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The Patrik Berglund Injury is a Positive and a Negative for the St. Louis Blues

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Old
09-12-2017, 01:18 PM
  #1
Akipa
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The Patrik Berglund Injury is a Positive and a Negative for the St. Louis Blues

http://lastwordonhockey.com/2017/09/...t-louis-blues/

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09-12-2017, 01:29 PM
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Counterpoint: The injury is a negative and a positive.

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09-12-2017, 11:15 PM
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Ivan Barbashev
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No it's really just negative. He's a really good player.

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09-13-2017, 07:18 AM
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Bertta had monster regular season after his shoulder injury, but he hit rock bottom post-season.

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09-13-2017, 09:27 AM
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No it's really just negative. He's a really good player.
Really good, really? I mean I guess if the point of comparison is beer league players, then sure. If the comparison is the entire pool of NHL players, maybe drop the really, I mean he's ok I guess. If the comparison is NHL-players making $3.85M or more, then he's in the bottom half of the group. For me the only negative is we can't trade him while he is injured, or even when he comes back until next year....damn no trade clause.

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09-13-2017, 02:17 PM
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Ivan Barbashev
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Originally Posted by Majorityof1 View Post
Really good, really? I mean I guess if the point of comparison is beer league players, then sure. If the comparison is the entire pool of NHL players, maybe drop the really, I mean he's ok I guess. If the comparison is NHL-players making $3.85M or more, then he's in the bottom half of the group. For me the only negative is we can't trade him while he is injured, or even when he comes back until next year....damn no trade clause.
In regards to his role, he's excellent. Look down the depth charts around the league, not many teams have a versatile player like Berglund on the third line. Deep forward cores can be critical to deployment and building a championship level team.

His contract is another issue entirely.

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09-13-2017, 04:16 PM
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simon in canada
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Bertta had monster regular season after his shoulder injury, but he hit rock bottom post-season.
He was certainly disappointing in the post season, but I wouldn't say rock bottom, as he at least contributed with some good defensive play. You are right, though, that his overall contribution was far below what he is capable of. Perron, however ....

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09-13-2017, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Ivan Barbashev View Post
In regards to his role, he's excellent. Look down the depth charts around the league, not many teams have a versatile player like Berglund on the third line. Deep forward cores can be critical to deployment and building a championship level team.

His contract is another issue entirely.
You don't think almost every team has a mid-30 point, ok defensively 3rd liner? I could name someone better, or close to equal but cheaper on every contender and many non-contenders. The teams I'd struggle with would be because their top 6 is so bad, they have those guys playing up in the line-up. I'd rather have Anaheim's entire 3rd line (Vermette - Cogliano - Eaves) than Berglund. Chicago is decimated by cap trouble and has no depth, but I'd still rather have Hartman. Bonino was Pittsburgh's Berglund, only better. What did the champs do when he wanted $4M? Peace out Bonino. Who is the favorite to win the Cup this year? Still the Penguins.

Heck, even looking at our team, what can Berglund do that Barbashev or Sobotka can't?

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09-13-2017, 05:24 PM
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Good article. Only complaint i have is the author giving Jaskin the 3rd line rw. Before the Berglund injury, Barb had a much greater chance of taking that spot than Jaskin did.

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09-13-2017, 09:51 PM
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259th highest salary in the NHL.

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09-20-2017, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Ivan Barbashev View Post
No it's really just negative. He's a really good player.
This.

Easily the most underrated Blues player. The guy plays in ALL situations, eats minutes and is a puck control monster. He's not some amazing top line guy but he's quite possibly the best bottom 6 player in the NHL. Which sounds bad but there is some real value to having a guy like Berglund on your third line. He is great at his role and I think Blues fans expected too much out of him when he was young on 'the kid line' so there is a sour taste left in peoples mouths because he didn't turn into the Swedish Gretzky.

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09-20-2017, 12:30 PM
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Certainly looking like even worse news now.

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09-20-2017, 01:39 PM
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Majorityof1
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This.

