Messier vs. Esposito
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12-12-2012, 03:09 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Regina, SK
Originally Posted by
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.
So because they put Esposito ahead they must have seen him play?
I don’t know why I’m even getting into this argument because social proofs in this type of debate are highly dubious, but…
- You only “suspect” these people voting saw Esposito play and don’t actually know,
- The number of “serious” members in this section voting for Messier is 20, with 17 voting for Espo; the majority of the rest are people I’ve never heard of – the usual bunch of random people who see the poll on the main board, jump in, vote, and leave. And if you think I’m cherrypicking when I say this, note that I very frequently tally up the votes by “serious” members in other polls in this section.
- The argument that people who have seen Esposito play would be more likely to put him higher is also highly dubious itself, because he was a fairly boring player, while Messier was infinitely more dynamic. He was much faster, more physical, and generally a lot more visible on the ice. On the other hand, Esposito’s gaudy offensive stats are exactly what the stats-based, “never seen him” crowd that you so deride in this section are in love with and are more likely to base decisions on. None of that is proof that Messier was better, of course, but it does suggest that claiming anyone who chooses Esposito was using the “eye test” as the basis for their selection is a claim that rests on rather shaky ground.
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.
This stems from a general lack of understanding about those numbers. You’re right that they don’t tell the whole story, but just because they don’t and never can tell the whole story doesn’t mean they should be thrown out. We are smart enough to know using all the other historical data at our disposal, that two superstar players who aren’t on the ice together that often relieve the pressure on eachother. So what does that mean for each of them? If they were alone on Boston, we can assume they always faced the best checkers the opposition had. What actually happened? The best checkers can’t play the combined 40 or so minutes that one or both of them was on the ice. So assumedly, they each sometimes got the best and sometimes got 2nd and 3rd-tier competition that was easier to dominate. Remove Espo and it gets harder for Orr. Remove Orr and it gets harder for Espo. None of that is rocket science.
But for your argument to hold up, we would have to believe that the “Espo relieving pressure on Orr” effect, when removed, would make a massive impact on Orr’s effectiveness, while the “Orr relieving pressure on Espo” effect, when removed, would barely change Espo’s effectiveness. There’s no reason to actually believe this. There is more than enough data showing that Orr on the ice without Espo (facing a wide range of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd tier players) greatly outperformed Espo on the ice without Orr (facing a wide range of 1st, 2nd and 3rd tier players). Not slightly, significantly. If you change the bracketed to “facing mostly top tier checkers” for both players that should not greatly change the relative difference between them, if at all.
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?
“what if” scenarios don’t mean a lot when talking about the Bruins of this era, because if you replay that 8-year period a million times, I’m sure they usually win 3-5 cups, not just 2. They greatly underachieved.
To put it simply, with both Espo and Orr, they “should have” won probably 4 cups. With just Orr, they “should have” won 3-4. With just Espo, probably none. (and before you jump on me for that, remember, that stems from the fact that without Orr, this was a 1.1 GF:GA ratio team on average over that time) – but as history showed us, the actual results could be 1-2 cups above or below the “should have”, and what actually happened is just one of those million imaginary replays.
So in other words you could be absolutely right. 0 cups is probably the expectation without Orr, but it’s feasible they could overachieve and win 1-2, just like they improbably underachieved and won 2 with Orr, when they should have won 4.
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.
I still have no idea how you come to conclusions like this.
Originally Posted by
Agree with the 1st part obviosuly but to the 2nd part does Phil really jump to mind when the term "playmaker" is used?
Maybe it's just me, but when I think playmaker I think of guys like Gretzky, Oates, Mario, Hank and yes even Janney who were just great dammed passers of the puck.
Phil is more of a "creates offense guy" like AO IMO.
Like I said, he is not a “playmaker” in the classic sense, i.e. making pretty passes. But we are really talking about the same thing. “creating offense” is being a playmaker. It’s the same thing. You know which side I lean to, but you don’t give him enough credit.
Last edited by seventieslord: 12-12-2012 at
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