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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
12-09-2012, 02:12 PM
  #201
Dark Shadows
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
Janney? That is clear evidence you value style over substance. Actual production always trumps prettiness. I use precise context. Style is worthless, production is everything. When a pretty goal or assist counts 2 on the scoreboard, then style will matter, until then it is just something to fill up the highlight shows. Substance wins games, style does not. Substance builds great careers, style does not - just ask Linus Omark.

1 Wayne Gretzky
2 Gordie Howe
3 Adam Oates
4 Frank Boucher
5 Mario Lemieux
6 Andy Bathgate
7 Phil Esposito
8 Stan Mikita
9 Bobby Orr
10 Bill Cowley
11 Jean Beliveau
12 Jaromir Jagr
13 Elmer Lach
14 Ted Lindsay
15 Joe Thornton
16 Paul Coffey
17 Marcel Dionne
18 Guy Lafleur
19 Bryan Trottier
20 Bobby Clarke
Surprised Thornton is so low on the list. Lead the NHL in assists 3 consecutive seasons. Sometimes by large margins. Was runner up 2 more times, 3rd another time and top 10 two more times after that....
Orr being so low is truly perplexing.

I made this list awhile back.
#1 Wayne Gretzky: No real need to elaborate. The undisputed greatest playmaker ever to play the game. 16 time assist leader. The guy had eyes in the back of his head, and could read a play like no other. Only 11 players in NHL history have hit 90 assists, only 5 players more than once. Wayne did it 13 times himself. A few more probably could have if era is taken into account, but nonetheless, it is remarkable.

#2 Gordie Howe: A 3 time assist leader, but a 14 time top 5 assist man in his career, and a 22 time top 10 assist man. A few Others had a slightly better playmaking peak, but his sheer consistency and longevity is overwhelming against most.

#3 Mario Lemieux: A 3 time assist leader, 3 time Runner up, and 9 time top 4 assist man. Had the misfortune of playing his prime against the greatest playmaker of all time. Removing Gretzky from the equation would give Lemieux 6 assist titles. He is the only person other than Gretzky to score 90 points more than twice(5 times), and 3 of those 90 assists came with some pretty bad linemates. He holds the second best assist per game ratio ever. 1033 assists in 915 games despite his many health/physical problems faced(He was 4th in assists in 92-93 only 6 assists from #1, despite missing 24 games to cancer).

#4A Adam Oates: A 3 time assist leader, 2 time Runner up and a 12 time top 7 playmaker. 1079 assists in 1337 games. Remove Gretzky from the equation and he is a 4 time leader. His longevity and consistency is notable to give him an argument for #3 spot, but Lemieux's peak beats the slight longevity lead.

#4B Bobby Orr:If we were judging on peak only basis, then Orr would certainly be fighting for #2 with Lemieux. 5 Time assist leader, once a runner up. The man was a wizard. Longevity will always be a problem in his regard though.

#6 Frank Boucher: a 3 time assist leader, 4 time runner up and 9 time top 6 assist man. A key member of the bread line with the Cook brothers. I know less of Boucher than the others, but his numbers and his legend speak for themselves. In fact, he may need to move up the list.

#7 Stan Mikita: 3 Consecutive Assist titles(A rare feat), 3 Runner ups, and 10 times in the top 8 for assists. Him and Hull did not even play on the same line!

#8 Andy Bathgate: Some may disagree with me here, but the man was incredible on a pretty bad team. 2 assist titles, 4 Runner ups and 9 times in the top 4 for assists.

#9 Jaromir Jagr: 3 time Assist leader(all in years after Lemieux retired) and top 3 six times along with 9 top 7 finishes and 10 top 9 finishes. Cannot be ignored.

#10 Joe Thornton: Strange to have him in this early. Already owns 3 consecutive assist titles(A rare feat), but even more rare, is one of 5 players ever to score 90 assists, and is one of 3 ever to score 90 assists back to back(Lemieux and Gretzky being the other 2). Other than those feats, he was Runner up in assists another year, and 3rd in yet another. Currently 2nd this season, and closing the gap to 1st fast.


Honorable Mentions:

Bill CowleyI devalue War years enough that his 3 assist titles and 8 times in the top 10 fall short) He had a few great years outside the war years, but I feel his war year best would have been a bit lower in a non-diluted league.

Elmer Lach: Same as Cowley, although in all fairness, he proved himself by having some top notch assist years after 1947. The problem is, his best fell below others after the war years except for 1 year.

Even if you do not devalue war years, the guys above them have better resume's.

Ted Lindsay: His 2 Assist titles, 6 times in the top 4 and 8 top 10 finishes are worthy of song.

Peter Forsberg: Injuries robbed his career of what could have been.

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12-09-2012, 03:14 PM
  #202
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
So if Phil shoots at the net, something he led the league in 4 years in a row, then someone else scores we are going to call him a play maker?

Also outside of Boston (and the Orr affect) he hit top 10 1 other time in 67 finishing 6th.

After his trade to the NYR he dropped from 66 (5th) in assists to 48 (25th).

really your definition of play maker is very odd and doesn't fit at all with the common notion of what the play making skill is.

And you have Orr behind Phil?

Wow is all I can say there.

http://www.hockey-reference.com/play...der_by=assists

Even when we use your criteria about production Orr has 40 more assists from 68-75 (the years they played together) in 53 less games played.
Yeah, seriously though. At his peak he was producing 300-400 registered shots that didn't go in. Thinking back to the goalies and the gear of the time, and I know that means a LOT of rebounds available for the cleaning up. Great thing about Phil was his ability to clean up his own rebounds too, of course, but he obviously didn't get assists for those ones, lol.

But yeah, Esposito two steps above Orr in "play-making" almost made me lose my coffee. Orr... just one step above a war years compiler/benefactor, lol. Even if I admit a bit of exaggeration there, well... um...

