Never ceases to amaze me the more i watch this guy the more i wonder how in the heck does he stay in this league....scary part is, he may go into the season being proclaimed our number 1 or 2 Defenceman.....we are in trouble as year unfolds.....an ageing McGillis will be exposed in the long haul as to why both Philly and San Jose gave up on him, Moran, undersized and probably in last year of career, O'donnel, still solid but seen his better days, Jilson, unknown, Brennan, career AHL'er though solid enough offensively, Jurcina and Morrison, completely untested, Boynton, may be the best all around and he is still a kid, Berard, always has been one dimentional and when his lack of D exceeds his offensive production, well you get the idea.......Goaltending better be good...inside camp Felix is being lit up and kids vastly outplaying him but his contract is his contract and B's have no choice but to play him at number 1 .......could be a long year without the offensive depth of other teams....Sully's system will have to be played to the hilt for team to stay in the hunt.....will be interesting with impending lockout.....your thoughts???
with gill it depends what type of 'defense' you're talking about. here's how i rate our defensemen. never tried this before but here goes (out of 5 stars)
offense from defensemen is lacking but IMHO-defensively we're not bad at all. we desperately need a good pointman for the powerplay though. hopefully jillson will do OR they'll sign berard and use him VERY sparingly cause in the above scale i'd say berard is -1.5 on defense. not only is it non-existent but he coughs up the puck for unforced turnovers like the above 5 seldom do.
In my opinion Gill has improved every year of his career.
He did manage to lead the team in +/- last year also.
I think his mistakes stand out because of long lingering negative opinions of him.
If you have Center Ice you'll notice Gill is often the most complemented Bruin player by opposing commentators.
He's far from perfect but he's most certainly an NHL caliber player in the league. He is what he is.
It's not his fault he's looked to for more than he should be.
McGillis is only 30. That's not an age at which he should be slowed if he's in top shape.
I guess you're not going to allow him a chance to give the team a solid year given your comments.
For me it's Moran who gives me concern.
If he's a high minute player, then I see a problem.
Unlike Gill who appears to always be trying to improve, O'donnell APPEARS to be coasting through the twilight of his career.
He's SUPPOSED to be a nasty player and a real solid stay-at-homer and I've been disappointed with him.
Again, he's being asked to be more perhaps than what he is, but he's capable of being more reliable than he's been overall during his stay.
"Sully's system will have to be played to the hilt for the team to stay in the hunt".
I'm not sure what you mean by this.
I guess you mean a playoff spot.
It seems you believe the team is worse off this year than last.
To me the team looks a whole lot like last year except for the dynamics of the forward lines being different.
Whether Potvin is an improvement over last year, who knows.
Overall, it looks like about the same team talent-wise.
I don't expect the same great start as last year, nor the same horrible finish.
Gill's got several things going against him. First of all, he's a big man, and big men never look good when some little buzzsaw is zipping by them at 90 mph. Secondly, his game is alot about positioning, so that when he IS doing the job, it's a very sublte thing, with the forward shooting the puck in or some such. When Gill is doing his job, it looks like the opponent planned on shooting the puck into the corner. When he isn't he looks like a house on the side of the road.
Having said all that, big slow defensemen have been valuable forever in the NHL, and Gill is no exception. He's probably going to play forever, because that's what these guys do, from Allan Stanley to Cory Cross.
The only fault I see with Gill is his lack of mean streak. Other than that, he's more than a capable defenseman.
Add some more foot speed, and I would completely agree with this. I still wait for the day that Hal is in a bad mood and take it too someone!
How can you instill a move violent attitude in Gill? Make him watch 80's cartoons? Play First Person Shooter Video games? Beat him with a stick daily?
I agree Gill is givin a raw deal on this board. Personally through the subtractions of last year (Sweeney,Berard) and the additions (McGillis,Moran) I think our top four are solid. If Jillson can be effective, he and Moran will be a good 5/6 pair and we should be fine on D. I look for a big year from "big daddy" Dan McGillis. This guy was born to be a Bruin.
I have to echo the comment made above that indicates that Gill is thought more highly of just about everywhere else than he is in Boston.
sure some of that is if you watch a guy one time to donm't notice his flaws.
But part of it is that if you watch a guy all the time you may Only notice his flaws, and forget about all the good things he does.
Gill is what he is. A solid #4 or #5 defenseman who will get beat occasionally, but in general plays a strong position game, and has had some remarkable success against some of the best players in Hockey
Sure If Hal was ablt to be a dominating physical presense along with the other things he does well, he'd be a solid #2, but some guys just can't be something they are not, and Has had never been a big hitter.
The more I watch Gill, the more I believe he's the last guy the Bs should trade.
