Messier vs. Esposito
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11-22-2012, 09:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Brighton, MI
Originally Posted by
Count me among those who find Esposito underated. Especially on HFboards.
Few players have reached such offensive heights. Gretzky, Lemieux, Howe... That's about it. I feel Big Phil is too often seen as a leecher to Orr. Fact is he has proven himself outside of his ''Bruins'' context. He led the Canada crew throught the Summit Series, led the Rangers onto the Stanley Cup finals and was a driving force for the Hawks in the late 60's. Add to that a good 6-7 years of absolute dominance and you're left with career for the memories. Both him and Messier would have a significantly less impressive career ''number-wise'' without 99 and 4, so this point is pretty much moot.
At this point, I personally think a debate between Esposito/Mikita/Morenz would be more appropriate than Esposito/Messier. Let's look at things this way: A healthy Coffey is only second to a healthy Orr while talking about offensive d-men. Despite this, the higher #11 got into the scoring list is 2nd. That is playing much of his PP with a prime Gretzky and Coffey. Otherwise, he's been surpassed by teamates or more offensive players like Savard, Hawerchuk, Stastny... . Over this point it's fairly debatable who was a more complete player, depending on what you value the most. Personally, I feel Messier's leadership has been blown out of proportion from what I remember of him. On the other hand, Esposito often seems swept under the ''Orr'' carpet. Honestly I don't see how Esposito would be ranked behind Lafleur or Mikita, as much as I adore the laters. I sense a lot of hazy revisionism into HFboards 2009 rankings.
Sorry for my english level. Peace.
Largely agree - though I take Mikita before Esposito. Messier had a great overall game, but not enough to overcome the large offensive edge Esposito has. Phil played in a weaker league, but he really distanced himself from his peers offensively, something Messier never came remotely close to doing.
Last edited by RabbinsDuck: 11-22-2012 at
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