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Messier vs. Esposito

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

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Old
11-28-2012, 01:01 PM
  #126
RabbinsDuck
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I like the methods for adjusting points several members on this site have figured better, but just making a quick grab from h-r.....

Esposito:
141, 138, 133, 125, 121, 110, 101, 92, 73...

Messier:
108, 95, 95, 93, 91, 91, 87, 85, 80...

That is a staggering difference in offensive production. No doubt Esposito was helped by Orr, but it's not as if Messier wasn't playing with all-time great offensive players either. That is too large of a gap for a forward to make up with all-around play.


Last edited by RabbinsDuck: 11-28-2012 at 01:07 PM.
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Old
11-28-2012, 01:18 PM
  #127
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Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post
Outside of another thread here on hf a few days ago I can't find any info about it online. Is there any other info listed that might help track it down?...a website, publishing info, etc.
I'm hoping one will pop up on ebay. It seems like too good of a source not to have during the upcoming lists.

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11-28-2012, 01:44 PM
  #128
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
I like the methods for adjusting points several members on this site have figured better, but just making a quick grab from h-r.....

Esposito:
141, 138, 133, 125, 121, 110, 101, 92, 73...

Messier:
108, 95, 95, 93, 91, 91, 87, 85, 80...

That is a staggering difference in offensive production. No doubt Esposito was helped by Orr, but it's not as if Messier wasn't playing with all-time great offensive players either. That is too large of a gap for a forward to make up with all-around play.
While I agree Esposito is the better player, I do believe adjusted stats tend to overrate 70's players, especially ones who played for top teams. The reason being the huge disparity between teams, the league average gpg is severely lower than his team average gpg, and adjusted stats also underrate 80's players.

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11-28-2012, 01:48 PM
  #129
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Originally Posted by Fred Taylor View Post
While I agree Esposito is the better player, I do believe adjusted stats tend to overrate 70's players, especially ones who played for top teams. The reason being the huge disparity between teams, the league average gpg is severely lower than his team average gpg, and adjusted stats also underrate 80's players.
Agreed, I think it's closer than those adjusted stats show, but just not close enough.

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11-28-2012, 03:00 PM
  #130
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Yes, I've seen them, picked them apart and realized that we are talking about 69 games here. That is all added into the total of "Espo without Orr". Here's the huge flaw with that. For starters 39 out of 69 of those games come in 1967-'68 when scoring was lower and in 1975-'76 when we all know Esposito was dropping anyway. Of course Esposito's PPG "Without Orr" is going to look worse than his PPG "With Orr" considering scoring was higher post 1968, and 1968 was the year Orr missed most of his time. Combining them all into one and using the PPG from different seasons with different levels of scoring is extremely flawed and you should know this.

It is more important to take a look at it season by season, for example:
1968 - (27 games) Without Orr 88 points projected which is 4 more than he had
1969 - (9 games) Without Orr still gets 115 points projected, 11 less than his real total
1972 - 2 games without Orr is hardly enough to judge
1973 - Perhaps the truest test for Esposito is 15 games without Orr still has him at a 125 point season rather than the 130.
1974 - 4 games, too small of an amount
1976 - 12 games without Orr but Espo was on his way down by now anyway

When we look at the only two seasons that have ample enough games missed to compare how Espo did with and without Orr they are 1968 and 1973. In 1968 his PPG is higher and he wins another Art Ross by those projections in the original post. In 1973 Esposito clearly doesn't need any help without Orr, he gets 24 points in 15 games, good for a 125 point year which is 5 less than his overall total.

These are projections, which are a weak defense because you are basing it on assumptions but even then it still doesn't hurt Esposito at all. Where are these Art Rosses the guy wins? Heck, you've got him down to 1 Art Ross now without Orr? That's insane. Again, I'll ask a question that gets overlooked, but who steals these Art Rosses from him without Orr? Who is a better forward in the NHL at that time. No one at all and at times it isn't even close. I really don't know what you are looking at here.
That doesn’t help your case that 27 of those 69 games are from a season where he scored 7% more without Orr, yet the overall results when the other 42 games included suggest that he scored 17% less without him. Take out 1969 and 1976 and you still have 30 games Espo played without Orr, during which he scored 1.43 PPG. In those season he scored 1.78 PPG with Orr. The 17-20% difference is still there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
My brain still hurts from solving that.

I think the key to my solution was using additional assumptions based on their actual on/off ratios:

Espo's on/off = (Espo + Orr) / (Orr w/o Espo) = (Espo w/o Orr) / (no Espo, no Orr)

Orr's on/off = (Espo + Orr ) / (Espo w/o Orr) = (Orr w/o Espo ) / (no Espo, no Orr)

In each case, the numerator only differs from the denominator by the addition of the appropriate player.
Wow, I totally don’t get that.

With all that said, why not just use the TOI estimates that are there? They are better than trying to do it yourself using GF and GA.

[/quote]I think the most surprising part was that when using those additional assumptions/constraints based on their respective On/Off ratios, the actual proportion of time they played together/apart mattered very little to the final results. I did not expect that, although it makes a lot of sense, given that the ratios then became fixed in proportion to each other.[/QUOTE]

I found when playing with these numbers, that the amount of time they played apart and together mattered greatly. If you were to assume Espo played just 3-5 minutes without Orr (or even less) it became mathematically impossible to even work it out. The more time you gave Espo without Orr, the narrower the range for his personal R-on became.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Personally I rank Esposito very high among centers. Maybe as high as 5th behind Gretzky, Lemieux, Beliveau and Mikita. Morenz is there too. But I put Esposito higher than Clarke, Trottier, Sakic and Yzerman. Just slightly ahead of Messier as well, but I can see if others put Messier ahead of him and I am okay with that.
Tell us again where your screen name came from…

Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
I like the methods for adjusting points several members on this site have figured better, but just making a quick grab from h-r.....

Esposito:
141, 138, 133, 125, 121, 110, 101, 92, 73...

