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Esposito Without Orr

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Old
11-25-2012, 01:17 AM
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marotte Marauder View Post
I'll give you that Espo could do it in 67-68. It being 2nd place in the Art Ross. But 68-69 was absolutely due to Orr, record points for a dman and led the league with +65. It was more of the same from then on out.
I know. I am agreeing with your position and just playing devil's advocate to what you said.

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Nobody else here has even given a second thought to the fact that Orr also benefitted greatly from Esposito? The 1969 Hart voting looked like this:

Esposito - 133
Beliveau - 47
Orr - 44

Is it fair to say the people who watched the games at that time had a decent enough say? I am not saying Orr wasn't a great defenseman then, he just hadn't hit his superhuman level yet and even the stats show this.
The "hockey card stats" show this. The underlying stats don't. Orr was already an elite possession player - the best in the league.

As for hart voting, I don't know. Orr's statistical case is so strong that I think I would have given him my first place vote for 8 straight seasons. I want to give as much credit to contemporary opinion as I can, but the stats are so compelling that it's impossible to fathom how Esposito could have ever been more valuable than Orr.

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Those are also incredibly small sample sizes that you use. I mean you basically say that because of 4 games played without Orr in 1974 that Esposito only has 97 points as if 5 games is a large sample size. The best year out of that chart (other than 1968 or 1969 which you probably won't mention because it goes against your argument) is 1973 because it was the most time without Orr - 15 games. Esposito still has 24 points and has a 124 point year instead of 130. We're nickel and diming here, Esposito was a dominant talent in his own right. I mean, according to your own study Esposito has a better PPG without Orr in 1968 and hardly any worse of one in 1969. You'd think that would be enough reason to give Esposito his due...........
Don't worry about the small samples. Together they make a large one that tells a story.

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Originally Posted by overpass View Post

We can also look at the share of Esposito's ES points that Bobby Orr was involved with.

1967-68: 3/54 6%
1968-69: 13/82 16%
1969-70: 12/56 21%
1970-71: 19/99 19%
1971-72: 23/77 30%
1972-73: 18/80 23%
1973-74: 33/99 33%
1974-75: 22/68 32%
This is a great stat and will go a long way towards answering my age old questions about what the R-on was for the team when it was just orr, just espo, both, and neither.

What i'd like to do is take that "espo's time without Orr" field and take it from an unknown to a "known". but before I do that, I need to know - what does 23% (143/615) of goal collaboration mean for the amount of time they spent together? Obviously esposito scored points with Orr on the ice that Orr didn't score a point on, so Orr was on the ice for 23% of Espo's ES time - at minimum, but the real number is likely much higher.

I suppose that if we use Orr's career 50.3% of points on ESGF figure, then before making any other adjustments, we can assume that he was on the ice for about 46% of Espo's ice time. (23% of the time he scored a point with Orr, and assumedly 23% of the time he scored one without Orr).

However, Orr would have increased Esposito's ES scoring rate while on the ice, to a degree that is impossible to guess. He was probably actually on the ice for about 40% of Espo's time.

That would mean Espo scored 46% of his points in that 40%, and 54% of his points in the other 60%. This would mean he got 28% better with Orr on the ice, which is close to matching his points per game change.

So then if Espo played 17.42 ES minutes a game, about 7 was with Orr, and about 10.42 was without.

Thoughts? Does the rough math make sense there? Keep in mind that at this point I'm just working on a 68-75 composite and not breaking it down by season.

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11-25-2012, 02:09 AM
  #52
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Jean Beliveau

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Nobody else here has even given a second thought to the fact that Orr also benefitted greatly from Esposito? The 1969 Hart voting looked like this:

Esposito - 133
Beliveau - 47
Orr - 44

Is it fair to say the people who watched the games at that time had a decent enough say? I am not saying Orr wasn't a great defenseman then, he just hadn't hit his superhuman level yet and even the stats show this. Orr was a +65 in 1969 which is incredible while Esposito was hardly far behind at +56. Orr had 283 shots in 1969 which is incredible again, but it pales in comparison to what he had later and even Esposito had 351 shots in 1969 while getting anywhere from 400-550 in later years.
Key question is why was Jean Beliveau second in the Hart voting?

http://www.hockey-reference.com/leagues/NHL_1969.html

Because even with Esposito and Orr the Bruins did not finish first in the East Division.

