in comparing their careers.
Daniel and Henrik have a near-perfect chemistry almost as if they were identical twins who played all their lives together.
Watching this again, almost none of the pucks hit anybody on the way to the net, even when there was traffic. Just an absolute laser of a shot.
I've decided to calculate the % leads for a few more highly-regarded goal scorers. All of the numbers have been adjusted accordingly based on era. Each number represents a Top 10 finish and the percentage lead over the 10th-placed goal scorer that season. Highlighted in green are those finishes that are above the 44% "above average" threshold. Here are their results:
Kurri, even with Gretzky's help, only surpassed the 44% mark once, and has a rather low peak relative to the truly "elite" goal scorers.
We see that Joe Sakic, Jarome Iginla, and Steve Yzerman are in a lower tier compared to the others that have been discussed in this thread -- none of them break the 44% threshold.
Peter Bondra has the same peak in the same year as Teemu Selanne (52 goals in 1997-98), but an even larger drop-off than Selanne. He has just one season above the 44% mark.
Lafleur and Kurri have a very similar peak in terms of goal-scoring.
Cam Neely doesn't have much to show for his career; his 20% leading season is his 1989-90 season with Craig Janney as his center. His 12% lead is his 1990-91 season, before the Ulf Samuelsson incident.
Neely's 1993-94 season was cut short, but we can evaluate the number of goals he would have needed to score to reach certain % lead thresholds. The 10th-placed scorers that season scored 46 goals. To reach a 44% percentage lead, Neely would have needed to score 69 goals (for a 45% lead over 10th place). For a 50% lead, he would have needed to score 72 goals (51% lead). For a 60% percentage lead, Neely would have needed to score 77 goals that season (61%).
Neely was still quite a long way away from having an elite goal-scoring season in 1993-94.
Pretty much this.
Whenever he wound up for his slapper it was like he was playing a golf video game where you have that little meter that goes up and down to control power and direction. And he would almost always hit the sweet spot. Some of the shots where he just zips the puck along the ice right next to the post are ridiculous. You couldn't place a shot any better if you picked the puck up with your hand and put it in the net.
I hate the Canucks, they owned us. Watching the sedins in their prime cycle and keep possession for minutes at a time, leading to a pp or a goal was sometimes mesmerizing.
Regrading how they compare to gretz and kurri, I have no clue. Just my experience watching the Sedins play in their prime a lot.
#99 was the best.............the stats show it, and the eye test...the talent compared to others, was just amazing...there were other great players during this time, but #99 leaves people in the dust.
I agree. Had Mario been healthy his stats would have been mind blowing. Yes in my opinion Super Mario was a way better goal scorer then Gretzky. This is no knock on the great one at all cause my personal Mt. Rushmore of NHL players of all time is Gordie, Bobby, Mario and Wayne.
At the end of the day, factors such as health have to be considered in the conversation.
There may be guys who were more dangerous goal scorers, at their peaks or at their healthiest, but for a variety of reasons they didn't finish close to Gretzky.
Gretzky's combination of skill, overall health, and longevity make him the greatest.
It starts getting very hypothetical when you start trying to talk about if a certain player was healthy, or if a player played in a different era, or with a different team.
At the end of the day, to be the best, a lot of variables have to fall into the right place at the right time. And with Gretzky they did, by a good margin.