2012-2013 Official BST Discussion Thread Part II
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12-11-2012, 08:57 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Originally Posted by
I thought Nino looked pretty good towards the end of the year. He was skating well, playing physical, didn't seem to look lost like he did earlier. I do think he gets beat on a little too hard by posters here though. If he would have failed in a situation where he were playing with Nielsen or JT or Bailey or KO, on some sort of scoring line, I think the bashing would be warranted. That said, Nino was basically set up to fail playing on the 4th line. People look at the points when criticizing him, which really doesn't seem fair considering the minutes/linemates/responsibilites of that line.
Capuano didn't want Nino to be a point producer last year, he wanted him to be a guy who would throw his body around and spark the team. IMO he wasn't ready to be that type of player at the NHL level.
I'm very pleased with how he's played so far in the AHL, though. I was pretty confident that he'd bounce back and succeed this year, and I'm glad he's proving me right. This kid has a great work ethic. I have no doubt he'll be ready to go for the start of the 2013/14 season. I also have no doubt that when that happens, he will not be playing on the 4th line.
This is very much were I stand on the issue. Again, I'm of very limited viewings, but this is much of what I caught.
People like to beat on his massive +/- value and his 1 point. These, while bad, are pretty low ranking factors. I'm not entirely convinced Crosby, Tavares, or any other NHL player you could mention would exactly thrive with 5 minutes a night beside the likes of Pandolfo and Reasoner. I draw comparisons of unproductive circumstances to the Canuck's Manny Malholtra - When you start so few of your shifts offensively (in the name of giving the Sedins as many scoring chances as possible), you aren't going to produce. Similarly, when you start with 2 NHL has-beens as a player who thrives off being fed the puck, you aren't going anywhere. I won't make excuses: Niederreiter just isn't good enough to generate the play himself. Very much to the Flames' Iginla, he can't drive the line and won't make players around him better (in terms of skill. Iginla used to be a leader by example...but those days have gone by). All he'll do is finish well. Therefore, had he been on a line with a skilled playmaker who would feed Niederreiter the puck and the same happened, then there are major concerns to his level of play.
Between when I saw him in his first couple games in an Islanders jersey to when I saw him when the Islanders visited the Saddledome, there was minor improvement. Compared to his Winterhawks days and his initial 10 game stint, he was more physical, more aggressive, and didn't end up in the middle of nowhere as often. He was overwhelmed to start both his seasons. What makes it no a total (though extremely bad) loss for me is that he learned, as I stated before, that he's going to need to adapt a bit.
This year, the first takeaway is that he hasn't let the last season totally rattle him. He came back looking to make a statement. And with proper ice time and players that complement him, he's looked much better.
I'm not familiar with the Islander's depth, but if there's a pass-first type of player who can act as a secondary threat to the offence on either the 3rd or 2nd line, Niederreiter would continue this level of success with him.
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