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01-16-2012, 06:47 PM
  #79
Talks to Goalposts
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Edmonton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miller Time View Post
doesn't have to be Eller OR pleks/DD...

best PP in the league, Vancouver.

top 6 fwds for PP time: Sedin/Sedin/Booth/Kesler/HIggins/Hodgson

2nd best pp in the league, Edmonton

top 6 fwds in PP time: RNH/Eberle/Hall/Horcoff/Smyth/Gagner

3rd best PP, Nashville

top 6 fwds for PP time: Wilson/Horquist/Smith/Legwand/Erat/Fisher



top 3 pp's in the league give 3 (or 4 if you go by natural positions) centres "top 6" minutes on the PP (and of course, some will point out that the 7th/8th fwd sometimes is just a few seconds/game difference, but that's besides the point...)

I would argue that "smart" coaches are "smart enough" to figure out that it makes sense to use your most offensively gifted players on the PP...

Centres, almost by definition, tend to have better vision/hockey IQ, than wingers. Eller, imo, definitely has strong sense of how to move/create space with the puck... it's ridiculous that in 2 years, 2 different head coaches haven't figured out that it is in our best interest, both short & long term, to give Eller an opportunity to see what he can do/learn with some regular PP time...

not too mention the confidence boost it would/should give him.

The thing is that a lot of teams that have 3/4 centers as regular powerplay guys have forwards playing the point on the powerplay. None of Montreal's forwards have shown the ability to do that (although Plekanec wasn't terrible there). Also Montreal is very deep in winger talent compared to even good teams.

So that leaves us with 6 spots for forwards. Most Cole seasons he would be completely replaceable on the powerplay since he was pretty replaceable there in Carolina but he's the one guy doing well here this season. Plekanec has a solid track record of being a power play producer so he plays. 4 spots left.

Desharnais and Pacioretty are both young developing players that have shown a proclivity for a strong powerplay game. They both need to and should play. 2 spots left.

Cammalleri had not had a good powerplay year but he's elite there previous seasons so you've got to figure any resurgance is going to involve him. 1 spot left. 2 spots now that he's been traded.

So now we're choosing between Kostitsyn, Gionta, Gomez and Eller for the final position. Currently its those 4 plus Bourque minus Gionta competing for 2. And since your powerplay has been so ineffective you need to be looking at who will be the most likely to help a revival. In this context Eller not seeing ice makes sense. Gomez would be the guy whose skill set is the most similar and even during last season's disaster was a good power play forward and hasn't played enough yet to know if his 0 points this season was just bad luck on an unproductive unit or an actual decline.

I'm not sure you can justify playing Eller with the man advantage if your objective is still to win games.

If you consider the season to be lost and are just looking to the future though. Go hog wild and let him center the 2nd unit.

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