Hockey of the past vs today

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Sentinel, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Esposito stick on ice to ankle height or deflections were much quicker than Ovi' s or modern players from well above the shoulders blasts.

    Basic intro physics.
     
  2. Dingo

    Dingo Registered User

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    It’s not about human evolution, it’s about money. If guys were topping out at 150g a year, and tickets to watch a game were $10, dudes would still be drinking and smoking, and maybe hitting some weights when they felt like it. The guys who simply really, really loved hockey and devoted themselves to it, plus had talent, would stick out from the pack again like the old days. They’d dominate, because gaps close when everyone is trying, and everyone has a support team trying to get them to the show.
    The players have improved, but it’s only because they had to to have jobs and make millions.
    It is totally impossible to say whether Bobby Hull and gang would be able to adapt to the speed of play and speed of decision making now, or not, or if Ovechkin wouldn’t bloat like Krutov if he only made enough to buy a house and be upper middle class, and had no one yelling at him to come home from the bar and go see the trainer.
    Different game. Moreso for goalies. A 5’8 fireplug with heavy, soaking pads, getting up and down without grace, facing shots with a thin mask or none is a different athlete than a 6’4 string bean who does yoga, and floats effortlessly from post to post in a perfect butterfly in custom made pads.

    The greats of yore would likely have adapted. Winners do that usually. They likely would not have dominated the league like they did. The depth of great athletes has grown and the gaps between where they’ve gotten and what is humanly possible have shrunk.

    For the guys who think humans are getting better, etc, the Soviet lifters from the 80’s still haven’t been bested, even though steroids are more refined now (and yes, the Russians were on tons but don’t fool yourselves about todays athletes). Why? Lifting weights in Russia in 1985 was a culture that could make you go from rags to riches. Nobody cares as much now as they did then. Same story as hockey, except the time periods are reversed.
     
  3. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

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    I just wanted to say that this is a brilliant post.
     
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  4. DannyGallivan

    DannyGallivan Your world frightens and confuses me

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    The differences that makes the Ovie vs Hull argument moot (and likely puts the results in Hull's favour)

    1. Equipment. You cannot over emphasis the difference that the equipment technology makes in speed, quickness and agility. You can't. Add many pounds to Ovechkin's equipment while reducing it's protective effectiveness by 90 per cent. That's what Hull had to deal with. That doesn't even include the skates, which would be like Ovechkin skating with ankle weights today.

    2. Equipment number two: sticks. The old, wooden hunks of lumber vs the space-age light-as-a-feather sticks that comes in a variety of flexes. C'mon!

    3. Shifts. 3 minute shifts were what average stars had. Hull was documented at least one time in the playoffs playing through an 8 minute shift! Ovie is off the ice in 45 seconds.

    4. Clutch and grab hockey. Ovie never had to play with two guys water-skiing on his back. Hull did.

    5. Ice surface. The Zambonie (ice resurfacing) machines have improved, indoor ice-making has improved, and they even have young adults shovel the surface several times a period. Look at what Hull skated through during the 1960 era (this Geoffrion image really doesn't do the situation justice):

    [​IMG]

    6. Training and coaching. Hull never lifted a conventional weight in his life.

    [​IMG]

    Yet Ovie has the benefits of modern diet and training. And here he is...

    [​IMG]

    I'm not saying that Ovechkin wouldn't be dominate in the 60's. I am saying that Hull would be the most dominating (or among the top couple) in this era.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
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  5. Overrated

    Overrated Registered User

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    Of course, if he teleported to the 50s today without his gear and would have to use theirs he'd still be racking up like 300 points per season no problem.
     
  6. DannyGallivan

    DannyGallivan Your world frightens and confuses me

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    Naw, more like a million zillion...
     
