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11-23-2008, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mikedifr View Post
No, saying someone is a more versatile player (Richards) doesnt necessarily mean he is the better offensive player. Richards is my favorite player and favorite type of player, someone who does it with intelligence and limited physical skills (the anti-McNabb if you will). Also, if you recall, I was one of the backers of going into last season with him as the #1 center instead of spending the money on Briere, but I dont think he is anywhere near the offensive player that Briere is.....Briere isnt exactly a stupid player by any means (unless we are talking defense) and has the better physical talent. He just happens to be a specific type of offensive player...Richards style of play suits anyone, Briere's does not....That doesnt equate better to me but who cares, I am glad we have both of them.
Yes, but you're not talking about "versatility." Versatility is the ability to play different roles, not the ability to play with different players. Basically what you're suggesting is that Mike Richards is a more robust and effective offensive talent because he is not reliant upon others to succeed offensively, but that Briere--who does rely on others in order to succeed to that level (your claim, not mine)--remains a better offensive player.

Logically, that position doesn't make any sense.

Situation: You absolutely need a goal. You get to choose a single player to go get that goal, but you have no knowledge of any of the other players who are going to be on the ice with that player.

Option 1: A flashy player who can put up a ton of points, but requires specific types of players out there with him in order to fully tap his skill-set.

Option 2: A savvy player who has a knack for getting the job done offensively regardless of who you put him out there with.

You really telling me you're picking Option 1?

More to the point, the discussion is built upon what has been the case since Briere arrived on the scene here in Philly. Since Briere has been wearing a Flyers uniform Mike Richards has been every bit the offensive player that Briere has been and more. If you're going to label Briere an "elite playmaker"--which is fine for discussion purposes--you have to also label Mike Richards one, as he's proven just as much on the ice during that sample.

I'm not arguing in the slightest that Briere isn't a good offensive player, just that you cannot put him on a separate pedestal than Richards as of now. He hasn't earned that type of accolade since coming here, and Richards has more than earned such claims on merit.

The secondary aspect of this Briere discussion is the continued implication that Briere was somehow not reaching offensive expectations here. Last year was his second highest point total during the course of his entire career. As a team we averaged 2.99 goals a game (245). The year before, when Briere was in Buffalo, they averaged 3.63 goals a game (298). The year before that, when he also had a great PPG rate, they averaged 3.37 goals a game (276). So, the fact of the matter is that the Buffalo teams that Briere racked up better PPG totals on were just flat better offensive teams and Briere reaped the statistical reward of being on those clubs. For what we were as a team last year, 72 points in 79 games is a pretty damn respectable total for Briere...So this story that he somehow underperformed last year has some significant holes in it.

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