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12-09-2012, 04:17 PM
  #203
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Surprised Thornton is so low on the list. Lead the NHL in assists 3 consecutive seasons. Sometimes by large margins. Was runner up 2 more times, 3rd another time and top 10 two more times after that....
Orr being so low is truly perplexing.

I made this list awhile back.
#1 Wayne Gretzky: No real need to elaborate. The undisputed greatest playmaker ever to play the game. 16 time assist leader. The guy had eyes in the back of his head, and could read a play like no other. Only 11 players in NHL history have hit 90 assists, only 5 players more than once. Wayne did it 13 times himself. A few more probably could have if era is taken into account, but nonetheless, it is remarkable.

#2 Gordie Howe: A 3 time assist leader, but a 14 time top 5 assist man in his career, and a 22 time top 10 assist man. A few Others had a slightly better playmaking peak, but his sheer consistency and longevity is overwhelming against most.

#3 Mario Lemieux: A 3 time assist leader, 3 time Runner up, and 9 time top 4 assist man. Had the misfortune of playing his prime against the greatest playmaker of all time. Removing Gretzky from the equation would give Lemieux 6 assist titles. He is the only person other than Gretzky to score 90 points more than twice(5 times), and 3 of those 90 assists came with some pretty bad linemates. He holds the second best assist per game ratio ever. 1033 assists in 915 games despite his many health/physical problems faced(He was 4th in assists in 92-93 only 6 assists from #1, despite missing 24 games to cancer).

#4A Adam Oates: A 3 time assist leader, 2 time Runner up and a 12 time top 7 playmaker. 1079 assists in 1337 games. Remove Gretzky from the equation and he is a 4 time leader. His longevity and consistency is notable to give him an argument for #3 spot, but Lemieux's peak beats the slight longevity lead.

#4B Bobby Orr:If we were judging on peak only basis, then Orr would certainly be fighting for #2 with Lemieux. 5 Time assist leader, once a runner up. The man was a wizard. Longevity will always be a problem in his regard though.

#6 Frank Boucher: a 3 time assist leader, 4 time runner up and 9 time top 6 assist man. A key member of the bread line with the Cook brothers. I know less of Boucher than the others, but his numbers and his legend speak for themselves. In fact, he may need to move up the list.

#7 Stan Mikita: 3 Consecutive Assist titles(A rare feat), 3 Runner ups, and 10 times in the top 8 for assists. Him and Hull did not even play on the same line!

#8 Andy Bathgate: Some may disagree with me here, but the man was incredible on a pretty bad team. 2 assist titles, 4 Runner ups and 9 times in the top 4 for assists.

#9 Jaromir Jagr: 3 time Assist leader(all in years after Lemieux retired) and top 3 six times along with 9 top 7 finishes and 10 top 9 finishes. Cannot be ignored.

#10 Joe Thornton: Strange to have him in this early. Already owns 3 consecutive assist titles(A rare feat), but even more rare, is one of 5 players ever to score 90 assists, and is one of 3 ever to score 90 assists back to back(Lemieux and Gretzky being the other 2). Other than those feats, he was Runner up in assists another year, and 3rd in yet another. Currently 2nd this season, and closing the gap to 1st fast.


Honorable Mentions:

Bill CowleyI devalue War years enough that his 3 assist titles and 8 times in the top 10 fall short) He had a few great years outside the war years, but I feel his war year best would have been a bit lower in a non-diluted league.

Elmer Lach: Same as Cowley, although in all fairness, he proved himself by having some top notch assist years after 1947. The problem is, his best fell below others after the war years except for 1 year.

Even if you do not devalue war years, the guys above them have better resume's.

Ted Lindsay: His 2 Assist titles, 6 times in the top 4 and 8 top 10 finishes are worthy of song.

Peter Forsberg: Injuries robbed his career of what could have been.
Pretty decent list and it talks about play making which is what Ogopogo switched up and then talked about creating offense which isn't the same thing.

I'm also curious where Hank Sedin might fall into your list, he also has led the league in assists 3 consecutive years and his prime is good, last 6 years in top 10 and 13th in 06 (part of his prime maybe).

I'm not the biggest Hank fan in the world but his play making skills are excellent , and he is another guy that I have above Espo.


Last edited by Hardyvan123: 12-09-2012 at 04:23 PM.
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Old
12-09-2012, 05:52 PM
  #204
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Pretty decent list and it talks about play making which is what Ogopogo switched up and then talked about creating offense which isn't the same thing.

I'm also curious where Hank Sedin might fall into your list, he also has led the league in assists 3 consecutive years and his prime is good, last 6 years in top 10 and 13th in 06 (part of his prime maybe).

I'm not the biggest Hank fan in the world but his play making skills are excellent , and he is another guy that I have above Espo.
trying to explain Ogopogo's list is different than most people. It is completely stat based and pretty much does not allow for interpretation between the clear difference in creating offense and creative playmaking, will not take into account the "eye test", etc. Unless he has drastically changed his formula, it Does not take into account things like "per game" value, etc
Granted he has not posted his methodology in 5-6 years, but it used to have a few quirks that a few of us questioned.

While I argue and disagree with him a lot, I can't deny his dedication and hard work and ability to think from another angle.


As for your question on Henrik....
He would end up on the honorable mention list outside the top 10. His resume is similar to Thornton's(Who is #10), but not quite as good in Peak or longevity. They both lead the league 3 times, but Thornton's margin over the runner up his first title was 25 assists, which wins him the best season vs best season. He also runs away with his other finishes.
2,2,3,7,8,10 vs 4,4,8.
He led his team by a few ridiculous margins in scoring and was making things happen all alone some years. 07-08 sticks out like a sore thumb. Not a single teammate with 25 goals, but he found ways to make it happen. Truly a guy who elevated lesser teammates with remarkable vision and perfect passes.


