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04-12-2011, 08:44 AM
  #26
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Originally Posted by Champagne Wishes View Post
Engelland. Longest contract, cheapest contract, and the most needed skillset.
Also the biggest liability in the playoffs, the worst in his own zone, and the one who's seen his ice-time vanish the past 3 weeks.

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04-12-2011, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Mister Ed View Post
I'm not sure Niskanen brings all that much really, he's a solid/steady type at his best it seems. Lovejoy and Engelland, on the other hand, have very obvious strengths and weaknesses. I don't see Lovejoy building on these numbers unless he's the full-time #5 d-man next season but we'll see how he does in the playoffs.
I would say that Niskanen has more natural offensive ability than either of the other two. When he's at his best i look at him as someone that can add a lot to the transition game and provide a good shot from the point while holding his own in the defensive zone. I'd classify them when they're playing at the top of their respective games as: Engelland = solid physical defensive defenseman, Lovejoy = solid two-way defenseman, Niskanen = solid offensive defenseman.

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04-12-2011, 08:59 AM
  #28
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Originally Posted by sina220 View Post
Also the biggest liability in the playoffs, the worst in his own zone, and the one who's seen his ice-time vanish the past 3 weeks.
It's obvious you have a man-crush on Lovejoy, but let's look at the question for what it is ... one that involves keeping one of the three for the future. In a question like that, you don't take a snapshot of how someone is playing right at this moment and base your decision off of that, because it's way too subjective. To illustrate, imagine if the question had been asked halfway through the season "Who to keep, Lovejoy or Engelland?". The obvious answer then would have been Engelland, because he was playing well at the time, and Lovejoy wasn't ... in fact there were some games in the first half where Bennie looked downright putrid. You can't look just at how they're playing right now, because that doesn't give you the complete picture, and it leads to you saying things like Engelland is the worst in his own zone, when that's only been a true statement for the past month and a half of a 6 month season.

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04-12-2011, 09:05 AM
  #29
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Originally Posted by Uncle Jorgi View Post
I would say that Niskanen has more natural offensive ability than either of the other two. When he's at his best i look at him as someone that can add a lot to the transition game and provide a good shot from the point while holding his own in the defensive zone. I'd classify them when they're playing at the top of their respective games as: Engelland = solid physical defensive defenseman, Lovejoy = solid two-way defenseman, Niskanen = solid offensive defenseman.
And Niskanens brain doesn't know what to do with that ability. Breakout passes yes. But 15 points in 74 games last year, 10 in 63 this year, 4 goals in that time.

I just don't see the offensive potential people keep assuming he has from his rookie years. His rookie season his two primary linemates were Zubov and Mattias Norstrom, two awesome defenders. And his 2nd season it was Darryl Sydor (we traded him 8 games in) or Trevor Daley, another solid set of defenders, and their top PP was Niskanen - Sydor which went %15.4 and the team went 36-35-11.

His numbers were a product of Dallas simply having noone else to play in offensive situations and being loaded with about-to-retire guys. Once they got some more well-rounded players his minutes and production dropped drastically. He isn't worth top 3 minutes, but that's the only way you're going to see production like that from him again.

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04-12-2011, 09:17 AM
  #30
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Originally Posted by sina220 View Post
And Niskanens brain doesn't know what to do with that ability. Breakout passes yes. But 15 points in 74 games last year, 10 in 63 this year, 4 goals in that time.

I just don't see the offensive potential people keep assuming he has from his rookie years. His rookie season his two primary linemates were Zubov and Mattias Norstrom, two awesome defenders. And his 2nd season it was Darryl Sydor (we traded him 8 games in) or Trevor Daley, another solid set of defenders, and their top PP was Niskanen - Sydor which went %15.4 and the team went 36-35-11.

His numbers were a product of Dallas simply having noone else to play in offensive situations and being loaded with about-to-retire guys. Once they got some more well-rounded players his minutes and production dropped drastically. He isn't worth top 3 minutes, but that's the only way you're going to see production like that from him again.
I'm not just looking at stats when i say he's got natural offensive tools here. You can see just by watching all three of them play that Niskanen is a more naturally skilled player than Engelland or Lovejoy. And his rookie year totals weren't a product of his situation alone ... he played VERY well offensively that year. Has he put it all together since then? No, and maybe he never will, but that doesn't mean the offensive skillset isn't there, or that it's not his style of play.

