Messier vs. Esposito
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12-29-2012, 10:54 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Originally Posted by
Esposito was an integral part of The Big Bad Bruins and a deserving HOF'er. However, he does not score 50+ goals without Bobby Orr on his team. Orr often made most of the team goals possible - but they do not give out more than two assists on any particular goal.
Q: How many Bruins had their best years only when encapsulated during Orr's time with the team ?
A: All of them.
Espo was a great player - especially in Russia during the Summit Series, but Messier was the better all-around player.
To be fair, Redscotter, the trial out there isn't about the impact Orr had on teams because we know this, but if push comes to shove there wasn't a single Bruin, including Orr or Esposito, who had their best years outside of the Bruins' heyday. Let's check. Bucyk? No. Hodge? No. Espo? No. Orr? No. Cashman? No. So I'll agree with you fully that Orr would make things better as he should. My issue is that Esposito gets shortchanged and forgotten just how much of an impact he had as well. In your post you mention the Summit Series. There is also the morale being sunk on the whole team when he went down in the 1973 postseason which is a stark contrast from all the other times Esposito was playing in the playoffs.
I find it weird you don't think Esposito scores 50 goals without Orr. Evidence shows he would have. He scored 38 goals in 1977-'78 as a 35 year old on a mediocre Rangers team and then scored 42 goals the next year as a 36 year old. A prime Esposito couldn't muster 8 more goals regularly year after year without Orr? We'll have to disagree there.
Plus he topped out at 76 goals. 50 were even strength, 25 on the PP and 1 shorthanded. If he can't hit 50 goals without Orr then we are talking about 27 goals that he gets stripped from him out of thin air. I get the feeling that if Tim Kerr can score 54-58 goals 4 years in a row then Esposito should as well, no? Maybe there is someone who remembers Tim Kerr as the player with the better offensive package, but I don't.
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