Last edited by Dark Shadows: 12-09-2012 at 07:59 PM.
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12-09-2012, 07:40 PM
  #205
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I'm not the biggest Hank fan in the world but his play making skills are excellent , and he is another guy that I have above Espo.
Me neither, but that's a good call.

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12-10-2012, 06:49 AM
  #206
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didn't vote. too close. my all-time favourite player, Messier, probably gets my biased vote.

another one who is comparable is Jagr

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12-10-2012, 07:46 AM
  #207
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
Orr is behind Phil because he didn't play a full career. Unlike many, I don't give him credit for games not played and assists not earned. If he could have stayed healthy, he could have finished higher.
That is redicoulous becouse at all times when they played together Orr was the better playmaker. I'll give the goalscoring nod to Phil but that's only when discounting that he was a forward and Bobby a D.

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12-10-2012, 08:29 AM
  #208
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
Orr is behind Phil because he didn't play a full career. Unlike many, I don't give him credit for games not played and assists not earned. If he could have stayed healthy, he could have finished higher.
I am no longer sure of your methodology, but I have to ask, does it now give points for peak value and "per game" value how is that peak measured? Given that Orr lead all players in assists by larger margins and from a much different position which was more difficult to produce offense from.
69-70: 55% more assists than #2(Esposito)
70-71: 34% more assists than #2(Esposito)
71-72: 19% more assists than #2(Esposito)
72-73: came in 2nd, but missed quite a few games and had a significant better Assist per game than #1, showing that one a per game basis, he was the best playmaker.
73-74: 17% more assists than #2(Esposito)
74-75: Tied for 1st

Esposito had the 68-69 season where he had 15% more assists than the next guy, but the other seasons in which he led were by 1-3 assists and no significant gap over #2.

Surely that should count for something in your ranking.

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12-11-2012, 01:38 PM
  #209
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
For starters, this is a mere projection of how he does in a full season in his prime without Orr. We have enough sample sizes in certain seasons to see that he really could carry a team on his own.
No one is saying he couldn’t carry a team on his own or be a star. Or, at least, I’m certainly not.

Quote:
Averaging (what is it 106 points?) a season from 1967-'1976 in games without Orr is still the best player in the world because it includes 1968 which was a year where the Art Ross winner gets 87 points and 1976 when he was starting to be over the hill.
And I removed those two years fro you so I have no idea why you’re still talking about them.

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Anyway, I can't convince you that it's not something that hurts him, you see it how you want and it is what it is. Esposito immediately was asked to have a bigger role in 1967-'68 and he thrived with a half season Orr. Plenty of players have been given that exact same treatment. You can find many all-time greats that took a few years before breaking out. Without Orr he's a 120 point man in his prime at least. Hard to argue that otherwise. The guy isn't losing anymore than 30 points without Orr in 1971.
The only thing you have proven is that Esposito was, himself, a very good player. OF COURSE HE WAS.

You severely downlplay Orr’s influence as far as how it affected what happened on the ice, though. The difference in that team’s performance with and without him was night and day. Their goal differential doubled. And we already know it wasn’t just because they loaded up with Orr and Espo at the same time.

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
No, he wasn't Adam Oates, but someone asked if he is among the top 50 playmakers of all-time, and he can't be off that list in my opinion. Esposito was subtle, much like his goal scoring. Again, he was substance rather than style in all facets of his game. This is what always seems to knock him down a peg in all-time rankings.
Yes, of course he is in the top-50 playmakers of all-time. Whether it was in the “classic” sense or not, at some point you have to look at how many assists a player compiled and give credit.

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Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
That is because you value style over substance. To me, substance is what matters. Prettiness is irrelevant, production matters.
It’s not about style vs. substance. It’s about context and watching how those assists transpire. You are clearly making no attempt whatsoever to separate Esposito from his unique team situation and are taking all his assists at face value, if you think he is the #7 playmaker of all-time.

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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
So if Phil shoots at the net, something he led the league in 4 years in a row, then someone else scores we are going to call him a play maker?
In fairness… yes. That’s still “making the play”. He did something that led to a goal. It’s not easy to put a lot of pucks on the net. That is a skill.

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Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
Orr is behind Phil because he didn't play a full career. Unlike many, I don't give him credit for games not played and assists not earned. If he could have stayed healthy, he could have finished higher.
So Orr is not as good a playmaker because he got injured?

Sounds like your list is little more than some form of “adjusted assists compiled” with absolutely no regard for actual on-ice play.

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12-11-2012, 03:30 PM
  #210
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
The only thing you have proven is that Esposito was, himself, a very good player. OF COURSE HE WAS.

You severely downlplay Orr’s influence as far as how it affected what happened on the ice, though. The difference in that team’s performance with and without him was night and day. Their goal differential doubled. And we already know it wasn’t just because they loaded up with Orr and Espo at the same time.
I don't see how Esposito was a "very good player" though. I just don't see how anyone sees that. I've used the word "unstoppable" to describe him and that about sums him up in a nutshell. Even with the Orr factor how was he anything but an all-time great player? You just simply can't win 5 scoring titles and put that much seperation from them and the next best forward.

I don't think anyone here dismisses the impact Orr made on a team. I would certainly hope a team would score less without Orr than with him. The thing is, Esposito's numbers don't change a whole lot without Orr. He is still a dominant center, he is still the best forward in the game and somewhere along the way the Bruins still win a Cup I would think. We just don't have a lot of time when Esposito missed to see how Orr would do. Well, there's the 1973 playoffs. Orr's numbers weren't good either (2 points in 5 games). They definitely aren't the same dominant team without Esposito either. No doubt Orr was a big impact too, and a bigger impact at that, but I personally think you are underrating Esposito as well. I mean............"very good player"? That's shortchanging the guy.

