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Jaromir Jagr vs. Phil Esposito

View Poll Results: Esposito or Jagr?
Phil Esposito 23 35.94%
Jaromir Jagr 41 64.06%
Voters: 64. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
10-09-2008, 12:54 PM
  #1
HomeNugget
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Jaromir Jagr vs. Phil Esposito

Both players had very similar careers. In your opinion who was better?

Esposito - 1282 games, 717 goals, 873 assists, 1590 points, 2 Stanley Cups, 5 Art Ross, 2 Hart, 2 Pearson, 6 time first team all-star, 2 time second team all-star

Jagr - 1273 games, 646 goals, 953 assists, 1599 points, 2 Stanley Cups, 5 Art Ross, 1 Hart, 3 Pearson, 7 time first team all-star, 1 time second team all-star

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Old
10-09-2008, 01:21 PM
  #2
ushvinder
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Jagr, he had more success in the later portion of his career. Jagr did better without Lemieux than Esposito did without Orr.

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Old
10-09-2008, 02:29 PM
  #3
seventieslord
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That's funny, I never realized how ridiculously close they ended up in accomplishments. If you want to say the all-stars, harts, pearsons, cups, and ross trophies wash out then we can just look at numbers, teammates, and intangibles.

Numbers:
Jagr is short 70 goals but ahead 80 assists. It was also a lot tougher to score in Jagr's time. Translate his numbers to the seasons Espo played, and you're looking at about 740 goals and about 1100 assists. Advantage: Jagr

Intangibles:
Jagr has an overblown reputation as a baby, a sulker, and a whiner. He's far from a sissy euro, though. He's a bull in the corners, impossible to knock off the puck, and proved that he could play a team game with a defensive conscience. He will never fully shake the tags that he earned, though. Esposito was not perfect either. He had great leadership qualities but was lacklustre defensively and was known to float. Advantage: Espo

Teammates:
Jagr had Mario Lemieux for the first 7 years of his career in Pittsburgh, during which he was a very good player. However, he really blossomed after Mario left and led the league in scoring without Lemieux 4.5 times, with linemates like Kip Miller, German Titov, and others who aren't worth remembering. Esposito had some of the most powerful teams in history in Boston, and was of course aided by Bobby Orr, a player greater than Esposito in every single way. His linemates weren't Lemieux-caliber, but he did have guys like Ken Hodge and Johnny Bucyk. Advantage: Jagr

Conclusion:
Jagr deserves to go down in history as the greater player... something tells me that won't happen.

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Old
10-09-2008, 03:54 PM
  #4
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Pity vote for Esposito

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10-09-2008, 03:58 PM
  #5
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Esposito. I have always seen Jagr as overrated as he never lead his team to anything. His cups were won with Lemiuex back in 91, 92.

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10-09-2008, 04:02 PM
  #6
Psycho Papa Joe
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If I go to war, I want Esposito on my side. Jagr had a lot more natural talent, but I like what Espo brought beyond the talent. When two players are this close, I'll let the intangibles be the tie breaker.

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10-09-2008, 04:21 PM
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Big Phil
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If you had an option for a tie I would have taken that for sure. That's how close these guys were. Espo was a bigger contributor to the Cup wins than Jagr. And Espo has the '72 Summit Series on his side in which I dont think any player ever played better. Plus Espo has the fact that he led a Rangers team to the Cup final in '79 at 37 years old.

Jagr has the 4 straight Art Ross Trophies like Espo plus a 5th one like Espo. He had the better natural talent. He may have used his teammates a bit better and while Espo was the better leader I doubt that behind closed doors Jagr was a bum himself.

Jagr did have better options on the ice. He was faster, shiftier, a better playmaker and offensively he only falls to Espo in the goal scoring ability.

Jagr had more natural talent but Espo always found a way to win. Still a toss up, neither was bad in the opposite departments either.

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Old
10-09-2008, 04:31 PM
  #8
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If I were in the playoffs I would take Espo but I think Jagr was the better player

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10-09-2008, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe View Post
If I go to war, I want Esposito on my side. Jagr had a lot more natural talent, but I like what Espo brought beyond the talent. When two players are this close, I'll let the intangibles be the tie breaker.
^ I think this says it best.

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Old
10-09-2008, 05:46 PM
  #10
Dark Shadows
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe View Post
If I go to war, I want Esposito on my side. Jagr had a lot more natural talent, but I like what Espo brought beyond the talent. When two players are this close, I'll let the intangibles be the tie breaker.
Seconded. You can make a good case for any of the players between 15th and 30th of all time being very close. When it comes down to it, its preference and what you consider more important.

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10-09-2008, 05:49 PM
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Nalyd Psycho
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I'd take Jagr because he can excel at making and finishing plays. While Esposito can only excel at finishing.

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10-09-2008, 06:22 PM
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seventieslord
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Esposito has led the NHL in assists, (held the single-season record at one point, I think) and averaged 56 assists per 82 games in his career. I'd say he can make plays.

