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Guest7141
( )

Posted - 09/10/2009 :  19:05:13  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest0081
All the writers and managers who follow hockey for a living? Do you mean those who thought the Bruins would miss the playoffs last year, or those who said that Alexander Daigle was the next Gretzky?

That's funny. So they can't predict the every future event so their opinions of the past events are somehow flawed. If I'm not mistaken, these guys make more right calls than wrong ones. Go ahead keep pointing at the few wrong ones without bothering to point out the so many right ones.

This is not scientific theory where one observation that disproves the theory make the entire theory invalid. But you are right only the opinions of the few matters and who cares what most people think. The world is flat says the flatworld society and that is that.
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shazariahl
Top Prospect



50 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2009 :  22:53:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow, I can't believe Mario is leading this poll. I never thought I'd see the day when the guy with every conceivable offensive record, many of which will never be broken or even approached, would be so under rated on any hockey site. I mean, maybe if this was a Pittsburgh board. But that's about it. Gretzky had more PPG in his best seasons. More GPG in his best seasons, obviously way more assists in his best... well, actually even in his mediocre seasons, played more games during his peak, had way better +/-, performed better in the playoffs, won more cups, won more harts, won more scoring races, won scoring races by greater margins... what else is there? I'm not even talking about career numbers, because this is supposed to be about peak. But even in his prime Lemieux always came up short.

By every possible measurement, Gretzky was better. Yet somehow the most dominant athelete in NHL history (maybe any professional team sport) is losing a poll about who was the better player... unbelievable.
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slozo
Moderator



Canada
4574 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2009 :  04:34:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
To both Alex116 and shazariahl: amen to that. It has to be the most confounding thing I've ever witnessed, and it makes me shake my head every time I see this poll.

It's fruitless to argue with people who don't follow any sort of logic to determine value, and who constantly renege on their own reasoning to always come back to their first preconceived notion of who was better. Still, as you see by some of my soliliquies here, I do enjoy banging my head against the wall occasionally.

So, stats can't be used, they only measure goals and assists.
Apparently, Mario had such better defence and physical play and better 'moves', that it negates all that goal scoring stuff.

You can't fight that argument, it's just TOO powerful! lol

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5786 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2009 :  07:44:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Slozo/Shaz.... It really is unbelievable, esp as Shaz said, considering it's not a Pittsburgh forum! The argument about not using stats actually makes me laugh now! I too was banging my head against a wall, but it got so sore, i now just laugh . Slozo, put a helmut on if you need to continue!

I just write it off to "fans" who love the game, but don't necessarily KNOW the game. Mix that in with many who prob hated Gretzky for how good he was and you get a bunch of Mario votes. Personally, i hated Gretzky for many years. Prob cuz of the damage he so frequently inflicted on the Canucks. I swear, 75% of his record setting goal/assist (oh oh, more stats?) were against the 'Nucks! Regardless, when Lemieux came along and challenged some of his records, i started liking Lemieux! Well, after all's said and done and i get asked for a non-biased opinion of the two, it's Gretzky all the way. Might not have liked him for what he did, but i can appreciate it all the same........
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Guest2598
( )

Posted - 09/11/2009 :  13:09:27  Reply with Quote
Wow, it's kinda hard to debate against these no-arguments. Of course, if we accept that stats mean everything, then why make a poll in the first place?? I'm banging my head on the wall over your own head-banging! We're all aware of Gretzky's stats and records, thus I thought the Lemieux vs Gretzky debate existed exactly because some people figured out that perhaps there was something beyond stats and records that ought to be considered...

But if you guys can't figure out a way of acknowledging why statistics do not mean it all, at least here's Michael Dell from LCS Hockey about Gretzky and Lemieux stats : http://national-hockey-league-nhl.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_greatest_one_gretzky_or_lemieux

This being said...

quote:
Originally posted by Guest 7141

If I'm not mistaken, these guys make more right calls than wrong ones.

Evidence please? I need not even discuss your post further - I get to watch so much crap on tv shows and magazines from so-called pundits that I did not even think you would dare insist on your argument...!


quote:
Originally posted by shazariahl

But even in his prime Lemieux always came up short.

By every possible measurement, Gretzky was better.

By "measurement", one could say that Jaromir Jagr was better than Guy Lafleur, yet I think many people would question that. This is the kind of arguement you are supporting, I hope that you do realize it.

quote:
Originally posted by shazariahl

performed better in the playoffs...



Now that's an interesting statement about Gretzky, when we know that Lemieux has the NHL-record for playoffs goals per game avg whilst Gretzky stands 6th...

Anyway, obviously no one's going to convince someone who uses raw and unadjusted statistics, ignores all circumstances and contexts, and believes that this is scientific evidence. I need to go back at banging my own head I guess! :-)
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Beans15
Moderator



Canada
8173 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2009 :  13:26:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As always, I will state that Gretzky was not great because of the stats and records. They were a symptom of how great he was.

However, I have had many an arguement of who the greatest players was and specificially comparing Lemieux to Gretzky and I can see some people's opinion on Lemieux. I mean, a guy kind of has an arguement if you were to put Lemiuex in Gretzky's boots, playing in Edmonton wiht Messier, Coffey, Kurri, Anderson, Fuhr. That's a reasonable advantage. I personally don't believe that Lemeiux would have done better than Gretzky but it could have happened. And there is also the injury/illness that plagued Lemieux's carrer far more than Gretzky. There is definately a could have been.

In my opinion, Gretzky is the greatest player to every lace up skates, but I agree that stats don't tell the whole story. There are various players who will go down in history as some of the greatest that don't have the greatest stats.
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5786 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2009 :  13:45:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Beans, i totally agree. I just find some "Lemieux guys" wanna ignore the stats completely. I know stats aren't everything but they gotta be looked at in the equation! Also agree that we'll never know what Lemieux could have done with some of Gretzky's teammates. I know Mario had some good ones too, but they don't compare to Waynes IMO.