Messier:
108, 95, 95, 93, 91, 91, 87, 85, 80...

That is a staggering difference in offensive production. No doubt Esposito was helped by Orr, but it's not as if Messier wasn't playing with all-time great offensive players either. That is too large of a gap for a forward to make up with all-around play.
Take 20% off those numbers to account for Orr (as demonstrated in the other thread) and it’s practically even. Throw in playoffs and intangibles and it shouldn’t be close.

And Messier had some great offensive players on his team but not on his line. He had Anderson, but he outscored Anderson by quite a bit when they were linemates. And he got relatively little PP time for a guy with his offensive abilities throughout the 80s. He finished 2nd in the league in scoring with little to no elite help, after Gretzky was gone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Taylor View Post
While I agree Esposito is the better player, I do believe adjusted stats tend to overrate 70's players, especially ones who played for top teams. The reason being the huge disparity between teams, the league average gpg is severely lower than his team average gpg, and adjusted stats also underrate 80's players.
That is true.

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Old
11-28-2012, 04:30 PM
  #131
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
I'm only trying to look at any evidence there is to get a truer picture of Espo's career, especially because his career curve is most unusual in many aspects. It would help his case if there was any time outside Boston (through age 25) which suggested "this guy's going to compete for Rosses." His Juniors, minor league and Chicago data are all very respectable, but as you say he was a late bloomer. We shouldn't hold it against him that he peaked late, but it makes it all the more imperative to find the real reasons for his sudden jump and sudden drop off. Of course playing with Orr would help anyone... and going from 2nd to 1st PP unit helps... and
an aging Espo on a weak team can't be expected to maintain the exact same production. However, does that explain the magnitude of changes in production that began immediately upon his arrival to & departure from Boston? I have my doubts, but there's so many unusual things happening at once that it's difficult to properly assess and attribute each factor.

Your "big man" theory may have merit, but there doesn't exactly seem to be a steadfast rule (Howe, Lemieux and Lindros were big players... St. Louis is not, etc.).

I agree with all three these points. Espo helped created the perfect storm of Boston's offensive powerhouse. However, so did Orr (and others), as well as the expansion and resulting disparity in quality of teams, etc. It's sort of a chicken/egg type of situation. More and/or better PP time helped as well. He definitely made the most of the situation, however much it seems in his favor.
Funny you bring up St. Louis. Yes, he was a late bloomer as well, a VERY late one. Won the Art Ross at 29 years old and busted out a year earlier. Who knows why it took him so long, he was small I guess, but nonetheless he had a good supporting cast of forwards. First he had Richards and Lecavalier on his team and now the young Stamkos. In a way it has been a perfect storm for him as well which could help his point totals. Yet, anyone that watches him can see that he doesn't need any charity and is a great player within his own right. Probably was more "the straw that stirred the drink" with Lecavalier and Stamkos than the other way around in my opinion (except for last year with Stamkos). So if we can say that about a borderline future HHOFer why is it hard to say it about an all-time great?

I mean, really, if we are getting into the department of penalizing players we shouldn't stop at Esposito. Bossy, Kurri, Coffey, Jagr, Beliveau, Lafleur, Robinson, Dryden, etc. are all players that had good fortune and stepped into a very admirable situation in the NHL on their teams. Bossy never played without Trottier. Coffey and Kurri both were rookies during Gretzky's sophomore year. Yet you still wouldn't expect a defenseman to rack up 138 points in a season. Put almost any other defenseman in NHL history and he doesn't crack that many points playing with Gretzky. There is a reason these players put up the numbers they do. Rob Brown led all right wingers in points in 1989 and wasn't even a 2nd team all-star. Why? Because everyone and their mother knew his stats didn't come close to reflecting the player he was.

As for playing in an NHL that just started expansion I don't understand the knock on Esposito. Everyone from Hull, Cournoyer, Howe, Mikita, Mahovlich, Ratelle, etc. faced the same teams and goalies each night. They all played the weaker teams and yet Esposito outpointed the best non-Bruin by 56 points, and it was Bobby Hull! His peers just weren't doing what he was doing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ushvinder View Post
Esposito has to be looked at in perspective, otherwise if his peak is taken at face value, he would be above bobby hull. Espo's raw stats and peak is flat out better than bobby hull's, theres no ifs ands or butts about it. The main reason hull and beliveau get ranked above espo is because people question how good espo really was.
With Beliveau it is a couple things, he won 10 Cups and is among the greats in the postseason. Maybe top 5, certainly not below top 10 in the postseason. He also was a huge factor in his last season, captaining the Cup win and getting a point a game at 40. Longevity for him and Hull are other reasons to put them ahead of Esposito. It isn't that Esposito didn't play long, it is just that he's being compared to some gaudy names here and he loses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by overpass View Post
A panel of experts for Hockey the magazine ranked Messier as the 6th best and Esposito as the 10th best Canadian player.

Individual rankings:

Scotty Bowman: Messier 15th, Esposito 40th
Terry Crisp: Esposito 7th, Messier 8th.
Marc De Foy: Messier 7th, Esposito 9th
Jacques Demers: Messier 10th, Esposito 11th
Dany Dube: Messier 6th, Esposito 8th
Michael Farber: Messier 7th, Esposito 15th
Red Fisher: Messier 9th, Esposito 10th
Ron Fournier: Messier 6th, Esposito 30th
Kerry Fraser: Messier 5th, Esposito 10th
John Garrett: Messier 5th: Esposito 17th
To be fair, Terry Crisp would have played a lot of hockey against Esposito in the flesh. He also coached a lot against Messier. I don't understand Bowman's ranking at all. It's silly. I think sometimes we give Bowman the benefit of the doubt too much as if he is infallible (I've never understood why he gets praised for trading Coffey twice). You can't make a case for 39 Canadians being better than Esposito. In my personal opinion there should not be much seperation between Messier and Esposito on either side. Crisp has it right. So does Fisher.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
That doesn’t help your case that 27 of those 69 games are from a season where he scored 7% more without Orr, yet the overall results when the other 42 games included suggest that he scored 17% less without him. Take out 1969 and 1976 and you still have 30 games Espo played without Orr, during which he scored 1.43 PPG. In those season he scored 1.78 PPG with Orr. The 17-20% difference is still there.
Actually it does. Scoring was far lower in 1967-'68 than anytime in the 1970s. So the 27 games you are taking over from the late 1960s to the entire time he played with Orr (1967-1976) means you are taking a lower scoring era where a bulk of these games are represented and lumping them altogether in a package where the average PPG is far higher than the average PPG of the 1967-'68 season. I told you before, you have it wrong with this study, it is baseless because you should judge it season by season. When you do that you see 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.


