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09-29-2013, 04:21 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
The hate on Pyatt is pretty fierce. He's soft yes, but he's not Boyle soft. Pyatt has more hockey sense, better hands, puck handling, puck possession and protection than Boyle. While Boyle is "good defensively", that was under John Tortorella. As someone said yesterday, the way we defend now is going to be different from years prior. If we go with the label of stone age hockey and defense, then with AV, we're moving away from that and into something that requires more hockey sense and reads and man on man defense as opposed to a collapse, shot block, 6 goalie structure defense. Truth is, Boyle hasn't looked great on the PK and in due time, I expect Boyle to slip away.
Pyatt had a strong game in Vancouver compared to last year. His line was great and I think AV saw that. The puck possession was better with Pyatt and he actually made a few plays and went to the net for one of our better scoring chances of the night. He made a few passes coming out of our zone that looks more like AV transition and protected the puck well when he had it.
Pyatt's role isn't to score 20 goals. There are bigger players who do not fight or play physical. The incessant complaint of Pyatt being Charmin' soft is getting out of date. Despite it being true, it's like complaining about Henrik not playing the puck 3-4 situations a game. It's just not a part of their game and it doesn't necessarily have to be.
He's judged almost entirely based on his utilization of his size in a physical manner which seems unfair.
Pyatt did good 10 minutes of board work and 4th line duties under Torts and now with a third line that's designed to be both a possession momentum line as well as a offensive threat, Pyatt will do just fine. He had 6 goals in 48 games last season which translate to about 10 in 82. 10 in 82 on a team that was allergic to role players scoring goals is nothing to ***** about. AV had great years with Pyatt and there's a reason for that.
Under Torts, Pyatt had clear instructions on what to do with the puck in the neutral zone and in our own zone: "Get it out, dump it in". He did this religiously. In fact, if we were to compiled a "what did Pyatt do with the puck" highlight reel, it would be getting it out of zones and giving the puck away 90% of the time, as Torts insisted upon. What was he suppose to do? Carry the puck into the zone and get spun around before turning it over because of the lack of support and then get caught behind the play?
If we all recognize that Torts dumped the puck in way too much, didn't get enough net front screen in place, or had players go to the net, or protect the puck in the offensive zone and hold onto it instead of throwing it in on a dump and chase, then why isn't it the case that Pyatt's limited role and contribution is seen through both his own shortcomings and Torts's coaching (as opposed to only Pyatt being "Charmin' Soft").
Like it or not, out of all the bottom 6 guys we had on the team, Pyatt is the biggest body suitable for screening the goaltender and picking up a few rebounds. He actually has hockey sense unlike Boyle. He picked up goals from rebounds twice in the playoffs being around that area and pretty much had his fair share from around the net in the regular season.
There has been the notion that players are dumbed down after Torts "gets to them". Last year, we saw this phenomenon a few times. Even though the CBJ-PIT night was somewhat of an anomaly, it would be foolish to dismiss it complete. Clowe had 2 that night, Brassard has a career high, Rangers career high, and even a Rangers's best of the year performance with his 1G3A. John Moore scored his only as a New York Ranger. Coincidental, partially yes. However, that momentum and offensive surge was created by the pass from Brassard to Richie to start the game off 1-0 and then the CBJ guys + Clowe carried that effort in their 2-0, 3-0, 4-0 goals. Pyatt came in and scored a few goals to start the season off. He drove to the net, got in the way of the goaltender, had shots deflect off of him, had 2 rebound goals. After that, he was relegated to board work and the entire 3rd line was put to sleep.
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