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03-25-2013, 12:54 AM
  #51
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Originally Posted by Hemsky_83 View Post
I agree 100% with you - and there's nothing wrong with him topping out like that if he's someone that came to us for absolutely free.

Guys like Kaberle and Ehrhoff have roles on good teams - as long as they're not playing above their heads at even strength.

Kaberle was a second pairing defenseman paired with defensively-capable Dmitri Yushkevich on the competitive Leafs teams of the early-2000's and shone in that role. Big point producer BOTH at ES and PP, and never looked out of place as a defender.

Ehrhoff was a 2nd pairing defenseman for Vancouver in it's 1-2 years atop the League standings. He was sheltered on the second pairing while Hamhuis-Bieksa-Edler saw the heavier minutes. His biggest forte was point production and he shone in that role without getting too heavily exposed defensively.

Schultz is going to be the perfect offensive component to our 2nd pairing IMO - important piece to keep around. But unless we do something to address our top pairing we're in trouble.
Those are good comparisons, I think. Also agree that he'll be a very good second pairing guy on the right side.

If Klefbom is a lefty (which I think he is), I would love to see those two play and develop together. I think 'Kleffie' is the real deal, but again as an NHL rookie you can only expect so much next season. However, at least he has had more pro experience before making the transition than Schultz did.

This team is still so far away... It's getting pretty insufferable.


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03-25-2013, 01:01 AM
  #52
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Those are good comparisons, I think. Also agree that he'll be a very good second pairing guy on the right side.

If Klefbom is a lefty (which I think he is), I would love to see those two play and develop together. I think 'Kleffie' is the real deal, but again as a NHL rookie you can only expect so much next season. However, at least he has had more pro experience before making the transition than Schultz did.

This team is still so far away... It's getting pretty insufferable.
Klefa undeniably has more of a total package than Schultz does - there's a reason a guy like him goes in the 1st round. He was the best defenseman in the SEL for however long he played this season.

His offensive game hasn't really shone through in the SEL - but he's a player more suited to the small ice. He's a great skater, he's got a big shot, and an above-average puck-moving game. That's going to translate into a fair bit of points for him I'd say.

But, like Edler, I feel the best way to handle an asset like him is to let him develop. He may be ready to come over for next season, but I'd be nervous about giving him an NHL opportunity right off the bat. If he looks like he can handle a bottom-4 role, then let him start the season with us, but none of this garbage handling for him like we did with J.Schultz (top pairing minutes). Give him a good mentor (be it a Petry or a UFA) and let him slowly grow into the role.

I can easily see him being a key component of a mid-range top pairing in the future. Definitely no OEL/Pietrangelo, but definitely someone that can turn into an Edler/Kronwall-type guy.

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03-25-2013, 01:07 AM
  #53
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Originally Posted by Hemsky_83 View Post
Klefa undeniably has more of a total package than Schultz does - there's a reason a guy like him goes in the 1st round. He was the best defenseman in the SEL for however long he played this season.

His offensive game hasn't really shone through in the SEL - but he's a player more suited to the small ice. He's a great skater, he's got a big shot, and an above-average puck-moving game. That's going to translate into a fair bit of points for him I'd say.

But, like Edler, I feel the best way to handle an asset like him is to let him develop. He may be ready to come over for next season, but I'd be nervous about giving him an NHL opportunity right off the bat. If he looks like he can handle a bottom-4 role, then let him start the season with us, but none of this garbage handling for him like we did with J.Schultz (top pairing minutes). Give him a good mentor (be it a Petry or a UFA) and let him slowly grow into the role.

I can easily see him being a key component of a mid-range top pairing in the future. Definitely no OEL/Pietrangelo, but definitely someone that can turn into an Edler/Kronwall-type guy.
Yep, I see him in the same mold as Edler, probably with less offense but better defensively. From what I've read, Klefa has developed a ton, even with his injuries. I think he could probably make the jump to the NHL. But I'm re-thinking that Klefa-Shultzy bottom pairing. Probably a recipe for disaster for such two young players to play together like that--even with being sheltered and bottom pairing status... Yeah, probably scratch that.

Oh, I seemed to have gotten off topic. As I was saying (), I think Nuge will bounce back next season. I kind of have a fear of him becoming another Pierre Turgeon--good, but not good enough and soft. However, RNH's defense game is already way ahead of Turgeon's peak, so I probably shouldn't lose any sleep over it.