BTW, Jim Neilson had 274 shots in 1969.

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11-25-2012, 04:19 AM
  #53
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
The "hockey card stats" show this. The underlying stats don't. Orr was already an elite possession player - the best in the league.

As for hart voting, I don't know. Orr's statistical case is so strong that I think I would have given him my first place vote for 8 straight seasons. I want to give as much credit to contemporary opinion as I can, but the stats are so compelling that it's impossible to fathom how Esposito could have ever been more valuable than Orr.
I'll ask this because the Esposito critics are fiddling with numbers until it looks remotely close to a good case for them (which I dissect rather well in the recent post on the other thread) but how much of Esposito did you watch? I know how old you are and personally I don't think it is an excuse because there are millions of hockey games you can watch in the full but my question is relevant because to watch Esposito in the way he played the game, the dominance and the way he controlled the pace of the game, yes controlled, he is one of the last players you would think need any charity. There is a reason Espo and Orr were head and shoulders above the rest of the NHL for a while. There is a reason Lafleur was the best player in the world and Shutt was nowhere near.

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11-25-2012, 10:44 AM
  #54
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Originally Posted by Marotte Marauder View Post
So what happened to Phil after 74-75? Suddenly got old or bad? Nope, stopped playing with #4. Second in scoring 74-75 and never in the top 10 again.

Playing w/o #4 for brief stretches is one thing, never playing with him is quite another.

His numbers away from #4 are approx. .880 ppg. Likely no Art Ross in there anywhere.
By the time he was traded away, he had played in almost 925 NHL games in his NHL career...
Surely there is an expected decline by that point in virtually every top end players game.

But, of course his numbers would drop if you remove the best player in the game from your team. That's just common sense.

Also, I'm not looking up the numbers, but I'm quite positive those Bruins teams he left scored a lot more than the NYR teams he went to play with.

But, Espo was a premier player either way. He helped Orr, just as Orr helped him (admittedly he would benefit more from Orr than vice versa).

The numbers he put up with the Rags are actually pretty impressive considering how much hockey he had already played by that point in his career (not even counting his international play representing Canada).

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11-25-2012, 11:09 AM
  #55
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Originally Posted by IComeInPeace View Post
By the time he was traded away, he had played in almost 925 NHL games in his NHL career...
Surely there is an expected decline by that point in virtually every top end players game.

But, of course his numbers would drop if you remove the best player in the game from your team. That's just common sense.

Also, I'm not looking up the numbers, but I'm quite positive those Bruins teams he left scored a lot more than the NYR teams he went to play with.

But, Espo was a premier player either way. He helped Orr, just as Orr helped him (admittedly he would benefit more from Orr than vice versa).

The numbers he put up with the Rags are actually pretty impressive considering how much hockey he had already played by that point in his career (not even counting his international play representing Canada).
That's more or less the things I've been saying too. How many HHOFers (and I mean the cream of the crop) put up those types of numbers from their mid 30s onward. We know Messier died starting in his mid 30s. Clarke retired at 35. Bossy at 30. Trottier had a sudden drop in his production at about 31. Mikita? After 30 he started dropping more or less. Yzerman? Never the the same scorer after 1996 or so and translated his game after that.

There are a couple exceptions to the rule, Sakic had 100 points as a 37 year old and Gretzky stayed great until his second to last season. Jagr as well was good but even before he left the NHL in 2008 he was dropping. The fact that Esposito on a non-playoff team still racked up 80 points a year until he retired and then carried them to the final in 1979 is still pretty amazing for a guy his age and the wear and tear his body went through

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11-25-2012, 11:52 AM
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IComeInPeace View Post
By the time he was traded away, he had played in almost 925 NHL games in his NHL career...
Surely there is an expected decline by that point in virtually every top end players game.

But, of course his numbers would drop if you remove the best player in the game from your team. That's just common sense.

Also, I'm not looking up the numbers, but I'm quite positive those Bruins teams he left scored a lot more than the NYR teams he went to play with.

But, Espo was a premier player either way. He helped Orr, just as Orr helped him (admittedly he would benefit more from Orr than vice versa).

