HOH Top 60 Centers of All Time

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by TheDevilMadeMe, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. Staniowski

    Staniowski Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2018
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    71
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Of the guys in their 30s currently playing, I guess everybody would agree on Crosby, and some would say Malkin.

    Of the younger guys, McDavid and Matthews have the potential.
     
  2. daver

    daver Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2003
    Messages:
    15,371
    Likes Received:
    717
    Trophy Points:
    214
    Home Page:
    If I get the crux of your argument, as long as Malkin plays a decent amount of career games and doesn't have any "full" seasons in his prime that are noticeably below his 'normal' expected level of play, that might be enough to move him past Sakic and Yzerman (assuming Malkin's playoff resume doesn't change that much).

    I think you are placing too much value on their 9th or 10th best seasons especially when Sakic has a clear advantage in raw point scoring finishes in their best 1 thru 8 best seasons.

    I have a real issue with the presuming Malkin's down seasons would have regressed to the norm. A presumption like that is simply not a viable reason to potentially move Malkin ahead of Sakic, or move him closer than their raw point scoring finishes would indicate.
     
  3. bobholly39

    bobholly39 Registered User

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    6,832
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Trophy Points:
    109
    I'm not really presuming anything about Malkin's down seasons. I'm just not holding them against him, because of small sample size. As you say, how much does hi 9th or 10th best season really matter?

    What does matter is that Malkin doesn't have a "bad" season. Sakic does - at least 1, and Yzerman a few. I'm holding that aspect of their prime against them (Yzerman/Sakic) - having some "bad" seasons. Whereas I admire the fact that Malkin hasn't had one yet.

    I'm big on consistency, so when looking at overall prime i don't see any valleys in Malkin's resume, but i do see some in Yzerman and Sakic's.

    Longevity matters. Both Sakic and Yzerman played approx 1500 games. Malkin has approx 800. That's a big gap, obviously.

    But if it was 1500 vs say 1100-1200 games? Longevity matters a lot less to me, especially if those extra 300-500 games are just more of those "10th, 11th, 12th best seasons".
     
  4. Kyle McMahon

    Kyle McMahon Registered User

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    9,057
    Likes Received:
    218
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Occupation:
    Electrician
    Location:
    Evil Empire
    Seems like the moral of the story is, if you're not performing quite at your expected level, just get injured to queer the sample size. And if you are performing at your expected level, getting injured before you have a slump or slow down isn't a bad strategy either.

    Based on your criteria, Sakic suffering a season-ending injury in the middle of January, 1994 would raise his stock. His ppg would be a fair bit higher than it ended up, afterall. Do you not see the logical pitfall this line of thinking presents?
     
  5. daver

    daver Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2003
    Messages:
    15,371
    Likes Received:
    717
    Trophy Points:
    214
    Home Page:
    In one paragraph you say that a 9th or 10th best season for Malkin doesn't really matter (seemingly because you can play the "small sample size" card) but then in the next paragraph Sakic and Yzerman's 11th? or 12th? or 13th? best seasons do matter and you are holding it against them.

    So which is it?

    This seems like a compete double standard in addition to the double standard of comparing Malkin's high PPG finishes vs. S and Y's full seasons but not comparing Malkin's low PPG finishes vs. S and Y's full seasons.
     
  6. bobholly39

    bobholly39 Registered User

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    6,832
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Trophy Points:
    109

    Not sure why i'm being grilled with all these questions. It's getting rather annoying. Instead of attacking how I form my opinion - why don't you yourself lay out in detail every idea and element that goes into your own ranking of players, to see how well it holds up. I should do what 90% of posters do and reply with a sarcastic 1 liner, or simply ignore this.

    But since you asked, I suppose I'll explain yet again...

    You said in an earlier post that I am "presuming Malkin's down seasons would have regressed to the norm". I am doing no such thing. I am simply ignoring those seasons due to small sample size. I give him the benefit of the doubt that maybe over a long stretch he would have done better, and don't spend too much time looking at those when I look at his overall resume.

    When I look at a player's career there are things i consider a "positive" and things I consider a "negative".

    Best seasons? Very large "positives". Pick any of Yzerman, Sakic or Malkin's best seasons, they count for a lot.
    6th, 7th.....10th, 11th best season? Diminishing returns. They all counts as positives so long as they are "good" seasons relative to expectations/field/competition and whatever other reasonable criteria you can think of.

