• Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Konnan511

Was '97 or '02 team better?

Rate this topic

   103 members have voted

  1. 1. Was '97 or '02 team better?

    • '97
      30
    • '02
      71

Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

43 posts in this topic

DETNEWS

In 1997, the Wings ended a 42-year drought, winning the Stanley Cup with a team featuring skill and toughness. In 2002, the Wings won the Cup again, with a roster featuring possibly 10 Hall of Famers.

Both teams are among the NHL's best ever, but the question is which one is better.

According to The Sporting News, it's the 2002 team, which it listed as one of the 10 best NHL teams ever. The 1997 team? It wasn't listed in the top 10, which upset a few members of the team.

"I would say the '02 team might have been the most talented group, but I think '97 was the better team," said Steve Yzerman, the captain of both teams.

Brendan Shanahan echoed Yzerman.

"I would say 2002 was deeper, maybe had more talent," Shanahan, a member of the '97 team told The Sporting News. "But '97 was just meaner, tougher, might have kicked the (expletive) out of '02.

"A lot of teams, in the regular season, could dress a tougher team than us," said Shanahan of the 1997 team. "The difference was, when the playoffs came, they didn't dress those tough guys. All of our tough guys played regular shifts."

Several other Wings players who played on both teams believe the 2002 team was better.

"What is it, 11 or 12 guys are going to make the Hall of Fame off that roster?" said Kris Draper, preparing with his teammates after Tuesday's practice for a trip to Tampa Bay with their fathers (it's the annual father-son trip). "All the individual trophy winners, the 700 goal scorers, 1,000 point guys.

So which is it LGW? The hard nosed gritty '97 team who kicked your butt on the ice and on the scoresheet, or the '02 team that finessed their way with 10+ HHOFs?

Also of note, the 2001 Avs team didn't crack the top 10 list and I think they were only slightly less impressive than the '02 Wings team.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While i did love the '97 team, and how they played most of all. There will never be such a stacked team as the '02 one. Mark my words, that team will remain the best the NHL has ever seen for a long time; but more likely will ever see again.

masamune17 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think shanahan and draper answer the question perfectly. 1997 team was gritty hardworking and that won them their championship. 2002 was based on ALOT of talent.. ALOT ALOT ALOT of talent, sometimes strictly talent does get you to the cup. Mind you, they also had easily one of the best coaches to coach the NHL at the time also..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While the 02 team definitely had more talent, there is something more compelling about a team with everyone playing closer to their individual peaks which I think 97 had. The 02 team was so awesome it didn't have to go full bore all the time though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Much as I loved the team in both '97 and '98 (and if any team needed a reason to rally round, we did in '98), I have to say the team in '02 was just phenomenal. I mean, look at the fourth line - two Hall of Famers on the fourth line - how many teams do you know who can make that claim? And it also gave us a chance to see a potential star for the first time...that year was proof that you really had to have something to crack the lineup as a rookie, and a certain someone did just that. And now look at where he is...

And this is a team ('02) where I can honestly say I remember exactly where I was when the whole thing turned around and I knew that it was ours. I can't say that about '97.

masamune17 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the 97 team. But in terms of being better for it would be the 02 team. I cmon ten hall of famers. But the 97 team of a sweeter victory. Especially after losing in 95, and 96...

masamune17 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Easy choice for me, and not just because I'm agreeing with Stevie and Shanny. :P

I'll go with the team who had the burden of 40 years of losing on its back when it won the Cup, then came back with basically the same lineup and won it again the next season after tragically losing their top defenseman. '02 was ridiculously stacked with talent and was basically an all-star team, but 97 was talent, heart, guts and grit.

If we're talking about not just who had the most talent but who was better, it's 97 all the way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

'02 was hailed as one of the greatest teams all time even before they stepped on the ice. To me, it's not really an argument. As for that fan bracket on Sporting News, I'm not surprised that it comes down to the '70s Canadiens and '02 Wings. However, I remember a lot of experts at the time saying Montreal was better so I'm betting that is the team that will win that particular vote.

