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12-11-2012, 03:39 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Ed Snider's basement
Originally Posted by
Clifford is an exceptional young two way player who not only has a great physical aspect to his game but also is a clutch performer as he has proven during his limited playoff exp over the past couple of seasons as well during the regular season.
What the...?! Are you talking about Kyle Clifford?
"Exception young two-way player"? - Over his career, the Kings have scored 40% of the goals with him on the ice at 5v5. Exceptional two-way players don't spend 1.5x as many shifts digging pucks out of their own net.
"Clutch performer"? - He has 12 goals in 157 games. He scored 45 goals in the OHL over 184 games - he could barely produce at a 20 goal pace
If the Canucks hadn't put a pile of human excrement into their line up in the first round of last years playoffs Clifford would have shown the rest of the hockey world again what Kings fans have known about him since he came up with the big club.
That he does a fantastic job of letting opposing teams skate around him?
He was given the second easiest minutes of all forwards for the Kings last season (only Colin Fraser saw weaker opposition). He started exactly half his shifts in the offensive zone and half in the defensive zone. Despite soft minutes, he was absolutely obliterated in puck possession - the Kings allowed 8 shots more than they took every 60 minutes that Clifford spent on the ice.
He is a very valuable young player who is very solid in his own end and the neutral zone and a very good agitator to boot. His primary drawback is that he is a middleweight brawler but tends to want to fight like a heavyweight and that has caused him to pick up a couple of injuries.
He's a useless young player who doesn't do prevent the opposition from taking shots or scoring chances. His "primary drawback" is that you're very likely to get out shot, out chanced, and outscored when he is on the ice.
The kid is nails and if you watch him play enough you can't help but see his value.
The problem with "seeing" his value is that while he may do exciting things that make the fans think he has value, there's a reason he got less than 9 minutes per game at even strength. The Los Angeles Kings played 26 skaters in '11-'12 and Clifford came 24th in even strength TOI/g.
He's a dime/dozen thug with great effort and not a lot of skill.
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