Big 4: 2 Questions

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by MIAtoBKLYN, Mar 26, 2018.

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  1. bobholly39

    bobholly39 Registered User

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    Pick a year in the 50s. I'll let you pick the year.

    Now give me the credible threats going into that season who you feel could have won the Ross trophy. After you list those names - include all the names you didn't think of going into the year but that had surprise/career years that can be argued to have been in the running for the ross during the year.

    Than i'll do the same for a year in the 2010s.

    We'll see who has more names. As soon as you post yours - i'll reply with mine
     
  2. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Reduce the question to leading their team in scoring and my point becomes more than obvious.
     
  3. bobholly39

    bobholly39 Registered User

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    It's not obvious to me as i have no idea what you mean. Explain?

    I am saying there are more threats to the Art Ross each year today, such as in 2010 or 2015 (ie Sedin or Benn type players) than there were in the 1950s. You disagree. To find out who is correct I suggest a count to compare. Count Art Ross threats in a given year in the 50s, and i'll do the same for a given year in the 2010s.
     
  4. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Before leading the league in scoring it is obvious that a player has to lead his team in scoring.
     
  5. bobholly39

    bobholly39 Registered User

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    That has literally nothing to do with what I posted.

    Winter is cold summer is hot. So?
     
  6. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    We are talking about the equator. Number of people at the equator does not influence the temperature. Always a function of elevation, time relative to sunrise/sunset and percipitation.

    Likewise on a team. A team that can score based on their overall offence will score. Just a question of distribution of the points.

    Difference is that with Detroit for 20 years, the scoring had to go thru Gordie Howe. On the other five teams there were options.

    Players on a team like Dallas or Vancouver with irregular offences may sneak in and win an Art Ross if healthy.

    Nice but of no real consequence to the core value of a Howe or a Crosby or McDavid.
     
  7. Dennis Bonvie

    Dennis Bonvie Registered User

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    I think its an easier argument for Clarke over Orr, but Vachon also beat out Orr in 1975. And the vote wasn't close. Seems that at that point what Orr was doing as a player was being taken for granted.
     
  8. Merya

    Merya Jokerit & Finland; anti-theist

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    If Ovy manages to break 900 goals, he will make the big5 (and that alone will be enough), bcs hockey is a goal scoring game. Crosby doesn't really have a chance at significant records, despite being the best regular season player for a good part of over a decade.
    McDavid... don't make me laugh. Kid is awesome, but he's shining with attributes that don't age well. Laine needs to score 21 more years at 40g/season pace.
    Hasek would be a legit #5, except it would need a consensus of him being the best goalie ever first. If Hasek had different nationality, it would be easier. Jagr would be close if he never went to KHL.

    ps. I'm certainly not alone in thinking, that the best goalie ever, whoever it is, should be in big5. I think it's Hasek by a big enough margin. Similar (but not in same magnitude) as Orr between dmen. Goalie position is probably the hardest for most of us to evaluate when even other players don't really understand them...urban legend or not.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
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  9. Kyle McMahon

    Kyle McMahon Registered User

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    So we're back to "if you ignore Howe's best seasons" lines of reasoning. I fail to see how entertaining this scenario adds to the discussion. It's really just underlining more flaws in the "longevity of prime" argument.

    Notice though that I implied a season in which Howe won the Hart Trophy was his 8th-best. Howe only won 6 Harts, so I have made the rudimentary mental adjustment.
     
  10. Kyle McMahon

    Kyle McMahon Registered User

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    I don't believe I got into any hypotheticals. It is a fact that Beliveau and Geoffrion got to play 5 games against a defensively weak NY Rangers team in 1956 and 1957. Mikita in 1962 faced strong competition, but Chicago only went 6-6, as opposed to 8-3 with a Cup win at the end. These playoff runs, while exceptional, fall short of Howe in 1955 in my estimation. Your expanded playoff examples are strong, but Malkin did not usually have to face the opposition's best players, while a 7-game series against a defensively awful Washington team inflates the raw totals (in comparison to what Howe had to face). Esposito's 1970 (I assume you meant this as opposed to 1968) saw the Bruins play the three best defensive teams in the NHL (St. Louis debatable due to divisional imbalance), so full marks there. But Bobby Orr was still seen as the clear MVP by all accounts.

