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Phil Esposito vs. Peter Forsberg

View Poll Results: Phil Esposito vs. Peter Forsberg
Phil Esposito 57 61.96%
Peter Forsberg 33 35.87%
Too close to pick one 2 2.17%
Voters: 92. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
11-10-2005, 05:33 AM
  #26
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Phil

vintage - Team Canada '72

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Old
11-10-2005, 07:46 AM
  #27
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Phil Esposito.
(time I had to think about that: < 1 sec.)

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Old
11-16-2005, 02:05 PM
  #28
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Forsberg is EASILY the better hockey player. And I grew up loving the Bruins of Orr & Espo! But facts are facts: Espo couldn't skate, or stickhandle, or pass much. He just stood in front of the net and waited for chippies (rebounds) he could knock in. He had very fast hands for a bigger man, and a very accurate shot (from 10 feet out!), but otherwise he was very average in all facets of the game.

Forsberg is the complete hockey player! Incredible skater, the best puckhandler in traffic there is, VERY physical, fabulous passer, and a scorer when he needs to be. Just because he hasn't scored 55 goals every year doesn't make him less of a hockey player. He makes everyone on the ice dangerous, because if they are open, he WILL get them the puck in the very best position to shoot.

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Old
11-16-2005, 02:12 PM
  #29
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Esposito also played in an era where players didn't *have* to backcheck. All he did was score and score often.

As others have said, it's a mismatch of playing styles. Esposito was a scorer plain and simple while others took care of the defense, Forsberg is a lesser scorer with more grit and better defense (b/c in this day and age, players have to play defense). Forsberg would be more comparable to Stan Mikita - a guy who can score but also plays a tough physical game.

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Old
11-16-2005, 09:13 PM
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quiet Robert
We were having a debate on the NHL board and I just wanted to get a consensus on who you think was/is the greater player.

Simple question: who was/is the greater hockey player, Espo or Forsberg?
Espo by a wide margin.

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Old
11-16-2005, 10:53 PM
  #31
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Why does a player have to be complete to be great? I just don't get it. Just take it at total value. Espo pretty much obliterated the single-season scoring records, and as far as I can tell 76 goals and 152 points lasted a decade untill Gretzky arrived.

I'll take a dominant scorer like that any day of the week. If he can put up record-setting totals, I can live with poor skating or floating. Hell, Gretzky and Lemieux weren't renowned for their all-around game, but if you're good enough it just doesn't matter

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Old
11-16-2005, 11:19 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arrbez
Why does a player have to be complete to be great? I just don't get it. Just take it at total value. Espo pretty much obliterated the single-season scoring records, and as far as I can tell 76 goals and 152 points lasted a decade untill Gretzky arrived.

I'll take a dominant scorer like that any day of the week. If he can put up record-setting totals, I can live with poor skating or floating. Hell, Gretzky and Lemieux weren't renowned for their all-around game, but if you're good enough it just doesn't matter
I completely agree aarb. Being a "complete" player is very overrated.

It seems that being physical, fighting or being defensive is fashionable and accepted but being an amazing offensive force is considered "one dimensional". Cam Neely is in the HOF because he played a fashionable style of hockey.

When you are so good at scoring why is it important to be a great checker? Honestly, if a car salesman sells 5 vehicles every Monday, who cares if he is shut out every Friday? If Wayne Gretzky scores 2 and sets up 3 others, who cares if he isn't Bob Gainey defensively?

A dominant offensive force is always more valuable than a Selke winner. Forget this "complete" crap. How valuable is the player?

Espo had a far greater career than Forsberg.

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Old
11-16-2005, 11:31 PM
  #33
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Oh god, don't get me started on the Selke

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Old
11-17-2005, 12:35 AM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogopogo
I completely agree aarb. Being a "complete" player is very overrated.

It seems that being physical, fighting or being defensive is fashionable and accepted but being an amazing offensive force is considered "one dimensional". Cam Neely is in the HOF because he played a fashionable style of hockey.

When you are so good at scoring why is it important to be a great checker? Honestly, if a car salesman sells 5 vehicles every Monday, who cares if he is shut out every Friday? If Wayne Gretzky scores 2 and sets up 3 others, who cares if he isn't Bob Gainey defensively?

A dominant offensive force is always more valuable than a Selke winner. Forget this "complete" crap. How valuable is the player?

Espo had a far greater career than Forsberg.
I've heard a lot of people describe Cam Neely in a lot of ways, but a fashionable style is not one of them. I guess if finishing your career fourth in playoff goals per game, carrying your team on your back in the playoffs several times in your brief career, and being named to four post-season all-star teams is fashionable, and doing it while combining goals and physical play in an almost unprecedented way, is fashionable, then I guess you would refer to Cam as fashionable. I would not. Gutsy, gritty, a defining player in his generation, one of the first guys I would want on my team in a Game 7, those are words I would use to describe Cam. Fashionable? No.

