No knock on a Richard Park or an Andy Hilbert because in a sixty minute game they give everything they have to help a club win and they will do whatever it takes.
In transition from defense to offense/offense to defense both are above average and never take a shift off who create turnovers that start rushes. They skate very well, excellent on defense, will always take a hit to make a play and give you everything and more in the trenches. Once in a while they will score a big goal or setup a play to lead to a big goal.
Excellent team players who make a club better by being part of it.
Having written that to see them go on a powerplay with Jon Sim and expect them to score on a regular basis or when you are trailing and need a goal is asking for too much and goes above what they have done in their respective careers. We saw the same thing with Claude Lapointe a decade ago here and in the recent past with Shawn Bates.
I'm also well aware Andy Hilbert had produced more goals this season but deflecting in shots or banking one in off another player is not taking a shot that can beat a hot goalie by hitting the top shelf or a setup where someone has an open net to shoot at.
These are the kind of big goals we see other clubs setup or their skill players create with shots that can beat a hot goaltender and turn a games momentum.
This has to start happening here.
Again that's not a knock on anyone however it begs the question is the organization putting players in the best position for them to be successful long-term?
To be fair to Scott Gordon both Frans Nielsen & Kyle Okposo saw their share of powerplay time like Bailey before they were injured, despite their low overall scoring.
Josh Bailey is a top draft pick with excellent passing skills, the coach is absolutely doing the right thing to work him in and give him powerplay time at this point whether he produces or not because this will be he spot in the long-term.
Bergenheim despite his recent play where he looks to be struggling/sick/whatever is not seeing his minutes on the powerplay. Jeff Tambelli only had limited powerplay chances.
Comeau did not get nearly enough of a chance with the man advantage last season either, he did not get a chance last night.
Sim can do some powerplay damage but has not looked good for the most part in this mix nor have we seen nearly enough of his shot.
What are Garth Snow and Scott Gordon waiting for with Trevor Smith, Jesse Joensuu and Mike Iggulden if they have scoring skills and need an opportunity?
I know Tim Jackman works very hard and is creating some great chances but he is not going to score on a regular basis at this level, the career resume does not lie here and as much as he stands up for his teammates he is not going to produce enough to justify a spot on an offensively challenged club.
When you do not have a club with a top scoring line you have to make some tough choices. One night they seem to go for toughness, another with a little more grit but they never go for scoring skill.
Snow and Gordon have other options, Ben Walter got his call last year to the Islanders, we read a lot about Rob Hennigar who has not put up the numbers in Bridgeport & before Jeremy Colliton was sent back (out with sore knee) he was playing well enough on defense again to where his minutes were not hurting the club.
Somewhere in this organization there has to be a shooter with offensive skills who can give this team a jump or at the very least the skill players need a look at this point to see what they can do.
We already know what some players here cannot do on offense, that's not going to change even if they score an occasional goal in the upcoming games.
Why not Trevor Smith, Joensuu, & Iggulden in and Jackman, Thompson, and one out of Park/Hilbert/Sillinger/Sim out?
For that matter add Tambellini right back into the mix, he will prove nothing in Bridgeport as I wrote the other day.
Should have included Kurtis McLean in this as well.