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03-09-2012, 08:08 AM
Blind Gardien
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nexus of the crisis
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Four Winds Bar
Country: France
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I don't think he has had a sophomore "slump" per se. I also don't think he played any worse in the first 40 games than recently. He has been fine all season long, at approximately the same overall level of play.

That said, I expected him to get around 50 points this year. To take a step up from last years totals, basically by scoring at the pace he did in the second half of last season over a full season this year. But it's only that lack of production where he has... not "slumped"... but rather failed to progress further.

If anything, his defense is even better than ever. And while he has had a few bunches of dumb penaltyitis, it hasn't been quite as bad as last year, IMHO. He's a bit more disciplined (but still has a ways to go).

The offensive disappointment to me is mostly related to his PP failures. Early on, he got himself relegated behind Weber/Diaz even, partly out of bad luck with his shots just not going in or getting the bounces, but partly also because he was too predictable, taking too much time, not really making plays to get the goalie moving or shooting at the right times into traffic, etc. The rest of the team sucking on the PP never helped either. I don't really think of that as a "slump" per se... just part of a learning experience that I think he has been turning the corner on. He finished last season with everything going in almost magically, and with our PP moving the puck around a lot more to help him achieve that. This season, he learned that it's not always going to be so magical, and he has to be a bit smarter in making things happen too.

It has been a good year, and a progressive one overall. I'll go back to expecting 50+ points for him next season.

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