Last night, the Flyers held a skills competition, free and open to the public. Of course, this event was mainly for the fans, not meant to be taken seriously. From the results last night, one thing stands out to me: JVR’s slapshot. 101MPH? Are you serious? Where has this been all year?
Despite being a winger, drafted 2nd overall a few years ago, JVR isn’t really known for his offense. He’s not know for his defense either. He’s had a few nice streaks here and there, but largely hasn’t lived up to expectations. Maybe, just maybe, we haven’t put him in the right spot yet. As a rookie, we expected him to develop into a big point producer. It didn’t take too long to realize that was nothing more than a pipe dream. So this past summer, he bulked up, and our expectations changed. Now the hope would be that he’d cycle the puck well, create space for linemates, and still help out offensively. Instead, he was mostly invisible, which lead to him getting benched. After getting another chance to play, he’s picked up his scoring a bit. But c’mon, he’s not going to be able to do that too often.
But did anyone have any idea that he was the owner of a cannon? We’ve never witnessed the JVR Rocket before. Even he was surprised at his own power. And it wasn’t a fluke. He cracked 100MPH on both attempts. My pick to win it, Meszaros, was 2nd with a shot clocked at 98.6. So with Pronger out for a while, why not give JVR a chance on the point. Yes, that exposes us to a counter rush. But it’s a chance I’m willing to take. Shorthanded goals don’t happen often enough to scare me. And our powerplay could always use some tinkering. First it sucked, then it was good, then it sucked again, then it was clutch. We’re 2nd in goals per game, but 18th on the powerplay. Do I really have to point out how much more teams would fear us if our powerplay was something to worry about? Lavy has a week to think about it.
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