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04-12-2011, 09:30 AM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Uncle Jorgi View Post
It's obvious you have a man-crush on Lovejoy, but let's look at the question for what it is ... one that involves keeping one of the three for the future. In a question like that, you don't take a snapshot of how someone is playing right at this moment and base your decision off of that, because it's way too subjective. To illustrate, imagine if the question had been asked halfway through the season "Who to keep, Lovejoy or Engelland?". The obvious answer then would have been Engelland, because he was playing well at the time, and Lovejoy wasn't ... in fact there were some games in the first half where Bennie looked downright putrid. You can't look just at how they're playing right now, because that doesn't give you the complete picture, and it leads to you saying things like Engelland is the worst in his own zone, when that's only been a true statement for the past month and a half of a 6 month season.
You don't even know what you're talking about. I've been on the Lovejoy train for 3 years now, this didn't just happen this season. The obvious answer, if I'm playing GM, is keep lovejoy anytime of year, this year, last year, next year. His potential is obviously the highest of the 3, and besides fighting he does everything else better than them. I knew Engelland was a career minor leaguer, and if he did stick it's for his toughness not his play. We see that is true now.


The first thing you need to realize is Montreal offered him a contract his sophmore year at Dartmouth which he declined to continue to mature. Keep in mind Dartmouth is Ivy league when I mention how smart of a player he is.

Then you need to realize Lovejoy set the WBS record (and I'm pretty sure the AHL) for +/- in a season in 08-09 at +42 in 76 games. The next highest on the team was +16.

Next he increased his goal and point production each year, eventually winding up on the top pairing and PP with Gogo.

Then last season Shero listed him, Despres, and Bortuzzo as untouchable at the deadline.

Now this season he sticks all year, has a great +/-, gets the big increase in minutes when Orpik goes down, gets to play with Letang, has 17 points in 47 games as a rookie 5-6 d-man, sees PK time, and helps make a guy like Gogo expendable.

How much more of an upward trajectory for a prospect could you want? The guys done nothing but improve each season and shows no signs he's peaked. He's got the intelligence, skills, and wheels needed for the NHL. Truly a full package IMO. Surely an eventual 2nd pair guy like Martin.

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04-12-2011, 09:33 AM
  #32
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Pointz! POINTZ!!!1!1!!!!

Lovejoy's potential isn't the highest of the 3. Niskanen is younger, has already scored 35 points in the NHL, and has way more natural talent (his skating is leaps and bounds better than Lovejoy, as is his breakout pass).

Where Lovejoy beats Niskanen is just overall maturity and hockey IQ.

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04-12-2011, 09:41 AM
  #33
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Originally Posted by Uncle Jorgi View Post
You can see just by watching all three of them play that Niskanen is a more naturally skilled player than Engelland or Lovejoy. And his rookie year totals weren't a product of his situation alone ... he played VERY well offensively that year. Has he put it all together since then? No, and maybe he never will, but that doesn't mean the offensive skillset isn't there, or that it's not his style of play.
His rookie year wasn't even his best and it was played with Zubov. His 2nd year was clearly a product of ice-time. I mean dallas traded for an over-the-hill Sydor from us that year and he went straight to their #1 PP unit. Niskanen was used by default.

Regarding this natural skill...sure he might try more moves and dangle a bit more but most of that is because he doesn't know the simple play. Lovejoy was used in the AHL breakway competition in their all star game a few times and used in WBS shootout lineup. I'm sure if we set up cones their stick skills aren't far off. Passing and skating it's even or the edge to lovejoy, Kid flat out wheels for being 6'2" 215lbs. But Lovejoy simply doesn't try things like that in game for 2 reasons

1. He keeps it simple and doesn't want to dilly-dally with the puck
2. He usually already knows where he wants to go with the puck so he starts skating or moves it before he has a chance to "show off his skills".

Most of Niskanen's "skill" moments are because he's under pressure and shouldn't even have the puck on his stick anymore.

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04-12-2011, 09:44 AM
  #34
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Originally Posted by sina220 View Post
His rookie year wasn't even his best and it was played with Zubov. His 2nd year was clearly a product of ice-time. I mean dallas traded for an over-the-hill Sydor from us that year and he went straight to their #1 PP unit. Niskanen was used by default.