I think an interesting debate would be the '52 or '02 Wings, though. Had the team not been dismantled the Wings could've gone on to challenge or even beat Montreal in total Cups won. Those 50's Wings teams were among the greatest ever in my mind.

EDIT: Some people are mixing up "best team" with "best storyline" I think. '97 was great, but there's no way it can stack up to the '02 team in talent, which is what "best" generally means in my mind.

Edited by VM1138
masamune17 and GoWings1905 like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hahaha, this is why I love Shanny. "I would say 2002 was deeper, maybe had more talent," Shanahan, a member of the '97 team told The Sporting News. "But '97 was just meaner, tougher, might have kicked the (expletive) out of '02." :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the 02 team was the most talented, but I think the better team was the 97 team. It was roughly the same team that also won th record number of games.

Edited by Konnan511

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Stevie said the 97' team mostly because he didn't have a big part in the 02' season.

He scored 23 points in the playoffs in 02.

'02 was hailed as one of the greatest teams all time even before they stepped on the ice. To me, it's not really an argument. As for that fan bracket on Sporting News, I'm not surprised that it comes down to the '70s Canadiens and '02 Wings. However, I remember a lot of experts at the time saying Montreal was better so I'm betting that is the team that will win that particular vote.

I think an interesting debate would be the '52 or '02 Wings, though. Had the team not been dismantled the Wings could've gone on to challenge or even beat Montreal in total Cups won. Those 50's Wings teams were among the greatest ever in my mind.

EDIT: Some people are mixing up "best team" with "best storyline" I think. '97 was great, but there's no way it can stack up to the '02 team in talent, which is what "best" generally means in my mind.

And others are mixing up "most HOFers" with "best."

To me "best" is mostly likely to win playoff games and the Cup. That doesn't necessarily mean the same as talent level.

Like I said, the 97 team won again in 98, minus their top defenseman. That's a pretty strong team.

Selliria likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"A lot of teams' date=' in the regular season, could dress a tougher team than us," said Shanahan of the 1997 team. "The difference was, when the playoffs came, they didn't dress those tough guys. [b']All of our tough guys played regular shifts[/b]."

OMG!!! Shanny is anti-enforcer!!!!!

Back on-topic ;) I always go back to what Scotty Bowman said when asked after he retired what the best team he coached was. He said the '02 Wings. This is the guy who had the 70s Canadiens with Robinson, Dryden, Lemaire, Shutt, Lafleur et al. The guy who coached the '92 Penguins with Lemieux, Jagr, Francis, Coffey et al. And he said the '02 Wings. As Kira pointed out, we had Brett Hull and Pavel Datsyuk on the 4th line!!!! The 2-0 win in game 6 in Denver is possibly the finest Wings performance I have ever seen (beats 2008 finals Game 1 because of the adversity factor).

However, where are the '08 Wings in all this? They may not have had the depth of talent of the '02 team, or the toughness of '97, but for me, as a team, as a collective unit committing to a system and a style of play to achieve success, they were the best, machine like in their style of play. That injury riddled February robbed them of a chance to put up a '96 style regular season, and for my money they were only outplayed once in the entire playoff run (when they s*** the bed at home to Dallas)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Stevie said the 97' team mostly because he didn't have a big part in the 02' season.

I will have to respectfully disagree. If there are 3 things I remember about that 2002 playoff run it was 3) The celebration after Shanny's empty netter, 2) Lids goal from center ice in game 3 against the Nucks, backs against the wall, and 1) Stevie Y playing balls out on one knee. That was such an incredible performance to watch him lead that team, put up 23 points, and you had no idea if he was going to play until after warm ups.

TO the question at hand, I voted 1997, pretty much because that team holds a special place in my sports memories. It's really hard to say which team was better because they were both so good and also played different styles of hockey.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll try to be analytical about this by comparing players.