Quote:
Tell us again where your screen name came from…
That's hardly here nor there. Heck, my avatar is Bobby Orr. I just loved the Espo/Orr combo back in the day, very entertaining, just like the Oilers used to be.

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11-28-2012, 04:43 PM
  #132
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Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post
Outside of another thread here on hf a few days ago I can't find any info about it online. Is there any other info listed that might help track it down?...a website, publishing info, etc.
Upon further inspection it's translated edition of Hockey Le Magazine, published in Montreal.

http://www.ovationmedias.ca/en/annon...sure-you-score

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11-28-2012, 09:46 PM
  #133
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post


Actually it does. Scoring was far lower in 1967-'68 than anytime in the 1970s. So the 27 games you are taking over from the late 1960s to the entire time he played with Orr (1967-1976) means you are taking a lower scoring era where a bulk of these games are represented and lumping them altogether in a package where the average PPG is far higher than the average PPG of the 1967-'68 season. I told you before, you have it wrong with this study, it is baseless because you should judge it season by season. When you do that you see 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. .
Ok, but how does that affect what I said? Take out 1968 and 1976, the years you think are misleading, and the effect appears more drastic than before.

As for the part about not "penalizing " other players like Kurri, I think anyone who is paying attention thinks about the gretzky effect when evaluating him too. This applies to many players and there is no need to have this Esposito persecution complex. You seem absolutely unwilling to realistically consider what his production would have looked like without Orr.

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Old
11-28-2012, 10:35 PM
  #134
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Ok, but how does that affect what I said? Take out 1968 and 1976, the years you think are misleading, and the effect appears more drastic than before.

As for the part about not "penalizing " other players like Kurri, I think anyone who is paying attention thinks about the gretzky effect when evaluating him too. This applies to many players and there is no need to have this Esposito persecution complex. You seem absolutely unwilling to realistically consider what his production would have looked like without Orr.
It would have been lower. He still would have won the Art Ross and set records.

If you take out Orr, Gretzky, and Lemieux from the NHL, Steve Yzerman holds the scoring record by a fair margin. Jagr's 95-96 season isn't 149 points, and Coffey's 138 would have been noticeably lower. Nicholls is likely closer to 110-120. LaFontaine's 148 would be #2. Bossy would be third at 147, Oates would be fourth at 142, Stastny fifth at 139, and Yzerman and Dionne tying for sixth at 137.

And then comes Dennis Maruk at eighth, tied with Lafleur. And Dionne one more time to round out the top ten.

Phil Esposito probably caps out around 125-130 a couple of times, so he's still a few spot down.

So that's Yzerman, LaFontaine, Bossy, Oates, Stastny, Dionne, Maruk, and Lafleur in the theoretical top-ten, with Yzerman and Dionne showing twice. One of these things is not like the other...

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11-29-2012, 12:02 AM
  #135
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
Funny you bring up St. Louis. Yes, he was a late bloomer as well, a VERY late one. Won the Art Ross at 29 years old and busted out a year earlier. Who knows why it took him so long, he was small I guess, but nonetheless he had a good supporting cast of forwards. First he had Richards and Lecavalier on his team and now the young Stamkos. In a way it has been a perfect storm for him as well which could help his point totals. Yet, anyone that watches him can see that he doesn't need any charity and is a great player within his own right. Probably was more "the straw that stirred the drink" with Lecavalier and Stamkos than the other way around in my opinion (except for last year with Stamkos). So if we can say that about a borderline future HHOFer why is it hard to say it about an all-time great?

I mean, really, if we are getting into the department of penalizing players we shouldn't stop at Esposito. Bossy, Kurri, Coffey, Jagr, Beliveau, Lafleur, Robinson, Dryden, etc. are all players that had good fortune and stepped into a very admirable situation in the NHL on their teams. Bossy never played without Trottier. Coffey and Kurri both were rookies during Gretzky's sophomore year. Yet you still wouldn't expect a defenseman to rack up 138 points in a season. Put almost any other defenseman in NHL history and he doesn't crack that many points playing with Gretzky. There is a reason these players put up the numbers they do. Rob Brown led all right wingers in points in 1989 and wasn't even a 2nd team all-star. Why? Because everyone and their mother knew his stats didn't come close to reflecting the player he was.

As for playing in an NHL that just started expansion I don't understand the knock on Esposito. Everyone from Hull, Cournoyer, Howe, Mikita, Mahovlich, Ratelle, etc. faced the same teams and goalies each night. They all played the weaker teams and yet Esposito outpointed the best non-Bruin by 56 points, and it was Bobby Hull! His peers just weren't doing what he was doing.



With Beliveau it is a couple things, he won 10 Cups and is among the greats in the postseason. Maybe top 5, certainly not below top 10 in the postseason. He also was a huge factor in his last season, captaining the Cup win and getting a point a game at 40. Longevity for him and Hull are other reasons to put them ahead of Esposito. It isn't that Esposito didn't play long, it is just that he's being compared to some gaudy names here and he loses.



