So much for Gonchar missing the net

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So much for Gonchar missing the net

Postby Defence21 on Sat Feb 04, 2006 7:29 pm

He had 12 shots on goal today, according to Yahoo's box score.

Also, he has really upped his statstics recently. He quietly has 31 points in 52 games this season. That's certainly not setting the world on fire, but considering his start, he has really turned things around offensively. Plus, he made several nice plays defensively today. I really think his poor play has been about adjusting to the new NHL and possibly some sort of an injury. He doesn't appear to be lazy out there at all.

I think a lot of people expected him to be a good all-around defenseman, when in actuality, he is little more than a forward playing the defense position. The Penguins would be extremely smart to invest in a defensive specialist to pair him with -- someone who could compensate for Gonchar's errors. Remember, in the past, Gonchar has had very reliable partners to cover for him. This has not been the case in Pittsburgh, and he, quite possibly, could be trying to do too much, thus negatively affecting his game all around.

Also, another quick note. It seems as though Ryan Malone has decided to play hockey. He is looking like the '03-'04 Malone. He's going to the net, keeping his feet moving, playing physical, and get results. Lets hope he keeps this up.

Lastly, I have been impressed with Recchi. Early in the season I thought he looked somewhat invisible, though the points were there. Now, he seems to have gotten his second wind and is playing decent hockey -- at least offensively. I'd really like to see him play well for one of 2 reasons. First, he may play so well that a contender would offer a nice package for him -- maybe Philly or Ottawa? Of course he'd have to accept a trade, but if the team is a legit contender, I would be surprised if he didn't. The other option would be for him to just retire at season's end. I like the guy, and it's always nice to see players finish on a good note. Seeing as how he has had a somewhat lackluster year, it might be time to hang em up, and what better way than to do it on your own terms, when you put up a relatively decent showing?
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Postby BurghThing on Sat Feb 04, 2006 7:44 pm

And yet he still only has 1 goal in his last 40 games. 40. Four Oh. Half a season. XL.

He's really earning that $5M this year.
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Re: So much for Gonchar missing the net

Postby NIN on Sat Feb 04, 2006 7:46 pm

I think you really have to consider the opponent when you praise players like Recchi and Gonchar. Teams like NYI wont expose poor defensive play as easily as the top half teams will. The slower the pace of the game the better those two will look. Recchi is a versitile player who could fill a couple roles on a playoff team but no serious Cup contender is looking for a guy who will destroy their 3rd or 4th lines or slow down their top 2 lines.

Gonchar has been the teams best defenseman all season except for Whitney's first couple weeks. That said Rod Langway isnt going to make players not skate to Gonchars side any better than Orpik or Melichar already are. Gonchar is going to be exposed because the Pens arent skating well enough to trap out his side in the neutral zone. When teams do dump it they dump it to Gonchar and presure him with the forecheck because he will either cough it up or move it to the other guy who will not break anybody out. No offense but all this Witt talk and how a better partner will make him a Norris guy is tottally insane. It's not executing the system, its team speed, its lack of team experiance. PERIOD.
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Postby DelPen on Sat Feb 04, 2006 8:18 pm

No one, and I mean NO ONE, expected any defense from him. He's competant at best in his own end but his point production, especially on the power play, has been a dissapointment. We all knew what we were getting and that was a PP specialist pointman. He has not produced early on but I think he's getting much better and even making some good plays when he's coming back 2-on-1 when Whitney or Recchi turn the puck over on the point.
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agree on Gonchar, Recchi and Malone

Postby supermario on Sat Feb 04, 2006 8:41 pm

all of those guys seem to be playing much better. Based on the way they've been playing I thinking mabey they could finish the last third with a bit of a flourish. It would be nice to see the team get going and help Sidney to the Calder.
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Postby jmh70 on Sat Feb 04, 2006 8:56 pm

Gonchar still fumbles with the puck quite a bit, even though his shooting and PP work is better.

I just wish he would stop being used on the PK.
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Postby wondermoose on Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:03 pm

He's still not playing like he's worth 5 mil a year, but he's shown so much improvement since MT stepped in I really look forward to what a good off season can do for him, maybe slim up a little and get some speed back.
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Postby netwolf on Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:11 am

People need to get off his back. The last 4 or 5 games I've been to (including today), people have been booing him for no reason every time he touches the puck. If you want to boo a bad play (and he did have on glaring turnover today), that's fine, but the treatment he got today was almost 100% undeserved.

Over the past two weeks, his play has been much improved. He's getting more shots on net and carrying the puck with authority. He's gettnig assists, though the goals are not there. I believe those will come if he continues playing like this. The one bad turnover aside, Gonchar had a monster game today. The people that booed him today came off as pretty uneducated hockey fans in my opinion.

