Mario Lemieux's 1995-96 season Greatest season ever?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Dangler99*, May 30, 2011.

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  1. Dangler99*

    Dangler99* Guest

    Here me out.

    In 1992-93 Lemieux had intense radiaton treatment to treat his cancer. Thankfully he was cured.
    At the end of the 92-93 season 66 underwent his second back operation to fix a herniated disc.
    The following season in 93-94 Lemieux only played 22 games because of still having severe back problems. He missed the entire 1994-95 season because of fatigue due to his radiation treatment and his back problems.

    He Return in 1995-96 after missing an entire season of action and did the following.

    70 games, 69 goals, 92 assists, 161 points.


    He swept the Art Ross Hart and Pearson Awards.

    Is this the greatest season of all time?
     
    Last edited by moderator : May 31, 2011
  2. Ohashi_Jouzu*

    Ohashi_Jouzu* Registered User

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    Like I said on the main board, if there was a player who raked in all those awards AND a Conn Smythe on the way to winning the Cup in the same year, that would be even "better".

    And Gretzky did exactly that in '84/85.
     
  3. blogofmike

    blogofmike Registered User

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    :handclap: 47 points in 18 games. That's better than your average Conn Smythe Award.
     
  4. WingsFan95

    WingsFan95 Registered User

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    Orr in 70 & 72.

    I know he didn't win the Art Ross those years but.....kinda moot argument against all things considering.

    And in 91-92, Lemieux was 5th in Hart voting, he would have won it had he played the whole season.
     
  5. Iain Fyffe

    Iain Fyffe Hockey fact-checker

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    If we're discussing individual performances, then team success doesn't enter into it.

    There's no objective way to determine a "greatest season", except if you restrict the meaning of "greatest" to a very narrow one, said definition which will not necessarily be agreed upon by very many people.

    It was certainly a great season, and in the same realm as Gretzky's best (and Lemieux's other great seasons). That's about all we can really say. There's no real way to rank one above another with any precision.
     
  6. Ohashi_Jouzu*

    Ohashi_Jouzu* Registered User

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    Hence my emphasis on the 4 individual awards he won that year. ;) But honestly, any player would say their season was made better by winning the Cup, so why wouldn't we also consider it at least a little bit?

    And sure, they're same ballpark. There aren't many players who have walked away with the Art Ross, Hart, and Pearson (Lindsay) in the same season, so they're all in the same ballpark. Art Ross, Hart, Pearson AND Conn Smythe in the same year is a little more exclusive a club, I think you'll find. I see no trouble with pointing to a guy who was deemed the best in the league from October to June in one year as having a better season than the guy who was the best in the league from October to April in another (everything else also considered, such as separation from the rest of the field/competition).
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2011
  7. Iain Fyffe

    Iain Fyffe Hockey fact-checker

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    No, the Conn Smythe absolutely requires a great degree of team success in the playoffs. You could score 20 points in the first round, but if your goaltender is a sieve and you lost in seven games, you will be getting zero consideration for the Conn Smythe.
     
  8. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

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    That's true, but 47 points in 18 playoff games is insane as an individual performance anyway.
     
  9. Ohashi_Jouzu*

    Ohashi_Jouzu* Registered User

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    Insane, and remains a record to this day, so I think that's a significant addition to any context of individual "greatness".
     
  10. Iain Fyffe

    Iain Fyffe Hockey fact-checker

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    It is, but since it's a per-80-game pace of 209, compared to the 208 he scored in the regular season, it's hardly a world of difference.

    Considering postseason stats is one thing; considering postseason awards is quite another, since those awards only go to players whose teams reach the finals, and typically win the Cup. This discussion arose in the context of the Conn Smythe award, not on high playoff scoring stats.
     
  11. blogofmike

    blogofmike Registered User

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    Hardly a world of difference. Yes, he was ONLY able to maintain one of the greatest scoring paces in history through the playoffs.

    If the Cup is a minor factor, due to the importance of teammates, why don't we also consider that he led the league in goals, assists, points, plus/minus, and his assist total was higher than anyone else's point total? In the playoffs he was second to only to a Kurri's record 19 goals, a monster of greatly of his own creation, but Gretzky still led in assists, points and plus/minus.
     
  12. Iain Fyffe

    Iain Fyffe Hockey fact-checker

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    Yes, he maintained his insane scoring pace in the playoffs. Given that he maintained such a scoring pace for several years, over hundreds of NHL games, this should not come as a surprise.

    Who said we didn't? Why wouldn't we?
     
  13. Ohashi_Jouzu*

    Ohashi_Jouzu* Registered User

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    Wait, I don't get it. How is "not surprising" mutually exclusive from "greatest ever"?

