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Messier vs. Esposito

View Poll Results: Esposito vs. Messier
Messier 62 51.24%
Esposito 59 48.76%
Voters: 121. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
11-22-2012, 12:27 PM
  #26
Rhiessan71
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This is like a Lidstrom vs Potvin thing for me.

Espo was the clearly the better player at his peak but Messier takes it on career value.

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11-22-2012, 02:44 PM
  #27
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Quite a range of opinions about these two, which is understandable. If this question was asked several years ago, I would have said Espo by a significant margin, but I tend to slightly favor Messier at this point. They don't seem similar in style, so it's a difficult comparison.

I will reiterate the reasons why I rank Espo much lower than I did previously:

1. Playing with Orr obviously was a tremendous help.
2. Playing with a very strong team and offensive juggernaut like the Bruins in a league with at least half expansion teams, when there was a gaping disparity in talent.
3. His numbers both before and after Boston were not outstanding, and even his overall effectiveness at even strength is a question in his later years in Boston.
4. His competition for best forward was neither strong nor deep. It seems mainly to have been a past his peak Hull, then the offensively constrained Clarke.

I think Espo was in a sweet spot in Boston. He played with Orr on a powerhouse in a diluted league full of weak teams. Unlike Orr, I'm skeptical as to just how much Espo generally "controlled" the pace and action of the game. My, perhaps incorrect, impression is of a big, strong player with great hands who knew where to be. He was great at what he did, but he was very opportunistic as well. I'm not sure how well his skills would translate to a more typical situation on a more typical team in a more typical league/era. Even in his own time, he didn't seem to separate himself offensively from Chicago forwards such as Mohns, Wharram, Hay, etc. I see a big difference between creating offense and overall ES advantages on a mediocre or good team in a competitive league, and extending an advantage created in large part by teammates on a superior team in a weak league.

One career aspect which Espo & Messier shared is that they each peaked in their 30s. This is highly unusual and often indicates that the player found himself in a very fortunate situation later in his career. One can see why Messier's numbers weren't outstanding earlier in his career: he played wing or on the second line... more of a defensive role... less PP opportunity... overshadowed by Gretzky. However, it's much less clear why Espo didn't stand out in Chicago. Espo was also more pedestrian with the Rangers, and although that can be excused due to his age, the sudden and drastic drop off again speaks to the ideal situation he had in Boston.

I'm more confident that Messier's array of skills, which allowed him to succeed with more than one team and in more competitive eras, would translate better than Espo's, which seemed narrower, more specialized, and much more prone to influence from environment.

It's not an easy choice, because despite all the factors that helped Espo's peak numbers, the fact remains that his actual peak numbers were staggering, so there is a large gap between his and Messier's offensive production. However, much of that gap was due to his favorable environment, which is far from the norm. I understand he played well in international competition, but a small sample for a superior team isn't going to change my opinion.

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11-22-2012, 04:16 PM
  #28
Fred Taylor
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
Quite a range of opinions about these two, which is understandable. If this question was asked several years ago, I would have said Espo by a significant margin, but I tend to slightly favor Messier at this point. They don't seem similar in style, so it's a difficult comparison.

I will reiterate the reasons why I rank Espo much lower than I did previously:

1. Playing with Orr obviously was a tremendous help.
2. Playing with a very strong team and offensive juggernaut like the Bruins in a league with at least half expansion teams, when there was a gaping disparity in talent.
3. His numbers both before and after Boston were not outstanding, and even his overall effectiveness at even strength is a question in his later years in Boston.
4. His competition for best forward was neither strong nor deep. It seems mainly to have been a past his peak Hull, then the offensively constrained Clarke.

I think Espo was in a sweet spot in Boston. He played with Orr on a powerhouse in a diluted league full of weak teams. Unlike Orr, I'm skeptical as to just how much Espo generally "controlled" the pace and action of the game. My, perhaps incorrect, impression is of a big, strong player with great hands who knew where to be. He was great at what he did, but he was very opportunistic as well. I'm not sure how well his skills would translate to a more typical situation on a more typical team in a more typical league/era. Even in his own time, he didn't seem to separate himself offensively from Chicago forwards such as Mohns, Wharram, Hay, etc. I see a big difference between creating offense and overall ES advantages on a mediocre or good team in a competitive league, and extending an advantage created in large part by teammates on a superior team in a weak league.