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12-11-2012, 04:12 PM
  #211
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I don't see how Esposito was a "very good player" though. I just don't see how anyone sees that. I've used the word "unstoppable" to describe him and that about sums him up in a nutshell. Even with the Orr factor how was he anything but an all-time great player? You just simply can't win 5 scoring titles and put that much seperation from them and the next best forward.

I mean............"very good player"? That's shortchanging the guy.
That is nothing more than semantics at this point, regarding my use of the words "very good". Guy Lafleur was a very good hockey player too, was he not?

Quote:
I don't think anyone here dismisses the impact Orr made on a team. I would certainly hope a team would score less without Orr than with him.
It's not just scoring a lot more. It's getting scored on a lot less too. Due to his incredible possession game. We broke down the numbers earlier in this thread or the other one, and it appears Orr was always at about a 2.0-2.3 GF:GA clip with or without Espo, and Espo's final 1.6 was based on being about 2.0 when on the ice with Orr, and 1.2 when on the ice without Orr. (The team was only about 1.0 with neither on the ice)

Quote:
The thing is, Esposito's numbers don't change a whole lot without Orr.
Your definition of "a whole lot" is interesting, that's all I'll say.

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He is still a dominant center, he is still the best forward in the game and somewhere along the way the Bruins still win a Cup I would think.
That's certainly not a sure thing. Without Orr, the Bruins were a 1.05 GF:GA team. That's not a cup team. With Orr out of the picture, they were better with Espo on the ice than without (obviously), but it's actually very unlikely that a team with that GF:GA ratio goes on to win a cup.

Quote:
We just don't have a lot of time when Esposito missed to see how Orr would do.
We actually do. We have all the times Orr was out on the ice when Espo was on the bench. the results are staggering.

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12-11-2012, 05:16 PM
  #212
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That is nothing more than semantics at this point, regarding my use of the words "very good". Guy Lafleur was a very good hockey player too, was he not?
You've been on this board long enough to know that when we consider someone "very good" as opposed to "great" there is a difference.

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It's not just scoring a lot more. It's getting scored on a lot less too. Due to his incredible possession game. We broke down the numbers earlier in this thread or the other one, and it appears Orr was always at about a 2.0-2.3 GF:GA clip with or without Espo, and Espo's final 1.6 was based on being about 2.0 when on the ice with Orr, and 1.2 when on the ice without Orr. (The team was only about 1.0 with neither on the ice)

That's certainly not a sure thing. Without Orr, the Bruins were a 1.05 GF:GA team. That's not a cup team. With Orr out of the picture, they were better with Espo on the ice than without (obviously), but it's actually very unlikely that a team with that GF:GA ratio goes on to win a cup.

We actually do. We have all the times Orr was out on the ice when Espo was on the bench. the results are staggering.
This is where relying solely on stats seems to get you in trouble. There have been enough votes on this thread that have put Esposito above Messier on this poll. I suspect like me a lot of them saw Esposito do what he did best as well. I use that as well as stats because that's how you get the whole picture. The people who voted Esposito ahead of Messier didn't fall off a hay wagon either.

What you are missing here is that while it is true Orr carried the play more (obviously) we have no idea what he would have done either without Esposito. Yes, you say that his GF:GA ratio is still good, but you have to take into account a lot of other things too. How much more room did each player have on the ice because the team was keying on the other guy? Meaning, if you take either one of Esposito or Orr out of the picture how much changes because now all of the sudden teams are able to solely key on one superstar? So those numbers don't really tell the whole story there.

And I don't know if they win a Cup without Orr. Maybe they win one of those ones, maybe they don't. However, I have said this before on these boards that take either one of Esposito or Orr off those teams and I can guarantee you that Boston doesn't win TWO cups. It just wouldn't match up. The Rangers would have beaten them in 1972 without one of those guys. I really don't like getting into the whole "what if" scenario because you are a product of your own environment and you work for you own shakes in life, but since you brought it up....................I can definitely say there isn't a defenseman capable of rushing the puck up the ice like Orr, but I can also say that perennial 60 goal men are hard to replace as well. Who scores those goals without Phil?

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Your definition of "a whole lot" is interesting, that's all I'll say.
I base it on the seasons with the most time missed. There isn't an individual season that you can look and say Esposito would have scored less significantly. He still does fine in rather large sample sizes without Orr. That's looking at numbers without overanalyzing them to death. When you are basing an argument on speculation you are fighting a losing battle because you are ignoring the things that were actually accomplished.

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12-11-2012, 06:00 PM
  #213
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Surprised Thornton is so low on the list. Lead the NHL in assists 3 consecutive seasons. Sometimes by large margins. Was runner up 2 more times, 3rd another time and top 10 two more times after that....
I was surprised to see Thornton behind Lindsay. If you look at their rankings in assists, Thornton is ahead (more times leading the league, and more years in the top ten).

Thornton: 1,1,1,2,2,3,7,8,10
Lindsay: 1,1,3,3,3,4,7,9

I know there's more too it than that, but that high-level review suggests that Thornton should be ahead.


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12-11-2012, 07:55 PM
  #214
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post



It’s not about style vs. substance. It’s about context and watching how those assists transpire. You are clearly making no attempt whatsoever to separate Esposito from his unique team situation and are taking all his assists at face value, if you think he is the #7 playmaker of all-time.



In fairness… yes. That’s still “making the play”. He did something that led to a goal. It’s not easy to put a lot of pucks on the net. That is a skill.
Agree with the 1st part obviosuly but to the 2nd part does Phil really jump to mind when the term "playmaker" is used?