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03-25-2013, 01:11 AM
  #54
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Yep, I see him in the same mold as Edler, probably with less offense but better defensively. From what I've read, Klefa has developed a ton, even with his injuries. I think he could probably make the jump to the NHL. But I'm re-thinking that Klefa-Shultzy bottom pairing. Probably a recipe for disaster for such two young players to play together like that--even with being sheltered and bottom pairing status... Yeah, probably scratch that.
I wouldn't mind it as long as both are NHL-quality in their defensive play. Look at Carlson-Alzner - that pairing emerged as 2 kids put together in a bottom-pairing role that played their way into a functional top-pairing role during the Capitals hey-dey

Grebeshkov and Gilbert kind of did it as well, and were actually a decent 2nd pairing when this team once had an above-average defense.

I don't think this team is going to acquire two top-4 defensemen in the off-season to allow this to happen though.

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03-25-2013, 01:16 AM
  #55
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Originally Posted by Hemsky_83 View Post
I wouldn't mind it as long as both are NHL-quality in their defensive play. Look at Carlson-Alzner - that pairing emerged as 2 kids put together in a bottom-pairing role that played their way into a functional top-pairing role during the Capitals hey-dey

Grebeshkov and Gilbert kind of did it as well, and were actually a decent 2nd pairing when this team once had an above-average defense.

I don't think this team is going to acquire two top-4 defensemen in the off-season to allow this to happen though.
That would be an amazing feat--especially for Tambo--and one can hope. But, yeah, I doubt that will happen as well.

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03-25-2013, 01:21 AM
  #56
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Originally Posted by Hemsky_83 View Post
There've been plenty of players like this on many successful teams - but none of which that got more than 4-5M.

Chris Kunitz, Vinny Prospal, Ray Whitney, Martin Straka, Brad Marchand - these kind of guys make 3-4M tops in the league, and often move around a lot too, because they boost their values playing with star players, and teams are quick to recognize who's actually driving the boat on these lines.
Chris Kunitz isn't the greatest example, he's typically a 20goal 50-60point guy and is putting up good numbers this year playing with the best player in the nhl. Neither is Prospal who was a 50point player playing with Lecavalier and St Louis who were both elite 80-100 point players.

Eberle's contract is still too early to evaluate, he's still too young to know if he's hit his limits. Something to remember is the numbers he put up last year were with a very young Nugent-hopkins and hall. Now, if hall and Nuge turn into 80-90 point players it is very possible that Eberle will do the same while putting up 30-40 goals a year.

Just one comparison I'll make is to patrick sharp who is making 5.9mil and putting up 30goal/70 point seasons. Obviously Eberle has to prove he can replicate his last seasons stats to be considered in the same league as sharp.

Just remember Eberle has had several rough things to work through this season from an odd season, to a new coach, to Nuge slumping, to his own slumping (talking about those back door passes that he scored 99% of the time last year and has missed on several occasions this year), and lastly his hand injury, although I'm not sure how much it has really affected him.

Honestly gets annoying with how quick oiler fans are to call players busts at such a young age. The criticism that gagner got over the past 5 years made me sick.

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03-25-2013, 01:26 AM
  #57
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Originally Posted by FlyingV View Post
Chris Kunitz isn't the greatest example, he's typically a 20goal 50-60point guy and is putting up good numbers this year playing with the best player in the nhl. Neither is Prospal who was a 50point player playing with Lecavalier and St Louis who were both elite 80-100 point players.

Eberle's contract is still too early to evaluate, he's still too young to know if he's hit his limits. Something to remember is the numbers he put up last year were with a very young Nugent-hopkins and hall. Now, if hall and Nuge turn into 80-90 point players it is very possible that Eberle will do the same while putting up 30-40 goals a year.

Just one comparison I'll make is to patrick sharp who is making 5.9mil and putting up 30goal/70 point seasons. Obviously Eberle has to prove he can replicate his last seasons stats to be considered in the same league as sharp.

Just remember Eberle has had several rough things to work through this season from an odd season, to a new coach, to Nuge slumping, to his own slumping (talking about those back door passes that he scored 99% of the time last year and has missed on several occasions this year), and lastly his hand injury, although I'm not sure how much it has really affected him.

