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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
12-17-2012, 05:39 PM
  #251
BobbyAwe
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I hate to admit it, but Messier . Espo was better around the net, his forte, and stick-handling they are probably equal or maybe a slight edge for Phil. But Messier has a huge edge in skating, hitting, and a slapshot which as far as i remember Esposito didn't even have in his arsenal?

Half-court you can make a case for Esposito, but end to end Messier is the greater player. Sorry, Phil

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12-18-2012, 10:39 PM
  #252
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Originally Posted by BobbyAwe View Post
I hate to admit it, but Messier . Espo was better around the net, his forte, and stick-handling they are probably equal or maybe a slight edge for Phil. But Messier has a huge edge in skating, hitting, and a slapshot which as far as i remember Esposito didn't even have in his arsenal?

Half-court you can make a case for Esposito, but end to end Messier is the greater player. Sorry, Phil
Neither did Messier, he always used his wrister. This poll has turned out to be really close, the votes are tied at 51.

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12-19-2012, 01:22 AM
  #253
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Neither did Messier, he always used his wrister.
While I'm sure both Messier and Esposito, being arguably Top-20 players, are capable of a variety of shots, I find that Messier had a fairly good backhanded shot as well. Or at least he did after the Miracle on Manchester.

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12-28-2012, 12:18 AM
  #254
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Originally Posted by BobbyAwe View Post
I hate to admit it, but Messier . Espo was better around the net, his forte, and stick-handling they are probably equal or maybe a slight edge for Phil. But Messier has a huge edge in skating, hitting, and a slapshot which as far as i remember Esposito didn't even have in his arsenal?

Half-court you can make a case for Esposito, but end to end Messier is the greater player. Sorry, Phil
That's fine, I can live with someone putting Mess ahead of Espo. My beef is the posters who claim to have otherworldly powers to describe the player Esposito would have been had he not played with Orr (which I guess people might just forget a famous player Messier played with as well)

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12-28-2012, 11:52 AM
  #255
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
My beef is the posters who claim to have otherworldly powers to describe the player Esposito would have been had he not played with Orr
Oh come on, Phil, don't be so hard on yourself, it's Christmas season!

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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Take away Orr and Hull and the best player in the NHL is Esposito for sure by a noticeable degree.
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
who else is near the player that Esposito is in 1972 other than those two?

take Orr out of the NHL. I still think Esposito wins 5 Art Rosses and as strange as it may sound, he may even win a couple by even bigger degrees (1971, 1974) without Orr.
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
mean, really, we are supposed to drop the notion that the guy couldn't muster 50 goals regularly without Orr? Or even crack 60 a time or two? He's still an elite goal scorer without Orr because he played the slot better than any player in NHL history.
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
he wins as clear as day in 1971, 1973 and 1974 at the bare minimum. No way does Esposito surrender 56 points without Orr in 1971 and 58 in 1974. Just not possible.

Esposito clearly would have won at least 3 Art Ross trophies and if by any chance he loses the other two, he is still 2nd.
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...just how Esposito did without Orr in Boston and there is still no shadow of a doubt that he's the best goal scorer in the NHL by a noticeable degree.

So in that sense there is lots of evidence that suggests that Esposito was just as offensive as Lafleur.
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my chart shows that he still has some significant scoring finishes ahead of what would be the second place finisher.

I fail to see where Esposito would have lagged behind to become just a regular "top 10" guy rather than a guy constantly threatening the scoring race and still winning it enough times. There wasn't a dominant forward in the NHL like him at that time with or without Orr.
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You can rack up a ton of all-time greats and they wouldn't have been able to compete with Esposito at that time statistically.

Esposito was so far ahead of his competition that he still wins most (maybe all) of his Art Rosses without Orr. No one else was close.
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None of that at all has to do with Orr so in reality Esposito was doing this on his own.

How does he do in Boston without Orr? There is no doubt he is still the best forward in the game. I still don't see any evidence that he for sure loses even one of his Art Rosses.
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the actual truth and that is that Esposito did not need any charity and was THE elite scorer in the NHL with or without Orr.
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There isn't a difference at all, what, maybe 5 points less had he not had Orr?
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1969 he is projected to have a 115 point year had Orr never played.

He did enough on his own. The guy is still a serial Art Ross winner - still by big margins - without Orr.
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We have enough sample sizes in certain seasons to see that he really could carry a team on his own. Averaging (what is it 106 points?) a season from 1967-'1976 in games without Orr is still the best player in the world
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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.

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
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Impossible for him to lose in 1971 and 1974 as well. Way too far of a gap with the next best players. He wins those Art Rosses and he wins them significantly - again - without Orr.