One career aspect which Espo & Messier shared is that they each peaked in their 30s. This is highly unusual and often indicates that the player found himself in a very fortunate situation later in his career. One can see why Messier's numbers weren't outstanding earlier in his career: he played wing or on the second line... more of a defensive role... less PP opportunity... overshadowed by Gretzky. However, it's much less clear why Espo didn't stand out in Chicago. Espo was also more pedestrian with the Rangers, and although that can be excused due to his age, the sudden and drastic drop off again speaks to the ideal situation he had in Boston.

I'm more confident that Messier's array of skills, which allowed him to succeed with more than one team and in more competitive eras, would translate better than Espo's, which seemed narrower, more specialized, and much more prone to influence from environment.

It's not an easy choice, because despite all the factors that helped Espo's peak numbers, the fact remains that his actual peak numbers were staggering, so there is a large gap between his and Messier's offensive production. However, much of that gap was due to his favorable environment, which is far from the norm. I understand he played well in international competition, but a small sample for a superior team isn't going to change my opinion.
How do you explain his 126 point season, leading the league by far when Orr was only a 60 point player? Don't his years in Boston coincide with the average players prime?

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11-22-2012, 04:25 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
This is like a Lidstrom vs Potvin thing for me. Espo was the clearly the better player at his peak but Messier takes it on career value.
... Bingo!. Pretty much what I was trying to state earlier. Two entirely different types of players (though both clearly leaders). Only fair that one considers and then compares both players careers in totality, weighting heavily on the qualities of consistency, peak duration & sustainability, the intangibles they brought into the room etc. On those scores, no question in my mind Messier trumps Cap'n Canada.

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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
I think Espo was in a sweet spot in Boston. He played with Orr on a powerhouse in a diluted league full of weak teams. Unlike Orr, I'm skeptical as to just how much Espo generally "controlled" the pace and action of the game. My, perhaps incorrect, impression is of a big, strong player with great hands who knew where to be. He was great at what he did, but he was very opportunistic as well. I'm not sure how well his skills would translate to a more typical situation on a more typical team in a more typical league/era.
... oh, no question about that, Espo absolutely was born to play for the Bruins. Right guy, right place, right time. And your "impressions" are fairly accurate. Phil was as you know a big man for the era, an unbelievably gifted shooter with soft hands, deadly accurate with the snap, flick & wrist shot; an absolute Magician when it came to deflections.

He'd basically just set up shop in between the hash marks right in front of the net, waiting for feeds, banging in a rebound. He had a huge reach, was strong on his skates (though by no means a speedster, more lumbering, skated like a defenceman really), extremely difficult to move, more than willing to take & give back the punishment stationing oneself in that location was sure to engender, all the while of course completely screening the goaltender, often interfering with him, trash talking, the usual...

Derisively back in the day, we called players like that "Goal Sucks", camping out on the Goalies crease, some of the worst offenders playing it high when his own team was on the D, figure skating between their blue line & centre, actually behind your own defence. As a goalie, beyond worrisome at times because if the puck did squirt loose or he gets a pass, open breakaway from centre. Phil didnt take it that far, he was responsible defensively & backchecked, but despite the gaudy numbers, because of the way he scored them, never really afforded the respect while playing nor after that a Richard, Bathgate, Hull, Beliveau or Bossy received.


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Old
11-22-2012, 04:50 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by Fred Taylor View Post
How do you explain his 126 point season, leading the league by far when Orr was only a 60 point player? Don't his years in Boston coincide with the average players prime?
I don't have an exact explanation, other than that Espo was great that year. Perhaps the offense was run a bit differently that season compared to later years? It seems like he had more of a playmaking role vs. goal-scoring, compared to later years, as he only had 4 more goals than Hodge.

I guess his prime wasn't THAT late, but 26-32 is still unusually late for a forward who relies heavily on goal-scoring. I mainly pointed it out, because it's something he and Messier had in common.

I don't want to bash Espo, because he was a great player with a great career. I just think he had one of the most ideal post-expansion situations in terms of the talent and superiority of his team, in a weak/diluted league, with relatively weak competition (the transition between the Hull/Mikita/etc. years and the Lafleur/Dionne/etc. years). Maybe I am being too harsh, just as I favored him too much at a previous point in time. There's significantly more information to work with now, and I've learned more (and hope to learn yet more in the future), so I've changed my perspective and rating of his career in more recent years. For instance, it's concerning that his team didn't have an ES advantage with Espo on the ice vs. off the ice after '72... and that overall during his career (at least from '68 when data became available), his teams weren't significantly better at ES with him on the ice vs. off (Messier has similar issue, but had Gretzky as an off-ice comparison).

