Game #39: St. Louis Blues vs. Pheonix Coyotes
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01-04-2012, 04:45 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Crested Butte, CO
Originally Posted by
Last year, centers 60 to 31 in scoring had 37 to 54 points and the same range for points per game was .5 to .7. And many of those guys are considerably worse than Berglund defensively. Plus, he's just a few points out of that range in a year when the whole team is failing to score. He's not a #1 center, but he is definitely a 2nd line center.
I'm open to discussion about what kind of 2nd line center a playoff team or a Cup contender needs, or that Backes isn't dangerous/productive enough for the Blues to also run with Berglund, or any number of sensible analyses. But let's be clear about what we're talking about instead of casually saying Berglund isn't even a second line center.
You make a good point taking the whole league into consideration. It's my fault for not being more precise with my wording.
What I'm always thinking when it comes to the Blues is in terms of building a winner, a team that can fight and be expected to win in the playoffs. So when I think 2d line center in that context I'm measuring Berglund against teams who can actually fight and win a round.
Last year, these eight teams won at least a playoff round: Vancouver, San Jose, Detroit, Nashville, Boston, Tampa, Washington and Philadelphia. Berglund could have been a top-two on Nashville but not on any of the others. You could maybe try to argue Brooks Laich in Washington.
Vancouver: D Sedin, Kesler
San Jose: Thornton, Pavelski
Detroit: Datsyuk, Zetterberg
Boston: Krejci, Bergeron
Tampa: Stamkos, Lecavalier
Washington: Backstrom, Laich
Philadelphia: Carter, Richards
Other playoff teams Chicago (Toews, Sharp) and Pittsburgh (Crosby, Malkin) show how important having two strong centers are. Nashville advanced a round without potent scoring centers but also got to play a one-line team in Anaheim. Phoenix, LA and NYR put up no resistance in the playoffs. Montreal and Buffalo's centers were somewhat meh, but teams like that are going to make the playoffs in the east.
So I will concede that it's inartful to say Berglund can't put up points in the range of a 2d line center. In the context of the entire league he can. When I say there's an upgrade needed at 2d line center I only mean to compare with the teams in the league with any shot of winning something. I've been taking this as a given in terms of thinking about where the club needs to improve but not saying it.
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