Messier vs. Esposito
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11-23-2012, 08:21 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Originally Posted by
I'll say another thing too. The 1972 Canada/Russia series should be the straw that breaks the camels back for anyone arguing Esposito was dependant on Orr. I urge people to watch that series on DVD. It's there. Esposito had 7 goals and 6 assists in 8 games. 4 points in the final game. 3 points in the final period. Easily the best player in the tournament for either team and the emotional leader for Canada.
In an intense series with immense pressure we saw Esposito score 1.62 points per game which would have given him 127 for a full season. Granted it is a small sample size, but he was playing against Russia and a Hall of Fame goalie with Hall of Fame talent and he didn't have the California Seals to pad his stats with.
Let's also look at that Canadian team in 1972. Lots of Hall of Famers there. None were even close to matching Esposito's impact and stats other than Henderson. You would think Ratelle, or Mahovlich or Cournoyer would show him up and we'd see how brittle he was without Orr but they didn't. For whatever reason that is never enough proof for people on here.
No 8 games in that series, which was the 1st time the Russians were playing with hitting and a big guy like Esposito might have an advantage there, is not going to take away all those games with the Black Hawks and Rangers.
Something that always bothers me is the case of two eras of Bruins (Shore's and Orr's) having such great players, I believe Shore played on teams with 5-7 HHOF guys in many seasons, only having 2 SC's.
Shore is put on this high pedestal, as is Espostio (Orr clearly belongs there more than those 2 guys) yet they fail to achieve the ultimate prize as often as one would expect given the number of teams in the league on those occasions. One would think that those Bruin teams of Orr and Espo (often cited as 2 players in the top 10 of all time) and the rest of the cast that gets alot of praise would win more than 2 SC's and their failure to do so might be seen in some less than positive light?
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