Espo isn't the only offensive superstar to not give a full defensive effort at times, but it doesn't seem like he had superior possession skills to offset that lack of defense. There may still be more questions than answers, but what questions have been (at least mostly) answered have not been favorable for Espo IMO.

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11-22-2012, 05:33 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
Espo isn't the only offensive superstar to not give a full defensive effort at times, but it doesn't seem like he had superior possession skills to offset that lack of defense. There may still be more questions than answers...
... your on the right track there. Fact of the matter is, Phil was a pretty much one dimensional player. He knew it, his Coaches knew it, so he played to his strengths. Thats not "bashing" the guy, those are simply the facts, thats the truth. If you were around during his era, impossible not to watch him, as he was parked right in front of the net. He simply wasnt a fancy playmaker nor was he a great skater, had some defensive shortcomings, knew it, and that wasnt his job. His office was located on the top of the crease.

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11-22-2012, 06:44 PM
  #32
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Esposito showed what he was made of before Orr came into his own. Messier had some cups from the many stacked teams he played for, but so what? It was'nt like he was better than Esposito in many ways, while the latter was dominant offensively.
Phil cracks top 10 in scoring 2 times before coming to Boston.

He doesn't top 50 goals until he is 28 and Bobby Orr has taken over that Bruin team.

Maybe Phil cracks top 10 in scoring and goals several times in a career without Orr but it's almost impossible to see him scoring over 55 goals even once in a non Orr environment, never mind he did it 5 straight years when Orr was in full swing.

72 series should get Phil as much credit as it does Henderson when we are talking about a guys career IMO.

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11-22-2012, 06:58 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Fred Taylor View Post
How do you explain his 126 point season, leading the league by far when Orr was only a 60 point player? Don't his years in Boston coincide with the average players prime?
I think his one 126 point season that you refer to looks more like an outlier when you look at what he did before and after Orr.

Also the guy he was traded for Ratelle, aged just as well as Phil.

One final note, Phil has 3 excellent offensive playoff runs, 1 more in 79 which is very good to excellent, then 9 pretty weak or under performing or at best just above average playoffs (quite a mix and range in ages, results and expectations in those 9 years).

The playoff resume by the Moose is simply much greater than Phils offensively and that's before we even get into the other parts of his game that made him great.

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11-22-2012, 07:55 PM
  #34
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Voted for Esposito just think he was better but that might been the kain...

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11-22-2012, 08:32 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Killion;55948363And to your post [I
BigPhil,[/I] as much as I respect Esposito, fact is, had I been selecting Team Canada in 72, I would not have drawn his card from the deck of the then roughly 360+ players I had to choose from. Indeed, there are numerous players from that squad who wouldnt have been invited to my Camp, including the selection of Goaltenders. In many ways, his sweaty diatribe in upbraiding the fans in Vancouver after another loss was simply illustrative of the mistakes Sinden & Ferguson (with Eaglesons overarching influence) had made, were making in terms of player selection. Slow on the uptake behind the bench, won the dealeo by a whisker, a frankly no-name Born Again Christian the Hero.
I always enjoy the humour in your posts, so on this one I am not clear whether you are being sarcastic or not. You really would have left Esposito off the 1972 team?

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Really, is he?

Considering he was noticeably a much better player when Orr played with him, that is far from open-and-shut.
He was also in his peak years in Boston. Playing with Orr would make anyone better, not just Esposito. And let's not ignore just how much better Orr was playing with Esposito as well. We tend to gloss over that part, why can't do Hall of Fame players be able to play off each other and make each other better (Bossy, Trottier)?

Like I said, I'll give Orr #1 status in 1972. I'd put Esposito over Hull in 1972 but even if some don't who else is near the player that Esposito is in 1972 other than those two?

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Phil cracks top 10 in scoring 2 times before coming to Boston.

He doesn't top 50 goals until he is 28 and Bobby Orr has taken over that Bruin team.

Maybe Phil cracks top 10 in scoring and goals several times in a career without Orr but it's almost impossible to see him scoring over 55 goals even once in a non Orr environment, never mind he did it 5 straight years when Orr was in full swing.

72 series should get Phil as much credit as it does Henderson when we are talking about a guys career IMO.
To be fair, without Phil Esposito, there is no Paul Henderson. No disrespect to Henderson at all, but the backbone of that team was Phil Esposito, it is right there in black and white on 8 games of footage. That man was a force.

