most valuable point-getters year-by-year

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by reckoning, Apr 19, 2005.

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  1. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

    Jan 4, 2005
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    There are several threads on this board which debate which player was the greatest scorer ever. Invariably at some point, someone will say "Player A only scored more points than Player B because he was surrounded by better players", which may be a valid argument. So I decided to look at all the years since expansion and see which players led the NHL in scoring points on the highest percentage of goals his team scored. For example if he had 100 points and his team had 300 goals then his mark would be 33.3. Logically this method should hinder players playing on strong teams and benefit players on weak teams. I`m not saying this is the best way to judge a players worth, but it`s something that should be taken into consideration along with everything else:

    `68 S.Mikita (Chi) 41.0
    `69 G.Howe (Det) 43.1
    `70 B.Orr (Bos) 43.3
    `71 P.Esposito (Bos) 38.1
    `72 B.Clarke (Phi) 40.5
    `73 P.Esposito (Bos) 39.4
    `74 P.Esposito (Bos) 41.5

    So far the scoring leader usually wins (or almost wins) in this category too, the main exception being Howe`s `69 season. The fact that Gordie was able to finish 3rd in the scoring race as a 40 year-old is even more impressive when you consider that the team he played on was falling apart. Mikita also won this category in `64, `65 and `67; making him one of only four players to do it at least four times.

    `75 M.Dionne (Det) 46.7
    `76 G.Charron (KC) 37.4
    `77 M.Dionne (LA) 45.0
    `78 D.Sittler (Tor) 43.2
    `79 M.Dionne (LA) 44.5
    `80 M.Dionne (LA) 47.2

    As you can see, Marcel Dionne really shines in this statistic; it`s downright scary to imagine how many points he could`ve accumulated on a good team. Guy Charron`s appearance here should be taken with a grain of salt; he wasn`t even in the top 30 scorers but has a high mark because his team was so inept.

    `81 W.Gretzky (Edm) 50.0
    `82 W.Gretzky (Edm) 50.8
    `83 W.Gretzky (Edm) 46.2
    `84 W.Gretzky (Edm) 46.0
    `85 W.Gretzky (Edm) 51.9
    `86 W.Gretzky (Edm) 50.5
    `87 W.Gretzky (Edm) 49.2

    Well, well, well; Gretzky wins 7 years in a row, and usually by a wide margin and with higher numbers than anyone else to that point in the modern era. I`d like to think that this would help end the stupid argument that Gretzky`s points totals were only so high because of his teammates, but it probably won`t.

    `88 M.Lemieux (Pit) 52.7
    `89 M.Lemieux (Pit) 57.3

    Lemieux`s `89 score of 57.3% is easily the highest mark ever in the modern era, and that`s not even taking into account the fact that he missed four games. As I mentioned in another thread, it`s totally ridiculous that he didn`t win the Hart that season.

    `90 S.Yzerman (Det) 44.1
    `91 W.Gretzky (LA) 47.9
    `92 W.Gretzky (LA) 42.2
    `93 P.Lafontaine (Buf) 44.2
    `94 W.Gretzky (LA) 44.2
    `95 E.Lindros (Phi) 46.7
    `96 P.Kariya (Ana) 46.2

    Gretzky seems to be doing quite well for himself in the post-Edmonton phase of his career. Lemieux`s name doesn`t appear here but it should as there are four seasons where he put up very high numbers (`90, `92, `93 and `96) and most certainly would`ve won if not for games missed due to injury.

    `97 T.Selanne (Ana) 44.5
    `98 W.Gretzky (NYR) 45.7
    `99 J.Jagr (Pit) 52.5
    `00 J.Jagr (Pit) 39.8
    `01 P.Bure (Fla) 46.0
    `02 J.Iginla (Clg) 47.8
    `03 M.Lemieux (Pit) 48.1
    `04 R.Lang (Wsh/Det) 41.1

    As we move into the new millenium the Europeans are starting to make an impact on this chart- Jagr`s `99 season looks particularly impressive. Very surprised to see one of Gretzky`s Ranger years on here. That gives him the top score in 11 different seasons more than anyone else.

