Lot of opinions making the rounds for two recent NHL.com Head-to-Head matchups.
Vincent Lecavalier vs. Jarome Iginla
I think it's extremely hard to differ. Lecavalier won the Cup in 2004 when Iginla came within one win. They are both tremendously talented players and Iginla possesses more strength and speed and has a rocket of a shot. Lecavalier has pure finesse and a long reach and both are superstars, but I'd take Iginla.
-- Dean Jerome Diek
Statistically the comparison between Jarome Iginla
and Vincent Lecavalier
continues and probably will continue to be a virtual dead heat. Whether it is due to the different location of the respective markets or which team has more big name scorers, Jarome Iginla
is truly iconic in Calgary and with the Flames. He unilaterally represents hope and anticipation of a one-man lift by his team and his fans each time things start to go off the rails. Jarome singlehandedly lifts his team out of funks and every time he delivers, which is a common occurrence, his legend grows just a little bit larger. What is even more interesting is the fact that although every team in the league respects Vinny's offensive talents, it is Jarome who they fear and respect as if he in fact was the team or the one thing that can change the game. It is for this reason that Jarome Iginla
is not only better than Vincent Lecavalier
he is probably the best all-round player in the League.
-- Howard Blayways
Tale of the tape
HEIGHT: 6' 1" WEIGHT: 207
HEIGHT: 6' 4" WEIGHT: 219
is a man of size, tremendous skill and has a love for scoring goals. Jarome Iginla
is no doubt Calgary's best player, who is definitely in the top 10 among players in the NHL, but in a head-to-head battle I would choose Lecavalier any day over Iginla. Lecavalier is linemates with my favorite and most underrated player, Martin St. Louis
. The two work magic and make a goalie look like a 10-year-old minor league backup. Lecavalier and Iginla are both tough, and can score goals, but Vinny has magic hands and has one of the hardest one-time slap shots that is nearly impossible to stop.
Recently, Tampa has re-named Lecavalier its captain and he is there to stay. He has learned to be the team leader doing whatever he has to do win the game. He is an unstoppable goal-scoring machine. Lecavalier is who goaltenders check for behind the goal line, instead of children looking in the closet for the boogeyman. He scored a beautiful goal against Vesa Toskala
last night and Toskala is an amazing goalie, but Vincent lit the lamp and made him look like a fool, one thing Iginla cannot do as well as Lecavalier.
In conclusion, I would never put down Iginla because he is an amazing hockey player, but in comparison to Lecavalier, Iginla is just in the way for another Rocket Richard.
As a Habs fan I'd gladly take either of one of these two workhorses. Only one of them though, I'd have to choose Vincent Lecavalier
hands down. The guy is awesome. I think Jean Beliveau
would climb up into the rafters of the Bell Centre himself and pull the number 4 down if Lecavalier was to sign with the Habs.
is an all-round better hockey player. He can skate, score, contribute, fight, the whole package, although in fairness, Lecavalier is a pretty good player, just not as well rounded.
I vote for Iggy even though I am a Flames season-ticket holder, my vote is note biased. I had the fourth-overall pick in my fantasy pool this year (behind Ovechkin, Crosby, and Malkin) but chose Lecavalier instead of Iggy, a decision I may regret by year's end. Lecavalier is great and a top-five player, as is Iginla. However, Iggy does it consistently every night against a tougher Western Conference and for that he gets my vote. It is no secret that the East plays a more wide open game and I think the goaltending in general among the 15 teams in the East is weaker. Due to this Lecavalier should be a shoe in for 100 points whereas Iggy will struggle to get to 100 points. It is my belief that Iggy would be a constant top 3 player if he was playing in the East. In addition to that, Iggy fights, scores, leads by example and lifts the team in a way that Lecavalier has not seemed to do yet. They both do great community work but Vinny has the edge there.
I also do charity work for the Flames 3-on-3 pond hockey events. One of my fondest memories of this event was taking the elevator in the Saddledome during the 2002-03 season with various hockey people and they were debating what player they would rather build their franchise around Iggy or Kovalchuk. It seems you can change the player on the other end of the Iggy debate, but most come back to Iginla because he is the complete package -- captain, hits, fights, scores, everything. For that he gets my vote.
Thanks for reading my rant.