    Bad season? ie Sakic in 1994. It's a negative. He was disappointing, and so it's a negative.

    Malkin in 2011, small sample size? I simply ignore it altogether. Too small sample size, i don't think it's fair to deduct points. So it's not a positive, it's not a negative, it's just 0 - i ignore it.

    You and other posters are also obsessing over this. In the grand scheme of the Malkin vs Yzerman or Malkin vs Sakic debate - the worth of Malkin's 2011 or Sakic's 94 season is maybe 1%, max, of the overall picture. Not sure why so many posts are being wasted discussing this. I'd love to move onto a discussion about comparing their overall resumes instead.

    Malkin has been a more consistent high level offensive contributor in his career than either Sakic or Yzerman were. He's been better on a per game basis, and I find that commendable. With enough longevity (which he lacks) and awards (which he already has more of) than them - he should pass them in my opinion. I'd argue that he's already close to Yzerman overall despite the lack of longevity, since other areas of his resume are stronger, though i'm not sure if he's already passed him or not.
     
  7. bobholly39

    bobholly39 Registered User

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    6,832
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Trophy Points:
    109
    Yes I do value very highly players who performer at their expected level, I agree.

    It's not about an injury to Sakic would raise his stock. It's about not having a stretch of 40 games - or an overall 1994 season - of play significantly below his expected level. I do find that underwhelming, and it lowers his stock imo. By a "bit". I'm not suggesting he be dropped outside of the top 60 centers over 1994, so I think you too are giving too much significance to this. But I still won't back off of it. 1994 was a bad year for Sakic, and it impacts his overall resume.

    Now if you were to show me evidence that Sakic was somehow injured in 1994 and played at less than 100% for a long stretch of the season, which explained his lower offensive contributions - sure, i'd be willing to not count that as a bad season since there's a reason for it.
     
  8. Merya

    Merya Jokerit & Finland; anti-theist

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    2,010
    Likes Received:
    112
    Trophy Points:
    81
    Occupation:
    Psychosocialstudies
    Location:
    Helsinki
    I think that in generally equal careers, the longer should always win, unless the player actually harms his team in a concrete way. That's my 2 cents.
     
  9. daver

    daver Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2003
    Messages:
    15,371
    Likes Received:
    717
    Trophy Points:
    214
    Home Page:
    I think Malkin will pass Yzerman at his current career pace so let's just look at Sakic vs. Malkin:

    Sakic's Top Ten Art Ross finishes (sans Wayne and Mario) - 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 8, 9

    Malkin's Top Ten Art Ross finishes - 1, 1, 2, 4 (2018)


    Sakic's Top Ten PPG finishes (min. 41 games) - 2, 2, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7, 10

    Malkin's Top Ten PPG finishes - 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4 (2018), 5, 7, 7
     
  10. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Messages:
    16,503
    Likes Received:
    972
    Trophy Points:
    169
    Home Page:
    what we know about the nordiques in 1993-'94 season is that the team lost owen nolan for the year, and he scored 42 and 36 the previous two years, and 30 goals (in 46 games due to lockout) the year after; and steve duchesne, who had 82 points in the '93 season (45 on the PP), held out and later was traded for an infusion of grit, leadership, and defensive play. the nordiques had the 5th worst PP in the league, a year after having the 5th best.

    sakic and sundin both had 47 PP points in '93; in '94 sakic had 33, sundin had 27. sakic's point total fell by 13, and his PP total fell by 14. sundin's point total fell by 29, his PP total fell by 20. mike ricci's stats fell most of all: 27 total points, 17 PP points.

    some bits from stray 1994 nordiques articles that won't answer any questions but might fill in some gaps--

     
  11. Kyle McMahon

    Kyle McMahon Registered User

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    9,057
    Likes Received:
    218
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Occupation:
    Electrician
    Location:
    Evil Empire
    This is where the contradiction lies. If Sakic got injured in January that season, he never has that stretch of 40 games played at a standard somewhat below what he'd previously established. And if he subsequently gets the Malkin treatment, the season is then either disregarded entirely, or projected out and counted in full based on his strong points per game in the first half of the season, whichever is more beneficial to his case.

