netwolf wrote:Anyone who expected Gonchar to be positionally sound this year has not spent much time watching him play before. He has always been an adventure in his own end and always will be. The reason you add a guy like him to your team is because he is an elite offensive defenseman. I forget the exact stat, but he's the highest scoring defenseman over the past 4-6 years.
Add in the expectations that power plays would be up, along with offense in general, and you have the reason whay Patrick extended the big money contract. At the time, I didn't mind the average money, but thought the contract was a year or two too long. I maintain that stance today.
Gonchar may or may not have deserved boos earlier, but over the past month he has not. He has done exactly what is expected of him, minus the goal scoring, which is not there right now. People booing him now either aren't good at letting things go or ignorant of what his game is like.
Now, if someone's main beef with Gonchar is that he isn't worth the money he's making, Gonchar still doesn't deserve the boos. Craig Patrick extended the offer to him. It's not like Gonchar called Patrick and talked him into offering the deal.
I wont go to a game and boo anybody but the other team and occasionally the refs. The booing is stupid but thats there right.
The irony in all of this is that the new rules made Gonchar worse and not better. Forwards are comming at him faster than ever and the 2-line passes have made him back off at even strength. The Penguins never considered the other side of the coin when they took a chance on Gonchar, or at least they didnt bother to hype that side of it.
Gonchar is better defensively then Ziggy has exagerated he is. I remember 96 when he was challenged by Jagr and the Pens and he stood tall. He did as good a job on Jagr defensively as anyone could have. That was more of an exception to the norm but he is capable of not being THIS bad. The whole team has to play aggressive and smart and never let up. If they do he can add to that, otherwise he is awful.