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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
01-02-2013, 01:27 PM
  #276
Dark Shadows
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
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.
Strongly disagree. Stylistically, the players did not mesh well with Espo and he had begun losing a step with age. Once Hodge came over, it blended better with Espo's style, but Hodge had really begun to lose his step. the rest of the team did not seem to understand just how to feed Phil in front of the net anywhere near the amount Hodge/Cashman in their primes did. Hodge/Cashman IMO, always had more of an impact on Espo's numbers than Orr.

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01-02-2013, 09:47 PM
  #277
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Strongly disagree. Stylistically, the players did not mesh well with Espo and he had begun losing a step with age. Once Hodge came over, it blended better with Espo's style, but Hodge had really begun to lose his step. the rest of the team did not seem to understand just how to feed Phil in front of the net anywhere near the amount Hodge/Cashman in their primes did. Hodge/Cashman IMO, always had more of an impact on Espo's numbers than Orr.
With all due respect, I doubt there are numbers that could demonstrate this. Considering how far they lagged behind him offensively it's much more probable that Orr (and also Espo) got them a lot more points than they got him.

That said, I do appreciate the value of having two elite cornermen on the same line as player such as Espo. (by reputation, at least, it appears they were the two best of their time and Cashman probably one of the two best ever).

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01-02-2013, 11:01 PM
  #278
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
With all due respect, I doubt there are numbers that could demonstrate this. Considering how far they lagged behind him offensively it's much more probable that Orr (and also Espo) got them a lot more points than they got him.

That said, I do appreciate the value of having two elite cornermen on the same line as player such as Espo. (by reputation, at least, it appears they were the two best of their time and Cashman probably one of the two best ever).
Don't know what the numbers will say. What I do know is watching those two grinding the pucks out of the corner right to Espo and his amazing hands and strength in close were something special to watch as a trio, and that it just was not happening on the Rags.

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01-02-2013, 11:14 PM
  #279
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
Don't know what the numbers will say. What I do know is watching those two grinding the pucks out of the corner right to Espo and his amazing hands and strength in close were something special to watch as a trio, and that it just was not happening on the Rags.
While I agree with you that Phil had better cornermen in Boston here is how he did in PPG after leaving

76 1st with 19 3-12 with Boston, 16-62 with NYR)
77 2nd with 15
78 2nd with 21
79 tied for 7th with 14
80 10th had 15 PPG, Phil 13

We ahve to remember that while Phil had years that he led the NHL in Boston like

in 75 (27) and 72 (28)

He also had years like

73 2nd with 19
74 4th with 14

IMO the Ranger affect is getting overblown, certainly in relation to the Orr affect.

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01-03-2013, 12:34 AM
  #280
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Phil Esposito was a terrific hockey player and deserving of elevation to the HOF - no questions on that.

The Bruins were built around Orr however, and I would argue that the 1990 (post 1988 really) Oilers were largely built around Messier. Esposito was a huge part of the puzzle that led to two Cup Wins in Boston, but it doesn't happen without #4.

I still think Orr's overall play results in 20-25 extra goals per season for #7 in Boston - regardless of who get the assists. I think without Orr and in his prime, Espo is a consistent 40-50 goal guy - if he has Cashman and Hodge digging the puck out. However, if you remember these years, you will recall Orr keeping the puck in the offensive zone and making things happen more often than not.

Phil did not play well in the 1974 Stanley Cup Finals in my opinion. He lost a ton of faceoffs and was a non-factor in most of the games against the Flyers.

How Bobby Orr did not win the Hart Trophy from '69-70 through '74-75 is beyond me. Had the voters voted like the did in the 1980's he would have. It was so obvious who the best player was in the league ...

That's not to say that Bobby Clarke, Phil Esposito and Bernie Parent were not valuable to their teams in this period, for they surely were, but Orr was so far ahead of everybody that is was just stupid that he did not win 5 Harts in a row ....

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01-05-2013, 12:20 AM
  #281
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
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?
I think by 1974-'75 it is obvious to see that Esposito showed the first crack in the armour. He was declining starting at that time. He still had 61 goals and 127 points but he was dropping (by his standards) in even strength play and his power play goals were coming closer to his even strength goals. He had 30 ES goals in 1975 combined with 27 PP and 4 SH. Compare that to even 1974 (50 ES, 14 PP, 4 SH) and even other big years and you can see this was the beginning of the inevitable. And this was still on a team where Orr had his best statistical season ever (46 goals) and won the Art Ross. So it is obvious Orr was getting those Hart votes over Esposito because the voters saw what the stats prove, Esposito was starting to slow down even then.