    I`ll spare you the year-by-year listings for pre-expansion years, but will make a couple of points about them:

    Gordie Howe totally dominated this statistic in the 50s; winning it seven times as well as twice more in the 60s giving him a total of nine- second only to Gretzky. Mikita and Dionne are tied for third with four apiece.

    Montreal, despite being the top team of the 50s, 60s and 70s, is rarely represented here. Geoffrion, Moore, Beliveau and Lafleur have never won it. This is due to the fact that they usually had incredible depth throughout their lineup as opposed to relying on one player to provide the offence. Maurice Richard however, did win it three times. The other players to do it three times from the early years are two guys in the Hall, but rarely mentioned among the best ever, Babe Dye and Syd Howe, and one player who was overlooked by the Hall (perhaps unfairly)- Paul Thompson.
  2. revolverjgw

    revolverjgw Registered User

    Oct 6, 2003
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    Nova Scotia
    Bump, cool topic, interesting stats. I'm sort of surprised to see Wayne top the league in his second last year... but not really. But I definitely didn't expect Lafontaine to take '93...
  3. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest

    Do you think that this puts too much focus on a player's teammates? What I mean is, a good player gets punished for having great teammates in this scenario. A player on a crappy team benefits from playing on a crappy team.

    I think people put too much stock in how much teammates contribute to a player's totals - and you are trying to answer this question. Good work!

    But, I think that a player, to be considered great, must put up big numbers over time, no matter the teammates. The greatest players of all time do this and pointing to their teammates as the reason is ridiculous. A one year spike can be credited to teammates (Krushenyski's 87 pts in 1985, BJ MacDonald's 94 pts in 79-80, Warren Young's 40 goals in '85, Rob Brown's 115 pts with Mario and Bernie Nicholls 150 points the year Gretzky came to LA) but, to put up huge numbers year after year takes talent. Players like Gretzky and Lemieux still had huge totals when their teams were crap so, pointing at the teammates is wrong.

    I think people just need to relax and realize that a player has to earn his points, they are not just added because you are on a good team.

    Good work on your stats. :)
  4. nik jr

    nik jr Registered User

    Sep 25, 2005
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    Points on highest % of team's goals

    years ago i saw this thread started by reckoning about who was (statisically) most involved in his team's scoring in each season.

    that thread is closed.

    i was curious about the pre-expansion seasons, so over the past 2 days, i calculated them. they are much easier to calculate since there were fewer teams.

    '18: Cy Denneny 42.6
    '19: Nighbor 39.4
    '20: Malone 53.8 (3rd highest % on the list)
    '21: Malone 40.22 (very slightly ahead of Cy Denneny's 40.21)

    Malone's '20 Quebec Bulldogs may be one of the worst teams of all time:

    4 wins, 20 losses
    by far the lowest scoring team (3.79 GF per game), and by even farther, the worst defensive team: (7.375 GA per game).
    Malone scored 6 goals in the last game of the season (against Nighbor-less Ottawa) to pass Lalonde for the scoring title.

    Malone's '21 Hamilton Tigers were also a bad team. 6 wins, 18 losses. the lowest scoring team and by far the worst defensive team.

    '22: Broadbent 43.4

    i was surprised to see 3 different members of the Ottawa dynasty.

    '23: Dye 45.1
    '24: Billy Boucher 37.3
    '25: Dye 51.1
    '26: Cy Denneny 46.8
    '27: Bill Cook 38.9
    '28: G Hay 44.3

    Morenz won the '28 scoring title by over 30%, but he was 2nd at 44.0

    '29: N Stewart 43.3
    '30: F Boucher 45.6
    '31: Goodfellow 47.1
    '32: Morenz 38.3
    '33: Joliat 42.4
    '34: P Thompson 40.9 (Chicago was the lowest scoring team.)
    '35: S Howe 54.7

    Syd Howe's 54.7 is 2nd to Lemieux's '89 for highest %. St Louis Eagles were the lowest scoring team, but Howe was 2nd in scoring to Charlie Conacher. St Louis had been relocated from Ottawa and was the worst team. it was disbanded after '35.

