: Larry Brooks:
NY Post 01/14/2013: Gaborik switches sides [to LW]
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01-14-2013, 12:29 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Land of no calls..
Originally Posted by
We certainly do have many pedestrian offensive players. That is why despite having the best goalie in the NHL and arguably the top defense in the NHL it took us 14 games to get past the first two rounds of the playoffs, and it's why we lost to NJ in the conference finals.
Richards was slumping all of last year, and I think a lot of that was because he was playing with Callahan and Dubinsky for the majority of the year. Again, Cally and Dubi are not bad players by ANY stretch, but they simply don't fit Richie's style. That is not the game he plays (and before somebody tries to compare Cally/Dubi to James Neal/Loui Eriksson, they are not at all similar players). Once he started playing with Gabby and Hags (players who DO fit his style) he started putting up big points.
I don't know how you can honestly compare Nash and Callahan. Nash was playing on the worst team in the NHL and Cally was on one of the best. If you think Cally and Nash's ES PPG will be anywhere near each other this year (even if Cally plays in the top-6, which he almost definitely will, since Torts obviously loves him (and for good reason)) I don't know what to tell you.
As far as Stepan, I think everyone would say Callahan is a much better player than Stepan. Stepan is not an offensive force at this point in his career, and again, I don't think he ever will be. But for the fifth time, his playing style perfectly compliments Kreider, and I'm sure as hell not putting Gaborik on the third line, which is why I have Callahan down there.
If we didn't have "pedestrian ES players", we would've been celebrating at a parade about six months ago.
Richards took time to adjust to playing on this team. He admitted that much himself. It had very little to do with suddenly getting the right players on his line. If Gaborik was so perfect for him, why wasn't he producing early on in the season where he
on a line with Gaborik?
Nobody is "comparing" Nash and Callahan. However, what nyr2k2 and I both demonstrated to you is that if you remove the PP production from a players point totals, you can make just about anyone look "pedestrian." Take away Shea Weber's PP numbers and he's a 25pt D-man and not a perennial Norris candidate.
And considering the first game of Kreider's career outside of college Kreider comes into the NHL playoffs and started on the first line, I think it's very fair to say that Torts has no problem in giving people ice time for reasons more than simply "he earned it". Why was he on the first line? Because he wanted Kreider to serve a
, which was to try and replace Hagelin's speed on the first line. Was he the third best forward on the team which is why he was on the first line? Hell no. But Torts wanted him to serve a role. Putting him in a third line checking role when he is not an established two-way forward at this time (and likely never will be) is a recipe for failure.
Tortorella needed someone to replace Hagelin after he was suspended. Had he not been suspended, there's a high probability that he would have never even cracked the lineup. If it was Callahan who was suspended, he likely would have started on the 2nd line. If he was so perfect for the role, then he wouldn't have been removed from that role as soon as Hags returned to the lineup. Hell, I don't even think he lasted the entire game on the first line.
Right now, Hagelin and Callahan are both better options in the "role" that you're speaking of. Until Kreider can prove that he's a better option than either of them, he belongs on the 3rd line or in Hartford.
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