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04-01-2011, 10:05 PM
  #1
Rowdy Roddy Peeper
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James Neal's shot

Just so people don't think I'm another Neal critic piling on, I love how the guy's played so far (skating, hitting, defense, mindset, etc.) and I'm sure he's going to be a great long-term complement to one of Sid or Geno when he gets back, but...

...his shot has underwhelmed me.

Dude can rip the puck, but he's got Christensen prep for it and it's telegraphed as hell. There was one particular play last game where he had a landing strip of free ice coming up the left side and took about 20 feet to cradle and wind up, by which time, of course, the defenseman had closed the gap and tipped the puck out of play.

Anybody else see that sort of thing as a common occurrence with Neal, or am I out in left field?

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04-01-2011, 10:12 PM
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UnderratedBrooks44
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I prefer the term "Ouellet prep" but still, message received.

I wouldn't say his shot is like you're saying and not amazing either but somewhere in the middle. I've seen the excessive windup and I haven't seen a flick of the wrist resulting in a laser, but I've seen some good releases from him. I'm not overwhelmed by his shot but I think it's better than most players'.

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04-01-2011, 10:12 PM
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FDBluth
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He seems to have a good release. Some of it might be that he's worrying too much about setting up the perfect shot right now.

Some people might jump on you for this thread, though. There's a few that are pretty defensive about him right now.

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04-01-2011, 10:20 PM
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It does seem to get blocked a lot, but I see Ovechkin's shot get blocked a lot too. Neal still gets his shot off quite a bit even in traffic. It would help if somebody on his line could create some more room for him to get his shot off.

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04-01-2011, 10:39 PM
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AugustBurnsRed*
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He's trying too hard at times to score.. that's all..

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04-02-2011, 12:58 AM
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You're kidding right?

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04-02-2011, 01:04 AM
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TheSniper26
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I also feel like Neal is always trying a bit too hard to pick his specific spot instead of just getting it on net. I've seen a few times where he had an open net to shoot at and instead he'll miss the net by a hair trying to hit the top corner. This seems to be a problem he shares with Letang too.

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04-02-2011, 01:20 AM
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Well, if you evaluate anybody's shot during the worst goalscoring stretch of their career chances are you're not going to come away too impressed, especially if this is your first real exposure to that particularly player like it is for most of us with Neal. However looking at his track record statistically as well as the kinds of goals he's scored consistently in his career, there's really not much to be worried about as far as his goalscoring goes.

I do agree that his release is a little slower and more predictable than I would have liked, which also explains why he's been so much more productive alongside talented players like Richards and Eriksson. Give him time and space to shoot and usually he's going to make you regret doing so. Even with far less space than we should expect him to get in the future he's gotten tons of very good scoring chances. Honestly it's amazing to me that he hasn't potted at least 5-6 goals so far. Hopefully he'll get a few soon just to ease the pressure off him, I'm sure nobody wants James Neal to score more after coming over to a new team than he does.

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04-02-2011, 02:12 AM
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Ziggyjoe21
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Neal has the best shot on the team outside of Malkin and maybe Sid. Just because he can't score without an elite playmaker setting him up doesn't make his shot any worse.

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04-02-2011, 05:58 AM
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finding something to talk about.... well, just wait til he plays with Crosby. I'm sure that will be his mate.

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04-02-2011, 08:12 AM
  #11
Mr Jiggyfly
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Neal's best shot is his one timer... but you haven't seen that yet... one guess why.

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04-02-2011, 08:24 AM
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Florentino Ariza
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Cause hes a bust??????

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04-02-2011, 08:31 AM
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Mr Jiggyfly
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Originally Posted by Florentino Ariza View Post
Cause hes a bust??????
No.

Cuz hes teh suk

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04-02-2011, 09:11 AM
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Darth Vitale
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggyjoe21 View Post
Neal has the best shot on the team outside of Malkin and maybe Sid. Just because he can't score without an elite playmaker setting him up doesn't make his shot any worse.

Pretty much this. This thread is a bit of head-scratcher to me. As long as all those in agreement with the original premise also criticize guys like Staal heavily for what is a much *worse* shot, then I guess it's at least consistent. Otherwise it's insanity.

Looking to next year, Neal has by far the best shooting arsenal of anyone on the team not named Sid or Geno. It's not close, really. He's got a good wrister, a good slapshot and a really good snap-shot/one-timer, which as noted is MIA right now because of who is feeding him the puck. He is definitely pressing right now. I think he's making a conscious effort to pick corners or spots (because he's in such a slump) instead of letting it rip a bit more often. Basically, the opposite of what Kennedy usually does.

The bottom line is, the best defenders on the other team are keying on him, and he's still finding ways to get good shots off so I'm optimistic. When it rains, it pours. If this continues into next season when everyone is healthy and had camp time together, then I'll worry. Not before then.