    And this didn't all arise in the context of the Conn Smythe, it arose from the context of "major" individual awards, and a season in which Gretzky won more than Lemieux did in his season which the OP postulates as the "greatest season ever", and set an individual playoff record that stands to this day. And yes, you'll find that most people here consider post season performance to be on par with, if not more important than, regular season performance.
     
  14. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    No, having cancer doesn't make you a better hockey player.

    Gretzky's 1987 is the best season ever - he won the scoring race by a staggering 69%.
     
  15. canucks4ever

    canucks4ever Registered User

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    Bobby Orr's 1970 is the best season ever, won the scoring title by over 20% and took the norris and conn smythe home too. It also impresses me more because he outscored all time greats like esposito, mikita, bobby hull and other orginal 6 era legends by a huge margin.
     
  16. shazariahl

    shazariahl Registered User

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    Ya. 83-84 was pretty staggering too - 51 game point scoring streak, 50 goals in 42 games (not as good as 39, but 2nd fastest ever - and he had 61 in 50 which is the same as the year he did 50 in 39), and 205 pts in only 74 games. Highest PPG average for a single season ever, with 2.77, and highest GPG average ever with 1.18. I actually prefer 83-84, but margin of victory is pretty major too - so I can't fault your choice. Its easy to say "everyone back then scored a lot", but when you win the scoring race by a 69% margin, that just doesn't cut it.
     
  17. overpass

    overpass Registered User

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    I know the OP didn't make the per-game argument.

    But Lemieux's 95-96 wasn't as good it looks on a per-game level. He sat out the second half of back-to-back games, so he 1. Didn't play in the more difficult games of the schedule, and 2. Was more rested for the remaining games.

    OTOH, his 1992-93 was that impressive.
     
  18. Passchendaele

    Passchendaele Registered User

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    Orr won the Art Ross in 1970.
     
  19. ozzie

    ozzie Registered User

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    Impressive season, yes. The greatest no.

    He didn't finish the season injury free, therefore it cannot be the greatest.

    What if, or what might have beens, to many questions.

    You have to give credit to Orr or Gretzky, for remaining healthy and winning in the playoffs in their great years.

    PPG and crunching numbers are nice, but still leave questions. Orr and Gretzky finished with no questions in their best seasons.

    I'll take the facts and the season that actually happened and not the what if he had been healthy.

    One of the most heart warming seasons to be sure, but not the greatest.
     
  20. Dangler99*

    Dangler99* Guest

    Lemieux had cancer and was born with a spine disease. He did what he could based on what he had to deal with. I'm Not Creditinig Gretzky and Orr for not getting Cancer and being born with a spine condition.
     
  21. KingGallagherXI

    KingGallagherXI Registered User

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    I thought the question was, is 1995-1996 the best season by Mario Lemieux? Or is it 92-93, or 88-89.
     
  22. Wee Baby Seamus

    Wee Baby Seamus Yo, Goober, where's the meat?

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    I'd say 1995-96 wasn't even his best ever. His 1992-93 season was pretty insane: 160 points in 60 games 2.66ppg 1.15gpg
     
  23. Dangler99*

    Dangler99* Guest

    Very Comparable. 70 games, 69 Goals, 92 assists, 161 points- Art Ross Hart Pearson
    After missing the ENTIRE previous season recovering from radiation treatment and a second back operation which was still nagging him.
     
  24. Iain Fyffe

    Iain Fyffe Hockey fact-checker

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    It's not. I'm just saying that his playoff performance doesn't really add to his existing impressiveness, because he already had that degree of impressiveness, if you follow me.

    The specific things I'm discussing certainly did. My first response was in regards to the Conn Smythe, apparently wanting to give credit to Gretzky for that while Lemieux didn't have the opportunity for that award in that year, since it requires team playoff success.

    I'm quite aware of that. Playoff performance is on par with regular-season performance. Which is to say, they should be considered together, in aggregate, not the playoffs as a subset being considered equal to the regular season as a subset, since there are so few playoff games compared to the regular season.
     
  25. shazariahl

    shazariahl Registered User

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    But again, you seem to think that having cancer made Lemieux a better player than Gretzky. It didn't. It may have made a better story, more inspiring, etc. Maybe he had to overcome more to be as good as he was, but it doesn't somehow make him better than Gretzky. Gretzky had a serious back injury of his own; he developed arthritis in one shoulder that robbed him of his slapshot (one of his best offensive weapons), and he was "too small" to play in the NHL his whole career. I'm not saying he overcame more than Lemieux - he didn't. But he had plenty of obstacles of his own and overcame them to be great.

    Maybe if Lemieux HADN'T had so much to overcome, he would have been better, but that's not how it happened. Missing more games and scoring less points doesn't make you better than someone who played more and scored more, especially when they outscored you in PPG as well.
     

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