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So what if Ovechkin played during Gretzky's time?


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#1 zerofox

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 05:37 PM

I've always been curious to see how the Great One would do in today's NHL, and how Ovechkin would do back in the Gretzky era.

 

I found this little link, which lays out the best individual NHL seasons ever (goal-wise) and how many goals per game were scored league wide. In other words, it would list Gretzky's 92 goal season, and note that during that year, each NHL game had an average of 8.03 goals scored in total (by both teams).

 

Link: http://www.sbnation....st-for-70-goals

 

Using this data, I came up with a methodology (pulled it out of my jackwagon to be honest) to get a rough estimate of what Gretzky's 92 goal season would be like in today's NHL, and what Ovechkin's 65 goal season (or his current pace of 70 goals) would look like in Gretzky's era. I vaguely remember other people doing similar calculations, but I don't recall how they did it. Maybe I'm doing it the same way :D

 

Methodology: Simply took the number of games in an NHL season and multiplied it by the average goals per game. For example, Gretzky's 92 goal season had 8.03 goals per game over 80 games. This equates to about 642 goals. Gretzky's 92 goals represents 14.32% of that total.

 

Ovechkin currently has 27 goals in 31 games (with 5.47 goals per game scored league wide). This represents 15.92% of all goals scored. If he played a full 82 game season, at his current pace, he'd be projected to hit 71 goals (82 * 5.47 * 15.92%).

 

Results:

 

1) If Ovechkin kept his current 71 goal pace, and was sent back in time to the year Gretzky scored 92 goals...

 

80 full games, with 8.03 goals per game being scored = 642 goals.

 

Ovechkin's current pace represents 15.92% of goals scored this year (based on 5.47 goals per game)

 

15.92% of 642 goals would equate to 102 goals

 

 

2) If Gretzky kept his 92 goal pace, and was sent forward in time where only 5.47 goals are being scored per game...

 

82 full games with 5.47 goals per game being scored = 448 goals

 

Gretzky's pace represented 14.32% of goals scored during his 92 goal season.

 

14.32% of 448 goals equates to 64 goals.

 

3) One thing to note is that Ovechkin's 65 goal season occurred when goals per game was slightly higher than they are now (roughly 5.56 in 07-08 compared to 5.47 today). His 65 goal season back in 07-08 is equivalent to 92 goals in 81-82

 

 

Other Notes:

 

This quick little analysis of course does not take into account other factors, like the physical conditioning of each player, etc. It is simply a numbers game. Maybe Ovechkin, with his current physical conditioning, modern training techniques, etc, would do even better than my numbers state. Maybe Gretzky's physical conditioning just wouldn't cut it against today's players. Who knows? Either way, I'm not trying to take away Gretzky's title as the Great One. Besides, even without doing the math, 200+ points back then at roughly 8.03 goals per game is worth a lot more than ~100 points today at roughly 5.47 goals per game.



#2 RedNation8

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 08:53 PM

Pretty neat, similar to what RMNB did in this article I posted in the "Ovi" thread, except you did it for a full season and they did it in regards to 50 in 50.  Awesome that we're witnessing what has the potential to end up being arguably the best goal scoring season of all time.  It's too bad they took the first goal yesterday back away from him, pretty clearly never hit MoJo's stick.



#3 zerofox

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 10:19 PM

Yeah I hope he keeps it up! Even if he doesn't hit 70, on a personal awards level I'd love for Ovie to get another Rocket Richard. I want him to truly establish himself as the #1 goal scorer of this era. The more Rockets he has over Stammer and other premier scorers, the better



#4 ancientsoxfogey

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 10:47 PM

Pretty neat, similar to what RMNB did in this article I posted in the "Ovi" thread, except you did it for a full season and they did it in regards to 50 in 50.  Awesome that we're witnessing what has the potential to end up being arguably the best goal scoring season of all time.  It's too bad they took the first goal yesterday back away from him, pretty clearly never hit MoJo's stick.

