Getzlaf vs Thornton - entire careers up to today

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Sensinitis, Aug 15, 2017.

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  1. Sensinitis

    Sensinitis Registered User

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    comparing centers with a friend, considering their whole body of work, we had a hard time determining who was the better overall player between Getzlaf and Thornton, considering their whole respective careers. Who, would you argue, was? and why?
    as it involves time periods going back to the early and mid 2000s, i thought it belongs on the history board
     
  2. GlitchMarner

    GlitchMarner Formerly 29GoalHoglund

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    If you mean who's had a better career, period, the answer is definitely Thornton.

    If you're asking who's been a better player on a season-per-season basis, it's a closer call. I'd still say Joe.
     
  3. Pietrangelbro

    Pietrangelbro Registered User

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    It's Joe Thornton no matter how you slice it.
     
  4. Sensinitis

    Sensinitis Registered User

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    Not sure what the difference is. Who's been the better overall player over their respecive careers, as in, for example, if Getzlaf has been a top 10 forward in the lesgue more often than Thornton has been, than he has overall been better over his whole career.
     
  5. K Fleur

    K Fleur If You Know You Know

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    Thornton is the better player, and it's not particularly close. Getzlaf is a better playoff performer than Thornton though. That's about the only leg Getzlaf has to stand on.


    Point Finishes:

    Thornton- 1,2,3,4,5,8

    Getzlaf- 2,6,10



    Assist finishes:

    Thornton- 1,1,1,2,2,2,2,3,7,7,10

    Getzlaf- 3,3,4,5,7,7,8




    Hart Trophy voting finishes of note:

    Thornton- 1,4,5,5,6

    Getzlaf- 2,6,7
     
  6. Sensinitis

    Sensinitis Registered User

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    I thought it was obvious, but in case it wasn't, playoffs count. Not just regular season performance.
     
  7. Weissy Baby

    Weissy Baby Registered User

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    I think its important to consider the fact that Thornton's prime started before the Crosby/ Ovechkin era really took off, and there was a bit less competition at the top of the hockey world whereas Getzlaf has always had to compete against Crosby, Ovechkin, Malkin, Stamkos, etc. for major NHL hardware. Also Thornton has 8 more seasons of NHL hockey on his resume over Getzlaf which is a big advantage especially since most took place in a slightly higher scoring era. Internationally I would weigh Getzlaf's two Olympic golds and one WCOH over Thornton's one Olympic Gold and two WCOH. Also Getzlaf has won a Stanley Cup, although it was in his first full season and he wasn't in a leadership role at the time. In a position of leadership, both have had crushing playoff defeats, but of the two Getzlaf still has more opportunities to eventually win another Stanley Cup based on age. From a neutral perspective Thornton so far has had the better career, but Getzlaf still could catch him in the future.
     
  8. Sentinel

    Sentinel Registered User

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    One of them has a Cup, and it ain't Thornton. Their respective performances at 2010 Olympics are also something of note.

    Thornton is certainly better in the regular season. In crunch time, it's Getzlaf for my money.
     
  9. Sensinitis

    Sensinitis Registered User

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    that is a factor that makes the comparison more difficult now that i think about it
     
  10. silkyjohnson50

    silkyjohnson50 Registered User

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    I think Thornton probably has a Cup as well if he has Pronger and Niedermayer manning the blueline while they're 2 of the Top 3 defencemen in the world.
     
  11. BenchBrawl

    BenchBrawl joueur de hockey

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    Ryan Getzlaf is quite underrated in the playoffs.He's one of the best forwards of his generation in the post-season.Unfortunately he never managed to reach Thornton's level in the regular season, both in quality and quantity.
     
  12. Canucks1096

    Canucks1096 Registered User

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    Last 10 years Getzlaf has the second highest ppg in the playoffs 1.05. 111 points in 105 games. Behind Crosby.
     
  13. Theokritos

    Theokritos Moderator

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    This. Careerwise, Getzlaf now is where Thornton was in 2009. Going by the numbers K Fleur has posted above, this is where Thornton was in 2009 vs Getzlaf in 2017:

    Advantage Thornton, but not by as much as it seemed at first sight.
     
  14. Mike Farkas

    Mike Farkas Grace Personified

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    ^ what he said. Getzlaf is a diesel playoff player too...honestly, he is on the shortlist for best of this generation in that regard in my eyes...not the best, to be clear, but he is way up there...
     
  15. GMR

    GMR Registered User

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    As others pointed out, hard to make the comparison based on Thornton playing many years more.

    If Thornton retires tomorrow, he's already earned a trip to the HOF. Can't say the same for Getzlaf if he retires tomorrow.
     
  16. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    This thread is so 2014, 2015. :speechles

    Getzlaf was the Hart trophy runner up in 2014 with a career high 31 goals and 7 game winners. The following postseason he had an NHL-highest 18 playoff assists in a Game 7 conference finals run against Chicago.

    Thornton in 2016 silenced the Getzlaf surge with an 82-point-in-82-game, 2nd team all-star center season and 21-point Stanley Cup finals run. Take that year away from Jumbo Joe and the conversation would be at least worth having.

    As it stands, Getzlaf was trailing, made a run of it and started to close the gap a couple of years ago and then Thornton ran away with it. It'd take another two years like Getzlaf ended 2014 and 2015 with no answering call by (perhaps still injured) Thornton in 2018 and 2019 for this thread's query to have legs again.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Rebels57

    Rebels57 Registered User

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    When Playoffs are factored, I will take Getzlaf.
     
  18. Boxscore

    Boxscore #OldNHL

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    Thornton has had the better career so far. But if I'm building a team, I want Getzlaf over Big Joe. The snarl, toughness, intangibles ... yes please. Especially when it matters most - the playoffs.
     
  19. Mike Farkas

    Mike Farkas Grace Personified

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    Remember when it looked like Thornton was gonna go down that road too...? Who spooked him good...Lindros was it?
     
  20. GMR

    GMR Registered User

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    Meh. There's nothing about Getlzaf's fight card that screams "tough". He's not better a fighter than Thornton. Ironically, these two did actually fight in 2009.
     
  21. GMR

    GMR Registered User

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    Doubtful. Star centers have never dropped the gloves a lot. Lindros was the exception because he was huge and could hang with legit enforcers. Besides, there's hardly any fighting now period, so it'd be stupid for Thornton to fight a lot the last ten seasons. Getzlaf doesn't fight much either.
     
  22. Iapyi

    Iapyi Registered User

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    certainly a better question then most that i have seen on this forum.

    in my opinion getzlaf is the better player. this is not a slight to thornton.
     
  23. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    In terms of resumes, Thornton is ahead and almost certainly will remain ahead. In terms of who I would actually want, it's closer than their resumes indicate. Getzlaf goes through stretches of lazy play that Thornton mostly avoids, hurting his scoring finishes and trophy placements. Fully engaged Getzlaf is pretty close to Thornton. I still take Thornton in general, but depending on team need I could be convinced to take Getzlaf.
     
  24. Ducks in a row

    Ducks in a row Go Ducks Quack Quack

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    He has a cup while leading his team in points and average ice time per game among forwards. He also has been better in the Olympics and has 1 more Gold Medal.

    Thornton was a better regular season performer but not so good that you can't say Getzlaf has had a better career.
     
  25. Hobnobs

    Hobnobs Pinko

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    And since the 05 lockout he is 28th and Thornton is 9th.
     

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