I too would have picked Orr for the Hart but I understand why he didn't win it too. Clarke had just won a Cup, led the Flyers to a 1st overall finish and was the premier defensive forward in the NHL. Vachon finishes second and that Kings team was as bare as any 105 point team in NHL history. This was Vachon's team. The Bruins finished with only 94 points and were miles away from winning their division. This would have helped the voting process. There were also some rising stars developing at this time and Parent was also in the mix as well. Lots of talent to choose from that year.

But Esposito still wins the 2nd team all-star because his stats were still too hard to ignore. The Hart is a different story, but it isn't as if hadn't been a perennial Hart contender for the better part of a decade by then.

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01-05-2013, 12:29 PM
  #282
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
While I agree with you that Phil had better cornermen in Boston here is how he did in PPG after leaving

76 1st with 19 3-12 with Boston, 16-62 with NYR)
77 2nd with 15
78 2nd with 21
79 tied for 7th with 14
80 10th had 15 PPG, Phil 13

We ahve to remember that while Phil had years that he led the NHL in Boston like

in 75 (27) and 72 (28)

He also had years like

73 2nd with 19
74 4th with 14

IMO the Ranger affect is getting overblown, certainly in relation to the Orr affect.
And I disagree. Esposito had a very specific skillset. The right strategy had to be employed to maximize his scoring. That just was not happening in NY.

There was no Bobby Orr when Espo was showing the world how good he was at the summit series. the russian defensemen all stated "Esposito" was Canada's most dangerous player by far and that they had the hardest time stopping him.

Edit: For the record, I voted Messier in the poll. I am just tired of seeing Esposito downplayed as if Orr was the only reason he ever achieved what he did when in fact, if you are going to credit anyone, it should be Hodge and Cashman


Last edited by Dark Shadows: 01-05-2013 at 01:49 PM.
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01-05-2013, 02:09 PM
  #283
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Originally Posted by Dark Shadows View Post
And I disagree. Esposito had a very specific skillset. The right strategy had to be employed to maximize his scoring. That just was not happening in NY.

There was no Bobby Orr when Espo was showing the world how good he was at the summit series. the russian defensemen all stated "Esposito" was Canada's most dangerous player by far and that they had the hardest time stopping him.

Edit: For the record, I voted Messier in the poll. I am just tired of seeing Esposito downplayed as if Orr was the only reason he ever achieved what he did when in fact, if you are going to credit anyone, it should be Hodge and Cashman
Like I stated before the Russians hadn't played with hitting before, and Espo's size gave them fits to be sure but let's not overstate things here either.

Canada's forwards in that series were pretty horrible overall and the Russians had no respect for Clarke who was a better two way player.

Not like the respect they would have for Gainey just several years alter calling him the best player in the world or something to that affect.

Back to Espo, it's been pretty much exhausted with the evidence that strongly suggests that much of Esposito's success was a product of Orr and the Bruins, if people don't want to see all of that evidence, especially the Chicago playoff experience then that's their prerogative.

If nothing else the success of Phil in Boston really helps solidify how great Orr was during his too short NHL career.

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01-05-2013, 02:49 PM
  #284
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Like I stated before the Russians hadn't played with hitting before, and Espo's size gave them fits to be sure but let's not overstate things here either.
That's not overstating. It is just plain they asked the Russian defensemen, and were met with the response "Esposito"

I can only find Captain Viktor Kuzkin's quote at the moment. "Why? First of all because he was very big and very good on his skates. When he entered the goal scoring area, he was very difficult to counter. he was incredible whenever he got near the goal. When there was a faceoff near our goal, esposito was a big danger. he scored a lot of goals against us like that. that was our problem zone. he really was the most dangerous player, throughout the series."

Mikhailov, who hates Esposito(And vice versa) made similar comments, as did a few more Russian defensemen.

Quote:
Canada's forwards in that series were pretty horrible overall and the Russians had no respect for Clarke who was a better two way player.
Not like the respect they would have for Gainey just several years alter calling him the best player in the world or something to that affect.
Good lord....Clarke was not at that level yet and would not have gotten MVP votes even had he played clean.
However "horrible" you thinjk the canadian forwards were, Esposito outplayed the Russian forwards too.


Quote:
Back to Espo, it's been pretty much exhausted with the evidence that strongly suggests that much of Esposito's success was a product of Orr and the Bruins, if people don't want to see all of that evidence, especially the Chicago playoff experience then that's their prerogative.