    Last edited by moderator Bear of Bad News: Jan 11, 2019
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  7. BobbyAwe

    BobbyAwe Registered User

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    Interestingly, Derek Sanderson said that players of the past were NOT slower than the modern players (given better training and the new skates, etc.) but it's mainly the PASSING is much better today. Watching games from 40 years ago or more it sort of DOES seem to me that there were less completed passes and plays, in general? This is puzzling because passing or stickhandling does not rely on size and strength which the modern players have more of, so there should be no difference? The only reason I can come up with is that the training techniques today are better not only in the categories of strength and conditioning but even in the "finesse" categories? It is all much more scientific. Also, kids today are coached and trained better from a very young age.
     
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  8. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    End of the sponsorship era saw a major dip in passing, stickhandling and inside game skills.
     
  9. K Fleur

    K Fleur If You Know You Know

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    We always end up with the same pictures of shirtless players in these kind of threads. ****ing creepy.
     
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  10. Boxscore

    Boxscore Registered User

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    I haven't seen a player from today's game with the artistic brilliance of Mario Lemieux.

    I haven't seen a player from today's game who can process a play 3 steps ahead of his peers like Wayne Gretzky.

    I haven't seen a player from today's game turn the puck on its edges in full stride while they are shooting it so it can fit sideways through a small five hole like Mike Bossy.

    I haven't seen a player from today's game fire a shot as hard, fast or menacing as Bobby Hull.

    I haven't seen a defenseman from today's game completely dominate both ends of the rink like Bobby Orr.

    Today's players aren't better. Teams are simply built differently. Teams in past eras had 3rd lines filled with gritty grinders, checkers and role players... and 4th lines loaded with pugilists. That's because physical intimidation was a tool used to generate success in those eras. Today, the recipe for success calls for a different approach so those jobs are taken by quicker, more skilled players that look like bubble hockey robots or clones. If there was no need for physical players in the past eras, teams would have been filled with the same type of players as today.

    The biggest difference I see in eras / players is that today's players are in better physical condition, take shorter shifts, and the game is over-coached to death. But the skill, talent, desire, etc. hasn't changed for the better. In fact, I'd say the game has lost much of its personality, spontaneity and raw, unfiltered creativity, due to said over-coaching.
     
  11. psycat

    psycat Registered User

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    So you don't believe that the human species has evolved at rabid pace during the last 40 years or so? Shocking conclusion.
     
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  12. Troubadour

    Troubadour Registered User

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    LOL, yeah. And we always see ripped Bobby and Gordie on a farm and fat off-season Ovi (possibly on a yacht or whatever).

    To me, it's a no-brainer that on average, today's players are just better. The skill and agility drills, the global competition, stricter diets, advanced equipment, the speed of information processing and exchange of new knowledge... The money at stake. All of that does kick up the average quality of players up a few notches. I believe the bar to cut the pros is a good deal higher than in the old days.
     
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  13. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Excellent post. Though you stopped short of the O6, sponsorship era and before.

    Today teams are not built in the traditional sense of developing feeder players to a team playing identity. Teams are drafted and resulting shortcomings are patched over. Hence the over coaching.

    Last examples of players drafted/acquired to a team identity was 1974, canadiens drafting Bob Gainey and 1975 trading for Doug Jarvis.Ironically both came thru Peterborough in junior, a former Canadiens junior feeder team that still played fundamental Canadiens hockey.

    Going back to WWII, this was common. 1946-47 Leafs turned their defencemen since the old guard was inadequate for the new Red Line game, bringing in their best graduating juniors/feeders. Not possible today.

    Likewise, 1955-56 Canadiens, new coach Toe Blake saw the team lacked speed and versatility, moved out players and brought in appropriate replacements.

    Similar situations with later Leafs, Wings, Hawks, Bruins, Rangers.

    Players coming in knew the teams game,what was expected. No need for over coaching.You never saw coaches have to position players on faceoffs. Simple hand signal from the center indicating his strategy for a draw.
     
  14. danincanada

    danincanada Registered User

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    Yes, all these points should be common sense. It’s not so common though.
     
