Why are we so much better this year?
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03-21-2012, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Originally Posted by
Yes and no. You can look at the offense and say it's basically the same as last year, but this year, our scoring has been much, much more consistent. We haven't had any prolonged periods where we couldn't put the puck in the net, unlike last year.
Yup, and a few blowouts last year skewed our stats. We haven't had any blowouts this year so the overall goals for stat and goals per game is much more indicative of our actual offensive performance. And like you said, the scoring has been consistent.
It's been beaten to death, but if this team could seriously fix their powerplay, we'd be an incredibly hard team for anyone to beat in a 7 game series. More than we need an elite LW, we need the powerplay to make other teams pay for taking penalties. As it stands now (ignoring the not-yet-proven Zuccarellian powerplay), teams can take liberties against us, especially in the playoffs when less is called to begin with, because if they do take a penalty, we don't have the killer instinct, confidence, or swagger on the PP to make teams fear it.
Richards has the swagger on the PP, but Gaborik is honestly one of the worst half-wall players I've ever seen, for such a skilled guy. He does not control the puck well, he doesn't have as much patience as he should, and he makes soft plays with the puck under pressure. Oh, and he rarely shoots off the pass. He likes to get it, fake, step into the middle, and then shoot into the 3-4 bodies in front. I honestly think Gaborik should either be on the opposite side wall, or on the second powerplay unit altogether. He's stifling whatever flow Richards tries to create with movement and quick passes.
Richards, Zuccarello, Stepan, Del Zotto, and either Cally or Hagelin should be our top PP unit.
Put Gaborik with Mitchell (who actually has controlled and settled the puck better than Gaborik on the PP this year) and Dubinsky on the second unit. If he ever figures himself out, we'd then have two units with weapons.
Obviously Richards for the face off, but as far as the setup:
Stepan Hagelin Zuccarello
Del Zotto Richards
Gaborik Dubinsky Mitchell
I'd like to see Cally tried at the point. He's got an underrated slapshot, IMO.
Last edited by Zuccarello Awesome*: 03-21-2012 at
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