The numbers he put up with the Rags are actually pretty impressive considering how much hockey he had already played by that point in his career (not even counting his international play representing Canada).
Yep. Also factor in how Esposito needed to learn a whole new system and develop chemistry with a whole new batch of players past his prime.

Espo was a beast in his heyday.

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11-25-2012, 12:03 PM
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Nobody else here has even given a second thought to the fact that Orr also benefitted greatly from Esposito?
It's pretty clear who drove the bus in the entirety of that relationship and it has been pointed out, had he played on a different 06 team he would have had some good talent to work with as well.

Quote:
The 1969 Hart voting looked like this:

Esposito - 133
Beliveau - 47
Orr - 44

Is it fair to say the people who watched the games at that time had a decent enough say? I am not saying Orr wasn't a great defenseman then, he just hadn't hit his superhuman level yet and even the stats show this. Orr was a +65 in 1969 which is incredible while Esposito was hardly far behind at +56. Orr had 283 shots in 1969 which is incredible again, but it pales in comparison to what he had later and even Esposito had 351 shots in 1969 while getting anywhere from 400-550 in later years.
I think it's pretty obvious that voters were looking at the bright shiny object in the room (Phil's record breaking point mark), and not looking as in depth as we are here.

The goal scoring leader and 2nd in points Hull finished in a tie with Howe who was 3rd in scoring. The Hart winner from the year before Mikita doesn't even show up in the top 14 voting in the Hart despite being 4th in overall scoring with 97 points, which was 10 more than in his Hart year were he lead the league with 87 points.[/B]

Frankly I wouldn't put too much stock what the voters were doing in 69.

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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
That was closer to what I thought, although his being on the second PP unit sort of muddles things a bit.



Thanks for posting that info. It helps, although it's still difficult to fairly examine his career, due to him playing his prime years ('65-'75) with Hull & Orr. Expansion makes it especially tough, since he was on a stacked team that was clearly superior to the majority of teams. It looks to me like:

pre-NHL: Very good numbers, but not good enough to suggest he was nearly as productive as he became.

Chicago: Strong ES numbers, but Hull was basically driving the bus, so it's tough to say just how good he was then (esp. with his weaker playoff numbers and being traded).

early Boston ('68-'71): This is the only period in his prime where he appears to have been driving the bus, particularly in '68 & '69, or at least sharing the load with Orr. His ES on/off data is solid, but Orr's are still stronger even in those first two seasons. His superior team in league of mostly inferior teams still makes it difficult to fully assess just how great he was during this period, but it's the most favorable period for him.

later Boston ('72-'75): While still a great offensive player, as you said, he became more reliant on Orr and the PP to keep his numbers in the stratosphere. He seems a defensive liability at this point and was probably fortunate to be in such a good situation.

Rangers: He still puts up some solid seasons, esp. given his age and the team's (lack of) quality. It's the large, immediate decrease in production upon leaving Boston that seems to confirm that his later years in Boston were in large part a product of circumstance.
This is a pretty good summation of Phil's career IMO.

Also Overpass are the R-on and R-off numbers available somewhere for all players? More information makes for a better picture.

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11-25-2012, 12:12 PM
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Also Overpass are the R-on and R-off numbers available somewhere for all players? More information makes for a better picture.
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
See post #197 (currently the last post) in this thread for a link to the author's year by year spreadsheets:

Adjusted Plus-Minus

The first part of the thread has career data for many players, including Orr & Espo. (note: data first available for '68 season)
I haven't actually looked at Overpass' spreadsheet yet, but certainly plan to at some point, and it sounds like it contains the data you are requesting.

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11-25-2012, 12:29 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post

1967-68*
GP G A Pts P/G
Without Orr 27 8 24 32 1.185
With Orr 47 27 25 52 1.106
Real Season Total 74 35 49 84 1.135
Season Total w/o Orr 74 21.9 65.8 87.7  
*Orr missed 28 games this season, but I was only able to identify 27 of them
These are the games I have Orr as missing that season:

Nov.1 (1 game)
Dec. 10 to Dec. 23 (6 games)
Jan. 18 to Jan. 24 (4 games)
Feb. 11 to Mar. 21 (17 games)

I know the timeline on the Orr site says he missed the Jan 25 game vs Montreal, but I think that may be an error.

