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Old
12-24-2011, 10:33 AM
  #1
bigdaddydroc
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Erik Johnson

Hey guys! Avs fan coming in peace.

First, I just want to congratulate you guys on an outstanding turn around. I've been a closet blues fan for the last five years or so and it's nice to watch the turn around you Guys have experienced over the last 20 games or so.

Secondly, I want to point out that I don't want this thread to turn into a pissing contest over who won the trade. Thus far, its pretty clear you guys have a leg up in this department and it'll take another couple years before we really know who won it. The topic has been beaten to death on the main boards and on our boards too.

I noticed that while most of you were very frustrated with Johnson play, a decent amount of you seem to wish him well. I thought I'd provide those of you who like him with a little update and I'll continue to do so. I'd really appreciate if you'd do the same for shatty!

After a start to the season where EJ showed the same lack of hockey sense that you guys complained about, EJ was injured for around 5 games. After he came back, he has seemed to be on a mission. He hasn't made any terrible passes and has been notably physical for the last 7 or 8 games. He has been an even or plus player every game during this time as well. He finally netted his first goal a few games ago and has been regularly putting up assists all season.

The only drawback I have for him is he seems to have a lot of his point shots blocked. Its frustrating to have a big shot on the point and not have it get through. was this a problem is st Louis as well?

Any updates you could give me about shatty would be appreciated. I followed his University play eagerly awaiting him to make the nhl roster only to watch him get traded I was always very high on the kid and am glad he seems to be playing well!

Anyways, merry Christmas to you guys and best wishes for continued success in the new year!

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12-24-2011, 10:51 AM
  #2
PocketNines
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Yes, Johnson having his point shot blocked was a frustration. Beyond that the vast majority of us liked him and wanted him to succeed. Glad he's picking it up.

Blues fans are extremely happy with Shattenkirk. He's a gem. Hockey sense is tremendous.

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12-24-2011, 11:21 AM
  #3
CitizenSnips
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thanks for coming over and giving us some info

i dont think anyone here expected shatty to do this well here and it looks like he will be a staple of our team for years to come.

also, i was sooooo high on EJ ever sense we drafted him and i was not completely disappointed in his play, but very frustrated. my frustration was more that you could see his potential and game in and game out, he did not reach it. he would get flashes of fantastic play he was certainly capable of on both sides of the ice but just could not keep it going at all times.

i hope he can become the player that everyone knows is probably bottled up inside him somewhere. i think some of it could have been all the pressure and expectations he had here. im not saying he is not under pressure in CO but i dont think its the same kind of pressure.

i still have my EJ t-shirt and wear it proudly (around my house).

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12-24-2011, 12:26 PM
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bigdaddydroc
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Originally Posted by CitizenSnips View Post
thanks for coming over and giving us some info

i dont think anyone here expected shatty to do this well here and it looks like he will be a staple of our team for years to come.

also, i was sooooo high on EJ ever sense we drafted him and i was not completely disappointed in his play, but very frustrated. my frustration was more that you could see his potential and game in and game out, he did not reach it. he would get flashes of fantastic play he was certainly capable of on both sides of the ice but just could not keep it going at all times.

i hope he can become the player that everyone knows is probably bottled up inside him somewhere. i think some of it could have been all the pressure and expectations he had here. im not saying he is not under pressure in CO but i dont think its the same kind of pressure.

i still have my EJ t-shirt and wear it proudly (around my house).
Yeah I think I'd agree with you on the levels of expectations. Although we traded two good players for him, we didn't select him first overall. There is an immense amount of pressure to suceed when a team picked you specifically to build around. Not that Colorado didn't trade foe him with the same intentions, but i just think there are higher expectations out of a first overall pick.

I actually should also point out thT McClement has been wonderful for us. I give a lot of the credit for O'Reilly having a breakout year to him. His solid defensive game has allowed O'Reilly to get into more of a solid second center role instead of a third defensive role. I really like him.

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12-24-2011, 01:30 PM
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I like everyone else was the EJ had a lot to offer. Physical gifts are fantastic, size, skating.... etc. We saw a lot of his gifts his first year, then he blew out his knee and for us, never seemed to get it going again. That was a full year of development that he lost.