    '36: P Thompson 43.0
    '37: Apps 37.8

    Apps is the only rookie on the list.

    '38: P Thompson 45.4 (Chicago again lowest scoring team)
    '39: Gottselig 42.9 (Chicago again lowest scoring team)
    '40: S Howe 40.7
    '41: S Howe 39.3
    '42: Grosso 37.9

    DRW were the 2nd lowest scoring team in '40 and '41, and 3rd lowest in '42.

    in '41, Cowley had more assists than any other player had points, but he was 2nd to Howe in this metric at 36.9.

    '43: D Bentley 40.8
    '44: D Bentley 43.3
    '45: Cowley 36.3
    '46: DeMarco 32.6 (NYR were lowest scoring team)

    DeMarco's is the lowest % on the list.

    '47: M Richard 37.6
    '48: Lach 41.5
    '49: R Conacher 39.7
    '50: M Richard 37.8
    '51: M Richard 38.2

    i did not realize that Montreal was a low scoring team in the late '40s-early '50s. Habs were the lowest scoring team in '48, 2nd lowest in '47 and '50 and 3rd lowest in '51.

    '52: Howe 40.0
    '53: Howe 42.8
    '54: Howe 42.4
    '55: Red Sullivan 37.9
    '56: Howe 43.2
    '57: Howe 45.0
    '58: Howe 43.8
    '59: Howe 46.7
    '60: Hull 42.4
    '61: Bathgate 37.7
    '62: Bathgate 43.1
    '63: Howe 43.0
    '64: Mikita 40.8
    '65: Mikita 38.8
    '66: Hull 40.4
    '67: Mikita 36.7

    '06: Jagr 47.9
    '07: Thornton 44.2
    '08: Ovechkin 46.3
    '09: Malkin 42.8

    Orr is of course the only d-man to appear.

    players who led in this metric on the highest scoring team:
    Broadbent: '22
    Dye: '23
    G Howe: '52, '53
    Mikita: '64, '65, '67
    Hull: '66
    Orr: '70
    Esposito: '71, '73, '74
    Gretzky '82, '83, '84, '85, '86, '87

    Morenz in '28 and Cowley in '41 were in close 2nd and on the highest scoring team.

    Names appearing more than once:
    Gretzky: 11

    G Howe: 9

    Mikita: 4
    Dionne: 4

    Jagr: 3
    S Howe: 3
    M Richard: 3
    M Lemieux: 3
    P Esposito: 3
    P Thompson: 3

    Denneny: 2
    Malone: 2
    D Bentley: 2
    Bobby Hull: 2
    Bathgate: 2
    Dye: 2

    reckoning had Dye at 3, but i only counted 2. i think the discrepancy is that Dye played for 2 teams (Toronto, Hamilton) in '21. if Dye's '21 total is divided by Hamilton's GF, it is the highest for that season, but if it is divided by Toronto's GF, it is not. Dye played only 1 game for Hamilton, so i used Toronto.

    obviously, this does not measure how important a player was to his team. it is only points and does not include any of the other things needed to score goals.
  5. steveott

    steveott Registered User

    Mar 13, 2011
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    Gretzky and 50%

    started wondering who’s the most productive player using %s of team goals. (have to kill some time before ott starts hammering ducks)

    checked first gretzky’s peak production.

    I looked at the GF scored by oilers and calculated the percentage scored by G. i was little surprised to see that it didnt matter how many goals were scored or even how many games G played. it was ALWAYS the same. 50% (lowered GF according games played)

    79: season with lowest points: oilers GF 297,gretzky:137 points =46,1 %
    81: season with most goals: oilers GF 417, gretzky:212 points =50,8 %
    85: season with most points: oilers GF 426, gretzky:215 points =50,4 %
    87: season with best % (64 games): oilers GF 290,gretzky 149 points=51,3 %

    (50% must be really good. this rate went down to 45% to slightly under 40% after those oilers years)

    so if this 50% is kinda rule of thumb for peak gretzky.... what does it mean if we transfer this to present day??