To be fair, Terry Crisp would have played a lot of hockey against Esposito in the flesh. He also coached a lot against Messier. I don't understand Bowman's ranking at all. It's silly. I think sometimes we give Bowman the benefit of the doubt too much as if he is infallible (I've never understood why he gets praised for trading Coffey twice). You can't make a case for 39 Canadians being better than Esposito. In my personal opinion there should not be much seperation between Messier and Esposito on either side. Crisp has it right. So does Fisher.



Actually it does. Scoring was far lower in 1967-'68 than anytime in the 1970s. So the 27 games you are taking over from the late 1960s to the entire time he played with Orr (1967-1976) means you are taking a lower scoring era where a bulk of these games are represented and lumping them altogether in a package where the average PPG is far higher than the average PPG of the 1967-'68 season. I told you before, you have it wrong with this study, it is baseless because you should judge it season by season. When you do that you see 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.




That's hardly here nor there. Heck, my avatar is Bobby Orr. I just loved the Espo/Orr combo back in the day, very entertaining, just like the Oilers used to be.
Um ur joking right, based on face value Espos's 1971 and 1974 seasons are far better than anything beliveau accomplished. Based on face value, he won 5 art rosses by significant margins, something neither hull or beliveau can claim. What longevity would they have, Espo was top 2 in scoring eight times, top twenty in scoring 16 times. Having 1 more top 10 finish isn't going to make up the gap for Espo winning art rosses by big margins and completely dominating the league.

Esposito also has playoff runs in 1969 and 1970 where he almost averaged two points per game in a low scoring environment, those are wayne gretzky type playoff numbers. Hes got a playoff run where he carried a crap team on his back, something beliveau never had to deal with. Beliveau's accomplishments are heavily team based.

On face value Espo's peak blows Hull and Beliveau's peak out of the water. Especially if we compare thier 5-8 best seasons. No one really cares if hull and beliveau's 10th-15th best season might be slightly better.

Everyone knows Espo's numbers have to be looked at based on context and thats why hes ranked lower than players who didnt come close to his OFFENSIVE numbers.

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11-29-2012, 02:00 AM
  #136
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Wow, I totally don’t get that.
I guess it made sense to me theoretically and it produced a very narrow range of estimates for each of the 4 scenarios, even if Espo & Orr almost always or almost never played together.

We have each player's On & Off estimates (our numbers for these may differ slightly), so:

(Espo + Orr) / (Orr w/o Espo) = Espo On / Espo off

We are assuming the ratio of unknown variables (On/Off ratios depending on presence/absence of each of Orr & Espo) are equal to the ratio of the known constants (total On & Off ratios). The reason for this assumption is that Orr w/o Espo is like a control case: it's Orr w/ 4 "other" Bruins ("other" means any Bruin besides Espo & Orr). Espo w/ Orr is the same situation, except one of the "other" Bruins has been replaced with Espo. Therefore, we are assuming that the addition of Espo increases the numerator (Espo + Orr) in proportion to Espo's On/Off ratio. Likewise:

(Espo w/o Orr) / (no Espo, no Orr) = Espo On / Espo off

In this instance, the control case is 5 "other" Bruins, while the only difference is that one of the "other" Bruins has been replaced w/ Espo. So again, we are assuming the numerator to increase by the same proportion as Espo's On/Off ratio.

The same principles are applied to Orr. This gives us fixed ratios between the 4 still unknown variables (the dependent ratios). What determines and changes the dependent ratios is the the % of the total ES goals which are scored in each situation. The surprising part was that even through extreme variations in the total ES goals scored during the "Espo w/ Orr" scenario, the four ratios remained in a relatively static range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
With all that said, why not just use the TOI estimates that are there? They are better than trying to do it yourself using GF and GA.
If the GF and/or GA per minute varied substantially with or without either/both players, then it seems that would render TOI irrelevant. Wouldn't the TOI estimates be directly related to the total GF and/or GA scored? If so, I don't see how TOI information helps, unless it's assumed that (GF+GA)/minute stays constant, and GF and GA are not directly related to estimated TOI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
I found when playing with these numbers, that the amount of time they played apart and together mattered greatly. If you were to assume Espo played just 3-5 minutes without Orr (or even less) it became mathematically impossible to even work it out. The more time you gave Espo without Orr, the narrower the range for his personal R-on became.
We may have had somewhat different approaches, even before the additional constraints assumed. However, the problem I found was that there didn't seem to be a unique solution for the four variables (multiple solutions, rather than no solution). Once the additional constraints were assumed, there were unique solutions which varied little despite large changes in the % of ES goals in each scenario.

As you said, I didn't use TOI, but using ES goals here was a solution for Espo playing very little w/o Orr (solutions are rounded):

Situation, GF/GA, GF, GA
===================
Espo + Orr 2.37, 902, 380
Orr w/o Espo 2.06, 116, 56
Espo w/o Orr 1.20, 25, 21
no Orr, no Espo 1.04, 871, 834
-------------------------------
TOTAL 1.48, 1914, 1292


Last edited by Czech Your Math: 11-29-2012 at 09:11 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old
11-29-2012, 08:28 AM
  #137
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Originally Posted by RabbinsDuck View Post
I like the methods for adjusting points several members on this site have figured better, but just making a quick grab from h-r.....

Esposito:
141, 138, 133, 125, 121, 110, 101, 92, 73...

Messier:
108, 95, 95, 93, 91, 91, 87, 85, 80...

That is a staggering difference in offensive production. No doubt Esposito was helped by Orr, but it's not as if Messier wasn't playing with all-time great offensive players either. That is too large of a gap for a forward to make up with all-around play.
but remember, Messier player with Anderson most of his Oiler career once he moved to center...he never really had "help" from Gretzky unless he was on the PP with him, and it seemed to me that there were 2 different PP at the time....the Gretz/Kurri one and the Mess/Anderson one. i'm a total Espo fan, but he really was a goal suck, didn't have Messier's speed. but Espo was a better goal scorer and point producer though, and like Messier, was a huge contributing factor for the cups their teams won.

