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Latendresse traded to Wild for Benoit Pouliot, Part 3
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11-27-2009, 01:44 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Originally Posted by
True, some things can't be measured with numbers, but goal-scoring can. And I certainly ain't making it up.
Sure, he did it mostly against third lines and second pairing D-men and Cammalleri was doing it against top-flight opposition. (Although you do have to factor in Cammy had Iginla and Lats had Kostopoulos.) But that remains a staggeringly high number, especially for a 22-year-old player.
This amount of goal-scoring is valuable no matter how it happens. Trying to dismiss it because somehow goals don't count if it's Lats scoring them or if third-pairing D-men are on the ice is silly. If Lats is a fantastic scorer from the third line and nothing else, that's still a very useful quality. At 800k, it's not like he's keeping you from getting good second liners and it's not like you'd suffer from matching him up against the bottom of the opposition's roster.
It's difficult to understand why the coaches would not want for him to keep this up even if they decide he is not ready for a top-six role, it's puzzling how that little stat alone does not merit him at least some consideration for a scoring role or really any consideration at all from some people, and it really ought to make you wonder why his scoring has completely cratered this year after three years of constant improvement.
And besides, my real point here is that asking Latendresse to score more goals, by driving to the net or otherwise, was a little silly to begin with. Latendresse was simply not likely to score more goals unless he got more icetime, or started scoring them on the PP. Very few players squeeze as many goals as he does in the icetime he gets, third line or not. Trying to teach Latendresse how he can score goals at the NHL level was always a little silly. It should have been abundantly clear he already knew.
We used to have a fantastic third-line goal-scorer. Instead now we have Pouliot, who has lots of unrealized upside and not much else. Well, some decent goal-scoring stats in limited action this year, let's hope he keeps it up. But I think the Wild will be quite happy with Lats if they use him well.
I don't think he was trying to dismiss the value of Latendresse's goals because they were scored vs weaker lines.
I think his point was that you can't really compare Lats production on 3rd to a 40ish Goal Scorer on 1st.
Latendresse did score at a reasonable pace, and had he not been injured last year, he'd most likely have cracked the 20G mark.
I always defended him here and I'm sure he'll reach his potential in Minny if they give him all the chances. But he'll have to rush the net there as well.
There's a reason why Lats had success with players like Kosto or Lappy. They were faster than him and had no problem rushing the net. So, he could play a more perimeter role and be the 2nd guy to come into the corners. He didn't have to be the big body presence in front of the net on those lines because the other two were already rushing it.
If you look at his success on the top lines though, it came from him being in front of the net. He wasn't stickhandling through the zone like Koivu or setting himself up for a one timer around hash marks like Ryder use to.
His goals were in huge majority scored from close to the crease.
His stickhandling, playmaking and shooting skills are somewhat adequate, but not enough for him to hold the role of a playmaker or sniper. Not on the top lines as other players with those roles are better at it.
He doesn't have as good a shot as Cammy, A.Kost or Gionta, so can't expect him to be the sniper. You can even argue Gomez and Plek have nicer shots.
He doesn't have the playmaking skills that Gomez or Plekanec, and A.Kost also makes sick passes, so he won't be the guy carrying the puck.
His lack of speed makes it even harder for him to hold these roles.
So what would be his best use on top lines???....His body. Unfortunately, he either didn't want to do it, or simply couldn't understand what he was doing wrong.
I understand that his role in the juniors was different. But there's a huge number of players that change roles from juniors to nhl.
That's something he failed to acknowledged. It's normal for a guy his size with his talent to dominate the Q as a scorer. But in the NHL, it's another story.
It's not because you scored 15G as a 3rd liner that you can score 20-30G on the 1st line. His role will change from 3rd to 1st. He didn't seem to understand that.
You're not going to score 20-30G on the first line the same way you did so on 3rd. Otherwise, Lappy could be there too.
The Day Lats understands how he needs to play to perform on top6, will be the Day he'll be very successful.
I might be wrong, but I'd bet my life savings on being right.
Last edited by Kriss E: 11-27-2009 at
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