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General Hockey Talk - Injuries, signings, factoids + other news from around the league

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SensHulk

SensHulk
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wprager wrote:
Michallica wrote:Schieffle sent back to OHL

So Murray can now send Zibanejad back to the SEL without "losing face" Smile

haha yeah. But it should be reminding everyone that u don't need to necessarily rush our offensive prospects, let them develop no matter how good they look. Though shieffele started tailing off, he did score a goal. Good to see that scoring isn't everything. Now RNH....that's a whole other story.

wprager

wprager
Administrator
Administrator
rooneypoo wrote:
Spezza got three points last night and was great on the dot late in the third... but he did not have a really solid game, overall. He was invisible for long stretches and his line was the least effective of our 3 top lines for much of the game, and he was the third man caught deep on that 4 on 2 that lead to a goal.

There's a gaping chasm between putting up points and playing great hockey. I'll take the points, for sure, because god knows our offense isn't strong without him. But when they're not there -- and they won't be soon enough; Spezza's not going to lead the NHL in points this year -- he needs to be better at those other things, which he was at the end of last year.

The maddening thing about Spezza is that he seems to put it all together when it doesn't really matter (like the end of last season), and that makes him wildly inconsistent. At 28, it's time he figure it out and play with consistency. If he puts up 100+ points and plays like last night, whatever, it is what it is. But if he puts up 60 points and plays like he did last night, I can't imagine what argument people will concoct in his favour next.

That he's injured, of course.


_________________
Hey, I don't have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I've failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.
- Dicky Fox

rooneypoo

rooneypoo
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wprager wrote:
rooneypoo wrote:
Spezza got three points last night and was great on the dot late in the third... but he did not have a really solid game, overall. He was invisible for long stretches and his line was the least effective of our 3 top lines for much of the game, and he was the third man caught deep on that 4 on 2 that lead to a goal.

There's a gaping chasm between putting up points and playing great hockey. I'll take the points, for sure, because god knows our offense isn't strong without him. But when they're not there -- and they won't be soon enough; Spezza's not going to lead the NHL in points this year -- he needs to be better at those other things, which he was at the end of last year.

The maddening thing about Spezza is that he seems to put it all together when it doesn't really matter (like the end of last season), and that makes him wildly inconsistent. At 28, it's time he figure it out and play with consistency. If he puts up 100+ points and plays like last night, whatever, it is what it is. But if he puts up 60 points and plays like he did last night, I can't imagine what argument people will concoct in his favour next.

That he's injured, of course.

Yeah, except that at some point, you have to start thinking that the excuses aren't excuses, they're facets of Spezza's character -- i.e., he is a wildly inconsistent and often injured kind of player who looks like a world beater sometimes, invisible at others; who can play great D sometimes, but makes rookie mistakes at others; who carries a team sometimes, but can't seem to carry a team all the time; who can put up huge points sometimes, but can go on long cold stretches at others; and who can dominate, but who rarely dominates when it matters most.

There were plenty of people arguing last March and April that Spezza had 'realized his potential' or 'become the player we always wanted him to be at last', and I cautioned strongly about the small sample size & the relative meaninglessness of the games. I'm still hoping, and I'm happy that the points are there, but Spezza was playing LOADS better in March last year than he is right now, that's something no one can deny.

wprager

wprager
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I'm actually not all that convinced that Spezza was playing better. He was similarly productive (actually just a bit less in March/April -- the last 20 games) but even with Anderson playing very well, and the team winning, he was a +2 over that stretch. And he had very few hits and blocked shots over that period.

I wonder if the team winning has a way of coloring our perception a bit?


_________________
Hey, I don't have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I've failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.
- Dicky Fox

rooneypoo

rooneypoo
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wprager wrote:I'm actually not all that convinced that Spezza was playing better. He was similarly productive (actually just a bit less in March/April -- the last 20 games) but even with Anderson playing very well, and the team winning, he was a +2 over that stretch. And he had very few hits and blocked shots over that period.

I wonder if the team winning has a way of coloring our perception a bit?