Honestly gets annoying with how quick oiler fans are to call players busts at such a young age. The criticism that gagner got over the past 5 years made me sick.
Sharp is an excellent comparison for Eberle. You're right, those guys I mentioned before were just "good" complementary players.

Sharp definitely goes into that category of "elite" complementary players. I don't think he's spent time away from one of Hossa/Toews/Kane at all during his successful tenure with Chicago.

A quick glance at his contract - he went from 3.9M off his RFA contract year to 5.9 off his UFA contract year (after winning a cup).

Still doesn't justify 6M for a 22-year old Eberle...

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03-25-2013, 01:38 AM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Hemsky_83 View Post
Sharp is an excellent comparison for Eberle. You're right, those guys I mentioned before were just "good" complementary players.

Sharp definitely goes into that category of "elite" complementary players. I don't think he's spent time away from one of Hossa/Toews/Kane at all during his successful tenure with Chicago.

A quick glance at his contract - he went from 3.9M off his RFA contract year to 5.9 off his UFA contract year (after winning a cup).

Still doesn't justify 6M for a 22-year old Eberle...
It may be a slight overpay, but it was also made before the lockout when no one knew the cap was going to drop. I don't think its as bad of a contract as its being made out to be, but obviously Eberle needs to produce to make that statement true.

I still think if nuge develops into the 80-90 point defensively responsible player he has the potential to be, that Eberle's defensive flaws won't be an issue and he will be capable of having 30 goal average years and 40 goal great years.

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03-25-2013, 01:46 AM
  #59
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It may be a slight overpay, but it was also made before the lockout when no one knew the cap was going to drop. I don't think its as bad of a contract as its being made out to be, but obviously Eberle needs to produce to make that statement true.

I still think if nuge develops into the 80-90 point defensively responsible player he has the potential to be, that Eberle's defensive flaws won't be an issue and he will be capable of having 30 goal average years and 40 goal great years.
Actually most people did know the cap was going to drop. Which is why it made no sense for management to sign both these guys right before the lockout when they could have had them for probably 5.5 each after the lockout.

1.5 mill total saved on Hall, Eberle and RNH's contract could mean the difference between a Ben Eager and a Brandon Prust in your bottom 6. That's just simple cap management. These guys do not have to simplest clue on how to build a winning hockey team.

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03-25-2013, 01:48 AM
  #60
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It may be a slight overpay, but it was also made before the lockout when no one knew the cap was going to drop. I don't think its as bad of a contract as its being made out to be, but obviously Eberle needs to produce to make that statement true.

I still think if nuge develops into the 80-90 point defensively responsible player he has the potential to be, that Eberle's defensive flaws won't be an issue and he will be capable of having 30 goal average years and 40 goal great years.
These are 2 mutually exclusive attributes. No one produces 80-90 points while being defensively responsible in the Western Conference. Unless they're a prime Datsyuk.

Kopitar is a great example of a guy that's taken a step back from his 80-90 point potential and reverted to being one of the top-5 2-way forwards in the game while putting up 65-70 points. He's odes more valuable to his team that way, still earning the 7M he got for being an offensive player.

If Nuge does become an 80-90 point player on a one-dimensional line, then Eberle's going to put up numbers accordingly. But once Nuge turns it into a defensively responsible line, I see Eberle not being worth his 6M. He's not a good defensive player at all...and once given that responsibly becomes a shade of himself.

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03-25-2013, 08:58 AM
  #61
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Wow do we turn on our own quickly around here.

I said it last season when all the talk about unsustainable was going around, Eberle is not going to be a consistent point per game player but he is a top end scoring talent. He'll have some up seasons where he hit's around 80 points and some lows where he's in the 60's (which is what he's on pace for if this is was a full season). He's still clutch with a knack for scoring important goals. Get him to the playoffs and he'll be worth every penny.

Why does this remind of Gagner so much and all the love he got the first season which quickly fell off as people looked for someone to blame for all the losing. He's now showing that he's a real talent and a worthwhile member of the team.

It likely is true that we have too many small talented guys on this team and we're going to need to move someone to get a better balance of talent and size. We dont need to cut these guys down to say that. Eberle is an amazing talent, so is Gagner and RNH but we're likely going to have to move at least one of them at some point and we shouldnt cloud our judgment by pointing out all the holes in their individual games. These guys are all talented NHL players who will be stars in this league just maybe not here. We dont have to burn the bridge behind them when they leave, we dont need to point out all their failings. Hell I remember when Gretzky was here and before the cup runs people were complaining about his lack of defense/cherry picking and his lack of physical play. If the best player in the history of the game had holes in his game then you have to accept that anyone we have on our team is not going to be perfect.

