Thomas Vanek isn't the dominant force we expected him to be. (Update: sick/hurt?)
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03-26-2014, 04:08 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Somewhere in time
Vanek has always been an excellent passer. Part of the reason why he was rarely recognized for his passing ability was that he never played with many players who could put his feeds into the net, simple as that. With the Islanders and Tavares this became very obvious since there was suddenly another high quality scorer on his line. His career numbers do reflect this also, he has almost the exact same amount of goals and assists to his name.
Vanek needs time to adjust to linemates and his linemates need time to adjust to his style of play which is very distinguished. He likes to slow down the game, pull up just past the blue line and feed passes in the slot or work down low behind the goal and get pucks in front. He has very good awareness of where players are on the ice to feed them the puck which is part of the reason that makes him an excellent playmaker. Still, this process needs time to fully develop. It took Vanek several week to get going with Tavares and Okposo but when they were on they were the best line in the whole league.
Vanek works best with another player able to put Pucks in the net and someone who is doing the extra work in the corners and on defense. And one common misconception about him - maybe even one of his biggest flaws in his recent (2-3 years) game - is that he has become a pass first guy and is NOT a shoot first guy anymore. This makes him sometimes play way too fancy.
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