What's the deal with 1992-93?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by seventieslord, Mar 31, 2007.

  1. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    I've always been curious about this but never really discussed it much.

    What's the deal with the 1992-93 season and its ridiculous offensive totals for star players? I know Lemieux only topped out at 160, which was low for a league leader in the past decade, but besides that, it seems every star player had a career season. I mean, Lafontaine with 148? Oates with 142? Gilmour and Turgeon with 127+? Selanne and Mogilny at a goal per game? These players, and many others, never approached the numbers they posted in 1992-93 again.

    You can go through the top-10 scorers in all seasons from 79-80 to 93-94, and like clockwork, by the time you get to 10th, you're looking at guys with 95-105 points. However, within that same period, like a sore thumb, there's 92-93, where the 10th leading scorer had 123 points and 20 in total had 100 or more.

    Now, it would be easy to say "well, special person, it was just a very high scoring season. Everyone's totals were inflated". Except that it wasn't really a high scoring season as a whole. The average GPG was 3.63, lower than the league average of 3.71 during this 15-year period. It's only the 11th-highest scoring season of those 15 years. From '81 through '86, for example, the league never had a GPG average under 3.86. Where were all the high totals then?

    Can anyone offer an explanation as to what caused this statistical phenomenon?
     
  2. Ra

    Ra satan is my homie

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    full moon :help:
     
  3. Hockey Outsider

    Hockey Outsider Registered User

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    I think that good players were able to inflate their stats against the recent expansion teams. Ottawa and San Jose (24 points each in the standing) were truly awful, and Tampa Bay was also very bad.

    If you look at the thread about the talent level, Pnep and I look at the parity in league over history. On the graph I posted, you'll see that 1993 sticks out as a year with low parity. This supports my theory that strong players beat up on weak teams.

    There was at least one awful expansion team in both conferences, so each team played San Jose and Ottawa at least 5 times (and as many as 11 times). Some of the good teams really beat up the weak links. Pittsburgh went 8-1-1 with 61 GF against San Jose, Ottawa, Tampa and Hartford. Vancouver went 12-1-1 with 74 GF against those same teams.

    Also, the NHL increased the schedule to 84 games (from 82). Obviously this is a minor point, but it could mean 3 more points for stars.

    Interestingly, every top ten scorer that year (aside from Lemieux and Yzerman) set a career-high in points. Seven of the top ten goal-scorers (aside from Lemieux, Yzerman and Hull) had career-highs in goals.
     
  4. Resolute

    Resolute Registered User

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    Actually, it went to 84 from 80. That alone represented a 5% increase in the length of the season. A cooresponding 5% increase in scoring is an extra 5-7 points for the top players.
     
  5. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    I thought about that before too. It does account for some of it, but not all, not even half of it really. I like the explanation Hockey Outsider gave too. It's something I always considered, but I didn't know it had been quantified.
     
  6. Rorschach

    Rorschach Fearful Symmetry

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    Fourteen players scored 50 or more goals that year too. :D

    Mogilny - 76 (Euro)
    Selanne - 76 (Euro)
    Lemieux - 69 (Jagr)
    Robitaille - 63 (Kurri, Sandstrom)
    Bure - 60 (Euro)
    Turgeon - 58
    Yzerman - 58 (Federov, Larionov, Lidstrom)
    Stevens - 55 (Jagr)
    Hull - 54 (off-year)
    Andreychuk - 54
    LaFontaine - 53 (Mogilny)
    Recchi - 53 (Jagr)
    Shanahan - 51
    Roenick - 50

    I blame Europeans! Most of these guys either got new, talented and offensive-minded European linemates or are a Euro. A couple like Shanahan and Andreychuk were finally put on a line with a great playing center and 50 goals is about right for Roenick in his prime.

    - R
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2007
  7. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Yeah it was a weird year. I dont get it either. Not just that but a lot of teams got 100 points that year too. Not that that's bad, 100 points is good in any era, but just a lot seemed to top out at that. I dont get it. There were two brutal teams in the league so that helps balance it out.
     
  8. MXD

    MXD James St. John Smythe

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    Heck, the Adams division got 3 teams with 100 pts or more...
    And this was before the SO-OT point era. It happened in two divisions until then, but in both cases, it wouldn't have been, should the OTL-SO point not been given.
     
