Marcel Dionne is the greatest NHL player that never made it past the second round of the playoffs. He retired in 1989 with 1,771 points, currently behind only Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Gordie Howe and Ron Francis. Eight times he scored 100-plus points in a season.
Yet Dionne also retired with just 49 postseason games on his résumé.
“If L.A. wins,” said Dionne, “and the timing is good because the Lakers are out and so are the Clippers, it’s gonna be the biggest show in town. Bigger than Gretzky. You watch.
“Hey, it’s kinda nice you win for a change. Losing is no fun. I know. That’s how I felt all those years.”
He wasn’t entirely enthusiastic though. Dionne thinks the modern game’s entertainment value leaves a lot to be desired.
“The style we’re watching? It is boring hockey,” he said. “Really boring. Out-muscling, out-bumping. The game’s almost all played along the boards. In my day, as soon as I got the puck, I faced the play. Now, you watch (Anze) Kopitar, the way he protects the puck. He puts his back towards the defenseman, the defenseman can’t do anything. He goes to the left. Then he comes back to the right.
“In the meantime, nothing happens.
“Very seldom do you see a forward beat a defenseman 1-on-1. Doesn’t happen. And the way Wayne (Gretzky) used to curl and trap guys? Very, very few players do this now. There’s just no room out there.”