What's with Dion?
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12-14-2008, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
There is nothing wrong Dion's game this year... there is more happening on the ice than you see in the numbers...
His goal totals are down because he is using his wrist shot more, this can be attributed to a combination of things such as:
- adding Bertuzzi and Cammalleri to the powerplay, more offensive weapons mean he isn't doing it all alone anymore
- playing with lots of PP time with Giordano, before it wa Dion and Aucoin for most PPs and the defense had 2 bombs to watch not just 1
- teams have become more aware of Dion's shot and realize they don't have as much time as before because he won't always wond up the cannon
While the goal totals are down his assists are way up, in fact he leads all NHL defensemen in assists this year and is 3rd in points... in comparison he finished 5th in points last season and 6th in assists... offensively I do not see the concern because its just being distributed differently and is on pace to eclipse his career high in points, which he has done every year of his career thus far.
His penalty minutes are down because his fighting and lazy penalties are down... Keenan wants Dion on the ice for 27+ minutes a game, that doesn't happen when he takes a fighting major or lazy penalties. Another difference is Dion is not pulling himself out of position as often looking for the big hit, this causes less scrums and less fights.
as for his shots... he has 106 and is on pace for 290 which would be a career high by a decent amount... this has nothing to do with him missing the net either because shots are shots on goal, they do not include shots that are blocked or shots that miss the net. The truth is Dion is shooting more and getting more pucks through because he isn't using the slapper as often... also Dion tries missing the net sometimes too, we have all seen it since the Saddledome had new livelier boards put in mid-way through last season
His +/- is misleading as is more players in the league but if you stop to think about how bad the Flames had been at 5 on 5 this year it would make sense. Bad 5 on 5 team , plus a defenseman playing 27+ minutes a game can quite often translate to a poor +/- rating. I would like to point out Dion is playing more on the 1st shorthanded unit than ever before and more against other teams top lines than ever before as well; him being bad defensively has become a myth. His number of poor defensive plays has dropped this year, largely because as I mentioned before he is looking fo the big hit less than ever... but his number of great defensive plays has risen considerably... last season you would hear the commentators comment on a great defensive play by Dion every couple of games, but this year you are seeing it at least once a game.
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