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Gonchar Continues To Struggle In Ottawa

from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen,

Sergei Gonchar emerged from the Ottawa Senators dressing room almost an hour after Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals, the strain of a dreadful start to his career with the Senators written all over his face.

The Senators’ prized summer free agent signing was expected to put a spark into the Senators power play and all-around offensive game. Instead, he ranks 26th among NHL defencemen in scoring, with four goals and 12 assists in 35 games.

More glaring, however, are his defensive mistakes, including an inexcusable gaffe early in the second period Sunday which helped the Capitals change the game’s momentum and overcome an early 2-0 deficit.

Gonchar now owns a plus-minus rating of minus 19, which ranks him 753rd among 756 NHL players. At his current rate, he will end the season with a staggering minus 44.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sergei+gonchar


Flashtastick56's avatar

Love Gonch…but there was a reason the Pens didn’t bring him back.

This - defensive mistakes - is the main reason.

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 12/20/10 at 11:42 PM ET


Dunno, the Pens didn’t re-sign Gonchar over fears of what his game would look like three years from now. There was clearly some deterioration last year vs. two or three years ago, but I’m not certain that’s what’s going on in Ottawa.

I watch a little bit of Ottawa and, from what I’ve seen of Gonchar, his biggest problems are:
-he doesn’t know their system. He’s a slow learner; we saw that in his first year in Pit. One day this might very well click.

-He is being completely misused on the powerplay. The beginning of the year he was on the left point. He can’t shoot from there, which was his best asset on the PP (though he was also a good distributor on the right point and was also good at holding pucks in).  Now they’ve got him rotating between the left point, right point and right side down-low. He’s only effective in one of these places.

Actually, the whole Ottawa powerplay is wrong. They have all the necessary components, but Clouston has all of them doing the wrong things. Spezza, for instance, is at the right circle most nights. As a heavy shot who can distribute the puck, he needs to be in either the Stamkos spot (left circle) or the Lemieux spot (left wall). On the right side, his howitzer has no angle and all he can do is pass into traffic, shoot at the goalie’s crest or back-pass to Gonchar or Karlsson, who may not be in position to shoot if Gonchar is playing left point and Karlsson is playing right point.

Posted by StevieSteve on 12/21/10 at 05:42 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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