The stats thing is not all of it really. Certain stats say certain things. I mean, what if (hypothetically) Ovechkin scores 91 goals a year for the next 5 years and then retires early for some reason, be it injury/illness or just choice, whatever. Would he not be considered the greatest goal scorer ever even though he didn't snap the Great One's record of 92? So, i do realize stats aren't all of it, but they're certainly a consideration when comparing two players....
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Guest0081
( )

Posted - 09/11/2009 :  15:21:31  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Alex116

Beans, i totally agree. I just find some "Lemieux guys" wanna ignore the stats completely. I know stats aren't everything but they gotta be looked at in the equation! Also agree that we'll never know what Lemieux could have done with some of Gretzky's teammates. I know Mario had some good ones too, but they don't compare to Waynes IMO.

The stats thing is not all of it really. Certain stats say certain things. I mean, what if (hypothetically) Ovechkin scores 91 goals a year for the next 5 years and then retires early for some reason, be it injury/illness or just choice, whatever. Would he not be considered the greatest goal scorer ever even though he didn't snap the Great One's record of 92? So, i do realize stats aren't all of it, but they're certainly a consideration when comparing two players....



If Ovechkin would score 'only' 80 goals for the next 5 seasons, he could legitimately be considered the greatest goal scorer ever. Scoring 80 goals nowadays is virtually impossible, whereas it could be done in Gretzky's era. The last player to even break the 70 mark is Selanne in 92-93. That's why stats are the weakest evidence you can get. It just does not tell that much.
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shazariahl
Top Prospect



50 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2009 :  16:45:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Of course stats don't tell everything. But you want to ignore them completely, or else focus in on the one or two stats that favor Lemiuex (like career GPG in the playoffs), and ignore the others (like PPG in the playoffs, APG in playoffs, career goal, assists, points in playoffs, most points in a playoff season, etc). You simply cannot argue that the stats don't favor Gretzky. To do so would be idiotic.

So basically, if we all admit Gretzky has better stats (which I assume you're willing to do, since if you aren't I honestly don't think there's any common ground to even hold this discussion), then what we are really debating is how IMPORTANT we each consider stats to be. Obviously, you consider them less important than whatever other criteria you use to judge great players. And that's fine. But you also want to dismiss them, which to me isn't.

And this is why: Stats are factual evidence. Sure, they don't tell the whole story. But neither does watching a highlight reel of a players best moves. Or watching one specific game. You may have memories of Lemieux scoring his 5 goals 5 different ways, or his 8 point night in the playoffs, and you can argue that you've never seen that level of play from Gretzky. But this is no longer fact. It is opinion. Just like the opinion (not necessarily yours, but expressed many times in this thread) that if Lemieux would have been healthy, he would have broken some of Gretzky's records. But again, it isn't fact. Its opinion.

Now, there's nothing wrong with opinion - this 8 page thread is about different people expressing different opinions. But that doesn't negate the role of statistics. For every great Lemieux moment, I could talk about one of the Gretzky moments I watched, like when he got 5 goals (and an assist that everyone seems to forget about) the night the Oilers beat the Flyers 7-5 and Gretzky got his 50th in 39 games. I could talk about the Canada/Russia game two, when Gretzky got 5 assists and played over 50 minutes of a 90 minute game to help Canada to a 6-5 victory in double OT to tie that series.

But that's the problem with opinion too; without some form of measurement, without a guideline to judge by, no one can really be compared. I mean, how do you measure peoples performance if there's nothing to measure by? You can give your opinion, and me mine, but sooner or later someone has to have something else to support that opinion. For the Gretzky fans, many of us support it with stats. And why wouldn't we? The guy has seemingly every record ever. No one's even come close on many (especially the assist records). For the Lemieux fans its... hypotheticals, gut feelings, or the opinion of Scotty Bowman (who, btw, coached Lemieux and just may have been a little biased. Just saying, if you asked Sather, he'd probably pick Wayne. But then, I shouldn't say that, cause its a hypothetical).

You may not like what the stats say, but what Beans and others have tried to express is that the stats are only the result of Gretzky's dominance, not the reason for it. As he said earlier, great players put up great stats. And, at least in my opinion, Gretzky put up the greatest stats because he was the greatest player, not the other way around.
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Guest0081
( )

Posted - 09/11/2009 :  19:47:47  Reply with Quote
Bobby Orr didnt coach Lemieux as far as I know. Anyway...

Now you're getting a bit more sensitive to what I say, thanks. Yes, this all comes to opinion. And this is why there is nothing wrong with this poll showing Lemieux slightly ahead of Gretzky, nothing to bang our heads on the walls like someone said earlier...

And it is also opinion to suggest that raw, unadjusted stats are more reliable than opinion or anything else. If Usain Bolt would run against the wind and be beaten by Joe Somebody who runs with the wind every time they face each other, you'd get a set of stats that would tell you that Joe Somebody is faster than Usain Bolt. Thus as long as you do not adjust statistics in accordance with their full context and circumstances (which is about impossible to do in hockey), they really are poor, and especially unreliable, evidence.

What I mean by adjusted stats is at least something like the article I pointed to above. Try to read it if you havent. Maybe somebody else would try another kind of circumstancial adjustment and would come at a different conclusion and confirm that Gretzky was the best, I don't know. At least, this guy tried to make stats more realistic there.

So, what I do welcome is someone telling me that he watches or plays hockey a lot, that he has watched both players play a lot during their prime, and that from what he witnessed, objectively, his opinion is that Gretzky was better than Lemieux. I would respect that a lot more than someone suggesting that "Gretzky is da best cause he's got all the records and stuff ya know".