Maybe it's just me, but when I think playmaker I think of guys like Gretzky, Oates, Mario, Hank and yes even Janney who were just great dammed passers of the puck.

Phil is more of a "creates offense guy" like AO IMO.


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12-11-2012, 08:03 PM
  #215
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
You've been on this board long enough to know that when we consider someone "very good" as opposed to "great" there is a difference.



This is where relying solely on stats seems to get you in trouble. There have been enough votes on this thread that have put Esposito above Messier on this poll. I suspect like me a lot of them saw Esposito do what he did best as well. I use that as well as stats because that's how you get the whole picture. The people who voted Esposito ahead of Messier didn't fall off a hay wagon either.

What you are missing here is that while it is true Orr carried the play more (obviously) we have no idea what he would have done either without Esposito. Yes, you say that his GF:GA ratio is still good, but you have to take into account a lot of other things too. How much more room did each player have on the ice because the team was keying on the other guy? Meaning, if you take either one of Esposito or Orr out of the picture how much changes because now all of the sudden teams are able to solely key on one superstar? So those numbers don't really tell the whole story there.

And I don't know if they win a Cup without Orr. Maybe they win one of those ones, maybe they don't. However, I have said this before on these boards that take either one of Esposito or Orr off those teams and I can guarantee you that Boston doesn't win TWO cups. It just wouldn't match up. The Rangers would have beaten them in 1972 without one of those guys. I really don't like getting into the whole "what if" scenario because you are a product of your own environment and you work for you own shakes in life, but since you brought it up....................I can definitely say there isn't a defenseman capable of rushing the puck up the ice like Orr, but I can also say that perennial 60 goal men are hard to replace as well. Who scores those goals without Phil?



I base it on the seasons with the most time missed. There isn't an individual season that you can look and say Esposito would have scored less significantly. He still does fine in rather large sample sizes without Orr. That's looking at numbers without overanalyzing them to death. When you are basing an argument on speculation you are fighting a losing battle because you are ignoring the things that were actually accomplished.
Although it's a small sample size we actually do see waht Orr did without Phil with the Black Hawks in 77

http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/CBH/1977.html

He is a plus 6 on that team and his PPG pace is over 25 more points than boldireav in a whole season. (Maybe Ivan closes that gap a bit with Bobby for the full year who knows).

And this is Bobby at the end too not prime peak Bobby.

Maybe the guys voting for Phil didn't fall off the hay wagon but how many are just stat counting and not factoring in 2 way play is the real question IMO.

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12-11-2012, 08:29 PM
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Although it's a small sample size we actually do see waht Orr did without Phil with the Black Hawks in 77

http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/CBH/1977.html

He is a plus 6 on that team and his PPG pace is over 25 more points than boldireav in a whole season. (Maybe Ivan closes that gap a bit with Bobby for the full year who knows).

And this is Bobby at the end too not prime peak Bobby.

Maybe the guys voting for Phil didn't fall off the hay wagon but how many are just stat counting and not factoring in 2 way play is the real question IMO.
Yeah I don't think a post-Esposito Orr is the best case AGAINST Phil either:

Orr:
1975-'76 - 18 points in 10 games
1976-'77 - 23 points in 20 games
1978-'79 - 4 points in 6 games

Overall he has 45 points in 36 games. I will also take into account that Orr's knees weren't the same but how many people want to bet that his stats are higher if Esposito is his big center again on Chicago?

Then there is the 1973 playoffs. Esposito is out in the hospital and the Bruins lose in 5 games. No one surpasses 3 points on the Bruins. Orr has two points. This is a huge swing of the pendulum on the other years. 1970, 1972 and 1974 are all years they make the final. 1971 and 1975 they lose in the first round, however they go the distance in those upsets and the numbers for the players are still pretty good despite the loss. Unlike 1973. This is a perfect example of how a player of Esposito's caliber could and did bring the level of playing ability of the entire team up when he played. See, I realize the importance of a player's prescence who led the postseason in points three times. I don't know why others on this thread don't.

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12-11-2012, 09:27 PM
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I was surprised to see Thornton behind Lindsay. If you look at their rankings in assists, Thornton is ahead (more times leading the league, and more years in the top ten).

Thornton: 1,1,1,2,2,3,7,8,10
Lindsay: 1,1,3,3,3,4,7,9

I know there's more too it than that, but that high-level review suggests that Thornton should be ahead.
And Lindsay did almost all of that playing on a line with Gordie Howe compared to who Thornton's linemates were...

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12-11-2012, 10:41 PM
  #218
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Yeah I don't think a post-Esposito Orr is the best case AGAINST Phil either:

Orr:
1975-'76 - 18 points in 10 games
1976-'77 - 23 points in 20 games
1978-'79 - 4 points in 6 games

Overall he has 45 points in 36 games. I will also take into account that Orr's knees weren't the same but how many people want to bet that his stats are higher if Esposito is his big center again on Chicago?

Sure they would have been better with Phil in 77 and also with most of the other 16 guys ahead of Phil in scoring as well perhaps.

We have sooooooo many indicators of Orr influencing Phil game and point totals that's almost ridiculous to suggest otherwise at this point.

What Phil would have been exactly without Orr is debatable but it almost certainly likely he would have been less the player in standing.

IMO he drops down, best case scenario into the 40-50 range of all time players and at worst case right out of the top 100.

As it is I don't really have that much of a problem with Scotty having him at 40ish or in the 15-20 range for centers.

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12-11-2012, 10:56 PM
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Sure they would have been better with Phil in 77 and also with most of the other 16 guys ahead of Phil in scoring as well perhaps.

We have sooooooo many indicators of Orr influencing Phil game and point totals that's almost ridiculous to suggest otherwise at this point.

What Phil would have been exactly without Orr is debatable but it almost certainly likely he would have been less the player in standing.

