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02-18-2013, 10:23 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Originally Posted by
I agree 100% with Torts here.
I think to a big extent it comes from the need to have momentum and carry the play in the game today. And there are many players in this league who can play a game where they put pts on the board -- but don't contribute much if at all in getting their teams up ice and into the attacking zone and at keeping the puck there.
Hagelin is not great at carrying the puck nor is he that strong it around the boards. But he is extremely active on the forecheck, read the ice well and forces alot of turnovers and any line he is on is effective in this regard.
Torts has made comments on Kreider and Gabby in which he has referred to Hags. Torts has also several times cut down Gabby's ice time or benched him completely. He called out Gabby after the PO's (despite the shoulder). And I think he got good grounds for it. Gabby must found ways to be more of a force on the ice. I know its harsh, but we should and we will go Gartner on him if he doesn't get it done in the PO's in the near future.
I agree with almost everything, I would like to add a few things though.
1: Hagelin's problem when carrying the puck is IMO not that his hands or head can't keep up with his feet, because I think that is actually one of his strengths, but that he isn't strong or skilled enough to beat a defender 1-on-1 most of the times. He can't power or deke around them like Nash. Very similar to Gaborik in that aspect as a matter of fact. With some room, Hagelin is excellent on the transition since he can still make a play while at top speed.
For example: Dubinsky wasn't nearly as fast as Hags, but he was great at protecting the puck and could power through defenders into the offensive zone.
2: His boardplay. I think this is actually one of his strengths as a player. He should be too small to be an effective player in this area, but he use his body and skating so well that he almost always comes out with the puck. He is also very good at masking his plays, doing quick reverses or plays into the slot from behind the net that the opposition wasn't expecting.
3: Apart from not being able to beat his opponent 1-on-1 I feel that his biggest weakness is pure skill with the puck. He is good enough in almost all areas, except maybe receiving a hard pass, but not
good. He makes tons of good plays, but almost every single one isn't a technically difficult play, it's an easy but smart play often just keeping the offensive pressure or an unexpected pass that creates an opportunity.
Look at the PP goal from last night vs the Caps. He was the only player not directly involved in the goal and I don't think he could have filled many roles in that play.
Nash's play on the blueline: Hagelin could likely have done it. It was more about offensive awareness than skill, but he might not have been able to pull it off if the PK:er had gotten a check in.
Richards' and Del Zotto's passes: No way. Hard, precise passes without corralling the puck. Hagelin isn't skilled enough to pull it off.
Stepan's conversion: He could probably have handled it, but it would've been on his off side.
Hagelin is a very smart player that has adapted his game to utilize his strengths as a player at all times while minimizing his weaknesses. He generates a ton of offence on a consistent basis, and there is nothing glaringly unsustainable about his underlying statistics.
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