Easily the most underrated Blues player. The guy plays in ALL situations, eats minutes and is a puck control monster. He's not some amazing top line guy but he's quite possibly the best bottom 6 player in the NHL. Which sounds bad but there is some real value to having a guy like Berglund on your third line. He is great at his role and I think Blues fans expected too much out of him when he was young on 'the kid line' so there is a sour taste left in peoples mouths because he didn't turn into the Swedish Gretzky.
Seriously?!? Best bottom 6 player in the NHL? I don't even think he is the best on the team, as Sobotka does more with less, and Barbashev may be better soon if not already. There may be some quibbles about how you define bottom 6, but I could name dozens throughout the league who are as good or better. Backlund, full stop, conversation over. Just to name a few others off the top of my head: Hanzal, JT Miller, Grabner, Bonino, Justin Williams, Cullen (a 40 year old, $1M 4th liner and puts up better numbers than Berglund), Niederreiter, Kadri and/or Bozak. Some of these are tweeners, but they all should get within a minute or less of Berglunds ATOI. And all put up better or close to identical numbers while also providing PK and defense. Berglund is 256 in P/60 last year and that was his best offensive year since the lockout. He isn't leading the team or league in Corsi or any defensive stat. He was our 6th PK forward option after we acquired Sobotka (3 of the higher options were bottom 6ers). What objective piece of evidence can you offer to claim he is the best bottom 6er in the NHL?

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09-20-2017, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Majorityof1 View Post
Seriously?!? Best bottom 6 player in the NHL? I don't even think he is the best on the team, as Sobotka does more with less, and Barbashev may be better soon if not already. There may be some quibbles about how you define bottom 6, but I could name dozens throughout the league who are as good or better. Backlund, full stop, conversation over. Just to name a few others off the top of my head: Hanzal, JT Miller, Grabner, Bonino, Justin Williams, Cullen (a 40 year old, $1M 4th liner and puts up better numbers than Berglund), Niederreiter, Kadri and/or Bozak. Some of these are tweeners, but they all should get within a minute or less of Berglunds ATOI. And all put up better or close to identical numbers while also providing PK and defense. Berglund is 256 in P/60 last year and that was his best offensive year since the lockout. He isn't leading the team or league in Corsi or any defensive stat. He was our 6th PK forward option after we acquired Sobotka (3 of the higher options were bottom 6ers). What objective piece of evidence can you offer to claim he is the best bottom 6er in the NHL?
Backlund: 4th on team in EV TOI/GP among forwards
Hanzel: 2nd on team in EV TOI/GP among forwards. He was a colossal disappointment in Minnesota when used in a bottom 6 role.
Miller: 6th on team in EV TOI/GP among forwards
Kadri: 2nd on team in EV TOI/GP among forwards
Bozak: 4th on team in EV TOI/GP among forwards
Williams: 6th on team in EV TOI/GP among forwards

So none of them are used as bottom 6 players on their teams.

Berglund was 7th in EV TOI/GP last year, so he was legitimately used in a bottom 9 role. 'Best bottom 6 player in the NHL' was probably a bit of hyperbole, but looking around at actual comparables, I think he is certainly in that discussion. I'd take Nino over Bergy every day of the week, but (salaries aside) I'd take Bergy over Grabner and Cullen with zero hesitation. His possession numbers are much better than Grabner/Cullen and the eye test tells me he is much better in his own zone than either of those two. I like Bonino more than Berglund, but he has really only been a 'bottom 6 player' the last couple years because he was 3rd on the depth chart behind the best 1-2 center punch in at least the last decade. I'd probably take him over Berglund, although his contract might be just as bad as Bergie's. Defensively and for possession, I'll take Bergie over Bonino, but Bonino is undeniably better offensively. Full disclosure, Bonino is one of my favorite non-Blues around the league (or maybe was, now that he is in Nashville).

'Best bottom 6 player' is really, really hard to decide because there is a legitimate debate regarding who is truly best suited as a bottom 6 guy and who should be a top 6 guy but isn't because that team is stacked. However, I think you'd be hard pressed to convince me that Bergy isn't among the best 3rd liners in the league. My issue with his contract is that 'top end 3rd line talent' is a bad way to allocate almost $4 mil in cap space. But that doesn't mean he isn't among the best 3rd liners in the game.

For the record, Sobotka needs to have a hell of a season for me to call him a better player than Berglund. Sobotka has never scored 10 goals in a season, which is something Berglund has never failed to do (even his 42 game season in 15/16). Sobotka has eclipsed 30 points exactly once in his career, which is a feat Berglund has done 5 times (the totals would be 6-2 if you count their paces in the lockout year). berglund is a career .465 point per game player while Sobotka is a career .325 point per game player. Over 82 games that's a 38 point player vs a 27 point player. I think Sobotka is a bit better defensively at 5 on 5 (and certainly on the PK), but I don't think the difference is nearly as big as the gap between the two players offensively. Contracts aside, I'm picking Berglund before Sobotka every time until Sobotka has a career year to convince me otherwise.