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11-29-2012, 09:23 AM
  #138
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
We are just talking about some insane seperation here. Not 10 points year to year but we are talking about sometimes 50 points. Ratelle was relatively close in 1972 and Clarke was "sort of" close in 1973 and Hull in 1969. Other than that it's almost embarassing. That's a lot of separation there and from just an individual basis I can't see the argument that Clarke and Ratelle were close to Esposito offensively even just by watching them play on the ice.



No it's fine. I'm not on the history board so that we can re-enact an episode of "My Three Sons". We can disagree and in many cases it is almost better when people do with sports. That's the beauty of it.

As for the weakness of the era, well, I guess we tend to penalize Lidstrom for that very reason to an extent and it is true Esposito busted out at a time when Howe was winding down. Hull and Mikita weren't altogether old either though. Mikita wasn't 30 until 1970. Hull was 30 in 1969. That leaves the likes of Ratelle and Clarke as the next best competitors. Lafleur and Dionne didn't bust out until 1975, same with Perreault. You can say it was a perfect storm, but even Lafleur or Dionne didn't crack more than 136 points. Lafleur peaked at 136 while Dionne peaked at 135 overall. Both were elite goal scorers and elite overall offensive players.

In the other Esposito thread there was a well done sampling that showed 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 while we can't expect Hull and Mikita to rack up the points that Esposito did in the since they were playing in the lower scoring more conservative 1960s, I think we can point to the fact that Dionne, Lafleur, Bossy, Trottier, etc. didn't touch Esposito's totals and not until a kid named Gretzky came along did that become a reality.

So in that sense there is lots of evidence that suggests that Esposito was just as offensive as Lafleur. The thing is (and I think this always hurts Esposito) is that he wasn't as flashy as other players. He wouldn't skate end to end like Lafleur or Orr. But there are few players in hockey history that were as effective. That's the thing we should judge Esposito with, substance not necessarily style.
I agree with most of this. 50+ point separations in some years here, and people are arguing he wouldn't have won those years w/o Orr? Those are landslide victories. Obviously no Orr makes those races closer, but he wasn't going to lose 60 points.

The competition of his era was weak though - there's no getting around that. Other all-time greats were well past their primes, and the best player in the world was on his team. We had probably the worst disparity of competition in NHL history after the expansion too. But it is strange that these arguments are constantly used against Espo, but rarely against Orr. I realize its Orr, but we all tend to gloss over the fact that the same "weak" competition Espo was dominating was the same weak competition that Orr faced too; yet we tend to ignore that for Orr, and blow it out of proportion for big Phil.

Too many act like Phil was just a more talented Ryan Smith - like he just scored ugly goals from in front of the net, and banged home 70 of Orr's rebounds in a year or something. He was a true power forward, before the days of Lindros and far more durable. Yes, he scored a lot of ugly garbage goals - but he scored a ton of them. I've rarely seen a player demonized so badly as him, for accomplishing so much.

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11-29-2012, 09:37 AM
  #139
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Originally Posted by shazariahl View Post
I agree with most of this. 50+ point separations in some years here, and people are arguing he wouldn't have won those years w/o Orr? Those are landslide victories. Obviously no Orr makes those races closer, but he wasn't going to lose 60 points.

The competition of his era was weak though - there's no getting around that. Other all-time greats were well past their primes, and the best player in the world was on his team. We had probably the worst disparity of competition in NHL history after the expansion too. But it is strange that these arguments are constantly used against Espo, but rarely against Orr. I realize its Orr, but we all tend to gloss over the fact that the same "weak" competition Espo was dominating was the same weak competition that Orr faced too; yet we tend to ignore that for Orr, and blow it out of proportion for big Phil.

Too many act like Phil was just a more talented Ryan Smith - like he just scored ugly goals from in front of the net, and banged home 70 of Orr's rebounds in a year or something. He was a true power forward, before the days of Lindros and far more durable. Yes, he scored a lot of ugly garbage goals - but he scored a ton of them. I've rarely seen a player demonized so badly as him, for accomplishing so much.
Total agreement, especially regarding the bolded. He's top 13 all time in assists among centers so please don't tell me he just scored garbage goals in front of the net and was not a great playmaker/passer.

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11-29-2012, 10:08 AM
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Too many act like Phil was just a more talented Ryan Smith - like he just scored ugly goals from in front of the net, and banged home 70 of Orr's rebounds in a year or something. He was a true power forward, before the days of Lindros and far more durable. Yes, he scored a lot of ugly garbage goals - but he scored a ton of them. I've rarely seen a player demonized so badly as him, for accomplishing so much.
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Total agreement, especially regarding the bolded. He's top 13 all time in assists among centers so please don't tell me he just scored garbage goals in front of the net and was not a great playmaker/passer.
It is in vogue on the board here right now to tear down players for some reason. Particularly those whose value was primarily offensive.

I find it really annoying.

It works both ways. Orr would not have reached the heights he did without Esposito either.

How much each was dependent on the other will never be solved because they were complimentary talents. Each of them had strengths in their game that perfectly overcame the deficiencies in the others game.

ie. Orr's transition, puck movement and passing perfectly meshed with Esposito's ability to dominate the slot and finish plays.

Each was a great player in their own right and each of them benefited from the other in their record setting seasons.

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11-29-2012, 10:17 AM
  #141
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Originally Posted by shazariahl View Post
The competition of his era was weak though - there's no getting around that. Other all-time greats were well past their primes, and the best player in the world was on his team. We had probably the worst disparity of competition in NHL history after the expansion too. But it is strange that these arguments are constantly used against Espo, but rarely against Orr. I realize its Orr, but we all tend to gloss over the fact that the same "weak" competition Espo was dominating was the same weak competition that Orr faced too; yet we tend to ignore that for Orr, and blow it out of proportion for big Phil.

