Messier vs. Esposito
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11-25-2012, 04:39 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Originally Posted by
Don't pay too much attention to the small season by season samples provided. Singularly they don't mean much, but together they form a large enough sample to prove that Orr was responsible for boosting Espo's production by a bare minimum of 25%. As I showed in the other thread, if we take Orr out of the picture, Espo's best point finishes become 1-2-2-4-6-6.
I wouldn't call that just a "regular top-10 guy", more like "regular top-6" which would make him, at the absolute bare minimum, a Peter Stastny, except there's also an 11th in 1968, plus two top-10s from Chicago, so no doubt he had the offensive ability to place highly and often. But to place 1st, and often, and by a high amount? No.
Esposito's true ability lies somewhere between the "5 scoring titles at face value" and "completely a product of Orr" crowds. The math I did is rather simple but is grounded in fact and is a greats starting point for a discussion of what he'd have done had Orr not existed.
Yes, I've seen them, picked them apart and realized that we are talking about 69 games here. That is all added into the total of "Espo without Orr". Here's the huge flaw with that. For starters 39 out of 69 of those games come in 1967-'68 when scoring was lower and in 1975-'76 when we all know Esposito was dropping anyway. Of course Esposito's PPG "Without Orr" is going to look worse than his PPG "With Orr" considering scoring was higher post 1968, and 1968 was the year Orr missed most of his time. Combining them all into one and using the PPG from different seasons with different levels of scoring is extremely flawed and you should know this.
It is more important to take a look at it season by season, for example:
1968 - (27 games) Without Orr 88 points projected which is 4 more than he had
1969 - (9 games) Without Orr still gets 115 points projected, 11 less than his real total
1972 - 2 games without Orr is hardly enough to judge
1973 - Perhaps the truest test for Esposito is 15 games without Orr still has him at a 125 point season rather than the 130.
1974 - 4 games, too small of an amount
1976 - 12 games without Orr but Espo was on his way down by now anyway
When we look at the only two seasons that have ample enough games missed to compare how Espo did with and without Orr they are 1968 and 1973. In 1968 his PPG is higher and he wins another Art Ross by those projections in the original post. In 1973 Esposito clearly doesn't need any help without Orr, he gets 24 points in 15 games, good for a 125 point year which is 5 less than his overall total.
These are projections, which are a weak defense because you are basing it on assumptions but even then it still doesn't hurt Esposito at all. Where are these Art Rosses the guy wins? Heck, you've got him down to 1 Art Ross now without Orr? That's insane. Again, I'll ask a question that gets overlooked, but who steals these Art Rosses from him without Orr? Who is a better forward in the NHL at that time. No one at all and at times it isn't even close. I really don't know what you are looking at here.
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