1979 Rangers in an alternate universe where the Esposito trade never happened
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08-23-2012, 10:54 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
First Zil, you and I have not always seen eye to eye, but want to give full props on an outstanding thread topic!!!
To answer the question in basic overview, the answer is conditionally yes, IMO.
The key to losing earlier in the decade was the singlehanded domination by Bobby Orr, IMO the greatest player ever, especially in the playoffs.
If he fades out as normal, we have increased chance, nominal favorites. If he pulls a rabbit out of his aging/bad knees hat, we're still screwed.
Some really nice teams in the original six.
But only Montreal is a real threat besides Orr. The team from the end of the decade is not quite the powerhouse that Jean Beliveau captianed, but it is still formidable enough to beat us.
Giacomin's reflexes were slower by decade's end, but if you assume he was jettisoned for the same stupid let's shake up the team initiative that Cat Francis undertook with the Esposito trade, and he is still there if that swap does not go through, and we can get EG and Villemure to rise to the occasion one more time, then we should handle it, barring injury.
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