  9. Paxton Fettel

    Paxton Fettel Registered User

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    WRONG! :rant:

    :D
     
  10. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    A couple other reasons. The first expands on HO's post about expansion. The league left those expansion teams with nothing to work with. Teams were protecting two goalies. The league saw the disaster of the 1992-93 expansion teams (especially Ottawa) and forced teams to protect only one goalie for the 1993-94 expansion teams, Florida and Anaheim. It gave those teams a chance to beef up their goaltending, and teams that had two excellent goalies had to trade one to the league's weaker sisters, levelling out the goalie playing field.

    The other factor with 1992-93 was the first obstruction crackdown. Yes, obstruction was seeping into the game as early as 1991 and 1992. Goal scoring had dipped below seven goals per game. (Although by not very much). Elite players were still putting up points after 1988-89, yet goal scoring was down. The league took a really hard line on obstruction (I remember the Canucks had 21 power plays in their pre-season opener vs. LA, I know it's only pre-season, but 21 PP's?) from the outset of 1992-93 and it remained for most of the season. Then Montreal won the Cup playing a strong defensive game and it became the chic thing in hockey.
     
  11. 100mph slapshot

    100mph slapshot Registered User

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    You also have to remember that a lot of the top guys were in the middle of their primes that year. Guys like Oates, Turgeon, Recchi, Lafontaine, Yzerman, Robitaille, etc.
    Allthough I have to say Mario's 160pts in 60gp with serious health problems still overshadows everything, even Selänne's rookie records. I try to put those numbers into perspective but I just can't understand how it was possible.
     
  12. Reider

    Reider Registered User

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    This is probably my favourite NHL season ever, immortalized by Rock em Sock em 5 and NHL 94. I love the ridiculous scoring numbers, heck, even Joey Juneau had 100+ pts (thanks to AO).
     
  13. slade

    slade Registered User

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    mario would stroll into san jose and score 7 pts by accident that year.
     
  14. Bob Kudelski

    Bob Kudelski Registered User

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    Dude, AO was definitely not in the nhl in 92/93!!! He's only in his second year, same as Crosby!! :shakehead
     
  15. pappyline

    pappyline Registered User

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    but Adam Oates was.
     
  16. Skroob*

    Skroob* Guest

    It was before the Devils brought in the trap and killed hockey.
     
  17. jiggs 10

    jiggs 10 Registered User

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    It was just a year when hockey was finally being played as it is supposed to be: fast, hard, with a lot of skating and scoring. Some of the greatest players in history were in their primes (Yzerman, Brett Hull, Oates, Lemieux, Lafontaine, etc.) or just getting started (Selanne), and the goalies had not yet become the size of the Michelin Man (although it was starting), or butterflying all over the place just yet.

    What a fun year to watch hockey that was, even if my team got beaten out early.
     
  18. Verbeek

    Verbeek Human see, human do.

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    Jagr played for the Flyers during this particular season? Interesting. :sarcasm:
     
  19. lemieux32*

    lemieux32* Guest

    I suggest you read up on the Flying Frenchmen teams of the Canadiens if you think the Devils brought the trap to hockey.
     
  20. Birko19

    Birko19 Registered User

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    Larionov was not in Detroit then, and Federov never played for Detroit.
     
  21. NYR94

    NYR94 Registered User

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    Good point about expansion being part of the reason. I always knew a bunch of players had spectacular, career years in 92-93 but I had never made the connection to the huge gap between the best and the worst brought on by expansion.
     
  22. MXD

    MXD James St. John Smythe

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    Well at least they were a much more creative team back then. Bowman would have been crazy to not let this team taking some risks from time to time -- it's not like they had a Devils-like lineup back then.

    But I agree with you, the Bowman Habs played some kind of proto-trap.
     
  23. LVIsles*

    LVIsles* Guest

    yea this year always amazed me, it was also my favorite year and when I really started becoming a fan,, maybe if they kept the NHL going at this pace it could really have boomed because I know hockey was really getting big at this time,,, also how the **** did Sellane get 76 goals
     
  24. JaymzB

    JaymzB Registered User

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    Bowman in the 70's did, but I'm not sure if the 92-93 Habs were as much as a defensive team as everyone seems to think. The years before they certinaly were. Through the 80's and early 90's, I think they were one of, if not the most defensive team in the league (along with the Bruins). However, this season in particular they did open things up more than before (as shown by Patrick Roy's 3.20 GAA). During the playoffs they went back to a more defensive style, but many teams did that...even in the free wheeling 80's.
     
  25. Pwnasaurus

    Pwnasaurus Registered User

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    I have a highlight video of every goal he scored that year...just incredible but that team was also very very good offensively in every facet.
     

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