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03-25-2013, 10:53 AM
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I find it strange how differently the organization has handled both players myself.

Gagner was thrown into the deep end from day 1. He had to play all kinds of minutes with all kinds of linemates (many of whom are/were anchors). Eberle on the other hand got prime offensive minutes with great line-mates. I don't think the organization ever appreciated what they had with Gagner. I know I sure didn't.

I love Eberle, but he was never on Hall's level and should not have been given the same contract.
Yeah, the thing thats wrong with Eberle and Hall getting identical contracts is you just know that in the case of Eberle he got it on a damn good, and possibly outlier kind of year. That your not paying this much for the same players with the same impact, just that one had a very good year.

I don't know that anybody on the board doubts that Hall will be a much more impactful player over his career, and over this contract, then Eberle. Yet here they sit with longterm identical contracts. Hard to explain.

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03-25-2013, 11:16 AM
  #63
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Sorry guys, i may get flamed for this but I don't buy this "injured" story at all. Like ebs finger and RNH's shoulder are the only thing in the way of them being PPG (well almost) like last year.

RNH's "shoulder" isn't the cause of him making dumb ass giveaways on the PP and Ebs "finger" isn't the cause of him trying to stickhandle through 3 guys in the offensive zone. I could go on and on.


When is time to call a spade a spade? These guys are sucking big time, no if ands or buts. IF they were injured why are they playing? They should get yanked off the ice, there's no point in pretending like this is the SCF and you have to play through the hurt because there's no other choice.


Look, i get it. Fatigue and injuries are going to happen, especially with this shortened season. But if you're good enough to strap on the skates, then you're at least expected to come out with a "don't give up" attitude. Injuries have no play in that, and it's been shown time and time again that a player can rise above said injuries if the focus and drive are there. And that's IF they're injured.

Maybe I'm wrong, the offseason will tell a lot. But until then I'm sticking to my conclusion that they just plain have their heads up their ass, nothing more, nothing less.

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03-25-2013, 11:35 AM
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Sorry guys, i may get flamed for this but I don't buy this "injured" story at all. Like ebs finger and RNH's shoulder are the only thing in the way of them being PPG (well almost) like last year.

RNH's "shoulder" isn't the cause of him making dumb ass giveaways on the PP and Ebs "finger" isn't the cause of him trying to stickhandle through 3 guys in the offensive zone. I could go on and on.


When is time to call a spade a spade? These guys are sucking big time, no if ands or buts. IF they were injured why are they playing? They should get yanked off the ice, there's no point in pretending like this is the SCF and you have to play through the hurt because there's no other choice.


Look, i get it. Fatigue and injuries are going to happen, especially with this shortened season. But if you're good enough to strap on the skates, then you're at least expected to come out with a "don't give up" attitude. Injuries have no play in that, and it's been shown time and time again that a player can rise above said injuries if the focus and drive are there. And that's IF they're injured.

Maybe I'm wrong, the offseason will tell a lot. But until then I'm sticking to my conclusion that they just plain have their heads up their ass, nothing more, nothing less.
Yep

For whatever reason, I really don't know, RNH and Eberle came into this season, and played in OKC with less intensity. Really had the look the whole while in OKC of two players thinking they had arrived and all they had to do was lace em up. Which in the case of several AHL teams was accurate. But what I commented on often is that even against good AHL clubs playing an effective system the pair were shutdown. By AHL clubs.

Wasn't hard to speculate from there that these two were not prepared to accomplish much against actual NHL clubs this year. Especially WC clubs.

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03-25-2013, 11:50 AM
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I don't quite understand people's tendencies to make absolute assessments of players.

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03-25-2013, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Hemsky_83 View Post
This. Basically, you shouldn't be giving 6M+ to anyone you can't build a line around. So far, we have 2 players that fit that mould - RNH/Hall. This isn't based on recent performances, but just watching these players play. It's obvious you build around these guys on their own lines.