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I did not have information as to any games where both Esposito and Orr did not play. Esposito barely missed any games, so if this occurred it did not happen a lot. The most likely case would be the 2 games in 1971-72. Orr sat out the last two games of the season. I have not found out if Esposito sat those out as well, but I did find evidence that he was playing through a knee injury, and we know that the Bruins had 1st place locked up at that point, so the motive is there.
Yes, Esposito did miss those two games. Also, in the game prior to those two (a 4-1 loss to Toronto on Mar.29/72, with Espo getting the goal), the summary mentions that Orr only played one shift.


Here's the team records with and without Orr:

1966-67
With Orr: 16-36-9 (.336); GF-167 (2.74), GA-220 (3.61)
Without Orr: 1-7-1 (.167); GF-15 (1.60), GA-33 (3.67)

1967-68
With Orr: 23-14-9 (.598); GF-169 (3.67), GA-137 (2.98)
Without Orr: 14-13-1 (.519); GF-90 (3.21), GA-79 (2.82)

1968-69
With Orr: 38-14-15 (.679); GF-273 (4.07), GA-195 (2.91)
Without Orr: 4-4-1 (.500); GF-30 (3.33), GA-26 (2.89)

1971-72
With Orr: 53-12-11 (.770); GF-322 (4.24), GA-194 (2.55)
Without Orr: 1-1-0 (.500); GF-8 (4.00), GA-10 (5.00)

1972-73
With Orr: 43-16-4 (.714); GF-263 (4.17), GA-182 (2.89)
Without Orr: 8-6-1 (.567); GF-67 (4.47), GA-53 (3.53)

1973-74
With Orr: 49-16-9 (.723); GF-333 (4.50), GA-206 (2.78)
Without Orr: 3-1-0 (.750); GF-16 (4.00), GA-15 (3.75)

1975-76
With Orr: 6-1-3 (.750); GF-41 (4.10), GA-26 (2.60)
Without Orr: 42-14-14 (.700); GF-272 (3.89), GA-211 (3.01)


And with Chicago:

1976-77
With Orr: 10-7-3 (.575); GF-78 (3.90), GA-60 (3.00)
Without Orr: 16-36-8 (.333); GF-162 (2.70), GA-238 (3.97)

1978-79
With Orr: 3-2-1 (.583); GF-16 (2.67), GA-13 (2.17)
Without Orr: 26-34-14 (.446); GF-228 (3.08), GA-264 (3.57)

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11-25-2012, 12:31 PM
  #60
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Yep. Also factor in how Esposito needed to learn a whole new system and develop chemistry with a whole new batch of players past his prime.

Espo was a beast in his heyday.
Interesting thought but what systems difference was exactly happening between the NYR and Boston other than give the puck to Orr and let him set the pace.

There is no doubt that the NYR let Phil play his game, especially on the PP.

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11-25-2012, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
I haven't actually looked at Overpass' spreadsheet yet, but certainly plan to at some point, and it sounds like it contains the data you are requesting.
Your link worked, but the link on the post you are referring to didn't.

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11-25-2012, 01:08 PM
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Interesting thought but what systems difference was exactly happening between the NYR and Boston other than give the puck to Orr and let him set the pace.

There is no doubt that the NYR let Phil play his game, especially on the PP.
There is no doubt they let him play the way he wanted, but there is a lot of certainty that they did not play the same style.

While the loss of the greatest puck mover of all time is definitely a factor, if the NYR had even 1 guy on the blueline decent at moving the puck, while having 2 guys on Espo's wing who specialized at mucking in the corners and getting the puck to him in the slot....

He had Vadnais ever so briefly and later Greschner broke out, but no Hodge/Cashman, who were perfect wingers for him and his style. Then he had Hodge who was at the end of his career, but no real puck moving Dman that year, forcing them to execute differently that they would have had, say, Brad Park still been on the team.

Esposito had a specialized skillset that was just not complimented like it was in Boston. IMO, Hodge and especially Cashman played just as large a role in how Espo's game was played in Boston.

Factor in that he was in his mid 30's. I can easily pull a list of players whose production had a sharp drop off at age 30, as opposed to the tiny list of players from that era who maintained it past that age.

