Friday, January 22, 2010

Why is Bruno Gervais Trade Bait?

Since the trade deadline is getting closer (could be closer to before the Olympics), Islanders fans are already rushing to get a few players off the team and make some moves. I have said this before many times, rumors are mostly for entertainment value, except for maybe say the final three weeks before the actual deadline. However there was one player a lot of people would like to see traded by the Islanders, Bruno Gervais.

Of course after researching yet again, I would like to point out a few reasons why Gervais should NOT be traded. Here we go. What I have found was that Scott Gordon does have a place for Bruno on the defense. It's just not as high as the fans expect him to be. When Gervais was first drafted, many thought that with time he could blossom into a top four role. After a few years, he's only noted as a puck moving defenseman and maybe a 5th or 6th defenseman. To most fans, that is a disappointment. But let's go over the numbers shall we?

I asked this question around to other knowledgeable fans: At what age should most defenseman reach there "Potential?" I received a great response Angelica Rodriguez (whom by the way, if you're not following her, you're missing out on great Islanders coverage Twitter: @islesrebelangel) saying:

"See, I don't think there should be a set age for anyone to reach potential. Everyone develops at a diff speed. There's also the organization and the farm system to consider. All of that, plus injuries, etc., can either harm or help development of any player. I think they just overplay him because we don't have reliable D outside of Streit and (most of the time) Sutton... though Hillen & Mac Donald are developing very nicely."

That ladies and gents is the essence of Bruno Gervais' struggles come from. Now let's see if numbers lie. In terms of coming up with a basline, I just looked at how many minutes a game Bruno was playing and decided to go with a median of 17 minutes per game. So what I wanted to know was how well Gervais played when it was games below 17 and in games above 17 minutes.

Statistically, when playing in less than 17 minutes a game Bruno has 1 goal and 4 points and has a +/- rating of a +1. When Bruno plays more than 17 minutes, he has 0 goals and 6 points with a +/- rating of a -7. So this is a good thing right? Hold on, there's more. When Gervais plays in less than 17 minutes a game, the Islanders are 9-9-1. When he plays more than 17 minutes a game,the Islanders are 12-7-1.

So what do you do with him? Well this goes back to what Angelica mentioned before, the progression of Hillen and MacDonald. Both players are taking over the minutes to offset injured players or players like Gervais who just might have been playing too much and both MacDonald and Hillen are looking like mainstays on the blue line. So where does Gervais fit. Simple. Gervais for now, is a number 5 defenseman who can play top 4 minutes when asked upon to do so.

Should Gervais be traded? No way. As long as the Islanders defense remains healthy, Gervais will continue to play around the 17 minute mark and improve defensively, giving the Islanders a tough three pair rotation. If Gervais can get on the score sheet more often, all the more reason to believe he is not trade bait and an intricate part of this team. He will only get better from here.

I would highly recommend going to Angelica's site NYIslesScene and also follow her on twitter as she is certainly one of the more knowledgeable Islanders fan/blogger you will find and I thank her for her contribution to this blog.

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1 comment:

AngieOnTheNYIslesScene said...

Why, thank you! :) Well said, and I agree. I think if Gervais trusts himself more on the ice, he'll be okay. It's just up and down for him lately. Sometimes he shows flashes of promise and other times it's like... "Um..." Just has to be more consistently good. Fans also need to stop looking for a scapegoat, I think... things are going to happen, players are going to have hiccups and slumps and make mistakes. It happens on a young team like the Isles. :)Sometimes I even have to remember that on nights he frustrates me. haha

Thanks again for the mention! Glad to help you out. :)

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