Too many act like Phil was just a more talented Ryan Smith - like he just scored ugly goals from in front of the net, and banged home 70 of Orr's rebounds in a year or something. He was a true power forward, before the days of Lindros and far more durable. Yes, he scored a lot of ugly garbage goals - but he scored a ton of them. I've rarely seen a player demonized so badly as him, for accomplishing so much.
I agree that the disparity in the league should also be considered when evaluating his contemporaries, such as Orr (and Clarke). I think the main difference is that Orr was so clearly dominant (from both the data and observation), nearly from the start to finish of his career, and Clarke had some mind-boggling ES data as well at his peak.

Espo is not the only one that seemed to benefit from both increased opportunity and changing quality of the league. Players like Ratelle, Gilbert, Hadfield, Bucyk, etc. all had their peaks/primes unusually late in their careers, after expansion. It's difficult to evaluate players from this period, because conditions were very different before and after expansion. Before expansion, the talent in the league was "compressed" as there hadn't been any expansion despite the increased hockey-age population and popularity of the game. Players who deserved more opportunity may have been stuck on lower lines, in more defensive roles, with limited ice/PP time. After expansion, it was very diluted with much disparity between O6 & expansion teams. If the league had expanded to 8 and later 10-12 teams, and/or had dispersed talent much more equally, then the data would probably have much more credibility.

I don't mean to demonize Espo, but I have been sort of testing the bounds of how far we can downgrade his accomplishment due to the "perfect storm" before there is substantial resistance. I think we've definitely reached that lower bound. That still leaves a rather large range of opinion about his potential performance under more "typical" team/league conditions. When talent is diluted to a great extent, it generally allows the top players to separate themselves from the pack a lot more. Again, I see a lot of Espo's time in Boston (aside from possibly his first 2-5 years there) as akin to being the cleanup hitter on a powerful offense. There always seemed to be a couple guys on base when he got to the plate, in part because the "pitching" had been severely diluted. Far from just anyone can consistently hit 40 HR & have 120 RBI, even in a great lineup against diluted pitching staffs, but it sure doesn't hurt.

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11-29-2012, 10:52 AM
  #142
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
I agree that the disparity in the league should also be considered when evaluating his contemporaries, such as Orr (and Clarke). I think the main difference is that Orr was so clearly dominant (from both the data and observation), nearly from the start to finish of his career, and Clarke had some mind-boggling ES data as well at his peak.

Espo is not the only one that seemed to benefit from both increased opportunity and changing quality of the league. Players like Ratelle, Gilbert, Hadfield, Bucyk, etc. all had their peaks/primes unusually late in their careers, after expansion. It's difficult to evaluate players from this period, because conditions were very different before and after expansion. Before expansion, the talent in the league was "compressed" as there hadn't been any expansion despite the increased hockey-age population and popularity of the game. Players who deserved more opportunity may have been stuck on lower lines, in more defensive roles, with limited ice/PP time. After expansion, it was very diluted with much disparity between O6 & expansion teams. If the league had expanded to 8 and later 10-12 teams, and/or had dispersed talent much more equally, then the data would probably have much more credibility.

I don't mean to demonize Espo, but I have been sort of testing the bounds of how far we can downgrade his accomplishment due to the "perfect storm" before there is substantial resistance. I think we've definitely reached that lower bound. That still leaves a rather large range of opinion about his potential performance under more "typical" team/league conditions. When talent is diluted to a great extent, it generally allows the top players to separate themselves from the pack a lot more. Again, I see a lot of Espo's time in Boston (aside from possibly his first 2-5 years there) as akin to being the cleanup hitter on a powerful offense. There always seemed to be a couple guys on base when he got to the plate, in part because the "pitching" had been severely diluted. Far from just anyone can consistently hit 40 HR & have 120 RBI, even in a great lineup against diluted pitching staffs, but it sure doesn't hurt.
^ good point! the league doubled in size back then from 6 to 12 teams, was watered down somewhat with players even coming out of retirement to play, and the points went up accordingly. same in '79/'80 when the league absorbed 4 WHA teams...bringing with it a great amount of talent, but at the same time, watering the league down somewhat and players like Gretzky and later Lemieux when he came into the league in '85, were able to pad the stats.

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11-29-2012, 03:57 PM
  #143
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
I guess it made sense to me theoretically and it produced a very narrow range of estimates for each of the 4 scenarios, even if Espo & Orr almost always or almost never played together.

We have each player's On & Off estimates (our numbers for these may differ slightly), so:

(Espo + Orr) / (Orr w/o Espo) = Espo On / Espo off

We are assuming the ratio of unknown variables (On/Off ratios depending on presence/absence of each of Orr & Espo) are equal to the ratio of the known constants (total On & Off ratios). The reason for this assumption is that Orr w/o Espo is like a control case: it's Orr w/ 4 "other" Bruins ("other" means any :Bruin besides Espo & Orr). Espo w/ Orr is the same situation, except one of the "other" Bruins has been replaced with Espo. Therefore, we are assuming that the addition of Espo increases the numerator (Espo + Orr) in proportion to Espo's On/Off ratio. Likewise:

(Espo w/o Orr) / (no Espo, no Orr) = Espo On / Espo off

In this instance, the control case is 5 "other" Bruins, while the only difference is that one of the "other" Bruins has been replaced w/ Espo. So again, we are assuming the numerator to increase by the same proportion as Espo's On/Off ratio.

The same principles are applied to Orr. This gives us fixed ratios between the 4 still unknown variables (the dependent ratios). What determines and changes the dependent ratios is the the % of the total ES goals which are scored in each situation. The surprising part was that even through extreme variations in the total ES goals scored during the "Espo w/ Orr" scenario, the four ratios remained in a relatively static range.



If the GF and/or GA per minute varied substantially with or without either/both players, then it seems that would render TOI irrelevant. Wouldn't the TOI estimates be directly related to the total GF and/or GA scored? If so, I don't see how TOI information helps, unless it's assumed that (GF+GA)/minute stays constant, and GF and GA are not directly related to estimated TOI.