Without Orr on Team Canada, Esposito is still the guy every Russian Defenseman mentioned as being the hardest guy to stop and MVP in the summit series. His name jumped off their tongues before the question was even done.

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11-25-2012, 01:46 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post

Factor in that he was in his mid 30's. I can easily pull a list of players whose production had a sharp drop off at age 30, as opposed to the tiny list of players from that era who maintained it past that age.

.
While this is not a comprehensive list, I just lumped around and looked at contemporaries plus of overlap of Espo.

Phil declined from age 32 to 33 significantly. Some, myself included, attribute it to playing without #4. Others think it is a natural age decline.

Here's my quick list of player and their production, first at 32 years of age and second at 33 years of age.

Rod Gilbert 77/97; Gilbert Perrault 76/90; Stan Mikita 83/80, Bobby Hull 96/93; Big M 70/73; Howe 72/77 and Jean Beliveau (age 32 and 34 as at 33 he was hurt and missed a lot of games) 70/77.

ESPO 127/83.

Certainly not definitive but the decline of 35% lines up with other statistical measurement's of Orr's impact on Espo's scoring.

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11-25-2012, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Marotte Marauder View Post
While this is not a comprehensive list, I just lumped around and looked at contemporaries plus of overlap of Espo.

Phil declined from age 32 to 33 significantly. Some, myself included, attribute it to playing without #4. Others think it is a natural age decline.

Here's my quick list of player and their production, first at 32 years of age and second at 33 years of age.

Rod Gilbert 77/97; Gilbert Perrault 76/90; Stan Mikita 83/80, Bobby Hull 96/93; Big M 70/73; Howe 72/77 and Jean Beliveau (age 32 and 34 as at 33 he was hurt and missed a lot of games) 70/77.

ESPO 127/83.

Certainly not definitive but the decline of 35% lines up with other statistical measurement's of Orr's impact on Espo's scoring.
Again, you need to look at all factors.
Hodge and Cashman(Whose work in the corners getting the puck to the slot was instrumental in Esposito's style of play), and the team style being much different without these elements or a real puck moving Dman at the same time as having these, as I already stated.

Esposito was a dominating player with or without Orr. I guess if you want to look at stats and make assumptions years after the fact rather than having seen just how dominating he was...have fun. there was no Orr at the summit series either and he was standing tall and dominating.

The 32-33 age is rather arbitrary. Every athlete is different, but few were contributing like they used to past 33. Some go into quick decline at age 28, some at 32.

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11-25-2012, 05:24 PM
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It's pretty clear who drove the bus in the entirety of that relationship and it has been pointed out, had he played on a different 06 team he would have had some good talent to work with as well.
Orr drove the bus more than Esposito. I don't think anyone here is arguing that. Heck, with the exception of Gretzky, Lemieux and maybe even Howe I can't think of a forward that would have driven the bus more than Orr had they been teammates. Esposito is no different. That being said, it is clear to me more and more that people seem to just want to believe what they want to believe. You don't win Hart votes over a guy you are leeching off of. People don't seem to know how dominant of a force Esposito was. He was big, he used his size, his reach and his hands to get where he wanted to go. Serge Savard said you could never move him in front of the net. He had instincts like few ever had. Because no one scores 76 goals and then a slew of 60 goal seasons by luck.

Quote:
I think it's pretty obvious that voters were looking at the bright shiny object in the room (Phil's record breaking point mark), and not looking as in depth as we are here.

The goal scoring leader and 2nd in points Hull finished in a tie with Howe who was 3rd in scoring. The Hart winner from the year before Mikita doesn't even show up in the top 14 voting in the Hart despite being 4th in overall scoring with 97 points, which was 10 more than in his Hart year were he lead the league with 87 points.[/B]

Frankly I wouldn't put too much stock what the voters were doing in 69.
So............basically we should ignore what the voters were thinking back then during every year? No Hart trophy is relevant?

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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Factor in that he was in his mid 30's. I can easily pull a list of players whose production had a sharp drop off at age 30, as opposed to the tiny list of players from that era who maintained it past that age.

Without Orr on Team Canada, Esposito is still the guy every Russian Defenseman mentioned as being the hardest guy to stop and MVP in the summit series. His name jumped off their tongues before the question was even done.
He's the first name they say all the time, and should be. Funny how the Russians, and the NHLers who saw him day in and day out couldn't figure him out either. But we apparently have stats that we can shift in order to make him look dependant on Orr............, ah well........

