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12-02-2009, 10:52 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Napa Valley, CA
Country: United States
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Originally Posted by CJL182 View Post
I'll admit I wasn't enthusiastic about signing him in the offseason. It seemed like a swap with Goc at the time, but damn what a pick up. I've always tried to show 3rd/4th liners some love because they don't get as much as the big name guys, and he's quickly becoming one of my favorite players along with Jed. If we go far in the playoffs and we resign him, I might just get a sweater with his name on it.
I have always been surprised how passionate Goc supporters were here. The explanations for his lack of offense were non-stop and the lauding of the talents he did have were magnified - handle the puck in a phone booth, great set of hands, best faceoff guy on the team .... just never given a chance. But he was never a top 6 and even worse as an 'energy guy.' And yet the chorus that suggested we would never find a guy with his tool box was cacophonous when he was released.

With Nichol playing a steady energy game and despite stat lines that are very similar between Goc and Nichol today, if a vote were taken 98% would take Nichol now. Why? His speed creates an entirely different paradigm on the 4th line. His FO% is even better than Goc. He finishes checks that Marcel didn't. He's at least as good on the PK. He is relentless as a forechecker, and he brings a level of energy to the team with his effort that raises the bar on for his teammates when they take their shifts. Bottom line - he is a player with a role on the team while Marcel was a player who simply played on lower lines because he wasn't good enough to play higher. But he never found a role on the team. Nichol has indeed been a breath of fresh air.

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