Messier vs. Esposito
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01-03-2013, 12:34 AM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta.
Phil Esposito was a terrific hockey player and deserving of elevation to the HOF - no questions on that.
The Bruins were built around Orr however, and I would argue that the 1990 (post 1988 really) Oilers were largely built around Messier. Esposito was a huge part of the puzzle that led to two Cup Wins in Boston, but it doesn't happen without #4.
I still think Orr's overall play results in 20-25 extra goals per season for #7 in Boston - regardless of who get the assists. I think without Orr and in his prime, Espo is a consistent 40-50 goal guy - if he has Cashman and Hodge digging the puck out. However, if you remember these years, you will recall Orr keeping the puck in the offensive zone and making things happen more often than not.
Phil did not play well in the 1974 Stanley Cup Finals in my opinion. He lost a ton of faceoffs and was a non-factor in most of the games against the Flyers.
How Bobby Orr did not win the Hart Trophy from '69-70 through '74-75 is beyond me. Had the voters voted like the did in the 1980's he would have. It was so obvious who the best player was in the league ...
That's not to say that Bobby Clarke, Phil Esposito and Bernie Parent were not valuable to their teams in this period, for they surely were, but Orr was so far ahead of everybody that is was just stupid that he did not win 5 Harts in a row ....
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