A strong defensive player has a very important place. To me, Tikannen would have made a fantastic choice for the Conn Smythe in 1990. (Bill Ranford deserved it, but nobody would have complained if Tikannen won). Messier and Craig Simpson put up more points in those playoffs, but to me, Tik was Edmonton's MVP, because not only did he provide offence, he shut down Hawerchuk, Gretzky, Savard and Janney (a fantastic playmaker in his prime).

Esposito, IMO, is the greatest pure goal scoring centre in NHL history. He had a great nose for the net, an array of shots and great puck-tipping hands. He was also a great playmaker. I love defensive players, I love physical play, but to me, Espo's one of the top 10 players ever. Two things stand out with him: his play in the clutch, and his leadership. He's one of the best big-game players ever. His rant in 1972 is likely the single greatest act of leadership in hockey history, and turned the tide of that series. Even late in his career, at age 37 (which was a very old age for that era and for a player with that much mileage), Espo was one of the very best for a Rangers team that made a rare foray into the Cup final.

If a player who creates one-dimensional offence still generates more goals than he costs, then he can play on my time. Gretzky, LaFleur, Lemieux, Bossy and Esposito all fit that description.

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Old
11-17-2005, 03:11 AM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by God Bless Canada
I've heard a lot of people describe Cam Neely in a lot of ways, but a fashionable style is not one of them. I guess if finishing your career fourth in playoff goals per game, carrying your team on your back in the playoffs several times in your brief career, and being named to four post-season all-star teams is fashionable, and doing it while combining goals and physical play in an almost unprecedented way, is fashionable, then I guess you would refer to Cam as fashionable. I would not. Gutsy, gritty, a defining player in his generation, one of the first guys I would want on my team in a Game 7, those are words I would use to describe Cam. Fashionable? No.

A strong defensive player has a very important place. To me, Tikannen would have made a fantastic choice for the Conn Smythe in 1990. (Bill Ranford deserved it, but nobody would have complained if Tikannen won). Messier and Craig Simpson put up more points in those playoffs, but to me, Tik was Edmonton's MVP, because not only did he provide offence, he shut down Hawerchuk, Gretzky, Savard and Janney (a fantastic playmaker in his prime).

Esposito, IMO, is the greatest pure goal scoring centre in NHL history. He had a great nose for the net, an array of shots and great puck-tipping hands. He was also a great playmaker. I love defensive players, I love physical play, but to me, Espo's one of the top 10 players ever. Two things stand out with him: his play in the clutch, and his leadership. He's one of the best big-game players ever. His rant in 1972 is likely the single greatest act of leadership in hockey history, and turned the tide of that series. Even late in his career, at age 37 (which was a very old age for that era and for a player with that much mileage), Espo was one of the very best for a Rangers team that made a rare foray into the Cup final.

If a player who creates one-dimensional offence still generates more goals than he costs, then he can play on my time. Gretzky, LaFleur, Lemieux, Bossy and Esposito all fit that description.
Lafleur was a fine 2 way player - no way a one dimensional player would have played for Bowman. He was always first in on the forecheck but also first back. Lemieux also took his share of lumps and while not 2 way was certainly a physical presence.

One dimensional players (Bossy, Bure, Toe) are like golfers who drive long distances - its for show only. Give me Neely anytime.

I agree about Espo - he's in a different category because of his leadership and clutch play.

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Old
11-17-2005, 11:09 PM
  #36
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Espo for me, but i have to agree by the time Forsberg retires it may be different.

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Old
11-18-2005, 06:19 AM
  #37
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I think being a ''complete player'' DOES matter. In the case of Mario and Wayne, it doesn't matter because their offense set them soooo far ahead of everybody else, but Espo's offense was not far superior to Forsberg's. So things like defense and hustle have to factor into it. Period. Forsberg's point production relative to his era is phenomenal and he'd have more than one Art Ross if he wasn't injured so often.

Forsberg was a superstar from day one, the elite of the elite, unlike Espo. I don't want to give Orr the credit, because Espo was certainly at LEAST one of the top 10 centers of all time, but seriously, playing with Sakic and Ozolinsh and all those very good players is not the same as playing with Bobby Orr (plus many other great players), no matter how you spin it.

For me, Espo= greater player, greater career value
Forsberg= better player, career marred by injury

Either way it's really close, skin of my teeth close.

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Old
12-02-2005, 10:20 PM
  #38
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One second decision Forsberg. Esposita was a goal suck who depended on Hull & Orr to feed him,

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Old
12-05-2005, 02:38 PM
  #39
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Espo

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Old
12-05-2005, 03:21 PM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arrbez
Oh god, don't get me started on the Selke

Selke = Defensive forward with most points

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