If we had Bourque, Blake & Foote then yes, they could move him. They don't though, they have/had Sweeney, Girard, Berard, a broken OD, and a young Boynton. Not exactly norris type team-mates.
Gill gets " no respect " for the things he does well. Some of those off the top of my head; Games played and mins played. No substitute for a guy that always plays 75+ gms, and eats up defensive mins.
Skating & passing have really improved in the last 2 years. For a guy 6'7 & 250, his stop starts and balance are pretty darn good. I think his passing is better than given credit for also. Time after time last year, he'd get the puck, take his time and really put some zip on passes right on the tape. His " offensive " partners make him look bad though, especially when they take off up the ice when no one else is ready and lose the puck at the other blue line. Where's Gill? Oh Yeah, he was the one playing back while his partner was " creating " chances!
Seniority, he's been here the longest, no contract battles, no weekend drunks to explain, works out in the off season, good in the community, and generally keeps his head down and tries his best. ( Sounds alot like Bourque doesn't it? Hmm )
Maybe not nasty, but this guy is very strong. How many times does he get the puck to our goalies right, and with a flick of the wrist he can zip the puck around the glass every bit as hard as our other Dmen could with their hardest slapper.
Crease clearing, this is one everyone harps on over & over. I see it differently than most I guess. Crease clearing to me means letting your goalie see the puck. Because of his size there is always at least an extra foot between Gill's backside and our goalie when forwards park in front. That extra distance gives the goalie that much more vision. Traffic in front wasn't the biggest problem our goalies had the last few years. Gill also forces alot of guys to go wide around the net, if everyone else does their job a turnover will eventually occur.
He's still not that old. Not 30 yet is he? People cut guys like Joe & Sammy slack. They also say Dmen take longer. Gill's still improving, so it would be silly not to see what happens with him. Especially considering his price tag.
There now, anyone reading this that didn't know Gill would think he was the next Norris winner.
I like Gill, but I also realize his shortcomings as well. I'd love for him to play more physical, of course. As a matter of fact, I said to the wife yesterday, I'd love to see Gill put Mario through the glass into row 4 when they play the Pens here Tues night. I'd give my left arm to see that.
Any chance Sullivan can help him with this? I don't believe he doesn't want to do it, rather he's afraid of getting caught out of position. Hitting isn't something you just do , its a skill. Two years ago in games towards the end of the year, I remember Gill trying to pull off Rob Blake's move. When Blake comes gliding down his blueline with his butt towards the glass and pinches the forward off. I swear I saw Gill trying to pull this off 2-4 times, but with no success. If Sully & Gill could work together to try and get him to master that, boy O boy.
Moral of the story, Please don't move Gill, that would be nothing more than a lateral move. Wait until we have more D men and a better team and then move him for a real talent, which he will fetch in a couple years if he plays the same.
I'll lay my cards on the table and say flat out that I have been an unavowed Sweeney hater since the day he joined the B's. I can't imagine any player spending more time on the ice and accomplishing less than he did throughout his career. He was carried by Ray for the years they were together, and he is among the worst passers and shooters that I have ever seen on the blueline. Why do I bring this up? Simple. Many fans loved "Donny" because he was undersized, always seemed to be hustling, overcame the "odds" blah blah blah. But many seem to hate Gill because he doesn't play "big", doesn't score enough etc. I submit that if given the choice between having Gill or Sweeney on the ice at a crucial juncture of a Stanley Cup Final game, any objective, rational person would choose Gill. And before anyone disagrees, think back to the 1990 playoffs when Klima "used" Sweeney before scoring his 3 ot goal. Then think back to the 91 playoffs when he was around a minus 10 in 6 games vs. Mario and Co. Gill is what he is, a big guy who generally doesn't allow the other team to score. He doesn't make bone jarring hits and he doesn't fight. Would I like him to do those things more, sure. But I'll take his strong defensive presence over the undisciplined (the early years), extremely mediocre (the middle years) and ineffective (the later years) play of Sweeney any day. The moral of this rant.... I can't understand how anyone could bash Gill, while being a fan of Sweeney. And judging by the reaction of fans at the hundred to hundred fifty games that I've been to and by some posters here and elsewhere, those people do exist.
count me in as a Gill supporter. He's a quiet guy who gets the job done.
of course, I too would love to see him add a physical side to his game....because he certainly has the size. And yeah, I'd love to see him pop some big name player into tomorrow. you just know the time is coming....the more he matures and gets comfortable with his game, someday he's gonna unload on somebody. but as long as he does his job every game, I'm happy.
every team needs the "steady" guy. the Bruins would be making a big mistake to move him.