Re: Bergeron sets career high in Goals
posted at 3/30/2014 1:02 PM EDT
In response to Bookboy007's comment:
I'd say it's a lot closer than I used to think. I think he continues to improve, too, because you can see that he picks an area of his game that he wants to concentrate on, and then acts on it. Early in the year, when Marchand and Eriksson were both struggling, one of the things I thought had changed was Bergeron's approach to shooting the puck. Four years ago, before Seguin was on his line, Bergeron took the most shots of any Bruin forward. Seguin became the key shooter, though Bergeron still shot more than any of the first line forwards. With Seguin gone, you could see Bergeron working to get open for shots and thinking shot whenever he got the chance in certain areas of the ice. Anywhere on the inside edge of the right circle, for example, he's letting it rip as soon as he gets it. The chemistry with Marchand was off a bit because of it, and it never arrived with Eriksson, but we're seeing the fruits of it now. 6 goals in 9 games to tie his career best for a season? Nah. Rest him.
Best player...well we had those Rank 'Em threads, and Toews was consistently near the top of the forwards list. Bergeron has three fewer goals than Toews, a dozen fewer assists, is better on faceoff %, has twice as many hits, blocks twice as many shots, and has a better giveaway to takeaway ratio (though two fewer takeaways). Bergeron has 7 GWG to Toews's 5, and leads the league in +/-, about +10 better than Toews. For all that, I still say Toews is the better player because his offense is a notch above and the other stats don't really measure quality of play as well as points do quality of offensive input. But it's close.
It's hard to put Bergeron on the same scale as Crosby, Ovechkin, Malkin, Getzlaf, Perry, Stamkos - and those are just the forwards. He'd be farther down if you threw in D. I might put him behind Chara and Rask overall, meaning he's only the third best player on the team. I think of it like this: The guys ahead of him are players you build under. They're the vanguard of your team, they define it. Bergeron is a player who you build on, and he gives you a million options for how you want your team to play. But if he's the vanguard, you're probably still looking to improve. You don't want him to be the C on a traditional first line. You want more offensive push, more offensive flair - more risk/reward out of that line. Bergeron's more conservative. He'll get you a lot of rewards with few risks. Sometimes that's not enough - it's why he's never gotten back to the heady 30 goal, 70+ point plateaus of the post-JTSuperstar trade.
Great player - makes great players better, make the whole team better - but not in the top 20 of best individual players. Though he's on the good side of whatever dropoff takes you out of the great player category.
I think he's really close to the top(forwards) when you look at the whole picture. PB is locked in long term for a really attractive price. I believe "value' trumps everything, and I think NHL GM's would agree.
Of those locked in long term, Ovechkins 9.6 takes him right off my wish list. Same with Malkin at 9.3. Crosby, Perry and Getzlaf are all mid 8, and to me, Crosby blows them out of the water. Zetterberg is signed forever at 6.1, but at his age, that could be a problem. Think I'll stick with PB there. I'll keep him over Datsyuk too.
Then we have Toews, Kane, Kopitar and Stamkos. None have a lot of term remaining. Assuming they pace along as expected, Stampkos and Toews will break the bank on their next one. I'm thinkin 10 mil per, even if the cap doesn't go up much. Scratch them. Kopitar and Kane will also get huge raises, and probably make more than Crosby. Nahhhh, pass there too.
If you're thinking about building a winner, we know how important team defense is. That's a plus for PB. Based on the long term projection, Bergeron gives the luxury of another pretty stout forward too.
Value wise, Bergeron is fairly close to the top, even if one disagress with a fair bit of my logic.
The key to the Bruins, and the key to success in my mind. In a cap world, the team with the most bargains is the team to beat.