Messier vs. Esposito
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12-13-2012, 12:01 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Originally Posted by
Evidence has been provided that shows that Esposito’s production would decline by a minimum of 20%, but you don’t believe that it’s evidence. The scoring finishes I provided were meant to be rough guesses and of course didn’t account for the fact that other Bruins players that usually dotted the top-10 would see their scoring totals drop by about the same degree. With or without Orr, I’m sure Espo outscores them all by the same relative degree.
To be as optimistic for Espo as intellectually possible, you’d have to chop off 20% for him (which is only the bare minimum demonstrated by stats, but the residual effects could have been quite a bit worse on him). Based on that, he loses to Hull in 1969 and Ratelle in 1972. In 1973 he pretty much ties Clarke. It’s difficult to imagine him not winning in 1971 and 1974.
To be as hard on him as possible, you would go from pretending Orr didn’t exist, and instead assume he did and played for a different strong team like the Rangers, Hawks, Flyers or Habs. Then bump up their forwards’ scoring by 25% and see what the scoring races look like. You could also start to look at chopping more than 20% off his totals because as a player who, despite all his excellent offensive stats, was giving up a lot of goals to have a non-Orr on-ice ratio in the 1.20 range, his numbers start to look implausible (i.e. to have 80 ESP in a season means he was on the ice for about 112 ESG, for an average of 93 ESGA per season – it’s really unlikely he goes +112, -93 in an average season; +96, -80 is a much more plausible estimate). With all that said, he
still win in 1971 and 1974, but those margins would be razor thin.
Quantity matters, as I’m sure you’ll agree, and not all Art Rosses are created equal. So if they were by thin margins with less gaudy totals, yes, that changes things a lot
I've said it before, you are overanalyzing things way too much. Look at 1969. On the surface as it is he had 126 points. Hull is 2nd at 107. Does Esposito lose 19 points without Orr despite the fact that Orr hadn't hit his superhuman seasons yet? Hard to say, but showing what he did without Orr in that very season projects him to have 115 points. Take that or leave it.
Impossible for him to lose in 1971 and 1974 as well. Way too far of a gap with the next best players. He wins those Art Rosses and he wins them significantly - again - without Orr.
1972 he had 133 points while the next best non-Bruin was Ratelle at 109. Does Esposito lose 24 points without Orr? Orr played a full season so we don't know for sure at all. It's hard to imagine Esposito taking that big of a drop. Two things, no one would have put Ratelle as the better player at that either, despite his spike season. Secondly, that autumn was the Canada/Russia series. Ratelle had 4 points in 6 games while Esposito had 13 points in 8 games. Over the course of a full season Esposito has 126 points against the Russians who were a great team. He is doing this against a very good team and doesn't have the benefit of playing the California Seals at this time either. It is a small sample size, but from a projection standpoint Esposito keeps up his normal production in international play that he did in the NHL, and this is without Orr and with all the pressure being on him to lead. Compare it to Ratelle and there is no contest.
1973 had Orr miss some time. Esposito had 130 points compared to second place Clarke's 104. Orr missed 15 games. In those 15 games Esposito had 24 points. It projects to 125 points for a season. He was still the prominent forward in the NHL without Orr, and if there is a season that proves it, it would be this one. He wouldn't have lost 26 points in the scoring race to lose to Clarke.
In total he wins in 1971, 1973 and 1974 clearly. Both 1971 and 1974 he still stomps the competition. 1973 he is a little closer but could still have won the scoring title by as much as 20 points. 1972 it would be hard to imagine him giving up 24 points in order for Ratelle to win it. 1969 is more or less like 1972 but perhaps a little closer, and it is Bobby Hull who is right there. No doubt he wins at least 3 of these. Almost certainly 1972 as well which would still give him 4 in a row. Maybe he loses it in 1969. Maybe. I might just give you that one year, or not.
Simple analysis right there and probably more accurate than anything else out there because it doesn't beat the thing to death. The guy could score at will, it was just that simple.
The numbers clearly demonstrate that it’s significantly harder without Orr, not necessarily without Esposito. A Bruins team with Orr and without Espo would have a GF:GA ratio of about 1.5 over those 8 years. Any team that scores 1.5X as many goals as it allows is going to be a perennial contender. A Bruins team with Espo and without Orr would have been around 1.1. That’s a team that has to get lucky to win it. I know you don’t believe in those numbers, but then, why would you?
Because they are an over analysis of things. We don't know a number of factors here such as who would replace each star and how they would fare. We don't know how each star would have done without the other either, so those numbers are more or less just wishful thinking and at best a hypothetical situation. We're asking how a team would do if they take one of their top two players off. I still think there are Cups to be won either way. Orr was just, Orr, enough said. Esposito we saw the way he led Canada in 1972, the Rangers in 1979 and how Boston fared when he was injured in the 1973 postseason. The guy led the NHL in playoff points three times. This isn't exactly someone we can replace by hoping Wayne Cashman finds his offensive groove.
Find other teams like Boston and remove one of their top 2 players. Do they win? This is nothing new here. All teams would have a bigger disadvantage. Philly without either one of Clarke or Parent for instance.
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