Absolutely, winning distorts things -- reading people's comments on last game is a case in point -- but, no, Spezza was playing the best hockey I've ever seen him play last March. I'm not saying he was Crosby or Toews or a hybrid between the two or anything, but he was playing exactly like he can and needs to. Right now, not so much -- although again, at least the points are coming, and that's something. If he can be lazy and inconsistent in his own end, but put up 100 points a year, there'd be a lot less to be concerned about. The problem is that while we see plenty of examples of the former, we have never seen a 100 point year from him, and we're 4+ years now removed from him putting up 80+ points a year.

Ev

Ev
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Franchise Player
Even when he plays his best hockey, he won't be hitting or blocking shots, so don't look into those stats too much wprager.

rooneypoo

rooneypoo
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All-Star
Big Ev wrote:Even when he plays his best hockey, he won't be hitting or blocking shots, so don't look into those stats too much wprager.

Yeah, I'm not expecting him to be Mike Fisher now, just to battle hard and compete for every puck, night in a and night out, like any leader on a team does. Alfie at his best isn't great because he's the most skilled guy around; he's great because the guy battles & competes like nobody's business.

This comes down to those words nobody likes to use when it comes to Spezza: heart & will. Alfie plays with both without throwing crushing checks or jumping in front of pucks, and it's no mystery why. And it's that drive that isn't in Spezza's game, not on a consistent basis, anyway.

Ev

Ev
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Franchise Player
Yeah, some guys can do it and some guy's can't. There's a reason a guy like Crosby is the best player in the world, and a guy like Alfie is a captain and player for 13+ seasons. Drive is something that can't be taught IMO. Heart, that's another story. I don't think Jason is the type of guy who doesn't care. It just may appear to be that way sometimes. It may be just what he can do with what he was born with. Both physically and mental.

rooneypoo

rooneypoo
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Big Ev wrote:Yeah, some guys can do it and some guy's can't. There's a reason a guy like Crosby is the best player in the world, and a guy like Alfie is a captain and player for 13+ seasons. Drive is something that can't be taught IMO. Heart, that's another story. I don't think Jason is the type of guy who doesn't care. It just may appear to be that way sometimes. It may be just what he can do with what he was born with. Both physically and mental.

And this is, btw, precisely what Neely, or I, mean when we call Spezza a loser. Not a loser like the deadbeat guy who lives in a trailer park & eats mac & cheese, but a loser in the sense that he doesn't seem to have what it takes to be a winner. Not consistently, anyway.

I've never accused Spezza of not caring. Not having what it takes to win, however, is another matter.

I wish we had moved on from Spezza 2 years ago, but there it is. If he can put up 80+ points and be no worse than indifferent when it comes to battling, that'll be better than nothing. But the points have to be there, and they haven't been for years.

stempniaksen

stempniaksen
Veteran
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rooneypoo wrote:
Big Ev wrote:Yeah, some guys can do it and some guy's can't. There's a reason a guy like Crosby is the best player in the world, and a guy like Alfie is a captain and player for 13+ seasons. Drive is something that can't be taught IMO. Heart, that's another story. I don't think Jason is the type of guy who doesn't care. It just may appear to be that way sometimes. It may be just what he can do with what he was born with. Both physically and mental.

And this is, btw, precisely what Neely, or I, mean when we call Spezza a loser. Not a loser like the deadbeat guy who lives in a trailer park & eats mac & cheese, but a loser in the sense that he doesn't seem to have what it takes to be a winner. Not consistently, anyway.

I've never accused Spezza of not caring. Not having what it takes to win, however, is another matter.

I wish we had moved on from Spezza 2 years ago, but there it is. If he can put up 80+ points and be no worse than indifferent when it comes to battling, that'll be better than nothing. But the points have to be there, and they haven't been for years.

To be fair though, the points have been there save for 1 season. He's put up close to a PPG (or more) every year in the league (except under Hartburg where it was a team-wide epidemic). I know it's a lame excuse, I'm sick of it myself, but it's valid in the sense.

wprager

wprager
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Big Ev wrote:Even when he plays his best hockey, he won't be hitting or blocking shots, so don't look into those stats too much wprager.

