NJ - Edmonton
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09-11-2012, 02:07 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Originally Posted by
The alternative was putting Elias on the top line. It was plausible, but it would have made the Devils a one line team until Josefson returned from injury. Then Henrique stepped in and excelled, and the Devils ended up with a top 6 capable of carrying the offensive load equally. If Henrique had flopped, Elias would have been put on the top line, Zubrus would have centred the second line, and the bottom 6 would sort itself out with call ups. Henrique didn't score all those points just because he got lucky, he earned his spot on the top line, and once he was there, he seized his opportunity to shine and justified it.
Henrique was on the first PK unit, paired with Parise. The second unit was Elias-Zubrus, and the third unit changed regularly, but in the first half of the season it was usually Kovalchuk-Carter. That PK ended up setting a league record for killing percentage, and scored a ton of shorthanded goals to boot, seven of which Henrique was involved in. You absolutely should attribute a lot of that success to Henrique's presence on the first unit.
Henrique also didn't take many penalties, meaning that he was almost always playing on the PK, not making his teammates kill his infractions for him.
Your numbers game really isn't taking into account the way Henrique plays. There are players who put up points because they are carrying the run of play and creating scoring chances, and then there are complementary players who succeed because they make space for the dynamic players, or share a chemistry with the dynamic player that they couldn't replicate with a less skilled player. Henrique is the former, not the latter. He is a dynamic player in his own right, and a guy like that, with the work ethic he has, will not be a flash in the pan.
He had one minor penalty in like 70 games. "didn't take many penalties" is selling it short.
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