    It seems a lot of hypotheticals have made their way into your "facts" section. The 1955 Leafs allowed 135 goals in 70 games. Trying to figure out where they'd finish in the standings at some distant future date is not relevant. We know they were a great defensive team in 1955, yet Howe torched them for 8 points in a 4-0 sweep. And I don't think I need to point out the ridiculousness of trying to categorize them as a bad defensive team in the playoffs based on their playoff GA. Of course it was bad in the playoffs...because Howe lit them up.

    I'm not exactly sure how this suddenly veered to comparing Howe to Crosby in 2009. My position is that Howe's best playoff run stacks up well against the best run of the other Big 4 members. You can try to make the argument that Crosby's does as well, but his 3 points/-3 performance in 7 games in the final probably kills it if you choose 2009.
     
  11. Kyle McMahon

    Kyle McMahon Registered User

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    A Bonds-like second half would see him suddenly rip off a couple of 140 point seasons (assume league scoring environment stays at present levels). It would be completely unprecedented for a hockey player to re-peak at a higher level a decade after his original peak. But anyway...I fully agree with your last paragraph.
     
  12. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    The point is not whether the other team is weak defensively rather it is whether a player on a team generating high end offence in the playoffs can shutdown the oppositions offence.

    1955 Howe and 1956 Beliveau did so. 1956 Beliveau was part of the defensive effort that slightly limited Howe, a year removed from his 1955 heroics.

    1955 against the Canadiens Howe scored 11 points in 7 games, 1956 he was limited to 6 points in 5 games.

    Conversely Malkin and to an extent Crosby have been shutdown.Notably 2013 Boston and 2015 NYR.
     
  13. bobholly39

    bobholly39 Registered User

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    Ok got it. I didn't pick up on the fact that with Bonds you were referring to a late career peak better than anything before, i thought you just meant an extended prime.

    I do agree with you - a Barry Bond like peak would theoretically be enough to open the conversation about Crosby vs the big 4 but it's also almost entirely unrealistic. Hockey players don't peak late, so it's never going to happen. We're all agreed on this. And winning a couple more art ross/harts with 100-105 point seasons would be nice, but it doesn't move the needle much vs Howe when his biggest thing missing from his resume is peak.

    It's possible to give Crosby a bit the benefit of the doubt when comparing Howe's 6 Ross to Crosby's 2 if you factor in injuries where he was very very close to 100% ross. It's impossible to give Crosby the benefit of the doubt for his peak being so much lower than Howe's.

    Which is why I keep coming back to playoffs. Crosby's only way to significantly raise his stock is through the playoffs. It's easier to put together a 24 game magical run than an 82 game run. Crosby is certainly talented enough to still put up numbers, maybe just not young/fit enough to do it at a high pace for 82 straight games.

    Give Crosby 4 smythes - heck give him a really, really strong smythe (have him blow past Malkin's 36 points, maybe even approaching 40+) - and that's how you open the conversation to a big 5.
     
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  14. bobholly39

    bobholly39 Registered User

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    Also - not to make this conversation all about Crosby - Ovechkin.

    Malkin definitely missed the boat- he's way too far back. McDavid is way too young that it's stupid to even have a discussion. Those 4 are the only names active in today's NHL worth discussing in an all time sense who are likely to finish high.

    So for Ovechkin to approach the big 4 - he's obviously farther back than Crosby, but not so far back that it's completely impossible to fathom it. Here is what I think Ovechkin needs to do to open up a conversation about it:

    - Beat all of career goal scoring records (most rockets, most career goals, etc). 50% chance he does this i figure, he's on his way, with enough longevity/consistency he has a shot
    - Have an INSANE Playoff peak. More than 1 run, he needs at least 2. Maybe 1 super strong 1, with 1 slightly less strong. But i'm talking 2 MVP/Smythe runs. One where it's talked about as one of the best playoff runs of all time (have him beat the record of 19 goals in a playoff year to start).