    I'm all for "punishing" crappy seasons. It's the logic that results in a 84 GP/92 point season being deemed WORSE than a 43 GP/37 point season that has me, and others, scratching our heads. You have tried to use the consistency argument as a point in Malkin's favour , despite him not managing to stay healthy for one single season out of the five prior to this one. Steve Yzerman played practically the full schedule 14 of his first 17 seasons in the league, but because a couple of those years were perhaps merely befitting of a regular first line center as opposed to Hall of Fame level, he's docked points for consistency. And all this is ignoring the fact that Malkin in particular has been notorious for putting together stretches of a month or two or a playoff series or two where he looks like Mario Lemieux, but then having similar stretches where a search party is being assembled to go find him. Malkin is one of the last guys I would ever think to call "consistent", unless it was immediately followed by "-ly injured".

    I can appreciate your point that he's never had a full season where he wasn't a great player, but when you have only turned in 4 full seasons out of 11 (closing in on 5/12), this is not all it's cracked up to be. Sakic played 12 full seasons (I'll give him the 73 game 1999 season), and you'd have to say he was great in at least 10 of them. Yzerman had 14 full seasons (plus a 15th at age 38 where he was clearly not expected to be a franchise-level player), and I think it would be pretty harsh to call less than 11 of them great years.

    So one guy is 4/4, one guy is 10/12, the other is 11/14. And the two guys that aren't batting 1.000 were still valuable contributors in the "bad" years. To claim the 4/4 guy has already closed in on the other two, and perhaps might have already passed the 11/14 guy is really stretching things. I mean, if Malkin goes out next year and has a "bad" 65 point/82 game season and Connor McDavid wins another scoring title or close to it, is the 3/3 full seasons McDavid suddenly on the cusp of passing the now 5/6 and no longer perfect in full seasons Malkin?
     
    thegoldenyear likes this.
  12. daver

    daver Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2003
    Messages:
    15,371
    Likes Received:
    717
    Trophy Points:
    214
    Home Page:
    I agree with this. You simply cannot ignore the lack of full seasons by Malkin. It is inherently written into his legacy at this point. Until an assessment of Malkin's career doesn't need to be qualified with "when healthy" or "at his best", then he should be behind a player with a similar peak and significantly better Art Ross finishes.

    I think he differs from Lindros and Forsberg whose style of play likely lead to their career-stifling injuries but that doesn't mean you should ignore raw point finishes altogether; ones that are almost as strong as Malkin's PPG finishes in Sakic's case.
     
  13. bobholly39

    bobholly39 Registered User

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    6,832
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Trophy Points:
    109
    So in 1994 Sakic had 53 points in his first 42 games (106 pace) and 39 in his last 42 games (78 point pace).

    As a whole - I find his season of 92 points underwhelming. I agree that 106 point would be better, and 78 would be quite worst. If he had only played the first 42 games, scoring 53 points, that would have put him 15th in the league in PPG (in 42 games, whereas the 14 players above him all have more games played). Instead - after 84 games he sits in 33rd place (31st if we discount players with below 30 games). To be honest, even 15th in PPG isn't all that good for Sakic. But yes - if that had happened and he only had played the first 42 games, I wouldn't hold that season against him, I would "give him the benefit of the doubt" or "disregard it entirely" to use your words.

    It's only a 42 game sample size - and i'd be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt maybe over 84 games it evens out. So it would stand out less and bother me less. Which is what i'm saying about Malkin in 2011.

    To draw a parallel. I do look at some of Crosby's best partial seasons differently. Because the results are so good (in 2011, 2012, 2013) i do count those more. Why? Because they are some of his better seasons.

    When I evaluate a player - i try to look for his best years, and tabulate whatever worth those seasons should have. To try to use a clumsy math analogy - let's say player A has 12 overall seasons that can be broken down as:

    5 good seasons
    5 ok sasons
    2 bad seasons

    The 5 "good" seasons count for positives in my evaluation. If - like Crosby in 2011 or 2013 - the good seasons are partial seasons, they count for less than they would as full seasons (ie 2011 Crosby with 41 games counts for less than it would have if it was 82 games) but they still do count.
    The "ok" seasons don't count for much. Assuming nothing super significant is going on there (no awards, or particularly high scoring totals/end season finishes, etc). For example - had Sakic played 1994 to the full 106 point pace he had at the midway point - this would probably be here. Doesn't subtract anything, but law of diminishing return says his 9th or 10th best season can only add so much positives, if any.
    The bad seasons (ie 1994 for Sakic, 92 points) count as a negative. So yes - I deduct points for Sakic in 1994 because I find the season underwhelming for him.