Edit: You asked for some objective evidence and pointed out Berglund's low point per 60 ranking. Bergie was 49th in even strength goals last year. I think you'll be hard pressed to find many other guys in that top 50 who weren't top 6 on their team in EV TOI/GP. I only checked the guys 40-50, but Tanner Pearson was the only other bottom 6 player in the group. Going up the list, I didn't see any names that stood out as bottom 6 players, but I don't have the time to cross check 40 more names. Additionally, he is 78th in goals per 60 (filtering out players with fewer than 15 games played), which is pretty damn impressive for a 3rd liner. A 3rd liner who can pot 20 goals while being a strong possession player and good in his own zone is a valuable asset.


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09-20-2017, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian39 View Post
Backlund: 4th on team in EV TOI/GP among forwards
Hanzel: 2nd on team in EV TOI/GP among forwards. He was a colossal disappointment in Minnesota when used in a bottom 6 role.
Miller: 6th on team in EV TOI/GP among forwards
Kadri: 2nd on team in EV TOI/GP among forwards
Bozak: 4th on team in EV TOI/GP among forwards
Williams: 6th on team in EV TOI/GP among forwards

So none of them are used as bottom 6 players on their teams.

Berglund was 7th in EV TOI/GP last year, so he was legitimately used in a bottom 9 role. 'Best bottom 6 player in the NHL' was probably a bit of hyperbole, but looking around at actual comparables, I think he is certainly in that discussion. I'd take Nino over Bergy every day of the week, but (salaries aside) I'd take Bergy over Grabner and Cullen with zero hesitation. His possession numbers are much better than Grabner/Cullen and the eye test tells me he is much better in his own zone than either of those two. I like Bonino more than Berglund, but he has really only been a 'bottom 6 player' the last couple years because he was 3rd on the depth chart behind the best 1-2 center punch in at least the last decade. I'd probably take him over Berglund, although his contract might be just as bad as Bergie's. Defensively and for possession, I'll take Bergie over Bonino, but Bonino is undeniably better offensively. Full disclosure, Bonino is one of my favorite non-Blues around the league (or maybe was, now that he is in Nashville).

'Best bottom 6 player' is really, really hard to decide because there is a legitimate debate regarding who is truly best suited as a bottom 6 guy and who should be a top 6 guy but isn't because that team is stacked. However, I think you'd be hard pressed to convince me that Bergy isn't among the best 3rd liners in the league. My issue with his contract is that 'top end 3rd line talent' is a bad way to allocate almost $4 mil in cap space. But that doesn't mean he isn't among the best 3rd liners in the game.

For the record, Sobotka needs to have a hell of a season for me to call him a better player than Berglund. Sobotka has never scored 10 goals in a season, which is something Berglund has never failed to do (even his 42 game season in 15/16). Sobotka has eclipsed 30 points exactly once in his career, which is a feat Berglund has done 5 times (the totals would be 6-2 if you count their paces in the lockout year). berglund is a career .465 point per game player while Sobotka is a career .325 point per game player. Over 82 games that's a 38 point player vs a 27 point player. I think Sobotka is a bit better defensively at 5 on 5 (and certainly on the PK), but I don't think the difference is nearly as big as the gap between the two players offensively. Contracts aside, I'm picking Berglund before Sobotka every time until Sobotka has a career year to convince me otherwise.
Excellent post! Very insightful and well documented. Berglund is probably the most underrated Blue on this board. (With Bouwmeester being a close second!). Like everyone else, I think his contract is a year or two too long, but that doesn't mean he's not a good player.

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09-20-2017, 06:41 PM
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Excellent post! Very insightful and well documented. Berglund is probably the most underrated Blue on this board. (With Bouwmeester being a close second!). Like everyone else, I think his contract is a year or two too long, but that doesn't mean he's not a good player.
His contract is a big reason people don't love him.

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09-20-2017, 06:51 PM
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His contract is a big reason people don't love him.
Easton and I may have been the 2 most vocal posters coming out against his contract. I've said from the day it was signed that it is 'fair' money but that giving fair money and strong trade protection to a 3rd liner for 5 years is bad cap management. I still stand by that. With his injury history, we absolutely should have gotten a monetary discount in return for term and trade protection, or we should have gotten a break on term if we were paying fair value.

I don't want to see Bergie play out his contract as a Blue because I think that we will need that money for a top 6 player in the future. But that doesn't take away from my thoughts on him as a player. He is objectively a better option for the 3rd line than the player who will replace him for the first half of the year. By a large margin.

