Blake Wheeler Appreciation Thread
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11-20-2012, 01:52 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Northeastern CT
Originally Posted by
Wheeler was not a dumb player. You can't be a dumb player and be as solid as Wheels can be defensively. His problem in Boston is that Boston has certain expectations of what a player is supposed to look like when they happen to be over a certain height, and Wheeler just didn't have the mindset to use his size the way the Bruins wanted him to. A more laissez-faire environment that allowed him to use his actual skillset instead of the skillset people expect of a 6'4" wing in Boston, it's no shock to me he's thriving.
What Wheeler is: A skill wing with very good skating ability and above average hands, and a skilled defensive wing, who also happens to be a big man who can use his size in his skill game to make it harder to take him off the puck
What Wheeler never will be, and what Boston expected him to be: A power forward.
That's pretty much the end of it. Wheeler is not a PF, simple as that. Short-sighted Bruins fans and apparently at least a few in the FO (Neely?) demanded that with his size, he really
to be a PF, and when he tried to be a PF to please us it took him off his game and he struggled. I said it for years while he was here, allow him to play his actual game, which is a more European style skill-first big man game that focuses on skating over banging bodies, and he's going to do a lot better -- and lo and behold, that's exactly what happened.
People are annoyed with him for only coming into his own when he left Boston; it was because he left Boston that he was ever allowed to come into his own.
I don't always agree with Dojji but when I do I agree 100%. Although I must add that Wheels' trouble staying onside drove me crazy.
It was the same crap with Hal Gill and Joe Thornton- people expected them to just crush people because of their size/strength and when they didn't they were absolutely savaged for it.
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