Mikita vs Dionne

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Neutrinos, Oct 1, 2018.

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  1. Neutrinos

    Neutrinos Registered User

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    I thought this might make for an interesting discussion since both players were short, right-handed shooting offensive stars

    Which one was better?
     
  2. The Pale King

    The Pale King katabat.bandcamp*****

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    I guess it depends whether you're more a fan of donuts and coffee or omelettes and pancakes.

    Seriously though, interesting comparison. Eager to hear what others think.
     
  3. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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  4. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    Coffee and pancakes!

    I've never noticed anyone directly comparing the two but I've long thought Dionne underappreciated around here. (Heck, no one had scored as many points over his peak 10-year span, and he was 2nd all time in points at one time I recall, and played for such an awful team).

    Hmmm...

    Will gladly dedicate some brain cells to their relative worth when I've got the time and inclination in the coming days (HOH lists not due yet).
     
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  5. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Mikita can be a little overrated around here (something I agree on), but he was still better than Dionne.
     
  6. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    that mikita nine year peak is incredible. 4th most games, scored the most points, had the highest points/game, 2nd most goals, most assists, won two harts and four art rosses, finished top three in scoring every year but one (when he finished 4th behind espo, howe, and hull), and had six first team all-stars and two second team all-stars. and those ASTs are against good competition: the second half of beliveau's prime, esposito in the second half, henri richard, keon, and ullman.

    dionne's prime is a little more spread out, over eleven seasons. but '76 is an off-year where he is in the bottom half of the top 20, and he barely cracks the top 20 at all in '78 and '84. he competed against trottier, who is excellent competition, and for the second half of his prime gretzky, who obviously was untouchable. a little bit of peak espo and bobby clarke at the beginning (whom he was solidly behind) and a little bit of stastny, savard, hawerchuk at the end as he was declining. 1st in goals, assists, and points over those eleven seasons; 3rd in games; 4th in goals, assists, and points per game (doesn't include mario). two scoring championships if you pretend gretzky doesn't exist; 1, 2, 3, 5 in hart voting if no gretzky; 3 AST1s, 2 AST2s if no gretzky. a very good run, especially that '77-'81 peak.

    but even purely offensively, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4, 6 (dionne with gretzky taken out) is weaker than mikita's 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4. and that's not even getting into the extremely large disparity in their all round games, as TDDM notes above.
     
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  7. JackSlater

    JackSlater Registered User

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    I don't see a case for Dionne. Pretty similar offensive results, though probably leaning toward Mikita a bit. Mikita was a much more versatile player though. I suppose Dionne may have been elite for a little bit longer than Mikita was but that doesn't move him ahead for me.
     
  8. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    18-team then 21-team league
    vs.
    6-team then 12-team league

    And Mikita had HHOFer Pilote moving the puck up ice, and a team good enough to go to the bloody Stanley Cup Finals five times (and win the Stanley Cup) whereas Dionne was in LA, a franchise that never reached the conference finals in its history until the nineties.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
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  9. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    1993 SC finalists.
     
  10. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    Corrected. The key point stands: not during his many years has the team gotten even close to the finals. It wasn't like he was playing with HHOF skaters. He himself repeatedly wondered how his career could have gone if he played for the Habs like Lafleur did.
     
  11. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    i don't really like that what if, at least not the way i think dionne is thinking about it. i mean, the habs chose the superior player. sure, his career probably would have been more successful if he'd been drafted by the habs, but he also would have to have been a better player in the first place to have been drafted by the habs so of course he probably would have been more successful.

    for ex, i feel like it's more realistic for him to ask, what if buffalo had lost a few more games in the '71 season and finished second last?
     
  12. Dingo

    Dingo Registered User

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    I also heard B Hull was better than C Simmer.
    The guy you quoted also left Lafleur out of his very good analysis, not that Mikita didn’t have a ton of top guys to compete with.
    I’m not arguing for Dionne one bit, just wanted to throw those in there. I don’t think there is a big gap if we are speaking about offence only.
     
  13. streitz

    streitz Registered User

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    Dionne was better but played for a substantially worse team.


    Mikita was probably the 4th or 5th best player of the 60's, had the best player of the 60's on a different line taking the hard matchups away from him.
     
  14. Dennis Bonvie

    Dennis Bonvie Registered User

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    Offense only its pretty close. Dionne probably the better goal scorer (Still standing at 5th all-time with 731). 6th all-time in points.
    But Mikita was clearly the better all around player. I have a gap of 28 places between them. Seems like too much but I can't see changing it.
     
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  15. psycat

    psycat Registered User

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    Honestly I am not so sure I see a, strong, objective case for Crosby over Mikita. Dionne is not that close to either.
     
  16. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    where do you have dionne in the 70s?

    i have him unquestionably behind at least orr, lafleur, espo, clarke, and potvin, so that's 6th at best.

    and that's not even getting into dryden, big bird, park, or any soviet players.
     