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11-25-2012, 05:31 PM
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Again, you need to look at all factors.
Hodge and Cashman(Whose work in the corners getting the puck to the slot was instrumental in Esposito's style of play), and the team style being much different without these elements or a real puck moving Dman at the same time as having these, as I already stated.

Esposito was a dominating player with or without Orr. I guess if you want to look at stats and make assumptions years after the fact rather than having seen just how dominating he was...have fun. there was no Orr at the summit series either and he was standing tall and dominating.

The 32-33 age is rather arbitrary. Every athlete is different, but few were contributing like they used to past 33. Some go into quick decline at age 28, some at 32.
A. I was around to see it live.

B. 32-33 is arbitrary but coincidental with when Espo was separated from Orr, so it was relevant.

C. He was a tremendous scorer, quick release , good timing etc. I just never viewed him as dominating. I think your comments about Cash-Hodge doing the dirty work along with Orr's influence supports that. In your mind he was dominating, which is fine, but only apparently with all the right pieces around him. To me that is not dominating.


D. I wonder how many goals B. Hull would have scored with #4 streaking down the ice with him. 2 guys that nobody could catch.


Last edited by Marotte Marauder: 11-25-2012 at 06:02 PM.
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11-25-2012, 06:21 PM
  #67
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Orr drove the bus more than Esposito. I don't think anyone here is arguing that. Heck, with the exception of Gretzky, Lemieux and maybe even Howe I can't think of a forward that would have driven the bus more than Orr had they been teammates. Esposito is no different. That being said, it is clear to me more and more that people seem to just want to believe what they want to believe. You don't win Hart votes over a guy you are leeching off of. People don't seem to know how dominant of a force Esposito was. He was big, he used his size, his reach and his hands to get where he wanted to go. Serge Savard said you could never move him in front of the net. He had instincts like few ever had. Because no one scores 76 goals and then a slew of 60 goal seasons by luck.
Why the all or nothing argument here?

No one, not even me, is suggesting that Espo would not have been a very good to excellent offensive player but come on Phil how many times do you truly believe he ever scores without Orr? My guess based on many factors presented here is maybe once and even that's highly unlikely.

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So............basically we should ignore what the voters were thinking back then during every year? No Hart trophy is relevant?
It's the all or nothing thing here again with you, don't you think it's really strange that the guy (Mikita) who won the year before wasn't even in the top 14 of voting? Or that Jean was ahead of both Hull and Howe?



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He's the first name they say all the time, and should be. Funny how the Russians, and the NHLers who saw him day in and day out couldn't figure him out either. But we apparently have stats that we can shift in order to make him look dependant on Orr............, ah well........
The russians also called Bob Gainey the best player in the world at one point too.

I will give you that Espo with his size and slot presence would give Russian Dmen fits since they played in a less physical league and style overall.

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11-25-2012, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Why the all or nothing argument here?

No one, not even me, is suggesting that Espo would not have been a very good to excellent offensive player but come on Phil how many times do you truly believe he ever scores without Orr? My guess based on many factors presented here is maybe once and even that's highly unlikely.
How many times do I believe he ever scores what? 60 goals? I have little doubt he would have done it more than once. I guess you can look at his contemporaries and see that Leach got 61 once, Shutt got 60 once as well. I don't think even the sharpest Esposito critic would say Esposito wasn't as good of a goal scorer as those two. Yes he got goals in the slot, it was his forte. But so did John Leclair who scored 50 three years in a row in a low scoring era. Leclair wasn't dominant out there and he wasn't the player Esposito was either. I mean, Dino Ciccarelli scored 608 career goals as a less talented version of Esposito and his goals were all deflections or tips or rebounds. But you never thought he could carry a team. Esposito could, and did.

I realize Orr was there and that would help anyone, but what gets lost here is that Esposito was effective and not always pretty. But he was more of a meat and potatoes type of player, but still great. Have you thought about the effect the Bruins would have if Esposito is taken off the team? There's a big gap there too. Does Hodge ever get 100 points? You're talking about a Bruins forward corps that has an old Bucyk, Hodge and Cashman as its core. Looks a little prettier with Esposito in there huh?