It's hard to imagine Esposito taking that big of a drop.

He was still the prominent forward in the NHL without Orr
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why is it hard for you to see a much superior player like Esposito be a 60 goal man even without Orr? He had 42 when he was 36 years old.

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Old
12-28-2012, 03:51 PM
  #256
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That must have taken some time ^^^


I am assuming there will be an explanation as to the meaning of pasting my posts there within the context of this debate

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12-28-2012, 04:25 PM
  #257
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That must have taken some time ^^^


I am assuming there will be an explanation as to the meaning of pasting my posts there within the context of this debate
Yes. Basically that your beef is with yourself.

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12-28-2012, 05:24 PM
  #258
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Yes. Basically that your beef is with yourself.
Well, the difference is those are more or less the things that Esposito actually did on the context of an NHL ice surface year in and year out. The stats, the eyewitness accounts, the voters, etc. show that he was the best forward from an individual point by a decent margin. Orr just elevated that even more, and he should, right?

If you read Esposito's book he talks about being ticked off getting hurt during the 1973 playoffs. He went into 1973-'74 on a mission. Overall this was a season where he scored more goals and and points than any other year other than 1971. The Bruins were 1st overall. The top 4 scorers in the NHL (like 1971) were Bruins. He outpointed Orr by 23 points. He had 68 goals and had 50 even strength goals. It is easy to see that Orr couldn't have been on the ice for all of those goals. Maybe half? That being said this is a token year that should eliminate any Esposito critics that he couldn't do it himself. Check out the Hart voting:

Esposito - 149 votes
Parent - 114
Orr - 73

We are talking about a set of voters who had just witnessed this particular season. Esposito wasn't more popular with the press than Orr, he would have been just as recycled with award wins in recent years as Orr which eliminates any jaded feeling the voters would have had with Orr, therefore favouring Esposito. So is it just possible that Esposito was just that good on his own that the voters felt he was the most valuable player that year? In my opinion, it is, and I can't see why not.

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12-28-2012, 05:37 PM
  #259
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Well, the difference is those are more or less the things that Esposito actually did on the context of an NHL ice surface year in and year out. The stats, the eyewitness accounts, the voters, etc. show that he was the best forward from an individual point by a decent margin. Orr just elevated that even more, and he should, right?

If you read Esposito's book he talks about being ticked off getting hurt during the 1973 playoffs. He went into 1973-'74 on a mission. Overall this was a season where he scored more goals and and points than any other year other than 1971. The Bruins were 1st overall. The top 4 scorers in the NHL (like 1971) were Bruins. He outpointed Orr by 23 points. He had 68 goals and had 50 even strength goals. It is easy to see that Orr couldn't have been on the ice for all of those goals. Maybe half? That being said this is a token year that should eliminate any Esposito critics that he couldn't do it himself. Check out the Hart voting:

Esposito - 149 votes
Parent - 114
Orr - 73

We are talking about a set of voters who had just witnessed this particular season. Esposito wasn't more popular with the press than Orr, he would have been just as recycled with award wins in recent years as Orr which eliminates any jaded feeling the voters would have had with Orr, therefore favouring Esposito. So is it just possible that Esposito was just that good on his own that the voters felt he was the most valuable player that year? In my opinion, it is, and I can't see why not.
speaking of recycling.....

I told you I was done with that subject matter. You refuse to accept some very fundamental points that make further meaningful discussion impossible. I already conceded this one to the hockey authority.

My only point now is, you claim to have a "beef" with people who "claim to have otherworldly powers to describe the player Esposito would have been had he not played with Orr" but as I've shown you, that describes you perfectly, so... bark up another tree, please.

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12-28-2012, 06:24 PM
  #260
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speaking of recycling.....

I told you I was done with that subject matter. You refuse to accept some very fundamental points that make further meaningful discussion impossible. I already conceded this one to the hockey authority.

My only point now is, you claim to have a "beef" with people who "claim to have otherworldly powers to describe the player Esposito would have been had he not played with Orr" but as I've shown you, that describes you perfectly, so... bark up another tree, please.
If you are done with the subject matter then that's fine, I don't blame you, there haven't been the strongest of arguments against Esposito in my opinion that can't be debunked, the guy was an all-time great. If this thread continues I am sure I will wander over again.

And relax, it's a hockey board. We aren't discussing how to acheive world peace here. It's a game. I think you are taking that "beef" comment a little too seriously here. I have no enemies on the board.

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12-29-2012, 03:37 AM
  #261
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Esposito was an integral part of The Big Bad Bruins and a deserving HOF'er. However, he does not score 50+ goals without Bobby Orr on his team. Orr often made most of the team goals possible - but they do not give out more than two assists on any particular goal.

