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08-18-2004, 08:57 PM
  #35
FlyersFan10*
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedifr
Anyone criticizing Gagne has absolutely no clue what they are talking about, and are probably smoking crack!!
Uh, wrong there guy. I can criticize Gagne's play because his play has been spotty at best over the past two years. While I will attribute the one year to being injured, the fact of the matter is that when he did play, his play was inconsistent in the offensive zone. As for the second year under Hitchcock, I expected him to adapt and to be even better. I will say that Simon failed. He had numerous offensive chances on the Primeau line and he didn't capitalize. And for that, I will criticize. Say what you want about Gagne being a great defensive forward, but Gagne has excellent offensive skills that he sometimes chooses not to use or build upon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedifr
Do you expect someone playing on the 3rd line of a hockey team, against the opponents top line, with that Gretzky like playmaker Keith Primeau, to score more than 24 goals?
And the year that Gagne had 33 goals, who was the centreman on that line. Oh wait, that's right, it was Keith Primeau. Gagne had his best year with Primeau as his centreman. So, don't even use the excuse that Primeau isn't a playmaker. Yes, I also attribute Recchi to having an effect on Gagne's 33 goal year. However, to dismiss the notion that Primeau didn't contribute is not only assinine, it's ignorant as well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedifr
Do we forget that he was 2nd on the team in goals?? Do we forget that he scored 10 in 12 games while playing on the first line with Zhamnov? Do we forget that when he was playing with solid playmakers in Langkow or Recchi that he scored over 30 goals?
That fact that he only had 23 or 24 goals, when he could have had 35 to 40 goals easily,also represents what I've stated all along. Simon's play is inconsistent at best when it comes to offense. Once again, you are incorrect in referring to Langkow as being Gagne's centerman the year he had the 33 goals. His centerman was Keith Primeau. And you can also say what you want about playing on the third line as being a contributing factor towards Simon not scoring 30. The line of Primeau, Kapannen, and Gagne was also the team's best line that generated offensive chances. The best line. That was proven statistically as that line averaged more scoring chances over the year than the rest of the lines in Philadelphia. Yeah right, third line strictly checking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedifr
Gagne is an exceptional defensive player, one of the best in the league. Gagne is one of the fastest skaters in the league. What Gagne is not, is a player like Pavel Bure who can create his own goals no matter who is on his line
I agree that Gagne is an exceptional defensive player. But when he was drafted, he was drafted for his scoring ability. We need his scoring ability more than we need his ability to lock up an opposing player from scoring. Gagne is a five star talent in this league. He has scoring ability, skating ability, passing ability, is a team player, and is unselfish. However, the one thing that I notice about Simon is that he is content with being a good player. It's funny that he only becomes great when someone like Bob Clarke has to light a fire under his ass. He is maddeningly inconsistent and with this being Simon's sixth year in the league, it's time he steps up and decides whether he is going to be the game breaking player he can be or if he is going to accept being a bit player in the bigger scheme of things.

Of note, I have watched every Philadelphia game over the past two years. So, don't piss on me and tell me it's raining. I see so much potential in Gagne to be a completely dominant player, yet it seems like he always holds something back. One of the reasons I'm critical of Gagne is that I want to see him get over the hump. I want to see him be the 80 to 90 point per year player he can be. I'm sorry, but I don't want to see him waste his talent and become a faster version and cleaner version of Bobby Holik. I want to see Gagne be the leader of this team in the future and be the player who can bring them to the next level. I don't want to see Simon settle for being a 50 to 60 point player with an excellent +/- stat. I want to see the Simon who played at the all star game and had Mario Lemieux stating that he wanted Gagne in Pittsburgh to play on his wing. That's the Gagne I want and I'm pretty sure if you were to poll everyone on here, I'm sure they'd want the Gagne who can be the 80 to 90 point scorer that he should be.

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