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08-31-2011, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by habsjunkie2 View Post
That remains to be seen. If he does show signs this year, do you think Martin will give him the opportunity to showcase his progression at the cost of Gomez's ice time?
In 2010-2011, Martin has shown no hesitation to give progressing youth increasingly greater responsibilities. It happened a bit more quickly in Subban's case than he would've like, I'm sure, but if a kid eats a vet's lunch, the kid will end up with the job.

The reason Gomez kept getting his icetime is because in spite of his point production, he was not performing poorly; indeed, he was generating scoring chances and outchancing the opposition. Martin has an army of associates and assistants poring over videos; he'll notice these things where less analytical observers (like most media types) might evaluate a player on the sole basis of his points total. Absent a valid alternative, Martin was wise to allow Gomez to continue to generate scoring chances and hope something would finally go in; besides, there's really no other way to get out of a funk out of this type.

Of course, it doesn't help that Eller, specifically, had the same problem with low conversion rate as Gomez for most of the year...

Besides, I'd say you're unlikely to see Gomez's icetime drop unless his puck possession and scoring chance differential start to suffer; what you'll see is him getting different icetime, where he gets more third-line competition and Eller gets increasingly more minutes against second-line opposition.

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