starts have been pervasive throughout the Flames organization and few are
feeling that more than Emile Poirier.
shouldn’t panic, however. Anyone who has watched Emile Poirier knows he’s been
one of the hardest working Heat players this season. But when the Heat’s
scoring is dryer than the Mojave in July, all eyes wander in Poirier’s
all know what Emile Poirier brings to the table. If he was a musician, he’d
have a hell of a set list: speed, skill, tenacity, physicality and peskiness to
name a few of the tools in his toolbox.
most of those attributes are secondary – an augmentation to what makes Poirier
so special. He went as high as he did in the 2012 draft because it was his
offensive skill that headlined what many scouts believed to be the total
package. It’s not like he’s been a disappointment since being drafted 22nd
overall. He had a superb 19-year-old QMJHL season followed by a fantastic 42
point American League rookie season.
however, Poirier’s slack-jawed offensive prowess has been replaced with glassy-eyed
wandering. Normally when the Adirondack Flames were clicking last season when
he was in a slump, he still added something
to the line-up. He added his trademark butt-hole attitude, his physicality
and was able to wear down opponents. Now, with the team having scored just
eight goals in their last seven games, Poirier’s lack of production has been
magnified immensely. Is it unfair? Perhaps. But that won’t stop fans from being
fans and bloggers from being bloggers.
picked up just three assists in the last eight games (two of those helpers came
in the 7-0 season opener stompdown). He appears to be chasing the puck far too
often, and that’s not what Poirier usually does. When he’s at his best, he’s an
unpredictable sniper. At his worst, he’s a third-tier energy grinder, and that’s
not what we’ve come to expect out of Poirier.
‘BOUT THAT SCHEDULE?
can’t downplay the impact of this new sparse Pacific Division schedule.
matter how skilled you are, this schedule has the potential to be a cold, cruel
mistress. We all know hockey players are creatures of habit and routine.
Playing two back-to-back games once a week is enough to drive even the most
patient of monks into insanity. So the schedule certainly isn’t helping matters
when offensive players like Poirier can’t even get into a groove.
going to be interesting to keep an eye on the rest of the offensive players in
the division to see if they too are struggling to get on a roll.
has played with a handful of different players this season in attempt to get
him going (I’ll be looking at Huska’s line juggling in the coming weeks in an
attempt to make sense of it), but no line combination has stuck to this point.
weekend Poirier played alongside Austin Carroll and Bill Arnold, and then on
Saturday with Turner Elson and Markus Granlund. That’s not bad. Not bad at all.
Arnold is one of the most versatile players in the organization and knows how
to play with and against skilled players, not to mention his own toolbox of skilled
abilities. Austin Carroll, on the other hand, is still in the ‘feeling out’
stages of professional hockey, but he hasn’t needed an adjustment period to maintain
his same old pesky, irritating self. The same can be said for the combination
of the immensely skilled Granlund and pesky Elson he was paired with against
versatile, skilled, pesky, irritating… who does that sound like?
got to give Ryan Huska daps for identifying the types of players Poirier should be able to excel alongside. It’s
a case of surrounding yourself with good company and Poirier had that this
weekend (even if he didn’t record a point). We’ll see if it works in the long
term or if it’s back to the drawing board.
Agostino-Granlund-Poirier experiment didn’t work out as well as planned,
unfortunately. Ideally that’d be the Heat’s top line. Those three looked okay
together, but Poirier wasn’t really himself playing alongside them. He had a
tendency to be a little too generous, opting to let Granlund take the shot.
Poirier’s a shooter and when he plays his game, he records shots in bunches.
season, he’s got just 12 shots in eight games (seven of those in three games).
That’s unusual for him and can’t continue if he wants to be recalled. We’ll
have to see how his new linemates assist him in becoming a scoring machine once
HOW IMPORTANT IS EMILE?
hoping last night’s version of the Calgary Flames is here to stay, but that’s
an uncertainty at this point. Scoring was a bit of an issue for the Flames and
it’s no secret Brad Treliving would love to add another top-9 scoring winger.
Poirier could be that top-9 scoring
winger. He fits the Flames’ desired identity to a tee. Speed, skill, energy,
#truculence. If Poirier can find a way to start putting up points in bunches
like he did last season on the east coast, he could push his way to the top of
the depth chart very quickly. Let’s face it, at this point there isn’t a ton of
competition in the minor-pro ranks for a top line offensive winger.
be up to him to slowly get his game back on track and get his name to the
forefront of Treliving’s mind when it comes time for a recall.