Thread: Injury Report: Bernier Injured - Back to Vancouver
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04-05-2010, 08:48 PM
  #76
NFITO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggest Canuck Fan View Post
I think it depends on Berniers play over the past 3 games as well as Grabners play. If Grabner looks great and is a constant threat, how can you pull him? As well Bernier has sort of run out of chances in terms of being a top 9 player. He was supposed to be a 20+ goal guy and while he has 11 G 10 A in 56 games.

Grabner has shown in his few games that he can be more effective in those limited games than Bernier has been all season. Now Bernier can still be used in special teams roles if needed but I would be suprised if Bernier replaces or supplants Grabner.
I don't get how those are bad numbers for a 3rd line guy?

Bernier may have been projected to be a 20+ goal guy, but that was also assuming he was projected to be a top-6 winger. 20+ goals from your 3rd line winger isn't all that realistic an expectation, and Bernier has played pretty much exclusively on the 3rd line since he got here - outside the first 20 or so games when the team still thought he was ready for top-6 duty when he first arrived.

Projected over a full season, that's on pace for 16 goals and 30 pts. Compare that with the other players around the league that fill 3rd line spots and I doubt his numbers are much worse.

I don't see it as Bernier running out of chances to be a top-9 player - I think he may be running out of chances to be a top-6 guy, but he's cemented himself quite well as a 3rd line player overall... like most 3rd liners he's inconsistent, but he also does bring some elements to the team with his size and ability to play on the boards and in front of the net. His 16 goal pace isn't that bad for a 3rd liner either, and at his age he should be expected to improve that a bit more as well.

Bernier is a disappointment if you're projecting him as the power forward with top line upside who could be a good fit with the Sedins - what he was basically projected as when he first arrived. But as a "top-9" guy, or more specifically a 3rd liner, he's still a solid player and contributor this team IMO.

As far as Grabner goes, I don't see them challenging for the same spot, because they don't play similar roles. I think Grabner's bigger challenge is to supplant one of Demitra, Raymond or Samuelsson in the lineup, who are all used in more offensive roles, than a guy like Bernier, who's expected to fill a more physical role on the team. I still maintain that Grabner is Demitra's heir apparent next season... this season Bernier is back in the lineup the minute he's healthy and will play on either the 3rd or 4th line, and won't be pushing anyone out of the top-6 spot, which is were Grabner is most useful.

If Grabner continues to play well I could see him in the lineup (moving Bernier to the 4th line with Samuelsson on the 3rd and one of Hansen or Glass/Hordichuk out)... but I'd be surprised at this point if Grabner has anything more than cup of coffee in the playoffs, barring injury.

The playoff lines I'm expecting (again granted everyone is healthy):

Daniel-Henrik-Burrows
Demitra-Kesler-Samuelsson
Raymond-Wellwood-Bernier
Glass-Johnson-Hansen/Rypien

that 3rd line was together last playoffs and all 3 had a solid playoffs overall... I could see AV going back to that unit again this year.

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