Heck, even Bob Grove was getting on people that booed him on the post game show, and Grove is normally a guy that never, ever tells the fans what they should or shouldn't do.
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Postby NIN on Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:28 am

To day I sat near a guy that was constantly heckeling Gonchar, it was funny because he wouldnt let up. Everytime Gonchar did something good he was dead silent. When he did something bad he would perk up and say,"theres the Gonchar we know and love!".

All I know is that he did'nt deserve to be booed saturday afternoon. He skated very well and his shot was accurate. He makes good discissions with the puck and he isnt bad positionally at all. If fans are booing him for the way he played then that really sends a negative message to the entire team because there were far worse players on the ice.

The biggest problem with Gonchar this season has been his failure to adjust his game to keep up with the new rules. He started almost totally unprepared for it and he typically resorts bad to his bad habbits just about every game. He is staying out of the box more and that is a very good sign that he is finnally getting use to it out there. The only time I feel like booing him is when he takes a dumb penalty.
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Postby Ginger on Sun Feb 05, 2006 1:42 am

netwolf wrote:People need to get off his back. The last 4 or 5 games I've been to (including today), people have been booing him for no reason every time he touches the puck. If you want to boo a bad play (and he did have on glaring turnover today), that's fine, but the treatment he got today was almost 100% undeserved.

Over the past two weeks, his play has been much improved. He's getting more shots on net and carrying the puck with authority. He's gettnig assists, though the goals are not there. I believe those will come if he continues playing like this. The one bad turnover aside, Gonchar had a monster game today. The people that booed him today came off as pretty uneducated hockey fans in my opinion.

Heck, even Bob Grove was getting on people that booed him on the post game show, and Grove is normally a guy that never, ever tells the fans what they should or shouldn't do.

Finally something I can buy into. I've been looking like a moron saying patience was needed with Gonchar & I knew given that, he would start showing up more often. And if you are dumb enough to boo *your own* player, then you're going to undermine your whole team long term by doing it! Gonchar came here admitting he wasn't playing up to his own standards & was losing confidence daily. I'm sure it was really helping him regain it by hearing his own fans booing him! :roll: One immediate upside to Gonchars arrival was being paired with Orpik. It's the best thing that could have happened to Orpik & subsequently that helps the line, & the team.

You're right netwolf; sometimes you wonder how much people know about what they're watching?
If you want to boo somebody on the opponents team & put them off their game then have at it! But don't do it to a player on your own team!
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Postby socket on Sun Feb 05, 2006 5:13 am

i get sick of gonchar and his 5 mil, but jesus, it gets under my skin when people boo him. imagine how it **** with him.
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Postby spoon on Sun Feb 05, 2006 9:47 am

anyone else see that twice yesterday gonchar leveled 2 of our guys while trying to get off the ice.
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Postby Scott on Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:23 pm

Gonchar has been improving his play as of late. It was nice to hear the cheering yesterday for him and not the booing.
Yes he isnt scoring the goals we had hoped, but he is still getting points.
He will never be that defensive stud, but that is not his game.
I could care less if he scores any goals if he continues to average 1.5 assists per game(which by the way is his average as of late.)
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Postby DelPen on Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:30 pm

ziggystardust wrote:
wondermoose wrote:He's still not playing like he's worth 5 mil a year, but he's shown so much improvement since MT stepped in I really look forward to what a good off season can do for him, maybe slim up a little and get some speed back.


well, the thing with his contract.... at no point in his career has he played well enough to earn that kind of coin.

hopefully though he keeps racking up these assists. Maybe if he gets enough the penguins can trick a team into trading for him....
I can dream, right?


If he does get traded this year it will be for a guy who will be a UFA who will get more than $5 million on the open market, like McCabe for instance.

Otherwise, if the cap goes up signifcantly, he may actually be somewhat of a bargain in August.
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The other thread re Gonchar, and how "easy" it is.

Postby OldMan on Sun Feb 05, 2006 1:13 pm

Some dufus in another thread talked about how "easy"itis for Gonchar to stop the booing

Watch ANY player, in almost ANY game, and you'd find something to boo about if that's why you came to the game. I'm not Gonchar's biggest fan, and certainly at $5M high expectations are reasonable. But the fact that he's paying a higherprice than any other team member for this disastrous season simply isnt right. Fleury admitted that he shd have had that last goal--where are the boos? Everyone admits the Fleury still doesnt make the "big save" as often as he shd--where were the boos? Recchi was practically responsible single-handidly for those two SHGs the Sens got the other night--where are the boos? Speaking of that game, Caron was horrible--where are the boos?

I have said in other threads that everything I've heard is that Gonchar is a proud man. Let's hope that next year the story is about his "quiet strength" in not getting caught up in the negativism/criticism of this year, and making a fine comeback fromit next year.

Noone is going to eat his salary in a trade, unless we eat one just as dubious--so let's get behind the guy. Now.
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