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  17. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

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    Didn't see either player in his prime (and only the tail-end of Dionne's career, when he was washed up), so I'll refrain from having a strong opinion on this, BUT I think the best way to do this sort of thing is to look at how they were perceived compared to peers in their respective primes.

    (Getting into the whole 'He-played-on-a-weaker-team' argument is a poor way to argue, I think. Lafleur played on a way better team than Dionne from 1971 to 1974, right? But check out their stats those first three seasons... Often the guy on a weaker team with less expectations performs better because he has the bigger load, gets more ice-time, has less responsibility, etc.)

    Anyway, based on my own criteria for this sort of thing, I think you have to go with Stan-the-man. Six out of seven years he was a 1st-team All Star (at center, no less!), and in the one missing year he was 2nd-team. Dionne was a 1st-team All Star twice, and probably three times without Gretzky, but that's still way less. Mikita was possibly the greatest player of the 1960s (of course you can argue about Howe and Hull, maybe one or two others). Dionne was way up there, too, but he never seemed to define the era he peaked in.
     
  18. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    No one scored more than Dionne between 1975-1985.

    (It is no more arbitrary than to look at a decade's best players.)
     
  19. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

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    Sure, but even cherry-picking those specific 10 years, he's like this (I'm counting minimum 600 GP):
    -- 2nd in PPG, behind Bossy (who won 4 Stanley Cups and was a playoff stud)
    -- 23rd in plus/minus

    Also, the guy not far behind him in points, Trottier, got about 10 points-per-season less, but was +441, an awesome playoff performer (which Dionne was not), a physical presence (which Dionne was not), and a defensive presence (which Dionne was not).

    I mean, if you have a choice of one of the following players from 1975 to 1985...
    - Dionne
    - Trottier
    - Lafleur
    - Bossy

    ...how many would take Dionne? I guess some would, but I think less than 25%.


    Your highlighting of those years, though ('75 to '85), kind of shows one of the problems Dionne has in being fairly ranked (a problem Mikita doesn't have) -- he isn't representative of ONE era. Trottier kind of suffers from this, too. We tend to think of one era starting in 1979 or 1980, and that cuts Dionne's best years right in half.
     
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  20. streitz

    streitz Registered User

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    Below Orr, Esposito and Clarke for sure. Equal to Lafleur for 4th/5th.


    I like Robinson, Potvin alot. Park too but those guys all fall squarely in the 'what do you need' category when comparing them to game breaking centers/wingers with the exception of Orr. Potvin and Robinson were probably as valuable as Esposito and Clarke to their teams but for pure game breaking ability they didn't do it as often as Dionne.


    In my opinion Dionne is the most underrated player to ever play in the NHL(Hawerchuk being 2nd). I'm higher on him then most. Only Gretzky and Lemieux have more 100 point seasons then him, thats elite company if there ever was.
     
  21. streitz

    streitz Registered User

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    I know this is one of those things that comes up and you're not the only one guilty of it.


    You guys realize Dionne wasn't soft right? I don't think I ever saw the guy shy away from traffic in any game I watched him.
     
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  22. Ageless

    Ageless Registered User

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    Mikita has the edge in scoring finishes (due to Crosby’s injuries)

    1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4 vs 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 6, 10

    Crosby has the superior playoff resume with two smythes and two second place finishes

    Also Crosby did all this while being the main focus of other teams where as Mikita was more of a malkin/jagr
     
  23. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Two more points:

    In the 60s, Mikita and Hull had the advantage of seeing more ice time than stars on other teams, on a team that was more offensive minded than other teams. Similar to Jagr, Anaheim Selanne/Kariya, or Florida Bure during the dead puck era. Not saying Mikita was as weak defensively as those guys; just that his offensive stats due need to be taken in that context. All that said, even after context, I take his regular season offense alone over Dionne, and regular season offense is all Dionne really has.

    Crosby was has widely been considered the best player of his generation. Mikita was 3rd or 4th.
     
  24. Ageless

    Ageless Registered User

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    Agreed. I have Mikita over Dionne for sure. Mikita has some playoff success at least. Mikita and his hardware are very elite but like you said there’s context behind it. And the 60’s was not exactly a strong era in nhl history.

    I also don’t know mikitas hart record off by heart? Does anyone?
     
  25. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Hart voting (non-trivial finishes):

    Crosby: 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 5, 6
    Mikita: 1, 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7, 9
    Dionne: 2, 3, 3, 6, 8, 9
    Dionne w/ Gretzky removed : 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 8

    I disagree with you about the 60s, though - I think it was one of the stronger decades in NHL history.

    Back to the thread at hand - while Mikita's Hart record isn't quite as good as Crosby's, it's a lot better than Dionne's.
     
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