Monday, September 29, 2008

Matthew Lombardi

07-08 Prediction
After a wild first ride in his first season with Calgary, in which he was severely concussed by Derian Hatcher during the playoffs, Lombardi has steadily increased his hockey sense and found ways to use his overwhelming speed to his advantage. Needs to become a better passer and needs more than one move on the penalty shot and shootout (forehand-backhand-fivehole, here’s hoping opposition goalies don’t take note…). Was Canada’s 2nd best forward in the 2007 World Championships playing next to Rick Nash (who was Canada’s best forward), thereby proving he has 1st line potential.

07-08 Evalutation
Despite everything my eye tells me when I watch Lombardi, he just seems unable to create offence. He flies around the ice, he's usually in good position, but he doesn't finish very often. Granted, we know Lombardi has been playing with some pretty poor linemates - but I don't think that's the entire reason he can't seem to put the puck in the net.

Below I have his EV stats, but I'd like to preface them by pointing out that I found Lombardi to be a very good penalty killer, very crafty when a man down.

Lombardi's stats are all so...middle of the road - maybe that's good considering who he was playing with, but I just feel like he should be doing better. He has two stats that jump out at me: His GF/60 is atrocious, while it seems that Keenan didn't pick up on it because he seemed to play Lombardi as much as anyone- more so it seems; his EVTOI/60 was third on forwards.

This year is going to have to be Lombardi's year; Backlund appears to be knocking on the door and the Flames simply have too many centerman. From the sounds of it Lombardi will get every opportunity to play on the second line; if he doesn't grab the position this year and make something of himself, he could become redundant.

for Kent's thoughts, click here.

Projection: 2nd line
Key Stat: 3rd place on forwards for TOI/60