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Best power forward of the 1990's


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Best Power Forward of the 1990's  

13 members have voted

  1. 1. Who was the best power forward of the 1990's?

    • Eric Lindros
      6
    • John LeClair
      4
    • Kevin Stevens
      1
    • Keith tkachuk
      0
    • Jaromir Jagr
      2


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In fairness to the Pitts. fans, I have posted this in the Pitts. forum.

There have been two running debates with the Pitts. fans.

The first is who was the better LW between Stevens and LeClair. I posted a poll on the Flyers forum.

The second is who was the better power forward between Lindros and Stevens. I thought it would be fair to add LeClair and tkachuk as well. If anyone has another power forward from the 90's that should be on the list, just state and I will edit the poll (come to think of it, I should / will add Jagr).

Jagr and Lindros would be 1/2, 2/1 on my vote. Lindros would get the nod for me because he played Center AND made everyone around him better.

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The fact that Lindros was an absolute animal, let alone a very good player, makes him the beast of this poll IMO. The guy flat out scared people with physicality. Nobody else on that list brought that with them into the game. They may have been physical, but watch Lindros throw Scott Stevens around in that fight and see the terror in Stevens eyes. And Stevens was probably tougher than any of those other guys you mentioned.

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I never considered Jagr a power forward because though his strength and size were assets in protecting the puck, he never used them to be physical in the game. He avoided contact more than he ever thought of initiating it. I'll repost my thoughts on the Stevens / Lindros comparison...

Lindros was great but fragile. If he'd been able to keep his head up and avoid all of the injuries, then I'd have a tough choice to make there. As Lindros played, I still give Stevens the edge on him. Why? Lindros never scored 50 goals... Stevens did it twice. Lindros played an average of 60 games a season as a Flyer. Stevens played 78 per season prior to breaking his face. Lindros DID have a 115 point season which was great, but Stevens hit 111 and 123 in consecutive seasons. Lindros edges him in PPG if I only count the years before each got hurt. (Lindros played longer and sucked the last 3 or 4 years so I didn't count them because he played lOts of games with minimal production). Stevens sucked too his last few seasons but played far less games so I felt the number tilted unfairly in Stevens' favor. So Lindros at 1.36 PPG and Stevens at 1.22 PPG.

PIM matter to me. Stevens and Lindros were both huge bodies, physical guys... Players who punished the opposition. Lindros only broke the 150 PIM mark one time. Stevens did it four times. And I only count years with scoring production to compete.

On the flip side Lindros was always a plus player. Stevens had a -24 season in 93-94 (shudders).

So in summary... I guess though Lindros had a slight edge in PPG, his inability to stay healthy during those true "power forward" seasons prior to his major concussion problems and not being AS vicious in PIMs keep me leaning in favor of Stevens (prior to the face plant incident). I can also see why you'd flip flop them for the edge in points and stronger defensive play.

Either way they were two great power forwards who's careers ended much shorter than they should have due to injuries.

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Cam Neely was more late 80's and early 90's....but he gets my vote. Best combo of physicality and skill when healthy. Eric is a close second. None of the guys mentioned in the poll could pull off a 50 goals in 50 games like Cam did...so I did not vote out of protest...LOL!

EDIT....best power forward of all time

1)Maurice (the rocket) RIchard

2)Gordie Howe

3)Bobby Hull

Edited by jammer2
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I find it hard to compare players because different guys play different ways. Lindros was the biggest and the baddest, when healthy. I think LeClair was the best in the corner. He always seemed to come out with the puck. He also made an interesting comment about Cam Neely once. He said that Neely was very quick. If you took your eyes off him, he got open.

Defenders were given license to foul the big guys. They got away with tackling, grabbing, cross-checks and all kinds of dirty stuff.

I've told this story before, but I watched Tim Kerr try to get a place on the Whalers, at the end of his career. He had been so beaten up over the years, that he could barely move. It was sad.

Edited by blocker
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Funny thing here is most of the "professional" lists I've found have Lindros as behind Stevens and Leclair.

You know if Jagr had known the meaning of the word "defend" when he played in the 90's, he would get my vote. I still pick John Leclair as first but I would put Kevin Stevens second. Lindros was never much for playing defense either unless he had someone lined up to annihilate them. I feel that defense should be taken into consideration when rating players. Lindros would probably be second on my list if his Parents had never been his agent.......

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You know if Jagr had known the meaning of the word "defend" when he played in the 90's, he would get my vote. I still pick John Leclair as first but I would put Kevin Stevens second. Lindros was never much for playing defense either unless he had someone lined up to annihilate them. I feel that defense should be taken into consideration when rating players. Lindros would probably be second on my list if his Parents had never been his agent.......

For me, power forward requires physicality that Jagr never had. I suppose if he'd hit people, or been a penalty minutes ind of guy cause of temper, maybe I'd think differently.

