Is Ovechkin a greater player than Yzerman and Sakic

Discussion in 'Polls - (hockey-related only)' started by slapKing, Jun 4, 2021.

?

what do you think?

  1. Ovie is already a greater player than both

    71.8%
  2. Ovie is greater than Yzerman, but not Sakic

    2.5%
  3. Ovie is greater than Sakic, but not Yzerman

    3.4%
  4. Ovie will never be a greater player than both

    22.3%
  1. MikeGsVengeance Bench Jones Sponsor

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    Nietzsche once said: “The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments.”

    Thank you for your service.
     
  2. WarriorofTime Registered User

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    More people need to realize that in the post-30+ team and salary cap era that more and more great players are going to retire without ever winning a Cup. Even someone as good as McDavid isn't a guarantee to get one if the circumstances don't go his way (as seen by his early years). The "pre-salary cap era" of No Cups was pretty hallow, Marcel Dionne was always the guy, who put up some nice points over his career in a scorer friendly era but was only ever in serious Hart Consideration for around a 3 or 4 year peak. There was also Brad Park who was the "other" defenseman from his era. Otherwise it was guys that had short careers like Pavel Bure, Cam Neely or Eric Lindros. That list is going to grow more and more extensive in the modern era. Players can't just play on stacked teams and the talent is very diluted across the League.

    And it's also important to remember, Ovechkin isn't on the list. He won a Cup, as the clear cut most impactful player as well.
     
  3. SkinsFan09 Registered User

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    NHL scoring in the mid 2010s fell about as low as the late 1990s/early 2000s and Yzerman's best years were not in the DPE but in the late 1980s.
     
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  4. Midnight Judges HFBoards Sponsor Sponsor

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    It is bizarre that anyone thinks this is close.

    1. Lemieux
    2. Jagr
    3. Roy
    4. Bourque
    5. Hasek
    6. Lidstrom
    7. Messier
    8. Fetisov
    9. Makarov
    10. Brodeur
    11. Sakic
    12. Yzerman

    I limited this to players who had 13 years or more of overlap in their professional careers with BOTH Sakic and Yzerman. This eliminated Gretzky but certainly you could count him too.

    Ovechkin's era:

    1. Ovechkin
    2. Crosby
    3. McDavid

    4. Nobody else is even close

    And I generously include McDavid who almost certainly will NOT have 13 years of overlap with Sid or Ovie. (Lidstrom had 7, Jagr had 10).

    So the 11th and 12th best players of the nostalgia years (roughly '85-2005) are equal or superior to the best player (or at worst, a top 3 player) of the past two decades? -That's the assertion here.

    So if you are siding with Yzerman and Sakic, or if you think this is a tough call, your claim is that despite the talent pool growing, elite players are actually significantly worse. And despite Ovechkin standing out from the crowd way the hell more than Sakic or Yzerman, there is some other reason why a comparatively far lesser player from a comparatively lesser talent pool somehow comes out ahead. Except nobody has a rational basis for why that would be.

    It simply does not pass the smell test. I think some of you just need a little (or a lot) more time to digest the information and gather your thoughts.

    Or maybe there is some other part of the equation that nobody wants to say out loud.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
  5. Czech Your Math Registered User

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    I think what makes this close is mostly that Sakic was so good in the playoffs, had a couple of great playoffs when they won Cups, and didn't drop off much in playoffs against the better defensive teams.

    If he doesn't miss time for suspension, Ovi probably wins two Rosses. If not for Lemieux & Jagr, Sakic wins two Rosses.