 

If it were clear that the puck never hit Mojo's stick, why would the scoring have been re-reversed after it was originally changed to "get it right"?



#5 OldHat

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:19 PM

"So what if Ovechkin played during Gretzky's time?"

 

He'd be a lot older now?


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#6 ancientsoxfogey

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:20 PM

To get back to the original topic though, the OP, while a nice exercise in arithmetic, doesn't necessarily imply that if Ovie had existed in Gretsky's era he would have increased his scoring in proportion to the ratio of the scoring level of that era relative to the one we are in now.  

 

I say that because, when Gretsky was playing, he was a transformational player in that he was playing with a style, a sense of the game, that was pretty much unknown before he came onto the scene.  His was a revolutionary kind of artistry in an era when the rules of the day were pretty much designed to slow down the power type of game that Ovie plays on offense, and strength on defense was valued more highly relative to quickness than it is now.  Neither the nature of play nor the rules of the game had yet changed in response to the transition that Gretsky was imposing on it.   More hooking, holding, and interference allowed, and the type of hitting allowed was much more comprehensive than it is now.  

 

In fairness though, I think that part of the reason that scoring was higher then than it is now is that goalies overall weren't as good, their equipment wasn't as helpful, and that difference might have been a problem to goalies in stopping Ovie's shots then.  Also, the league was in the earlier stages of absorbing a large amount of expansion and so the quality of players throughout the league, specifically defensive players, may not have been quite as good as it is now.

 

Bottom line, while the comparison is interesting, it's ultimately a fruitless exercise for anything other than filling up time on a snowy day.  No one can really know what would have happened.   



#7 RedNation8

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 12:08 AM

If it were clear that the puck never hit Mojo's stick, why would the scoring have been re-reversed after it was originally changed to "get it right"?

 

Beats the hell out of me, I don't understand how they blow so many things that are so obvious looking back.  Happens with high sticks all the time that you can freeze and clearly see.  If you go watch that goal in slow motion it's obvious that there's no way it ever hit MoJo's stick.  On CSN they showed two angles, the first you can't tell, it might have hit his stick on the way in.  Then the second angle was a much better one where it was easy to see how far away from the puck MoJo's stick was.



#8 RavenCp

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 03:00 AM

Beats the hell out of me, I don't understand how they blow so many things that are so obvious looking back.  Happens with high sticks all the time that you can freeze and clearly see.  If you go watch that goal in slow motion it's obvious that there's no way it ever hit MoJo's stick.  On CSN they showed two angles, the first you can't tell, it might have hit his stick on the way in.  Then the second angle was a much better one where it was easy to see how far away from the puck MoJo's stick was.

May be in Toronto they do not have that angle. 



#9 ntotoro

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 06:58 AM

Beats the hell out of me, I don't understand how they blow so many things that are so obvious looking back.  Happens with high sticks all the time that you can freeze and clearly see.  If you go watch that goal in slow motion it's obvious that there's no way it ever hit MoJo's stick.  On CSN they showed two angles, the first you can't tell, it might have hit his stick on the way in.  Then the second angle was a much better one where it was easy to see how far away from the puck MoJo's stick was.

 

Using the overhead angle, it was obvious as the nose on my face (my wife often jokes that I could snort up a head into one of my nostrils if I snore) that the puck never touched Mojo's stick.

 

Nick



#10 zerofox

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 08:07 AM

I didn't see the puck hit Mojo's stick. I want Mojo to tell the NHL to give the goal back to Ovie. A fourth goal doesn't get Mojo any closer to winning personal awards! A 28th goal gives Ovie another goal to pad his lead for the Rocket. More useful to him than Mojo.



#11 zerofox

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 08:08 AM

May be in Toronto they do not have that angle. 

 

Maybe in Toronto they just don't like Russians.



#12 RavenCp

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 12:59 PM


Maybe in Toronto they just don't like Russians.

I remember once Ovie got a goal which he didn't score, and shortly he asked to credit that goal to the scorer. That's Ovie. Gretzky a bit overrated, Pavel Bure was quite comparable to Gretzky. 