As for myself, I've watched both a lot. I liked Gretzky a lot, and I especially miss him a lot. But from what I saw, Mario Lemieux was an oddity - he frightened far beyond any other player when he had the puck, whether he would shoot or pass. My opinion is that you put Lemieux in the early 80's, all-offence Western Conference hockey, with the Oilers line-up, and we would have a different record book today. But yes, that is just opinion.
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Guest7141
( )

Posted - 09/11/2009 :  20:40:29  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest2598

Evidence please? I need not even discuss your post further - I get to watch so much crap on tv shows and magazines from so-called pundits that I did not even think you would dare insist on your argument...!
[/quote]

Ok genius. A couple of questions, why do you watch these pundits so much?

You want recent examples of these pundits (that you watch you much because they are wrong) being right? How bout some recent examples? Ovechkin. Malkin. Crosby. How 'bout a few picking for a Detroit vs Pittsburgh rematch? The next sentence is really important so you should read it (I've even bolded it for you).

Somehow you are correlating a faulty future prediction with invalidating a person's opinion of the past. Using your wonderful logic, I'm sure you've made mistakes hence your opinion of GOAT is invalid too. Heck so did Orr and Bowman. Wait a minute so did every single person on this planet. So all opinions are now invalid. There is no GOAT player. Why bother arguing anything because there are no valid opinions? Hey let's use stats, cause it is something measurable. No, no stats, are well to data oriented, so we shouldn;t put too much weight to it. Might as well ignore that too.

Well done, you now have made all opinions invalid and it is impossible to use any type of measurement. Somehow, in all this logic of yours, only Bowman and Orr's opinion matter because it matches yours. Also this Michael Dell's opinion of how stats should be "massaged" is correct because it proves your point.

How convenient? With this type of logic and argument you should be able to convince me the earth is flat because someone said so and you believe them. Or that Lemieux is better than Gretz. Nope. Try again with some logical arguments rather than because Mike, Bob and Scott said so.
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shazariahl
Top Prospect



50 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2009 :  01:38:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I didn't bother replying to the article you posted, since as several people pointed out in the replies, his data was wrong. Someone in that thread posted a better set of numbers, pointing out the mistakes in the original, and they came up pretty even with Gretzky slightly ahead. If you're curious, read the rebutal yourself, but the big problem was he used Mario's best season for PPG, and compared that to Gretzky's best season for total points (which wasn't Gretzky's best PPG season, therefor he wasn't comparing the same stats on both players).

Regardless, between two great players, I can't justify taking the one who put up less goals, assists, and points even in his best seasons, while missing more games due to injury or illness over the one who had better numbers, played more, stayed healthier, and re-wrote the record books. Maybe Lemieux could have done the same if he'd been healthy, but he had his chances and never did. I just can't pick someone based on what they might have done. Mario was great, but even PPG, GPG, +/-, whatever else - in his best seasons, Gretzky was better.

As for testimonials from players and coaches, I could care less. Gretzky says Howe was the greatest ever. Doesn't make it so. He also said Ovechkin will break his 92 goals record. Doesn't mean he will. Lemieux said Gretzky was the best ever, on my ESPN classics DVD on Gretzky. That doesn't make it so either. Players are just as subjective as the rest of us. And if they have even a shred of humility, they'll usually downplay their own accomplishments a little, and shine the light on someone else. Gretzky did it, Lemieux did it, I'm sure Orr did too.

Anyways, none of us will ever change anyone else's mind, which is fine. I've enjoyed the debate, I hope most of you have as well. I may have more comments in the future, but I think I've pretty much said everything I have for now.
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5786 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2009 :  09:07:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well said Shazariahl.....

One thing i'd love to see would be in regards to this part of your quote:

quote:
Originally posted by shazariahl
..... And if they have even a shred of humility, they'll usually downplay their own accomplishments a little, and shine the light on someone else. Gretzky did it, Lemieux did it, I'm sure Orr did too.




I wish for one day, Ricky Henderson could take over Gretzky's body for a day and we'd clearly hear him speak the truth...."I AM THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME!". Then again, Ricky could take over Jim Dowd's body for a day and say the same thing? So much for that idea....
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Guest8993
( )

Posted - 12/07/2009 :  17:13:21  Reply with Quote
Gretzky is easily better check out the stats check out goals and asists and 2nd best is mark messier amazing player
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Guest8993
( )

Posted - 12/07/2009 :  17:14:08  Reply with Quote
ow yea and vancouver sucks
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Guest0376
( )

Posted - 12/07/2009 :  20:46:07  Reply with Quote
One thing people are forgetting here.
If you surrounded Lemieux with half the talent Gretzky had to draw on he woulda blown Gretz outta the water. I can barely skate and I woulda got 50 goals playing on thoseEdmonton teams. But in all fairness, Gretz had a great ability to think ahead and read the play and his players. This led to a ton a points mostly because he had plenty of talent surrounding him. When the team chemistry of Edmonton changed and also when he was sent to L.A. and later Rangers he was mere average. Lemieux was the real deal, skate, stick handle and one of the most deadliest shooters, possibly only surpassed in greatness by Bobby Orr no question about it.
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leigh
Moderator



Canada
1618 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2009 :  09:27:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest0376
...and later Rangers he was mere average...


This statement is laughable. Are you kidding? Average? In his 3 years with NYR he put up 249 points! That's an average of 83 points per season. And in actuality in NYR he put up a 1.073 PPG. That is a career season for over 90% of NHL'ers. Ya, he was just average at the end of his career.
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Tiller33
PickupHockey Pro



389 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2009 :  09:37:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest0376

One thing people are forgetting here.
If you surrounded Lemieux with half the talent Gretzky had to draw on he woulda blown Gretz outta the water. I can barely skate and I woulda got 50 goals playing on thoseEdmonton teams.