    I think if Ovechkin were to do the above 2 things - he would very seriously enter the conversation for the big 5. And because how important goal-scoring is - he could make a push for higher.
     
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  15. bobholly39

    bobholly39 Registered User

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    So many things I dislike about your post.

    900 goals....that's just longevity. If he plays long enough he might hit it. The big 4 is all about peak. Ovechkin's peak is lackluster in comparison to them. So is his prime. I agree that he needs the longevity (900+ goals) - but he definitely needs MORE than that. An insane playoff peak could be a good complement.
    You're basically conceding that Crosby is the better regular season player than Ovi for almost a decade yet want to rank Ovi above him if he accumulates enough career goals. It's illogical imo. Compiling goals shouldn't move the needle much, certainly not for the big 4.

    I also hate the idea of ranking by position. We "must" have a goalie so let's stick one in there. Well what if 10 centers are better than the best goalie who ever played? We don't just stick a goalie in there for the sake of completion. Hasek is great (so is Roy) - and one of them can be argued for a top 5 spot but it's far from unanimous.
     
  16. daver

    daver Registered User

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    I am sure we both differentiate between 'quality of prime' and 'longevity of prime'. Regardless of what Crosby does, assuming he doesn't return to his absolute peak, he will not match Howe's quality of prime, but he could match and surpass his 'longevity of prime'. The former is the more important of the two and will always keep Howe ahead of Crosby overall, which I am not arguing anyways. The latter, IMO, is based on achievements that keep a player at the very top of the league.
     
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  17. daver

    daver Registered User

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    I don't have an issue with this. I assumed that I did too given where I rated his 53/54 season.
    If the '55 Leafs were a combination of great offense and great defense like the 2009 Wings were, I would hold their defensive prowess in higher regard. Instead they were the worst offensive team which indicates they played a more conservative style and tried to keep games close to make up for their lack of offense. I think we need to take their GAA with a grain of salt.

    And if we are using league GAAs to put PPGs into context, why didn't Howe torch the Habs even more against their lesser defense? This seems to go against your theory. I would counter that the against the better teams, regardless of their regular season defensive ranking, it is more difficult to score.

    And why is Crosby only measured by his SCF in '09, one of his four series, and not his other performances against either the Hurricanes or the Caps (the #4 seed overall). It seems unfair to measure Howe with one of two series, albeit the most important one, and Crosby with only one of four.
     
  18. daver

    daver Registered User

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    C'mon, this is spin at it's best. So it's a combo of need to win the Cup plus play against "strong" defensive teams, not necessarily strong teams, plus a great SCF.

    Well, Mikita played against not only stronger defensive teams, he played against stronger teams period (thus making their 6-6 record a moot point), his 13 points in six games against the #1 seed was more impressive than Howe's 10 points in seven games against the Habs, the #2 seed.

    Belliveau's team won the Cup in a more convincing fashion than Howe's team did and he had the much more impressive SCF than Howe had in '55.

    There is no statistical basis, using your metrics, to place Howe's best clearly above, if at all above, Belliveau's and Mikita's, especially when one looks at the point total of their respective linemates.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  19. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    I brought up Barry Bonds first, and the point was definitely that Bonds had a late career peak, but also that Bonds' late career peak is unrealistic in large part because of how he obviously attained it. Bonds' early career is somewhat comparable to Crosby's (edge to Crosby) but then he turned into nearly Wayne Gretzky. That obviously isn't going to happen... at least within the rules of the NHL.

    Getting two more Conn Smythe trophies wouldn't bump Crosby up to that level if the runs were anything close to his last two. If he had two Conn Smythe worthy runs that were at the level you describe at the end (basically Gretzky level) it might happen, but those odds are extremely remote to the point of being basically zero. Two average or even below average Conn Smythes would give him a very solid case for being the stand alone number five, and having basically six Conn Smythe type runs would be extremely impressive in this era, but that doesn't make it a "big 5". If you are clearly the worst in the group, then you really aren't part of the group.
     
  20. daver

    daver Registered User

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    It's not about Crosby moving past Howe though, he won't. It's about having some element of his career that betters one or more of the Big Four that's makes up for a lower peak, the same way Howe makes up for his lower peak and lower playoff peak with his superior longevity of prime (i.e. being the best player in the world), his superior playoff resume, and to a lesser extent, his longevity of being among the Top 5 after that.