Q: How many Bruins had their best years only when encapsulated during Orr's time with the team ?

A: All of them.

Espo was a great player - especially in Russia during the Summit Series, but Messier was the better all-around player.

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12-29-2012, 11:54 PM
  #262
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Originally Posted by Redscotter View Post
Esposito was an integral part of The Big Bad Bruins and a deserving HOF'er. However, he does not score 50+ goals without Bobby Orr on his team. Orr often made most of the team goals possible - but they do not give out more than two assists on any particular goal.

Q: How many Bruins had their best years only when encapsulated during Orr's time with the team ?

A: All of them.

Espo was a great player - especially in Russia during the Summit Series, but Messier was the better all-around player.
To be fair, Redscotter, the trial out there isn't about the impact Orr had on teams because we know this, but if push comes to shove there wasn't a single Bruin, including Orr or Esposito, who had their best years outside of the Bruins' heyday. Let's check. Bucyk? No. Hodge? No. Espo? No. Orr? No. Cashman? No. So I'll agree with you fully that Orr would make things better as he should. My issue is that Esposito gets shortchanged and forgotten just how much of an impact he had as well. In your post you mention the Summit Series. There is also the morale being sunk on the whole team when he went down in the 1973 postseason which is a stark contrast from all the other times Esposito was playing in the playoffs.

I find it weird you don't think Esposito scores 50 goals without Orr. Evidence shows he would have. He scored 38 goals in 1977-'78 as a 35 year old on a mediocre Rangers team and then scored 42 goals the next year as a 36 year old. A prime Esposito couldn't muster 8 more goals regularly year after year without Orr? We'll have to disagree there.

Plus he topped out at 76 goals. 50 were even strength, 25 on the PP and 1 shorthanded. If he can't hit 50 goals without Orr then we are talking about 27 goals that he gets stripped from him out of thin air. I get the feeling that if Tim Kerr can score 54-58 goals 4 years in a row then Esposito should as well, no? Maybe there is someone who remembers Tim Kerr as the player with the better offensive package, but I don't.

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12-31-2012, 01:11 PM
  #263
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Originally Posted by Redscotter View Post
Q: How many Bruins had their best years only when encapsulated during Orr's time with the team ?

A: All of them.
How many of the Bruins had their best seasons when Esposito was on the team?

Now compare that number with the following five:

How many of the Oilers had their best year with Messier on the team?

Anderson?

Coffey?

Kurri?

Gretzky?

Uh oh... was Glenn Anderson better than Wayne Gretzky?

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12-31-2012, 01:23 PM
  #264
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
To be fair, Redscotter, the trial out there isn't about the impact Orr had on teams because we know this, but if push comes to shove there wasn't a single Bruin, including Orr or Esposito, who had their best years outside of the Bruins' heyday. Let's check. Bucyk? No. Hodge? No. Espo? No. Orr? No. Cashman? No. So I'll agree with you fully that Orr would make things better as he should. My issue is that Esposito gets shortchanged and forgotten just how much of an impact he had as well. In your post you mention the Summit Series. There is also the morale being sunk on the whole team when he went down in the 1973 postseason which is a stark contrast from all the other times Esposito was playing in the playoffs.

I find it weird you don't think Esposito scores 50 goals without Orr. Evidence shows he would have. He scored 38 goals in 1977-'78 as a 35 year old on a mediocre Rangers team and then scored 42 goals the next year as a 36 year old. A prime Esposito couldn't muster 8 more goals regularly year after year without Orr? We'll have to disagree there.

Plus he topped out at 76 goals. 50 were even strength, 25 on the PP and 1 shorthanded. If he can't hit 50 goals without Orr then we are talking about 27 goals that he gets stripped from him out of thin air. I get the feeling that if Tim Kerr can score 54-58 goals 4 years in a row then Esposito should as well, no? Maybe there is someone who remembers Tim Kerr as the player with the better offensive package, but I don't.
Well, with regards to Kerr, we're talking about taking two similar style players in similar situations with regards to defensemen. Boston had the better player both up front and on defense, and I think Espo does clear 50 without Orr (Kerr, IMHO, might not even hit 40 without Howe) but that's a separate thread. With regards to his Rangers years, Espo did have Brad Park. The "he wouldn't hit 50" is in the alternate universe where Orr simply ceased to exist and was replaced by someone who, I assume for the sake for the sake of this argument, had little to no offensive presence. Realistically, even if that's the type of player filling that roster spot, there would have been more offense from the other defensemen because that individual defenseman wouldn't have played Orr's minutes at ES or PP, which means someone else would have.

