Saturday, September 24, 2016

HARTNELL puts DOWN roots

Scott Hartnell Institutes No Movement Clause
It's time for John Tortorella to embrace the penalties that come with the scoring.  For Scott Hartnell to play his game, he needs to play on the edge.  Playing on the edge in front of the net is Scott Hartnell's contribution to this club.  He will thrive on the set piece play, he will struggle in transition.  Tortorella wants to call Hartnell a throw back, but he doesn't want to tolerate the penalties.  That's not the way it works.

Analytics is cool stuff.  But the inescapable truth is that goals win games.  Hartnell's game is goals from in front of the net, so the coach needs to make sure he puts him there.  The coach needs to enunciate that there are certain penalties you make sure you kill, and he needs to lump Hartnell penalties into that list.  You want this guy being physical in front of the net, and you don't sweat the baggage that comes with it.  Hartnell is a year removed from a season where he nearly scored 30 goals (28 in 2014-15), and if you want to win, you need people scoring goals (see Hockey, World Cup of).  Hartnell can do this for you if you are willing to let him play his game.  It's about winning Coach, and deploying your resources so you can win.  Make the rest of the NHL deal with Scott Hartnell, don't try to make Hartnell into something he is not.

Scott Hartnell is a huge asset going into this season.  And I for one am pleased that he will be around, that he has cast his lot with this team.  This post is inspired by the Dispatch reporting that Hartnell has re-instituted his contractual no movement clause.  The commentary accompanying this Puck Rakers piece indicates that Hartnell is done with the uncertainty, and wants to be in Columbus and play on this team.  These are great things to hear in my opinion.

It is true that the game is getting faster, but the game was always faster than Scott Hartnell.  But the net is just as slow as it always was, so he will be able to win that foot race.  To me this is positive news at the start of training camp.


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