    2010: oilers GF 193, 50% production = 97 points. whadda ****** ?????????

    of course, oilers starts producing after they have great one. They will turn out to be best in league overnight...

    2010: best team GF 262 (canucks) 50% production = 131 points!

    best team, peak gretzky =131 points ??

    or is there some hidden internal flaw concerning this whole approach ?
  6. pdd

    pdd Registered User

    Feb 7, 2010
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    Moreover... how many players have finished top five in league scoring and been involved in 45%+ of their team's offense? Yzerman and Lemieux in 1989 are a good start on that one.
  7. SidGenoMario

    SidGenoMario Registered User

    Apr 10, 2009
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    Soon to be accountant
    Saskatoon, SK
    Crosby was in on 55% of our offense last year until he died. He was just that good.
  8. MadLuke

    MadLuke Registered User

    Jan 18, 2011
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    This is a really good way to look at it, maybe a peak Wayne team will do a little better than the Canucks, so 140-145 is not out of range.

    Also maybe that the non-elite now have more a hard time to score and that power play represent a bigger percentage of goal, if so Wayne could have a 55-60% share of his team points.
  9. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

    Aug 28, 2006
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    If Gretzky was on the 2011 Canucks, I'm pretty sure they would have scored more than 262 goals. The Oilers weren't just leading the NHL in scoring, they were leading the NHL in scoring every season by a lot.
  10. nik jr

    nik jr Registered User

    Sep 25, 2005
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  11. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

    Aug 28, 2006
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    Tampa Bay is very well represented in the last three years by this metric with Stankos leading twice and St Louis runner up twice, once to Stamkos. Really drives in how strong Tampa Bay's top line has been without much scoring depth to help

    Here are the top 3 in each of the past three seasons

    Steven Stamkos 43.8
    Martin St Louis 43.3
    Sidney Crosby 42.4

    Corey Perry 41.0
    Martin St Louis 40.1
    Daniel Sedin 39.7

    Steven Stamkos 41.3
    John Tavares 39.9
    Anze Kopitar 39.2
  12. kmad

    kmad riot survivor

    Jun 16, 2003
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    I think the formula should be appended with the goals:assists ratio multiplier. Raw points is a start, but not as accurate as it could be.
  13. jigglysquishy

    jigglysquishy Registered User

    Jun 20, 2011
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    Regina, Saskatchewan
    Huge logical problem.

    It assume that player on line 2 improves the point total of player on line 1.

    Let's take the 12 Penguins, for example. Crosby and Malkin really only play together on the PP. Their normal linemates range from pretty good (Neal) to just bad (Cooke). Crosby with Cooke/Dupuis/Sullivan does not benefit from elite scoring partners, yet his numbers drop because Malkin is so effective on another line.

    Any team that runs a 1-2 punch for centers down the middle effectively negates their forwards from leading in this category. It assumes they benefited from players they didn't play with.

    If you want to do it properly it should only account for the players they played with, though that would be difficult to do because of changing lines/PP/PK/injuries.
  14. tombombadil

    tombombadil Registered User

    Jan 20, 2010
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    West Kelowna, Canada
    this is true. I still like the stats, though - and would like to see top 3 for every year. I may not be thinking this all the way through, but, as far as stats go, this might be a really accurate one for fitting the description of the Hart Trophy... at least for offensive forwards.
  15. blogofmike

    blogofmike Registered User

    Dec 16, 2010
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    Think this is slightly biased towards Lemieux for getting lots of PP time. Yes Lemieux scored 57% of his team's points, but as a percentage of non-PP goals, Lemieux has 44.7%. Which is still awesome, but significantly less so.

