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02-04-2013, 01:44 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Originally Posted by
You're quite right - the problem with Eller is that he doesn't have a role on the team. But as quick as you are to blame Therrien for that, Lars (and the situation the team is in) should also take some of the blame.
Lars is not better than any of out top six. You might get some debate on Bourque - Lars had a better season last season, but Bourque looked really good in camp and brings some things (physicality) that Eller doesn't. Bourque is also more of a Therrien type player, so like it or not Bourque is going to get that last top six spot. So already he's being relegated as a third line role at the best. Now he might have been a good fit on an offensive third line, but even that's not working for him because Therrien has decided to make that line our "young guys" line. You may agree or disagree with that strategy, but Gallagher-Galchenyuk are producing great results for a third line. Galchenyuk is third among all rookies in points, and Gallagher is fifth (and playing two to four minutes less a night then their competition to boot). So why not replace Prust with Eller (after all - Eller's young too - three young guns > two)? Because that line won't work with Eller on it. Both Gallagher and Galchenyuk are younger and faster than a lot of the guys they're matched up with. But they're not fully physically developed yet. The way to stop them is to play them physical. Prust on that lines gives them a little bit of backup, so if things get rough there's someone there to sort it out.
That leaves the fourth line. And Eller looked okay between Moen and Armstrong but, let's be frank. That's not the kind of game he excels at. That's why White is there. Because Eller does not fit real well.
I feel bad about Lars. He's a talented kid who's only faults are not being good enough at 23 to break into our top six and not being young enough to line up with Galchenyuk. As a fill in he's done excellent - a testament to his talent, but short of extended injury I just don't see him fitting in anywhere long term this season.
Unfortunately this is the truth of the reality. I like Eller and I dont think he is being given a chance to see what he can do because that would mean he lines up with skill players, but those lines are full. Last year I was annoyed when the AK-Eller-Moen line was broken up because Eller was producing with the skilled AK. This year its hard to fault MT because the top 3 lines make sense. However, maybe against a less physical team you play Eller with the Gallys and see how it goes, or at home where you can line match better. For sure give him some PP time,as MT did against Ottawa.
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