#13 OldHat

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 02:42 PM

 Pavel Bure was quite comparable to Gretzky. 

 

:huh: errrr....


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#14 ALX

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 04:55 PM


I was in my early teens when Gretzky started tearing up the league....I give Thanks to folks like george michaels and glenn brenner for showing the highlights many times since it was impossible to watch him unless he played the caps.....Sure he skated 1/2 the time on fast ice and had an incredible cast around him,but who can forget how he would hold the puck behind the net and either dash out and score or pass for an assist....His break aways were amazing.....Two completely different players OVI and gretzky and the times/style.....I just hope eventualy we can find a few more players who can compliment OVI....The oilers back then sorta remind me of chicago today as far as they really drafted/played the cards right.....

#15 OldHat

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 05:41 PM

I think we could for real answer this question once and for all if we had a hot tub time machine...

 

...or maybe a Delorean.


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#16 apace41

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 05:50 PM

Bottom line, while the comparison is interesting, it's ultimately a fruitless exercise for anything other than filling up time on a snowy day.  No one can really know what would have happened.   

 

This is true, Ancient, but we speculate about lots of crap on this board and nobody cares what we think! 

 

In my mind the two things that I would throw in there are (i) Gretsky's absurd ability to set up others and assist numbers and (ii) the fact that today's NHL is a truly international league with the best players in the world all wanting to play here.  While there were some in Gretsky's day, now it is truly incredible.

 

As to the first point, it makes Gretsky more comparable to someone like (hold your nose) Crosby.  As to the second point, it echoes your notion that the quality of player is far, far greater top to bottom today than when 99 played.


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#17 stealyerfaceoff

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 06:30 PM

It's an interesting topic for discussion. Funny, because my wife and I were just discussing it yesterday. Ovi would have done quite well back in  the 80's in the NHL. Except he never would have defected!

   I think one of my all time favorite Gretzky memories was when he was camped out behind the opposing net with a D-man at either post and he flipped the puck up over the net and banked it off the goalie's back to score. I'm glad I got to see him in person a few times. It always seemed to me that the 80's Caps matched up pretty well against that Oilers squad. Just couldn't make it to the finals to face them. Sigh....


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#18 WizardofSid

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 11:59 AM

Everything was different worse.

 

Goalie pads and goalies were smaller with few playing the butterfly.

 

Training was completely different. Ron Francis asked what Mario did to get ready for the season and he responded not ordering fries with his club sandwich (also heard stories of players smoking during intermissions). Another guy drove around in his car wearing a trash bag with the heater cranked to full (at least got him used to stink gloves). 

 

Hooking was defense. I don't think there was much shot blocking back then.

 

It's 2 different sports.



#19 Detroit_Caps_1908

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 01:44 PM

Everything was different worse.

 

Goalie pads and goalies were smaller with few playing the butterfly.

 

Training was completely different. Ron Francis asked what Mario did to get ready for the season and he responded not ordering fries with his club sandwich (also heard stories of players smoking during intermissions). Another guy drove around in his car wearing a trash bag with the heater cranked to full (at least got him used to stink gloves). 

 

Hooking was defense. I don't think there was much shot blocking back then.

 

It's 2 different sports.

guess the trash came back to you peoples troll thread and said the 'mods are gone theres no one to protect us, can I have a pony to play with. . ."

 

Did your last ban for trolling expire?


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#20 OldHat

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 02:43 PM

Everything was different worse.

 

Goalie pads and goalies were smaller with few playing the butterfly.

 

Training was completely different. Ron Francis asked what Mario did to get ready for the season and he responded not ordering fries with his club sandwich (also heard stories of players smoking during intermissions). Another guy drove around in his car wearing a trash bag with the heater cranked to full (at least got him used to stink gloves). 

 

Hooking was defense. I don't think there was much shot blocking back then.

 

It's 2 different sports.

 

http://sportsillustr...tes.nhl.hockey/


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