IMO he drops down, best case scenario into the 40-50 range of all time players and at worst case right out of the top 100.

As it is I don't really have that much of a problem with Scotty having him at 40ish or in the 15-20 range for centers.
This is discounting him too much. Best case would be he remains where he has been on this board, somewhere in the Messier, Clarke, Trottier range, which tends to be around 20-25ish. If you were to completely ignore Orr, I think he'd pretty easily be Top 10 all time, so it's not like he wasn't being discounted here in the past. I don't see any conceivable way he would be out of the Top 100 either, even as a worst case.

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12-11-2012, 11:14 PM
  #220
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Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post
This is discounting him too much. Best case would be he remains where he has been on this board, somewhere in the Messier, Clarke, Trottier range, which tends to be around 20-25ish. If you were to completely ignore Orr, I think he'd pretty easily be Top 10 all time, so it's not like he wasn't being discounted here in the past. I don't see any conceivable way he would be out of the Top 100 either, even as a worst case.
Given the before and after Orr in Chicago and NYR and possible lack of playoff scoring success as well, it's reasonable IMO.

Jean Ratelle , is he in the top 100? It's very feasible that without Orr that Phil has a career like Jean or even worse.

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12-11-2012, 11:43 PM
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Given the before and after Orr in Chicago and NYR and possible lack of playoff scoring success as well, it's reasonable IMO.

Jean Ratelle , is he in the top 100? It's very feasible that without Orr that Phil has a career like Jean or even worse.
If you look at Esposito's numbers in Boston during games when Orr did not play the data suggests that he still wins multiple Art Ross trophies, but not as many and not by as large of margins. And that doesn't take into account that in those games without Orr the D support Esposito was getting in Boston was lesser than many of the other top league scorers.


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12-11-2012, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post
If you look at Esposito's numbers in Boston during games when Orr did not play the data suggests that he still wins multiple Art Ross trophies, but not as many and not by as large of margins. And that doesn't take into effect that in those games without Orr the D support Esposito was getting in Boston was lesser than many of the other top league scorers.
This really needs to be remembered when comparing the performances of the Bruins forwards with and without Orr. You aren't comparing the effect of the greatest offensive defenseman of all time to an average defense, you are comparing Orr's effect to what the Bruins had when he wasn't on the ice - which certainly seems below average from a puck moving standpoint.

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12-12-2012, 03:09 PM
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This is where relying solely on stats seems to get you in trouble. There have been enough votes on this thread that have put Esposito above Messier on this poll. I suspect like me a lot of them saw Esposito do what he did best as well. I use that as well as stats because that's how you get the whole picture. The people who voted Esposito ahead of Messier didn't fall off a hay wagon either.
So because they put Esposito ahead they must have seen him play?

I don’t know why I’m even getting into this argument because social proofs in this type of debate are highly dubious, but…

- You only “suspect” these people voting saw Esposito play and don’t actually know,
- The number of “serious” members in this section voting for Messier is 20, with 17 voting for Espo; the majority of the rest are people I’ve never heard of – the usual bunch of random people who see the poll on the main board, jump in, vote, and leave. And if you think I’m cherrypicking when I say this, note that I very frequently tally up the votes by “serious” members in other polls in this section.
- The argument that people who have seen Esposito play would be more likely to put him higher is also highly dubious itself, because he was a fairly boring player, while Messier was infinitely more dynamic. He was much faster, more physical, and generally a lot more visible on the ice. On the other hand, Esposito’s gaudy offensive stats are exactly what the stats-based, “never seen him” crowd that you so deride in this section are in love with and are more likely to base decisions on. None of that is proof that Messier was better, of course, but it does suggest that claiming anyone who chooses Esposito was using the “eye test” as the basis for their selection is a claim that rests on rather shaky ground.

Quote:
What you are missing here is that while it is true Orr carried the play more (obviously) we have no idea what he would have done either without Esposito. Yes, you say that his GF:GA ratio is still good, but you have to take into account a lot of other things too. How much more room did each player have on the ice because the team was keying on the other guy? Meaning, if you take either one of Esposito or Orr out of the picture how much changes because now all of the sudden teams are able to solely key on one superstar? So those numbers don't really tell the whole story there.
This stems from a general lack of understanding about those numbers. You’re right that they don’t tell the whole story, but just because they don’t and never can tell the whole story doesn’t mean they should be thrown out. We are smart enough to know using all the other historical data at our disposal, that two superstar players who aren’t on the ice together that often relieve the pressure on eachother. So what does that mean for each of them? If they were alone on Boston, we can assume they always faced the best checkers the opposition had. What actually happened? The best checkers can’t play the combined 40 or so minutes that one or both of them was on the ice. So assumedly, they each sometimes got the best and sometimes got 2nd and 3rd-tier competition that was easier to dominate. Remove Espo and it gets harder for Orr. Remove Orr and it gets harder for Espo. None of that is rocket science.

But for your argument to hold up, we would have to believe that the “Espo relieving pressure on Orr” effect, when removed, would make a massive impact on Orr’s effectiveness, while the “Orr relieving pressure on Espo” effect, when removed, would barely change Espo’s effectiveness. There’s no reason to actually believe this. There is more than enough data showing that Orr on the ice without Espo (facing a wide range of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd tier players) greatly outperformed Espo on the ice without Orr (facing a wide range of 1st, 2nd and 3rd tier players). Not slightly, significantly. If you change the bracketed to “facing mostly top tier checkers” for both players that should not greatly change the relative difference between them, if at all.

