Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Midseason Review - John Leclair

John Leclair

50 Games
12 Goals
20 Assists
-16 +/-
49 PIM

Grade: B-

John Leclair has given the team decent effort, especially of late. He, along with Mark Recchi, are leading by example and playing with some intensity and desire.

At times, he's been great when positioned in front of the net. Most of his goals have been of the rebound variety. When he's hustling and parking himself just in front of the crease, he's still pretty effective.

Some of the limited productivity would have to be attributed to his age and some more to the speed of the game. However, I'd also put a bunch of it on the poor power play (and offense in general) that the Penguins have deployed so far this year. When you're not getting shots on net from the defense, it's tough to get any rebounds to stuff in. The timing of the shots that are taken seems to leave something to be desired as well - it's like taking a long jumper in basketball without looking to see if you have any teammates around the hoop to get the potential rebound.

Maybe Leclair's biggest job right now would be to tutor Ryan Malone. Ryan needs to play more like Leclair does, in my opinion. He'd do well to pay attention to John while he's around.

Leclair can fill a valuable role on this team when they're good. He could also be valuable to a contender. Until then, he can do what he's doing now - lead by example with grit, hustle and determination.

1 comment:

Will said...

As much time as I spent hating this guy while he played in Philly, I have liked watching him play as a Pen. I think he would be great to have around next season but with as well as he's playing and the rumors I've heard about him not being too happy in the locker room, I won't be surprised to see him gone before the trade deadline... Then I can go back to hating him :)