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12-31-2012, 02:29 PM
  #265
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Originally Posted by eva unit zero View Post
How many of the Bruins had their best seasons when Esposito was on the team?

Now compare that number with the following five:

How many of the Oilers had their best year with Messier on the team?

Anderson?

Coffey?

Kurri?

Gretzky?

Uh oh... was Glenn Anderson better than Wayne Gretzky?

Trottier, Bossy, Potvin had their best seasons with Ken Morrow on the team too.

Cause & Effect.

The argument of which player in hockey history has elevated the play of teammates more probably results in:

Gretzky, Orr, Lemieux (order to be debated in another thread, likely during the lockout)

While Mess is a tremendous player and somewhere in the top 20 on that list, I don't think he compares to Orr.

Unfair to take away Espo's accomplishments because he played with Orr just like it's unfair to take Messier's away because he played with Gretzky.

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12-31-2012, 04:30 PM
  #266
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Well, with regards to Kerr, we're talking about taking two similar style players in similar situations with regards to defensemen. Boston had the better player both up front and on defense, and I think Espo does clear 50 without Orr (Kerr, IMHO, might not even hit 40 without Howe) but that's a separate thread. With regards to his Rangers years, Espo did have Brad Park. The "he wouldn't hit 50" is in the alternate universe where Orr simply ceased to exist and was replaced by someone who, I assume for the sake for the sake of this argument, had little to no offensive presence. Realistically, even if that's the type of player filling that roster spot, there would have been more offense from the other defensemen because that individual defenseman wouldn't have played Orr's minutes at ES or PP, which means someone else would have.
Nope. Park went to Boston in the Espo trade.

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12-31-2012, 05:40 PM
  #267
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Well, with regards to Kerr, we're talking about taking two similar style players in similar situations with regards to defensemen. Boston had the better player both up front and on defense, and I think Espo does clear 50 without Orr (Kerr, IMHO, might not even hit 40 without Howe) but that's a separate thread. With regards to his Rangers years, Espo did have Brad Park. The "he wouldn't hit 50" is in the alternate universe where Orr simply ceased to exist and was replaced by someone who, I assume for the sake for the sake of this argument, had little to no offensive presence. Realistically, even if that's the type of player filling that roster spot, there would have been more offense from the other defensemen because that individual defenseman wouldn't have played Orr's minutes at ES or PP, which means someone else would have.
Which is why I am not a huge fan with alternate universes. You see them for what they did on the ice. We can agree that Esposito benefitted from Orr, but it is easy to see just why he dominated and just how great of an individual player he was on his own. People thought that at the time covering the game, and I believe people still should today.

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12-31-2012, 11:29 PM
  #268
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Well, the difference is those are more or less the things that Esposito actually did on the context of an NHL ice surface year in and year out. The stats, the eyewitness accounts, the voters, etc. show that he was the best forward from an individual point by a decent margin. Orr just elevated that even more, and he should, right?

If you read Esposito's book he talks about being ticked off getting hurt during the 1973 playoffs. He went into 1973-'74 on a mission. Overall this was a season where he scored more goals and and points than any other year other than 1971. The Bruins were 1st overall. The top 4 scorers in the NHL (like 1971) were Bruins. He outpointed Orr by 23 points. He had 68 goals and had 50 even strength goals. It is easy to see that Orr couldn't have been on the ice for all of those goals. Maybe half? That being said this is a token year that should eliminate any Esposito critics that he couldn't do it himself. Check out the Hart voting:

Esposito - 149 votes
Parent - 114
Orr - 73

We are talking about a set of voters who had just witnessed this particular season. Esposito wasn't more popular with the press than Orr, he would have been just as recycled with award wins in recent years as Orr which eliminates any jaded feeling the voters would have had with Orr, therefore favouring Esposito. So is it just possible that Esposito was just that good on his own that the voters felt he was the most valuable player that year? In my opinion, it is, and I can't see why not.
I wouldn't go using Hart results for your argument Phil, in 74-75 they voted this way.

Bobby Clarke 127
Rogie Vachon 113
Bobby Orr 73
Bernie Parent 54
Guy Lafleur 43
Gary Smith 20
Denis Potvin 16
Marcel Dionne 12
Rick Dudley 5
Bob Nevin 5

and Phil also makes the 2nd all-star team go figure eh?

Speaking of hart voting in the early 70's does anyone really think that Bobby Orr wasn't the best player in the league in every season where he played a full season or close to it?

Either Orr was the best player in the NHL for that incredible 6 year stretch or he wasn't.

Bobby Clarke getting 3 Hart trophies in the same time frame is like double counting to me.

