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04-24-2011, 11:43 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
just imagine what Eller's game would look like if he had actually been used consistently during the regular season, and given even just occasional opportunities with top-6 wingers and/or on the PP.
Credit to him that he was able to keep his attitude/ego in check all year, and his confidence at a good level, despite playing for a coach who refused to show him any trust all year long.
It's not about forcing him into a top-6 role too early, but it should have been about recognizing that Gomez was not giving the team anything, so whatever growing pains might have to be endured by giving the kid an extra 3-4 min/game (14-15min instead of 10-11) would have been well worth the opportunity to push his development along by exposing him to situations/challenges (playing in 3rd periods when down or tied, getting some PP reps, playing with some linemates that can actually put the puck in the net).
it's one thing to "rush" a player, by forcing them into a role they aren't ready for, it's quite another to gradually expose a young player to more intense game opportunities when the stakes aren't quite as high as a game 5 double overtime situation, in order to let him "learn on the job".
aside from the obvious desire for the habs to play deep into the playoffs, beating the Bruins is SOO importante b/c if Martin has finally figured it out, and will get Eller on the ice regularly for the duration of the playoffs, every game he gets will only make him that much better come next september.
but man alive, we need to get rid of Gomez.
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