  15. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    If we ignore the increasing shift from rural to urban communities in NA and the Soviet Union since WWII. Combined with machines replacing physical labour on farms and elsewhere.
     
  16. Johnny Engine

    Johnny Engine Moderator

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    Unfortunately that's often what common sense means - ignoring a whole lot of specific information that contradicts the most obvious and convenient conclusion available.
     
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  17. talitintti

    talitintti Registered User

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    Do you believe that you could retain your relative aptitude in your field of working if the salaries increased a ten or a hundredfold and would it be as easy?

    Practical sense dictates that increased salaries = increased competition.
     
  18. Johnny Engine

    Johnny Engine Moderator

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    I'm a graphic designer. If media companies in my market suddenly started hiring dozens and dozens of graphic designers at $200k each, they would first end up hiring a whole lot of clueless children with pirated software. Eventually, the trade colleges in my area would react to the need for many more educated graphic designers by drastically increasing their class sizes, which starting at 3 years from that point, would increase the number of designers who have at very least some idea of what the market expects from this job, but have the drawback of being educated in large classes with little attention from professors. In the mean time, many of these companies would be looking to recruit from areas like China and India, as well as whatever unstable country was sending large numbers of migrants to Canada, and while those people would certainly be more skilled and talented than the aforementioned children-with-Photoshop, they'd have a learning curve ahead of them when it comes to communicating with their colleagues in English, and navigating corporate culture in this country.
    Many of the new students, new Canadians, and stopgap options would show great talent and produce awesome work. I would not expect to lose my job because of any of this.
     
  19. talitintti

    talitintti Registered User

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    Of course, the effect wouldn't be instantenious. But, do you think it would be as easy to be among the best in the world 20 years after the salaries had gone up?
     
  20. wetcoast

    wetcoast Registered User

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    With all due respect to graphic designers, it's not the best comparison to the NHL and hockey players is it?
     
  21. Johnny Engine

    Johnny Engine Moderator

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    In my hypothetical, it would depend on the entire system recovering from the massive disruptions I described. Assuming that local design colleges and management at media companies found a way to adapt to training many more designers, the next cohort would undoubtably be a superior group of designers to the flood of barely-and-unqualified workers that came along with the salary explosion. In the meantime, I am not unable to learn from the new ideas being put forward by other designers - unlike hockey players, my physical skills won't begin to decay in any relevant way in my late 20s (which is good, because if I was an NHL player I'd already be among the very oldest in the league right now), but rather I'd stand a chance of improving what I do until I am no longer interested in working.
    By the time I'm retired, the majority of design and media in my market will be populated by people with fundamentally different ideas about what good design is, and my previous work would fail by those standards. Does that mean you can't compare my accomplishments in my field to the next wave, and come to the conclusion that the newest wave is ultimately better? Not at all. But a "common sense" interpretation of those events would miss the mark entirely.
     
  22. Johnny Engine

    Johnny Engine Moderator

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    The poster specifically asked about my (or anyone else's) field. If you'd like to make A to B comparisons and break down the differences, go right ahead.
     
  23. wetcoast

    wetcoast Registered User

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    How exactly does this relate to hockey players coming to the NHL though?

    I'm sure there was an Avocado farm near where Matthews lived but it had probably zero affect on his development as an elite NHL prospect.
     
  24. wetcoast

    wetcoast Registered User

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    Fair enough but I don't think that a job such a graphic designer, and the skillset required, is a very good comparison to the NHL and hockey.

    Take for instance language, a guy can still do really well in the NHL even if they didn't speak English very well.
     
  25. Johnny Engine

    Johnny Engine Moderator

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    There are many examples of professional hockey players who have struggled because of culture and language differences. Exceptional talent does tend to overcome adversity, which is another thing that doesn't change much across fields.
    Besides, I already gave you a major difference. Hockey players have a relatively tight window of time to play before their bodies break down, and this has a huge effect on their performance at different stages of their career - the upshot being that it's difficult if not impossible to observe different cohorts playing against each other on an even field.
     

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