If nothing else the success of Phil in Boston really helps solidify how great Orr was during his too short NHL career.
I see a lot of people who never saw him play throwing numbers around, or the lack of utilization of his skills with the rags9And Chicago fo that matter) being vaunted as evidence that Orr made Esposito. News flash. As strange as I find some lists and contributors to the hockey news top 100 and top 60 since 67, people who saw him play all ranked Esposito very very high.

If you want to make the case he hit certain high's with the aid of Orr, ill agree. If you want to say he would not have been leading the league in scoring still by some nice Margins, ill laugh.



Reposting this.
In 67-68, Orr missed 6 games with a broken collarbone suffered Dec 9th vs Toronto, and then missed 4 games after the all star Game with a shoulder injury, and then 17 games from a Knee injury against Detroit Feb 10th

The Bruins were 24 wins, 13 losses and 9 ties with Orr. 13 wins, 14 losses and 1 tie without him.

Was Strange to see the Seals beating the Bruins multiple times while Orr was out.

For the record, Esposito scored 9 goals and 25 assists in the 28 games Orr was out. He was scoring more when Orr was out, but the team was losing more as well.(On pace for 90 points as opposed to 84)

In 1968-69, before the Bruins had fully ironed out their firewagon style that would become their staple in the next few years, Orr re-injured his knee on Jan 30th against the Kings, finished the game and then sat out 9 straight games.

Ill just take a quick look at Hockey Summary Project's data for those 9 games.

During those 9 games he sat out, Esposito scored 5 goals and 10 assists, for 15 points for 1.66ppg. Over a 76 game season, that is on pace for 126.6 points. Which is exactly what he scored that season(126 points).
Hodge had begun playing with Espo and beginning their chemistry this season. They mixed Hodge up a bit the next season, and Cashman was still developing. The first season they put those 3 together was 71 and we know how that worked for Espo.

Hodge and Cashman generally were more integral to, and factored into more goals with Esposito's style. Granted Orr's transition game was a large part of that teams success.
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
Wayne Cashman is extremely under-appreciated. Remember that Cashman was one of the rare left wingers that shot right. This created problems for the defense especially on corner coverage and the different angles it created to Esposito in the slot and the two points. This trait also allowed Cashman to work both corners equally well.

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01-05-2013, 07:24 PM
  #285
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Like I stated before the Russians hadn't played with hitting before, and Espo's size gave them fits to be sure but let's not overstate things here either.

Canada's forwards in that series were pretty horrible overall and the Russians had no respect for Clarke who was a better two way player.

Not like the respect they would have for Gainey just several years alter calling him the best player in the world or something to that affect.

Back to Espo, it's been pretty much exhausted with the evidence that strongly suggests that much of Esposito's success was a product of Orr and the Bruins, if people don't want to see all of that evidence, especially the Chicago playoff experience then that's their prerogative.

If nothing else the success of Phil in Boston really helps solidify how great Orr was during his too short NHL career.
Okay we have to make up our minds on the History board here. Either Esposito's performance in the 1972 Series is worthless or it actually counts for something. If it's worthless then every other Canada Cup/Olympic performance may as well be too. I'm talking about you Mario, in 1987. Of course, it isn't and wasn't and it is one of many things that proves Esposito was an all-time great on his own.

Some of the Canadian forwards did underacheive I'll agree. I think that makes Esposito's performance even more chilling. That being said you have the likes of Ratelle, Gilbert, Cournoyer, Clarke, Mahovlich. All HHOFers, all significantly outplayed by Phil Esposito soundly. Henderson was the only Canadian forward even close.

I agree with Dark Shadows that Hodge and Cashman seemed to complement Esposito even better. It isn't that Orr didn't help, but Esposito still scored a ton of even strength goals. Those goals had to have been coming from somewhere and it certainly couldn't have been Orr all the time. That being said, Esposito still significantly out produced his two linemates. I don't know where this evidence is all of the sudden.

Esposito was a product of Orr and the Bruins? No, Esposito and Orr WERE the lion's share of the Bruins.

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01-07-2013, 01:22 PM
  #286
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Okay we have to make up our minds on the History board here. Either Esposito's performance in the 1972 Series is worthless or it actually counts for something.
It's like two excellent playoff series.

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01-08-2013, 10:07 PM
  #287
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It's like two excellent playoff series.
Yes, but those two excellent playoff series are both Stanley Cup finals with extremely high stakes. This isn't a first round playoff berth against the Maple Leafs or anything like that. Every game was critical.

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