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It's the all or nothing thing here again with you, don't you think it's really strange that the guy (Mikita) who won the year before wasn't even in the top 14 of voting? Or that Jean was ahead of both Hull and Howe?
No, it isn't all that crazy. Mikita had 97 points while Hull had 107. The voters obviously felt Hull was more important on the Hawks. Meanwhile the Hawks had an unusual 77 points, one game above .500. The Bruins and the Habs had 100 and 103 points respectively. Beliveau was still the man on Montreal that year so it has a couple of factors. Gretzky won an Art Ross in 1994 without finishing in the top 10 (or even 15 I think) in Hart voting. It hurts when your don't elevate your team very high either.

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The russians also called Bob Gainey the best player in the world at one point too.

I will give you that Espo with his size and slot presence would give Russian Dmen fits since they played in a less physical league and style overall.
Except he gave NHLers fits all the time too. You think they'd figure out a way to stop him after all those years huh? (this reminds me of a Gretzky type of argument when people look for every excuse under the sun to argue against him). To be fair, that Gainey comment was during the 1979 Cup final if I remember correctly. Gainey won a Conn Smythe.

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11-25-2012, 09:25 PM
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Remember our discussion about the decline in Gretzky's GF/GA ratio upon moving to LA, and how much of that could be attributed to a change in his role? I wonder if Esposito also saw a change in his role after Derek Sanderson left for the WHA. It was in precisely that season when Espo's plus-minus numbers dropped.
I would not be surprised at all.

Someone has to pick up the minutes and if you're more valuable as a scorer, you would try to outscore the opposition rather than shut them down.

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11-28-2012, 02:40 PM
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I'll ask this because the Esposito critics are fiddling with numbers until it looks remotely close to a good case for them (which I dissect rather well in the recent post on the other thread) but how much of Esposito did you watch? I know how old you are and personally I don't think it is an excuse because there are millions of hockey games you can watch in the full but my question is relevant because to watch Esposito in the way he played the game, the dominance and the way he controlled the pace of the game, yes controlled, he is one of the last players you would think need any charity. There is a reason Espo and Orr were head and shoulders above the rest of the NHL for a while. There is a reason Lafleur was the best player in the world and Shutt was nowhere near.
My age isn’t a secret. I’m 31. What do you mean by “excuse”. And when the facts are going against you, is there another argument you can put forward in the future other than a roundabout “I’m older than you” argument?

No one’s “fiddling” with numbers when it comes to Espo’s scoring with and without Orr, it’s quite simple math, really.

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Why the all or nothing argument here?
.
That is exactly what I’m seeing, too. Why is it so hard to just settle on a certain percentage of Esposito’s point totals that was a direct result of Orr? The numbers make a good case already, and the truth can't be that far off from what they indicate.

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11-28-2012, 03:54 PM
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My age isn’t a secret. I’m 31. What do you mean by “excuse”. And when the facts are going against you, is there another argument you can put forward in the future other than a roundabout “I’m older than you” argument?

No one’s “fiddling” with numbers when it comes to Espo’s scoring with and without Orr, it’s quite simple math, really.
The "excuse" I mean is that even if you weren't around to see him play he is recent enough to have lots of footage on him in full game situations.

I feel I've presented my arguments very well, in this thread and the other thread. Esposito gets a bad rap because he wasn't a Perreault or a Lafleur or one who skated circles around everyone. He was just simply effective and better than anyone in NHL history at what he did.

The numbers are very slanted. I've seen them and I told you before they do not make a very good case against Esposito. Look at Orr after he left Boston without any Esposito. Yes his knees were banged up and while it isn't a large sample size he was just a point a game without his old buddy. Ken Hodge is good enough to be a star in the Hall of "very good" and you can credit Esposito with that as well. Cashman had his best numbers when Esposito had his best statistical seasons too. You can see the impact the big man made. Boston had their worst playoff in 1973 when Esposito was in the hospital. Even Orr only had a couple points in the 5 game series against the Rangers.

He was a gigantic hole to fill and those Bruins teams aren't the same without him.

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11-28-2012, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
The "excuse" I mean is that even if you weren't around to see him play he is recent enough to have lots of footage on him in full game situations.