Oh ya Mario just played with a bunch of plug's throughout his career thats for sure:

Jaromir Jagr, Ron Francis, Bryan Trottier, Rick Tocchet, Joe Mullen, Mark Recchi, Larry Murphy, Paul Coffey, Kevin Stvens (when he was actually good), Alex Kovalev, Marcus Naslund, Martin Straka, Sergei Zubov, Glen Murray, Petr Nedved, Robert Lang,

Give your head a shake both amazing players but it's Gretz, hands down!

There's a lot of dirty old occ's around thats the problem
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Guest2218
( )

Posted - 12/08/2009 :  12:58:01  Reply with Quote
Mario was a better singular talent. He could skate better, and he could shoot better. Wayne, as many have alluded to, saw the ice better.

So if the question is who was the better talent, I go with Mario. I think in a game of one-on-one pond hockey, Mario would wipe Gretz. Gretzky's assets lie in his use of his teammates and his vision of the ice. In the team game, none is better than Gretzky. Hockey is a team game, therefore I vote for Gretzky.

Aside: can you imagine the huge advantage the Penguins would have had if shootouts were in place back in Mario's day? I can't think of anyone more automatic on the breakaway than Mario Lemieux.
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Guest2218
( )

Posted - 12/08/2009 :  13:16:14  Reply with Quote
To those who are saying that Mario had tougher opponents in the east, that is unsubstantiated. However, some that is FACT is that teams in the West have a tougher travel schedule. Heck, how many times does a team from the east even have to play outside their time zone?
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Gusteroni
Rookie



Canada
225 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2009 :  14:43:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
On December 31/88 against the Devils, Lemieux scored a goal at even strength, on the power-play, shorthanded, on a penalty shot, and into an empty net for a total of five goals, five different ways. We have the Gordie Howe Hat-Trick so what should this be called?

"There are only two seasons in Canada...hockey season and not hockey season."
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Tiller33
PickupHockey Pro



389 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2009 :  19:55:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gusteroni

On December 31/88 against the Devils, Lemieux scored a goal at even strength, on the power-play, shorthanded, on a penalty shot, and into an empty net for a total of five goals, five different ways. We have the Gordie Howe Hat-Trick so what should this be called?

"There are only two seasons in Canada...hockey season and not hockey season."



It should be called the "I'm an amazing hockey player but I wish I was that kid from Brantford" Hat Trick

There's a lot of dirty old occ's around thats the problem
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Guest0182
( )

Posted - 12/09/2009 :  07:42:38  Reply with Quote
I love this topic. I could go on for ages and ages. But I'll give you guys the short version here. Gretzky, as a player, in terms of skill, could not play with Mario. This is really a joke topic, because stats aside, just LOOK AT THE TWO OF THEM PLAY!!! If you play hockey and love hockey, it's kinda a no brainer. Mario was like a god out there. Gretzky was not like a god out there. I saw both play live too, btw. No f------ contest whatsoever.
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Guest9299
( )

Posted - 12/09/2009 :  09:43:21  Reply with Quote
Heres my $.02
Switch Gretzky and Lemieux around and think about it. Put Lemieux on those Oiler teams of the early 80's and Gretzky on those horrendous Penguin teams and think of the difference it would make. Then think about Lemieux spending his prime years in the run and gun pond hockey nhl of the early 80's instead of his prime years when the game switched to a defensive trapping style in the early 90's and i think the record books would look vastly different.
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JOSHUACANADA
PickupHockey Veteran



Canada
1872 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2009 :  10:43:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest0182

I love this topic. I could go on for ages and ages. But I'll give you guys the short version here. Gretzky, as a player, in terms of skill, could not play with Mario. This is really a joke topic, because stats aside, just LOOK AT THE TWO OF THEM PLAY!!! If you play hockey and love hockey, it's kinda a no brainer. Mario was like a god out there. Gretzky was not like a god out there. I saw both play live too, btw. No f------ contest whatsoever.

Where were you in 80-84? During that time in Edmonton, he was heads and tails better than his teamates and the rest of the league. Any that was without all the Physical gifts that Mario had better than Gretzky. He may not have physically dominated the game or had the better breakaway skills, but his head for the game was/is unmatched, period! Not a bash on Mario who had the best Physical gifts the game may have ever seen. I never seen Orr play and some will say he had the best physical gifts.
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Tiller33
PickupHockey Pro



389 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2009 :  11:19:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest9299

Heres my $.02
Switch Gretzky and Lemieux around and think about it. Put Lemieux on those Oiler teams of the early 80's and Gretzky on those horrendous Penguin teams and think of the difference it would make. Then think about Lemieux spending his prime years in the run and gun pond hockey nhl of the early 80's instead of his prime years when the game switched to a defensive trapping style in the early 90's and i think the record books would look vastly different.



Gretzky carried a Kings team to the final's and got beat by Patrick Roy not the Canadiens but by Patrick Roy. Mario won 2 cups with absolutely stacked Penguins teams so don't try and paint them as bad teams. Jaromir Jagr, Ron Francis, Bryan Trottier, Rick Tocchet, Joe Mullen, Mark Recchi, Larry Murphy, Paul Coffey, Kevin Stevens.