Eberle is an elite complementary player. You don't build a line around him, because there's no way he performs if he's the best player on his line.
It's a similar situation to what's happening in Philadelphia. Briere and Giroux are 2 guys to build lines round. Voracek leads that team in scoring, but it's clear who's driving the play on their first 2 lines. Giroux and Briere are appropriately being paid as the 2 highest paid forwards on the team.

Gagner to a lesser extent than Hall/RNH is driving his own line - quite impressively I must add. He's getting near-point/game production carrying MPS and a rookie. Another guy to build around. 4-5M with 2.5-3M wingers to make a formidable 3rd scoring line (if that's the direction we want to go in).

Chicago has 3 players to build lines around. Hossa, Toews, and Kane. They're lucky enough to get an opportunity to put 2 of them together (Hossa/Toews) such that the 3rd member of that top line doesn't really matter.

Kane basically produces offense regardless of who's on his line - so they saddle him with defensive players like Bolland to help make that line more complete.

Gagner-Hall would be an interesting duo on the top line heading forward. 2 guys with great ability to carry lines on their own that could work together to make the 3rd winger on that line (be it Yak/MPS/UFA) inconsequential to their production.

RNH could then handle his own line (with Ebs/Yak) and produce in a similar manner.

This is what Kruger was talking about early on in the season about having "duo's" of players that stick together, while a range of wingers moves up and down the lineup based on whatever chemistry is working.
well said. too many posters on here have a serious man-crush on Eberle. i'm not sure i've seen such love-ins for a player before. He is a sniper that doesn't bring any other element to his game. If he isn't producing goals, he doesn't bring much else. yet there are so many that regard him as the most important piece to the Oilers going forward and the rubber-stamped future captain.

don't get me wrong, i want him on the team for his 'big goal' heroics, but if Montreal called and wanted to swap him for Subban, or if Boston wanted him for Lucic, I'd drive Eberle to the airport (i might even phone them for that trade). I wouldn't make those trades for Hall or RNH.

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03-25-2013, 01:34 PM
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well said. too many posters on here have a serious man-crush on Eberle. i'm not sure i've seen such love-ins for a player before. He is a sniper that doesn't bring any other element to his game. If he isn't producing goals, he doesn't bring much else. yet there are so many that regard him as the most important piece to the Oilers going forward and the rubber-stamped future captain.

don't get me wrong, i want him on the team for his 'big goal' heroics, but if Montreal called and wanted to swap him for Subban, or if Boston wanted him for Lucic, I'd drive Eberle to the airport (i might even phone them for that trade). I wouldn't make those trades for Hall or RNH.
100% agree with this statement. I'll admit I considered Eberle an untouchable in the past but if his trade value is still high enough to bring in an elite power forward then it's not even a question of trading him or not. I know most people would like to trade Hemsky instead but I believe Eberle can bring in a better quality player.

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03-25-2013, 02:34 PM
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Definitely agree with the sentiment from the posters that believe too many fans have man-crushes on Eberle; he's a talented support player no doubt, but by no means is he a "superstar". Anyone watching him play closely can see that most of his offence comes via RNH, Hall etc, not him creating for himself. All the people that think/thought of him as the Oilers best player obviously are ignorant of the way he constantly seems to disappear from games. He's an important player for the Oilers, but definitely not an untouchable IMO.

Looking back at the TSN top 50 players list from the beginning of the season it sure seems odd to think that so many people agreed with Eberle at #25, yet thought Hall shouldn't be in the top 50.

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03-25-2013, 02:37 PM
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Definitely agree with the sentiment from the posters that believe too many fans have man-crushes on Eberle; he's a talented support player no doubt, but by no means is he a "superstar". Anyone watching him play closely can see that most of his offence comes via RNH, Hall etc, not him creating for himself. All the people that think/thought of him as the Oilers best player obviously are ignorant of the way he constantly seems to disappear from games. He's an important player for the Oilers, but definitely not an untouchable IMO.

Looking back at the TSN top 50 players list from the beginning of the season it sure seems odd to think that so many people agreed with Eberle at #25, yet thought Hall shouldn't be in the top 50.
I think that was mostly skewed by non-Oiler fans. Most Oiler fans said Hall was better than Eberle, yet nobody believed us.

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03-25-2013, 03:40 PM
  #70
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We're right around .500 with these guys stone cold. We might well be in the playoffs of they played up to their usual standards.