    If Sakic had only played 42 games in 1984 (whether scoring 39 or 53 points) - I wouldn't count it as a negative. Small sample size, give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Which is what i'm doing for Malkin, when looking at individual seasons. Right now Malkin only has "good" or "ok" seasons, not "bad" ones.

    And the 5 "good", 5 "ok" and 2 "bad" seasons is of course just an example. A different player might have 10 good and 1 ok season, or any combination of.

    To go back to Crosby parallel. If Sakic's first 42 games in 1994 had been exemplary (say he had scored 70 points in 42 games for first in PPG) and he had then ended his season at game 42 due to injury - well that season now goes up to "good" category and counts for more. I don't "project it out to 84 games" and give it as much worth as I would a full season, but I do count it in a similar sense I count some of Crosby's better partial seasons.

    Yes I punish crappy seasons.

    Yes consistency is a point in Malkin's favor. Moreso than Sakic/Yzerman - who had bad seasons, that I feel Malkin has not yet had.

    Health obviously is a big negative for Malkin. I've never denied that, nor do I question it. But I look at longevity over a full career, as opposed to individual seasons. Ie i don't care if Malkin makes a career of playing 60-65 games a year, so long as he has enough longevity in the end to compare to someone like Sakic and Yzerman.

    Lindros made a career of playing 55-60 games a season too. I don't hold that against him. What I hold against him is that he only played 700 career games. If he had played ~60 games a year but still managed over 1000-1200 games? I wouldn't care, if I deemed those ~1200 games enough career longevity to compare against guys like Sakic or Yzerman. That's where Malkin seems to be heading, but of course we'll only know once he's retired.

    And yes Malkin is streaky - he's the type of player who can look like Lemieux for 10 games and look crappy for the next 10, I suppose. So what? If that averages out to "better" than Sakic/Yzerman level over 20 games, isn't that still better? He may not be very consistent game to game, but year to year he has been more consistent than either Sakic or Yzerman.

    Sure if all you're going to count is absolutely full seasons, the ratio for Sakic/Yzerman goes significantly up. I try to be a bit more generous. If you play around 75% or more of the season I try to count those. Malkin has more than 4 of those.

    McDavid has no career longevity, no playoffs, and only 1 season worth of awards. Not sure why he's even mentioned here.
     
  14. bobholly39

    bobholly39 Registered User

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    6,832
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Trophy Points:
    109
    You're acting like the bolded is the only thing that matters when comparing players. It's not.

    There's peak. Length of peak. Height of peak. Prime. Length of prime. Height of prime. Consistency of prime. Playoffs. Playoffs peak. Playoffs prime. Playoffs consistency. etc. Malkin scores well in many of those. There are other things that count too.

    Art Ross finishes are just one of the many components. Doing nothing but looking at those is flawed, and giving too much importance to those is also flawed.

    Malkin can absolutely end up above both Sakic and Yzerman playing nothing but 65-70 games a season for the rest of his career (and thus not adding as many high art ross finishes) if his level of play warrants it.
     
  15. daver

    daver Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2003
    Messages:
    15,371
    Likes Received:
    717
    Trophy Points:
    214
    Home Page:
    Of the bolded components, what do you feel Malkin scores better than Sakic at?
     
  16. bobholly39

    bobholly39 Registered User

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    6,832
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Trophy Points:
    109
    I'm not sure I'd have to look at it more closely.

    How about you? What do you feel Malkin scores better than Sakic at? And in which components is the gap widest - one way or another?
     
  17. daver

    daver Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2003
    Messages:
    15,371
    Likes Received:
    717
    Trophy Points:
    214
    Home Page:
    So why does 75% of a season count unconditionally but not 52% or 65% (2013) for Malkin, even with some context applied?

    The other big takeway from this is punishing Sakic and Yzerman for playing more games. We have an idea what they were able to accomplish after playing more full seasons than Malkin. We have no idea what Malkin would have done in any of his partial seasons that you want to give him full credit for nor what could have happened if he played more full seasons. It becomes a completely alternative career path. Maybe he doesn't have his 2011/12 season if he had played a full 2010/11. IMO, this is the can of worms you open when you pace out out partial seasons.

