Mika Zibanejad is the real deal.
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11-16-2012, 06:19 PM
The OttoMan Lion
Join Date: Dec 2008
Originally Posted by
Hale The Villain
Big power winger that can go through you or around you, possesses an excellent shot and smooth hands
Zibanejad has shown flashes of Hossa-like ability, just not very often. He needs to be more consistent shift to shift.
Similarities stop there. Hossa had more in his arsenal and used it more consistently.
Hossa is one hell of a finisher - even when Heatley was scoring his 50 goal seasons there would be several instances where he would be in close and mess up a finish (especially in big games) and I would just think... "god dammit. Hossa would have put that in the net". Hossa, especially in his last 2 years in Ottawa when he
found his place, just totally capitalized. His last two years in Ottawa he scored 81 goals on only 462 shots. He shot at 17.53% shooting percentage, which is insane, but more importantly is to note that in those 2 years he had his two lowest shot totals of his career in seasons in which he played over 65 games. He used his teammates perfectly and hardly ever wasted an opportunity. By contrast he scored 2 more goals over the next 2 seasons while shooting 220 more times. Hossa in his prime with the Senators was an insanely efficient beast. He was perfectly in tune with the system to a point where Zibanejad just does not posses the mind to achieve.
Secondly - although this closely relates to the first point - Hossa's strength wasn't in being able to get a shot off quickly like Zibanejad - although his release probably rivalled and bested Ziba's. Rather, his true strength lay in his ability to hold onto the puck for the perfect amount of time. Making room for himself and teammates before often making the perfect play. Quite reminiscent of prime Alfie in some ways, but with better hands. Again, Zibanejad simply won't ever have that level of hockey IQ to be able to pull those kinds of plays. Now, I don't think Zibanejad is a dumb hockey player... but his vision and ability to read the play will never, ever be elite. Hossa was and still is arguably one of the best in the game at that, whereas with Zibanejad we'll be lucky if his IQ ever matches up to his tools. Hossa, while arguably having better physical tools, had an IQ that far surpassed them.
In summation, Hossa in his prime was a truly dominant player who could beat you in countless ways. Even if Zibanejad puts up a 40 goal season, or has a 4 season stretch where he scores over 160 goals like Hossa did, he will do it based on his speed, size, strength and shot and he will most probably be extremely goal heavy in those years. Hossa had all those tools in spades as well, but the basis of his dominance stemmed from his head.
TL;DR: Zibanejad will never approach Hossa's mental game and fundamental understanding that was so crucial in how he played the game
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