An asset manager's view of the habs - Part I: Forwards
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11-11-2011, 07:35 AM
Haters gonna hate
Join Date: Sep 2006
Originally Posted by
I don't really disagree with much besides most of the Gionta part. his goal production over the last two seasons are his 2nd and 3rd best career goal totals in the NHL, and he's on pace for over 20 again this season after a noticably slow start. I think your assessment of Gionta is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to the slow start he and the whole team has had up to this point this season. I don't see why he won't put up 20+ goals this season like he has every other year, and he's excellent in scoring dirty goals down low, a trait which we lack from most of our other forwards. His hand-eye is easily the best on the team.
While I agree that his best uses are on the PK, I don't think he at all deserves to have reduced ice-time 5-on-5. He's one of our best puck possessors, and is great along the boards and in the corners. He's likely the grittiest small-guy in the league, and doesn't get pushed off the puck easily, unlike a Desharnais for example.
As far as the assessment of our defense goes, I agree in most of it with the exception of saying Weber's been our best defenseman (but I guess that's why you said "arguably"). He has been good, and I don't understand any of the flak he's been getting from some of the posters on our board (though I don't understand a lot of what goes on on our board from time to time, lol). I think compared to most of last season, he's been far and away our most improved player and definitely deserved a spot on the d-corps permanently now. I'm also very happy to see him using his cannon of a shot that we'd heard so much about in the AHL but hadn't really seen when he became a full-time Canadien.
Good insight, especially regarding Gionta's goal scoring since joining the team. My opinion is not a knee-jerk reaction though, since I've felt this way since he's been on the team. I believe him putting his 2nd and 3rd best goal scoring totals with us is a direct result of Martin's overutilization. I believe Martin gives him too many looks on the PP at the expense of other more talented players. I believe Gionta (ignoring the Coyotes game yesterday lol) generally doesn't utilize his linemates well, and makes his line less effective offensively in 5-on-5 situations. I also believe that Gionta can score 20+ goals irrespective of which line or center he plays with, since he relies on a gritty goal-crashing style to generate his chances as opposed to building scoring chances by linking up with his linemates. Conversely, a guy like Cammalleri absolutely needs to be playing with our best center in order to get scoring chances. Again, it's a question of optimizing asset utilization to maximize team performance.
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