    An interesting way to look at Sakic and Malkin would be a first 12 season comparison:

    Rookie year: Malkin
    2nd year: Malkin by a lot
    3rd year: Malkin by a lot
    4th year: Sakic
    5th year: Sakic

    After 5 years, I think Malkin has a significant gap on Sakic

    6th year: Malkin by a lot
    7th year: Sakic by a lot
    8th year: Sakic
    9th year: Malkin
    10th year: Malkin

    The next 5 years sees Sakic as being better but overall I would rate Malkin ahead.

    1th year: close
    12th year: close, slight edge to Malkin

    I would have Malkin ahead of Sakic thru their first 12 seasons but then Sakic has his peak season and his 2nd dominant playoff run in his 13th year. He then adds another 2nd place Art Ross finish and more playoff heroics.
     
  18. Kyle McMahon

    Kyle McMahon Registered User

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    9,057
    Likes Received:
    218
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Occupation:
    Electrician
    Location:
    Evil Empire
    Fair enough I guess, we're obviously not going to see eye to eye on this. Your opinion that it is preferable to be injured and out of the lineup than performing at anything less than a first ballot HOFer level is rather unique, but I guess we all have our own criteria.

    So would it be fair to say that if Malkin's play drops off and he starts adding some "bad" seasons in his 30's, your opinion/ranking of him will diminish?

    The problem is, the NHL does not award playoff positions or Stanley Cups based on partial sample sizes. Pittsburgh did not eventually get credited with an extra Stanley Cup as a result of a bunch of strong partial seasons. Great as they may be when they're on the ice, chronically injured players eventually hurt their teams due to their unreliability.

    Not necessarily. Any coach in the world will take a guy who shows up and scores 1 point in 20 straight games over the guy who has seven three-point games and 13 zero-point games in the same stretch. Game to game consistency, including whether or not a player is healthy and available to play, is a highly valued trait.
     
  19. bobholly39

    bobholly39 Registered User

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    6,832
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Trophy Points:
    109
    "first ballot HOF'er level" isn't really a description. But aside from that - yes. Bad seasons can subtract. Injured seasons do not.

    Injuries in themselves over a course of a career can subtract of course when looking at overall longevity. But when i look at seasons individually, i'm more likely to dislike a full "bad" season than I am a partial "bad" season.

    Yes, kind of. Keep in mind Malkin is heading into an age where it's expected he's going to start to decline. I'm not really holding Yzerman's post-35 lesser productive seasons against him for example, unless he declined much worst than expected (and even then some players do decline more). So if Malkin has a very bad season at age 31, 32, 33....it can hurt him. But when he starts to get closer to 35+ i would be less bothered by it.

    Common sense imo.

    I mean if you're talking specifically about Making the Playoffs - and then Vying for the cup. i'd argue Malkin's teams made the playoffs every year, and outside of 2011 i believe he played in every playoffs. So did he ever truly hurt his team in that way?

    Also - not sure that "most career value" is always indicative of who gets ranked higher. They aren't always 1 and the same. Mario Lemieux is certainly a top 4 player of all time - maybe people have him top 2-3 - yet it could probably be argued that in terms of overall career "value" he is outside of top 4 due to games missed. Orr too.

    I agree. Not necessarily. In my defense I was running with your hypothesis. It's not fair to say Malkin looks like Lemieux for 10 games and looks like a crap 4th line player for the next 10 games, it's way too broad a generalization. But if it were true - maybe you're right.

    Streakiness can certainly be a component worth evaluating when looking at player's careers. The easy answer is to say streakiness should be a negative....maybe. I'd argue that a much deeper dive into a specific player's streakiness can give a better answer (thought i don't intend to do that).

    To take your example - 1 point 20 straight games.... Everyone gets a point here and there. Does 1 point a game really mean much about whether you win the game or not? Look at McDavid this year, way above PPG on one of the worst teams. 7 games of 3 points - typically when a player scores 3 points in one game his team wins (very large majority of the time i'd expect). So i'd rather take 7 victories, and take my chances on winning the other games with contributions from the rest of the team - than get 1 point each game that may not be all that relevant to victory and could result in all 20 losses. We're changing the subject however, as i don't think it's particularly relevant here unless you plan on doing a deep dive into the various center's streakinss as players, to judge how it should count towards their rankings.
     
