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04-03-2012, 03:24 PM
  #660
417
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kriss E View Post
Kind of tough to know where this guy really is in terms of progression because we've handled him quite poorly over the year, or at least, since RC took over.
Martin was slowly breaking him in as a top shutdown guy. He formed a trio with Moen, who's always been a checking line center, and AK, who, under Martin, has improved his defensive game by leaps and bounds. Whenever they faced weaker bottom line opponents, they absolutely dominated them.

Pretty sure most had DD behind Eller at the beginning of the season in terms of center depth. Heck, some might have had him behind Gomez, which is why he was the one people moved to the wing.

I don't think it's fair to say Eller is not ready for a top 6 role. He is 5th in terms of ES scoring, despite having played 150-200min less than the guys in front. Not only that, but he's done it with much less talented wingers.
16 goals overall averaging 15min on a 3rd/4th line playing with scrappers for more than half the year and without much PP time, which ties him up with DD and Plek for goals. Not too shabby. I wouldn't be so quick to say he's not ready for top 6 duties.

But obviously, he's not going to beat Plekanec out of it. However, I don't want us to use him as a checking center, that would be a waste. I want us to give him offensive wingers so they can dominate opposition, and I also want us to alternate those centers during the PP. It really baffles me that DD gets to play with the two best wingers both at ES and on the PP, especially considering it leads to very little on the PP.

I'm not saying Eller is particularly ready for a top 6 role. What I'm saying is that I don't think management has handled him well enough for us to really know what we have under our hands.
In any event, he needs offensive wingers, not guys like Ryan White.


As for Koivu, if he wants to make a return to Mtl, then he's the one that should be moved to the wing.
It's unfortunate that he'll never get a fair shot to be a top 6 player as long as Plekanec is in Montreal...

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