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01-29-2013, 11:51 AM
RattsSSV on the avy
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Oil Country
Yeah Gagner's problem in the past has never been work ethic. To his credit, even though he's been in the NHL for so long, he's always worked his butt off.
The difference this year so far is he's fixed alot of the mistakes that screwed his performances up from last year. For me, the biggest one being puck protection.
Last year, it was far too easy to separate Gagner from the puck. Weather it's in open ice, down low or worse, in his own zone. I don't know what he did in the offseason, weather it's bulk up or just practice the hell out of protecting the puck, but he's noticeably improved this season.
I don't think it's a surprise that once that portion of his game improved, consequently his offensive ability got more effective. If he can keep this up, he can be the #2 C on my team any day.
It was never about his size or physical play for me, rather his ability to protect the puck. You can't be separated from the puck in the playoffs and think good things will happen.
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