Messier vs. Esposito
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12-31-2012, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Originally Posted by
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.
Well, with regards to Kerr, we're talking about taking two similar style players in similar situations with regards to defensemen. Boston had the better player both up front and on defense, and I think Espo does clear 50 without Orr (Kerr, IMHO, might not even hit 40 without Howe) but that's a separate thread. With regards to his Rangers years, Espo did have Brad Park. The "he wouldn't hit 50" is in the alternate universe where Orr simply ceased to exist and was replaced by someone who, I assume for the sake for the sake of this argument, had little to no offensive presence. Realistically, even if that's the type of player filling that roster spot, there would have been more offense from the other defensemen because that individual defenseman wouldn't have played Orr's minutes at ES or PP, which means someone else would have.
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