Many people criticize the opinion, and ridicule the belief that Lemieux is not even close the talents of some of the greats. They try to prove their point of view by comparing stats and figures, but I feel that this is unfair. Even though Mario has excellent stats, I feel to be able to truly see who is better you must look at all aspects of the game and skills of the players who play it. First of all Mario Lemieux is not your typical fancy playmaker, he is a superb playmaker. His puck control is undoubtedly one of the best in the history of the game.
He can make a fool of people with simple movements of his stick and his height makes it even harder to defend against him. Mario can execute mind boggling between the legs dekes to “undress •an opposing player where he stands. These moves bring thousands of spectators to the rink in hopes to see Mario doing the extraordinary. It is with these moves he was able to score a career high of six hundred and eighty two goals, this is an enormous amount of offensive talent, and is no small feat to accomplish. He has scored sixty or more goals a season more than six times in his career.
It is these stats and stick handling skills that enabled Mario to score the most goals in the NHL in one season three times in his career. Mario has played in twenty-five games where he has scored three goals; nine games where he has scored four goals; three games where he has scored five, only a select few players have been able to make these numbers. Lemieux was also the twentieth player in NHL history to score five hundred goals. He is the only player in the game’s history to score an even-strength, power play, shorthanded, penalty shot and empty net goal in a single game.
These stats are incredible considering the increasing skill level, aggression and intensity of the game. These stats are just scratching the surface of Mario’s extraordinary career. If you continue looking at the statistics Lemieux has produced over his ongoing career you would have to look at the exorbitant amount of assists he has obtained, but not only the amount of assists but also the style in which he passes the puck to the players on his team. First of all Mario has scored one thousand and five assists in his fifteen year career, this is task is an amazing accomplishment.
Lemieux has lead the league in assists four seasons, not many players have been able to do this in a long time. He is one of three players to record over one hundred assists in a single season and in that season he assisted one hundred and fourteen goals. His skill for passing the puck has captured highlight reels on many television stations. Totalling up all of Lemiuex’s points over the fifteen years he has played so far he has one thousand six hundred and eighty seven points.
He was the second fastest player to reach one thousand career points. He is the ninth player to score fourteen thousand points in his career and he still going strong, this season he has already scored eighty-three points and there is still several games remaining. Over the many seasons he has played he has captured the NHL scoring title for points six times in his career, only one word described that magnificence. So far this shows that he is indeed one of the greatest players ever, and credit should be given to him.
Even in his rookie year he showed the world he was going to be undoubtedly the best ever. On his first shift in the NHL and on his first shot against a professional goalie he scored his first ever NHL goal, no other player has ever been able to accomplish this act. Also that season he was able to reach the one hundred-point plateau. Think about this, only two other players have only achieved scoring one hundred points in their rookie year, this shows how truly monumental this accomplishment is.
He managed to put the puck in the net forty three times and assist on fifty-seven goals, at that time all-star players were scoring that many points per season. Mario has the soft hands of a star player like Gretzky, but he has size added to his already amazing arsenal. It is with this size and his amazing skill that adds to him the greatest player of all time. He has been known to muscle players off of the puck, throw body checks, dig hard in the corners, back check and for check, many of the star players don’t have the size to do that.
He has even been involved in a few fights over his career dismissing any accusations that he is a weak player who needs protection from the bigger players around the league. Size and skill are a deadly combination in the game of hockey and Mario has both of them. Perhaps what I feel is the most amazing thing Mario has done in his career is over come a battle against many injuries. From 1990 on he has always had a bad back, but still managed to play the game over the years missing many due to his back problem.
But in 1994 he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, a type of cancer that took him out of the game for a year. Even when he recovered he was never the same, he was still hurting, unable to play as many games as other stars. But on his returning season he was able to capture the scoring title with one hundred and sixty one points. Not many other big name players have had to over come such an obstacle and remain playing. Many people probably still would disagree with me, and that’s fine.
But think about this; Gretzky has played more full seasons then Lemiuex, Howe played in a different era where obstruction hooking, clutching and grabbing were not as rampant, skill level and competition were not as abundant and the neutral zone trap and other tactics to slow the game down were not used. The doubt still may lie, even though he was plagued with injuries throughout his career, Lemieux still averaged about sixty two goals per season, with the missed games included, and this is still the best scoring rate in NHL history.
So add up all his accomplishments, his two Stanley cup rings, his Olympic gold medal, and the other accomplishments listed above and think about what he has gone through before you say he is not even close to being one of the other top players in points and the game period. Think about his skill not only offensively but defensively, all that he brings to the game with his agility ingenuity and creativity. He needs no one to protect him, and was able to over come adversity many times in his career. This is why I feel he truly is the greatest player of all time