Also keep in mind one other thing too. Up until as late as 1970 no one has scored 50 goals in a season other than Hull, Geoffrion and Richard. Esposito has 49 in 1969 as much as Gordie Howe did at his peak. Orr hadn't quite reached the crazy level he would reach by 1969 so this was Espo's Bruins team. Same for 1968. A guy that finished 2nd in scoring behind Mikita should give all of his credit to a sophomore defenseman who missed half the season? I don't think so. There is too much evidence that points to Esposito being an elite individual talent on his own.

Let's also look at the evidence here. Esposito won 5 Art Rosses. They look like this:

1969 - Esposito 126, Hull 107, Howe 103
1971 - Esposito 152, Orr 139, Bucyk 116
1972 - Esposito 133, Orr 117, Ratelle 109
1973 - Esposito 130, Clarke 104, Orr 101
1974 - Esposito 145, Orr 122, Hodge 105

From 1971 to 1974 it is true that Orr was godly at that time but not so in 1969. That being said, take Orr out of the NHL. I still think Esposito wins 5 Art Rosses and as strange as it may sound, he may even win a couple by even bigger degrees (1971, 1974) without Orr. I don't know how that can't answer anyone's question.

Plus he plays 5 years on NYR and other than his last season he gets between 78-83 points including scoring 42 goals as a 36 year old. The Rangers were also a very mediocre team those years and Esposito was the driving force in getting them to the Cup final in 1979 when he's well past his prime. Messier was toiling around in those lean years in Vancouver at that time.

I'll say this about the truth about being a "leech" or not. A leech doesn't outpoint the person he is supposedly leeching from. Nor does a leech win the MVP over the player he is leeching from.

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11-22-2012, 08:35 PM
  #36
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Count me among those who find Esposito underated. Especially on HFboards.

Few players have reached such offensive heights. Gretzky, Lemieux, Howe... That's about it. I feel Big Phil is too often seen as a leecher to Orr. Fact is he has proven himself outside of his ''Bruins'' context. He led the Canada crew throught the Summit Series, led the Rangers onto the Stanley Cup finals and was a driving force for the Hawks in the late 60's. Add to that a good 6-7 years of absolute dominance and you're left with career for the memories. Both him and Messier would have a significantly less impressive career ''number-wise'' without 99 and 4, so this point is pretty much moot.

At this point, I personally think a debate between Esposito/Mikita/Morenz would be more appropriate than Esposito/Messier. Let's look at things this way: A healthy Coffey is only second to a healthy Orr while talking about offensive d-men. Despite this, the higher #11 got into the scoring list is 2nd. That is playing much of his PP with a prime Gretzky and Coffey. Otherwise, he's been surpassed by teamates or more offensive players like Savard, Hawerchuk, Stastny... . Over this point it's fairly debatable who was a more complete player, depending on what you value the most. Personally, I feel Messier's leadership has been blown out of proportion from what I remember of him. On the other hand, Esposito often seems swept under the ''Orr'' carpet. Honestly I don't see how Esposito would be ranked behind Lafleur or Mikita, as much as I adore the laters. I sense a lot of hazy revisionism into HFboards 2009 rankings.

Sorry for my english level. Peace.
Largely agree - though I take Mikita before Esposito. Messier had a great overall game, but not enough to overcome the large offensive edge Esposito has. Phil played in a weaker league, but he really distanced himself from his peers offensively, something Messier never came remotely close to doing.


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11-22-2012, 08:41 PM
  #37
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Largely agree - though I take Mikita before Esposito. Messier had a great overall game, but not enough to overcome the large offensive edge Esposito has.
True enough. Point finishes:

Esposito - 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 7, 9
Messier - 2, 3, 5, 5, 7, 10

Say what you want about rankings like this being a cat and mouse game, but eventually you have to find ways that Messier can close that enormous gap.

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11-22-2012, 08:57 PM
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True enough. Point finishes:

Esposito - 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 7, 9
Messier - 2, 3, 5, 5, 7, 10

Say what you want about rankings like this being a cat and mouse game, but eventually you have to find ways that Messier can close that enormous gap.
I place a significant premium on overall play (love physical play, but value it much less than actual 'defensive' play), and Mikita is a perfect example of a player who's overall play is enough of an advantage to overcome Esposito's offensive edge (and I view Mikita as a better two-way player than Messier).

Esposito - 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 7, 9
Mikita - 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4

I'll take Mikita over Jagr for the exact same reason.