  20. bobholly39

    bobholly39 Registered User

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    6,832
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Trophy Points:
    109
    You keep asking questions but answering none.

    You skipped my last post responding to yours with questions of my own. Once you take the time to answer, i'll gladly come back here and answer this in turn.

    For what it's worth - I agree with you that through 12 seasons Malkin is certainly ahead of both Sakic and Yzerman, no question.
     
  21. bathdog

    bathdog Registered User

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2016
    Messages:
    815
    Likes Received:
    111
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Consistency is an interesting subject. What is it exactly? Solely racking up consecutive high individual scoring finishes? I don't think so. Teams, roles, opportunity, individual mindsets, competition and many other factors inevitably vary. But, the name of the game doesn't, outscore your opponent.

    Many months ago I was in a thread where Malkin's consistency was being discussed where a Pens fan suddenly put out a statement I simply couldn't believe. As you're alluding to, Malkin can look genuinely disinterested at times. The numbers may have changed slightly (current are below), but the bottom line remains, but during the regular season...

    Malkin scores in 71% of his games.
    Forsberg scored in 69% of his games.

    I still struggle to comprehend how this is possible if everything was equal, and it gets even more confusing...

    Malkin scores in 71% of his games.
    Crosby scores in 71% of his games.

    What? So much for that peerless consistency. Crosby literally has produced at a 8% higher clip playing right next to Malkin, is he just running up the score in a pointless manner?

    I think the answer to these questions lies in increased defensive responsibility. Yzerman was relatively infrequently a minus-player, despite producing at a lower clip. When you are a minus-player (frequency, not cumulative), chances are you're contributing less to your team chances to win. Of all the recent players mentioned in the past couple of pages, Malkin seems to be in the ideal situation to shine strictly offensively.
     
  22. daver

    daver Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2003
    Messages:
    15,371
    Likes Received:
    717
    Trophy Points:
    214
    Home Page:
    I think this is a very good assessment, and one that should be definitely considered in comparing him to his peers. Comparing him with Crosby seems very straight forward given they play on the same team and era so deployment and performance vs. peers can be assessed easier. Where it gets tricky is putting players who were offensively inferior ahead of him. I am not sure that Malkin should be penalized for producing in the situation he has been put in as (1) we cannot say for sure that others would have improved their numbers if also put into the same situation, or (2) that Malkin's numbers would have been worse if his situation had been different.

    Perhaps this can be added to the list of things that could potentially keep Malkin behind Sakic and Yzerman unless his offensive resume is clearly superior. I would also add in strength of team/linemates to that discussion too which is perhaps a plus for Malkin.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
  23. bathdog

    bathdog Registered User

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2016
    Messages:
    815
    Likes Received:
    111
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Who would be clearly inferior to him? I consider all these players to have peaked offensively in a pretty similar ballpark.

    Malkin should absolutely not be penalized for anything that's out of his control (situation he has been put in), but neither should anyone else?

    Disagree, defense matters (at least when the difference in offensive resume isn't made up by clear differences in ability). If it didn't, Sakic/Forsberg would walk all over Fedorov/Yzerman, even if they're often the preferred choice, there has been many great debates about it.

    I think strength of teams is one of the biggest misconceptions surrounding these discussions, and widely misused. DPE Wings were simply ridiculous, so no argument there. I find Pens duo and Avs duo to be in very similar situations, much more so than the Wings duo. For that reason, and Yzerman's offensive numbers simply being lesser during this stretch, I'm not going to further bring those numbers into this discussion.

    Summarizing both teams (COL 94/95-03/04, PIT 06/07-NOW, the stretches where the duo's careers overlap).

    TeamGPGF/GPRel GF/GPGA/GPRel GA/GPGD/GPRel GD/GP
    COL*7863.1302 (+5.9%)2.4725 (-1.3%)+0.6582 (+78.3%)
    PIT**9433.1531 (+7.6%)2.71513 (+4.2%)+0.4381 (+70.7%)
    Rel Gx/GP league wide rank with differences compared to top10 teams average in percentage form in paranthesis (higher number is better for GF/GD, lower number for GA).

    * MIN/CBJ/NSH/ATL not included due to too small time in league (only MIN was relvant at all either way, and only in GA).
    ** VEG not included due to too small time in league.