Here are the stats compared make your own call but in my opinion if you can't plainly see its Gretz then you've been spending too much time banging your head against a wall. It's the original Crosby/Ovechkin type argument of a decade ago one is a career long set-up man and one is a prolific goal scorer (but both can do the opposite better than anyone else in the league). For me who the better player player in their Peak it's Gretzky, but they are the 2 best of all time and niether will be touched not even by Crosby or Ovechkin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NHL_statistical_leaders

Regular Season:

Total Games: Gretzky 1487
Lemieux 915

Points: Gretzky 2857pts (first overall) 1.92 pts/game (first overall)
Lemieux 1723 (seventh overall) 1.88 pts/game (second overall)

Art Ross Trophy's: Gretzky 10 (first overall)
Lemieux 6 (second overall)

Goals: Gretzky 894 (first overall) 0.754 goals/game
Lemieux 690 (ninth overall) 0.601 goals/game

Powerplay Goals: Gretzky 204 (13th overall)
Lemieux 236 (fifth overall)

Shorthanded Goals: Gretzky 73 (first overall)
Lemieux 49 (fourth overall)

Game Winning Goals: Gretzky 91 (13th overall)
Lemieux (not ranked in the top 25)

Assists: Gretzky 1963 (first overall)
Lemieux 1033 (tenth overall)

+/-: Gretzky +518 (fourth overall)
Lemieux (not ranked in the top 25)

Playoffs:
Gretzky - 382 pts (first overall) 1.837 pts/game(first overall)
Lemieux - 172 pts (16th overall) 1.607 (2nd overall don't get too excited third is Barry Pederson)

Gretzky - 122 Goals (first overall)
Lemieux - 76 Goals (12th overall)

Goals per game Lemieux: 0.71 (First overall)
Gretzky: 0.587 (sixth overall)

Powerplay goals: Gretzky: 34 (fourth overall)
Lemieux: 29 (Fifth overall)

Shorthanded Goals: Gretzky 11 (second overall)
Lemieux 7 (sixth overall)

Game Winning goals: Gretzky 24 (First overall)
Lemieux (not ranked in the top 15)

Assists: Gretzky 260 (first overall)
Lemieux 96 (24th overall)

+/-: Gretzky +67 (fourth overall)
Lemieux (not ranked in the top 20)

Sidenotes: Here are Gretzky's totals after he left Edmonton
Games: 791
Goals: 311
Assists: 1188
Points: 1499
pts/game: 1.895 (which is higher than Mario's all time)

Here are the comparative stats from the time Wayne left Edmonton to when Mario retired in 1997:
Wayne: 639 games, 279 goals, 757 assists, 1036 pts, 1.621 ppg
Mario: 453 games, 398 goals, 580 assists, 978 pts, 2.159 ppg

There's a lot of dirty old occ's around thats the problem
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Tiller33
PickupHockey Pro



389 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2009 :  11:25:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Where were you in 80-84? During that time in Edmonton, he was heads and tails better than his teamates and the rest of the league. Any that was without all the Physical gifts that Mario had better than Gretzky. He may not have physically dominated the game or had the better breakaway skills, but his head for the game was/is unmatched, period! Not a bash on Mario who had the best Physical gifts the game may have ever seen. I never seen Orr play and some will say he had the best physical gifts.



Got to agree Josh I only have second hand info as well, but from anyone I have asked that grew up in the Bobby Orr era they say with all due respect that he is the most skilled hockey player to play the game. I think it speaks volumes that he was the only defencemen to have ever won the Art Ross Trophy

There's a lot of dirty old occ's around thats the problem
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Guest9838
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Posted - 12/09/2009 :  13:29:16  Reply with Quote
Beans, I believe you first posted the question a couple of years ago and the topic continues to be debated. For that reason alone you might call it a draw. Having said that, I call Gretzky. And because of this, hopefully you will read and enjoy my comment in spite of being a guest.

I'm 43, currently bored to tears, have lived in Ontario my entire life and choose Orr over both of them...but that wasn't the question. I had the pleasure of watching both Gretzky and Lemieux. Both obviously talented and if there were shootouts during their years, perhaps Lemieux would get higher ratings but don't think for a second he would outscore Gretzky night after night. Take a look at some highlight reels and you will notice that Gretzky scored so many goals for a good reason. For a guy who wasn't considered a sniper, he put more slapshots over the shoulder/glove than anybody in the game.

Did Lemieux's size and reach help him? You bet. Imagine Gretzky at that size (for all you hypthetical lovers)! Was Lemieux a more complete player though? Not a chance. Lemieux didn't have nearly the production penalty killing as Gretzky so don't give me he was more defensive. Gretzky wasn't considered defensive because he was so offensive. Even on a power play opposing teams were worried about Gretzky when he was on the ice. Stats believers or not, his +/- tells you the same as Orr's; when they were on the ice, look out!

Lemieux was physical vs. Gretzky never got hit. Chalk it up to one of three things, the least of which is protection. He was too smart to get hit. Anytime a guy committed to hit him, Gretzky set up a line mate...could have been a peewee AAA player and he still would have been on a breakaway. Gretzky was also too difficult to hit. He was shifty and because he read the ice so well, he often completed his play with enough time to evade being hit. Too bad Orr didn't have that ability or the stats books would have been far different (again, for the hypothetical lovers).

Let's address top 5 seasons or peak production or longevity. All can be intertwined. Stats aside they were both dominant in their prime. The difference is, we never had an opportunity to witness Lemieux playing while not in his prime...that is, without an asterisk! So to compare them in their prime you must look at stats. Again, the nod goes to Gretzky. Oh wait, I can hear the "supporting cast" arguement already. One question, without Gretzky do you think you would recognize the name Jari Kurri? Not a #$%^ing chance! Why does anybody remember the name Rob Brown? Jagr was a greater star than Gretzky ever played with. Sure Messier was in Edmonton but they were never regular line mates.