This team is still a frickin hodge-podge of forwards any way you slice it so try to keep perspective folks. We have Mike Comrie, Alex Kovalev and anywhere from 2-4 AHLers on the roster over the last several weeks. That tends to put a crimp on high octane offensive play-making. I'm not saying make excuses for him. His job IS to score goals and he's not doing it so certainly you don't have to pat him on the back, and he would be the first to not make excuses... but your choice is to either look at his situation with blinders on and get frustrated / grumpy about it, looking for excuses to have an angst attack... or you can look at the big picture and feel good about the way things are set up for next year and potentially the playoffs if Sid returns.

Just count me among those who would be severely pissed if the coaches or GM gave up on Neal prematurely, given his age, experience and potential. It cracks me up how despite all evidence to the contrary some people routinely talk about Jordan Staal as if he doesn't have a long way to go to becoming a real offensive player, and how some of those same people are probably wavering in their support / belief in Neal already. James Neal has the potential to be twice the offensive player Jordan Staal will ever be. Be happy we have both and both will be in a position hopefully to do what they do best next year.

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04-02-2011, 09:23 AM
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Mr Jiggyfly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malkochalek View Post
The bottom line is, the best defenders on the other team are keying on him, and he's still finding ways to get good shots off
That is what has me so stoked about Neal.

He isn't a guy who I saw create his own offense much in Dallas as he was always a great triggerman.

But he is finding ways to create all of these chances on his own. Granted they aren't going in, but that can't last forever.

When the best blueliners and checking pivot on the other team are more worried about Crosby/Malkin than covering up Neal, he will get even more prime scoring chances... and maybe even get a pass on his stick he can one times into the nets...

Other teams actually do this... I've seen it... I swears...

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04-02-2011, 09:42 AM
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BlindWillyMcHurt
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I can't really completely disagree with CW... since I have seen Neal take about half a period to get his shot away, before. So I wouldn't say he's out in left field, really. But I've also seen him get rid of the thing in a hell of a hurry, too. I think probably the people saying he's just gripping his stick a little too tight and trying to pick the exact place he wants to put it are on to something. I can't help but believe that it's mostly mental. Though, honestly... I'm sort of glad he's trying to pick spots with his shot. Since that would make him the only player in the lineup with any sort of "refinement" to his shooting ability. Stick around long enough, James and you'll be broken of that.

Anyway, as I said in the other Neal-related thread... I'm not going to really worry much about the guy until he sees some time with a real center. Nothing against Letestu and (earlier on) Staal... but neither are exactly a Brad Richards caliber player. At least at this stage... Neal is much more of a complimentary player than a guy who can do it on his own. He needs a player who can set the table for him and/or give him room to operate and find soft areas to open up for a shot. At the moment... he's trying to basically do everything himself. Which will make even the best players look pretty mediocre, most of the time.

Quote:
It cracks me up how despite all evidence to the contrary some people routinely talk about Jordan Staal as if he doesn't have a long way to go to becoming a real offensive player, and how some of those same people are probably wavering in their support / belief in Neal already. James Neal has the potential to be twice the offensive player Jordan Staal will ever be.
Yup. And (not to sidetrack too much) I don't even know about the "long way to go" part, with Staal. I kind of hope there is a long way to go and this isn't pretty much about it, as far as offensive ability. Because if that's the case... blarg. Unfortunately, much the same as Neal, Staal is going to be sort of a wash for the rest of the year (at least to me). Not just because of a watered-down lineup... but who can tell how much two serious injuries plus recovery is affecting his (now awful) game? I know his skating looks worse than it did... even if I didn't think that was possible. And unfortunately... that's just kind of the tip of the iceberg.

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04-02-2011, 09:45 AM
  #17
ColePens
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Champagne Wishes View Post
Just so people don't think I'm another Neal critic piling on, I love how the guy's played so far (skating, hitting, defense, mindset, etc.) and I'm sure he's going to be a great long-term complement to one of Sid or Geno when he gets back, but...

...his shot has underwhelmed me.

Dude can rip the puck, but he's got Christensen prep for it and it's telegraphed as hell. There was one particular play last game where he had a landing strip of free ice coming up the left side and took about 20 feet to cradle and wind up, by which time, of course, the defenseman had closed the gap and tipped the puck out of play.

Anybody else see that sort of thing as a common occurrence with Neal, or am I out in left field?
I wouldn't say left field, but I will refuse to completely tear it apart until I see it ripped off a pass from Sid. Kovy and Letestu are good at dishing, but that's not the same as Sid or Geno. Not only will Sid/Geno put it right on the tape, they'll give Neal space to release it.

I'll hold off until I see the real product.

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04-02-2011, 09:50 AM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malkochalek View Post
Pretty much this. This thread is a bit of head-scratcher to me. As long as all those in agreement with the original premise also criticize guys like Staal heavily for what is a much *worse* shot, then I guess it's at least consistent. Otherwise it's insanity.
Staal's terrible shot is widely recognized. Of course, that was never touted as one of his best attributes, which isn't the case with Neal.