I would have to say, Vincent Lecavalier
is the better of the two. Yes, I am partial to Vinny, because I am a Lightning fan, but that's not the only reason. While I know Iginla has carried the Flames offensively the last few years, Vinny has been the Lightning's offense the last few. Look at the last two years. Vinny scored a League-best 52 goals in 2006-2007 with linemate Marty St. Louis scoring 43. However, the Lightning lacked secondary scoring. Couple the lack of depth scoring and their goaltending issues they probably would have miss the playoffs in 2006-07. But with him, they made it and Vinny had five goals in the playoffs against Martin Broudeur and the Devils. The next year with Vinny battling injuries, and less production from linemate St. Louis (only 25 goals) dropped to 40 goals and the Lightning finished last. While Iginla did make it to the Stanley Cup Final in 2004 he lost to Vinny and the Lightning.
Thanks for taking time to read my opinion,
-- Michael Pozzi
Iggy all the way! No question. Best leader in the game today, he's the second best leader ever to play (after Messier). He never stops working and makes his teammates play better by playing the way he does with passion, grit, skill, determination. This in turn makes his team better. I dread the thought of where the Flames would be without him.
-- Tim Hagerty
Mike Richards vs. Brenden Morrow
Tale of the tape
HT: 5' 11" WT: 207
HT: 5' 11"
I'm going with Mike Richards
primarily on his youth and potential to improve. No offense, Brenden, but you're as good as you're going to get, which is very good.
Richards over Morrow without question. He's the captain of the Flyers who is the point man on the power play, kills penalties and does whatever it takes for his team to win.
It is nice to see that there is a head-to-head comparison that isn't Ovechkin and Crosby.
I'd take Morrow. His play, in my opinion, is like a poor man's Iginla. He played amazing in the playoffs. Mike Modano
was stripped of the "C" to give to him. I just like the way he plays. He's big, and can knock a guy out like he did with Milan Michalek
of the Sharks in Game 6 of the second round of the playoffs last season. Sharks were eliminated, but before the three-plus periods of overtime, late in the 3rd, Morrow knocked Michalek out cold.
Richards is younger, he may get better. But for now, I'd take Morrow.
-- CanucksRock721 (Connect Member)
Both are pretty comparable in stats, skills, and leadership. I'd take Richards only because he's younger, he has more seasons ahead of him, and more time to improve.
-- IANSTRASBOURG (Connect Member)
WHAT FANS ARE SAYING
"Mike Richards is in Philly to stay for the next 11 years..."
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"They are both pure models of what a captain should be..."
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"The next season Richards was handed the captaincy..."
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Not only do Flyers fans see it, but so do all of the other fans in the NHL. Mike Richards
has a giant heart and great playing ability. He's small but gritty and won't take crap from many people. He'll lay you out in center ice or down in front of your own goalie. He drives to the net on every play and even when he plays the penalty kill he's deadly with scoring and threatening to score shorthanded. He also leads a potent Philadelphia power play and will drop the gloves when need be. He isn't our captain just because he does that though. He's also a top leader in the locker room. I remember one of my first Flyers games was a pre-season game against the Capitals. I loved the Flyers and going to a game was special. Mike Richards
took down Alexander Ovechkin in a fight and ever since then he has been one of my favorites. He was also the one to help us win in a shootout where we got four free tickets from a very grateful season ticket holder. The tickets were for lower level and we watched Mike Richards
put on a show to help the Flyers with their playoff push.
Even though Richards doesn't have explosive speed he can blow by you with the puck as if you were standing still. Don't be caught with your head down however because he can level you across the blue line, or near the boards. Mike Richards
is in Philly to stay for the next 11 years and even though we love him, hopefully all the NHL fans will love him just as much when he finally helps this Flyers team bring the Cup back to Broad Street. Something I'd love to see.
-- NUMBER29 (Connect Member)
In Flyers circles he is known, simply, as "The Captain." Mike Richards
is more than just a leader. He has a special ability to do just the right thing at just the right time.
Let's compare. Last year, Brenden Morrow
led his Dallas Stars
on an improbable playoff run that resulted in an appearance in the Western Conference Finals. Mike Richards
led the Flyers on an equally improbable playoff run, before bowing out to the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Final. The difference was that Richards wasn't the captain yet. But he carried his team lifting his teammates onto his shoulders whenever they needed it whether it was a shorthanded goal, a big hit, or just a big play.