Finally, an intangible measure that gives Gretzky the unanimous nod. Canadians are known for something specific other than simply hockey. Check the Conn Smythe winners over the years (last year was a travesty - NOW THAT WAS ALL STATS!) The only team to win the Stanley Cup without the heart of the team represented by Canadians was the Detroit Red Wings. Canadians have heart! Plain and simple. Heart wins games, trophies and, well, hearts! For a guy who was physically so much smaller than Lemieux, his heart was 10 times the size. If you are picking teams for a game of pond hockey and your last two choices were Gretzky and Lemieux (a reminder that hockey is a team sport!), you choose Gretzky, period! He is going to make everybody around him better. Not by setting them up but by making them try harder and reach deeper. End of story!

Guest 9838
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Rick



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Guest9299
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Posted - 12/09/2009 :  13:44:02  Reply with Quote
Heres my $.02
Switch Gretzky and Lemieux around and think about it. Put Lemieux on those Oiler teams of the early 80's and Gretzky on those horrendous Penguin teams and think of the difference it would make. Then think about Lemieux spending his prime years in the run and gun pond hockey nhl of the early 80's instead of his prime years when the game switched to a defensive trapping style in the early 90's and i think the record books would look vastly different.


The league style was totally different when they put up their best numbers when Gretzky was in his prime scoring years the league was averaging almost 8 goals per game whereas with Lemieux when he was entering his prime years the league was averaging just around 6 goals per game. You say how crazy his scoring marks are but they are bloated by a wide open run and gun league whereas Lemieux averaged almost as many points per game when the league tightened up considerably defensively
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shazariahl
Top Prospect



50 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2009 :  23:29:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The teammate arguement loses much of its validity IMO when you consider just how much better Gretzky was over the rest of his team. Look at his 212 pt season - the nearest Oiler was Coffee with 105. So the next closest teammate is 107 pts back, has just under HALF his point total, and yet people still say it was the team? Also, as someone else mentioned, Jagr was a better player than Kurri (or even Messier, IMO). After all, Jagr won 5 scoring titles of his own, and was probably the 2nd best player in the league when Lemieux was away. Kurri wasn't even the 2nd best Oiler, for many of those years, let alone the 2nd best player in the league.

Gretzky's playoff performances were also better, and nearly winning a cup with the Kings is another definite plus. Speaking of plusses, his +/- is vastly superior (he actually has the best +/- of any forward in history).

Lemieux is just 2nd in every category (or worse). Most goals in a season? Gretzky is 1st and 2nd, then Hull and Lemieux. Assists? Gretzky is 1st, 2nd, 3rd, umm... 4th-7th... and then tied with Lemieux for 8th as well. Points? Gretzky's best seasons are 1st-4th, Lemieux is 5th, and Gretzky is then 6th. Playoff points? Gretzky is 1st, Lemieux 2nd, Gretzky 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

Yes, Lemieux would have had closer numbers if he hadn't been injured or ill as much, but that's part of the game. Time not on the ice isn't worth any points. And even in shorter time spans, like playoff runs where Lemieux didn't miss games and should have had every opportunity to dominate, he still didn't. Heck, in Gretzky's cup run with LA he came close to matching Lemieux's best post season ever, and with far less talent around him. Gretzky outscored him in the Canada Cup series, when they played on the same team and had access to all the same players and same level of talent around them. Yet Gretzky outscored him and won tournament MVP. If Lemieux were so much better, shouldn't he have been able to show it in a shorter and smaller time frame like this? One that he was able to be healthy for, and didn't miss any games? Yet time and time again, he was just a little bit short of Gretzky's marks.

Don't get me wrong - Lemieux is one of my favorite players, and was one of the most exciting to watch. And his return to hockey after his battle with cancer is one of the most epic comeback stories in all of sports. He just had the misfortune to being eclipsed by the greatest offensive player in history.
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JOSHUACANADA
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Canada
1872 Posts

Posted - 12/10/2009 :  10:23:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest9299

Heres my $.02
Switch Gretzky and Lemieux around and think about it. Put Lemieux on those Oiler teams of the early 80's and Gretzky on those horrendous Penguin teams and think of the difference it would make. Then think about Lemieux spending his prime years in the run and gun pond hockey nhl of the early 80's instead of his prime years when the game switched to a defensive trapping style in the early 90's and i think the record books would look vastly different.


The league style was totally different when they put up their best numbers when Gretzky was in his prime scoring years the league was averaging almost 8 goals per game whereas with Lemieux when he was entering his prime years the league was averaging just around 6 goals per game. You say how crazy his scoring marks are but they are bloated by a wide open run and gun league whereas Lemieux averaged almost as many points per game when the league tightened up considerably defensively

Totally disagree with your arguement. The league didnt change to a trapping style until mid to late 90's and Lemieux had 10-12 years of the same era of offensive league to prove he was better than Gretzky. Show me the year his all time was better than the Great one. As for his linemates, if Gretzky was on the Penguins instead of the Oilers there may be a few extra Penguin members in the hall of fame and a few extra cup wins for the Penguins. You just dont remember how these 2 changed the face of the game and it is becoming a more distant memory every year. Again no bash on Lemieux but the teamate defense for Lemieux dont work cause Gretzky affected how well his teamates played and developed better than Lemieux did. He took a slow defensively challenged Robitaille into a hall of famer and like Tiller mentioned made Kurri the highest scoring point producing European winger of his time. BTW both played in the league when defensive traps had slowed the game down and point producing between them was similar. If the edge for points or goals went to Lemieux you do have to remember Gretzky was also 4 years his senior.
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slozo
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Canada
4574 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2009 :  05:50:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some nice contributions in the last little while from Tiller, Shazariahl, and guest 9838.