Regarding this natural skill...sure he might try more moves and dangle a bit more but most of that is because he doesn't know the simple play. Lovejoy was used in the AHL breakway competition in their all star game a few times and used in WBS shootout lineup. I'm sure if we set up cones their stick skills aren't far off. Passing and skating it's even or the edge to lovejoy, Kid flat out wheels for being 6'2" 215lbs. But Lovejoy simply doesn't try things like that in game for 2 reasons

1. He keeps it simple and doesn't want to dilly-dally with the puck
2. He usually already knows where he wants to go with the puck so he starts skating or moves it before he has a chance to "show off his skills".

Most of Niskanen's "skill" moments are because he's under pressure and shouldn't even have the puck on his stick anymore.
Not to nitpick, but JTG did already mention that Lovejoy has Niskanen beat in the hockey IQ department...

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04-12-2011, 09:55 AM
  #35
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I have long said that at his contract price Lovejoy will be the next guy moved. I could see him being moved for another winger, or a draft pick. Will likely take another year in the NHL first.

But what we have seen, points and skating from the back end are the sexiest trade bait in hockey. Combine with age and a ridiculous contract and you have some good bait IMO. Ray is awesome for seemingly adding considerable value to the player given his low cap hit.

On the flip side, if he keeps improving, we keep the low cap hit and move another more proven guy in a year or two.

I like the Rev's game. Sure he needs some fine tuning, but he can skate. If u can skate, u can learn to play the position. His offense and puck moving are already of note.

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04-12-2011, 09:56 AM
  #36
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Originally Posted by JTG32005 View Post
Pointz! POINTZ!!!1!1!!!!

Lovejoy's potential isn't the highest of the 3. Niskanen is younger, has already scored 35 points in the NHL, and has way more natural talent (his skating is leaps and bounds better than Lovejoy, as is his breakout pass).

Where Lovejoy beats Niskanen is just overall maturity and hockey IQ.
His skating is certainly not leaps and bounds ahead. Did you not see Lovejoy catch Grabner from behind in the Isles game? Niskanen might be quicker because he's smaller, but I guarentee Lovejoy is one of the fastest 6'2" 215lbs guys in the league

Niskanen 86 points in 295 games - .29 avg

Lovejoy 20 in 61 - .33 avg.


Lovejoy went to college, obviously he's older but that doesn't hurt his potential. He's a rookie. Niskanen has had 4 years to mature in the NHL, why hasn't he?

And if his potential is anything worth keeping why did Dallas ship him out as a salary dump in a deal when they apparently need "offensive" defensemen. Why not keep him and try and pawn something else off on us?

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04-12-2011, 09:59 AM
  #37
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Originally Posted by JTG32005 View Post
Pointz! POINTZ!!!1!1!!!!

Lovejoy's potential isn't the highest of the 3. Niskanen is younger, has already scored 35 points in the NHL, and has way more natural talent (his skating is leaps and bounds better than Lovejoy, as is his breakout pass).

Where Lovejoy beats Niskanen is just overall maturity and hockey IQ.
Obviously, you haven't read the whole thread. All you have to do is read Lovejoy's wikipedia entry to know he has more offensive talent.

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04-12-2011, 10:02 AM
  #38
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Originally Posted by sina220 View Post
His skating is certainly not leaps and bounds ahead. Did you not see Lovejoy catch Grabner from behind in the Isles game? Niskanen might be quicker because he's smaller, but I guarentee Lovejoy is one of the fastest 6'2" 215lbs guys in the league

Niskanen 86 points in 295 games - .29 avg

Lovejoy 20 in 61 - .33 avg.


Lovejoy went to college, obviously he's older but that doesn't hurt his potential. He's a rookie. Niskanen has had 4 years to mature in the NHL, why hasn't he?

And if his potential is anything worth keeping why did Dallas ship him out as a salary dump in a deal when they apparently need "offensive" defensemen. Why not keep him and try and pawn something else off on us?
Because it obviously wasn't working there for him. And your attempt to transition this from being a point about him having the most natural offensive skill to him being a great offensive defenseman is almost complete. Keep trying.

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04-12-2011, 10:03 AM
  #39
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Originally Posted by BLACKnYELLOW66 View Post
Not to nitpick, but JTG did already mention that Lovejoy has Niskanen beat in the hockey IQ department...
And that wasn't a response to JTG, so...

Is JTG the end-all be-all to your hockey opinions? I didn't know that, I'll be sure to respond to him next time instead of you to cut out the middle-man

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04-12-2011, 10:08 AM
  #40
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Originally Posted by sina220 View Post
His rookie year wasn't even his best and it was played with Zubov. His 2nd year was clearly a product of ice-time. I mean dallas traded for an over-the-hill Sydor from us that year and he went straight to their #1 PP unit. Niskanen was used by default.

