Take out the Agitating play of a player. Better/Worse?
Just curious who you guys think would be BETTER without the agitating roll or dirty play.
And which players would be worse without it.
Burrows = WORSE - Imo alex burrows is one of the best players in the game when it comes to work ethic and strong play, with a mix of agitation and grit. If you took out his agitation he would probably turn into a guy like hansen who is a similar mold, but would not work well in the top 6(with burrows skillset)
Kesler = BETTER - Kesler is a perfect example of a player who had a career year when he cut out all of his shananagins, and focused ONLY on scoring, and playing amazing two way hockey. Last year he was a monster in the regular season and playoffs, and did everything that was asked of him until......The boston series where he turned back to his old self, which imo A big part of it was due to injury and not being able to keep up. (got frustrated).
This season Kesler was a train wreck on the ice, diving flopping, whining not just in the playoffs but in the regular season and his stats and performances clearly showed by his huge production drop. (injury didn't help).
Neil is at his best when he gets under his opponent's skin. He can hit clean, fight clean, but he can also get involved in some post-whistle facewashes when called upon. Case in point was his series against the Rangers, where he and Brian Boyle did their best to frustrate their opponents to good effect.
Nick Foligno = Worse.
When he's not running goalies and attacking the crease, he becomes a bit too much of a perimeter player. He's at his best in the area around the net, where his agility and stickhandling result in offensive chances and not just dipsey-doodling around the offensive zone.
Zack Smith = Better.
Sometimes Zack Smith has to do a better job of appreciating the current game situation before getting all riled up. He plays on the line of intense and agitating but as a young player, he has to be careful about taking bad penalties.
Agitators get distracted from their own play, wake up other teams, and take stupid penalties. All players are better off shutting up.
Thats not entirely true. Brown and Richards agitated throughout the playoffs, getting into the opposing teams players heads (See Kesler and hanzal in particular) and taking THEM off their game. In both cases, and many other, these players took stupid penalties or made stupid plays. Its an important role in their game. I dont think they'd be worse if they took out of their game, i think they're just particularly good at it.
Marchand was neutered a bit this past season and he wasn't nearly as impressive as the previous. Could have just been the ol' sophomore slump.
In general, I like to see agitating players. As much as Borrows bugs the hell out of me, I love seeing a "bad guy" type player on a team. To be clear, I think there is a clear difference between someone who gets under the skin of another player by being a punk and someone who cheapshots regularly. Not a fan of those types.
The Burrows, Marchands and Averys have a place in hockey.
The Cookes and Torres' do not. (yep.. still a bitter Bruins fan)