Beyond his shot, I think the other thing that frusterated me a lot was trying to do too much with the puck. He likes to move the puck up the ice by skating it, but seemed to have it checked away a fair amount. I honestly sometimes wondered if he should use a longer stick. I believe that his is shorter the AP by 3 inches. (This is an old memory but they showed the sticks on the bench once and pointed out how AP's was longer).

Also, the Blues fans on this board tend to be very neutral fans. IE, we try not to down play the value of our players that are traded. Seems like a lot of fans will talk up someone one day and then bash him when he is traded.

As much as fans like to talk about who "won" a trade, most trades happen between GMs who are trying to do the best for their teams.

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12-25-2011, 06:00 AM
  #6
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Im not sure that many people didn't like EJ. People were just frustrated. He just never looked like a #1 overall (and he still is far from looking like a #1 overall). Blues fans were kind of shocked when he was traded and some of those who were frustrated now had reason to claim they were never a big fan. The trade gave them an out to express their "true feelings."

I don't know anybody who has any REAL ill-will towards him. I am a Blues fan in Colorado and I have seen EJ play quite a bit on both teams. I still don't see any improvement really at all. He still does not play as big as he is, he is still terrible at breaking out, and he loses battles in the boards. He does have a descent shot though. I think his problems are all mental. He is just so tentative in just about every aspect of his game and he hesitates a lot with the puck.

No offense to you but I have quite a few Avalanche fans for friends and the opinions on him are night and day between all of them. A couple of them hate EJ and think hes worthless (Which reminds me - how good was that Elliott kid when Johnson was out? Wow!). And the others seem to think he's the greatest thing since sliced bread. I don't get it why everybody is either one extreme or the other when it comes to EJ. I just have a harder time finding reasons to think that hes good or better than average. Just like in STL, everybody is waiting for him to break-out. And until that happens I personally won't be convinced he is anything above average.

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12-25-2011, 01:21 PM
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I think you'd be hard-pressed to find many Blues fans who wouldn't be satisfied with a straight up trade of Shattenkirk for EJ. (Which is lucky since Stewart has been in a long funk.)

The handful of Avs games I've caught this season, EJ looks like the same guy we know well. Occasional dominant rushes up the ice, carrying the puck until he gets in the zone and then can't figure out what to do next. Physical presence in his own end, but frequently out of position. Shot from the point is a boomer, but largely innocuous since it doesn't get on net often enough to matter.

On the Blues, my impression was that EJ could become a useful player eventually, but its going to take several more seasons. He was out of synch with the rest of the Blues' rebuild. Although it sounds funny to say it now, with the PP struggling, but I felt he was the weak spot when he was on the point. Other teams didn't have to respect his shot, so it became easy to defend the overall scheme. (This year there are other problems.)

Anyway, hopefully he lives up to his potential eventually, but I think if he was going to have the hockey sense to put it all together we'd have seen more by now. I think he'll be a top pairing guy that never becomes elite. That's not what you hope for from your #1 guy. But he could be part of a second wave of rebuild in Colorado.

I think the biggest reason Colorado doing that trade didn't make sense to me is that they were nearly done with their rebuild, and then kind of got schizophrenic about it. I'm not sure when they expect to be a contender. Now? That seems to be what the goalie trade (giving up their picks) indicated....but that's not what the rest of the team (especially the D corps) is geared for. Taking on EJ suggests more patience with the process, but then why give away your first-round pick in a loaded draft?

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12-25-2011, 01:45 PM
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I think most people here are right on about EJ, except I don't think he was always the same level of player. His rookie year was really strong IMO. I think the MCL/ACL injury really screwed up his development into the elite player he was on pace to become. It's a shame, really.

Maybe he'll find his groove one day, but a solid 5 games or so isn't an indicator of that for me.

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12-25-2011, 02:39 PM
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His biggest problem is that he hasnt found his role yet, but I think he will be a solid 30-35 point two way defenseman. I really dont see him developing into a great power play guy, but so much of that is finding the right chemistry. He offensive instincts are lacking IMO, and the blocked shots, as you said, are one part of this. Hes a good puck mover and with his size and mobility there is no reason he cant be dominant in the defensive zone. His passing was always lacking IMO.

As I said, he is a solid player and should continue to develop. But I think many of us have noticed that he certainly lacked the "it" factor. For being a 6'4" guy who can skate, he was invisible on the ice for too many games. He really did remind me of Eric Brewer: big, athletic, decent skill set, but never developed into *the* guy.

