Jets vs. Panthers | Feb 3rd | 6:30 CT / 7:30 ET | Bro Wars Edition III
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02-03-2012, 01:20 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Originally Posted by
Burmi was given first-line time just before the AS break. He did nothing. He didn't look particularly effective having 19 minutes on the top line than he did yesterday.
I like the kid but lets remember that he's a 20-year old sophomore who had 20 points in an average rookie season. We all want to see him develop but he's not a complete enough hockey player to stay on the top two lines. The team needs wins right now and there is no margin of error at this point to sacrifice the system, or any wins, in order to develop one particular player.
He is not good enough to replace any of Ladd, Wellwood, Antropov, Little, Wheeler, or Kane on the top two lines. All of these players are superior hockey players to Burmi in every aspect except perhaps defensive play. I can see an argument for alternating him with Fehr on the second line perhaps, while Kane is out.
I'll say it: Fehr looked more dangerous than Burmi yesterday when he had the puck. When he crashed the net with that solo effort, that was better (offensively) than anything Burmi did the entire night. Burmi was getting knocked on his ass out there.
If he is as good as some claim him to be, as creative offensively, then he should be able to play on any line and contribute. Good hockey players adapt. Every good player out there has been playing with different players from Timbits team onward through their career. That's something that is touted of Kyle Wellwood. That he's creative and he can play on any line and 'shake it up'. If Burmi absolutely HAS to play with Antropov 100% of the time then I don't think that speaks much of him as a player, and I honestly don't think it would make him a well-rounded a player in the long term either.
We all want to see Burmi develop but I think we need to ground the visions of Datsyuk 2.0 a little.
During the first 15 games or so, it was easy to sing Burmi's praises. Even though he tended to overhandle the puck, he was actually getting it low and doing a tremendous job shielding the puck, opening up lanes for teammates. Some of his decline can be explained by subpar linemates and being forced to adhere to a more conservative system, sure. But I also think much of it has to do with his game being very easy to figure out. All his forays involve some kind of unnecessary half-spin or fancy deke, and opposing D seem to have recognized it. They just maintain their gaps, and have no problem snuffing him out of the play. He's become easy to play against, and isn't driving opposing defensemen back.
With our lack of offensive production, he definitely does deserve some time in the top 6. You can't ignore that the playmaking ability and offensive skill is there and needs to be reaped. But like others have said, this isn't a time for coddling. And I don't believe his demotion and limited opportunities have been entirely unfair.
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