Thursday, 25 September 2014

Can Michaël Bournival produce offensively in the NHL?

Sometimes we tell each other something and repeat it until it becomes an internet fact.  Canadiens fans have been saying that Michaël Bournival's shot and offensive instincts aren't that great for so long that now we're on the verge of tagging him with the 'Can't produce' label.

His final year in junior, two seasons after being drafted, he potted 30 goals in Shawinigan, and followed that up with 10 goals in Hamilton the next season.  So yeah, we shouldn't expect any more than 15 or 20 goals at very most from him reasonably.

I do remember him scoring what felt like every game at last season's camp, however, and building on that for a good start to his season.  Maybe that was due to puck luck, but it might have been due to the great results he's been getting during his off-season training, and maybe because his game is complemented better by NHL linemates than it was during his Bulldog year.  Early that season, the team lost the players who should have been its leaders to injury, when Blake Geoffrion and Louis Leblanc were lost after a promising start, and Brendan Gallagher was promoted to the NHL halfway through.

And yeah, his offence dried up over the second half of the season, but that was after coming back from injury and seeing his icetime being squeezed by returning veterans.

So yeah, Michaël is a bottom six winger, but his game has at its best a speed and quickness, a 'dog in the bowling alley' quality that may allow him to chip offensively.

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