Messier vs. Esposito
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12-11-2012, 06:16 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Originally Posted by
That is nothing more than semantics at this point, regarding my use of the words "very good". Guy Lafleur was a very good hockey player too, was he not?
You've been on this board long enough to know that when we consider someone "very good" as opposed to "great" there is a difference.
It's not just scoring a lot more. It's getting scored on a lot less too. Due to his incredible possession game. We broke down the numbers earlier in this thread or the other one, and it appears Orr was always at about a 2.0-2.3 GF:GA clip with or without Espo, and Espo's final 1.6 was based on being about 2.0 when on the ice with Orr, and 1.2 when on the ice without Orr. (The team was only about 1.0 with neither on the ice)
That's certainly not a sure thing. Without Orr, the Bruins were a 1.05 GF:GA team. That's not a cup team. With Orr out of the picture, they were better with Espo on the ice than without (obviously), but it's actually very unlikely that a team with that GF:GA ratio goes on to win a cup.
We actually do. We have all the times Orr was out on the ice when Espo was on the bench. the results are staggering.
This is where relying solely on stats seems to get you in trouble. There have been enough votes on this thread that have put Esposito above Messier on this poll. I suspect like me a lot of them saw Esposito do what he did best as well. I use that as well as stats because that's how you get the whole picture. The people who voted Esposito ahead of Messier didn't fall off a hay wagon either.
What you are missing here is that while it is true Orr carried the play more (obviously) we have no idea what he would have done either without Esposito. Yes, you say that his GF:GA ratio is still good, but you have to take into account a lot of other things too. How much more room did each player have on the ice because the team was keying on the other guy? Meaning, if you take either one of Esposito or Orr out of the picture how much changes because now all of the sudden teams are able to solely key on one superstar? So those numbers don't really tell the whole story there.
And I don't know if they win a Cup without Orr. Maybe they win one of those ones, maybe they don't. However, I have said this before on these boards that take either one of Esposito or Orr off those teams and I can guarantee you that Boston doesn't win TWO cups. It just wouldn't match up. The Rangers would have beaten them in 1972 without one of those guys. I really don't like getting into the whole "what if" scenario because you are a product of your own environment and you work for you own shakes in life, but since you brought it up....................I can definitely say there isn't a defenseman capable of rushing the puck up the ice like Orr, but I can also say that perennial 60 goal men are hard to replace as well. Who scores those goals without Phil?
Your definition of "a whole lot" is interesting, that's all I'll say.
I base it on the seasons with the most time missed. There isn't an individual season that you can look and say Esposito would have scored less significantly. He still does fine in rather large sample sizes without Orr. That's looking at numbers without overanalyzing them to death. When you are basing an argument on speculation you are fighting a losing battle because you are ignoring the things that were actually accomplished.
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