Messier vs. Esposito
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11-23-2012, 08:41 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Originally Posted by
We are just talking about some insane seperation here. Not 10 points year to year but we are talking about sometimes 50 points. Ratelle was relatively close in 1972 and Clarke was "sort of" close in 1973 and Hull in 1969. Other than that it's almost embarassing. That's a lot of separation there and from just an individual basis I can't see the argument that Clarke and Ratelle were close to Esposito offensively even just by watching them play on the ice.
No it's fine. I'm not on the history board so that we can re-enact an episode of "My Three Sons". We can disagree and in many cases it is almost better when people do with sports. That's the beauty of it.
As for the weakness of the era, well, I guess we tend to penalize Lidstrom for that very reason to an extent and it is true Esposito busted out at a time when Howe was winding down. Hull and Mikita weren't altogether old either though. Mikita wasn't 30 until 1970. Hull was 30 in 1969. That leaves the likes of Ratelle and Clarke as the next best competitors. Lafleur and Dionne didn't bust out until 1975, same with Perreault. You can say it was a perfect storm, but even Lafleur or Dionne didn't crack more than 136 points. Lafleur peaked at 136 while Dionne peaked at 135 overall. Both were elite goal scorers and elite overall offensive players.
In the other Esposito thread there was a well done sampling that showed just how Esposito did without Orr in Boston and there is still no shadow of a doubt that he's the best goal scorer in the NHL by a noticeable degree.
So while we can't expect Hull and Mikita to rack up the points that Esposito did in the since they were playing in the lower scoring more conservative 1960s, I think we can point to the fact that Dionne, Lafleur, Bossy, Trottier, etc. didn't touch Esposito's totals and not until a kid named Gretzky came along did that become a reality.
So in that sense there is lots of evidence that suggests that Esposito was just as offensive as Lafleur. The thing is (and I think this always hurts Esposito) is that he wasn't as flashy as other players. He wouldn't skate end to end like Lafleur or Orr. But there are few players in hockey history that were as effective. That's the thing we should judge Esposito with, substance not necessarily style.
I must have missed that where is that thread?
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