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12-25-2011, 08:41 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 Minute Minor View Post
...

The handful of Avs games I've caught this season, EJ looks like the same guy we know well. Occasional dominant rushes up the ice, carrying the puck until he gets in the zone and then can't figure out what to do next. Physical presence in his own end, but frequently out of position. Shot from the point is a boomer, but largely innocuous since it doesn't get on net often enough to matter.

...
That is the EJ I remember. You could watch him knock a guy off the puck, take it up ice splitting the D, getting into the O zone, and then.... nothing.

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12-25-2011, 10:43 PM
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If he focused on being a crushing shutdown guy for a while and then expanded with his offensive skill afterwards, I think he could be a career 30+ point guy with killer defense and be one of the most effective value-to-cost players in the league. The problem is that he tries to do too much and hasn't developed in any direction. He's basically the same guy he was when he was a rookie, give or take. His hockey IQ is questionable, but he's also his own worst enemy because he pressures himself and doesn't read what his teammates are doing very well. He's basically Eric Brewer with a better shot, but without the ability to get it on net, and with better skating ability, but he's worse positionally and doesn't use his teammates as well as a puck-mover needs to do. That's still a damn valuable player, but it's basically a #2 or 3 guy on a playoff team, not a #1, and barely even a secondary puck-mover.

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12-25-2011, 11:32 PM
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thanks for coming over and giving us some info

i dont think anyone here expected shatty to do this well here and it looks like he will be a staple of our team for years to come.

also, i was sooooo high on EJ ever sense we drafted him and i was not completely disappointed in his play, but very frustrated. my frustration was more that you could see his potential and game in and game out, he did not reach it. he would get flashes of fantastic play he was certainly capable of on both sides of the ice but just could not keep it going at all times.

i hope he can become the player that everyone knows is probably bottled up inside him somewhere. i think some of it could have been all the pressure and expectations he had here. im not saying he is not under pressure in CO but i dont think its the same kind of pressure.

i still have my EJ t-shirt and wear it proudly (around my house).
I am only here to say that you, sir, have the best user name on this message board

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12-25-2011, 11:43 PM
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CitizenSnips
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I am only here to say that you, sir, have the best user name on this message board
why thank you

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12-26-2011, 03:07 AM
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It's truly looking like a good trade for both teams. Johnson and McClement are solid players who give the Avs what they need. They wanted defensive help and acquired it. And the Blues wanted more offensive instinct, and Shattenkirk is a great fit for us. Stewart is off to a slow start this season, but can score goals so I still like him.

I for one love Kevin Shattenkirk. He's a good skater, tremendous passer, has good vision, a very underrated wrist shot, good poise, and just contains swagger and leadership qualities. He's becoming such a huge part of our team.

I noticed Johnson has been better lately in Colorado, and maybe the trade is the best thing to happen to him. I know he liked St. Louis, but he was struggling a bit and maybe just needed a change of scenery, and he got it and could strive in Colorado. He has a fresh start with an opportunity to be THE #1 guy without too much competition, and if you just let him grow into that role he should be a fine player.

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12-26-2011, 06:18 AM
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Shattenkirk was my favorite piece in the trade, wasn't even rattled by the deal when he was part of the return. It'll be interesting to see how Seimens develops and Rattie doing so well at the Junior level as the real weight in the trade. I think EJ and Stewart were really good swaps as they both need to develop into their prime before we'll see their true value. They're a status quo case of player development, it's hard to settle for the growing pains but foolish not to be patient. I really hope EJ finds the right partner at some point and can be mentored to have some serious confidence with the puck in the offensive zone, he's that guy who has all the athletic ability he could need and just not enough polish to own the game the way he should.

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12-29-2011, 11:39 AM
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For whatever reason I was surfing on Bleacher Report and saw a slideshow on "how to fix the Avs defense" - not a single mention was made of Erik Johnson. Considering how insignifcant he's apparently been, I find that telling of what the Blues gave up - not much (sadly).

Also, what galled me most and told me a lot about EJ was a comment he made about getting traded - that he was going to prove to StL what they would be missing. Really? Why not just play hard and tough and not get traded in the first place??? I never understand when guys make comments like that...