Quote:
And I don't know if they win a Cup without Orr. Maybe they win one of those ones, maybe they don't. However, I have said this before on these boards that take either one of Esposito or Orr off those teams and I can guarantee you that Boston doesn't win TWO cups. It just wouldn't match up. The Rangers would have beaten them in 1972 without one of those guys. I really don't like getting into the whole "what if" scenario because you are a product of your own environment and you work for you own shakes in life, but since you brought it up....................I can definitely say there isn't a defenseman capable of rushing the puck up the ice like Orr, but I can also say that perennial 60 goal men are hard to replace as well. Who scores those goals without Phil?
“what if” scenarios don’t mean a lot when talking about the Bruins of this era, because if you replay that 8-year period a million times, I’m sure they usually win 3-5 cups, not just 2. They greatly underachieved.

To put it simply, with both Espo and Orr, they “should have” won probably 4 cups. With just Orr, they “should have” won 3-4. With just Espo, probably none. (and before you jump on me for that, remember, that stems from the fact that without Orr, this was a 1.1 GF:GA ratio team on average over that time) – but as history showed us, the actual results could be 1-2 cups above or below the “should have”, and what actually happened is just one of those million imaginary replays.

So in other words you could be absolutely right. 0 cups is probably the expectation without Orr, but it’s feasible they could overachieve and win 1-2, just like they improbably underachieved and won 2 with Orr, when they should have won 4.

Quote:
I base it on the seasons with the most time missed. There isn't an individual season that you can look and say Esposito would have scored less significantly. He still does fine in rather large sample sizes without Orr. That's looking at numbers without overanalyzing them to death. When you are basing an argument on speculation you are fighting a losing battle because you are ignoring the things that were actually accomplished.
I still have no idea how you come to conclusions like this.

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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Agree with the 1st part obviosuly but to the 2nd part does Phil really jump to mind when the term "playmaker" is used?

Maybe it's just me, but when I think playmaker I think of guys like Gretzky, Oates, Mario, Hank and yes even Janney who were just great dammed passers of the puck.

Phil is more of a "creates offense guy" like AO IMO.
Like I said, he is not a “playmaker” in the classic sense, i.e. making pretty passes. But we are really talking about the same thing. “creating offense” is being a playmaker. It’s the same thing. You know which side I lean to, but you don’t give him enough credit.


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12-12-2012, 03:45 PM
  #224
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Sure they would have been better with Phil in 77 and also with most of the other 16 guys ahead of Phil in scoring as well perhaps.

We have sooooooo many indicators of Orr influencing Phil game and point totals that's almost ridiculous to suggest otherwise at this point.

What Phil would have been exactly without Orr is debatable but it almost certainly likely he would have been less the player in standing.

IMO he drops down, best case scenario into the 40-50 range of all time players and at worst case right out of the top 100.

As it is I don't really have that much of a problem with Scotty having him at 40ish or in the 15-20 range for centers.
I don't think anyone has ever denied Orr affected Esposito in a positive way. All-time greats have a way of doing this. But let's look at a guy like Coffey vs. Gretzky. It is obvious that Coffey had his point totals as high as he did because of Gretzky, and why wouldn't he? He never had 138 points again for the reason that it is almost absurd for a defenseman to get that many. So there is no doubt he benefitted from Gretzky. But is there not a flip side to it? Gretzky never had a 200 point season again without Coffey. I don't doubt there were times when he missed his old buddy jumping in late on the rush and picking up a drop pass. He lost assists because of this. How do we know? The stats show it.

Now, do we know for sure that Gretzky can't score 200 points without Coffey? No, we don't know this for sure because it didn't happen and he hit 200 so often that I wouldn't bet against him at all. But one thing we do know is that the greatest player of all-time even had a slight let down when Coffey left town. He also had another letdown when he left Edmonton and was in L.A. without Kurri, Messier, etc. Because of this do we discount the incredible music and chemistry that he created with Coffey in Edmonton? No, we don't because we saw both play and realized that each of them were still very talented and dominant.

So why is it alright for every other situation but in Esposito's case he would have suffered significantly? Sinden got rid of Esposito when he realized his play was dropping off and his value was still high. That's how he got Brad Park and Ratelle. If a GM of his own team realized he was on the decline then why does it surprise people when we realize his stats went that way too?

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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Given the before and after Orr in Chicago and NYR and possible lack of playoff scoring success as well, it's reasonable IMO.

Jean Ratelle , is he in the top 100? It's very feasible that without Orr that Phil has a career like Jean or even worse.
Again, I will mention he was on the verge of hitting his peak in Chicago but was traded. This is arguably the worst trade in hockey history for a reason. The Hawks traded him after Esposito got drunk at a year end party and mouthed off at management. Literally, that is almost certainly the reason if you read his book. Owners did stupid stuff like that back then. Look at Jack Adams who basically traded away a dynasty. In Boston he was given the chance to flourish and there are ample examples of an all-time great player that didn't really hit his stride until 25. He then is traded away at 33. The prime years of his life were in Boston, why wouldn't he look like the better player then?

And this is just utter nonsense about Esposito having a career similar - or worse - to Jean Ratelle. For starters, how many Art Ross trophies was Ratelle even able to come close to? Just one in 1972 and he was 24 points away. I've given up even trying to ask the critics on here who these magical players are that steal Esposito's Art Rosses away. There is no way even Bobby Orr's abscence forces a drop in production so sharp that Esposito loses his Art Rosses. He won 5. I have predicted he wins at least 4 of them still and some of them by big margins still. He was the best forward in the world at that time and HawkeyTown also said that according to the data in games played without Orr he still was projected to have great seasons that would have won him the Art Ross.

To his critics, I urge you to explain to me how he loses his Art Ross trophies. Seventieslord, you said on this thread (or the other one) somewhere that you could see him winning just one. Where is the evidence?

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12-12-2012, 04:26 PM
  #225
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So because they put Esposito ahead they must have seen him play?