    If you feel like it, remove DPE Wings from the relative GD rankings as an outlier, and they're both the best teams of their generation. Their numbers are VERY comparable, PIT a bit more offense minded, COL a bit more defense minded. Avs may be better in absolute terms, but if they're better in relative terms, it's not by a significant margin.

    The one category that sticks out is the absolute GD numbers. There were less parity in the league, and a couple of bottom feeders where you could run up the score differentials,. The best teams were better too though, the common opponent was probably quite similar.

    Team<1 GD Games<2 GD Games
    COL498 (2 / 63.4%)628 (3 / 79.9%)
    PIT628 (1 / 66.2%)744 (1 / 78.9%)
    <x GD Games describes amount of games played where they either lost by any amount, tied, or won with at most x (1 or 2) goals, in paranthesis are relative league wide rank as well as percentage of total games.

    If COL was a superior team by a significant margin, relatively speaking, they would quite likely separate themselves here. Often in these discussions you get the impression Avs could just go out there and dispose of the opposition with no effort, which wasn't what happened anyway. Both of these teams were obviously strong, and could compensate reasonably well (well enough to make the playoffs) with one of their stars missing time. It's hard to say why, but either people overrate DPE Avs, or people underrate how dominant this era's Pens have really been.

    The fact that these teams are seemingly of similar strength, and also play a very similar amount of games with low scoring differentials, should make the likelihood of each player being a minus-player in any one single game pretty similar.

    -----

    If we now also bring Sakic, as he's been a main subject, into the discussion, we end up with the following.

    PlayerGPScore%
    Crosby77771.4%
    Malkin77871.2%
    Sakic69469.6%
    Forsberg58068.8%
    This would give the indication that Crosby and Malkin are slightly more consistent offensively than Sakic and Forsberg.

    But, if we proceed with at what frequency these players are able to come out ahead of their matchup during the games they played in this span, that is, how large percentage (frequency, not cumulative) of the games were -1 or worse players in.

    We've (hopefully) concluded that these teams play a similar amount of low scoring games, and thus, a similar rank would be justified if defensive contributions doesn't offset the offensive contributions.

    PlayerGPminus-player%
    Forsberg58024.0%
    Sakic69427.5%
    Crosby77728.8%
    Malkin77830.8%
    -----

    Deduct mental points for missing time: Forsberg, Crosby/Malkin, Sakic.

    Deduct mental points for being more established when span started as well as having easier transitional period (systematic, cultural, geographical etc): Sakic/Crosby, Forsberg/Malkin.

    Pretty much washes out as far as I'm concerned (not value-wise).

    -----

    If their offensive resume end up being "superior" (prime wise, assuming peak won't change), is it by ability or by design? We don't know the specifics, is it about abilities or personal sacrifices for the greater good of the team? I think it's a legitimate question to ask.
     
  24. daver

    daver Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2003
    Messages:
    15,371
    Likes Received:
    717
    Trophy Points:
    214
    Home Page:
    The conversation seemed to have jumped into the hypothetical realm of asking what Malkin needs to accomplish to pass Sakic or Yzerman so that statement was a hypothetical one. I agree they did peak similarly; Malkin is behind based on a lack of elite full seasons. If Malkin happens to clearly surpass them offensively, then I think it gets difficult to keep him behind those two based on secondary considerations such as defense and leadership.
     
  25. daver

    daver Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2003
    Messages:
    15,371
    Likes Received:
    717
    Trophy Points:
    214
    Home Page:
    What personal sacrifices did Sakic or Yzerman make, and could it not be argued that Malkin has also made personal sacrifices for the greater good such as lower TOI, the #1C role (or deployment associated with that role), and less talented linemates?

    And if Sakic and Yzerman are getting bonus points for defense, could it not be also argued that Malkin sacrificed a more defensive role, and the potential for recognition that goes with it, for an offensive one?

    I am not struck with an overwhelming sense that Malkin would not have been able to play a different role on his team if asked to and still not be as effective offensively. And this sense is all that anyone can apply in assessing Malkin's ranking since we obviously cannot say with any certainty how he would do if he was in Sakic's or Yzerman's shoes or anyone else's shoes. That he has deferred a lot to Crosby is hardly an indication of his lack of ability but rather it is an indication of Crosby's generational abilities.

    For this reason, I feel the primary metric should be offensive production.
     

Share This Page

monitoring_string = "358c248ada348a047a4b9bb27a146148"