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01-29-2013, 01:50 PM
Fly Fly away
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Hockey Hell
Good to see some people noting improvement in Gagner's game. Good to see as well he's shutting up the usual doubters.
Gagner did a lot of work on his defensive game and faceoffs last year. The year before was a cluste**** but largely because he was with Omark and MPS and overcompensating. The team put a 21yr old Center in over his head with those two, I'll always maintain that.
Thing you gotta like about Gagner is how he grows his game every year. Last season it was focus on all zone play and he was able to do that without sacrificing offence. In comparison Hemsky has made somewhat similar changes and has really sacrificed offence doing it. What this means is Gagner is making some good reads when to commit to play, when not, etc. Also that Gagner just works a very effective cycle game downlow. Always has. Helps if he has some linemates with some finish. Which he now has.
So Gagner this year came into camp with a much improved shot, a very competent and on target one timer (and he's getting all of em), has renewed focus to get the greasy goals in the paint and is scrumming the net often.
Gagner worked weights and core strength during offseason and is stronger on puck now and winning some puck battles. That he has very good anticipation of where the puck will be helps a lot.
The bloom with some good linemates is very predictable. Anytime Gagner had an ample dose of good linemates last year he was having some success.
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