That said, if RNH is having shoulder problems, why not shut him down down for the year, like Hall last year? Get him the proper treatment, and prepare for the future. This season is almost a done deal now anyways. Same thing with Ebs. In his short career I have never seen him so ineffective. Why push these two through injuries and trash their confidence?

Hall is a perfect example for these two; call it a year, get the proper treatment and time to heal, then go 100% next season. Even if they can play through these injuries, their numbers clearly indicate it is no where near 100%.
They are not seriously injured.
they have been taking on tough comp with a reduction of zone start from sedin sheltering to 12% reduction.

It blows me away that RNH has done as well given the situation. It will be nice to see him play with Smyth the Winger he had the best goal production and +/- with.
219:58 EVTOI 13GF 8GA

Kind of nice to see two of our most productive winger center pairs the last 3 season finally together.
Hall -Horc 537:10 EVTOI 25GF 15GA playing the toughs.

To see Gagner get the two wingers not named smyth he was effective with.

Eberle is having what is considered a down year facing the toughs
he is still going to the front of the net and still taking high % shots.
they are not going in.

I do not think it is such a good Idea that we trade a 22 year old winger who is 5 years from his 6 year veteran period of a 27-32.
And is likely having his worst production season based on a 82 game season.
If a 20G and 36A pace is his worst. The guy

This 27 year old got 82GM 11G 46A 57P -11 last year
and 49G the last 3 season
He just signed for 8.25M


Last edited by oilerbear: 03-25-2013 at 04:10 PM.
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03-25-2013, 04:01 PM
  #71
Master Lok
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Which didn't impact him at all in a recent shootout when he snapped the puck so hard the goalie didn't move on it.
Actually no, he does have a finger / hand injury (i can't remember which) and its getting better. Right before that recent shootout by Eberle, he said the finger/hand was finally feeling better. It was on 630 CHED I think.

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03-25-2013, 04:23 PM
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McNutty780
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Yep

For whatever reason, I really don't know, RNH and Eberle came into this season, and played in OKC with less intensity. Really had the look the whole while in OKC of two players thinking they had arrived and all they had to do was lace em up. Which in the case of several AHL teams was accurate. But what I commented on often is that even against good AHL clubs playing an effective system the pair were shutdown. By AHL clubs.

Wasn't hard to speculate from there that these two were not prepared to accomplish much against actual NHL clubs this year. Especially WC clubs.

Exactly.

Who knows what the real issue is, but IMO it's intangibles like focus, drive, etc which are mandatory for keeping up elite play (yes i believe they are both elite players) from last year. It's not fair to ebs to say that he's dialing it back a notch because he's got 6 mill a year coming in so who gives a **** lol.

I know these guys care, i'm not saying they don't but i don't even think THEY know what the issue is in their games being off.

They are learning firsthand that to keep your stellar play up in this league you need talent (which they both have) but the focus and drive and whatever else needed to keep that production up.

It's a lot of pressure, only a handful of players can do this in the NHL levels year after year, but that's what separates the stars from the avg players.

Whatever the case may be, they have to figure **** out. Hopefully sooner than later

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03-25-2013, 04:58 PM
  #73
okgooil
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hmm. its all very conspiracy theory, but I wonder if the lied about Nuge's cold, just let his shoulder heal for a few days......

I mean athletes tend to bounce back pretty quick from cold.... any way.

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03-25-2013, 05:31 PM
  #74
Replacement
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Actually no, he does have a finger / hand injury (i can't remember which) and its getting better. Right before that recent shootout by Eberle, he said the finger/hand was finally feeling better. It was on 630 CHED I think.
I know he had the hand injury. I was just saying, and so is Eberle, that the hand is feeling better. Obviously with how well he fired that shootout puck he didn't look limited at all.

But the hand injury doesn't excuse some of his tentative play as much. Or that he seems perennially uncommitted to playing an allround game.

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03-25-2013, 05:35 PM
  #75
Moonlapse Vertigo
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I know he had the hand injury. I was just saying, and so is Eberle, that the hand is feeling better. Obviously with how well he fired that shootout puck he didn't look limited at all.

But the hand injury doesn't excuse some of his tentative play as much. Or that he seems perennially uncommitted to playing an allround game.
Eberle's never been a great all-around player but he was never immune to the slot area until he got obliterated in that LA game earlier in the season. It's a mental thing with him right now. He's playing scared and he had better find a way to get over it between now and next season.

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