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11-25-2012, 07:34 PM
Big Phil
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Why the all or nothing argument here?

No one, not even me, is suggesting that Espo would not have been a very good to excellent offensive player but come on Phil how many times do you truly believe he ever scores without Orr? My guess based on many factors presented here is maybe once and even that's highly unlikely.
How many times do I believe he ever scores what? 60 goals? I have little doubt he would have done it more than once. I guess you can look at his contemporaries and see that Leach got 61 once, Shutt got 60 once as well. I don't think even the sharpest Esposito critic would say Esposito wasn't as good of a goal scorer as those two. Yes he got goals in the slot, it was his forte. But so did John Leclair who scored 50 three years in a row in a low scoring era. Leclair wasn't dominant out there and he wasn't the player Esposito was either. I mean, Dino Ciccarelli scored 608 career goals as a less talented version of Esposito and his goals were all deflections or tips or rebounds. But you never thought he could carry a team. Esposito could, and did.

I realize Orr was there and that would help anyone, but what gets lost here is that Esposito was effective and not always pretty. But he was more of a meat and potatoes type of player, but still great. Have you thought about the effect the Bruins would have if Esposito is taken off the team? There's a big gap there too. Does Hodge ever get 100 points? You're talking about a Bruins forward corps that has an old Bucyk, Hodge and Cashman as its core. Looks a little prettier with Esposito in there huh?

It's the all or nothing thing here again with you, don't you think it's really strange that the guy (Mikita) who won the year before wasn't even in the top 14 of voting? Or that Jean was ahead of both Hull and Howe?
No, it isn't all that crazy. Mikita had 97 points while Hull had 107. The voters obviously felt Hull was more important on the Hawks. Meanwhile the Hawks had an unusual 77 points, one game above .500. The Bruins and the Habs had 100 and 103 points respectively. Beliveau was still the man on Montreal that year so it has a couple of factors. Gretzky won an Art Ross in 1994 without finishing in the top 10 (or even 15 I think) in Hart voting. It hurts when your don't elevate your team very high either.

The russians also called Bob Gainey the best player in the world at one point too.

I will give you that Espo with his size and slot presence would give Russian Dmen fits since they played in a less physical league and style overall.
Except he gave NHLers fits all the time too. You think they'd figure out a way to stop him after all those years huh? (this reminds me of a Gretzky type of argument when people look for every excuse under the sun to argue against him). To be fair, that Gainey comment was during the 1979 Cup final if I remember correctly. Gainey won a Conn Smythe.

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