Is "Grit" Overrated?

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Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby RxBandit66 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:10 pm

We've heard the team relentlessly over the past several seasons: "He has some sandpaper to his game." But with the NHL ever evolving, is grit becoming kind of passe? I'm not suggesting by any means that the Pens need to acquire "soft" players. But teams like the Devils have been very successful in the past by employing players like Alex Mogilny and Oleg Tverdovsky, and more recently Alex Ponikarovsky in a very structured system. Last season, the Flyers defeated the Pens with players like Jaromir Jagr on the top lines.

With the league slowly reverting back to the trap, speed should perhaps be the emphasis. The Pens went into the past few playoffs with the likes of Adams, Kunitz, Cooke, Rupp, Asham, Engelland, etc and aside from Kunitz, it has not really helped them.

The concept of "wearing the other team down over a 7 game series" holds no water and did not occur against Montreal, Tampa, or Philly. The fact that the Pens are one of the older teams in the NHL now even makes it less likely that this philosophy will work to their advantage. These guys are pros and they can handle a long playoff series. The only way to beat a system is with a better system, which typically involves puck management and stellar goaltending, not grinding. Thoughts?
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby Idoit40fans on Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:16 pm

No.
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby Tico Rick on Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:17 pm

No.
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby DelPen on Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:18 pm

No.
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby Defence21 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:21 pm

Far from over-rated. Physically wearing down an opponent does work...when it's done, and don't correctly. I don't recall the Pens wearing down the Habs or Bolts. They "tried" to with the Flyers, but did it the wrong way by playing the game after the whistles instead of between them.

Just because a team has some softer players doesn't mean it's not gritty. Yes, Jagr and Briere skated to prominent roles in Philly, but so did Hartnell, Simmonds, Schenn, and others. Not every player has to be gritty, but having gritty players is a must. The more grit (to compliment skill), the better.
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby IanMoran on Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:25 pm

In every other sport it used to describe the lower talented smaller white guy that fans love that isn't that good. See guard in basketball or white rb / wr

So yes, highly overrated there

In hockey though, its used to describe someone who is physical, forechecks hard, etc.. So no.. not overrated in hockey
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby thepittman on Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:31 pm

no
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby mikey287 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:51 pm

The game isn't reverting towards the "trap" - whatever that means...

It's a coach's game now, so you need more "coach's players" to fit systems. The game isn't just played anymore, it's carefully choreographed. If you don't have multi-dimensional players, they might not be able to fit into the role(s) that the coach wants and may be discarded as a result. Grit is a major point of emphasis in the game, compete level, determination, all similar if you want to group them together...all things that scouts look for and coaches look for and GMs look for when crafting their respective teams.

Not every player has to be Gary Roberts, but a team of Alexander Mogilny's and Oleg Turnoverdovsky's wouldn't be very successful at the NHL level I don't believe...
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby no name on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:00 pm

Not overrated. Find me 2 exact players, one has alot of grit to his game and the other has none. The guy with grit will make .5 to 1 million more on his contract and be coveted by more GMs. Just having that element to their game makes them more valuable.

Who would you take Kunitz or Petr Sykora, both posted close to 30 goals at simular stages of their career. I would take Kunitz any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

A goon or fighter isn't needed anymore but a player with grit can never be understimated.
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby Gaucho on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:08 pm

I think in their prime I'd take Sykora.
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby MRandall25 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:10 pm

Alexander Mogilny only won a Cup with the Devils because they had Marty Brodeur.

He nor Tverdovsky were the reason the Devils won the Cup in 2000. You're forgetting guys like Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer, John Madden, Claude Lemieux, Jason Arnott, Bobby Holik, and Ken Danyeko. THOSE are the guys that won them the Cup. Everyone of them are the grit and sandpaper types you think are "overrated".
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby RxBandit66 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:36 pm

IMO Letang is the perfect example of a player who has great skill and a decent amount of grit. Kunitz has more grit than skill but is certainly a very skilled player. But looking back on the 2009 Cup team, the players who had grit were also smart with the puck, like Hal Gill. Scuderi was kind of a gritty player because he blocked shots and played through pain.

Some people tend to think grit amounts to nothing more than being big and hitting people. The team lost a lot of "character" guys after the two Cup runs, much like the 1991 and 1992 teams did when Errey, Loney, and Borque departed for other teams or were traded. Lately, the gritty players have lacked the character.