We may have had somewhat different approaches, even before the additional constraints assumed. However, the problem I found was that there didn't seem to be a unique solution for the four variables (multiple solutions, rather than no solution). Once the additional constraints were assumed, there were unique solutions which varied little despite large changes in the % of ES goals in each scenario.

As you said, I didn't use TOI, but using ES goals here was a solution for Espo playing very little w/o Orr (solutions are rounded):

Situation, GF/GA, GF, GA
===================
Espo + Orr 2.37, 902, 380
Orr w/o Espo 2.06, 116, 56
Espo w/o Orr 1.20, 25, 21
no Orr, no Espo 1.04, 871, 834
-------------------------------
TOTAL 1.48, 1914, 1292
hard to comment too much being on my phone, but I thought the total ratio was supposed to work out to around 1.64 or so. No?

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11-29-2012, 04:03 PM
  #144
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It works both ways. Orr would not have reached the heights he did without Esposito either.
The only problem with this statement is that the numbers very strongly suggest that Orr was still going at a 2.0 r-on without espo, and espo was nowhere near that without Orr.

It is definitely possible and even probable that having espo on the ice for about a third of the time (at ES) added to Orr's success. But the statistical case is that espo affected Orr much, much less than the reverse.

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11-29-2012, 04:31 PM
  #145
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Ok, but how does that affect what I said? Take out 1968 and 1976, the years you think are misleading, and the effect appears more drastic than before.

As for the part about not "penalizing " other players like Kurri, I think anyone who is paying attention thinks about the gretzky effect when evaluating him too. This applies to many players and there is no need to have this Esposito persecution complex. You seem absolutely unwilling to realistically consider what his production would have looked like without Orr.
I don't really see how that chart (was it in this thread or the other) at the beginning doesn't paint a clear picture for you. PPG was lower in 1968 than say, 1973. So to say, "well he only had such and such PPG this year and lumping it with a higher scoring era (which by the way the non-Orr games are plenty in 1968) is inaccurate. The best years in that chart are 1968 and 1973 because they are really the only years where there is at least a big enough sample size to judge how he did with and without him within the season. There isn't a difference at all, what, maybe 5 points less had he not had Orr? We'll never know, because it is purely hypothetical but even this chart goes against your idea.

You can take the Orr effect into account with Esposito like you do any other player but for whatever reason he seems to get shafted more than any other player in these types of battles. It is almost as if no one even pays attention to just how great of an individual player Esposito was on his own and throw his Art Rosses into one pile and saying "Ah, its all Orr." Heck, you posted on this thread that you think Esposito wins 1 Art Ross possibly. I can't comprehend that, who are these players that outpoint him during his Art Ross years?

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Um ur joking right, based on face value Espos's 1971 and 1974 seasons are far better than anything beliveau accomplished. Based on face value, he won 5 art rosses by significant margins, something neither hull or beliveau can claim. What longevity would they have, Espo was top 2 in scoring eight times, top twenty in scoring 16 times. Having 1 more top 10 finish isn't going to make up the gap for Espo winning art rosses by big margins and completely dominating the league.

Esposito also has playoff runs in 1969 and 1970 where he almost averaged two points per game in a low scoring environment, those are wayne gretzky type playoff numbers. Hes got a playoff run where he carried a crap team on his back, something beliveau never had to deal with. Beliveau's accomplishments are heavily team based.

On face value Espo's peak blows Hull and Beliveau's peak out of the water. Especially if we compare thier 5-8 best seasons. No one really cares if hull and beliveau's 10th-15th best season might be slightly better.

Everyone knows Espo's numbers have to be looked at based on context and thats why hes ranked lower than players who didnt come close to his OFFENSIVE numbers.
Well hard to say, Beliveau had his best year in 1956 and that was darn good when you compare it to Esposito in 1971. I guess the thing I would say is that both Beliveau and Hull were better individual talents. Beliveau was an integral part of the 1971 Cup win and he was 40. I mean, that's some longevity that is hard to ignore. Also finishing 2nd in Hart voting in 1969 when he's 37-38 years old. Yeah he's a guy who basically had a great 20 years with less of a drop than usual. This isn't to knock Esposito, but it's Beliveau we are talking about here.

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I agree with most of this. 50+ point separations in some years here, and people are arguing he wouldn't have won those years w/o Orr? Those are landslide victories. Obviously no Orr makes those races closer, but he wasn't going to lose 60 points.

The competition of his era was weak though - there's no getting around that. Other all-time greats were well past their primes, and the best player in the world was on his team. We had probably the worst disparity of competition in NHL history after the expansion too. But it is strange that these arguments are constantly used against Espo, but rarely against Orr. I realize its Orr, but we all tend to gloss over the fact that the same "weak" competition Espo was dominating was the same weak competition that Orr faced too; yet we tend to ignore that for Orr, and blow it out of proportion for big Phil.

Too many act like Phil was just a more talented Ryan Smith - like he just scored ugly goals from in front of the net, and banged home 70 of Orr's rebounds in a year or something. He was a true power forward, before the days of Lindros and far more durable. Yes, he scored a lot of ugly garbage goals - but he scored a ton of them. I've rarely seen a player demonized so badly as him, for accomplishing so much.
Good points as well. Yeah it's a little mind boggling to me as well. I've literally seen Esposito go from the 5 Art Rosses he is credited for to "maybe" winning one. No one has bothered even trying to show how he loses out on all of those. It comes down to lazy stat checking in my mind.

Good point about the competition Orr was facing as well. I never really brought that up for a couple reasons. For starters, Esposito was so dominating that it didn't really matter either way and despite all the players in the high scoring 1970s there wasn't a player who scored more than 136 in a season other than Esposito. Gretzky finally cracked Esposito's record in 1981. Wayne Gretzky had to be the guy to do that!