    The Big Four own the top four peaks, the top three primes (is Mario's worse than Jagr's?), the top three playoff peaks (Howe's is arguably not 4th best among forwards), and one Top 4 playoff resume (arguably two as Howe was 5th in the HOH project) .

    The last one, playoff resumes, could be viewed as a legitimate argument to put one player above one of the Big Four but I don't think it is given Howe's playoff resume peers (Richard, Belliveau and Messier) all were on teams that had multiple superstars.

    It was interesting though that only three players (Wayne, Mario and Orr) were seemingly unquestioned as to who you would take for the playoffs. Howe is certainly seen as the weaker link here; it's not a slam dunk that you would take his playoff best over the best of the rest. On that same theme, I view Crosby in the same light as you; starting in 2006, what player would you take over him for the regular season and the playoffs ? Like Howe in the playoffs, there are a couple of players that come to mind but noone is going to argue that you take the player who has the best resume, all things considered.

    That is the theme that I am trying to promote; that until Crosby is not the player you would want over anyone else, he is challenging Howe's and Wayne's longevity of being at the top of the league. If he surpasses that, it gives him the most legitimate argument to be compared with the Big Four than moreso than any other player.

    As would a playoff resume that clearly surpasses Howe. Another Smythe would be huge for Crosby in that regard.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  21. daver

    daver Registered User

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    How did you come up with this categorization? They were 20th in GA for the regular season. The '55 Habs were, despite being a "very good team" in your words, 3rd in GA for the regular season. The Habs are barely in the top half of the league, the Caps are barely in the bottom half. If you want to remark that the Caps played terrible defensively in their series against the Pens, I would counter that they looked bad because Crosby torched them just like Gordie torched the '55 Leafs.

    As for the amount of games played against tougher competition, the Pens played 14 of their 24 games against the equivalent of the #1 seed, while the Wings played 7 of their 11 games against the #2 seed. Their other four games were played against a team that was below the level of Pittsburgh's other two matchups.
     
  22. blogofmike

    blogofmike Registered User

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    Here’s Howe’s career though the end of the Original 6 era: http://www.nhl.com/stats/player?report=skaterpoints&reportType=season&seasonFrom=19461947&seasonTo=19661967&gameType=2&filter=gamesPlayed,gte,1&sort=evPoints,points

    Here’s Crosby’s career through now: http://www.nhl.com/stats/player?report=skaterpoints&reportType=season&seasonFrom=20052006&seasonTo=20172018&gameType=2&filter=gamesPlayed,gte,1&sort=evPoints,points

    In Howe’s case his peak years come at some of the lower scoring years of the sample, but still it should be clear: peak Howe was the greatest ES scorer of his time.

    In Crosby’s case you can’t say that at all. 2010 is Crosby’s career year with 72 ES points – 11 back of Henrik Sedin.

    Crosby closes the gap in PP points by outscoring Henrik 34-27 – but that’s a matter of usage. Crosby had 5:00 of PP time per game. Henrik had 3:27. Crosby was a less efficient PP scorer, but his PP time was huge compared to Henrik Sedin. Had Crosby played Henrik’s PP minutes, Sid the Kid wouldn’t have crossed 100 points in 2010.
     
  23. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Factor in defensive zone starts for both or lack of defensive zone starts for Sedin and the numbers change again.
     
  24. daver

    daver Registered User

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    Put Sidney Crosby with his twin brother and see what happens. But seriously, who the hell cares how their points are scored?

    Crosby is the best ES scorer by far of his era. Trying to position him that as any kind of weakness is ridiculous.

    Crosby's 09/10 was a strong one for Crosby, argubly his 4th best. Where he finished in Hart voting or relative to Sedin is somewhat meaningless. It is clear only Wayne and Mario would not "lose to Sedin".
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  25. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    I will say this for Crosby - I do think he should have won the 2010 Hart. I also think that Ovechkin would (and should) have won it if not for his suspension, while Howe probably lost out on two Harts that he should have won.
     

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