Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

That's it -- trade Cheechoo!

Note: The title of this post is completely sarcastic

Jeez, some fans just have to find something wrong with everything, don't they? It doesn't matter that the Sharks are winning or that Milan Michalek is looking like a stud or that the goalie platoon thing is working. Around the Shark Tank and on message boards, there's this underlying buzz of "What's happened to Jonathon Cheechoo and how do we get rid of him?"

Please, people. Calm the fuck down. Seriously.

Yes, Cheechoo only has five goals. Yes, Cheechoo has been pretty darn ineffective this season. Yes, Cheechoo is off the Thornton line, and boy, doesn't Mike Grier look good right now?

Look, when you win the Rocket Richard with 56 goals, people expect you to come back and score, like, 231 goals the next season when in fact, most goal leaders have a bit of a slump the next season. This usually means a drop of about 10-15 goals.

Does this mean the players have become crappy over the offseason? No, but it means that defenses are keying in on them a hell of a lot more.

I've always thought that Cheechoo is a pretty good, but not great player, and that's not a knock on him. He's got a dynamic shot and is scrappy, but he can't create offense by himself the way a Jaromir Jagr or Eric Staal do, and that's fine. Put him with a playmaker and he becomes a gold mine. With an average center, he's probably a 25-35 goal guy and there's nothing wrong with that. But because he can't generate offense purely by himself a la Jagr, when defenses key in on him and his centerman more, he loses a little bit of his spark. Cheech is scrappy enough and hard working enough that he'll get it back after he adjusts a little bit (I like Ron Wilson's idea of putting him on a line that cycles a little more with Marcel Goc just to try and get him skating a little bit more).

So don't jump off the Cheechoo bandwagon yet. He's still shooting the puck even though it's not going in as much. He's still fighting through checks. And he's got the drive to get back in the groove, he's just got to adjust to the newfound attention defenses are giving him.


Jordi said...

It's hard to hate on a guy with the middle name Earl.

ninja said...

I wish you would've wrote "So don't jump off the Cheechoo train just yet." but I suppose that has been played out a bit.

VeryProudofYa said...

I've expecting to surge at any moment, from watching his play as of late. He's been doing a good job of getting open and he's certainly firing. Maybe his frustration is leading to him putting his head down a little more, because his aim hasn't been the sharpest.

I DO hope he holds off his breaking out party, as I've added Grier to my fantasy team.

Hopefully he's good a few more scores before getting swapped for cheech. ala Mike Smith.

Earl Sleek said...

ala Mike Smith.

Wasn't Smith on the top line just to cover for when Mark Bell was injured? I don't recall that being a Cheechoo issue.

BTW, I thought that boarding call that ejected Cheech from the Pittsburgh game was b.s.

Bartcal said...

I couldn't agree with your sentiments more. I also think Cheechoo put more pressure on himself once the slump started - the third line assignment looks like it will help him out though. I for one would like him to get out of the slump though as Cheechoo is on my fantasy team.

VeryProudofYa said...

Wasn't Smith on the top line just to cover for when Mark Bell was injured? I don't recall that being a Cheechoo issue.

yeah, my mistake. In any case, I hope grier pots a few before cheech gets going again.

Rachael said...

Cheechoo didn't get his mojo going until later in the season last year..yes alot of that had to do with the Thorton trade, but I still think he's a great player who just takes a bit longer to get into his groove.

And considering he was my first pick in my pool I hope he gets going soon!

Zanstorm said...

Excuses excuses. Hey, he really could have been a flash in the pan and that is it. You never know.
Where the fuck is Mark Bell?

Anonymous said...

He was traded to Da Leafs u nimrod.