A big part of my OP was to illustrate the fact that if players don't play within themselves and disciplined, then they are nothing more than slow players with no skill. Without character and discipline, grit means very little. That was my initial point.
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby Odd Man Rush on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:39 pm

I certainly don't believe that grit is overrated but I do think that a lot of people - including some players - often misunderstand what constitutes true grit and toughness and what is just self-indulgent nonsense. It takes a lot more toughness to take a punch and not respond in order to get an extra man advantage than it does to selfishly punch the guy back and give away the PP.

In today's game fighters are - by and large - WILDLY overrated. I can't even imagine the case against that statement. However, when you take a guy like Craig Adams, what he does for a team is true grit (no pun intended) and it is very valuable to the Penguins' ability to win hockey games.

So, no grit is definitely not overrated - at least how I define it. However, when you lead the league in fighting majors - as we did two years ago - that is not the sign of a gritty team as much as it is an undisciplined one.
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby Idoit40fans on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:42 pm

Fighters are overrated? Everyone thinks they're worthless. Maybe slightly overrated because some people think they are necessary on every team, but they aren't valued enough to be "wildly overrated".
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby IanMoran on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:59 pm

Idoit40fans wrote:Fighters are overrated? Everyone thinks they're worthless. Maybe slightly overrated because some people think they are necessary on every team, but they aren't valued enough to be "wildly overrated".

If 1 team employees one of the fighters that have no other use.. then they're overrated
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby penny lane on Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:05 pm

Bob Errey had grit and could score. g roberts , ryan malone,The millers, kevin, kelly and of course: kip. I always liked Jarkko Ruutu as the gritty pen wing.
Gritty with consistent scoring on the wing ; GM Ray Shero's wish list.
1 shift a game fighters? how will they fit with the 48 game schedule?
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby shafnutz05 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:26 pm

No
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby DropEmJayBird on Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:39 pm

Grit is nice, but if your grit turns the puck over in the neutral zone instead of dumping it in deep during a time when your team is up 3-0 in the second period... then I'd rather have someone who makes the right play in the right situation rather than grit.
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby RxBandit66 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:48 pm

DropEmJayBird wrote:Grit is nice, but if your grit turns the puck over in the neutral zone instead of dumping it in deep during a time when your team is up 3-0 in the second period... then I'd rather have someone who makes the right play in the right situation rather than grit.


Good post, and this is kind of the original point I was making in the OP. Scuderi/Gill/Roberts or Errey/Loney/Bourque don't turn the puck over in that situation. When Geno or Letang do that on occasion, it's okay because they put up points and play insane minutes, so they will make a mistake or two. And they also have the speed to make up ground if they turn it over, especially Letang.

But a guy who plays 7 minutes and his only responsibility is to NOT turn the puck over in the neutral zone, he cannot make that mistake. And in recent seasons, 3rd and 4th liners certainly have been.
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby Idoit40fans on Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:02 pm

What does that have to do with grit? That is a player making a bad decision.
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby RxBandit66 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:08 pm

Idoit40fans wrote:What does that have to do with grit? That is a player making a bad decision.


Well I was just saying that role players need both grit and awareness/character. Putting a player out there who is gritty but makes mental mistakes and/or takes a ton of penalties kind of defeats the purpose.

I'd much rather have a guy like Rob Scuderi or Troy Loney, who is smart with the puck and has toughness, but plays within himself and doesn't try to do too much. Guys like Asham were the worst of both worlds IMO, because he tried to do too much both physically and on offense, turning the puck over and also taking penalties.

Minor penalties and turnovers were the reason the Philly series was a disaster. Thoe whole point of my OP was to point out that role players cannot continue to make mental errors at the rate they did a year ago, and if they do, they should not be kept around just because they are gritty.
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby no name on Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:16 pm

I always hated thoes guys who stand around when a scrum on the ice breaks out. A guy with some grit will at least grab someone.
Last edited by no name on Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby sil on Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:17 pm

The better question to me is...Is it quantifiable?
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby RxBandit66 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:21 pm

sil wrote:The better question to me is...Is it quantifiable?


I think it is when a player earns respect over a number of seasons for his smart, gritty play. Kirk Maltby was a great example of that. But typically role players lasting that long and doing it that well are rare.
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Re: Is "Grit" Overrated?

Postby Idoit40fans on Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:23 pm

sil wrote:The better question to me is...Is it quantifiable?


Yes. under W and L.
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