Friday, March 13, 2009

How High Can They Go?

Wayne Gretzky holds alot of NHL records. All of the following are Gretzky records that will likely never be touched: 1981-82 he scored 92 goals in a season, 1985-86 he scored 215 points in a season (he went over 200 points three other times in his career), and he scored 50 goals in 39 games during the 1981-82 season. Looking at all of these records makes you realize how great he really was. I want to make the point also that the 1980's was a time when the game was very offensive and goaltending was poor. I think players like Gretzky and Lemieux would have had the same kind of success in this era because they were that damn good (Lemieux by the way is the only other player I know of to come close to Gretzky's feats). But this begs one question....how great will this group of players we are watching now become (Crosby, Ovechkin and Malkin)?

On NHL.com last week John Buccigross recieved an email from a reader asking what he thought that these three players would reach in terms of their peak (Goals, Assists and Points) in their careers. I could go into a very long dissertation of how this could happen and the factors involved in it. Maybe I will this weekend with my extra day off, but regardless its interesting to wonder. Buccigross however feels that the peaks for the three players should be about this: Ovechkin's line from last season (65-47-112) with a possibility of 70 goals in a season next year or the year after if he stays hot, Crosby should have a line of about 45-101-146 if he gets that scoring winger he needs but it could be around 38-94-132 given the parity in the leage, Malkin on the other hand could go even higher. He could end up with a line of 54-90-144 but he also said that he wouldnt be suprised to see a line of 61-101-162 in the future simply because Malkin keeps getting better and better. The biggest point is that Crosby is shooting less and Malkin is shooting more and getting more assists. The whole point of this post, is that its going to be very exciting to see these three players the next couple of years. I hope every day that any or all of these three will challenge one of those records. Crosby is hailed as the "Next One" however I think that Malkin will be better because of his size. Ovechkin could have a problem with injuries if he continues to play the way he does. Stay tuned for a more interesting, longer post in the coming days and check out the links below....

John Buccigross wrote a solid article about play-by-play announcers and their relationships with local fans this week on ESPN.com

Read more about the 50 in 50 feat on wikipedia.org

2 comments:

Conrad said...

The Great Ones records you mentioned will never be broken..Trust me. Wayne Gretzky will live on in history forever.

Ovechkin and Crosby will finish in the top 15 scoring each I believe.

Trick said...

It's an entirely different game today than even when Lemieux started. Gretzky's records will always be intact. Goalies in the 70's and 80's were just the teams worst offensive players thrown in the net. Now people are trained on technique and on how to be a goalie from birth. Plue they have bigger pads. Hockey is the only sport that has, since it's conception, become harder to play. In the who is better Gretzky or Lemieux argument. In his prime before coming back from retirement Lemieux averaged more points per game than Gretzky. So if he would have played the same number of games as Gretzky did he would have had more points than Gretzky. Gretzky also played 5 years or so before Lemieux started. So he had 5 more years of shitty defences and terrible if noexistant goaltending. Mario played much more in modern era when goalies are incredible and there are complex defensive structures. Gretzky had from his start in the league a very good supporting cast of players around him. Mario didn't have that until 89-90. Wayne had some good goals in his career, not like Mario however who has a highlight reel a mile long. I know I may be bias as a pittsburgher but I honestly feel that Mario had way more skill than Wayne did. The season Mario had 160 points in 60 games, when he had fucking cancer, he was averaging over 2.6 points per game. If he would have played the full 80 game schedule like gretzky did on his 215 point seson Mario would have finished with 213 points. Now, if he would have not been playing while going through Chemo Therapy because he had fucking cancer, i think he would have easily turned it up and done even better. I'm done. Man this could have been a great post haha.