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01-23-2013, 03:04 PM
  #611
Ohashi_Jouzu
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Halifax
Country: Japan
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He just doesn't generate enough shots these days. Gone are the days of 400-500 shots turning into 50-60 goals. After defenses got savvy to the deke inside quick release shot, he dropped from 528 shots to 368 shots. Only finished with 6 fewer goals, but think of all the scoring opportunities for linemates that must disappear with 160 fewer shots directed at the net. Last year he was further reduced to just 303 shots, with teams getting ever better at forcing those shots from farther out and farther off to the side, and he ended with under 40 goals. Season is young, but with 8 shots in his first two games, he'll have to play every game to break the 300 shot plateau this year at that pace, or take better advantage of his best scoring opportunities if he's going to top 40 goals again.

Now, if you "decline" to 40 goals, you're obviously still a great player. But those who saw years ago that he was quite a "one-trick pony", and prognosticated that defenses would figure him out and reduce his effectiveness over time if he didn't adapt, look pretty smart these days.

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