I had never seen the Gretzky stat before, about his stats after he left Edmonton, in terms of ppg . . . that just blew me out of the water, frankly. How impressive is that? Downward side of his career until the end, on crappier teams, and he still puts up those numbers? Phenomenal is all I can say.

I really wish in hindsight that Lemieux didn't retire early . . . and that his back wasn't an issue. Then, I think, the "contest" wouldn't have been muddied up with a bunch of 'what ifs' and 'could haves', and we would all be able to see in black and white that Mario was just a tiny step below Gretzky.

That's right . . . I think a lengthening of Mario's career would have shown everyone some diminishing numbers, as he went through the grind of the season, and had to play through all the bumps and bruises and contusions and sprains that hockey players of all types, even superstars, have to play through. When you have a bad back and get a day or two off, then come back to play a game . . . it muddies up the waters. People point to the fact that "he's playing hurt", when in actuality he got a day of rest to keep up his points per game average. There's no need to compare the injuries and ailments between the two, because besides the fact that Gretzky obviously never had something like Hodgkin's, we can't quantify injuries and really compare them. The one thing I can predict with confidence, however, is that a player playing FULL TIME (see: no games off in between like a Lemieux or Forsberg) goes through a diminishing returns cycle starting at the peak of your career and continuing downward until the end.

It's not always perfect . . . some players have resurgent years, come into a better situation near the end of their careers, find better chemistry or play with better players, or get over some nagging injury - but in general, the diminishing returns are there.

I want to see the Lemieux after 1000 games when he's playing at least 70 games in a season. I want to see him on a different team like the Rangers or Kings in the late 90's . . . teams that might squeeze into the playoffs and make a solid run if they're lucky. I want to see a Lemieux who has gone through the regular grind of season after season without the benefit of seasons off, weeks off, etc. (to clarify - this means he wouldn't have the serious ailments, I in no way mean to belittle what he went through). No, I want to see what Lemieux could do after going through exactly what Gretz went through, and I know it would all be clear as day.

At least I feel better these days looking at the poll . . . the correct person is now leading it



"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
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Guest7060
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Posted - 02/09/2010 :  02:27:17  Reply with Quote


I will end this topic right now. take both players in their prime give them each a decent goalie, is there anyone one that thinks gretzky would even touch the puck in a one on one game. end of discussion
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Guest4705
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Posted - 02/09/2010 :  02:47:18  Reply with Quote
For me it comes down to one simple scenario. Tie game with one minute remaining, who would you rather have on the ice to score the winner? Sorry gretzky fans but even you will admit we should put Mario on the ice. those who disagree are lying to themselves.
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Alex116
PickupHockey Legend



5786 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2010 :  10:54:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest7060



I will end this topic right now. take both players in their prime give them each a decent goalie, is there anyone one that thinks gretzky would even touch the puck in a one on one game. end of discussion



Wow, one on one! What a cool concept! Would Mario beat him at darts too? How bout snooker? Those have about as much to do with hockey as one on one with a goalie. Nice try though, and btw, you lied, you haven't ended this topic, although i wish somehow, someone could?

As for your scenario guest 4705, are you talking the silly one on one thing as well? Cuz if you're talking about normal hockey, the way the game is played, i 'd take Gretzky in his prime. Am i lying to myself? I'd say no, i'm choosing the guy who put up better numbers. Doesn't necessarily mean i think Wayne would win it, but i'd be willing to bet he gets an assist on the winner if he doesn't score it.
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shazariahl
Top Prospect



50 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2010 :  17:46:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest4705

For me it comes down to one simple scenario. Tie game with one minute remaining, who would you rather have on the ice to score the winner? Sorry gretzky fans but even you will admit we should put Mario on the ice. those who disagree are lying to themselves.



Assuming Mario is even dressed and healthy enough to play this particular game, which about 20 times a year he wasn't, I'd still pick Prime Gretzky over any other player. How am I lying to myself to pick the most productive player in league history as my go-to guy on the ice in the final minute? I can't think of a single player who made more big goals with the pressure on than Gretzky; either scoring them himself, or setting someone else up for the goal.

If I need a player to go 1 on 4 and try to score, I'll take Lemieux. But I should never need that. So in every other scenario, I'll take the Great One. I honestly don't even need to think twice about it.
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Guest0828
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Posted - 02/15/2010 :  18:03:10  Reply with Quote
Comparing which one was the greater team mate [ not mentioned so far ]
If you ask other players it is considered that Gretzky was perhaps the best team mate ever as he was comitted to his team unlike anyone else Proven I believe that it was ALWAYS him that drove to the airport and picked up the newly traded player when he played in New York at the end of his carrier just as he did with the Oilers at the beginning of it
Let me put that another way
Mario was a GREAT player no doubt
Gretzky Was GOD!!
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Guest4786
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Posted - 03/09/2010 :  12:33:47  Reply with Quote
It's hard to pick who was the best between Gretzky and Lemieux. Gretzky has more points and was certainly very talented but if I had there are reasons why he got those incredible stats Lemieux could not match.

First of all, people on this blog have made the mistake of saying that the both of them basically played in the same era. It is true that there is only a 4 years difference between them but those 4 years makes all the difference. Gretzky peaked in the early-mid 80s. That's when he posted incredible numbers. After 1988, he only posted 50 goals once. He peaked when the conditions were perfect for him to break records. The game was slower back then, there was considerably less hooking, goalies had small equipment, coaches didn't rely on air-tight defensive systems and the quality of the 3rd and 4th lines guys was clearly not as good due in part to the lack of intensive systematic conditioning programs as we see today. Plus Wayne had his peak when he was part of the dynasty-era Oilers. Mario's peak was in the late 1980s. The game had changed, goalies had gotten better. A goalie couldn't post an above 3.00 goal against average and win the Vezina trophy anymore. When Lemieux peaked, he didn't have the best team at hand either. The Francis, Stevens, Jagr and all came later to Pittsburg.