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Old
10-09-2008, 06:35 PM
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Loto68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Esposito has led the NHL in assists, (held the single-season record at one point, I think) and averaged 56 assists per 82 games in his career. I'd say he can make plays.
Assists does not associate with playmaking ability, only those you don't know what a true play maker is thinks other wise. A player can obtain a large number of assists just by shooting and someone else scoring off the rebound.

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10-09-2008, 06:39 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loto68 View Post
Assists does not associate with playmaking ability, only those you don't know what a true play maker is thinks other wise. A player can obtain a large number of assists just by shooting and someone else scoring off the rebound.
Well, of course a player "can" do that. Does that mean that it actually happens? How many 80-assist players in the history of the league would an objective person say aren't playmakers?

A player can also obtain a large number of goals just by having the goaltender make a horrible mistake on an easy shot. Do players get 50-goal seasons that way? No.

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10-09-2008, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe View Post
If I go to war, I want Esposito on my side. Jagr had a lot more natural talent, but I like what Espo brought beyond the talent. When two players are this close, I'll let the intangibles be the tie breaker.
As they should be. During similar comparisons, too many people side with marginal point differences and overlook the other aspects of the game.

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10-09-2008, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loto68 View Post
Assists does not associate with playmaking ability, only those you don't know what a true play maker is thinks other wise. A player can obtain a large number of assists just by shooting and someone else scoring off the rebound.
I agree. I have been watching some old bruin games & espo almost always went for the shot. Guys like Hodge, cashman & bucyk were there to bang home any rebounds. Not that there is anything wrong with that as that was the way the Bruins played. Someone had to do the work to get it to Espo in the slot so he could pile up the points. That was usually Orr on the rush with either a hand off or a shot and hodge or Cashman digging it out of the corner.

Jagr was a far superior passer & play maker.

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10-09-2008, 06:55 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nalyd Psycho View Post
I'd take Jagr because he can excel at making and finishing plays.While Esposito can only excel at finishing.
While Jagr is the better playmaker of the two(the best playmaking winger of the last decades), that bolded part is a bit too misleading. It's should be more like great vs good playmaking.


Last edited by Slapshooter: 10-09-2008 at 07:43 PM. Reason: lextune below is right: Good is a better word here than a decent
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Old
10-09-2008, 07:33 PM
  #18
lextune
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Espo led the league in assists three times actually. He was more than just decent. Admittedly not on Jagr's level of playmaking but a very fine passer nonetheless.

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10-09-2008, 08:54 PM
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Nice, I have the deciding vote; close it now !

Quote:
Originally Posted by pappyline View Post
Jagr was a far superior passer & play maker.
Nobody scored like Espo and last time I checked most goals win.

I prefer a hockey player who wears his heart where we can all see it.

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10-09-2008, 09:10 PM
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Espo had the slight edge in peak performance, and Jagr has the slight edge in career performance.

I went with Esposito based on his far greater leadership and desire. I don't think that Jagr is quite as bad as he is sometimes portrayed, but he isn't that great. Esposito was a great leader.

Esposito's speech to the fans after losing Game 4 of the Summit Series and falling to 1-2-1 against the Soviets is great.

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Old
10-10-2008, 01:26 AM
  #21
Nalyd Psycho
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It isn't passing I'm refering to when I say playmaking. I mean Jagr creates scoring oppertunities. Orr was the guy who created the plays. Espo was involved with how they finished, but it was Orr who got the plays started. Jagr is a great play creator.

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10-10-2008, 12:50 PM
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seventieslord
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loto68 View Post
Assists does not associate with playmaking ability, only those you don't know what a true play maker is thinks other wise. A player can obtain a large number of assists just by shooting and someone else scoring off the rebound.
Well, you'd need to ask yourself: was the first shot he took responsible for the goal eventually being scored? The answer is of course yes. Therefore that player would have "made" the play, though not by passing.

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Old
10-10-2008, 02:32 PM
  #23
Nalyd Psycho
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Originally Posted by seventieslord View Post
Well, you'd need to ask yourself: was the first shot he took responsible for the goal eventually being scored? The answer is of course yes. Therefore that player would have "made" the play, though not by passing.
But did he create the oppertunity to shoot?

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10-10-2008, 02:50 PM
  #24
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Jagr on natural ability but Espo the hockey player/leader. Bucyk may have been the Captain and Bobby the Wonderboy/fan idol but Espo was the real leader of the Big Bad Bruins.

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Old
10-10-2008, 02:53 PM
  #25
Nalyd Psycho
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Originally Posted by lrodptl View Post
Jagr on natural ability but Espo the hockey player/leader. Bucyk may have been the Captain and Bobby the Wonderboy/fan idol but Espo was the real leader of the Big Bad Bruins.
No. Without Orr their transition game is sub-par, if not brutal. Any good coach could use that fatal flaw to their advantage and Boston never wins a cup. Boston could have won with a healthy Orr, no Esposito, but not with Esposito and no Orr.

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