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09-03-2012, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
Plekanec managed to get 52 points, a meager 8 less than Desharnais, playing with a panoply of wingers, against the toughest opposition in the league, with a ton of defensive zone starts and dealing with the fatigue of 3 minutes a game of PK time. Towards the end of the season we were seeing a line of Staubitz-Plekanec-White: the contrast was between Desharnais playing with the two best wingers who are 1st liners on most NHL teams, and Plekanec playing with the two worst wingers on the team, guys who wouldn't make most 4th lines throughout the NHL.

Given these factors, it is clear that Plekanec is at this time a vastly more effective offensive center than Desharnais. Given Plekanec's role last year and the fact he played the toughest minutes on the team in terms of opposition, wingers, etc, there is no doubt that his production was spectacular.
You make very good points in respect to Plekanec's d-zone starts and linemates but you neglect to mention that for the first 25 games of the season Plekanec saw considerably more PP time than Desharnais and for the most part played with better linemates during that span.

Over the final 56 games Desharnais put up 47 points compared to Plekanec's 31 points. That is more than 50% more production from Desharnais than Plekanec over this span.........not exactly close.

You might want to consider that Cole played better with Desharnais than he did with Staal the previous season......last time I checked Eric Staal was a #1 center in this league.

I am not bashing Plekanec as he is a very usefull player but he is absolutely an inferior offensive player to Desharnais. Plekanec is a great skater with decent skills who is defensively responsible but his creativity is pretty average. Desharnais was a very good fit with Cole and Pacioretty as his deft touch complimented their power games perfectly. Cole and Pacioretty play a north-south game and require a center who can drift into soft spots and find them at the right moment. Plekanec has more of a tunnel vision approach and often can be frustrating when he doesn't adjust his speed to create distance from defenders in order to open up passing lanes. Like I said, Plekanec is a very good player and I don't want to see him moved but Desharnais is clearly the better fit as an offensive center.

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