Thread: Recalled/Assigned: Mike Hoffman - Recalled March 26
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03-27-2013, 10:15 AM
  #61
PatrickEaves
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Sens(e) View Post
Interesting take, and a bit contrarian to the scouting reports and what most people say about Hoffman. After all, he is hardly a physically dominant player - he isn't a true speedster at the pro level, he isn't physically stronger than anyone. He doesn't have a 100mph shot. His hands are pretty elite, but hands with out hockey IQ do you little good. I think if you had Eric Condra's head in that body, he might just be...Eric Condra. I actually think Hoffman has more of a Chris Kelly-like future, than Condra does.

The fact Hoffman is consistently applauded for his two-way play AND plays the point on the PP in Bingo seem to indicate his hockey IQ is one of his strengths. Richardson has gone as far to say he was the key to Bingo's offence early in the year, and that was when guys like Silvferberg and Da Costa were there too.

That said, the one thing I have heard about his is he has made some poor judgement errors on the PP when manning the point, many of which have lead to short handed opportunities (and goals). But this is common mistake and problem when you put forwards on the point, as they are used to taking chances with the expectation there are guys behind them if the move or pass doesn't work. The risk-reward scenario is just very different, and instinctively, it is tough for forwards to recalibrate this on instantaneous decisions. And then they aren't as good covering for themselves either. Just take a look at Pomminville's SH OT goal in the playoffs to eliminate us many moons ago. There is a certain forward who is made to look quite bad on that goal, who was also manning the point for us on the PP at the time.

In general, nice to see Hoffman up here as he adds some skill to the bottom six, where we are lacking a bit. It's one of the reasons Maclean has been so patient with Regin, because he brings something most of our bottom six don't - speed, some puck handling and creativity. The problem of course, is when your linemates are Kassian and Daugavins, you're still not going to produce much, but it's a positive step. Putting Hoffman with Regin and Condra, or Regin and O'Brien would be a bottom six line with some offensive potential.
I think you're downplaying a good portion of his skillset. He's not Erik Karlsson in terms of speed, but there's no question he's one of the faster players out there. He doesn't have Shea Weber's slapshot, or Kyle Turris' release, but he does have a rocket of a shot that with a great release that can beat any goaltender in the world. He also has the ability to deke anyone out of their pants when he chooses the right moment to do it.

As for the accolades he gets, I'm of the opinion he's doing it because of his physical talents in spite of his decision making. When I watch him, I consistently see him dump the puck when there is a player open to pass to, or try a cross-ice pass at the blueline through two defenders etc. (Un)fortunately, at the level of hockey he's playing, he able to make it work anyways a good portion of the time because his talent shines through. And even when it doesn't work, he has enough speed to get back into a defensive position to prevent something particularly bad from happening.

The point I'm trying to make is not that he's a terrible hockey player that doesn't deserve to be called up. It's just that it's a shame that a guy with the physical talents and abilities Hoffman has is being held back by some of the worse decision making I've seen, which will probably prevent him from being anything more than a marginal NHL'er instead of the impact player you would think his talents would allow him to be.

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