Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Seanconn*, Aug 22, 2011.
Who is the best duo?
There are plenty of good options like Hull-Oates, Bossy-Trottier, Selanne-Kariya, Lemieux-Jagr, etc.,but I have a hard time picking anyone other than Gretzky-Kurri.
I'm the farthest thing from an oilers fan that you'll find, but I have a tough time not saying Gretzky-Kurri. Kurri was a damn good player, but Gretzky was obviously the catalyst there. And with a catalyst like that, in his prime, in the 80s, how could you NOT put up those numbers ? So while I will say that it's mostly due to Gretzky being Gretzky in that era, the numbers stand and it is what it is.
Some great duo's have been mentioned but Gretzky/Kurri has to head the list.
Another honorable mention should go to Lafleur/Shutt and even though one is not a forward, it's hard to not also include Orr/Espo IMO.
Kurri was a great player by his own, and yeah, Gretzky was Gretzky.
My favourite is Kariya/Selanne tough. Maybe followed by Jagr/Lemieux
Kurris point totals actually increased the year after Gretzky was traded.
The Greenmen from Vancouver?
Pretty hard to evaluate, one could argue Zetts and Dats (for 2way play) but how often do they even play together.
On pure stats and longevity it's hard to beat Wayne and Juri though since Wayne is number 1 all time IMO.
Ovechkin - Backstrom; Lindros - LeClair; Mogilnyj - LaFontaine; Sedins will also be named among best NHL duos in history
Some homer votes: Palffy - Stumpel; Demitra - Gaborik, Bondra - Pivonka;
I'm surprised Lemieux-Jagr got so little support. When they played together, they probably were the best duo of all time. But they only played together regularly for two seasons, IIRC. So Gretzky-Kurri is probably the "right" answer - they played together for so long and complimented each other perfectly.
Some other HMs not mentioned:
Larry Robinson - Serge Savard
Jean Ratelle - Rod Gilbert
Adam Oates - Cam Neely (not as great as Hull and Oates but still great)
I'm interpreting "modern NHL history" to mean "post-expansion."
Peter Forsberg and Markus NÃ¤slund were crazy good together as juniors. Shame they never really produced to the same extent when teamed up as seniors in the national team or in MoDo.
The Sedin brothers will go down as one the more succesful duos in history. I think they're especially significant seeing as they probably play together more than any other duo currently playing, while combining it with success (at least individually, so far). I'd be interested to compare their time playing together against other well-known duos. I suspected that they rank in the upper echelons of such a list.
Kurri was 8th in points the season after Gretzky left and 5 of the players in front of him in the points race were either Lemieux, Gretzky or their teammates.
Uhm....what about Peter & Anton Stastny?
They played together 8 seasons and while Peter was mostly #1 or #2 on a team, Anton was right behind him and Goulet for whole time. IIRC they still hold some NHL rookie records.
I personally dont yet think the Sedins are one of the most successful duos. Two last years they have been producing at top of the league. But not enough yet, to overcome Selanne and Kariya, not to even mention Jagr/Lemieux or Gretzky/Kurri at this point. But maybe two more years, and they will be close/pass Selanne and Kariya. Not quite yet.
Side note: I've never seen anyone transliterate that name 1:1 like you do it here.
Indeed. This is exactly why I said I think they will go down as one of the more succesful duos (which doesn't imply they'll be on a gretzky/kurri or lemieux/jagr level). Maybe they're not there yet, but in the near future, they may very well be.
Main point I wanted to make though was their ice time together. With the other duos being discussed there's usually a dominant figure and a complementing figure (who in and of himself might be an historically great player). They quite often get split up at different occasions due to game situations, form or injury. The Sedin brothers plays all the time together and have done for their entire careers. I can't really draw any significant comparisons. By the end, barring career-threatening injury, they'll likely have played as constant linemates for their entire careers.
Again, absolutely not the best duo ever, but definitely one of the more interesting ones.
It is funny how you cherry picked an off season to supposedly show how little influence Gretzky had on Kurri, and then make the excuse that some of the guys ahead of him when he played without Gretzky were influenced by... Gretzky.
We'll just ignore the fact that the Oilers still had one cup left in them and Kurri had 100 point center Jimmy Carson and 94 point Mark Messier to play with that year in Gretzky's absence. Must have been real rough on him.
1987-2011 - Regular Season - Skater - Point Pairs - Team Goals Where Both Players Record a Point
Yes I know that. 45 goals and 102 points ? But that to me was his ceiling. I believe he would have been putting up 35 to 45 goals and 85 to 100 point seasons consistently rather than putting up the 130 points and 70 goals, etc. That changes things dramatically. Still a damn good player though.
You have certain combos ( Hull and Oates for example ) where the two put up very similar numbers while helping each other. In Gretzky and Kurri's case, Gretzky was beating his winger by 70+ points. That says something. It says there was on obvious straw that stirs the drink there. I dont think anyone can deny that.
When Lemieux and Jagr actually played together... man...
But this thread undoubtedly belongs to Mats Sundin and the pilons on skates that he carried through his career. What magic! What brilliance! HOGLUND! God I hate being a Leafs fan post 67
or P Mahovlich/Lafleur for that matter..........Esposito and Hodge weren't slouches either
Ulf Nilsson and Bobby Hull along with Hedberg these guys might've been the best line in hockey for about 4 years
Trotts and Bossy
Pretty hard to go against Gretzky/Kurri.
For consideration status: Barber/Clarke --- great all around game.
Pederson/Middleton --- Too brief, but see above.
I would easily put Robinson-Savard ahead of a lot of duos being mentionned left and right when these questions pop off.
In modern hockey Gretzky-Kurri and probably Bossy-trottier are ahead , but I'm not sure what other duo could be put ahead of the greatest pairing of all-time that accomplished the more together and that had chemistry that just worked like a charm.
If you built a team , who would you pick between Robinson-Savard and Trottier-Bossy? Sure Trottier and Bossy are better player than Savard , but a 1st pairing plays a lot more in a game and is arguably more important to winning. ( debatable )
edit: damn TDMM beat me to the punch. btw the reason Lemieux-Jagr doesn't have that much support is just because they didn't exactly accomplish that much playing together , because , well , they didn't play together that much.If not , this is clearly the best duo , the gap between Jagr and Kurri is higher than Gretzky Lemieux imo.
He scored more in his first season without Gretzky than in his last season with Gretzky, until they reunited in Los Angeles. His playmaking ability became quite notable after Gretzky, as before Gretzky had the puck most of the time and it wasn't manifested as much. Furthermore, he spent significant time with Acton and Lamb as well as Carson, and one could argue that the revolving door of centers he had to play with wasn't exactly the ideal situation for him. After all, he did slow down considerably after a start that had him just behind pace of the four 150 point players that season.
I think it's more likely that Kurri's ceiling was higher than his 1988-89 season indicates, as he wasn't exactly in peak form his two last years with Gretzky in Edmonton. He didn't break 100 points the season before Gretzky was traded. His best seasons came right in the middle of the decade.
You have some anger issues...
When did I say Gretzky had little effect on Kurri's play?
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