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09-20-2017, 10:56 PM
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Really good, really? I mean I guess if the point of comparison is beer league players, then sure. If the comparison is the entire pool of NHL players, maybe drop the really, I mean he's ok I guess. If the comparison is NHL-players making $3.85M or more, then he's in the bottom half of the group. For me the only negative is we can't trade him while he is injured, or even when he comes back until next year....damn no trade clause.
blues arguably dont make the playoffs with his 2nd half performance

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09-20-2017, 10:58 PM
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Backlund: 4th on team in EV TOI/GP among forwards
Hanzel: 2nd on team in EV TOI/GP among forwards. He was a colossal disappointment in Minnesota when used in a bottom 6 role.
Miller: 6th on team in EV TOI/GP among forwards
Kadri: 2nd on team in EV TOI/GP among forwards
Bozak: 4th on team in EV TOI/GP among forwards
Williams: 6th on team in EV TOI/GP among forwards

So none of them are used as bottom 6 players on their teams.

Berglund was 7th in EV TOI/GP last year, so he was legitimately used in a bottom 9 role. 'Best bottom 6 player in the NHL' was probably a bit of hyperbole, but looking around at actual comparables, I think he is certainly in that discussion. I'd take Nino over Bergy every day of the week, but (salaries aside) I'd take Bergy over Grabner and Cullen with zero hesitation. His possession numbers are much better than Grabner/Cullen and the eye test tells me he is much better in his own zone than either of those two. I like Bonino more than Berglund, but he has really only been a 'bottom 6 player' the last couple years because he was 3rd on the depth chart behind the best 1-2 center punch in at least the last decade. I'd probably take him over Berglund, although his contract might be just as bad as Bergie's. Defensively and for possession, I'll take Bergie over Bonino, but Bonino is undeniably better offensively. Full disclosure, Bonino is one of my favorite non-Blues around the league (or maybe was, now that he is in Nashville).

'Best bottom 6 player' is really, really hard to decide because there is a legitimate debate regarding who is truly best suited as a bottom 6 guy and who should be a top 6 guy but isn't because that team is stacked. However, I think you'd be hard pressed to convince me that Bergy isn't among the best 3rd liners in the league. My issue with his contract is that 'top end 3rd line talent' is a bad way to allocate almost $4 mil in cap space. But that doesn't mean he isn't among the best 3rd liners in the game.

For the record, Sobotka needs to have a hell of a season for me to call him a better player than Berglund. Sobotka has never scored 10 goals in a season, which is something Berglund has never failed to do (even his 42 game season in 15/16). Sobotka has eclipsed 30 points exactly once in his career, which is a feat Berglund has done 5 times (the totals would be 6-2 if you count their paces in the lockout year). berglund is a career .465 point per game player while Sobotka is a career .325 point per game player. Over 82 games that's a 38 point player vs a 27 point player. I think Sobotka is a bit better defensively at 5 on 5 (and certainly on the PK), but I don't think the difference is nearly as big as the gap between the two players offensively. Contracts aside, I'm picking Berglund before Sobotka every time until Sobotka has a career year to convince me otherwise.

Edit: You asked for some objective evidence and pointed out Berglund's low point per 60 ranking. Bergie was 49th in even strength goals last year. I think you'll be hard pressed to find many other guys in that top 50 who weren't top 6 on their team in EV TOI/GP. I only checked the guys 40-50, but Tanner Pearson was the only other bottom 6 player in the group. Going up the list, I didn't see any names that stood out as bottom 6 players, but I don't have the time to cross check 40 more names. Additionally, he is 78th in goals per 60 (filtering out players with fewer than 15 games played), which is pretty damn impressive for a 3rd liner. A 3rd liner who can pot 20 goals while being a strong possession player and good in his own zone is a valuable asset.
Berglund was only 7th by 2 seconds a game, and he got a lot more PP time than Jori, for more TOI. Using that metric, Spezza was actually 7th in ES TOI/gm for Dallas and JVR was 7th on Toronto, so that would end the conversation if either qualified as bottom 6. I can also add Cogliano, Vermette, Pearson, Shaw (as much as I dislike him), Filpulla, Nametinikov, and others that are all similar based on your definition. Berglund is really nothing special. Plus there is a whole crop of young guys who will be stepping into their own, and are already right there.

Here is my reasoning on the ones I mentioned, although arguments could definitely be made that they don't fit. Backlund I was off on. For some reason I think of him as a 3C, even though he hasn't been used that way for years. Hanzal is definitely bottom 6 in Dallas behind Spezza and Seguin. Saying he did poorly in Minnesota isn't convincing, as many deadline players struggle with their new teams. He got Top 6 minutes because Arizona sucks, but he is a 3rd line, shut down C anywhere decent. Miller only got top 6 minutes because he moved up for Zibby's injuries. So he played up the line-up for 25+ games when Zibby was injured, but he was 3rd on depth chart behind Zibby and Stepan when everyone was healthy. Kadri, Matthews and Bozak all actually play C. One of those has to be a a 3rd liner, right? Pick one. There is someone better than Berglund playing on Toronto's 3rd line, or call it Nylander, or JVR. For Williams, I through Burakovsky had passed him, but I guess not based on TOI. So that one I was just off as well.

