Sunday, March 04, 2007

MAB alert

Not that I'm looking to add any more grief for our already bereaved Edmonton Oilers fan friends, but has anyone noticed just how well Marc-Andre Bergeron has fit in on Long Island?

At first glance, he has two goals and seven points in his first six games as an Islander, and is a +6. He had the game-winner on the power play yesterday in Washington, and has averaged nearly 22 minutes a night under Ted Nolan.

Probably more importantly for everyone on the New York side of things, they've been winning, posting a 5-0-1 record with Bergeron in the lineup.

There's also an excellent chance MAB is playing against tougher competition than he did with the Oilers, given how thin the Isles' blueline is this season (and especially so with Radek Martinek out with a broken leg since early February) and Nolan's lack of options against the opposition's top players.

Sure, it's a small sample size so far, but I thought I'd be a chum and point it out.

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At 9:35 p.m., March 04, 2007, Anonymous ken said...

One shift, MAB looks like a future Norris winner. The next shift, he looks like the worst player in NHL history.

I've never seen anybody run so hot and cold so quickly.

At 9:43 p.m., March 04, 2007, Blogger joninabox said...

Most fans of the Isles would probably chime in with an opinion similar to that, albeit less extreme. If I were to guess, I'd still say MAB plays weaker opposition for the Isles right now, and he's definitely still making silly defensive lapses. Good for him on doing so well, and hopefully him and Smytty are enjoying themselves.

At 10:15 p.m., March 04, 2007, Blogger JavaGeek said...

Bergeron has had very easy opposition in NYI:
ET = expected time (percentage of all EV minutes)
AT = actual time (percentage of all EV minutes)
Bergeron with...
Crosby: 11% ET, 2% AT
Sundin: 10% ET, 5% AT
Koivu: 12% ET, 4% AT
Gagne: 10% ET, 5% AT
Ovechkin: 15% ET, 6% AT
- in other words I would expect if lines were chosen at random for Bergeron to see about 5 minutes/game against good players, instead he's seeing about 1.5 minutes/game .

At 10:25 p.m., March 04, 2007, Blogger mike w said...

Who's he paired with anyway on the Island?

I like MAB, I wish him well (I may be the only Oilers fan with a MAB jersey).

My biggest theory is that last year's SCF actually broke the guy's brain. The change of team clearly did him some good.

At 1:12 a.m., March 05, 2007, Blogger JavaGeek said...

Who's he paired with anyway on the Island?
I believe it would be Tom Poti

At 10:15 a.m., March 05, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its surprising that he is a +6, since I'd have guessed most of his point would be on the powerplay. He's completely changed the look of the Isles PP from a perimeter team to a drive to the net team with great results.

At 11:28 a.m., March 05, 2007, Blogger Black Dog said...

Not playing with Matt Greene certainly helps.

At 11:35 p.m., March 05, 2007, Blogger Hawerchuk said...

Bergeron is getting pretty easy minutes so far with the Isles. In 103 minutes, he's seeing easier ice time than he did with the Oil. Here are the links:

At 10:01 a.m., March 06, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MAB is getting "easier" minutes with the Islanders, but that is part of using the right players in the right role. He is definitely not a shutdown defensemen, but gives them an added dimension on the PP and even strength. e is where he should be playing as a number 4/5 D. They have Witt and Hill to play down low (i.e. at a slower pace) in the final minutes and on the PK.


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