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11-25-2012, 10:40 PM
  #110
Czech Your Math
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pappyline View Post
That pretty much describes my impression and I saw his whole career. Orr was the guy that drove those Boston teams.
Being a fan of Chicago, was it your impression that he was "held back" at all there (e.g. by being on 2nd PP unit) or that he was soon going to take it up a notch or two before his trade to Boston?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
You can rack up a ton of all-time greats and they wouldn't have been able to compete with Esposito at that time statistically. It matters little that his best competition post 1972 was Clarke. For starters, Clarke was a HHOFer and an all-time great. Secondly, perhaps the WHA did take a bit of talent away (although not as much as people tend to remember) but what about his dominance up until 1972 before the WHA came?

The next couple of years his next best competition was Clarke and then there was a burst in scoring in 1975 with top end talent (although not near Esposito's best). I look at that competition that Esposito faced and see a lot of Hall of Famers. So bascially the whole WHA idea gets thrown away because Esposito dominated pre and post-WHA, it didn't matter.
Espo was an all-time great and a dominant scorer. The question is how great he was and how great he would be in various, more typical environments... in what ways was he dominant and how dominant would he be in more typical environments... and why was he so dominant at that time. Let's just say that when someone basically says "Espo could have still been very good at 33-34, if he just had an excellent puck-moving d-man and a couple guys to dig pucks out of the corners to feed him in the slot," that it doesn't dispel my impression of a player who wasn't driving the bus and creating his dominance from scratch, so to speak.

My point about Clarke is that if he was about as good of a point producer as any competition Espo faced outside his own team, then that's historically weak competition. While I respect Clarke's all-around game, and of course Orr's as well, I doubt it's an accident that the most lopsided ESGF/GF data comes from those players during the early-mid 70s (which matches Espo's prime and was most likely largely influenced by the weak, diluted, over-expanded league with massive disparity).

I see a lot of HOFers too, but many/most of them were past their peak, and a few were on Espo's team. The loss of talent to the WHA wouldn't have been a big deal, except that it was already so diluted by continual over-expansion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
You should watch more of him. Start with the Canada/Russia series in 1972. No Orr to save him there but no one was a more dominant force on the ice - on either team. Watch games in his prime Art Ross years. He was more or less an unstoppable force on the ice for quite some time.
I would like to see more of Espo and the Summit series.

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