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Don't be a Gonchar Hater

Posted 8:26 PM ET | Comments 9
I'm here today to address a grave injustice in the league today. Sergei Gonchar gets no respect.

I'm not sure what more this guy has to do to get the kind of respect that other top notch defensemen seem to enjoy. Throughout his career, he has constantly been overlooked. Despite being the leading defensive scorer on several occasions, he has yet to get consideration for the Norris Trophy. He's one of the top defensive scorers over the past decade, but still no respect. Even in Pittsburgh, fans just don't seem to appreciate what Gonchar brings to the table. Perhaps he's overshadowed by a number of flashy forwards and a goaltender, but fans shouldn't underestimate the importance of #55.

To see how important Gonchar is to the Pens, you just have to watch how well they've faired over the past two seasons with and without him in the lineup. Last season, with Gonchar on the shelf for the first half of the season, the Pens seemed destined to miss the playoffs altogether. His return coincided completely with the miraculous rebound the Pens enjoyed. This season showed more of the same, as the Pens struggled without him on the blueline. Despite having Malkin, Crosby, Staal, and various other quality options up front, the Penguins power play goes nowhere without Gonch carrying the puck. He may be the best in the league and carrying the puck into the zone and setting up the power play.

It's time that fans and hockey pundits come to terms with just how good this guy is. So, don't be a hater. Take a moment to tell a friend just how good Sergei Gonchar really is. [End of Rant].

[Wait… not done yet]

Here are a few other guys in the NHL who are underappreciated and underrated:

Marc Savard - One of the best setup guys in the game. Started his career off slowly in a small market, so he never gets attention.

Chris Osgood - Whipping boy for everything that's gone wrong in Detroit in the past decade (which isn't much), and never given a lick of credit for the Wings success.

Patrick Marleau - Has taken the heat for the Sharks playoff mishaps just because of a letter on the front of his sweater. During several of those choke jobs, Marleau was the only thing going in San Jose.

[Done with Rant]

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Filed Under:   underrated  
December 14, 2009 9:32 PM ET | Delete
I feel the same way about Markov than you feel about Gonchar. Habs fans are starting to notice after his injuries and it should be the same for pens fans.
December 15, 2009 12:09 AM ET | Delete
December 15, 2009 12:51 AM ET | Delete
Most Stanley Cup winners win BECAUSE of goaltending... the Wings win IN SPITE of goaltending... what does that tell you? Osgood phoning in the entirety of last year completely ruined the goodwill he had started to build up by registering a couple solid years... come to think of it, he hasn't played more than 46 games in a season since he played in St. Louis in 2004... what does that say about his abilities as a number one goalie?
December 15, 2009 1:44 AM ET | Delete
A-Mar = Jealous Bitch
December 15, 2009 4:31 AM ET | Delete
Career playoff stats for Osgood: 74 wins, 49 losses; .916 save %; 2.09 GAA. And when they won the cup in '08 he had .930 save % and a ridiculous 1.55 GAA! Those numbers are on par or better than Brodeur and Roy in the years that most people credit them with singlehandedly winning cups. Add to that the fact that Osgood has NEVER had a losing season.... what does that tell you A-Mar?
December 15, 2009 4:37 AM ET | Delete
But this post was about the Gonch, and I agree fully with him being overlooked and underrated. I believe it started in Washington when he had a few seasons where he racked up the points but not the /- so he got the reputation of being soft and defensively liable. But those Caps teams weren't always good so it's hard to blame him. The funny thing, though, is that he's actually a career player.
December 15, 2009 4:39 AM ET | Delete
For some reason the plus signs in the last post didn't show up... c'est la vie.
December 15, 2009 1:45 PM ET | Delete
Marc Savard is underappreciated because he had a me first mentality, In Oshawa as a junior, drafted by the Rangers who sent him to Calgary where he centered Igina and Valeri Bure with success. Savard has put up good to great numbers everywhere he's played, but Boston is the first team where he's really matured into a team guy. He's underrated but it was because of his attitude not his ability before
December 15, 2009 6:09 PM ET | Delete
Gonchar is a great D. One of the best. But he's not the great Defensive stalward that Lidstrom, Pronger or Chara is, in addition to the fact that all of them are high scoring d-men. He's on my Fantasy team so you don't have to sell me on his value. He IS the most important part of that team but Norris goes to the best overall D. He's a great player, But guys like Pronger
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