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12-29-2011, 01:56 PM
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Up until his last year here, I was on board with EJ taking his time to develop. And had one factor not come along, I would think of the EJ trade as a long-term loss. I was completely sold on the idea that defensemen take an abnormal time to develop in some situations, and in EJ's case, that still may be true.

But the one factor that came along and made Johnson look like he was developing as quickly as molasses was Pietrangelo. Immediately Pietrangelo stepped in and was playing better than Johnson. At that point, it became a question of "what's wrong with Johnson if Pietrangelo can do so well?"

And I think that's why I was okay with trading away our 1st overall.

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12-29-2011, 06:25 PM
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Up until his last year here, I was on board with EJ taking his time to develop. And had one factor not come along, I would think of the EJ trade as a long-term loss. I was completely sold on the idea that defensemen take an abnormal time to develop in some situations, and in EJ's case, that still may be true.

But the one factor that came along and made Johnson look like he was developing as quickly as molasses was Pietrangelo. Immediately Pietrangelo stepped in and was playing better than Johnson. At that point, it became a question of "what's wrong with Johnson if Pietrangelo can do so well?"

And I think that's why I was okay with trading away our 1st overall.
I think that you're right on with that. Petro's rapid development played as big a factor as anything else in EJ getting traded.

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12-29-2011, 06:35 PM
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Also, what galled me most and told me a lot about EJ was a comment he made about getting traded - that he was going to prove to StL what they would be missing. Really? Why not just play hard and tough and not get traded in the first place??? I never understand when guys make comments like that...
Those comments are pretty commonplace. To me, it seemed pretty obvious that EJ was trying very hard here and that leaving/disappointing the team was something he obviously didn't want to do. (I think part of the problem was that he's actually trying to do too much, and the constant forcing of plays trying to make things happen was a large part of why we were questioning his hockey sense/judgement on the ice.)

I simply read that as a promise to his new team that he's not going to dog it in the effort department because he was moved from a place he liked against his will. Instead, he would try and use that as motivation moving forward to be the best player he could for his new team.

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12-29-2011, 07:08 PM
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EJ was miscast on the Blues last season.

They needed him to be a top-pairing defenseman who could shut down the oppositions' top lines. He wasn't ready for this role defensively, and his attempt at becoming this player forced his offense to suffer. I remember a stretch of games when Johnson was playing the left side with Pietrangelo for awhile. He was uncomfortable and unready for what happened last season and was traded because of it.

I'm not saying that trading him was a mistake. I am saying that he appeared worse than he was because he was forced to play a role he wasn't ready for. (Much like Brewer, Jackman, etc. in years past) I honestly think that Johnson would be successful playing the role Shattenkirk is playing now.

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12-30-2011, 12:30 AM
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Kevin Shattenkirk is honestly better than Erik Johnson and that's why I will always like this trade.

Shattenkirk is better offensively. Better skater, better passer, and while he might not shoot as hard, he has a pretty underrated shot IMO. Good wrist shot that usually finds the net. He's just a wizard out there with the puck. It's fun to watch. The stats don't lie; EJ has potential but Shattenkirk simply produces more.

Defensively, Shattenkirk is also underrated. While he doesn't have the size Johnson does, he has 42 hits to Johnson's 44. Johnson doesn't use his size and physicality near as much as he should. Shattenkirk can get feisty and play with an edge. I also like his positioning and think he's simply a smarter hockey player. He takes away the puck more than EJ and also gives it away much less. Johnson just makes dumb decisions.

For as talented as Shatty is offensively, his defensive game and PK ability is impressive. He's developed into a great all-around player, and also has shown some great leadership qualities while being so young.

This isn't meant to bash Johnson since as I said in a previous post in this thread, I think he will be a good player, but I'm just much more impressed with Shattenkirk. He's a stud.

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12-30-2011, 10:15 AM
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Hitchcock did an interview yesterday on the radio. During the interview he was asked about where he saw Shatty and Petro over the next 5 years. His response was that he could see Petro being a top 1 or 2 D and he saw Shatty as a top 4 D or 2nd line D.

I'm not sure if he's playing mental games or if that is his honest opinion. If he's sincere then I'd have to disagree with him. Shatty has shown even more promise to me than Petro. Shatty doesn't have the size of Petro or EJ but I'd say he plays bigger than either one.

Chris Stewart is another story. He's by far the laziest player on the Blues. Maybe we can find a trading partner for Stewart that thinks he's better than he actually is like Col did with Johnson.

