Finished season 1 of Counterpart. Didn't watch it in real time despite the recommendations, it sounded a lot like Fringe, but it's not and the cast is great, plus the identity angle. I wonder where season 2 is going.
I think its fair to ask, what scores did you shoot to earn the ESR? It must have been well below your current Handicap Index, or else it wouldn't have kicked in. And since you shot those really good scores, you've shown that you have the potential to shoot them again. You don't get a ESR of -3 without at least 2 really good scores, since the max reduction for a single good score is -2 (for a Differential 10 strokes or more below your current Handicap Index). I know its tough to maintain a new and improved level of play, but you CAN do it. Congratulations on making the improvements!
It's exactly the lateness of the NHL expanding that makes this whole era thing even more confusing to deal with.
The overall talent pool for hockey really wasn't much better in the late 70s or early 80s than it was in the 50s and 60s when the Richards, Howes and Hulls were doing their thing. It's was still mostly Canadians. Only after American and European players started coming into the league in larger numbers did the overall talent pool significantly improve.
Put it this way, I'm not real sure Gretzky had to deal with a lot tougher competition in the 1983-84 season against juggernauts like the Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Scouts, Hartford Whalers and New Jersey Devils (21 teams x 20 players = 420) than Howe, Hull and Richard had to deal with in the 60s against the old original six (120). Would you rather face the best 420 players in 1983-84 or the best 120 players in 1966?
Also think about the level of familiarity. With that many head-to-head games, you aren't going to fool anyone after a while.
Then things change dramatically when eastern Europe opens up and their players start coming over in large numbers. A current team against anyone from prior to say 1990 would probably be a beat down.
And that's probably why Gretzky won't get replaced as everyone's perceived GOAT if not the genuine article. His fame, bolstered in a big way by his trade to the LA Kings), is world-wide. It would have been all over if the Kings had actually won a Cup or two back then.
Lemieux is known but not on the same level. I'd guess that if you aren't of a particular age, a hockey fan or from Pittsburgh, you might not even know him.