General Message Board
This one is easy, Zetterberg is easily the most underrated player. He had an amazing year and all you hear is how good Crosby or Ovechkin played. Also, other underrated players are Anze Kopitar and the Sedin brothers.
My third candidate for under-rated player of the year is one who's talent is not measured in goals, assists and points but in grit, agressiveness and penalties.
With his 266 hits and 227 blocked shots, Michael Komisarek of the Montreal Canadians was the league leader in the "untangibles", Last season his combined total of the two categories far outstretched the contribution of any other player in the league. His willingness to sacrfice his body against pucks and shoulder pads displays a tenacity for "taking one for the team" that most players shy away from.
Dustin Penner who is the league leader in delivering crushing impacts to the oppositions is a scaredy cat when it comes to tossing his body in the path of even a little tap towards the net. Sure Dustbin Penners 311 hits are a lot more than the second place 266 impacts that Komisarek yeilds - but Penner's paltry 23 blocked shots are anemic when compared to Komisarek's 227. Chances are Dustbin accidently bumped into the puck 23 times as he was skating out of his end, heading back to the opposition's net; it takes alot of skill, speed and effort to miss getting hit by the puck, after all 400 other players in the league managed to block just as many or more shots than Dustin penner.
Sure Brendan Morrow's has only got one hit less than Komisarek, and the points total to back up his power forward status - but like Roenick's and Kieth's aforementioned performance's, last season Micheal Komisarek's on ice contribution far out reaches that of his closest competitors. He simply has contributed in ways that are beyond expectation and are exceptional.
To give you an idea off how much punishment Komisarek not only dished out but recieved, in 75 games played last year his combined total of 493 Blocks and Hit's, culminated in an average of 6.57 per game played. His closest competitors are.
Dustin Brown at 334 in 78 games, 4.28 combined average per game
Brooks Orpik at 364 in 78 games, 4.66 combined average per game
Stephane Robidas at 329 in 82 games, 4.01 combined average per game
Fedor Tyutin at 330 in 82, 4.02 combined average per game
And Brendan Morrow's combined average, a very distant 3.52
Also of equal measure and consideration is that Micheal Komisarek, for all his aggression, managed to only land in the penalty box for a total of 101 minutes, which places him in the 47th spot in the entire league, 14th overall for defenseman. His combination of hit's, blocked shots and penalties is quite exceptional given that at least 90 other players see more ice time than Komisarek.
Now Komisarek is not without faults, his 68 giveaways lands him in the 25th spot, behind such luminaries as Datsyuk, Jagr and Morrow, all clumsy bums when it comes to handling the puck. But in no way is that as shameful as Joe Thornton's 103 passes to the opposition (Now here's an over rated player candidate - his legendary passing ability to go along with his second half performance myth)
But to really put it into perspective Montreal faced on average 32 shots against per game last season with 2.63 lighting the lamp. Komisarek alone stopped the equivalent of SEVEN full games of shots and over 18 goals.
Thats why Komisarek finds himself added to the list.
If you are going to pick someone that is underrated, at least pick someone that comes from an unlikely source. Zetterberg is a great player but I do not think for one bit that he is underrated. Everything about the wings is zetterberg and datsyuk. If anyone is underrated on the wings it would be franzen or holmstrom.
After a little more consideration another player I would propose as being tremendously under-rated last season is Chicago defenceman Duncan Kieth.
He is an example of a great two way defenceman in so far as he had a very reasonable points total, 32, and an exceptional plus 30. You would consider in the league that the top point producers on the most defensively minded teams would have the highest plus/ minus total, and that holds true except for Duncan Kieth. With the 6th best plus/minus rating last season Duncan is an anomaly both on the Blackhawks and in the league because he is one of the very few players who has a points production total that exceeds the league average and a plus/ minus that meets or exceeds his points total.
It’s hard to be a plus player under any circumstances but the most favourable and during all the up’s and down’s and injury riddled line-up’s that the Blackhawks faced last season DK managed to be an exceptional blueliner. Also since his fisrt year in the league his Plus/ Minus has gone from minus 31 to zero to plus 30 in just three seasons.
He’s my second suggestion for unsung hero.
Okay, I kinda went browsing all the teams rosters and came up with a list of players I believe are, as a whole, underrated. Too many to list reasonings, so here they are:
Richard Zednik (he is a clutch player!)
John Madden (shorthanded master!)
Jay Pandolfo (not point crazy, but an amazing leader who barely misses a game!)
Not amazing superstars all of them are not (God I sound like Yoda), but most all of you would want them on a team if you were a coach.
- 1 Reply to c zern
NO WAY! I watch all Caps games as well living nearish to DC. Semin is streaky and sloppy a lot! When he is hot, he is amazing!! When he is sloppy and cold, he is like a sloppy joe sandwich left in a fridge for 4 or 5 days. If his consistency increased, I would agree. Until then, no.
In some ways you could argue that a player such as Jeremy Roenick is one of the most under rated players last season. In 69 games and while averaging just under 14 minutes of ice time, JR still managed to put up very respectable numbers last season, especially the one that counts the most – game winning goals. Only one player, Alex Ovechkin and his eleven tallies, had more game winning goals than Roenick last season. But what is most interesting is JR only scored 14 goals last year, 10 of which were GWG’s. That means over 70 percent of his goals scored were game winners – only one other player comes marginally close to that tally and that is Patrick Elias with a very distant 40%.
(Okay Freddy Meyer of NYI had a 66% but he only scored 3 goals, 2 of which where game winners – but that’s hard to count and compare.)
And to support the fact that not only was Roenick making great shots when needed the most, his overall shot selection and choices were excellent, he had the 24th best shooting percentage in the entire league last season. Incidentally Roenick’s shot percentage was better than Crosby and Ovechkin’s and Zetterberg’s.
Sure his plus / minus wasn’t all that great – but unless your on the Red Wings, how many 3rd / 4th line centers that are largely in a checking role have really high plus/ minus.
Let’s also not forget that Roenicks career had been in a very ugly downward spiral while the last couple of years and with the Sharks, in my opinion, he has turned it around in a really positive way. Sure he’s not the same player he was when he was one of the leagues premier power forwards racking up points and a body count, but in his new role he seems to have flourished.
I am sure intrigued to see who else is put forward as the unsung hero, but I would cast my vote for Roenick.
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