Lars Eller: will he ever make it here?
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01-16-2012, 07:08 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Originally Posted by
Talks to Goalposts
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.
Gomez- 2:51 PP TIO/game - 0 points
Eller- :29 PP TIO/game - 0 points
if the team has been playing to win, and for 15 games put up with Gomez getting almost 3 min/game PP time with nothing to show for it, I don't know how anyone could try to argue that giving Eller a bigger PP role would somehow be less of an objective to win games.
imho, Eller should be getting more pp BOTH to help the team win/be more effective right now (which, while no guarantee, is no less of a certainty than continuing to use Gomez on the pp) and would obviously be beneficial for the long term (both Eller's development, and the teams greater knowledge of what they have in him).
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