Regarding this natural skill...sure he might try more moves and dangle a bit more but most of that is because he doesn't know the simple play. Lovejoy was used in the AHL breakway competition in their all star game a few times and used in WBS shootout lineup. I'm sure if we set up cones their stick skills aren't far off. Passing and skating it's even or the edge to lovejoy, Kid flat out wheels for being 6'2" 215lbs. But Lovejoy simply doesn't try things like that in game for 2 reasons

1. He keeps it simple and doesn't want to dilly-dally with the puck
2. He usually already knows where he wants to go with the puck so he starts skating or moves it before he has a chance to "show off his skills".

Most of Niskanen's "skill" moments are because he's under pressure and shouldn't even have the puck on his stick anymore.
To tell you the truth, i'm not even remotely concerned about his moves or his ability to dangle. When i say he's got more natural offensive skill, i'm talking purely about his accuracy on his passes, his shot, his ability to hit the net and to find the open man. His defensive ability and his smarts are still a work in progress, but that's not what i'm talking about when i'm referring to him having more natural offensive skill anyway.

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04-12-2011, 10:09 AM
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Lovejoy isn't as great of a skater as you make him out to be. Good? Yes. Niskanen has a head above him and it's really not even debatable.

Niskanen also has more offensive potential. You can break down points all you want, but that's a stupid argument. Situations dictate points for defensemen.

Niskanen thinks the game in an offensive fashion, and he's just way more natural at it. Lovejoy thinks the game in a defensive fashion, and he's just way more natural at it. I have watched Lovejoy for a long time, and I think the offense we're seeing right now is a guy just getting crazy bounces. I have a whole lot of reservations about him being a 30 point defenseman in the NHL. We'll see though.

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04-12-2011, 10:15 AM
  #42
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I never thought I'd see someone with a man crush on Ben Lovejoy, but I guess you really do see it all here.

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04-12-2011, 10:16 AM
  #43
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Originally Posted by Uncle Jorgi View Post
Because it obviously wasn't working there for him. And your attempt to transition this from being a point about him having the most natural offensive skill to him being a great offensive defenseman is almost complete. Keep trying.
I'm not trying to transition anything, it's just obvious to me how good Lovejoy is and the numbers back it all up. You just choose to be ignorant of them for some reason.

He's put up decent points everywhere he's played and has continued to trend upward every year. He was a #1 defender in WBS, plays in all situations, skates very well, blocks shots, on, and on. Like I said I've been high on him since his initial days in WBS, this isn't some revalation that just happened. I've watched him closely for 3, count it, 1,2,3, years. He's going to be a very solid 3-4 defender for many years in this leageue. Niskanen will be lucky to be more than a 5th/pp specialist, and Engelland lucky to be more than a 6th/enforcer

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04-12-2011, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by JTG32005 View Post
I never thought I'd see someone with a man crush on Ben Lovejoy, but I guess you really do see it all here.
At one point, i had a man-crush on Dick "Leading Scorer" Tarnstrom, so i suppose i have no room to judge

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04-12-2011, 10:19 AM
  #45
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I never thought I'd see someone with a man crush on Ben Lovejoy, but I guess you really do see it all here.
All us Penguin fans certainly do have a very diverse set of opinions on players.

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04-12-2011, 10:24 AM
  #46
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Originally Posted by JTG32005 View Post
Lovejoy isn't as great of a skater as you make him out to be. Good? Yes. Niskanen has a head above him and it's really not even debatable.

Niskanen also has more offensive potential. You can break down points all you want, but that's a stupid argument. Situations dictate points for defensemen.

Niskanen thinks the game in an offensive fashion, and he's just way more natural at it. Lovejoy thinks the game in a defensive fashion, and he's just way more natural at it. I have watched Lovejoy for a long time, and I think the offense we're seeing right now is a guy just getting crazy bounces. I have a whole lot of reservations about him being a 30 point defenseman in the NHL. We'll see though.

Then why hasn't coming to a more open system and a more "transition" oriented system done anything to increase Niskanens production? We're obviously better than Dallas throughout the lineup. I'm still waiting for this apparent potential and skill to manifest itself as some results. Take out two assists aided by solid lovejoy plays against ATL and Niski has 2 points in 17 games. Even funnier Lovejoy is directly responsible for at least half of niskanens points as a Pen, but he's the less offensive of the 2.