I don’t know why I’m even getting into this argument because social proofs in this type of debate are highly dubious, but…

- You only “suspect” these people voting saw Esposito play and don’t actually know,
- The number of “serious” members in this section voting for Messier is 20, with 17 voting for Espo; the majority of the rest are people I’ve never heard of – the usual bunch of random people who see the poll on the main board, jump in, vote, and leave. And if you think I’m cherrypicking when I say this, note that I very frequently tally up the votes by “serious” members in other polls in this section.
- The argument that people who have seen Esposito play would be more likely to put him higher is also highly dubious itself, because he was a fairly boring player, while Messier was infinitely more dynamic. He was much faster, more physical, and generally a lot more visible on the ice. On the other hand, Esposito’s gaudy offensive stats are exactly what the stats-based, “never seen him” crowd that you so deride in this section are in love with and are more likely to base decisions on. None of that is proof that Messier was better, of course, but it does suggest that claiming anyone who chooses Esposito was using the “eye test” as the basis for their selection is a claim that rests on rather shaky ground.
I guess I will assume as a moderator you are privy to votes? This I didn't know, but if this is true that by your count the "serious" voters have Messier ahead 20-17 then what's wrong with that? I've said it before on this thread that if someone would put Messier ahead of Esposito all-time then it isn't a bad thing. I'm fine with it, I just pick Esposito. I mean, we are talking about two all-time greats here and the numbers are more or less even. I'm fine with the poll results. To the ones who saw Esposito, it isn't his flash and dash and style that won you over as much as his effectiveness. People alive at the time might have more knowledge and less of a question mark regarding how revered he was at the time. This is what can help you in a debate, and there is no doubt that the two best players in the NHL for a number of years were Orr and Esposito.

Quote:
This stems from a general lack of understanding about those numbers. You’re right that they don’t tell the whole story, but just because they don’t and never can tell the whole story doesn’t mean they should be thrown out. We are smart enough to know using all the other historical data at our disposal, that two superstar players who aren’t on the ice together that often relieve the pressure on eachother. So what does that mean for each of them? If they were alone on Boston, we can assume they always faced the best checkers the opposition had. What actually happened? The best checkers can’t play the combined 40 or so minutes that one or both of them was on the ice. So assumedly, they each sometimes got the best and sometimes got 2nd and 3rd-tier competition that was easier to dominate. Remove Espo and it gets harder for Orr. Remove Orr and it gets harder for Espo. None of that is rocket science.

But for your argument to hold up, we would have to believe that the “Espo relieving pressure on Orr” effect, when removed, would make a massive impact on Orr’s effectiveness, while the “Orr relieving pressure on Espo” effect, when removed, would barely change Espo’s effectiveness. There’s no reason to actually believe this. There is more than enough data showing that Orr on the ice without Espo (facing a wide range of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd tier players) greatly outperformed Espo on the ice without Orr (facing a wide range of 1st, 2nd and 3rd tier players). Not slightly, significantly. If you change the bracketed to “facing mostly top tier checkers” for both players that should not greatly change the relative difference between them, if at all.
I stand by my usual comment on this issue. Orr was the more dominant player, this is not a debate by any means to dismiss Orr. However, both players fed off each other and that helps each of them. Orr isn't an 80 point defenseman without Esposito and Esposito is still a 100+ point man without Orr. How the numbers would have fared over a full season nobody knows, but to have watched each of them they weren't the type that couldn't adjust either way. I mean in all honesty we do not know what Orr does in his career without Esposito. He has a small handful of games in Chicago and the 1976 Canada Cup with arguably the greatest team of all-time. I really don't like to speculate because I'd rather judge them on their own accomplishments.

Quote:
“what if” scenarios don’t mean a lot when talking about the Bruins of this era, because if you replay that 8-year period a million times, I’m sure they usually win 3-5 cups, not just 2. They greatly underachieved.

To put it simply, with both Espo and Orr, they “should have” won probably 4 cups. With just Orr, they “should have” won 3-4. With just Espo, probably none. (and before you jump on me for that, remember, that stems from the fact that without Orr, this was a 1.1 GF:GA ratio team on average over that time) – but as history showed us, the actual results could be 1-2 cups above or below the “should have”, and what actually happened is just one of those million imaginary replays.

So in other words you could be absolutely right. 0 cups is probably the expectation without Orr, but it’s feasible they could overachieve and win 1-2, just like they improbably underachieved and won 2 with Orr, when they should have won 4.
I look at it this way. They won in 1970 and 1972. Here are their top scorers:

1970 - Esposito 27, Orr 20, Bucyk 19, McKenzie 17, Stanfield 16
1972 - Esposito 24, Orr 24, Bucyk 20, Hodge 17, McKenzie 17

Regardless of which superstar you want to take out you've got to make up a lot of points. In 1972 I don't think with one of them out of the lineup that the Bruins win. The Rangers were right at their peak in 1973 and it was a 6 game final as it was with both of them. We also saw how they did against the Rangers in 1973 without Esposito - not good. In 1970 they had a little bit of an easier run. They beat St. Louis regardless but how do they fare against Chicago? Esposito scored 13 goals in 1970. That's a lot of production to make up for. I don't know what happens to be honest, because you are trying to predict how the Bruins do by removing a dominant player who has a Smythe worthy run.

Without Orr the Bruins have a big hole on defense. Can their offensive core of Esposito, Bucyk, Hodge, McKenzie, Cashman, Stanfield win them a Cup? Probably along the way the Bruins win regardless. Without Esposito you've got Orr but then a big gaping hole at center. Maybe Bucyk is your best forward. Do you win with this offensive core and Orr? Probably, maybe not twice either. Both teams would have Cheevers too remember. But we also don't know how they fare in other years. Are they hungrier in 1971 and, say, 1974? Do they win then? Who knows? All I know is that it is significantly harder without either one of those two guns.

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