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11-15-2012, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
See, I'm not so sure about that. I mentioned this in my first post that he seemed to lack hockey sense altogether. Some players do. Rico Fata could skate like the wind but the knock on him was "limited hockey sense". I think the NHL was starting to figure Berard out sooner than he expected. When you look at Brian Leetch or Coffey or Housley you would say they are not only great rushers but players with great vision and hockey sense as well. I never felt that with Berard. I always thought he was just a good rusher with little else at his disposal. For whatever reason the league was starting to figure him out long before his eye injury. Some players have one trademark move and once it gets exploited they can't do a whole lot else. That's my opinion on Berard.
I’d agree that this is pretty much exactly the case.

Berard could generate points by playing a very high-risk attacking style, and jumping into the play and joining the rush on a constant basis. This is what we saw early in his career with the Islanders – quite a few points but really poor defensive play.

When coaches tried to get him to settle down and play more within himself, the points stopped coming at anywhere close to the same rate. He didn’t have the hockey sense and vision to be a dynamic point producer without playing an all-out offensive style as a 4th forward. He was great at hopping into the play and creating a 3-on-2 rush, but not really all that great at springing a rush with an excellent outlet pass. And he didn’t really pick his spots all that well.

Result was that during his Toronto years he was just kind of a middling ‘meh’ player – improved defensively but not really all that great, and not really anything special offensively anymore, either.

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