It wasn't just about finding the back of the net. With Matt, it was about using his size to drive the net, establish net front presence, go for the rebounds, tips etc. He's a bigger body, who was very much a perimeter player.
For all I know, his AHL production is the result of crappier defensive coverage, bad AHL goaltending, and being on the line with other dangerous players in Kadri / Colborne who open up more room for his perimeter game.
Edit: I just saw that it was Frattin who got the nod. Guess we'll find out if there's an improvement in him being able to use his size to augment his offense, or if he's the same old wheel along the boards and take bad angle shots at the net player he was earlier in the season.
I thought Frattin was doing a fine job getting to the net. There were plenty of time he would try and barrel down the wing and cut to the net and be stopped either by the goaltender or just strong defensive play. For him to score, he does a lot of it off the rush. But a lot of this stuff you want from him he'll only be able to do through NHL experience.
He has all the tools, just needs to find ways to put it together in the NHL.
Like you said, AHL competition offers a different game. So what he does at the AHL level offensively may not translate - no one knows until you get into the NHL and are given a chance to show it.
The main thing for him was finding a way to score at the pro level. He was snake bitten to all hell - to a point where even the announcers were saying if he just gets into an offensive groove he might really explode. He was playing very well aside from just not burying his chances IMO. Obviously more bottom-six than top-six.
I'm looking for him to provide some speed, some jam, and create some chances. Hopefully he can pot a few in the process.
I thought Frattin was pretty good going to the net WHEN HE HAD THE PUCK in his first stint up here, but not so good at going to the front of the net WITHOUT the puck. From the sounds of it he was getting some quality garbage goals on rebounds with the Marlies so hopefully he can add that to his NHL game.
And really, it's all about finish - he's gotta start burying some of the chances he gets.
I can live with the rookie turnovers and mistakes as long as he's productive on the other end.