Thread: Proposal: Montreal - Phoenix
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11-01-2012, 01:37 PM
Talks to Goalposts
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Originally Posted by Blind Gardien View Post
I agree with most of what you said, re:Boedker and his relative value... but I think the above paragraph undersells Desharnais. If there was any lack of systematic play for the Habs last year, it was not in a fashion which would normally tend to accentuate offensive production. True, Desharnais did end up playing with the two best wingers... who produced better when Desharnais arrived with them. He wasn't gifted the spot, he worked his way up as the best option. He was the 20th leading scorer in the league at center, and you can split hairs all day on what that means re: "top 6" status, what the "average" would be, etc. But he put himself there in the top-6, in his first full season, at a great price tag. I don't think anybody classifies it as "the next Marty St.Louis". He but he did a great job all the same. He shows natural ability at generating offense, and has managed to step up into a top role quickly now at each stage of his pro progression. Most 5'7" offensive dynamos don't get there. He has done something special and does have some praiseworthy traits, even if you don't have to extrapolate all the way to St.Louis.
Actually, last year both Pacioretty and Cole scored goals at a faster rate at even strength away from Desharnais rather than with him, the reason they scored the bulk of their goals with Desharnais was because they played the bulk of their minutes with him. They didn't spend enough PP time away from him to make any meaningful comparison.

W DD: 1.30 per hour
W/O DD: 1.63 per hour

W DD: 1.11 per hour
W/O DD: 1.39 per hour

Not to say Desharnais was bad at his role or anything, he's obviously a good playmaker. But its a myth to say he got 67 and 72 to score faster with him than without out him in 2011-12. Its easy to see where this got started, neither Pacioretty nor Cole started the year hot before the big line got tried, but once they were hot the scoring proceeded with or without Desharnais on the ice.

So if you want to say, Desharnais can be the primary playmaker in a top level scoring line, you'd have evidence for that from the past season. If you want to say, Desharnais got Cole and Pacioretty scoring faster with him rather than away from him last year, that would be technically wrong.

The one noticable change is that Cole went from a bad powerplay goal scorer to a good one playing with Desharnais. Which is how he went from a 26 to 35 goal scorer despite his even strength goal scoring rate going only slightly up in Montreal compared to Carolina. He got 10 PP goals after a long period of not being a good PP scorer in Carolina.

A better demonstration of his offensive talents was getting very good offensive production out of the Habs 4th line in 2010-11.

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