For people that argue that #4 is the best of all time the Hart voting hurts his case and it's a double standard if those same people hold Bobby Clarke as a top 15 player IMO.

Only 1 guy can carry that kind of torch is such a watered down NHL in that time period IMO.

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01-02-2013, 12:07 AM
  #269
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Speaking of hart voting in the early 70's does anyone really think that Bobby Orr wasn't the best player in the league in every season where he played a full season or close to it?

Either Orr was the best player in the NHL for that incredible 6 year stretch or he wasn't.

Bobby Clarke getting 3 Hart trophies in the same time frame is like double counting to me.

For people that argue that #4 is the best of all time the Hart voting hurts his case and it's a double standard if those same people hold Bobby Clarke as a top 15 player IMO.

Only 1 guy can carry that kind of torch is such a watered down NHL in that time period IMO.
The Hart Trophy is and was then a Best Forward trophy firstly. Just that Orr managed to win some is what is the real achievement here. But of course Messiers wins is also impressive since Lemieux and Gretzky was more or less healthy in those seasons, or in Lemieux case, less. But still!

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01-02-2013, 02:01 AM
  #270
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Nope. Park went to Boston in the Espo trade.
Phil always tries to make out had bad thsoe ranger teams are as well, while the truth of the matter is that the top line and PP unit was usually pretty decent.

And while the NYR didn't have Park they always had a decent to quite good PP Dman as well.

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01-02-2013, 02:06 AM
  #271
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The Hart Trophy is and was then a Best Forward trophy firstly. Just that Orr managed to win some is what is the real achievement here. But of course Messiers wins is also impressive since Lemieux and Gretzky was more or less healthy in those seasons, or in Lemieux case, less. But still!
what you say is true but frankly it's a bit of a joke when Orr smashes the all time most goals for a Dman record and scores 46 goals and leads the entire NHL in scoring when Clarke wins the Hart.

I love bobby Clarke as he was my favorite player growing up but how is Bobby not the Hart winner that year?

Seriously?

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01-02-2013, 03:54 AM
  #272
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Phil always tries to make out had bad thsoe ranger teams are as well, while the truth of the matter is that the top line and PP unit was usually pretty decent.

And while the NYR didn't have Park they always had a decent to quite good PP Dman as well.
They steadily improved from below avg. to mediocre to above avg. while Espo was there. The '79 & '80 teams were actually good.

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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
what you say is true but frankly it's a bit of a joke when Orr smashes the all time most goals for a Dman record and scores 46 goals and leads the entire NHL in scoring when Clarke wins the Hart.

I love bobby Clarke as he was my favorite player growing up but how is Bobby not the Hart winner that year?

Seriously?
I'd probably give it to Orr in '73 & '75 and Clarke in '76.

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01-02-2013, 01:29 PM
  #273
Darth Yoda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
what you say is true but frankly it's a bit of a joke when Orr smashes the all time most goals for a Dman record and scores 46 goals and leads the entire NHL in scoring when Clarke wins the Hart.

I love bobby Clarke as he was my favorite player growing up but how is Bobby not the Hart winner that year?

Seriously?
Yeah, it's strange when a defenseman scores 20 more points then a center like Clarke and the latter get the Hart. However, i have seen on this board un-official awards for not the least defensive intangibles and Clarke had many of them, many times. I have a hard time realising why Clarke is ranked around 20th of all time or whatever becouse of his offense, but maybe he just was that good in other things and they deemed him more valuable to his team. Orr did get the Pearson which is for the Best Player.


Last edited by Darth Yoda: 01-02-2013 at 01:35 PM.
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01-02-2013, 01:41 PM
  #274
thom
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Darth I kinda agree with you but one thing people need to understand is how players were used decades ago.Richard Beliveau and lafleur did not play in sh situations though lafleur played a little.It was not because they coould not its because they had other players who could.It changed in the early 80's where players like gretzy and Mario would play sh because the game became so offensive.If a game that Bowman was coaching the canadiens and the game was 7 to5 Scotty would have a heart attack.Scotty threatened to ban Shutt for a game because of his poor play in a game.

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01-02-2013, 01:55 PM
  #275
Hardyvan123
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
They steadily improved from below avg. to mediocre to above avg. while Espo was there. The '79 & '80 teams were actually good.



I'd probably give it to Orr in '73 & '75 and Clarke in '76.
Okay 76 I can see as Orr was out with an injury and his 2way play makes up the difference in points with guy but that would make 1.

and my main point about the Rangers was that they always ahd a decent PP and line mates for Phil to play with, their biggest problems were on the back end and in net, something which didn't affect Phil's scoring.

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