Morrow has an impressive resume, but look at Mike Richards
hockey achievements. He has won everywhere he played. He led the Kitchener Rangers to the 2003 Memorial Cup. In 2004, he led team Canada to their first gold medal at the World Juniors since 1997. In 2005, he led the Philadelphia Phantoms, the Flyers' AHL affiliate, to the Calder Cup, averaging over a point per game in the playoffs. He is the third youngest captain in Flyers history. And he is captain of a team that has more than a few former captains. His comparisons to Bobby Clarke
are more than coincidence; he is the new Mr. Flyer. He is the face of the franchise, and whenever called upon, whatever the task, Richards answers the bell and exceeds expectations. And the comparisons with great leaders expand beyond the boundaries of the Flyers. Keith Jones
called him the next Mark Messier
. Not bad company!
-- Mike0724 (Connect Member)
is a great player, especially after the effort he gave in the 2008 playoffs. But Mike Richards
is something else. I am not saying all this because I am a Flyers fan, but because I know the game. Richards is a dominant player. He was on the team when the Flyers finished dead last in 2006-07 and then he changed his whole style of play. He came back stronger than ever. Richards showed a side that no knew he had. He became one of, if not the best penalty killer in the game, and he is also a great playmaker. Richards is the quarterback on the Flyers power play, because he is a leader. Now he is the Flyers youngest captain in franchise history, and he signed a 12-year deal last season. He is going to be one of the League's top players for years to come. Sorry Morrow, but Richie has got you beat!
--DANR1023 (Connect Member)
As a Sharks fan, I have to disagree with you. While I do agree Richards is a great player and something else, I witnessed all 439 minutes and 24 seconds of the ridiculous six-game series between my team and his. Nothing against Dallas, they are a great team, but if not for Brenden Morrow
, we would have walked all over them.
He singlehandedly put the entire team on his back and beat the crap out of us. He did everything. Game 6 was the San Jose Sharks
vs. Brenden Morrow
, for about six hours.
Until Richards does the same -- he had his chance in the mini 2 game series last week -- my opinion will not change.
-- Into_The_Teal (Connect Member)
I've never seen a player take over a game completely like Mike Richards
does. He's more consistent than Morrow, and will dominate every aspect of the game.
He looks like Forsberg, Crosby or Thornton sometimes with beautiful passes.
He looks like Ovechkin or Kovalchuk at other times with some incredible moves to get the puck right to where the goaltenders fear.
He will rush you into the boards like Iginla, or even drop the gloves like Laraque.
Most importantly he will completely take control of the game and lead by example just like someone else who is famous for doing so: Mark Messier
To me there's no comparison.
-- Twentytwo (Connect Member)
I've actually been a fan of both Mike Richards
and Brenden Morrow
for a while. They are both gritty forwards who risk so much of themselves for the game. They both have speed, skill and raw talent, making them both assets of extreme importance to their respective teams. Most of all they share a true love and passion for the game, which they use as a starting point for how they lead.
is a talented young captain, who seems to lead by example. If he wants something done, he'll do it himself and he'll do it to the best of his ability. I actually picked him for one of my hockey pools this year, because he's one of those players who you know will produce no matter how bad the team is playing. I'm not even a Flyers fan due to their style of play, but even though Richards plays with that grit, he's got another side to him, and that is what makes him so likeable among teammates and fans.
, on the other hand, is a seasoned veteran who still has the energy of a young gun. He's another great captain, who also leads by example. But it seems, in addition, that he has a core of leaders like Mike Modano
on the Stars, which makes him lucky as well. I am a fan of the Stars and Morrow, among others, is one of the reasons. He's a workhorse, and never stops until the job is done. He's truly respected around the league, and it's obvious from the level of sportsmanship he displays, why that is.
I honestly can't decide who is better, now that I think of it. Richards has the bonus of being young and having more years of hockey left in him, but Morrow has the bonus of being slightly older and having that veteran experience. Both are great leaders, and seem to have similar styles of leading, and come to think of it, comparable styles of play. Both are the present and future of this League. If we had more players like them and less players like Sean Avery
or Steve Ott
, the NHL would be better off.
-- KEL_O (Connect Member)