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02-12-2013, 07:22 PM
unholy acting talent
Join Date: Jan 2006
He does seem to be a little distracted by his status and whether or not he remains a Flame. And I'm sure this process of 'do I ask for a trade' or 'walk as a free agent' is weighing on him.
His age is probably a factor as well. One can't reasonably expect him to be the same player at 36 compared to what he was at 26.
But there's a change in the dynamic of the team which has to be considered. The increased offensive potency of the Flames (when healthy) means there's less of an onus on him to be the savior. More than than, because he's no longer the go-to guy, the offense doesn't run through him anymore - his linemates won't always be looking to pass to him when they're on the ice nor will he be getting all of the most favourable opportunities. His point totals will drop as a result.
Still, it's not like he isn't getting chances. He's been pretty good in his overall play. Overall, it may just be another slow start. As I said earlier, these things will probably get more pronounced as time goes on. During his slow start years, it usually took him about a month to get in his usual flow, if he took part in training camp and played at least a few pre-season games. Without those, it took him a little longer, almost two months. Give it to the last week of February to see where he is. Getting Cammalleri back should help his production too as opposing teams can't concentrate on him alone.
Oh, and he changed his power-forward game to more of a finesse style after the 05-06 season when he realized the importance of speed and quickness in the new NHL. If he's declining now, it may be because of an overall decline in his abilities.
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