Defense

1997 had a top 4 of Murphy, Lidstrom, Fetisov and Konstantinov. 2002 had Lidstrom, Olausson, Chelios and Fischer. The bottom pairing in 97 was Rouse and Ward, while in 2002 it was Dandenault and Duchesne. I don't think anyone will argue 97 was stronger in the defensive part of the ice, as well as more physical. We're talking three Hall of Famers and one in Vladdy that was one of the best in the league.

Goaltending

Hasek is better than Vernon. You can say Osgood was a better backup than Legace, but technically it shouldn't matter since Hasek won all 16 games. In terms of starting goalies, 2002 wins easily.

Offense

This is where things get interesting. Fedorov, Yzerman, Shanahan and Larionov were all better players in 97 than in 2002. The Grind Line is pretty much a wash, although I could argue they were more physical in 97, hence more effective. At the same time, I think Draper and Maltby were both better defensively by 2002. Also, I think Kozlov was a better player offensively in 97 than Robitaille was by 2002, as Luc was past his prime. That leaves Kocur, Brown, Lapointe and Sandstrom for 97, and leaves Datsyuk, Deveraux, Hull, and Holmstrom for 2002. Obviously, 2002 would have more skill there, while 97 would have more grit. At the end of the day, I think the offensive advantage goes to 2002, because there was a little more firepower, and even though the top 4 forwards were better players in 97, they were good enough in 2002 to still dominate in the playoffs, which they did.

Verdict

I'll have to go against my fellow grit loving posters, and actually say that 2002 would probably win a best of 7 series. Too much firepower and a better goalie that could steal a playoff series. Also, I'd be amiss to mention that they had a much better regular season, meaning they had a better overall season from beginning to end. I don't think the 97 team even won the division if I'm not mistaken.

Edited by GMRwings1983
Konnan511 likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Verdict

I'll have to go against my fellow grit loving posters, and actually say that 2002 would probably win a best of 7 series. Too much firepower and a better goalie that could steal a playoff series. Also, I'd be amiss to mention that they had a much better regular season, meaning they had a better overall season from beginning to end. I don't think the 97 team even won the division if I'm not mistaken.

whaty.gif

By the way, really nice clean set-up. Plus 1 for that alone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He scored 23 points in the playoffs in 02.

And others are mixing up "most HOFers" with "best."

To me "best" is mostly likely to win playoff games and the Cup. That doesn't necessarily mean the same as talent level.

Like I said, the 97 team won again in 98, minus their top defenseman. That's a pretty strong team.

You make the case for the '02 team, though. It was a foregone conclusion that they would win. The only points in the entire season where there were serious doubts were after Game 2 in Round 1, and then the battle with Colorado. They were most likely to win, and no one really posed a significant threat to them. They just steamrolled everybody. If I recall correctly their only bad stretch was the end of the season when it didn't matter anymore and they were just resting everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OMG!!! Shanny is anti-enforcer!!!!!

Back on-topic ;) I always go back to what Scotty Bowman said when asked after he retired what the best team he coached was. He said the '02 Wings. This is the guy who had the 70s Canadiens with Robinson, Dryden, Lemaire, Shutt, Lafleur et al. The guy who coached the '92 Penguins with Lemieux, Jagr, Francis, Coffey et al. And he said the '02 Wings. As Kira pointed out, we had Brett Hull and Pavel Datsyuk on the 4th line!!!! The 2-0 win in game 6 in Denver is possibly the finest Wings performance I have ever seen (beats 2008 finals Game 1 because of the adversity factor).

However, where are the '08 Wings in all this? They may not have had the depth of talent of the '02 team, or the toughness of '97, but for me, as a team, as a collective unit committing to a system and a style of play to achieve success, they were the best, machine like in their style of play. That injury riddled February robbed them of a chance to put up a '96 style regular season, and for my money they were only outplayed once in the entire playoff run (when they s*** the bed at home to Dallas)

They were similar to the 98 team. Great defense with timely goaltending.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0