    Gretzky's top year (1985) saw him get 51.9% of total points and he maintains that level without the PP, scoring on 50.5% of Edmonton's non-PP goals.

    By playing on a below average but not horrible team, Lemieux
    A) got a high number of PPO (491 was a DECREASE from 500 the previous year),
    B) he was the clear #1 forward option as the PP is built around feeding Lemieux the puck, and
    C) weak 2nd and 3rd line production helped maximize Lemieux's Points %, even as Mario played a lot of minutes with the few good players in high percentage situations (i.e. he played a ton of PP minutes with Coffey, and had an assortment of guys like Brown and Quinn who weren't great, but actually played very well on the PP even in Mario's absence)

    Lemieux's situation wasn't conducive to winning, but it was conducive to maximizing both his point total and share of his team's GF. In a similar situation with a worse Pens team in 1984, Mike Bullard scored 51 goals because even a bad team gets scoring chances (unless historically bad) and someone has to take them. Even if they performed at the league average in 1989, the Pens would still have led the league in PP goals with 103 (instead of 119) because of the insane amount of PPO they got.

    Or maybe I'm wrong about middling teams providing stat-padding opportunities for superstars, and Lemieux on the Oilers would have been chasing Dionne's record of 1000 goals that he set on that Habs dynasty in the 70s...
  16. LeBlondeDemon10

    LeBlondeDemon10 BlindLemon Haystacks

    Jul 10, 2010
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    I wouldn't assume Dionne gets a bunch more points just because he plays on a good team. He certainly had the skills to do it and the era was working in his favor. You could also say the same thing about Lafleur if he were playing on a team whose primary focus was not defense. If Dionne played in Montreal, he would have likely had to change his style and possibly receive a little less ice time.
  17. Czech Your Math

    Czech Your Math Registered User

    Jan 25, 2006
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    You bring up some good points and show why context is always important. Certainly how each metric is calculated (e.g. with or w/o PP points) will affect the results.

    Lemieux scored a high % of his points on PP vs. Even Strength, even among star forwards. Gretzky's points were more evenly divided between PP & ES, but actually was more of an ES player compared to others. I don't think this was mostly a team quality/style issue, but rather the relative strengths of each player at ES and on PP.

    Gretzky's Oilers, after his first season or two, had ESGA/gm significantly lower than the league average, despite their back and forth style. While the defense may have improved in that time, so did the offense, and sometimes the best defense is great offense.

    Lemieux's teams often had a worse ESGA/gm than average, although some ('86-'88, '93 & '03) were better than average. When he missed more than half the season, the earlier teams ('91,'93,'94) were worse than average in this category, some of the later teams ('98-'00) were better than average, while the '02 and '04 teams were much worse than average (and really bad teams).

    How would his numbers have changed much if he was in Gretzky's shoes? He would have played his entire prime in a higher scoring era, so that would help some. His linemates would be better at ES and he would have more talent on the PP, so may have helped a bit as well, but not much.

    You point out the large number of PPO's which Lemieux enjoyed and that may have been his biggest benefit of playing when/where he did. It's illogical, but at many points after expansion, the weaker teams got a lot more PPO than the stronger teams. Also Lemieux's prime matched up about perfectly with the season when PPO were at their post-expansion highs. If he switched with Gretzky, both of those advantages would be lessened substantially. The Oilers averaged 311 PPO/season from '80 to '87, so that could have a major effect on Lemieux's numbers.

    Dionne appears to have favored the PP also, although maybe not quite to the degree which Lemieux did. He also played during a time when there were fewer PPs in general, so would be hampered less by a move to a better team and/or a different era. OTOH, he played in about the perfect era for scoring. His early and late teams did give up substantially more ESGA/gm than league average, but also were not good teams. From '76 to '81 he played on stronger teams that, despite the reputation, allowed fewer ESGA/gm than average (except 2% more in '79). So he may not have been hurt as much as some think if he played on the Habs, but I think his numbers decrease if anything.

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