    Let's look at the best peak/prime scoring forwards of each period. The overseas talent didn't fully integrate into NHL until 90s, so looking at two roughly equal periods:

    1990 to Lockout
    Some prime (but post-peak) Gretzky and most of Lemieux's peak years... so we'll say one outlier total
    Jagr
    Sakic
    Forsberg
    Selanne
    Yzerman (about half of his peak years, so half credit)
    Lindros
    Oates
    Messier (about half of his prime, so half credit)
    Kariya
    Francis
    Recchi
    Bure
    Brett Hull
    LeClair
    Naslund


    Lockout to Present
    Roughly half of McDavid's expected best seasons, as well as Kucherov, Draisaitl & MacKinnon (so half of four equals two)
    Crosby
    Ovechkin
    Kane
    Thornton
    Malkin
    St. Louis (won Ross in 2004, but most of prime post-lockout.. so we'll split 50/50)
    Stamkos
    Iginla (won Ross in 2002, but most of prime post-lockout... so we'll split 50/50)
    Backstrom
    Giroux
    Sedins (both)
    Kovalchuk
    Marchand
    Datsyuk

    So very roughly:

    1990-Lockout: Equivalent of ~1 outlier and ~15 other top scorers
    Lockout-Present: Equivalent of ~16 top scorers

    Regardless of the exact cutoffs (in terms of players, seasons, etc.), once you have a decent sample size and compare apples to apples, it's pretty even between the periods.

    When you start bringing historical greats at other positions (Hasek, Roy, Bourque, Lidstrom, etc.) into the equation, it gets more complicated. We may not see another see another Hasek in our lifetimes, so wondering why there isn't an equally good goalie in the post-lockout era seems futile. Roy won a couple Cups with underdogs and a couple more on Avs, there's just no equal to him at present. There's probably more very good goalies post-lockout, but nobody comes close to what he did. Take the long, consistent careers of goalies like Luongo or Lundqvist, but better and slightly longer... and combine that with the playoff peaks of goalies like Thomas AND Quick... and you approach Roy's career. We have to remember these are extreme outliers among NHL players, which are already the extreme end of the spectrum. There's no schedule for the extremes of the extremes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
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  6. WarriorofTime Registered User

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    People that think that hockey players have gotten slower and less skilled over time, it's a bit bizarre. People will claim the 7th best guy from 30 years ago was better than first or second best guy today. Don't think any other sport has that attitude. Nobody doubts Gretzky or Lemieux's abilities, when people start claiming every next tier guy was as good as the best players of the modern era, you start to lose me.
     
  7. WarriorofTime Registered User

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    Lemieux only played 318 games in the 1990s.
     
  8. nowhereman Registered User

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    Nostalgia is the sweetest of nectars.
     
  9. WarriorofTime Registered User

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    Yes, and I think the gaudy point totals of past players have a role in that too, as well as the mistaken belief that the entire 90s was the "dead puck era", when it was really only the end of the decade, and for a lot of the decade there was not quite the same but still a very high carryover from the 1980s in terms of goals. Particularly, in the 80s, there was a rapid expansion of teams and not the same level of increase in the talent pool that the NHL was drawing from. You had a lot of players that were just so far below the standards of the top tier players that those top players could just absolutely feast on them whenever they were across from them. A guy nobody ever talks about like Denis Maruk scored 60 goals in a season... Combined with Goalies playing an outdated technique and defensive schemes being primitive by today's standards, it was very easy for the superstars of the day to put up insane point totals.
     
  10. allhaildraisaitl Registered User

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    I think both Yzerman and Sakic were better hockey players. I would probably go with Sakic if I had to pick one of them.
     
  11. Czech Your Math Registered User

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    And people pretend that players from the 90s wouldn't be good today. Yet we saw Jagr, Sakic, Selanne, etc. in their mid-late 30s doing just fine post-lockout, despite not having anywhere near the speed they had at their peaks.

    I don't have any problem with those that believe Ovechkin is better than both of these guys, unless you think it's not at all close. I'm uncertain myself, was just stating my belief.

    Well, he only played 368 games in the 80s so...
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
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  12. authentic Registered User

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    To be fair though a 37 year Sakic literally outscored a 21 year old Ovechkin during the exact same season, so the Sakic and Ovechkin comparison is a pretty legitimate one especially when Sakic is a multiple 50 goal scorer himself who also had more points than Ovechkin ever had in a season in the regular season and playoffs while being a very good two-way player at his peak.
     