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Lindros' injuries read like combat platoon's after 3 weeks in fallujah.

concussion

concussion

collapsed lung

concussion

concussion

knee

torn wrist ligament.

ugh, so i guess when you have always been the biggest and most powerful in whatever league you play in it must be tough to adjust to the league with bigger and badder.

i liked tkacuck but he wasn't near as dominant as 88 he had a longer career but he never had a lindrosian prime year.

i think @jammer2 makes a good point about cam neely , and you know i always liked dave andreychuk's game was pretty nasty and effective.

shame about lindros, shame about stevens too, playing that way takes its toll on even the most massive.

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The fact that Lindros was an absolute animal, let alone a very good player, makes him the beast of this poll IMO.

Amazing that he was so docile off the ice / locker room. You are right. He was an animal. All the family / contract bs aside, when on the ice, in the 90's, there was not a better power forward.

His strenght was unmeasured. I remember watching a physical endurance gym test with him at the beginning of training camp in 94 or 95. He benched pressed 225lbs for 35 reps- non stop. No BS.

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Cam Neely was more late 80's and early 90's....but he gets my vote. Best combo of physicality and skill when healthy. Eric is a close second. None of the guys mentioned in the poll could pull off a 50 goals in 50 games like Cam did...so I did not vote out of protest...LOL!

I really like Cam as well. What he did in the early nineties- on the bum hip, was nothing short of miraculous.

Cam was the quentissential PF, yet Lindros was the beast. Cam played the balanced game and knew what to do when. Lindros, when mad, was a runaway and would just take over the game. He looked like a man playing with boys- when he wanted to.

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I really like Cam as well. What he did in the early nineties- on the bum hip, was nothing short of miraculous.

Cam was the quentissential PF, yet Lindros was the beast. Cam played the balanced game and knew what to do when. Lindros, when mad, was a runaway and would just take over the game. He looked like a man playing with boys- when he wanted to.

I don't remember Lindross that way. I will always remember him being physical and trying to use his size to dominate, but as an opponent he always looked a step behind, a hair too slow... He was dangerous don't get me wrong, and his stats show he could get the points, but even outside of my hatred for him he just seemed more hype than beast to me. Maybe I was spoiled with Lemieux's style of dominance, but I just saw Lindross as streaky.

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@Polaris922 Streaky, really? Cause at one time, Lindros (before leaving Philly) had the sixth highest pts per game average in league history. Even adding in the really crappy NYR and Leaf years, he still managed to finish in the top 20.

http://www.quanthock...me-leaders.html

Checking out that list, I noticed a few things, first....Peter Stasney does not get near enough mention for what he did in this league, to play just a hair under 1000 games and be in the top 10 of all time pts per game.....that is impressive. So is Kent Nilsson being that high, although is games played is way down. Crosby is continuing his assault on the list, but will never see the top 2 (at least I don't think so...lol). Malkin is primed to move ol' Phil Espisito out of the top 10....that is a AWESOME feat IMHO. Nice to see Clarke still relevant around 35 or so. Fleruy at the bottom at #50 shows just how tough it is to average a point per game pace in this league, regardless of era, but the older guys, with all the star goalies, familiarity and tight checking were at a disadvantage.

Edited by jammer2
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@jammer2

Yeah but I remember him having big ups... multi-point games and streaks of hot scoring, and then nothing... disappear. I only remember this because a friend of mine had him on his fantasy team and I ran the league so I calculated all the stats. Remember... if I have three points one game.. then none the next two... I'm still a point per game guy. Just something that always struck me with him.

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I don't remember Lindross that way. I will always remember him being physical and trying to use his size to dominate, but as an opponent he always looked a step behind, a hair too slow... He was dangerous don't get me wrong, and his stats show he could get the points, but even outside of my hatred for him he just seemed more hype than beast to me. Maybe I was spoiled with Lemieux's style of dominance, but I just saw Lindross as streaky.

He wasn't as streaky as you think. In the later 90's, I remember him taking nights off and coasting. But from 93-97, he was a monster. You also have to remember for much of that time, the team was a one line team. Even if Lindros did not show up on the score sheet, he provided space and time for LeClair and Renberg.

Lemieux was in a league of his own when it came to size, strength and finesse. Yet, you would never confuse Lindros size and strength and hitting for Lemieux. That was the dimension that Lindros had that Lemieux did not- or choose not to invoke.

On the speed thing, see my games off comment above. They did not call him the E-train just because he would plow you over. It was also because he did not have the best 1-2 step, but when he hit step three and then over drive, he could pull away from nearly anyone in the league.

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@Vanflyer That's what I was gonna say van, like any big man, the first few steps are below average, but let him get up steam, and he was top 10% in the league when takling pure speed. Not many guys caught E from behind once he was moving. There might have been a point in his career when he was streaky, but in general, when you are top 20 all time in pts per game, and top 5 for the better part of your career, well, that kinda outright proves consistancy in my books. I watched almost every game in Eric's career (as most of us did), you could count on him to produce night in and night out. Sure, I remember him taking shifts/games off, but his skill level was elite enough that he still produced. He was smart enough and had a hockey IQ high enough that he just needed a small opening and WHAM....goal or primary assist.

