Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Keeping My Chimera Excitement Contained. Ultimately, He Is Who We Think He Is.

Sure, going in Wednesday's NHL games, Jason Chimera is tied for the league lead in goals with 3. But before everyone gets carried away with visions of a John Druce type of scoring explosion, let's have a serious reality check.

Jason Chimera is a 32 year old forward playing in his 9th full NHL hockey season. He has never topped 17 goals or 36 points in any regular season. Last year he scored just 10 goals in 81 games for Washington, and he has a career shooting percentage of just 9.2%.

Come down to earth yet?

The facts are that Jason Chimera did not re-invent himself this off-season or have hand transplants. He is still what we thought he was - a 3rd or 4th line player with world class skating speed, hard-working & consistent. He is not a skill guy. Without his speed, which he utilizes to create many of his scoring opportunities, Chimera might only be a borderline NHL caliber player at best.

Sure, with good health and higher quality linemates to work with this season, it's not out of the question Chimera can score 20 - even 25 goals - but the facts are that until now, in 581 previous NHL games before last Saturday, Chimera has gained a reputation for having the opposite of a soft, scorers touch.

Given the many open nets he has missed or shots he has shanked throughout the years, he has earned many dubious nicknames. I personally have referred to him as "cement hands" on Twitter, but will refrain from using that term until Chimera has earned it again.

For now I will enjoy the ride and hope Chimera can at least keep up the momentum for a few more games. But this wave, like all, will come crashing down soon and there will be another wave. Which player will ride that one?

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