As you said its hard to say who is the "best bottom 6 player" because a top 6 guy like Hanzal on Arizona is a bottom 6 on Dallas. Or Bonino was bottom 6 on Pitt, and might be 2nd line on Nashville. Or if someone gets hurt, players move up. You'd think the best 3rd liner would move up often.

Berglund scores goals, but he doesn't do much else. He is our 5 or 6th Pk option. His defense is overrated. He is a monster on possession, but he doesn't create offense from it (his points generally come from quick shots and net front work). He's a mid-30 point player. Sobotka may not have had 10 goals ever, but Berglund hasn't had 20 assists since 2011, and Sobotka's career usage is much less favorable. Sobotka is a much better utility player, and can put up assists when given decent useage. Even if Berglund is the "best bottom 6'er" by whatever definition you want to use, he makes low-end top 6 money (145th highest forward, divided by 31 puts him in top 5 range). A lot of the guys I named make less, and would fill his role better than Berglund does.

Last year's Berglund may have been in the conversation for best 3rd liners depending on how you define 3rd liners (as messy of a conversation as that would be) based on his hot hand scoring goals. However, last year's Berglund was the best he has been in a long time. To me, his season was bolstered by a serious hot streak and he looked like a wholly unimpressive player for a lot of the season, which is how he has looked for a lot of his career here. Maybe I am biased because of the contract. We signed him in the middle of the hot-streak, instead of waitging til he cooled off and his stats normalized. And we overpaid because of it, and gave too much term for how much we paid. I think its a total waste of money and saying he is the best bottom-6 player, when he isn't a top pk presence or run our shut-down line, just doesn't impress me. And I don't agree with it. I'd rather sign one of those better players who were disqualified for being top 6 guys, even though they make less money.


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09-20-2017, 11:10 PM
  #20
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blues arguably dont make the playoffs with his 2nd half performance
We made the playoffs by 12 points. I doubt his value above replacement turned 6 losses into wins. Barbashev, Agostino and Paajarvi all provided almost the exact same PPG coming out of the AHL. You can argue that if you want, but it seems a silly argument to me.

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09-20-2017, 11:14 PM
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We made the playoffs by 12 points. I doubt his value above replacement turned 6 losses into wins. Barbashev, Agostino and Paajarvi all provided almost the exact same PPG coming out of the AHL. You can argue that if you want, but it seems a silly argument to me.
i think 22 goals in 51 games while also being the teams best defensive forward while the blues worked their way back into the playoffs was pretty crucial yea

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09-20-2017, 11:20 PM
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i think 22 goals in 51 games while also being the teams best defensive forward while the blues worked their way back into the playoffs was pretty crucial yea
Except he wasn't the teams best defensive forward by any metric. Those 22 goals in 51 games is all he did. He had 1 in the other 31 games. He was an offensive black hole outside of those goals. He had 11 assists all year. He didn't make his teammates better at all, but made them worse. Anyone who played with him saw their stats with him drop considerably.

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09-20-2017, 11:22 PM
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Except he wasn't the teams best defensive forward by any metric. Those 22 goals in 51 games is all he did. He had 1 in the other 31 games. He was an offensive black hole outside of those goals. He had 11 assists all year. He didn't make his teammates better at all, but made them worse. Anyone who played with him saw their stats with him drop considerably.
he is definitely the teams best defensive forward with backes gone and steen falling off

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09-21-2017, 08:28 AM
  #24
Celtic Note
Ugly as Sin
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Country: United States
Posts: 11,978
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian39 View Post
Easton and I may have been the 2 most vocal posters coming out against his contract. I've said from the day it was signed that it is 'fair' money but that giving fair money and strong trade protection to a 3rd liner for 5 years is bad cap management. I still stand by that. With his injury history, we absolutely should have gotten a monetary discount in return for term and trade protection, or we should have gotten a break on term if we were paying fair value.

I don't want to see Bergie play out his contract as a Blue because I think that we will need that money for a top 6 player in the future. But that doesn't take away from my thoughts on him as a player. He is objectively a better option for the 3rd line than the player who will replace him for the first half of the year. By a large margin.
I hear you. Your preaching to the choir. I was saying the same things at the time of the signing.

I like Begie as a player just fine. His fit on the team has frequently been a concern for me throughout his career. His current contract makes his fit more of a concern, especially as we move forward.

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