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11-22-2012, 09:01 PM
  #39
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You really would have left Esposito off the 1972 team?
... In 1972, I would have iced the Montreal Canadiens'
without any replacements or additions, behind the bench.

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11-22-2012, 09:07 PM
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Phil, the Bruins were Orr's team already in 68

Orr in 46 games compared to Phil's 74 was on for 99 TGF (113 for Phil).

So Phil is on the ice for 14 more goals in 28 more games.

In 69 Orr plays in 67 games to Phil's 74.

TGF is 164-163 for Phil, yes that's right he was on the ice for only 1 more goal for than Bobby in 7 more games.

Jean Ratelle who is 2 years older than Phil and was involved in the trade for Phil as well does better than Phil in his post Orr days.

After the trade

Jean 419-155-295-450
Phil 422-184-220-404

There is just overwhelming evidence that Phil's huge peak in Boston relies alot on Bobby Orr and that he might have been a very good player but not the superstar that he looks like with the Bobby Orr affect.

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11-22-2012, 09:31 PM
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I place a significant premium on overall play (love physical play, but value it much less than actual 'defensive' play), and Mikita is a perfect example of a player who's overall play is enough of an advantage to overcome Esposito's offensive edge (and I view Mikita as a better two-way player than Messier).

Esposito - 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 7, 9
Mikita - 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4

I'll take Mikita over Jagr for the exact same reason.
I'm fine with that. Mikita is very similar to Esposito in scoring finishes, and his two-way play at least as good of a playoff resume put him slightly ahead.

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... In 1972, I would have iced the Montreal Canadiens'
without any replacements or additions, behind the bench.
They got bounced out in the first round against the Rangers. You are sure about this?

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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Phil, the Bruins were Orr's team already in 68

Orr in 46 games compared to Phil's 74 was on for 99 TGF (113 for Phil).

So Phil is on the ice for 14 more goals in 28 more games.

In 69 Orr plays in 67 games to Phil's 74.

TGF is 164-163 for Phil, yes that's right he was on the ice for only 1 more goal for than Bobby in 7 more games.

Jean Ratelle who is 2 years older than Phil and was involved in the trade for Phil as well does better than Phil in his post Orr days.

After the trade

Jean 419-155-295-450
Phil 422-184-220-404

There is just overwhelming evidence that Phil's huge peak in Boston relies alot on Bobby Orr and that he might have been a very good player but not the superstar that he looks like with the Bobby Orr affect.
To be fair, a defenseman is going to be on the ice a little bit more than a forward, even a forward with lots of ice time like Esposito. It stands to reason that they'll be on the ice for more goals for per game.

And look at the team Esposito went to. He scored 42 goals on the 1979 Rangers in a year when he turns 37. I mean, really, we are supposed to drop the notion that the guy couldn't muster 50 goals regularly without Orr? Or even crack 60 a time or two? He's still an elite goal scorer without Orr because he played the slot better than any player in NHL history. Ratelle was also barely better than him statistically after the trade all the while being on a far better team and not having the same wear and tear as Esposito over the years. When the 1976 Canada Cup came calling Esposito was on the team and not Ratelle as well.

And I'll say this, which Art Ross does Esposito lose without Orr? My chart above was pretty clear. I'm not sure he loses any of them.

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11-22-2012, 09:42 PM
  #42
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There is just overwhelming evidence that Phil's huge peak in Boston relies alot on Bobby Orr and that he might have been a very good player but not the superstar that he looks like with the Bobby Orr affect.
While I agree, I also think that Esposito's stats from his Ranger years do a bit of a disservice to how good he still was during his captaincy there. That was just a horrible stretch roster-wise for the Rangers, and it must have been quite a change adjusting from having so much puck control from the back end to playing on a team with lackluster (being kind) talent on defense to support and make the best of a talent like Espo. Arbitrary random stat time, but I bet over 99% of hockey fans would have significant difficulty thinking of two Rangers defensemen from the late 70s (first guess probably Park, who left during '75/76), let alone a "good" one. And there must have been a certain level of frustration playing on a team that basically rotates four+ goalies steadily for 3 or 4 seasons, lol.

We also have to be honest and say that his international resume positively contributes to his case, and those are post-Orr days as well.

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11-22-2012, 09:46 PM
  #43
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I'll say this about the truth about being a "leech" or not. A leech doesn't outpoint the person he is supposedly leeching from.
You're right. Unless it is a defenseman he's leeching from. then, it's completely different.