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04-12-2011, 10:29 AM
  #47
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Originally Posted by sina220 View Post
I'm not trying to transition anything, it's just obvious to me how good Lovejoy is and the numbers back it all up. You just choose to be ignorant of them for some reason.

He's put up decent points everywhere he's played and has continued to trend upward every year. He was a #1 defender in WBS, plays in all situations, skates very well, blocks shots, on, and on. Like I said I've been high on him since his initial days in WBS, this isn't some revalation that just happened. I've watched him closely for 3, count it, 1,2,3, years. He's going to be a very solid 3-4 defender for many years in this leageue. Niskanen will be lucky to be more than a 5th/pp specialist, and Engelland lucky to be more than a 6th/enforcer
I'm not choosing to be ignorant of anything, i've never said a bad word about Lovejoy. I really like the guy as a player (not as much as you do, but i doubt anyone does). For some reason you took issue with the idea that Niskanen has more natural offensive ability, and then tried to turn it into a debate about Lovejoy being a better defenseman. That wasn't the original point, and no matter how much you want it to be true, Lovejoy doesn't have the natural skillset that Niskanen has offensively. He just doesn't. That doesn't mean he won't end up being a better defenseman.

Let me put it in a way you'll understand that doesn't involve your boy, so you won't get overheated ... Rob Schremp has more natural offensive skill than Jordan Staal. Doesn't mean Staal won't be a better player, have a longer career, or even score waaaaaay more points than Schremp, it just means he's got more natural skill, and he brings something different to the table. Niskanen, if he makes it much longer in the NHL, is gonna make it as an offensive defenseman. Lovejoy will make it as a two-way defenseman. They bring two different skillsets to the table. That's just reality.

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04-12-2011, 10:31 AM
  #48
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Also keep in mind Shero's opinions here. Listed him as an untouchable last deadline. Then gives him a 3 year extension when he's played a total of 14 NHL games to that point. I certainly feel my opinion of Lovejoy is closer to our GM's opinion of him than many of yours. So that also makes me feel more comfortable about my thoughts on Lovejoy. I certainly trust Ray's judgement on undrafted FAs and handing out contracts.

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04-12-2011, 10:47 AM
  #49
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Originally Posted by sina220 View Post
Also keep in mind Shero's opinions here. Listed him as an untouchable last deadline. Then gives him a 3 year extension when he's played a total of 14 NHL games to that point. I certainly feel my opinion of Lovejoy is closer to our GM's opinion of him than many of yours. So that also makes me feel more comfortable about my thoughts on Lovejoy. I certainly trust Ray's judgement on undrafted FAs and handing out contracts.
He gave Engelland a contract extension. The same Engelland you say sucks.

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04-12-2011, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Uncle Jorgi View Post
I'm not choosing to be ignorant of anything, i've never said a bad word about Lovejoy. I really like the guy as a player (not as much as you do, but i doubt anyone does). For some reason you took issue with the idea that Niskanen has more natural offensive ability, and then tried to turn it into a debate about Lovejoy being a better defenseman. That wasn't the original point, and no matter how much you want it to be true, Lovejoy doesn't have the natural skillset that Niskanen has offensively. He just doesn't. That doesn't mean he won't end up being a better defenseman.

Let me put it in a way you'll understand that doesn't involve your boy, so you won't get overheated ... Rob Schremp has more natural offensive skill than Jordan Staal. Doesn't mean Staal won't be a better player, have a longer career, or even score waaaaaay more points than Schremp, it just means he's got more natural skill, and he brings something different to the table. Niskanen, if he makes it much longer in the NHL, is gonna make it as an offensive defenseman. Lovejoy will make it as a two-way defenseman. They bring two different skillsets to the table. That's just reality.
And I disagree he doesn't have the ability, and to this point the numbers back me up. I just think he's smart enough he doesn't try the risky "skill" moves, not that he isn't talented enough to do so though.

Niskanens best year he saw big minutes on a poor d-corps, paired with their best 2 though, and #1 Pp time. Since his role has been reduced nothing close to that production. If he's as skilled as you think he'd show it with some production.

25 pts in his last 137 games - .182/gm

For perspective...

Orpiks last 136 games, 38 points - .28 per game

Our worst offensive d-man has scored at a %10 better clip than Niskanen over the past 2 years.

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