As time went on, the game got tougher and tougher and Gretzky lost his a bit of his aura. He never racked up 50 goals in the 1990s and he was limited to 20-goal something seasons for the few last seasons he played whereas Lemieux was still scoring 50 goals when he first retired and added 35 in 43 games when he came back in 2001. At the end of his career, people reverred Gretzky because he was a legend for all the records he had broken. But he wasn't close to the player he used to be. Mario, on the other hand was fantastic to the very end. Even at the very end of his career, every time he hit the ice, everybody wondered what incredible trick he was going to pull out of his bag.

Don't get me wrong, Gretzky was great, but he dominated when the stars were aligned and as the game changed, his dominance faded slowly. Lemieux remained consistent through his whole career, overcame cancer, dominated the league during the 'hooking era' scoring over 50 goals, he took a losing team and took it to greatness. When that team was in trouble on and off the ice he came back to save it, he captained Team Canada to the gold medal, etc. Gretzky failed to bring the gold home in 1998 and he wasn't even picked during the shootout against Hasek. If there would have been a shootout in 2002, you can bet your ass that Lemieux would have been a part of that.

The major problem about Gretzky is that he was rather unequal in his skills: could pass better than anyone, had a scoring touch in the 1980s but he wasn't great on the breakaways, couldn't check, was an average skater and was quite small. If someone asked me to choose between Gretzky and Lemieux, I'd pick Lemieux simply because he could do it all, even when the conditions of the game were bad, something Gretzky could not really achieve.
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shazariahl
Top Prospect



50 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2010 :  15:57:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Guest4786

It'sFirst of all, people on this blog have made the mistake of saying that the both of them basically played in the same era. It is true that there is only a 4 years difference between them but those 4 years makes all the difference. Gretzky peaked in the early-mid 80s. That's when he posted incredible numbers. After 1988, he only posted 50 goals once. He peaked when the conditions were perfect for him to break records. The game was slower back then, there was considerably less hooking, goalies had small equipment, coaches didn't rely on air-tight defensive systems and the quality of the 3rd and 4th lines guys was clearly not as good due in part to the lack of intensive systematic conditioning programs as we see today. Plus Wayne had his peak when he was part of the dynasty-era Oilers. Mario's peak was in the late 1980s. The game had changed, goalies had gotten better.

As time went on, the game got tougher and tougher and Gretzky lost his a bit of his aura. He never racked up 50 goals in the 1990s and he was limited to 20-goal something seasons for the few last seasons he played whereas Lemieux was still scoring 50 goals when he first retired and added 35 in 43 games when he came back in 2001.

Don't get me wrong, Gretzky was great, but he dominated when the stars were aligned and as the game changed, his dominance faded slowly.

Gretzky failed to bring the gold home in 1998 and he wasn't even picked during the shootout against Hasek. If there would have been a shootout in 2002, you can bet your ass that Lemieux would have been a part of that.

If someone asked me to choose between Gretzky and Lemieux, I'd pick Lemieux simply because he could do it all, even when the conditions of the game were bad, something Gretzky could not really achieve.



You have a lot of good points, but you seem to be constantly judging Gretzky by the last 5-7 years of his career. He still won 3 scoring titles in the early 90's, and put up more PPG than anyone in the 90's except Lemieux, and scored more points than anyone in the 90's including Lemieux (though obviously that was because Lemieux missed so many games). But your assertation that he dropped off and lost his "magic" is rather exagerated. Sure he wasn't scoring 92 goals in a season anymore, but no one else did that ever, so I can't really fault him for not doing it again.

You complain about him not leading Canada to gold in 98, but that was 1 year before he retired... he still led Canada in points even at that age, and it was the coaches decision not to have him in the shootout, not some flaw or fault of his own. Perhaps if he had shot and been stopped... but we had 5 shooters, and Hasek blanked them all, so even then I couldn't put the blame on 1 person, especially someone who didn't even have a chance to go in the shootout. As for other international play, he represented Canada 4 other times and led the entire tournament in scoring all 4 times, leading us to 3 golds and a bronze at the world jrs, and winning 2 MVPs, so its hard to say he didn't get the job done in international play. Ok, so he didn't win Olympic gold - but he wasn't even allowed to participate in the Olympics until he was almost ready to retire.

Gretzky scored more points at age 34+ than any player in NHL history, including some who played to far greater age. He put up less PPG than Lemieux at those ages, but played 2x as many games, and really... who cares what he did when he was old? No one here is saying Gretzky was the best because of his last 4 or 5 seasons. But for 10 years he averaged 180 pts a year - something Lemieux did only 1x ever. For 6 years he averaged over 200 pts a year - something Lemieux never managed to accomplish. He won 10 Art Rosses to Mario's 6 and 9 Harts to Mario's 3. He scored over 1100 more points as well. The GAP between their career accomplishments would be a first ballot Hall of Fame career.

If Mario could have stayed healthy, things may have been different. But he couldn't. Ever. And that's a big part of the game. Gretzky had 12 or 13 great years, a few more good ones, with some at the end where he was barely a top 7 player. But those years at the end don't have anything to do with the Greatness that he achieved when he was young and in his prime.

Mario, despite your assertations, faded too towards the end. Otherwise his PPG wouldn't have dropped from above Gretzky's level (and above 2 PPG) down to only 1.88 by the time of his last retirement.

Edited by - shazariahl on 03/12/2010 16:18:00
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Guest6840
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Posted - 03/16/2010 :  22:04:05  Reply with Quote
I vote option the third option Ovechkin but out of those 2 Lemiux. this is due to Lemiux being able to fight for himself.
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