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11-15-2010, 11:52 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
I'll call this a personal epiphany on the topic for me.
A guy like Comrie or Satan is here to help the team win, as is every player on the team. To help the team win, each player has an area of the game they excel at, that is how they made it to the NHL. Some players play a type of game which it is easy to be considered making an impact every shift.
Lets take Adams. His game is hustle, hitting, and blocking shots. (being in position everyone should be accountable for. For Adams, making an impact is pretty simple and he can do this nearly every shift. Hitting or blocking shots are will driven and occur many times in a game. However, you could play Adams on the top line all year, he could lead the team in ice-time, and would have extremely few points. By maximizing this kind of player's ice time there is little upside, it's about using them in the right spot so the will to do the little things makes a big impact.
Now take Comrie. He does none of these little things (notably) on most shifts. What he can do is be a part of 2 plays that result in goals that would not be possible had Adams been playing in his place. However, the Penguins average just over 3 goals per game, and good scoring chances are fairly rare compared to the opportunity to take the body. Therefore, knowing there are fewer opportunities for Comrie to make an impact the thing a player of that mold needs is time. It is lightning in a bottle having Comrie get on the score sheet while playing 4th line minutes.
The key is if Comrie overall is hurting the team. If he played on the first line and they were minus 2 many nights in some way due to his lack of sandpaper, I would say sit him. He never got that chance, nor has he been a liability deserving of being scratched. But, it is fair to say that he is as effective a 4th liner as Adams is a 1st liner.
All in all, I don't think we will ever have a successful purely offensive player be successful in Pittsburgh under DB, unless he learns to handle them as first and second line players.
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