Tuesday, 19 March 2013

RDS on Jarred Tinordi

I watched l’Antichambre on RDS Saturday night, and there were comparisons between the Canadiens' defensive rookie Jarred Tinordi, who had just played a strong first NHL game, and former Hab Hal Gill.  There were some disapproving clucks on social media that these comparisons are outlandish and insulting to Mr. Tinordi.  Unfortunately, a lot of the static came from people who hadn't watched the show, but heard about it second-hand, and they wound themselves up into an unwarranted righteous frenzy.

These comparisons were made by the Antichambre crew, and the in-between periods panels on the game broadcast, and allow me to assure you that this isn’t as facile a comparison as is feared. Benoit Brunet and others made the same comparison, but all took pains to explain that comparables are tricky, and they do so only to illustrate Mr. Tinordi's style of play and the type of impact he can have on a game. They specified they were comparing his stickwork and reach and how that has an impact on the opponents and their passing options. They all mentioned that he has a better first pass than Hal Gill , that his offensive game is developing and probably better than Hal’s even at this stage, that he moves better and that he’s more aggressive and tougher.

Stéphane Leroux preambled this exact comparison by saying he was doing so only because viewers were asking this question.
All analysts rejected out of hand any comparison to Zdeno Chara.
Renaud Lavoie explained that while he was stumped when he saw Jarred Tinordi at his first camp with the Canadiens, wondering what they saw in him, whether he would be a bust, he was also approached by Peter Chiarelli at the 2010 draft, who unbidden told him: “Wow, the Canadiens picked a good one there,” or words to that effect. So Mr. Lavoie tempered his skepticism with that, if a competitor said a nice thing to him about his rivals, that it meant something. Later, Mr. Lavoie got updates from Dale Hunter, who coached Jarred with the London Knights, and would praise his development, saying his mobility and aggressiveness were improving by leaps and bounds.
When Mr. Lavoie saw him at the next camp, he found the player completely transformed, much more coordinated and mobile. This was not unexpected, since he had finished his growth spurt at that point and was growing into his body.
Finally, Guy Carbonneau coached against the US squad at the U-17′s, and he explained that the benches were close together, and while he was impressed with his play, what caught his attention was the kid’s leadership, he could hear him speaking to his teammates on the ice and off, how he was encouraging everyone and bringing the slackers back in line. Jarred was serving as team captain for the US squad.
So overally, good job by the RDS gang to flesh out our picture of a young player who we all rest a lot of our hopes on.

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