I feel I've presented my arguments very well, in this thread and the other thread. Esposito gets a bad rap because he wasn't a Perreault or a Lafleur or one who skated circles around everyone. He was just simply effective and better than anyone in NHL history at what he did.

The numbers are very slanted. I've seen them and I told you before they do not make a very good case against Esposito. Look at Orr after he left Boston without any Esposito. Yes his knees were banged up and while it isn't a large sample size he was just a point a game without his old buddy. Ken Hodge is good enough to be a star in the Hall of "very good" and you can credit Esposito with that as well. Cashman had his best numbers when Esposito had his best statistical seasons too. You can see the impact the big man made. Boston had their worst playoff in 1973 when Esposito was in the hospital. Even Orr only had a couple points in the 5 game series against the Rangers.

He was a gigantic hole to fill and those Bruins teams aren't the same without him.
Agreed. Espo was considered the best player in the world after the 72 Summit Series by the Russians. There's this ATD "canon" that he can only play with "special" forwards and it's simply so ridiculous.

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11-28-2012, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
The "excuse" I mean is that even if you weren't around to see him play he is recent enough to have lots of footage on him in full game situations.

I feel I've presented my arguments very well, in this thread and the other thread. Esposito gets a bad rap because he wasn't a Perreault or a Lafleur or one who skated circles around everyone. He was just simply effective and better than anyone in NHL history at what he did.

The numbers are very slanted. I've seen them and I told you before they do not make a very good case against Esposito. Look at Orr after he left Boston without any Esposito. Yes his knees were bIanged up and while it isn't a large sample size he was just a point a game without his old buddy. Ken Hodge is good enough to be a star in the Hall of "very good" and you can credit Esposito with that as well. Cashman had his best numbers when Esposito had his best statistical seasons too. You can see the impact the big man made. Boston had their worst playoff in 1973 when Esposito was in the hospital. Even Orr only had a couple points in the 5 game series against the Rangers.

He was a gigantic hole to fill and those Bruins teams aren't the same without him.
You do your position no favours when you continue to act like people think he was a Scrub who was not a Great or important player who couldn't outperform Orr for short stretches. No one thinks that.

Hardyvan, maybe.


Last edited by seventieslord: 11-29-2012 at 03:48 PM.
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11-29-2012, 12:56 AM
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I believe in Espositos Hart votes, but someone more knowing if that trophy back then was just as múch a "Best forward" trophy as it is today will have to help me here... Becouse that Esposito sometimes could outscore Bobby Orr there is no lying about, he often was the best scorer(attacker-forward) in the world. Just that Orr was able to win the Hart over forwards a couple of times is amazing since he's at a disadvantage offensively compared to the ones the trophy is really for. Just like Hasek, and Esposito stays a few notches behind both of those guys even if he has as many Hart votes. Eight Norrises for a defenceman means something like six Hart trophys for a forward i would say, on average.

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11-29-2012, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
You do your position no favours when you continue to act like people think he was a Scrub who was not a Great or important player who couldn't outperform Orr for short stretches. No one thinks that.

Hardyvan, maybe.
He has pretty much everything going for him to be an all-time great on his own. He elevated the play of his teammates, he won championships, he carried teams on his back (1972 Canada, 1979 Rangers), he had at least two Smythe worthy runs, he dominated the scoring race, he was more or less unstoppable on the ice and he was a great leader.

The things going against him are things that are weak. He wasn't the best player on his team and his production wasn't the same without Orr. Maurice Richard is a player who also saw his production start to drop (rather fast) after 1956 when he was the same age as Esposito when his production dropped. Gretzky after 1994 was his noticeable drop off too that he never got back. I mean, couple in the fact that he went to a rotten Rangers team, he was getting older, he lost his defenseman and it isn't unrealistic to see his production drop off. Yes, Orr is a factor, heck, he's a factor with anyone and saying he wouldn't be a factor would be a disservice to the man, but Esposito did enough on the ice to prove he didn't need charity.

I will say this, because when stats are used as the sole way to make a point we are getting into a dangerous position. Watch Esposito and Orr complement each other on the ice. They both fed off each other and this is evident in game film. Orr was more of the driving force but for some reason this is a knock against Esposito when it shouldn't be. This is Bobby Orr we are talking about.

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