There is just so much more opportunity for a forward to be "involved" in a goal than there is for a defenseman. Orr just generated so many goals with his outstanding possession game, even if he wasn't always getting points on them. His "percentage of goals on ice participated in" is 55%, not significantly higher than some other offensive defensemen. Phil Housley, for example, is 51%.

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Nor does a leech win the MVP over the player he is leeching from.
I agree, a leech would not win a deserved MVP award over the player he's leeching from.

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11-22-2012, 09:47 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
(and I view Mikita as a better two-way player than Messier).
Why?

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11-22-2012, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Phil cracks top 10 in scoring 2 times before coming to Boston.
In only 3 full seasons. Messier didn't make the top 10 for the 1st time until his 4th full NHL season, so that's not too bad.

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He doesn't top 50 goals until he is 28 and Bobby Orr has taken over that Bruin team.
He led the NHL in goals, assists and points before he scored 50 goals in a season. Again, not too bad.

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Maybe Phil cracks top 10 in scoring and goals several times in a career without Orr but it's almost impossible to see him scoring over 55 goals even once in a non Orr environment, never mind he did it 5 straight years when Orr was in full swing.
A guy that made the top 10 in points in 2 of 3 seasons in Chicago, then finished 1st or 2nd in points 8 straight seasons, couldn't crack the top 10 without Orr?

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11-22-2012, 09:50 PM
  #46
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IMO Messier's playoff edge is absolutely huge here. Both were leaders of dominant regular season teams and Esposito's teams underachieved while Messier's overachieved. Does anyone doubt that if you replace Esposito with Messier on those Bruins teams that they win more than just 2 Cups? I would love to see what Moose would've done to the Broad Street Bullies.

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11-22-2012, 09:55 PM
  #47
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Why?
Mikita played a similar rough/dirty game to Messier early in his career, but I believe became a much better player when he was winning Lady Byng votes while still being well above average defensively. Messier was just never that great defensively - his physical edge and speed made him a threat everywhere, but I never viewed him as an elite two-way player. The media loved Messier, but his surprising lack of Selke votes substantiates my observations.

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11-22-2012, 09:55 PM
  #48
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Phil, the Bruins were Orr's team already in 68

Orr in 46 games compared to Phil's 74 was on for 99 TGF (113 for Phil).

So Phil is on the ice for 14 more goals in 28 more games.

In 69 Orr plays in 67 games to Phil's 74.

TGF is 164-163 for Phil, yes that's right he was on the ice for only 1 more goal for than Bobby in 7 more games.

Jean Ratelle who is 2 years older than Phil and was involved in the trade for Phil as well does better than Phil in his post Orr days.

After the trade

Jean 419-155-295-450
Phil 422-184-220-404

There is just overwhelming evidence that Phil's huge peak in Boston relies alot on Bobby Orr and that he might have been a very good player but not the superstar that he looks like with the Bobby Orr affect.
Boston scored 141 more goals from 75-76 through 80-81. Ratelle led Boston in scoring twice. Esposito led the Rangers 4 times.

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11-22-2012, 09:57 PM
  #49
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
They got bounced out in the first round against the Rangers. You are sure about this?
... yepp. Pretty strange one my opinion on this subject might be to most Im afraid. Lots of people looking at me like Im nuts, heresy for even suggesting it, but frankly, they had the wheels, the skills, the pure talent, depth, team unity & pride, a genius in Bowman behind the bench, Pollock upstairs and the best Scouts in the league working for them. I think we got gypped in 72 Phil. Id have much preferred seeing the free wheeling, highly creative Habs playing it clean & flat out against the Soviets rather than a team of out of shape ill prepared disparate All Stars playing desperate; Coached by a guy who didnt cotton on to the most effective way to stop the Red Machine until late into Game 4.

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11-22-2012, 10:02 PM
  #50
Ohashi_Jouzu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Why?
Personally, I view Mikita as a greater offensive talent, which means Messier has catching up to do on the defensive side of a "two-way" discussion from my point of view. While Messier was certainly more intimidating (more physical than "chippy"), did he ever really prove as effective (or for as long, even) as Mikita, especially as part of that Scooter line with Wharram and McDonald (put together to basically track down every puck)? It's at least debatable, imo.

Crazy to think that ultimately Messier wins out on the career value balance (helped a lot by the playoffs), since at the time of Mikita's retirement he had already had an "abnormally" long and productive career (especially considering that back injury which supposedly affected him throughout the last decade of his career).

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