  13. WarriorofTime Registered User

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    True but 20 year old Ovechkin outscored 36 year old Sakic.
     
  14. Czech Your Math Registered User

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    90s was mostly DPE... basically '94-5 thru '03-4, except '95-6. Highest scoring years since from '94-5 to present for the top tiers have been: 1996, 2006, 2007, 2019, 2020, 2021, 1997, 2001, 2018, 2009, 2008 & 2010.

    Sure, Yzerman's peak was during a higher scoring time, but not most of Sakic's peak/prime.
     
  15. authentic Registered User

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    Of course, but very few players in their mid 30s are 50 goal 100 point players like Ovechkin was that year, which makes it pretty amazing that he outscored him the very next season at 37. In his peak he had 54 goals and 118 points, and 18 goals in a playoff run. which match up pretty well with Ovechkin at his best. Then he was nominated for a Selke trophy on top of it.
     
  16. WarriorofTime Registered User

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    Sure, very few 20 year olds do that too, not doubting Sakic as an ATG himself or anything.
     
  17. authentic Registered User

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    Way more 20 year olds have been elite offensively than 36+ year old players.
     
  18. WarriorofTime Registered User

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    Not so much when they are basically a one man show and scoring as many goals as the next closest guy on their team had points.
     
  19. XeroKaos Registered User

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    Both Yzerman and Sakic were more well rounded overall. Look no further than the assists totals each player has, both Yzerman and Sakic with over 1,000 a piece, Ovechkin is nowhere close to them.

    Yzerman - 1514 gp, 692 G, 1,062 A, 1,755 pts

    Sakic - 1,378 gp, 625 G, 1,016 A, 1,641 pts

    Ovechkin - 1,197 gp, 730 G, 590 A, 1,320 pts

    Ovechkin much more goal heavy, while Yzerman and Sakic were certainly no slouches in the goal scoring department, its their assist totals that put both players squarely ahead of Ovechkin in terms of "Greater".
     
  20. SkinsFan09 Registered User

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    If only Ovechkin got to play in his 20s in the 1980s and early 1990s.
     
  21. newfy Registered User

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    I actually say this all the time. If a Canadian came into the league and had 9 rockets,a bunch of highlight reel goals (more when Ovechkin was younger but still) and was laying out guys left and right, the circle jerk on TSN would be hilarious

    Yzerman lost "1" to them directly. But without them Yzerman would have been the clear, best offensive player in the league by a notable margin for 6 or 7 straight seasons. Over a ~7 season span, Yzermans point per game would have had him scoring ~16 more points per season than the next closest player.

    Without those guys going insane offensively and making the voters "used to" the crazy numbers they were putting up, Yzerman is seen as the best offensive player of a generation essentially and likely has several more accolades because of it. Yzermans peak and prime could not have come at a worse time to have it make you look like an all time great due to the other 2 centers he was competing against. The gap in Yzermans offense over the next closest players wasnt much smaller than the difference between him and Gretzky during Yzermans peak.

    If, for example, Yzermans peak was up against the top guys of the late 90s/early 2000s, he likely cleans up a tonne of hardware
     
  22. XeroKaos Registered User

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    That different era logic has never really made much sense, you actually see it a lot in arguments with Gretzky, if it was so easy to score in the 80’s then why didn’t everyone have as much points as Gretzky?

    It’s just a flawed logic. It wasn’t any easier to score points back then.
     
  23. um Registered User

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    Its basic math. There were more goals back than.
     
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  24. KoozNetsOff 92 Hala Madrid

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    After removing Gretzky and Lemieux, Yzerman has a whopping 1 ross, 0 rockets and 1 PPG win. That is very low standards for "best offensive player of a generation". Brett Hull peaked around the same time and won 3 rockets and would have had a ross if no Gretzky. Yzerman was a great player but he doesn't belong in a conversation with OV.
     
  25. Fantomas Registered User

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    It was easier to score in the 80s, evidenced by the fact that the league had much higher scoring rates. It's completely logical.
     
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