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I watched almost every game in Eric's career (as most of us did), you could count on him to produce night in and night out. Sure, I remember him taking shifts/games off, but his skill level was elite enough that he still produced. He was smart enough and had a hockey IQ high enough that he just needed a small opening and WHAM....goal or primary assist.

I think in the later 90's, as injuries started piling up, Lindros learned how to conserve energy. The thing is that it is much more noticeable with a player like like him- particularly given his early years, because you come to expect him to lead the charge EVERY game.

If Lindros had Giroux's parents, we would be talking about how nice to see him play out his swan song season with 2-3 cups (as an Av of course). We (as Flyers fans), would also be talking about- do you remember how great those 90's Flyers teams were with Ricci, Forsberg and Brind'Amour as our monster centers and winning the cup with Hextall in net.

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I think in the later 90's, as injuries started piling up, Lindros learned how to conserve energy. The thing is that it is much more noticeable with a player like like him- particularly given his early years, because you come to expect him to lead the charge EVERY game.

If Lindros had Giroux's parents, we would be talking about how nice to see him play out his swan song season with 2-3 cups (as an Av of course). We (as Flyers fans), would also be talking about- do you remember how great those 90's Flyers teams were with Ricci, Forsberg and Brind'Amour as our monster centers and winning the cup with Hextall in net.

Interesting to think of how things may have been different for both Clubs.

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All time best Power Forwards.

http://msn.foxsports.com/nhl/lists/All-time-NHL-Power-Forwards-110410#tab=photo-title=Cam+Neely&photo=21679141

10. Tim Kerr

9. John LeClair

8. Kevin Stevens

7. Rick Tocchet

6. Keith Tkachuk

5. Eric Lindros

4. Brendan Shanahan

3. Jarome Iglina

2. Mark Messiah

1. Cam Neely

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There was a period of 5 or so years, starting about 1995, that John LeClair had the most goals of all NHL players. John Beliveau played before the term "power forward" was invented. We remember him as being a graceful skater, but he was a big guy who could control play. Gordie Howe kind of snuck into openings sometimes, however he could plow over people.

Although both Beliveau and Howe played well before the time frame of this thread.

Edited by blocker
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@hf101 ha ha, I take offense to articles being *all time* pieces and not mentioning the older greats. If the writer can't go back that far, he should do some research or limit it to a specific time frame. All time with no mention of Maurice (the rocket) Richard is a shame. He had those eyes on fire, so desperate to score he would do anything, and with his big frame, he usually out muscled you to get into the prime scoring location......that's what a power forward is all about...dictating the play to opponents by sheer skill and raw force.

edit, I know rocket was a short guy, but I was talking about his broad shoulders and thick frame....saw many goals where he would just stiff arm a guy until he got to where he wanted.

Edited by jammer2
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There are a few "lists" that have a lot of the same names switched around. In defense of them when it comes to a lot of old time hockey players now listed, a lot of that comes from the perceived lack of physical play back then. Let's face it, the hitting and tough play, truly hard battles, weren't prevalent in old style hockey.

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Let's face it, the hitting and tough play, truly hard battles, weren't prevalent in old style hockey.

sorry to be so disagreeable with you today, but what ?

I will acknowledge today's athletes are bigger faster and better conditioned from top of the roster to the bottom, But to say the game wasn't physical and there were no truly hard physical battles in the "old timey" games shows a startling lack of perspective.

there were no helmets , no body armor , the players still skated fast and collided with one another , the puck still went into the corners where the rinks still had walls with plexiglass or chainlink fence do you think when that happend; howe, geofrionn, richard, bucyk, mcintyre, just let the defensman play the puck ? the reason the game isn't for sissies didn't start in the 1970's.

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sorry to be so disagreeable with you today, but what ?

I will acknowledge today's athletes are bigger faster and better conditioned from top of the roster to the bottom, But to say the game wasn't physical and there were no truly hard physical battles in the "old timey" games shows a startling lack of perspective.

there were no helmets , no body armor , the players still skated fast and collided with one another , the puck still went into the corners where the rinks still had walls with plexiglass or chainlink fence do you think when that happend; howe, geofrionn, richard, bucyk, mcintyre, just let the defensman play the puck ? the reason the game isn't for sissies didn't start in the 1970's.

I don't mind the disagreeing ;). The movies and footage of old time hockey I watch, 50's and before, always seemed more a gentleman's game than it has since. Players respected one another and pulled up before contact. They didn't wear the hard pads they've got now and just seemed to pull up on impact more. I think they had to worry more about injuring themselves as much as the opponents.

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