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11-29-2012, 04:46 PM
  #146
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I don't really see how that chart (was it in this thread or the other) at the beginning doesn't paint a clear picture for you. PPG was lower in 1968 than say, 1973. So to say, "well he only had such and such PPG this year and lumping it with a higher scoring era (which by the way the non-Orr games are plenty in 1968) is inaccurate. The best years in that chart are 1968 and 1973 because they are really the only years where there is at least a big enough sample size to judge how he did with and without him within the season. There isn't a difference at all, what, maybe 5 points less had he not had Orr? We'll never know, because it is purely hypothetical but even this chart goes against your idea.

You can take the Orr effect into account with Esposito like you do any other player but for whatever reason he seems to get shafted more than any other player in these types of battles. It is almost as if no one even pays attention to just how great of an individual player Esposito was on his own and throw his Art Rosses into one pile and saying "Ah, its all Orr." Heck, you posted on this thread that you think Esposito wins 1 Art Ross possibly. I can't comprehend that, who are these players that outpoint him during his Art Ross years?



Well hard to say, Beliveau had his best year in 1956 and that was darn good when you compare it to Esposito in 1971. I guess the thing I would say is that both Beliveau and Hull were better individual talents. Beliveau was an integral part of the 1971 Cup win and he was 40. I mean, that's some longevity that is hard to ignore. Also finishing 2nd in Hart voting in 1969 when he's 37-38 years old. Yeah he's a guy who basically had a great 20 years with less of a drop than usual. This isn't to knock Esposito, but it's Beliveau we are talking about here.



Good points as well. Yeah it's a little mind boggling to me as well. I've literally seen Esposito go from the 5 Art Rosses he is credited for to "maybe" winning one. No one has bothered even trying to show how he loses out on all of those. It comes down to lazy stat checking in my mind.

Good point about the competition Orr was facing as well. I never really brought that up for a couple reasons. For starters, Esposito was so dominating that it didn't really matter either way and despite all the players in the high scoring 1970s there wasn't a player who scored more than 136 in a season other than Esposito. Gretzky finally cracked Esposito's record in 1981. Wayne Gretzky had to be the guy to do that!
Beliveau had alot of off years throughout his career, your making it seem like he has bourque/howe level longevity, not even close. Also, no his 1956 season isnt close to what espo accomplished in 1971 and 1974 based on raw value, thats his only art ross anyways. Espo has 5 and he won them all by big margins. Espo's run from 1971 to 1974 is Lemieux-esque based on adjusted and raw numbers, far better than what hull and beliveau were doing.

We don't rate yzerman/sakic above lafluer or bossy, despite them absolutely torching Lafluer and Bossy in longevity, yet hull and beliveau are getting the edge for durability when its really non-existant?

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11-29-2012, 06:00 PM
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hard to comment too much being on my phone, but I thought the total ratio was supposed to work out to around 1.64 or so. No?
I had Espo's on ratio at 1.64, but the total listed was an estimate for Boston (all goals summed) from '68-'75.

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11-29-2012, 09:27 PM
  #148
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I don't really see how that chart (was it in this thread or the other) at the beginning doesn't paint a clear picture for you. PPG was lower in 1968 than say, 1973. So to say, "well he only had such and such PPG this year and lumping it with a higher scoring era (which by the way the non-Orr games are plenty in 1968) is inaccurate. The best years in that chart are 1968 and 1973 because they are really the only years where there is at least a big enough sample size to judge how he did with and without him within the season. There isn't a difference at all, what, maybe 5 points less had he not had Orr? We'll never know, because it is purely hypothetical but even this chart goes against your idea.
What does 1968 still have to do with this? I already removed it for you since you think it is misleading.

As for the other years that we left, it is true that there is only one season with a good sample of games without Orr, but together those small samples make a Significant and meaningful one. Not acknowledging this is the mistake you're making here.

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11-29-2012, 11:07 PM
  #149
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I'm hoping one will pop up on ebay. It seems like too good of a source not to have during the upcoming lists.
I thought this as well but looking at the lists, an so little information about what is behind them, it was rather disappointing.

The book mainly consists of player profiles and NHL only stats.

You would think the NHL would be over it's fear of the WHA by now, not sure why only NHL stats but the Hockey News top 60 after 67 also had this problem as I recall.

The write up from Bowman is also extremely weak and takes only about guy Lafleur.

If the name Scotty Bowman wasn't attached to his list, about 99% of people would have several, maybe even double digit, WTF moments reading his list to be sure.

Truth be told, we could take a random sampling of 10 regular posters here in the history section, give them 2 days and they would have more credible lists IMO.

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11-29-2012, 11:21 PM
  #150
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It is in vogue on the board here right now to tear down players for some reason. Particularly those whose value was primarily offensive.
It's called critical analysis, quite simply if one wants the positive Pollyanna bio recap Hockey Legends does this (and a fine job for what it does)

Quote:
It works both ways. Orr would not have reached the heights he did without Esposito either.
Sometimes it's hard to say how much two players affect each other, like Bossy/Trottier but in this case it's extremely clear that bobby owns the bus and is driving it as well.

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How much each was dependent on the other will never be solved because they were complimentary talents. Each of them had strengths in their game that perfectly overcame the deficiencies in the others game.
No it will never be solved but we have much more evidence and questions about Phil's game, primarily outside of his Boston years and a large sample of it than any weakness of Orr's game although I think his defensive play might get over rated but it's really hard to tell because his puck possession skills were perfect for the era.

Quote:
ie. Orr's transition, puck movement and passing perfectly meshed with Esposito's ability to dominate the slot and finish plays.

Each was a great player in their own right and each of them benefited from the other in their record setting seasons.
Maybe, maybe not, we saw waht Orr did, in a very small sample in Chicago and Phils large sample outside of Boston.

Everyone here should take a very close look at how horrible that Black Hawk roster was without Orr in it.

I'm not sure if there has ever been more evidence to suggest that one player benefited from another except maybe Charlie Simmer.

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