Game #39: St. Louis Blues vs. Pheonix Coyotes
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01-04-2012, 04:32 PM
Chi Town Bound
Join Date: Dec 2006
Originally Posted by
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.
I can't see any fault in looking at Berglund's play from that perspective. We for sure have to be measuring our team against the best.
Also, I don't disagree that either Berglund is going to have to play better or we need a better center to make it to that next level. I do however think we need to stay patient and let some more of the year play out. Berglund has improved his all around play, even though his point production has been beyond frustrating. So there is some positive growth in areas that usually take more time to develop. The good news is we can afford to be patient with Berglund (IMO), because we are winning despite he and Stewart's lack of point production.
Being patient, albeit hard, is a very good strategy that has paid off for the Red Wings. If we look at their top two centers, I think we can become more comfortable with Berglund. At age 23 Datsyuk amassed 35 points and at 24, 51 points. Zetterberg had 44 points at age 23 and 43 at age 24.
Looking how patience paid off for the Blues, we can look to Backes who at age 23 had 31pts. and at 24 had 54pts.
San Jose had to wait a little too:
Sedin @ 23 = 39pts.____@24 =42pts.
Kesler @ 23 = 37pts.____@24 =59pts.
Again, I think your right to point out that Berglund this year isn't getting it done, but I see next year as a better place to say whether he will be good enough for us to go far in the playoffs.
Feel free to disagree.
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