FanPost

In Defense of #51 Tomas Kaberle



I offer this line of reasoning on one condition.  You read it all and think about it completely before flaming the post and me.

 

Kaberle's Bio and background:

Age:33  By no means old in the life span of dmen.  Should not be on the downside of his career.

Size:  6'1" 214 lbs  He has never played big, never a ferocious hitter or ambitious shot blocker.  Finesse, finesse, finesse

Toronto stats:  Had iconic status.  4 time NHL All Star 02,06,07,09.  Did his cult hero status in Toronto help stuff the ballot box for those selctions? Quite possible. Consistently over ,5 points/game.  Always heavy assists, light goals. Slight fall off in playoff point production   Nine seasons with 40 or more points.

Boston stats:  Playoff rental for Boston (Toronto recieved Joe Colbourne, a first round pick and a second round pick) Regular season 9 points in 24 games, +6  2 mins in penalties.  In 25 playoff games he was +8, had 11 assists and 4 penalty minutes.  As Boston moved through the playoffs, the refs changed how they were calling the games. His playing time was reduced.  By the Vancouver series the play moved from hockey to an alley fightt.  Not Tomas' game and he became the whipping boy for Boston fans. 

Carolina stats:19 games 4 assists, -7  2 penalties.  $3.7miiion per year, same cap hit.

Other Considerations:

1.  Hard to grasp any Cane might have a Stanley Cup hangover, but every other Bruin did. In retrospect his slow start was predictable

2.  Kaberle is not to blame if he is overpaid.  JR is.

3.  Kaberle came here with the baggage of having become a Boston fan 's favorite scapegoat. The lemmings in Boston disguised as fans do this to one player every year.   You could mistake it for useful background.  To do so could make you a lemming too. 

4.  Kaberle did not get one day of honeymoon here.  Possible Stanley Cup hangover, new coaches, new teammates, new system (and I use the word system lightly), new city, and the reputation that may have been undeserved from hypercritical Boston fans made him an easy early target.   Now that we know more about our total team defense the zero honeymoon was inevitable but not rational,

4.  His -7 may only look bad if seen in isolation.  Pitkanen is -10 with 3 less games played   Harrison is -6.  Anyone with a lot of ice time with Staal is likely to be highly negative.  On a team that is -27, -7 is real easy to come by.  This team is collectively clueless on defence.  Frankly it is bad with Tomas on the ice and Tomas off the ice.  Logic does not allow our defensive funk to be laid on his doorstep.

5.  Square peg round hole.  Have you heard that before?  Kaberle has been for most of his career a puck moving wizard, not a bruising shoot blocking gorilla.  Our defensive breakouts are methodical and plodding.  Kaberle is not built to take a hit and protect the puck while his teammates slowly transition to offense.  Our PP is a sleep walk.  Kaberle is an assist machine on a team that can't finish.

Summary:

I've chosen to do a reset on #51 and only judge him in the context of his play in the environment he has been given.  In the 24 regular season games in Boston and his 19 here he did  not forget how to play this game.  He has seen lots of bad teams in Toronto.  I don't think he has ever seen anything like this.  Neither have any of us.

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