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01-18-2004, 10:05 AM
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I think Komisarek should go back to Hamilton

As much as it pains me to admit it, Komisarek's play is getting worse by the game. Where last year he made all those good tape to tape passes (and early when called up), now it's just missed passes, bad decision making and panicking. He does not hit nearly as much as he did at first and in all honesty is a liability in his own end right now. I don't know if it's the pressure to perform or the shuffling between forward, left D, right D, stands, etc. that is causing him problems but his confidence level seems to have hit rock bottom. And I'm not basing this on one game only for the ones wondering. I've carefully watched his progression (or lack of) within the last few 20 games or so and he's actually regressing IMO. He seems to want to do way too much on the ice and freezes when called upon to take charge and make fast plays. Where he would always chip the puck out of the zone safely by the boards before, he now creates turnovers after turnovers.

I think they should let him gain back some confidence in the minors (playing with his friend Chris might actually help) and bring him back when there's actually room for him on the right side. I also think someone should have a talk with him right now (whether it be Gainey, Julien, Green or Jarvis) because his problems are not skills related. He's just struggling mentally. I think I overestimated his readiness after last year's performance. He seems to have hit a wall in his progression. Not that I think he won't develop well, just that there's still some growing up to do for him (confidence related).

I get the impression when looking at him play he doesn't feel he belongs right now and looks like a rookie relying on the vets to get him out of trouble as opposed to earlier where he was just concentrating on his game and keeping it quick and simple. I partly blame CJ for this as his use of Komisarek in his short stint in Montreal has been questionable at best. I also think the praises about his play last year where he became the upcoming star overnight among media and fans might have added unwanted pressure he has a hard time dealing with. For some it's no big deal (see Ryder), for others it quickly becomes a handicap. It's all a question of maturity and personality.

I don't think anybody can dispute the fact that Komisarek's struggling right now unless they're in complete denial, but does anyone else feel he would be served better by getting back to Hamilton, getting top minutes with Hainsey and coming back later when he'll have found his game again? I see him very fragile right now and am really wondering what they'll do with him when Markov comes back (assuming he'll be back soon). I know it's a bit disapointing for some, but it's part of the rookie growing experience (especially in a Dman's case) and patience should be the key. If he's not ready, he's not ready, and right now my conclusion is that he's not ready. I still feel he'll be a heck of a Dman some day, but it might take longer than everybody hoped after his quick developemental boost last year.

I don't think anybody should be worried about him either. This will most likely resolve itself as he gets older and gains in maturity and confidence. But letting him in a position he's not able to handle, that might do more harm than good.

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