Stewart has 14 pts through 33 games. Seven goals and seven helpers. At least 2 of those goals are empty netters. He has a long way to go. He has good speed, size, and hands. He's just incredibly lazy.

Erik Johnson also has 14 points in 34 games. One goal with 13 helpers. Nine of those 14 points are on the PP and thus far he's a -11.
It's not that EJ is a terrible player. It's the fact that he was taken #1 overall in the draft. That will forever be EJ's downfall. I mean look at the last 10 #1 picks overall.

2011-Nugent Hopkins
2010-Taylor Hall
2009-Tavares
2008-Stamkos
2007-Patrick Kane
2006-EJ
2005-Crosby
2004-Ovechkin
2003-Andre-Fleury
2002-Rick Nash

It's like looking at a glaring IQ test question. The question is which one doesn't belong. He's the only D taken #1 overall in the last 16 years. Bottom line is he probably will never live up to that billing. The real shame is the Blues should have taken Toews #1 overall.

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12-30-2011, 12:15 PM
  #23
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Hitchcock did an interview yesterday on the radio. During the interview he was asked about where he saw Shatty and Petro over the next 5 years. His response was that he could see Petro being a top 1 or 2 D and he saw Shatty as a top 4 D or 2nd line D.

I'm not sure if he's playing mental games or if that is his honest opinion. If he's sincere then I'd have to disagree with him. Shatty has shown even more promise to me than Petro. Shatty doesn't have the size of Petro or EJ but I'd say he plays bigger than either one.

Chris Stewart is another story. He's by far the laziest player on the Blues. Maybe we can find a trading partner for Stewart that thinks he's better than he actually is like Col did with Johnson.

Stewart has 14 pts through 33 games. Seven goals and seven helpers. At least 2 of those goals are empty netters. He has a long way to go. He has good speed, size, and hands. He's just incredibly lazy.

Erik Johnson also has 14 points in 34 games. One goal with 13 helpers. Nine of those 14 points are on the PP and thus far he's a -11.
It's not that EJ is a terrible player. It's the fact that he was taken #1 overall in the draft. That will forever be EJ's downfall. I mean look at the last 10 #1 picks overall.

2011-Nugent Hopkins
2010-Taylor Hall
2009-Tavares
2008-Stamkos
2007-Patrick Kane
2006-EJ
2005-Crosby
2004-Ovechkin
2003-Andre-Fleury
2002-Rick Nash

It's like looking at a glaring IQ test question. The question is which one doesn't belong. He's the only D taken #1 overall in the last 16 years. Bottom line is he probably will never live up to that billing. The real shame is the Blues should have taken Toews #1 overall.
You can look at it in hindsight all you want but pretty much every team would have taken EJ #1 if given the opportunity with that pick in '06. EJ was the consensus #1 in the draft. You can complain all you want now, it's not going to change the fact he was the best prospect at the table that day.

There is also no guarantee Toews, Backstrom, Staal, etc develop like they did here in St.Louis like they did elsewhere either.

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12-30-2011, 02:06 PM
  #24
Multimoodia
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It's like looking at a glaring IQ test question. The question is which one doesn't belong. He's the only D taken #1 overall in the last 16 years. Bottom line is he probably will never live up to that billing. The real shame is the Blues should have taken Toews #1 overall.
Agreed.

If only the Blues had selected Toews doubtless they would have been hoisting the Stanley Cup in 2010 rather than the Blackhawks.

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12-30-2011, 04:34 PM
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rumrokh
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I'm not sure if he's playing mental games or if that is his honest opinion. If he's sincere then I'd have to disagree with him. Shatty has shown even more promise to me than Petro. Shatty doesn't have the size of Petro or EJ but I'd say he plays bigger than either one.
Shattenkirk is good, but he simply hasn't shown the overall game that Pietrangelo delivers on a nightly basis. Shatty is a bit better offensively and he takes more risks because of that, so you see more flash, but Pietro is better positionally, wins battles, doesn't fall down as much, is better on the PK, and skates and passes the puck out of trouble on another level.

I do believe that Shattenkirk's overall game will fly under the radar for years, if not his entire career, but the fact that Pietrangelo made the NHL a year earlier and was a more complete player out of the gate is a strong indication of where their potentials are.

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