Like I said, Neal gets a lot of mustard on it, and I'm sure he'll get plenty of goal-production when Sid and Geno are around to open up space for him and he quits gripping the stick so tight. But when I've see him setting up for a shot in his limited appearance as a Penguin, I can go make myself a sandwich, come back, and get settled for the release. Not unlike EC's lasers.

I expected him to be a fair bit quicker on the draw.

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04-02-2011, 09:53 AM
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BlindWillyMcHurt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Jiggyfly View Post
When the best blueliners and checking pivot on the other team are more worried about Crosby/Malkin than covering up Neal, he will get even more prime scoring chances...
Yeah, this is the exact reason I'm kind of in a holding pattern with how I evaluate the guy's game. He can't be expected to completely change around the way he's played the game in ~20 contests with his new team. Going from a more complimentary trigger man to a guy who is expected to carry, create and finish all the time. Like you said... it's certainly encouraging that he's actually been able to do that a little bit. But he'll be much better served when one of either Crosby or Malkin are sucking away defensive attention and can dish to Neal in the open. Who will be able to bury his chances with just a little more time.

Quote:
and maybe even get a pass on his stick he can one times into the nets...

Other teams actually do this... I've seen it... I swears...
It's funny, isn't it? I have to keep reminding myself that this is part of the way that hockey is played offensively on most teams, too. Not just some myth. I've also heard that most other teams actually know how to effectively work an odd man rush and sometimes even score... but that just seems like crazy talk, to me. The best thing to do is to all line up in a row to help make the opposing defender(s) as effective as possible, have the puck carrier not even look to pass, skate it right to the net and put a limp-wristed shot into the logo.


Last edited by BlindWillyMcHurt: 04-02-2011 at 09:58 AM.
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Old
04-02-2011, 10:07 AM
  #20
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Neal is Pascal Dupuis

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04-02-2011, 10:17 AM
  #21
KiuasWarrior
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I'm going to have to pay attention to Neal's shot a little more tonight, but last game I noticed he put a lot of shots right into Roloson's chest. Not sure if that was just good goaltending/positioning or Neal just missing his mark.

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04-02-2011, 10:32 AM
  #22
Mr Jiggyfly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Champagne Wishes View Post
Staal's terrible shot is widely recognized. Of course, that was never touted as one of his best attributes, which isn't the case with Neal.

Like I said, Neal gets a lot of mustard on it, and I'm sure he'll get plenty of goal-production when Sid and Geno are around to open up space for him and he quits gripping the stick so tight. But when I've see him setting up for a shot in his limited appearance as a Penguin, I can go make myself a sandwich, come back, and get settled for the release. Not unlike EC's lasers.

I expected him to be a fair bit quicker on the draw.
I think you are confusing Neal's wrist shot and his snap shot.

The only habit Neal has I dislike is his TK syndrome at times where he decides to shoot the puck from 20-30 feet away, which is when he uses a long wind up. He did that in Dallas a lot, but hopefully having Malkin and Crosby driving the lane will make him look off the shot or those two will grab the rebounds.

When he has to get the puck off quickly, he has a ridiculous snap shot, which is lethal. I've seen it in Dallas a ton of times, when Richards was feeding him the puck.

We haven't seen much of either (snap or one timer), but in time you will, when he isn't the main weapon on his line.


Last edited by Mr Jiggyfly: 04-02-2011 at 10:55 AM.
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Old
04-02-2011, 10:41 AM
  #23
Darth Vitale
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Jiggyfly View Post
I think you are confusing Neal's wrist shot and his snap shot.

When he has to get the puck off quickly, he has a ridiculous snap shot, which is lethal. I've seen it in Dallas a ton of times, when Richards was feeding him the puck.

This.

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04-02-2011, 11:07 AM
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It's fine.

The problem people might be seeing is that he takes so many shots, they're not all going to be perfect. Some are deflected, some are rushed and some are poorly placed. He's a shooter, but he's not Brett Hull.

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04-02-2011, 11:30 AM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Jiggyfly View Post
I think you are confusing Neal's wrist shot and his snap shot.

The only habit Neal has I dislike is his TK syndrome at times where he decides to shoot the puck from 20-30 feet away, which is when he uses a long wind up. He did that in Dallas a lot, but hopefully having Malkin and Crosby driving the lane will make him look off the shot or those two will grab the rebounds.

When he has to get the puck off quickly, he has a ridiculous snap shot, which is lethal. I've seen it in Dallas a ton of times, when Richards was feeding him the puck.

We haven't seen much of either (snap or one timer), but in time you will, when he isn't the main weapon on his line.
Yep, that's exactly it, his wrist shot. Should've specified, but I thought the EC reference would've been a tip-off.

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