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06-03-2010, 02:23 PM
  #83
JBernierFan
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Diego
Country: United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFKingshomer View Post
Kopitar took the time to learn the defensive side. Kovalchuk still floats.
Everyone thought it was crazy that Kovalchuk was traded to the Devils because they play a defensive style. Everyone talked about how he couldn't hold his own in the defensive end and he wouldn't be able to score in that system. Despite a few games right after the trade of not producing, he still managed these stats with the Devils:

gms G A P +/-

New Jersey NHL 27 10 17 27 9


and the playoffs this year

gms G A P +/-

New Jersey NHL 5 2 4 6 0


And his final stats of the year w/ Atlanta and NJ combine:

gms G A P +/-

2009-10 Total Atl/NJ NHL 76 41 44 85 10


After he was trade to NJ, I tried to watch all their games. As I mentioned above, he didn't look great the first few games with NJ, despite getting a lot of shots on goal. Once he got back into his groove and learned the system (remember, he'd only been with Atlanta before the trade), he excelled. He didn't "float" and actually had a couple great takeaways in the defensive zone that impressed me.

I'm not one of the people that is dying to have him here (though I think it would be awesome), nor am I penciling him in like some already. I do believe that Dean will try hard to get him, but that doesn't mean he will sign here.

If you don't think our top need is a top line sniper (that's a LW to boot), you're nuts. Our 5-on-5 was terrible this past year and especially in the playoffs. I do think we need to add another D man, but not someone on a long term contract. We just need to have a gap player until Hickey/Voynov/Muzzin/Teubert, etc are ready to take the next step and be an impact player. As far as snipers in our system...zip. When is the last time a player at 27 years of age who averaged a total of 87.4 points over the past 5 season on below average teams become available for cash? I sure as hell can't think of any. Also take into account that he is a big body at 6-2 and 230lbs and averages 79 games a year.

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