Messier vs. Esposito
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11-23-2012, 12:07 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Originally Posted by
To be fair, a defenseman is going to be on the ice a little bit more than a forward, even a forward with lots of ice time like Esposito. It stands to reason that they'll be on the ice for more goals for per game.
To be fair Orr was on the ice for 14 less goals for in
28 less games
in 68 and 1 less goal in 69
in 7 less games
. The missed games make up more than the difference IMO.
Throw in the fact that Orr was on for 15 SHGA in 68 (compared to Phil's 12) and 35-11 in 69, then some of that time difference can be explained with shorthanded time as well.
I rarely use the term absolutely but I'm 99.9% certain that Bobby was the straw (and by quite a bit) stirring that drink in Boston and Phil " the slot machine" was the main benefactor.
And look at the team Esposito went to. He scored 42 goals on the 1979 Rangers in a year when he turns 37. I mean, really, we are supposed to drop the notion that the guy couldn't muster 50 goals regularly without Orr? Or even crack 60 a time or two? He's still an elite goal scorer without Orr because he played the slot better than any player in NHL history.
I think that you are really under rating the rangers offense in those years, they could put out a decent PP unit in Phil's years there. Not an all time great team but still this is the late 70's when it wasn't the most difficult league to score in historically.
He is perhaps between a very good to excellent goal scorer without Orr and quite probably, almost definitely not an elite one without the Orr affect IMO. There is simply too much evidence to suggest this.
Ratelle was also barely better than him statistically after the trade all the while being on a far better team and not having the same wear and tear as Esposito over the years. When the 1976 Canada Cup came calling Esposito was on the team and not Ratelle as well.
Ratelle was also 2 years older than Phil.
You spoke earlier about Phils 42 goal season which came actually with an influx of talent that year in Hedberg and Nilsson.
Here is how Boston and the NYR stacked up offensively after the trade up to 80 (as both guys didn't play full seasons in 81)
76 Boston 313 (5th)
NYR 262 (11th)
77 Boston 312 (3)
NYR 272 (7)
78 Boston 333 (3)
NYR 279 (6)
79 Both tied for 4th with 316
80 Boston 310 (5)
NYR 308 (6)
(I really need to take the time to learn how to do tables here I think)
And I'll say this, which Art Ross does Esposito lose without Orr? My chart above was pretty clear. I'm not sure he loses any of them.
This part is unclear, perhaps Phil matures a bit and might have improves from his from his age 24 season with the Black Hawks, but he did get traded to the Orr Bruins so it's really hard to tell.
From the stats before and after Bosotn (Orr)and the indication of the Orr affect it's also quite likely that he never reaches those heights and wins zero Art Ross trophies as well.
win 1 , if everything goes perfect in an Orr less career but it's more likely that he wins zero rather than 2 Art Ross trophies IMO.
I will say this though, we can never measure exactly how one player affects another one but it's much more clear in my mind that Phil gets better because of Orr than say the relationship between Bossy and Trotts for example or Wayne and Juri.
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