I was just looking into the kinds of things that people would translate into "playing the best hockey of his career". I should have also looked at giveaways vs. takeaways, but was a bit lazy -- and by that I mean busy, of course.

By the way, re-watched the 1st period with a critical eye on a few players. Most notably, Spezza. He had a very decent, solid period. He created chances, had a fantastic pass to Kuba for the PP goal, and you could hardly blame him on the tying goal, even though he got the -1. Granted, he did not impose his presence on the shooter, did not try to block the shot, so yes, there was more that he could have done. But the bigger culprit on the play was the soft defending of the crease.

Anyhow, he a a great last three shifts in the third and, from what I observed, a very good first period. So where is this 95% awful coming from?


_________________
Hey, I don't have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I've failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.
- Dicky Fox

NEELY


Mod
Mod
Spezza puts up points, no denying it. He's as tallented as any player in the game but a lot seperats him from the best in the game.

I remember talking to my buddy about things inside the locker room 4, 5 years ago and the main thing that would always come out was how important it was for Spezza to put up points no matter what the team wanted from him. I think some things have changed in that sense and he's trying to become more of a leader but you can tell through his play that personal statistics are still very important to him.

MacLean does seem to be letting Spezza cheat more in his own zone and get away with being the late man back on the back check but being the 3rd man deep in the zone and getting caught, losing most of his one on one battles, and not fighting for his ice are things he has to do.

One thing I have been critical in the past is him not getting into the dirty area's to get his goals, if you look at the 3 he's scored they have all been in or around that area. Obviously other guys are doing the heavy lifting down low and getting the puck to the front of the net or the point for a shot, but Spezza has been there to bang home some garbage. Again though, he has to do it against the better teams and step up then.

This week is going to be a huge week for the Sens. It will either keep them in the playoff race or knock them right out. Going 2-2 will keep their heads above water, anything below that you can pretty much kiss any hope of making the playoffs good-bye.

NEELY


Mod
Mod
wprager wrote:
Big Ev wrote:Even when he plays his best hockey, he won't be hitting or blocking shots, so don't look into those stats too much wprager.

I was just looking into the kinds of things that people would translate into "playing the best hockey of his career". I should have also looked at giveaways vs. takeaways, but was a bit lazy -- and by that I mean busy, of course.

By the way, re-watched the 1st period with a critical eye on a few players. Most notably, Spezza. He had a very decent, solid period. He created chances, had a fantastic pass to Kuba for the PP goal, and you could hardly blame him on the tying goal, even though he got the -1. Granted, he did not impose his presence on the shooter, did not try to block the shot, so yes, there was more that he could have done. But the bigger culprit on the play was the soft defending of the crease.

Anyhow, he a a great last three shifts in the third and, from what I observed, a very good first period. So where is this 95% awful coming from?

Do you want a straight up calculation or something? Point was he didn't have a good game for the majority of the time he was on the ice. The biggest gaff was in the second when he was the 3rd man in and was the reason for that 4 on 2 where they scored. Also some give aways in his own zone in some really bad spots. Better teams will put those in the back of the net and probably won't allow Spezza or the Sens to have those miracle come backs with 30 seconds to play.

wprager

wprager
Administrator
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NEELY wrote:
Do you want a straight up calculation or something? Point was he didn't have a good game for the majority of the time he was on the ice. The biggest gaff was in the second when he was the 3rd man in and was the reason for that 4 on 2 where they scored. Also some give aways in his own zone in some really bad spots. Better teams will put those in the back of the net and probably won't allow Spezza or the Sens to have those miracle come backs with 30 seconds to play.

Maybe that would help. You are saying he had a bad game except for the last three shifts and the only thing you bring up is the one bad shift where he was late getting out of the zone resulting in a 4-on-2 and a goal against. That's a bad play, not a bad game. Hell, Alfie had 2-3 bad giveaways just in the 1st period, and how about Karlsson (although, to be fair, you said Karlsson wasn't very good).


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Hey, I don't have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I've failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.
- Dicky Fox

Riprock

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Montreal acquires Peteri Nokelainen and Garrett Stafford from Phoenix for Brock Trotter and a 7th rnd pick.

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